In Defense of Weeds

I admire my weeds (like dandelions)
who defy the rules of correctness,
who dare to shoot up in spaces impossibly narrow,
From cracks in walkways impenetrable.
How clever of them finding a slit
of light assumed too dim for seed, 
thinking it a reasonable place to root,
you know, with rain and miles of sky to grow? 
Why, then, do we feel the need to
kill them dead, these second-tier plants
that don’t obey our ordered space?
Because they might propogate,
might choke out tired perennials?
If I decide to plant a new idea
I’d grow it in the shade,
in some well-protected bower
where hothouse bullies seldom root. 

Karen Finnigan

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An Acquired Taste

Perhaps a century on,
some free spirit
will find me on
the shelf,
uncork my stopper
and like the taste
of what I have
to offer.

--2009
Karen Finnigan

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The Silence of Roses

You take the need to talk for granted,
the way you make other assumptions,
like if the sun shines,
buds must open into flower.
Some petals want no stimulation
outside the shady bower.
Columbine and pansies, roses too,
freeze under the heated glare,
fold themselves, tight-lipped,
into chlorophyll cocoons.
The single bud of a red rose
says as much in its way
as the shrillness of an overblown arbor.
Silent companion, not deaf, but mute,
never does it make the mistake of assuming
that I need noise in order
to praise my garden. 

Karen Finnigan

-----------------------

Wired

I want to reboot and start over
in an earlier eon, some era not plugged in,
tripped up or coiled round with wire,
one that listens to silence and hears something real.
I want to shut off the spam of machinery’s white noise,
live in the gloaming of dinosaur roars,
swing on the clappers while trembling bells peal.
I want to hear bird song, instinctive sweet child cries,
the hum of a needle in thread,
the yawning of moonbeams at dawn.
Somebody, anyone,
believe my hoarse shout--
Help when I whimper, release my antennae,
when I plead: sever me, save me
from volumes of headphones,
radios gone cordless,
transmissions erroneous,
binary modems, 3 am feeds.
Can anyone hear me over the noise?

--Karen Finnigan

 

 

 



Boxes

I like what needs no box:
a rose named Peace, lavender, thyme,
that grow by the path for anyone to gather.
But if picking them in big bouquets
becomes against the law,
if sharing requires a square-cornered permit,
packed per regulation in a box sealed with long
spools of hate, No Twine Allowed,
then I fear love, like matches after dark,
might fall into the category
of commodities rare or forbidden,
guarded by militias alone.

Karen Finnigan

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Ghost House

Already our old house
is taking on some ghost town airs.
Though I live here still,
It’s now the company of
musty papered walls I keep
(Peeling, scuffed from
woodpiles in winters past).
More ants and spiders now
come crawling in and out, 
the nosy tourist beggars
reporting on the progress
of my days. In some rooms,
we have just stepped away,
you from stoking up the fire,
or me from canning pears;
In others, wicker and abandoned pots
tangle in a thrift store heap
iced by that constant windblown dust.
Chickweeds now populate the
walk and squat where
tomatoes used to thrive.
One of my constants,
the steady mantel clock, has quit
ticking off the time,
its memory my most frequent ghost.
Most boards are gray, the grate is cold.
If you came back, would you see this too? 
Would the lilac outside the door
appear large enough to shade me
or small as when you left?

--Karen Finnigan

-----------------------

Ivy League

Now you’re old and thinking
you’d like to be no one’s
but your own and you wish
you could take back that dance,
or maybe not spill the coffee,
or leave to get napkins and
never come back, or have
sworn off coffee younger.
But you realize what you
really want is long gone.
The ivy grew.

--2009

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Copyright by Karen Finnigan 2011
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