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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!

reflect – refract – disperse

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Accreditation. Good idea but terrible in practice. These people want a hundred million policies and then more policies on policies. And here I sit, the clock counting the minutes, throwing away the hours, as I rehash the old, reformat docs to pedefs, going possum-eyed and head getting stuffed full of cotton wool. I sit till I can’t sit no more. I type till all the letters trip over each other and I want to chuck the keyboard through the screen. I decide to reward frozen fingers with a cup of hot coffee. Dark mood, darker kitchen, I draw back the curtains. And there it is. Right smack in the front of a bulging charcoal cloud — the fattest most vibrant rainbow I have ever seen. It fills the kitchen with shimmering light, spilling blue on floor and throwing red on the walls. Suddenly my feet have wings and I dance all over the linoleum, arms flapping, a big silly grin slapped across my face. My heart sails into the sky doing loop-de-loops around the electric colours.

Heavy grey canvas
God takes his watercolours
And paints a warm smile

 

rainbow

 

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Accreditation is why you won’t see me much around here for a while.  Told a week ago I have four weeks to “get it all together.”  My brain is turning to mush.  My fingers don’t fall on the right keys anymore.  But this morning I got a burst of joy, and it carried me for the rest of the day.

Over at dVerse it was Haibun Monday. (I thought I couldn’t take time to join in). Grace challenged us to “Think about a moment of your typical day (first person singular). This can be your morning routine, commute, day in the office, a walk in the afternoon, household chores, grocery shopping, gardening etc. Here’s the challenge: write and find the “extra” in your ordinary day.”

Well, there you are.  🙂

death

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“Death be not proud, though some have called thee  
Mighty and dreadfull, for, thou art not so,  
For, those, whom thou think’st, thou dost overthrow,  
Die not, poore death, nor yet canst thou kill me.”
—
John Donne

 

i.
You’ve been told to lie down,
hang that dog-head of yours,
but every time we turn around
you sink your nasty fangs into more tender flesh.

 

ii.
random reaper
taking what someone else has sown

 

iii.
threadbare and thin
(almost transparent)
like a pot of soup
with more
and more water
added every day

 

iv.
a slow turning
from one form
to another —

atoms changing dance partners

 

v.
a door
no one wants to knock on,
no one wants to go through

 

vi.
does the bell
yet toll for you,
oesophageal rattlesnake?

 

vii.
Like a proper sentence,
we will begin with a capital
and fix a steady period
to the end.

 

viii.
a dark passage into the unknown

 

ix.
a bridge
over an anxious river

 

x.
finally
arriving
home

 

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Björn is hosting the bar at dVerse and the challenge is to write a cubist poem.

The Weeping Philosopher

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The Obscure spoke. Most shook their heads and turned away. “The way up and the way down are the one and same. Living and dying, waking and sleeping, young and old, are the same.”  Heraclitus watched them walk away and scorned them. Why could they not see that all things change and arise from change and then change again? Round and round and round we go. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Feed and be fed. Breathe and be breathed. Closed system continually reshaping, remoulding, reworking itself. Atom to atom, cell to cell. A riddle within a rhyme.

cycles of nature
regenerating the earth
world in a raindrop

 

 

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Over at dVerse it’s Haibun Monday and Toni is hosting the event.  Today’s theme is “change” and it brought to mind the words of Heraclitus, “The only thing that is constant is change.”

Cleri-Who? Two

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I have enjoyed reading the Clerihew poems over at dVerse.

I tried my hand at this form before.  Here is my previous offering:  Cleri-Who?

It is not an easy thing to do, although it is short and sweet.
Here are my offerings today:

 

Gene was wild, bright and free.
Comedic timing to a tee.
He worked until he honed his craft.
Now he makes the angels laugh.

 

Mr Carver and his green thumb
Told the farmers how it’s done
They laughed and scoffed until they heard
Peanuts were used to make the bird.

 

Why don’t you give it a try?

Tight Grip

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Your open smile and cloudless eyes
convict
and the granite fist
clenched behind my back
comes around.

Exposed
I want to let go
but cannot move.
With hesitant permission
you peel away the fingers.

This now empty hand
you fill
with laughter
and love.

 

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Victoria is today’s hostess over at dVerse where she is serving up QUADRILLEs, poems of exactly 44 words each, and challenges us to reflect on the word OPEN.  Join in!

I Cannot Find My Heart

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I cannot find my heart.

It is not to be located in my flat.
There is nothing in my bed but sheets.
The cluttered bathroom counter holds only oddities.
The kitchen dishes done, drying in the rack;
the freshly baked muffins wrapped and in a tin.
The remotes scattered over the lounge,
the dining room table covered in unopened mail.
Computer desk littered with keys and pens and blank books.

I trace my way back through my day —
grocery store, chemist, post office, work.
Nothing.

Then I walk to your place.
Ferreting the key from my canvas bag,
I shoulder-shove the door open,
the way one must when wood swells in the hot, moist summers.
Slowly I make my way through your life,
uncovering broken crockery,
discarded cutlery,
milk-rimmed glasses and wine-ringed mugs,
holey socks and biscuit crumbs.

Turning to go,
my eye catches a sigh under your couch.
I bend to take a closer look and there it is.
My heart.
Suddenly I remember that I gave it to you last night.
I pull it out and dust it off.
It looks a bit thinner, a lot tattier than it was.
Clutching it tightly to my chest,
I leave,
forgetting to lock the door behind me.

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Today Walter presents Grace’s Chat With Laurie Kolp at d’Verse.
He then leaves us with this quote:

“I am cold, even though the heat of early summer is adequate. I am cold because I cannot find my heart.” ~Sebastian Barry from his novel A Long, Long Way

and asks us to draw something from these words, using this inspiration to craft a worded wonder.

I was caught by the phrase “I cannot find my heart” and started there.

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