Farewell to Red

Celebrating National Poetry Month 2014: A Poem a Day Challenge 

Poem a day #30 is a response to prompts from Poetic Asides and NaPoWriMo: 1) Write a “calling it a day” poem and 2) write a poem of farewell.   I am honored that this poem was named one of the top ten poems of the day by Poetic Asides Guest Judge Jillian Weise. 

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You took me, when we were
young, into your bare bone

apartment, above the Communist
bookstore on a ragged downtown

street, not yet on the rebound.
In your single bed, I found

refuge from clattering children
and banging dishpans. I melted

into the crooked staircase,
the tattered volumes of Marx,

Hall, and Chairman Mao.
A castle with one quiet room,

you held guard under high
ceilings, an ancient chandelier,

and an antique bathtub,
rusted at the root. Once

you drove all night to rescue
me from my mother’s knife

sharp words, that gripped
the fabric of our heirloom couch.

But your firm hand pressed
close against an itching heart,

and your silence swelled
—became a bundle

I soon put out on the curb,
next to my red leather book.

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If I Believed in the Cross

Celebrating National Poetry Month 2014: A Poem a Day Challenge

Poem a day #29 is a response to prompts from Poetic Asides and NaPoWriMo: 1) Write a realism and/or magical poem and 2) write a poem using the Twenty Little Poetry Projects prompt originally developed by Jim Simmerman. 

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Between what’s real and what’s magical
I could wrangle my senses to capture
those missing under the spiral staircase.

The creak of an unoiled cabinet hinge
the rustle of tall blackscreen curtains
all caress my bare scapula like ice

I cannot taste due to the rusty smell
of wind, the fire that’s made me deaf.
All I see remains to me unthinkable.

The clouds will descend and sweep me
up like a gentler tornado still weeping
for those who cannot fly, those stuck

in the rubble of their shaken up lives.
A single photograph holds all memory
what’s left to share with the truck driver

who traveled to the all-night emergency
room too many times, but still not enough
to forget the vacant eyes, a rescued child.

 

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Exotic Settling (a found poem)

Celebrating National Poetry Month 2014: A Poem a Day Challenge

Poem a day #28 is a response to prompts from Poetic Asides and NaPoWriMo: 1) Write a “settled” poem and 2) write a poem using lines from a news article

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Tuesday is filled with commotion.
Dwarf caimans, a giant bird
eating spider are exploring

a forest glen overlooking
a stream emptying into
a lagoon shared by river

otters six feet in length,
red-bellied piranhas
freshwater

stingrays, and a pair
of endangered cotton-top
tamarins. Also roaming:

two tapirs, hefty with dexterous
snouts, snorkeling devices
submerged in water.

The sensation of walking
the rain-forest spread
across two acres

luxuriant foliage teeming
exotic wildlife. species
pushed to the edge.

Rough-scaled crocodiles
known as dwarf caimans
sprawled in

a shallow pool that doubles
as an Amazon river.
Creature comforts:

thermostats and water
pumps, ringside seats
for admiring

some of the most unusual
characters in nature.
The biggest draws.

 

 

 

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At the Beach House

Celebrating National Poetry Month 2014: A Poem a Day Challenge

Poem a day #27 is a response to prompts from Poetic Asides and NaPoWriMo: 1) Write a “monster” poem and 2) write a poem based on a photograph.

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Only a child
roams the dunes
tapping on

the cold shoulders
of grandparents
please listen

rocky sounds roll
willow up the beach
as the fog

horn scorches
through mooning
mists. There is

the sharp light
a mouth erupting
in prayer

below a house
curtained
in fringing satin

Then the ratttle
of sand gathers
and sends away

the bold knock
on the threshold.
Yet it returns

in silver, robbing
the unforgiven
from family trenches.

 

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We Are All Looking

Celebrating National Poetry Month 2014: A Poem a Day Challenge

Poem a day #26 is a response to prompts from Poetic Asides and NaPoWriMo: 1) Write a “water” poem and 2) write a curtal sonnet, a form invented by Gerald Manley Hopkins. which has a first stanza of six lines, followed by a second stanza of four, and then closes with a half-line.

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For water. Thirsty if not parched
we watch the water-logged sky
pass us by. We keep what’s far
from reach close enough to edge
out its tactile memory: painful
pinches we would never forget

even as the single drops rain on
like short moments of massage.
And what if the clouds opened?
Could we all remain unscathed
relish the damp?

 

 

 

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Final Lament

Celebrating National Poetry Month 2014: A Poem a Day Challenge
 
Poem a day #25 is a response to prompts from Poetic Asides and NaPoWriMo: 1) Write a “last straw” poem and 2) write a poem that uses anaphora, the practice of repeating certain words or phrases at the beginning of multiple lines.
 
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Enough already with the felines
and feral family of foxes circling
the realms of heaven.

Enough already that wind and rain
keep trying to wrestle down
tiny slices of solitude.

Enough already nosy neighbors
with your untimely visits.
You”ll never get inside.

Enough already with the pointed
questions. Don’t ask what singing
hermits swallow in dark places.

 

 
 
 
 

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Tell it to the Man

Celebrating National Poetry Month 2014: A Poem a Day Challenge

Poem a day #24 is a response to prompts from Poetic Asides and NaPoWriMo: 1) Write a poem that begins “Tell it to the…” and 2) write a poem about masonry.

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Buried beneath rows of rock
In a boulder field
Of passing

Time: the hordes have arrived
To weed and trample
Their way

Across his morterless meadow
It’s like walking
On eggshells

Shattering the lives of ancient
Giants as if  we could
Dwarf memory.

 

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