I wake up
And there it is
Fabulous machine of my mind:
My room.

Everything is yammering.
The soil is dry
The turtle nearly slides out of his shell.
Gaping for food.

And you at my side ...
You, so warm
So looming
Your warmth belies your coldness --
I hold on!

Everything is yammering
And I love it so.

Before All Others

The big hand goes in the silent black pantry
And then there's action.
Harm or no harm
Pain or no pain
insects begin to run, panic.

Nothing has been toppled.
Things are still in place.
And yet next time though the big hand may not waver
The force behind the big hand may
And chaos starts to have pattern --
Invisibly spinning its web.

Envy in New York

Watching them cement
broken city streets with sweat,
withered idle men
commenting on the right way
in the summer afternoon.

The Young Wife

Flightless you became because of me
I made you strong but earthbound
For this
I wonder
Must I ask forgiveness?

Remember -- I reveled in your soaring.
That I should be your pinion
Is strange I wonder
Must I ask forgiveness?

Closing Time -- Playground

At the day
of the end
when the sun
near the set
always two
fat girls, who
sway and use
sunset swings
kind with rust
rich with squeaks.
Evening's up
red ribbons.

Spring Untitled

Men from Bowery
distributing bargain sheets
on suburban streets.

It's spring.

Paint (silver) on leaves
Superintendent at work -- it's spring!

Butterflies will cross the street again
And refuse cans will hold empty cans of paint:
Witnesses of anxiety.

The ladies are out
Standing on line
in the Five-and-Dime
with potted plants.
And the trunks of trees, fruit trees I'm told, are wrapped in sashes of shiny silk.

People are still here....
They have not taken flight.
I'm told it's spring.


to my children

Whoever would have thought it?
I have reached that part of the circle --
I do not want you to mourn for me.

Admittedly a beauty-groper
Yes, my life-stance
I am nontheless a mother
And in whispers
Have been called a good one.
What a relief!

Someone insinuated
(In fact they)
I gave you beauty.

Oh, do not go back to the blunted tools.
Let me know the past alone --
I'll be generous with glimmers.

Yoga Refrain

You can't go around
I found
being your brother's keeper --
There's a question of pride, you see
You can't override easily ...
Oh, I'll tell you what I mean, presently.

A yoga convert
I became
It wouldn't hurt,
My husband thought
Things would be the same.
But he went around sighing
When I did the "lion."

His client, offended
When I recommended
the lion.

Dear, don't go around sighing,
I promise you
Embarrassing I won'tbe --
I'll just keep this little peculiarity
All to myself
For my own good health
A votre santé to you.

Knotty Problem

A million nervous oh's
A moment I could have resisted
When the flamingos
They got their necks twisted.

The Imposition

In the hallway
my morning starts
riding the waves
of a heavy sweet perfume
of a dimensionless neighbor
off to work
in an unknown place.

The lawn with the rocks --
Even the dandelions
know The Way.

In a motel room
listening to the sound
of dripping stockings ...

In a drawer
a gray hair
on a black leotard

in the dark
a digital clock

Adventures over
the cat sits in the fur ring
of his tail and dreams.

When the sun came out
my turtle climbed on a rock
and conjured a view.

In a fish window --
Monsters! the children exclaim.
Green lobsters writhe.

A flock of pigeons
swoop into one giant wing
in the sharp blue sky.

The autumn leaves lie
like moth-eaten appliqué
on the velvet green.

Black chiffon covers
the pale belly of the moon
this drizzly fall night.

Sydell Rosenberg

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