Tag Archives: 30 in 30

30 in 30, day thirty

sept 2017 30-30I worked most of the day in the yard, where I met a most charming fellow, elegantly dressed and with a great sense of rhythm.

Light on his feet

tiny jumping spider with shiny green
body and black legs – except
the first set, which are tipped
in ivory: gentleman’s gloves
and baton or cane

he leaps from fold to fold
along my sleeve, first legs waving
like Toscanini, keen eyes alert
for a lady spider to share
his dance of love


30 in 30, day twenty-nine

sept 2017 30-30The first televised war is much on people’s minds these days. I might read some of the retrospectives whose titles inspired this poem, but I doubt I will ever watch the documentaries. My own memories are vivid enough.

This is what we do

the embers of war still burn
in retrospect, the searing remains
of a bright shining lie that left
the living charred
and ruined as the fields

30 in 30, day twenty-eight

sept 2017 30-30It was a busy day, but I found some inspiration between some movie trailers and watching Netflix.

snow falling on stump
in the clearing stands a doe
I feel no more cold

30 in 30, day twenty-seven

sept 2017 30-30I couldn’t settle on a good title for this one. If you have any suggestions, please leave them in the comments. Thank you!

Lady Night sips moonlight
from a cupped hand, spilling
stars all over her
fine velvet

30 in 30, day twenty-six

sept 2017 30-30The inspiration for today’s poem was a phrase from one of those reviews on the back of a book of poetry.


the radiant light of artifice

burns unseen parts
rearranges ordered sequence
gives rise to possibilities
strange and terrible

the artificial light of radiation

30 in 30, day twenty-five

sept 2017 30-30This exercise I’m calling linear derangement, in which I reverse line order rather than word order. The source is “A Procession at Candlemas,” by Amy Clampitt. (You can view the source poem at https://www.sas.upenn.edu/~cavitch/pdf-library/Clampitt_ProcessionAtCandlemas.pdf.)


In the rest-in-peace of the placental coracle,
not merely of the ego, you rediscover, almost,

sometimes wrapped like a papoose into a grief
beyond the torn integument of childbirth,

a stillness at the heart of so much whirling:
amok among the magnolias’ pregnant wands,

remorseless corpuscles, street gangs
in falling snow, a whirl of tenderness

for one straggling up Pennsylvania Avenue.
Intoning, a drum becomes the metronome:

the monk in sheepskin over tucked-up saffron
can assign a trade-in value to that sorrow

like caribou, perhaps camped here. Whose
names they went by, stumbling past

in losing everything they had, is lost even
in transhumance, once a people

of Indian Meadows. The westward-trekking
nowhere oasis wears the place name

absently, without inhabitants, this
the pristine seductiveness of money

niched into the washroom wall case.
Lip rouge, mirrors, and emollients embody

perfect, like miracles. Comb, nail clippers
in parcel gilt, plop from their housing

gumball globes, life savers cincture
cream-capped in the cafeteria showcase.

What’s fabricated? The jellies glitter
beside them, drinking what is real except

fuel pumps, the bison hulk slantwise
of freezing dark, through a Stonehenge

or clamber down, numb-footed, half in a drowse
about the self’s imponderable substance.

The sleepers groan, stir, wrap themselves
something precious, ripped: Where are we

within layers, at the core a dream of
lapped, wheelborne integument, each layer

necessary and intractable as dreaming,
fragile as ego, frightening as parturition?

30 in 30, day twenty-four

sept 2017 30-30Now that the world has ended, I’m rather disappointed to find that dirty dishes and loose pet hair remain.

A poem for the day after

I’m no expert
but the end of the world
seems to have gone
well enough,

better than I expected
at any rate, and without
really causing anyone great

30 in 30, day twenty-three

sept 2017 30-30Just in case the world actually does end today, I wanted to be completely caught up with poetry and posting.

A poem for the end of the world

today is the last day ever, so yesterday
I got my hair cut and went
to a baseball game with my honey
and watched fireworks

this morning I called my mother then
saw my collegian son, ate an extra
piece of chocolate, and had a beer
with lunch

there are dishes in the sink, dust
bunnies in the corners, and clothes
in the dryer, but the world is ending
so I will finish that afghan

30 in 30, day twenty-two

sept 2017 30-30My sweetie surprised me yesterday afternoon with tickets to the Reds game, so my schedule got thrown off a bit. Here is yesterday’s poem.

Dangerous secrets of the nuclear family

little brother has been playing with a chemistry
set father left in the shed, testing
the patience of everyone

crazy uncle says he will be sorry, has threatened
to destroy him if he doesn’t stop

we are all worried about possible explosion
or that the whole back yard
could go up in flames

30 in 30, day twenty-one

sept 2017 30-30This is a very straight-forward derangement (if such a thing is possible) of Amy Clampitt’s “The Edge of the Hurricane.” The source poem seems particularly apt given this year’s Atlantic hurricane season. (You can view the source poem here.)

Hurricane of the edge

Mangle and wring, drench — trample also —
can levity again yet notice? Serving
laundry as white-bleached moon, single; up hangs
nightfall, away. Packed wardrobe, cloud-bright, ends day: the debris of fouettés,
twirling in, upstands gales. Sibling fading and brightening, shade leaf lacewing
flying, footprints’ liquid fripperies — vaporous gusts point young
by crossed clearness of windowpanes. Mediterranean overhead opens
to begin transparencies, rinsed all afternoon by passing. Keep cumulus
Caribbean flounces of dark mud pieces, torn rain of tambourines, and lariats
with winds careening the wheeling.