Posted tagged ‘April National Poetry Month’

Wish (3)

April 2, 2016


My grandmother talked of her horses
knowing the way home,
how she could just
let loose the reins—

I wish I knew
the loosening of reins, the letting lead
the soft strong beautiful,
the flank’s dusk-silvered shiver,
the found home of sound steps.

A drafty poem, number 3, for April for my own prompt on horses on Real Toads.  I call this one drafty because I’ve done about fifteen versions and can no longer tell which I like best. Ha!  Will try to keep and review at some later date. 

Pic is mine, watercolor.  All rights reserved. 

Thinking of Shakespeare, King Lear, Towards the End of Act V (2 for April)

April 1, 2016


Thinking of Shakespeare, King Lear, Towards the End of Act V

And my poor fool is hanged
he writes
and my poor heart
is broken
and why should a dog, a horse, a rat, have life
he asks
as I weep, asking back
how someone could so barter
humanity, and as his character asks help
with a button, tears
unbutton my face, wondering
what grace brings me this suffering
from several rows back, this tough loss
on scuffed planks
over there, lit
by some very bright lights
that couldn’t possibly illuminate
my personal nights,
suffering that I’ve only paid for
in paper currency
and could at least in theory
leave early.

Another draft poem for April Poetry Month.  This one for Real Toads, Marian’s prompt on fools, which I believe is what Lear calls Cordelia in the wonderful conclusion of Act V; I’ve included here lines from the play. 

April is a month in which I am attempting to write a poem a day–this is my second (ha) for the day, but I’m just going to go this month with whatever comes up, when it does (as it may not always!) Thanks for your indulgence!

And There We Wept ( 1)

April 1, 2016

And There We Wept

And the river carried us away
de aptivity
required from old
oh can we sing King Alfa’s song
in a straight land–

And so we sang it–King Alfa’s song–
for a solid six months
in the strait of bottom bunk tented
by purple poncho
postulating on such points
as the sweetness of each’s feet
and the sweet feat of being together
first real love–

until finally putting the album
in its jacket at the end of the term
we read that the weepers were carried
from captivity (it being the river
of Babylon) and the next
year laughed about it in the dining hall till
a rather sober-faced girl
said that she had grown to despise that record
because someone in her dorm had played it
so non-stop,
and we lowered our eyes to the feet
we still held sweet,
with lines on our faces that we believed only the other
could interpret

though, honestly, it was kind of terrible to learn the new words
to that song, meaning the words,
as I never could figure out
whether I should sing those or the ones that truly
resonated, feeling a bit like a batter who
suddenly becoming ambidextrous
can no longer find
a good swing,

and feeling a little too
like the later
when you wrote
that we would always
be friends–

how to feel still me
when all the vowels
garbled, and what was consonant
turned lone,
and my feet which actually had
seemed beautiful
in the purple light of your palms and
that big poncho, seemed to become
almost transparent
though they were strong, tensile feet,
already exhibiting those knobs, callouses, cracks,
that are part, you know, of carrying someone–

Draft poem for Day 1 of April National Poetry Month, inspired both by Izy Gruye’s prompt on Real Toads about misunderstood song lyrics–in this case, Jimmy Cliff’s By the River of Babylon, and also Marian’s Fool prompt. 

Sorry for the length.  I’m not feeling terribly well at the moment, so hoping to use this National Poetry Month to just refocus and recharge!  (Meaning I’m just going to do what I can and hope for the best!) 

I have edited since first posting. 


A Re-telling

April 28, 2014


A Re-telling

From the start, we cause pain, whether pushing
through mother’s loins or cracked from her abdomen,
raising, in others and ourselves too, shushing
moans and gewgaw howls, trailing ache in crumbs, and
not by the Hansel–that is, not to lead
us home, but to move us on–our over-
sized brains plopped terrified as a treed
cat on our upright stance, our plover
quickstep trying to balance it all–but not
really. We don’t truly try for balance
but to get–to beget, to get get, have got,
get away–wanting both to sidestep the dance
and to caper wildly, to be both bird
and gingerbread–in our beaks, the last word–

Okay, so it doesn’t make much sense.  It’s a sonnet.  And it’s some late day in April, National Poetry Month.  I am linking this to Open Link Night on Real Toads, which has been terrifically supportive of this every-day-a-new-poem endeavor. Thanks to all of you as well.

PS- the drawing, like most here, is one of mine. (Much improved by having the help of an iPad.) All rights reserved.

Later, the Earth Took the Driver’s Seat

April 27, 2014

Later, the Earth Took the Driver’s Seat

They thought the world could be filled with roads
and still would be the world. They thought that paving
was the way to go, and, answering goads
of “faster”, they speed-spread tar, enslaving
every chump-change clump of grass and stalk
till even oak bowed and hemlocks drooped, dying.
The axel beds drooped too beneath their bulk
for they grew huge in their cars, ever vying
for more wiggle room, which in a world
of roads, took several miles, even with
the windows open, bunched arms unfurled–
though soon all rush of air became a myth,
a yarn passed back and forth on the sealed drive
like the tar-dust trunks, said once to be alive–

Here is some consecutive poem–27th–for the 27th day of April, National Poetry Month.  (Agh!)  I am linking it to the Real Toads – “Play it Again, Sam” challenge by Margaret Bednar, allowing participants, thankfully, to use an archived challenge–in this case, I chose a prompt for 14 liners by Kerry O’Connor. (Mine’s a sonnet.)

Margaret’s prompt included beautiful drawings by her daughter and I urge you to check them out. I tend to like to use my own visuals though–the above and below photographs are mine. (I took a bunch of this car, so you’ll probably see more at some point!)



(W)riffing on W (Not Bush)

April 26, 2014

(W)riffing on W (Not Bush)

What words (do I wait upon)
to work wonders?

What words
to wrangle
from wishful winking
weal world well-being;
to wend us west
of woe;
to not warfare
our Womeos,
to wreck war-mongering (wanting not

to even, when whirled whichaway,
make magic–

“We, women…”

Here’s a rather silly one for some late day of April, National Poetry Month, posted for the prompt of Marian (of Runaway Sentence)  on With Real Toads, to use the letter “w”.   Hannah had a specific list which was just too hard for me to use on this late day of April; I’ve tried to comply, however, with the letter, as well as the spirit of the prompt. 

I think/hope women’s empowerment worldwide may be a huge force for positive change  this century.  That said, I do understand that women are a VERY diverse group, and I know that some can certainly be just as warmongering and egotistical as men!  (I still have hope for them though!)  

The above video is the reposting of super brief clip of a woman reading at a poetry slam held for a women’s labor collective called SEWA (Self-Employed Women’s Association), founded by the very remarkable labor leader, activist, community organizer, revolutionary thinker, Ela Bhatt,  in Ahmedabad, India.   I do not know the name of the woman reading.  (She is not Ela, whose picture is below.)   All the women on the stage are SEWA members. 

Ela Bhatt of SEWA (Ahmedabad, Gujerat) (photo by Manicddaily)

Ela Bhatt of SEWA (Ahmedabad, Gujerat) (photo by Manicddaily)

Thinking of Shakespeare, Caught At A Closed Gate —

April 24, 2014



Thinking of Shakespeare, Caught At a Closed Gate–

I hear him cursing “Zounds” (‘His wounds”)
at the dusk-dropped gate, its iron lattice,
even then, mottled with thick and thin.
He presses his forehead almost
into its rivulets, nipping cold, as
Hamnet of an instant pricks
his heart, like a foul hollow tripped upon
in the sluicing cobbles,
that little tiny boy—

How foolish to toy
with what is no more, he thinks,
knowing even as his next breath moves the rain
like a feather
that only one who never had a son
could think
so foolishly.

For his poor fool
is dead.

So, his mind works—words, stones skipping
across a river, light slipping
across a sea—figures
of speech that
from tossed ships
salvage sails
for wings–
even as he pulls his own cloak, sodden–
(for the rain, it seems, has rained down
every day)–
closer than the night, and heads back
to a pallet at the theater,
looking up to the heavens
for signs of gentling.



Here’s a draft poem for the 24thday of April, National Poetry Month, written for Ella’s (of Ella’s Edge) prompt on With Real Toads. Ella’s prompt was to write a poem based upon a sentence from a book. I opened up Bill Bryson’s book on Shakespeare— a section  that discusses the period after Shakespeare lost his young son, Hamnet. Of course, very little is known of Shakespeare’s feeling about the loss except through his plays. I’ve tried to incorporate very loosely some lines from plays, including King John, King Lear and Twelfth Night, and very obliquely, The Merchant of Venice. “Zounds” was a euphemism for God’s wounds or Jesus’ wounds.   The sentence that was the spring board is below:

“A separate question is why Shakespeare moved in this period to Bankside, a not particularly salubrious neighborhood when his theatrical connection was still with the Theatre, at precisely the other side of the city. It must have been a slog shuttling between the two (and with the constant risk of finding his way barred when the City gate was locked each dusk) ….” Bill Bryson, Shakespeare.

(PS – I appreciate that the photo has little to do with the poem!  Agh!)


Off-Season (Flash 55)

April 23, 2014



Istanbul in our twenties, blonde
in the Blue Mosque, toes squishing
into piles of carpet smelling faintly
of toes faced
with overarching tiles, mosaics synced
in their mismatch, sprigs,
prayers, paisleys, but no eyes
except of the men
who watched us in and out
fighting about who would sell us
what we would not buy.

A belated 55 for Mama Zen and also a poem for the prompt and photo of Lolamouse of With Real Toads. The wonderful picture, among others, was taken by Lolamouse at a shop in Portland, Oregon, but the blue amulets look identical to ones my daughter bought in Turkey a few years back, so I am guessing these are also from there. One process note is that it is my understanding that Islam discourages (or even prohibits) the depiction of sentient beings, which means that mosques do not have iconography of people’s faces but tend to focus upon geometric shapes or flowers or calligraphy. The “Blue Mosque” is a popular name of the Sultanahmet (or Sultan Ahmed) Mosque in Istanbul.

This is also some consecutive poem–23rd?–for April, National Poetry Month.

Estranged (Out West)

April 22, 2014


Estranged (Out West)

She broke the everywhere flat
by interpretive dance, saying
“this time I’ve got a good one,
no, really–”
until he pulled to the side
of emptiness
and she jumped up, lay down, flailed,
a complex choreography enacting eggs
scrambled or banana smoothies
under construction.
He never could guess
that her collapse in two
showed the cracking,
her arches her unpeel,
the quiver (frying)
the whirl (time
in the blender)
but as the gravel poked warmth
into her bare
feet, arms, he would
laugh at last,

his throat echoing
the rough swish
of her movement,
all that could be heard in that desert
except the tick of the engine;
you know how cars do that sometimes,
after they’ve stopped.


Another very drafty poem for some day of April National Poetry Month. I am linking this one to Shanyn’s prompt on dVerse Poets Pub about road trips.

Freedom From

April 7, 2014






Freedom From

I gaze at the Buddhas
gazing down
and want so very much to have
what they have
in their hands
in their laps
in the moment–
freedom from

Yes, it’s a bit trite! But I saw a wonderful show of South East Asian art this evening at the Metropolitan Museum in NYC. (The pictures are from there.) AND I have an anti-gun poem that my husband doesn’t really want me to post, this, the somethingth day in April, National Poetry Month. So, instead, I am posting this one and linking it to Open Link Night on With Real Toads.

And, finally, there’s is a really sweet — from the interviewer’s side– interview with me on the wonderful online poetry site, Poets’ United–by Sherry Marr–of Sherry Blue Sky. If you are interested, check it out!