Hey! Poetry. But first . . .

Happy 2016. A lot has changed in the last year.

We had a Christmas Spring (see below) that stayed just long enough to hit us with a down pour then sent the temperatures into the thirties where they should be. There’s peace with Iran and Cuba. Trump trumped the Republican presidential race. The police killed 1,199 people last year, that we know about. No other country inflicts those kinds of casualties in routine policing. But all of this is beside the point of this blog.

For myself and my writing, things have really changed as well. I now know that I make many more rewrites than most writers. I have to cut them down if I’m going to have any chance of getting any stories done, much less get them published. I use the versions feature on OpenOffice, and I counted over twenty versions per eight page installment. The novel, The Feral Bond, is coming along very well.

Last night my writers’ group had a New Years’ Eve party. We were told to bring poetry. I thought they meant our own poetry, not anyone’s. So, I did something I hadn’t done in two years: I wrote three poems. I was amazed when people said they loved them. So, I’m going to–somehow–make it a habit.

 

NEVER SEEING

I won’t live where my Dad dwells,
eyes that never see enough,
feet that shuffle an inching-stride,
racing snails and losing.
The grinding knee,
the sore hip.
The pause of lost words
of fading nouns
every sentence.
Never for me I pray
I will pull the trigger,
but everybody says that,
don’t they? And never do it.

I awaken you,
as you once did me;
you for breakfast,
I for school.
Sleep in if you want,
but take your morning pills,
or suffer your body’s wrath.

I let you dress yourself
with small help.
“First pants then shoes,” I advise.
You still shower by yourself.
Though this will pass.
Entropy and biology have agreed
on the schedule of your demolition.

Your doctors shrug
call it the “aging process,”
then look for something interesting
like everybody does.
Look for somebody young
because children mean hope.
And what’s the point in life
without that? Without what—
longevity can’t provide.

 

SANDBOX MATH

Numbers that can’t count
you fix against time
one through nine
but in anagrams.
Watch the clock.
Every number
assigned a different task
specialized, industrialized.
A One can’t do a Nine’s job
says coach Zero.

Eyes follow, Left, Right,
Up, Down, all Diagonal passes
Forbidden and foul.
Strange, the numbers dance and tease,
like actors, entertainers, athletes,
When my checkbook still doesn’t balance.

 

SPRING CHRISTMAS

Santa arrives by handglider.
Ho, ho, ho, yourself.
Reindeer dead from heat exhaustion
Elves drowned as their igloos melt and sink.
Christmas trees black and charred.
A forest fire’s decoration.

A winter unready for snow.
A spring-winter, or maybe a fall-winter
We see rain and rain.
Extra rivers of hot snow
Knocking at our doors,
Coming down our chimneys.

And while we enjoy our drinks
Wadding in four feet of water,
Remind me again why we trusted
Santa’s system.

 

 

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