Monthly Archives: April 2016

Coral Reef (day thirty)

For the last day of national poetry month in the USA, I’m sending up my thanks for the gift of words. And my thanks to all of you for the gift of your time, however you spend it with poetry.

Coral Reef

How precious words are!
Deep-boned and cunning,
like a reef of brain coral
dotted with spicules of light.

Each word is alive,
clothed in a feathery skin
of understanding
still only a few creatures deep.

Kelly Point (day twenty two)

Most weeks I take the dog down to the river for a longer walk. Kelly point, where the Columbia and Willamette rivers meet, is one of our favorite spots.

Kelly Point

Container ships anchor in the river
like knots in a pine board.

A row of rotten tooth pilings
with hungry cormorants for finials.

Two rivers whorl,
each fishing for clouds.

Branch and root,
you fish the river you know.

Poems need
the lightest tackle.

Banjos (day twenty one)

Here is a poem for day twenty one of national poetry month in the USA. 


They sit around
my study like hillbillies.
Nothing to do, happy to wait.

They do occasionally ask
in a Piedmont drawl,
when is the red HAYyed boy coming?

Or cotton-eyed Joe?
Billy in the low ground?
What ’bout backstep Cindy?
She’s a good-un.

If you buy a banjo–
better prepare for company
that never leaves.

On Vegetating in a Corner

“Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.”
–Mark Twain

Parking With Mom (day eighteen)

Today’s poetry prompt at Napowrimo for national poetry month in the USA is to make a poem using the unique sounds of home.

Parking With Mom

I’d like to kick him in the slats!
Who, mom?

That man in the yellah cah who took my pahking place. Although, isn’t it a pretty cullah?
Well, just keep looking.

It’s so busy today. We’ll have to cudgel our brains…
Huh? You mean to find a spot?

I mean to find a good spot, not one that’s just dry along so. I hate to walk very fah.
What about over there behind the bank?

That would be driving our ducks to a poor market. We can do bettah.

Smiling at Dear Leader (day fifteen)

Here is a sijo poem for day fifteen of national poetry month in the USA.

Smiling at Dear Leader

A thousand paper cranes
wilt under interrogation lamps.

Faces like half gnawed prunes,
eyes like bruised starlings.

Snapping a salute, I run–
one table has a few potatoes.

The Smooth White World (day fourteen)

Here is a poem for day fourteen of national poetry month in the USA. The poem was inspired by people’s experiences of synesthesia, the fusing of the senses. There are people who experience numbers as having color, for example. I had something similar as a child but it eventually went away. 

The Smooth White World 

I came upon a smooth white world–
the world of a single, effortless mind.

Blending all senses into one,
more vivid than real,
more intense than whole,

it was a looking glass world
of spoken cotton and understood light,  

a distillate of all the earth’s childhoods,
daphne-scented without trying for bees.