cafenowhere: coffee cup with sugar packets that read WTF (Default)
The leaf truck is finally coming through our neighborhood, which is a relief.  I've been dreading the idea of ice-slicked leaves layered under the inevitable snow. I was told that one of the city's leaf trucks was out of commission, the driver burned out the transmission, which is why the pick-up is three or four days late. We have not even touched the backyard, it's wearing a crunchy brown coat and probably will all winter. But I've been good about keeping the front yard in reasonably good shape, even managing to reclaim a bunch of the maple leaves that sullied the neighbors' pristine lawns.

If I walk one mile northeast, I'm out in the country, where I wouldn't have to rake leaves at all, I could just let 'em drift. But then, I'd also have to deal with badgers and mountain lions. Maybe it's a fair trade.

 ~
cafenowhere: coffee cup with sugar packets that read WTF (drink me)

Every day this month, I will post a poem to celebrate National Poetry Month. There will be rhyming, nonrhyming, classic, contemporary, formal, experimental, nursery rhymes, protests, songs, lyrics, translated, speculative, sad, romantic, silly, and any other kinds of poems I can think of. Feel free to comment with any poems these entries might elicit. The more poetry, the better, always--but especially now.
 
 
Memorized Poems

This is the first poem I ever memorized. Not surprisingly, I discovered it in a movie, Superman II (1980). My family adored science fiction and fantasy (wild unicorns, represent!), and movies were an easy way to share the geeky goodness. My love of words and moving pictures, of beauty in bursts of action, started very early indeed.


Trees

by Joyce Kilmer (1913)


I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.
A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth's sweet flowing breast;
A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;
A tree that may in summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;
Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.
Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.
 
 
I can see now, academically, that this is a terrible poem. The tree's mouth is where? And her arms? But then her hair is...? And the rhyme scheme and the sappy ending. Never mind. I still love this poem and I recite it to Tweetie when she can't sleep or she isn't feeling well. To me, the poem perfectly demonstrates that humans' instinctive response to beauty is to immortalize and emulate it through craft, even knowing our efforts will never quite capture the glorious experience of inspiration. 
cafenowhere: coffee cup with sugar packets that read WTF (drink me)
fog drops
on bare branches
moss crenellated
on birch
blank scrying glasses
ramparts soft to touch
cafenowhere: coffee cup with sugar packets that read WTF (abby)
~

sly, tenacious fruit...
once I'm resigned
they fall

~
cafenowhere: coffee cup with sugar packets that read WTF (Maggie with Coffee)
~


~

I
don't
blame you,
tree,
for wanting to live
in my house. It's cozy
with strays, after all,
and lined with books, the
dust-furred urns, if you will, of
your long-lost sisters. But come winter,
trust me, you'll find that, between
these warm walls and all
the gamboling paws,
it gets to feeling
just
a bit
close.

~
cafenowhere: coffee cup with sugar packets that read WTF (happy pug tongue)
~

pink August blooms?
crab apple confusion caused
by trickster winds


~
cafenowhere: coffee cup with sugar packets that read WTF (happy pug tongue)


~

extra tree limbs flex
a brown tangle in the breeze
skinned knees instead of petals
keds instead of leaves


~

I "saw" this poem on Thursday, before the storms. Now I read it and remember that idyllic calm while half a pin oak sprawls across our backyard.

Friday morning, Tweetie and I were doing art at the kitchen table. The wind rattled down a bunch of acorns and I looked out our sliding glass doors. I'd never seen wind like that before. I mean, I could almost actually see it, not just the debris it was throwing around. I thought it might be a tornado, so I started herding Tweetie to the basement. And then the pin oak...broke, right in front of me. A wall of green and branches slow-motion collapsed.

Fortunately, the ash tree I've always worried about coming down and taking out the power lines caught the oak and kept it from demolishing the fence and power lines, despite the 60+ mph winds.

Now J is calling tree services and is bemused by how few use email or have websites. Duh, J.

cafenowhere: coffee cup with sugar packets that read WTF (so tired)
...(by "you" I mean "me") but I'm still fighting with today's poem, so here is one left over from WisCon. I wrote it during the Taboo III reading, partly to contain the fangirl-eruption-that-almost-was when Karen Joy Fowler sat next to me.

Alas, it has nothing else to do with Ms Fowler.


~

wind-ruffled trees
shimmy midriff leaves
silently flirting
through double panes

~
cafenowhere: coffee cup with sugar packets that read WTF (crap)
~

Doves demurely fret
their way into my dreams
of giant, lazy birds
flapping muslin-colored wings.
Sunlight spears my eyelids
and I squint up at trees:
my dress balloons in a pin oak
my bra winks in the breeze.


~
cafenowhere: coffee cup with sugar packets that read WTF (so tired)
~

helicopter seeds
hurtle through the sky
aiming for our eyes


~


Well, after the epic thunderstorms of yesterday, Mother Nature is saying "Tantrum? Who, me?" and we have a beautiful morning.
cafenowhere: teacup brimming with mysterious violet liquid (psychedelic tea)
~

Lilacs make thieves
of us all
and Dandelions,
liars
Cottonwood fluff
fills our heads with dreams
and the Judas Tree
stokes secret fires


~
cafenowhere: coffee cup with sugar packets that read WTF (happy pug tongue)
~

tropical sock, ditched
palm trees and flamingos fade
in the prodigal sun

~


I saw this sock on my wild wild walk of Sunday.

Yesterday I got to read under the shade of a pine tree, with my bare feet in the cool, plush grass. Divine!

~

Ewww-ku

Apr. 19th, 2010 09:27 am
cafenowhere: coffee cup with sugar packets that read WTF (raccoon)
~

birch catkins
worm their way into my hair
hitching a ride


~

This weekend I watched Ponyo, Monsters vs Aliens, and GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra. My "win conditions" for GI Joe were *very* low (as in Shirtless Channing! low) but still, the only thing that could've saved that movie was if Channing Tatum had done a strip tease, rolled in motor oil, and then got it on with...I don't know, Snake Eyes? It's amazing how expensive a movie can be, and still be terrible. That's what I get for watching a movie that has "Hasbro" emblazoned across the opening credits.

~
cafenowhere: coffee cup with sugar packets that read WTF (happy pug tongue)


~

scrubbing the morning
with violet bristles
the misnamed redbud

~


And now that I know redbuds are also called "Judas trees," I feel aflutter with possibilities. In the meantime, here's an extreme close-up of the violet buds of an eastern redbud, with bonus!caterpillars. Photo by Bob Gress.

cafenowhere: coffee cup with sugar packets that read WTF (chevy)
I think...


~

Sweaty, he stands back
to admire their new dogwood.
Sneaky, she joins him
to slip a hint in his pocket.




And here's a close-up of the white blossoms of a dogwood tree.

~

Wayside God

Apr. 7th, 2010 09:06 am
cafenowhere: coffee cup with sugar packets that read WTF (Default)
~

Lounging, arms splayed along
the angles of the magnolia tree,
he might be mistaken for an
agrarian god's sweet offering
but a certain tilt to hips and lips
the bright slant of his eyes
belie such innocence:
It's not an offering
if it cannot be denied.

~


ETA: My creepy lake ku, part of my poem-a-day project, has been re"printed" in microcosms, a spec poetry twitterzine. Check it out!


~

On my toes!

Apr. 6th, 2010 08:53 am
cafenowhere: coffee cup with sugar packets that read WTF (writing)
~

April flurry
we dance in scanty drifts
beneath the dogwood

~


Tweetie is doing her job and keeping me on my toes. This morning, I hadn't gotten halfway through my coffee before she told me that when she was a grownup and ready to start a family, she thought she would adopt. Really? I said, impressed and proud. I asked why she was planning to adopt. "Because," she said, "I don't think I want to love a man."

My thoughts, in the order I had them:
But men are so lovable.
Sister, I hear ya, too much work.
Wait a minute, did you just out yourself?
But you're already married--remember that boy from daycare?

What I finally said: "Oh. Okay."

Then she went on to discuss her child-care and career plans. I finished my coffee.

~

Living Room

Apr. 3rd, 2010 09:17 am
cafenowhere: coffee cup with sugar packets that read WTF (writing)
~

leaves unfurl
complicit, curtaining
forbidden kisses


~
cafenowhere: coffee cup with sugar packets that read WTF (raccoon)
~

soft-hearted maple
offers scarlet bouquets:
honeymoon tweet

~


The other day my buddy was telling me about an argument he had with one of his parents.

"And then," he said, cringing, "I said the worst thing you can ever say to your parent."

"What?!" I said, astounded. "You said 'I hate you'?"

"No!" he said, scandalized.

"You said 'I wish you were dead"?"

"NO!"

"Then, honey, you didn't say the worst thing. Not by a long shot."

Whereupon we hugged.

"This," he said, "is why we're friends."

"Because I'm evil?"

So, you want me to be your friend for the same reason shallow people like to hang out with folks they deem less attractive: to look good in comparison. No matter how awful you think you've been, I can describe--in detail!--greater depths of depravity.

You're welcome!

BPAL scent of the day: Kill-Devil

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