More Than Blue

Skies of blue, whys of blue
Seas of blue, seized by blue
Living the blues, singing the blues,
Preaching the Blues, Tell It
Like It Is, Stormy
Monday.

 

This was written in response to Twiglet #43 from Misky this morning.

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Dejeuner

Too often, i confuse etymology with entomology
Looking for word meanings, i find myself
lost in a world of insects and arachnids,
the unwelcome visitors at an outdoor meal.

Here now: “Picnic” from the French, “pique-nique”
defined as “pecking at trifles,” origin unknown.
Pique-nique: “Dejeuner sur l’herbe,”
Manet’s misbegotten masterpiece.

A naked lady in the grass, abandoned
picnic basket by her side. Who would sit
like that, inviting unwanted attention
from the ants, the wasps, the tiny mites and ticks?

Trifles in a landscape, non-existent to the artist’s
eye and yet, how can one not feel them there?
The reality of sharing our picnic foods with others,
seen and unseen,  in a world of eat — or be eaten.

 
This draft was written in response to Miz Quickly’s request for a poem about picnics. She also said to “be happy.”

 

 

 

Quickly September 1

On the shore dimly seen through the mists of the deep
Highways jammed with broken heroes

It fitfully blows, conceals, half discloses
Everybody’s … on the run tonight.

Now it catches the gleam of the morning’s first beam.
I want to guard your dreams and visions.

O say can you see by the dawn’s early light?
We’ll run till we drop…we’ll never go back.

I want to guard your dreams and visions.

 
This poem was written for the Labor Day weekend challenge from Miz Quickly, asking us to interpose lines from a serious song with those from one less serious in tone. Not sure I nailed it because I think Springsteen is often pretty serious as a lyricist, but these lines are from Born to Run and the National Anthem.

 

 

 

Fly

“I heard a Fly buzz — when I died”

or perhaps I was not dying at all that day
and perhaps that was not a fly at my window,
that buzz at once so soulful and melodic,
an insistent refrain from the blue
piercing the soft summer breeze
seductive song of a nightingale

 

This poem was written in response to prompts for Day Thirteen from NaPoWriMo and PAD.

Revelation

What happens when
you discover that your greatest
vulnerability
is—at the same time —
your most formidable strength?

I stand here a woman, nothing
more and nothing less, all at once

embodying
encompassing
enduring
the reconciliation of
self and self.

 

This poem was written in response to Day 7 of 2018 NaPoWriMo, with a hint of the “write about your shadow” prompt from Apiary Lit 30/30.

Quest

We pretended to be spies
gathering intelligence

In the olden days, we
peered through windows,
studied return addresses on
unfamiliar envelopes,
listened in on phone calls.
Small pieces of information
gathered carefully like hidden
blackberries on hillside bushes,
secretly saved and savored.

But in the here-and-now
immediacy overwhelms us.
Spying, yes, but in the comfort
of an easy chair, open laptop
on lap.
Facebook! Instagram! Snapchat!
No time to relish or savor
(envy the dominant theme)
Then on to the next new thing.

Still we gather intelligence
but are we any smarter?

 

This poem was written for Day 5 of PAD, asking us to muse on the word “intelligence.”

 

 

 

 

A Case of the Blues

Blues in concrete shoes and
a cement overcoat, a rust-flecked
anchor slipping through the depths,
raising bubbles near schools of
tiny neon fish who quickly change
direction as one being. That anchor
dragging the ocean floor of
muck and murk, never to rise
again.

 

Blues on trial. The courthouse
gray, imposing, unwelcoming.
Streaked windows look out on a city
of streets clogged with cars and
angry red-faced drivers going
nowhere. The trial is done. Did
the judge say “Acquit” or
“I quit?” And after all, does
it really matter?

 

Blues in an old valise, full of nostalgia
and regret — scuffed sweat-stained
ballet flats, concert programs, dried and
brittle corsages of roses, a cloth
handkerchief with a single initial —
the scent of “what-if’s” and
“might-have-been’s” and a tinge
of Carolina moonlight.

 

 

These three variations were written in response to the PAD prompt today to start with the word “case,” and to the NaPoWriMo prompt, asking us to write about an abstract concept using as many concrete nouns as possible. I also did a lot of free writing first, as suggested by Apiary Lit 30/30.

 

Spring Cento

Remember the moments we were together —
Our mouths were open but we could not sing.
There in the fragrant pines and the cedars dusk and dim
…every shadow has a brother, just waiting.

(Honey-like darkness…there, near the veranda)
These numbered days/have a concentrated sweetness
And sweetest of all is the night and the rushing air.
It’s madness to live without joy.

Light universal, and yet it keeps changing.

I should have begun with this: the sky.

 

 

 

Day Three’s challenge from NaPoWriMo was to write a list poem, while Apiary Lit 30/30 suggested we take a line from a favorite poem to use as a title or perhaps first line of a new poem of our own. I decide to take lines from several favorite poems and poets to create a cento by rearranging the lines into something new.

The poems and poets are as follows: Try to Praise the Mutilated World, Adam Zagajewski; In the Coma, Robert Pinsky; When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d, Walt Whitman; A Rainy Country, Linda Pastan; City Without a Name, Czeslaw Milosz; Blood Honey, Chana Bloch; In My Dreams, Stevie Smith; In Warsaw, Czeslaw Milosz; Sky, Wisława Szymborska.

 

 

 

This is Just to Confess

This is Just to Confess

I have eaten
almost every-
thing in
the ice box

which I
probably should
have saved
for breakfast.

Forgive me,
father, my cold
and late night
sin.

 

With apologies to William Carlos Williams, this poem is written for the first day of National Poetry Writing month, combining prompts from the NaPoWriMo site (http://www.napowrimo.net/) as well as the PAD prompt from Poetic Asides at Writer’s Digest (http://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/poetic-asides)

Every Atom

I celebrate myself, and sing myself,
And what I assume, you shall assume,
For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.

— Walt Whitman, “Song of Myself”

 

Every atom — changing, exchanging,
assuming a new disguise.

Respiration, inspiration, expiration.
(Who am I today?)

I walk through the misty morning,
mist enters my very pores.

Today I am flesh and bone and mist.
Tomorrow, a new disguise.

 

This poem was written for Day 2 of the NovPAD chapbook challenge at Poetic Asides.