Juanita Torrence-Thompson's 7th book of poetry, Talking With Stanley Kunitz was a finalist in Many Mountains Moving contest (Torderwarz Publishing Company, 2012). Breath-Life poems were nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She is Editor-in-Chief & Publisher of Möbius, The Poetry Magazine, a “best pick” 5 years by Small Magazine Review. Her 2007 book, New York & African Tapestries, was a “best pick” by Small Press Review. Her award-winning poetry and prose appears in 12 anthologies and dozens of magazines here and abroad. She was the featured poet in hundreds of readings from the U.S. to South Africa, Singapore, Switzerland and Canada. She is a former adjunct Professor at the College of New Rochelle.
AFTERNOON ON LITTLE NECK BAY
On the grey stony shore a village
of white sailboats anchors the muddy deep.
An osprey wings across the winding
road, rests upon the white rocks.
Waves ripple across the bay
as lightly as a pianist’s fingers
whisper across ivory keys.
Striped bass and blackfish forage
far from towers that etch the blue
cloudless skyline. My lungs fill
with pristine bay air where fresh
and salt water mix in tidal swirls.
I imagine myself charmed
by long-necked cormorant plying
the lapping waves at dawn. I’ll rest my head
upon the satin shore while silver moonbeams
inhabit my mind, and a nightingale perches
upon the black locust to lull me to sleep,
and I dream the bay and I
could stay here forever and ever
TRANSITION IN NEW HAMPSHIRE
Inspired by a long-time New Hampshire Resident
They snapped up 10 acres here
5 acres there
built their 2nd or 3rd home
bought out the lake front
fished until the fish nearly
No one fishes now
Few swim or go boating
Hunting is dead
Snowboarders wait for snow
But there is only
At a nearby restaurant,
A local drinks her coffee with city water
which tastes like chlorinated coffee
She runs home to her pristine well
And makes decent coffee
Then sits on her front porch
Admiring her tall oak tree
Purple pansies, pink hibiscus
And a scampering raccoon
Camped on her conservation land
...he clings like windblown leaves
falling, falling from heaven; colliding, collapsing into careening clouds. He scours the landscape for green trolls with sharp yellow eyes, hopping about the earth as triumphant as rabbits at dusk. Purple scavengers raid the trashcans and the dumps below. Blue jumping beans have not been seen in their terrain for centuries, ever since the death of their great prophet.
The air is fresh as jellybeans. He breathes deeply, luxuriously. He can’t get enough of it. Suddenly, there are droves and droves of two- legged creatures scrambling up the hill towards him, with eyes wild as tigers. He grasps the pock-marked bark of the ravaged tree until his fingers are numb gablets. They march in hundreds up the hill, dragging their children and pets, leaving their homes, their big polluting cars below choking the city. This is the only place they can breathe.
He’s lost his hiding place. Perhaps in this millennium he'll leap from stars. He climbs the tree higher and higher and clings like a windblown leaf.
Copyright ©2012 by Juanita Torrence-Thompson. All rights, including electronic, reserved by the author. First two poems originally appeared in Talking with Stanley Kunitz (C) 2012 by the author. The first also appeared in Mobius, The Poetry Magazine. ("...he clings like windblown leaves" originally published in Jones Avenue (Canada), New Voice of New York & Point of View – her newspaper columns and in her 6th book, Breath-Life. Used by permission of the author.