Autumn to Winter hastens
like a goat that will eat anything
from a can to kidney pie.
My inscrutable design
for a good night’s sleep
is not to dwell on such images
but to leave the compass behind.
I rely on the sanity of the day
for my night’s rest,
the blue quilt
a citadel of comfort.
I do not bring papers to bed
as they are obvious interference
and may yield contradictory interpretation
at a later date.
The night is better than the day,
more eloquent, intangible.
Night has me in its maw.
VISIT FROM A RAPTOR OF INTEREST
Let me not waste myself on impossible flights….
A hawk presents nearby,
the elm’s limb so close
to the window I think
it has come to visit me in camaraderie.
I left the city for the night air here,
the hawks and hilarious jumping rabbits,
the cricket concerts,
the black of the berry.
Here, there isn’t much to be distressed about.
One day there is algae in the pond,
gone the next day and the water lively again.
I have named the hawk Ted
for its poetic input, the language
of its muscles, the holding at the back
of a few grey feathers,
the wingspan huge
even, I suppose, in the rain.
Heeding cautions and riptides,
where this bird goes, there go I
into the wind
and overwhelming sky.
Irene Mitchell’s fifth poetry collection, Fever, has been published (2019) by Dos Madres Press. Equal Parts Sun and Shade: An Almanac of Precarious Days, was published in 2017 by Kelsay Books/Aldrich Press. Mitchell is the author of three other collections: Minding the Spectrum’s Business (FutureCycle Press, 2015), A Study of Extremes in Six Suites (Cherry Grove Collections, 2012), and Sea Wind on the White Pillow (Axes Mundi Press, 2009). A long-time teacher of writing in New York, and former poetry editor of Hudson River Art Journal, she conducts an ad hoc series of workshops on how to write better poetry. Mitchell has been featured reader of her work at Poets’ Walk, Bard College’s Institute of Writing and Thinking, William and Mary College, Marianne Courville Gallery,The Albany Institute of History and Art, Melville’s Arrowhead, Lichtenstein Center for the Arts, Woodstock Colony Cafe, Hudson Opera House,as well as regional libraries and bookstores. Mitchell is known for her collaborations with visual artists and composers. She is a 2019 Associate Artist in Residence at the Atlantic Center for the Arts.