GENEVIEVE LEHR


Born in Newfoundland, Canada, her poetry was published in many Canadian literary
journals. In 2004, chapbook Design of Wings was published by Running the Goat Press;
her debut book The Sorrowing House was published by Brick Books, Canada, also in
2004. Currently, she is working on a new collection of poems titled Enclosures.







Farroukzad and the transvestite

On Touchal Mountain, I touched the hem of light from a moonlit sky that had been absent when Forough Farrokhzad was laid on her side and buried in Tehran. I never left the earth or took up with stars, she'd said. The transvestite who walked up here with us is depressed, saddened by Farrokhzad's refrain. Yet, the higher he climbs, the easier it will be to find that feminine quality of light, a cuneiform script around the doorway of a woman's eyes. The language of the universe is an Assyrian tablet granting each human lover a rosebush in springtime and endless parcels of land. I've forgotten whose hand I should hold, where I should begin to build, what age I am supposed to be. I've simply come here to be home again, return with you to a garden that has not yet lost its greenness.






flamenco dancer in the rain

Oh guitar!
Heart mortally wounded
by five swords. - Lorca


Your fingers were strumming the strings of the rain. First one note, then another until you wove a chord of darkness the wind couldn't blow through. I looked for the poet's images in your dancing, believed the way you moved was a gypsy ballad from Andalusia, tale of a heart mortally wounded by five swords. The story the guitar sang was an ode to white camellias, your lover's death under a passionate August moon. Suddenly, your feet began to trundle the wooden stage, stomped like hoof-beats, sent the guitar outside in the rain to pick up the dagger you dropped while galloping at full speed across Mallaga. You became the horse that carried you, the dark river of its eye, shimmer of its mane inside a tangle of fiery stars.






Healing

I am reading lines of poetry my son types with one straight finger from his wheelchair. The vines are weeping, he says. The girl in a St. John's barroom is declaring to the world she is drunk. Our two lives will always be rose and briar, I write back, our stomachs burrowing knots of grief. You are twenty years old and looking through the window of the world for someone to love you under moonlight. In my dreams, I see you walking in a garden among the disciples of Aesclepius, blue boy strumming a Spanish guitar, a shepherd in the distant field of the canvas blowing wildly on his flowering, black flute.






William who fell asleep during the last period

I want to wake you up in a few minutes to say that Canada won the 2004 World Cup of Hockey. I don't care if they win, but you do. You're nine. I watch the game a bit, listen to your breathing, then run excitedly to my quiet, cramped room to write this poem before the game ends. The poem is a way to tally the shots on goal, record the moves on defense, give you details in the morning. You would want your friends to know that you saw every face-off, penalty shot, electric move Marty Brodeur made despite his injury. I know you are skating right now in your dreams and that the dog is on the ice with you. You are wearing a trapper on your left hand, and on your head a helmet of blazing fire.



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