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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

My daughter's first poem



I Like Angels


Angel   I I I I
Nice
Apple picking
Sand who angels like it
Tape things that are broken
Ants march
Sunshine Day she like the sun smile at her
Icecream, she likes vanilla icecream
Angel's name is Anastasia


inadequate letters

There are no letters
that can represent any sound
cant put them together
in small words
to show
the wind rustling through the trees.

A bird can be heard
that sounds raspy
R..A...S...P..Y...?
Those letters and their sounds are not
quite right.

A child turning a wind up toy-
cranking?
Crank, craank, craaank,
but no
not right again.

A lawnmower is enters the setting.

It is far away, unseen,
a coming and going sound
machinelike EEER EEEEEER
ER EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEERRR
EER   ER
coming and going
loud and soft
like a mosquito that moves to and from your ear.

The whooooossshhhhh of the trees.
The rrruuusssshhh of the leaves.

Eeeee ee eeee
twit  twit    twit
(or is it tiwt tiwt?)
(or toorwhit tooowhit torwittt?)
and twee tweee twee tweeeeeeeee
twee -
so many birds, so many sounds-
inadequate letters.

The lawnmower is reminiscent-
sounds like a child's toy.

The ROAR of a passing plane,
The CLINK of their dog's chain,
the Dog's bark,
BARK? WROOF?
Inside, a phone RINGS.

The CREAEAK of the door
that opens, and a human enters the outside world
with words, " I wanted to show you this"
plastering graffiti on nature's wall.



Monday, December 20, 2010

White Flowers

The child moved through the air on a swing. The air was warm and the sky was blue. She loved the blue sky. She loved white fluffy clouds. She wanted today to always be today.

              The child in the swing
              wants to stay frozen in time
              but clouds float by.

The child hears her mother's voice. She loves her mother's voice. She swings higher. Happy, her arms pull, her legs bend, as she sings a made-up song.

              A rabbit enters
              the small garden full of greens.
              The child does not see.

She loves her backyard. She has a sandbox. She helps Momma with the garden. She found lots of green beans that Momma said were hiding. All the bushes that lined the length of her backyard like a fence all had different types of flowers. No two were alike. She visited them each day. She smell them all. There was one smell she did not like. It came from the bush with the white flowers.

              A pink bike sits in
              a dark garage forgotten.
              The child climbs her tree.

She leaves her swingset to climb her favorite tree. She climbs high to her fort and hides inside. She hears her mother's voice calling again. She sings quietly a made up song.

              A lunch box
              Had her favorite
              treat inside.

The mother enters the fort. The child starts to cry. She takes her mother's offered hand and they climb down together as she cries. They get her new lunch box. They wait for the school bus together. Together, they sing a made up song.

             A squirrel
             enters the girl's fort.
             The bus departs.


Monsters

The rocking chair is
lulling a worried doll to sleep.
Shadows are monsters.
The girl sings a lullaby
that her mother had sung to her. 

Saturday, December 18, 2010

winter commute

It is already dark, daylight is done
heat blows and her face is warm.
It is cold outside. The car moves ahead
on tires moving  slow
for eyes that feel sleep
entering, coming quick.


A big house does not heat up quickly
Daylight is done, the workday is done -
but five or four hours till sleep
reading, thinking, waiting for the house too warm.
Her breathing, now, is heavy and slow
She is willing her eyes to focus ahead.


The sky is dark, the exit is two ahead
and the tunnel of trees zoom by, quickly
and how can time be this slow?
The wind whistling the windows, the drive not done
The house will not be warm
It had been closed, empty, asleep.


Now, in a car she fights sleep
Later in bed, the next day in her mind looming ahead
another day to leave sleep and a warm bed
another night passed too quickly
passing, speeding like the ride done,
sleep will come too slow


Her foot pressed down, this journey is slow
in the car where she fights sleep
on heated seats, her workday done
the next exit ahead
hand gripping the wheel, exit come quickly
the car is too warm


A bath, dinner, then maybe the house will be warm
heating up steady and slow
leisure time will pass too quickly
think about the night ahead
where work is erased, forgotten, lost, done.


(I wrote winter commute  a long time ago for a poetry course. It was my attempt at a particular poetry form called a Sestina, which involves a pattern using the last words of each line. I have tried to rework it a few times, but it still read likes a first draft.  Suggestions and criticism are welcomed. :-)

despondency

the landscape you see, the tree that reaches,
is rooted in the ground,
the tree that cuts through the sun,
the woman that lies in the shade.

The brown grass, the barren land
the woman that lay in the shade
there is no face
there are no legs
a woman that lay in the shade

the sun shines bright
the tree grows through
the land is not real

There is
no face
no legs
There is
a woman

that lay in the shade.



Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Path of the Firefly

she was the only one outside
sitting in one of the wooden chairs her fingers holding the lit cigarette,
the excuse to go outside

her knees were pulled up legs bent
she looked with her eyes:
white house slanted roof stars
sheets that flapped in the wind dancing with a clothesline

she was trying to follow the path of a firefly
spotted earlier near one of the flapping sheets
it disappeared when its light turned off

she looked again at the slanted roof
the grey shingles remembered another night years ago
they had sat on that roof
a group of them looking down at the drunken slight chaos below

laughing loud voices the glow and smell of lit cigarettes shouting
and yelling singing along to loud music lots of beer and friends standing by the keg.

there it is again- the firefly- near a flapping sheet

she loses sight of it and stares again at the empty roof
the trail of smoke that her lone cigarette leaves behind
voices travel to her from inside quiet muted
reminiscent of television left on forgotten
background noise the program would be some type of family show
because that's what they all were inside couple married
a few even with children already a family

it has been a long moment since she has seen the firefly
she fears she has lost it
she worries it has gotten engulfed by the flapping sheets
or been carried away by the wind or simply that it had traveled too far -
out of her sight

then she sees it alight once again
above the slanted empty roof



http://i225.photobucket.com/albums/dd89/nancyrae39/FlickeringFireflys321.jpgflickering firefly  lightning bug Pictures, Images and Photos

Pressure Point

His back is pressed to the pillows that are pressed to the wall.
He feels the bumps of his spine, moves the pillows,
pulls himself up.
Thighs meet the hard mattress, his bottom tingles from nerves pressed
too hard.
He slides back down,
pulls the bed covers up,
and hears them-
the birds.

The CD is playing softly - Native American flutes,
so at first he does not hear them-
the birds.

Then he does.
Almost.
As they at first, seem to be
a new sound, that enters the softly playing music.

His back is at a sharp angle, 90 degrees
His head and neck seem crashed upon his weary back
His left shoulder has a pulse,
a pressure point.

Moves his pillows, pulls himself up
again,
and hears two birds, two sounds, similar, but distinct-
and realizes that the sound is coming from the other side of his fan,
outside.

His white fan is still and silent on this cool night
it sits or stands
on the windowsill pressed from
above, by the glass window,
trying to close upon it.

Yes the sound is outside - not coming from the music
softly playing.
The birds are calling outside,
but it is night?

Is it night he wonders, the shade is down,
he cannot see through the plastic fan,
He does not know how much time has passed,
does not know if it is day or night.

How much time has passed?
Has insomnia taking another night away
as he sat listening to each new song, the thoughts in his head,
had he let the night and rest, sleep, escape him somehow?

There are three birds now.

Is it night? Day? or that hour before the dawn
that he has met before, sleepless, knowing
soon there will be the glare of the sun
and a work day he dreads.

That hour when soon there are more and more birds
calling.

He realizes the room is bright
but it is not day
It is his lamp that was never turned off
his clock,
says 12:20.

It is still night
There is still time.

The music stops, a rasping sound,
as the laser pulls back,
Its 12:21 at night

But the birds are still there
on the other side of the fan
outside
singing like it is day.

Strange.


Sunday, December 5, 2010

Listening Alone

The sun's descent through tangled trees,
rests on rooftops and falls behind.
Leaving shadows,
It is gone.
Listening for sounds outside,
snow falls silently on wet ground.
Cars return
doors open and close
shades are pulled down
lights flick on,
as shadows move inside.
He leaves his shade up
to watch the lingering light.
Listening for sound,
he hears his breath
he hears his ears
buzzing.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Maintenance

Life is like a car- needs breaks sometimes
Needs turns
Needs signs
Directions
Parking spaces
Problems need fixing sometimes
You may even run out of fuel-
happens sometimes.

But always get tune-ups and fix ups
and listen for things gone wrong
Keep it parked sometimes
take the highway other times.

Keep your windows clean.
Sometimes, turn off the radio,
Enjoy a red light
or a long passing train.

Things Rise

The smell of the ocean is missing today
her eyes see the blue between the trees-
sailboats curiously flat.

There are no seagulls calling welcome
There was that first day.

It is almost over.

She sees sunflowers, never noticed before,
There are six, one starting to droop.


Planes like car traffic
one after another take off,
very different than the lone sound of a plane,
far off and infrequent, she is used to.

The noise is a unified force.

Metal moving, planes, white transport buses-
orange and brown stripes.
Loud music- a visiting radio station,
here for their last day.

and voices:

A fence of conversations mingled together- everyone anonymous
like how everyone's voice blends together at the beach, she thinks,
where a seagull, a shout, or a child's cry will sometimes rise above.

Things rise here too.

Laughter above a girl who is smoking in a group of six-
childlike, fresh, unplanned.

People come closer
words separate, solidify:
"class talk"
"small talk"
"catch-up talk"
"what's going on talk"
"making plans talk",

The click of shoes as woman with brightly colored hair walks by,
her key chain shows the college name.

Maybe its a slightly burnt smell today
a pigeon too close to her lunch
a sky that swirls with hues of white, grey, and blueish grey,
dorm windows that mirror the darkest part of the sky
perhaps the lone ant she sees to the left.

She notices people walking alone
She looks longer at them
see backpacks and purpose.

a bird flies out of sight.

Bloody Marys in the Morning

Their dog was under the table, a coffee table littered with cigarette butts and beer bottles. It was the place everyone kept returning to smoke a cigarette, to pour more wine, to drink more beer, and there were vodka shots she was not allowed, she was not Russian. Her liver was not like theirs. So only three shot glasses on the table for four. Behind the table, the room with the keyboard and Russian songs. The Russian woman was drunk and her singing was more like the howl of a dog. The narrator of this poem, Mary, did not speak Russian. The Russian woman joked, your girlfriend should learn Russian. The Russian boyfriend said she's smart but not that smart. The Russian woman was not articulating her words well and then not at all. Mary knew this. She did not need Russian. The Russian woman danced. She kept dancing as the men did not watch. Her hands close to Mary's face. Her shots were poured smaller by the men, although, like a good Russian drinker, she protested vehemently as expected. Mary's boyfriend said to her request for a change of music: She is listening to the songs of her youth. She needs this. So Mary suffered silently, the dog hid, the woman danced. They poured her small vodkas shots and gave her pot. And still she danced,and danced, close to Mary's face, and occasionally she shrieked for no apparent reason.


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Onions Peels

Grey arms outstretched
a ballet dancer, she was the color
of the pavement, Mary Poppins
fallen from the sky, her umbrella lost-
she had shrunk in size, smaller than
a dollar bill, the ground shook
as a runner ran by.

The runner thinking of onion peels
in a still life rotting away, years of running
bones though still light, steps still light
but running on fallen leaves
crunching, crackling, running on
onion peels the color of fall.

Cardboard arms slightly ripped
a little person, without hands
or feet, a long dress and bonnet
fallen from the sky, her people lost
she had become flat,
grey against the colors of fall.

The walker thinking of trees-
a street in a tunnel
and gingerbread houses lined in a row
each their own, each their own story
of Sunday dinners, proms dresses, home from college,
the limousine to the church,
and then Sunday dinners, prom dresses,
home from college, waiting in the church.

The smell of a baby.

The cutout doll
abandoned, by her feet-
the color of pavement.

How perfect that she is grey, no colors
no design, just her arms outstretched
The proud stance, the long dress, a bonnet
Mary Poppins fallen from the sky,
A pioneer from the past, a Little Person
Gracing this side of the rainbow,
amongst the onion peels, the wrinkled faces:
a cutout doll.