Wednesday, May 28, 2014

When the Quiet Sets In (x3)

I wait
          breath held
for something

but nothing comes.

I cannot handle
                   the silence;

it eats away at my lungs

Words refuse
                      to find purchase
constantly met with
...............................dead air.


Friday, May 23, 2014

The Card I Bought Myself

Maybe it was the fact that it was purple
         not my favorite color, but
         my favorite word or rather
         my favorite answer to any question

Maybe it was the delicate paper-cut butterflies
         adorning the front ready for flight
         proof metamorphosis is possible
         that there's still time (for me) to transform

Maybe it was the button "Pres here"
         igniting a set of pulsating lights
         soft as a dozen sighs awakening
         the breath caught like a vice within me

It wasn't the saying on the front, as sweet as it is
         "Sweet moments
                 Simple pleasures"
          nor the one within
                "Hope today is just right for
                 wonderful you."
           neither really fit, not at the particular moment

                Maybe.... was simply to keep the tears from pouring
         thwarting the threatening storm brewing as
         day by day the mailbox held only empty
                                                'til finally
         "the" day more than half gone
         I opened my first birthday card


Wednesday, May 14, 2014

A Tale of Love (and Woe) – Lovers' Song #7

Princess #7

Knight #7

A note on form:  The above form has little (or sporadic) history.  Part of a long line of ancient Japanese forms from which come the sedōka, choka, and tanka is the katauta.  Depending on the source this poem (also known as a half-poem or half-song), is either 17 (5 / 7 / 5) or 19 (5 / 7 / 7) syllables long.  The feeling I get is that this form is meant to be one half of a conversation...perhaps two lovers conversing back and forth.  There is also note of this form consisting of a question-and-answer feel; the first poem posing the question, while the second poem answers it. 

About this series:  This series is a branch-off of a ten act ballad called A Tale of Love and Woe.  All odd numbered installations are initiated by the "princess" with a response from the "knight."  In each of these, the princess follows the 17 syllable pattern to which the knight replies in kind. All even numbered installations are initiated by the "knight" with a response from the "princess."  In each of these, the knight follows the 19 syllable pattern to which the princess replies in kind. 

Monday, May 12, 2014

Wishing Spring

dandelions clutter lush lawns,
like white bubbling foam floating on vast green seas
the wind will soon wave away.

An aside:  This is a follow up - of sorts - to Celebrating Spring.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

(Tree) Grounded on the Breeze

Memories course within
veins buried deep beneath
the earth's lush surface
stowing mistakes
providing strength

Emotions sway along
nerve-endings stirred by
the wind's brazen graze
stealing fears
rustling hopes

Inspiration for this piece and Behind the image:  Recently at dVerse Poets Pub, the topic of conversation has been about trees.  So, after reading several pieces about trees, it is no wonder that trees have been on my mind.  So much so that I could not help but dig up a work the picture and words of a former student.  It has been over 10 years since I had this student in my classroom, but I have always held on to this piece...tucking it away safely and carrying it with me as I moved around from one building to another.  What first drew me to this was the art...mainly 'cause I can't draw to save my life.  The second was the words he had written along side the drawing.  While most things did not necessarily come easily to him (particularly the subject I taught), he could draw as only I could ever wish to.  hmm...I think I've gotten a bit off track; not really unusual for me.  Anyway...this piece builds from his particular, "memories" and "emotions."  The roots we bury and the limbs we allow to sway.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Sleepwalking through Life

I wear my weight
like a security blanket
wrap myself snugly in its folds
allowing it to conceal me from the world at large
so focused on the fabric's aesthetics
uncovering what lies beneath is unfathomable.

I wear my weight
like a security blanket
loose myself in the mounds and valleys
hoping it might protect me from the world that surrounds
so scared the concealed material
will be found wanting (/unwanted).

I wear my weight
like a security blanket
encasing myself and fears in its ample contours
believing it will shield me from facing the world as me
so certain the fears buried within these fibers
speak a truth I don't know how to contend with.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Kept (Stuffed & Real) Animals

Beware the company you keep,
it speaks volumes (even in silence).

On all fours, fingers cling
unwilling to let go of hares ears
regardless of how it slows progress

On wobbly first steps, one arm stays tucked
securing the freshly washed hare in place
headless of how it thwarts balance.

Through tantrum tears, fists clench
'round ratty old rabbit ears
unaware how easily fabric rips.

Through first-day-of-school tears, a promise
swims through crystal clear water
unbelievable how easily friendship surfaces.

At first signs of puppy love, words bubble
aimed at a golden, fishy friend
not knowing how quickly feelings swim away.

At first signs of teenage angst, taunts stir
the waters blurring the boundaries of friendship
not realizing how quickly fish fade out-of-water.

Behind dorm room doors, nerves quake
caging outgoing nature like the glass-bound lizard
uncertain how to climb out into the world.

Behind newly mortgaged doors, loneliness multiplies
like each of the lizards in their own cage (together, but alone)
unsure how to reach out beyond the glass.

On life's last legs, former internal regulators
need external assistance like the cold-blooded friends long gone
crazy how comforting their silence always was.

Beware the company you keep,
it speaks volumes (even in silence).

A note on form:  In continuation of my exploration of forms created by the poets of dVerse Poets Pub, I tested the water of Mary Kling's form called, "circular time poem."  The basis of the form follows:  "The most important thing is to begin and end with the same two-line stanza.  The second most important thing is to write about something in a time progression."  While she did not provide any guidelines for the length of the stanzas in between (those following a "time progress"), I followed suit and went with three lines per stanza.  Her example also incorporated a line of repetition along with some additional pattering among the lines; since not mentioned as a guideline, I did deviate from this, though I did try to embedded some links between the center stanzas.  (In case you are wondering, my "something" was technically pets; I'm not sure a stuffed animal counts, but....)

An aside:  Honestly, I'm not sure how easy this piece is to follow outside of my own mind.  Several (or more than several) of the stanzas are a bit...I'm not sure the right word...obtuse, opaque, abstruse, ambiguous...apparently I like words that begin with vowels.  Leave it to me to take a very simple form and distort it.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Celebrating Spring

dandelions litter roadsides, 
like yellow sprinkles on green icing
the mower will soon lick away.