Tag Archives: free verse

A Winter Song (A Cento)

In silence, they dissolve before dawn-
the words my heart was calling.
They are not in the sun,

I can hear the noiseless sound raining down.
Nothing but the white vowels of the wind,
a perfect song is loveless.
The snow is beautiful on the ground.

For still the night through will they come and go,
unerringly toward the same trysting-place,
making beauty
with iced and darkened flow
on every road I wandered by.

Music, I’ll call it music,
she must have a song at any cost
again and again out of the world’s cold deafness.

*****
This Cento is comprised of lines from the following poets:
Mo H Saidi, Sara Teasdale, Avot Yeshurun, AE Stallings, Miguel Hernandez, Kenneth Patchen, DH Lawrence, Tony Hoagland, Thom Gunn, Philip Levine, Margaret Julia Marks, Graham Foust, Carolyn Wells, AE Houseman, Dabney Stuart

Earnest

Having arrived, definitively,

from your origins

as a thought

from far away –  your power

to hold us all as newly born,

as something once not, yet now are –

created solely from bonds of love-

you are a certitude, swaddled in assurance.

You shine

and we are radiant.

*****

This week we welcomed our grandson into the world.  I am almost speechless in my ability to convey how this impacted me.

 

 

Wood matters

Smoke arises from the chimney stack

in billows

from an untended burn.

It smolders and flashes, then flames.

More provocation

and maybe some oak, dense among woods,

for fuel;

it brings back the smoke

to choke away the cleansing flame

and obscure the fire,

producing words like bitterness and char.

 

arise and sing

Of leaves,
liven up their dance
a rustling disturbance,

The wind, entr’acte, passing by,
does prick and ply their motions.
Embrace them, turn and whirl,
and love-struck, fails to die.

A wind swirling with its bustle
causing them to rustle
(as leaves are sessile).
Their time and captivation ending
with hues of autumn shifting.

Rending.

The wind, incitement with a sound included;
leaves breaking free
then flight from tree, soon denuded.
This joy in purpose released towards the heaven.

Of lives, they leaven.

********
The reworking of an old poem from ca. 2005-6. I think I like this better.

Maybe

There is a secret around the corner
that the roses will be red instead of pink;

the sunset and sunrise will both illuminate
the dark moments – far more eloquently than any word.

There are remnants of language,
The laughter of loved ones and strangers
are beauty in a spattered world –
and strung-together notes of the discordant are melodious when unfurled.

There is a depth in every eyeful gathered from a window
and a coolness in the soil grasped by each hand.

You feel the heat that summer’s afternoon conceives,
and I hear the whiskers of October’s morning in the leaves.

There are shadows that crawl in the day
and charming smiles that ornament a night.

And this is truth’s impassioned plea to our humanity,
and affirms the secrets we sometimes cannot see –
perhaps, life is our communal way to share
and maybe, each one of us is rare.

******
The events of this past week have weighed heavily on me – the loss of two very successful, highly creative individuals to suicide, and the realization that this type of hopelessness impacts far more people than we know/understand. There is such beauty and importance in life, and each one of every one of us has a rare gift to share with others. Remember this.
Wishing you all a wonderful week.

Lament (a Cento)

Our one forever,

when it stole through the red gates of sunset
left over from autumn, and the dead brown grass
is yet vibrant with the cadence of the song you might have been.

No longer mired in waiting to begin.

They tell us the night means nothing,
and the candles their light the light.

Nothing is hid that once was clear,

then gone and then to come:
all the time, except the split
second, except—

What is there to say except to lament.

You live in the wrong place.

There’s no flowering time to come.

The hands fell off my watch in the night

and you counted the time
from this instant.

**********************
This Cento contains lines from the following poets: 

Kenneth Rexroth, John Koethe, Lola Ridge, Brenda Hillman, Martha Collins,  Melissa Kwasny, Katharine Tynan, Esther Louise Ruble, David Yezzi, Lena Khalaf Tuffaha, Jonathan Galassi, Michael Goldman, Robert Francis, and Lucille Clifton.