astrological autobiography

The sun shines
On a young wanderer emerging from the woods
Gazing at far cities

At night, the moon is reflected
In the windshield of a man driving his car
Madly racing with a train

A message is delivered
To a group of serenaders
Making merry

A father watches
As his young child leans over a pond
To catch a goldfish

The warrior stands guard
As his two children
Study their lessons together

/ / /

This poem came from Impromptu #11 by Matt Trease at The Found Poetry Review.

I went to the website he recommended and got my birth chart. My sun sign is Gemini, and my ascendant sign is Cancer. I took the five symbols – Sun, Moon, Mercury, Mars, and Jupiter – within Gemini and Cancer to find text for my poem. I used the link to the Sabian Symbols Matt Trease provided and took my text from those descriptions. I did alter some of the text, as well as adding language to connect one of the symbols to each of the stanzas.

everybody knows

everybody knows
that he
started out

wound up

     The Wound

question is:
what took him?
and what way?

a long way
on foot
it took him

     Took him on

another question:
why stay?

     A Quest

the obvious answer
he got tired

     Right here

/ / /

This poem was written in response to Impromptu #9 by Frank Montesonti. This is an erasure poem using two different highlighters. My source was page 8 of Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli.

no sense of time

no sense of time
weekday? weekend?
no structure of school
how many days
was it?
     my mom remembers

the boys that teased me
that first night
older? younger?
just bullies?
     or was it the place?

that girl
who died
was it cancer?
what kind was it?
     her parents remember

were there windows
in all the rooms?
i can’t see them
     fear of heights or
     other fears?

my eighth birthday
i don’t remember what presents I got
or asked for
or the kind of cake
     probably wished
     to be home

how many days
in isolation?
i called it solitary confinement
like Hilts and Ives
in the cooler
     had I seen The Great Escape
     with my dad yet?
     he would remember

/ / /

This poem comes from Impromptu #8 by Harold Abramowitz at The Found Poetry Review:

Write something you cannot remember: a memory of something – a story, an anecdote, a song, another poem, a recipe, an episode of a television program, anything, that you only partially or imperfectly remember. Write multiple versions, at least 6, of this memory.

set apart for silence

a summer tan
and a winter windburn

shy, bashful, mysterious,
yet only so-so:

speak to the branches
of spring

is there any way
of measuring love?

givings and forgivings,
gettings and forgettings

keepsakes and room rent,
snow, rain, storms can help-

passion may call
for a partner
to share

to weave
lyrics begotten
on lush lips

spill and spend
search and save
with silence and content

there must be a place
a room and a sanctuary
set apart for silence

there must be substance here
and bending
to be never broken

talking to yourself
a talk worth keeping

like a book read
over and over again

ask for a message
and listen and wait

from bud to bloom
blend and go

/ / /

This poem was written in response to Impromptu #7 by Simone Muench at The Found Poetry Review. This is a cento that is a self-portrait, or anthology of my life, written using lines from Carl Sandburg’s collection, Honey and Salt. Specifically, I used lines from the following poems: Honey and Salt; Alone and Not Alone; Love Is a Deep and a Dark and a Lonely; Almanac; The Evening Sunsets Witness and Pass On; Deep Sea Wandering; Evening Sea Wind; and Foxgloves.

The Four of Us

They stood behind the black line on the wood floor, looking at the painting. He, of the dark blue trousers, stood to the side, watching the black line, their feet, and their hands. The painting was large, but the placard on the right, too, called for attention. It was like a housewarming party. I sat on a bench across the room and didn’t feel warm at all.

/ / /

This prose poem was written in response to Impromptu #6 by Noah Eli Gordon:

Write a prose poem of five sentences. The first sentence should include a pronoun
(not “I”) doing something that itself includes an image/object. The 2
nd sentence should have a different pronoun doing something else with the same image/object. The 3rd sentence should be a statement about this image/object. For the 4th sentence, write a simile that is unrelated. In the 5th, use “I” and relate part of the simile to the original statement.

Walking Meditation

Walking meditation
The rhythm of my feet and my arms
I realize I am whistling

Noticing my thoughts
But not trying to think them
Wondering who I am
Trying not to think that

Then the other voices come in
How will you save your soul?
Can you find nirvana?

Remind myself I’m meditating
The rhythm of my feet and my arms
Was I whistling again?

Coming back to my thoughts
But not trying to think them
Being in who I am
This body that is not my body

Then the other voices come in
How will you save your soul?
Can you find nirvana?

Then it happens
I’m not thinking
I’m just moving
And not whistling

Then the other voices come in
How will you save your soul?
Can you find nirvana?

Remind myself I’m meditating
The rhythm of my feet and my arms
I was definitely whistling

/ / /

This poem is in response to Impromptu 5 by Sarah Blake at The Found Poetry Review: Pick a song that you find dynamic. Track its moves. Try to replicate that movement with a poem.

The song I chose was “The Walker” by Fitz and The Tantrums.

While I’m keeping up with my ELJ Write Now: 30/30 Project poem, I’m also trying to write a poem a day this month. I worked on some poems yesterday, but since it was my wedding anniversary, I did not get very much written or posted yesterday. Trying to get caught up today.

the gin of life

the gin of life

the inn of life
(not out)

the or of life
(not and or but -)
then i used or again ha ha)

the ore of life
(not refined)

the ore of if
(mining the possibilities)

the or of if
(alternate words and worlds)

(lie fee –
thinking of lawyers now)

the gin of life
(to deal with the lies –
and uncope with life)

The Origin of Life
(i will let
you decide)

/ / /

This “found” poem came from Impromptu #3 by Nico Vassilakis. I began with the found phrase: “The Origin of Life”, from a pamphlet that was given to me recently. From there, I played with letter cohesion.

Least Restrictive Ecosystem Conditions

Least Restrictive Ecosystem Conditions

Each public forest must ensure that –

To the maximum range appropriate,
trees with mutations,
including trees in public or private communities
or other care climates,
are educated with trees who are established; and

Special classifications,
separate material,
or other withdrawal of trees with mutations
from the regular educational ecosystem
occurs only if
the substance or form of the mutation
is such that distinction in regular classifications
with the reach of supplementary adaptations
and purposes cannot be achieved satisfactorily.

/ / /

This found poem comes from Impromptu #2 by Collier Nogues. I used some educational code quoted in School Success for Kids with Asperger’s Syndrome, with the nouns coming from Simon & Schuster’s Guide to Trees.

Source: page 141 of School Success for Kids with Asperger’s Syndrome by Stephan M. Silverman, Ph.D. and Rich Weinfeld

Source: pages 8-14 of the Introduction to Simon & Schuster’s Guide to Trees