A Summer Evening

A cat walked on tiled roof
                       as he told her
he wanted to build a house
around the old mango tree
       whose sap she savoured.
She looked at him
the nectar of the fruit
like a shard of sun
                           in her smile
that he tasted with the salt
of her skin
a summer evening.

Day 30
Prompt from
Joanne Merriam: write a poem on memory and loss. Memories are always of the moments that are lost.

The Dead Sea

Promised Land shimmers beyond horizon
      a  messiah (sprite?)  walks on the water 
 
baling palmful of salt, bounces weightless
face turned toward the east.                 Levitation
              when the sea will not open path for you.

Wax on water, ashes from burnt bodies –
lives that surge surf to immortality
                           on fragile aquamarine porcelain

               while beneath columns of amber coral
              dance in the luminescence of now-ness.

Day 29
Poetic Asides – "The Big 10" poem – ten lines, ten syllables in each line

In The Heart Of Nowhere

On certain days I need tea turned rancid
cinnamon sticks at my bedside
flavoured anise seeds to chew

when you stick pins into my heart
needles as fine as a crow’s feet
silver hatchwork in the dark woods.

Fold finely ground pepper in a paper
dip edges of the paper in jasmine oil:
a fine unguent for a heartache;

spill over the polished stone by the river
supplications of milk and honey
that leave watermarks:

a filigree of illusion against light
that like crab in sand disappears
into the dark heart of nowhere.

Day 28
Poetic Asides

Like The Flight Of A Dove

On the breaking light of love
plumeria
tumbles indecorously

tear blinded, scorned.
As whorls of breeze
levitate the pink breath

gasps of pain
like swelling chants
rack the grace of morning.

Day 27
Kelli Russell Agodon writes, “ Make a list of your favorite words today. Write a poem that uses the words you wrote down.” I have used phrases instead of words in my poem.

I have been reading a few poems that we selected for our seventh graders. I wrote down phrases that stayed with me. They are ‘swelling chants’ from Amiri Baraka’s poem ‘Ka’ba’, and ‘breaking light of love’, ‘tear blinded sight’ and ‘grace of morning’ from James Weldon Johnson’s beautiful poem ‘The Glory Of The Day Was In Her Face’.  
So what do I do with these words/phrases? I needed a frame to weave these phrases. I remembered the prompt from ‘Out Of Poetry’: “Turn off the noise. Go to a window. Write what you see, feel and/or want in a stream-of-consciousness form.”

I so much needed a cup of tea. I sipped tea, looked out of the window at the backyard of my office that has this large plumeria tree that drops numerous pink secrets on the manicured lawn.

My poem owes to the prompts as well as the plumeria tree that I have observed day after day spill flowers.

When I write poem after poem like this for 27 days, there comes a time when the process note is longer than the poem. Am I tired? You bet!

 

Gayatri Mantra

Om
mother of sounds       resonance of silence
               echoes from depths

into the mind: a mud of sloth
sapphire blue radiance of  earth
space beyond perception: ether     

where topaz uncut
            a crystal of  colourless existence
reflects million suns

effulgences  effulgences effulgences

that I carry in my prayer bead.

Day 25
Poetic Asides – write a prayer poem
Read here for the Gayatri Mantra

A Chant

In the warmth of the morning
soft pulp of the mango
tender breeze from the sea
memories of you

In the wardrobe with linen
drawers with papers
dust below the table
memories of you

In the fist of my palm
knot of the fist
space cradled there
memories of you

In the curves of my body
lines on my face
colour of my eyes
memories of you

In the skull of my brain
hollow of the self
secret of the being
memories of you

In the depths of my dream
layers of sleep
centre of my silence
memories of you

Day 24
In respons to a prompt from Big Tent Poetry – write a poem in which you have to repeat yourself

My Mother

The room bursts with blue from the wall,
the prints of flowers fluttered in the wind
like dancers under the open sky.

The gaze on me from the years gone by,
stirring from catacombs memories that
explode with colours like dyes in the vats.

Breath that stays close to my neck
like a kiss of a lover, murmur of breeze
but mistiness blurs as cataract of the eye;

wipe the window with a piece of paper to see
life like spilled beads roll on marble floor –
glasses of colours, my kaleidoscope

that gathers shards of beautiful images:
my mother as her hair blows,
eyes reflect the blues of the wall, sky.  

Day 23
Poetic Asides – write an "only one in the world" poem 

We’ll Kiss Each Kiss Other On Kiss The Kiss

A hundred times consider what you’ve said,
drink a dark strong poison with tiny shards of ice,
sleep-fallen, naked in your dark hair
with only the fakebook of Beauty for feeling.

What he needed from me I have no idea.
(He wouldn’t stand alone.)
Myself conjectured, were they Pearls?
Plunge me deep in love, Naked Man.

The trick is to make it personal:
we’ll kiss each kiss obscenely neck-like,
let silence drill its hole in the glaring white gap
of closed eyelids. Kiss the kiss.

Day 22
Poet Danielle Pafunda is running a cento contest. Cento (meaning patch work) is a poetic form where we write a poem using lines from poems by other poets. Dianelle has tweeted lines from Poem A Day archive of Poets.org. We have to a write a cento using those lines.

I cut and pasted from her blog the lines that interested me. Placed some together, coaxed them to tell a story, broke the lines, moved them all over again, and went on and on till I came with this. Remember, we are not allowed to use words, lines that are not sourced from the twitter feed.

The title of this poem is a line from E. E. Cummings poem ‘9’. Read the poem here.

Want to look at the lines that interested me?

the continent was clothed in trees
What he needed from me I have no idea.
My own bags were full of salt
to drink a dark strong poison with tiny shards of ice
let silence drill its hole
sad beds wide enough for planting
not April and the magnolias
implicit with stars in active orbit,
hot black dunes in the air
A hundred times consider what you’ve said
Myself Conjectured were they Pearls
Oh plunge me deep in love
Because I killed a snake the day she was born
The pungent oranges and bright, green wings
hoist their nets, weighing the harvest
Obscenely jewel-toned, obscenely neck-like
paper sacks stuffed full of orange
sleep-fallen, naked in your dark hair
Then the terrible thing happened
with only the fakebook of Beauty for feeling
while all the wild protected liminal woods
Old brain inside the new brain, inside the skull
He wouldn’t stand alone
disappear, emerge, twitch, reverse course
When my eye nearly failed
a place where plutonium safely resides,
you have lived and lived on every kind of shortage.
learn to petrify it
the nearer she got the bigger she looked, until
All is from wreck, here, there, to rescue one
we’ll kiss each kiss other on kiss the kiss
The trick is to make it personal:
the chill of closed eyelids
sleepily indifferent
in the glaring white gap
it ran from their long hair,
the whole cathedral crash at your back
The naked man

The Curse : A Cento

Terrible thing happened
I killed a snake the day she was born.
All the wild protected liminal woods
hoist their nets, weighing the harvest.

So, learn to petrify it.

Because I killed a snake the day she was born
hot black dunes in the air disappear, emerge,
twitch, reverse course – all is from wreck, here, there,
implicit with stars in active orbit.

So, learn to petrify it.

The whole cathedral crash at your back,
in the glaring white gap when my eye nearly failed,
Have lived and lived on every kind of shortage
because I killed a snake the day she was born.

Day 22
Poet Danielle Pafunda is running a cento contest. Cento (meaning patch work) is a poetic form where we write a poem using lines from poems by other poets. Dianelle has tweeted lines from Poem A Day archive of Poets.org. We have to a write a cento using those lines.
I cut and pasted from her blog the lines that interested me. Placed some together, coaxed them to tell a story, broke the lines, moved them all over again, and went on and on till I came with this. Remember, we are not allowed to use words, lines that are not sourced from the twitter feed.

Want to look at the lines that interested me?
the continent was clothed in trees
What he needed from me I have no idea.
My own bags were full of salt
to drink a dark strong poison with tiny shards of ice
let silence drill its hole
sad beds wide enough for planting
not April and the magnolias
implicit with stars in active orbit,
hot black dunes in the air
A hundred times consider what you’ve said
Myself Conjectured were they Pearls
Oh plunge me deep in love
Because I killed a snake the day she was born
The pungent oranges and bright, green wings
hoist their nets, weighing the harvest
Obscenely jewel-toned, obscenely neck-like
paper sacks stuffed full of orange
sleep-fallen, naked in your dark hair
Then the terrible thing happened
with only the fakebook of Beauty for feeling
while all the wild protected liminal woods
Old brain inside the new brain, inside the skull
He wouldn’t stand alone
disappear, emerge, twitch, reverse course
When my eye nearly failed
a place where plutonium safely resides,
you have lived and lived on every kind of shortage.
learn to petrify it
the nearer she got the bigger she looked, until
All is from wreck, here, there, to rescue one
we’ll kiss each kiss other on kiss the kiss
The trick is to make it personal:
the chill of closed eyelids
sleepily indifferent
in the glaring white gap
it ran from their long hair,
the whole cathedral crash at your back
The naked man