Wednesday, June 3, 2015

June 3 -- Life and Death in Nature

Check out The Chiron Review


  1. Empty

    I think I first learned death
    On the beach looking at shells
    What are they I said where
    Do they come from?
    Animals my mother said
    She collected shells loved
    The ocean but couldn’t swim
    (I learned to rescue drowners —
    But that was much later)
    Shells are bones, placed on the
    Outside — the opposite of us.
    I felt my arm, picked up
    A broken piece of former
    Clam. Only take
    The whole ones, she said.
    But I preferred the shattered
    Pieces, they seemed more true
    To what had happened to
    Those missing in action.

    1. Fantastic Stephanie! Love this. I love the insertion of "I leaned to rescue drowners -- but that was much later)

    2. I like how you connect the shells to your own bones, and realize that these were alive once just like you.

    3. I especially love the last four lines. Perfectly said.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. I don't know why but I keep swinging wide when I try for childhood memory. This is almost tangential to what you called for. I feel odd posting it with the others but it's surprising how motivating this exercise has been.


    I tried being separate from the earth,
    But now am weary and want to add what I know.
    I want to merge and understand.

    Fill my mouth with moss.

    Those philosophers were right.
    Matter is illusion
    Built with empty space and quantum shells.
    Nothing is solid.
    Light is reflected.
    Ions repulsed.

    There is no hard. There is no wet.
    No time without motion.

    A construct.
    A matrix.
    A projection.

    What we know never changes (because the details cannot save us)

    Is it incidental order?
    All that nothing for nothing:
    Perverse specificity,
    Rules within rules within rules,
    A momentary flash of everything without memory or consequence.

    And what is it that I know?
    That my salvation depends upon the chance that regret is a universal virtue.
    Unless light is more than light
    And love is something more than in the blood.

    1. Mark this is fantastic. You need to publish it somewhere. Maybe Cadence Collective of East Jasmine Review.

    2. nice ending (I always like strong endings).

  4. Face in the Casket

    Grandpa’s there. I see
    his face poking from the casket.

    Still as stone, silent.

    Where did he go? Will I see
    him again? Is he lost to me?

    I can’t follow him, I won’t!

    Shut up! Stop talking!

    I want to talk to him
    one more time, ride with him

    again on that trip to Palm Springs
    to help Steve get his car fixed,

    ride one more time quiet
    in his car - watch the desert,

    wet from the rain, rush by.

  5. I love that last image. It really evokes the emotion of the piece.

  6. Charlie

    Overcast and cold
    The day we found him there
    He ran off all the time
    But always came back home
    What I remember most
    As the traffic hurried past
    Was the way he almost seemed
    To grow more still each time
    That I cried out his name

  7. Oh god. That breaks my heart. Wonderful poem.

  8. I was little
    In the dusty shed
    Lined with filthy shelves.
    I walked, curious,
    Smelling the dirty air
    Seeing junk everywhere.

    Garage junk - boards, nails, tools
    Boxes, plumbing fixtures, jars
    With puppies in them.
    What? Wait, what?

    Crazy Aunt Billie
    Loved her show dogs
    Puppies stillborn
    Perfectly formed
    Preserved like food.

    I told myself: aunt by marriage.

    1. Wow! Aunt Billie was a strange one. The ending is shocking. Which is what you want there!

    2. I just read this to my husband...he's pouring another scotch....

  9. The Hunter

    My cat would perch in a tree by the back door
    and stare into the sparrow's nest
    he would rest his chin on one front paw
    and inhale the scent left behind by the birds

    My cat would perch in a tree by the back door
    and stare into the sparrow's nest
    he would rest his chin on one front paw
    and glare at the motionless eggs

    My cat would perch in a tree by the back door
    and stare into the sparrow's nest
    he would reach in with one front paw
    and pitch the newly hatched sparrows to their death

    1. This is good. The repetition of the first two lines creates great tension.

    2. Yay! It worked

    3. Yeah, I totally agree with Robert!

  10. When I was just a boy
    Growing up with my childhood friend
    We would take a pill bug or an earwig
    to a black widows nest and toss it
    into the back of her den and watch
    the bug try to escape the speed
    of the spiders clutches
    The boyish mystery of watching the bug
    get wrapped up by the spider and
    cocooned into a cotton ball for later
    intrigued me
    Seeing the spider hooked the prey back
    Onto the wall of her den and hang them
    For later was what we did when we went
    fishing and collected our stringer full of fish
    Waiting for the next big one to bite

    1. I want to title this one "The black widow"

    2. Wow, you've caught that thing of life and death seen through the eyes of a kid. Great job! Good title too.

  11. Could you perhaps explain the whole "stresses" thing? I think I might understand what you're referring to but I'm not quite sure.

  12. A Child's Crisis

    Hum, drum, hum.
    Abibitty, bobbity, boo.
    Feel life too?
    Me, not you?
    Okay, I'll do
    What you tell
    Me too...yes,
    You, you, you!
    The first time,
    I heard the
    Devil's voice in
    My girlish head...
    I stopped red
    In cold dead
    Red like silly
    Old plums thrown
    All against the
    Wall in frustration.
    I learned he's
    Funny and scary
    And silly and
    Happy, sinister maybe
    Beguiled but a
    Prince in his
    Own right, so
    I told him
    Your fate is
    Perfect for you
    In anger replied
    He "I'll kill
    You, you'll die
    In bitterness deride
    Your calling of
    The sweetest life..."
    You will not,
    I wont die,
    I proudly replied.
    "Then give me
    A loved one"
    He cunningly said.
    (Oh no, God.)
    Alright just not
    Me, i really
    Dont want to
    Be dead, (breath)
    With closed eyes,
    He said "Fiiinnne."
    With scizzors in
    His evil mouth.
    When i was
    Only twenty one
    My mom died.