Category Archives: free verse

Pieces

There is a puzzle to the course of living,
the fragments pieced in the order of their discovery.
Framing is followed by detailed construction of the things you find familiar,
With lines of similar breadth and swaths of shades of color
that fade and brighten, trying to intercede
among the pieces where interlocking forms are implicit
though not fated to be joined.
The uniting of pictorial flakes, a rewarding, engrossing
event – that drives you on to seek another, and another beyond and so…
With long spells of delusion and vexation
interspersed among the brighter moments of recognition.
The fulfillment of a vignette completed
the emotions in a red-tinged array resound,
all assembled by meticulous serendipity,
and a confidence that all the pieces are there to be found.

An unexpected drive

I saw the sun sparkle between the leaves

just before the outpouring of red and gold,

that moment of flux when everything is not new.

A bird flock undulated in our view.

A tarnished framework bridge sat to cross over

the creek, a connection between us and there:

A rusty reminder of the history of travels.

How many have driven this dirt road before?

Who else remarked upon the aging of the beams, has seen the streaming

brown water beneath.

The near-autumn sun advanced

upon the field.

An apple orchard in neglect to the left.

Weeds stood in contrast with the trees,

yet, apples continued to ripen and drop throughout the field,

leaving a sustaining memory.

The bird flock returned to a billow and thrum

and I drove on, following a ebbing sun.

A conversation

I imagine that what comes after must be better than before,

No constant monitoring of the quality, that is to maintain

with manmade artifices,

of  how beautiful or how healthy we are.

For me, it is not to know. I am here.

But for you, there – passed beyond the walls of this world,

it should be filled with the flavors of wine and honey,

the laughter of the loved and lost,

the passage of infinite moments cast

equally of musical crescendo and allargando – and pianissimo.

As for me, I do not know.

I do not know when the brightest stars are going to fade.

Perhaps you can show me someday.

Sitting at your glass table, with coffee and fresh-baked bread

I listen to the rain, instead.

 

 

 

Keepsake

I’ve been sorting through old keepsakes,
some photographs I’ve found are faded now,
these echo sounds of places where I didn’t go – faces that I do not know
I can’t decide how to store them all –
The sepia memories of what you saw,
The air your family stories hold
should last as long as when you told them.
And what you did is what you wanted
To do, and nothing worse hindered you.
Scenes of travel – and songs of yore
Some motets in your mind’s reservoir.
Carols sung in a cavernous forum
were more than just some Ipsem Lorem.
Choirs of men and women singing
Relationships brought into being
How, lovely – snaps you strived to make
No different than our own keepsakes.
But yours dwelled firmly in His grace –
and dwelling in your family’s place
Devotion and hymn live with us here
Led with your baton, and your voice as clear
as when you walked into a room.
My minds-eye sees you, feels you too.
How lovely, this reminiscence sounds –
Even if an echo now.
Listening to you in my head
puts my thoughts to this poem’s thread
of places where the music soars
and you’re step-singing an angel chorus.
The keepsakes of your melody in harmony with the little things,
And now they’re ours, for all to sing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

In a moment of selective focus

Seeing narrow and close

the fresh rain that hangs like tears

from a florid pome and blurred green surrounds it.

The pinnacle of small details – the tip of a pen pressed

at the page or the placed dish inlaid with memories.

The indentions of your slow intake of breath fills me as you read

the texture from a leather-bound book.

Obsession takes a toll, roughshod over the global view

of landscape and horizon. Still and fixed,

the single moment aches in a story with pain

and the point that tarries after a kiss in the foreground, surrounded by rain.

***

This poem, a sparrow

I remember counting birds on summer mornings,
before the heat settled in,
I’d circle the house.
and count the sparrows and bluejays,
a robin or two and sometimes a cardinal.

A task that kept me focused
each and every morning – on small details
like the poetry now.
I looked for colors,
with hope that this time
I might see yellow in a warbler, a goldfinch,
the multicolored painted bunting
or hear a gleeful song that the mockingbird pretends.

The ominous black crow was not here, though venturing
near the field behind our house – I would hear caws
that echoed.

Tick marks on the page were used to tally,
and sparrows always led the count.
A swath of greys and brown, with patches
of blue and red, and always hoping for yellow.
The darkness far away.

This, before the summer heat settled.

Abandoned

The abandoned lines are welcome. They collect on scrips and pages.

Writing is something that I can not believe I will have time to do.

My first thought was to go back to the place where I was sitting.  For a time, I was simply there and trying.  Gardening, while a gang of robins followed me about the bed – inspecting my work.

The second thought was you. Somehow the verses always came as if you spoke them. You are not here and the poetry can be seen through; the language is not the answer. The rhythm is listless.

The drumbeats of my favorites are thrumming in the past.

I open up the door and get the mail from the slot.

There is a letter from a woman in Seattle, a postcard from a school friend visiting Niagara Falls, coupons for home improvement tasks, and a form letter guarantee for future savings – if I act now.

I write this all down for future projects, perhaps ones that could be emerald and glistening, for poems about lost souls and overwhelmed emotions.  For times when I need to cover. Maybe build a patio that sees the sky or install block windows to hide.

The abandoned lines are welcome, they fill the page and occupy my mind.

Bring your own

I cordially invite you to make this sandwich order with me soon;

read  from the post-it note I found on my walk

last Tuesday, just before noon.

It’s for a cheese-steak sandwich on sesame,

using both American and mozzarella cheese.

Laden with onions, probably red, and banana peppers, yellow,

the pungent and acetous toppings combating the cheesy marrow.

And if this weren’t enough acescent taste,

with lots of A-1 sauce, as told, the sandwich should be graced.

Likely you will thirst upon it’s completion,

this sandwich activates the salivary gland secretions-

and since I cannot offer what you seek,

bring your own preference of beverage, then, to drink.

***********

This poem was written in response to #summerofprompts entry 3 by Mary Biddinger and generally inspired by a found post-it note.

The Sentinel

I was there when the sun rose and watched it trim the horizon. The night wind kept me awake and swaying. Now, the sparrows sing as I gently swing to the breezes proffered me.

Somehow taller than yesterday, I can see a bit further. I bend towards the coming day, collecting the light. The arrhythmic pulse of beetles and alighting flying things courses through me.

The robin and the jay argue and flutter over nest placement. The stone path beside me stares upward in disbelief or ambivalence, I cannot tell the difference.

There will be others soon: Old ones that sit beneath me and drink in the silence. I understand the solitude. Young ones that run and squeal. I feel their joy.

Moments of complete stillness are rare and only abide in seconds. I hear them coming.

An end will come, pulled from the beginning of this day. A strand of light that dims and thins will precurse the wind turn. Stars beguile the sky.

I stand here, watching amidst the time and winds that move me.

*******

Written in response to #summerofprompts idea by Mary Biddinger.

Needlework

It is to admire, the dedication of Ireland to her writers and poets.

Stories and verse are held close and read in weekly doses.

The next writer featured from Oranmore or Kilmainham or Skibbereen.

All have something to be told.

Just as words born from Beckett and Heaney, Yeats and Tynan,

these are ancient and bold.

It is a patchwork stitched from ages of fabric and thread,

pierced with tales of loss and love and fairy trees.

Sometimes covered with gorse and rock, instead.

But almost always green and growing

beneath a cloudful blue, with the wind blowing.

Held fast in stone with those who’ve passed

or washed in crashing waves felt in the west.

Words that only come from those who live and die

stitched to their land with a needle through a feather in the sky.