Monday, August 30, 2010

The World is

The world is
Too heavy
For me.
Poverty stretches through countries
Under bridges
In foreclosures
Cardboard signs begging for help
Distended stomachs
Flies eating the living
As they slowly become the dead.

The world is
Too sick
For me.
Diseases can be treated
But when minds flock to twisted ideas
When what is most hateful and evil
Sounds so good to foolish ears
And threatens to destroy all I love
All I believe in
I feel helpless to intervene.

The world is
Beyond me.
I can only keep my own world alive
While I send out my letters
To a world gone wrong
And try to connect
To the other safe havens
Huddled up
For the world to end.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

A Sonnet for Eating

I hope all of you know the sonnet form, but if not, here it is: 14 lines of iambic pentameter (five iambic (unstressed, stressed) feet, with a regular rhyme scheme (all sorts of patterns exist with this one, so I won't spell it out). Here goes:

The Art of Baking

The house is quiet, all are sleeping still
Content to dream, and wait for morning's light
No one feels hunger, but I'm sure they will
And so I prep the kitchen while it's night.
At first the flour, yeast, and soda mix
And then the eggs, the milk, the oil go in;
The stirring is a chore--it's almost six
The kids are will be up soon, my littler kin.
The pans are oiled, ready for the dough
But it must rise first, so I wait and wait
Until it's perfect, patted, formed just so
And in it goes, to meet its tasty fate.
Within the hour the bread comes out to meet
My family, who all slice it up to eat.

Happy baking/writing, everybody.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Summer with Kids

There once were two kids out of school
Who were so bored they started to drool
So tired of Wii
They were fighting with me
And begging me for a swim pool.

We went to the YMCA
Where I tried to entice them with play
They stomped someone's toes
And busted a nose
Yes, it was a horrible day.

But summer is soon to be gone
Along with the tear they've been on.
I know that I'll miss them
And often I'll kiss them
But for now I'll be glad when it's done.

(You see, I can't write a rhyming poem without it being silly. It just isn't in me. Using a limerick format doesn't help, either. At least I'd have a chance if I used the sonnet form.)

(Instead, I'll just stick to free verse.)

Monday, August 23, 2010

All of Everything

When I play
I won't just hear the keys
As they rap against strings
I'll feel the missing ivories
Of B and Treble D
I'll sense the tremble of the sound
On the palms of my hand
Sneeze from the dust of the
Old instrument
And smell its wood oil
Its decay

When I walk outside
I won't just see the blue sky
Or hear the sound of cars on the highway
I'll feel the wind in my ears
The drip of sweat down my neck
My back
Smell the dew, the perspiration
The green of grass and
Bloom of summer flowers
Taste the lip gloss
The warm water bottle
And hear my own breathing.

I won't just see the words
The black letters on a white screen
The rows, paragraphs, sentences
In stark ugliness and form
I'll feel the journey
Sense the movement through time and space
Kiss each character
With pain, harm, evil, good
And mold him into something
More real than he is now
I'll grow the trees
Get drenched with rain
Wade through streams
And hide, seek, run, dream.

Life isn't limited
Isn't only one element
Isn't one sense, one emotion
It isn't television

It's everything.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

In Defense of Poetry

Walking Man picked a bone with me a few days ago (gently, as always) about a comment I'd made regarding what I was writing offline--and apologizing for only posting poetry over the next few weeks or months.

He had a right to question my statement, wondering why I felt poetry was some lesser form of writing, and so here is my apology. Understand that I truly adore poetry. Half of the blogs I follow regularly are made up predominately of poetry, and I find my taste for it increases week by week. I have always found poetry more emotionally resonant than most other forms of the written or spoken word (including films), yet my comments were not meant to disparage poetry in the slightest.

They were not even meant to disparage my own poetry, though I have no delusions that my poetry is fantastic. If anything, writing poetry, at least in my case, is the most subconscious of the types of writing I pursue. A phrase usually comes into my mind, slipping in almost without my noticing, and the images and feelings seep in afterwards, until I can pretty much write the thing in a single sitting, without much revision.

Because of its immediacy, I probably don't give my own poetry the same respect I reserve for my novel and play writing. A single novel takes me years (so far), development happens slowly, and it is much harder for me to do. Instead of an intense session bent over my laptop, poetry feels like a breath of sunlight, a warm bath, something short, blissful, and complete. A moment.

What's fascinating about poetry is that rereading a poem conjures up that same moment, over and over. Wordsworth's host of daffodils always leaves me happy, while Williams' note about eating plums never fails to create its image and simplicity in my mind, again and again. I also don't get sick of good poetry. I can reread it 100 times and still adore it--or adore it more.

Yet I cannot judge poetry. It either resonates with me or doesn't. Its images stir something inside my mind and heart, or they don't. I cannot criticize it, or edit it, unless the poet has used a regular meter and rhyme scheme, and then my editing only addresses the accuracy of the rhythm.

I suppose, in essence, poetry is both easy and beyond me. It's primal, a part of the most basic form of being.

What is it to you? How does it compare to the other genres?

Saturday, August 21, 2010

The Race

[In honor of my husband, who is in a triathlon this morning]

Some come to vie
To see the finish line
To sail past the
Lesser athletes
To win
Finishing second
Means crushing defeat
The medal is all

Others need to feel
They are not alone
To sense the splash of water
The cheers
The breaths
All around
To feel the fingers
Brushing shoulders
Patting backs
See the rows of bikes
To hear the laughs as others
Struggle on
To see those both ahead and behind
To be part of the pack

But happiest are those
In it only for the
Not the end
Not the others
But the feel of water on their skin
The rush of wind
As they pedal downhill
The ache of use
From their legs
As they run the race
To them, the end is nothing
All is in the now.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Settling In

I am FINALLY writing my first novel. I could say "editing," since this will be version, oh, 18 or so of it. However, I've figured out that the way the first one (of a series) was configured did too much too fast, and Thomas (the main character) has to grow far too fast for one book, so I've reorganized and replanned 5 or 6 novels, changing the first one's major event and moving it to the next to last novel in the series.

Now I am essentially revising pieces of the original, and cutting out all the other stuff and saving it on another file I've actually called "Thomas Novel Pieces." These may or may not end up in future novels, but they won't end up in the first one. I will soon run out of stuff to keep in this novel, and the parts I have to write from scratch will get bigger and bigger. I'm excited, though. I get to use much of the NW geography with these novels, including everything from Cape Flattery, which I posted about here, Mt. Rainier, and even the San Andreas Fault.

The whole series will combine my love for the paranormal with the natural world... and at least I will find it exciting.

While I'm writing, though, I'll continue to post poetry... it's the best I can do while I'm busily working on another project.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Cave

Sunlight streams in
Hot and humid
I can hear laughter

But an hour in the sun
Would burn

And I remember how
The sweat
Drips down
My neck
My back
My legs

A giggle echoes
Into the cave
Where I sit
Who can be out there
Braving the danger
Of sunlight?

I listen
The giggle rings through again
Welling up like water
Jingling along
The stone walls
Calling me

It is my own voice
My little child
Cramped inside
This cave for far too long

I step along the sand to meet it
In the burning sun.

Sunday, August 8, 2010


I sought you everywhere
Sliding into sticky pews
Listening for you
The people spoke as if they had you
But I found nothing
Except your echo
Your long-lost footprint
In the golden hymns

I sought you in my love
But in him it took a form
I could not recognize
Full of grand intentions
Not the soft, consenting candle
Lighting the way
Along my darkened path

I sought you in my children
And there I found a little bit of you
Peeking from behind a curtain
At me
A part of you I'd lost years ago
And was too old to gain again

But then I saw the trees
The gray of rain on blackened trunks
The sunlight dipping into dew
On every single blade of grass
And I could feel the dapples of the sun
Within my soul.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Missing You

Tohru Honda smiles from the TV screen
And I think of you
Grinning at the pages of manga with me
Sharing stories and dreams and fantasies

The nights we spent thinking up stupid nursery rhyme versions
Of Fuzzy Wuzzy and Jack be Nimble
I remember them all
Giggling in bed well past bedtime

We don't agree on anything
But never disagree
For our souls connect at the bellybutton
And they always will

No matter the distance
No matter the time between phone calls
No matter the restraints our lives place upon us
The trials, the pain, the sweat, the sadness

I know you are always near
That I can reach you
That you always make sure
I am never alone

Thank you

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Saying No

Go ahead and ask me
Tell me you are really pressed
That students need the course
That you will pay me extra
That you will be eternally grateful
If I take that extra class
(Or maybe two?)

Call me
Tell me how you've missed me
Tell me that you need me
That you need a listening ear
A helping hand
A night out
Without your kids

Write me an e-mail
Asking when I'm coming to visit
For the millionth time
And bringing the kids
(Or leaving them at home)
And showing up, with brownies
Plus my warm and happy personality
To brush things over
Between you and your spouse
(Who's always nicer when I'm there)

Tell me you love me
Or at least that you need me
To love you
So that you feel better
About all that you have done wrong in your life
About all the mistakes you've made
Even towards me

Tell me you're sorry
That you'll make it all better in the end
That I'm terrific
But you just need me to be
One more time
One more semester
One more day

Go on
You can do it
Go ahead and ask.

I can take it.
I've learned to say no.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Blessed Silence

The laughter has died down
From the sleepover below
Even cat has found
His favorite napping spot

Only fans--the white noise of Seattle--
Blowing in cool air at end of day
And soft tapping keys
Intrude upon thoughts tonight.

Noise is overrated

Funny how so many people
Try to break the blessed silence
With complaints about the weather
Phone calls, questions, repeated words

They do not realize the depth to be found
In the listening
In the waiting
In the nothing.