This is my response to Day 28 at napowrimo.net, where we are asked to write a concrete poem. This may narrowly fit within the definition, as it was adapted from a poem written in verse to fit the shape of a drop of blood. (The original appears below.) I wrote it in 1998, when I was donating platelets at Roswell Park Cancer Center in Buffalo, NY. Framed, it was still hanging on the wall of the donation center when I stopped donating platelets in 2006. It was published in the hospital newsletter at the time.
Since it was written in 1998, I’ll be sure to write a poem later today, to stay current in National./Global Poetry Writing Month.
No way. Never would I name you. Ghosts. Closets. Sure we had some good times. Too good, at times. Too much drinking, not enough time spent on studies. Playing cards was not the math I needed. The physics of dominoes and falling cards did nothing for my grades. After two years, I engineered my way out of school and into the job building stereo and TV cabinets. Thanks for getting me in. Of course, you were always in control, but the boss telling me I was too smart for my own good was the best thing that could happen to me. I went on to drive trucks. And drink less. You went back to school. It was too late for me to plant those seeds. You were the wheat field. I was the crows, leaving the darkness behind. Where would I be now, if I’d stayed?
This is my response to Day 21 at napowrimo.net, in which were asked to “write a poem in which you first recall someone you used to know closely but are no longer in touch with, then a job you used to have but no longer do, and then a piece of art that you saw once and that has stuck with you over time. Finally, close the poem with an unanswerable question.” (The name can be found in the first line.)
Coincidentally, Departure, written in 2016, also uses Vincent van Gogh’s Wheat Field with Crows and touches on the same topic, although indirectly.
Listen, and you will hear soft whispers without words in the hush of wings lighter than the light that shines through them. Just as light, their homes of paper that will never know ink, nor hold the words you were not meant to hear.
This poem is my response toQuadrille #148: Papered Poems, the prompt from De Jackson at dVerse ~ Poets Pub, which is to use a form of the word paper in a 44-word poem (excluding title), with no required meter or rhyme.
Plain sight cannot deny a truth without camouflage, your subtle brushstrokes never relying on memory hidden within the ebb and flow of life, always open to the new as it unfolds, willing an insight of what may be repeated, though never taken for granted. In chords that stroke the soul, I have seen your true self.
This poem is inspired by The Quiet Places, by Stephen Tanham. Please read the original. It’s a short read, and the source of the photo.
Need I say already when so much time has passed, when each passing moment seems to take moments with it?
Sight and sound blurred and muffled, impressions that bring new meaning each time my mind tries to repeat them.
Amentalio. The word would be foreign to you, but I can imagine your reaction to it, that gesture not lost to me, yet. A shrug,
the slightest tilt of your head, followed by a question. How can you forget something that is such a part of your soul?
This poem is my response to Poetics: The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows, the prompt from Linda Lee Lyberg at dVerse ~ Poets Pub, which is to use one of ten words taken from The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows, by John Koenig. I had written a poem using one of John Koenig’s words when they were still available to be seen on his website. Since that source is no longer available, I definitely will be getting a copy of the book, so thank you to Linda for the heads up.
Amentalio: the sadness of realizing that you’re already forgetting sense memories of the departed- already struggling to hear their voice, picture the exact shade of their eyes, or call to mind the quirky little gestures you once knew by heart.
This grief that is mine, that has been mine these many years, that has plagued me with its persistence, has lost its bitterness. Bittersweet perhaps, though never bringing the pleasure of a cherry that is savored in spite of its tartness. It still delivers a chill, yet keeps me warm with the memories that it stirs. It is those that I savor.
This poem is my response to Poetics: Always in Season, the prompt from Mish at dVerse ~ Poets Pub, which offers three options. Mine is in regards to writing “about an emotion or abstract concept,” is to “an emotion or abstract concept. What does it taste like?”
Apologies, for continuing in the vein of yesterday’s response to dVerse. While that one was difficult for me, I was able to write this in a more objective manner.