Hour 24: Home is Where Books are

Home is where books surround me,

Where people who love books as I do

Inhabit this paradise.

 

Independent Bookstores –

Without coffee shops.

Narrow aisles to make room for more books.

Old and new books

Shoved willy-nilly into place

But the clerks who work there know

Where everything is.

After spending time there,

I also know how to look and find

Something I want to read.

I pay the price to support my reading addiction.

Cheaper than alcohol that can

tear down the body.

Not as pleasurable as sex but without

the risk of heartbreak.

 

Libraries —

Espeically old ones

in brick or stone buildings

with wooden shelves

instead of glass or metal.

Large hardwood tables

Two kinds of chairs:

Hard wooden ones to keep me alert

Ready to write or study;

Padded plush ones I can sink into

With my book and tarry

Until they close

Then I check out books to take

 

To my house where loved ones reside

And books I own surround me in every room.

Home.

Hour 23: Fireflies but No Cheese

Traveling from Chiba-ken and Tokyo to Kyoto,

We stopped to tourist in Nagoya.

We played pachinko, visited the Edo castle,

And took Kodak photos for the memory.

We did not stay for nightfall;

We saw no fireflies, doomed to die young.

It was not the mating season.

 

Next time I visit Nagoya

Should I be a voyeur and go during the rainy season –

When fireflies mate –

With a very good expensive camera?

Should I walk into the woods at night

So I can capture their erotic light?

 

I cannot shake loose the sorrow

Of the short-lived firefly

Nor the feeling-like-an-intruder on their flight.

But how else can we capture the glory of that light,

The beauty of those hours.

Hour 22: Twerking with Lizzo

If I had energy,

I’d bring out Lizzo

Who’d ask me how I was feeling

And I would stick out my booty,

Grinding to the rhythm,

Tossing my braids while checking my broken nails,

Shouting to the world and Lizzo,

“Good as hell!”

 

Because dancing to Lizzo

Always wakes me up.

 

If I didn’t know it would put me to sleep,

I’d bring out “Storyteller”

To shake up my memories,

Massage my poetry muscles,

And coolly slide home.

 

But without energy,

I have no story to tell.

 

So I blink my eyes,

Grab a peach,

Guzzle some tea, and

Keep LIzzo and twerking inside my head,

 

Hour 21: Ode to the Marathon

You began with the end

When I was prepped and primed

 

You carried me effortless

Through your prompts

Music and lyrics and images

 

I burned the hours

Breezing through barriers,

Keeping time

 

Until the half point

When some would stop

You shoved me through my second breath,

 

I fell into the arms of Morpheus,

Left my determination with you,

drowned in the River Lethe.

 

Waking before sunrise,

You showed me the finish dawning,

A sliver of you lighting my way.

 

Do I have the juice to cross the line?

Will you inspire me to burst out

With a new beginning?

Hour 20: Walking the Night

“I have been one acquainted with the night.

… I have outwalked the furthest city light” (Robert Frost).

 

No remote nature road for me

Where small rustles in the grass chill my gut,

Where moon and stars play hide and seek

Behind brooding verdant branches;

Where cackling cicadas watch over me,

Warning me they are waiting.

 

Spare me the desolation

Where something howls at the sky;

Where my lonely steps

Crush the paths I walk.

Where friends are empty echoes

Of memory.

 

Give me city lights in my night,

Solitude in a crowd,

Feeding all my senses:

Reverberating voices tripping over each other,

Smoky roastings tempting my tongue,

Blasts of heat and rot beneath,

Colors rioting beyond the rainbow.

 

Give me the city

Where wishing stars

And moonlight larger than the sun,

Play along the asphalt;

Where other walkers and I make music

Like jazz, dancing our variations,

Watching each other prance

In the glowing darkness;

Where I hear laughs of mirth,

Sobs of grief, hums of life.

Hour 19: Four have broken away

Four have broken away

From the hive

To go wading in the sea

Can’t you see?

The soft surf has not yet

Erased the lines they made in the sand

 

Curb your worry

The little one will not drown;

The foam’s too gentle to pull him away.

He is not alone.

 

Will they go back to the hive

After playing with the shallow ocean

Or will they move on

Finding freedom in the wide horizon?

Hour 18: … just be still and listen

But I cannot

Just be still and listen

Because my world is burning

Away before me

And I must put out the fire;

Because I have something to say,

Something you need to hear,

And I don’t want to be silenced.

 

I’d never ask you to

Just be still and listen

What if you have something urgent to do?

What if you have something vital to tell?

Your silence does not always serve.

 

Get up if you need to,

Look around if you want to.

You don’t need to keep your eyes on mine;

My people find that disrespectful.

 

Go ahead and talk when I talk;

I can still hear your words.

My people learned long ago how to

Listen and talk simultaneously.

 

I don’t hear anger or hate

In loud voices.

Sometimes my people just have to shout,

To voice the sacred in the words,

The miracles on the tongue;

Sometimes we just want to hear the church say,

“Amen!”

Hour 17: Books were Safer

Books were safer

Even when they disappointed

Or twisted to unexpected ends

 

If they spirited me

Into danger and certain death,

I could always return to ground

With but a scratch on my memory.

 

Even though they created for me

Wicked worlds, shrouded in pain,

They brought me to places

Where hearts are healed and souls revived.

 

They filled me up

With critical thoughts

And stretched my imagining

Above my intellect.

 

Books would never trade my trust

For lies

Or diminish my unguarded devotion.

They hold my place

And never betray my love

With envy or greed.

 

Books were always safer

Than other people

Anyway.

Hour 16: Wind Tickles

Wind tickles me

With icy fingers;

The shivers shake me

Inside this quivering skin.

That light brush of breath

Along the hairs

Sucks away my warmth

Trailing through my blood.

A dangerous kiss of winter

Taming a burning blaze

Into a frozen fire.

Hour 15: Two Haiku

The stargate awaits –

Step into the other side

Of the galaxy!

 

Or should I dial home?

Return to the known and safe?

Forego bold journeys?

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