Category Archives: Poetry

Poetry Prompt: Change / Don’t Change

This week, my Tuesday prompts group used today’s 2021 April PAD Challenge prompt from Writer’s Digest.

This poem has been rattling ’round in my heart and head for a very long time, literally twelve years in the making.  Today it finally tumbled out.

Thank you for reading it.

Change / Don't Change

I look at Google Maps
To revisit childhood past;
Plunk Streetview Man down
In front of 8510,
And set the time slider
Back 12 years, to 2009,
And the preceding four decades,
Before it was all erased.

Elizabeth Wilson's house,
Back among the pines and cedars.
Sixty years between us
Makes for an unlikely friendship.
I braid her antique doll's hair,
While she braids mine.

There stands the school,
And the playground,
The old Orange Hall,
And Doris's yellow house
Where she sits on her veranda
And watches and waits to scold.

If I angle it right,
I can see the other landmarks -- 
Houses of people whose names I've always known:
Charlton; Briggs; Livingston; Burton --
And the ancient mountain smiles benevolently
Upon those sheltered in its valley.

But if I angle it wrong,
I can see the machines,
And the unbearable piles of corpses
Of hundreds of trees who
Watched me collecting flowers,
Cheered me chasing squirrels, and
Listened to me singing silly made-up songs,
Sighing back to me in companionable whispers.

Looking at 2021,
It's all gone now, of course.
Obliterated by progress:
"Must get to Fredericton faster."
A highway overpass
My childhood's grave marker.


Poetry Prompt: “About _______”

About Archie

I am owned by an orange and white cat
Who, by all accounts, should be fat
He eats quite a lot
When he doesn't get caught
He really can be such a brat

The orange cat is Archie by name
He thinks scratching me is a fine game
Archies jumps on my head
Then strikes a pose on the bed
For a photo to add to his fame

I'm writing this poem while he's here
He's demanding attention, that's clear
He purrs and he rubs
I think he wants grubs
An empty dish is his one great fear.

My First Poetry Friday

This is my first time taking part in Poetry Friday.  Many thanks to Molly Hogan of Nix the Comfort Zone for hosting this week.  The Poetry Friday hosting list can be found in the sidebar at A Year of Reading.

I have wanted to take part in this activity for a while now, especially since I have begun writing my memoir.  The harder I try to write this specific work of creative nonfiction, the more poetry starts to insist on coming out of my head.  I’m sure the Universe is amused at this.

Here are my two poems.

Superintendent

He walks the halls like
He owns them
These halls, these walls,
These doors, behind which
Tenants cower.
Jangling keys,
Steel-toed boots,
Stride of a mission.
Roof leak on
Rent day.

Quintet

Five graves on a cedar knoll
Roots twisted around stones,
The writing eroded.

In the surrounding pasture,
The cows, oblivious
To the nameless dead,
Flick futile tails at flies
Clustered to drink
In the pools of their eyes.

The sun shines down,
A light in August,
While life lolls on.

 

My Life in Five Stanzas

Every month in the Time to Write Community (part of Teach Write), we have a challenge or two to get our creative juices flowing to areas they might not have considered.

The challenge for February is “My Life in Five Sentences,” and since I’m usually trying to pull something together on the last day of the month, I thought I’d take an early stab at it.

Well, everything came to me as images, and as poetry instead of prose.  I wrote it and shared it with my fellow Time-to-Writers, and then debated sharing it here.  It’s pretty personal, and a little bit raw, but hey.  That’s — literally — Life.

My Life in Five Sentences

I was born a half-century ago
In a centuries-old city of
Fog, smokestacks, wharves,
And old brick.

At ten, I was dragged off to
Lower Suburbia, Different Province,
A community of cookie-cutter houses,
No ocean, few friends, 
And too many bullies.

My intuition led me to safe places
In the forms of teachers, 
And books, and libraries, with 
My own words pouring onto the page.

My twenties and thirties meant Home,
Back to my city of bricks and mist,
Marrying my mister, rocking an empty cradle,
And countless days assuming different names
With the front of the class my stage.

My forties were a blur stirred up
By a noon crosswalk and a Ford Focus,
Relearning to walk straight, to think straight,
And a slow regenesis of Self,
With my words being the last to return,
At the age of fifty.