Monday, April 9, 2012

Poem-A-Day 009: Shady Grove

Today's prompt is to write a shady poem. This is perfect, because a very important place in our family history is our cemetery, Shady Grove. I cannibalized bits of my novel, Reprieve, to write this descriptive poem.

Shady Grove

No grand entrance precedes
the rutted track
leading to Shady Grove.
No wrought-iron gates.
No Gothic statues.
No moss-veined angels.
Only a break in the pines
and a green highway sign
that says “Cemetery”
with a white arrow
pointing right.

Pines tower over the road,
woven together by a net
of honeysuckle vines
and poison ivy.
Soon the forest curtain
gives way to a sloping field
piled deep with grass
so green it hurts your eyes.
Yellow sunflowers
and pink buttercups bob
under drips of rain
along the fence posts.

The chapel rests on raised pylons,
a doe asleep on folded fetlocks,
eyes closed and softly breathing
the fetid scents of fresh earth.
Its one room of raw pine boards
dappled with constant shade,
its steeple cloaked
in the interlacing arms
of the shepherding groves.

You approach, head bowed,
reverent to the silent woods.
The path fans around the chapel,
and you take the left,
bound deeper into the forest
where sleeps five generations
of your family in the graves
of Shady Grove.

Poem-A-Day 008: Weight

Yesterday's prompt was to write about rejection. In recent years, I've been rejected for a number of things for a variety of reasons, but the one that stings most is, of course, from a break up. Basically, he chose her. I'm still bitter about it. Maybe writing this will help?


in us against
the weight of years,
against the pull of the
time you spent with her.

had the
habits and rituals
of a life that began
in your shared youth.

I held out
only comfort
and love without
guilt or belittlement,
without any expectation.

I hoped
it would be
enough for us,
this small stone
for us to build upon.

I thought that in choosing,
you would choose me.
I didn’t calculate
the weight
of time

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Poem-A-Day 005: Happy Birthday

The prompt for today is something from my past.

Well, this poem is for my lovely assistant teacher, Kat, whose birthday was in December:

Happy Birthday
a poem for Katrina

We both were scared and unprepared
For what Paredes held
But like a shot, you read my thoughts
Just like a Vulcan mind meld

Fantastic wit, you never quit
Wicked, the Doctor, Glee
A super talent, always gallant
Yeah, you had me at “Squee!”

Then every day, you had this away
Of making class awesome
With strong diction and fanfiction
You made this job such fun

And now teaching it is the thing
You say you will pursue
We all marvel by how much they’ll
Be inspired by you

And with Klainebows and heaven knows—!
Your spark ignites the fuse
So celebrate! We all can’t wait
To share this path you choose.

Poem-A-Day 007: Blank Canvas

Blank Canvas

Somewhere between coffee cup
and the sink she realizes
He’s at it again:
sifting through messages.
The reason they’re
at his apartment,
drinking his weak coffee,
using his sour towels,
curling into his hard bed.

She rinses the cup,
listens to him hum
some foreign lullaby,
one his mother maybe
sang to him?
His mother he
never mentions.
Volumes of words on
economy and currency exchange.
Talks and says nothing,
his voice is a blank canvas,
a sham in the MoMA
and everyone is buying.

She dries the mug,
turns it over and over
in her hands.
Aging hands,
she thinks.
He’s typing now,
and she knows,
today their time is done.
The sheets still
bear their warmth,
the creases like
meringues whipped stiff
the night before,
now stale.

The cup clean in her hands,
she returns it to the cabinet.
Without a sound,
She toes into her shoes,
slides into her blouse
and slips out
without a word
like she was

Poem-A-Day 006: Not the Same As Lost

Yesterday's poem, following the prompt at Poetic Asides. It's about something hidden, but I kept mixing it up in my mind as something lost. Therefore, I combined them.

Not the Same as Lost

In the mossy hollow
of a wizened willow tree
where sleeping seasons
rest in rings wound round
a sunken core,
there lies a time
when rains fell
in lavish veils
over young, strong
outstretched arms
and green coiled out
in fiddlehead finery
to shadow the brush

almost concealed,
a flash of eye
the tip of wing
a breath of old
not lost
but hidden.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Poem-A-Day 004: Let the Great World Spin

Finally, a poem I like this month!

I did go off-prompt for this one, because I didn't like the one we have at Poetic Asides this time.

Let the Great World Spin

Let’s paint our car in chalkboard black
and graffiti it with style
I’ll write “Wash Me” on the back
Just to see your smile

Let’s drizzle the porch with twinkle lights
Let’s glitter that old arm chair
We’ll make a lamp from seashells
We’ll fishtail braid our hair

Let’s eat a dozen lemon pies
and stretch out on the lawn
We’ll blow a thousand bubbles
until the sun has gone

Let’s spend the night counting the stars
Let’s feel the turn of the earth
Let’s gather life around us
Let’s not forget its worth

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Poem-A-Day 003: Apology

Rub his nose in it
The advice from my dad,
old school and harsh
Kittens are like kids,
he said.
They have to learn

A Monday evening’s
frustrations –
bills, and that
one more thing
led to the moment
when I heeded
his words

And the kitten
looked as though
he deserved it,
like he understood

Kids would remember
Kids would hold a grudge
He didn’t.
But I remember
and I’m sorry.
Even though
he’d never

Monday, April 2, 2012

Poem-A-Day 002: Alien


like whipped cream
setting up for
something sweeter

But bitter tendrils
encroach into softness
twisting, taking hold
taking root

What should have lain
and stirs

This pearling pain
is worthless
to the bearer
of its burden

This seedling clutch
sending forth fibril feelers
blind, unbidden

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Poem-A-Day 001: Mistaken Identity

Mistaken Identity

The other day, when I yelled
at you to get the hell out of my face
that wasn't me.

don't really know who it was.
looks like me

Minus the gray hair
and the scowl,
we could be sisters;

that wasn't me.

And the crazy lady who
chased you across the courtyard,
lanyard jingling like
a prison guard's keys

that woman who
screamed at you and your friends
to get the hell back outside
to wait for the bus
because we were

all hot
all tired
all thirsty
and by god we were not
going to wait
for you

yeah, that woman
wasn't me

I'm the picture
of calm
of poise
of maturity

that wasn't me
losing my head
over you.