This poet says the shortest one’s
also the cruelest.
It surpasses December and January
for the coldest.
And probably unchallenged
in the monthly rankings as
Like the word “misspelled.”
Some in the English-speaking world
never master including
that seemingly silent extra consonant.
I’m insufferable that way with my
deep pool of knowledge.
But I long ago learned
a most-valuable lesson in one of those
chilly little months.
During the short wolfish period
of my life, I did plot
to win the favors this cute girl.
She believed there were more than
those two worthy (and manly) holidays
in the second month of the year.
I forgot to recognize
THE most-important “holiday” in that month.
So, don’t be like Caesar and I,
forgetting The Ides of February,
or thereabouts. (Yes, I’m insufferably right.
You can look it up.)
By the Saints–or at least the one
whose name starts with “V”–
you’ll find she can make February
seem longer for you than merely by adding
that oft-forgotten “r.”
The cruelest month can grow colder,
and oh so crueller still.
This tortured bit of verse came about from my own tortured efforts to write ANYTHING, as I crawl my way back from my debilitating back issues and concomitant spasms of my emotional spine. So I took a list of words from an old short story prompt and tossed them against the virtual refrigerator door with some of my own. This first draft stuck. Here are the words: monthly, cute, shortest, wolfish, plot, master, world, valuable and December.
Elohim Creating Adam
by William Blake, 1795
Sometimes, like right now,
I find myself imagining
what it would be like
to die in this seat.
I’d be biding my time,
thinking how easy this was
not so long ago. Like breathing.
I’d turn words into living things,
as if they rose from some kind
of primordial ick to stick
to my mind’s wall, where I’d
shape them into Adams or Orcs.
Maybe you’d invite some
into your home, if they promised
to wipe their trochaic feet.
Tonight I’m biding my time,
waiting for any words to bubble up,
but fearing they’re in league
with some dark spirit,
who’s waiting for unholy sacrifices
I’d make on this QWERTY altar
for even fifty of his minion.
Instead, I just sigh in this guilty ooze
with nothing to show for my efforts
but white space smeared with gook
of the gobbledy kind, imagining
part of me has died already.
I was asked to write a story using the following words: die, ago, seat, time, imagining, even, making, league, sacrifices, and rose. But I can’t write anymore. Too much pain of various kinds crippling me. So instead you get this desperate fling of muddy verse upon your computer screens. That is if more than one of you still cares to read after this achy absence. The title is a quote from William Blake.
The clouds slide across the sky
like crib sheets being flapped flat
and floating down upon the place
where a child will sleep.
Between them you see the room
colored a blue distinct to winter.
Not so deep as a spring Carolina sky,
nor the chill azure
the northern firmament glows in autumn.
Between the gossamer sheets
waiting to drop their crystalline
whiteness, blooms a blue so bright
you think you might believe
you can see right through it.
But to where? At whom?
Maybe for that child waiting
for his moment to rest upon
man’s simple crib called Faith.
Such a fine memory
I have of you.
Of you walking by me
in the moonlight glow
from the window.
I remember sensing
the scent of you
that night like
your silhouette wafting
though your nightgown.
Such a fine memory
I have of you.
Of you beside me
all those nights,
so close I could not sleep.
Of your warmth
touching my body
as your kiss.
Such fine memories
I’ve carried of us
all these years,
how you’re always there
when the music plays,
when the room goes dark.
But there never was an Us,
never really was a you.
Just fine memories.
I was due for something new. This is at least that.
Sorry if you never heard me
thank you, but if I did,
I’d have nothing to thank you for.
You were the one who helped me
find the voice you hear
from this side of your door.
It’s why you see me limping along
these days, leaving a trail
with this inky crutch.
It’s supported my now silent self,
who discovered this gift when
I lost what once meant so much.
So I wrote this Thank You note,
to hang on the imaginary wall
in the virtual square.
I hope you hear my old voice
in it, as if from me here
to you there.
Thanks for helping me speak
to so many people, with nary
a shriek or bellow.
Rather poetic I found it when you
said goodbye, since it was born
when you first said hello.
Sorry I’ve been gone so long. I’ve been dealing some angels and demons. Most of my own construction. This is a little right-out-of-bed writer’s block breaker that I hope will get me back in the saddle again for the long haul. Perhaps even with some joy.
Today he thought he heard
the voices that once
chilled his spine and
set his chest thumping.
But it was only the soft airs
of old tunes. Perhaps carried
on the cold breeze, he mused.
Alone in bed that night,
he thought he heard them again,
wondering if they who once
haunted his sleep had returned.
A whispered G’night, babe,
a thin Buona notte,
a warm Night night.
It was then he discovered
it was his own breath
on the pillow caressing
his cheek, warming his memory,
sighing a final farewell
to all those dying echoes
of his displaced desire.
A Collective Collection Poem
They call a group of lobsters
from Down East Maine a Risk,
even though soup on the menu
containing said Risk is a bisque.
Since collecting cats into a herd
is considered a feat beyond daring,
I suppose a Pounce of them
is as good as a Glaring.
A bunch of peacocks isn’t a flock.
In grand array, they’re an Ostentation.
Swans on the pond may float in a flotilla
dolefully christened a Lamentation,
When snails meet it’s an Escargotoire,
though they can also gather in a Rout.
Chasing each other is a Scurry of Squirrels,
while still waters hide a Hover of trout.
Even Humans, who made up these names,
don’t get off scot free without one.
Foresters fell trees in a Stalk,
a Superfluity counts as more than one nun.
Not sure why a tribe of boys is a Blush,
or how hermits as an Observance come a’meeting.
The Lord of the manor pours a Draught of butlers
while outside a Hurtle of sheep are a’bleating.
A pile of poets can be a School,
so I guess I’m just one of many.
Looked half my life for others like you,
but no bevy exists ‘cause there just aren’t any.