Another week, another poetry class. Here’s the poem I brought to class and a beautiful red leaf I saw while walking the dog today. The shape is almost more amazing than the color.
How silently this clay sinks
into the soft arms of the earth.
How easily these ashes dissolve
on the spade-turned soil.
Without fanfare, without effort
we return, as a leaf settles
into trembling grass, as snow
vanishes on the drifted bank.
I’m really loving this poetry class; each meeting is like sinking up to my neck in a claw-footed bathtub of hot water and bubbles. I emerge relaxed and refreshed, my mind cleared of all the mundane things that drag me away from writing.
Bad news: my life and the world in general have not cooperated with my expressed wish to do nothing but write poetry. Good news: I’ve managed to keep up with my assignments anyway and do some work that feels valuable both as process and product. This week’s assignment was to express an abstract idea by means of a place, objects, and sensory details, ten lines long, no more than five sentences of varied length and structure.
(This lovely little leaf was waiting on my windshield when I came out of class.)
She drives on fumes to her studio
apartment, where she opens the refrigerator
to confirm there’s nothing in it
but bottled water. She drinks
by dancing television light and the naked
walls echo waltz and tango as she watches
beautiful couples twirl and dip
alone from the bed. Her stomach rumbles,
empty as her wallet and the third
finger on her left hand.
During discussion in a poetry class last week, someone posed the question, “Is ice cream a decision?” Rather than allow us to become completely sidetracked, the instructor wisely turned the question into a writing assignment. If you feel inspired to join the fun, please post your poem in the comments or link back to this post from your own blog so I can read it. 🙂
Is ice cream a decision?
It is an imperative, a command
that cannot be ignored, force
powerful beyond the imagination
of resistance, second
only perhaps to air.
Flavor is the only true decision.