A Triolet

This triolet is inspired by Buffy Silverman, who wrote one about the periodic cicadas for Poetry Friday. A triolet is an eight-line poem with ABaAabAB pattern.

Help Going Deep

In order to become complete
I must be seen deep in the Truth
Fear and sorrow attempt to greet
In order to become complete
Appearance on the mercy seat
Rendering my past snafus soothed
In order to become complete
I must be seen deep in the Truth

Carrying Home and #MayPoems for Poetry Friday

Things We Carry on the Sea
By Wang Ping

We carry tears in our eyes: good-bye father, good-bye mother
We carry soil in small bags: may home never fade in our hearts
We carry names, stories, memories of our villages, fields, boats
We carry scars from proxy wars of greed
continue…

I have never had to carry things as heavy as Ping describes here, things which refugees throughout history and today have to bear. This poem is heartbreaking and inspires empathy, and hopefully it will inspire me to take action. Please read the rest of her words, along with a lesson plan to teach it, at Poets.org: Teach This Poem: “Things We Carry on the Sea”.

We will be carrying some things home when we leave Bahrain, but chances are good because of our privilege we will fly in a jet across the ocean with a few suitcases of our special possessions to bring home. My May Poem for today is about my present and future homes inspired by Michelle Kogan. I love the words she creates and chooses, as she did on this post (rose-tipped and gypsy-stemmed), this post (cone-wove and beak-fluff), this post (ginger-spice-edged) and this comment (flicker-orange and tee-root). And on today’s post (poppiness and banana boats and strawberry spice). Such sweet words!

Because of Michelle, I wanted to try words with hyphens and also paint my own picture for today. I drew and painted a Kingdom of Bahrain door leading to my “magical” place inspired by the guided imagery on this episode of Art Date with Miss Kate.

When drawing with Kate, I thought of our home in Joshua Tree, California, where we will hopefully move at the end of 2021. Here is my painting and related poem. (I’m not sure if mine is considered an ekphrastic poem because I didn’t really describe the painting, but it surely inspired my words.)

Into the Door

The here-to-there Door
Where we will say our
Teary-faced, hug-full
Ma Salama مع السلامه
To two-Waters warmth,
Our hospitable Haven,
Uncovering our
Marhaba مرحبا
To sweet-hope Home
Wide open to where
Whispers-from-God Joshuas
Point to Life-drenched Promise

I decided on May 1 to write some #MayPoems, not knowing if I would do it for three days or further into the month. Well, so far I have written and posted each day in May with a different prompt, inspiration, or a response to some treasure I found while reading or observing. This Poetry Friday community has encouraged me and provided nourishment as you have read and commented on some of my May Poems. Thank you.

Here are each day’s posts in one index:

Today’s Poetry Friday roundup is hosted by Michelle Kogan at her blog. Happy birthday and thank you, Michelle!

Desert scene in California with Joshua trees
Our backyard

Remember What it Was to be Me

Journeying

The inspiration for today’s poem is from a quote in the Isolation Journals Prompt #121 (from last December). Of her reason for keeping a notebook, Joan Didion writes, “Remember what it was to be me: that is always the point.”

Anger Cloud

I remember when I was so angry
I saw only darkness–
the light emptied from my eyes.
I refused to back out of an argument;
I had to win it.
Fear had deep roots in me
and it spoke with the voice of
backed-into-a-corner rage.

But then Love knocked
on my door.
It seized me softly,
cradled me solidly,
and held my fear-turned-anger
in the palm of its hand–
a little bit away from me–
so I could get a
different perspective.
Then it blew it gently
into the good wind
and gave me instead
Life.

“Breathe deeply,” Love said.
“I know. I’m here.”

Today’s Poem of a Photo

Today’s inspiration came from Margaret Simon’s “This Photo Wants to Be A Poem.” Margaret shared this Instagram photo by Hope Dublin:

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by @hopesview2021

Our final rest is
elsewhere, but
among the dandelions
and wanderers
you are welcome,
where lichen
makes its home
on our headstones.
Sit here with them a while.
Read your magic, but also
study their history.
Listen to their hush.
They have stories to tell.

November 22, 1963

I was inspired by a Slice of Life I read last week on Kathleen Neagle Sokolowsk’s blog. She wrote a poem about a special place as a model for her students. She chose to write about her grandparents’ home on Dianne Street. In addition, I had also just read a prompt post by Christie Wyman about a similar memory poem that ended with “But mostly, I remember…” so I used that, as well. It is amazing how you can be given a gift of memory through the right writing prompt. This day and idea came to the top of my list when I thought about my elementary school. I didn’t as much remember the place as the experience, but I did try to focus a bit on where the memory happened as well.

November 22, 1963

I remember walking down the hallway at Grove Avenue Elementary School on the concrete, smooth and worn. The paint was mostly removed and the surface polished by decades of saddle shoes and loafers padding through the corridors.

I remember arriving at the library with the welcoming smell of old books and happier times. Normally this was the place to sit on the carpet and hear the teacher read us a story of conjuring and castles, of dragons and dreams, of enchanted fishes and wishes granted or denied. One time I even got to sit in the teacher’s chair and turn the pages of the big LP storybook every time Tinker Bell rang her little bell on the record player. Not today though.

I remember Mrs. Leuer leading us into the library with her commanding presence, where wordlessly she told us to sit crisscross applesauce on the floor. Her black soft curls were like Elizabeth Taylor’s.

I remember the sad realization that there was no story today.  We sat in front of the big, black box of a television on a stand.

I remember the tears raining down my teacher’s cheeks. She removed her glasses and wiped her eyes while she watched the news on this brisk fall day.

I remember feeling worried, with my fellow kindergarteners, as we looked on in confusion at the adults who should be in control but weren’t.

But mostly I remember learning that Caroline and John-John didn’t have a dad any more.