Posted tagged ‘ManicDDaily poem’

Change Poem – Mother/Daughter/Sister/Hands (“Making It Better”)

November 19, 2011


DVerse Poets Pub has a “Poetics” challenge to write about change today which set me to thinking of both the new and old.  Here’s the resulting poem:

Making it Better

I think today, the anniversary of my daughter’s birth,
of my mother’s grace–
how she came to my hospital bed at 8 a.m.,
two hours after leaving her sister’s,
her favorite red blouse catching
the robin’s egg fluorescents, the curled tips
of her brown hair carefully
slipped back as she
bent over over the bassinet,
exuding unshadowed wonder.

My mother, who never made any
decision without vocal re-thinks,
not asking me
at that time
how she should dress
her sister–whether the funeral home’s gown
would not be too frilly–she worked after all,
had a career

carrying only in the back of her dark eyes
the echos of that laboring pant
that strains so to keep on–

My mother, cupping
my daughter’s still-damp head,
in the same cool hands that had
stroked my forehead as a child, as her mother
had stroked hers, and that now,
when she’s been sisterless
and motherless for many years,
stroke her own forehead, wiping
the thinned hair back.

Like this, like this, she shows me,
running her palms over the
join of face and crown–
her particular self and her
universal self–I just find
that it makes me feel better

Mermaid Sonnet – “Different Tastes in Mythical Creatures”

September 26, 2011


I am reposting this poem and painting as an entry in the weekly links of another very active poetry site, Gooseberry Garden, which is focusing this week on mythology.   A dear friend had suggested the topic of mermaids for a poem, which I used as a writing exercise.   At first, I envisaged a poem about teenage girls diving into the surf on a tropical beach; but the poem that came out was somewhat different. (I’m afriad that I had a Robert Pattinson fixation at the time, and somehow brought the subject of mermaids around to vampires.

Different Tastes in Mythical Creatures

Some go for vampires; they like the idea
of sharp but elegant pursuit, the notion
that they personally are the cup of tea
of the ruthless.  Others look to the oceans,
scanning fantastic waves for a gleam of gleam,
twist of twist, the well-hipped curve of tail;
their magic’s found in the muscular seam
between breast and flipper, flesh and scale.
They love the submergence, dive to the unknown,
an elegance unclothed in its own wet skin,
Eve and the serpent combined, slicked hair let down,
the search for safety in the dare, plunge, swim.
Others—we’re too afraid to go in headfirst,
would rather wait, dryly, to slake another’s thirst.

For more on the mechanics on sonnets, check here.

Turtle Dreams (Draft)

December 14, 2010

Turtle On Head

We began the swamp on foot.
This was a bad idea,
a turtle suddenly on my head,
a large one, I dreamed, a snapper.
I could just make out the
creased unwrinkling of one short khaki leg
as it dangled down my brow like
an ancient bang; its mottled shell,
a dangerous helmet.
You somehow got a boat, turned to my aid.
“Don’t use the oar,” I pleaded,
as you hoisted the long, smoothed wood,
but I could see aim in your eyes.
shut mine.

(This is today’s draft.  Any suggestions?  Especially at beginning or end, let me know.)

If To Be (Draft Poem)

September 14, 2010

If To Be

If to be is not to be
then how can I,
if you keep
telling me
when already,
all right,
I do.

If to be is to be
sure, then
didn’t I?
All right.

Not Quite National Poetry Month but “Good Enough”

May 3, 2010

Diamond Enough

After yesterday’s post concerning the relatively higher payback for posts about Robert Pattinson, I am returning to poetry.  This is, in part, because the  Academy of American Poets announced that it is extending its April program of daily emailed poems for the entire year.  (I figure if the Academy of American Poets can post a poem a day for longer than a month, I can too.)

So here’s another draft poem  (written on the morning subway).   Any suggestions for improvement that you may send are seriously considered and greatly appreciated.

Good Enough

Why is it that they,
the amorphous they,
can never say
you’re good enough
well enough
for you to feel, in fact,
good (enough);
not perhaps like a
diamond in the rough,
much less a diamond buffed,
just not ‘not good enough’.

What can they say
to allay
that bay of inadequacy,
that convenient, if unsafe, harbor,
built-in, if empty, larder?

It sounds like a game,
but if words can tame pain,
rhyme act as anodyne,
it’s worth a shot,
would mean a lot,
maybe, for a short time, enough.

(PS – note that an earlier version of this post incorrectly named the Academy of American Poets.  Sorry, Poets!  Their emailed poems are a feature called “poem-a-day”. )

28th Day of National Poetry Month – Train of Thought

April 28, 2010

The 28th day of National Poetry Month, and my 28th draft poem.  This one is very much a draft, but, I hope, interesting.

Train of Thought

I am thinking as I sit upon the train
that the person who invented rubberized eggs
should be shot, or at least, forced to eat them, when
a woman with a rubbed-out face
steps onto my car.  She’s been burned badly,
her face segmented into triangular wedges of scar that
web the skin from one ear to the opposite cheekbone.
Hard to read the history
in the hieroglyphics.
An explosion on a stove?
Acid thrown in warning?  Retribution?
Her skin tan, hair dark, ethnicity scratched out, I go
for the acid, knowing that whether or not she is a woman
purposely victimized, there are such women,
damaged for their difference, their efforts, to hold
things in place, women.
She stands, waits, her face turned
so that I can see only an edge of eye (though her eyes
are almost all edge).
I want to give her my seat, but the gesture feels
intrusive, a kind of stare, so do nothing but wonder
about a world in which eggs are turned
into seamless yellow squares, and woman’s faces into
a stitching of scars, and how our minds can hold such things at once–
the trivial, the tragic, the very very tragic–and this City too,
this train.

20th Day of National Poetry Month – Sonnet – “Couple” (Fill in the Blanks.)

April 20, 2010


Twentieth day of National Poetry Month.  I keep expecting this experiment (writing a draft poem a day in honor of National Poetry Month) to get easier–for topics to appear at my beck and call.  But it was a bit hard to come up with a draft poem today.  All I could think of on the subway this morning was “rhinovirus”.  (I have a cold.)  That topic was not all that appealing.   So, this evening, I fell back on my old standby form–the sonnet, and an old standby subject—relationships.


Sometimes it’s best to just do nothing,
to stare blankly at a wall and not to
wonder how the crack was made, to toughen
your perimeter nerves till you’ve got to
feel more than a jab of despair to fête
despairing.  Sometimes it’s best not to run
your finger down the plaster, but to let
crumbling crumble; not to reach out one
overheated foot from the blanket, bed,
to climb the chill of that almost smooth plane.
Sometimes it’s even best to leave unsaid
words that will fix everything, that saying
that’s aphoristic but so true, the glue
you’d like to think would make all whole, all new.

For more on sonnets, and more on National Poetry Month, check out the poetry category from the ManicDDaily home page.  And, as always, check out the link to 1 Mississippi on Amazon, a counting book for kids, parents and their pachyderms.