M. Anne Sweet 


"looking for a stone, a leaf  
an unfound door." 
Autobiography, Lawrence Ferlinghetti
A preacher in jeans first served me God 
black in coffeehouse dregs 
with parodies of Ferlinghetti. 
You must find the door, 
walk naked into the cold, 
bare your sins, flog your shearling skin 
and praise the wool woven warmth 
He gives. 

In the shadow of bell hollows 
my goat throat bahs Allah. 
Prism trees chrome the crooked path. 
I kneel, my forehead touching east. 
Yahweh snuffs my hair, my clothes. 
Nostril to nostril, we gather scent. 

In lupine and salmon berries 
I nibble nettle fruit. 
Jehovah's thorn stings my side. 
Through brambles I follow a she-goat. 
She hides from me, her small hooves 
cut trails narrow and false. 

In a clearing, 
at a table empty and wide, 
God leans full weight before me. 
He reads me rhymes of menued verse. 
He drinks deli dregs, 
my blood steamed in a wax paper cup. 
His mustard cuts my breath. 

Across threshold uneven rock, 
Buddha buds in lotus lilies. 
I wade his crib shallow riverbed. 
In pond cress walking on water 
I flower, pollen tufted, 
and rub the legs of bees. 

Copyright 2000, M. Anne Sweet 

M. Anne Sweet has read extensively throughout the Puget Sound area. She organizes a reading series called Passion for Poetry and is a past member of the board of the Washington Poets Association. Her poetry has appeared in The Seattle Five Plus One: Poetry (Pig Iron Press, 1995), as well as many journals and anthologies, both in print and on-line. Her performance poem, "Overture and Fugue," has been performed by The Peoples' Theatre. 

Switched-on Gutenberg/Vol. 4, No. 2 
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