from the archives – poems from previous April 30ths

April 30, 2013

we will write these poems
until we have breathed
our last, final breath

And then our poems will
read themselves out loud
for your ears to hear

I am missing you –

we turn our love
on and off
like a broken faucet:
an old fashioned fixture
with separate taps
for hot and cold –

nothing happens today
when I open the valve.
Did we forget to pay
the water bill?
I sit and wait
at the bottom
of the sink –
one drop of hot
or cold would do –

one drop would do:

I am missing you.

NaPoWriMo 2013
was a fabulous experience.  
So many new friends,
so many old friends with whom
I had never shared this love.  
Through poetry,
we have all shared
in the transformative
power of language,
and in some measure,
big or small in proportion
to our investment.
And this sharing
has transformed us, ourselves,
as we have transformed words,
shaped by rhythms,
to express our inmost thoughts.  
All that’s left is to say thank you.  
Thank you all. 

********************

April 30, 2014

I needed to clear my mind
so I wrote a poem
some refuge from the daily grind
so I wrote a poem

My bees were in a tizzy
So I wrote a poem
I was feeling a little dizzy
until I wrote a poem

The skies were looking cloudy
before I wrote a poem
the winds were acting rowdy
so I wrote a poem

The rain was getting heavy
until I wrote a poem
My palms were cold and sweaty
and then I wrote a poem

This month has reached its end
so I’m writing a poem
There’s lots of news to send
so I’m writing a poem.

********************

April 30, 2015 – every shade of green

every shade of green, it seems,
displays itself upon the hills
that fill the skies encircling my home –
when I arrived December’s days
were short, its nights were long –
these hills were grey and brown –

and sad, a bit, but I was told
that green, in Spring, would overtake,
outstrip Winter’s darkness, and the hills
would put on green – from the bottom
to the top – in stages and layers –
like stockings, thick socks for a frosty night.

and so, in streaks and patches to the top,
100 shades of green now fill the skies.

********************

April 30, 2016

A translation – Portuguese (thanks to Dona Maria’s verb book & help from my Filomena)

através das palavras arrumadas
que surgem de um espaço interior –
repelimos as fronteiras, os contornos
de caos, de desordem,
e preservamos um mundo –
um mundo à parte que escolhemos –
que reflete a nossa paz interior.

English (original, from postcard poetry month, 2014)

through ordered words
that arise from a space within –
we push back the outer margins
of chaos, of disorder,
and preserve a world –
a separate world we choose –
that reflects our inner peace.

#NaPoWriMo 2017 April 30 – repetition

April 30, 2017 – repetition

I wasn’t invited to the White House
Correspondents’ Dinner last night.
It happens every year. Too bad.
They could have used my home-spun poetry
to lift the gloom. I’ll watch the video
or read the transcript later because
the press will surely fuck it up.
Maybe next year poets will be invited.

Anyway, there are more important
things to ponder. Things that also
repeat themselves. Like NaPoWriMo.
It’s my fifth year of observance,
of setting aside one month of daily
writing and blog posting, of poetry
production, of discipline and focus.
Over and over each day for 30 days.

It’s like fasting during Ramadhan,
one month of daily concentration
to set the rest of your year on
a righteous poetic path, a trajectory,
sort of. And it doesn’t really matter
what you do with the poems later,
if you revise them for possible
publication, or if you just let them
sit in a computer file until next year.

“If the song were sweet and helped
a soul, what matter the singer’s name?
The work was in the song itself
and not in the world’s acclaim.”
So said my fifth grade teacher.
I think she was a poet in disguise.

#NaPoWriMo 2017 April 29 – free association poem

Favorite poem: We Wear the Mask, Paul Lawrence Dunbar
Word (noun) chosen: “mask”

There are so many masks
available and so many
reasons to wear them.

I suppose if you wear
a mask long enough,
you forget what your
true face really looks like.
And beyond a certain point
it may not even matter.

The mask that conceals
your face can also protect it.
The mask that accentuates
feelings can also sublimate
the same feelings.

A painting or a portrait
of a mask might be
an interesting thing –
a second-order derivative,
sort of, of the original.

Picasso, a Spaniard,
painted African masks.
Was he modeling or just
imagining what lied underneath?

#NaPoWriMo 2017 April 28 – Skeltonic verse

I read somewhere
and you should care:

Facebook’s fastest growing group
will stage a coup
a very lively troup –

on Twitter and Facebook
take a careful look
don’t overlook
or let facts be mistook –

women over fifty-five
making Facebook come alive
those who analyze
and the profits drive
and the money thrive
say that’s no jive –

so don’t misapprehend
the latest trend
to be your friend
until the end.

April 27 late addendum

Day #27 – Late addendum

Sweetness –
a warm ocean breeze
the sweat on her forehead
green with brown stripes

Sourness –
unripe naval oranges
early morning daybreak
yellow with purple polka dots

Saltiness –
dirt from the garden
seaspray over the bow
lemon and garlic and pepper

Bitterness –
a pot of dandelion greens
ice cold beer on a hot day
brown and black herringbone

Umami (savory) –
bean soup & stewed tomatoes
coffee beans roasting in the oven
underarm sweat w/o deodorant

#NaPoWriMo 2017 April 27 – Some questions about taste poem

April 27, 2017 – some questions about taste poem

Is taste only a
chemical reaction
on the tongue,
on the taste buds,
and in the brains
of animals like us?

Could taste be
a synesthetic pathway
indiscriminately
crossing boundaries
to reveal higher
order sensations?

I know the tastes
of orange, and blue,
and pain, and joy –
the taste of spring
romance and end –
the nauseous tastes
of hatred and of fear.

We hold memories
of tastes in our minds,
but does the tastebud
itself keep memories?
And preferences?

Late addendum

Sweetness
a warm ocean breeze
the sweat on her forehead
green with brown stripes

Sourness
unripe naval oranges
early morning daybreak
yellow with purple polka dots

Saltiness
dirt from the garden
seaspray over the bow
lemon and garlic and pepper

Bitterness
a pot of dandelion greens
ice cold beer on a hot day
brown and black herringbone

Umami (savory)
bean soup & stewed tomatoes
coffee beans roasting in the oven
underarm sweat without deodorant

#NaPoWriMo – from the archives (previous years on this date)

April 26, 2016

life is so much more like
Parks and Recreation than
Madame Secretary.
So don’t get it twisted
when you pull the curtain.

Poetry is just streaming words –
nothing high brow about it –
painting is lines and shapes
splashed on canvas with a brush –
and dancing is shifting weight
from one foot to the other
in motion across a wooden floor.

If I were a strong wind I’d wrap
all around you – if a river,
I’d rise up to your knees –
if a song, I’d bounce tenderly
against your eardrums, until I
found my way into your inner heart.

More like Parks and Recreation,
less like Madame Secretary,
nothing like The Good Wife.
Life. Don’t get it twisted.

*****************

April 26, 2015

plucking those grey hairs
will not hold back
the inexorable flood of time –

they grow back faster
and longer for a reason.

and we will get older
and more decrepit if we last,
and someday we will die.
these are the facts.

*********************************

April 26, 2014 – An Acrostic poem

From a distant shore I found my Filomena
Intensely I sought her, to woo her, to win
Love’s special gift – we were like hand and glove.
On an Autumn day we shared an afternoon from
Midday to midnight – on a Spring day, duplo
Expresso and macchiato after lunch, all
New adventures we shared without an alibi
And without a second thought on our behalf.

**************************

April 26, 2013 – A triolet

Sem ti, tudo me enoja e me aborrece
sem ti, perpetuamente estou passando,
nas mores alegrias, mor tristeza. – Camoes

I’m not long for this world of woe –
of strife and quarrelsome divide;
so I’ll content myself with poems –
I’m not long for this world of woe.
In time we reap the deeds we sow:
Our words and acts and thoughts collide –
I’m not long for this world of woe –
of strife and quarrelsome divide.