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Alison Pryer

 Summer 2006

Spirit in Bloom


orange silk
shot through with pink
blood stains
purple shadows
disappearing into light

acid perfume fresh
like rhubarb
stalks skinned
unblanched sharpness
in afternoon dust

leaves pulsing
turgid rivers of bitter milk
muddied deltas of blight
rougher than my finger
ready for rain

burning petals
unfold retreat
open close
open close
offering monsoon prayers

with each rising
with each setting
sun auspicious
flames in the temple
of my garden

i know

i know

the trickling of raindrops
from cupped lotus leaves

how a blue iris uncurls
to reveal its yellow heart

the flight of cherry blossoms
from their lichen-covered perch

i know

just how far a bulrush can arc
before it breaks

the knotted brittleness of
kiwi wood tangles

the perfumed tumeric stain
of moonlight lily pollen

Kitchen God

When I lived in Japan
the Great Land God
stayed with me,
sat on the fridge
in the kitchen,
brought me luck and
made me happy.
He carried a mallet,
a barrel of rice and
a sack full of fate.
If you prayed hard enough
hed hammer at your door,
bless you with smiles,
spill his white seed,
and youd be having
babies, hot dinners, and good fortune
for years to come.

Now I live in Canada
Eric Lindros
stays with me,
sits on the fridge
in the kitchen,
and smiles down from
a box of Shreddies.
He wears a helmet
and armour and carries
a big hooked stick
for quelling
the demons and spirits
that lurk in the shadows.
Happy Kitchen God!
Warm my heart! Moisten my womb!
Bring me babies! Keep evil at bay!

Alison Pryer lives in Vancouver, British Columbia. Her poetry has been published in numerous journals, including Room of One's Own, Literary Mama, and Ars Medica.

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