Open the Book

Open the book and read
stories of adventure and of stillness
of seeing the world and
of knowing one intimate space

Open the book and read
how it all began
with a whisper
in the child’s ear

Open the book and read
words arranged
into new imaginations
mindscapes built upon dreams

Open the book and read
where you have been
where you are
where you breathe to be

 

[Prompt 4: The prompt for this hour is to write a four stanza poem. The stanzas can be as long or short as you want them to be. In each of the stanzas, you most repeat one of the lines in the first stanza. It can be the same line repeated in each stanza or a different line in each stanza. This can have a dramatically different effect, depending on the length of the line and the length of the stanza]

Desire Paths

Singular pathways
engineers create spaces
from one place to the next
determine the most logical route
cement it into place
guide us to established destinations
But when we stray
walk on the grass
between trees
through bush gaps
we create desire paths
ways we wish to walk
rather than are told
We create new spaces
new ways to arrive
to where we want to be.

Yearnings

How many useless things
have these hands done
in the time when there
was so much more to give
so much more this world
needed from each
curl of a finger
every expended energy
gone to waste

Who cried for this
and how was it
so long those cries
went unheard
angels in the ocean
lost upon the shore
angels in the ashtray
another night stubbed away

[Prompt 2: How do we share yearnings when we cannot speak of them? For additional context and inspiration you can listen to Leonard Cohen’s song “Take this Longing”.]

Do You Remember

The summer we listened to
Earth, Wind & Fire on the radio
too young to understand
such lyrics of love
instead drawn to those
groovy African-inspired costumes
flashy bellbottomed pants
Maurice White’s hipswangin’ swagger
the ridiculousness of lyrics
that rang off our tongues
Ba de ya – say do you remember
Ba de ya – dancing in September
Ba duda, ba duda, ba duda, badu
how we danced and grooved and spun
jamming to the transistor radio turned up
full blast in the back yard
took breaks to gulp ice cold water
from the garden hose
then back to the step, the dance, the groove
Earth, Wind & Fire

[Prompt: Write a poem in which the four elements (Earth, Wind, Fire, and Water) play an important part.]

Breath of Words

The breastbone, a canopy for the heart and lungs
Breathe deeply, a full moon of oxygen into the soul
Close the eyes to look deep into the lake of the mind
Breathe out until there is nothing left to spare
Do not panic: revel in the glory that the next breath will follow

[Prompt: Use five of these words: Moon, Lake, Glory, Jeep, Breastbone, Spare, Canopy, Panic]

Public Library

Anyone can enter a public library
there’s no fee, no ID required
There are places to sit
and clean restrooms

The stacks are mostly
quiet, especially fiction
W – Z is good for napping
until a page shows up

Even the employees
seem to understand
leave me nodding off
stack the books to shelve later

It’s warm in the winter
cool in the summer
safe and quiet
with running water

I can remember a time
when I used to read
as a child, books about
a snowy day, a tree that gave

so much of itself until
it was nothing but a stump
but still it had so much to give
a place to rest without judgement

[Prompt: Write from the persona of a homeless person]

In Praise of Garden Tomatoes

Today it rained
and then the sun burst through
and more rain, and more sun
tomatoes on the vine burst into crimson
I pull one from its stem
still wet, still warm
sink my teeth into its paper thin flesh
juice runs down my chin
I suck the seeds
mash the pulp with my tongue and teeth
how can you possibly describe
how delicious the earth tastes
fresh from the garden
I can only say, Mmmmmmm
So good. Thank you for tomatoes.

Slice of Breath

we each of slice out
a corner plot of this planet
to call our own, to own
the air we breathe, try to
create space where we feel
safe, nurtured, secure
some among us will venture
further and further with each breath
see the expanse that makes us
feel so small, our every effort at air
so miniscule, yet so wanting
breathing is both voluntary and involuntary
a voluntary action anticipates
goal-orientated movement
we anticipate life with every breath
our goal to fill this space within us
to fill this space outside of us
to become the air we breath

[Prompt: Photos]

Inherent Good

The struggle every day is to believe
Inherent good can exist in all people
We witness lives torn apart too young
By those who profess to love and care

Inherent good can exist in all people
I learned this as a child
By those who profess to love and care
Seeds planted and nurtured can grow

I learned this as a child
The struggle every day is to believe
Seeds planted and nurtured can grow
We witness lives torn apart too young

[Prompt: Pantoum. I used Jacob’s pantoum generator.]

Angst, My Love

I know you don’t like him
think he’s no good for me
and I can do better
but I just can’t help myself
each time I get near him
there’s something about him
that just draws me in
I get so wrapped up in
everything about him
the way he walks, talks, smells
the funny little looks he
throws my way
and when we’re alone together
the way he knows how to push
every last one of my little buttons
I get to the point where I just
scream out loud
I can’t help myself
And when he’s done with me
oh, such feelings of sweet relief
Sometimes I feel silly
knowing how I act when he’s around
knowing how I could do so much better
but then lower myself to his
tricks and traps
Each time I promise myself
I won’t go to him
that I can be stronger without him
be a better person to steer clear
In the end
I can’t imagine my life without him
Still, if anyone asks
I deny we’re seeing each other
spending any time together
I know he sees other people
it doesn’t bother me
because I know he’ll always come back to me
And I’ll always take him in.

[Prompt: Angst – without being cliche using love or death. Well, lots of cliche, but not in a typical way when writing about angst.]