AprPAD Day 19-20, Provocateurs

PROVOCATEURS

We turn and churn each
shadow beyond an idea, ignite
bright flashes, smoulder
and burn tumble-down

dusty, dry-eyed weariness
to blistering sweet syrupy
dalliances, your dreary days
dashed and brought to tow.

We twist your world
and covet your words.
We are provocateurs..
.

Written for NapoWriMo, April PAD Challenge, Poetic Asides Day 19 and 20

AprPAD Day: 18, We Merrily Go Round

We Merrily Go Round

It’s an unhappy thought,
being next in line. Parents
gone, moved on, leaving you
next on that revolving wheel.
One falls away, leaves a cog
to be filled, round we
merrily go, and yet we’re
profoundly surprised
and unprepared for the day
when we jump free
from our cog on that wheel.
.
.

Written for Recursions: Day 18 – The Big Wheel Keeps on Turning

AprPAD: Day 19, Strung Out on a Guitar

STRUNG OUT ON A GUITAR

Mama thought everything changed
after he was hit by lightning. He swore
off the weed, dismantled the still,
turned away his fleshy needs,
and steeled his will. Now he wiggles
his fingers and flexes his arms,
and drapes himself around the neck
of this favourite guitar – Daddy’s
entangled and strung out in love
with its song. But he says a vice
by any other name is still
just a vice, but he reckons there’s
no harm in being drunk on a song.
.
.

Written for Miz Quickly’s Prompt Day: 19 “Wish you were here”

A Few Thoughts On Childhood

A Few Thoughts On Childhood

SOFT AND SENSIBLE

The word impossible
should never fall upon
a child’s ear. Leave their
way clear of obstacles
but cushion your caution
with soft sensible words,
and any restrictions
with responsible care.
A parent shouldn’t close
the door to a child’s future
with the word impossible.

THE LOST ART OF PLAYING

It’s entirely possible
that children today
will never learn to play.
They stay indoors on sunny days
tapping on PCs,
texting friends on mobile
phones, home alone, doing
this and that, nothing
really, hanging at the mall,
indoors, inside, hiding from the sun,
no fresh air, no vitamin D,
no climbing trees, no skinned
knees, no swings, no slides, no bikes,
no skates, no racing wagons
down a hill – safe, safe,
boring, boring, boring. Kids
nowadays just don’t know
how to play.
.
.

Poetic Asides Prompt Day: 16
Two-for-Tuesday Poems: Impossible and Possible

181 Words About Fingers

181 Words About Fingers

I’ve been thinking a lot about fingers. Not
layers of buttery shale fingers wrapped
in chocolate, but fingers that bend and pop,
knuckles jagged and ragged with uneven
nails with ridges and dips, discoloured with
tints of green gardening, fingernails half-
mooned with craggy hangnails that bleed
and swell and redden, nails to bite, to tear,
fingernails to clip, to chip, to file and fiddle.
Fingers called thumbs that are sucked, stuck
into things like ears and fingers up noses,
or down your throat. Fingers with rings,
fingers that pick up bees that sting, fingers
holding pens, writing letters you’ll never
send because fingers crumbled the paper
and threw it away, fingers holding brushes
that paint memorable scenes of mountains
and streams and oceans, fingers that speak
with articulate signs, fingers that swear,
fingers that curse, fingers carrying an old
leather purse, fingers that dig, fingers that
plant, fingers on chins so a person can think,
fingers in winter turned cold and mist blue,
fingers to hold that say, “Yes, I love you. “

Yes, I’ve been thinking a lot about fingers.
.
.
.

Written for Joseph Harker’s Recursions Day 15: Create a poem that’s the opposite from your usual style and subject matter (paraphrased). For the full scoop on today’s prompt pop over to Joseph Harker’s Recursions Day 15:

Scarlet Passion

clip_image002SCARLET PASSION

We played hopscotch
on the cobbled lanes of Seville;
old worn stones still echo
a tapping touch of steel heeled shoes,
sounds that pound hearts
to a fluttering flamenco spin. There
we danced scarlet passion for our
daily bread, broad Picasso splashes
from evening’s butterscotch sky,
and we sought life’s delights
on the cobbled lanes of Seville.
.
.

Miz Quickly’s prompt Day 15: Listen to a short piece of instrumental music. Listen to it several times, and then write a poem. I listened to Carmen. All of it. I love it.
Photo is from Wikipedia, Seville.

Life’s Dusty Junctions

LIFE’S DUSTY JUNCTIONS

A long slow cry filled the air with thick grey soot, the train
still many miles away, soft bosomed terrain
carrying its call through hills and vales, a plain
clear note carried on the wind. Hear its long complaint

at another junction, another dusty lane
where journeys ramble through fields of yellow grain,
red dust and sky-high stalks of corn. Our ears strain
to the tune of the Burlington Northern. So strange

that our childlike hearts jump; we’re unrestrained
by the shrill of the engineer’s call, his sweet refrain
to our adventurous want to travel this strange
lineal sound through summer sun and winter rain.

We’ll follow a life, unconstrained, and we will reign,
a freer life beside the tracks – riding the trains.
.
.

Written for both Poetic Asides Day 14: Sonnet and Miz Quickly’s Prompts

Reading a Closed Book

Joseph Harker’s Day 13 Prompt – Recursion Day 13 asks that we braid several thoughts or poems together, and if the result surprises us, then we apparently have done it right.  This prompt is all giving me a case of the vapours. I’m feeling faint and confused. I don’t think it’s associated with this virus I picked up a few days ago either. I think this is quite simply my brain asking, “Who do you think you are?” And again, most of this poem is fictitious.

So I’ve taken two recent poems that I’ve written: “A Twist of the Pearl” and “Swimming Deep in Blues”. I’m not sure if the result is surprising or not. I not sure if I’ve met Joseph’s high hopes either.

READING A CLOSED BOOK

We decided to meet for a coffee that Saturday afternoon.
You’re not good with the telephone; you’re quiet as a book,
which means it’s a one way conversation mostly. Sometimes
you sit there nodding your head to my questions, expecting
me to know what you’re thinking. I often don’t know what
I’m thinking so I can’t know what you’re thinking when you
pretend to be a closed book. I’ve always thought –

It’s hard to read a closed book.

And I hate a closed book. Hate closing a book, actually.
That final chapter, that final word. The end of characters I’ve
come to know. Is there a special heaven for characters killed
off in a book? I once fell so deeply for a book that I refused
to finish reading it because I couldn’t accept that the main
character would die as soon as I closed the book. I was 9.
I’m older now. I can finish a book, often guess the ending –

Sometimes I can read a closed book.

And you stared glum as a marshmallow into your mug
of hot chocolate. I sipped my coffee, waiting for you
to speak and tell me what new catastrophe had mentally
caused you to skip a gear. And then I noticed a tear
skimming your cheek, and I felt miserable for thinking
unkind thoughts. I knew I should just listen, not talk, but
you said nothing. He’s left you again, I offered. You nodded.

Apparently, I can still read a closed book.


And here are the two poems from which this new one was “braided”.

A Twist of the Pearl

Conversation over the table –
a coffee, a muffin,
chocolate, of course,
Saturday afternoon with friends,
one more attentive than the others,
one slowly turns the pearl earring
piecing her thoughts. She thinks
back to last weekend, anticipating
tonight, and hears very little
of what the other is saying.
We smile and we nod. And I’m
lost in my own thoughts,
smiling and nodding nevertheless.
.

Swimming Deep in Blues

We used to be couple;
quiet as a book
and tasteful as hotdog salad
until we jumped ship,
swimming deep into the blues.
And in the end, it was all
balls and cold as pain.