Installment Plan Poetry Marathon, Week 30

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 July 27, I returned to Logue Library at Chestnut Hill College. A cool cloudy day, welcome after our spell of hot weather. The campus remains very quiet.

T walked toward the stairs to the upper campus and I checked on the squash vine. still looking good!

Here is a look at its environment:

As you can see, the plant is growing from between two granite stones in the wall, the mortar having dropped out; since the wall is built into the hill, soaked-in rainwater filters through the earth to the back side of the wall and through the crack. This is how this little guy is surviving. I pointed it out to a man walking up the steps as I was taking the pictures. “Tenacity”, he said. Tenacity, indeed.

I took a moment to enjoy these crepe myrtle bushes next to the reading room’s windows. As I watched, a hummingbird swooped in and among the blossoms, its wings whizzing.

I went inside and checked in. The two librarians were discussing something about keys and opening the library. It sounded confusing. I went on my way. Here is a photo of how the bushes look from inside the library. A silent scene of beauty available all day long, just for the effort of taking a moment to look.

I set up at my desk.

I decided to take a turn around the room. Today I was interested in all the little items that do a job on this floor but never get a moment of recognition. I am remedying that lack, right now.

 

There. Now you have seen more of the room where I spend so much time.


All right. Today’s poems.

The crepe myrtles made an impression on me.

7.
Perfect row of crepe myrtles
in dark pink bloom
standing on long slim legs
I mean trunks.
A haughty look about them
stuck here along the side of the building
think they ought to be around front
Like a crowd of fashion models
waiting curbside for the bus
if such people
rode the bus
which they don’t.
Anyway
they take the attentions of the paparazzi
I mean a hummingbird
in stride
putting up with the buzzing and flitting around
cool as fashion models
sneering on a magazine cover.
The crepe myrtles
strike a pose.
I snap a photo.

 

I’ve been reading Trollope’s Can You Forgive Her? and have just met Lady Glencora. On such slight acquaintance, the thoughts expressed in this poem have come to me. Maybe I’ll assess her differently as the book goes on, but for some reason, I felt I wanted to make a note of things.

5.

If only she could get over
that ill-advised attachment
forget it
throw it into the back of the drawer
that holds all the things
that need to stay forgotten
with what enjoyment
could she throw herself
into this life she occupies
instead
Wealthy and waited on
Amiable relations and friends
very pleasant company
here to visit any time
Chocolate cake every day if she liked
and no need to make her own bed. Ever.
If only she could let go
of her attachment to
that ill-advised attachment
but
where there is no need to suffer
suffering is precious
It goes in the other drawer
where the cherished things are kept.

Next, vignettes, formerly known as handwriting snippets but now having their own name, and thank you to everyone who made suggestions. “Vignettes” was the most popular one, and it fits well. I read the word is from the French “little vine”; I do like that term as well. I may convert to it. “Little vines” twining through my thoughts…anyway, I did a lot of these today. Here are some selections.

a.
tell the truth and it will make no difference
you will float downstream face-down
no matter what.

d.
which one is the decoy
the fiction
the lie
the story?

e.
Let’s split up and search the back yard
It’s not what you thought but something
worse.

k.
I fell flat on the floor
Three days in the hospital
weak, drunk, and suffering from a full-body rash.

l.
The new prescription isn’t helping.
I’ve been told
a nice little operation might do the trick

m.
Flowers arrived
half-dead
and no card was enclosed.

r.
good intentions
worn down like old shoes
forced down too many rough roads

Until next time. Thank you for reading.

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8 thoughts on “Installment Plan Poetry Marathon, Week 30

  1. I so enjoyed the images of the crepe myrtles in your tour that I was finding myself pondering planting one on our property but reading your poem makes me wonder if they are too snooty and supercilious for me. There is also the fact I suck at gardening to factor in, of course.

    Despite having been one of those who suggested the word “vignettes”, I am actually now loving the idea of “little vines”. It’s the small connections, the creativity firing across the synapses, generating fruit.

  2. I can tell you we have two crepe myrtles in our yard and while not as big as the ones at the library, they are beautiful and have been no trouble to grow. They do best in a more sheltered place rather than one where they get a lot of winter winds (one reason I think they do well at CHC up against the building) I was more taken by their thin “legs” and how they were all lined up in that particular space looking so elegantly aloof. I am leaning to the “little vines” idea more and more. I need to see how I feel a week from now, maybe. I don’t want to be pretentious about these little things, the little poems, I mean.

  3. I’m also taken with the crepe myrtles, and like Laura would consider planting them, but I also “suck at gardening.” And by that, I mean I really don’t enjoy it. I want someone to just come and magically re-do our entire yard–except for the big old trees.
    I don’t think the crepe myrtles look haughty. To me, they look like a bunch of teenage girls. I picture them chattering away.
    The view from “your” library room is beautiful and serene.

  4. Thank you. As I said to Laura, our crepe myrtles have done great with no attention from us other than a little pruning of dead branches, and – inportant in our yard – deer don’t eat them. As for the teenage girls image, I see it too, and I have to admit I am afraid of teenage girls too, thinking back to high school, ugh…

  5. “r” is just about perfect.
    I noticed the crepe myrtles when driving through Maryland and Virginia to the beach. They lined the roads like a colorful and welcoming crowd. I like them, but wonder if they would survive in NYC. To me they somehow look ready for Carnival at all times. (K)

  6. They are showy looking plants but surprisingly hardy. I am not sure about NYC, I know here in PA they need to be sheltered and some don’t make it every winter. I first saw them about 25 years ago in South Carolina and just loved their color and shape since then.

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