Even Bob Dylan Reminds Me of You

20161017_150238.jpg

Even Bob Dylan Reminds Me Of You

I have a frayed quilt, folded
Age frays fiber like a document shredder frays secrets
It lays limp as a reminder
Of reconciliation
Anchored, the weight of redemption holds it
In place
Like black vinyl held his lines for years
Before Pandora gathered the whole collection in a mysterious cyber place

(You’ve never seen it, you loved quilts, but this one you would not)
The yellow squares are a billion one inch pieces
No one will count-check behind me
The yellow squares scream louder than a caution light
The shade is one off of gauche

But it’s the story that marries peace with threads
Storytellers know
Poets do too
Fraying helps the edginess

I love every square inch
Except the polyester fabric
Which is 100 percent of this masterpiece
Sewn by church ladies
Or a grieving widow or an Appalachian blue haired lady, retired from teaching
An educated guess at best

The giver is whom I love
I wish the quilt were cotton
Breathable
Some days the man-made fiber suffocates
But sentiment makes me hold on helpless
To surrender
Hope

I can’t get away from your dying
Even the everywhere’s I used to go
To hide and grieve
Have the hollow feel
Of bristling poly-fibers

Flammable, like my burning grief
It is early
The flame still burns
But I’ve got a head start
Preparing for good-bye
With the covers pulled up to my hairline

I sang Amazing Grace to you
And then I realized
If you could remember
If you could speak

You would have preferred Bob Dylan

The prophet, the poet, the Nobel Prize receiver
You saw his greatness before the committee

Knocking on heaven’s door
Simple twist of fate
I shall be released
The times they are a-changin
Just like a woman

You Are My Sunshine and Amazing Grace
Let’s pretend they were Dylan’s version

(We needed the words of a poet
We still do)
We both know Dylan could rock

You are my sunshine

 

 

Advertisements

Lost Art

wp-1452785046483.jpg

Lost Art

A hundred  years from now
Will they lay blame
Squarely at our feet
Like a tom cat
Depositing the spoils of his latest feline
Hunter-Gatherer session in the pines,
a limp songbird clothed in broken robe of red

The extinction of all that is lost
Weep for us at least
At the scarcity

For along with the earth, the sky and sea
Damage to
Mountains, rivers, ponds and streams
It seems we’ve lost the art of
That and this
Those most beautiful of things
Take inventory
Line them up
And see along with me
The dim memory of the art of life’s fragile
Finest things
Savoring, simplicity, longing and lingering in quiet wait
How cruel to let them die
Expire from our midst
I still want to string these things
That make our life a masterpiece
Like pearls along a silky cord
laughing, loving, and really listening
And these?
An out of order, unalpha-ed partial list of things
That we used to know the art of
Practiced at their practice
Refining them with runs up and down the scales
As if our lives depended on it
Perhaps in fact they did

Discover the art of being lost in forests
Over-grown with grace
Scavenge with me among the fields of broken hallelujah’s

Excavate thankfulness
Resurrect forgiveness

(A renaissance of simplicity is waiting to be re-born)


For all is not lost
Afterall, after all these three remain
Faith, hope and love

hang the masterpieces of our lives
on the sacred nail

Sacrificed with blood and flesh and
Restore the things
Lost
But now I’m found
Find these things with me

 

 

 

 

 

 

+++++++++++++

Tiny Letter #7 goes to subscribers tomorrow. I saved a spot for you there — “A Quiet Place For Words”. Subscription is free. Click the link to sign up. It is on of my favorite places these days because  it is where I hear from so many of you. Thank you for writing me and for responding and for journeying with me.

peace and grace,

 

e

wp-1452525058250.png

It Is Not Like I Am Trying To Ditch Poetry, But Poetry Won’t Let Me Anyway

IMG_20150630_145524

It Is Not Like I Am Trying To Ditch Poetry, But Poetry Won’t Let Me Anyway

When my speaking voice
My writing prose, writer’s voice
Are released to run free into the wide open spaces of the blogosphere and the world wide web
Compressed language, brevity and pithy phrasing
Fail me
You could say I am a long-winded fool
A verbose jaw flapper, writer of long and winding words
Lover of the adverb
Repeater of things, lover of and
Funny how you swear you don’t give a twit or a flea or a flick
About what the naysayer’s say
Because
Isn’t it odd that the naysayers take up more space with their naysaying than the non-naysayers

So you go into your place where you hide all the brave
And you pull out all the tools and the stops
And you assess things, take the lay of the land
(Names have been changed to protect me)
Hold your finger high in the sky to take an opinion poll
Check the collective temperature of the crowd that you aim to please
Imagine what all the readers want to read
Second guess the lay of the land
And craft the project to fit the need

And loose yourself in the process
(Flipping through the Yellow Pages you search and opine the lack of  attorney’s who specialize in break-up’s
Between poetry and writer, writer and poetry)
Wondering if you’ve flipped a switch
Most folks would just ditch the poetry without a thought
Not even looking back

You start to write some words of the Dear John sort
Tell poetry how grateful you are to have had her help in shaping your prose
And gently console her with what would I have done without you’s
(She is a she, poetry, duh)
And you get out the hats and blowers and confetti
Send her on her way
Tell her, “Have you seen the poetry section at Barnes and Noble?”
(There is a poem about that, you can Google it, I wrote it, I should know)

Have you been in the room with people who look a hole as wide as the Hoover dam
Right through your insides when you say “Poetry”
And people with M.D.’s and degrees
And retirees and Ph.d’s and common people who are civilized and polite to the n’th degree
On all other occasions but this very one
Givers of the blank stare (they are grieving your loss of sales as they drop their jaw)
And you swear
And you swear off poetry
Well not really off, just less

Settle into the place that the naysayer’s swore was the safest bet
And the surest sure thing

The place where the agents live and thrive and the publishers always go
And then for the life of you
You decide to go down swinging
To take your beloved poetry with you
To leave no poetic child behind
To go after the one lost poetic soul
To bring every poetic voice home for a proper, oh never mind

It is not like I was trying to ditch poetry anyway
And even if I was
It won’t let me

Anyway

Look for poetry to find a place
And settle into at least a chapter or verse
Of the long-wided wind bag’s
Imaginary book of dreams
The names have been changed to protect poetry

Wrestling With Poetry

wpid-img_14659227963018.jpeg

Wrestling With Poetry

I struggled to take the pen from the poem. I knew she had some things to say
But I did too
So we went back and forth, battle of the wills
I tried to explain
In my calmest voice, that it was imperative that I get this on paper
I did not shout, no bold was used, only italics
Calmly I told her, you know the drill
If I do not get these words about the metaphor of the garden and my aging
Or the simile about raising my chickens and parenting, well it will all go up in a metaphorical puff of smoke

The poem made her point, no rhyming or argumentative couplets were pulled from her back pocket
She simply stated that her verse was siting on the tip of her tongue
And no doubt it would be lost, buried in the graveyard of unprinted poems if she were not allowed to proceed
With the impending poem that was percolating on her parched lips
(I will admit she was a bit dramatic, but she remained a lady, throughout the discourse)

I considered pulling rank
But it was unclear to me
Who in fact was higher up the food chain

I pondered pulling the plug, which would have been cruel and would have involved
Electrical cords
(The one with the hands has the advantage in a duel such as this)

And then I thought about raising the white flag
Playing the martyr and playing dead

Wrestling with poetry is not for the faint of heart
And I have been down this road before

The problem with bullying your muse
Is well
You both end up bruised and bloodied
And poems with black eyes do not wear the badge of battle well

And no poems see the light of day
Which sort of defeats the point of wrestling with poetry in the first place

But for the record, since I have the fingers on the keyboard
My poem about the garden would have been perfectly delicious

And hers about wrestling with poetry
Well I let her win
This time