Our next installment of edited poems from last week’s poetry jam on Twitter is below. As I edited the contributions, it was fascinating to see the twists and turns, and how a word or a phrase could shift the whole flow. The shift, however, is gradual, mostly because of the time delays associated with the various applications we’re using to post.
I’m also learning that, even in a poetry jam, there is a narrative.
Poems from the House of Memory – 4
Window Shopping for Breakfast
Window shopping. Listening, leaning
toward cream and sugar, white
cream, catching light for the children in
the morning. They will have oatmeal and
milk and talk about toys and books
while I drink my coffee with cream.
I like lots of cinnamon on my
oatmeal and I like my milk whole and
ice cold from the fridge. I
hold a peach, kiss its cheek. Bring
the tin for peaches and smooth cream.
Peaches, cones find me alone,
soft, rough to the touch. My sons will
wake early and greet the day, ready
for whatever adventure awaits, and
I will be tired. Always, so tired.
I am willing
to toil and escape being
just a spectator, in spite of
or because of
the lovely bits carried by a spectator.
They are buried so far down, that
you are having to dig, but digging is
sure to turn up treasure.
So often I am the spectator, even
from the middle of the action
I just watch brains churn words,
sun-struck, dazed with delight.
I only needed a longer
churning to make me smooth.
What makes a spectator
Grouchy when the sun asks
him to be otherwise?
Hollow Like a Tin Can
In the morning, hollow like
a tin can, I will close the day
before it begins, but get up as
moonlight sneaks one last
moment through the window,
shattering pain through panes.
How can this heart, restless and
Leaning, be ready to fly?
Now the tin is too hot, too long
in the sun, but still hollow, empty.
Hang me like a tin can from
low branches; knock me as you pass.
Hear what sound echoes from tin,
a tin heart for a tin man,
beggar of scarlet passing the
bucket for love.
Maybe His echoing laughter, waiting for
us when there shall be no
beats to a sound we hear not.
I am scarecrow and tinman and
cowardly lion, but mostly I
am Dorothy searching for
News of a Baby
I hear the news
a baby is due. A baby makes smooth
edges to prickly pine cone.
She will give birth to all
womanhood, to the giggles
of a little girl that never will be mine.
I will need to remember
how to change a diaper.
I will worship at her tiny feet,
her baby belly laughs,
and let the life-stone ripples
sail through my body
and take away the regret.
Tonight, I slid into hot bath
water and thought about
babies and wombs and births that
will never be.
I took that chance from me.
- Poets and Poems: Benjamin Myers at “The Family Book of Martyrs” - January 31, 2023
- Poets and Poems: Laura Mullen and “After I Was Dead” - January 24, 2023
- “Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard” – An Old Poem, a New Artwork - January 17, 2023