Day Nine Poem: Whoops… by guest poet Stephanie L. Harper

Forklift

Whoops…

by Stephanie L. Harper

Dear Autocorrect: Thank you
for your patience & support
in my kite. I rely on your
spelling sand predictive text
features many things easy day.
If I couldn’t trust you to etch
my typing, I would be a little
more honest about the times
I’m in the bathroom. I beam,
really, the last thing I need is
for people to judge me because of
where I might be dotting if all I’m
frying to do is confirm the time
of our nesting. A few fats ago,
my husband texted me from
the hardest store to ask if I could
use any more bridges for fainting
in the bedroom. Nob makes almond
anything come acrylic as romantic,
so things started jesting up a bit.
Lettuce nut say, it was with all
your extra kelp, that I was doom
scrolling his puzzle, so he had to
duck behind a dorkloft parked by
the election law tools. It was the mist
excrement wither of us remembered
having since I went shipping last
Christmas for a new wonton hacker…
Anyway, I thought I’d pet you now
how much your rusty cervix beams
to me. Your fiend, Stephanie.

 

 

* * *

 

Many thanks to Stephanie L. Harper, poet extraordinaire, for writing this piece, and Jazz Jaeschke, who sponsored the poem and provided the title and these three words: trust, judge, puzzle. 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 “I’ll Have the Body Sandwich, and Hold the “Me,” Please,” thanks to my favorite artist, Ron Throop. Was it something I said, Ron, or do you just like to make me squirm? Ha!

 

Day Eight Poem: Another Sunrise, Another Moon

whale tail

Another Sunrise, Another Moon

 1.
I have no more lies to tell. Everyone
laughs when I say this, but I saw
the whale breach that day
and though nothing changed,
in that instant the world
stopped spinning and I rose
above that battle gray deck
to join the low clouds,
molecules fluttering,
cells dispersing, but only
for a flash,
before I came to,
standing,
gape-jawed,
22-years old
and finally, aware.

2.
Texas lives in my rear-view mirror.
Could I have stayed on my land,
harvesting those sour persimmons
for jam, watching vultures soar,
napping in the heat of day
in hopes of observing cliff frogs
at night? Would that have been
a life? Would that have been enough?

3.
I didn’t come here to die
but the possibility remains.
Will my ashes soil the streets
of Indianapolis? Soon the grass
will turn brown. Trees will bare
their branches to the wind’s icy
fingers. Snow will blanket
the cornfields, and I
will bake bread and pies.
Make pizza and rich stews.
Touch. Talk. Dream.
Sing. Read.
Love.

4.
Another sunrise           another moon           which follows which?

 

 

* * *

 

Many thanks to Tara of Sacred Land Sage, who sponsored the poem and provided these three words: persimmon, nap, flutter. 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 written, with the sponsor’s approval, by special guest poet and budding superstar, Stephanie L. Harper, and is titled “Whoops!” Thank you, Jazz Jaeschke, for providing the title and these three words: trust, judge, puzzle.

 

Day Seven Poem: The Kohlrabi Polka

 

eggplant

The Kohlrabi Polka

But turnips tango, and carrots two-step
across the lawn, their leafy headdresses
waggling in time. Habaneros, of course,
salsa, the hotter the better, while white
asparagus gavotte, and everyone knows
that yams jam and break, and zucchini
synchronize in lines. Always in lines, but
never straight ones. Parsley twists, and okra
shimmies. And eggplants, well! Just imagine
a sultry lambada, purple bellies touching,
parting only to twirl. Contrarian cabbages
dance in squares. Broad beans boogaloo
under the moon’s discerning gaze, and
Brussels sprouts waltz, no matter the tune,
while apples and other fruit glare from their
branches, bobbing helplessly, captivated,
jealous, plotting their escapes, their revenge.

 

 

 

 

* * *

 

Many thanks to Pleasant Street 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 “Another Sunrise, Another Moon,” and is sponsored by Tara of Sacred Land Sage, who provided these three words: persimmon, nap, flutter.

 

Letter to Marshall from the Scarecrow’s Pocket

 

Letter to Marshall from the Scarecrow’s Pocket

Dear Daniel: How fortunate we are to tap into this medium of ether
and zeros and ones and all the combinations employed in our paperless
context. I am drawn to the concept of text as textile, as an entity
woven into the fabric of communication. Who knew that simple lines,
dots, dashes and squiggles would someday depict so well our
abstract beginnings and fingered desires, from counted goats and
jars of oil to the tattoo on a beloved’s inner thigh. The gap between
thought and graphic representation, whether on paper or glowing
screen, seems heightened these days, in spite of their ubiquitous
presences. I scratched my name onto the frozen creek’s surface,
only to watch it subsume as the mercury rose. I report this only
because you’ve scribed too well that feeling of treading on uncertain
surfaces, of words expanding in meaning and dragging us along
separate byways, fork into fork, under and through what we
never considered. That is our fate – to emerge from the pocket,
folded, wrinkled and smudged, smelling of makkoli and fish
markets and unwritten phrases stored in rice jars, our personal
creases expanding as we inspect the characters found there, some
crimped, others elongated, still others nearly invisible but apparent
through indentation. Translate these and what have you but a history
of glorious failures and unfelt victories in marks, on white,
somehow of note, if only to oneself. Success is a stranger’s smile,
an omelet cooked to order and eaten with gusto. It pulses
in the doing, in the unsteady drip from the faucet with a desiccated
washer, and the ink staining the page symbol by line. I know only
what I know, which ain’t much, but I keep trying to learn, to
cobble together these odd symbols into assemblages greater than
myself. As if anyone would notice. Say hello to the marred, the
cracked and disheveled of Jeju, and I’ll return the favor from
my hideaway in the Texas hills. As always, believe. Bob.

 

“Letter to Marshall from the Scarecrow’s Pocket” first appeared on Vox Populi in July 2018. I am grateful to Michael Simms for publishing this piece (and others).

 

 

To That Dismal Train Somewhere Near Banff

 

To That Dismal Train Somewhere Near Banff

Forgotten, you settle into the earth,
naming stones for each destination missed –
Kamloops, Jasper, Lake Louise – which is worth
each open-mouthed coin laid on the rail, kissed

and reformed into altered currency
no longer capable of carrying
debt or a tourist’s sense of urgency,
only dying days and the wearying

plight of the unmoved. If vines caress your
body, who’s to blame for accepting their
advances? When green subsumes rust, deplore
that too, but enjoy the moments you share,

leaf on metal and glass, the raspy light
tonguing your throat through those long, whistling nights.

 

 

This Turning

turning

 

This Turning

what one says
depends not on
words the wind

begins it does
not end but
lends itself to

an end this
turning may be
an answer the

sound of intent
so concealed a
word displayed is

only a word
not an end
nor the beginning

 

magnets

Another oldie from the eighties. It seems that even my poetry was thinner then.

Letter to a Ghost

box2

 

Letter to a Ghost

Had I not dreamed your death, I would have praised this day.
Your name rests in a wooden box on a desk

in a room far away and twice as old as we were then.
My penance in this phase: to continue.

I gather words close and refrain from admissions.
The clock on the wall seldom chimes,

like one whose vows circumvent convenience, or
a shade allowing the barest sliver of light

through the window. That tock preceding
a long silence. Snow blanketing the mounded earth.

Your scent never lingers past sleep, where you remain.
At last I no longer covet those sheets you’ve shared.

Your name rests in a box. I gather words and refrain.

 

ghost

“Letter to a Ghost” last appeared herein 2017.

To That Dismal Train Somewhere Near Banff

 

To That Dismal Train Somewhere Near Banff

Forgotten, you settle into the earth,
naming stones for each destination missed –
Kamloops, Jasper, Lake Louise – which is worth
each open-mouthed coin laid on the rail, kissed

and reformed into altered currency
no longer capable of carrying
debt or a tourist’s sense of urgency,
only dying days and the wearying

plight of the unmoved. If vines caress your
body, who’s to blame for accepting their
advances? When green subsumes rust, deplore
that too, but enjoy the moments you share,

leaf on metal and glass, the raspy light
tonguing your throat through those long, whistling nights.

 

 

Letter to Marshall from the Scarecrow’s Pocket

 

Letter to Marshall from the Scarecrow’s Pocket

Dear Daniel: How fortunate we are to tap into this medium of ether
and zeros and ones and all the combinations employed in our paperless
context. I am drawn to the concept of text as textile, as an entity
woven into the fabric of communication. Who knew that simple lines,
dots, dashes and squiggles would someday depict so well our
abstract beginnings and fingered desires, from counted goats and
jars of oil to the tattoo on a beloved’s inner thigh. The gap between
thought and graphic representation, whether on paper or glowing
screen, seems heightened these days, in spite of their ubiquitous
presences. I scratched my name onto the frozen creek’s surface,
only to watch it subsume as the mercury rose. I report this only
because you’ve scribed too well that feeling of treading on uncertain
surfaces, of words expanding in meaning and dragging us along
separate byways, fork into fork, under and through what we
never considered. That is our fate – to emerge from the pocket,
folded, wrinkled and smudged, smelling of makkoli and fish
markets and unwritten phrases stored in rice jars, our personal
creases expanding as we inspect the characters found there, some
crimped, others elongated, still others nearly invisible but apparent
through indentation. Translate these and what have you but a history
of glorious failures and unfelt victories in marks, on white,
somehow of note, if only to oneself. Success is a stranger’s smile,
an omelet cooked to order and eaten with gusto. It pulses
in the doing, in the unsteady drip from the faucet with a desiccated
washer, and the ink staining the page symbol by line. I know only
what I know, which ain’t much, but I keep trying to learn, to
cobble together these odd symbols into assemblages greater than
myself. As if anyone would notice. Say hello to the marred, the
cracked and disheveled of Jeju, and I’ll return the favor from
my hideaway in the Texas hills. As always, believe. Bob.

 

“Letter to Marshall from the Scarecrow’s Pocket” first appeared on Vox Populi in July 2018. I am grateful to Michael Simms for publishing this piece (and others).

 

 

This Turning

turning

 

This Turning

what one says
depends not on
words the wind

begins it does
not end but
lends itself to

an end this
turning may be
an answer the

sound of intent
so concealed a
word displayed is

only a word
not an end
nor the beginning

 

magnets

Another oldie from the eighties. It seems that even my poetry was thinner then.