Elegy

I hadn’t a clue what to say, what to write about. I tried looking at writing prompts at the NaPoWriMo website and at Writer’s Digest. Both prompts — an elegy and a roundelay, respectively — seemed unnecessarily difficult considering there are only six more days before April and NaPoWriMo end.

But as poetry is wont to do, it came.  And in an elegy, no less.


Elegy


6 Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar: 7 And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged. 8 Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.  – Isaiah 6:6-8 (KJV)

 

my mother visited my office today            I almost didn’t
recognize her but she’d have forgiven me, I know

unexpected       she came dressed as a family friend
their faces so entwined I almost didn’t see her there

the eyes were not the same ones I see in dreams
different: voice, brown skin, flesh pressed tight in embrace

we sat down and I laid my cut bare in the telling
how it came to be, nestled just under my collarbone,
left of my sternum, a blight blessing visible to all

how my heart stopped and started, stopped, stopped
and started, started again according to its own algorithm

words burning my mouth for freedom with no room
no air left for the other story sitting opposite

I’m sorry, sorry                I wanted to say         manners demand
a place and audience for the guest sharing the stage

all of it: one ending and the beginnings’ of other ends 
wrapped in shaded laughter was heard, understood

a deeper moment of gravity tied up the conversation
and I saw her, my mother       she spoke to me
in the voice not her own

                                             You made the right decision.

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Lost Found

I planned to try my hand at a new (for me) poetic form but I suck at time management. So here’s a quick and dirty take on a found poem.

 

Found Poem

(found fragments from The Sun, May 2014)

in the twelve years since you died
i still remember
the pitch of your whistle
your warnings turned into joke

choose your target wisely
don’t dress like a protester
never date a blond surfer

now i understand the whys
aunt tia told me about him
the college boyfriend named Eric
such menace in a lowered brow

the silences make sense at 40
at 18 it embarrassed me
you always found a reason to eat

you told me i should have children
the most meaningful part of your life
we were    you said

i don’t want children     i have no
plans for old age surprises
i won’t add more life to a world
that already has so many

Terra Incognita

Some years ago, I had an e-mail address–with a provider which is now defunct–that was forever inundated with spam. ( I have the nasty suspicion they sold my address to various and sundry unsavory operators.) I discovered the crooked e-mails contained scraps of random prose. It appealed to my inner poet, so I cribbed snippets of prose from those and other spam.

I figured since I couldn’t block them all, I would at least subvert them into a bit of beauty. Transform them into poetry. Years after I began I stumbled across the term–found poem. A new poetic form!

Silk from a sow’s ear.

 

Terra Incognita: a found poem

What should I have been without him? Still
I lost him into the silence like a sloping roof,
as if he were a stranger upon earth,
a revelation of human inconsistency.

Underneath burning glass, he looked strong.
There is something I want to tell you, he said.
Trust me no more, but trust me no less,
than you would an inspired heap of sand.