Still catching up (with work, this time) and still finding inspiration at Carrot Ranch.
memory is not exact
rather than being
recent brain activity
it is possible
even if it is not true
remembering creates fiction
a part told truthfully
our life story
identity is not researchable
through our actions, our parents, our name
labelled, repeated, assumed
selective stories keep
who we are over time
(from Irene Waters’ post at Carrot Ranch: https://carrotranch.com/2018/07/13/life-is-a-memoir-what-is-fiction/)
And here’s what’s blooming in the garden this week: Hibiscus moscheutos ‘Lord Baltimore’
Trying to catch up on several weeks’ worth of e-mail, I was struck by the latest Flash Fiction Challenge at Carrot Ranch. Charli Mills’ introduction provided a jumping-off point for me today, even if it ain’t flash fiction.
The privilege of a lifetime
I want to be that woman bold enough to wear buttons
as a necklace, who can look cool
on a hot summer day. We all want our characters
to be heroes. Like others hit by disaster
before us, we know the word strong but dance
around the word hero. We all resonate
to the journey, the cave, the return, the elixir of hope —
just not the label. We all deny the call.
The hero’s journey is messy: uncomfortable moments
and difficult seasons, a tadpole
in a ray of sunlight. It’s like birth. It’s like death.
We know it can never be the same.
Late on the evening of the previous post, I ran afoul of some uneven sidewalk while out with the dog. I took a tumble, but thank the stars it was dark (no witnesses) and I got away with nothing more than a skinned knee and a sprained hand. I’ve been sidelined for almost two weeks because it was my dominant hand, but have gingerly started working back into more normal activity.
Last week I began attending a wonderful class on memoir as poetry. Not being able to write has been maddening, but today I was able to participate more fully and produced the following.
The creek ran beside the yard
next door then under the road
into a wooded ravine we didn’t know
belonged to the Mathews.
We were frontiersmen, brigands, the Swiss
Family Robinson – fending for ourselves
with pocket knives and wits and the odd
piece of string, up and down the creek bed
every day until the mosquitoes
rose at dusk and drove us home.
(Reposted from the Lexington Poetry Month web site: https://lexpomo.com/poem/summer-vacation/)
I think I overdid it yesterday (or maybe I spoke too soon about needing less cough medicine): the cough is back. It’s hard to go slow when you start feeling better after being under the weather for a while.
Listen to the forest
trees with roots entangled
like lovers, joined by soil
bacteria and mycorrhiza
leaves and branches arch
overhead, interlace, form
a bower, a sacred canopy
try to parse the language
of fungus and pheromone,
electron and ion channel
close your eyes and tune
your skin to the wordless
sea of conversation
Inspired by an article in the March 2018 issue of Smithsonian Magazine: “The Whispering of the Trees,” by Richard Grant.
(Reposted from the Lexington Poetry Month web site: https://lexpomo.com/poem/listen-to-the-forest/)
Didn’t need quite as much cough medicine today. Progress is more gratifying when your expectations are low.
Like there’s no tomorrow
it’s in his heart
to be something more
speaking for us
twenty years later
so play it again
the war and the treaty
like water and wildfire
so young and so pure
that’s why we do music
for it to matter
and it brings her to tears
to know it still matters
and it brings her to tears
that it still matters
Found poetry from an interview heard on NPR.
(Reposted from the Lexington Poetry Month web site: https://lexpomo.com/poem/like-theres-no-tomorrow/)
The meds are helping, but I think I need more naps and Dr. Who.
What we hold
In all probability, the assumption
of parents does not appear
to be mentioned.
There are, however, a series of facts
about the name on the lips
of an anonymous crowd.
There is no Joseph
until a decade later, drawn from
the reference to a suggestion.
This same theme believes
the genealogy, traces the line
of the most desperate moments.
We turn in search of ancestral
mothers, women known
for their stories.
This erasure poem uses text from chapter 14 of Unbelievable, by John Shelby Spong.
(Reposted from the Lexington Poetry Month web site: https://lexpomo.com/poem/what-we-hold/)
I’ve not been posting nearly as much as I’ve been writing, and not writing nearly as much as I would like. Bronchitis and its attendant medications sometimes have that effect. Today I did nothing but nap, poetry, and Dr. Who, so I’m sure I’ve advanced my recovery exponentially.
I don’t know what moves
a poem, makes language in space
unfathomed–simple, open, powerful–
toward which I gravitate
common concern manifests
whatever feels honest and specific
to the thousands that receive
more than we publish
occasions resonate in particular
when the story seems surprised
it can love itself–
whatever that may be
This is an erasure poem derived from an interview at Frontier Poetry with Hannah Aizenman, poetry coordinator for The New Yorker. I recommend reading the entire interview, which may be found here:
(Reposted from the Lexington Poetry Month web site: https://lexpomo.com/poem/acceptance/)