Tuesday, June 30, 2015

June 30 -- You Win

Today's task is a simple one. Take your best poem from the month and post it below. I've loved working with everyone this month. Tomorrow, we start live from Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park!


  1. this moment
    between sleep
    and wakefulness

    I lie still
    within my

    in the dream
    not ready yet

    to approach
    so called

    1. yeah, this one is very strong. great line breaks.

    2. I liked all of your work TT This one feels familiar and says so much

    3. Love this Tom! This was a strong and beautiful choice.

    4. Thank you Sean. Thank you John. It was fun. I have been wanting to kick into gear writing about every day for a while.

  2. Outside

    On a swing. Alone because
    The cousin has gone inside
    For some reason. She is my only
    Relative who is my age that
    I know about and I trust her
    Because she knows about grass
    And going barefoot. I point my toes
    To go up on the swing. Lean back
    She showed me this. And then I carefully
    Jump off… a skill I just learned.
    I have never seen night come in over
    The houses, til now. The grass grows cold
    Under my feet and there are the sounds of
    Other children playing in other yards.
    A star, two stars. Then the older cousin
    — The mother of the one I was just talking about —
    Calling me.
    I linger and wonder what it would be like to
    Play outside all the time and to never wear
    Shoes and to see time pass and be alone
    But also be

    1. one of my happier ones. thanks for this amazing journey!

    2. Yes, I like that one. It was your first, and inspired me to write a swing poem. I have another one on my head, but that one hasn't moved past the feeling stage.

    3. Here is a favorite swing poem:

      The Swing
      How do you like to go up in a swing,
      Up in the air so blue?
      Oh, I do think it the pleasantest thing
      Ever a child can do!

      Up in the air and over the wall,
      Till I can see so wide,
      Rivers and trees and cattle and all
      Over the countryside—

      Till I look down on the garden green,
      Down on the roof so brown—
      Up in the air I go flying again,
      Up in the air and down!

    4. Yes I loved this one too. Thanks for the chance to work with you Stephanie You Are Amazing !

    5. Great poem Stephanie. I'm really honored that you've been doing this!

  3. Twenty-four hour pass

    It was a cool night, my step-father came to pick me up for the week-end
    Leaving the hospital, where I stayed, for my health, mentally locked-up
    Voluntarily admitted at age twenty-four or five.

    They were kind to me, as we drove down town, and I could not help from
    Feeling excited, seeing all the lights, the reds,and yellows, the greens and
    The blues flickering, shining, in the pitch darkness

    I said, "look at them, the lights are so bright!"
    I was not let out of the hospital very frequently
    with the policy and circumstances surrounding
    the time I spent there at night, never seeing the
    night life or any lights, for that matter

    It was as though the experience was exciting, but then
    Sad, I only had a pass for overnight

    1. This one really hit me Daryl It was great reading your work

    2. Thank-you. Hopefully continuing with July work, see you there!

    3. Great work Daryl, and I'm really grateful that you're going into July too!

    4. This is great - very moving. I have enjoyed your work Daryl.

  4. Mingling With Bodie's Ghosts

    The heat is so thick, it feels like you can chew it
    Baring down, I can almost reach up and touch the sun
    There's no wind, to swirl the dust along the main street
    The weeds cry out, their silent screams for mercy

    The tour begins, at the old Shell gas pump at the end of the road
    My eyes wide, I fixate immediately on the rusted bullet holes
    I'm surrounded by the clicks of cameras, capturing the lost moment
    The echos of technology, are strolling down the streets of Bodie

    We stop at the old saloon, its crusted windows holding back time
    There are dozens of abandoned bottles, at different levels of emptiness
    I can hear the clinking of the glass, the shuffling of boots against wood
    The clack, clack, clack of the faded roulette wheel, and I am lost in it

    As I move on to the hotel, giggles and whispers drift down from the balcony
    Ladies of the night, begin to catcall the miners as they pass on the street
    A hand covers my eyes, while another ushers me past the harlots
    My face burns hot, not from the sun, but from knowledge of the forbidden

    Further down, I stop and mourn the burned remains of the church
    Its bell still ringing, calling the faithful and long departed, to mass
    Faintly I hear singing, the choir lifting its hollow voice to the Lord
    The words are forgotten, and yet somehow can still be felt

    I'm diatracted by voices, coming from the general store
    Laughter and cussing and dickering, as men buy and sell their goods
    I pick up the pace, sensing a tension in the stagnant air
    a shot rings out, but of course, there is no shooter

    The clatter of carriages and clomping of hooves excites me
    I can smell the stench of horse apples, sweat and black powder
    The jingling of coin, the creaking of scales, the striking of matches
    I drink in the music, a symphony of wild west life, and I am lost in it

    At the end of the road, the tour abruptly ends
    The voices of the present, rush back into my ears
    I stand before the cemetery, with its cockeyed gates and worn headstones
    And can't help but feel, as though a part of me is buried in those graves

    ☆I had a hard time deciding what the best one was, so I went with my favorite one:

    1. a great choice Molly This one took me right along with you

      Thanks for your work You are a wonderful writer

    2. some great language combinations here. "cockeyed gates" is particularly effective.

    3. You guys have no idea how much I appreciate you! I was soooo nervous to post here. I have yet to published, and have no poetry experience, so I went into this, expecting to struggle. But you all have made this a great experience. I can't wait to get started on July!!

    4. The weeds cry out, their silent screams for mercy, I love it!!

    5. You had a lot of great ones, but this was the one I was hoping you'd chose for today!

    6. Love the imagery. I was right there with you. I remember going to Body in '65 when I was 10 and you brought me right back and into the town when it was alive.

  5. Eagle Rock

    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 someone
    carved a half-assed eagle near the top just to
    remind me she didn’t live there anymore, as if to say
    “See this crappy eagle, she’s gone. She flew away.”

    1. awesome. Love the humor and down to earth feeling.

  6. hilarious. "crappy eagle" gets me every time.

    1. Yeah, this is a fantastic poem! Truly wonderful!

  7. Thanks very much for this program. It really inspired me to create. Even though I ran out of steam at the end, it was really great being a part of it.


    They found it in another of a series of endless, moonless, starless nights,
    In the utterness at the bottom of a cold volcano,
    Rumors spreading in coarse syllables through huddled cavern clumps.
    Standing hunched together and moving by sound,
    Following the hollow ticking of their teeth
    And the familiar rot of flaking skin,
    Arrays of nerves tilted up, tasting the air,
    They entered the asymmetric tunnel,
    Walls of hardened magma sculpted by ages of pressure
    Into glassy folds the color of amnesia,

    Descent brought them to the foot of a carbon fiber stairwell,
    Articulated and mechanized
    Like the segmented spiral of a black silica shell,
    With no light to reflect in the mirrored material,
    No way for them to see their own faces in the glossy surface.

    Eyes white, Toothless,
    They followed ancient corridors down by intuition and racial memory
    Beneath the paralytic crust of crippled Earth,
    Through chambers beneath the labyrinths of empty aquifers,
    Circumventing collapsed reservoirs
    Crushed closed by the weight of deserts,
    Feeling their way to a subterranean lake long dead.

    Into a bed of gritty silt they grasped,
    Disused sockets carelessly directed
    With no sense of orientation.
    Inner ears numb to vertigo were not consulted
    By calcified nerve clusters, devolving brainstems.

    The air they breathed was breathed again.

    Many twitching digits contracted compulsively in contact with each other,
    Compelled by latent curiosity to unwrap the heavy layers:
    Disintegrating prehistoric sable,
    Pristine synth fabrics and pliant phyto-weave,
    All pulled back in turn to expose a core of broken husks,
    Proterozoic chitin streaked a rich and oily chocolate brown,
    Once plunged forever in the deep
    Where was no memory of light, no echo of color, no concept of sight.

    Anachronistic instruments peeling the brittle layers
    Removed from the center one spherical obsidian container
    With gyroscopic qualities. It shifted to the touch
    Of feeble neural extremities,

    Turning, manipulating, with lizard cunning,
    Dormant synapses stimulating vestigial cranial matter,
    Until, the code decrypted, the globe came apart,
    Metal segments separating with a musical ping
    To reveal a dark kernel: a polished bead of unknown material.

    They beheld it there,
    Whispering possibilities,
    Articulating forgotten hopes
    Of re-igniting stars and stoking once again tectonic engines.

    But then it dropped
    And bounced
    And was lost

    As they tore themselves asunder in the bowels of the world.

    1. That's a great one Mark. I hope you send these out for publication too!