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Dream Song

October 4, 2019

Dream Song

I dreamed I dreamed in one two three
I dreamed that you were here with me.

Repeating music held us close
its harmonies in measures dosed
as phrases that sang again again
while we seemed to be back then

when you were you and I was me
and we could see, hear, move freely,
when you held me and I held you—
we didn’t know time held us too.

Now all that’s left is time’s tight hold
so close around as I’ve grown old,
I see it as through a magnifier—
blurred, yet lined, a fist, a mire.

You, like the music, just in my head
when I lie upon my bed
in the dark that even enfolds time
sometimes sometimes sometimes sometimes.

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Hello! Here’s a poem that I am posting for Kerry O’Connor’s post on Real Toads, with the wonderful picture by McMonster, @mc__monster, below. Pic above is mine.

What Makes One

April 26, 2019

What Makes One

what makes one begin
after a battle
begin again
after a war
after whatever
razes all
to the ground–

maybe it’s hunger,
or maybe the need to breathe,
to get out, get away,
get the bodies out
of the way–

maybe something in the cells
cries out for water
says get water
guard water
find what water
can be guarded–

or, maybe its the hearing of cries
for water
the not wanting to hear
such cries–

 

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For my own prompt on Real Toads about rebirthing,, rebooting–  The pic is mine; all rights reserved.

When Thinking Of Scars

April 4, 2019

When Thinking of Scars

I have heard that Buddhists ask
what one should do in a world filled
with sharp stones? 

Should we cover the world with
soft leather, so that we might walk
where we will?
Or should we simply cover
our feet?

I tend to wear thickish shoes,
my skin so thin.

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Drafty poem for Sherry”s prompt on Real Toads.

Can Humans Smell Beauty

February 17, 2019

Can Humans Smell Beauty

She sensed him more and more
when he was no more.
His scent filled hands otherwise vacant.
“I can’t” was all she would have said,
had she said.

The scent was not of rot, or cold,
but of the boldly fresh, the warm,
that is to say, a child’s head,
sun suddenly, the sweetness of just sitting
on a picnic table
or swing,
the aroma of singing or of being able
to sing,
what you hold to your breast when you notice
your heart beating,
or hurting,
that kind of thing,
what you hold to your breast
when it’s your heart you would hold. 

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For Magaly Guerrero’s prompt on Real Toads, which included the great question, which is the title here.  It doesn’t quite work as the title, but I haven’t come up with something else. 

The drawing is also mine (Karin Gustafson).  As always, all rights reserved. 

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.

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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

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.

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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)

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.
 
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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.