By AmeriCymru, 2020-05-22
By Ceri Shaw, 2017-01-05
By AmeriCymru, 2016-01-03
By AmeriCymru, 2015-12-10
By AmeriCymru, 2015-02-02
By AmeriCymru, 2015-02-02
Talk about writing poems.
It is like a disappearing act
or the magic
of slight-of-hands. It is art,
it is science,
it is none of the above.
A blind person can do it,
even the deaf and dumb.
A kind of intelligence
is needed, but like too much salt,
will ruin the dish.
There can never be too much heart.
for a certain outcome invariably
leads to blind alleys.
At the same time, getting lost,
good and lost is
advisable – up a creek even.
If you can put on a cloak and pretend
you’re an ancient eardstapa,
that helps too,
even if you have to
look up a word or two.
Somedays the recipe is very
difficult to follow,
many ingredients are
unknown, or very hard
to find, or way too
The hunger is strange and impossible
If the plums appear magically,
eating them immediately
is not advised.
It is best to gather them
into a bowl, a blue or yellow one perhaps,
and set them
on a table near a window.
You might also leave them for a day
or two, practicing remembering their smell,
while in some other room.
While in this other place, take out a deck of cards
and build a card house,
You might also blow it down for fun.
When you’ve run out of games to play,
take down the dulcimer and sit for awhile
playing, even if you don’t really know how.
Then, as the afternoon light is giving way to twilight,
you might go polish a plum, then
bite into it when you’re ready.
A sweetness will fill your mouth, sometimes
with a touch of sour.
Notice how wet the inside of your mouth feels then.
And if you keep on like that soon you’ll reach the seed,
which can be thrown away or planted -– I advise the latter.
And, whoever said there is a way out of this mess
was wrong. – there is no way out. The trick is in
reversals – trial and all – it is worth it.
There’s a trail of sorts, that is made
in the walking. Step by step
a new land. Lost and found,
arriving and leaving.
Or maybe, it is a kind of circle dance with words,
danced to a music only you can hear.
So, become a magician, cook up a storm, wander,
linger, enjoy the changing weather.
Take shelter here.
Made in the Shade
Growing in the gray sunny sidewalk is a green lichen
not like disintegration, though my athletic shoes are
and made in Taiwan, or China, or …
Still moving captured born
the news of the day
bites hardened already beyond
teeth, white, too polished, broken
fragmented minted running
as fast as it can spilling onto
screens caught as it has always been
Take Syria, the children there lack cereal choices
(aren’t there too many already?)
Take Iran, the children there sleep under cruel skies.
Take Uganda, the children there hack each others
faces because someone stole their childhood.
The video game skips certain parts – rewind – then replay is no better
The news of the day born captured moving
run as fast as you can
walk slowly, don’t look back,
children are watching
the hunger this all points to is
The Magnolia Grandiflora, with its seeds like bright, freshly
painted red fingernails, makes me think of Banyan trees.
I’ve never been to India, but some of the manhole covers
around here are clearly marked as having been made there.
The night blooming Jasmine where I walked today smells like
night blooming – blooming night
Made in the shade –
while I try to remember that the Sun
and Moon are perpetually
Nothing is Perfect
Innocence can’t save us and yet
It does compensate for things lost.
The well swept walk echoes with
Sounds of idle thoughts, of sweeping.
Hunched over to hold the hard stick
Of the broom, a quiet settles.
Inside focus shifts to sweeping action.
The mind slows.
Go on, it says, sweep the walk,
Watch leaves scatter, listen to bristle,
Meeting ground, the swift opening
To nothing, a clean path, innocence returned.
For the moment, lost things settle
Into lost places, and no thing
Is really entirely innocent, just young,
Newly accustomed to the imperfect
Idle thought, moving slowly back
And forth, obscuring something found.
As we move into the day, yet
another day, we might find beauty
here, even though the land is
wasted in places.
In others when we look closer,
something holds forth,
a fine perfection.
The concrete curbs, drawn
so meticulously, outline our wanderings,
as Cadmus must have imagined obliquely.
The world’s delight is a brief dream,
hold still within this.
Speaking of Rooms
Remember when I spoke of rooms,
The ones Dutch painters fill with light
Where moments fixed and finite dwell
As people work and rest and wait?
I told you how I long to stay
Within those bright cool rooms
And listen to the self-same sounds
Then sit with apples in my lap.
Or light a fire, then by the window
Stand and gaze awhile, in stillness
Until I leave that place behind to
Make my own small picture here.
Just outside my bedroom window my mother dug in the dry earth,
trying to make a place to plant an olive tree sapling. Some days
I watched her from inside my room and examined the lead
that held the diamond shaped pieces of glass in place,
where a three-paned window lined my blue window seat.
Red quarry tile lined the floors of the long hallway, of the
new house on Golden View Drive, the house where we all
were waiting for the new landscaping to grow in out front.
It was really hot that summer, but the tile floor
was cold to bare feet most mornings and my new room
all blue, green, bright and cool.
I spent hours memorizing the curves in the headboard of my four poster,
canopied bed. Smooth shapes carved into tall posts and the delicate
turning of the piece at the foot, surrounded in Maplewood and white pinafore.
Sometimes I lay on the new blue carpet in my room, and listened
to Yesterday play over and over on my first 45. I wandered the orange groves
playing Indian, drew horses, and kept pet mice that ate their babies
if you didn’t separate them at birth.
Surveyor 1 landed on the moon.
I worked at that place out back off and on with my mother all summer,
but we just kept hitting bedrock.
And my father was never home somehow – lost
in the wrong work, when he could have been
* * *
West Coast Eisteddfod Online Poetry Contest - Five Poems (submitted 9/15/14)
Copyright: 2014 Carole Standish Mora