Tag Archive | verse

Not All Days Are Today

Each goes to our own corners,

This welcome May-warm April Sunday.

My husband claims the bed,

Supine, hands crossed over belly,

Feet crossed at ankles,

A double helix at rest.

The old, skinny cat

A circle in his heated bed.

No day too warm for his frail bones,

Head resting on a catnip mouse almost

As old and skinny as himself.

I take to the couch,

Stretched into a stick

Under the window beneath the sumac,

Listening to a house sparrow whistle

Without lips.

The day shapes itself into and around us,

Resting with us into the afternoon.

Villanelle For The Black Dog (First Draft)

weepingbuddha

 

You will go through each motion, one by one,

As gentle night gives up to brutal day.

And repeat, “I’ll live.” As you’ve always done.

 

Pull the cord of the blinds, turn your back to the sun,

Step into the shower, dissolve in the spray.

You will go through each motion, one by one.

 

“Get over yourself; go have some fun.

Can’t be depressed with a smile!” silly optimists say.

Just repeat, “I’ll live.” As you’ve always done.

 

It’s not like you’re out buying pills or a gun.

You’ve never been one to make a display.

You still go through each motion, one by one.

 

You’ve been here before, and at least you’ve begun,

Studied the lines, know the acts of the play:

Just repeat, “I’ll live.” As you’ve always done.

 

Yes, you’ll go through each motion, one by one

And repeat, “I’ll live.” As you’ve always done.

NaPoWriMo: Too late, too late; no time, no time!!

Sunday. Isn’t that supposed to be a day of rest? Apparently not for a Jewish-Taoist because I was running most of the day. For good purpose. My late afternoon QiGong class was attended by lovely people who needed the unwinding at the end of the day: a woman who works with dementia patients; another who is caregiver to a dying husband. So, I return fulfilled but with no time to write. At least not a full poem. So instead, I give you a fragment, a beginning of a poem that I hope to continue later.

Awake, shutter slats become a counting game;

A shadowbox of light now frames

Silhouettes of clutter on a dresser top:

Isis statue, cufflink, single sock.

 

That’s all folks. Rough draft of a partial poem. Second line is not what I wrote in my head last night while awake so I’ll have to try to dredge the better line back out.

As a sop bonus, the beginning of “The Ballad of Me and Mike”

It was quiet in the coffeeshop when the man came in the door:

Unimpressive figure with his eyes fixed on the floor.

Mike and I were transfixed by a Vogue ad Laboutine.

“If he could just be shot,”  Mike frowned, “I think it would be grand.”

“I doubt such luck for fashion.” Said I, turning to page four.

 

NaPoWriMo Day 5: Backpedaling

After sa317px-George_Romney_-_Anger,_Envy,_and_Fear_-_Google_Art_Projectying I didn’t think I’d 8979o–excuse me; cat on keyboard–use many of the daily prompts, I’m going back to one from an earlier day: writing a spell or incantation.  People always have said I’m a bit witchy–I think that was the word they used–so surely this is appropriate.  Onto my spell.

 

 

An Enchantment Against Fear

Bring me seven rabid bats,

Ashes from old ladies’ hats.

Add one car with missing brakes

And venom from two Mambo snakes.

Season with a poison toad

And pinch of darkened country road.

Make paste of all I fear the most;

Slather it with jam on toast.

Eat while reading ex’s letter.

If toast is burned–even better.

NaPoWriMo Day 3: A Descent Into Silly

IMG_0086Back to my original plan of dabbling in forms, rhymes, rhythms, poetics.

While an appreciator of limericks, I–quite simply–suck at them. I can never get the saucy air, the lilt that carries the reader along line to line hanging off the side of the horse, as it were. But I need to write one so let’s see what nastiness ensues. Since this blog is generally dealing with meditation, Qi, Taoist themes, I’m going for a very nonliteral Buddhist limerick.

 

There once was a young monk from Jaipur

With robes such bright orange you would die for.

        But they needed a clean

        And while in the machine

Turned so pink, he was now just an eyesore.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

“The time has come, the walrus said…”

Public Domain Reprint

Public Domain Reprint

Eve of NaPoWriMo. Poetry exercises done: 0. Ah, yes, the cruelest month, indeed.

My favorite book on writing poetry came from an unexpected source. I’ve been a fan of Stephen Fry since he and Hugh Laurie did their sketch comedy show on BBC and can’t read P.G. Wodehouse without his voice as Jeeves. But when I picked up a book called “The Ode Less Traveled,” I wasn’t linking the author’s name with either of those. Stephen Fry. Yes, it sounded a tad familiar but…Well, gosh dang it (as Rich Hall might say on QI, the Stephen Fry quiz show that I’m so hooked on as to not accomplish anything in my break time), the author is indeed that Stephen Fry. And I can hear his voice once again on every page.

“Ode” is not just a book about poetry or writing poetry but an exhortation to write poetry and play with poetic form–with “poetics,” in fact, the figures of speech, rhymes, rhythms. His exercises prod you to just put words on paper: but words in order, words that may rhyme or not, words that fit into the gallop of tetrameter or the Victorian flow of pentameter. And if they’re junk, well, so what. They’re your junk.

So…in that spirit. A short bit of iambic pentameter to prepare for April 1 and “a poem a day.”

The practice must begin with lines of stress

Pentameter must come before the rhyme

Let beats of rhythm pound within the breast

The planning out to come before the crime.