Archive for the ‘poetry’ category

My New Book – Momoir, Maybe

September 11, 2018

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

September 8, 2018

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.

****************************************
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

August 30, 2018

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.

********************************

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)

July 21, 2018

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.
 
*****************
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

June 24, 2018

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–

 

******************

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. 

“Parkinson’s (Father)”

June 17, 2018

Parkinson’s (Father)

My brain, see, now has to consciously
tell my feet to move.

I mean, he tries a laugh, your brain
always tells your feet to move
on some level, but now
I have to remind them how.

I do see what he means soon enough, as
my father, the opener of all
that needs to be opened, the keeper
of all that needs to be kept safe, targets a key towards a door
as one might aim a dart,
his forearm moving back and forth as if to throw it,
though he pushes–here–here–trying spots about the knob
as one might poke a needle into fabric
backing a button, pricking one’s way to its eyes,
or as one might thread the eye
of the needle itself, poignantly.

But the disease progresses, as territorial
as Genghis Khan, and soon all
the buttons in his world are blocked, refuse
to be battened, will not be pushed,
until finally, his own eyes seem locked
behind the placket of stiff lids.

I see the strain of forehead, the
conscious manipulation of muscle, nerve,
above his pushed chest, until at last
the marled blue of his pupils targets
our own. I love you, he says, the opener
of all that needs to be opened, the keeper
of all things safe.

 

************************************


I wrote the above a few years ago now, but have edited it a bit and am reposting it for Brendan McOdrum’s wonderful prompt on Real Toads and for father’s day.

The Grass Said to Me (as I thought of Whitman)

June 14, 2018

The Grass Said To Me  (As I Thought of Whitman)

The grass said to me
”what is a child?”
I did not know how to answer the grass for I do not speak
in shush or spring-back
or any of the many tongues
of green.
I do not feel that I know
how to regroup,
or how to take a death at my roots
and smile it almost equally
into sun and rain–

But this much I do know:
that when a child crawls across me and grass alike,
we all three
grow more alive.
What grounds us cups us gently (even as
laughs tumble)
while what lies beneath that ground strains hard to listen,
and does, in fact, hear,
for the cup that holds us fits too
about its dark grained ear,
oh yes.

 

****************************

Drafty poem for my own prompt on Real Toads to write of “what is….”  Pic is mine .

Hi all!  I’ve missed you. k.