contemplation 3

and had my soul chosen another body—
say, some minor medieval queen
who could hide volumes of overindulgence

beneath the armor of silky wool gown
or high headdress, who could stand
in stone tower, warm enough, overlooking sun-
swept river strewn pink with bloom

without sneezing at birch pollen—
it could therefore have fresh cherries
to tongue’s and heart’s content

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A fluffy little fantasy inspired by recently discovered allergies plus Hafiz, “Maybe One Like a Water Buffalo,” translated by Daniel Ladinsky.

“Your soul could have chosen a different kind
of body…”

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Der Urselbach

The forest path leads slantwise to the mill
through ancient pines thin-clinging to the hill,
and once a village throve here by the stream
that turned the wheel; thus for a time life teemed
with shouts and laughter, work and loves—now still.

Those lives long gone, what purpose did they fill?
Their words are lost, just tracings of their skills
remain. So life will pass for me, a dream
of forest path slow-winding past the mill

where water, just like time, unhindered spills.
Yet past its spilling, hear a distant trill
of bird, or dog-bark. See the sun’s late gleam
as beauty; worry less on how things seem
or what they mean. Another breath: distill
this forest path far-winding past the mill.

 

A rondeau for Yeah Write’s May poetry slam. 

Choices

Like a mythic island
rising from the mist
for just one moment
on waking I saw
the stone high towers
of a castle, my tall window
framing that heart-familiar view
before mystic shapes resolved
into these quotidian
dawn-lit trees

 

Making this little poem claim to work hard for Day 24. NaPoWriMo prompt: mix and match high-flown and mundane language;  Poetic Asides prompt: lost and found.

How to Ruin Your Feet as a London Tourist

Because it would be uncool
to wear the happy shoes—tennies
with a dress—you go for the red.
They’re German, surely made
for walking. You’ve trod the cobbles
uphill and down, but this endless maze
of pavements, well. Short glory of grass
in gardens, a cool fountain longing
but tick tock: castles, galleries galore
museums, shopping, the M&M store.
By the time the big red bus drops you
who knows where, your feet are gone
and dreaming of green hills at Dover
how the Romans built all those roads
in sandals, the sea at the bottom
of every white cliff

 

NaPoWriMo prompt for Day 19 is a “how-to” poem. Poetic Asides asks for a cool or uncool poem.

At My Age, Part 2

I’m hiding in myself
passionless and wondering
if there was ever only a finite amount
filled at birth, topped up at adolescence
and I merely burned it too fast
reckless, this love poured out
so long and that love wrested away
and every love wrung to the last drop
or dribbled out in perhaps the wrong dreams
little side meandering dead-end trails
and should there be another warning label
plastered on life, for the young—
like smoking will kill you, hiding
dry-shelled without passion
will kill you

 

NaPoWriMo Day 9 asks us to write something we’re afraid to say; Poetic Asides prompts a “hide-out” poem.

Alas, my good knights be slain away from me

If you want a good tale, Thorn says,
go for betrayal. Man and wife, brother
and brother, student and master.

The very one you trust—he flicks his hand
to show the knife. And so I am on the field
in false armor, not even knowing myself.

The grass, the sun, the banners, the sweat,
the fear. A man may be willing to die
for his friends, but for her? For him?

The queen in white, the field in green, dazzling
golden sun. The hopeful heart, the solemn
pledge: fire and sword, fear.