“Home,” “Urban Garden, a love poem” and “Weil-McLain Heater”

Poetry by Diane Sahms-Guarnieri

“Home,” “Urban Garden, a love poem” and “Weil-McLain Heater”

Home

House-heart-clock’s rhythmical

beats seem to be growing

weaker, fragile

glass-eyed-windows having

witnessed countless years

of each bird-wing sunrise

and sunset. Front door’s entrance

exit portal keeps tally of all

arrivals and departures. Some

still, living faces, never to be

seen or heard from

ever again, as well as those

dead, whom—having crossed

another threshold—skeleton

key’s rattling visit when

they enter through dreams

portal. I wake

as they leave. Old oak

staircase creaks. Naked

hallway bulb swings back to

cross examining thoughts.

Phantom sheers hide windows’

panes, as I climb

each night back into my empty

body, fall back

into dreams, spirit circling

Polaris, moon

turns tidal seasons as I

drift slowly, calmly into

timelessness, to have been or

to not have been—here.

Urban Garden, a love poem

for George

In marbleized moonlight, hidden

garden as if part of Eden

had secretly fallen. Discreet

in city’s concreteness, just

at the bend of a shared neighborly

driveway, where waist high

red & pink roses tell

of passionate love. Black-eyed Susan’s

whispers of their purchase

from a roadside stand, along

Jersey’s Pinelands, where gardener

emptied all bills from bathing

suit pockets, transplanted here

from root bound pots—taking

three summers to fan out

showy as peacock tails—hundreds

of black-eyed gumdrops, circled

by wheeled spokes of sweet golden rays

decorative as Chinese umbrellas round

out several empty spaces. Summer

breeze’s warm gentle caresses touch

everything like his caring

hands of tenderness. Purple and pink

phlox heady clouds of billowing

stories and five-pointed buds of violet

balloons unopened buoyancy; as daylilies

one day residencies collapsed

as faded paper scarfs wrapping

long stemmed necks; multi-colored

hydrangeas nicknamed “snowballs”

meltless in heat; as tall spiked cardinal

wildflowers rise

from dark undergrowth

attract morning’s hummingbirds; and shaped

like prickly inverted strawberries

cone heads bow lightly and lovingly

at twilight; sweet summer grass

mixed with clover: all occupying

this city space with us

chorally sing tonal colors

of gratitude to him, before autumn

creeps up narrow sidewalk, blowing

down all leaves. Fluted hollow reeds

clanging dirges play, as frosted

moonlight eerily streams as fog’s

off-white plumes rise

into disappearance.

Weil-McLain Heater

Heat giving object sits

silently in the center

of its own orbit, unnoticeable

as a human heart,

where unseen fiery

flames lick their raging

behind a panel bearing

a branded name. When

it kicks on, rather loudly, rhythmic

drum beat penetrates throughout

an entire house. Heat’s

pulsations raise water

temperatures in each room’s cast

iron radiator. Stationary

for countless years, little

need for repair, unnoticed

as a forgotten bike. Concealed

companion clicks abruptly on

and off, then all’s silent, again

and again, 24/7 works

winter hard like behind the scene

maintenance man or out-of-the-spotlight

stage crew hand. Housed

in basement, shares room with containers

of Christmas decorations and boxes

of retired books. Each cold day

and night creates warm flows

high tide rising throughout

every room in a two

story stone home. Loud surprise

growling roar, flickering

tongue’s lapping, then low purr

hum vibrations of a lion inside

a rectangular metal frame, unnoticeable

as a World War I ammunition box.

Desperately dazed one floor down

from where I am sitting. Constant

glowing companion living

here unnoticed

as a caged burning star.

About the Author

Diane Sahms-Guarnieri

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Diane Sahms-Guarnieri is the author of four collections of poetry, most recently The Handheld Mirror of the Mind (Kelsay Press, July 2018) and Images of Being; Light’s Battered Edge; and Night Sweat. Her fifth book, City of Shadow & Light, is under consideration by Copper Canyon Press. She has been published in The Philadelphia Inquirer, Pennsylvania Literary Journal, Many Mountains Moving, Sequestrum Journal of Literature and Arts magazine, among others, with poems forthcoming from The Moving Force Journal. She is poetry editor at North of Oxford, an online literary journal, and works a full-time job as a buyer. Visit her at dianesahms-guarnieri.com.