My ticker tape shows a lot of ups and downs

Today I wrote my seventeenth poem in seventeen days, and I’m not even sure if I want to post it! Maybe I’m stretching myself too thin. Maybe everyone doing this April poem challenge is. But, at the same time, it’s only a poem. So what, right? They aren’t all going to be good ones, or ones for the ages, just a record of a moment in time.

The following little poem came from Robert Lee Brewer’s idea to begin with “All I Want Is…,” and then fill in the blank with a word. Some people wrote very funny poems. One guy wrote that all he wanted was to have some hair on his head.

All I Want is a Pixie

She’ll have translucent skin
traced with a fan of blue veins.

The jellied knuckles of her hands
will roll and wave as she riffles

through the stacks of papers on my desk,
filing and shredding during the long

tunnel of my sleep, yet she is no dream.
Like the Shoemaker, in the morning

I’ll find the laundry folded,
smelling of lavender and wind,

a loaf of cinnamon bread on the counter
next to a pot of just-brewed coffee.

She ‘ll want nothing for herself,
but she’ll take delight in the tiny

spring dress I’ll make for her
out of dandelions and jasmine.

***

That poem is code for “my house is a pig sty and I don’t want to clean it.” I grew up with a mother who was a clean freak, and my grandmother was even worse. I have stacks of paper all over my desk, and there’s dog hair on the blue comforter in my office/guest room. My dog sleeps on the bed while I sit at my desk. Why did I pick dark blue when I have a white dog? And why do I avoid cleaning?

Here’s a rondeau I wrote yesterday, as practice for one I wrote later. I’m posting it here just to have a record of my insanity progress. And also to give you a good laugh. Just don’t cringe, please.

Ticker tape

Bankers and poets are in the red,
each one living in dread
that the well has now run dry,
that today is the last high.
In the morning all bets

are off, horoscopes remain unread,
writers and auditors stay in bed,
robbers only dream of heists,
because we’re all in the red.

Hot tears have been shed,
divorce and panic widespread.
Some have sacrificed
fatted calves, or decried
the wisdom of talking heads,
just to deny they are in the red.

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April poems, thirteen out of fourteen

I’m a three-speed Schwinn

And you are an Aston Martin, midnight blue,
on a solo cruise down the Autobahn,

your speed so crazy cliffs, trees, stars and moon
whip together in a frenzied banner
brushing your sleek lines.

Have you forgotten what the sky
looks like, even when your top is down?

When was the last time you stopped
to give someone a ride?

As the sun rises from a patch of spring violets,
you close your eyes in a darkened garage
and your engine no longer vibrates.

I bring up the rear, pushing my pedals on the open road
until my heart frays – tiny, untouchable threads.

***

I have to write one more poem or at least a rough draft (and really they are all drafts, at this point) to catch up with the pace of April poems. And I really feel like the bicycle in this poem – my energy is flagging a tad bit. It’s hard to churn out a poem to a specific prompt. But at the same time, I’m a ‘good student’ type, and if someone gives me an assignment I can generally rise to the challenge. So at least I’m writing.

This poem is based on a prompt I wrote for Read Write Poem about cars. Which means I’m writing to my own prompt. Student and teacher in one. I also included it in the Poetic Asides poem-a-day challenge in the category of objects.

April poems, twelve out of thirteen

Ninja Mama

The ninja sightings began
after I started watching
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
with my young boys.

But the ninjas stalking me weren’t
the jolly types who eat pizza
and break dance on their shells.

No, these shadows peeked
around the corners of the toilet paper aisle
at Kroger, trying to steal my coupons,
or they hid among the stacks of poetry
books at the library,
learning my line breaks.

Because of the ninjas
I learned to pivot on one foot,
kick my leg as high
as the top of a door frame,
wave my arms in figure eights
to confound my enemies.

They will never know what hit them.
I will whorl around like a spider monkey,
fly over their heads like a bat,
shower them with a spray of stars.

When my boys dress as ninjas
for Halloween, I will be one too.
They’ll be proud of me,
a mother who can kick ass.

***

I think I’m losing it a little bit, with this constant stream of poems! Oh well. This one is for Jill’s prompt about movies, and Robert Lee Brewer’s prompt about hobbies. It would be very bad-ass to be able to fly around like those Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon fighters, wouldn’t it? Except I wouldn’t want to do any damage, just pretend, and show off my skills. 🙂

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April poetry, day 8

Beach Rituals

At sixteen my son and his two friends
are cresting the first wave of manhood –
their arms and legs extend

from their torsos like freshly molded
coils of clay, and a glaze of down
glistens on their upper lips.

After slapping on a few dabs of sunscreen
they trudge across the sand, in the wake
of three Venus de Milos with dimpled hips.

Laughter trails away with the cries
of gulls and breakers. A breeze carries
the scent of salt, mollusks, and seaweed

to my spot under a lime-green tent,
where I’m sheathed in a long-sleeve blouse,
protected with sunglasses and a hat.

They bare their chests beneath
a sun nailed to the sky, poised to forget
that I’m in the background, waiting.

***

This one was supposed to be about routines, but I veered from the theme a bit. It’s hard to write or even think about routines when I’m at the beach.

From my vantage point on a bench outside the Venice Library there’s a giant palm tree, a live oak with a wide canopy,and a lovely sea breeze calling me back to the waves. I miss you all, but I’ll catch up when I return on Sunday. I have a few poems to write between now and then, since I’m a day behind with napowrimo!

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