Monday, March 30, 2009

Poetry Train: Last summer was a cemetery

Last summer
was a cemetery
for poems
that were never born.

Small sperms
of ideas
swam toward
blank eggs
then died.

Long, lazy days
stretched out before
me like miles
of sandy beach

but no waves
of words
begged to live
and all those poems
that could have been,
seeped into the sand
leaving behind
of empty foam.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Aging for Sunday Scribblings

I'm recycling this week. I wrote this one a couple years ago.
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If she tilts
her head
just so
in the golden shafts
of sun,
I can see
a lone hair
on her chin.

I consider telling
her about it
but we’re in the middle
of a card game
and she’s winning
so I don’t want
to spoil
this time
we have together.

Later that night
after she has climbed
the stairs
one step at a time
carrying the weight
of eighty-one
years of laughter
and sadness,

I, too get ready
for bed.
I brush my teeth,
wash my face
and apply
a night cream.
The light
catches a glint
on the curve
of my chin
and I stand there
looking in the mirror
at my mother.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Stolen First Lines for ReadWritePoem

Thanks to Gautami Tripathy for this great first line.
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That word you lost I found it under a rock
all dirty and flattened.

I took it home and washed it
then hung it on the line

in the sunshine to dry. See it there
sashaying in the breeze

becoming plumper and clearer
as it dries. The T is holding

its head up and the rust
is shining. That word you lost

I found it under the rock
of your heart.

Season Change for TOP

Yesterday Afternoon

The front porch
was a pan
full of melted butter.

I sat like a bowl
of popcorn
and let the sun

drizzle all over me
on this first real day
of finally spring.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Earnest Layer Reactive for 3WW

Earnest as tulips
your feelings pop out in spring
layer by layer
Layer by layer
your feelings pop out in spring
earnest as tulips

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Sestina for Poem: A Virtual Poetry Group: ABCs

Learning My ABCs

Right now, I should be correcting an essay
or planning what my next assignment will be
for British Literature class. But, you see,
all I want to do is de-
vote time to writing a poem e-
ven though I know it will take ef-

fort. Today, as a teacher, I get an F.
I’m here physically but my mind is away,
dreaming of letters and words that will, e-
ventually, become thoughts. I turn on my computer and be-
gin to type a black and white de-
sign on this school-owned PC.

I take a poem from its infancy,
nurture it though childhood, survive the ef-
fing teen years, and gentle it with de-
tails into an adult. Shh, don’t let the PTA
know what I do when I’m supposed to be
teaching. I haven’t even checked my e-

mail since there’s barely e-
nough time to finish this, never mind see
about my students’ needs. Be-
fore the lunch bell, while ideas are still like ef-
fervescent bubbles, I want to parlay
them into something meaningful~a word melody.

Sometimes, it’s so easy to let myself be de-
toured from writing. So, now, while my e-
motions are high, and letters are dancing a ballet,
I have to lasso them, whip up a poem fricassee.
Instead of being a teacher I must be a word chef
for a little while. But kids keep coming in to be-

devil me with questions and the intercom is be-
coming annoying. There is no remedy
for these interruptions; inside I’m screaming, “F
You!” but outwardly I must remain e-
ven-tempered and capture se-
clusion where I can. I lock myself away.

I’m just a wanna-be poet with an e-
normous desire to sea-
son my refugee heart with word play.

Friday, March 20, 2009

I Come From for Sunday Scribblings

I Come From…

I come from words
like love
that jumped
from my dad’s eyes
to my mom’s,

and integrity
that was woven
into my character
the way
my mom pulls yarn
through her cross-stitch

I come from the garden
of kindness
and caring.

I come from words
like seeds
and grow
in the paragraphs
of life.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Poetry Train: Fortune cookies

I bought fortune cookies for my Poetry-Writing students and gave them each two. They had to begin a poem with one fortune and end with the other. This is what I wrote:

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Fortunate Poem

“Your income will increase”
said the fortune cookie
and right away
I thought of winning
the lottery
and having all that

But I know
what would happen.
My husband would want
and airplane
or two
and a new boat
and before I could blink,
we’d be in debt
and have tons
of bills.

No. I want
a different type
of income.
I want the richness
of poems.
I want bank accounts
of words.
I want an ATM card
that spews
and credit cards
with unlimited
because “the important
thing is to express

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Revision for Totally Optional Prompts

Casting a Spell 11/1/05

What is it about words
that attract me
like fish to bait?

What tasty morsels
words are.
I can’t resist
nibbling at them,

taking bites
and chewing, chewing,
on their flavors.

Each one is different
in size and shape
so they are never boring.
I savor them
on my tongue
then swallow
and feel their richness
paint the walls
of my esophagus.

As I digest
each meaning,
I thank the witch
who cast
the fishing line
with the wordy worm
on the hook.

The Revision 3/14/09

Words are like bait
on a fishing line

tempting morsels
I chomp, chomp

and get hooked on.
But who is the fisherman

who dangles those words
so enticing? And do I mind

getting caught? Oh, there’s
another one meandering

around in the ocean
of my brain. I open

my mouth and swallow,
hooked again.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Naisaiku: Temper winter spirits

Come, March, and cajole
the recluse crocus faces
out of their prisons.
out of their prisons.
The recluse crocus faces
come. March and cajole.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Poetry Train: Setting the clock ahead

Setting the Clock Ahead

What happens to the hour
we lose when we spring
forward to daylight
savings time?

Does it explode into dust
and become those motes
swimming in the slant
of afternoon sun?

Does it get buried
along with the poems
never written
in that hour,
all the songs never sung,
all the paintings
never sketched,
all the thoughts
never born?

Or does it melt
into the next hour
making us doubly creative
for those sixty
pregnant minutes?

Where do those dandelion
fluff moments
disappear to when man
takes a deep breath
and, thinking that it fills
him with wisdom,
blows them apart
and sacrifices them
to the winds
of daylight?

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Listen Up for Sunday Scribblings

Listen Up; This Is Important

Your essay is due
on Thursday.

(Girl in back of room is hunting for something in her purse)

Even if you are absent,
you still have to
get it here.

(Boy gets up to blow his nose)

Have a parent
or a friend
bring it in

or you can
email it to me
as an attachment.

(Boy and girl eye each other, mouth sweet nothings, smile)

Also, you must have it
printed out
when you come to class.

I don’t want it
on a jump drive.
Figure out a way

to get it printed
before you get

(Girl in first row combs her hair)

Don’t wait
until Wednesday night
to write it

and then realize
you have computer
or printer issues.

(Intercom interrupts: Please send so-and-so to the office)

No excuses
will be accepted.
Even if you

are in the hospital,
you must still
find a way

to get it
here by

(Several students begin packing up to go)

If you die,
I expect
you will have made

for its submission.

(Teacher looks out
classroom window
and sees fat snowflakes
falling like disjointed
words on deaf ears)

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Chores for TOP

For Christmas my daughter gave everyone Swivel Sweepers. We all joked about them because we'd seen them advertised on TV. Then we tried them and fell in love.
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Ode to the Swivel Sweeper

You lean nonchalantly
against the wall
at the bottom of the stairs,

a patient lover,
waiting for the touch
of my hands.

I wrap my fingers
around the handle
and fondle your switch.

You buzz to life,
doing the housework

You bend first one way
then slide to the other,
back and forth
our steps in sync.

You nibble at flecks
of sawdust and lint,
tucking them
in your pocket.

When the dance floor
is clean, I turn the music
off and lead you back

a perfect date,
asking nothing
in return.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Avenge Genuine Ramble for 3WW

When we were dating,
my husband had a 1957 Rambler.
All our friends were envious
because the back of the front seat

reclined to meet the back seat.
It wasn’t a genuine bed
but, we were teenagers,
and it was the next best thing.

And, honestly, I’m too tired
tonight to write anything decent.
This poem is going nowhere
unlike us when we’d go parking.

P.S. There is no way
I’m going to get avenge in here!
Hope the rest of you
Are doing better than me.
Linda's Poems