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from “The Next Creation of the Universe” in Abloom & Awry: Poems by Tina Kelley, p. 12-13

…I let your devoted pets live as long as you do.
I give clear guidelines about religion: one,
voluntary, aiming for love and the full growth

of each follower. And of each who chooses
not to follow. I leave out committees, tumors,
corporations, lobbyists, mosquitoes, pro football.

I put a bell tower in every town, plus professional
harmonica players, photographers, masseuses,
reporters, and comedians. Many academics,

no academia–no committees, remember?
The rivers around Manhattan run roaring, not flat,
to match the city. Each moth has its own song.

Just before you die I get to tell you, OK, this
is what you were supposed to be, a composer
with five foster kids, and you should have married

that guy in St. Paul, and let your folks move in.
Every kitchen implement works as completely
and elegantly as my thick, solid spatula.

Strawberries and dried peaches smell better.
I’d invent more verbs for the sun than shine,
stream, rise, set, hide, blaze, and glow.

I call musical chairs illegal, to save five-year-olds
that cruel moment of losing face on center stage.
Japanese maples, smoked almonds, and waltzes prevail,

and I sit back and watch, flipping channels,
country to country, drama to musical comedy.
How long can you let this universe last?

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from “Abloom & Awry” in Abloom & Awry: Poems by Tina Kelley, p. 11

…I praise
ways to create, painting with menstrual blood
on cave walls, Zen sand art by kitty in litter,
painted toddler feet tromping on the ceiling.

I worship every reason I cried this year,
slow songs, missing Dad, children refusing
to come downstairs for their special pancakes…

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from ”Abloom & Awry” in Abloom & Awry: Poems by Tina Kelley, p. 10
God lurks in the story of stethoscope,
kaleidoscope, microscope, but also in the punched
ache of falling apart: accidents, insanities, plot twists
surpassing human imagination. God’s the sparrow
in the convention center, the skateboard akimbo
on the freeway shoulder…
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from “Yawp” in Abloom & Awry: Poems by Tina Kelley, p. xix
…I’d write even if each page’s
only destination were the stove, for winter heat. Again and again.
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Cuando llegaron era
ay ya la primavera
todas las hojas secas
habían resucitado
y cada caracol
se sintió muy frustrado
mas aparece el sol
el sol que apenas nace
les habla y así empieza
sentaos aquí si os place
un vaso de cerveza
tomárselo en un tris
mas si lo preferís
tomad quizá os aguarde
el bus para París
partirá por la tarde
veréis a vuestro antojo
la campiña feliz
sin luto así me alegro
lo digo sin sonrojo
porque el luto de negro
pone el blanco del ojo[.]

Canción para dos caracoles que van a un entierro | Jacques Prévert

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