Day Four Poem: Pondering Perpetuity

Truchas Morning 2

Pondering Perpetuity

If I close my eyes
will the owl
creep into my sleep

or linger out of sight,
beyond earshot
and the swirl
of grief
painting the chapel dome

of my eyelids?
Sometimes I balance wants with needs.
Nothing contains me
but I am held tight.

I never thought I was a beginning.

Sometimes I feel more than I can share,
and I scatter ashes and estranged words,
look for signs on the ground.

I am the opening
between jar and lid,
a grounded fledgling,
a promise,
unfilled.

But hope swells in morning clouds
and the first birdcalls.

In the orb spider’s dewy web.
In the blurred gasp of memory’s lapse,
in the owl, as it awakens

and folds its wings
so cautiously around
my buried
dream.

 

* * *

Many thanks to Jazz Jaeschke for sponsoring this poem and providing the title and these three words: balance, swirl and awaken.

If you’d like to join in on the fun, see my September 5 post for sponsorship details. Give me a title, provide some words. Or think of another challenge! It’s all for a good cause: Brick Street Poetry, Inc. 

Tomorrow’s poem is titled “What Were the Members of the Donner Party Hungering For Before They Set Out on the Trail” and is sponsored by Jilanne Hoffman.

Day Three Poem: We Do What We Must

Sink Drain

We Do What We Must

How to reconcile
the German in me

with the Irish, the Japanese,
and those birthrights I cannot claim?

Cleaning the bathroom,
I twirl the toilet brush, curse in Italian,

and consider cooking Szechuan beef.
Sponges make me laugh

in French. Rice is gohan in my house.
I often say potatuh instead of potato,

and then there’s tomatuh. I may mispronounce
parmesan, but never parmigiana.

In Hawaii everyone looked like me
but I drawled like a true Texan

to avoid a beating. I say domani
when putting off chores,

but dishes must be done immediately
after dinner and during meal prep.

My mustache is red, as are some of my eyebrow
hairs. I am a man of many shirts, many excuses

and contradictions. I prefer washing by hand.
Spüli, I say, when filling the sink. Spüli.

* * *

Many thanks to Plain Jane for sponsoring this poem and providing the title and these three words: toilet, brush, and Spüli.

If you’d like to join in on the fun, see my September 5 post for sponsorship details. Give me a title, provide some words. Or think of another challenge! It’s all for a good cause: Brick Street Poetry, Inc. 

Tomorrow’s poem is titled “Pondering Perpetuity,” and is sponsored by Jazz Jaeschke, who sponsored the title and asked for three words: balance, swirl and awaken.

Day Two Poem: Poetry in the Dark: A Speed Reading Nightmare

razor

Poetry in the Dark: A Speed Reading Nightmare

In this dream you have fallen in love
but have never met the object of your affection,
who, as it turns out, is a fake-blonde with a tongue
like a straight razor and an attitude so negative
even shadows freeze at her feet. Life is good,
you say, but might I have a moment to dispel
this notion of poetry in the dark? Every word
blossoms bright flares, each syllable unfolds
the night, peppers the air with lightdrops
and the aroma of shed falsities. And then
your love steps in and desiccates the atmosphere.
Drops a few F-bombs, slices nerve endings,
stomps out expectation. What do you see in her,
I ask. It’s not about vision, you reply, but what I
hope to find. Think of purgatory, of broken
door knobs and the party next door. Think about
time capsules and nested dolls and what might
live around the corner, if only you believe.
Then an auctioneer starts reading your poems,
and no matter how you struggle, you can’t
describe the lure, the power, the beauty,
the insurmountable, undeniable, ineffable darkness.

 

* * *

Many thanks to Ken Gierke for sponsoring this poem and providing the title!

If you’d like to join in on the fun, see my September 5 post for sponsorship details. Give me a title, provide some words. Or think of another challenge! It’s all for a good cause: Brick Street Poetry, Inc. 

Tomorrow’s poem is titled “We Do What We Must,” and is sponsored by Plain Jane, who, six years ago, forced me to write “Your Armpits Smell Like Heaven.” 

 

Day One Poem: When Madeleine Said No

Empty Glass

When Madeleine Said No

The spotted orb spider withdrew
to a dark corner under the eaves.

Last night’s empty glass remained
empty. Books continued sleeping

on shelves, comfortable in their covers.
What do I do now, she asked.

Nothing has changed,
but the sunlight streaming in

bores through my skin,
fingers all the little crevices,

records my cellular secrets
and folds them into tiny squares,

perhaps to be exposed later.
I am alone but not alone.

All one. Like rain and a river.
Like a train’s whistle knifing

through dreams. Like the night sky
above storm clouds, and smoky

laughter wafting from a bar. A symphony,
a bible. One syllable reclaiming a life.

* * *

Many thanks to Lynne Burnett for sponsoring this poem and providing the title!

If you’d like to join in on the fun, see my September 5 post for sponsorship details.

Tomorrow’s poem is titled “Poetry in the Dark: A Speed Reading Nightmare,” and is sponsored by Ken Gierke, who may or may not be out to get me…