More Open Write Poems for October

Wednesday, 20 October
Embrace Your Why with Andy Schoenborn

Why I Bake

So I can enjoy the
smell of chocolate chip cookies
lingering in my home, I bake.
When I crave rhubarb crisp
with ice cream, I bake.
When I want to tear my hands
into a warm crusty loaf
of sourdough, I bake.

I bake for myself.

I bake for others, too,
so I can spread out
the fat and happiness.

I bake to reach back
across generations.
I bake warm, flaky biscuits using
Grandpa Sockwell Leodore Hamilton’s recipe,
biscuits that can’t hold all the
honey and butter dripping off them.
I bake Aunt Thelma’s corn bread
and Grandma’s foolproof pie crust.

And I bake into the future
to create the best peanut butter brownie
for your wedding and
vegan carrot cake muffins
for yours.

I bake for you.

Tuesday, 19 October – My Husband’s Eyes 

Monday, 18 October
Abecedarian Poem with Cara Fortey (There are such clever poems by the others; I hope you will check them out at the Open Write Ethical ELA site.)

The ABCs of Bahrain

Al Raja School and
Bahrainis, so helpful and kind,
Camping in the desert and
Doctors at American Mission Hospital,
English Language Congregation and
Freedom to worship here,
Galleries of arts and crafts and
Hummus at our favorite restaurant,
Indian food in the homes of dear ones,
Juices, freshly squeezed,
Karak tea at
Lumee and
Mango gelato at
Naseef,
Onions from India for thirty cents a pound and
Petrol for less than $2 a gallon,
Quality friendships are family now,
Rava dosa with dried fruits and nuts at
Sangeetha,
Table crowded with friends and
Unceasing hospitality,
Vinolia and Victoria, dear friends, and
World Trade Center of Bahrain,
eXpatriates bringing their cultures here,
You–should you want to come and visit–and
Zaatar and labneh on khubz

Sunday, 17 October
20/20 Poem with Anna Roseboro

Before cataract surgery
I thought the world
was shaded in umber.
Now my eyes remember
too many colors
to number.

Saturday, 16 October – A poem using anagrams of my name

Anagrams of My Name Poem

Today’s Ethical ELA poetry prompt is by Anna J. Small Roseboro “Mixing Them Up Today: Anagram Poetry.” She had us find anagrams for our name and use them in a poem about a person or event in fiction or in real life, or a concept we’ve taught. I wrote about Cora, the main character in The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead.

Cora redressed as Bessie 
wasn’t able to kiss freedom
on her underground rides.
She resided in sirens
of berserk oppression,
misery and evil her forced drink.
Cora’s chosen kindred died,
Desires denied,
Seeker of choice,
Risker of hell,
Her end.

The powerful
sneered and reeked 
of the monstrous beds they made,
Serene skies their lie.

Stand beside Cora’s memory,
America’s dressed in this history.
May a keen sense of ownership
indeed send us to our knees
to repent, rise, and render hope
for a new day.

Poetry Friday – Inktober / Poemtober Small Poems, Week 2

I’m writing a small poem each day using a word from the Inktober prompts (a word, I’m finding, that is great for sketching but doesn’t always inspire poetry).

However, I was inspired last week by this Poetry Friday community. Thank you, Heidi (Saturday), Karen (Tuesday), and Alan (Wednesday)! And thanks to the inspiration of Birdtober friends, Ruth, Michelle, and #writeout announcer, Margaret, I sat outside at the medical clinic and enjoyed listening to the birds for Sunday’s poem.

9 October
A Definito

This is applied
to urge
or compel
one to do what you wish–
to push, insist, drive, impel
another.
Pushed into a corner,
With arm twisted–
Pressure

10 October
Healing

Dear finches,
Take your pick
in this safe garden.
Do you want your nest in
bamboo, cedar, olive, or plumeria?
There are aloe vera
and snake plants, too.
Here you can be fruitful and multiply.
Thank you for your sweet psalms.
They help patients heal.

 

11 October
Sweet and Sour

acids sharp and zesty–
lemon, cranberry,
rhubarb, gooseberry,
tamarind, tart cherry.
add sugar to taste
for the tang to marry.

12 October
After Jane Hershfield
Inspired by Karen Edmisten

I would like my living
to be full and free–
not stuck in regret,
but ready for today’s
unexpected word.

13 October
A Leaving Clogyrnach
Inspired by Alan J. Wright

Our goodbyes will arrive too soon
We’ll fly into the waning moon
Our farewell’s the proof
But still seems aloof
A new roof
A new tune

14 October
Tick Tock

Tick tock, tick tock
Jack and the Beanstalk
Tick tock, tick tock
Neil and the moonwalk
Tick tock, tick tock
Patriarchy bedrock
Men’s suits round-the-clock
Time to stop and take stock
For women’s rights to unlock
Tick tick tick tick tick

15 October
Helmet

As the sun rises,
put on your
faith and love
breastplate,
and your
hope of salvation
helmet.
……………~I Thessalonians 5:8

Today’s Poetry Friday Roundup can be found at wee words for wee ones. Thank you, Bridget Magee, and big congratulations to you for the two birthdays in this TENth month!

I’m conTENt after reading Bridget’s inTENse message. In a senTENce, she inTENds to exTENd a TENder-hearted opporTENity you will want to atTENd to.

Inktober / Poemtober Small Poems, Week 1

Maybe someday I will try inking all the prompts for Inktober, but for now I am going to follow Jone Rush McCulloch’s lead and write a small poem each day in October.

My new lens is like
a clear crystal burning in
the light of sunshine

What new suit will you wear
when all your defenses fall away?

Vessel
A ship at sea, airtight
’37 dirigible crash at night
Chalice holding wine of Light
Internal river of lifeblood
Person who holds extraordinary love

When we said ‘yes’
more than 38 years ago,
I never knew the knot of love
could keep getting stronger.

White supremacy,
raven of oppression,
unmerited power through
hatred, fear, injustice.
Never satisfied.

Holy Spirit,
To your church,
come and clear it
Make them hear it
God, be near it

When I see a fan,
I think of you, Mohammed H.
You were my Kindergarten fan fan–
now growing up still charmed
by the hum of the bladed whirligig.
Future engineer.

Poetry Friday – In Memory

Jeff, gentle giant
Your heart was big, but failed
Today you are gone

It was the summer Scotty died.
I flew back a month after I moved to Iowa.
After the funeral
we went on a road trip.
Your aunt, Scotty’s grieving mom,
your broken Grandma,
and your stunned Aunt Denise
(who was being driven back to Iowa
to start a new school year
in a new school and new state)
and you, his cousin —
teenage laugher and listener,
so bright-eyed and fun-loving,
with a sly shyness.
You, who made the trip fun,
instead of a drudge.
We drove in the camper,
saw some sights,
took funny photos,
and told stories of Scotty.
It was the year of the Blizzard–
a new ice cream treat.
We stopped
in every small-town DQ
for a new flavor.

Today, thirty-five
years later, you have left us.
Another nephew
gone too soon–death’s order in
this broken world, false again.

It is Poetry Friday, and Laura Purdie Salas has the roundup here, with tankas and a new picture book coming out: If You Want to Knit Some Mittens.

Authors

Authors

1861
Anne Abbot created a game
that I was still playing
over a hundred years later.
“Go Fish” it was,
only with authors–
Tennyson, Poe, Longfellow
(a poet whose feet showed it),
Stevenson, Dickens, Irving,
Shakespeare, more white men,
and one white woman–
Louisa May Alcott–
somewhat of a mirror for me,
white girl
from southern California,
who matched authors
with siblings
and cousins.
93% of the authors were white men
with funny hair and clothes.
Conspicuously missing–
Frederick Douglass,
Phyllis Wheatley,
Elizabeth Hobbs Keckley
and many more.
Heck, even Anne herself
was an author.
The system, though,
wasn’t interested in being inclusive,
wasn’t interested in giving voice
to others less powerful,
wasn’t interested in giving
little girls and little boys
different mirrors
to reflect possibilities.
They were selling a card game.

Yesterday at our family Bible study
“We are having problems
with this book. We’re trying to have
an open mind and keep reading, but
there are some ableist and racist things,
like Peter’s scary hair.
What’s with that?”

Today
What she said (this young woman
who is teaching her parents)
lead me to go back and review the authors
of the books I’ve read this summer:
White male authors: 5
Black male authors: 1
Black female authors: 1
White female authors: 1
I am not making and selling a card game,
I am choosing what books to read.
I chose 63% white male authors.
Well, more accurately, my partner
(another white male)
chose two of my five books
for our family study.

Today I came back to notice,
and, praise God,
I am still alive,
with at least
a little time to
become a better ancestor.

Finger Painting

Today’s prompt by Barb Elder for Day 2 of September’s Open Write was “An Out of Body Experience for Sunday, Fun Day”.

Finger Painting

I reach for my tubes of paint,
Nervous as usual,
to try my hand at art.
I squeeze the tentative
joy–plop, drop–
onto the canvas.
I stick my finger in as
I laugh and ask myself,
Are these finger paints?
Yes, indeed. They are
finger paints–
My fingers! Paint!
Then my forearms
My elbows, up to my pits, I am paint
Wow, I exclaim, and
Dive into creating,
All the tubes are squeezed out
All of me now cool, smooth,
shivering onto the surface.
All of me impasto-ed in
Shades of hope and honey,
Fearlessness and fuchsias,
Brilliance and blueberries,
Completeness and coffee,
And the delicious reds of earth and fire.
I relish the moment of freedom
To let go and let the paints.
For a moment I’m in a world where I hear,
“You are lovable, capable, and creative,
You are enough.”