Case of Happiness

If we were to think on happiness
we would find that it is
much more so than it is not.
It is something
real and ready
for us, but it is not bought or made.

Thinking on happiness, it
goes, but it also comes
to us. It is from
us, from me, from your
heart. It is something you own,
built from your actions.

/ / /

This poem was written to the “Case (blank)” prompt at Poetic Asides, as well as being inspired by the “something abstract” prompt at NaPoWriMo. It is a golden shovel; the source is this quote by the Dalai Lama: “Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.”

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Don’t You

Don’t show, don’t tell
lies and fictions to me
that bolster your
sense of your troubles
how rough your life is and
how you are full of doubts

Stop giving
a sheen to you and me
everything
from your heart inside
to the world and
the reality out
of your control and

Stop saying our love’s
powerful and yet so strange
just so – and then more – and so
rooted in love and real
genuine tenderness in
your heart and the
things we did in the dark

Stop asking me to think
about and around and of
all your thoughts and the
things raw and tender
that aren’t really things
between us that
we did when we
were together and when we were
apart or just working
because life moves on

/ / /

This poem was written in response to the “portrait” prompt at Poetic Asides. This is my first attempt at a golden shovel, using the following verse from “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” written by Keith Forsey and Steve W. Schiff and performed by Simple Minds.

Tell me your troubles and doubts
Giving me everything inside and out and
Love’s strange so real in the dark
Think of the tender things that we were working on

CR-V

I, hands on the steering wheel,
my Ray-Bans on against the glare

You, sitting beside me,
Facebooking

The teenager, texting
a friend on his iPhone

The dog, beside him,
eagerly waiting our arrival

waiting so patiently
for the pack leader

to get us all
to the dog park

/ / /

This poem was written in response to the “portrait” prompt at Poetic Asides and the “poem that plays with voice” prompt at NaPoWriMo.

Hearth

You sift the flour
The finer particles fall

You think on
what is left

What will not go
into the cake

Your family will love
this confection

You hold
the bitterness apart

This will be
your secret

/ / /

This poem was written in response to the “secret” prompt at Poetic Asides and the “secret shame” or “secret pleasure” prompt at NaPoWriMo.

 

Editors are looking

Editors are looking
for merit and appeal
The author is convinced

Editors look
at the marketplace
the needs

Editors must consider
a wide variety of books
Children are not all alike

/ / /

This is a found poem. Source: Karl, Jean. “On Editing.” Innocence and Experience: Essays and Conversations on Children’s Literature, compiled and edited by Barbara Harrison and Gregory Maguire, Lothrop, Lee, & Shepard Books, 1987, pp. 445-447.

You can’t teach

You can’t teach
    Make them believe
Creative writing
    You know the secret.

Confessing my doubts
    I would be covering myself
Seemed the most honest approach
    If I were a dismal failure.

A certain amount of learning
    It takes a little push
To write stories
    In that direction
Comes through reading them.

The process of writing
    If one thing doesn’t work
Is largely that of asking questions
    You try another
And solving problems
    You go back.

/ / /

This is a found poem. Source: Bond, Nancy. “On Not Teaching Creative Writing.” Innocence and Experience: Essays and Conversations on Children’s Literature, compiled and edited by Barbara Harrison and Gregory Maguire, Lothrop, Lee, & Shepard Books, 1987, pp. 445-447.

The act of reading

The act of reading
worthwhile

Classrooms
will reflect this

Good books are
strewn around

Children share their latest
favorites

Reading aloud
Talking about books

Silent
reading

/ / /

This is a found poem. Source: Tieman, Joan M. “On Teaching.” Innocence and Experience: Essays and Conversations on Children’s Literature, compiled and edited by Barbara Harrison and Gregory Maguire, Lothrop, Lee, & Shepard Books, 1987, pp. 443-444.

From the earliest days of history

From the earliest days of history,
    The position of the storyteller
Men have told stories
    Used to be an honorable one
And kept alive the deeds of mighty heroes
    The storyteller gave pleasure to untold
And explained natural wonders
    Multitudes.

/ / /

This is a found poem. Source: Colwell, Eileen. “On Telling Stories.” Innocence and Experience: Essays and Conversations on Children’s Literature, compiled and edited by Barbara Harrison and Gregory Maguire, Lothrop, Lee, & Shepard Books, 1987, pp. 442-443.

I write

I write
    Most poems grow
Totally and absolutely
    By heat lightning
For myself.

I learned instinctively
    That faint glow of lightning
That the author writes
    Over the mountains
To please himself or herself
    That you don’t hear any thunder with.

/ / /

This is a found poem. Source: McCord, David. “On Writing Poetry.” Innocence and Experience: Essays and Conversations on Children’s Literature, compiled and edited by Barbara Harrison and Gregory Maguire, Lothrop, Lee, & Shepard Books, 1987, pp. 438-439.

Books

Books
and children,
I love them!

Sometimes I love
the worst of them
and always, I hope,
the best of them.

I love what some
literary critics
call trash—
well, sometimes
I do.
It’s a sometimes-yes
and sometimes-no.

That critical line
is one that most of us
walk gingerly along,
mentally tossing books
to the right (accepted)
and to the left (rejected).

But the children,
thank God,
cross that critical line.
They hang

trapezelike
from it,
and they dip
or dive
into the bounty
of books
on both sides.
And that’s good.

/ / /

This is a found poem. Source: Sedney, Frances V. “On Being a Parent.” Innocence and Experience: Essays and Conversations on Children’s Literature, compiled and edited by Barbara Harrison and Gregory Maguire, Lothrop, Lee, & Shepard Books, 1987, pp. 438.