THE GRAND OPENING

© 2020 Ani McManus, Sweet Day Publishing

one tiny crocus grew through 

a crack in the street

not knowing the kind of world

she would meet

but she wanted to be here

in time for spring

didn’t want to miss

the grand opening


she stole that sliver of light

and made her escape

small wild one emerged

without a scrape

but there’s no space

in that broken place 

that’s easy to share

still she made me stop 

in my tracks to stare


hello everyone it’s almost spring

you know it’s true cause that’s

what crocuses bring

and they sing

we come for the sun

we are here

your days of darkness

will disappear

and you sing you sing spring is near


a crack in the clouds

recited the spell of fire

no words could draw the awe

that glow would inspire


though the only garden she knows

is the crack in the street

how many dreams can she grow

in that bed of concrete

wondering about the wanderers

who pass her by day

and the ones who see her

but still walk away


hello everyone it’s almost spring

you know it’s true cause that’s

what crocuses bring

and they sing

we come for the sun

we are here

will our days of darkness disappear

we want to sing we want to sing

spring is here


the crack in the street had been a 

dangerous dare

but it was worth it for the chance

to breathe the birth of air

and we sing we sing we sing

 

PRETTY TREE

© 2020 Ani McManus, Sweet Day Publishing

pretty cherry tree

cherry pretty tree

outside my window

your buds are beginning to show

your buds are beginning to grow

cherry tree take it slow

hold on not so fast

make your beauty last


pretty cherry tree

cherry pretty tree

outside blossoming

every year in the spring

it’s always the same thing

your disappearing pink fling

and i can’t hold on to you

as long as i want to 


when you finish trimming 

the torn moon’s linen skies

your paper petals disguised as butterflies 

with blushing wings don’t know what’s below

brushed by the wind they’ll float 

until they go away 


till then i could sit here for hours

admiring your flowers

ignoring all there is to do

so i don’t have to ignore you


your blooming time has passed

petals rest on the grass 

and it’s barely the month of may

but i realize you aren’t meant to stay 

while lilacs take my breath away

pretty pink one you’ve had your day

outside there’s a handsome green tree 

where you had a hold on me 


this year i find it’s not the same thing

my hands opened like flowers

and flowers never cling to spring

 

BIRD IN THE BIRDBATH

© 2020 Ani McManus, Sweet Day Publishing

there’s a bird in the birdbath

flew down from the sky

big bird in a small pond

i’ll watch for awhile

blue bird in the birdbath

is making me laugh 

cause that bird in the small pond

kicks up a big splash 


i want to watch that bird in the birdbath

i want to watch her dip and thrash

her bath time dance brightens the day

gonna watch until she flies away


when the bird in the birdbath 

bathes like that

i’m glued to the window 

next to my cat 

who is wide-eyed and mesmerized 

watching the show

and neither one of us 

gets up to go 


we want to watch that bird in the birdbath

we want to watch her dip and thrash

her bath time dance brightens the day

gonna watch until she flies away


if you ever need a lift when you’re feeling blue

i will buy a birdbath gift and give it to you 


then you may watch a bird in the birdbath

you may watch her dip and thrash

her bath time dance will brighten your day

and make all your blues fly away 


there’s a bird in the birdbath

big splash in a small pond

blue bird in the birdbath

i ran to get my phone to see if i could get a video and when i got back 

she was gone

 

ASTORIA

© 2020 Ani McManus, Sweet Day Publishing

i followed the river down 

to where it meets the sea

i wanted to see what life 

in that small town would be like

i rolled in with the fog 

breathing evergreen air
where aging flower children 

glow in waves of silver hair 

astoria your story doesn’t try to

hide the rust

astoria your pages are painted with 

tides of dust

that must be why i didn’t need a key 

to make you feel like home to me


a latte from 3 cups to go

strolling past decaying piers

the bakery blue* for a bite at noon

and buoy later for a sunset beer

all your lonely doorways 

are swept away by river views

with cargo ships and distant shores

even a ghost could feel haunted by you 


chorus


apparently it’s gonna take 

a long bridge to explain

being wind blown with your scattered lines 

and finding they’re the same

as the ones i wrote that made you mine 

before i felt your rain

your-stay-inside-and-make-art-or-get-lost-in-a-bookstore rain

your moss-grows-on-everything-and-everywhere rain

yeah, your sweet, reverie of rain


astoria whenever i’m there i want to stay

astoria and wake up to you every day


*blue scorcher bakery and cafe

 

WHAT DO SUNFLOWERS TALK ABOUT

© 2020 Ani McManus, Sweet Day Publishing

what do sunflowers talk about

at night when the day is done

after spending all your hours

chasing the arc of the sun

was it fun sunflowers was it fun 


what do sunflowers think about

when stars wink in the sky

drink it in from below

make-pretend it’s a lie, 

that you can’t fly sunflowers you can’t fly 


cause you never forget the reason

the bouquet of days sweetly burn

climbing high lasts only one season

once it’s gone your summer can’t return 

you know your summer will not return 


what do sunflowers dream about 

when gardens go to sleep

deep roots become dirty dancing feet

twist twirl and laugh till you weep

watch you leap sunflowers watch you leap 


cause you never forget the reason

the bouquet of days sweetly burn

climbing high lasts only one season

once it’s gone your summer can’t return

while it’s your turn sunflowers brightly burn

 

THIS SWEET DAY

© 2020 Ani McManus, Sweet Day Publishing

lost lake is my favorite place

my favorite place to escape

the stress and distractions 

of modern contraptions

and the congested rat race 


but if you go in the summer you’ll find 

too much humankind

while the sun is glaring

there is music blaring

spoiling the tranquil time 


if you want to get lost at lost lake

you will have to wait

goodbye summer hello autumn

it’s time to get lost at lost lake 


i go when the leaves are turning

i go when i am yearning 

to slip away in my boat 

and lose myself while i float 


and the lake belongs to ancient trees 

the mountain and the breeze

and for now this sweet day 

belongs to me

alone at my favorite escape


chorus


and if you hear my song today

please pay no mind 

to what i have to say

just keep on going

in the summertime

 

THE WIND HAS A WAY

© 2020 Ani McManus, Sweet Day Publishing

the wind has a way to come in

lands like a trance on my skin 

oh i don’t know why 

the wind can’t be mine

but i’m pretty sure i can’t win 


cause i see the way of the wind

leaves of its story rush in

and i want to stay but i’m swept away

how did i let this begin


cause i knew how the wind would be

the way it disappears out to sea

lifeless sand scattering

nothing else mattering


when the wind sailed away 

through these trees

stealing every last hallowed breeze

but each leaf will turn 

another branch earned

burning my way home free


chorus


light has a way to come in

lands like a chant on my skin

asking who is the wind 

over and over again

till a striking blue sky bloomed within

blue sky blooming within

striking new sky bloomed within 


that’s when i knew the truth 

i am the wind

 

ANATOMY & PHYSIOLOGY CHAPTER 3

© 2020 Ani McManus, Sweet Day Publishing

if all we were

were eyes 

only eyes

gazing into infinite skies

what wonders we would still be

don’t take my word just read chapter three 


when the moon doesn’t rise

the rods 

in our eyes

still lighten our steppingstones

and beholding the colors of the day

is a gift that comes from cones 


rods and cones cones and rods

made me think we gotta be gods

such marvelous parts

so don’t step down

we’re more than eyes rolling around 


a & p 

chapter three 

lit a light in me

unlike any cosmic glow

flowing down to me below

all those seeking searching years ago 

om


chorus


i walked out of class that day

and nothing looked quite the same

glimpsing life through lens number three

the immaculate facts dawned on me 


rods and cones cones and rods

made me think we gotta be gods

such marvelous parts

so never step down

we’re more than eyes rolling around 


if all we were

were eyes 

watching the sunrise

but we’re cerebrums and chromosomes

pineal glands and bone marrow and feet…

 

WILL YOU WALK WITH ME

© 2020 Ani McManus, Sweet Day Publishing

~ in loving memory of my Father 1928-2019 


will you walk with me as

the sun goes down

and the crescent moon 

rises over town

will you take my hand 

as the stars come out

and the days grow short

less to dream about


has it come to this 

i whisper silently

to the one who has slipped away from me

can you hear me now 

in the breeze of the night

are you waiting there in that invisible light

am i on my way there too

on my way to you

been so tired but it can’t be true

it’s much too soon 


but if this is my time

will you be there for me

make sure i get across 

that rising sea

will you take my hand

as the moon disappears

and tell me i can put away

all of my fears


like long ago when i was very small 

and you were so strong and so tall

are you listening now 

in the breeze across the land

waiting for me to reach 

your invincible hand

am i on my way there too

on my way to you

been so tired

but there’s too much left to do


will you walk with me 

till i find my way through 

 

I NEED THE DARK

i need the dark 

like you need the light

i crave the dark 

because day breaks so bright

winter’s the sweetest remedy i find

that eases my restless mind 


as city streets sunbathe

in summertime dust

been breathing deep 

cause it’s hard to adjust

to the crowd-pleasing rays

that burn on and on

i don’t miss them when they are gone


so turn back the clocks

and bring the night to me

even if no one else will agree

that this the best time of year

and i feel so alive

when i am sun-deprived


now winter’s hush 

is leaning this way

gray shadows grow

and i want them to stay

gathering poems in the bare twilight air

sheltered from the sun’s relentless glare


i need the dark 

like you need the light

i crave the dark 

because life shines so bright

winter’s the sweetest season cause i find

i can rest my uneasy mind


so give me the shortest days of the year

i’m ready to sink in and linger here

while a million embers of mine reignite

spinning sparks into vanishing light 


when i don’t have to ignore

every time i can’t absorb

a bright gorgeous day more