Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘ars poetica’

One Long Story

hovering over

the generous blank

the pen wonders how to improve

on all that potential—

oasis without a trail

Read Full Post »

Who is this woman so concerned with arrivals?

Doesn’t she know we are writing about paths?

What is her rush to get to the meadow?

What does she think she will find there?

She missed the sunflowers in the garden,

a whole row of luscious bright yellow bloom.

She missed the chatter of the chipmunk,

the hot scent of rabbit brush almost like sage,

the mica glistening like crushed starlight beneath her feet.

She is like one of those trucks on the highway,

a blur, a roar, an impersonal thundering.

Oh, see, now that she thinks she’s arrived somewhere,

now she starts noticing the field,

the crunch of dry grass, the dirt, her own short shadow.

Funny, she looks lost, standing there with her pen and paper,

her longing to find something worthwhile to say.

Should we tell her it’s okay,

that the lack of arrival could be her new point A?

And everywhere she looks, a new path.

Read Full Post »

Ars Poetica

All these years of wandering,

toward what? On a blank page,

where are the secrets hidden?

How many mysterious paths?

If there is a truth, perhaps it, too, is blank.

If there is way, perhaps it, too, is wandering.

Sometimes I just want the answer.

Always it comes back to this:

An orbit. A spiral. A mobius trip.

A boundary curve where the question

is its own topology, where the question

is its own astonishing arrival.

Read Full Post »

Proxy

The woman who knows what to write

did not show up today. Perhaps she’s gone

hiking amongst the blue larkspur, or

maybe she’s pulling weeds in the garden.

Perhaps she got a job as a counselor or a priest,

or decided to run for political office.

I wish she’d show up again. Sometimes

it’s not easy to face the blank, to believe

there are any words worth writing. Like today,

when I read about how the abandoned fracking wells

are leaking pollutants. How today will be

the first federal execution in seventeen years.

How there are still children at the border

still crying, “¡Mami!” and “¡Papá!”

Perhaps she was simply so sad

that she went to sit in a corner, quietly,

not to forget, but to find the strength to meet it.

Perhaps she is, even now, trying to conjure

the words that might actually make a difference.

Read Full Post »

 

 

Because you are the porch,

I am the rocking chair.

 

Because you are the pen,

I am the unfinished poem.

 

In the conversation of what happens next,

I am always the pause.

 

I am always the pause

and you the verb.

 

And if there should be a run on sentence

that jogged right through the

 

end of the story, way past the end,

well, I would not be the period.

 

But I would be ever after.

And I would be the one still listening after that.

 

 

 

 

Read Full Post »

IMG_6255

 

making up songs

as I set up the tent—

or a song making up me?

 

*

 

beside the lake

rowing the memory

of a blue boat

 

*

 

bald eagle dives into the lake

then rises quickly

in its beak, a heavy poem

 

*

 

sitting with a blade of grass

until it reads me a story—

once upon this morning

 

*

 

laughter in darkness—

this, too,

a kind of campfire

 

*

 

hiking through ponderosa

a subplot wonders

if it could become the main story

 

*

 

cold, clear night—

spiking my tea

with Cassiopeia

 

*

 

third morning camping—

waking up in a chapter

written before this one

 

Read Full Post »

 

 

This morning the new kitten played with a hair tie

for twenty minutes, kicking it under the table,

swatting it across the room, catching it on a nail

and tossing it into the air. Meanwhile, I tried

to do the same thing with an idea—tried

to bat at it, swipe at it, fling it across the room

and then chase it and pounce on it again.

But that’s not what happened. The idea

sat dead on the desk. I barely even looked at it.

I let my paws make tea instead. And then

went to Facebook. Then vacuumed the room.

Then stared at the idea and wondered why

it hadn’t moved. Boring idea. Dumb idea.

Why did it just sit there, lifeless as a hair tie?

Eventually the kitten, exhausted from frolic,

curled down for a nap. I sat back in the chair,

wondered at what I might learn from the cat.

Picked up the idea again. Gave it a whack. And darned

if it didn’t take on some life as my nose

nudged it into new places. Curious, my whole body

readied to pounce, my tail swishing behind my back.

 

*Yes, friends, we’ve gotten a new kitten, Tamale.

Read Full Post »

 

 

 

Even then she was becoming

a dreamer, a lover of bark,

a student of solitude. Even then

she noticed how there were places

and moods that words couldn’t touch—

even then she felt the joy in trying anyway.

Read Full Post »

 

 

Let yourself be danced.

            —Augusta Kantra

 

 

The poem sits down to be written.

Instead, it stares at the bay.

There’s a highway in the distance

that could take it all the way to California.

The poem doesn’t want to go to California.

It wants to be present, just here,

on the sandy bank beside the driftwood.

It wants to find its inner poem.

It wants to get out of its own way,

to obey its emerging form.

Instead, it watches the tall grass

getting danced by the wind.

It sighs. The poem wants to know

what it doesn’t know yet.

And the poem wants to be good.

Dammit. It tries to lower its standards,

then judges, compares and tries to fix itself.

It lists. It sits cross legged till its legs

fall asleep. It is a book of sorrows,

a tree of anxiety, a wave of failure.

It’s a cage of empty lines. How

did it get into this straight jacket?

The poem gives up. It stares at the bay.

Watches the grasses sway. Notices

how the wind blows its hair,

lifts its hands. The poem doesn’t know

why it’s weeping. In that moment,

the poem is danced.

Read Full Post »

For Your Thoughts?

 

 

 

This year it costs 1.8 cents to make a penny.

It is, perhaps, similar to spending an hour

on an eleven-line poem that very few people

will read. And still, they mint the penny.

And still, I write the poem. Because

tradition. Because poems and pennies

are easy to spend. Because sometimes

the small things make life better—

something to wish on, something

valuable beyond its surface, something

humble to catch the light.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: