October 2007


Mama would brush her daughter’s tendrils
as if she could fingerpaint the past away,
and her toddler would chocolate-smile and lick the brownie batter
while Mama’s haunted eyes never completely refocused.

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This is inspired by the 4-line challenge hosted by The Arcanum Cafe (link below). In this exercise, poets must write only FOUR lines based upon a one-word prompt. In this case, the prompt is “cobwebs.”

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Before leaving for work
I glance back at the bed–
Not too subtle, but you are asleep,
Dreaming of what, I can only imagine.

Under the covers, your form a smooth topography–
So tempting to rejoin you

There. Warm sheets, my lips pressed
On your shoulder like a just-licked postage stamp,
Greedy for more of your touch,
Eager to hear one of your sleepy sighs.
Tousled black hair, a shadowy corona encircling your
Head—I can feel its seductive softness
Even now, poised on the morning’s edge–I smile, and
Remember.

 

He fed me pomegranate seeds
one by one; I felt the rubies burst
on my tongue–now I’m tethered here,
living a half-life, shrouded in darkness.

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Poor Persephone, tricked into living with Hades for half of every year. I wrote this small poem in response to the Exercises and Challenges bulletin board posted on http://www.arcanumcafe.com

There, writers post a four-line poem that is inspired by one word left in a previous bulletin board post. I used the word “Underworld.”

She watches her lover sip the witches’ brew
with disgust, his familiar form silhouetted by the evening’s blue cloak.

Many twilights are spent the same way–
listening to the koi swish beneath the pond’s
mirrored-glass surface, time passing with each pucker
of their orange-black lips. Her fish friends speak a foreign language;

she believes that they murmur secrets about escape–

help trapped within bubbles that rise to the surface.
She leans in closer to capture the mysteries
and drown out the icy tinkle in his nearby glass
as he brings it to his lips, lost in his own rituals.

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This was in response to a writer’s block challenge, for which you have to write a poem based upon words listed by a previous writer. The words I got–disgust, blue, many, glass, time, friends, help. Why don’t you give a poem a try using the same words?