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yea though i

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yea
though i walk
though i walk
though i stumble
though i fall

yea
though i despair
in the tyranny of the urgent
in the whining of bloodsuckers

yea
though i drown in coffee and clichés
in an airless crate
battered by window-dressing words

yet
will i close my eyes,
inhale your mercy
and plunge feet-first
into the ocean of your grace

 

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Today I paint with words for the first time in what seems like forever.
Buried over the last few months by the weight of submitting a report (over 800 pages) for accreditation, I have been pummelled by bureaucratic words and been forced to write “blah-blah.”
This morning I allowed myself the indulgence of reading submissions for the poetic challenge at D’verse and was inspired by Sylvia Chan’s painting “New Beginnings.”
(THANK YOU to Mish for hosting and to Sylvia for inspiration!)
I then played hookey for an hour and wrote the above.
Before I return to the last gasps of my odious endeavour, I will post this — with the hope that this new year brings freedom from the heaviness of red-taped weary words.
Here’s to a 2017 filled with frolicsome scribbling.

Thanks

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(with thanks to W S Merwin)

Listen!
As the night falls
we say
thank you.
We stop,
alighting from parked cars —
we’re drawn out of bright rooms
(dinner still kissing our lips)
gazing at the sky
to say
thank you.

Through the hijack
and the burglary,
after the funeral
and the brain tumour
and countless doctors
in their sterile coats
we say
thank you.

Across miles
we say
thank you.
In alleys and doorways,
in taxis and lifts
we say
thank you.

In the newsnewsnews
of wars
and threats
and dictators
and notorious liars
we say
thank you.

Though the world groans
as the animals die,
as the forests fall,
as the rivers go still,
we say
thank you.

Faster and faster
we say
thank you.
With no one listening
we say
thank you.

Thank you
we say
and wave.
Though in the darkness
we cannot see
yet we hold out our hands
and
we say
thank you!

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This is a “cover” of WS Merwin’s poem “Thanks.
Over at dVerse Bryan is doing a guest prompt and asking us to “cover” a poem by a poet we admire.
It was not easy to “cover” a poem (as singers cover songs).  I had to decide what my “voice” sounds like, what my words “look like” and then interpret the poem through my own life and experience.
It is still too close, I think, to the original to be completely mine.  But it is a good place to start, and it got me thinking and writing.
Try it!

Words & Memories

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Words
try to paint a picture of your being
but no matter how they’re arranged
they cannot capture your heart.

Memories
are like incense —
they linger,
tickling the senses,
but slowly fade.

You are not alive in memories
but that is the place I find you,
so I fan the small fire,
inhaling deeply,
remembering
today.

for dear Rob

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This parting
— so final,
so incomplete,
so lopsided,
so confusing.

We spoke,
yesterday —
global politics
and all the things you knew so much more about than I.
You,
inquisitive you,
always poking and prodding and pushing to hold the world in your arms.

No one understood
when you tried to describe the pain.
We guessed and second-guessed,
completing both sides of the conversation.
Only one party satisfied.
But not really.

We saw
but averted our eyes
and didn’t see.
You knew.
That interloper,
once part of you,
broke away and declared independence.

You began to slip away.
Terrified
and then tired,
you let go
and
fell through a transitive window,
vanishing
in deed
though not in word.

Today
I light a candle
and pray
that you were caught
on the other side.

Tiny Us

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Tiny us

really

when we stand beneath

the velvety blue after sunset

and watch the twinkling hosts

open their eyes, one by starry one.

 

See the reflection off Jupiter,

the dazzling cast of Mars,

the thrown light of Venus,

and know that we too circle the sun

 

inhabiting one moment —

one heartbeat

in the pulse of time.

spinning savage

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circles in circles in circles
ever circling
permanent vertigo
off kilter
the planet strays
one degree
and we lawyer
waiting for the next.
Shoes
and socks
scattered over the face
every place
unbalanced
discord
this cord
will hold a fine,
strong knot

quick
kick the can away

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This piece is very different for me.
I was inspired by björn over at dVerse,
but I am not sure I got the futurism thing down.

Peddomus*

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Long days
imprisoned in tight takkies,
or bound in leather vellies,
the toes cry out in hot protest
to be freed.

Stumbling through the door
I head straight to the bedroom
to kick off the offending shoes,
peel off the damp socks
and slip the barking dogs
into soft, reassuring
sheepskin moccasins.

Ah!

Home.

 

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I do love my slippers!

 

Interesting notes:

*  The title “peddomus” is from Latin  (ped-) and means “foot”
and “domus” (also Latin) meaning “home.”

Takkies are what most South Africans call a rubber-soled canvas sports shoes (Americans call them “sneakers” or “tennis shoes” and British call them “trainers.”
“Vellies” are the nickname of “veldskoens” which are handmade South African leather shoes or boots.

The use of “dogs” to refer to feet is American.According to Tom Dalzell, author of “Flappers 2 Rappers: American Youth Slang” (Merriam Webster, October 1996), it was during the Jazz Age of the 1920’s that “dogs” was used as a noun to indicate feet.

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