Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Long cracks; the way lines

long cracks
in the asphalt road
near our house—
each morning I walk
my own damaged trail

the way lines
seemed to form overnight
around my mouth
... as if I had smiled

one time too many

—both individual tanka: kernels ("featured poet"), Summer 2013 
Note: The online journal kernels has morphed into cattails, but the archives are available.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Guest Poet: message in a bottle?

Fellow poet-blogger Wendy Bourke has a clear, distinct voice, her work ranging from light and humorous to poignant and wise—all of it relatable and with vivid details. Thought you might enjoy reading a poem she posted recently at Words and Words and Whatnot, one of her three blogs:

message in a bottle?

there’s a shelf 
near my tub,
piled with baffling mixtures 
of potions and oils,
extracts and elixirs –

to renew  
and restore, 
reinvent and refine: 
olive butter my body 
and  . . . 
mint julep my mind.

there are masks for my eyes  
and cheeks . . . 
chin, neck and nose . . .
and a bottle that offers me: 
strawberry toes.

little gifts, through the years,  
from my dear ones to me  –
selected, and given with thought, lovingly.

a shiny assortment of jars, tubes and bling – 
all, to boost and diminish, 
define, hide and cling.

a magnificent, fine, alchemistic array.
though, I wonder:  
what is it, they’re trying to say.

“A gift consists not in what is done or given, but in the intention of the giver or doer.”  - Lucius Annaeus Seneca, Moral Essays, Volume III:  de Feneficiis.

—copyright Wendy Bourke, 2013; reposted here with permission from author

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Driving through; swirls of fog

driving through
this basket of fog
if I'll be the same
when it clears 

red lights, June 2006

swirls of fog
along these country roads
by evening
we turn into strangers
beneath our own moon

—Atlas Poetica, #13, Autumn 2012

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Sandy patches

sandy patches
where only weeds
ever grow ...
a family of deer
leaving their imprint

kernels, Spring 2013

Maybe someday I'll be able to snap a photo around here of deer. At this time, they're still quite timid.

Monday, October 14, 2013

I don't fret; water flows

I don't fret
about privacy,
these blinds open
to the midday sun
and the crow-black night

water flows 
down our seasonal creek
as before
we learn how to let
the ripples just be

—both: Atlas Poetica, No. 14, Spring 2013

Today I walked out back to the wet-weather creek. It's been empty again for quite a while, due to our "extreme drought" conditions. Despite the recent rains, including heavy downpours this weekend, there is no water "flowing" down it now. But we do have mud—a good sign, I think, ha.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Bit by bit

bit by bit
we load up the vans
our possessions
following us around
like offspring we never had

A Hundred Gourds, December 2012

Late August 2011—Ooh, I can barely stand to remember that time. We finally sold our house, for quite a bit lower than we should have sold it for (mostly due to the recession), and we were given barely one week after accepting the offer to get out of there. (We'd earlier partially moved out, but we still had some dishes, clothes, small furniture, and plenty of other stuff there.) My husband was away on a business trip that week, so he could only help on the weekend after closing. The temps were above 100 degrees F, and it was quite an experience. 

Shortly after we completed the move, we were evacuated from the new house—for eight days—because it was in the path of a massive, record-breaking wildfire. I'm leaving out a few additional colorful details (to do with our health, our realtor going ballistic, a car tire, and our refrigerator), but that's the gist of it. Good news: fire did reach our little community but affected none of the homes. I later told part of the story to a stranger, who burst out laughing. I guess that can be a good thing to do—laugh. Or write a poem—or both!

Edit: I see I already talked about some of this in an earlier post or two; sorry for any repetition.

Friday, October 4, 2013

A clearing

a clearing—
without this camera
the flock
of black-eyed Susans
I might have missed

GUSTS, #17, Spring/Summer 2013

The "flock," huge, but it never returned this year!