Archive for July 2016

One Summer

July 30, 2016

One Summer

We spoke in sparrow
and chickadee,
too-whit chirree,
praising in the tongue of crumbs
the God of small things.

 

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Drafty poem for the wonderful Kerry O’Connor’s mini poetry challenge on Real Toads.  I say drafty because I worry that the phrase of the ‘God of small things’ snitches the title of a wonderful novel by Arundhati Roy.  I am hoping that it is something of generic description, but not sure that’s accurate.  No copyright infringement intended.  Drawing is mine. 

Ps- I have changed the title since first posting. 

 

Concert Notes (Postcard to Somewhere)

July 30, 2016

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Concert Notes

Oh how I wish you were here,
you with your owl-wink glasses
to see how the second violinists played
as if they were horses,
their instruments unmuted muzzles
that reared and nodded
beneath bow’s rein,
their hair like black manes flicked
against time,
their arms making quick
the air–oh how I wished
you were there,
hearing
the Mozart canter:

your hand then
as warm as the blood
of a living body
would have cupped mine, whispering
in the silent tongue of hands, so careful of
the sweet music.

 

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Sort of a drafty poem for Kerry O’Connor’s prompt on Real Toads to write a poem inspired by the idea of a postcard.  I call this a draft as I’ve written a few different versions since last night and not sure about any of them.  The pic, such as it is, also mine.  All rights reserved.

Also sorry to make another plug, but check out my new book, Dogspell! on Amazon.  When at Amazon, check out my other books!  1 Mississippi, Going on Somewhere, Nose Dive, and Nice.  

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In the Nit of Time

July 21, 2016

In the Nit of Time

He married
the only pets he acknowledged,
but his secret pet, the one that he began to look like
in the way that the eyebrows of those who own schnauzers
flourish, and the noses of those walking dachshunds
narrow–let’s not even talk
of people with pugs–was
a little louse.

He let it feed
on his very good head, making it a bed
not of straw exactly, but some Rumpelstiltskin-spun
facsimile–a faked
Rumpelstiltskin–for he was superficially
a tall man, and could not, in truth,
spin gold;

but what was most fun (for him)
was just to hold the louse
between thumb and forefinger–even as it rolled
into a protective ball–the louse fetal position–

Oh, what a ball, he thought,
to see its slim limbs distraught,
and to think of how it held inside
his blood,
that blood from his very good head,
worth its weight in gold,
or in something anyway, and thinking of how
it might multiply, he gently re-nested the louse
in his straw
in awe of his investing prowess,
as the louse, making do,
grated his pate again.

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Poem of sorts for Hannah Gosselin’s post on Real Toads to write of a totem animal.  The pic is not a louse but a recent pic of mine of a bug anyway (a mosquito hawk, I think).  (It’s very late where I am!)\

Sorry to make another plug, but check out my new book, Dogspell!  It’s a lot of fun.  On Amazon.  When at Amazon, check out my other books!  1 Mississippi, Going on Somewhere, Nose Dive, and Nice.  

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Lonely Bell

July 19, 2016

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Lonely Bell

I am flawed
in every aspect.
If there were a law about me
it would be Murphy’s.
If there were an aspic,
it would not
have properly gelled.

The bell tolls for me
only in the sense
that it wrings from me
some price.

But here’s what’s nice–

Someone with wings,
someone unlike me, unwrung,
might not listen to the bell,

and the bell wheresoe’re it tolls
(and it is “‘ere”) wants
to be listened to, wants
a following whom,
or hum–
that lonely bell,
you know,
that one–

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Drafty poem for Real Toads Open Platform, hosted by Kerry O’Connor.  

I’ve been publicizing it for a bit, but if you haven’t heard I’ve got a new book out called DOGSPELL or Sally & Seemore & the Meaning of Mushki is out!  It is achildren’s novel, written (with some help from my dear departed Pearl) and much illustrated by me.  Great for any dog lover. Available on Amazon.  When at Amazon, check out my other books!  1 Mississippi, Going on Somewhere, Nose Dive, and Nice.  

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Remembered Bargain

July 16, 2016

Remembered Bargain

I promised with all my soul
that if I found her whole
I would never rail again,
never again complain
about any personal injustice.

Greenwich Street bore witness
to my brain’s barter with what
always seems to hover “up”
in a wade through desperation
where, as down a well, any gradation
of light is a second coming,
the next second, coming.

I found her and
wept thanks.

But mind moves on and it will rail–
a track-bound train, a wind-ruled sail,
its promises shrugged out of like a shawl
(forgotten on a chair
somewhere over there)
until some switch in inner film’s unroll

takes me to those blurred bricks, veered eaves
where my mind, on its knees, said “please,”
and I say again, thank you
for then and now and then to come too;
though derailed by weaknesses, and by strengths,
I whisper thanks.

 

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A sort of drafty poem for my own prompt on Real Toads about exchanges, barters, promises, markets.  The pic above is of the 9/11 Memorial, also on Greenwich Street in downtown Manhattan. 

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On a lighter note, I am very pleased to report that my new book DOGSPELL or Sally & Seemore & the Meaning of Mushki is out!  It is a sweet (I think) children’s novel, written (with some help from my dear departed Pearl) and much illustrated by me.  Great for any dog lover. Available on Amazon.  When at Amazon, check out my other books!  1 Mississippi, Going on Somewhere, Nose Dive, and Nice.  

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The Trojan Magpie

July 15, 2016

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The Trojan Magpie

The Trojan Magpie seemed genuine enough–
it flew on wings of jet and tail of white;
with caw and screech both querulously bluff,
cocked eyes that could look cellophanely bright.

Yes, it hoarded gilt, shine, profane gaud,
and greeted perceived rot with greedy cry
yet no bird heart was held by this mag fraud
nor knowledge of the shape of earth or sky.

What the Trojan knew was how to pick a current,
and how to turn hot air into let wind,
how to preen itself and also the abhorrent,
as it unloosed the menace stashed within.

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Sort of poem for Mama Zen’s prompt on Real Toads to post a poem to certain designated pics, with a sense of the bruised heart of the world.  The above is Big Raven, by Emily Carr (1931).  MZ asks us to keep to 60 words; I’ve gone a bit over here.  (I think the prompt also wanted something beautiful–I’m afraid I went for the bruising here and not the beautiful.)

On a happier note, I am very pleased to report that my new book DOGSPELL or Sally & Seemore & the Meaning of Mushki is out!  It is a sweet (I think) children’s novel, written (with some help from my dear departed Pearl) and much illustrated by me.  Great for any dog lover. Available on Amazon.  When at Amazon, check out my other books!  1 Mississippi, Going on Somewhere, Nose Dive, and Nice.  

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Reminded July ’16 of Not a Particularly Big Event in Maryland, Mid-60s

July 9, 2016

Reminded July ’16 of Not a Particularly Big Event in Maryland, Mid-60’s

Their old school was Sojourner Truth, which, back then, could not be for any kids but black, the new school built between a patched-shack road and an almost spanking white subdivision, with a wavy-lined mosaic down one side.  Me with my long blonde hair always tried

to be nice to everyone, though all the blacks in my class were boys, and girls age 8 didn’t play much with any boys back then, till one day

they followed me home, Kevin, class clown of chocolate brown, face up-curved as if even

his nose smiled, and Earl, who was the darkest person I’d ever seen, stretched thin, his sometimes grin almost more beautiful than Kevin’s against

his blue-black skin, and a couple of soft-cheeked others,

and Kevin danced away my hair brush from my bag–its plastic handle long broken so it was just

a bristle head–and Earl, palming it, brushed his nap, and by then, we were on the front lawn of my next door neighbor, and I was afraid–they were so very alive in the middle of that still, mown lawn, half-under

its short magnolia–it felt as if a cloud had descended upon us, making us move

in slow-mo, as if clouds were not just vapor, but deep sea

and I said, from my side of the brush’s keep-away, you’ve got to go home, really you better get out of here, Kevin, and his smile dropped as Earl too dropped

my hair brush, and, after they turned, I picked it up, pretty certain I’d never use it again, redly embarrassed by that,

as I watched their backs get smaller up the street, where the sloped curbs also watched them, even the bits of sand and grit in the sloped curbs watched them–though at least the sand and grit were perfectly open about it–not like the eyes in the windows–

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A drafty sort of piece for Brendan MacOdrum’s (Blue Oran’s) wonderful prompt on Real Toads about finding some depth in the shallows (and doing it briefly).  I don’t know that this qualifies as deep and it’s certainly not brief  but it is the poem that came to mind for me; again I hope that I am conveying here the inchoate fear I felt for my friends, the boys, at that time, when honestly, I didn’t know that much of what was going on in the greater world. 

Also note that the image is mine, based on a collage (made rather clumsily on the iPhone) of some street graffiti, a beautiful and agonizing picture of civil rights demonstrators being fire-hosed in Birmingham, Alabama in the mid-60’s (taken by Bob Adelman) and a picture of the American flag on the Moon (I am guessing that photographer was Neil Armstrong).  The picture is not in any way meant to be blase or detrimental to the suffering of any one, particularly not the Birmingham protestors and certainly not of any one now, but just one I could make from the images I had.  All rights in the collage (such as I have) are reserved.