Each night I lie in bed
and ponder why I still sit
in that chair every day
trying to tell stories
of a me and a you
that never happened,
why I scribble about memories
that are the barest of vapors
moved by a breath I’ll
never feel on my cheek.
These days I ponder
that same question even
as I sit in this chair
talking to myself alone and
not listening, just transcribing
the silence where once spoke reason.
Maybe that’s why I still do this.
I’m searching for reason
where reason doesn’t exist.
No longer reasonable,
yet unreasonably necessary.
Day 17. A “reason” poem. It’s true. I lie in bed at night and wonder why I even do this pointless exercise, this seemingly fruitless waste of what time I have left. Then I get up, sit in this chair, open a new document, start typing and still don’t know why. Maybe that last sentence, which I just looked up and found sitting there, is my unconscious self’s explanation. It’s necessary for at least one of us.
He never actually tried to catch her,
but she clung to him like a cocklebur
at his every move and thought.
And when he tried to remove her,
she stung him sorely, even drawing
some of his blood. Because it turns out
she was caught upon his heart.
She never really tried to catch him,
but he’d bull through her space
as men do. Men are about the catch,
the possess, whether they catch
that truth or not. And when he tried
touching her, she’d sting him sorely,
even drawing blood, as if she caught
upon his heart.
Now he no longer enters her space,
too tired of fighting her inadvertent cling
and too chastened from her deliberate sting.
Sometimes she’ll pick through the old days
when he’d carry off a piece of her.
She pretty sure doesn’t miss him,
but might miss being caught upon his heart.
Day 16. A “catch and/or release” poem. Maybe I did both here. Perhaps this is the only way I can tell stories anymore.
The pessimist might be the best
at predicting the future,
since they might never suffer
for being wrong.
If their prediction of something
calamitous comes to pass,
you can hear their “Told ya so”
in obnoxious sing-song.
But if their prognostication goes
cockeyed, people glad for the error
might give the pessimist a pass even
for being wrong all along.
However, should the optimist’s
prediction go down in flames,
dashed expectations are likely
to incite the milling throng.
This is why I tend to lean toward
the negative call, since I’ve found
safety in not coming on too brightly
Now I’ll end this piece, positive
in predicting your negative reaction
to my forcing these “-ong” rhymes
way, way, way too long.
A “prediction” poem on Day 14 of this poetic death march to May, when I try to write a story every day.
Prediction: I won’t.
I’m certain right now we all can’t agree
that things around here surely aren’t okay.
Online attacks, shootings, guys taking a knee,
we’re messed up in a state of disarray.
I’ve seen a lot in my decades of life,
stuff that made us crazy, yet always great.
Our history reveals days full of strife,
yet we’ve survived those times of raw hate.
But right now I’m scared of what might yet come
from the Us versus Then, Win or Die throng
that shouts down compromise like it’s dumb,
“If you aren’t leaning our way you’re dead wrong.”
Dead wrong or just dead by uncivil fray,
this new United States of Disarray.
Day 14 of my NaPoWriMo poem-a-day challenge. Supposed to be a “state” poem. Fuck that. Just know that I HATE politics, having worked closely outside and inside that disgusting sausage factory. So I always make it a point to not take sides. I’m just pointing out right from wrong. Right now, too many people are just behaviorally wrong. Let’s at least try, for our nation’s (and world’s) sake, to step back, take off our myriad hats, and work together to restore this to being a nation OF the people, BY the people and FOR the people…ALL of the people. I pray we can do that before I die and my granddaughters miss out on what I was lucky enough to share (at least I believe I shared to the best of my being) in my lifetime.
This stuff is killing me, keeping me awake at night and spinning my already hideous gyre of depression into a deep-dive death spiral. It’s crippling me. If some day soon, you notice I don’t visit you anymore (as I’ve seen myself approaching more and more lately) you’ll know all of this strife has become just too much for me and I can’t be me anymore. Today’s poem was not that me.
I see greens (a few) grays (a lot)
and shiny cars outside my window.
Duplex houses in varied earth tones
standing cheek by jowl
chain the cul-de-sac beneath
high, hazy clouds diluting
the morning blue sky.
That’s what I see.
That’s my view.
Yours would be different, even if,
right this instant, you sat
in this spot by my window.
You might see the tan patches
and brown mud splotches
where I see grass,
see the dirty pickup truck roll by,
the white sticks of winter’s
snow plow reflectors still standing
in doubt this Spring day will last.
But you wouldn’t see my view
unless I told you, and I wouldn’t see yours.
That’s why I like art,
almost any art.
It speaks the truth of the artist’s view
of her subject. And I can choose
to listen, read, observe, feel what
she says she does, as she does it.
Or I can turn away and
not pay attention to it at all.
Just as you can skip on by
my view from my side of this window,
the town, the country, the world.
And I can skip by yours.
I wish life was more like that.
I don’t necessarily need to hear
if you do.
Day 13 of NaPoWriMo. A “view” poem. There are a lot of lines up there and just a little more between them.
The blanks outnumber the faces now.
Too many of their names were erased
by nightwind after nightwind
when I no longer talked to them,
I remember you, but not really.
You’re a placeholder of
I never understood and now
stand no chance of recapturing.
How can I recapture in this art
of artful remembering what I
never truly captured first?
And so, you are lost to me,
and so is he, she and them,
this population of my mind.
The diaspora of the beautiful
and the profane,
the angelic and the insane,
washed away by the rains
pushed over me by the fears
I tried to escape
by not closing my eyes
in this battle that’s left me old.
Even if I’m shown a
photo and reminded
the you I see will more than likely
be blown away
by the sleepless nightwinds
and the forgotten dawns
left to me.
Day 12 of Poem-a-Day April.
I’ve known a few Canadian girls,
though most I’ve never met.
Some from tiny prairie towns,
others from big cities, and yet
the one thing they all share,
is a toughness wrapped in sweet.
Maybe it’s because of their winters,
where they learn to make their own heat
as they walk to school in icy chills
a Carolina girl would say no over.
A Canadian girl will just smile and say,
“What’s the matter, eh? It’s only October!”
I know that it’s quite silly, though,
to lump all these girls together.
Each one is different, as you would see,
if you knew Joanne, Tasha, and Heather.
So I dedicate this poem to the ladies
from the Land of the Maple Leaf red.
I love them and the way they speak,
from sea to mer and from A to Zed.
On Day 11 of Poem-a-Day Challenge, a Dedication poem. And, since it’s the birthday of two of my dear Canadian “friends I never met’ (© Heather Grace Stewart), I figured this would be a good day and way to express my appreciation and affection for the ladies who’ve been so kind to me from The Great White North.