Each month, write a new collection.
There are kettles by the road in Coupeville WA hugeBowls in the ground carved outBy glaciers one is so deep I can’t see the bottom thoughI always stop and try to peer down but trees grow out ofIt and ferns so thick I think the earth must be rich thereSince none can go down it but deer so it’s not trodden onOr messed up by strangers walking by I’m a one person procession Completely unlike the 15 people I saw last saturdayWalking up Western Avenue in Los Angeles CA carryingLong stemmed flowers following a statue under a canopy.The statue was a man holding a baby — St Anthony of PaduaI found out later, the patron saint of lost things and lost personsThe people — mostly women — were huffing and puffing up the hillWestern is steep at that point. I remember them and gasp uphill past the kettleAsking am I the celebrant, the saint, or the infant, without its motherSuccored by a man who isn’t the father or those determined unrelated womenWho hoist themselves from the bottom of wherever they were at proceedingThrough the traffic hoping always to find their/my hidden God or more precisely that Missing maternal unheard in the honking hubbub concealed by these trees.
I love the way this poem wanders all over the place and draws implications about everywhere it goes.
thanks! can't wait to see what others come up with.
I love the metajourney of the procession into the huge bowls. the baby is Jesus of course so perhaps fatherless rather ... his mother a virgin. My mom accessed St. Anthony for her misplaced keys and I'm always hoping to find my hidden God
I really like that journey you take us on.
A monster had taken a bite out of earthLeaving not a hole but a placeThat a moon would fit in.Let's say it's a negative spaceThen we'll say that the ocean is dampAnd the sun is a lamp.When you tumbled inThe Grand Canyon of deathAnd while I was shoppingYou gave up your breathI stood at the rim and wept at the sightAn unpleasant night.I don't know where you are nowLet's say I'm unsureBut wherever you are folks are laughingAnd glad to be thereWith good books and good whiskeyAnd steak on the grillStars in the sky on a country roadAnd the moon on a hill.
it's an intriguing poem. the "let's say" repetition gives me the idea of the loss of someone that shared an understanding of things in an unspoken way, a point of view that cannot be replaced once it is gone. you manage to blend sadness with affection in a very potent way.
I love the rhyme scheme running through this and the mythology you build. Those two things together are really effective!
It didn’t help. I drove by it nearly every day.Eagle Rock, they named a fucking town after it.It’s not hard to see why. It’s almost like someonecarved a half-assed eagle near the top just toremind me she didn’t live there anymore, as if to say“See this crappy eagle, she’s gone. She flew away.”
That's great man. That hit me where I live! I'd send this one to Nerve Cowboy. I'd bet they'd pick it up!
i really like this one sean. the first sentence is awesome, and "crappy eagle" is just perfect.
Gates of PassageOn a tripto the rivers ofMontanaretracing the footstepsOf Lewis and ClarkThere was a passagewith tall walled rocksshooting up straight from the banksThey were gigantic pillars on the edgesof civilizationAs we curved around themand looked behind usthe one ledge on the rightseemed to shut like a slow slidingdoor into the other monolithAs though passing was a one way journey, and going, regardless of dangerwas with a no return priceLewis and Clark must have feltshut off from the rest of the worldthey once knewonly to go forwardon their trek into the wildernessunknown and treacherouswith Natives threatening to kill themThere was this senseof being cut off from going backA true explorer would have fearof what was around the next bendof the Snake riverThey had their Native guideSacajawea leading the push into the unknownconvincing the Blackfoot they were of no dangerLittle did they knowthe journey was a criticalstep to discovering safe passage into the landand started the marchWestward when Jeffersonwas assured there was a direct route all the way toThe PacificThe push beganand settlersfollowedTaking the cultureand culminating itinto destructionthrough slaughterand genocideThe forefathersof our country would neverhave believed the savagesby helping the white man on their journey westwardleft them open to demiseTwo explorers with the strengthand courage to go forwardopened the gates of passagefor all willing to go west
I love all the irony of history working through here. It's a great poem!
Big BearDad built his first cabin in Big Bear in the late 60s. In those days Big Bear was more primitive, less stores, less people. Everything was closed down at night. The mountain was always a special place I could go, and the trip driving up the mountain road was like I was traveling into another dimension to get there. When Mom finally sold the house almost forty years later, the third home that Dad had built, when there was no longer a reason to go to Big Bear a part of my life was gone - my refuge.
Yeah, I can feel the loss in this poem. I felt the same way when I moved out of Lake Arrowhead.
that road up and back was amazing. that's a loss for sure.
I've always loved the ride and when I started driving I love to drive the mountain.
The mean Road I see flashes of fading sandstone of dry grass and looming rocks the twisting road ahead I see the edge meet the sky I hear words of comfort to just sit still we will be there soon I don't really hear them I feel deep pressing heat of the Sun through the glass from the swoosh of the wind outside I feel my fear of Grimes Canyon Road I smell the dust of the road of last year's tar of this year's rains I smell my fear I taste the eventual relief the feeling of my feet on the ground the flavor of safety I taste home
Sorry... a couple of the lines got crammed together in the copying and pasting. Every stanza is supposed to be 4 lines :)
Beautiful poem. I don't know Grimes Canyon Road, but I know it if you know what I mean.
I like very much the I see I feel progression.
SUMMITWorking up along the south wall of the canyonThe sun bright, reflecting off wet stone The air cool and dry.Three hours of climbing fall away belowDown to the cabin where the blue smoke risesThe pass above my left shoulderThe trail etched like the path of a tearA seam between peaksI follow a step at a time the inevitable journeyThe air thins, the field of skree flattensAs I approach the lip of the passSharpened by the windAnd stand upon the edge overlooking the north faceA snowpack in the shadow of the dawn.The valley beyond is cool and green,A paradise untouched by boots since late summer An eagle’s domainSwitchbacks hidden beneath the molded snow.The way home.Dusky slabs of shale absorbing the morningGranite glittering, polished by the wind. Ten million grains washed down into the sandy canyon bed Below the bank of snow spread without a single imprintFlawless and deadlyAbove the world, a steel canisterContains a single journalWith dated comments from a hundred hands of years pastSince before the great warYear upon year of lonely reflection Of men who sat upon that very spotSeeing that same scapeThose same trees across the valley on that far ridgeThis same wind upon their facesWriting something never to be equaledAnd I wroteA poem summoned by the arc of historyThat momentInspired by the awesome miles above the mountainsSurging in my breastRare words fanned by an enflamed spiritCatching fire upon the stained pageUntil it stood in ink, encrypted in timeAnd looking back to readI breathed satisfied and stoodLeaving forever a page with no motiveBut momentary solidarity with a future soul
I like the way this moves. The imagist tone and focus is great especially "The trail etched like the path of a tearA seam between peaks"
I think it's a bit adjective-bound, but here it is:Painted CanyonEarthquakes built this place.The earth shivered, shook, heaveduntil it spewed its vital juices over the mounds that its suffering created. Sharp hills wear these remains in raiments of pink, brown, and rust. Gravel roads lead through close canyons, sandy paths into the narrowest ones; seen from these the sky is a thin blue ribbon. All around the mountains lie in pleats and folds, each sand- and rock-studded layer leans heavy on the next. Once vertical, they now pitch toward two o’clock:an oppressed race, smashed together cheek upon cheek, keening silently in the still and silent desert night.TM
Most of the adjectives really work though. I think you can take out "keening silently" and strengthen it. And then make "narrowest ones" more specific and you'll have a more satisfying poem, but for the most part this is done and fantastic!
I like it. Lots of very textured sounds and images. It's a simple painting of a scene but quite beautiful to see and hear and feel.
Thanks, John! I liked keening silently, but I agree -- stronger without. Ah, killing the darlings! Now I need to think of a replacement for narrowest ones -- how to describe these thin pathways that eventually lead to open land. Fissures?
I think I'd put your body in there, someone's body, so we can feel it!
Laguna BeachMy grandpa said that he wanted to take me to the beach.I loved Laguna since I was small,Since he first took me there."Today, I want to show you the tidepools though," he included a little later.I felt a surprise on it's way."Tidepools?" I questioned."Yes, on either side," he answered.In shock, I responded, "Wow, I had no idea."Instantly I was fascinated by the black rock,The grooves,The creatures,The fear of being washed over by a large wave during a storm.I wonder if tidepool rocks and creatures feared large waves.Resolved to believe they were okay because they were meant for such a climate,I answered my grandfather's request to come into the cave.How majestic it was.Until I saw how tainted if was by cheap anx irresponsible graffiti,All over.Devastation.My hopes for a true, natural cave came down crashing Like a tidalwave upon small creatures inside the tidepool.Killing any hopes for normalcy Or what used fo be"Could be" Normalcy.Later I developed an intense loveFor graffiti art.What a hypocrite.
White Cliffs of DoverAs the ferry’s engine churned the sea into a frothmuttering behind the boat, I turned to keep the windfrom whipping hair into my eyes, And faced the cliffs. What were these stone-slashed iceberg rising from the blackened water?Carved as if some Roman god who led theConquering army long ago hadRaised his arm and wielded a gleaming swordBigger than a whole column of menAnd crashed it onto mountains,Slashed the ice-white rock in half,And let the boulders tumble to the sea.These were not cliffs—here, land wasangrily stopped. No centuries of erosionbut a gash, long, alabaster, along a country like a continentstretching far away to north and south,The landing place of tribes that I descended from, Ancestors whose only traces remain locked within our bodies.As the ferry headed east and the wind grew colder, I watched the white cliffs, blind witnesses of kings and women, slaves and armored warriorswho landed, left, fought, fell sick-- Carried here on wooden ships of war.The armored boys who climbed atop these cliffs,followed the command to fight against each otherand dying, fell from the cliffs ontothe narrow rim of sand below, a sepulcher that held them till they rolled into the sea.