Friday, April 9, 2010

April challenge -- a poem a day : poems for April 1-9

I just found this --

and took the poems I read last night, re-tweaked them, and set them up.
I love this idea of writing a poem a day for a month.
Here they are up to today:
POEM A DAY CHALLENGE: =-- joined April 9, 2010

Back log of poems:

April 1 :

Winter Song for my Son Skiing in Val d’Isère

The snow shook serious – none
of that saltshaker-I-have-plenty-of-time-to-drift-
powder-your-nose-with-a-sloppy-kiss- expansion
of flake in lazy wind.

And in this white, my son takes tight turns
down the steep slope
like a clock disappearing
seconds scraped by skis

and I follow

and we pause to rest.
Whiteness wraps me a song:
if you are not dance, my love,
be the clay coiling on the potter’s wheel
supple… be unbaked clay

and if you are not clay my love,
be cobalt glaze
reflecting… be illusion of glaze

and if you are not glaze my love
be music and the stars in the dream
of the one who loves you.

And then he is off again,
like a clock
seconds scraped by skis
in the blind white,
bound in the wind.

April 2

Prelude to a Winter Rabbit

From our chairlift, we peer
down at commas,
stenciled lines of print—

scampered melody
of rabbit traces
on wind-crested snow,

winter hunger licking
thick meringue
of stillborn waves,

negatives of rabbit prints,

April 3


Nailing the truth on the head
like bleaching rainbows
to arrive at white
without skinning truth from other’s bones
and you ask white,
absent to explain itself,
(too busy being the sum of all colors)
to declare the rosy udder in milk,
all the purple vetch, the goldenrod,
and all those greens and oranges and blues
lumbered over and chewed,
lumbered over and chewed.

Lumbered truth, chewed until it lies
tenderly, white.

April 4

Notes to remind myself not to take little things too seriously

… for today. Forget counting
the spots of coffee’s dank bitter brew
that flew out of the cup
when the car bumped into two feet of ice

and leave aside counting when you hear
that your mother’s smile has only one
remaining tooth

and if you insist on counting,
look at the sky with cirrus script
and how the wind encrypts wonder,
wild mustard, without asking why
and why it is thus and so

and so, if counting the nth time the dog
has pee’d on the carpet, without intending
to upset, or the umptieth time you re-read
that passage from a day ago,

watch how today, you can walk, ON TOP
of the snow, and how soon, so
and so will sink into a dark gulley,
rim of spring, and then

May, will green-curl spears and spread
to leaf, and lace-edged bells. Remember how

they leave no trace in summer –
leave without thinking,
like today’s snow.

April 5

Tossed off the Cuff – a poem of 60 syllables, written in under a minute

Sixty syllables in one minute?
I’ve written nine in the first line
and see letters fall, like acorn, walnut
as the seconds tick fine, fine, fine
I say, but don’t feel… I’ll never finish
if those are the rules! Re-read
minute as in tiny – cuffed!

April 6

Pop-a-lock and Attending to Spring

What to do as life grows wild around you
and you are locked out of your house
your mind a mill of excuses

fatigue of driving, a funeral service
the lure of
too much waiting for you to do
the desire to linger
in replays of faces over decades.

Call pop-a-lock, and wait, and then
watch the spring
rain washing the swelling
toothy green waves of dandelion

staccato notes in the high grass
waiting for pop-a-lock
with a trowel,
to root out those dandies with their

hard nuts of flower bound like sleeping eyes.
It’s as if Spring has popped its lock,
its wound up clock out of control

last week’s first daffodils no longer
jazz with the sunshine
rain or no rain -- they’ve finished their lick

half of them withered
trumpets petal to parchment
while a new platoon of jonquils croons

by the lilac busting its chops in silence.
The pop-a-lock man’s arrived.
pulls out his kit,

concentrates, inserts a needle,
and twists. Tells how he used
to work for the police, and how

he had to be real quiet
because you never knew
what was waiting behind the door.


April 7

Writer’s Guests

Hello thought. Be my guest
but quietly, please,
to make room for the others.

Thinking about “My happiness, bears no relation to happiness” :
"Adina Hoffman's portrait of Taha Muhammad Ali brings to life character after character, each one viewed with the author's singular humanity. The poet himself is a figure of great originality and integrity, and his life becomes a mirror of a world which we have glimpsed, until now, largely in broken fragments. I hope this landmark book will be widely, and carefully, read."—W.S. Merwin

Another idea: I’m happy has no equivalent in Japanese – maybe “I’m glad” and further,
you don’t express watashi which means “I”. So perhaps “I’m happy” is not the same as the transliterated “I’m glad” which a woman in Japan might say as "ureshii desu".

Thoughts come in and out,
how there is no easy word
to describe a particular happiness
how there is a sense of bonheur
as in, alignment with the hour,
this very minute.

April 8

Writer’s Guests – II

Worry, would you kindly take a number,
row yourself to a seat,
maybe there next to Doubt,

gobbling the very air, not out
of hunger, but to press
the engine of something as irrepressible

as joy— without a sliver
of an almond’s worth of coconut-crusted joie
or crumpled hat of a fortune cookie.

No? Doubt is too loud? Well, reverse,
make WORRY become YR ROW.
Sit next to Dao, and its ten thousand things:

bee stings, measles and barbed wire fences,
conch shells, kittens, daily expenses,

costumes, school plays, tooth-fairy rewards,
moon phases, star gazing and classroom boards.

Thank you Dao. Worry is trying to shake itself
into plural. No? Yes? Worries?

April 9, 2010

If arabesques curled around a key
and goldfish jazzed sufficiently,
a foggy day in London town
might mean that when you’re low
you’re up, not down.

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