Adele Bourne

April 13, 2008 at 3:31 pm (Uncategorized) ()


All the world for poetry is grist,
But the machinery can go awry.
A villanelle becomes a grocery list.

Sunspots, they tell us, are the gist,
Mexican rains drown monarch butterflies.
All the world for poetry is grist.

Below the ozone hole, starving penguin chicks
cannot find krill enough to survive.
A villanelle becomes a grocery list.

False spring confuses, timing missed,
Eggs will not hatch nor fledglings fly,
All the world for poetry is grist.

In troposphere where trade winds tryst,
Ice crystals melt so grain fields go dry,
A villanelle becomes a grocery list.

Not our concern, our leader insists,
Free enterprise can cleanse the dirt from sky.
All the world for poetry is grist,
A villanelle becomes a grocery list.


Once more, thinking of her daughter’s death
compresses breath, pulls her mouth out
in mask of pain.

A storm batters the house.
Later, clear again, grief at bay,
she opens the door on early evening air,

trees down, branches everywhere.
Her neighbor’s across the street,
Siamese cat and ancient dog by his side.

Looking up at the buttonwood
struck by lightning, “I’ll clean
the mess soon. Eighty years old.

Now a blight on the neighborhood.”
“I trust you. Just sad to see the tree die.”
“Agreed.” Without knowing why,

he senses somehow his usefulness.
His chat comforts her
as if there’d be an every day.

Adele Bourne’s poems have appeared recently in US 1 Worksheets, Mad Poets Review, Paterson Literary Review, Pedestal Magazine, Edison Review, and The Barefoot Muse. She has been a featured reader at the Free :Library of Philadelphia, for the Delaware Valley Poets, and in various bars, bakeries, cafes, galleries, schools, nature centers, museums, churches, and meetinghouses throughout the area since retiring after 30 years of teaching. She serves as literary editor for underAGE 2008, a children’s literary magazine published by the Princeton Arts Council, and as president of Burlington Co. Poets, organizing open readings and conducting monthly workshops at the Burlington Co. Library.


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