A minor family emergency (everyone is okay) and an impending college graduation have diverted my time and attention for more than a week, but today I was able to write. As the talented and wise Luanne Castle gently reminded me, my 30 days of poetry don’t necessarily have to be consecutive. (Thanks, Luanne!)
I will work with the remaining 30/30 Facebook Poetry prompts in coming days, but here is some found poetry from Jenessa Abrams’ review of Reema Zaman’s memoir I Am Yours for the Chicago Review of Books.
Site of Ruin
It’s difficult not to wonder
what seeing your arrival as a collapse
can do to the soul. Steadfast belief
in love pulses, bleeding
into every encounter,
every failure, that blurry line
between being bound to another
and being physically
restrained by them. Rape
is not a turning point, a plot device:
unsettlingly, life continues
unaltered. She is a woman,
a person of color, an immigrant.
There is no legal justice.
Finding her voice, discovering
the weapon that has always been
becomes a promise, a declaration
of inward affection and hard-fought
acceptance. Re-authoring her story
shatters her chains, frees her.
viridiflora tulip ‘Spring Green’
The 30/30 Poetry Facebook prompt was “street signs.”
Signs of spring
All along the street, signs pop up
brilliant as flowers, unexpected
as mushrooms: new-leaf green
Roofing by Sta-Dri, Vote for So-and-so
in variegated red-white-blue, apple red
We Support Teachers, Pesticide
Application Keep Off in crime-scene yellow.
another sign of spring: lilacs from the neighborhood
The 30/30 Poetry Facebook prompt was “afterglow of soup.”
Oak Ridge Stew
Everything was grown in the kitchen garden
out front, in the yellow clay that gives those carrots
such a cheery glow. The onions are shaped
a little strange but they taste just fine,
though the turnips seem to have an extra bite.
We dig potatoes at night when it’s easier
to see them, bright against the fresh-turned
soil. Eat up! The flavors are incandescent!
The 30/30 Poetry Facebook prompt was “write a poem that is more about sound than meaning. let’s call this sound surfing.” I am indebted to Evelyn Christensen for this poem, derived entirely from the answers she posted to her 1-Minute Morning Mind Stretch for April 15.
Apes age for ages as gaps
gape and gas gashes. A hag
has a heap of pages and peas
on a peg that sags with sap.
Sage is she, with a shag
the shape of the sea.
The 30/30 Poetry Facebook prompt was “overboard.”
again and again I board the boat
in my dreams, and again and again
there’s the storm and the swamping
and the shouts and the chaos
like before the book of Genesis
opens, before God sets everything
in order, only in the dreams there
is no God, no order, no time
again and again I struggle through
blankets and billows only to find
myself in bed, sweat-soaked,
the taste of marine fuel in my mouth
The 30/30 Poetry Facebook prompt was “how to.”
She tells me no one cares about her, and I resist
the urge to declare my love. She says she is waiting
to die, and I offer no list of things to live for.
No denial. No objection.
No argument. No dissuasion.
Because her pain is the message,
not her words. Because her suffering
is what moves her, not her reasoning.
I respond with sorrow, with shared
regret and fellow grief, for her heartache
will not be soothed by logic, her distress
cannot be calmed with evidence.
No force of mind will lift her
so I lie beside her on the floor and she sees
her own face reflected in my brimming
eyes. Responding to the sad woman
looking back at her, she rises when I do,
captivated by the play of her features
in that unexpected mirror.
fragrant daffodils from my yard
The 30/30 Poetry Facebook prompt was “brilliant nothing.”
So eager was the blushing lad,
his bride-to-be forgave his haste
when the glittering ring she had
turned out not diamond, only paste.