11.18.2017

Romance

When
you are super-aware
of how your skin feels
that extra pull
beneath your chin
like a depressed sail
or sad old elastic
how your eyes leak
in every kind of weather
how your arms
well
you pull on your sweater
as your old man walks by
grabs your ass and says
sexy wife
then
you remember

#18 of 30 Poems in November to benefit the Center for New Americans. Today’s theme is ROMANCE.

11.17.2017

The Aggressiveness of Mundanity

Car’s in the shop
computer doesn’t work
my phone is busted
spilled coffee everywhere
and I’m the only one awake
good thing I got my notebook
and a pen and this cat

#17 of 30 Poems in November to benefit the Center for New Americans. Today’s theme is DRAMA.

Anne #17 "Lucina"


Maybe you recall that my kids are each creating 30 drawings in November as part of our fundraiser to support new immigrants in our community. Thought you'd like to see a sample of their work!


Jack #17 "Comedy and Tragedy"

11.16.2017

Maybe I Have a Problem

Prompted to write
about guitars
I realized how many
odes to guitar(-ists)
I’ve already penned

True confessions! #16 of 30 Poems in November to benefit the Center for New Americans. Today’s theme is GUITAR.

11.15.2017

Just Assume No (Unless It's Yes)

Before-dawn alarm clock nope
spilled cup of coffee nope
frost-covered windshield nope
before work pay-at-the-pump nope
highway traffic jam nope

Office coffee nope
office chair nope
office air nope
email
meetings
phone calls
politics
nope nope nope nope

Grocery store nope
dinner nope
bills
homework
dishes
laundry
nope nope nope and nope

Catching up

Are you kidding?

But you & me
us
we
yes

Yes Yes

So far, so good! Half-way through the month and this is #15 of 30 Poems in November to benefit the Center for New Americans. Today’s theme is NOPE. Remember, the themes were imagined by my kids who are each creating 30 new drawings this month as part of our fundraiser. Their themes are... interesting.

11.14.2017

When Kids Are Sick

I could write poems
about stroking your hair
lying next to you
in your sick stupor
breathing your flu-breath

#14 of 30 Poems in November to benefit the Center for New Americans. Today’s theme is WRITING/DRAWING.

11.13.2017

Just Another Day in America, 2017

A politician
is found to be a pedophile,
raping children
as young as fourteen years,
and he is not condemned.
In fact, he continues
his campaign for public office
and might well win,
despite
or because of
these allegations.

A company
that sells coffeemakers
pulls its advertising
from a program in which
the interviewer is sympathetic
to the pedophile politician.
Supporters
throw their coffeemakers
to the ground in protest.
Their coffeemakers!
In support of a pedophile!

These are convoluted times.
It occurs to me
maybe we should follow suit
and take up machines
in resistance.
Coffeemakers and blenders,
electric drills, blow dryers,
backhoes, wood chippers
all pressed into service.
Chainsaws!
We’ll need a lot of chainsaws.

#13 of 30 Poems in November to benefit the Center for New Americans. Today’s theme is CHAINSAWS.

11.12.2017

Work Observation #83

In the meeting
while men talked
the women
nodded their heads
listening

But
when women talked
all of the men
went heads-down
looking at their phones

#12 of 30 Poems in November to benefit the Center for New Americans. The theme for today is cute/kawaii/chibi but I am in a very different mood. Maybe another day for the cute stuff.

11.11.2017

Nothing to Everything

You’ll do just fine
I heard as pain flooded my eyes--
 (oh you’ll be fine
  an episode frozen in time)
Pain capacity maximized--
But now the wind is Woman-Sized
and I’ll be Fine

#11 of 30 Poems in November to benefit the Center for New Americans. Today’s theme is WIND. And the Toads are playing with forms today! This fussy little form is the RONDELET.

11.10.2017

Dancing With Them I Brought

In the movies
bodies jerk when hit
with bullets
moving forward then back
machine-gun dancing
but in real life
you’re likely to hit the floor
when the shooting starts
prone
as bullets rip your body
lying atop your babies
to protect them
from a man who means
to destroy
no matter what
your babies
and you

#10 of 30 Poems in November to benefit the Center for New Americans. Today’s theme is DANCING.

A 30-year-old mother of four named Joann Ward is one of the dead in Sutherland Springs, Texas, along with two of her children. A story on yesterday’s NPR Morning Edition contained this from her father, quoting her oldest daughter Rhianna, nine years old, who survived:

“Mr. Lookingbill says the oldest daughter Rihanna, who escaped the church alive, has told the family how her mother pushed her down and ‘scooped up three of the babies and was laying on them when the shooter kept shooting through her to get all the babies.’"

11.09.2017

It Was As If A Spell Had Been Cast

The transformation
was fleeting but so magical
endless Saturday morning breezes
with no earthly obligations

A feeling of luxury underfoot
instead of threadbare wall-to-wall
0% bitterness in coffee and the sky
was three shades of pink

It felt like Hope
like truly anything could happen
the small things attracting notice
& appreciation came easily

It seemed crucial to act quickly
to preserve that hopeful feeling
almost immediately paired
with anticipation of impending loss

#9 of 30 Poems in November to benefit the Center for New Americans. Today’s theme is MAGIC.

The Center For New Americans provides free English classes for immigrants and refugees, as well as computer classes, reading and writing classes, tutoring, career coaching, and immigration legal services. This is why the kids and I are raising funds this month. Because we want immigrants and refugees in the USA to be welcomed and appreciated, not separated from their families and sent away. Enough is enough.

11.08.2017

At Least It's Warm In Here

All is brown
& even the air
is burnt with chill
& eerie shadow
of first snowfall
yet warm & warm

Your tangled hair
& apple cheeks
to kiss & kiss & kiss
my coffee breath
& attitude you’d miss
miss & miss

#8 of 30 Poems in November to benefit the Center for New Americans. Today’s theme is APPLES.

11.07.2017

She Got the Beat

In high school
I wouldn’t have said
marching band
was a sexy avocation

On the other hand
I always liked
the way the bass drum
rapped on my hips

#7 of 30 Poems in November to benefit the Center for New Americans. Today’s theme is MUSIC.

11.06.2017

They'll Catch Up In the End

Lies tucked in a plait of hair
no longer fair but greying
nest of untruths tightly made
a braid that’s meant for staying

Roots like mirrors echoing
ornery knowing strands forced
into submission until
no one will know which is worse

The lie or the lying man
who can simply smile and say
empty prayers for your long hair
let down to air lies today

Woman with Long Hair by Man Ray (1929)

#6 of 30 Poems in November to benefit the Center for New Americans. Today’s theme is LIES. And responsive to Kerry’s photo challenge for November: CAMERA FLASH

11.05.2017

Morning


Me ‘n the kitty
have a routine.
She eats breakfast
while I make coffee
& then we settle in,
she warm on my lap,
me with my notebook.
Squeezes & head-butts,
scribbles & typing,
I get up early for this.
If you want the truth,
I kinda live for this.



#5 of 30 Poems in November to benefit the Center for New Americans. Today’s theme is CAT/KITTEN.

11.04.2017

Somewhere Down

A lifetime
of chipped mugs ago
I sipped tea
looking out
over the Susquehanna
while you talked

I don’t remember much
but for the mint-tingle
of warm pottery
on my lips
and the mood
of the wide, wide river

#4 of 30 Poems in November to benefit the Center for New Americans. Today’s theme is TEA.

So far, my kids are each 4 for 4 with their drawings on the themes! Awesome. I'll try to figure out a way to share the drawings here as an album for anyone who is interested in following their progress.

11.03.2017

Going Home

One chicory flower
on the edge of asphalt
holds on to hopscotch
three bags of groceries
in a two-wheeled cart
dirt road to the feed mill
four houses down
three miniature poodles
     Snowball
     Pierre
     (I forget)
two lawn chairs
facing the train tracks
and one kid
picking iron ore pellets
for her slingshot

#3 of 30 Poems in November to benefit the Center for New Americans. Today’s theme is SIDEWALKS.

Also! Wrote a Flash 55 poem so I could jump into the fray over at Joy's Verse Escape. Grateful for the opportunity to play. Yay!

11.02.2017

Slippery

Lately I see
metaphors everywhere
in discontented November

with all the leaves down
like so many president’s men
layered after heavy rains,

stone-spoken vows
throat-caught, boughs broken,
promised light to remind us

that as with most metaphors
it always seems darkest
just before dawn

#2 of 30 Poems in November to benefit the Center for New Americans. Today’s theme (remember my kids made our themes for this month!) is AUTUMN LEAVES. I’ve also used Angie’s word list in the Imaginary Garden: GET LISTED

11.01.2017

If Only This Were a Joke

This is worse
than the worst horror movie
he joked
and I agreed
applying concealer to dark circles
tugging sleeves over fresh bruises
this morning’s assault
only the most recent
in the unrelenting beat
of ghouls on ever-nasty parade
eliciting confessions
from survivors

Happy November! This is poem number ONE of 30 Poems in November to benefit the Center for New Americans. After taking last year off, and especially considering the ugly shenanigans of the current administration against immigrants here in the good ole USA, I am committing to this fundraiser once again this year.

AND! *drum roll* Both of my amazing kids are committing to completing 30 drawings in November! What?! This was their idea, and I am totally inspired. They have created a list of themes for each day to prompt and inspire drawing and writing. Today’s theme is (you guessed it) HALLOWEEN.

Most importantly, you can sponsor this mayhem with a donation of any amount. Enough is enough with the hate and vitriol--we will spread some love instead and help people to feel welcome and appreciated.

Thank you, friends. We can do this!