I’m going to be a real downer with entry #20 for the City of Refuge Poem-a-Thon. I came across a snippet of journal writing I did in late 2016, which was a terrible year for many of us on a large scale, but also one of the most difficult years I’ve ever experienced in my personal life. Anyway, I adapted it into a poem.
Year of Grief and Foreboding
My heart has become a heavy-footed drunk pounding the walls disturbing my rest railing against loss upon loss. Even when it wants to dance it can’t find the beat staggering with uneven steps raggedly rhythmless.
I work a clopen shift at work Tuesday-Wednesday. So I’m always exhausted by the time I get off work on Wednesday. Today, I also spent half an hour moving dirt after work. All of this to say, it’s a haiku kind of day.
I have written about marbled orb weavers before on my blog, but this time I turned it into a poem. **
Marbled Orb Weaver
Such a lovely day even this bashful leaf dweller couldn’t hold out against the yearning to embark from the shadowy security of its home by the creek and explore the delights of the afternoon carrying the sun on its back
Today’s entry for the City of Refuge Poem-a-Thon is an ekphrastic poem. I followed the email prompt this time, which explains ‘”Ekphrasis” means “description” in Greek, and it has become the name of a kind of poem that describes a work of art.’ The email included a link to a site for random images and I used the first one. The image is a jumping off point for me. My poem is not meant to be an exact description.
Someone quarried the stone for the rustic walls. Someone felled the trees for the finely crafted furniture carved by human hands. The rugs were woven on a loom. By whom? The lovely potted plants did not bring themselves to the setting. Presumedly someone does the watering. Authors and artists devoted hours (months? years?) to the creation of the coffee table books that someone selected and someone packed and someone delivered. How many workers labored to lay the granite floor? Someone scaled ladders to hang the mood lighting, placing it just so. Someone cleans it all day after day after day. Every 12 seconds someone remembers that we’re all in this together. So says the sign someone hung near the entrance.
Where I live, lightning is a frequent visitor. For my day 16 entry in the City of Refuge Poem-a-Thon, I experimented with the visual presentation of my poem. Remember, what I’m posting this month are first drafts, subject to change.
Halfway there! Day 15 of the City of Refuge Poem-a-Thon. I was short on sleep last night and had to work all day. With little time or energy, all I came up with was this little light-hearted scrap about part of my day.
Apologies to William Carlos Williams and his red wheelbarrow.
Don’t mine the moon, that’s my advice Not that anyone asked Turn right around from that intention I would say to anyone who listened Is not the brightness in the dark Enough for us or must we raid Luna for every resource Is not the astonishing push And pull on our tides help Enough for our needs, enabling Life on Earth and all, its lambent Presence inspiring art and love Can’t we allow ourselves To leave wondrous enough alone
Once he was going to be a concert pianist, his fingers shaping his whole future composing and performing to wide acclaim, the dreams of a 12-year-old plus his mother and the teacher who discovered and showed him his best musical self.
Three years on a decade of lessons ended on the same bench where his feet once dangled. He had grown into a visionary aware of many possible bright futures with the boldness to explore new dreams and the youthful wisdom of letting go.
I was often sleepless even as a child and watched the night unfold outside the window by my bed, knew which neighbors came home late and stumbling, which other windows of other houses would have a light on at midnight, became familiar with the erratic shadow theater of moths and bats playing out around the streetlight on the corner, the same one where the big boy from a few doors down would stop many nights to extinguish a tiny red glow, flicking it away into the dark, before exiting my field of vision himself, leaving a faint glimmer of mystery lingering on.