Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Mother's Song





Today's photo is just a sample ... a sip, if you will ... of the blossoms on the dogwood tree which graces the front lawn of Brimm Manor each year, well after the snows have retreated.


It seems to outdo itself each year ... and I take great comfort in its abundance ... its splendor ... the quiet beauty that it brings to those who pause to consider it. I've also done some paintings with it as the subject. 


But the poem ... I think I sometimes get in the way of the poem by talking too much about it, instead of letting it speak for itself.


It's a bad habit, I know, and I'm trying to break it.


Still, there are times when I feel that just a few more words are needed ... to set the stage for the poem ... to give it a bit more depth.


Let me just say that I was thinking about this poem when I woke up.


As some of you know, I was reared by my grandparents. I learned early, I think, the meaning within the saying, "Absence makes the heart grow fonder."


There was a certain longing, a searching for explanations where there were none. I never knew, precisely, why I grew up with neither of my parents.


I did have my grandparents at my side, though, guiding me, nudging me on, hoping I would turn out OK.


Through it all I tried to search out and cling to earliest memories ... of both my parents ... and I have some which have helped to sustain me through the years.


Today's poem deals with one of those early memories.


The poem:


MOTHER'S SONG


It was so long ago,
perhaps in a dream,
or certainly before I knew
the meanings of words,
but I felt the music
of her fine soprano voice
caressing, soothing me,
and how I wish I could
sing that same gentle
song back to her now,
saying softly, sweetly,
simply, I love you.
© 2000

(originally published in PKA's Advocate)

Today's word: soothing

Monday, April 29, 2013

Late Summons






(Just another of the many photographs I've taken along the way)

It was, as I've said many times, like a summons, when it finally came ... 


Oh, I had written a lot of things along the way ... love letters when I was in military service, business letters later, a memo here and there ... things like that.


But writing? Real, creative writing? I hadn't had time, nor the inclination for that, it seems.


Still, there was something that drove me in the direction of writing ... just sitting down and putting thoughts ... memories ... images ... on paper.


And, as I say in today's poem, it was like the whir of that most beautiful, most graceful, most fragile of insects ... the butterfly ... which brought that latent interest to life ... so that here we are today ... these few years later, sharing these moments, these thoughts.


The poem:


LATE SUMMONS

After enduring
vast, hollow
echoing years
in which words
lay silently
on my heart,
there came
a whir as soft
as the flight
of a butterfly,
summoning
them awake,
and my voice,
sounding strange
to my own ears,
rose in song.
© 1997
(originally published in Potpourri)

Today's word: whir

Sunday, April 28, 2013

It's Not Easy



Well, yes, one of my favorite bridges, at Cox Arboretum (again), but at a slightly different season ... and with people on it this time.


OK, so I was having a little fun with an idea when I wrote today's poem.

Still, it seems to speak to me, at least, of the impatience that seems to crowd into everyday life.

I hop into Little Frisky (successor to our aging Little Red Car) and head to the grocery ... I get honked at when I don't start up quickly enough as a traffic light turns from red to green ... I don't select a cart as quickly as others ... I don't yield enough times to other shoppers at the ends of the aisles ... I seem to be holding up the checkout line as I fumble for the exact change ... and on the way home ... well, I get honked at again ...

Oh, I get impatient, too.

We don't have time for all that today, though. I can see that some of you are starting to fidget. Let's just say that I have my share of impatience, mainly with myself ... and the time it seems to take me to complete simple tasks these days.

I was thinking about that when I wrote today's poem, I guess.

I really would like to be a more patient person. 

I really would, except ... well, you'll soon enough see what the "except" is about, when you read today's short piece (meanwhile, thanks for your patience):


IT'S NOT EASY

I admire people
who have patience.
I wish I had
more myself,
and I'm working
on it, but it just
seems to take
so long to learn. 
 © 1996

(originally published in Capper's)
Today's word: impatience

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Hello, Morning






During my working years, mornings were not my favorite time of day, largely because of the early hour at which my work days began, partly because of the pressures of work.


Ah, but retirement brought a change. Now I could sleep in, if I chose, and I could ... within certain limits ... set my own agenda for the remainder of the day.


So what did I do? Miracle of miracles, I started getting up early ... voluntarily ... and I found things to occupy my day ... a bit of art, a bit of writing, a bit of walking, a bit of watching the sun come creeping up over the horizon ... or watching it melting slowly into the western rim of the world.


The poem:



HELLO, MORNING

Early light
feels its way
across the top
of my fence,
gently warming
weary, weathered
boards, faint
yellow softness
spreading like
creamy frosting
on this new day.
© 1997
(originally published in Capper's)



Today's word: melting

Friday, April 26, 2013

Goodbye, Old Hat




Years have passed now, and the mystery of the missing hat is still unsolved ... although I do have "a person of interest" in mind.


The last time I recall seeing it was when I put it in the laundry. It never came back. That would seem to limit the number of suspects ... possibly to just one.


I have the feeling that one particular person, a very dear friend who used to pretend she wasn't with me when I wore that hat, gets the feeling that I think she did it. Not so. You're all under suspicion. Nobody leaves the room, understand?


It's possible, of course, that I ... of all people ... might, in a moment of delirium, have thrown the hat away. I'd hate to think I did that to my faithful, trusting, trusted old hat. I really would.


would sort of like to know what really happened to it though.


I don't even have a picture of it. The original had never, to the best of my knowledge, sat for a portrait, nor even had its photo snapped by someone mistaking its wearer for a celebrity.


So I had to resort to a stunt double to illustrate the poem about its plight ... and (sniffle-sniffle) mine.


The double, of course, is a younger version of the vanished one, but it's gradually becoming ... well, quite comfortable, like an old pair of shoes.


But now, the poem:



GOODBYE, OLD HAT


"My old brown hat is gone!"
I cried.
"When did you have it on?" she sighed.
"This year, or last.
Time goes so fast."

"The one rumpled, crumpled,
and torn?"
"Yes, yes! Tattered, spattered,
forlorn.
Twenty years my best buddy ...
all that.
My oldest, dearest friend,
my hat.

Now it's gone, left no trace.
I'm wild ..."
"I'm sure it's, uh ... someplace," 
she smiled.
And, looking me straight in
the eye:
"But it was time to say
goodbye."
 © 1997

(originally published in Capper's)


Today's word: vanished

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Finally, Sleep






Sleep, that blessed escape from the cares of the day, is not always easy to come by ... but I recently slept well for two nights in a row ... and woke up thinking about a certain poem ...  about those mortal enemies - writing and sleep.


At least I've found them often directly opposed to each other. 

When I'm in the throes of writing, sleep is the last thing I want ... and then, sometimes, when I sleep before I've finished a project, I wake up feeling writing-deprived.

"This attic room" used to be the place where all of my serious writing took place. Excluding, of course, those frantically written notes while waiting at the bus stop, or in the doctor's office ... any place I had a few free moments and an idea that just wouldn't wait.

You know the story about that.

That place just beneath the roof was peaceful and quiet ... and when it rained, I enjoyed rain's gentle cadence that accompanied the tick-tick-tap-tick of the keyboard, the rustling of papers, the stifled yawns, and ... finally, a bit of sleep.


But I've grown more sensible. It's only occasionally that I climb that extra set of stairs in search of that quiet place. Nowadays, I find other, more accessible places to do my serious writing.

Still, I miss those evenings up there.

Especially on rainy nights ... I find myself pausing to think about those crinkling ribbons of light, the words which came streaming across the screen as I continued my quest for a poem, in this case:


FINALLY, SLEEP

Ribbons of light
crinkle across
the glass atop
this attic room,
moving slowly
to the cadence
of gentle rain,
then vanish
in the quiet
of these small
hours that call
me to sleep.
© 2001

(originally published in St. Anthony Messenger)

Today's word: ribbons

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Echo



(Today ... for no particular reason ... one of my watercolor sketches)

Today's little poem recreates a childhood memory of the sound of my voice coming back to me, not literally saying, "lonely, lonely," but giving me a feeling of being alone in those woods, with just that echo for company.


Of course, this was only a momentary feeling, for there were other adventures to pursue, other trails to explore, other bluffs to climb, other voices to hear ... either those voices answering me or those calling me on.


Still, recognition that, for the moment, I was all alone there, listening, not to someone else repeating what I'd just said, but to my own young voice bounding faintly back to me, was a feeling not easily forgotten.


I still think of it sometimes when I become immersed in a certain kind of quiet.


Memories! How we cherish them, make them forever ours, polish them, enhance them, store them away, pull them out to comfort us in our old age.

The poem:

ECHO

The sound of my voice
hurried through the woods,
past sandstone bluffs,
went running across
cooling ridges,
dipped into hollows,
then came back to me,
repeating
lonely, lonely ... lonely.
© 1997

(originally published in Midwest Poetry Review)
Today's word: repeating

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The Dawning





Those who know me well ... family and friends ... will be surprised to find I've written somewhat favorably about the beginning of the day.

Mornings have generally not been easy for me.

But this poem is not just about morning. It's about the experience of returning to an awareness of surroundings, discovering "words already dancing/ across the softly-lighted/ ballroom of my mind," of being on the verge ... after all that struggle ... of beginning to put words on paper.

Yes, it speaks to me about what I like best, writing, that activity which takes over after that "ballroom" activity, the real "dawning" that occurs with the writing itself.

The poem:

THE DAWNING

When the earth is still
hovering between sleep
and consciousness, when
birdsong is finding voice
and a distant bell
sways in the gentle wash
of sound, I come floating
out of a recurring dream,
yawning, stretching, eyes
struggling in darkness,
feet reaching cautiously
for the reality of floor,
words already dancing
across the softly-lighted
ballroom of my mind.
© 1999

(originally published in Sisters Today)

Today's word: yawning

Monday, April 22, 2013

Clutter



(No, I don't think the photo represents "clutter." To me it's just the opposite, a slice of orderly progression ... from rough-edged to well-rounded stones.) 

Regarding today's poem, I encountered a fellow writer/artist whom I hadn't seen for some time ... and he mentioned "Clutter" ... as one piece of my writing that he remembered. So here it is, again. 
 
Mind you, I'm not advocating clutter, even though ... looking around as I write this ... I can see that a stranger might think I'm clutter's chief spokesperson.


I try. Oh, how I try not to clutter up the planet, at least in my immediate vicinity.


In my own defense, I must say that I don't toss litter out the car window ... I don't drop candy wrappers on the sidewalk ... in fact, sometimes, when I'm out walking, I pick up the occasional strayed aluminum can and deposit it in the nearest trash container.


But in my immediate vicinity ... here in the study at Brimm Manor ... there's just some invisible force which seems to be at work ... and I am powerless in its grasp.


Things just seem to pile up ... mostly poems in progress ... little notes I've scribbled along the way ... magazines that I really must read (someday) ... little watercolor sketches ... big watercolor sketches ... drawings ... notes to myself. Things like that.


Some days I seem to make progress ... but other days? Well, then it's like trying to sweep the ocean back with a broom.


But I promise you this (and it's not a political promise) ... I'll keep trying. Meanwhile, the poem:


CLUTTER, GLORIOUS CLUTTER

Someday I shall have room
for everything I possess,
all the room I ever dreamed
of having, room to lean back
casually and survey the vast
reaches of things collected
in years of serious pursuit
and delayed disentanglement.


But the jam-packed reality
of today is that I shift
cautiously among the poems
poised for avalanche, books
teetering on the brink
of revenge for being left
stacked like cold flapjacks
all these busy-busy years,
treasured items gathering
dust, clipped so long ago
from forgotten magazines.

So much of my past, perhaps
my future, too, nudging me
when I turn, bumping me when
I bend, skittering when
we touch, hugging me like
a lover just before the train
pulls out. And I stand here,
loving it all right back.
© 2000

(originally published in Nanny Fanny Poetry Magazine)

Today's word: avalanche

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Bouncy Pine





Things I say, particularly in those pieces which may eventually become poems, are not always intended to be taken literally.


That's the case today, of course.

Anybody who has ever looked even casually at a pine tree knows it doesn't have springs, concealed or otherwise.

But it doesn't take much observation to lead one to the thought that it looks like there must be some kind of mechanism at work there.

There have been times when I've been in the company of pine trees, unaware of a slight stirring of air, but there is movement in their needled branches.

How else explain that movement?

It seemed to be the way to describe them at the time. The moral of the story ... the "lesson" ... the "mini-sermon" ... seemed to follow naturally.

It's a thought, at least ... and I use it sometimes to cheer myself up.

Here's the poem:

BOUNCY PINE


The boughs of the pine
ride on concealed springs,
rising and falling
at the slightest touch
of a summer breeze.


Oh, that we could be 
as resilient, as quick
with our enthusiasm.
 © 1996

(originally published in Explorer)


Today's word: concealed

Saturday, April 20, 2013

After Summer Rain




(Another view of Charleston Falls ... one of my favorite spots ...)

Today's poem, based on an early memory, could easily have been the title poem in my first published collection, Chance of Rain (Finishing Line Press, 2003). Instead, it quietly took its place among the others.


"After Summer Rain," with its starring character, a tiny bug swimming in a laundry tub which had filled with rain water, did become the inspiration for the cover illustration, designed by my son, Alan.


In the poem itself, I like what's happening ... the relationship between this tiny bug, which has suddenly appeared, and this "young man" who is drawn to it, pondering "what it might become, where it might go," questions he had barely asked himself.


Selection of a title poem, in the instance of this first collection, seemed obvious to me, albeit with overtones of designating a favorite child. That honor had to go to "Chance of Rain," my "lucky poem" ... those eight 
lines which were discovered in the middle of a longer poem by  an alert editor at Capper's who spotted them, liked them, suggested that we keep them and my title.


I quickly agreed, and "Chance of Rain" became my first poem accepted for publication. Thus began this great adventure.


But today I'd like to share that other poem:


AFTER SUMMER RAIN

When the storm passed
and the sediment settled
in the tub so recently
sitting empty beneath
the downspout, a tiny bug,
exploring its new world,
memorizing the boundaries,
looking for others,
or savoring the solitude
of this galvanized galaxy,
swam to and fro,
oblivious of the young man
pausing to watch,
puzzled over its sudden
coming to be there,
pondering what it might
become, where it might go,
doubly perplexing because
he had barely posed such
questions about himself.
© 1998
(originally published in Midwest Poetry Review)
Today's word: exploring

Friday, April 19, 2013

Who Lives There?








(One of my quick little watercolor sketches, done during a pause in my daily walk)


Today's poem came to me on the bus, was largely written on the bus, because it took hold of me ... and wouldn't let go.

Over time, I became aware of that particular window, that struggling plant. It got so I was watching for that cracked window each day when my bus went climbing back up the hill on the way home.

I kept expecting to see someone at the window, watering the plant, turning it in the sunlight, or simply looking out at the passing traffic. But I never did.

Still, the plant hung on, seemed to be growing, leafing out slightly, and I kept wondering who lived there with it ... "what small measures of encouragement" they shared.

Originally published in the literary journal, Poem, now part of a manuscript in search of a publisher:

WHO LIVES THERE?

In an upstairs window,

below a sagging
gutter, beside siding
wind-peeled and flapping,
beneath a window shade
water-stained and torn,
behind a pane cracked
diagonally like a fragile
promise, sits a spindly
plant taking what sun
it can on a winter day,
while my bus struggles
in its uphill climb
toward a daily nagging
question: Who lives
there with this plant,
and what small measures
of encouragement do they
have to bridge the days?
© 2006

Today's word: encouragement

Thursday, April 18, 2013

That I May Know




In selecting the art for these postings, I try to be as careful as I am with the chosen words which make up the poem, as careful as I am in selecting the poem itself.

I don't want the art to overpower or distract, but to illustrate the point I'm trying to make with the poem.

In this instance I believe I have a match with my photo of a stump. 

I like the stump simply because of the way the sun plays across its features. 

It also speaks of all those years spent growing in the woods ... and now this final stage of giving way, of returning to the soil from which it came, devolving into nutrients for new plants.

The presence of green in the photo represents the onset of this new growth. It is spring, a time of renewal. 

The stump remains, that symbol of the past, but it will eventually be overrun by new growth, new flowers, new dreams ... the renewal of life.

In the poem I am attempting to address this ongoing cycle of life, attempting to bridge the gap between the old and the new ... the present and the past ... a bit wistfully, perhaps ... while also trying to touch on the future. 

The poem:

THAT I MAY KNOW

When I am old
and wizened,
feeble and forgetful,
then I hope
you will read to me
a poem I wrote
in younger days,
so that I may know
once again
what it was like
to dream.
 
© 1996 
(originally published in Poetic Eloquence)

Today's word: wizened

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Seventy-Year Locust





Yes, today's poem is yet another one about writing ... at least writing was what I had in mind when this poem came together.


It was written by a young whippersnapper, contemplating the approach of his seventieth birthday.


Since then he has matured a bit. He's a little more sedate, a little more laid-back, and certainly not the ruler of any tree, although he has received a bit of recognition for his poetry.


He has a first collection of poetry ... Chance of Rain ... on a few book store shelves, and even in some homes ... a second collection ... Hollyhocks ... and a third ... Wood Smoke ...  issued by Finishing Line Press. (Stay tuned; I'm always working on another one)


His song is a little more subdued than it was when today's poem was first written. But if you listen closely you might hear it, not so much a rasping, buzzing sound now ... something more like a soft humming, as though to oneself, or to those nearby.


And I thank you for stopping by for today's poem, originally published in Parnassus Literary Journal:

SEVENTY-YEAR LOCUST

I have lain dormant,
quietly mutating
into my present form,
and now I am
ready to cast off
that ancient husk
of my past,
emerge to my own song,
rasping, buzzing,
insinuating myself
into your consciousness.

I give you fair warning:
I am no June bug
on a string.
I am the real thing,
a rip-snorter
on the wing,
ruler of my tree.

Listen to me.
You can't help
but hear my song.

© 1996 
Today's word: sedate

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Quick, the Towel!





Some of you ... Chosen Words Regulars ... may have seen this one before ... and even my introduction ...


Because it happened again. What happened? 

Listen ...

It's almost automatic ... as I step into the shower ... the sudden intrusion of a most urgent thought ... that must be written down ... right now.

There's just something about the place, the setting.


It may be just an item for the grocery list ... or just a random thought ... an idea ... but that is a part of writing, I tell myself ...

I don't often interrupt the shower to commit these most urgent words to paper ... but I do try to retain them ... and that's sometimes akin to maintaining a grip on a slippery bar of soap.

If I'm lucky, I relish the shampoo ... complete the shower ... towel off, taking extra care with the toes ... and still have that special thought ... that idea ... as I reach for that little stack of scratch paper which is always nearby, ready, waiting.

Sometimes, if I'm really lucky, what I commit to paper is the beginning of a poem ... a thought that contains the promise of blossoming into something worth keeping ... and then I know this is going to be a beautiful day.

The poem:

QUICK, THE TOWEL

There's something
about a shower,
the steamy,
needling water,
the quiet warmth,
something, that
brings to mind
an urgent thought
of some errand,
some left-over
chore, some most
urgent task, that
must be written
on paper now,
right now, before
it goes trickling
down the drain
of forgetfulness.

© 2000
(originally published in Capper's)

Today's word: needling

Monday, April 15, 2013

Old Dog Asleep








It was our neighbor's canine, "Houdini," who inspired today's poem. 

"Houdini" enjoyed lying in the back yard, belly to the sun, dreaming, no doubt, of some great escapades ... or of being suddenly nose-to-nose with a wandering raccoon ... or of catching the squirrels stealing food.

Or perhaps only soaking up the sun.

But it was "Houdini" who set in motion a series of memories of my own canine pals from my growing-up years. They enjoyed the sun, too. They also enjoyed exploring the hills around my boyhood home, and they were always ready to head out on some new adventure with me.

Sometimes, though, they were tired. At my approaching footsteps, the head would be lifted slightly, I would receive a look of recognition, the tail would thump-thump-thump a few times on the ground, and the head would be lowered again to sleeping position, presumably to pick up the loose threads of some interrupted dream.

I still miss those early companions. 


I miss "Houdini," too. Always the good neighbor, "Houdini" only barked at me once ... when the family was moving in next door.

A quiet word from the owner, and that was that. I couldn't help admiring that kind of restraint. I'm sure there were times ... in all those years that we co-existed ... when I must have deserved a good barking at.

And the picture? Sorry, I don't have a photo of "Houdini." Instead, today we share a photo of shadows ... a subject that I find intriguing ... restful ... soothing. 

Thank you for stopping by ... and, "Houdini," this one is for you: 

OLD DOG ASLEEP

Sprawled like a tired
old tree toppled against
the slope of the hill,
your belly soaking up
afternoon sun, tail wilted
to earth, ear twitching,
plucking at the sound
of my footsteps; what
memories we share,
old pal, how alike, now,
our dreams must be.
© 1998
(originally published in Midwest Poetry Review)

Today's word: toppled

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Morning Flight




Poems have many ways of presenting themselves to me.


Sometimes they wait patiently for me to discover them ... and am I ever surprised ... because they've been there all the time ... I just hadn't noticed until now.


Sometimes they almost literally leap out at me. Some event, some thought sets them into motion ... and they're often so fragile ... so like the smoke from an evening fire ... that I have to capture them quickly on paper, or they're gone ... gone forever.


I remember exactly where I was when this poem leaped out at me.


I was walking alone, east on Wayne Avenue, just a block west of Smithville.


Something glinted in the early-morning sky, and I paused to stare at it. It was a plane ... just a tiny speck on that deep, deep blue blanket of sky.


When I got back home, I sat at the kitchen table, as was my custom then, and started writing. The result, after many revisions (that process of slowly boiling it down to its very essence):


MORNING FLIGHT


Great silver-gray fish
gliding silently
across the cold blue
of morning
toward that huge red
bait of a sun,
passengers settled
in your slender belly,
flying away from 
earthbound creatures
just stirring awake,
waiting for the sun
to begin reaching
toward them, too.
© 1998

(originally published in Midwest Poetry Review)

Today's word: essence

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Lost Pencils





Phyllis pretends she's not with me when I discover a pencil lying on the sidewalk. She knows I can't resist. I'll simply have to pause, pick it up and put it in my pocket.


I've learned not to do that with pens. Sometimes they leak.


But pencils?


There's something safe, reassuring about a pencil.


Even the most chewed up, stubbiest, disreputable looking pencil has the potential of a few more words, of writing a few lines, perhaps, that could someday turn into something big ... maybe a poem.


Here's one now:


LOST PENCILS


I find them during my walks
past schools, lying there, poor,
fallen things, pointing forlornly
to some vague destination.


Many bear the jagged markings
from anxious scholars' teeth,
some have been sharpened
to the point of extinction,


some are broken, and might not
write again, without my timely
arrival to bring them home.
Handling each with the care


one would accord a fallen bird,
I slide it into the warmth
of an inner pocket to keep
it safe, for this could be


the one I've always needed,
the one with something to say
that I really need to hear.
© 2000

(originally published in Midwest Poetry Review)

Today's word: potential

Friday, April 12, 2013

In Praise of the Mundane




(Today's art is a cooperative effort ... my grandson, Thomas, did the construction ... I took the photo ... quite a long time ago

It seems like only yesterday ... but obviously was a little longer ago than that ... when I shared my poem, "Ordinary Things," with you ... and mentioned that it was an outgrowth of a rejection.

In response to my request for his comments on some poems I had submitted, the editor had scrawled something about "mundane treatment of ordinary subjects" on the rejection slip. 


My initial reaction? I had hoped for something a little more constructive. 


But I managed. As a matter of fact, I managed to get two more poems out of that comment.


Oh, and both were subsequently published ... elsewhere. I think there's an obvious lesson in that ... so obvious that even Professor Squigglee (anybody remember him?) would be unlikely to fly into a detailed explanation.


Today's poem:

IN PRAISE OF THE MUNDANE


I don't howl at the moon,
read the entrails of chickens,
plumb the mysteries that reside
in the implacable eyes of cats,
nor take up strange, aromatic
cigarettes, sip unaccumstomed
teas, nor leave my body
to roam the universe.

I do write across the chalkboard
of my mind, or on a torn paper,
an envelope, about simple things
that come to me of their own accord,
quiet, mundane things that I welcome
and treasure as old friends.
© 1996

(originally published in ByLine Magazine)
Today's word: mundane

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Heading South






I was out for my daily walk when I saw those geese rising ... stood watching them ... don't remember if I sat at the next bus stop to put my reactions on paper, or waited till I got home ... but I had a poem in the making, right there on that street.

The poem:

HEADING SOUTH

Just beyond the trees
giving up their gaudy
leaves of autumn, five geese
rise slowly, dark against
a mottled sky, heading
generally southward,
seeking those highways
that the wild geese take,
while I stand rooted
where chance has put me.
I shall think of them,
wishing vaguely that I had
their gift of flight
as I ride out the storms
of winter, waiting to hear
their honking again,
telling me the season
is breaking, melting into
spring, skein of renewal
linking those who can fly,
those who can only wish. 
 © 1997
(originally published in Capper's)
Today's word: renewal

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

A Glorious Day







It was a glorious day.


It didn't start out that way. I'll spare you the details, but regular readers already know that most of my days don't start out ... let's just say that I'm not a morning person.


I attribute that to a symphony of aches and pains, certain stresses that never seem to go away - sorry about that ... I did promise to spare you the details, didn't I?


Let's just say that the day, as my days often do, thank goodness, got better as it wore on.


And I was reminded of an afternoon of poetry readings, some time ago.


As always, I had enjoyed the portion of the program in which I shared something I'd written, but I also relished sitting back and taking in the music of words written ... and now being read ... by others.

My poem was written some time ago, but I liked it when it came to me one quiet evening, and I never lost faith in it. 


Once again, I'm dealing with the subject of writing in the poem - and ... I always hasten to add ... I'm no expert on that.


But let's let the poem tell the story:


A GLORIOUS DAY


Someday I shall lie abed
in the innocent hours
of the afternoon, too weak
to walk, too tired to talk,
but writing, because it
pleases me so, gives me 
great comfort, a purpose,
a sense of worth that makes
the hours pass like sugar
coating on a bitter pill,
and I shall curl my toes,
flex my tired fingers,
while remarking, to no one
in particular, that this
has been a most remarkable
day, a time of butterflies
fluttering across my mind,
a glorious day of drowsy 
scratchings on the page, 
a time to go drifting
softly into sleep.


(2nd Place winner in 2009 Dayton Metro Library Poetry Contest, Senior Division)


Today's word: fluttering