Peggy Dobreer: Three Poems

Forbidden Plums…

or one blossom of Century plant crashing into sky from its Aloe bed.

A head falling slightly off the edge. There is laughter, vast as an Irish moor,

warm as sun on spent dirt. A mug of old-fashioned shaving cream swallows

a brush of fine boar’s hair. An escape is made through an underground tunnel.

Two lone bodies funnel into afternoon, glow into evening, sharpen to a fixed

point. The point is this, I could have leapt right into crematorium blues.

I could have ridden all that way searching, templed my prayers like a ghost

in a cranial prison. I could have culled springtime from that shuttered winter.

Then sirens went off. The neighboring hoodlums came dubbing to the beat

of a tin drum carved etched with a message. A vase of hyacinth fell over with

the weight of limping stems. A long-held privacy was marked for rapture

and an ailing aunt passed quietly into air.  She, an unusual child, whose

freckles disarmed the holy gathered, held a forbidden plum in her mouth

until a crimped light broke through a small window. You could see one bright

flower in a crib of soft mud, like a solitary cloud wisping for miracles.


Fool’s Gold in the Eyes of Love

“sac to tote my runny vitals grave ward,
first playground, last prison.” – Richard Selzer


This is my body, this house of peril,
primate in Durga’s hell. Cellmate of toss
and drum, scars of mind and mental
slips and falls. Bright gardens of veritas,
you plant my coarsened chamber, a germ
so deep, it won’t be washed away.

Your sleet of restraint, seeds of hope where
none were sown, where nothing before spread
such suchness in loud full tones. You hold me
in places unknown and familiar. Your pitched
grace gaveled. Gentle and floweredy fulcrum.
May it break over me like dawn’s gloried spark
like a gemstone in a day’s quandried fervor.

This is my body, invisible acre, moon lander,
cold star of stars coming out on this dark
Corona, this black depth of coal shaft, kettle
bottom thunker, once leaf hewn and shade
provoking, provider, now boom lowered,
calling our courage back. Flesh and chant,
rutilated breath, delicate provider, insider
and long left out.


Tine & Promise

When the wax has been pulled
and filed to a shape most
pleasing to the carver’s hand.

When the kiln is fired and
flask set dead center, heat
rounds the silken core

and in those first few hours
the mold will ooze and grimace,
roasting away in

the unforgiving glare. We sneak
a look, and heat waves peel
across the studio. Green folds

into carbon black behind a steel
armature, burst and sizzle, biding
time, hiss and song of industry.

Then the latch is unhinged,
tongs grab clumsy in mittened
hand. Torch is lit. Crucible brought

to the heat for the pour. The steady
draw. Vacuum pump pulls the metal
ring ward. Empty channels fill to sprue.

Then water hits the rim and white cylinder
turns calcium stream. The yet dull golden gift
plunks the sink, unpolished tine and promise.

What are you looking for?