the work of god
and never stopped to think
i should have rather boldly asked,
After three cups of coffee I’m fully anxious.
The wind thrashes the limbs of the trees,
chases leaves down the wet street.
The cats go in and out, and in again.
I force a smile.
The silver lining and all that.
Outside it’s so gray it hurts the eyes.
For dVerse. Bjorn has us visiting the idea of silence in poetry. I tend to use sparse, trimmed-down lines–this (I think) naturally lends itself to silent space. My first draft of this poem was a 6-line lyric, but to heighten the feel of unsettled quiet that I was striving for, I broke each short sentence into its own line.
He said Grace over the meal,
mouthing words that were meant
to bring divine blessing,
to sanctify the mundane
act of eating and make the partakers
of food participants in the Holy.
We humans have probably
always done this: take typical
everyday activities and try
our best to infuse them with
heavenly purpose, hoping to make
our lives count for something beyond
this life, somehow coaxing glory
into our existence,
an otherworldly manifestation,
an angel’s breath.
Isn’t it’s just as likely
we bring our own meaning
in the very act of living?
Eat, drink, share,
what more is there to add?
It’s been awhile since I’ve written anything, even longer since posting anything. It’s tough coming back from a long break–I feel like an outsider to my own thoughts, like I’m intruding where I’m no longer welcome. I’ve got to get past this. So anyway–this was written as a response to a poetry prompt for dVerse.
As usual, another National Poetry Month
come and gone,
and I’ve written exactly nothing.
Not exactly nothing, I suppose:
a lot of work emails;
Corrective Actions for employees who
refuse to show up on time;
some Facebook posts and Tweets
displaying my amazement or frustration
with some aspect of human existence.
But nothing poetic. Nothing I could
say took something of reality and
lined it out in a way that others would
deem worthy of attention.
And that’s just it, too. Nothing worthy of attention.
I could have been more aware. Then
maybe the words would have come to me,
and also some way to breathe the breath of life
into marks on a page.
Could have, but wasn’t. And so the usual fears,
the worry that something deep within,
the old well-spring, has finally dried up. . . .
This time is different. By now
I’ve seen this enough to know
that wonder and words
They will return.
Neighbor’s cat 40’ up the pine,
clinging to a limb.
I’m not afraid of heights.
The extension ladder rests
against the trunk.
Rung over rung I ascend.
The silent cat watches.
At the top of the ladder
I stretch my comforting arms.
Snarls and spitting hisses.
I descend, cat-less. A helper
should not be clawed and bitten.
They told me later the fire dept.
brought a bucket truck.
The cat felt forced to leap.
There should be
some deep lesson here.
Some poetic significance.
Is it bad of me that
all I could think
So close I can almost
hear your pulse.
I look into your eyes.
I do not really know you—
like light-blind strangers
behind dark windshields
of two cars
passing in the night.
I must be alone
ten minutes in the morning
and ten minutes in the evening.
–Without a program.
of bright heaven . . .
and my angry approach
to the throne of god was met with
He makes the wind His messengers . . .
Storms from the west.
The remains of many
acquiring lives splintered,
scattered about as if
a spoiled child in foul mood
rampaged the block, bent on
destroying all to prove his will.
The news cameras scan the random
heaps: microwaves, photographs,
torn fabric of what might be
curtains or a prom dress
—a memory formerly
stowed away in the spare closet
now revealed for all to see—
mingled with things
more basic to survival:
the contents of a freezer;
bits of wood and drywall
that only minutes ago was shelter.
The reporter, with requisite empathy,
interviews swollen-eyed residents
who can only mention
some divine power at work.
How silly to see willful intent,
ascribing to some irate or fickle god
what is, after all, just wind.