Monday, May 23, 2016

NaPoWriMo 2016 redux - a cento for lisa


a cento for lisa

we duck and we amble and
minds all revolve around
the age of loneliness, where
people post a secret to a stranger

the path ahead split
open, the way memory clings.

on thunderous nights
you appeared: glory days.
the character of my ardour.

graves await us both
if we're unchanged. words
woven as you needed to be free.

remind me of the way
you see your world
while you find your way in it.

i think often of the cut -
one leaning shaft of sunlight,
a quick sip of air.

there are vices under our skin, those
in secret; that grip from within:
this joy. this joy, unspent –
a mist i can't quite remember.

wordless - you on your way -
we close our eyes and dream
of all that is pretty and lovely
and get it wrong.

what would i not do for you, my sweet one?
sometimes you pray for growth, and instead
you get bored. i let so many things pass me by.

here comes our hope. reborn,
don’t forget these moments.
there is talk of a kingdom all around us,
elusive and slippery as glass.

it's all I have left of you,
you who barely know me.

NaPoWriMo 2016 redux - a cento for dave

there has always been music

a cento for dave

it will have to be enough.
there is something heroic about the word.

i want to stop my wandering –
you can tell yourself so many truths
and dare yourself to sing.

i cannot explain
how beautiful people are
awaiting resurrection.

on days when it’s hard to know someone
convinced enough to defend truth –
trying to find a way to explain it –
i hold myself up to your light, emptied
until there is a moment small enough to stand on.

make way: let me be a ghost.
i do not know what to do in a moment like that –
all I want for you is to look into the mirror
and not feel shame while walking home.

i cannot feel your breath on my neck and
i cannot hear your foot steps.

it is not every day you can walk
into the mouth of darkness, full of hope again.

home, we move soft and slow
between the words,
where gravity pulls so much that
even light can not get out.

you forget there has always been music,
every time i reach into the dark.

NaPoWriMo 2016 redux - a cento for audra

remember to dance

a cento for audra

i wonder if all of the names you gave me
are true names?

i was rooted there.
i took a day of rest
to confront the fear of running away.

i repeat the same mistake –
how to account for a thousand years of birth and loss?
i did not want you to escape me.
my form of speech adopted,
each higher or deeper meaning only ashes,
makes me feel naked.

my head is pounding. why?
you sing your songs until
i could inhabit a small, quiet place.

there is glory there.
how do I measure time when
learning weakness?
it is the constant of my life.
how do I measure time?
when learning weakness,
sometimes i am dying.

let us stop to remember:
you are shade in the summer heat
and a nesting place in spring.

if it has been a while
since you were reminded
of your power, let me remind you now.

i am also human, but when i say that
i hear you as a mighty wind. know that.

what i mean is: i spent my day steeped in words.

i did not forget: you will certainly be changed,
dancing still.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

a poem for my wife on mother's day

list everything that matters.
if that list fills the page,
start another list of all your hopes
and every promise.

maybe there will be new things
all of us can be thankful for.
rejoice! there is always a new thing
in the wings, hovering upon waters,
eking into view, and our hands.

visions aren't secrets
and dreams are never arbitrary --
now is the time to breathe
vitality into them again.
lift everything that matters,
if those things fill the heart, let them
erupt into sound and light --
take hold of each one 
                                 and give them wings.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

reflections on #NaPoWriMo 2016

another national poetry month has come and gone, and once again, i managed to produce a poem per day.

since my trip to the glen workshop with scott cairns, i have managed to write some 100 poems. it might be time to see if i can massage them into a chapbook of some kind.

the discipline of writing a poem each day - along with the goal of ensuring they are as complete as possible once they're put out into the world - was even more fruitful this year. there are many more scattered lines and lonely stanzas in my journals this year, which bodes well for an ongoing commitment to writing. i'm not going to keep up the same pace (there were times i found it stressful), and committing to finishing a poem each month seems a minimum.

thank you to my friends audra, dave, and lisa for joining me this year (last year, only dave did). you should check out their poems as well - many beautiful lines, images and poems i wish i had written myself. you all provoke me to jealousy.

which is good.

next up - national haiku writing month (#NaHaiWriMo) in february!