30/30 2017

It’s Poetry Month.

Last year, I did my first 30/30, posting a poem a day on prairiepomes.

This year, I’m doing it with pals from the Stroll of Poets, thanks to the organizing talents of Trudy Greinhauer. My own will also be posted, like last year, right here, this time on its very own page. I’ll post the latest here at the top, so they descend anti-chronologically. Please read and enjoy!

April 19: Creation

they say, star woman fell

down here because

she was curious

they say, the star sisters

still watch us

they say, when star woman fell

it was a humble one

who gave all he had to reach

enough earth for her landing

they say, the humble ones

still watch us

they say, the turtle carries

on her shell the sacred

geometries, the formula

for moon and time

they say, this is still

turtle island

they say, if you listen

the song goes on, with space

and time for your voice

sing, they say.

April 18: Ert

my sister was intense

people who knew her

don’t know how to talk to me

when it gets lonely, them assuming

i’m okay, when they’ve seen

she wasn’t, after all, i fall back

on ert.

things that matter are small

the jewels of our times

were wild laughter

you only get

if you’ve been in the trenches

whatever the war; the particular

action. we all know this beast

that has been rolling us

down for generations, but each

of us, of course, also has

the only things

only those who were there

in-joke

touchstone

ridiculous glory

of language reduced

by logic, pushed up against the wall

if this, then that.

so, ert.

this is the love we carry

how we move on.

This poem used the prompt in our 30/30 group, to employ a neologism (made up word). The one below also responds to the prompt of creating a nocturne.

April 17: Nocturne: Tiny Now

She is tiny now, my mother

and jokes in the morning, when

her teeth aren’t in, how she whistles

like a little bird. And i want to reach

back to the nights when

she brought the piglets in

laid them in the woodstove oven

so tiny, but she believed in them

and in that warm cradle, the spark

of life rekindled in them. How

do i cradle her? now

she is so tiny, softly

drawing nearer to

the Western Door.

This poem won’t do it.

This poem is for me

a piglet grown, with

my astonished snout

of discovery, how the power

that built a world for me still

reveals itself, blue

slight, soft, tiny.

April 16: Turtle Island Easter Prayer

O Lord, renew me

this body, this heart, this

mind this soul

O you Good Spirits

you Saints who intercede

budge aside, if you don’t mind

just enough to let me speak

to Manitowak i do not know

whose names and specialities

were not passed down

Holy Mother, some of your children

are standing in the way, be kind

and thank them for the good they do

then bid them take a seat

so Manitowak i did not meet

may step lightly forward lightly

shine and tell me, shall we

forgive each other? You, for stepping

back when these pushier gods

came caterwauling

me, for not knowing Your names

that i might intercede on your behalf

co-creation being the law, and show

that you are as loved and wanted

as needed as ever.

Are we children? Are we squabbling

over toys? Or clamouring for our

Mother’s love? Great Mother say

you love us all; Heavenly Father

that is the word, by which, if you

only say it, i am healed.

i stand at a crossroads, and Yous

and i know, this is ever so

today, let me choose a good road.

Let me walk in the shine of all

Your loves, reconciled. Down here

i have work to do.

April 15: Path

the Triple Goddess reveals

Her path, maid to mother

to crone, again to maid, and on

the spiral, fractal motion

turn the egg in your hand, draw

the line from one thing to another

you find you have to pause

reverse direction, reflect

like a trip to the fridge,

fridge to stove, stove to table

table to fridge, each

movement complete, can

imply the next, turn

and turn again, wholy holy.

Kyrie Eleison: Good Friday, Anno Domini 2017

Kyrie Eleison

there are too many of them, Lord

created out of slipshod schools

and cruel indifferences

Christe Eleison

they are too hungry, Lord

who has washed their feet?

or held them when they cried

and told them, you are not alone?

Kyrie Eleison

They are too formed of evil things and lies

their heart is so beyond my reach

as they burn the innocent, damn the lot

Good Friday

has never acceded to consumerism

you cannot sell this kind of sacrifice

Mother of God

why is it women and children first?

who cannot run away, who would be fools

enough to cradle the generals, crying

my son, my son, you too are my son

All My Relations

All My Relations

All My Relations

All

Kyrie Great Mother 

Love Come Love Come Love Come.

April 13: Whisper

where are they now? those tales

of thieves uneasy on their hoards

thinking themselves dragon lords

but lacking inner fire

they are not Ghenghis Khan

his standard and his bow

they are not Charlemagne

nor Alexander horseback, glorious

they are not Napoleon

nor Joan of Arc

they promise no unifying light

this is not that moment

but bring out those tales now

they may be all we have

tales of tiny heroism, whisper

if you tell them, whisper

April 12: middle age

this brown guitar

pickguard discarded

trim shattered

fingerboard shaded

with fingertip habits

this is what usage writes

upon every body

and they say the wood

grows ever more resonant

songs and tones chosen

songs and tones

April 11: performance, review

we go to the theatre

i cannot stay awake

though onstage

they shout out tales of woe

decry crimes, and plead

humanity under cover

of all those invented differences

culture religion language land

my friend wonders

what do westerners make of this?

i can only tell her, i do not know

i’m a fourth world woman

and i fell asleep, no disrespect

just decades

of weary witness

and the aftermath, i cannot

take more onboard sometimes

have to little disbelief to suspend

so i hang heavy in my seat in the dark

what carried me? music

the singer in the corner

fed me beauty

stranger than the very same

beauty that carries us

everywhere.

April 10: News of the World

the dogs wait, apparently

dozing, but reading

the current of my mind

and ready

we walk out into the scented day

i see shades of brown, grey, water

they read, tree by tree

so much news

illegible to me

April 9: Spring Fields of Alberta

we look down on

grey dun brown tan

taupe beige

plain

unrolling majesty

look down

April 8: uncloak

what, uncloaked

do you look like?

unencumbered

by the need to play nice

laying down the stated intent

of making family

what face would you wear?

what

lies

beneath

ams

April 7: Toddler TourGuide 

wahoo!

that kid at the front of the bus

has us all summed up

all the otherwise cynical

drawn in to

unflagging joy

through woods

up mountains

coming from thousands of miles

to uncurl in his damp chubby hand

outflung – wahoo!

ams

April 6: Rule

 

“you just have to find a rule for the moon”

  1. Barrett, concerning crescent shapes in fractal tiling patterns

 

but that’s the thing

about the moon

she is the rule, sets the precedent

comes around, goes around

tidal, prime

 

terrifying, unconstrained

to be lunatic

 

and yet the moon’s rule

is inexorable faithful

repetition of the pattern

nothing random

absolutely disciplined

 

perhaps madness is

as rectified

and we simply fail

to see the pattern.

April 5: Landing 

for Catherine Sewell, who walked on at 39,

or else would have been 55 this day

would she have laughed?

i met our old colleague in Superstore

talk turned to landing kids

so as to break that trope of Indian

comes to City and skids out of control into

alcohol, crime and life as a social issue.

this woman had no idea, her mouth fell open

at the news that we grew up in the bush

outdoor toilet, wild meat, woodstove

in her view my sister was city born

a jetplane

lifting and landing, smooth, assured

you craft your life.

 

April 4: Air on a Backyard

it reeks a hirsute, ursine pong

this tell-tale scatter

winter’s long dark sloth

let hang the discipline

of twice daily walks

and now, the harvest

still, over my rake and bucket

memory ties me to other springs

childhood’s filthy innocence

mucking through barnyard streams

setting channels, racing

chips of wood, as invested

as any punter in our champion

cheering, jeering, singing, free
this earth’s small, pungent pleasures

April 3: Some Snow

some snow

some sun

some cloud

wind

perishable

new bud

new shoot

elsewhere, bullets

perishable

harbour

on the boat to scorpion island

he tries to make a connection

his weather

incomprehensible

army service, odd knuckles

the way he swung her

with her hair loosed down

the night they met

impossible as the hour’s new foal

her dance is knees and possible sliding

weather

some snow

some sun

she will tie that hair up

in the morning

take the boat with him

to scorpion island

keep her eyes off his knuckles

not think of them, nor him, for years

not until the night she tries

to understand how

she decided

one foot skimming, mid-slide

April 2

tapping

today, woodpecker

in bright morning

employs power

pole as medium

sacred morning

sacred morning

sacred morning

song, do i serve?

soles on frozen grass

ragged breath, dogs

making mandala with

my lurching pace

even uneven frosted grass

carries the word, declaiming

sacred morning

sacred morning

sacred morning

April, Fools

we are fools for springtime

however much we try

to make out like we’re cool

with winter’s icy glares

it’s in the throat

burned open by cold fire

is not the same as

this lush thrumming

in our own bodies

as in the willows

is it time, then?

do we take up the song

and give voice

as generously as birds

sing to bring dawn

if we are here for any purpose

at all, let us sing now

lift up our hearts

and commit the ceremony

each season demands

a song for spring

a fool’s errand.

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