All our bluebonnet maidens confess
to cooking in other women’s kitchens —
silent influences moving in and out.
My heart knows a song, dear-bought —
wonders about the lies of purring Persian cats
inside and out of current residences.
Putting heaven beneath their windows,
Texas-prairie artists and poet-daughters can
only discern with dust-encrusted eyes.
Inside the old tollbooth, suppositions —
unwelcome inclement weather underground —
buried visions, radical transformation.
Gracious mercy, homes as citadels of light —
devotions for prosperous working generations,
for farmers, as time’s velvet petals soon fall.
Unfailing patterns, sizzling sparks —
arts of darkness paints her face a raging sea
spanning homespun irregularities.
From far sea-songs, we call this bridge
home: we do not doubt older, dustier dreams
that scar the silent skies of open space.
Sing songs of hope, courage, limitless
meditations for women, for those who dare
lift their oiled lamps and face the stars.
Beyond priceless glories, eternal things
between eternities, splendours of prairie grass,
dawns when wind-swept harps still play.
Desert fountains, works of grace and sorrow —
radiant quests, brilliant flames of destiny in winds,
their well-thumbed white-lily cooking guides.
A few bright harvests when sun the shines
crystal on inland seas, on birds in dagger trees —
until night returns dark and dreary again.
Crested plumes wave wildly in Texas storms
o’er wide prairies, o’er wider skies of memories —
o’er haunted cries now almost all forgotten.
Under the man-fig trees, minding the gap —
their dust becomes these sycamores, sure signs
of real, untimely grassroot reconstruction.
In a half-dream of surrender, of souls apart —
of women midst graveyards, rarest nights off-duty
passing along the love of wild heart’s-ease.
Then midsummer madness steals the roses,
towns reap sorrowful whirlwinds full of birds —
branches of laurels, cypresses, on the river.
Oh, how sweet words cry out from the dust —
daylight’s down at last: we must hide night music,
the immortelles, and resurrection plants.
Tread softly amidst firelight and falling
weather, across magnolia bells, banana-trees —
the bridge marts and sandalwood fans.
Tango sunsets and fine art relations,
the lure of road where poets laureates roam
prairie flowers, lanterns in the dusk.
Who can tell what crusts may appear
when those who wander through their fears
enjoy poetry more often each hot day.
This is a worthy plan to support —
people’s hymnals, reflections in poetry,
little straw windows into heaven.
When each letter failed to free her
from rabbit fires, feathers in her hands —
she returned to her kaleidograph.
Unspoken poetry: a time to reform
unbalanced hours in the land of the Tejas,
the oppressive quiet of Raven Hill.
Cossack laughter: the tenth Jew —
she joined the Jewish women’s group.
Started a local literary society.
Because she knew what to do, when —
Her dreams all came true, it seems, as seeds
blossomed into legends in her time.
Farms and ranches, the passing of years —
where air is full of those who’ve gone before us,
leaving furniture still in perfect harmony.
Earlier in time, Lone Star maids wrote
significant histories, chapters of sunbaked
books filled with their own traditions.
For evidence, read Texas poets and poetry —
words and sentiments which weigh memories
down — deep inside hollows in the flare.
Texas women dream of unlimited futures —
of distant stars where embers leave no sparks
though ten thousand summers may pass.
Karle — woman, not a man — blows smoke
in her garden, burns brush, unentangles birds:
dreamers come on horseback, family style.
Courageous first lady, female poet laureate
Age is a deep pool, soundlessly shrining hours
that used to hold us in her depths, unstirred.
Conventional verse forms, signs and markers —
literal highways posted for lost literary hitchhikers
travelling midst monsoons of blood and dust.
Texas stands as one big Lone Star state —
latitudes and longitudes stretching far and wide
who captures such presence in words?
Yes, its light still burns —
bright stars against new dawns,
gold dust lost in valleys.
. . . . .
Found poetry by Susan Powers Bourne
Sourced from Women Poets in Texas