National Poetry Month: Day Late and a Dollar Short

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
will return.

They will return.

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Cat

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
was catapault?

Wind

   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.