Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Poem #11

Write a seasonal poem.



This is the season you peel off layers
of down and flannel
of fleece and wool
The season when you step out
of the pretty sweaters
and fuzzy boots
that bury your light--

No more hiding.

The season of rebirth is here
It is time
to reveal
as the bloom
you truly are--

Poem #10

Write a poem titled "How____"


"How You Doin'?"

Say that again
and I will skin
that cat within you
calling out to me
in whistles
and clicks
like some kind
of dog
who will tear out
that cat gut
of yours
and re-string
my violin
for better sound
not the jagged
edge of your whistle

Go on.
Say it again.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Poem #9

Write a letter-poem to the self that does not want to be found.


"Dear L"

The tiny leaves of the boxwood
will not protect you
but you can crouch low
hold your breath
and hope he does not find you.

Wait until dark.
Sneak back into the house
after everyone's asleep
through the bathroom window
if your small body can reach.

It is better than going in
and facing the whip
of his belt
for pulling your brother
by the hair
all over the yard.

His anger is like
what yours will grow to be
so you'd better just hide.

Checking in

Whew. I am soooo far behind in the 30/30 challenge. So here's what I'm thinking: there are a few prompts that have been slowing me down (they're too serious, too in-depth to write a quick daily poem). So I'm going to just do my best to whip up some quick things, sketches of poems, to move things along. We're on Day 19 and you'd think that maybe it'd be better to just give up. After all, the whole point is to write daily, no? And here I am trying to jam five to ten poems in a day or so. Huh. Now that I've written that out, I'm not so sure I can do it. It's not like I've been reading any poetry to feed the creative well either, so I can sense that whatever comes out is going to be, well, poop. But, no matter! Let's just write and see what happens! Onward!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Poem #8

Write a dare poem.


"I Dare You to Speak:"

to open your mouth
against the solid air
the suffocating air
the air in which you stand
the air you breathe

Another black man shot
by another white police officer
Another black body without breath
a body riddled with bullets
another black body

I dare you to speak.

What more is there to say?
Mouths are exhausted
repeating repeating repeating
Are broken records heard?
Or does the squeaky wheel
truly get the oil?
Mouths are exhausted.

I dare you to speak
to draw in breath
to inhale life
to speak light

Who else will speak
for the dead?
Who else will make
these lives matter?

I dare you.

Poem #7

Write an aubade.

[Still trying to catch up! This one takes on the form of a tanka, a Japanese poetic form.]


"April Aubade"

Crocuses sleeping:
purple petals: clasped prayer
Sparrows sing, hidden
Dog sniffs for her perfect spot
Sky still dark, waits to begin

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Poem #6

Write a things-are-not-as-they-seem poem. [Poet's note: this was also a result of an exercise that called for the use of eight specific words as well as a reworking of a proverb.]


"Catching Fireflies of Memory"

The whir of bees hums over honey jars
while the vinegar washes away
the blackberry stains on the porch.
Listen to the voice in their buzz:
it sounds like your mother singing
a lullaby of clouds licking honey
licking vinegar licking blackberries
Your mother singing through
the eye of a needle, her voice singing
at the edge of a cliff, her singing
a lullaby of clouds honey
vinegar and bees--
Oh, how you miss her.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Poem #5

Day 5: Write a departure poem.



After saying goodbye to my grandmother
her body cradled in a satin-lined casket
I repacked my bags and headed to the airport
said goodbye to my family, my dog, my life:
I wasn’t coming back.

As the plane flew across flat plains
checked like a checkerboard
I slowly shed layers of myself
leaving them to land where they may
My face turned toward the setting sun

The moment I stepped foot on my new street
my mother called: “Grandpa just died.”
My knees buckled
and I crumpled into a pile of bones.
All that was left were bones.

They would not let me leave
They knew where I belonged
Home was the place I just left—

Poem #4

Day 4: Write a poem that dismantles a fable or fantasy, that refuses to participate in the lie.



only half consumed by flame
left as small glowing ember, charred twig
in the dark corner of the old stove
there is no beauty here
just a small girl, face smeared with soot
playing with mice

Poem #3

Day 3: Write a poem about the stars.


"First crush"

Lying on our backs
in fresh cut grass
we try to point out
what we know:
Orion, Andromeda
The Big Dipper

I turn to her, want to reach out
to the constellations of stars
caught in the curls of her hair
those waves of endless night

I imagine my fingers tangled in comet tails
my hand stained with stardust

She turns to me
her face full of moonlight

My heart explodes
like a dying star