May 4 – The promise of sun

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It’s wonderful that when one gets into a habit, say writing a poem a day for a month, that habit is more or less ingrained.  Just one day out of April and I missed my poetry group intensely, missed the overflowing mailbox of poems! Missed the opportunity to share whatever strong poem or drivel I managed to design.  So I’m trying to keep up the habit, especially since I know it will make me a better writer.

I heard somewhere (at a lecture I think) that William Stafford woke up everyday, early, and sat down to write without fail.  Every day. I wonder if some days he wrote nothing but lists, like I do!

The weather, temporarily has improved. Sun and 80’s – which is unusual in the PNW this time of year.  The garden plants, which have been steady in growth, practically leapt out of their roots yesterday. Nonetheless I’m glad we don’t have perfect days all the time.

May 4

The trees stand sentinel to spring
while wafting on the sudden warmth
lilacs mist the air with scent of purple.
If all the days were this
We’d surely come inurned,
turn Eden’s bower into the devil’s den.
It’s really best that rain’s deep gloom
descends upon us regular as the night,
so we can cherish each sun dripped day
each golden breath of spring’s bouquet.

 

Linda

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May 1 – Back to Normal

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Or maybe not. NaPo/GloPoWriMo is over and already I miss the opportunity to share poetry with my small circle of fellow poets. But as this was May 1, I had opportunity to engage in the poetry of dance as I and fellow traditional dance enthusiasts (aka Morris dancers) danced up the sun in a local park, watching dawn break over the mountain. It’s an age old tradition begun in England and I would guess there are cultures everywhere that have kept watch as the sun marked a time when the days would grow warmer and crops would burgeon.  You can find out more about morris dancing here.

Some pictures from my morning:

I guess this sort of a panoply post.  An assortment of things.  Pictures as above, poetry, and a normal sort of photo to share on Hat Attack.  There’s creativity and passion in all sorts of activities. Some perhaps not so ordinary.

May 1

When Mayday comes to my town
the lilacs are near to bloom
the grass has glistening tendencies
dew spangles and sings on the blades.

When the dawn comes to my sky
the clouds may part briefly,
the sun reflects some atmospheric dust
red flares, fleeting, spread into a blushing aura.

When people come to the heights
they may sit on the grass
or huddle in bright masses stomping the cold
wishing it away with ribbons and bells.

Singing the sun awake
Dancing the dawn of summer.

 

‘Til next time,

April 30 –

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I have somewhat followed the NaPo prompt to write about a recurring event.
Well May 1 comes every year (so far!) but more to the point, my dance group Renegade Rose dances up the sun with other like minded morris dancers in a decades if not centuries long tradition. We will be at a local high elevation point tomorrow at 5:45 am and dancing most of the day. This poem is related to both the return of “summer” — in the British tradition summer begins May 1, and gathering to keep that promise of tradition alive.

April 30, 2017
I am in a fractured mood
the sun, finally the sun, breaks into spring.
I count the blessings there, turn
to face the mounting afternoon.
I’m setting the groundwork for tomorrow
when May sun coils to bring us
warmer days and better weather.

The queen of May wants pressed shirts,
wants protein and ice cream for breakfast
wants coffee and a nip of brandy to be sure Cold
will keep his distance. But it is April
yet, when spring promises have been broken
in hail and rain and sporting wind.

It comes round every year. We regale ourselves
with last year’s recollect. Remember to
look at the dim ground when we rise
the ground that is indeed split, green, open,
the lilacs that finally have broken bud.
The queen of May wants
for nothing.

April 29 – Move

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time is moving. And April nearly done. Here’s the poem for today.

April 29, 2017
All my words tonight
My little chicks of clicks and syllables
they are covening in the coop I guess
not coming out to greet me.

I’ve spent the day in dance
not troubling with poems inimitable
the 4/4 metering of steps drove out
whatever lovely murmurings slid in.

Til the 11th hour
when steps and sound became compellable.
To wrap my arms and ears around
The graceful lingering of energy.

In movement or in words
the capture of an elegy.

April 28 – Futility

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I had an idea for a poem when I awoke, about walls. But I lost most of it. Then I thought I would use the NaPo prompt of the day = http://www.napowrimo.net/ for day 28.  I don’t think I really succeeded with either the walls theme or the prompt but it was fun.

April 28 Futility

The history of walls
Whether short or tall
Is clearly apparent
in the bricks resplendent
crumbled on the ground
neither lost nor found.
Once they had astounded
possibly confounded
perhaps even surrounded
a castle or a country
til stone or brick grew spongy
with lichen, moss and sundry
that caused the wall to yield
to times unending steal.

 

LInda 28 April

April 27 – From today’s prompt: First come, first served

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NaPo prompt was to explore taste. Although I had expected to write a poem of found words and phrases gleaned from my bus ride, this is what happened instead.

April 27  First come, first served.

Holding a bite between my teeth
sweet’s not the first thing that comes
Flesh that tastes earthy, like venison
supple, like lemon curd.

If the skin punctures a bit
allows my tongue to penetrate
the peel, graze the outer pith
the bitterness of yielded time

May infiltrate the breach,
further the juices of delight
past lips, past throat
a nip of  honeyed prime.

I will devour you indelicate
snack the source of my cravings
the source of my bottomless lust.

 

April is drawing to a close, NaPoWriMo is screeching toward the exit.  It’s been a wild ride as usual.

L

April 26 – a found conversation

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I taught tonight and what with getting ready and riding my bike home, fatigue is getting the best of me and I haven’t focused quite as much on my wordsmithing.  That said, for some reason people love to talk to me and I pick up quite a few interesting conversations while I’m commuting on the streetcar. This tends not to happen on the bus so there might be something about streetcar passengers.  Typically these conversations are more one sided than really conversational.

So tonight’s poem is taken from one of those recent conversations.

 The contents of our conversation

Just bought a bike off

of my buddy. Five bucks

good price eh. It might

of been stolen, don’t care

though, if it was stolen or not,

cuz I mean 5 bucks. And anyway

I probably’ll lose it, I’m

always losing all kinds of

shit. I’ll just put it down

and forget about it. Like I

can’t remember where

I put anything, my driver’s license

money, blocked out.

I can just buy another

one if I do, if I need it to get

somewhere. I can’t drink but if

I’ve had a sip of beer, I like

I black out or something

start losing shit. That happens

a lot. It doesn’t

matter – got no family even

if I did it wouldn’t matter.

It’s just all up to me whether I do

or don’t.

That’s a nice bike you’ve got.

April 25: Shelter

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Following the NaPo prompt today which I haven’t in quite awhile. I actually wrote two poems. The first is indeed using the prompt:

April 25 –  Shelter (a small poem)

That closet was my first love where I could hide
Sharing did not permit what I desired

Even when we moved to bigger digs
the family just pressed too close to my skin

Sized just for me, pillow on the floor
Light for reading, shelves for books.

One other time I lived in a closet
Not with the first love, no but with the best

Space adequate for two, a double bed
Shared room enough for what I desired

Put me in a tiny house, a Roma caravan
Close enough to touch, far enough to roam.

This second is the work still needing work! A newspaper clip on a lost fugitive (24, as old as my son) whose remains were found on a trail I frequent was the push for this one.

Stumbling on my own remains,

What the hell am I doing here
three miles on the Dry Creek Trail
do I even know that?
Wait, that’s right, I stole a car
tailed by the cops, yeah I remember
It was cold and snowy
they tailed me to a creek, man that water
rushed high.

It wasn’t the first car I stole
no, not the second neither always
looking for the joy in a ride,
big trucks get stuck too, stuck
in the drifts. I saw the cabins
when my footsteps stopped at the creek
Rock jumping has always been a
mine, I just kept going they
kept coming til they didn’t. Could’ve
stopped. Didn’t.

Man am I cold. Those damn trees are
everywhere, not like where I’m from,
take me back
there will you. I haven’t had anything to
eat for days and the snow is too damn cold.
My bed too, hell even the jail
bed was softer than this. Hey I think I
see my mom. Hey mom. HEY MOM. Or was it
my dad, damn him.  But she’s dead. Dead.
Mom bailed me out of jail once. Maybe that’s why she’s
here.

I think I’ll just lie down a minute. Mom, can
you wake me after ten. Then we can walk
down
together.

 

NaPoWriMo is almost done! What will I do with all this free time!
L

April 24 – Changing it up

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One of the things I like to do in this poetry month is to take a poem I like (or maybe one I don’t like so well) and change it up. It doesn’t have to be one of my poems — it can be a stranger’s poem or someone from my poetry group.  The point is to take the concept as a jumping off point. I sometimes also use the language the other writer has used but not always.

Today I was working on a poem based on this snippet from a writer in my poet’s group.

Instead of
closing like an ocean shell
hiding that germ of criticism inside
cutting you off
defending myself of not being perfect
feeling misunderstood
blaming you of insensitivity

And began to explore the shell metaphor more thoroughly:

She was a clam shell
or a snail shell, a turtle drawn into itself.
No, an oyster, the germ of reproach
deep inside, an irritant no doubt,
a worry. Something to stew about.

This was the comfort place
painful as it was, it could be defended
closed off. Someone else to blame.
The nacreous shell concealing
the pithy truth congealing.

I’m still working this up but have enjoyed the process thus far.

The NaPo prompt was to write an ekphrasis — that is, a poem inspired by a work of art. I didn’t do that yet, but depending on the prompt for tomorrow, I may go back in time and pick this up instead.

til tomorrow,

 

April 23 – Looking the end in the eye

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NaPoWriMo is three weeks old but it’s end is looking me squarely in the eye. One more week of poetry, one more week of sharing the end result of patience (or impatience, whatever I might be feeling to get another poem out the door.)

I took the NaPo prompt from yesterday a georgic. The original georgic poem was written by Virgil, and while it was ostensibly a practical and instructional guide regarding agricultural concerns….  It is definitely one of my least fully formed poems of these past weeks… there are good nuggets, maybe too many of them spread them (gravel?).  Maybe it’s two poems in here.  So for today, April 23, here it is

 

April 23: How to grow a star

 Be mindful of the earth wherepon you place a step.
The ladder goes here, you are set to harvest
some brilliant thing from the sky, souls of
your children, souls of your parents returned
to the luminous heavens.
You have earned the right to climb
to where you’ve been before, before the light
claimed the seed. The pip has been planted,
the fruiting body present but lacking,
an essential element absent. You are set
to reap, too soon.
Psyche was too mortal, in love with the
winged Cupid. The breath of love conjoined
borne to meet the unknown,
borne to some rebirth.
Three trials she must undertake,
three trials to break betrayal.
Passion giving way to trust.
Trust giving way to tenderness
The wedding night is set, time to reap.