When he’s here,
I’ll not be there.
Everyone knows I’m a coward
who’ll refuse his foot-in-the-door.
I’ll pull the shades
turn off the light
throw the chain-bolt.
I will be sneaky
as he is punctual.
“A look and a hug; a soft hug. I press the doll to my breast and smile, trying to recapture those moments…
Then my Aunt says, ‘Don’t you remember playing with her? I found her in my attic and thought you might get a kick out of seeing her again.’
It is shocking to see something you played with at age five and now you are fifty-five. An abandoned love. I try to grasp her memory. I hold her like a baby. The wonder, hope, and spirit might rise again within me so I might own her. But that five year old girl gone; abandoned. The giggles and kisses blurred, buried and put away in the attic years ago.”
Desirous to be loved, we seek our own
and when we find it, that is where we leap.
An attic jewel shining mid the dust
and so the mind stirs anxiously to seek
but in its reaching finds a darker door
and in that search may see a deadly scene.
Here’s Minnie Amerine, lost to her scene.
She shares a placid beauty all her own.
But cold, her muted lips a dungeon door
upon her porcelain face no motives leap.
What was her heart’s desire; what did she seek
for one so young now gone to stifling dust?
Will each of us discover, through that dust
an answer to the riddle of life’s scene?
Her eyes would speak of love we all do seek:
acceptance for a corner of our own
before we hear the bell; before we leap
before our life becomes that clos`ed door.
Now gaze upon that face; a cloistered door.
No frown but one brief moment’s smile to dust.
On death, a frozen smile forever leaps
upon the photo of this lovely scene:
Did you once guard a love you called your own
before death’s jealousy sent arms to seek?
While looking in her face, her beauty seeks
to open up another worldly door.
‘Fore time is frozen, I will call my own
before the dust will smother me to dust.
Before I turn from Minnie, leave her scene:
her tragic, early death does make me leap.
And through her mirrored eyes, I scream and leap.
And in her frozen smile, my love still seeks
to know what she was like behind that scene.
Her spirit filled with breath behind closed doors?
Or is our Minnie gone to cosmic dust;
her beauty but a bit of atom’s own?
Now leap upon the face of beauty! Seek!
Hold to that scene where love’s beyond the door.
Remember Minnie’s dust is but our own.
(I have been busy lately tracing my ancestry. Minnie was born 1892 and died, tragically at age 17 in 1910 after birth of my husband’s father in 1909.) Was looking for inspiration for a Sestina. Some say the form is more fun for the writer than the reader. I don’t know about that. A sestina is a lot of hard work. I would welcome any help, criticism or comment. Thanks.
Since people fearful of this topic most,
its theme does pleasure no one but our host.
Man’s muddied up the waters for review
and so our turbid topic in a stew.
He’s known by cryptic such as ‘passed away’
or some do like to say ‘he could not stay’.
And some resound ‘he’s gone to better place’
but none of us seem willing in the chase.
Though subject’s known to all, and all will cuss
that time when he may come, we all adjust.
To those who gripe and moan and then debate
the terror and the ills of his estate,
‘Tis only death who offers apt reply:
“What better options lie beneath your sky?”
I challenge you to write a poem in the form of a review. You can review either animate or inanimate things, real places or imaginary places. You can write in the style of an online review (think Yelp) or something more formal that you might find in a newspaper or magazine. (I imagine that bad reviews of past boyfriends/girlfriends might be an easy way to get into this prompt, though really, you can “review” anything in your poem, from summer reading lists for third graders to the idea of the fourth dimension).
“Since You are Gone”
I know my hours stray since you are gone;
alone, among the silent clouds each day.
I know our separation just as strong
as sinking sun grabs night; drowns in its sway.
No long forgetfulness is left to thrive.
My memory begins when you appear:
it stabs the conscience, hard, since I survive.
Cruel logic and my reason brings no cheer.
I know about your dying; it’s a fact.
You were adrift on rivers filled with dreams;
once reconciled, death formed a friendly pact.
Your somnolesense tricked by him it seems.
I know more of that black void we descend;
Apology to death, we living tend.
Write a poem that states the things you know. The things you “know” of course, might be facts, or they might be a little bit more like beliefs. Hopefully, this prompt will let your poem be grounded in specific facts, while also providing room for more abstract themes and ideas.
She pushes, coaxes, presses needle through.
With labored love, the handsome fabric glows;
the heart, remorseful, with it thus imbued.
Her stitches mixed with tears, the fabric knows
she makes her mourning coat from their love nest.
Resounding chimes the tolling bell
that beckon all to see his final best:
that coat of many colors where he dwells
as, lovingly, her thimble now may rest.
The first fly catches her scent in the hot, summer wind. Buzzing his arrival, he scrapes his feet and glories in the Guava juice erupting from her mouth. Death is a strong, sweet thing for those with voracious appetite. Guardians of the Dead leave sticky, spiny footprints tracking her body, their microscopic ears attuned to a tornado of hissing emerging from her last gurgling expiration.
“Why Are You So Silent, Jackleen?”
So while she sleeps, she snuggles here with me.
I hold her tiny feet close to my breast.
No baby’s breath I sense as she so breathes.
No sound is heard. My rocker takes a rest.
Her fading flower forgives too-early bloom.
The petals close upon my rosy child.
We sway as she drifts close to home, too soon.
My rocking stops. I listen in a while.
And I, grandmother of some ancient curse;
I cannot hold her in my anguished arms.
I shudder; hand her to the waiting nurse.
My heart-child: we must keep her from all harm.
Nurse bundles her from sight as I must keen:
“Why…why do you so silent, sleep, Jackleen?”
(Day 29, April PAD, Writer’s Digest. Prompt: Write a Reality poem.)