Day 9 - 30 Poems in 20 Days

Sorrow’s Room

So here I am again, in this old room of grief
cluttered with teacups, creased and tinted photographs,
lace-edged handkerchiefs, stories so faded my children
can’t hear how they sing in the corners,
can’t remember who said what.

I thumb the lives I walked beside,
the ones who bounced me on firm knees,
kissed my cuts and bruises, my cheek, my forehead,
my always anxious lips. My mother’s son, and mine,
that left before we saw their faces.

I need hip-boots to slosh the flood of tears gathered
in tissues, pillow cases, quilts, on the shoulders of
friends and strangers.  I come raw again into this chamber
sob for what I did or didn’t say, for who I did or didn’t touch,
for the unanswered letter tucked deep in the drawer.

Day 8 - 30 Poems in 30 Days

Frying Pan Poetry

A universe of adjectives waits for the verbs of passion,
forgiveness, solidarity, living and lust – words that twist themselves
over dark highways, through the green vines of dusk,
into the cluttered bedrooms and dens of living.
Lexicons that spiral into a torrent, scatter themselves upon animals,
the thin skin of the dying and the newborn,

the fragile bones of the forgotten, the full lips of longing,
the altars of what we can’t forget, the hastened prayers
let loose in the torture of desire, the whiskey tinge of need.
All these come and go, hop a boxcar bound for tomorrow’s promise.
Patient as spring daffodils, urgent as labor they ready themselves
to jump into the frying pan of poetry

Somewhere there is a poet - deep in the margins of life
who wades morning and midnight, wears a shawl of uncertainty
lunges toward the yellow paper that waits like a hungry animal,
like ice cream, watermelon, chocolate, soup beans and lard-fried potatoes.
A page to be consumed by the ink of life that scrawls the past and present
as it scratches for a way toward tomorrow, toward an unwritten bible.  

Day 7 - 30 Poems in 30 Days

Dark Chocolate
Languid as midnight
it curls against my tongue
to hum a lullaby
in the perfect-pitch voice I wish I had.

To ooze down the throat
softer than butterscotch,
quieter than a tulip bloom,
easier than my lover’s name.

It washes through
all unnamed losses
to rest as velvet
in my palm.

To cull the hours spent
in useless  dusting, eating, sleeping.
Oh, sweet love
Come let me taste you once again.

Day 6 - 30 Poems in 30 Days

Which Way Do You Drive Home
All day I drive
past silent churches,
spring green streams,
along forsythia edged roads
the car rolls up and over miles
of curves and narrow drives.

Sometimes I ride the brake
or gun the throttle
pass cars, long-haired sleepy dogs,
a truck piled steep with turkey crates
where sorry faces hang
like lost directions.

Feathers, fleeting like your face
behind an April evening,
wash the highway.
The sky, blue as your eyes,
empty as your presence
next to me.

Eight hundred thirty-seven miles
I drive – mostly north but sometimes
east and west, watch the rear-view mirror,
ponder where morning will find us.
Wonder why I can’t remember

Day 5 - 30 Poems in 30 Days

Day Five of 30 poems in 30 days – NaPoWriMo Assignment - write a “golden shovel.” This form was invented by Terrance Hayes in his poem, The Golden Shovel. The last word of each line of Hayes’ poem is a word from Gwendolyn Brooks’ poem We Real Cool. You can read Brooks’ poem by reading the last word of each line of Hayes’ poem!

I chose the poem Dust of Snow by Robert Frost.  I know the language is archaic but it’s a start that I may work on later (after I’ve caught up on my 30 in 30 poems).

Dust of the Crow (After Robert Frost – Dust of Snow)

Perched high and solitary in the
Pines which lined the way
To evening shadows where a
Caw could claim the crow
Then here the evening shook
And dusk began to drift down
As travelers hurried on

A mite of dust fell straight on me
From under the blue-black wing of the
Winged-one, higher than the dust
And mourning doves where something of
Memory like November snow
That whistled silently from
Another day white with a
Ghost of the dark green hemlock
As I stood firm against that tree

For years this land has
Harbored corvus, given
Graciously everything my
Days could do to fill this heart
And offered more than a
Momentary fleeting change
The Spring pleasure of
Coltsfoots yellow mood
Of service bloom and
Shinny bobbles I have saved
To leave as gifts for some
Crow to gather, then leave and part
To fly and claim another way of
Giving this and that to a
Familiar stranger in the day
To others who feel, like I
That his song and wing had
Chased away all sorrows we rued.

Day 4 - 30 Poems in 30 Days

NaPoWriMo – Day 4 - write a lune. A lune is a sort of English-language variation on the haiku, meant to better render the tone of the Japanese haiku than the standard 5-7-5 format we all learned (and maybe loved) in elementary school. There are a couple of variants on the lune form, but just to keep things simple, let’s try the version developed by Jack Collum. His version of the lune involves a three-line stanza. The first line has three words. The second line has five, and the third line has three.

April 7 - Lune


Morning comes again

the sun is always out

we must look.

Day 3 - 30 Poems in 30 Days

Charm Against the Freeze

Eighty gallons of regular gas;

Potato chips to break your fast;

A map upon the passenger seat;

All the speed limits you can beat.


Six whole states;

No problem to make;

Just eight more hours;

Till everything flowers.

Day 2 - 30 Poems in 30 Days

The Grace of Animals

I want what is acceptable for dogs,
to curl up beside the sick and dying,
to lean into another knowledge,
provide a place for someone‘s hand
when anything else falls short for comfort.

Children have that.
Remember how they lay for days
in the golden hay of old stalls.
While their four-footed friends
drift between them and death.

Remember the shoe-box
ceremonies for birds and kittens,
fish and gerbils.  The unspoken
heart-hurts and songs
given to the end of day.

The language of animals and children
begins and ends with touch,
a drawing near, a wordlessness
where everything is said
simple and easy – like the breath of God.

Day 1 - 30 poems in 30 Days

Just a start - will edit after this “rests” for a while – the writing prompt was:
“Don’t count on Lot’s wife
her salty
kiss only brings
tears …”

Le Poisson d’Avril

What the salty kiss brings
cannot be reduced to words
or images.

It stays beneath the tongue for years,
through mornings and evenings,
even at noon when we are alone.

Its shadow dwells in sunny corners,
beneath the accusation of silent quilts
under our neatly made beds.

The saline kiss lingers
in the dust where we return,
in the sand that is part of us.

It hovers inside our dark hair,
gnaws at the marrow of tomorrow,
courses like tears of blood.

Its backward glance
hovers close to our lips,
close to our death.