Like a color bomb, an anti-winter weapon the wildflowers explode on the roadside. Oh winter, where is your sting? A fragile army overthrows death’s regime.
“Tell me your dream and I’ll tell you mine,” you said. I would but I can’t find words. Don’t you know dreams are flighty things, abstractions of yellow, red, green? They are made of substance and light or something like ink and moonshadows. Something spun together from/inspired by last Thursday’s Twitter poetry party, hosted by Tweetspeak Poetry! Wonderfully fun. Follow...
How It All Ends
She used to say she loved those TV movies about Jesus, but hated the crucifixion scene even though it was toned down in the grains of 1970s film, palatable to the eyes of those eating dinner in front of a flickering screen. This is us, now, knowing how it all ends, knowing in three days the lungs of God would reinflate. Knowing the ending, could I ever comprehend the blackness, ever...
First Last Snowfall
This March day is buried in winter’s last ragged breath and whitewashed bare trees, and I know you’ve probably seen enough after a long winter’s sloshing and shoveling. But to me it looks like magic.
Maybe it was Sigur Rós in the speakers or just a Monday frame of mind, seeking sanity in noise, But somehow I glimpsed a plastic Publix bag drifting on a breeze just long enough to see it billowing, suspended like a shot in some slow-moving indie film, or maybe more like a jellyfish propelling weightless. A faint wind whispers spring, makes even trash come alive.
Remember thou art dust. Remember love is alchemy. The only thing that can animate ashes.
We make a clumsy march, these machines gleaming in the winter sun, a line of old sedans, hulking SUVs, and dirt-crusted trucks. And the leader of our patched-up parade, long, stern, and black, plods on flanked by flashing lights. “There was a time when people pulled over,” Dad says, and on the two lane backroads they do. Work trucks, like beasts of burden and old beaters...
Tiffany Chapel: 1893
I. This sacred space feels so much bigger inside, and your “temple of art” really could be a place of worship. Because in every shard of mosaic every electrified crystal every bend of colored light I swear I could see straight to heaven through the painted eyes of the Virgin through the eyes of peacock feathers. II. All things fall into disrepair, withered grass and falling night. ...
“There’s a crack in your mug,” she said, noticing one single, sinuous hairline fracture etched from top to bottom, a drip of coffee running through the subtle curve, like a two lane country road darkened by the rain. But not even a drop leaked through. As I washed the mug and scrubbed the stain the crack disappeared. I trace its line, and wonder if it was ever there, ...
"Suadade" in Every Day Poems! →
I forgot to say so here, but my little poem “Suadade” was featured in Every Day Poems’ December 31st newsletter! Hooray! Follow the link to read it with pretty art and the title correctly spelled.
The Old & The New
A pair of New Year poems… drafted last year and cleaned up now. Happy 2013! Grace and peace to you in the coming year. 11:59 Sixty seconds of darkness. Hold it tight, feel time pulse like a tiny heartbeat. It smells of new mown grass, electric-singed wires, the smoke of fireworks, the air of concert halls. If it were the last sixty seconds before I followed the old year into the...
Advent V: Christmas Day
Father, give us Christ. Star Igniter, Crack our darkness. Send the rain to heal our deadness. Only you make dry bones rise, Dim the blinding lights that hide Our fear, until we’re still enough To feel the thaw of icy hearts. In stable and by starlight Overthrow our every expectation. Our world inverts Your kingdom comes.
Father, show us love. This violent world tears Hearts apart and Leaves us trembling in our shame. Like winter leaves afraid to fall We cling and sting in bitter wind. May you slip into our world, Swift and slight as drifting snow, Too fragile and helpless not to love. In heaven’s most audacious act Our cold suspicion Melts in spring.
Fog & Lights (haiku)
The night mist descends Blanketing a sleeping town, Grey painted by lights. Only in the fog Do street lights come alive and Warm us as we wait. Little contribution to haiku month at TS Poetry.
Father, teach us joy. The Christmas feeling Lost its meaning In flashing lights, electric dreaming. We race and chase and check a list Until the days are gone amiss. May you call us in our carols In our traffic, in our deadness And give our harried hearts the chance To feel the wonder once again Like waiting children With nothing to dread.
Advent I & II
I Father, grant us hope. The veil of darkness Thick around us Is within us, and without us. Our secret sins and sicknesses So mingled in our blood. May the smallest flicker of Your holiness come spark and light To keep us warm and One day burn our Hollow kingdoms all away. II Father, make us ready. This ground is fallow We have followed Crooked paths to vales of shadow The...
Gathering/Letting Go (NovPAD:20)
Behind on NovPAD prompts. Oh well. Tuesday the 20th’s written tonight. True story. In stillness, thoughts gather, running rivulets and raindrops. I have rushed too long, worried too much, slept too little. Tonight I gather them in words and one by one release them into the atmosphere.
Well this was fun. Day 18 calls for a glosa, a poetic form I never heard of, and a fun chance to riff on T.S. Eliot a bit. I did not consider how hard it is to find words that rhyme with children. Inspired by this and this. The Garden Go, said the bird, for the leaves were full of children, Hidden excitedly, containing laughter. Go, go, go, said the bird: human kind Cannot bear very...
Foreign Word (NovPAD:10)
Day 10’s prompt says to work in a foreign word. “Saudade” is a wonderful little Portuguese word with a lot of weight, sort of like “sensucht” but a little prettier to say. Also, this is a true story. Saudade Like ghosts become flesh for the first time we came to the land of the living tasted the bread sipped the wine spoke the language of belonging. In a tent on...
Response poem (NovPAD:8)
Day 8’s prompt was “talk back to a dead poet.” Mine is less like a rebuttal and more like “what, you too?” to one of my favorite poets. *** “Hope is the thing with feathers / that perches in the soul” ~ Emily Dickinson I know something of this little bird, how her voice whispers in a storm and warms the starless night, how her wings flutter, beat my heart when wonder...
The NovPAD prompts are really hard to wrap my head around this year… and rather than post a whole bunch of catch up, I’ll stick with today’s for now. Here’s an attempt at a “circular” poem. Flicker of an idea there. Time and the commuter life are all about circles anyway. Another morning burns bright through the curtains. Another sunrise, another drive,...
On NovPAD and Catching Up
November again? Yes indeed. It hit me yesterday afternoon that it’s a new month, I intended to participate in Writer’s Digest’s November Poem-a-Day challenge again, and I’m already two days behind. Hooray! So here we go. I can’t guarantee that I will post all the poems I write this month. (I reserve the right to withhold any that are self-diagnosed as terrible. :))...
Every shadow in the corner Forgotten by the daylight Where flecks of dust gather And hide in secret And every lengthening line That draws trees on the street On the opposite side of a horizon Going up in flames Holds in the weight of darkness Proof of light and presence
It Always Rains in Winter Garden
And a storm is never convenient So we run for the shelter of umbrellas And storefronts, or wait in warm cars, Wipers clearing the intrusion away. Summer storms come, fast and feral, A whorl of wind, lightning, racing clouds And just as fast, they scatter. But sometimes it’s not all darkness The clouds like damp wool blankets Wrung out, dripping over city streets. Sometimes it spills...
October Revisited →
Last year, I posted a work in progress called “October.” I finally tweaked it up and posted the final version at my main blog Divinest Sense. I kind of like it. Happy Autumn!
The Ashes of Citizen's Blvd.
(August 2012) “This town’s so strange, they built it to change / And while we sleep we know the streets get rearranged…” ~ Arcade Fire, “Suburban War” They’re tearing the old bank down — The glass and concrete walkway The sun-faded mosaic murals. Daily, they’re hosing down The graying dust of progress. Since I was a child, it stood, Two buildings joined by a Clear skyward road Where...
The August challenge at TweetSpeak Poetry is rain/water-themed book spine poetry. Chris got all rebellious and made a CD spine poem. I took the rebellion into my vinyl collection. :) Super fun! Also: Bon Iver = French for “good winter.” I feel so clever and stuff. *** When the reckoning comes, And things burst apart, Sigh no more, outsiders, Over hospice, the sprawl, And fake...
Absence (another cento)
We perceive perhaps A single percent Of all that exists (say the physicists) The rest is A hungering absence Terror and great darkness Un-sensable 99%. Could it be you’re in the darkness too? Not just in The flame of sunsetting Or my hot blood’s pulsing Or storm clouds unrolling As the sky...
See how she glimmers, The girl with 13 necklaces. Their stares pass through her As she leaps and spins, Too alive to break Under the beautiful Shifting weight Of the world. She’s a rainstorm of beads And pomegranate glass seeds, From another place where Painted daisies Shake the dust from The clack and clatter Of the daily. *** Giving one of Tweetspeak Poetry’s monthly challenges a try… July...
The Lilac Wood
“The unicorn lived in a lilac wood, and she lived all alone.” Some say only a virgin soul Undulled by the world and The unbearable weight of naming things Will see cloven prints In the fallen snow. An old mare shakes her head. Is she one of them instead? “Go down to the edge of the wood,” She said. “Go breathe the ancient, wild peace. Go hear the whirring beat Of a thousand...
Evening Dance (Harmonie du Soir)
After Baudelaire We met where time stills, vibrant before dusk In the place where flowers evaporate incense. A humid perfume settles the evening air Like a vestment of song, mournful and soft. In the place where flowers evaporate incense, And a violin plays a melody for only us, Like a vestment of song, mournful and soft The sky, sad and beautiful, is our roof above. And a violin plays a...
Some Lenten Leftovers
Was going through my notebook and found a few little things I wrote during Lent, around the same time as Behold and The Road. And wouldn’t you know, I actually like them better a few months later? So here they are, basically as I scribbled them down. *** Abram Terror and great darkness Are all I face in the night The absence of a promise, Broken hopes and doubt Suffocate. Could it be you’re...
Don’t mind the dust that Dulls your clothes. It is the color of grace. Red clay and gray cloud Settles in the fibers And smears your face. But all will be made clean. The servant comes And washes your feet With purest water and heaven’s tears.
She learned to love the silence In the spaces Between words And in the darkness charged With electric white noise Burning down the wires On a stormy summer night. She learned to read the silence Then hum it Into song. In the holy, lonely Space of it Till every atom Quivers with melody. (6.21.12) *** (Monday night, I participated for the first time in a Twitter poetry party hosted by...
Bradbury wouldn’t have made it today as a writer in New York; he was too rough,...– theparisreview’s associate editor Stephen Andrew Hiltner’s tribute to Ray Bradbury (via alissawilkinson) Beautifully said.
The Things You Fear the Most
“Start with your childhood, I tell them. Plug your nose and jump in, and write down all your memories as truthfully as you can. Flannery O’ Connor said that anyone who has survived childhood has enough material to write for the rest of his or her life.” — Anne Lamott If you want to write you must First go back to childhood. Find that time you fell, Or woke to dreams of...
If you want to identify me, ask me not where I live, or what I like to eat, or...– Thomas Merton (via herewecollide) I know I reblog this place too much, but I just love these posts too much…)
An orchestra tunes outside my window Then serenades unstopping Sundown to dawnrising. But the crickets’ summer song Is only heard in stillness. One move, one breath Is enough to drown it out Though the air is thick Heavy and humid With it. Oh where do you go Come the day? What stills your song? What moonbright magic Wakes you in the dark? Or are you always there And I am too in motion to...
I like to imagine that the world is one big machine. You know, machines never...– Brian Selznick, The Invention of Hugo Cabret (via herewecollide)
A Challenge Poem (WPP:170)
(Response to last week’s Wednesday Poetry Prompt… a “challenge” poem. Wasn’t sure I liked it, but looking at it a few days later, I kind of dig the last stanza.) Commuter Hymn Sometimes morning comes too early. The first half is always hardest Between construction-ripped highways And traffic draining the precious Almost-4-dollars-a-gallon gas. Most days, I’d...
The next day he saw Jesus coming to him and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! This is he on behalf of whom I said, ‘After me comes a man who has a higher rank than I, for he existed before me.’” ~ John 1: 29-30 Climbing crags in parching wilderness, Skin raw and stomach gnawing. What did you see beyond those rocks? Mirage or ghost Or a...
Never (co-written with Joshua Blount) There has...
I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making...– (Neil Gaiman again. This has nothing and everything to do with a poetry blog)
Advent Prayer (a work in progress)
(And one more…. Since last year, I’ve had an idea for an Advent poem in the works. I’ve written and rewritten pieces over and over, still figuring out what the poem wants to say and if it should be one long piece or several shorter ones. The first verse is the closest thing to complete, and my friend Josh actually read it at our church’s Christmas Eve service this year. ...