untitled (Wordle 9)

the spider lets out
threads of gossamer
yet for their thickness
stronger than steel
and she never allows
them to become tangled
she’ll just break them
and make some more

she builds her home
in the sky, etches
in the very atmosphere
her place where she traps
and feeds and raises her young

she is not a creature
of bone, not like the humans
who dream of flight
or even the birds
with their hollow bones
who manage flying
from telephone wire to branch

without bones
her architecture is different

she hangs suspended
in her airy temple
light everywhere
no need for windows

as her babies hatch
she tells them the stories
they need to hear
how to trap prey
where to build a home

and the stories
that fill their souls
she points at the sparks
in the sky and tells them
they are stardust
everything around them
is stardust
they are sacred sparks
that she is sending out
to brighten the night sky

they let out a bit of gossamer
and they wait for it
to wave in the breeze
moving like serpents
then they let go
of their mother’s gossamer
and float out on their own

if she had eyelids
she’d close them to slits
watching her children
float away
but she can’t
so she just holds on
feeling the vibration
as each one lets go

/ / /

This poem was written in response to Wordle 9 at The Sunday Whirl. A whole week late, but better late than never.

Here Now

I sit in bed with my reading pillow
and my lap desk, my laptop nearby

iced tea on my bedside table
okay, just a splash of sweet tea
and then water to fill the glass
edged in blue at the top

a Lego knight on horseback
that my sons made for me
he guards my books
stacks of them on the table
and on the floor along with CDs
I’m ripping onto iTunes

three frames on the walls
each on a different wall
one of my wife and I
on our first trip to Vegas
where we’d later marry
it was taken in a photo booth
but looks like a pen and ink
sketch by Rembrandt
one a watercolor of cherry blossoms
painted by my mother
the last a picture I took
of our firstborn the first week
we lived in this house
it’s not even a photograph
it’s a digital snapshot
my wife printed out at work
on a color printer on plain paper
we were so broke then
having just paid first and last
and the security deposit

beneath the watercolor a coffee table
long ago removed from the living room
as we baby-proofed the new house
now a permanent fixture in our bedroom
where stands the Tiffany lamp
that was my grandmother’s
an heirloom left to me
in my father’s will
safe from boys who are not allowed
to play in our bedroom

even when I’m alone in here
reading, listening to music,
or writing a poem
I’m surrounded by my family

/ / /

This poem was written to the Write here, now prompt at We Write Poems. Thanks to Pamela for the prompt.

The Couple

he comes home late
and all he can do is complain
about the damp laundry

she thinks
but the clothes are clean
can’t you see that

she holds her anger in
and he is incensed

she wants to avoid conflict
he wants to fight

he is tired
and feels trapped
in her domesticity

she is tired
of his errant ways
his car the symbol of that

and the skid marks
he leaves on her soul

she’s not sure
how much more
she can endure

/ / /

This poem was written using the theme of endure from One Single Impression incorporating damp, incensed, and skid from Three Word Wednesday. It is also a response to the cocktail of words prompt from We Write Poems.

I also offer it as my acceptance of the Perfect Poet Award for week 46 from Promising Poets’ Poetry Cafe. I nominate Henry Clemmons, who blogs at The UnderSide of Green.

Priorities

it’s difficult sometimes
to know if what I do
is aligned with my priorities

life is erratic
like it’s charting a course for me
that doesn’t seem guided
by fate or design

I look for omens
signs to show me
that I’m doing the right things

even the occasional bad omen would be okay
something to fight against
an obstacle giving me
a short-term goal to focus on
something to measure myself by

but the fact is I don’t believe in omens
signs from above or below
what’s here and now
in the middle matters

teaching young people
writing poems
making my small portion
of this erratic life
brighter and more beautiful

at least I think so
that’s the question I started with
isn’t it?

but then I look
at my boys
and see what is reflected
in their luminous eyes

and everything seems
true and good
what I know
and what I do
the things that are me
appear congruent

and I wonder
why I question myself at all

I should take that
as a good omen

/ / /

This poem was written for the cocktail of words prompt at We Write Poems. I used the priorities prompt from Poetic Asides and erratic, luminous, and omen from Three Word Wednesday.

A special “Thank you” to the great people at We Write Poems for using my prompt idea this past week. I enjoy writing to their prompts and being a part of their community. I am looking forward to seeing what others have written.

Incomparable

I wish that I could leave a journal
and pen by my bedside table
so that when I woke from sleep
I could jot down my dreams
but I rarely remember them
unless they are frightening
and I flee from them
to the waking world

instead I daydream
and make up stories
and on occasion I manage
to tell a story
that is inspiring to others
or so they tell me

there have been stories
of strange, enchanting lands
where the people sleep
beguiled by the lotus

there have been stories of bold heroes
with torsos bulging with muscles
alluring maidens who wait for the hero
or go off on their own quests
a devious villain to antagonize
the hero or heroine

what is incomparable
is not the pleasure of writing
because it’s not just play

I work at it
more than I care to admit

but the joy of reading
what others have created
and I take immeasurable pleasure
in reading the comments
on what I’ve written

that is what is incomparable
the kinship of readers and writers
none of whom are my actual kin
just kindred spirits

/ / /

This poem was written in response to the Incomparable prompt at Writer’s Island, using the words from Wordle 8 at The Sunday Whirl.

Addendum: This poem also works for the cocktail of words prompt at We Write Poems.

Do You Like It?

of course you like it
your son made it
you like everything
he makes at school

but you paused a little too long
before you replied to his question

uhm… I like how much blue you used
and these black lines here
they’re bold and uhm…
I like the way they flow

what’s bold he asks
and you say brave fearless

good he says
’cause it’s a policeman

I like your bold policeman you say
relieved that he seems satisfied
with your response

let’s put it on the refrigerator
you say hoping to close the deal

okay he says

after he’s gone to sleep
you stare at the bold policeman
in your kitchen
but you still can’t see him there

the strange shape
its asymmetry
a little frightening

you wish
you could see
what he sees

more in his mind’s eye
than on the page

when you realize
how much you’ve lost

/ / /

This poem was written in response to the Sometimes something surprising! prompt at We Write Poems.

untitled (Wordle 7)

she tried to ignore the inky murmurs
of the subdued women
gossiping about her purple dress

she heard gaudy and tacky
as their talk undulated
from unkind to cruel to mean

she watched as one of them happily
burrowed into her red leather purse
and pulled out her cell phone

she called someone and began
to spin her web of callous words
via cellular towers and satellites

though it saddened her
she sat unafraid
they were just words, after all

and she knew in her heart
that she glowed in her purple dress
because it made her feel light

she did pity the other women however
because they were so common
and their hearts were the abyss

/ / /

This poem was written in response to Wordle 7 at a wordling whirl of Sundays.

from a book of poetry

I was reading this poem
about a girl who sat
on the same bench
near some blue hydrangeas
every Tuesday
eating her lunch

which she had made herself
and brought from home
and I remember not much caring
about where the lunch came from
or why that bench or Tuesday
or even about who the girl was

when there was a sudden silence
of the crowd of people around me
in the courtyard where I sat

I set down my book of poetry
but I had missed what
had silenced the crowd

as I reached for the sandwich
I’d made at home that morning
I noticed the blue hydrangeas
in the planter behind the bench
and how the petals looked like butterflies
around a small world
and I looked up at the mid-day sky
so blue, and I wondered what we
looked like from the outside
and if anyone bothered to much care

/ / /

I wrote this poem a couple of weeks ago. It was written in response to a prompt from Not Without Poetry.

Grab a book of poetry. Try not to be too picky. From the last line of the first poem, take a word or phrase and write it down. Now, from the first line of the last poem, take a word or phrase and write it down. Now, from a random line from a random poem somewhere in between the first and the last poems, take a word or phrase and write it down. With those three words or phrases, and this picture, write.

I used The Trouble with Poetry by Billy Collins. I used the following three lines from his poems as my inspiration:

near some blue hydrangeas, reading this

I remember not caring much

there is a sudden silence of the crowd

To Their Right

Preposition Piku

It tells us
that
we’re going. To.

Number Piku

Even and
prime.
Has to be: two.

In Addition Piku

Also or
more
or very. Too.

/ / /

Contraction Piku

Pronoun they
and
verb to be. They’re.

Possessive Piku

Pronoun for
both
his and hers. Their.

Parts of Speech Piku

Adverb, pro
noun,
adjective. There.

/ / /

Angle Piku

Proper, good
or
correct. It’s right.

Mark Piku

To compose
and
form words. To write.

Passage Piku

Procedure
or
solemn act. Rite.

Construction Piku

A worker
or
Frank Lloyd. A wright.

/ / /

These pikus were written in response to the Dancing with Pikus prompt at We Write Poems. Thanks, Tilly. This was fun.

Regarding the “Parts of Speech Piku”: There is both a pronoun and a noun, thus “pro / noun”. Still not sure if I’m happy with that or not.