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.
Back at Logue Library, Chestnut Hill College, on July 5. It was a hot, humid morning with hazy sunshine when I arrived.
The campus is very quiet. I love the array of parking spaces spread out before me in the lot. I dislike parking a car and when I have plenty of room as I did today, well, it makes my mood lift. Silly, but true.
When the students are here I have to park at the end of the lot, way down there where that vehicle is in the distance.
No tennis camp today. As I said, very quiet around here.
Coming up the steps from the parking lot, I noticed ferns and even a small bush taken root in the mortar gaps of the wall. Then – I saw something unexpected.
Yes, it is a squash vine, blooming.
Here’s a view from over the top of the wall.
I took it for a good omen, for reminding me of determination and persistence in the face of inhospitable conditions. And also – Hope. Optimism. Who knows how far this vine will be able to go in its chosen path? It has not chosen a good place to try to live. But think how much it has already done.
I send out my good wishes for a long life and maybe even a baby squash to grow and prosper. And if not, my gratitude for pointing my thoughts in a hopeful direction.
On to the library.
I went to the third floor of the library after signing in. My desk was waiting. A pale bit of sunshine found its way in the window and I could hear a lawnmower outside. Summer.
I decided to do things backward today. First, look at last week’s work. Then, handwriting snippets. Then new poems of any or no form.
I followed my plan pretty well. My “new poems” turned out mostly to be haiku. I am in a short-form mood today, it looks like. Maybe because it seems like a Monday; with the holiday yesterday, we have started this week twice. I haven’t gotten my momentum going yet.
All right, the poems.
A couple of haiku, first.
pocket full of paper scraps
mailbox stands empty
In the hospital
bedside flower garden grows
footsteps and heartbeat
racing along together
the exit in sight
The hedge reaching out
The unwary receiving
poison ivy touch.
(this one was inspired by my friend David – we take walks around the neighborhood and he is always pulling me away from brushing against hedges interlaced with poison ivy. I never seem to notice it, never have, never will, despite everyone pointing it out to me over and over – so he’s doing me a good turn)
One small poem:
Dreamed of raising sunflowers
under rain clouds
Lived in a shell of brittle blue
surrounded by endless
One a little bit longer:
Came back to town for a fundraiser
running loose and dangerous
in a mild kind of way
broke his arm and went to the emergency room
How about some coffee
the desk lady said
and how would you like to pay for
your cemetery plot?
A professional smile.
A horrified frown.
Oh dear, pardon me
Just take a breath.
I’ve gotten things
do make mistakes. I should be talking
to the fellow in Cubicle Two.
And some handwriting snippets:
Look at me there in the mirror
Do you see decay and futility of effort?
No, it’s just a skin rash.
a shining ribbon of blur
at sixty miles an hour
all my memories
fading into the fog
guilt is all that’s holding me together
life is short
life is a postcard
I’ve figured it out.
That street is full of one-way traffic.
OK, that’s it! Until next week.