Unless otherwise attributed, all content, text or image, on this site is © TaunaLen 2005-2011.
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Monday, June 16, 2008

A Post Death Musing

Poetic Asides - Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 005
Writer’s Digest’s Robert Brewer
editor of Writer’s Market (Prompt from 6/4/08)

I want you to write a poem about your own death. You can write as if you are already dead; imagine what dying might be like; explain what happens after you die; etc. The main thing I want, though, is that you focus on your own death--not someone else's.


My Legacy

who knew
she had all these pages
all these words
scribbles and scraps
simile and metaphor
piles of phrases
pieces of stories

who knew
she had so much to say
too much to fit
in the books she began
should we keep them?

these paragraphs
these descriptions
snippets and memories
what do they mean?

who can say
what is reality?
what is fantasy?
what is the meaning
between the lines?

who will sort through
ink and the pages
folders and files
will they tell us
who she really was?

TLS, 6/08

Friday, June 13, 2008

Poetic Commerce

Poetic Asides - Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 004
Writer’s Digest’s Robert Brewer
editor of Writer’s Market (Prompt from 5/28/08)

For today's prompt, let's write a poem about commerce. You can write about haggling over Christmas tree prices, bleeding money at the gas pump, getting double-charged for shampoo in the checkout aisle, or whatever. Just make sure it has something to do with buying and selling.


Worth Every Grimy Dime

scrounging in the
passenger floorboard
excavating the recesses
of my too-cluttered purse
spelunking in the couch
and exploring the corners
of front and back pockets

raiding my fistful of ones
mad money secreted away
exchanging pennies, quarters
dimes, nickels and dollars
for a bottomless cup
of Columbian beans
and a seat by the widow
in my beloved coffee house

where I will pen verses
and recount memories
with more inspiration
than I could find today
in my own coffee pot
in my own drab kitchen
at my own cluttered
tiresome writing desk

TLS, 6/08

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Uncle Shoeless


white socks
with blue patches
on the toes
and the heels

feet resting
comfortably
in the bookshelf
a nodding
white-gray head

pair of reading
glasses resting on
a crooked nose
stuck between
the pages
of a book

title I can’t
quite make out
something about
battles or weapons

very historical
manly sort of
paper-back book
thick with pages
and very small print

cup of coffee
on the table
red shirt in an
even redder chair
filled with a
blue-jeaned seat
and twisted
to face the corner

eyes wander from
the printed page
to the empty space
in the middle of this
busy coffee shop

I wonder what brings
a man like him
into a this public place
where he finds comfort
in a cup of coffee
in stocking feet

in the corner
of a book shelf
of a room
of a book
of a rainy
Friday afternoon

I smile and
imagine Shel
Silverstein saying
“Come Uncle Joe
relax in my chair
stick your feet here
in the bookshelf
there’s a space between
the board games
and the travel books

make yourself
at home here
and while you’re at it
have another
cup of coffee

it’s so good
to see you
it’s so good
to welcome you
here, to the coffee
shop on the corner


TLS, June 2008

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Road Trip

Why does the yellow line on the blacktop draw me, lure me, beg me to follow, until I’m somewhere I’ve never been, and night is blanketing the horizon? What is it that I’m itching to run to, so anxious to run from? Is it the basket of laundry waiting to be done? Is it the stack of bills, demanding to be paid? Is it the never slowing, always swinging pendulum of time that keeps tearing pages from my calendar without asking my permission?

I want to go.

I want to see something, discover something new, breath different air. I want to unfold the map, and follow the red line, or the blue one. I want to prop my bare feet on the dash and feel the wind in my hair. I want to watch you in the driver’s seat, gaze upon your profile for hours as the telephone poles whoosh by in perfectly timed rhythm. I want to hold your hand as we listen to the radio, until static drowns out the station, and I have to hunt to find another with the right mix of music for this traveling mood.

I want to marvel at a sunset from a different hillside. I want to cool my feet in water that I’ve never waded in before---a river, a lake, the Pacific Ocean. I want to gaze upon a field of wildflowers, in colors that aren’t native to my own back yard, and watch the fireflies dance along the grassy roadside at dusk. I want to number the boxcars as they cross the highway, a hundred or more, while we sit idling behind the barrier---shafts of setting sunlight flashing in the spaces between each one. I want to wave at the man in the moon as he watches us---traveling a long, deserted highway at midnight.

I want to sit in a new city, at a sidewalk cafĂ© and write about the strangely dressed people who are hurrying down the street. I want to eat in a diner that looks rather questionable, order the blue plate special and drink from a chipped coffee cup. I want to hear the chatter of voices with a different accent. I want to buy dollar postcards of places I’ve never been and address them to friends I haven’t heard from in ten years or more. I want to drop them in a roadside mailbox, and laugh at the image of their faces when they each see the message I’ve printed on the back side ---- watch them try to recall the person they used to know. I want to buy silly souvenirs, and boxes of salt-water taffy. I want to listen to the sounds of traffic from a hotel room window, lying in your arms and wondering where everyone is going.

I want to go---I want a road trip.

Can we?

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Fledglings

Poetic Asides - Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 003
Writer’s Digest’s Robert Brewer
editor of Writer’s Market
(Prompt from 5/21/08)

Today's prompt is to write a family connection poem--emphasizing the relationship between two or more family members. This can be between you and your parent(s), you and your children, you and your adopted third cousin, twice removed (whatever that means). Preferably, this is a poem between you and another family member or members; but if you must write about the relationship between your two cousins, then you gotta do whatcha gotta do.
----------------------------------------

Fledglings

there you go again
tugging those apron strings
your fingers
deftly untying knots
faster than I imagined

there you go again
packing up your ideals
your philosophies
and your plans

there you go again
leaving me softly
slipping your tethers
and flying away

here I stand again
empty room
empty house
empty nest

waiting to see you again
whispering my love
watching the three
of you soar


TLS, 6/08

Friday, June 6, 2008

Good Morning, Sorrow

Poetic Asides - Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 002
Writer’s Digest’s Robert Brewer
editor of Writer’s Market
(Prompt from 5/14/08)

“I want you to write a poem that deals with one or more of your own phobias. Or--if you are truly without fear--write about someone else's phobias. Or--if you and everyone you know is without fear--write about an imagined phobia (or write about my phobia of driving in inclement weather).”

----------------------------------------

First, a quote that found me this morning:

"Your joy is your sorrow unmasked. The self-same well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears . . . The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain."
-Gibran

Good Morning, Sorrow

you know I can’t welcome you here
know, don’t you, how I fear you
and that bag of tools you bring
so, here you are

to scare me, to worry me,
to convince me I’ll drown
if I don’t evict you
from my darkened doorway

that has been my pattern
my best self-defense
to ignore you, push you aside
going on about my day, my life
as you scratch in the dirt
on my threshold

but today, I have
a different understanding
a different plan for handling my loss
although I cannot welcome you

I’ll close my eyes and breathe
let you do your work
digging a well to fill with my tears
I might flinch, might cry out

but chisel away, anyway
dig deep and deeper into me
and tell me what you find
I’ll just keep breathing

excavate, exhume
taunt me with your spade
until you unearth the pieces
that have chipped from
my wounded heart
buried themselves in the silt

I know eventually
you’ll carry your tools
and your unburied treasure
away of your own accord
and I’ll keep breathing

the sun will come again
shine a light deep inside me
to illuminate a cistern
full of fresh, clear joy

so, do your worst
this morning, Sorrow
I’ll be over here
breathing


TLS, 6/08

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Sou'wester

Back in April, I participated in the Poem-A-Day Challenge with Writer’s Digest’s Robert Brewer, editor of Writer’s Market. It was a great challenge for me, and I am actually very happy with the results. Robert decided, after the PAD challenge was complete, to continue issuing prompts weekly, and for the past five weeks has posted them on his blog, Poetic Asides.
It took me five weeks to decide that I want to keep accepting these challenges, so I’ve got some catching up to do. I’ll start with the prompt Robert posted on Wednesday, May 7, 2008.

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 001
(Prompt from 5/7/08)

“[T]oday's prompt is to write a poem that is either about the weather or incorporates the weather into the poem. Whether you make it about a crazy storm or a cloudless summer day, you gotta give the weather report.]

----------------------------------------

Sou’wester

it’s a blustery
kind of morning
and the wind
is talking to me
saying it’s time
to move

he shouts
with a furnace
in his lungs
and the heat
braces and startles
unrelenting attack

I stand on the porch
watch the parade
as wind-chimes
and trash barrels
lawn chairs
and bits of leaf
trash and twig

are all pushed,
and lifted
and carried
he means business
move---or
I’ll move you
and I believe him

TLS, 6/08

Monday, June 2, 2008

Goodbye My Friend

goodbye my friend
three words I hate
to hear or speak
and yet

fall from my tongue
or on my ears
too often
for my tastes

I gaze in wonder
on the path
we’ve walked
together for a time

and now you say
your road continues
a different way
from mine

I wish you’d stay
and walk along
beside me
for a while

a few days more
to share this road
before you
say goodbye

but friendships have
no shelf life
and I cannot but
let you go

I’ll turn to walk
where my path leads
it is my
only choice

just know now, friend
as you traverse
the path you
choose today

I’ll miss your voice
and be lonely
though another traveler
comes my way

as I go on
in full pursuit
of beauty
in this wood

I’ll tune my ears
to hear your steps
in case you find
my path again

TLS, 2008

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