Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The Grand Finale

Today marks the end of National Poetry Month. I wish it was a bit longer, because the challenge to continuously write poetry is exhilarating. And yet, the end has come at just the right moment. I have my final paper (of college!) due this Friday, and then I graduate next Saturday (the 11th.) If you think I'm excited.... well, you're wrong. I'm thrilled! Exuberant! Bonkers! Because "exciting" is a boring word.

Back to the point. This is the end. In honor of the end, and because I was gone all weekend in Missouri (and Kansas and Iowa) I have written four poems. I wrote them today whilst "tutoring" in the "tutoring center." No one showed up. Not even a quirky International student seeking grammar advice. They are posted here in order of how I wrote them, and no other order is intended. Not that you would think there was, I just thought I should clarify.

I hope, in the future, I will find something else to semi-diligently blog about. Maybe I'll just keep up with the poetry, like a champion! Or, I'll think of something more exciting  fun adventurous  intrepid. Until then, it has been lovely. I hope you continue to read my blog, and if I start slacking, shoot me a message and I'll get back on the horse. Blog. Blog-horse. Blorse? Horg? Whatever. Peace out.


Large Life In Small Places for April 27, 2013.

Pine cone baby,
baby in the grass,
grass under my feet,
feet in the past.
Past the silver lamppost,
post-stress we lay still,
still beneath the pine trees,
trees dropping their babies on this hill.


One For My Husband for April 28, 2013.

Dancing on a dirty cement floor
you promise me everything.
But you don't know
everything is already at hand
in the dim bulbs,
the dust floating in the light,
the open windows,
flowers in my hair and
hope
everywhere beyond.


Midnight for April 29, 2013.

No one is a nobody
and nobody always fails.
You don't get to be nothing
and leave me with [the weight
of] perfection, of invincibility.
You have to share it all--
sunshine and darkness,
tenderness and rage.
We have to meet
in the middle.
I get to fail too.


Again(st) for April 30, 2013.

The salmon swims upstream
and water might travel
against the grain.
So I fight my own strength,
I refuse to be stubborn.
I simply replace
my loss with gain.



Thursday, April 25, 2013

Dear God in the Moon

Here's a cluster of poems. One for Wednesday, one for today, and one for Friday, since I'll likely not be able to access the Internet. (And if I can, well, I'll be busy partying it up.) I'll make up for Saturday and Sunday once I get back, I suppose. Enjoy, and have a great weekend!

Precious [Written 12/7/2007] for April 24, 2013.

I turn you over,
watching every angle,
seeing each side
give its own light.
To call you a diamond
may be excessive.
But I'm not one
to say you're just a rock.


Dear God in the Moon. for April 25, 2013.

Dear God in the Moon,
--in the trees
--in my Heart.
How long must I stay
so far apart
from the ones that I love
--from the ones I'm
made up of?
Tell me you hear my prayer.
Tell me you see my tears.
Tell me that this has been
the last year.
Tell me you hear me.
Tell me you see me
--longing.


You are the Spring [Written 2/21/2011] for April 26, 2011.

My heart is but a fragile-petaled rose
which shivers in December's cruel wind.
Some winters' deepest wounds may never mend;
see how ev'rything but the thorns have froze.
I am sharper now than any knife knows,
more battle-scarred than any sword's rough end,
and cutting the gentlest hand of a friend.
But there may be hope for me, I suppose.
This with'ring flower may not feel worthwhile
but you embrace the thorns. This is your choice.
Who am I to wilt for lack of reasons?
My heart yet blooms in the sun of your smile,
grows in the soothing shower of your voice.
You are the spring of my darkest seasons.


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Notes from a smaller time

Today's poem is from the notebook I carry around with me. I have many small poems there. Some of them are trash. Some of them are very personal. And some of them are very good, although I don't remember why I wrote them--and that's the sort I'll be sharing today.

[An Untitled written April 12, 2012] for April 23, 2013

let us forge a well
and leave ourselves in riches
in hopes we won't have changed
after we're gone
and spend the money on our mothers
our fathers, cousins, brothers
until the worry is over
and our life has too been forged

(as a bonus, two incomplete poems written a few pages prior.)
1. 3/21/12, 2:45pm
    there are somanythings
    I'd rather do
    withmybrain

2. 3/26/12
    Across the winds
    who is justified


((125th post! Yay.)

Monday, April 22, 2013

Cause and Effect.

This is the last full week of National Poetry Month. It ends next Tuesday so I will try to be diligent, but I can't make any promises. Actually, I'll be gone all weekend because of a wedding, so it's unlikely I'll be really diligent at all. Unless I post everything in advance! But today, to make up for no posts on Saturday or Sunday, I will post three poems. All by me. All written right now. Read them and share them with your friends!



Divorce.

You start at one.
How does it feel to be one,
and then half,
and then whole--
for a while.
and then split into two,
less than half,
and then none?


Closing In.

The meteor streak
'cross a snowcapped peak
far from far
and above

lifts his comet tail,
intrepidly sets sail
and says

I'm coming home,
don't wait up.


Senseless.

I am the shot in the night
I am locked up tight
I am darkness and blind
rage.

I am the fist in the air
I am the warning: beware
I am violent, a farce on a
stage.

I am the vindicated on the ground
I am the echoing sound
I am senseless as you turn the
page.











Saturday, April 20, 2013

A little-known combination

A few years back, probably 5 or 6 years, I bought a whole bunch of poetry. Well, I often buy a lot of poetry, but this specific occasion I'm mentioning happened on the Internet. I was browsing compilations and "complete works" of poetry and I found this obscure book of poems by Ernest Hemingway. I bought it without reading a single word. (And later, read it and thoroughly enjoyed it.) It might be pretentious to have certain books I am proud of owning, but this is probably one of them. Not just because it's old and weathered, but because it is not a particularly well-known book of poems. In fact, not once in high school did any of my teachers mention, whilst reading Hemingway, that he also wrote poetry. Why wouldn't anyone mention this? Doesn't it seem like a significant fact?




Anyways. Today I'm going to share two of his poems. They aren't the most deep or meaningful and certainly don't express the blatant corruption or depression or any of the mostly unpleasant things you often read in his novels. However... they make me laugh. Even if you don't understand what he's referencing, the fact that he wrote both of these poems is genius. In the book I mentioned, they are right after the other, so you really get the full effect. So, here you go. Enjoy! 


Two by Ernest Hemingway for April 19, 2013.


I Like Americans.


I like Americans.
They are so unlike Canadians.
They do not take their policemen seriously.
They come to Montreal to drink.
Not to criticize.
They claim they won the war.
But they know at heart that they didn't.
They have such respect for Englishmen.
They like to live abroad.
They do not brag about how they take baths.
But they take them.
Their teeth are so good.
And they wear B.V.D.'s all the year round.
I wish they didn't brag about it.
They have the second best navy in the world.
But they never mention it.
They would like to have Henry Ford for president.
But they will not elect him.
They saw through Bill Bryan.
They have gotten tired of Billy Sunday.
Their men have such funny hair cuts.
They are hard to suck in on Europe.
They have been there once.
They produced Barney Google, Mutt and Jeff.
And Jiggs.
They do not hang lady murderers.
They put them in vaudeville.
They read the Saturday Evening Post
And believe in Santa Claus.
When they make money
They make a lot of money.
They are fine people.


I Like Canadians.


I like Canadians.
They are so unlike Americans.
They go home at night.
Their cigarettes don't smell bad.
Their hats fit.
They really believe that they won the war.
They don't believe in Literature.
They think Art has been exaggerated.
But they are wonderful on ice skates.
A few of them are very rich.
But when they are rich they buy more horses
Than motor cars.
Chicago calls Toronto a puritan town.
But both boxing and horse-racing are illegal
In Chicago.
Nobody works on Sunday.
Nobody.
That doesn't make me mad.
There is only one Woodbine.
But were you ever at Blue Bonnets?
If you kill somebody with a motor car in Ontario
You are liable to go to jail.
So it isn't done.
There have been over 500 people killed by motor cars
In Chicago
So far this year.
It is hard to get rich in Canada.
But it is easy to make money.
There are too many tea rooms.
But, then, there are no cabarets.
If you tip a waiter a quarter
He says "Thank you."
Instead of calling the bouncer.
They let women stand up in the street cars.
Even if they are good-looking.
They are all in a hurry to get home to supper
And their radio sets.
They are a fine people.
I like them.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

How It's Like

My mind is so frazzled with the many things I have to do I'm not even going to explain this one.

How It's Like for April 18, 2013.

Oh, how life is like life,
reflected in gray.
How it is mirrored back
and then washed away.
The rains came down
and the floods came up.

Oh, how death is like death,
reflected in white.
How it is swept from here
between sunset and night.
The rains came down
and the floods came up.

Oh, how sight is like sight
reflected in black.
How it is blinking forward
and never turning back.
The rains came down
and the floods came up.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

A trip to the Salvation Army

I have a "funny" story to tell, but it's National Poetry Month, not National Short Story Month, so I'm going to improvise--which will be easy, because I don't feel like rhyming today anyhow. Free verse is my speciality! Let me also give you a disclaimer: This story is 100% true. I am not racist, I am merely reporting the facts of what I witnessed yesterday.

A trip to the Salvation Army. for April 17, 2013

The old woman in front of me had
c rac ke d, dry heels
and rusty wheels on her shopping cart
FULL of fur-hooded coats, athletic shorts and
a slim white belt                                       draped over the side.
She stood, her mouth puckered
in a raisin frown, her dark and slanted eyes
from behind thick-lensed glasses
impatiently regarding

the lady at the register.
She had
l      o      n      g
black hair
pulled back
in a tight ponytail, and confidence--or stress
--STRAIGHTENED her typically slumped shoulders.
It was early yet. She wasn't tired
yet. Leaning
over the counter, she watched the Chinese woman
just stand there, stationary and silently waiting,
and asked, "You want all of this?"

"YES, I WANT ALL!" she erupted. Then, like a
wave washing back into an ocean of
prejudice her angry demeanor
retreated back into an
impatient stare.

So the lady behind the counter with her
gracious smile said, "Can you take those off the hangers?"

And you might have expected them to work together
to speed the operation of buying second-hand duds
and get us all out of here, away from the 90s gospel
hip-hopping over the speakers and breaking the process
of scouring the shelves for a decent cookbook or
a pretty pair of pumps. But that didn't happen.

"What you say?"
A withered hand cupped around a deaf ear.

"Can you help me with all your hangers?"

"What you say?"
A bone-thin body lurched forward, toward the sound.

"Nevermind. It's fine." Again, her gracious smile
split her youthful face. But you could see her cinnamon skin
blanche white with tension at the knuckles as

the woman said, "Oh, the hangers. No,
you do! That your job. I'm
        surprise you ask.
               In Mexico,
                      they always do!"




Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Exhaustion is

A part of me regrets admitting that I am an endless well of poetry. It puts undue stress on my soul. I can't possibly produce something deep and meaningful every day. I mean... I can. But it's not necessarily something I want everyone to see. I am also extremely tired. Last night's sleep lasted just a few short hours and I am now up again, planning on going to bed early and waking up early to finish homework.

In light of that, I decided I might use an old poem. I searched for 'exhaustion' in my files. But what did I find? Well, I found quite a great many poems, but none of them quite reflect what I'm feeling and certainly aren't things I want to share with the world (anymore.)

So.

Here's a poem I once presented in high school. It perfectly reflects my feelings. It's fun to read out loud, if you feel the urge. And yes, it's written this way on purpose. If you have to ask then you don't know anything about poetry.

Choices by Nikki Giovanni for April 16, 2013.

If i can't do
what i want to do
then my job is to not
do what i don't want
to do

it's not the same thing
but it's the best i can
do

if i can't have
what i want       then
my job is to want
what i've got
and be satisfied
that at least there
is something more
to want

since i can't go
where i need
to go      then i must go
where the signs point
though always understanding
parallel movement
isn't lateral

when i can't express
what i really feel
i practice feeling
what i can express
and none of it is equal
i know
but that's why mankind
alone among the mammals
learns to cry

Monday, April 15, 2013

Going to the mattresses

I'm all caught up now. Maybe I can stay caught up tomorrow too, ha. Today's theme:__________. You'll just have to read them to figure that out.

Also, we are officially halfway through National Poetry Month! You'd think I'd have run out of poems now. But that thought would be inaccurate. At the age of 15, I began my first real blog (on Xanga! yay!) and I wrote a lot of poetry. An insensitive girl at my high school felt the need to comment on a post, "Your blog is nice, but there's too much poetry." There is no such thing as too much poetry.  No point pretending otherwise, I am an endless well of it.



Sunday. April 14, 2013
 Composure


A cardinal perched at the building's top
and wound his way round
to the Sunset Ave stop.
The big red bird was too damn proud
and was shot from the sky
by a man in the crowd.
Every resident on Sunset Avenue said
"Well, it's about time!"
and went to bed.
And falling asleep on that warm night
the singers and the poets
all began to fight.
The gangsters and the mailman, babies too,
old ladies and pit bulls
all started to stew.
Hurling words better left dead,
we scratched and clawed
and cried and bled.
And as we realized we could not be saved
we recalled the cardinal
in his asphalt grave.
The music had gone from his feathered head
and in the wake of his song
we composed chaos instead.



Monday. April 15, 2013
 Waking is like

Waking
is fading upwards
breathless
like ascension
from a bed of saltwater.
Like resuscitation
from a death of
dreamlessness.
Breathing
suffocates
in the absence of
sincerity.
Are you ingenuine
are you the sword
or the safe
exhalation
are you slumber
or are you
unconscious...

Saturday, April 13, 2013

How to not be surprised

Yet again I will have to put up two poems today but I don't feel sorry about it. Not one bit! My excuse for not doing two yesterday? (Yeah, I'm way behind now.) The Fine Arts Festival!

I submitted three poems, back in February, and didn't expect much of it. I was also expected to turn in physical copies of my poetry, as opposed to the original online submissions, by the end of March. I forgot to do that. So on Thursday night my dear friend Emily was talking about the FAF and I said I probably wasn't going, because I hadn't "finished" submitting. First, she said it was fine that I hadn't turned in physical copies. So I figured, hey, why not, I'll show up. It's an excuse to dress up. 

And then as I was about to leave her room she smiled slyly and said, "Maybe I know something you don't know." That pretty much settled it. I knew I needed to go. So yesterday, instead of writing you all a poem. I instead spent my Friday afternoon/evening getting ready for and then participating in the Fine Arts Festival. My poem, "How to Read a Woman" won third place in the poetry category. And afterward Emily and I had celebratory milkshakes at Denny's. 

I present to you, my certificate. I'm not going to frame it or anything, but it's nice to look at nonetheless. Emily actually designed the border, which I also like. (Huge props to Emily in this post. Someone, go make her read it!)


For Friday's poem, a visit to the poem that won. This poem was also published in the Spring 2011 Trillium. It was read by my brother at my grandmother's memorial service.


How to Read a Woman
For Virginia Foutz. November 28, 1924 – April 19, 2010.

A woman’s face will crease as she ages
through every fond phase of motherhood.
Wrinkles fold just as beloved pages,
like books reminding us of all that’s good.
Now, one might read a woman by her skin
as though the signs of wear were some black ink,
But such a woman holds a depth within—
she carries worlds more than some care to think.
Every worried frown meant that she loved us,
each stern rebuke was meant to help us grow.
She taught us compassion, conviction, trust,
and pushed us without ever letting go.
So when our marks of age won’t go unseen,
we’ll remember who showed us what they mean.




For today's poem, I've chosen something obscure and beautiful. I have this large book of poems called, "What Have You Lost?", with poems selected by Naomi Shihab Nye. I bought it years ago at a mall bookstore that was going out of business. It's full of desperately sad poems, or desperately nostalgic ones, and sometimes I run across one that particularly speaks to me, or perhaps I resonate with it in some way. Today you all get to share it with me.

Travelling Light 
by Kirsti Simonsuuri, Translated from Finnish by Jascha Kessler and Kirsti Simonsuuri.

It's as though I saw it all
diminished to the core
the whole day to a minute
the suitcase to a book
the long conversation to a word
looks of longing to a smile
and hopeless choice to what must be
it is so light, so clear
I want nothing more anymore
    only wind stroking waves
    onto a distant shore



Friday, April 12, 2013

If (not when) we

Yesterday was long and exhausting (as some Thursdays are.) I had a class at 8am and another from 6-10pm. I forgot my textbook and my Kindle at home and thus was completely flustered all day long. I also forgot to write a poem. Well, I didn't forget. I just didn't want to do it whilst in the computer lab, sitting between freshmen boys playing online games and sophomore boys yelling about football.

So today I'm sharing a somewhat old poem. It was written in February of 2011.

“If we, on Sunday mornings, write” - for April 12, 2013

If we in deepest anguish weep
and with the sharpest sorrow sweep
away the dust of pains now passed--
I hope our treasured peace will last.

If we with blazing furied fists
strike out against the angry tryst
and disappointed, light a spark--
I hope our violence breaks no heart.

And if we love with passions deft
and give until no beat is left
and unsatisfied decide to stay--
I hope we live to love another day.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Serif

My dear husband read all of April's poems today (at my request) and he laughed heartily at the post last week about the hipsters at Plato's Closet. This gives me hope. Maybe someone else laughed at it too? You should all let me know if I'm hilarious or not. I mean, I think I am, but there's no accounting for taste. Just sayin'. You should say something. Anyways, here's your poem, or whatever.


Serif - April 10, 2013

Can you read me?
Just tethered to foundations
I believed were steadfast,
I am the fragment
scarcely
hang
ing
on.
But.
It's said I'm good to look at.
Easy on weathered eyes,
and I might be better
for your fluency
or your cognition or
something.
I just don't want you to
smooth me out.
I've gotten by just fine
and I'm proud of my
rough edges.
It's said I have an
old soul,
easy on people with bruises
because we're not much different
at the ends.
We go around with our defenses up
and our weapons raised high
but at least we don't
go un
seen.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Two.

I'm tired. Long day. And yesterday was long because my university had a lock down, and I got trapped in library basement. Yeah. So, poem number one (because I obviously didn't get to it yesterday.)

The Library Basement - for April 8, 2013

You are fictitious but neatly stacked
side by side, up and down,
as real as anything ever organized.
Your people are my people
and I am welcome, I am comforted,
pressed between the dusty rows
of adventure after adventure. 
In the middle of the alphabet
or a strangely-constructed system
I am at home and you are at home
and without each other we barely exist.
~

This second poem is written as a suggestion from a friend. Yes, I am taking suggestions! Let me know if you have a marvelous idea (or less-than-marvelous, those will also be considered.) This is about the few moments of being awake right after a dream.


Splotch - for April 9, 2013

Sometimes in bleaker moments of night
I toss from cloud to cloud like
a blackened splotch of thunderstorm.
I am nebulous but nightmarish and
I am not welcome here.

And so I drift, down,
from the lofty space where hurt is born
and I rumble away from the beginning
of distance and petulance and disturbance
and cautiously I fade
in color and constitution
until I am lightness
and carelessly I float
until I am warmth.

And I remember
every morning--
for the briefest second of lucidity
--the feeling of wind surrounding my body
and the sun warming my youthful limbs,
and all the peace a spirit can muster
being compacted into the seemingly finite container
of my soul.


Sunday, April 7, 2013

Too busy.

Here's to another week of National Poetry Month. Let's start this one off with something silly. Seriously, I got stuff to do, so here you go. Just read it already.

I am too busy
baking delicious cookies
to write a poem.

Alright, just kidding.
One more stanza just for you.
Hope you like haiku.

Yes, for the record:
"haiku" is both singular
and plural. So there.

Here is the cookbook
containing the recipe
for sugar cookies.


Ok. Enough haiku. They're actually lemon sugar cookies, and they were some of my favorite cookies as a kid. My mother and my aunt also loved them. They're delicious! And they're not for you.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

NPM: A sonnet for Saturday

For today's poem I've written an English (or Shakespearean) sonnet. I figure, I didn't put any effort into yesterday's poem, because, well, I didn't write it. So today I gave myself a challenge. Enjoy it! (and your weekend, which I'm sure is lovely.)

Wisdom, Swiftness and Patience

The sum of time has pressed upon me here,
with ceremony but little reason.
This, the fixรจd sign of a waning season
as duty and trepidation draw near.

But hidden fear is my greatest defense.
Refusing to forfeit still motivates
me to be wise, to be swift, to not wait,
to leave the less courageous in suspense.

Yes, my brave soul will still bow in earnest,
but anxiously sigh as time takes apart
the wall I constructed around my heart.
Survival takes all the strength I possess.

And when the sun sets on this sordid day
freedom will tell me I've no time to stay.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Some Prufrock for Friday

A joyous Friday to you all. I don't know about the rest of the world, but I am exhausted. The changing of the seasons brings many migraines my way, which in turn make me tired. I also spent a good while traipsing around the woods today getting some photos taken for graduation announcements (yeah... I'm graduating like 5 weeks from tomorrow. Weird.) And then I went to Plato's Closet to sell some stuff.

Maybe it's different for other girls (or boys, I suppose) but for me, going to sell clothes/shoes/etc. at Plato's Closet is the equivalent of standing in line to have a cheeky hipster who is probably five years younger than you give you unabashed criticism AND tell you why they're giving you criticism. Seriously. I'm happy they buy clothes, but the reasons they have for not buying some things always bothers me. Like timeliness. (Those bracelets were made 11 MONTHS ago, buy them from me or I'll smash those stupid glasses off your face and rip out your eyebrow piercing!) Or brand names. (These shoes are made by every company in America. You are wearing them! Right now! I can SEE over the counter, little girl, and they are the same shoes except that these are brand new and I want to get rid of them!) So then you stand there, after they've sorted through your goods, and some girl with feathers in her bangs tells you why she didn't buy the rest of the stuff in the bag, and informs you that they don't buy sunglasses whatsoever (for real?!).

It also doesn't matter that half of the stuff in that bag wasn't mine, it came from people in my apartment building. (They leave free bags of stuff in the lobby.) It still feels bad to have featherbangs tell me it's outdated, or "stained." 

Anyways. I am exhausted. Not too exhausted to write, clearly, but too exhausted to write you a personal poem. So I've decided that today I will share one of my favorite poems. It's somewhat long, but definitely worth the read.


1. The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock - By T.S. Eliot
        S’io credesse che mia risposta fosse
A persona che mai tornasse al mondo,
Questa fiamma staria senza piu scosse.
Ma perciocche giammai di questo fondo
Non torno vivo alcun, s’i’odo il vero,
Senza tema d’infamia ti rispondo.
LET us go then, you and I,
When the evening is spread out against the sky
Like a patient etherized upon a table;
Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets,
The muttering retreats        5
Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels
And sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells:
Streets that follow like a tedious argument
Of insidious intent
To lead you to an overwhelming question….        10
Oh, do not ask, “What is it?”
Let us go and make our visit.
In the room the women come and go
Talking of Michelangelo.
The yellow fog that rubs its back upon the window-panes,        15
The yellow smoke that rubs its muzzle on the window-panes
Licked its tongue into the corners of the evening,
Lingered upon the pools that stand in drains,
Let fall upon its back the soot that falls from chimneys,
Slipped by the terrace, made a sudden leap,        20
And seeing that it was a soft October night,
Curled once about the house, and fell asleep.
And indeed there will be time
For the yellow smoke that slides along the street,
Rubbing its back upon the window panes;        25
There will be time, there will be time
To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet;
There will be time to murder and create,
And time for all the works and days of hands
That lift and drop a question on your plate;        30
Time for you and time for me,
And time yet for a hundred indecisions,
And for a hundred visions and revisions,
Before the taking of a toast and tea.
In the room the women come and go        35
Talking of Michelangelo.
And indeed there will be time
To wonder, “Do I dare?” and, “Do I dare?”
Time to turn back and descend the stair,
With a bald spot in the middle of my hair—        40
(They will say: “How his hair is growing thin!”)
My morning coat, my collar mounting firmly to the chin,
My necktie rich and modest, but asserted by a simple pin—
(They will say: “But how his arms and legs are thin!”)
Do I dare        45
Disturb the universe?
In a minute there is time
For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.
For I have known them all already, known them all:
Have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons,        50
I have measured out my life with coffee spoons;
I know the voices dying with a dying fall
Beneath the music from a farther room.
  So how should I presume?
And I have known the eyes already, known them all—        55
The eyes that fix you in a formulated phrase,
And when I am formulated, sprawling on a pin,
When I am pinned and wriggling on the wall,
Then how should I begin
To spit out all the butt-ends of my days and ways?        60
  And how should I presume?
And I have known the arms already, known them all—
Arms that are braceleted and white and bare
(But in the lamplight, downed with light brown hair!)
Is it perfume from a dress        65
That makes me so digress?
Arms that lie along a table, or wrap about a shawl.
  And should I then presume?
  And how should I begin?
.      .      .      .      .      .      .      .
Shall I say, I have gone at dusk through narrow streets        70
And watched the smoke that rises from the pipes
Of lonely men in shirt-sleeves, leaning out of windows?…
I should have been a pair of ragged claws
Scuttling across the floors of silent seas.
.      .      .      .      .      .      .      .
And the afternoon, the evening, sleeps so peacefully!        75
Smoothed by long fingers,
Asleep … tired … or it malingers,
Stretched on the floor, here beside you and me.
Should I, after tea and cakes and ices,
Have the strength to force the moment to its crisis?        80
But though I have wept and fasted, wept and prayed,
Though I have seen my head (grown slightly bald) brought in upon a platter,
I am no prophet—and here’s no great matter;
I have seen the moment of my greatness flicker,
And I have seen the eternal Footman hold my coat, and snicker,        85
And in short, I was afraid.
And would it have been worth it, after all,
After the cups, the marmalade, the tea,
Among the porcelain, among some talk of you and me,
Would it have been worth while,        90
To have bitten off the matter with a smile,
To have squeezed the universe into a ball
To roll it toward some overwhelming question,
To say: “I am Lazarus, come from the dead,
Come back to tell you all, I shall tell you all”—        95
If one, settling a pillow by her head,
  Should say: “That is not what I meant at all;
  That is not it, at all.”
And would it have been worth it, after all,
Would it have been worth while,        100
After the sunsets and the dooryards and the sprinkled streets,
After the novels, after the teacups, after the skirts that trail along the floor—
And this, and so much more?—
It is impossible to say just what I mean!
But as if a magic lantern threw the nerves in patterns on a screen:        105
Would it have been worth while
If one, settling a pillow or throwing off a shawl,
And turning toward the window, should say:
  “That is not it at all,
  That is not what I meant, at all.”
.      .      .      .      .      .      .      .
        110
No! I am not Prince Hamlet, nor was meant to be;
Am an attendant lord, one that will do
To swell a progress, start a scene or two,
Advise the prince; no doubt, an easy tool,
Deferential, glad to be of use,        115
Politic, cautious, and meticulous;
Full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse;
At times, indeed, almost ridiculous—
Almost, at times, the Fool.
I grow old … I grow old …        120
I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.
Shall I part my hair behind? Do I dare to eat a peach?
I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach.
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each.
I do not think that they will sing to me.        125
I have seen them riding seaward on the waves
Combing the white hair of the waves blown back
When the wind blows the water white and black.
We have lingered in the chambers of the sea
By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown        130
Till human voices wake us, and we drown.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Tea Time - a poem for Thursday

April 4, 2013

Tea Time

My mind is a kettle,
my heart is a pot,
I sigh during
the stirring,
worrying a lot.

I am bound to suffer,
I am prone to toil,
under stress
and duress,
as I press on and boil. 

The water is vapor,
the liquid is steam,
as I trill
then still,
and spill into a dream.






In honor of today's poem, and this being my 111th blog post here, I drank tea (because Bilbo Baggins also had a 111th birthday, and he liked tea) and then doodled. (It's a thing I do.) And then I messed with the doodle. (Not something I usually do.)





Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

A poem for Wednesday

April 3, 2013

Peripheral Hindsight

Swifter years hold
tighter grasps
as they fall
and wisp
away
like
gentle
feather
shackles.
Inescapable,
and yet they are
still so infinitesimal.
Sometimes you feel them
and then sometimes you don't.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Two poems (for NPM)

Most people know I write. Less know that I write poetry. (I don't share that fact often, anymore.) But it's true. I have a deep, compulsive, dependent relationship with poetry. It's why I take long breaks from writing. The intensity takes over my brain, and then I forget to study. However! As a lover of poetry, and a future educator of your future children, I have found within myself a driving force, telling me that I should be an advocate for National Poetry Month. (And in case you have just woken from a coma or were underground or anywhere without a calendar, April is NPM.) As your personal poetry guru for this month, I find it necessary (and completely exhilarating!) to write a poem for every day. And considering that I made the decision this morning, I'll have to write two poems today, since I missed April 1st. Thus, we begin.

One. April 1, 2013

Can't Miss Me

Had the woman been waiting
in the lobby for long?
Was she panicked and harried,
had I done her wrong?
Is she wearing a scarf of black and white,
so that upon my arrival
she'll be within sight?
This chair is still empty,
are the stairs hollow too?
Should I wander around
if she doesn't follow through?
Did I make her impatient?
Did she not want to stay?
And is it really my fault
I just got lost on the way?
~

Two. April 2, 2013

Survival

Spreading warmth
between frosted soil layers
is where divinity
confers with finality.
For the act in question
poses with both
sunshowers and rainshines
and neither can offer
a decidedly balanced
means to survive.
~


More tomorrow!