Posts Tagged ‘alphabet’


Well, I am trying to come up with an abecedarian poem (a poem that uses each letter of the alphabet as a starting letter once and only once, usually in alphabetical order, for instance: Always Bring Cookies, Darling … etc.

Anyway, this little word collection that I spent HOURS on today (so many versions you really would not believe it) is perhaps going in the front of the alphabet book. To see the tree people illustrations that go with all the crazy alphabet poems I have been writing the last few months, visit http://alphabetmenagerie.com

Journey into dream forests—varied geographies.

Here X marks no spot worthier than Z.

Each letter contains postures and rumors of you.

Bring kinship. Questions. Uncertainty.

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a poem for Leanne Canty’s amazing Alphabet Menagerie

Between the letters A and Z,
there’s so much to explore—
an alphabetic wonderland
of names that open doors!

And then there are the places where
the world slips through the letters,
where anything is possible,
let’s dance there, friend, together.

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Illustration by Leanne Canty

Illustration by Leanne Canty

Your life began as a zygote, love,
a one-celled being that rapidly divides.
Though that is partially a lie.
There was a start before that—go ask your dad.
It’s so human to want to point to a time
and say, “Here. Here’s where it all began.”
Like the day we planted the zinnia seeds.
We used that date to predict their bloom.
And when the first summer squash blossomed yellow,
we knew there’d be zucchinis soon.
But there was a beginning before the seeds,
before the blossoms, before the dirt.
It’s impossible to say the true start of things.
Like which sign in the Zodiac comes first?
And where in the West begins the zephyr?
And at what stage do zinfandel grapes become wine?
We want so much to divide forever
into bite-sized chunks we can understand.
When did the zebra first have stripes?
And when did the zebra fish grow new fins?
The story always starts before it begins.
When did the zipper change the way we wear sweaters?
And when did we learn that zinc helps us see better?
And when did I first know that I loved you?
Back when you were a zygote. And before that, too.

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By the Rules

An angel of arrows,
a box of bubbles,
a cauldron of cradles,
a danger of doubles.
Everything ends
and forever fails.
Gold unglitters
and hangmen hail.
I am illusion
and joy is jive,
kisses are kismet
but luck is live.
More is madness.
None is none.
Om is the omen
and pomes are puns.
Questions go quantum.
Ravens rhapsodize.
Schisms go soaring
and tongues tantalize.
Ugh. We’re unbearable,
voiceless and vile.
We’re wonderless, weary,
extorted, exiled.
Years become yesterday.
No zeal. No zest.
Time to try a new spin
on the old alphabet.

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