Prompted poetry: prepare

You may notice that I posted a poem last year using the same prompt. That’s because it comes from essentially the same source: the seasonal social media event known as #blogElul.

We are not quite the same people when we pass the same date on the calendar each year, and I am thankful for spiritual practices that help me contemplate and celebrate that. (And yes, I am posting this a few days behind. I’m glad you noticed!)

Road improvements

Prepare the royal highway!
Raise up the low and bring down
the high-and-mighty. Soften
curves and widen the shoulders

so no one goes off into a ditch.
Clear boulders and fence posts
from the right-of-way and plant
wildflowers and lithe

grasses to gladden the eye
and sweeten the air. Let the way
be wide, the arms of the Holy One
outstretched to receive us all.

Found poetry: Sherlock in Love

sherlock-in-love-coverWell, the summer got away from me for a while, but I’ve caught up enough to be able to show my face again. I didn’t lose too much ground with reading, but the writing declined in quality as well and quantity. (I’m sure the two are related.)

During a brief overnight retreat last weekend, I read Sena Jeter Naslund’s Sherlock in Love. Some lines from the afterword (pp. 222-3) kept trying to shape themselves into a poem, so I played around with them a little. The description of depression struck me as particularly accurate.

Light of a day

This morning when I woke up alone
in my cell, sunshine was in my eyes. I sat up
in bed and looked at the great beauty
filling the room. This is what it is
to love, I thought. Someplace the sunlight
falls on your face.

Sometimes imagination fails me: the world
is no longer continuous. A great black cap of depression
sits first on my forehead, then covers
my face, my body. As the years wear on I know
I may live in perpetual darkness. The morning sun
may lose its power.

 

Love light

This morning when I woke up alone
in my cell, sunshine was in my eyes. I sat up
in bed and looked at the great beauty
filling the room. This is what it is
to love, I thought. Someplace the sunlight
falls on your face.

 

Haberdashery

Sometimes imagination fails me: the world
is no longer continuous, and we are not
connected. A great black cap of depression sits
first on my forehead, then covers
my face, my body.

As the years wear on I know
I may live in perpetual darkness. The morning sun
may lose its power. The black cap always
waits: “Deny yourself and enter into darkness”
reads the banner twisted in its folds.

 

Here, now

Sometimes I think of the forbidden and my body
thinks the impossible. What my eye falls on, I love
to see. What the ear hears is thick
with joy. I live in this moment
as I did not before: loving
the texture of the carpet, the glowing
globe of the lamp and its light
falling on my moving hand.

Day twenty-one poem, LexPoMo 2016

LexPoMo2016aFor some reason, I completely forgot to post yesterday’s poem. The prompt was “synchronized.”

Reblogged from the Lexington Poetry Month blog.

Synchronized

like clockwork, the orange
mackerel tabby leaps on the bed,
walks on my head, and I know
it is six a.m., sure as if she’d been
wound and set the night before

Day twenty poem: LexPoMo 2016

LexPoMo2016aThe poem inspired by today’s prompt (clock wise) is a rather flippant, but I think there’s something a little dark and sad beneath the surface.

Reblogged from the Lexington Poetry Month blog.

Borrowed time comes due

she used to set
the minute hand ahead just enough
to keep her on time when she ran late

now she turns
her face to the wall, covered by both hands
to hide how much time has passed

Day nineteen poem: LexPoMo 2016

LexPoMo2016aClearly I’ve been bitten by the silliness bug. The prompt for today’s poem was “glue stick.”

Reblogged from the Lexington Poetry Month blog.

Adhesive evolution

after bottles and pots
and paddles and jars
and brushes and guns
and tubes, glue has finally
found the form it was always
meant to take:

stick

Day eighteen poem: LexPoMo

LexPoMo2016aI went off-prompt today because something silly tickled my fancy instead.

Reblogged from the Lexington Poetry Month blog.

Unusual beauty

She has vampire toes
pale, slender, and preternaturally agile
with dark red nails, wet and shiny
as fresh-spilled blood

She has vampire palms
smooth, without past or future
to map in lines, only the arches
and loops of an endless now

She has a vampire smile
expressing neither guile nor truth
empty of meaning and free
to carry whatever prey may desire

Day seventeen poem: LexPoMo

LexPoMo2016aThe prompt for today’s poem was “an agreement.”

Reblogged from the Lexington Poetry Month blog.

Arranged marriage

they had an agreement to never evacuate
upstream from their shared habitation

to conduct any tawdry business
in distant jurisdictions

and hunt as far afield as possible
from their home territory

they remained together quite happily
so long as both could travel

but as their circles tightened
over time, with age and infirmity

they obstinately fouled the nest
and sat defiant in mutual excrement