Saturday, April 30, 2016
Friday, April 29, 2016
"The reward for conformity is that everyone likes you but yourself." - Rita Mae Brown
A bird has to be a bird,
and a bat has to be a bat.
They don't consider
flight to be a skill set,
nor having feathers or fur
a blessing of warmth.
We, on the other hand,
have hands, and do consider
our grasp, and our flights
of fancy or plain . Our blessing
of warmth is passion. No
one blinded or living in caves
can see echoes like those that look,
can see flying like those that pilot,
or fuel our storms of tenacity.
(Not sure the poem has anything to do with the quote, but that is what resulted after reading the quote.)
Thursday, April 28, 2016
It therefore happens that the burning and flaming stays for a (long) while, either in form of a lock of hair or with a tail [i.e. in form of a comet], mostly in the north, but sometimes also in the south, or in form of a star among the stars [kawkab min al-kawakib ¯ ] – like the one which appeared in the year 397(h). It remained for close to three months [qar¯ıban min thalathat ashhur ¯ ] getting fainter and fainter until it disappeared; at the beginning it was towards a darkness and greenness, then it began to throw out sparks [yarm¯ı bi-l-sharar] all the time, and then it became more and more whitish and then became fainter and disappeared. It can also have the form of a beard or of an animal with horns or of other figures.
It happens that
a lock of air,
in the form of a star
remained until it disappeared,
It began to spark,
then it became
more and then
It can form
Wednesday, April 27, 2016
Tuesday, April 26, 2016
What I Did This Weekend
Woke up and drank two cups of coffee
picked up a tuxedo, not for me,
heard some guy there say his prom date
tore her ACL the day before,
wanted to help pick up corsage but did
not, went to take photos by a pond
and fake train track bridge,
at least it's not May.
Took photos of child and friends off to prom
sat at home alone and contemplated
home alone, there was not wine
in case prom went sideways -
prom did not go sideways-
made healthy granola bars,
almonds act like flour when ground
substituted cranberry for Goji,
made rhubarb -(spring!) (from back yard!)
raspberry crisp with two plums, the last,
for good measure, opened and closed windows,
saw a rainbow to the east, yellow sky to the west,
and saw that it was good.
Monday, April 25, 2016
The viburnum seem to bloom
when I need them to. It's as if
the branches are radar and aim
their awakening on me. Every year
sometimes May, sometimes April,
scenarios work themselves out
so that fate breeds itself white,
little floral pebbles whose woody stems
placate the yearly weariness, the many
weights of spring. Like viburnum, I flower
on last summer's growth.
Sunday, April 24, 2016
When the new neighbours moved in next door,
they returned to us four feet of our property
and claimed they turned off the lawn sprinklers
in our reclaimed realm. They promptly put up a fence.
The robin heard the burst too. Its head
swung as quickly as I stood up, both of us
looking toward the spriz, spriz, spriz
on the wooden fence like the heads
on Easter Island toward the water. And then
it was gone, no water marks, no noise,
just the memory of an irrigation ghost drama.
Saturday, April 23, 2016
"Are you a housewife?"
Like the dodo, and other extinct
creatures, those that utter this
question, are of a time gone.
There is no good
answer. If you answer
in the affirmative,
then you are small
If you answer
in the negative,
you are small
Breezes blow though
branches that don't shift,
ocean waves break
on a mighty beach,
and clock hands still tick
on a fixed clock.
Friday, April 22, 2016
Sometimes the lock holds,
and sometimes the corners are tight,
the wood holds itself together at angles
embracing. Perhaps some think
that letting the lid fly to explode
off is a cleansing, or will return
history to their rightful place.
In the end, it will be a revision,
will give a voice to those locked
away, but whose story is the lock
and whose story is the wood,
and whose story is the explosion
is written by the victors.
Thursday, April 21, 2016
Wednesday, April 20, 2016
To The Person Who Wants A Poem
I don't know what you necessarily want,
a prize for finding one, my pencil writing
one, or my racket of words disguised as one.
Sometimes what you want is like a slender boat
on the ocean, bobbling up and down
and back and forth, sometimes anchored
down in the muck, sometimes slicing
the cold waves into halves. I can
catch the waves like I catch a poem,
like a baby being born,
in my open hand, fingers ready.
You might want to winnow down
and give me a better description
of what it is you want, so I can
service this request better.
Tuesday, April 19, 2016
While the Pasta Was Cooking
After three hundred and forty eight
times, attempting lifting life*
with words, after typing
and writing and drawing
and erasing and metaphor-ing,
and simile-ing, and rhyming only
a handful of times, you'd think
I'd gotten the hang of poems. I know
how to type, and to scroll up
and down the page, how to erase,
for sure, but the new blank page
zings me as much as it ever did.
Will I ever learn?
Ted Kooser said poetry lifts life.
Monday, April 18, 2016
Sunday, April 17, 2016
I used a word wall from my school for this poem.
Lost and Found Poem
The classroom in which I sit
can fold itself like construction
paper, over in artful fantasy, wedge
itself in colours, paint
itself shades of still life.
The abstract tears textures,
kneads balance in lines
of symmetry to erase itself
through my pen in red.
Saturday, April 16, 2016
(Inspired by the first line of Franz Wright's Leave Me Hidden)
I was having trouble deciding which poem
to write. I've exhausted spring of all it clings to,
those leaves are drained like the sap in far away
maples, not counting those on my lawn. I drained
my house of all its objects, the tables and chairs,
knickknacks and books and stuffed animals. I've wrung
the laundry, not really, and watched as my computer changes
size font, slippery track pad no doubt.
Or I could write another kind of poem, the kind that I read,
swallowing their words like cheese. I like cheese.
Or I could ignore it all and wait for passion, or something
approximating passion, blowing in when it decides.
Passion has strong opinions as to its arrival.
Passion is deaf too, not hearing my pleading or the strains
of the words tearing themselves apart. Like string cheese.
Friday, April 15, 2016
So innocent, history's Fair Isle mittens
in grey brown, with a crown
motif, surrounded by royal letters. Welded
in ownership, screwed in tight, the operators
of such a febrile sight, meant what they
said. The blunt slap of heated judgments,
sometimes the hand of leniency,
palms of punishments,
fines of fingers, a thumb of iron trust.
Thursday, April 14, 2016
Wednesday, April 13, 2016
Can you just imagine
a new Poet Sheriff in town,
using spell-check as a whip,
a thesaurus as a Kevlar vest?
She would dole out justice
in rhyme perhaps, meter
scanning with no roughness,
no one could defeat her!
The administration of fairness
she likens to sturdy book cover,
held up by all the other books
in the vast library of canon.
Resplendently coloured in all the letters
of the alphabet, digraphs her math,
phonics her bible, consonants her constant,
she wears them all as her title.
Tuesday, April 12, 2016
Monday, April 11, 2016
Does Your Muse Need To Know?
How the tilt of his head brings to mind
the angle of the branch on the tree, or
the incisive slip of words onto my page?
The tree's branches wander up the sky and blow
down depending on the earth's spin.
My pen's ink wanders and doodles
like his beard's curl that day.
Sometimes, the sweat on his shoulder
is the thing that bears the ocean of words,
his squat the thesaurus I use to write my day.
His bicep is the measure, the ruler that aligns
my strophes, and meters ink, cartographsevery page I hold tight. I name him Atlas.
Sunday, April 10, 2016
Out For A Walk
Whatever got into that little boy
to enable him to kick his poor
brown smiling teddy bear
down the sidewalk, kick and roll,
punt and concuss, must have been
a Saturday noon bombshell.
I didn't see his face under his hair, but I
imagine his expression to be hanging down
like the now wet clothes on a clothesline
after a rain, or with the sad bravado
of a secret told. He held more dusk
than the warm sun's shadow ever could.
Saturday, April 09, 2016
Iowa Freedom Summit
Be a beauty,
better than nice.
I saw people walking
there, holding people
in front, so fair.
We have the best
people that are people
that are ...
You can certainly have... you can certainly have...
You can have anything!
We do anything, ...so I
would start a very powerful order.
Friday, April 08, 2016
Thursday, April 07, 2016
If You Can't Take A Joke, Zombies
Alabaster birds crow
defeat even fronting
up verbs, wallowing,
x-ing yawning zombies.
Wednesday, April 06, 2016
Prompt about a world beneath the sewers
Beneath and beyond the clank
of sewer metal, the dark air
suspends like an arched bridge. The turn
of dark to red is sudden, more abrupt
than lightening. You see more grates
below and the pipes above, a giant
carcass of vessels waiting their turn.
The taste of metal dries your mouth,
and lips. Voices disappear before
they start, the murky torn webs swallow
their absent tone whole. Then the heartbeats
start pulsing their bitter chaos, an accent
that fathoms your intentions,
one that enunciates your fears.
Tuesday, April 05, 2016
Not So Many, Really
Cheryl wept all day the first day
of kindergarten. She, presumably, missed
her mother and all her many siblings.
We cut up catalogs with scissors. I did not
understand why. The day was long
with all that cutting and picking up,
and we only went half days.
In 1st grade Tommy pooped
his grey pants and the janitor used
fresh wood shavings to clean it up.
Everything was brown, smelled brown,
even Tommy, that day.
In 2nd grade, (only the feared vomit blanket
story, one I don't like telling), just a picnic,
later, (shockingly, no vomit, just
the fear of potential vomit.)
sandwiches were promised,
but not sent for that picnic.
In 3rd grade Sister Maureen would read
us stories, her long spider fingers could turn
the pages slowly and with sharp reason.
Her habits were blue, and apparently,
slow reading. I never saw her hair.
I presumed it blonde and wavy.
I have no memories of 4th grade.
In 5th grade, I noticed Bruno,
but he did not notice me. He noticed
Shelley because she was a blonde
bombshell, even then. Shelley's house
burned down roughly that same time,
around the corner and down a few blocks.
We could smell the acrid smoke
and see it like a chimney of dark from the corner.
In 6th grade, everyone started acting differently,
and flirting with the one male teacher. I knew his
sister a few years later. She was odd too.
In 7th grade, Ms. Melissa told us her Hungarian
sagas of snow, and white blankets used like umbrellas
for escape. Every Holy Thursday.
In 8th grade, I high jumped. In practice the girls
had to use the metal bar because the bamboo one was
too valuable. When we had bruises, they suggested
using nickels as an anti-inflammatory. Didn't work.
The pressing of money, though cold, just seemed
retaliative after the ache of that bar.
Then I graduated,
and moved on to more memories,
ones I even remember.
Monday, April 04, 2016
"I tried to make it not too sad"
The third rose hangs over the river
like a noose. The fish only sees
red. The sky sees nothing
and everything in the river.
Sometimes when your teenager
sits on the floor, tying his shoes
like he tried when he was three,
and reminds you of his fluid memory
of how things went, and how he shared
it, the carpet, like dirt,
swallows his words, the walls
bounce them back so you don't
miss their meaning. Like the fish's
eye, you don''t.
Sunday, April 03, 2016
Prayer is desire.
The rug before the fireplace
gets hot every time but doesn't
Desire is hope.
When the wind blows
through the leaves on the trees,
the need for seasons is cemented
in the new green light.
Hope is fear.
Your face plasters the mirror
to infinity, squared by corners
you will never get to touch, seamed
bouncing rays of light.
Fear is prayer.
Every time your mind wanders,
and every time your hand follows,
the weight of your shoulders
bears the weight of my light.
Saturday, April 02, 2016
Friday, April 01, 2016
Heading into the Weekend
Thursday was liquid everywhere, with fevers and feedings
that went terribly wrong, so wrong, that the touch of heat
and the throng of whine, kept down the count of peace, and more
paper towels. Tomorrow I can pray and play with open hands, not on knees,
because I don't do that, but with a Saran Wrapped lack of purpose.
I twist wishing that the ropes that hold reason and function tight
would unwind into Saturday with a smooth palate,
plying and replying, a tenderer grip then I am used to.
Nothing like balancing the month with a rejection the first day of. Oh well. Keeps me grounded.