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.
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/)
This year I decided to take a more holistic approach to NaPoMo, because writing is only part of my work as a poet. On the days I haven’t drafted new poems, I’ve been revising existing poems, looking for places to send them, and READING lots and lots of amazing poetry from around the world.
Here are a couple I drafted from phrases in a post at the Natural Dreamwork blog. They are a hybrid of found poetry and erasure poetry.
Natural healing process
skin your knee, the body mobilizes
the wound closes, the bleeding stops, a scab forms
leukocytes engage and destroy
fibroblasts build new skin
eventually the scar may fade
it’s against the law to remove antlers
from a national park
the wounded elk might be easy to miss
buried in a narrative
dreams are not narratives
they are a movement of feelings
the experience of space, time, and feeling
aren’t really separable
an image appears and beckons
wants to be my mirror
that bloody wound is my medicine
to face it becomes a healing
story-making spins away
distances, fails to notice the image
making it about anything
the medicine isn’t always delivered
Source material: http://thenaturaldream.com/dreams-are-not-narratives-they-are-a-movement-of-feelings/
I’ve been reading a lot of poetry lately. I’ve noticed that the reviews on the covers, written I suppose by other poets, are often quite poetic themselves.
Found in review
Like the life of the poet, the life of the world
is saturated with pain and ache
not yet finished, not yet answered, not yet resolved.
The poet sends her words into a different
kind of darkness with steady exactness,
their arc of perception over and over striking true.
The poet opens up thrilling new worlds
by fearlessly inhabiting
poems of sorrow, survival, and identity.
The poet creates a haunting, echoing
distance, a sound
from some unidentifiable place.
The poet brightens the shadowy
corners of her world
with verbal pyrotechnics.
All the pores of her poetry
are open, exuding
her entire flesh and spirit.
Over and over, at each wild
leap or transformation, flames
shoot up the reader’s spine.
Each poem is a riddle; the answers may sometimes
elude us, but we continue to read, hoping
that we may stumble upon answers.
Reading Mary Oliver again; even her prose is poetry.
Time means little in the world of poems
To be contemporary
is to rise through
of the past,
like the fire through
Only a heat
so deeply and intelligently
born can carry
a new idea into
– Mary Oliver, A Poetry Handbook, p. 12
I find book titles such wonderful inspiration. This poem is made of words and phrases from the titles of a single author. (Bonus points if anyone correctly identifies who it is.)
In the lion valley
leave the crocodile of forgetfulness
on the sandbank of desire, the case
for love in the summer of a dragon moon
curse the borrower of night
in the street of four hundred pharaohs
silhouetted in scarlet and green velvet
the devil may care that the seventh sinner
is naked once more, but the Dead Sea is a cipher
and the last camel died at noon