[He is pruning the privet]

By Joanne Kyger b. 1934 Joanne Kyger

                       He is pruning the privet

                of sickly sorrow   desolation
           in loose pieces of air he goes clip clip clip
       the green blooming branches fall—‘they’re getting out
             of hand’    delirious and adorable    what a switch
                               we perceive        multiple
identities     when you sing     so beautifully     the shifting
       clouds  You are not alone is this world
               not a lone  a parallel world of reflection
       in a window keeps the fire burning
                    in the framed mandala,  the red shafted flicker
               sits on the back of the garden chair in the rain
the red robed monks downtown in the rain  a rainbow arises

                   simple country      practices thunder
      lightning,  hail and rain    eight Douglas Iris
            ribbon layers of attention

              So   constant creation of ‘self’ is a tricky
       mess    He is pruning the loquat,   the olive
     which looks real enough in the damp late morning air


                                                                                          May 15, 1995

Joanne Kyger, “[He is pruning the privet]” from About Now: Collected Poems, published by the National Poetry Foundation. Copyright © 2007 by Joanne Kyger.  Reprinted by permission of Joanne Kyger.

Source: About Now: Collected Poems (National Poetry Foundation, 2007)

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Poet Joanne Kyger b. 1934

POET’S REGION U.S., Western

Subjects Activities, Gardening, Relationships, Friends & Enemies, Nature, Trees & Flowers, Religion, Buddhism, The Spiritual, Arts & Sciences, Poetry & Poets

Poetic Terms Free Verse