Categories
Poetry

On Writing a Poem

I’ve been thinking about why I read and write poems, and what they mean to me. Aren’t those questions as old as poetry?

Categories
Poetry

Matsuo Bashō was a 17th century Japanese master of haiku and poetry. This line comes from a passage he wrote on the meaning of poetry.

Categories
Poetry

June: A Poem

Categories
Poetry

Moon Flower

The moon flower
opens in moonlight
fades in bald daylight
endures each dark new moon.

How can it know
the moon will return
after one dark night?

It knows
no other moon
no other light.
Categories
Poetry

Blossoms

May your day be such a day.

Categories
Quirks and Quarks

Kitchen Table Études

The simple maple table, where I first saw my father cry, my mother’s hand on his, he searched her eyes, asking why his brother should be first to die; I did not hear her whispered reply;

where toast and eggs was the answer to what’s for breakfast, before arms-legs-feet pedaled into my first delightful frightful cicada day, a throbbing buzz of red-eyed zombies – my mother said most would die;

where in spring sprouted Easter baskets, lilacs and daffodils, baby bottles, three city papers, Superman comic books, and my father’s copy of The Rubaiyat, artifacts of our family’s hearts and minds;

that stood in reach of the white enamel double sink where partners washed and dried side by side – I knew cigarettes and sweat was father, mud and blood my brother, and grandmother, clean cotton and roses;

that anchored the kitchen and our home so small I could reach through the window, touch our neighbor’s red brick bungalow, and in fifteen bounding steps cross our hardpan yard from lush pink peonies to harsh chain-link fence;

but when I taxied my black X-15 fighter plane for take-off from its kitchen table runway, the nose of my jet pushed the boundary of my bungalow universe faster than sound into starlight across the galaxy, my course, destination, adventure breathlessly recounted to my baby sister following each soft safe touchdown between the breakfast dishes.

Categories
Poetry

May: A Poem

May 

A soft breeze stirs
redbud rose apple embers.
Morning ignites
fields catch fire.
Winter sleeps
the sky weeps
fire
the sky weeps
spring
Categories
Poetry

April 17 is William Wordsworth’s 251st birthday.

Categories
Quirks and Quarks

The purple coneflower sings “Of what is past, or passing, or to come.”

WB Yeats, Sailing to Byzantium

Categories
Poetry

Thoughts and Prayers

I wrote this poem in response to the mass murder in Las Vegas several years ago. I am sad that I return to it again and again.