Day 18 - 30 Poems in 30 Days


The last time you didn’t listen to me
I was talking about the river
and that old sycamore tree.
How all winter I offer
prayer-ties to this touchstone
while she guards the dark water.

It is spring now, I feel her stir,
draw up from root, to limb, to branch
the assurance of another leafing season.
No direction, instruction, distraction,
no “I’m too busy” – just her
gentle patience in soft morning light.

But you weren’t listening
off on some quiet journey of your own.
Preoccupied with mail, coffee,
the evening news.
Wandering the caverns of
the empty work pages of life.

What I wanted to say was
I’m still here, that I long to plough  
that deep unnamed place
from which my sap still rises, flows,
my skin still sheds and
my hands still bud with poems.

Day 17 - 30 Poems in 30 Days

Draft #1 - I used the prompt to write a poem in which you very specifically describe something in terms of at least three of the five senses and an older prompt from Sacred Way Poets Workshop - Write a poem using all three of these – “dancing, a pitch-black room, and the smell of lilacs”  

Drawn From The Smell of Lilacs

This pitch-black room is darker than that cave
deep under an eastern meadow,
which holds the dull fecal scent of decay
mixed with full nostril odor of old damp earth.

Where 23 years ago I brought my children,
their glossy checks, straw-strewn hair,
worn scuffed shoes, and torn play clothes,
their hesitant eyes which grew
round and large when all light left.

My daughters smooth hands, now far away,
red and chapped from years of dishwater,
bound by the rings of their days,
their soiled cuticles, dark from
tunneling their own lives.

I am drawn again to the darkness
unknown above ground,
the lure of a flowing stream
which sings an old amniotic lullaby
I can almost remember.

Still, even without light,
I somersault at noon,
swallow the salt of gone years,
bless the days still left for me,
dance to the rhythm of lilacs.

Day 16 - 30 Poems in 30 Days

How Will You Remember Me

I don’t want to be a memorial bridge,
just a name for a passage over water.

Not white cross beside the road,
a reminder that someone died.

I wish to be a poem
that someone memorizes, or

creases carefully
to carry in their pocket.