Poems By Michelle Mairesse

Weather Report
    Seas are on the rise and the ice is melting

    Faster than a polar bear can run to ground.

    A thinned snow blanket bares darkening ice sheets

    To the crucible of sunlight, relentless

    Alembic, changing what’s solid to liquid,

    Flipping polarities, making new weather.

Stopping Them Dead

Startling image, lonely figure,

Dancing almost, while facing tanks,

Flagging them down and stopping them

Dead in Tienamen Square.

(for turning a lunch into a feast)

    Decorate a white porcelain plate with

    Aragula and spinach intertwined with

    Ripe red Roma tomato rings sprinkled with

    Finely chopped celery flecked with black pepper.

    Crown with pale pink tiger shrimp glistening with

    Sweet and sour dressing—honey mustard and mayonnaise.

    Pass a basket of baguettes with cold sweet butter.

    Now bump glasses of excited bubbly

    For a feast.

Onions, Renoir 1881

On a crumpled cloth, with garlic cloves, bask

Copper onions in their own glow. They shimmer,

Radiating light. But tight plain gray garlic clasps

To itself the hot green life at its center.

But strip away their skins and they'll both make you cry.

Facts of Life

to Quinn

It all began when Cupid aimed his dart

Directly at your lovely mother’s heart.

A million splinters fish-tailed up a tube,

    A million swimmers spinning in the dark.

    Piercing an egg awaiting penetration,

    The winner plunged into obliteration.

    The egg laid bare its implicate order

    While manifesting wisdom of creation.

    But once brought to life, you assumed your part

    In the mystery play, and without a chart.

    We all predict you will find sure footing

    Dancing on a globe, spinning in the dark.


I’ve heard that tanks of swimming fish promote

Tranquility in those who watch them float

Or dart about their artificial reef

Among green streamers. Do they seek relief

From blurred refractions on their glassy cage?

When they nudge transparent walls, do they gauge

Their prospects for escape or do they find

Our puzzling antics help them to unwind?