Poems for Two Granddaughters
To Auden, My Granddaughter
born 4 November 2015
your little toes
are kernels of corn,
your small legs
are perfect stalks of barley.
That belly, so soft and concave,
is a basket twined into a whirlpool
made of many waters—
the lordly Hudson and other rivers:
the Potomac and Ireland’s Shannon.
The Chesapeake Bay is there,
and Lake Michigan and smaller pools,
the springs and ponds and puddles
brought forth by happy rains.
there are hills in your chest,
mountains in your shoulders,
and your arms are soft boulders
at the end of which spring
fine foxglove flowers.
Your face, oh! We have awaited
that smile, which warms like
the fiery smile of the sun!
Your nose divides your cheeks
to make twin rows of roses.
And those eyes, Auden,
Those eyes! which,
when they open,
are like gallant stars,
prophecies of joy.
Blessed are those who inherit your gaze.
Your forehead is like the sky;
endless and fortress-like,
it harbors comfort and peace.
Blessed are we who know you.
Auden, thou art the earth of your parents’ love.
Auden child, thou art the air that they breathe.
Auden, thou art the water that washes them and slakes their thirsts.
Auden child, thou art the flame that enkindles hope.
Four Dances For Danby Rose McGuire
BORN 6 JULY 2011
Child of mountains and of valleys,
child of islands and of seas,
child of cities and of farms,
we greet you as an awaited one.
A river, made of many streams,
joined a river of many streams.
And they became one forceful river,
mixing tides like two hands interlacing.
A third river, made of many streams,
joined a fourth river of many streams,
and they too became a forceful river,
with the inexplicable interlacings of love .
Two forceful rivers joined
in you, Danby, and you are
the cup made of two hands joined,
And in that cup,
in you, Danby,
is the sea, the ocean, this watery planet.
Your little shoulders
your little eyes–open and awake, and closed and dreaming
of impressions without words,
those lips that smile in sleep
and cry in hunger and irritation
are like the Moon:
each is like the Moon
child of cities and farms,
child of islands and seas,
child of valley and mountain–
you make whole again
our fractured world.