Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Gently Does the Night

Lately, I've allowed life to interfere with my writing, and as sometimes happens, living has chased away my muse and left me wanting. I've decided that I can't allow my living to define my life, so my new vow is to write every day, even if I write badly.
What follows is my first completed product of this vow.

This poem began with a few lines rolling through my mind, as my poems often do. The problem was that nothing further developed, so I decided to help it along by writing to form; hence, the sestina. By conforming to a particular pattern, I forced myself to extend my thinking. At least I am writing.


Gently does the night go into day
Like lovers parting lips  and giving way

To old familiar, tender pleasures.
Then boldly rising, Sun thrusts the moon

Careless from his bed into a weary world
Where nightime treasures end,

As all soft loving dreams will end
When shown beneath the harsher light of day.

The risen sun looks down on this cold world
And calls us forth to go about our way

And busy our time with no thought of the moon
Or other of those softer natural  pleasures.

Our days we fill with things that pass for pleasures --
Getting, spending, working with no end

Until the shly shining rising of the moon
Parts herself again to gentle out the day;

We live our lives of busyness this way,
Worn out and wearied in a wondrous world.

Our artificial, busy, concrete solid world
We fill with artificial, solid, concrete pleasures --

While harshened, hardened hearts along the way
Pull us only to a solid, hardened end,

Baking us with fire and heat like day
Solidifies his hold on earth and blurs the moon

Until the moon herself forgets she's Moon
And is subsumed into the brighter world

And blotted out by day.
Were there not times when natural pleasures

Triumphed in the end?
Were we not made to live another way?

The night herself can light a better way
If we would pause in wonder at a moon

That shines past concrete to the end
Of this harshened, heavy-hearted world

Devoid of pleaures.
The gentle light of night can blot the day

And put an end to life's unnatural way,
But only if each day we choose the moon's
Sweet sleepy treasure over a concrete world devoid of  pleasure.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Oh, Martha!

I feel compelled to put an asterisk beside this one and say that the "you" is not meant to be Jesus, although the story of Mary and Martha did spark the poem. While listening in church, I kept thinking that I know the better part, I just can't do it. I'm Martha through and through. (Working on the resentment thing, though. I promise.)

AND...I considered passing this off as an official Poetry Bus poem for the week, but I'm far too superstitious for that. The Puritans did a job on my head, apparently. You know, Sinners in the Hands, and all that. You might want to go to Rachel's place for this week's riders. Meanwhile, I'm counting on God's keeping his/her sense of humor!  ;-)


They tell me it's the better part.
     We're not supposed to think,
           Just sit there at your feet,

But try as I might, I can't
     Make my hair ripple
          Waves of welcome.

No, look hard enough,
     And you'll find me 
          Beside an open door;

I'm sneaking a smoke
     And thinking about the weather
          And what they'll want to eat.

I'm waiting for the microwave to beep.

Friday, September 17, 2010

the visitor

a hulking thing
breathing fetid breath
sits on my shoulders

even in my heart
even in the dark,
it does not bear thinking 

it is an unseen monster
under the bed
reaching for an ankle

it is the other, 
the visitor
living in my house

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Glow of God

The Poetry Bus prompt this week from Dragonfly Princess Marion is to write about a color. My poem is about the color of light, a glow from God given to creatures here below. It was prompted by a story on the news.

Just when I thought I had nothing to say about color, this...


In the bay, neon blue trails
sway with the stir of tides,
signaling some secret
shared by those who know
its conscious cosmic flow.

In the fields, fireflies spark and fade,
flushing from the grass,
unaware that rushing children seek
to catch the magic as it passes
through their hands.

They call it bioluminescence,
this blooming internal glow,
light without heat, a pulse of God
beating in small creatures
here below.

And in a story on the news today,
a famous General holds his breath
while science strives to catch
this marvel, magic cosmic glow 
and make of it a thing to use for death.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010



Last night while we raged
in blankets of sleep,

Scattering shreds of ourselves
through boardrooms and city streets,

The wind wrapped its coaxing cloak
around the branches of trees

And whispered, “Come with me.”

While we twisted
in our cotton shrouds

And dived beneath the day
like sailors on the way

To Davy Jones's locker,
the wind took planters by the hand

And led into the field,
leaving roots and stems strewn

Like dance cards dropped on chairs
by twirling girls.

This morning, the yard is transformed
into a labyrinth of scattered things --

Like the edges of our dreams,
like the blankets and cloaks

We've forgotten on the morning floor.

And we find our way through the day,
grasping the saving string of dreams

To dodge the scattered limbs
the world so often places

In our way.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Teenager, On the Way

Teenager, On the Way

to school, at the light.
The bass beat rocks the car
and hums the street.
Behind me, two girls
in an old Mercedes,
in front, unabashed
by the taped taillight,
and hanging half out
the open window
in delight,
a jaunty salute
over the hood of my car.
A crinkling of eyes
the buzz cut hair
the muscled wave
of a tee-shirted arm
before the light changes
and he is off,
a blast into the ether
of the curve out of sight,
as quick as that.