Posted tagged ‘painting of brain in snowdrift’

After Herrick – “Even During Festivities”

December 30, 2012

Brain in Snow Drift

Even During Festivities

The brain will strain against the now;
so hard to stay right here.
Mind wanders lonely as a cloud
above communal cheer.
is not the word–for love
(but to itself) proclaims
“I hear,”  “I do,” “I will”–
all ruse of cerebellum’s Tao
to never be quite still.


The above is sort of a draft poem written for a prompt by the wonderfully gifted Kerry O’Connor on With Real Toads to write a poem in a form developed by Robert Herrick.  Kerry sets great mini challenges with traditional and not so traditional forms  – this one has various meter and rhyme requirements which Kerry can explain much better than me. 

I have difficulty at times in group situations, parties!  (Though not sure this poem quite describes it.)  And my brain does seem to get stuck in drifts – even outside of parties.  (The pic’s a repost, I’m afraid, suitable for all too many occasions.)  

Check out Kerry’s post and, if you have time, also my books!  

Poetry, GOING ON SOMEWHERE, (by Karin Gustafson, illustrated by Diana Barco). 1 Mississippi -counting book for lovers of rivers, light and pachyderms, orNose Dive. Nose Dive is available on Kindle for just 99 cents!


Snow Today – Villanelle to Aging Brain

February 26, 2010

Aging Brain in Snow Drift

Snow today.  A ton of it.  Many tons.

Snow is pretty great in Manhattan–there’s most of the magic, little of the mess.  No, that’s not right.  How about ‘there’s most of the incandescence, little of the inconvenience’?

What I’m really trying to say here is that most of us here don’t have to shovel our driveways, or clean off our cars.  (We just don’t have ’em.)

And the City is clean!  At least, looks clean.  For a few hours anyway.  (Before the dogs have had their day.)

In a really big snow storm, like today, all the things that you thought were so important, the deadlines, the bustle, go on hold for a little while.   Nature takes over, unusual in itself in the City.

Of course, Nature took over in kind of shocking way this snowstorm when a man from Brooklyn man was killed by a falling tree limb in Central Park.

Although I truly think New Yorkers were shocked and saddened by the incident, many still ventured into Central Park today to enjoy its heavy blanket of snow.   With the typical New Yorker’s can-do attitude, one woman commented that, after yesterday’s accident,  she’d decided not to stay long under any tall trees.  (Good thinking.)   (It reminded me of my far less careful planning,  when I bought a used inflatable rubber dinghy on the street sometime after 9/11 with the thought that if terrorism hit again, I could float my children and myself across the Hudson.  Unfortunately, because I bought the very heavy raft in a little shopping cart (the area had no taxi cabs), I abraded several holes in the rubber by the time I dragged it home.)

Today, I tried to use the quiet aftermath of the snow storm to write a Petrarchan sonnet.  I managed the form, but not a very good poem, which immediately sent me into a tailspin about brain deterioration.  (Although thinking about the incident with the rubber dinghy, I’m not sure that my brain really has deteriorated in the last several years.)  At any rate, as a result, I’m posting instead an older villanelle (already posted some months ago, but without illustration):

Villanelle to Wandering Brain

Sometimes my mind feels like it’s lost its way
and must make do with words that are in reach
as pink as dusk (not dawn), the half-light of the day,

when what it craves is crimson, noon in May,
the unscathed verb or complex forms of speech.
But sometimes my mind feels like it’s lost its way

and calls the egg a lightbulb, plan a tray,
and no matter how it search or how beseech
is pink as dusk (not dawn), the half-light of the day.

I try to make a joke of my decay
or say that busy-ness acts as the leech
that makes my mind feel like it’s lost its way,

but whole years seem as spent as last month’s pay,
lost in unmet dares to eat a peach
as pink as dusk (not dawn), the half-light of the day.

There is so much I think I still should say,
so press poor words like linens to heart’s breach,
but find my mind has somehow lost its way
as pink as dusk (not dawn), the half-light of the day.

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