Tuesday, April 01, 2008

The Asparagus are Up... Celebrate with Poetry

April showers bring May flowers... Lousy poem, wonderful sentiment.

Around the third week in March, I start to scan the earth carefully, looking for signs of upheaval and rebellion. I especially watch the asparagus beds; their arrival is the harbinger of Spring.

On March 29, two days earlier than last year, I spotted the first spear thrusting bravely forth. Two weeks before the first meal - yum. This week, the lilacs have budded, forsythia blazes, the currants have set green knobs, along with the hydrangea, and the plum trees are covered in soft white blooms.

April is National Poetry Month. I am joining a few other intrepid poets at Poetic Asides and will pen (or try to) a new poem or some facsimilie every day. For this first week, I'll post my scribblings here daily (and remember - these ARE first drafts. Very first drafts!).


APRIL 1 - Newton’s Principia
(or A Young Boy’s Lesson on Gravity)

He flies free beneath shocking blue brilliance,
on cider-tinged air, quills quiver and twist.
Crimson stains white, the world roars its silence;
bodies of mass fall, clenched into tight fists.

(In a rondeau redouble, the first stanza is very important - the next four echo each line in turn, using a proscribed rhyme sequence. Very tricky. But very fun and satisfying.)


APRIL 2 (Prompt: You are someone else)

The Boss of You

Another interminable day
in the nosebleed section of heaven.
Some omnipotent manager
I, my mignons messing
with my catseye marble.
I whip out that ole white magic,
transform bullets into gumdrops,
quell tidal quakes,
heal old folks aches,
banish traffic snarls,
and let junkies yearn
for something more
than pill-fashioned euphoria.
These miniscule problems
at last retired,
I head down to Molly G's,
throw quarters in the juke,
straddle the stool,
and share a tall
frosted one.


APRIL 3 (Prompt: a haiku)

Ceaseless, snow drifts down,
shimmers pure on starless pine -
a choir of silence.


APRIL 4 (Prompt: giving thanks)

My Virtual Salon
(Or thanks to Al Gore for inventing the Info Superhighway)

Electrons pulse,
weaving invisible ribbons,
a maypole twisting
all of us together,
we writers,
disparate and desperate
for commune of words.

A miracle, we find each other,
crawling through blogospheric interspace
from our physical centers -
the wilds of Kenai,
Orcas Island, swinging Joisey,
Beantown and Trigger Town,
Carolina on my mind,
Hon City, Geneve
across the pond,
and points in between and beyond -
to arrive here, NOW,
a virtual salon.

(Thank you, dear writing friends, my nudgers and compatriots).


APRIL 5 (Prompt: Worries)

Monday morning before the garbage truck comes

and the mockingbird sings,
I lay in the too-warm room,
your breath a steady,
irritating reminder
of nirvanic slumber
that eludes me.

Instead, my head
waltzes, thoughts
baraging my brain
like so much clutter
the whirring truck
will soon pick up -
the library books,
no bread for lunches,

and what's for dinner anyway?
The client meeting,
and calls for freezing rain
to snarl the overlong commute.
Forgotten birthdays
and unpaid bills,

the perfume on his collar
(not mine) slide into static,
white noise to accompany
tomorrow's appointment
with the radiologist.


APRIl 6 (Prompt: Chronicle the Day)

On My Father's 70th Birthday

Rain pelts the window.
In the grey-drear of this morn,
the only light the soft blue
emanating from this screen,
the words come slow,
really not at all,
and silently I blame
my nine-year old
padding down the stairs,
too early, to sit beside me,
as he does every morning.

Soon, the others stir,
the day passes in the smudge
of daily chores
that bind us a family
and divert from my inner life:
groceries, then lunch,
and a mystery ride to the country,
the smell of apples and rosemary,
the phone call home before the evening stroll,
the tinny murmur of a movie,
the goodnight story
and the house, at last, stills again.

My son, tucked under flannels,
dreams while I do battle
with words that still come slow,
because the ones I need to write
are too close to let out.


APRIL 7 (Prompt: ramble)

Lexington Market, Baltimore

Five days a week I take the metro to work,
never quite knowing what I'll see or hear,
for this is the West side, the quasi-gentrified
parcel of space where smack deals are a norm -
an interesting sociological observation.

Today emanated grey and dreary,
unlike last Thursday, the last day
I went into the office,
and even though that day
the sun blared bright
and, for the first time in what seemed eons,
a spit of warmth cradled the cracked sidewalks,
everything around me screamed desolation:
the toddler wailing as a woman, cussing,
cigarette dangling from her mouth,
dragged him through the intersection;
the sparrow pecking at drying vomit,
a beautiful orange-flecked beige,
spewed under the large urn potted
with petunias; the rat, smashed
flat against the cobblestone of the street,
hapless victim of some larger monster;
and always, the spent needles, the flaccid
condoms, chicken bones and peanut shells,
and the smell of stale urine
following me as I ride the escalator up, up, up.

It wasn't until rounding the corner
of the behemoth building that everything
slowed, relaxed; men and women, most emaciated,
walked in groups of twos and threes,
faces plastered with beautific smiles.

Methadone will make you happy.

Now, the day done, I leave my work behind;
the rain spits down, not heavy enough
to haul out the umbrella but enough
to be a nuisance to my shellacked hair
and Italian leather pumps, and I marvel
at the sudden cleaness of the quiet, empty streets.


  1. and once again, I'm sitting and watching it snow outside. WAH!!!

  2. Linda, I wouldn't know where to begin writing even one poem, much less one a day. Good for you!

  3. Twiz, so sorry about the white stuff. Really. I shan't describe the daffodils or the lilac buds or the forsythia... and the robins all over the yard.

    Greta, try it - you might like it! A poem is just a bunch of words - just like a short story or a novel! Peace, Linda

  4. Linda,

    I love the poems - Lexington Market especially -- It has grit. Great going.
    Such a large undertaking - writing a poem a day - I have a hard enough time spitting out a paragraph of new fiction for my novel.
    But I do think this is a good rubber band for your brain.

    Here's a little ditty of my own:

    April 8 Kenai, Alaska

    Five inches of Spring nuisance
    greeted me this morning.
    Every green and brown re-submerged
    in stark white.
    In response I wiped a tear from my eye
    and pulled the shade.

  5. Love this, Kim. So true, I remember New England winters and losing sleep convinced the snow would obliterate my croci and species tulips. But I'd do more than pull the shade... maybe Vitamin V? Or at least a warm Irish Coffee. Hang in there, Warrior of Words. Peace...