Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Two down, one to go

kinetic, tendril, bliss, embolden, blossom

In the kinetic light of early morning
The garden dances. Each dew-startled leaf,
Each blossom of the cosmos planted
To attract bees to the pumpkins shimmies
On a barely perceptible breeze.
I wander my personal Eden, drunk
On growth and rampant beauty, blessed and smeared
With the sharp-scented green gold
Of tomato pollen, a tendril
Of romano bean vine tangled
In my uncombed hair, nibbling
An infant zucchini for breakfast. Then I spy
The season’s first ripe tomato. Emboldened
By the lonely hour and the lush beauty
Of my garden, I do a mad Snoopy dance
Between tomatoes and peppers.

The first poem I wrote today is more a reminder of a poem I want to write, at this point, so I won't post it yet. But I'm counting it toward the challenge.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Poems published and a giveaway

For the first time in far too long, poems of mine are appearing somewhere other than my own blog. I've been published in the inaugural issue of The Crone's Gazette, a digital magazine that incorporates poetry and glorious photos into its overall focus on homesteading, gardening and "the simple life."

To celebrate, I'm giving away a year's subscription to Crone's Gazette, courtesy of editor Kathie Lapcevic (of Two Frog Home fame. If you're not reading her blog, you should be.) That's four issues of practical advice, yummy recipes, pretty pictures, poems and more. Comment here to win!

I'm a bit behind in my Poem a Day challenge--only got in one poem while at Mom's--but I still have 16 more poems than I started out the month with and that makes me happy. I aim to catch up by month's end, even if it takes a marathon of mad poetry. What a lovely thought.

Friday, April 15, 2011

The wild poeming continues

I've managed to write, but I literally haven't had time to post the results. I've been writing at odd minutes, scribbling into notebooks or, once, on an envelope.

And in all this busyness, I completely forgot--speaking of no time to post--to mention I'd done a guest post on Sacchi Green's blog. Check it out!

This weekend I'm running off to my mom's and will likely be without Internet access for several days. When I get back, I'll post book covers and juicy excerpts for several new anthologies I'm in, talk about poetry versus prose, and ramble about the new Website I'm struggling to create. (The design's easy. Dealing with the providers is killing me.) Have fun, kids, keep reading and writing, and don't break the Internet while I'm gone.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Sometimes prompts take me in strange directions

No Secrets

I don’t have secrets from my husband.
That’s my biggest secret, the one
That surprises people, especially the ones who fancy
They have a certain type
Of bad girl pegged. All the facets I hide
From the world at large, he helps me polish.
The weakness for Scotch
And butch women and arrogant men?
He buys the Scotch. He encourages
The dates. In a back room hazed with blue smoke,
There’s a version of me wearing glossy red lipstick
And very little else, blowing the patrons.
He knows about her. He knows about the one
Who rides off on a Harley, some little tramp in torn jeans
Riding bitch on the back,
The one who mates with dolphins,
The one who tore up the psych referral.
He even knows about the side of me who likes
To wear pearls and an apron, to out-Cleever June
And be his perfect housewife, the one whose biggest secret
Is that she’s not as wild
As she might like you to believe.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

I told you I'd do a real poem today


With you as my strong tower, my walls
Of stone to keep out the world, I feel safe
To be smaller, softer. But even stone
Can grow weary, and we have both
Let ourselves forget that I am not small by nature.
Rest in me. I am not a castle, defensive
Against all comers. I am strong
Like the sheltering depths of the ocean,
The warm, dark earth that nurtures seedlings,
A quiet forest where all the animals
Keep their fierce distance. I am wilderness,
Strange but open hearted. If in me
You can find freedom or quiet,
A place to turn stone back to flesh,
Then lay claim to my wild heart
And make my wilderness your garden.

Not doing so well on the poetry challenge. I missed Friday altogether (opted against the drunken rant, a poetic form I largely abandoned after college but the only one that was going to happen by the time I actually had a few minutes on Friday) and yesterday's was a sort-of haiku I won't post anywhere until/unless I can make it a properly allusive haiku and not a short, silly poemlet in a 5-7-5 syllabic pattern.

Today I'll do better!

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Day 7--a twisted fairy tale

Written on the petals

There’s a vortex in the center
Of a wild iris, a secret place
That draws you in if you study it long enough.
It leads to a place of faerie. Not the tiny pixies
Of Victorian art, but winged warriors
Clad majestically in white and gold and purple.
They are flowers with swords,
Deadly butterflies, winged desire partaking
Of the best and fiercest of what the human world
Dubs male and female. I am writing this
On the petals of an iris. I cannot resist
That orris-scented, bright-petaled world much longer.
Perhaps I will come back some distant season
When the iris bloom again and the gate reopens.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Today's effort

In case you're wondering, the Poet Herself doesn't surf. But she'd like to learn--not for suicidal reasons.


I wrap myself in the gorgeous terror of knowing
These silk-seeming waves can crush bones.
I ride the waves, but it’s not like riding a horse.
Even a wild horse can be broken,
But waves will only break me as they break,
Unless I give myself over to them, acknowledge
They have all the power. The surfer has only balance,
And I could lose that at any second and plunge head over destiny.

That’s why I do this. Otherwise I could stay on the beach
Like those girls in full make-up and dry bikinis
And never even get my hair mussed up.
But it’s the possibility of danger I crave,
The fact that as I ride the curl of a wave
I might be riding my own doom.
When I saw those videos of the tsunami devouring
Japanese villages and farmland, I was half-envious, half-wishing
I could have been there to be annihilated
By water reclaiming the land
It never wanted to let go in the first place.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Not without Poetry Challenge, day 5

Today's offering, based on a prompt at Not Without Poetry.

True Urgency of a Healthy Breakfast

Sleep unmakes us. In the night we drift
Into the surreal, take the shape of dreams.When the clarion
Of the alarm jars us back, we remain
Half-formed, blurry, with mismatched eyes
Cat whiskers, or ears elven-pointy.
It’s not simply sleepiness that makes
Our early-morning faces alien in the mirror.
We come back different, molded by dream
Into something unrecognizable. The ritual
Of coffee or tea helps, but it’s the act
Of eating that grounds us, makes us fully human.
Somewhere in the middle of the oatmeal,
Or halfway through the egg-yellowed wheat toast,
We become solid again, not faerie-fancies of the night.

And that, my friends is why breakfast
Is the most important meal of the day.

Today is actually a two-poem day--hurray!--but the other one seems to want more form than it has now, so it may not be posted for a while.

Monday, April 04, 2011

Not without Poetry Challenge, day 4

In this gray in-between season,
This drawn-out limbo between winter and spring,
All the world blends to mud, bark and rain.
Bu, one suburban yard, fronting a house so neutral
It could be carved from the beige and taupe weather,
Blazes its difference, makes drivers swerve,
Blinded by a sudden ecstasy of color.
Corner to color, it explodes with lavender and yellow crocuses.

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Not without Poetry Challenge

April is National Poetry Month. In honor of that, I'm participating in a poem a day challenge for the month. My first effort is too raw and private to share yet (let's put this way--it's an elegy for an old friend) and the second is just silly, but I rather like today's:

Consider the octopus, with its clever tentacles, huge eyes,
Brain more powerful than something
Without a spine ought to possess.
They can solve mazes, hide in clouds
Of their own generation rather than fight.
But that doesn’t mean they’re helpless.
If a diver peers too rudely, for instance,
Into an octopus’s well-decorated lair,
He might lose his mask to a creature
As inquisitive and rude as he is. If he’s unlucky,
The diver might lose his mouthpiece and drown.

At aquariums, predators and prey live segregated,
Safe in their sanitary, individual worlds—except for octopuses.
When I worked at the one in Boston, I learned
Things we kept from visitors. Our octopus had figured out
How to escape its tank, behind the scenes.
It had perhaps thirty seconds to crawl
To a neighboring tank, pry it open, and devour
Some unsuspecting creature, then back again. The aquarists rigged
Up ever more elaborate baffles, but in the end,
It took a weight too heavy for the octopus to budge
Holding down the top of the tank. Unfortunately,
It was also too heavy for some of the aquarists.

Knowing that octopus exist
Boost my faith in the divine Trickster.