I’ve been noodling around with the idea for this poem for several months. I wrote a haibun about the ICU a while back, and this has grown out of some of those images. If you’re coming over from Poetry Thursday, I’d love comments and critiques on this piece!
The goddamned machine is beeping
again, the rhythmic high-pitched whine insistently
announcing another catastrophe.
The curtains are drawn around bed two,
sheets of bleach separating the living
from the anaphylaxis of grief.
Teardrops trapped in plastic
tubing drip reluctantly into tired
vessels, sagging flesh,
hungry mouths. Prayers
are whispered into clenched hands,
asking for just one miracle,
one more day.
No one looks healthy under
fluorescent lighting, especially
the residents of this place, circadian
rhythms dictated by the change of shift
instead of the sun.
Limbs that were tanned and firm
are swollen and pasty, victims
of the hard work of healing.
The air is so still, unstirred
by human motion,
until the beeping starts again.
I wish to God someone would turn
that machine off.
So clearly I have given up on NaPoWriMo, there was just too much else going in the real world and I hated scrambling to come up with something poetic, no matter how good (or bad, more likely) it was. Since stopping the poems, I have had a dear friend visit, traveled to our new homeland to find a house, found that new house (which is lovely), survived the monster nor’easter which visited New England, and endured a terrible headcold. So life has gone on and I’m accomplishing things that need to get done. I’m continuing to work on poems but at a much more leisurely pace which allows me to actually think about what I’m writing and revise and edit to my heart’s content. So there will be more poetry here among the packing and purging which will be filling the next month. I’m dreading the move itself but it will be fun to discover a new place!
The weather early this week was beautiful, eighty degrees with full sun and Carolina blue skies. Then, on Thursday, we woke up and it was in the thirties. The flowers had all bloomed, but with the freeze many of them had wilted.
shivering with early April
purple sunlit frost.
NaPoWriMo Day 8
This is the result of an interesting exercise from Poetry Thursday. Participants posted lines from their own poems to be used in an original poem. The line is chose is “the hard work of making people happy”, from Poet Mom. She’s a great writer and has some lovely work on her site, you should check it out!
“In Need of Repair”
Our coffee maker is broken.
We’ve tried everything, from prayers
both whispered and shouted,
to outright violence.
It has remained barren and cold.
Perhaps, like us, it is simply tired
from the heat, the grind,
the relentless cycling of on and off,
the hard work of making people happy.
When the geranium died
its leaves shrunk in on
themselves. The last drops of
moisture extracted, they faded
to ugly dry scabs, sloughed from
the stem. Limbs amputated, fallen
hands open on the dirt.
The stems gave up later.
Green skin became paper thin,
peeling in ribbons of brown.
The vessels in the core released
their liquids, thick black gore
filling the center. Despite their
rot, they remained standing, their
home abandoned, their
NaPoWriMo, Day #5.
This poem is a bit of fluff, but kind of fun (hopefully) and appropriate since it was 80 degrees here yesterday, while my parents got 10 inches of snow. It has occurred to me that I might add a NaPoWriMo category for these posts so they can be easily found in the future. Of course, I could also look at the date and just assume everything in April belongs to that category.
How curious the difference is
between the north and south!
Here in the southern climes we’re freed
from winter’s frozen mouth
in March or April; while the north
is gripped with ice and sleet,
we’re barbecuing hamburgers
and wearing our bare feet.
But when the summer’s furnace glows
and melts the strongest men,
oh how I wish I were up north
and freezing cold again!
It has gotten hard already to write a poem each day, at least a poem that is worth reading. I may need to start doing revisions as my daily poem, which I think counts. There are just some that need to be changed already. I’m not happy with this one as is, but it’s a jumping off point. Comments are always welcome!
“New Year’s Eve”
The last breath of December exhaled
us into the streets,
but the unfamiliar cold drove us back
into the restaurant.
We ate pad thai and drank
expensive red wine, more
for the indulgence
than the taste.
Our shadows cloudy
white and clustered about our
mouths, we wandered the city;
strangers spilling into our
path, laughing at their private jokes.
Hands clutched we found our
In the hotel room, our
pajamas empty and waiting,
we watched the ball drop and
grinned foolishly. With faces
pressed close we made our plans;
the secret is only love.