Installment Plan Poetry Marathon, Week 18

You may be familiar with my Poetry Marathons – I’ve done them since January, 2015. I take a week, several times a year, and devote it to poetry – writing, editing, all poetry-related activities.

This year I have decided to do one segment of a Marathon each week. Two to three hours set aside for poetry, outside my regular life. It’s called the Installment Plan Poetry Marathon.

For more background information, look here. And if you want to read previous posts in this series, search this blog under the term Installment Plan Poetry Marathon 2017.


On May 5, I returned to Logue Library at Chestnut Hill College. What a rainy day – I drove over in a downpour and it remained damp all day.

I walked around the first floor a little bit before I went upstairs. Here is the reading room.

And here’s a view out a window on the first floor and the same area after I climbed to the third floor.

So, I set my things on my desk. It’s a pink raincoat kind of day, it is.

I decided to walk around the floor a little bit before I settled in. Book titles caught my eye today. How about this two-volume version of A Portrait of a Lady? I read this book in college and I do remember the print being quite small in my paperback version. I opened this one to see the difference.

I do think this version would have been a lot easier to read.

A few more. Robert Louis Stevenson…I liked Treasure Island myself, although I didn’t read it until I was an adult. And for a change of pace, or maybe not, if you think about it in terms of swashbuckling and adventure – how about some Ian Fleming?

There is a whole section on Joseph Conrad. I wrote my college senior thesis on this author and last year I turned it into a book. (Look here if you are interested…) Do you think there is room on these shelves for just that one more volume?

These little books of poetry caught my eye. I opened one, the 1935 volume. The interior is in beautiful shape…

and the cover surprised me with its unfaded bright yellow cover when I pulled it from the shelf. I looked it over while I ate lunch.

All right. I got down to work. I wrote some poems in the fast-intuitive style, as usual. Then I took out more pages of handwriting practice – as I did last week – to see if a cousin-of-snippet event could take place again. In a satisfying way, it did – those random phrases and words spark a lot of ideas.

First, a rain-inspired haiku.

3.
Red roof tiles slick up
turn silver backs to the sky
in the pounding rain

Now, a couple of those handwriting-inspired poems.

10.
Back then
I had many interests including
cake baking and hemming tablecloths
My dust-mopping, though, was a slip-shod joke.
I threw the rulebook out the window
and it showed. Well, as you know,
Equations must balance, and so
I’m proud to say
I did a top-notch job of any ironing
that came my way.
Are you sure don’t remember me?

8.
Dangerous lives
on the fifth floor
They eat bad food at their desks
consider it nothing
to spend an hour
or more
each day
placating a person with a made-up mind
who has a dozen good reasons
one of them always right
every last one of them.
They fix things
clean up payroll files
hand you a business card
follow the regulations
attend seminars on big-picture thinking.
They can’t leave the job
half-finished
when it has no end
Just call it a draw.
Start again tomorrow.

OK, that’s it for today. Next week!

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7 thoughts on “Installment Plan Poetry Marathon, Week 18

  1. I think that haiku is completely beautiful. The visual imagery in it is so strong. I also like the poem about household chores as it makes me think so much of my own attitude to and engagement in such things. I am great at all and enjoy all things related to laundry except for ironing and I keep on top of all of the housework except dusting which I only seem to get to once a month because I can always think of something to distract me just in the nick of time.

  2. Love that haiku. Please allow me to add two more lines to turn your haiku into tanka:

    shelter against sun and rain
    strong and leaked proof over years

  3. Oh, that’s perfect. I hope you will post it? And I will re blog. The roof I speak of is on a building at the college, a very strong stone structure built to last.

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