08 May 2011

Mother's Day: A Poem and Appreciation

Mother's Day
(For my Mom, Toni. Now and always.)

Remember, on a Sunday, other Sundays.
mother, daughter, light and dark,
hand in hand, on the steps to their seats for "Coppelia".
"He's a toymaker, she's a doll, but she's really
a woman who has practiced all day every day
even Sundays
to be this graceful and delightful"
says the mother, fair, carnation scented, handing her daughter
the ballet program.
mother, daughter, fair and shaded,
wandering the Garden of Earthly Delights -in the Bronx.
"this vine has been trained, every day, to grow
into this arabesque of scented beauty", fair tells shaded, as hand in
they ascend the greenhouse steps.

mother, daughter, calm and angry,
balance as tightrope walkers this telephone wire.
"this love has been here, calm and angry, light and dark, fair and
every day, to let you have this difficult freedom"
she says

as hand in hand
they walk the wellworn steps, back up to love.
by Peri Lyons copyright 2011

Anniversary Poem for a Much Loved Best Friend /Former Husband

Anniversary Poem: rough draft

anniversary poem:thinking about an apartment you painted a fresco of us, as "Orpheus and Eurydice" on the wall of , in Greenwich Village

The problem was, we got our myths mixed, you and I.
You Orpheus, looked back , while I was  (wrongly?) singing;
And then that time you showered me with gold-  Danae!-
i loved that they were chocolate coins...the taste without the ringing.

And when we fought, we'd turn each other into trees:
Zap! Myrtle!  Daphne! Zap! The oak of Nimue! -There!
And we'd remain as trees and shake our leaves in angry glare

-But hey, at least we had SOME sort of belief.
Our lares and penates, homemade as they were, 
Were some relief.

part 2 (prediction: change)

The oldest myth of all is from gorillas: not exactly "told"
By them; (though silverbacks all are  raconteurs when old)

I read it at a zoo, a sign nailed to a "tree":
Where my friend (who is a goddess for a living)
took me as comfort for my poverty

The sign said: "Gorillas live in tribes; their tribal boundaries 
Are rigidly maintained; the only ones who travel troupe to troupe
with no trouble, fights or visas, and are the least forgiving
 of all the  social groups,
 "Females from 13-23, in human age." I read this carefully 
as though looking at a diamond, through a loupe.

Doing lines in bathrooms, behind red velvet creeper vines,
I dreamt gorilla "it girls", 13 to  23,
the wombs of whom: provoking, Che incendiaries
are criminals, all innocents. We"ll lay the blame on Time.

I was one of those "It Guerillas" once:
"We're REAL evolutionaries", we would sniff
our bright red bottoms and  Guevara tees distracting good gorilla family men. 
We'd shriek "As if!" and run away, displaying:
pretend to play "dismayed"- without being TOO dismaying. 
-And always, then...

Part 3 1/2 (the missing link)

Myths to me
be half apology 
half warning
half shaman
half danger:
all love.
The warning that no love at all, is itself, a gift;
as much as the presence of love, that gift, is taken, 
Or not taken,
at command or whim.
The words of "yes" and "no" are, finally, Man's. 
Yes, you know. Him.

So when I skipped the flowery Greek translations
And bluntly was a stupid vain gorilla in a tutu, young enough and cruel
Preverbal, premyth but, uh-oh , somehow, knowing mythic endings:
I knew, someday, I'd be replaced in school

by the New Gorilla Goddess on the block, whose fecund abacus
Had fewer beads than mine now. -But? Now I  had learned to talk.

You showed me that nurture may be red in claw and tooth;
She showed you that an It Girl's always climbing
But then you found palette'd colors where'd you'd hidden truth :
And, Love, I found my real job, while resigning.

We were a self; we are a history.
We helped each other translate, draw, identity

Not entirely gorilla free

Happy Baby:


peri lyons
"Dawdle: Some Poems"  2010 copyright 


For Adam Cvijanovic, friend, artist, former husband with love Dec 29 2010