April 30, 2011

NaPoWriMo Day 29: The future is now

A rather preachy one, I’m afraid.

The future is now

Foster children deserve only
second-hand clothes: not a line from
Dickens, but from our leaders — tailored
suits and perfect teeth —

shoes to be polished soon by orphans,
chimneys swept by ragamuffins,
debtors sentenced to long drudgery in
sunless, airless rooms,

moldy cheese for the poor, their water
foul, lives cut short and yet too long,
while you sit down to roasted goose —
such is your dream.

But look, already the people press
their noses to your windows, they can’t
afford a future, their bellies are empty,
their hands filled with stones.


NaPoWriMo Day 28: Lemurian glossary

With a tip o’ the bit to Brian W. Aldiss’s “Confluence.”

Entries from a Lemurian glossary

vev: I and another or others (but not you)

vevor: you and I (but not others)

vevan: we (all-inclusive)

pahdz: the space between two people

pahdzton: the space between two people who want to touch

lod: a unit of measurement of erotic charge

darod: a negative erotic charge

ebithad: to leave a part of one’s past with another

ethrazd: 1. outflowing desire, desire born of abundance; 2. the desire to create; 3. song

ildrazh: 1. indrawing desire, desire born of want; 2. bloody teeth

ortithrad: 1. to create by means of craft or artifice; 2. to hang something on a peg or nail

klovgad: 1. to create organically; 2. to bud; 3. to give birth

skriyaht: 1. beautifully ugly; 2. a housefly

oskaht: 1. tediously pretty; 2. a hollow tree

nicharad: to willingly believe what one knows is not so

April 27, 2011

NaPoWriMo Day 27: several short poems

Today I taught a poetry writing lesson to four 3rd-grade classes. The topic was images (not quite haiku, but in the general area). I wish I could post their poems, because some of them wrote some excellent work. I wrote with them, and I’m posting both the good and the bad of my own below.

But let me say, it was a terrific experience — a lot of fun, and educational for me as well as (I hope) for the kids.

burned toast
crunches between my teeth
neighbor’s house on fire

gusty winds
a fat robin flies
into a kite string

budding lilacs
wet with rain
a newly dug grave

chairs scrape the floor
pencils scratch on paper
woodpecker knocks

country church
no A/C, woman’s strong perfume
I’m going to barf

the clown
does a cartwheel
his nose falls off

sipping coffee
garden through the window
cats fighting

grand canyon
sun on my head
no chairs anywhere

Current River flooding
shoes suck out of mud
soggy newspaper

look in the mirror
lines on my face
from the CPAP mask

green jacket
hole in the sleeve
a spider crawls out

an owl calls
sliver of moon
ham frying

NaPoWriMo Day 26: a haiku (senryu?)

I should have written this long ago — about 10 years ago, to be approximate. As is common with haiku/senryu, it’s untitled.

baby’s umbilical cord
drops off —
caught by the dog

NaPoWriMo Day 25: Accessories

I actually wrote two poems today, but I’m posting only one of them here. The other is entered into a contest to win a Lenovo ThinkCentre.


Thunder moves closer,
lightning flashes brighter.
How long since I sat and watched
a storm’s show — cup of tea,
candle and matches,

April 25, 2011

NaPoWriMo Day 24: Virtual intelligence

This one surprised me. I had planned a comic poem about bunnies and eggs.

Virtual intelligence

Chess masters, I’ve read, play more
and more like the machines
they train against. IBM’s Watson
takes Jeopardy, and could doubtless
out-deduce Holmes himself. Simulated
sea battle tournaments are won
by players who let
software devise their strategies.
In Pakistan, American drones kill
— well, we’re not sure who,
but they perform beautifully.

April 24, 2011

NaPoWriMo Day 23: The long and short of it

Back to something a little less experimental and cerebral, and more heartfelt.

The long and short of it

As the past grows long, the world shrinks:
print dwindles, voices and flavors recede;
the old crowd diminishes by a friend
this month, an aunt the next; your parents leave
and take childhood with them; all roads
converge to the path you’re on, and that
doesn’t reach far — you’re nearly at the gate.
And as time grows short, the world expands:
children get tall, become families; pills bulk
and stick in the throat; stairs stretch
and multiply; your helpless body’s needs
loom greater, sprawl across the hours;
and the love inside, the ache
and the love, swell for what’s left,
for the faces and moments
you know now were never yours:
too soon, everything will be put away.

April 23, 2011

NaPoWriMo Day 22: Shellac umpire the

For Shakespeare Eve, I desecrated his 18th sonnet. Master Shakespeare, meet Walt Kelley.


Shellac umpire the two asthma dye?
Thwart moral ivy land moray timber weight:
Roof wines douche ache dither long beds oh my,
Handsomer sleet as alto shore dude ate:
Scum dive doo-wop the aisle of helping signs,
Hands off henna scold come bless skin hymns;
Hand ovary bare frump fearsome tidy climbs,
Bite chins ornate churls aging curs undreamt;
Butt thigh neater gnaw some morsel nut vague,
Nora Lou’s position off thatch furs the rawest;
Know shell depth rag towel one driest inner shed,
Win any turn a lion’s tooth I’m the grossest;
Salon has mannequin breed, arise canned sea,
Saline liver tests, auntie’s guest slice toothy.

April 22, 2011

NaPoWriMo Day 21: Falling hard

Inspired by the renga form, but much looser.

Landing hard

junkyard filled with cars gone to seed
parts spilled on the ground
coffee in a cardboard cup
teenage boy nods off the sermon on the sermon on the mount
daydreaming about that gal and that one and those two
the immigrant has big plans but a small job
girl with no dollhouse draws blueprints
no rescue for her the king has no son
night was falling it landed hard
the boy’s world three blocks wide but he knew every pebble
liked to sit in doorless cars and pretend to drive away

April 21, 2011

NaPoWriMo Day 20: Drifting

Short. At least it’s short.


Walking through the yard
in the dark, I mistake
dandelions for insomniac
morning glories. I bend
down and disillusion
myself. Later, floating
towards sleep, I seem
to stand in a field
of blue flowers
that open to the stars,
as I do.

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