Books, Books, Books

Poetry books make beautiful gifts. Get them from me directly for holiday discount: $10 for one, $15 for two, or $20 (plus shipping) for all three. Signed with hearts and flowers by yours truly, and each includes a very cool bookmark. Hit me up in the comments or email me at runawaysentence@gmail.com. Superheroic verse is always in season!



by Siv Cedering
What explanation is given for the phosphorus light
That you, as boy, went out to catch
When summer dusk turned to night?
You caught the fireflies, put them in a jar,
Careful to let in some air,
Then you fed them dandelions, unsure
Of what such small and fleeting things
Need, and when
Their light grew dim, you
    Let them go.
There is no explanation for the fire
That burns in our bodies
Or the desire the grows, again and again,
So that we must move toward each other 
In the dark.
We have no wings.
We are ordinary people, doing ordinary things.
The story can be told on rice paper.
There is a lantern, a mountain, whatever
    We can remember.
Hiroshige's landscape is so soft.
What child, woman, would not want to go out
Into that dark, and be caught,
And caught again, by you?
I want these pictures of the floating world
To go on, but when
The light begins to dim, catch me.
Give me whatever a child imagines
To keep me aglow, then
    Let me go.

Siv Cedering, from Letters from the Floating World: New and Selected Poems (1984: University of Pittsburgh Press). 

Sharing in the Imaginary Garden today for Brendan's prompt: STILL POINTS. Was reading and came across this, one of my favorite poems, and thought to share as I found it comforting.

Siv Cedering was a visiting poet when I was in college. I enrolled in every poetry writing seminar she offered. Siv was brilliant, feisty, beautiful, passionate. I can still hear her voice reading her poems, I can see her throw her head back, that mane of hair, her laugh. She influenced me enormously. She helped me learn and use my words, really to come into myself.


Important to Read and Be Vigilant

Friends. I am not okay, we are not okay, this is not okay. Our nation and our globe are in trouble.

Our mountain was defiled with horrendous racist, anti-Semitic, pro-Trump graffiti. Here in wacky hyper-liberal western Massachusetts, one of the blue-est states. People of color, Blacks, Muslims, women, gay people, people in the sights of Trump and his followers have been harassed, yelled at, grabbed, assaulted, wronged in every way this week all over the USA.

Am sorting through thoughts and feelings. I've been thinking about the vast human capacity to normalize and incorporate pain and trauma, and how that is playing out in our nation, our world, and in my own brain and heart.

This article is really important and I hope everyone will read it and be vigilant:
Autocracy: Rules for Survival by Masha Gessen, New York Review of Books
Save it and read again when you find yourselves (as I do and will) going on as usual with a new normal. "Whenever you find yourself thinking, or hear others claiming, that he is exaggerating, that is our innate tendency to reach for a rationalization. This will happen often: humans seem to have evolved to practice denial when confronted publicly with the unacceptable."

Love, M.


In These Times

is really something
with its unerring wisdom
forever on the hips
hauled around
like so much lading
though happier tossed off
without settling the bill.

You carry yours on a chain
in a back-pocket wallet,
mine’s stowed
behind a gold crown,
left mandibular rear molar,
which is how my family
will know me when I’m gone.

We did not anticipate
the cutting
cunning of enemies,
the force of greed.
Our money’s no good now,
our children dispossessed:
We did not account for this.

For Grapeling’s prompt to the Real Toads: What Fresh Hell Is This?