as words begin their dance
glancing out at spring
sitting down at last to write
confident of its receipt
asking for serenity
another day a perfect gift
reflecting and give thanks
I close my eyes to sip
hand cupping warmth
coffee and the ritual of smell
checking lilacs apple buds
birds scatter at the noise
opening the outer door
woods featureless and flat
moving softly hug the quiet
slightly damp delight
one slipper at a time
morning work for dogs
stretch sloughing sleep’s cement
a feather shawl to float away
night journey remnants linger
as clouds replace the sun
light diffuse and gray
dog nose to tail against my arm
first awareness as I wake
a dream departs
Day 28. I loved writing this. The prompt was for an event or story in reverse.
red squirrel leaping
apple held fast in its mouth
single thought is food
Day 27. An encounter with a determined little red squirrel. I was outside eating a green apple. The squirrel saw me; I waved at him, apple in hand, then tossed it, almost eaten, on the grass near a rhododendron. Running around the back of the bush the squirrel emerged at the front, snatching the apple and ran up a spruce tree with it. Came back down a minute or two later. Looking for the nest I imagined to be in the tree, I came upon the squirrel’s pantry. The apple sat on one of the branches.
For years every morning I drank
long drafts of the world,
that words lay in wait
to flash like sunbeams
unable to dance quietly
until the moment of ambush.
For years I would tuck away
throat caught beauty
in dull green strong boxes,
to sit on bare wood shelves
until I could not wait
another moment of another minute
to feel and see again.
For years words found me,
some refused to leave,
sticky stubborn things,
and now, well now I recognize
them as old friends that held the dam,
until one day they stepped aside
to release the flood
as I surrendered.
Day 25 part 2. The NaPoWriMo prompt was to borrow the first line of a favorite poem, and use it as a jumping off point for a new poem. I chose the first line of Mary OLiver’s Mornings at Blackwater.
The wires look thin that hold me up today but they will do it takes their strength to float a legend’s frame when truly whole I knew my soul and name before he ever did I would be adventure possibility bravery all of that
We left the Meadowlands a river’s span away from spiky city spires and flew out over water turning east and north a winged pack mule I was engined up packed with so much fuel to keep us out of clutching waves it left him barely room to sit he held the stick to fly us true although his word was pilot imagining he flew for history and felt himself a hero almost fledged
My engine and my wings flew on god I was brave and gallant and did not let him down when he lost heart we reached the ocean’s end on fumes crossing pitch dark coastline almost out of spirit he and I exhausted homing pigeons on approach we coasted over new green fields to roars and cheers and many dancing lights
He stepped down to claim his place first as the upright man I hoped he was but empty of true heart away from fame pretending admiration for an upraised arm that spawned annihilation he served us all behind the scenes as we slid closer to another war
I hear he had great loss knew sorrow and perhaps was even humbled at the end but I never felt an inkling of that truth now peaceful and alone I am at rest suspended high above the eager eyes or older memories that know our history and I bear witness
I am the spirit of St Louis
____________________________________ Day 21. The prompt was to tell a famous myth through the eyes of a minor character. I chose a modern tale. (note: I have edited this poem tonight to correct my ill informed impression of Lindbergh’s “admiration” for the Third Reich, when in reality he was an agent of the US military, surveying the strength of axis air power. His personal life was a genuine mess, but I have only hinted at that.)
It all depends, the farmer said,
on how high the fence and wide the gap
How tall is just enough to push thoughts out
or hold emotions in, and had I thought of life
enriched by feelings? Is the gap a full on
crop of breaks, or something less,
some oddly chronic stutter of disconnection
Fluorescence hindered by its oozing ballast
Can we glue chain split apart, or pickets
freed by loose, bent nails?
It all depends, the farmer said, on how we view
the things that we might do for love.
Day 20. The prompt from NaPoWriMo Day 19. To write a didactic poem, instructional. No restraints.