Friday, April 29, 2011

Ode to the Partners of Poets

We wake up and gently reach over
your silken bare shoulders
for the notepad that captures our dreams

When you’re thinking romance
we’re thinking Petrarchan sonnets

You rarely have our full attention
as we scribble on napkins
and read back snarled lines

As you hear our torrid Sestina
the one that makes your heart pound
you briefly pause to wonder
last Valentine’s Day at the cabin?
or daydream of the latte’ girl at Starbucks?

Once April arrives
you’ve already made a list
of good books and films
you’ll have to see alone

Our husbands, wives, and lovers
here’s to you
for all you endure

[prompted by Poetic Asides]

Monday, April 25, 2011

A Fine Line

[From a Poetic Asides Prompt, Falling]

Having survived the best and the worst of dreams
grizzly looking in the tent
nailing the Idol audition
naked dissertation defense
it took reading Ryan and Jong
a few months on the running trails
and the steadfast support
of family and friends
for her to learn the fine line
that separates falling and flying

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Unity Prayer

Based on a half-life of travel
long hikes from the vortexes of Sedona
to the wet cliffs of Moher
the top of the stairs at St. Peters
to the Tsing Shan Monastery

It’s abundantly clear:
we’ve the same dreams
the same hopes for our children
the same longing for the sacred

Whether searching for the elusive Kedushah
the baby Jesus or those ubiquitous purple Peeps
may we find the unity that was there all along

Let your many prayers flow together as one

Friday, April 22, 2011

Dream of the One Place

Based on a Poetic Asides prompt, one unique person, place or thing.

There’s this one place
first visited in a dream
where I can create what
I’ve been put here to create

Inspired by Elysium
it’s backed by the green peaks of Cascadia
plied by clean, flowing waters
swollen with urgent salmonidae
perched on a gentle slope
linking the new world and the old

The homesite well-built
with Walden-like basics
room for drama-free travelers
and filled with monastic quiet

My creative space has bookshelves rivaling Trinity
reams of receptive paper and infinite inkpots
one chair that makes me more clever
smells of leather and lemon oil
maps that don’t change every year

One point
one foci
one place

As the one who joined me
at the headwaters of this magical journey
step now into my dream
help me draw the maps and charts to land us there
to find our one place
where all of this becomes real

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Lest Ye Shall Not

Based on a Poetic Asides Prompt, Message in a Bottle

To whomever finds and reads this
know that not everything you read is true.
Just because it’s on the web or reported as news
doesn’t guarantee it’s fact

If you’re opening this up on another shore
which would mean your own and not ours
know that we’re mostly a good people.
There are crazies everywhere
and it’s likely we have more than you.
Ours are just more visible and we always
have enough of them to export.

But for every Fred Phelps, Sarah Palin or Charlie Sheen
we have cities filled with caring and generous people.
For every distraught mother who drives her kids swimming into a fast moving river, there are twenty million good moms. For every arms dealer who beats plowshares into swords there’s a family owned farm helping to feed the world.

On the balance we’re a good people.
We help out when your city is flattened by an earthquake when it’s time to quash polio, when the wall of water sends isotopes pinging off the heavens.

If you only believe one thing you read today, let it be this. We are not as we sometimes seem, we are better.
Peace be unto you.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Cor anglais

She is to me as a soprano to the alto
of everything I am and anything you can name
but I am happiest when hearing her distinctive pitch.

Yet I know when it’s time to inhale
and when to find my own part
in this complicated score.

Maybe she’s more suited to solo.
Maybe I am more plaintive and mellow.
I appreciate the differences in our instruments.

Friday, April 15, 2011

About Me

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Poet, singer/songwriter, lover, mother.
I’m intrigued by the creative process
especially lyrical poetry and erotica
but I suck at keeping track of what I’ve written.
Hobbies are swimming, learning foreign languages
and pissing off the radical right.
Love other people regardless of plumbing
or national origin.
I travel often between Sicily and Lesbos.
Don’t have a website but learning to tweet.

This is a profile poem describing one of the most famous classical poets from ancient Greece, after a prompt from Poetic Asides. Wonder if Sappho were here today, we might see something like this on her blog?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

How To Be a Total Drama Queen in the Body of a Young Prince

When you think emptying the dishwasher is so commoner and stomp a little to prove your point and when you do that muttering thing that has a high probability of containing the B word but it’s discreet enough to escape certain detection and when you get grounded from those frequent and meaningful conversations you’re having with your hundred and eighty three friends

What’s left but to plan your own death by a cause you can’t name, and to build a coffin with common art supplies like cardboard and poster paint, and craft a cute little headstone with catty little dig to go with your name, and then there’s the soundtrack for your service, and well-written eulogy filled with unflattering references to your parents for your best friend to read, because Man, he’s always been there for you

When the Dad from another century can’t suppress his old guy laugh and tells you to find your one point and move forward, you have to get even more furious and tell him that he can take his aging Zen self and try to be even more clueless

Doesn’t he know you’re the Prince? If he’s your Dad, then that makes him the King, shouldn’t he know that? This is serious

Monday, April 11, 2011

My Favorite Runner

Injury forces me to watch instead of run
so I get to cheer two thousand fortunates
suffer without me

When I’m out there myself
mind games help me forget the pain
today they’re helping me endure
the pain of envy

Today’s game:
spot my favorite runner
and forgive this but
there are lots of people in the running

I like the new mother of twins
pushing the jogging stroller
as she trains for the Mommy Olympics

There’s the curvy island girl
who’s bouncing a lot
but she’s got her iTunes working
and she’s bouncing out of joy

One guy is covered with braces and scars
and his pain is written all over his face
but he deserves at least one medal for showing up
and another for finishing

My favorite runner isn’t any one runner
it’s the group of older girlfriends
giddy with endorphins and friendship

I know nothing about them beyond their hats
which tell me everything I need to know
Fuck Cancer
and it may be one of them or all of them
who’s won that particular race
but either way it’s the kind of candor
that steals your breath away

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Four Twenty-Two

My every day has one minute like this
where I feel the warmth and presence
of these life-changing numbers
and pause the pause of a creator

I might be in a meeting
tapping away on a project
or sneaking a poetry break
but these numbers revisit each day

You, you’re in this moment
held up high
messy and proud
looking every bit a Mackenzie
I knew then a kilt
would suit you just fine

The prayers
don’t we remember the important prayers?
mine was quiet and quick
help me with this one
keep him safe and out of wars
we need all the help we can get
and we can’t do this alone

My every day has one sacred minute like this
where I honor these same frozen numbers
smile the same smile
savor the same high
pray the same prayer
love the same you

[inspired by Poetic Asides Poem-A-Day for Day 9 - Time]

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Cool things be happening

What is it about April? Days are longer. Things are blooming. Writing like crazy. Everyone I know is doing the same. From the smile on her face, even the letter carrier is probably writing and receiving sonnets. Okay, maybe it is the uniform.

Besides the poeming, I'm in this strange patch of time where I'm meeting lots of outstanding poets and getting some one-on-one time learning their craft. Check out Carter McKenzie (Out of Refusal) and Paulann Petersen (The Voluptuary).

These are the in-person persons. I'm also getting to know an online community this month. And they're getting to know me.

As I continue to write, I'm getting to know me too.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Warm For Her Form

So, it's April and that means National Poetry Month. Last year I penned a poem a day and the habit stuck, but the place I posted to is no longer. No problem, I found an interesting and talented community at Poetic Asides, and this will be my home away from home for this month.

Don’t chase after Sestina
she’s quite demanding
and you’ll never satisfy her

That Sonnet has a romantic streak
but don’t you see
she’s snooty and pretentious?

Ghazal comes from a good family
and she’s kind
but simple

You should spend some time
with the Tanka girl
she could make you very happy

In my culture
we’re taught to heed the advice
of Grandmothers and Aunties

But even so
I find myself mentally undressing

Inspired by 2011 Poem-A-Day Challenge Day 6 "Don't (blank), (blank)"

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Without This Me - 2011 Poem-A-Day #3

A world without this me might welcome a that me
a substitute version accepted by all

His rigorous workouts and modeling tight briefs
would conjure up images slender and tall

Talent with numbers might make him a banker
if coupled with ethics you’d welcome his kind

If he could pass the bar you’d want to have his card
when you were injured or some other bind

Were he a diplomat, strong and courageous
he’d build a world that’s more kind and diverse

If he had gotten some classical training
he’d be more likely to write better verse

For all the conjecture, I’d rather not think about
untimely leaving or false warning signs

A world without this me would go on revolving
the same as for anyone reading these lines

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Spending my Saturday in a workshop

Today I'm hosting a workshop for authors called Fooling Around With Words, so named for the just completed April 1 events. Right now, enjoying a session on blogging by talented poet Larina Warnock. Later: reading by Oregon's Poet Laureate Paulann Petersen.

What got me here

So let the punishment begin. I participated in National Poetry Writing Month last year by writing a poem a day throughout April. The habit stuck and I'm back for 2011. We may need some more coffee.

She came to our town to read
so I picked her up at the airport
drove her everywhere
had cappuccino
squired her to the reading
she actually used the word squired
when she signed my copy of her book

That night she killed
that’s why we chose her for this
after dinner with friends
and a lot of fine wine
she held forth on her life
how she knew early on
it was the only thing
she was called to do

It hadn’t clicked at first
she spoke of the first anguished years
shoe boxes stuffed with nasty little letters
from vapid little editors who didn’t get her
and when someone asked how she kept going
I will never forget when she said
she knew deep down
she was writing damn good poems

And this caused me to wonder
what manner of faith each of us brings
to believe the same things about each other
with or without stuffed shoe boxes

[From the prompt by Robert Lee Brewer to write a "what got you here" poem]