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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Oblivious

Today I noticed
the absence of the squirrels. . . .

It’s the end of a gentle southern
winter day, the lowering sun

so distant through the clear air
and bare trees, mild enough for me

to sit in front of an open window
wondering what else I’ve missed.

Sunday Morning with Hayden Carruth

Carruth_bright wings

Today I woke and tried
to write some poetry.
As usual the words
wouldn’t behave themselves–
I gave up writing
to drink mimosas
and watch the soft rain
bead up on the driveway,
run off into the yard.

It dawned on me that I’ve seen
a lot of news video clips
of the Middle East
and in nary a one is it raining.
A lot of dead bodies bleeding
into the sand, but no rain.

I don’t want to see it anymore.

The dead bodies, that is.
The rain I can live with.

After the rain stopped
I picked up your book and read,

“Bright wings disappearing,”
and it reminded me why

against all logic,
against my better judgment,
against the way of the world,
I still write my quiet lines.