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
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

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