National Poetry Writing Month

I’m hearby declaring my intention to participate in National Poetry Writing Month, where I will endeavor to writing and post a poem every day of April. At very least, a wee haiku!

"The perfect rose," says my daughter. So I captured its light and shadows to keep forever in pixel form.

“The perfect rose,” says my daughter. So I captured its light and shadows to keep forever in pixel form.

 

 

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Poem: Yearning

Yearning

Longing for someone

you may not notice

that they are right there inside you,

closer to you than your own heart,

taking the shape of memory.

 

Poem: Thread

Thread

There is a thread

that reaches back

through the needle-eye of history

around

and forward

toward tomorrow’s beyond.

It connects all those present

in the now

with the ancient people

who wanted so very much to help us

   become

our best selves

that they left pages and sayings;

   instructions

for us children.

Now grown, we feel how close the thread’s end

is to our fingertips.

We wake up —

   for

now we know

why our elders spent nights telling yarns by candlelight,

and sunlit days showing us how to tie knots.

Consider how you might take the hand of someone

newer to this world than yourself

and be a guide

for the benefit of

   others

before the end —

worn and frayed

slips through the hole where you once were.

Poem: Quiver

I invented a couple of words for this brief poem, so those misspellings are deliberate. 

Quiver

This quiver inside my gut

wholds arrows

I draw back my arm

and

thwing —

nervous laughter

— bullseye to your center.

Poem from the Vault: I was afraid of strangers

I was afraid of strangers

When I was young,

I looked before jumping

across puddles

or into relationships.

I rarely spoke

for fear of the flood.

I learned to love

those whose eyes loved me

with the bliss of drowning

and now

it is nothing

to slip on moist words—

my legs collapse underneath me

and on my knees

in this rippling pool,

I smile at you.

[Originally published in Jittering Microscope #3, 1991, this poem also appears in my first novel, Pieces of Home.]

Poem from the Vault: How to Bloom

How to Bloom

The Sunflowers sway in the wind,
smiling happily in the sun,
their roots tingling with gratefulness
when the rain seeps into the soil.
Their appreciation for what
God has given them is as full as the moon.
When they die, they accept it, contentedly,
knowing that their remains
will nourish future generations
of plants and people
who will benefit from
the deeds they have planted
in this world.

Poem from the Vault: Sunflower

The sunflower

bursts with fertile, coppery

lust —

his facetothesun

reflects a thousand

seeds of what will be his offspring —

and likewise

Radhi, tall as corn

stretches toward the sun, face

open

for the blessing of lush harvest.

He plants the seeds,

follows the patterns

of light through the swaying stalks

till wetness drips

from the heaving sky, and

watches his children

dance dizzily

drenched in sun and rain.

They practice

carving, shaping, digging, sowing,

and the flame of birthed fruits.

Like their father, they learn

to bloom.

[Originally published in Jittering Microscope #1, 1990]

Radhi is a character archetype from my pantheon of characters. He is inspired by Papa Legba (the gate-keeper voodoo loa), and Osiris. In my upcoming novels he is channeled into the characters Roddy in Pieces of Home and Perry in Haunted House Designers. These two represent my “well-meaning but foolish father” character type.