The House On Tryon Street – #PoetryMonth 2018 – April 25

This is the stone wall at the bottom of the lumpy hill. The forsythia bush is off camera, to your right, beside the handsome devil with the baseball bat. The Hot Wheels graveyard is off camera, to your left, above the wall. The neighbors’ chickens frequently wandered all over the woods.

The House On Tryon Street
Sometimes I think I miss my childhood home,
halfway up the hill on Tryon Street.

Always in motion, Larry and I raced countless laps
starting with frantic leaps down the broad, creaky steps
of the wrap-around porch
which seemed, like the Golden Gate Bridge,
and like the house itself,
to be in a perpetual state of
half newly painted red or yellow or gray, and
half curling, peeling strips of weathered other-color.

A sprint across the pitted driveway,
a slalom through the saplings down the hill
to the dried-up drainage ditch where the pansies grew,
then up the stones dodging the neighbors’ chickens
(though who was dodging whom, really?)
to climb the catapult tree until it bent under our willow weight
and delivered us again to the grassless path
for a foolhardy careen back down the lumpy hill
past the sand box graveyard of dozens of Hot Wheels cars,
launching with a whoop off the stone wall near the forsythia bush
where the plastic army men held their summer battles,
into a dead run around the water-fight west lawn,
galloping back to the rear of the patient wrap-around porch,
to clamber up and over its balance-beam rail
and stampede along its stretching balustrade
where we used to stand in the spring to listen
for the pale thunder of distant river ice cracking in the thaw,
finally returning to our starting line
at the top of the broad, creaky steps.

Sometimes I think I miss my childhood home,
but in my heart I know that what I really miss,
of course,
is my childhood.

Poetry Month 2018
I’ve resolved a few times to write a poem a day during the month of April, and I actually succeeded once. I’m again trying it out. No idea what each day will bring. Some light verse, some politics, some “oh shit I didn’t write anything today” haikus. If you read one and feel moved to comment, please do. If you want to share your poetry, please share!
PS: Today’s poem prompt was provided by Kymberlie
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Today – #PoetryMonth 2018 – April 24

This is not actually a sunrise on Mt. Diablo, but it is a picture I took near Mt. Diablo, and it’s basically similar colors. It might be a sunset. Probably is.

Today
This time of year, the side of Mt. Diablo
burns orange with the fireworks of wild poppies,
as if Hekoolas has spilled all the paint
that she was saving for summer sunrises.
She will have to make do with just
the pale pink of water-washed blood
and the bright blue of discarded robin’s egg shells,
swirled into the dusty, reluctant pewter
of taciturn morning clouds.

During summer train rides to San Francisco,
I used to watch the sun rise over the mountain,
feeling my heart swell and my breath disappear
as the goddess mixed her paints to reveal the mood
she had chosen for that day.

My fellow under-caffeinated travelers,
easily addled in the fog of the commuter’s ritual,
looked down rather than up,
their heads bowed as if in reverence
while they sought enlightenment,
or at least a meditative distraction,
in their next game of Candy Crush.

Poetry Month 2018
I’ve resolved a few times to write a poem a day during the month of April, and I actually succeeded once. I’m again trying it out. No idea what each day will bring. Some light verse, some politics, some “oh shit I didn’t write anything today” haikus. If you read one and feel moved to comment, please do. If you want to share your poetry, please share!
PS: Today’s poem prompt was simply a random thought
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Happy 454th Birthday – #PoetryMonth 2018 – April 23


Happy 454th Birthday
On April first I set an earnest goal,
A challenge to myself with no excuse,
To spark a dormant feeling in my soul
And summon from her slumber poet’s muse.

Each day through rain and shine, in night and morn,
In coffee shops or out in empty field
Afraid of neither ridicule nor scorn
I toiled, focused only on my yield.

Now twenty-three days in, I’m nearly done—
A day behind but steady in my pace.
It’s difficult but also lots of fun,
Which in the end I think is no disgrace.

I’ve got to hand it to that famous bard,
‘cuz writing all this poetry is hard.

Poetry Month 2018
I’ve resolved a few times to write a poem a day during the month of April, and I actually succeeded once. I’m again trying it out. No idea what each day will bring. Some light verse, some politics, some “oh shit I didn’t write anything today” haikus. If you read one and feel moved to comment, please do. If you want to share your poetry, please share!
PS: Today’s poem prompt was provided by Robin, who reminded me of Shakespeare’s birthday
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Tolerance – #PoetryMonth 2018 – April 21

Tolerance
If you have cats that sometimes go outdoors,
You will get fleas.
Many people consider fleas to indicate
a moral failing not unlike joblessness,
or voting Democrat.
Churchgoing people certainly never get fleas;
God would not allow it
unless of course
the sincerity of the people in question
was generally thought to be suspect.

God enjoys a good plague on the unrighteous,
and flea infestations probably amuse Him.

If you have cats that sometimes go outdoors,
you may, from time to time, feel wrongly judged
by those who lack the courage
to have cats that sometimes go outdoors.
These people cannot stomach the realities of nature,
Like the horrific carnage of fierce hunters devouring half their prey
and leaving the rest disemboweled on the welcome mat,
or the demonic cacophony of forlorn heartache
when the stupid beast is stuck outside in the rain at midnight.
Or: fleas.

Those people retreat into comfortable cowardice,
unlike Noah who wrangled two cats of every fucking type—
tigers, lions, jaguars, siamese, tabbies, torties—
onto a boat—
a boat for Christ’s sake—
and who boldly faced forty days and forty nights
of litter box cleanup.

If you think Noah, a truly righteous soul
if ever there was one,
never suffered a flea bite,
then perhaps it’s time to rethink how you feel about
people who have cats that sometimes go outdoors.

Poetry Month 2018
I’ve resolved a few times to write a poem a day during the month of April, and I actually succeeded once. I’m again trying it out. No idea what each day will bring. Some light verse, some politics, some “oh shit I didn’t write anything today” haikus. If you read one and feel moved to comment, please do. If you want to share your poetry, please share!
PS: Today’s poem prompt was provided by some stupid cat
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Coverage Begins – #PoetryMonth 2018 – April 20

Coverage Begins
The noiseless television assures me that
coverage will begin shortly.
I trust this because my television
has never before lied to me
when it was silent.
Still, I feel challenged this morning
by its flat passive-aggressiveness.

Hasn’t coverage always begun?
Shortly is simply a relativity.

Each time I glance at the screen,
I enjoy a calm reassurance
in the steadiness of the universe.
One thing, at least, adheres to a
dependable predictability
amid the chaos which erupts in
climate-induced hurricanes and hate-induced tweet storms,
against the insecurity stoked by
volatile housing prices and collapsing job markets,
among the vague unease cultivated through
our friends’ facebook facades and pristine lawns maintained by immigrants.

Even though I have by now forgotten
which teams are to play shortly,
I smile, content in the knowledge that,
with the sureness of death and taxes,
coverage will always begin.

Poetry Month 2018
I’ve resolved a few times to write a poem a day during the month of April, and I actually succeeded once. I’m again trying it out. No idea what each day will bring. Some light verse, some politics, some “oh shit I didn’t write anything today” haikus. If you read one and feel moved to comment, please do. If you want to share your poetry, please share!
PS: Today’s poem prompt was provided by NBC Sports
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An American Father – #PoetryMonth 2018 – April 20

An American Father
In America, it’s unacceptable
to drink warm beer.

In America, it’s shocking
to want your Coke without ice.

In America, it’s questionable
to admit you don’t really care for baseball that much.

In America, it raises eyebrows
to ride public transit if you have a perfectly good car.

In America, people secretly smirk
if you’re into poetry.

In America, people like you
if you are rich, or if you are beautiful.

In America, fathers drive our families
to enormous stadiums
and empty our savings accounts
to buy ice-cold beverages
and watch tall, beautiful young men
play a game
that made us cry
when we were eight years old
because we struck out with a man on third
and we couldn’t hit the cutoff man
and we got caught stealing second
and afterward we sat on the curb
waiting for our ride,
alone,
until long after sunset

You might think that’s why
I drink my beer at room temperature,
but really I’m just too lazy
to put more in the fridge.

Poetry Month 2018
I’ve resolved a few times to write a poem a day during the month of April, and I actually succeeded once. I’m again trying it out. No idea what each day will bring. Some light verse, some politics, some “oh shit I didn’t write anything today” haikus. If you read one and feel moved to comment, please do. If you want to share your poetry, please share!
PS: Today’s poem prompt was provided by my warm beer called Cold Snap, and last night’s A’s game
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Another Two Days – #PoetryMonth 2018 – April 19 (written on April 20)

Another Two Days
The roses I bought you
are curling black at the tips
like they belong on the cover
of an album by an emo band

but I think we can get
another two days
out of them

They lasted a whole week,
just $9.99
plus tax
but hey
just $9.99
a whole week

I always feel weird
buying red roses
at Safeway

What will people think?
They’ll think I fucked up
and need to apologize
Or that I have no
imagination
or patience
and red roses are
all I can come up with

But you said you like red roses and
you seemed delighted
when I walked in the door,
red roses in hand,
kind of like the way
you seemed delighted
when I walked in the door,
years ago,
empty handed

and hey
just $9.99!

Poetry Month 2018
I’ve resolved a few times to write a poem a day during the month of April, and I actually succeeded once. I’m again trying it out. No idea what each day will bring. Some light verse, some politics, some “oh shit I didn’t write anything today” haikus. If you read one and feel moved to comment, please do. If you want to share your poetry, please share!
PS: Today’s poem prompt was provided by actual real red roses
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Marriage – #PoetryMonth 2018 – April 18 (written April 20)

Marriage
I pull weeds, sweating
under my shirt,
tiny stones grinding
divots into my knees

with my trowel I gouge the earth
It’s important
to get below the surface
all the way to the root

after all this work
I don’t want these weeds
to grow back
even though others
will surely sprout
to take their place

the yard looks tidy
from the street
crisply edged lawn
smoothly trimmed shrub
weedless gaps
between conspicuously intentional blooms

the yard looks tidy
from the street

the way it’s expected to

and I wonder if the neighbors
know how much sweat
you and I have dripped
into our tidy suburban display

Poetry Month 2018
I’ve resolved a few times to write a poem a day during the month of April, and I actually succeeded once. I’m again trying it out. No idea what each day will bring. Some light verse, some politics, some “oh shit I didn’t write anything today” haikus. If you read one and feel moved to comment, please do. If you want to share your poetry, please share!
PS: Today’s poem prompt was provided by weeds
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Final Flight – #PoetryMonth 2018 – April 17

Final Flight
A rage of flame
blasts invisible blue
from chrome jets
straight up

Waves billow
through the silk cavern
until flame-lit colors
rise from the dust

We shiver in the pre-dawn desert
amid of a horde of undulation
as sharp, fiery reports burst
and crack our pre-coffee silence

One by one,
the giants sway
until they lift
into the twilight dawn

to float

wherever the winds

will take them

Poetry Month 2018
I’ve resolved a few times to write a poem a day during the month of April, and I actually succeeded once. I’m again trying it out. No idea what each day will bring. Some light verse, some politics, some “oh shit I didn’t write anything today” haikus. If you read one and feel moved to comment, please do. If you want to share your poetry, please share!
PS: Today’s poem prompt was provided by terrible tragedy
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Rationalizations – #PoetryMonth 2018 – April 16

Rationalizations
It is only light after all,
but perhaps when it collides
with the silvered glass
to be bludgeoned back
the way it came
like a jai-alai pelota
hurled against the fronton wall,
perhaps like the image
made up of all those waves
and tiny pelotas,
that image which appears
reversed to the eye,
perhaps the truth of the light
going in
reverses into the lie of the light
coming back

Otherwise
why would we see highlighted
in the mirror’s reflection
only our outward flaws
and our inner charms

when true self reflection
should illuminate to us
our outward beauties
and our inner betrayals?

Poetry Month 2018
I’ve resolved a few times to write a poem a day during the month of April, and I actually succeeded once. I’m again trying it out. No idea what each day will bring. Some light verse, some politics, some “oh shit I didn’t write anything today” haikus. If you read one and feel moved to comment, please do. If you want to share your poetry, please share!
PS: Today’s poem prompt was provided by the photo
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