NaPoWriMo Day 27 prompted us to write hay(na)ku.
NaPoWriMo Day 27 prompted us to write hay(na)ku.
church bells far-ringing
rain soft music on warm earth
rejoicing in green
I expected more
but you will sit dozing
in the garden
as if this spectrum
from green to forsythia
were reason enough for being
You won’t rise to the rhythm
of truck-springs, dove-throated
scoldings; you come begging
on moth-wings for dew-drops
or even candleflame, snapping
up any crumb of praise dropped
between cracks while prating
of moonlight and blackbird song
If this kind of drowsy bee-hum
is the nectar you had in mind,
who would sip from it?
It tastes of mower-drone
inelegant clang and clatter
of construction on the next corner
whirr of what—saws? And the chairs
need repair; weeds sprout in the flags
My dear tone-deaf old thing
the blackbird is trying to teach you
while you lie there dreaming
you can sing
The NaPoWriMo Day 15 prompt is to write a poem that addresses itself.
forever set to disappoint
and astonish (I saw you
coming, sleek youthful
spirit, hobbled by shrinking
shell) like that rose, limp
and foolish, still blooming
under drooping limbs
and lace-fine shroud
A day of sun and rain either matches
or causes my mood; we have the illusion
like prism’d spray that we have arrived
at a cross-roads again
(the garden drips fruit-full but yellow
un-leaving but budding for fall bloom
as if no one knows what’s coming)
A day of rain and sun so I vacillate
poised on the balcony-edge of ennui
and sudden energy of making-purpose
jealous of sparkling brilliance
(the drops gather waiting on waxy leaves
spattered tiles, blown roses, trembling
energy before they are ripe for a splash)
I dress in gray and that’s not working
I drink tea and tree-gaze and that’s not working
We weigh this decision as if we had any sway
over these flighty earth-bound souls
(the sky is sudden in the hills—
watch clouds overspill forested heights
race wind-chastened down our valley)
The distant hills are age-old forested in greenish black-
birds singing wind blowing at all points and one baby
inconsolably crying a dozen shades of green in the garden
leaves reaching to the open song-filled sky roses blown
and fading (beauty, too, in fading) and the garden needs
I dreamed I was a hundred-rooted plant
deep-spreading in earth magnificent sidewalk-breaking
strength like next-door cherry fruiting bright red and blood-
red under cloud-bowed sky sheltering the blackbirds shading
In the beginning, the garden
waited for me (and the yarn)
As I was knit together, stowaway
on this toilsome voyage,
the secret tangle of me meant
and yearn, also beauty-dreaming
(not included: kitchen-willing
The riddle of passion is this:
If we are born to labor, we post-Fall
chastened spirits, then why
the beauty-dream and yearning?
For I don’t believe these are work:
words, music, garden, make
(The ball is unwinding
the path growing straight)
Inspired by this word-list prompt from imaginary garden with real toads.
It rained all night. Today
I dry-muse, inside, on tall roses
prolifically budded pink, yellow, red,
rising behind landscape layers
of glossy green. A blackbird thrashes
to the surface of the window-side shrub.
Ungraceful she is, faded black
with an eye duller than poets suspect:
nesting. Good mother, she must not blink,
must keep her head eternally cocked,
wary gaze on the shadowy unknown.
I wait, unmoving, not wanting to intrude.
(Ear eternally cocked, not even wanting
to listen, I hear the distant metal screech
of the city-bound train. Good-bye
for real, she said, stooping to kiss
her faded mother. She’s dressed for a party,
I think this is an answer, of sorts, to the beautiful Prom night by Jenifer Cartland (Poems from in between).
Of course I am much younger than the old
man, my neighbor, his white head and legs
uncovered as he dozes with newspaper
in the sun. His yard is perfectly trimmed;
the garden surrounding the elegant green
is the wife’s doing, a riot of blossom in May:
roses, clematis, some German shrub I can’t
name. Oh, and a lemon tree. (In winter, it lives
in the glassed-in sun-room.) The wife is old,
too, pottering with her plants all day,
bending over in her rolled-up elastic-waist
khakis and on windy days, the fleece jacket
and her light curls all jumbled. (It is not
because I am getting old that I also wear
rolled-up elastic-waist khakis and potter
around the garden, talking to the plants,
or that I find myself sitting on the sunny
patio, dozing over this notebook.)
The one where you built, brick by brick
the half-walled flower bed, where we never
got around to the deck, where scorpions came
in the showers, where we set up the first crib.
The one-bedroom up a flight of dark stairs
where I wrote stories and school papers,
where we ate Hamburger Helper and the kitchen
rack slipped our wine-glasses to the floor.
The one with 1940s flooring and south view
of winter sun, where the laundry chute
opened on the basement where I worked
while my father died. The crib again, there.
The one with the teeny yard we cut with shears,
marigolds on concrete and opossums on the fence.
The one on the cul-de-sac with kids, a military circle
of playground, hospital, sleepless nights and 9/11.
The one I loved and you hated, money pit with
garden surround. Another crib, endless contractors.
Where you built, board by board, the deck,
where for 10 years we slept to rain on skylights.
This one, concrete-modern, echoing white and screenless,
where I have my very own workroom overlooking
neighbors’ lush gardens, where rain and stars are muffled
by a host of concrete houses, strangers shut within.
It is easy to forget, day by day, the places outside
of photos, the 22 years of furniture, curtains, carpet.
Where we fell into bed, fell into and away from each other,
began a new day again and again and again.
Last night, I glimpsed the full moon shining
through the balcony’s metal blinds.
You were sleeping but I wanted to tell you,
I would go with you anywhere, and still be home.