Like Lichen

Posted November 22, 2018 by ManicDdaily
Categories: poetry

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Like Lichen

LIke lichen is like an ear is like
some leaves
is how I love you–it’s just the shape
nature makes in me.

Like a fern is like a fir, like any tree truly,
like the dendrites that bring feeling
to a hand or body,
like the fingers of that hand, the limbs
of that body–
a shape nature makes–

like a nut, an egg,
like a planet, a seed, a heart–

like a riverbed or tributary,
like roots, like lightning,
like the capillaries that traverse
even stone–

the shape nature makes in me,
the love for you. 

 

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A love poem for Thanksgiving and my prompt on With Real Toads.  Check out my most recent book if you have a chance.  Momoir, Maybe, available on Amazon.  (Or a host of children’s books.) 

And many thanks!  

 

My New Book – Momoir, Maybe

Posted September 11, 2018 by ManicDdaily
Categories: Karin Gustafson book, poetry, Uncategorized

Tags: , , , , ,

My new book, a series of micro-fictions and fact, available now. It is a book of particular interest for anyone who has, or once had, a mother. It feels like an act of stupidity, hubris or bravery–honestly, I just don’t know–to put it out, but I have worked a great deal on it and think it’s good (ha–maybe). Please check it out. Note that it is not a children’s book, though it is a pretty book in print.

Know No More

Posted September 8, 2018 by ManicDdaily
Categories: drawings, poetry

Tags: , , , ,

I have cut the plantain grove and know no more
what is to be done.

Potatoes? I must buy them in the market.
Rice spills from its bags. Rice must be bagged!

I have cut the plantain grove and
now there is no place
my sweat may drip shaded.

The green has turned to rust
that holds roots only, roots
that look like worms cut once too many,
the white worms that gather between the ribs
of the drowned then sodden ashore.

I have cut the plantain grove
and now there is no place
where we might meet,
no place to hang your ribbon, to shoulder
your dress;
there is only the rusted earth and
me with worms in my chest.

I have cut the plantain grove
for the soldiers are coming and
there is nowhere for your ribbon,
the shoulder of your dress,
only me here on this red earth
full of white worms.

I have cut my chest and lie like a worm.
And you, where are your shoulders?
And you, what ribbons
your dress?

The soldiers know how to walk
on rice, know how to line up
on potatoes; they don’t bother with forced marches,
on earth that is so soft
before trampled, so red before stained.

I have cut the plantain grove
and hide beneath
what was great and felled.

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This is a rather odd poem, written for an exercise (but it also seems to reflect my feelings about the dismal political climate.) I am posting for Toni’s prompt on Real Toads about the Void as it seems to fit that. Drawing, such as it is, is mine.

Evening Porch

Posted August 30, 2018 by ManicDdaily
Categories: poetry, Uncategorized

Tags: , , , ,

Evening Porch

I went out to an evening porch
because a bur bit at my heart.
I could not tell if it was you
or your loss that stung so smart.

The crickets rubbed a murmur synched
to a wholeness I could barely hear;
my forehead had to listen hard
harder even than my ears.

The breeze that rose from somewhere North
felt a bit like fingertips;
you too were raised in a place of cold
but rarely touched my face, my lips.

And yet this sweep of ending day
whose deep’s deep blue except where green
speaks to me of you, of you,
and means what I would have it mean:

that you loved me and I loved back,
that foreheads can be made to hear
(as now beneath the crickets’ arc
the stream’s rush cushions far and near)

so that on the planks I walk
beside a door that leads to light,
beside that blue that you’re blurred in,
I find a seat that bears with night

and try to write there till it’s dark,
write there even in the dark,
letters that feel their way along
this burdened page, unburred heart.

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Here’s a poem for my own prompt – Going, Going, Gone, on Real Toads.

Painting is mine, though not sure it goes with the poem! All rights reserved. 

The Winter of Dreaming Bears (Revised)

Posted July 21, 2018 by ManicDdaily
Categories: poetry, Uncategorized

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The Winter of Dreaming Bears

It began with grubs,
which the bears felt, instinctively,
were the hub
of the universe.

Bears always dream a little
of grubs,
but that was a winter of
false starts, faked ends,
and the slips from freeze to thaw,
from thaw to bone rawness, drip back
to ice pick, unmanacled the bears
from their annual
mummification, nudging them
to a snail’s swim,
where their ursine minds churned, overturning
remembered stones, and their paws mimed a scratch
for those whose burrows they could surely feel
within their fur,

while the grubs, also disturbed
by the fits of damp, stayed far
from bear furrows, dreaming as grubs do
of the dead; a corpse a kind of copse to them,
the old home place.

And the dead–-what did they dream of?
They will not say; we can’t surmise–-only
that when we walk a lace of snow pierced
by persistent grasses,
under a sky heavy with new powder
turning to sleet,
we want to believe that we animate
their wintering subconsciousness,

that they long for us in the rapids of their unmoving eyes
not as a bear longs for grubs,
but maybe as that same bear yearns
for the sun when it swathes the night sky,

its glints guiding us
as if we were ships dreaming
that we had sprouted feet
that could walk on water,

and as if we could walk that water,
into a direction that would take us far
from that starred bear, those dreaming dead,
those whom we in fact long for
in those times of cold and dark,
faked ends, false starts.
 
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This is a somewhat changed revision of an earlier poem, this revised for Brendan’s prompt on Real Toads about dreams.  The earlier version may be found here.  The pic is mine; all rights reserved.

Waking

Posted June 24, 2018 by ManicDdaily
Categories: poetry

Tags: , , , ,

Waking

I weep in my sleep, thinking it’s because you’re gone
and never forgave me,
then wake, knowing that I weep
because I never forgave you,

while you forgave me all the time;
it was me
who missed my chance. 

I wonder how I hurt you
with that non-forgiving dance,
but you forgave that too,

clasping my hand with your two
with each breath, stop-breath–

 

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For Kerry O’ Connor’s prompt on Real Toads, to write a “micro poem.”  Her example a beautiful poem by Rumi, called It Doesn’t Matter.  Drawing is mine; 2018, charcoal on paper; all rights reserved. 

Heading somewhere certainly

Posted June 24, 2018 by ManicDdaily
Categories: children's illustration, Uncategorized

Tags: ,

Acrylic on canvas panel, 2018, all rights reserved.