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Poems, Poetry Prompts

License

I was completely uninspired by yesterday’s “Write a license poem” prompt, and so I left it, again, until the last minute, and here I am the next morning, awakened by cats and a disturbing dream, writing yesterday’s poem. I decided to write a blessing for a new driver.

Blessing for a New Driver
by Beth Weaver-Kreider

May you be wise behind the wheel.
May your eyes be clear and undistracted.
May you feel your freedom hitched
to real responsibility.
May you be safe.
May you be safe.
May you be free.

Poems, Poetry Prompts

Little Tree

Last evening, the computer and Chromebook were in use, and I hate to type on my phone, so I let yesterday’s prompt–to write a poem titled “Little (_______)“–go until this morning.

The little apple tree is a doorway,
a liminal space between here and beyond.

When you open the door of your heart
and walk beneath her branches,

you might find yourself not in cultivated fields,
but in the wild woods of the Lady herself.

Though she stands alone in this world,
her roots run deep in the soil of the Sacred Grove.

Her branches brush the branches of her sisters,
there in the world where she was truly sprouted.

Listen for the voice of the One who calls you,
open the quiet spaces within you,
and settle in silence at the base of her trunk.
You, too, may feel the winds of another world
rustling through your own branches.

Poems, Poetry Prompts

Not Why, But How

Today’s Prompt on the Poetic Asides blog is to write a Reason Poem:

There is no reason.
Simply this:
The Beloved is. And you are.
And that is all there is for reason.

Oh, there’s a tiny blue butterfly
on a golden flower in a field of green.
And the way that vulture
stood upon the wind
above the river last winter,
how you could see
the snow-furred animal shape of the ridge
through the stripes of naked trees.

Love slips out through the bars of reason.
Like the butterfly, like the vulture.
Like golden, like whisper, like tears.
It’s more vision than reason,
more realm, more white horse
galloping through dream.
More one single ray of light
shining through the forest canopy
to sparkle on a stone at your feet.

Why do you love me? has only one answer:
You are. But how? Now there is a question
with myriad answers, vast as the universe.
Look up and outward, and you will see.

How do you love me? you ask the Beloved.
She answers: Stone, sunshine, horse,
breeze, butterfly, waterfall, and blue, blue, blue.

Poems, Poetry Prompts

Catch and Release

Brewer’s Poetic Asides Prompt today is Catch and Release.

Catch and Release

These idea-fish that swirl and swish
through the watery-airy stratum
above my frantic brain, how they
beg my attention, how they flip
their fringed and flowing tails,
how they sparkle in the sunlight.

I would catch them all and keep them,
dance with them in schooled formation,
watch them flow from my pen, from my
fingers, onto the pages, into the flow
of words, of sentences, of stories.

But the rushing streams of my living
have space and time for only a few,
a blue one here, three golden koi,
and a catfish with a mouth as wide
as the world. And then I must swim
with the currents for all I am worth,
hoping my chosen companions
will keep pace with me, while I find
us a quiet pool where we can settle
into the rhythm of the tales they bring.

So many I have had to release
back to the pools of time, hoping
that someone, somewhere else,
will find them, will see their beauty,
will set them flowing onto a page.

Poems, Poetry Prompts

That Which Claims Us All

Brewer’s Poetic Asides Prompt today is to write a prediction poem:

Who could have predicted that flame?
On the same day water took the Titanic,
who could guess that fire would claim
the cathedral of Our Lady?

Or that the mosque on thrice-holy Temple Mount
would on the same day see its courtyard catching fire?
We want our works to last forever, our ships unsinkable,
our mosques and temples and cathedrals
proof against the ages, against the ravages of time.

We weep for beauty and reverence lost,
tossed by water, by flame, into the void.
And we stand, unified in our common horror,
to gasp at the falling spire, to sing in the face
of that which claims us all in the end.

Uncategorized
Waiting for the tornado warning to pass, fooling around in the basement stairwell. The boys thought the shine through my glasses gave me laser eye.

The Prompt today is to title a poem the name of a state or territory or province. I’m not sure how much I have to say about my state.

Pennsylvania

I think of quartzite. Lots of it.
Winking in the sun as if it has a message
to send in Morse code. And limestone,
the bubbled rock, prone to give way
in sudden sinkholes. And schist and mica
and the nuggets of limonite, compelling in their squareness.
South of here, the serpentine,
a stone that holds within itself
maps of Earth’s geologic history.

The woods are no longer Penn’s,
and really, they weren’t his to divide in the first place,
cutting and marking the places
where Manifest Destiny would make spaces
for colonists to conquer. Even my gentle Mennonites
were not blameless.

On this side of the Alleghenies,
everything runs to the Susquehanna,
and thence to the Bay, and then to the ocean.
Cabin creek begins as a spring somewhere
above us on the ridge, and flows right to the river.

(I can’t figure out where this is going, and I need to go to bed. So it’s a fragment tonight.)

Poems, Poetry Prompts

The View From Here

Today’s Poetic Asides Prompt is to write a View Poem. As is so often the case, I have come to the end of the day tired and foggy.

The View from Here

Down the hill on Ducktown Road through the woods, the open view
begins with a plush Persian rug of purple dead nettle and chickweed,
glowing with the life force of spring, and dotted with golden dandelions.

Beyond, the peach tree blossoms are begin to open on the branches
like pink popcorn, a few more each time we pass,
and the ridge, darker behind the farms of our little valley,
even that winter brown is is tufted with green and shining red.

It’s a cloud-watching day, with a Maryblue sky,
and I think that if I could travel anywhere in the world
to find a beautiful landscape, I might just come right here.

Poems, Poetry Prompts

The Art of Dreaming

Poeming today on The Art of __(BLANK)__.

The Art of Dreaming

You need to brood, to hold the day-world deep,
to creep through hallways and tunnels
in buildings you half remember.
Keep things in their rooms, hidden in hollows,
behind oaken doors and up stairways,
through arches and curtains,
where they become something else,
symbols of themselves, monsters and midwives.

You must step into the stream of the story,
find peace in the threads of the tale
that the smallest elf of your deepest self
is telling you, sifting and shifting images,
sliding pictures through your vision
like an old-time stereoscope.

Do not try to remember. Look sideways,
like you do at the Pleiades, which you can only see
when you look beside them, and never directly.
The memory of dreams requires just such a two-step,
a soft and sideways focus, peripheral.
Write them down. Don’t force sense upon them,
but let them unravel onto the page.

Poems, Poetry Prompts

Thorn in My Side

Today’s Poetic Asides Prompt is to write a poem that is a dedication, or a poem with a dedication.

Thorn in My Side
to my Gadfly

Here’s the thing:
The outrage dissipates so much more quickly now.
There’s the kick in the gut when I see your name
there on the email, and I think, “Here we go again,”
and then a moment of panic, another of anger,
and then, this time. . .

I sat there just watching what was happening
inside my head, expecting the roaring in the ears,
the tunneling of vision, the white light blinking
in the back of my brain. And there was nothing, really.
And then, what I didn’t expect: gratitude.
Quiet, twinkling gratitude, and steady purpose.

That shocked me. I’m so used to the exhausting fury,
the worry and self-righteous indignation.
But this time I may have begun to pass the test,
to rest a moment in my breathing, then focus on my center,
to enter–finally–a space where I can see myself,
and you, and shift the focus of the attack.

The thing is:
You have been a better teacher
than you could ever imagine,
and likely more than you intend,
and I have been a less than willing student,
too eager to defend my ego
in the face of your attacks.

You’ve taught me to be curious
about the fury that you send my way,
to stay within my heart-space,
even to offer grace in the midst of your rage.
I have found safety that you cannot touch,
your cages will catch me no longer.
I’m stronger now, and I can hold the net
you toss my way, and turn it
to a golden thread.

Gratitudes, Poems, Poetry Prompts

Poplar and Sycamore

Today’s Poetic Asides Prompt is to write a lone poem.

Some trees develop friendships, they say,
filling out their branches on the outer edges,
criss-crossing the air between them
with a fine hatch of lighter branches,
creating two halves of a single crown.

When they took down the old poplar,
seventy years old and ninety feet tall,
and rot-wood spreading from its heart,
half the sky in the hollow was revealed,
its other half still obscured by sycamore,
now lone and lopsided, missing half a crown.

Beneath the drive, buckled now by poplar’s knees,
are their roots still entwined?


Gratitude List:
1. Green grass, blue sky, puffy white clouds, and pink trees.
2. The children playing outside together
3. Serendipity and synchronicity
4. Traffic was a breeze this afternoon. (I know this one seems petty, but it’s a really big deal to me. On a good day, I can get to school in 25-30 minutes. The ride home can top 45.)
5. The water is back on. We have not had water since Friday when the pump failed. The plumber is now my hero, and I told him so.

May we walk in Beauty!