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Month: April, 2012

napowrimo day 30

Wahoo, I made it. I may not have written every day, and many of the ‘poem’s I posted aren’t really poems. But some will be! I will take time to assess this week. In the meantime, the final poem for the month.


I remember the library’s small square windows,
they defined the building from the outside
yet went unnoticed amongst the glorious rows of books.
I remember the day I collected more blackberries
then I could eat, how I painted with them,
added them to Vaseline to make messy lipgloss.
I remember how lonely I was each time we moved
how grateful I was for my brother.
I remember how much the boy who teased me
each day frightened me, how I thought he could
see everything I did, at home.
I remember how many days
my friends and I danced to Duran Duran.
I remember the night I met my husband
how he sat, laughing on a step.
Now we have a house together,
and each room holds books. Each day finds us
sitting together and sharing foods
new and old. Comfortable, at times, spicy.
There are moments of loneliness, of intense
longing, still. But different now, I have to admit that.
Each day a building block for another memory.
The neighbor’s tree broke in half in the hurricane
and now we have sunlight in our once dim room.
Each of us has music we love, and often a song
will stop a conversation as we all start to sing.
Someday, I will ask you, do you remember the year
the sun came in each night as we had dinner? Yes.
That was the year our daughter started to talk,
and we sat, laughing, and eating, and making
ridiculous faces. Yes, and our skin, washed golden.


napowrimo day 28

Negative Space

The poison ivy must be removed
before this blackberry can root.
A plastic bag sleeves my arm
I hope for a tight seal.
A good artist knows
that the space between
what is seen and unseen
is often the most important space.

I learned about negative space early.
My mother, a painter;
my grandmothers, painters;
my father, a photographer.
Not one of them always there.
‘There’ being where I was.
Or should I say, where they were not?

The vine comes up easily,
I try not to itch, or remember
how my eye swelled shut, that last time.
The leafy part is just the edge.
The seen, the visible, the warning.
Feel how the vine resists
removal, then releases
and then holds. Determined.
I don’t want to feel sympathy
for this plant that causes me
such discomfort, seasonally.
It wants to live, to thrive
As do


I could use some advice- the title and the ending, specifically.. Any thoughts?

shout out

my poem, latchkey kids, from a few days ago got a shout-out from Jennifer L. Knox, here thanks, Jen!
This napowrimo thing has been a crazy undertaking, working part-time and parenting an almost 2.5 yr old the rest of the time has meant that any chance to do more than just compose is pretty slim. I do look forward to looking back over this gathering of drafts and seeing if any are worthy of revision.

napowrimo day 25

I’ve been having my students lead workshops(to prepare them for arts outreach) and this poem came from an exercise a student brought in. It is a partially found poem, in that she cut up a poem and gave each of us one stanza. I didn’t know the author or poem, and this is what I came up with, with the words I was given. Link to actual poem is below. I didn’t revise after reading the poem, as I didn’t want any accidental influence.

Piano Small

Cast the heart to clamor.
A remembrance betrays my singer
child. A great burst betrays.
The feet weep, softly the winter
strings a mother pressing under dusk
with piano small spite. The child
guided under hymns of manhood.
Poised back to Sunday
the parlor woman
old, like Sunday, cosy.
Sitting, the child smiles upon
the apassionate evenings that bloom.
Days vista down back
to a mastery of myself.

found in words from dh lawrence’s poem the piano

napowrimo day 24


ten feet above the river
hundreds of tiny fish
some still alive by the path

one night, a field, all fireflies
and an unknown animal
huffing a fierce sound

turkey vultures pass
over the moon slowly melting
into the sky

that day the bees swarmed
as I ran, through a green wood
found every tender place

the acorns piled, circular perfection
between the sidewalk
and the wire fence

blue fish and purple surround
I go diving after a turtle
the underwater echo of grass

the fox visited each day
tail a red scrub, ears dark tipped
the pine needles dense, uncountable

I contain all of this,
yet none of it shows

napowrimo day 21

today’s prompt a new form hay(na)ku. (poem with three lines, one word, two words, three)

I was inspired by my college’s alumni mailing to write about my alma mater-

St. Mary’s hay(na)ku
arms out
laugh and spin
at night
invisible but audible
with shovel
a rare find
pale green
the river glows


anyone have any to add?

napowrimo day 20

with apologies to Langston Hughes

a nap deferred

what happens to a nap deferred?

does the parent
go up like a jumping jack
or climb stairs
slow and hopeful that
the child will fall
asleep again and, bliss
one might return
to that time alone, so missed

maybe it just sags
like a heavy diaper

or does it turn hyper?

I’d love comments here(much more saveable for future editing), if you know how to do that, if not, no worries.

napowrimo day 19

latchkey kids

I once made a fireplace out of aluminum foil
curved its edges up, for safety. Tore paper
and lit it. Yellow to brown, then ash.
It was a nice fire, rather tame. The carpet
below came up with the foil,
long strings of black plastic and a smell.
We used to put on our roller skates
and ride in circles in our unfinished basement.
Spin around some pole
and throw ourselves away, at top speed.
In the many construction sites near our townhouse
we’d use 2×4’s to walk above
newly formed basements and rooms. We never fell.
Brambles grew in a field nearby, we made rooms
in the midst of them and dragged discarded lawn furniture,
called it our house. Sometimes meeting random adults along the way.
We always went trick or treating alone, and ate candy
on the way home. Then we played trade.
After watching Goonies, all the kids
in the neighborhood banded together, pulled up manhole covers,
walked tunnels that linked development to development.
Didn’t wonder what the wet was or from where it came.
My brother and I would sit in the backseat
and stay unbuckled. We’d pull up our feet and hold them
at the ankles and let the turns throw ourselves into
one another. The goal was to stay upright, even at fast speeds.
Our Dad would only yell if we laughed too loud.
We’d mix potions up with things from under the sink
and all the weird spices we inherited when Grandma died.
We’d take turns tasting them.
Countless hours at the very empty playground, with just one friend.
We’d take my friend’s mother’s pantyhose and pretend
to be robbers of kidnappers, covering our faces
in that brownish mesh.
Rode our bicycles along the main road.
3 miles to Arby’s. No helmets.
French fries and every condiment and pickle
in the condiment bar made for a cheap lunch.

napowrimo day 18

I am going with today’s prompt, a lullaby
Wow, not so easy to write!!!

Garden Lullaby

my dearest darlingest child,
the sun has gone to her house
as we are safe and warm inside
our own small and loving house

the seeds we planted today
need time before they can grow
one day we will pick a bouquet
but first there must be growth below

Sun’s Mama has called her inside,
remember how we watched her go?
Imagine her bed, its golden sides
as her cat curls up, by her feet, low.

Hear the rain as it starts to fall
how our seeds do need that water.
Pea, carrot, and sunflower all
must rest. See the garden plot there?

My darling, my beloved child
even the birds no longer peep.
Pray spring will continue, mild.
But for now, it is time to sleep.

napowrimo day 16

Our Street

Carry dishes of water to the seedlings
wilting in this early heat.

Remove the screen so the bee
can bumble out. Listen to the echo
of bee and child in the empty house,

scene of parties before she was born.
Hard to remember such a time.
Such longing, and how full life felt.

Consider peony thievery. Pick sage
through the wire fence, flavor
our fall holidays. Pull squirrel sown
seedling trees up by their roots.

Build fences from fallen limbs,
keep the dogs from the newest plants.
Listen to the hollow sound of their
barks, bouncing from brick and tree.

Nurture and hinder growth,
all towards the same goal:
enough sunlight, enough water.

Continued hope for rain, and a desired