Below are five poems and five fragments pulled from our recent Twitter poetry party. The prompts were taken from lines of poems included in Harvesting Fog: Poems by Luci Shaw.
The Cinnamon Beetle 5
By @memoriaarts, @mdgoodyear, @llbarkat, @EricSwalberg, @luci_shaw, @gyoung9751, @RuminateMag, @mrsmetaphor, @doallas, @LoveLifeLitGod, @nmdr_, @KathleenOverby, @Sand_RAD, @mxings, @mmerubies, @charsingleton, @CherylSmith999, @lauraboggess, and @VinaMist. Cameo appearances by @LuvStomp, @poemblaze and @annkroeker. Edited by @gyoung9751.
Consumption of words
Why aren’t you rushing?
The ashes are disappearing
like words, words that nourish,
truth that burns going down.
I will always eat your words;
you are never too late. Bitter
taste it leaves is better than not.
I would eat them
a thousand days,
a thousand nights.
The ashes of black tea are
cinnamon and sugar on your breath
A spoonful of sugar with or without
the medicine; sugar,
sugar, to put out the fire!
Nor are your words spent like ash,
spread like ash in the balm,
a coating thick
cinnamon and sugar
a coating thick on toast.
I am not averse to ashes worn
on the forehead of my soul.
My forehead burns. I like the fire:
it spreads like paprika words.
I scatter paprika like ashes on the bread
just a dash of it is spice enough in a night.
And butter, there must be a pat. Sugar
cannot hid the painful ash sliding down
word made flesh, burning tongue drinks
the glass red as fire. Shards, like words, heal.
Ashes must lay fallow to grow again
and we wait, rushing not.
The girl with no shadow
I want to be the girl with no shadow, but
I cannot be her. I love myself too much.
My shadow is my dearest friend. I lit
the candle, three-wicked, and I watched
the flame in the dark, and I smelled
the perfume of your ashes. Now,
with pink pills, they take a knife
to my shadow, ripping her apart
at the seams, covering her mouth,
and she tries so hard to scream.
When do you know your candle flame
is dying? Who is there to say this is
the end? My therapist says I have
a way with words and something
deep inside me tries to sing.
More than a year since I held her
hand in that coma no one knew
would end. Now she rolls her eyes
at me, stands to watch TV, smirks.
I cleaned the dresser last night.
I have milk-pale skin and cinnamon
freckles and ice cream breasts and
hard rock eyes. I am edible and
unknowable. I am one.
I will put my cinnamon wherever
I want to; no clause could hold me.
My rocky eyes betray my indecision.
I do not know what I want…
who I am…
where we are.
Is it bad to miss the words
that come with theinsanity?
Love once taken
Love once taken
can only be returned.
Love never received
can still be longed for
Return, my love,
return from the islands
of spice, unmask
this heart, rend
like the curtain, torn.
Shear me wide open
or speak of the scent
A river of words
I interrupt the rush of milk-pale river
of words that lie on my tongue, unkept.
Words, water rushing, carving paths they
never expected to travel, interrupt
the nights, interrupt the waves, washing
smooth stones to step upon, under
cool water, and cool water beside the bed
before we pray, before we say goodnight.
I interrupt the noise of crashing waves
and sit in the ashes of silence, listening
to poems of the deep, inhaling
the sand smells, the years of thrashing
these stones. Walking the shallow river
by moonlight, I feel the cool on my feet;
a blessing. The river of moonlight flows
swiftly through time, lulling me to sleep.
The stones, smooth stones, river born,
know my skin, feel my pulse in their fingers,
spill beneath my feet.
Crystalline rigid prisms splinter,
quartz gathers, glows.
And quartz and clouds like stones
and the pulse of milk against the skins
of strawberries tenderly crushed
between the teeth; such fruit, swimming
in cream, floating and brand new, is savored.
Inspired by joy, I dine on goats milk and
strawberry panini I made myself. I once
wrote of eating strawberries with a man
in bubbling hot water, chocolate dripping.
I wrote our love. The moonlight flows like
thick cream on bowls of strawberries.
I am a berry and I wait my turn.
Five fragments, and shards
Leave your father and your mother,
and cleave… cleave to me.
Do hold, and pierce and cleave,
leaving a mark, the way a lover does,
in the face of a full moon.
I was manic then, throwing words
at the screen, like they were
the only way to save myself and,
somehow, they were my poison.
Two eyes I have; I can look straight
Ahead and straight into your soul
but what if I’m blind in one eye or
the other or both?
Blessing and curse,
each terse verse
lifted from the fire,
cupped in these hands.
Shadows worn without apology,
don’t try to lose or loosen them.
Sometimes clouds shadow us;
sometimes lightning burns us
Lightning, too quick to catch
flashes glass clouds
of shadow skin.
- Poets and Poems: Andrew Benson Brown and “Legends of Liberty” - September 14, 2021
- ‘Spoon River America’: Jason Stacy on the Myth of the Small Town - September 7, 2021
- Poets and Poems: Thomas Colquith and ‘Let Our Memories Escape’ - August 31, 2021