31 December 2010

gleaming possibilities

Pieces from puzzles and frames holding faces
bathrooms with drawers full of ribbons and laces
brown cardboard boxes beginning to fill
with things from a life that never more will

Dogs run through hearts, and give out wet kisses
while snakes on the hillside share rattles and hisses
the river below will continue its spill
far cry from a life that never more will

Betrayal uncovered set moving in motion
the kids are quite certain you need a love potion
But what can you do when the lies overspill
and cover a life that never more will

When the dad lies
and the mom cries
and the dog says goodbye
Nothing is simple when everything ends,
but the birth of a new life gleams.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The Big Tent prompt this week was to construct a list poem. I used the song "My Favorite Things" as inspiration to get going on this one. I recently helped a friend pack up a life---this came from the experience. May the gleaming grow into a beautiful life.

29 December 2010

stitch me back together

Emanating from my abdomen,
hand blown zeroes whisper
infinity . . . infinity.
With soft sighs they dissipate
into ether’s emptiness
as drifting echoes tickle
the slits that let them slip.

Beneath Luna’s full light
spread gypsum on the edges of
the gashes in my flesh
to lure in her luster and
illuminate infinity.
Then stitch me back together
so I can swallow life whole.


~~~~~~~~~

The prompt at We Write Poems suggested we start with the last line of a recent poem and see where we go. I picked the last lines from two different pieces. “stitch me back together” is from Going to the Sun, and “hand blown zeroes whisper / infinity . . . infinity” from dispersal. I was hoping to write something a bit more upbeat today, but you get what you get.

21 December 2010

If Not for the Want of a Party

for Dave and Kate because I love you

In Italy, in a low-valleyed vineyard
Colleen Dewhurst’s laughter floats
on scents of bay laurel and candle wax.
I’m sitting at her table with Len, and Kate
who keeps vying for Thich Nhat Hanh’s time.
(She heard he likes Vienna Teng.)

My great grandmother smiles with
30 year old eyes full of stories
to waft through the air while my
children replenish her wine, and
fill her spirit with their own.

The Dalai Lama’s saffron robes contrast
the wild bougainvillea, where laughter
bubbles forth to evoke Montana mountain streams.
A seated circle of children surrounds him in the grass.
The group glows.

Holding hands and smiling David and Katie
tangle through the expansive vineyard’s maze.
Punctuating tales of grapes with frequent laughter,
love permeates each step taken.

John Kohler rides in on the gloaming.
He ruffles Kate’s hair, and they
play. Her fingers tickle ivory,
his caress a shining sax,
the fingers of others
dab at corners—at
tears that enter their eyes.

If not for the want of a party,
if not for the prompt of a want,
this party would be vapor.
Instead David’s piano appears
applying pressure to his fingertips
the keys descend, Kate’s voice rises
and moments turn into
wants that can only imagine
things that never will be.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The prompt at We Write Poems this week is to "say what you want." I want a party in Italy. Some of the guests have passed on to other places, and live now in hearts, memories, music, tears, and laughter. It felt good to gather them together for this party in Italy.

Dear Santa

I haven’t been very good this year.
Foul words fell from my mouth, and
my contact with family and friends
frittered to infrequency.
On the other hand, I reached
a couple of middle school
students who try their darndest to
resist reading and learning in the
classroom. Maybe that’s enough
to merit making my wish come true?

Santa?

We were friends a long time ago.
Do you remember when Grandpa and I
saw your lights sail away in the sky?
We could hear your sleigh bells.
I was certain Donder looked our way.

My Christmas wish is not just for me,
Santa, it’s for the have-nots, the students
who pepper my classroom, who have-not
a love for good books. It is for them that I find
myself wishing.

I want a collection of
graphic novels with rich vocabulary
engaging story lines, and images
that carry readers to other worlds.
I want Lakota, Jordan, and Purple Dude
to want to read books. I want these boys
who never read, who never disappear
into text to forget that their eyes are
glued to pages as they become the
stories they read. Lured in by warriors
saving the day, and glimpses of history
shocking image and text, I want readers
wanting more. Have I been good enough
for that, Santa?
Have I?

Me.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
This is my first post for Carry on Tuesday. Visit the link for more letters to dear Mr. Claus.

20 December 2010

Microfiction Monday #62


Mary held her head high. If Jonathon would not allow her to present the pig to the Olafsen’s, well then she hoped it soiled his waistcoat.

19 December 2010

December

Six months ago
the northern hemisphere
began its darkening.

There are some who say
it is darkest before dawn.

Last week, when somebody in her
6th period science class asked why
she didn’t just ask her parents
for an iPod, Josie Storm cried.
She later told her teacher,
“I hate Christmas. I have three sisters
and my dad died last year. We don’t have
any money.”

Mrs. Estes down the hall
is kicking her husband out
when he returns from the hospital
because he’s lied to her for
15 years about everything
(you don’t want to know).

At age 23, Miss Penny Porter’s
30 something fiancée is happiest
when receiving her constant
adoration. Demanding her time,
his controlling cascades into
suffocating suckiness. He becomes
tyrannical. Counseled to kick him
the fuck away, she doesn’t know
what she will do. She cries until
no tears remain.

It is darkest before dawn.
Punctuating bitter cold,
occasional chinook winds
dissolve snow in sloppy slush
that freezes again into lumps of ice
in the road. Slippery lines of
bouldered mountains manipulate
car’s unresponsive tires.
For brief moments
drivers experience the panic
of falling through life— that place
where Penny Porter, Mrs. Estes,
and Josie Storm are stuck.

In December coyote is howling
palpable pain through the air.
A trail of blood marks the path
where his foot sits in steel clamped jaws.
It is darkest before dawn.
Cold seals raw wound as his mother
tilts toward Daystar, beginning
to light coyote’s way home through
winter’s cold canyons. He learns
to navigate life on three legs
one awkward step at a time.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Check out Sunday Scribblings for creative explorations of "December."

18 December 2010

'Tis the Season

Otto experienced triumph when words
pittered past his stilted tongue.
Each “thank you” exalted effort’s completion
propelling Otto’s lank form into twisted celebration.

As they toured the sheltered workshop,
one of those high school girls cringed
when Otto stretched out his gnarled hand
to greedily shake hers, and the
smiles faded in his eager blue eyes.

Otto experienced triumph when another girl
further back in line, shot smiles to his eyes
then firmly shook his hand.
Tobacco-peppered spittle dribbled
from his wide brown-toothed smile.
His other hand grabbed hers,
her other hand grabbed his,
engendering joy, Otto’s eyes shined.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The prompt at Writer's Island today is "triumph." From age 18-22 I worked with people like Otto. Their joy is palpable. The small act of shaking hands makes a difference for many people. Acknowledgement brings triumph.

16 December 2010

The Dead Woman and the Mad Hatter

Live as if you were already dead. –Zen Admonition
Oh yeah, you are. –Me


The dead woman smoked Top rolled
tobacco with the Mad Hatter as they walked
through oceans of tassel teased grain.
The dead woman and the Mad Hatter
roosted on a railroad trestle’s black iron
undercarriage as their words ebbed and flowed.
She closed her eyes and she laughed
as a train rode the rails over head,
blowing over the Mad Hatter’s rant
about nuclear endings.
The dead woman’s cattle marker
in bright red spread

from wonder into wonder existence opens

The Mad Hatter called her a hippy,
and placed her in his heart.

The dead woman watched as the Mad Hatter
danced a disk sander over his old brown Sirocco.
“I named him Rusty,” said the Mad Hatter.
She relished his whacky cackling
beneath a screeching shower of sparks
sailing stars over Rusty’s silver-swirled hide.
Later, the Mad Hatter drove
Rusty and the dead woman
screaming over Montana gravel,
gallivanting, galvanizing, gathering
baby’s breath, rosebuds and skulls.

The dead woman piled bones like the Mad Hatter piled pianos.
She roller-skated circles
around the Mad Hatter’s Chickering Grand.
Hardwood gymnasium floors facilitated her flow
as the Mad Hatter’s limber fingers
set the piano’s strings resounding
between the spaces of places
that grew through their lives.
But that was a long time ago.

***

More about the Dead Woman and the Mad Hatter
The dead woman soaks in some story
of car trouble, the highway, a truck.
Her husband explains the Mad Hatter’s mistake
from a medical point of view.
The dead woman ascertains that he
sustained injuries beyond return.
She hears on the news that the Mad Hatter jumped.
Deep coma sets in and she waits.
She silently wishes for one more walk
with the Mad Hatter’s rants running by.
But the Mad Hatter loses the battle, and
they harvest his heart and his eyes.
The dead woman swallows sorrow’s dark weight.
She rants, she writes, and she cries.

She rides her bike to the ranch supply store
then heads to the Interstate bridge.
She crawls underneath on the iron supports
scrawls the missing Mad Hatter a message
and places him in her heart.

The dead woman wishes him serious peace, and hopes
Death takes the Mad Hatter dancing.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
A shout out to all the poets at Big Tent Poetry! I've missed you. This piece is my take on a prompt offered under the Big Tent. Pieces of the story are true, but in keeping with my history with the "Mad Hatter," there is plenty of embellishment.

In my take on the prompt, I am the dead woman. Enjambment is a new idea for me, and while Dead Person poems true to form include it, mine does not. I wrote part one in the past tense, and part two in the present tense.

My friend is gone, he passed last week surrounded by his family. Forever he'll live in my heart.

02 October 2010

linguistic genocide attempt

Languages die beneath tongues silenced
in schools designed to transform little Indians
into assimilated copies of the dutiful US.

The great white father molded death
with agrarian paradigms
and words shoved down throats.
God the Father, household tasks and
and shut your dirty Indian mouth
covered the curriculum.

One weekend per month at home
sent Cheyenne syllables swirling silently
through Tongue River eddies.

~~~~~~~~~~~~
I wrote this in response to the chapter on language in "We the Northern Cheyenne People," written at Chief Dull Knife College in Lame Deer, Montana. The chapter reports that in 2007, the youngest person who spoke fluent Cheyenne was 45 years old.

If you happen to visit, I miss you my poet friends. When my college class is over in mid December, I'll be back with greater regularity.

02 September 2010

dog days

After dark campfire burns
echoes of futures
collide with times past.
Technology is a carrot
chased from the start.

Obsidian falls in grassy fields
shining under full moon light.
Black glass flakes off
under hammered stones
to reveal projectile points
arrowheads rubbed to perfection
deadly weapons pitched in
notched wooden spears
flint mapped stone— wrapped
tight with sinew strands.
Power in projectile points
that flute out over time as
people adapt to prey and purpose.

At the Anzick Site in Montana,
well maintained staffs
systematically snapped in fours
indicate funerary ritual
buried with bones
carbon dated to a time
that makes decades seem obsolete.

9400 years ago families gathered in Barton Gulch
leaving signs of pastoral existence.
Bone needles scarce in the lithic now,
indicate domesticity.
People tied to place.

Hands, bones, stones
separate meat from flesh.
Goosefoot and prickly pear seed
season meat wrapped in rabbit skin to
roast in charcoal pits blanketed with bulrushes
topped with more fuel.
Dinner is served.

Paleoindian ingenuity uncovered
in mother Earth’s Montana.

21 August 2010

Great Granddaughter's Visit

dip a paddle deep in time’s river
mirrored wormholes lure through
tomorrow’s stars yesterday
great granddaughter tells tales
of glass encased cities spread
over crumbled dead Earth
eyes wend a destruction story
already several months in

older than you she begins,
“It starts with a slow dying ocean,
until all that’s left is a shell. . .”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Visit Writer’s Island for more interesting, bizarre, and delightful takes on the prompt: Time travel.

For a little something different, visit Prompts for G10(linked on blog sidebar).

20 August 2010

Heaven's Peak


my two men
break trail to heaven
through brush
over deadfall
          up
     up
up
branches furrow skin
blood drips a story of ascent
marking machismo
bonding father & son
feeding Earth

stand tall
breathe thin summit air
raise your arms to unrivaled views
honor your mother

beat a track back home
down
   down
       down
where blistered feet breathe relief
and red trails blazed in heaven
razor your shins

secrets spin around
sweet enigmatic eyes
mysteries revealed 
if you only
touch the sky

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The prompt for Poets United Think Tank Thursday was pain. When my husband Len and stepson Arthur came home from climbing Heaven's Peak in Glacier National Park, they were in pain. Although this isn't a piece about pain, I started writing it thinking about the state Len's shins upon their return.

19 August 2010

dispersal

silken stream
moisten my spirit
soften its 
pineapple thorns

plant me naked 
in baked fields 
bouldered with 
broken cars 
near Juniper’s 
deep-rooted soul

hose the spot 
make me summer clay
shape me into earthen pots
render me useful

hand blown zeroes whisper
infinity,       infinity 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
This is one of two pieces I wrote for the Big Tent Poetry prompt wordle. Visit the Big Tent link to read some more poems. You'll be glad you did.

I wrote one other piece earlier in the week using this wordle. It's called Huh?

18 August 2010

Echoes of Summer / ABC Wednesday E



echoes of summer
ripple in snapshots
still water
laughing girls
lovely lilies
 lilt a leitmotif
lingering images
echoing summer


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Shout out to ABC Wednesday!  Be sure and visit their site for more Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeees.

17 August 2010

coffee & cake: a soul spilling

At Grandmother’s kitchen table
cardamom coffee cake splits to
expose cinnamon walnut veins
twining through moist yellow fields.

French pressed grinds infuse darkness
that heavy cream clouds unfurl.
My heart spills concentric rings
across Grandmother’s smooth water soul.

She unbolts my floodgates
to decontaminate discontent;
she verifies my life.

We sit in satisfied stillness.
Out the window, a warbler sings.
At Grandmother’s kitchen table,
hearts and stomachs purr.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Shout out to We Write Poems for the picture prompt. 
The picture is Mom's House by Sarah Regnier.

16 August 2010

Huh?

hose off your pineapple dude
knock off the silk mumbo jumbo
you think zeroes streaming outta your mouth’ll make a difference?
the baked days of summer are blown
the gig is up
moisten your pencil lead
plant yourself deep
pot’s not gonna save you now
stop driving your brain car
through barren tundra
learn to deal
chill
get a towel and
dry off


~~~~~~~~~~~
This came out as fast as my fingers can type. Bizarre, but it makes sense to me.

My only prompt to myself aside from a wordle at Big Tent, was to write something in an angry tone. I'm not sure this is really angry...but that was my starting intent.

If you haven't already, check out the prompt at Big Tent Poetry. That way you can contribute your own whacked writing. Or perhaps something deeply moving and profound. Either way, wordles are fun. I'll try my hand at another for Friday's posting under the Big Tent.

I also posted this in Poets United Poetry Pantry. Go there to check out some awesome work!

15 August 2010

what i see

Out my front window
Hill 57 rises above houses
rust colored boulders
pepper summer dried grasses

neighbor voice echoes,
“Useta be injuns lived on that hill,
damn squatters.”

Little Shell tribe
of the Chippewa Cree
seeks federal recognition
landless they hit fences
honor denied
people denied

spirits dance
through grasses
atop 57
strong
proud
sweating story in glory of place

a man speaks of
one room plywood shacks housing
12-18 people
living breathing starving

denied

walking the dogs
through remnants in 57’s low spots
toilet seats, high chairs,
stoves and tvs
debris reminds me
this is my lifetime
this is my world's
response to people

poverty
hunger
lack of recognition

We are sorry
but you
do not
exist.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Check out Sunday Scribblings for more responses to the prompt: view.

Family Show

scissors rip wrists until
blood pulses red streams
that pool in linoleum shallows
silver flashes in a falling hand
eyes hollow
everything stops

outside my window
rain comes
rain goes

~~~~~~~~~~
The first stanza is a poem created while I watched Law & Order on American TV. This is a show that airs during top family viewing hours. I am not sure of the title and am willing to entertain suggestions.

My intent with the piece was to make every word count. So it’s sparse.

Thank you to the Poet’s United Poetry Pantry for providing a space to share this poem.

14 August 2010

"The office doesn't teach you, I do."

teeth set against me
inception of initial angst
remains hidden
behind a laser gaze
burning holes in the wall of our classroom

while the rest of us carry on
you’ll show me
(and absorb what we do through osmosis

just wait
one day participation will surprise you
when it springs without thought
from your mouth)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Check out Writer's Island for more responses to the prompt, inception.

12 August 2010

may hope spark in hollow eyes

in less than two weeks
Teacher Me will be on stage
for many pairs of eyes

eyes with
stories behind them
stories temporarily sealed
in stone cold pupils

eyes with
stories inside them
stories shooting daggers
through Reader Me’s heart

eyes with stories
waiting to be screamed
stories flowing freely
from far too few
little writers waiting to
set words to page
to let it out
to tell stories of moments of lives

all eyes on me
I will find a way to rivet you
to make you want to tell your story
until you can hardly wait to create
to write what could quite possibly be
the greatest story ever told

it’s the dead eyes that worry me
the eyes with nothing there


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
This piece is in response to the Poets United Thursday Think Tank prompt: The Eyes.

treasure, black & white


A turquoise
metal
filigree
frame
holds the first picture
of you and me.

Look at you.
So tiny.
So new.

I tried to
smell you into me as
everything about you
enveloped who I am.




~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
A shout out to Cynthia Short, who provided the Big Tent Poetry prompt this week, to write about a possession. I chose this picture because I needed to write something affirming.

11 August 2010

parasites

I am afraid 
Enlightened people, 
         thinkers 
will opt out of childbirth 
knowing Earth 
won’t sustain 
growing populations.

I am afraid
welfare doles will continue to grow
teaching children 
to rely on a system
       to hate a system
            to believe a system owes them.
I am afraid
that rather than relying on themselves
       to contribute to society, 
          they will expect society 
                to contribute to them.

I am afraid
education lacks importance 
to illiterate masses
taught to hate the hand that feeds them.

I am afraid
that Muslims will breed more Muslims
Christians will breed more Christians
Mormons will breed more Mormons
Jews will breed more Jews
Athiests will breed more Atheists
Welfare moms will breed more Welfare moms
          and the walls 
                   won’t tumble down.

     One against another people break turtle’s shell.

I am afraid 
that our mother grows weary.
Without her, we are nothing. 
Without her, we are nothing. 
Without her, we are nothing. 

I am afraid.
We are killing our mother.  
We drain her oily hollows.
We are too many ravenous mouths.
We vomit her contents in greed.  
We are parasites We.  

Smell the sulfur 
rising from her inner thighs.  
Watch her wither slowly 
beneath deep polluted skies. 
 
I am afraid.

If you love our mother,
speak out.
Be a warrior.
Change the world.
Taint the milk supply.
Sterilize the masses.

Turtles need clean water to
strengthen mother’s shell.

I am afraid.
Humanity puts itself before everything else.
Where does that leave our mother?  

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Shout out to Mallery at We Write Poems for the prompt:
For this prompt let’s define the topic to be a list of “things you’re afraid of”, or alternately, “things you’d never do”.

05 August 2010

metaphor























The Big Tent Poetry prompt this week had poets check back on their previous dozen or so poems and write something different.  Metaphor is different for me in two ways.  I wrote it with the intention of creating a metaphor for the prompt itself.  I also played with the structure of the piece.  I don't do a great deal of either.  Formatting text for blogger can mystify me so I used my computer's snipping tool to take a picture of the piece and ensure its integrity.  (That's how I turned the downside-up, upside-down, too...pictures can be manipulated.)

Through the process, I explored the way I use metaphor in my writing.  More often than not they come naturally.  To force the process is something I'll try again.

Thanks for the prompt, Deb!

04 August 2010

ABC Wednesday C Refrigerator Canyon & Caves

 I took these pictures in July 2010 in Montana's Helena National Forest. The limestone formations create Refrigerator Canyon, which is typically 20-30 degrees cooler than the outside temperature. Carved through limestone by a small mountain stream, the canyon is 10-feet wide and 200-feet tall. It cools when air moves through the canyon and evaporates water from the stream.   The creek is high enough this year that parts of the trail beyond the canyon are washed out.  
This is one of the walls of the canyon. Do these caves connect?  Intuition tells me yes.  If I visit again, I'll go when the sun is higher in the sky to see if it provides any clue. 
  
This little cave is on the canyon wall opposite the one pictured above.  The dark stuff way in the back center is a patch of bat guano.  Bat guano contains guanine, a key ingredient in mascara.  Yes ladies, some mascara is made from bat shit.  Don't worry, I'm sure it's sterilized.  Below you'll find a close-up of a patch for your viewing pleasure.  ;-)

 


You can see these caves way over to the left on the picture above with the possible connecting caves.  I think they look like lungs or maybe turkey legs.  All these caves got me wishing I was a little critter, so I could check out inside.  Spelunking isn't really my thing.  I like to see the wide and wild world, not descend into its depths.  I'll save that for my final curtain call.  Thanks for stopping by to visit.  Your comments make my day!  Please be sure to visit ABC Wednesday for more explorations of the letter C in picture and word.

03 August 2010

Danny the Woodsman

Gruffling snuffling snoring snorts
brought Danny the Woodsman near
to the cottage of widow Johnson,
window glass against his ear.

Sounds that did not seem human
made Danny peek inside
where whatever lay in the widow’s bed
bore a hairy bristled hide.

The woodsman pulled his knife from its sheath,
exposing its silver bright shine
he snuck in the cottage and sliced the wolf
and saw Little Red inside.

She twisted herself up from his stomach
breathing and laughing and free
while Danny helped her Grandmother
disengage from the wolf’s debris.

Together the trio commenced
to fill the wolf’s belly with stones
then the widow stitched him together
and now he’s a pile of bones.

Danny the Woodsman received no acclaim
for freeing the fabled twosome
though he won the heart of Little Red
when he freed her, gastric and gruesome.

They settled down with Grandmother
in her cottage near the wood.
The pile of stones and bones out front
kept wolves away for good.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Shout out to Irene Toh at We Write Poems for the prompt:

“Write a poem that revisits the Red Riding Hood fairy tale. You can change the story, or question the assumptions behind the fairy tale, eg why doesn’t the wolf eat Red Riding Hood in the forest when he first met her?, why does the author allow fantasy, such as that the wolf can be cut up and the grandmother and the Red Riding Hood emerge unhurt, or wonder what Red Riding Hood stands for, such as if wearing a red hood is significant, or question the innocence of Red Riding Hood, eg why does she not go straight to grandmother’s house as her mother instructed but chose to wander? Or you can revisit another fairy tale altogether!”

This was difficult for me, until I took the children’s rhyme route. I also read the Brothers Grimm version of the story here. The huntsman received little notoriety for saving the day, so I focused on him, but changed him to a woodsman.

nunca mas juntos POW # 14

  for  t. c.

one last time we   
fall into bed and
heave an ending          to us 
spent,  I look at you
still beside me
hermoso
separado
dormido

surfing down wispy cirrus clouds
our dream selves talk about friendship and love
You say, “We’ll float apart now, but we
will both still float.”
I say, “Sing for me one last time.”
 
“Chantilly lace, with a pretty face…”

your singing stuns me awake
“Were we just . . .”  
I pause to look for words 
 “. . . in the sky?”
 You answer,  “Yeah,  
we’ll float apart now, 
but we’ll both still float.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Rallentanda had poets write pieces with a Spanish flair.  Nunca mas juntos means, never again together.  Visit Rallentanda for a peek at Antoino Banderas, and more takes on the prompt.

02 August 2010

Microfiction Monday #42



AJ promised me that the new house would be perfect. Yeah, if I were a deer.





~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
This is my first post at Microfiction Monday.  Visit the link for a plethora of delightful takes on the prompt.

01 August 2010

Locked in Freedom

The lock covers Amanda's mind. It stares at her everywhere she goes, her own private eye. Billy deserved it, he deserved it, he deserved it. "Excuse me, Miss, uh--your bag." Cheezums, Amanda almost walked right through the airport scanner. She hands it to security and smiles, "Sorry about that. My mind is a million miles away." He smiles back, like everyone does when she flashes her perfect row of braces free teeth. Everyone except Billy. "Uh, Miss...the lock?" Confused, the lock in her head closes. She looks at security, holding up her bag. Amanda pulls the chain from her neck and hands it to security. "The red one," she says. Security opens her bag, rifles through it, hands it back. "Have a nice flight, Miss."

With an hour to kill before boarding Amanda buys the latest gossip rag, and finds a chair in a corner, away from the throngs of people passing through the terminal on their way away, like her. She wonders if all locks look like eyes...if there's a reason this lock looked like an eye...if she'd be haunted every day she breathed. Billy deserved it, he deserved it, he deserved it. "Is that this week's Go Gossip Go?" A voice brought her back. Amanda looks up at a girl, about 12 dressed to the nines.

"There a party I don't know about?" Amanda says, looking her up and down, trying not to laugh.

"Enough with the wisecracks, smartass, I'm going from one rich parent to the other. A bizarre war wages between them. Who can dress me better? My mother actually hired me a dresser. A dresser! I am THIRTEEN YEARS OLD, I CAN DRESS MYSELF. Bet you're glad you said anything now, huh....Is that this week's Go Gossip GO? Or do you want to hear more about my enthralling life running from parent to parent in the richest of circumstance"

"Uh here...sorry for the wisecrack." Amanda sits back, tries to meditate, but can't shake the image of the lock. If she watches the girl read, maybe the eye will disappear. The girl lifts her head and laughs, looks at Amanda, "This is some good shit. People are sure stupid, listen to this one. She starts to read. 'Living on his boat The Hornet, American playwright Jonathon Henchion…" Amanda wonders if her face will grace the cover of Go, Gossip, Go...but no, she is small potatoes in a world of Henchions “…If the world finds out, may my boat explode.' Can you believe it? He says that, then his boat explodes, with him on it. Do you think it was a set-up?" Amanda sits there, quiet. "Well I know what my friend Gravy Train Jones always says." Billy deserved it, he deserved it, he deserved it. "Don't YOU want to know what my friend Gravy Train Jones always says."

"Huh?" Amanda turns to the girl, "I want to know who in their right mind would name a kid Gravy Train." She has no idea what the girl is talking about.

"That's not the point, it's his nickname. What he always says is,” she slows down and tries to sound mysterious. “Words once spoken take on a power of their own. You be careful Shania, he says to me, any word you say has power, it can make you, or it can break you."

"How old is this Gravy Train Jones?"

"32. He's gay. He's my dresser."

Amanda laughs. "He's right, you know. Gravy Train. That's why I prefer to sit in silence, so nothing life changing can come out."

"Can I ask you something?" Shania says.

"Sure."

"When you were sitting there, before I walked over. You looked so sad, or worried, or angry, or I don't know, I thought maybe, ...uh...haunted? Anyway, I was just gonna walk on by, when I got a glimpse of something, above your head? It was hovering there, like a ghost or something."

Amanda's heart is racing, it's beat is deafening her.  Billy deserved it, he deserved it, he deserved it.  "What was it? What did you see?"

"It looked like an eye, or maybe a lock or something, I couldn't tell for sure."

Groggy, Amanda opens her eyes. The room starts swirling. "You passed out Miss. This is the airport holding area for sick passengers."

She sits up, "I'm not sick, I need to be on that plane, I need..."

"Miss, the plane is gone." He put his hand on hers to comfort her. "The police are waiting outside to speak with you. I'll get them now."

The police ascertain her identity and show Amanda a picture. "Do you know what this is?"

"It looks like a trunk," she says.

"Have you seen it before?"

"Yes."

"Do you know what it contains?"

"Yes, I do. I do know."

"Well?"

“That box contains my freedom, or I thought it did, until its eyeball lock started hovering above my head. Can you see it there?”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Shout out to Willow over at Magpie Tales for the picture prompt.

30 July 2010

sultry

perfectly still
window open
moisture beads
trails down waist
slight breeze
stirs sigh
fingers trace
rivulets
curved hip
head moves
whistles cool
salty streams
shiver still

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Thank you to Poets United for the prompt. Visit the link for an assault on your sultry sensibilities. ha!

Imaginary Guest

for Thyra and M. M.

The night Marlee Matlin came to dinner
at our house, my daughter’s face became a
glowing orb. Matlin felt her pull and was
drawn into an exquisite expression of thought
flowing from fingers faster than I could read.

Third wheel, I served curried potato soup
and refreshed tall glasses of Arnold Palmers
to tinkling ice singing for my ears, a private
symphony echoing the clinking of silver
on ceramic plates. Dessert followed, hot cherry
pie topped with old fashioned vanilla ice cream.
Plated pie entered to noses exploring air.
Eyes exchanged rapture. Fingers kissed from
lips spread yum. Pie disappeared and my daughter
laughed as Matlin reached across the table to
dab a cherry red drip from her chin.




~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
In this picture you can see how excited Marlee was to meet Thyra. ;-)

Shout out to Big Tent Poetry for the prompt.

“This week, start with a list of pop culture icons that interest you. Imagine one of them in a mundane setting: Marilyn Monroe doing the dishes, Elvis mowing the lawn, Lady Gaga carpooling the kids to soccer practice. Poem an icon into a situation they may never, in real life, appear.”

While Marlee Matlin is not exactly a pop culture icon in the hearing world, she is a pop icon in the Deaf world in the United States. Matlin is an academy award winning actress and a role model for many deaf and hard of hearing girls across America.  My daughter looks to Matlin as a role model.

To keep my conscience clean, the movie Matlin won an award for is Children of a Lesser God.  The treatment of Deaf people as needing to be fixed in that movie raises Thyra's hackles.  Deaf people do not need to talk to live full lives, nor do they need to be fixed.  They are not broken.

28 July 2010

be present in your life

a gentle reminder to self

Yesterday
construct of mind
echoes into morning
sans concrete existence

Today
precious gift
holy moment
birds fly by
Earth and moon circle sun

Tomorrow
promise parade
mucks up
clarity

Honor memory
create coherence
be present
set free agendas
live each now

practice kindness
a child laughs

be the change
you want
to see in the world


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Thank you to Mary at We Write Poems for the prompt. The prompt challenged me, and I went beyond the three suggested stanzas. The italics at the end are Ghandi's words.

27 July 2010

Navarasa ~ for POW ~ Rallentanda

Navarasa

underwater sitar sounds
strum thump rattle jing
serpent arms
charm aria threads
weave apparitions
snake revelations
filter Sanskrit figures

hooded eyes on
scaled pillar sway
strum thump rattle jing
Krishna advises Arjuna and
chariots cross the Ganges.
Ravi enlightens Anoushka
and sitars ring.

lotus hands flutter
ghost stories
rising myths
strum thump rattle jing
long necked string song
conjure water currents
cascade sound
enchant and unfurl my soul

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
This poem is my response to track 4, Ghost Story, of Anoushka Shankar’s Breathing Under Water, available at iTunes. It accompanied me over and over again as I struggled with this piece. It bore fruit, but Rallentanda’s prompt at POW this week did made me work hard. Thank you for the challenge, Rall. It was fun to become intimate with Shankar’s music.

In the Bhagavad Gita Lord Krishna advises Arjuna to fight a righteous battle. Arjuna embraces “ahimsa,” or nonviolence. Krishna is persuasive and waxes poetic. It is a beautiful read.

The title for my piece, Navarasa, comes from the following quote of Ravi Shankar.  The link takes you to his website.

Ravi Shankar on Music - January 2009
"How does one put the spiritual significance of music on paper? Music transcends all languages and barriers and is the most beautiful communicative skill one can have. Music makes us all experience different emotions or the Navarasa as we call it. Different types of music, whether it is vocal or instrumental, Eastern or Western, Classical or Pop or folk from any part of the world can all be spiritual if it has the power to stir the soul of a person and transcend time for the moment. It makes one get goose-bumps in the body and mind and equates the highest mental orgasm and the release of grateful tears!"

ABC Wednesday B ~ Benton Lake Haiku

Benton Lake National Wildlife Refuge July 2010

floating reflections
of cloud claim clear glass water
mirroring the sky


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Please visit ABC Wednesday.

Hazel & Edna

This photograph by Lyndon Wade inspired Edna, the narrator in this piece. Her wistful appearance initiated the journey this piece takes.



Hazel & Edna
Hazel and I were born in Blue Earth, Minnesota, where an 8 foot statue of the Jolly Green Giant stands sentry near the local Wal-Mart. I remember the day the giant was erected. As he rose. my best friend whispered to me, “Oh my good golly,” she paused, and looked at me with sparks shooting from her eyes, “a jolly green erection.” My laugh turned every eye our way. My face reddened, eyes turned down, but Hazel pointed her chin up, and said “You are a clever one, Miss Edna,” leaving the crowd to think that I said something witty and wise. Hazel’s brazenness filtered over to me, only after she died. Hazel’s absence sparked that change. I envisioned her hovering above me at different moments, pleased with my new found spunk.

When Hazel passed over I recalled Red Rover, the childhood game where we met. Until my dad was killed, and she went back to work, my mom homeschooled me. I attended public school for the first time at 10. We played a game that first day out in the field at recess with locked arms grabbed wrist on wrist. My team screamed, “Red Rover Red Rover send Hazel right over!” A girl with cinnamon hair and the bluest eyes I had ever seen locked those eyes on me before starting across the field. Hazel ran into my arm hard, rolling her weight against me until we landed a giggled embrace. At ten I felt the world shift.

Every day, Hazel encouraged me to “grab the bull by the horns.” She is the reason I made it through high school. We spent hours together at the library pouring over tomes. Whispering stories and details from books we journeyed through enchanted kingdoms, high society teas, factory workers sweaty struggles, and illicit sex. We grew up in the Blue Earth public library. In between the arts and literature Hazel touched my hair. “It’s so black.” she whispered, “like a raven.” She made a sound that cooed shivers through my shoulders. I turned to face her. “Yours, Hazel,” I picked up a strand and gazed at it, “looks like fields of wheat tinged red by the sun’s low hanging light.” Hazel pulled me to her, I lowered my face to hers and we kissed. Mouths open, lips wet, our tongues explored each other’s dark caves between the 700s and 800s in Blue Earth Public Library, our love fest began. It didn’t die until Hazel passed, at 83. We fell in love between the stacks, and we loved each other every day that we lived.

In '72 we bought a Victorian house in Blue Earth. Its staircase spiraled to the second floor. Back then, Hazel would swing one leg up over the banister, slide down, body forward, arms up high--"Woo Hoo!" she'd hoot. Not me, she was the brave one, my friend, my lover, my life. She slid for the day we might walk out in the world, hand in hand, not hand in hiding. Our sexuality remained hidden for nearly 50 years. We were born into a world that didn't understand us, wouldn't accept us, might even persecute us. We knew that, and pretended to be roommate spinsters.

Funny story this one coming: Hazel had t-shirts made. Spinsters-in-Arms headlines a picture of the two of us 73 year old ladies touting Rugers, shoulder to shoulder shooters, in front of the Eagle's Eye Shooting Range. That idea was Hazel's. She wanted me to be able to defend myself should she pass first. One day, Rugers in hand, she asked a patron at the range to take that picture of us. She entered it in a contest and won $750. "This is our chance to show everyone who we really are." Hazel said. She used all the money for t-shirts, when they came, she showed me one. At the bottom of the tshirt it said, "sharing guns and a bed since before you was born." Ha! You reach a certain age, and something like this just needs to be out there. We wore our t-shirts with pride and gave them out free to every member of Eagle Eye Woman's Trap Club.

It isn't really true that we fell in love between the stacks. Well, it was Hazel's truth, I suppose. It was not my truth. For me, it was the day she lay on top of me in the field where we played Red Rover. It was the moment I looked up at her and saw sky peek through the slits where her eyes were, framed by the sunlit grasses of her cinnamon hair. We were never persecuted, people got it. Hazel said that "They must see the love in our eyes." I think they could feel it ripple like waves between us. It ripples still. I feel her, I'll feel Hazel in me until I stop breathing and join her in the waves that strum the universal hum.

24 July 2010

Tracks

an introduction
of many realities confuses
one track minds
causes a closing of open ears
a famine in the plenty

we are shapes of the Earth dancing
in the magic valley and
They’re mining us on our
one journey through her fields
“The Earth was the mother,”
the voices said
“The Earth was the mother.”
rivers flowed from open mouths.

It rains in valleys
south of hell
mining intelligence
monsters beat unholy bells
children never Born 18
blaze incoherently
to ash

Every word has power
The Beast feeds on thought because
certain things just got to be looked at
we live in shadows
of eradication

the other day
a thousand years ago
today
what happened to the tribes of Europe
makes spectators thirst for blood
attacking spirits,
democracy reigns terror
stifling voices
shouting from the sidelines
“You just don’t get it-
save yourselves
there’s nothing wrong with us
lift me up
so everything you do
doesn’t hurt anymore.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Here is the prompt as written at Writer’s Island. (Thanks for the prompt, Rob!)
••> The “lucky” thirteenth prompt for 2010 is something a little different — just for fun. The prompt is: TITLES… Please permit me to explain a bit more. Go grab your favorite music album/CD that contains a number of different songs. Look at the titles, then use all, or as many or few of these “complete” titles as you wish to create your written piece.

I confess to cheating, in that I used a spoken word CD rather than music.  Tracks is the track titles from John Trudell ’s spoken word album, JT DNA. It is available for download at iTunes. Every title appears, in order, in Tracks.

List of spoken word tracks on John Trudell’s cd, JT DNA.
1. Introduction
2. Of Many Realities
3. Famine In the Plenty
4. We Are Shapes of the Earth
5. The Magic Valley
6. They’re Mining Us
7. One Journey
8. The Earth was the Mother
9. The Voices Said
10. The Earth was the Mother
11. South of Hell
12. Intelligence
13. Born 18
14. Every Word Has Power
15. The Beast
16. Certain Things Just Got to Be Looked At
17. The Other Day
18. What Happened to The Tribes of Europe
19. Spectator
20. Democracy
21. Shouting from the Sidelines
22. There’s Nothing Wrong With Us
23. Me Up
24. Doesn’t Hurt Anymore

23 July 2010

flax blooms blue

rain awakens
dormant seed until
blue covers fallow field
serendipitous flax germinated
in this cool wet Montana summer

chase a monkey

Chase a monkey through your poem
let it swing through the stanzas to come.
Make it the piggy backing shadow
of your character’s dark desires.

Send it to the aid of an organ grinder,
where its dancing fills cups with coins
and keeps them in bananas and rum
lifetime friends, monkey and man.

With a bright moon rising
pursue your primate
through the dusty streets of Mysore
simply to conjure the heady scent of sandalwood
that permeates the hot night air.

When it stops to screech
or scratch its hips
with monkey fingers flapping,
screech back at it.
Dare to dodge
the tiny pellets of poo
it keeps flinging up
from beneath your words.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Check out Big Tent Poetry, for excellent writing every week. This week we were asked to write a piece inspired by a favorite poet. Catch a Monkey is inspired by Billy Collins, Introduction to Poetry, where he suggests dropping a mouse into a poem. A monkey dropped into mine.

22 July 2010

Taluna's Revenge ~ A Magpie Tale

Something always comes knocking on Georgia’s brain reminding her that things are never quite right. Last night it was Johnny’s sister. Georgia sat up at 3:33 am and saw an image of Taluna hanging from the tip of the crescent moon. Her eyes all bulged out. She almost woke Johnny to warn him, but he didn’t put much stock in her “flashes of insight,” as he liked to call them, using his fingers like quotation marks in the air. Johnny’s constant ridicule wore thin. Taluna told her to leave him twenty years ago, but Georgia just couldn’t do it. She wished it was Johhny she’d seen last night. Not Taluna, not the one person who understood what Georgia endured with her big brother. Taluna planted a field of poppies in Georgia and Johnny’s back yard “to soothe your journey, Georgia, to soothe your journey.”

She woke to an empty bed, flicked open her cell phone and pushed the 2. When Taluna didn’t answer cold flooded Georgia. She knew. Sure enough, Taluna was found in her fourth floor walk up loft, hanging from the rafters. With her eyes bulging out, that much Georgia knew. When the police ruled it a homicide, she decided to tell Johnny about her vision.

Johnny flew into a rage, drove his truck straight to Ace and came back wearing his toolbelt, a piece of plywood under arm. Georgia watched, bemused, as Johnny got the ladder from the garage. “I’m sick to death of your little “flashes of insight,” he whined, “this oughta take care of it once and for all.” He trudged up the ladder with that plywood and started to hammer it over her window. A gust of wind picked up. It sent Johnny and the plywood sailing end over end until they landed with a thud in the yard.

Georgia ran to Johnny’s side. She could see that this was the end. “I killed her,” Johnny moaned, “Taluna, baby, I did it…….” His eyes closed for the last time. Georgia shuddered.

That morning Georgia woke at 3:33 a.m. and looked out the window above her bed. There was Taluna, swirling with poppies through gusts of wind. Georgia could swear she saw her wink.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
This story is in response to the picture prompt offered by Willow at Magpie Tales.  Be sure to check out the link other creative responses to the picture.  And thanks, for stopping by!

caged

Sophia Sophia Sophia
flashing red yellow beast
pirate bird
run across the top of your cage
to screech at doves on a wire
I wonder
if the windows rattle
as deep as the nerve in my soul
that knows you need to be free,
knows you need to be wild,
knows it’s too late,
you’re a wild animal
living in a cage in my house
screaming at freedom

at night you whisper
I love you smooth as rain
that slides down glass

Sadie Sadie Sadie
hanging from a bar
across the top of your
habitat you flap
blue gold wings,
folded behind your back
unopened,
with a repetitive
aaaah aaaaaah aaaaaah

life with John
keeper number one
wife came
children came
you became
dangerous
I wonder if you miss John
who took you in the yard
near the Missouri River and
let you fly to the tops of Ponderosa
I wonder if you miss John
when you hang your mantra
from that black metal pole
moaning behind plexiglass
for my viewing pleasure

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The Poet’s United prompt for Thinking Thursday is sound. In my house, sound and birds go hand-in-hand. I took advantage of the prompt to write about two of the birds that live with us. To read a kyrielle I wrote about Sophia, click on the “sophia” label below this post.

I also wrote this piece to get this message out: Stop purchasing parrots. They deserve better than us. We purchased Sophia six years ago from PetCo when they told us she was moving to another PetCo as she had a deformed toe, and they could not sell her. We had been visiting her there for 3 or 4 months. Her toe has since fallen off, and she’s fine. We inherited Sadie last year. Living with these birds can be extremely aggravating. I’m sure life for them is extremely aggravating.

If you want a parrot, adopt one that is no longer wanted. There are estimated to be over 100,000 unwanted parrots living in the United States alone. We don’t want ours many days. I feel guilt and sorrow for these beautiful creatures. We love them, and do the best that we can for them, but they don’t belong in houses.

….another cautionary note? Feeding them is expensive.

Leave them be, don’t bring more in, and if you are a breeder of exotic creatures like this….you need to take a good hard look at what you are doing. I’m just saying.

21 July 2010

Going to the Sun





for Len

Where do we go from here
when the hollow pit of nothing
opens its gaping mouth and
swallows us whole?
Why do illusions of perfection
conquer lives lived simply for regret?
When will we let go of childish pride and
ride to the sun forever in our hearts
forever in our arms
forever in us
forever?
Wounded words sink in
whalesong whirling
to the bottom of tumultuous seas,
while shadows of forever
whistle in the breeze.
I love you,
bigger than the little me
who whines so pitifully.
I love you.
Will I ever learn to dance it
through a filter gracefully?
With poetry,
perhaps.

Forgive me for my part in
shaking up forever.
Let your strong arms pull me down to
stitch me back together.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~
In response to Rallentanda's prompt, What's on my mind?

Angel You


Angel You
 sits on rock
formed before time


love for you
pours from me
like water
over Virginia Falls
where other angels
hover reflections
of your so bright light


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Angel You is for my daughter, Thyra.  She's always on my mind.  Rallentanda at POW asked that we write about "What's on our minds" this week. 

I chose "Angel" for ABC Wednesday Round 7, A.  Jump on board, poets!  ABC Wednesday has many picture posts from around the world that are a delight to check out every week.  There are also quite a few writers posting words.  Check it out!

I took both pictures in Glacier National Park last Sunday.

20 July 2010

for the children & Step up Non Believers

First off, thank you to We Write Poems and to Nicole Nicholson for the prompt. I loved it! Be sure you check out Nicole’s writing if you haven’t already over at Raven’s Wing Poetry.

“Sit at a table with pen and paper; put yourself in a ‘receptive’ frame of mind, and start writing. Continue writing without thinking of what is appearing beneath your pen. Write as fast as you can. If, for some reason, the flow stops, leave a space and immediately begin again by writing down the first letter of the next sentence. Choose this letter at random before you begin, for instance, a ‘t’, and always begin this new sentence with a ‘t’. Although in the purest version of automatism nothing is ‘corrected’ or re-written the unexpected material produced by this method can be used as the basis for further composition. What is crucial is the unpremeditated free association that creates the basic text.”

Included are my process notes and stream of consciousness writings. If the details and “hows” of the poems don’t interest you, scroll down to the titles(in bold) and read. It won’t hurt my feelings a bit. 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
First Piece / Thursday
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Immediately after reading the prompt at We Write Poems, I selected the letter h, and the following flowed. It didn’t seem connected after writing the first three times, so I stopped and reread. Then I continued. Rereading helped it go somewhere.

Oh---I did not use pen and paper for this prompt. I love my trusty keyboard. It is one of my fondest friends.

One more thing before you start reading my streaming...for the first piece I listened to Peter Ostroushko(accomplished mandolin, violin..wow!) while composing words, while I wrote the second piece in quiet. Interesting that the first piece rhymes....
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Streaming . . .

hours of time can dwindle away when you listen to what other people say the world

harbors thoughts of existence people free to be you and me and the thousand gazillion insects that fly from tree to tree

hiding inside bees’ hives underwater in the deep blue sea where every spider plays a mandolin and dances sweet with me

hallowed ground and hollowed gourds girder what’s to be and all the world slips silently beneath a troubled sea let it be let it be why must we mine our mother to supplant our nasty greed take heed take heed why must we mine our mother to supplant our nasty greed

hands inside the water shaking up the hive makes all the children wonder if anything’s alive the fear and deadness in their eyes is really no surprise when the only thing we’ve left to them is gaping gray skies
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Here’s where it went:
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

for the children

hiding in a bee’s hive
underwater in the sea
every spider plays a mandolin and
dances sweet with me

hollowed ground and
hallowed gourds
girder what’s to be as
all the world slips silently
beneath a troubled sea

let it be

why must we mine our Mother
to supplant our nasty greed
take heed
take heed
why must we mine our Mother
to supplant our nasty greed

hands inside the water
shaking up the hive
make all the children wonder if
anything’s alive
the fear and deadness in their eyes is really no surprise
when the only thing we’ve left to them is gaping gray skies

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Second Piece / Tuesday
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Process ~~~~> I followed a stream of consciousness using the letter e. What follows blurted out so quickly I couldn’t stop my fingers. I watched The Fourth Kind this week(a film about alien abduction in Nome, Alaska), and it definitely colors this piece. Interesting to me is the fact that I had not consciously given the whole abduction thing much thought before writing this (I hope that does not mean I’m next….ha!).

AHA! I just posted the link to this piece at We Write Poems, then came back to reread this poem (not the streaming, just the piece). My husband and I fought recently, I said things I shouldn't have said, he withdrew. (dirty laundry :) I think Step up Non Believers is actually my response to those feelings. It was an interesting enough aha!, that I wanted to share it with my fellow poets---so there you go. (Sorry for airing our dirty laundry Len...I love my life with you.)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Streaming…..

everywhere you look people are picking up the pieces of lives they no longer feel they control themselves everywhere lightning flashes until skies cave in and the atmosphere sucks them into the sky for the people to see what if feels like to be wanted to see what it feels like to be pulled spinning through a worm hole to an existence outside of this one, to a different reality

early on angst covers the people until the spinning screams and each body sucking through space tubes wails terror memories of being wanted fade when the vacuum tube spits them back onto Earth trembling piles of flesh
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Now it’s time to play with it. :)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Step up Non Believers!

everywhere you look
people pick up pieces of
out of control lives
lightning flashes
until skies cave in and
atmosphere sucks the people into sky
to see what if feels like to be wanted
to see what it feels like to be pulled
spinning through a worm hole
to an existence outside of this one,
to a different reality
early on angst covers the people until
each body sucked through space straws
wails terror

memories of being wanted fade
when the vacuum tube spits them
back onto Earth
trembling piles of flesh
no one will ever
believe

19 July 2010

process

live spirit pictures
spring from my fingers
until eerie stillness lingers

tentative digits
press keys and delete
to edit empty defeat

inside from outside
recycled through soul
poems come and poems go

~~~~~~~~
At POW this week Rallentanda encouraged us to write what's on our mind. Check out Rall's poetry this week. Also check in the comments of her pieces to read more excellent poems this week, there are sure to be plenty!

With Love from Angola

rough stones emerge from muck in hands
and cross continents, oceans, more hands
white stones graded, polished, cut
set in gold, platinum, silver
riches and love
finger gems

the first pair of hands
digs to eat, to feed families
while the richest rebels in Africa
The Revolutionary United Front
(known for chopping off limbs)
barter diamonds for weapons
terror chases 500,000 people
from home
butchered diggers’ blood flows
through Angola’s rivers and congeals
along their banks

on the last pair of hands,
a finger
flaunts forever

Look! He went to Jared’s.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
For a stone that retails for $10,000, a digger receives ~$800, and that is only if a man with a gun (or worse) does not take it from him first. Most diamonds only bring around $20 to the digger.

Different estimates lead me to believe that approximately 15% of the world’s diamonds currently at market come from Angola. Statistics skew both ways…this seems to come up most frequently.

Do I wear diamonds? No, I never have worn them, but my reasons are far from noble. I don’t like the way gemstone rings catch on things. I talk with my hands too much.

I found this prompt at Poets United, check out the link for more takes on the prompt.

For readers not in the U.S. Jared's is a jewelery store, television commercials repeat themselves so often, that "he went to Jared's" has become a euphemism for "he bought me a ring!" I do not know where Jared's buys their diamonds.

17 July 2010

the hermit

Running from reunions
requires rock hard discipline
living without looking back
snip the red threads that
connect you to
every life you ever touched
every path you ever crossed
Hermit.
Hermit! Open the door!

Critters all of
forest and sky
are the spirit threads
I need to get by.
Chopping wood,
the chickadees sing
a Gilead’s balm for
humanity’s sting.
In mountains far
I built my home.
Person.
People! Leave me alone!


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Visit Writer's Island for more pieces on the prompt: reunion.

16 July 2010

currents of myth










The phoenix engulfs itself in a blaze
before its progeny rises from ash.
Some things burn to the bottom of always,
500 years disappear in a flash.
Beneath burning flames a beak, with panache
rips through its shell beneath smoldering oak.
Scarlet bright wings stretch out wide against ash
as it twists and twines through spiraling smoke
riding currents of myth immortality woke.

~~~~~~~
Shout out to Magpie Tales for the inspiration I took from the word fire. I wanted to try a new form this week, so I searched until I found the Spenserian stanza:
The Spenserian stanza, the invention of Edmund Spenser, consists of nine lines, the first eight iambic pentamenter, the ninth iambic hexameter (twelve syllables) rhyming ababbcbcc.

infinite loop

wisps unfurl
a gluttonous famine
of forgetting until
obsolete memories scratch
on the present
illuminating emptiness
opening soul chasms
into angel moons that
blind you to yourself
duped into believing
words won’t flow
unless your monkey eats
wisps unfurl
a gluttonous famine
of forgetting until

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
This piece is entitled it infinite loop, as it should be read continuously over, and over. The hidden message is up to each interpreter(or maybe it's just words?).

Shout out to Nathan Landau at Big Tent Poetry for the prompt. Poets were instructed to use stenography in their pieces, or "hide something in plain sight."

14 July 2010

after the rain

After the rain
in that single
moment of quiet
before birds
remember to sing
all the wonder
of all the world
rests in potential—

magic waiting for release.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Shout out to Robert Lee Brewer of Poetic Asides for the prompt, which is also the title of this piece.

Lord Ganesha

In my dark bed
every noise registers
your heavy presence
on the shelf near
the door
entering our office.
(A bed-to-statue drill
takes less than
2 seconds.)

*

Dear Ganesha,

Remover of Obstacles
Patron of Arts and Sciences
Deva of Intellect
Patron of Letters
Bestower of Good Beginnings

Let our life together
be filled with
a successive flow of
words and learning
with no real life trauma
where I ram your long
brass arm into the eye
of any “obstacle”
who enters my home
uninvited in the middle
of a deep dark night.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Shout out to We Write Poems for the prompt.  Visit the link to take in some marvelous poetry.

13 July 2010

breakfast in bed

for Len

Never in that
dream of dreams
childhood sent my 
nighttimes to, did I 
imagine You, my 
love. Even

as gray shoots 
through your dark
outrageous curls 
certain brown eyed
glances bring 
instantaneous 
moistening and we 
relinquish our day
to the bedroom 
faire l’amour.

You become my
dark prince
and trusted stallion—
rider and horse 
as one.

In the morning,
tethered to fields
of rich dark coffee,
my tongue
follows a sweet dark 
rivulet from 
pain au chocolat
up the long 
slow curve
of your 
succulent chin.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~
A big thank you to Rallentanda at POW. This piece would not have come without her prompt. "Write a poem in the style of Prevert with some French sprinkles. Please provide a translation if you are going to use big chunks of French .I look forward to some very varied and interesting poems next week. A toute a l'heure."

I read several translations of Jacques Prevert's poems before writing my own. I wanted to write a piece that included coffee and love. ha!

12 July 2010

for the BLNWR birds

Common coots, and
eared grebes float on
benign white pillows
in mirrored miles
of sky surrounded by
lush marshes of cattail
and native grasses.

A wee marsh wren,
in knee high reeds,
eee-eee-eee-eee-eees
repetitive shrieks
to remind me
this is Its
set aside
wildspot,
not mine.

Everything quiets
in response to
its tirade,
until again
voices rise and call.

Imperceptible signals
or shifting winds
simultaneously
dispatch ample wings
to ride eddies
in dizzying dance.

A congregation in flight
screeches
praise and fury at
being wild and alive
in this wetland marsh
where people seldom tread.

~~~~~~~~
BLNWR stands for Benton Lake National Wildlife Refuge, it is north of town. My husband and I spent several hours there reading, writing, and listening this weekend.

Check out some more poetry on board the Monday Poetry Train.

Magpie Tomato Lune





iron vines cling tight
until rot
liberates spent fruit






~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Shout out to Magpie Tales for the picture prompt.  Check out the link for creative takes on the picture.

Thank you to Robert Lee Brewer of Poetic Asides for his description of the lune. “The lune is also known as the American Haiku. It was first created by the poet Robert Kelly (truly a great poet) and was a result of Kelly's frustration with English haiku. After much experimentation, he settled on a 13-syllable, self-contained poem that has 5 syllables in the first line, 3 syllables in the second line and 5 syllable in the final line.”

09 July 2010

dropping like lies

House parties seethe pretty people in
haute couture. Nose jobs, brow lifts,
and botox eat original face.
People keep dropping like lies.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Shout out to Big Tent Poetry for the prompt!

07 July 2010

Spirited Road Trip

A flashback heightens my chest, laughing
as we head down MT 12 east toward my hometown.
A billboard, that fisher of men, tells stories of Jesus and Truth
(corporate church folk mining our spirits, conjuring).
Back in Straw listening to Strange Angels
wind rushed through my chest
in a house with no walls
my eyes moved miles across the Big Sky.
Rivers of clouds passed time before a low hanging sun
as everything yellowed eerie and strange
anticipating the tornado that took Hugo’s
sheep— Fourth of July in ‘71, the morning
he fashioned a lady in Kicking Horse Reservoir
breaking down his despair with love, (story of my life).
Later, twirling ewes slammed into my backyard, freakish fireworks.
Today, frogs fall sideways from nowhere, slapping our windshield
as we finish our weekend lost in ghost towns
exploring Montana’s past.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
A prompt and a road trip generated this interesting piece. Shout out to Mallery, over at We Write Poems for this prompt with specific instructions for each line.

1. A feeling
2. Observe the scenery of your immediate surroundings
3. Personification of an inanimate object
4. Use a metaphor
5. Spend four lines recalling a prominent memory
6. Use symbolism in a statement
7. Associate some form of weather to the feeling in #1
8. Tell a lie, about anything
9. Make a reference to a holiday or season
10. State a fact about a favorite artist or poet
11. Compare yourself to a specific piece from the artist/poet you used in #10
12. Negate the lie you told in #8, or further support or restate it
13. Describe a daydream or parts of a dream you’ve had
14. For the last two lines, refer to a vacationing location

The poet I refer (and included in my lie) is Richard Hugo. Hugo was a Montana poet who passed in ’83. I used two of his pieces as inspiration. The Lady in Kicking Horse Reservoir, and The River Now. I’ve included a picture of the billboard I personified, we saw it on our way home from a great road trip Sunday. It made me laugh so hard that we turned around and went back for this picture.

John Trudell deserves mention, as well. His work, DNA, is downloaded on my iPod, we listened to him off and on through our travels over the weekend. Trudell talks about people and spirits being mined in different ways. His work inspires me.

06 July 2010

ABC Wednesday Y

wee yellow spider
still you sit
on potentilla


This arachnid showed itself on a potentilla bush in Anaconda, Montana on July 4, 2010.  The poem is an American form, the lune, which has two cultivars. :-) This one is a Kelly Lune.  For more creative pictures and words check out ABC Wednesday, you'll be glad you did.

her cursed eye


My eye will haunt you, far beyond this day.
Its yellow flecks will constrict your passions.
Like Poe’s old man’s heart, that’s what some will say.

It watches you spend your father’s rations
with gazes intent when lovers draw nigh.
Your slick-willy ways and stunning fashions

smash in your face when you mention my eye.
Your lover gasps, and asks if you’re crazy.
You say, "Can’t you see it, up in the sky?

Up there, by the clouds, maybe it’s hazy.
You really can’t see it? It casts a light.
The eye of my first love, now dead Daisy.

That day she cursed me, her eye threw a blight.
She may be gone. but I’m still in her sight."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Shout out to Rallentanda at POW for the great picture prompt.  This piece is a terza rima sonnet, a form Rallentanda had us working with a couple weeks ago.