Harmonica will screechas a depressed troupeof anthropomorphized candybears me to the cemeteryin my pop-tart coffin;a murder of crows will droppromissory-note confettion the solemn headsof the temporarily grievingwho, once they get home,will pop corks and dance jigs.
When you start having to replacethe broken stuff you boughtto replace the shit you lostwhen she left youIt’s appropriate to noticeand not comment uponbut you’ve never stayed silentjust because it keeps the peace.
For the Real Toads weekend prompt: The World’s End
The whole familywould gather for ham dinnerwith scalloped potatoes,beer & vodka slushiesto beat the snow.You sprangfor shrimp cocktail;someone probably broughtdeer sausage.Children of all ages sat,coloring. You can see usgrow upin those coloring book pages.I never won anythingfrom my scratch-ticket prizes,and don’t buy them now.But I feel lucky
because I still see you laughing.
Starshineand twinkly lites,licking sugar on air,drum cacophony celebratesChristmas.King of the Hill, six episodeslater and you’re ready.No mistletoe,but kiss.
Sharing this older holiday poem today in the Imaginary Garden, where it’s Open Link Monday. This poem is from my first book, Responsive Pleading.
by Tom (Twilite) Clark
do not expect fancy wordsthere is nothing pretty herewhen they slam shut my cage
my jailers keep looking at mewatching me pisswatching me sleepthe air a stale sweatof urine and shitthe floor so cold
every morning I clean the bucketsI feel no shamefor I am a manI am just a manmy captors torment methey torture my friendsI forgive them allI will standI will not bendthey will not break me
I cannot see the sunor feel it on my facethe wind a memory of time and spaceyet just beyond these wallsdazzled birds sing my freedom songbrilliant jewels in plumage finecolors so vivid so brightI see them nowI hear them singRolihlahla Rolihlahlatroublemakerpulling the branch of the treeRolihlahla Rolihlahlasing for mesing my freedom song
Mediba, Medibaour brother, our sonour family all togetherwe must live as oneTata father grandfatherteach us howmother sister daughterwe must live togetherwork together love togetherlaugh and dance and singtogether now as one
I am not this islandbarren and bleakI am not this outpost of hatred and fearI am not
always and foreverI am the captain of my soulglowing with spirit lightbut in this prisongroaning heavy with footstepsa clamor of screamsand a clang clank of voicesthere is nothing to do but wait27 years I waitmy whole life I wait
and tomorrow is the same today as the day beforebroken like my fate upon these stonesand my lips are the lips of birdslonely and alonesinging my freedom song
Rolihlahla Rolihlahlatroublemakerpulling the branch of the treeRolihlahla Rolihlahlasing for mesing my freedom song
we are together heremy comrades and Iwe rot here in this prisonbut we do not die
because we believewe will fight and endurewe will be free
Rolihlahla Rolihlahlatroublemakerpulling the branch of the treeRolihlahla Rolihlahlasing my freedom songsing for meand the brilliant plumage like jewels I seeand the dazzled birdsnow they sing for memy freedom song
Tom Clark, aka Tommy Twilite, is the founding co-director of Florence Poets Society and is my friend. I was lucky to have the opportunity to hear Tommy read his poem for Nelson Mandela aloud this past week--so incredibly powerful. I am thrilled to share Tommy’s words with my blog readers and with the Real Toads, where Kerry has posted a moving tribute to Madiba. If you have comments about Tommy's poem, I will be pleased to share them with him.
The cat took a pissin my tall boots.What is she trying to say?Previously, she pissedin my pink scuff slippers& two perfectly goodunmatched Converse sneakers.Apparently, I haven’tgotten the message yet.It must be aggravatingto express yourselfagain & again,yet not be understood.Wait, I know how that feels.
The ghost is eating pizza,nodding silentlyas if he approvesof our conversation.I wish he’d say something,anything--but he chooses not to,stays mum & sullen.It’s hard not to assumeyou’re responsiblein the faceof the silent treatment--But I’ll brush it off,focus my attention elsewhere& hope that, in time,he comes around.
My ten-year-old son gave me the first line, and approves of the resulting poem, though says he thinks it’s rather sad. This is for Corey’s prompt to the Real Toads: ALL IN THE FAMILY
Friends, I can’t tell you how excited I am about this announcement from ALL CAPS PUBLISHING:ALL CAPS PUBLISHING is pleased to announce publication of a very special collection of poetry--Coffee With Leonard Cohen by our favorite entomologist-poet, Joy S Grape.
I’ve long been a follower of Joy S Grape’s blog; perhaps you have, too. I find Joy’s poetry intriguing and enveloping, creative and quirky, sometimes like an object you come across and attempt to find a name for, other times familiar like a childhood friend. I’m so excited about Joy having collected these poems, and many illustrations, too, into a volume that I can hold in my hands and ingest as a whole. It’s really a treat, and I can’t wait for my copy to arrive. Get yours now!Here’s how Joy describes herself, hah:
Joy S Grape is interested in lots of things. She looks under rocks for a living. Her favorite literary romance is Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock. She would love it if you would stop by her little blog: Coffee With Leonard Cohen
You know you want to read it. Click here to purchase a copy from Amazon. You might also like to read the announcement over at ALL CAPS and/or browse our authors and titles. And visit Joy’s blog, too. Trust me on this!
for Mark Kelliher
Funny, your stitchin my side now achesunder my breastas your leprechaun voicechills to eskimo breath& washes out like sandon Popponesset Beach.Death comes so earlythis time of year--
Linking up with Izy’s prompt to the Real Toads: ESKIMO
Just a reminder that I have a very lovely new book out! Here's a sneak peek. Click here to get it via Amazon or let me know by email (runawaysentence at gmail) if you want to buy a signed copy directly from me. Meanwhile, I’m giving myself a break for a day or two after the frenzy that was 30 Poems In November.
Observingthe straight of your backrefracted inthis morning’s frost,my glare begins to thaw.
You know it’s Thanksgivingwhen you peel your sweet potatoeslistening to the Macy’s parade,when you cry during commercials,drum corps, Rockettes kicklines& Charlie Brown’s holiday meal,when you play Yahtzee well intothe evening after an unplannedbut predictable nap on the couch,when you hug your kids extra-long& consider actually sending yourgratitude skyward in the formof a soaring, bird-like prayer.
Happy Thanksgiving, dear readers! #28 of 30 Poems In November to benefit Center for New Americans. With special love to Kirsten Piccini, who also tears up during the Macy's parade.
As the bruise on my rightforearm yellowed & faded, a newbruise appeared on the left.Can I just say I bruise easilyor chalk it up to clumsiness?
Or, in this season of thanks,is something trying to reach me?
For Kerry’s very intriguing prompt to the Real Toads: Let's Write in Black & White
#27 of 30 Poems In November to benefit Center for New Americans.