Posts Tagged ‘list poem’

Unheard Of

While listening is the core of most of our communications … most people stink at it.

—Scientific American, “Now Hear This: Most People Stink at Listening!” by  Bob Sullivan and Hugh Thompson, May 3, 2013

Perhaps they lisp like tiny orange tongues,

each slender calendula petal

as it escapes from the bud

And dust, as it settles, I imagine it sighs.

I would love to hear the lulling of shadows

as they melt into dusk.

Do they shush the grating of crickets,

the buzzing of this body before I lay me

down to steep in night?

I have wondered about the spiny sound

that pinecones make when they grow

their prickles. And the tune of bones

when nothing hurts. And the blood in the heart

when we say goodbye—does it scrape?

Or shriek? Or mewl?

It is one thing to forget. It’s another

to never even know—to miss out on

the bluster of dandelion seeds,

the honeyed pitch of sunrise,

the hush inside the temple of the gourd.

It makes me want to listen

more closely to the world,

to clean out the ears of my heart.

To sit rapt with the stone that remembers

when it was red and molten. To attend

to the stretching of the root,

to the prayer of the sprout,

to the dew as it disappears.  

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Boomerangs, of course,

as long as they’re thrown correctly.

Mail with not enough postage.

A genuine smile when walking

down the street. A voice in a canyon.

Summer. Shoulder pads. Scrunchies.

The Jedi. Love, but not always. A bad dream

right after the eyes are closed again.

A yo yo. A dog, most of the time.

Memories. A ball thrown at a wall.

Life, though often transformed.

And the same old mistakes,

yeah, those come back, too.

And this feeling that something,

something important, is missing.



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after Wendy Videlock

Like an empty bowl,
like a submarine,
like a mirror, like a tooth,
like a tambourine,
like a pen or a puddle,
or a maker of hay,
like a rusty machine,
like a fiancé,
or as if you speak
in eddies of river,
or as if you’re an arrow
just pulled from the quiver;
like shoes without laces
thrown into the corner,
like rain, like a scalpel,
like a barbed wire border,
like a guillotine,
like witch hazel blooms,
like a horse, like blue,
like an unsung tune,
like a poem that doesn’t
know how it will end,
like a leap or a stone,
like an open hand.

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