May 31, 2011

Petals

Photo Prompt from Poetic Bloomings

Blushing petals fade
unseen on colorless earth-
mislaid messengers

May 27, 2011

I Am My Hands

Prompt from Poetic Asides: priorities
The idea for this poem, found in the refrain, came to me about a month ago. Everything I love doing involves my hands. Writing, playing the piano, scrapbooking, cooking, holding hands with my husband... they all require hands. And so in a way, they define my priorities, my hobbies, my loves. They express who I am on the inside.

They waltz along familiar keys with
graceful collision and passionate whispers,
gently caressing those eighty-eight notes,
dancing out words from twenty-six letters,
choosing colors to abstract their world in
watercolor phrases, free verse melodies:
I am my hands.

Captivating sunlight, composing a home,
crafting a well-worn house into coziness,
carving smiles with curtains and canvas;
stirring love into homemade suppertimes,
laughter into cake batter and cookie dough,
life into canned soups and boxed macaroni;
arranging, composing, harmonizing each room
into a lyrical refuge from discord, a haven:
I am my hands.

Fingertips, knuckles, thumbs and palms,
each their own royalty, each individual
part of the whole, the voice of my soul;
embracing-caressing-grasping-holding-
waltzing-composing-talking-folding-
constructing-writing-playing-creating-
I am my hands.

May 25, 2011

Origins

Prompt from We Write Poems: everything, and how it began
In the beginning, God
          created the heavens and the earth. 
The earth was without form and void,
          and darkness was over the face of the deep...
And God said, 'Let there be light,'
          and there was light.
                      (Genesis 1:1-3)

Words simply spoken-
or POP and sizzle and bang-
both require faith.

In seven days, words
constructed
life out of nothing.

Earth and heaven,
the created-
God, in the beginning,
the Creator.

All-powerful God,
or limited mortal man-
which would you believe?

May 23, 2011

Lettuce

Prompt from Poetic Bloomings: write about what your planting (literal or figurative) has produced

Seeds,
baptized in rain,
fertilized,
incubated in sunshine.

Seeds sprout,
baby green faces
peeking out,
born to the world.

Sprouts soar,
nursing on springtime,
burgeoning,
wind-tossed salad.

May 22, 2011

Birthday Party

Prompt from Writer's Island: sizzle

Bright balloons
burst with excitement
candles on cake
fizzle in celebration
noisemakers
applaud the day

     POP-
             Sizzle…
                        Bang!

May 19, 2011

Clay

Form prompt from Poetic Bloomings: Alouette
An Alouette poem has at least two six-line stanzas, with a set meter (5,5,7,5,5,7) and set rhyme scheme (a,a,b,c,c,b).

A cold lump of clay
smeared in disarray,
wet sludge waiting to be shaped;
nothing on my own,
no bright precious stone-
just unrefined, coarse, unshaped-

until my master
drapes the wet plaster
upon his pottery wheel;
then I am molded,
fashioned and folded,
shaped according to his will.

May 18, 2011

Unadorned

Prompt from Poetic Asides: tell it like it is

Paint and perfume
may pretty me up,
ruffles and rubies
could ornament me
like a prima donna,
couture and coiffure
might deck me in vogue-

but no measure of
fashion or fabric, no
prominence or pedigree
can temper my character,
veil my true nature,
change who I am
on the inside.

May 16, 2011

Waiting

Prompt from Poetic Bloomings: fertilizing the soil; or out of something bad, something good

Barren seeds,
desolate of roots,
lonely for life-
so sorrowfully sown,
painfully planted
in autumn.

Winter cultivates
with penetrating cold,
winds of discipline;
springtime fertilizes
with overflowing rains,
buckets of tears.

In summertime,
blossoms of gratitude,
flowers of courage-
yet some remain
dormant, waiting
for next year.

May 13, 2011

Watching the Wind

Prompt from Poetic Asides: paying attention

She sits, listening
to a world lately
weaned off winter,
bare toes tickling
dandelion stems,
resting in the shade of
trees reaching sunward,

feasting on lilac and
sipping honeysuckle,
eyes mirroring the sky,
blue looking into blue,
watching the wind
breathe-
flutter-
blow.

May 09, 2011

Trees

Prompt from We Write Poems: write a cento poem
"Cento" carries the idea of a "patchwork" ... it is created by choosing poem lines from some other poet's work (from one or more poems), rearranging those lines with each other (changing only punctuation, if needed), and creating a new poem with only that selected content. It allows for a closer look at the writing style of another poet and is a great way to find inspiration.
The following cento is taken from poems by Robert Frost.

Sometimes when I watch trees sway,
straight up and down of tall slim trees,
my head sways to my shoulder,
my feet tug at the floor.

These dark days of autumn rain,
the bare, the withered tree,
the bark warping off it,
simple worsted gray
silver now, with clinging mist,
too much alike to mark or name a place by,
hide in the world,
and alter with age.

But a leaf that lingered brown
in the wood-world’s torn despair
comes softly rattling down
for a friendly visit.

[The Sound of the Trees; The Wood-Pile; My November Guest; The Lockless Door; A Late Walk; A Line-Storm Song; A Time to Talk]

May 08, 2011

Mother, May I?

Prompts from Poetic Bloomings and Sunday Scribblings: water, may
And... Happy Mother's Day!


I can garden, just like you!
Mother, may I?

Look, my hands are dirty,
black smudges on my face,
sweaty too, but look! my seeds
are sleeping now in earth.

I can garden, just like you!
Mother, may I?

Look, I watered them,
poured lots of it all over them,
so they can drink when they wake up,
and grow up big and tall.

I can garden, just like you!
Mother, may I?

Look, so pretty!
I picked some just for you,
these flowers that we grew,
God and me and you.

I can garden, just like you!
Mother, may I?

May 07, 2011

Sweet Basil

Prompt from Writer's Island: season
I had to take a different approach to this one, since I've written a lot of "spring" poems lately. Now I'm craving spaghetti.


Crushed tomatoes, pureed and heated
to saucy perfection; simmered for hours
with fresh sweet basil and garlic cloves,
oregano, pungent chili powder, crushed
black peppercorns, sea salt, virgin olive oil.

Add freshly picked white onion, diced
tomatoes from off the vine, sweet green
bell pepper, chopped mushrooms, sweet-
but-spicy ground Italian sausage. Simmer

for hours in your taste buds, drink its aroma
until it seeps from your pores, until you ache
for its ripe red elegance, for its savory sauce
swollen with flavor; then ladle over steaming
spaghetti, sprinkle with parmesan, devour it.

May 06, 2011

Oak Tree (revised)

Prompt from Big Tent Poetry: revise a poem from a year ago
A little background: although I used to write poetry prolifically in high school and college, I suffered a hiatus of several years while I dealt with a still ongoing long-term illness. Now that the meds have been reduced drastically, my mental acuity is improving. Around July of last year, I was able to resume not only writing poetry but improving my skills. And I think I've come a long way since then. So, although it hasn't quite been a year since then, I chose a poem from last August that showed some potential, and worked towards a revision of it (view the original poem here).

Outside my window
stands an old oak tree,
faithful and dear through
stormy rains, frozen sleet,
dark nights, summer heat-

calming as a newborn
cooing at its mother,
supportive as parents
at a first soccer match,
enduring as a mother
praying for her children-

strong as a mountain,
steady as the sea,
inspiring me-
this old oak tree.

May 04, 2011

Moreover

Prompt from Poetic Asides: write an "on the other hand" poem

I need to write, to
flex my poetic muscle, to
stretch my fingers and mind…

but the inkwell has run dry, the
muscles are sprained and tired,
the fingers are uncooperative.

I need to be disciplined, to
persist in writing, for if I write
nothing at all, then I will never
write anything great at all…

but if I force the words out of
wordless conception, overwork
the muscles, push duty over delight,
it could do more harm than good.

So I may just not write at all…
or maybe, I just did.

May 03, 2011

Faith

Prompt from Poetic Bloomings: seeds
With a special thanks to Marie & Walt, gardeners of this beautiful new prompt site. May it grow and flourish!

Like a tiny speck, this mustard seed
lay small and silent on my palm,

waiting silently to be chosen, to be
buried in cool dark earth, silent

and waiting for my hand to thrust
it deep into a tomb, there to sleep

soundly until the sun calls for it,
till rain washes away its slumber,

until roots burst forth, contained
no longer by a shell, not so silently

reaching further into earth, until
stem bursts through hard ground

reaching skyward to the sun, until
this tiny speck, this mustard seed

matures into solid trunk, reaching
ever sunward, a monument of

perseverance, bearing fruit of
struggle and flower of tears,

flourishing branches, strong as
rock, unmovable as mountain-

this tiny speck, this mustard seed,
that lay dormant in my palm.

May 01, 2011

Cake

Prompt from Sunday Scribblings: cake
In memory of the birthday cake I made last month. May it rest in pieces.


yolk-flavored cake sits
under melted milk chocolate,
crumbly perfection

twenty-seven stubs
flicker eagerly, crowning
happy birthday treat