Friday, April 30, 2010

evidence they leave behind

Read Write Poem's NaPoWriMo # 30 Fare thee well

evidence they leave behind

socks on the sofa
pencils on the table
underwear under the chair
science experiments in the corner
crumbs on the tile
hugs in the morning
mischievous smiles

Thursday, April 29, 2010

to my uncle

Read Write Poem NaPoWriMo #29

to my uncle

cinnamon
will always be the smell
of joy and love
because of your baking

aggravation
will always be the game
I play with children
because of your marbles

I
will always be an organ donor
because someone gave you
a heart

you
live on
in me, darlin'

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

I knew

Read Write Poem NaPoWriMo # 28 Intuition

I knew that you
would share my children
the moment I saw you
rescuing a friend's
child from a dreaded
splinter with
patience and a
pocket knife.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Kolokolchiki

Read Write Poem's NaPoWriMo # 27 Acrostic

Kolokolchiki

Keep the bells ringing
over the town,
lifting up praise,
off'ring thanksgiving.
Keep the bells ringing
over the field.
Listen - the sound
chimes through the sky,
hopping on hilltops off
into the night.
Keep the bells ringing
into the day.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Talking to You

Read Write Poem's NaPoWriMo #25 first things's first

Talking to You

Your eyebrows say so
much, just by
going like this:
/\
Always asking me
the question of
the moment.

The alarm goes off
/\
"I slept great. You?"

You open the bathroom door
/\
"I'll be done in just a sec."

The kids race between us,
trailing their argument
like a kite.
/\
"They've been like this
since lunch. It must have
been something in the
peanut butter."

Saturday, April 24, 2010

epigram 1

Read Write Poem's NaPoWriMo # 24 find a phrase

epigram 1

you can't
go home again
because
home rides along
wherever you go

Friday, April 23, 2010

The Fork

Read Write Poem's NaPoWriMo #23 Odd Couple

The Fork

I am that restaurant, that one
where people go to do and to be
seen doing in the poshest of places.
I contain them:
the genuine adulterous lovers
the legitimate deceitful businessmen.
Oh, the things I could say
about who comes alone
about who meets whom
about who leaves how.
I am that restaurant.

I am that table, the one
in the corner, where people
have their most private
public events.
I cover them:
the crossed fingers of the crooked promise
the wandering fingers of the indecent proposal
the occasional kiss.
Oh, the things I could say
about who meets here behind the greenery
about what one man tells three different people
on three different days
I am that table.

I am the fork, the one
that these lovers and doers use
to bring the food into their bodies.
They choose the restaurant,
they choose the table,
but me they just accept without noticing.
But I notice.
I touch their tongues,
I feel their lips,
I resist their teeth.
I taste the tang of their lies.
I know the sweetness of the truth.
I know who should be here and who should not,
who is genuine and who is false.
Oh, the things I could say,
about young women's innocent duplicity
about men's sincere infidelity
about entreprenurial altruism
about restrained anger
and, occasionally, about true love.
I am that fork.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

in the kitchen

Read Write Poem's NaPoWriMo #22 a wordle


in the kitchen

saffron and pepper reverberate,
tappingtapping to open the door
their dizzyfierceness seduces
and I succumb
liberally sprinkling the spice and
a squall of sent wafts up
enticing the tongue

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Poetic Apprehension

Read Write Poem's NaPoWriMo # 21 Perfection

Poetic Apprehension

Perfection
is impossible at
the rate of one
per day.

But no one
expects it
anyway.

Revision
and revision
and time
and some more revision
that will bring perfection.

Keep dreaming.

Perfection is
ever unattainable,
only, like infinity,
approachable.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

A Boast of Me

Read Write Poem's NaPoWriMo #20 http://readwritepoem.org/blog/2010/04/20/napowrimo-prompt-20-the-hero-poem/


A Boast of Me

I, Kate, am the daughter descended of myriad marvelous mothers
of she whose picture-painting needle never pauses
of she whose fleet feet fly hither and yon
of she who brewed the dandelion wine.

The many of America mingle in my blood
Irish and Dutch, Mohawk and German.
I am a weaver of cultures, reaching across the chasm
and making of myself a bridge for my comrades to cross.


Notes: Because I need to believe in myself more and be my own hero, I chose to write an Anglo-Saxon style boast in response to this prompt. You should write one, too.

Friday, April 16, 2010

coconut lotion

Read Write Poem's NaPoWriMo #16 What is that smell?

the smell of coconut
lotion eclipses all else
my feet remember scorching sand
my eyes remember glaring sun
my ears remember wheeling gulls
my tongue remembers salty brine
I return to childhood


Notes: I wish I could still find sunscreen that has that smell. This poem came without punctuation. What do you think? Is the repetition of remember too much?

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Spinach Haiku

NaPoWriMo #15

Spinach Haiku

so long have I
longed for your spring return
to my bowl, spinach


Note: An increased commitment to eating locally and in season meant that I wasn't purchasing greens in the grocery store through the winter. My brief sojourn in Brazil was a nice salad interlude, but for the last month or so, I have been craving a giant bowl of spinach salad, and I finally got it thanks to Bluebird Farm and Sustainable Greens.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Making Friends

NaPoWriMo # 14

Making Friends

We cut a complicated dance:
I bare an ankle,
you a wrist,
then a knee,
and an elbow.

We don't quite get
to hips and shoulders-
today that would be
too much.

We spiral together
and back away,
passing face to face
and back to back.

We leave the dance floor
still wanting more.
Ready
for next time.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Ducks fly north

Read Write Poem #12 Secret Codes

Ducks fly north
carrying
the secrets of spring
under their wings.

Geese cry greeting
happy
to be meeting
their summertime friends.

Notes: Today's prompt called for secret code, which reminded me of a story a fellow expat had told me when we were studying in Moscow: Years earlier, her parents had visited the USSR and wanted to send themselves a postcard. Not knowing what to say to themselves, they just wrote "Ducks fly north." The postcard arrived months later with all manner of stamps and notations in Russian all over the back. Their theory is that the censors had to make sure it wasn't super secret spy code before it passed through the Iron Curtain to the free world.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Country City Mouse

Read Write Poem's NaPoWriMo #11 The Thing You Didn't Choose

Country City Mouse

If only,
if only you had chosen me
if only...
you would not
end each day with dirt under your nails
you would not
spend precious hours commuting to your life
you would not
have to sweep the yard back out of the kitchen everyday
you would have
enough time for art, for poetry, for music
for unhurried creation and uninterrupted appreciation
If only you had chosen me,
had stayed on the coast in the capital...
If only!

All of that might be true
if only I had chosen you.
I would wear heels and suits
instead of slippers and sweats.

I'd plant in neat balcony pots
instead of sprawling yard plots.

With you, though, I would not
live in the harmony of seasonal time,
appreciating super starry nights
and putting up fruit in its prime.

If only I had chosen you,
would I value you? Or -
would I ache for this
the way I ache for you now?

You might have led me around the world
following fulfilling work,
but you would never have given me these
children, who are products of this place.

You would never have shown me this path.
I did not choose you. I chose this, and
I am finished with 'if only'

for now...

Notes: I like where this poem took me. It is something that rolls around in my head quite a lot now as I stand at another decision-required intersection. I would like to keep working on the style in the second half of the poem, bringing in more rhyme and meter to differentiate it from the voice of the first half of the poem. We'll see.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Preparation for Celebration

Read Write Poem's NaPrWriMo #10 Celebration

Disclaimer - this is very definitely just a draft.

Preparation for Celebration

For forty days and forty nights,
we ate no eggs - no omlettes,
no french toast, no pancakes.

To be ready for the Feast of Easter
with paskha and kulikh, which
we have been eating for a week.

Easter week has come to an end,
but the chickens continue to lay,
and we return to omlettes,
french toast and pancakes.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Questions I Could Never Ask My Hostess

Read Write Poem's NaPoWriMo #9 Your Mission

Questions I Could Never Ask My Hostess

I prop the electric torch against the pail
where I will stow the paper
when I'm done.
(I hope the batteries will survive
nightly trips to this necessary)
The outhouse is one of a million small inconveniences
on the fringe of a village in the middle of Siberia.

What must it be like in the winter-
when the bruising wind grabs the door out of your hands
and with all your might you lever it closed
before the snow flies onto the rug?
when the drifts on the path make you limp to the loo?
when the sun shines so little and the chimney puffs so much?

Lost in thought, I stumble, startling myself and the chickens.
Exhausted by your way of life, I dream of home's conveniences.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

cookie haiku

NaPoWriMo day 8

once again
meringue cookie clouds collapse
failure *sigh*


Notes: This one is not written to the prompt for today.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Meeting You

Read Write Poem's NaPoWriMo #7 Funny side of love tanka

Meeting You

I stand there stickily seething, contemplating
my brand new Mr. Pib perfume and body lotion.
You introduce yourself, offering help.
Gratefully, I accept. A decade later, I am still grateful
to a child and a can of soda on a camping trip.



Notes: I have not experimented with this form of poetry before. It was interesting, and I think I'd like to try my hand at tanka again.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Making Pirozhki

Read Write Poems's NaPoWriMo #6 Converse with an Image



Making Pirozhki

roll, flatten
scoop, fold, press
set to rise
repeat

Many hands on the small table
harmoniously dance
in and out of the dough,
in and out of the filling.
then the dough
roll, flatten
then the filling
scoop, fold, press
set to rise
repeat

A molehill
of flour water onions eggs
becomes a mountain
of pirozhki.
roll, flatten
scoop, fold, press
set to rise
repeat

Monday, April 5, 2010

Nadezhdah

Read Write Poems's NaPoWriMo #5 Give Your Poetry a Name

Nadezhda

A private person,
Nadia
usually keeps to herself
in the pages of my journal.
( a nice home of handmade
paper bound in leather
with careful stitches)
(I wouldn’t mind
living there myself)
She sings eclectic songs
(bits from here and pieces from there)
while rearranging the furniture
and tending the flowers.
Recently, an inexplicable
impulse drives her
to meet all of you.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Inertia

Read Write Poem's NaPoWriMo #4 Inside-out

Inertia

I leave the windows open so the birds can come in.
Their morning chorus, swirling avian energy
into the room,
but never depleting their reserve,
from some mysterious source,
drawing more.

The music washes over me and seeps through my skin,
Infusing me until I am ready
To act in the world
To teach my children
To cook and clean
To sew and study
To tend the garden

To pour human energy out
To participate in the cycle.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Indecision

Read Write Poem's NaPoWriMo #3 Fear

Indecision

When the envelope comes
will it be fat or skinny?

Will it say 'Yes, we want you!'
or 'Nah, no thanks.'

This time next year where will I be?
Here still again or
in a new city in a new program
with new knowledge?

Which do I want?
Is it telling
that I don't know?

Change and status quo -
Fearing both,
I'll embrace either.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Reading Walden Pond

Read Write Poem's NaPoWriMo #2 Acronym Switcheroo

Reading Walden Pond

When I slip into the pages
of Henry David's Walden,
I dip into the self-same
stream Thoreau went a-fishing in.

Reading, remembering, relearning-
sitting at the feet
of the master reflecter
I am connected.

This prompt was harder to write to. Nothing in the list sang for me, then I read Rob's take on RWP in Remembering Willow Pond, and Walden popped into my head. Not every poem-in-a-day will be a gem, but this may grow into something better with time.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Maundy Thursday Away from Home

You, stranger, kneel
before me
with a basin of
warm water between us.
Humbling yourself
to wash my feet.

I, wanderer, sit
in this strange apse
with my bare toes cold
on the marble floor.
Exposing myself
to your care.

Trusting that you
will not wrinkle your nose
at the perfume of shoes
that have circumambulated
the city today.

Hoping that you
will not look askance
at the hobbit hair
my razor missed.

Wondering what
this ritual will bring.

We are not, you and I,
Mary and Jesus or Jesus and disciple.
I have never
raised your brother from the dead.
You have never
called me to be a fisher of men.
Yet no one has ever
held my feet so reverently.
You have
touched my most private public part.

I, now clean, clothe my feet.
I resolve
to tap you on the shoulder
to take your place
to know the humbling.

But the line is empty.
Too nervous to expose myself,
I had waited too long.
And did not seize
the opportunity to be humble.


I could not sleep last night, and, anticipating today's holy day, I recalled the time I spent Passion Week at a conference in Boston. I had made the travel arrangements not realizing that it was Passion Week, and was initially disappointed to be away from home. But I was able to attend services at an amazing cathedral in Boston and to be fully attentive while there. I will never forget.
Free verse is fairly new to me. I find myself clinging to parallel structure in the absence of meter and rhyme.
Read Write Poem's NaPoWriMo Challenge #1 Shuffle Poem

We Two

Always one step beyond,
you ground me
keeping me from
blowing in the wind.

Always patient,
you put up with
my waffling
in my decisions.

Some days,
I'm such a stewball,
but where there is tolerance
there is love.


Using the Refresh button in my iTunes DJ, I came up with these five songs:
Tolerance by Michael Franti; There is Love, Blowin' in the Wind, and Stewball, by Peter, Paul, and Mary; One Step Beyond by Karsh Kale.
(The collected works of PPM album really stacked the deck in their favor!)