Saturday, April 30, 2011

Poem #30 (!)


For thirty days, you are a poet
sifting through the daily bread
of your life, lifting words
like light from the depths of a mine

You rediscover quiet mornings
filled with sparrows and dew
the hush of trees newly clothed with blooms

You remember the taste
of ink on paper, the sweat
to polish and cut a rough diamond

You remember
this is why you are here.


[Whew! I made it! All 30! Woo-hoo! Of course, out of these raw drafts, I'll probably only have an handful of keepers. Maybe 3 or 4 poems. Maybe. Still, it feels like quite an accomplishment to complete 30 wannabe-poems in 30 days. I can't believe the month is over! Well, for my audience: thanks for reading! And now the big question: will the Show go on? Or will it go on hiatus until next April? We shall see, my friends, we shall see. L.Ho out! :)]

Friday, April 29, 2011

Poem #29

"Tahrir Square, Cairo, Egypt: February 11, 2011"

My clothes were torn to
pieces. They raped me with hands.
Will no one stop this?


[The first two lines of this haiku are direct quotations from Lara Logan, the CBS journalist, who was sexually assaulted by a mob during the celebrations of Mubarak's fall. Read more here.]

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Poem #28

"The Naming Ritual"

They arrived at the hospital
all huff and puff--
Lamaze an evaporated memory

Swept into labor and delivery
a room papered with flowers
to create calm: a failed plan

They had forgotten everything:
warm socks, a tennis ball
overnight clothes
the baby's layette
even a name

After hours of labor
a cloud of baby's cries
in the air, tiny lungs working

then cooing

a peace

Someone turns on the tv
"Mission: Impossible" is on
He says, I like that name
She nods, exhausted, on the edge of sleep

Yes they name the baby
after the actress
Lesley Ann Warren


[The writing prompt was to write a poem that explores how one was named & the meaning of the name. I only went with the first part because, as usual, I'm out of time. But there you go. True story. Well, the last two stanzas, anyway. :) And of course, for me, those "true stanzas" feel like the weakest ones of the poem-draft.]

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Poem #27

"Secret Garden, April 26, 1986"

The sudden bloom
of Chernobyl's flower
shoots up in the air--
a surprise this April spring day
Its seeds falling out
like active radio-
waves over Prypyat

It radiates like an invisible sun
spreading its rays far and wide
over Urkaine, Belarus, Russia
scorching the earth
to an arid char--
the forest blank with shock
the farmland useless and limp

No one whispers a word
No one says anything for two days
They want to keep this flower
to themselves, to keep
this beauty--four hundred times more
potent than Hiroshima--
to keep this beauty
a secret


[I wrote this poem on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, which was yesterday. I sense there's more to this poem but as with every unfinished poem this month, I'm out of time. Go here for photos and here for a quick article on the anniversary.]

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Poem #26

"Just One More Snooze"

Reach over and feel
the magic button. Press it
for more dreams of flight.


[I feel like a cop-out when I write these BS haiku, but the goal this month is production, not quality. Right? Right. The practice is what counts for now. The good stuff is coming. I know it is.]

Monday, April 25, 2011

Poem #25

"In the Sauna"

Nice bonnet
she says to the towel-wrapped woman
who walks in, sturdy shower cap on

"My hair is different from yours
I can't get my hair wet"
a beaded braid pokes out 
from beneath the elastic

I'm dying
she wanted to say
but instead offered
I can't get my hair wet either
but that's because of my cancer treatment

fully clothed in exercise gear
she sits on the cedar bench
with two friends

they talk about nothing
dancing around that word
that floats like a balloon
tied to one's wrist:
you want it to fly away
but it won't

nail salons, hair appointments
gym guest passes
anything to forget
the civil war in her body
anything to forget
she can't get her hair wet

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Poem #24

"The Old Drunk"

Does too much wine ex-
cuse the razors from your mouth?
Sad woman, hush now.