September 30, 2010

Freedom (BTP prompt)

After a two week hiatus from writing (everyone deserves a vacation now and then!) I am back with the wonderful prompt from Big Tent Poetry on childhood memories that really got my juices flowing.  I decided to write on a wonderful experience, the spring I was 10.  My father bought me a “mini-bike”, the smallest motorcycle there was.  I spent every free minute on it in glorious, wild freedom with my "gang"  and away from an oppressively difficult home situation.  

Each day became a fresh parole
of baking heat and brilliant sun,
escaping dark, oppressive rooms,
away from grasping, clawing arms.

Careening through the dusty streets,
my two speeds being fast and stop,
in rubber thongs and outgrown shorts,
not knowing what a helmet was.

Feeling like some fresh Columbus,
each exploration newly born,
outrunning my captivity,
until the evening's dimming light.

Returning burnt and gravel-rashed,
with long black hair a tangled mop,
so hungry for some nourishment,
but food and need was all I got.

That freedom was a soaring cloud,
through painful, childhood summer days,
in every year that’s hurried past,
I’ve never, ever, felt the same.

(My poor, confused mother, in an attempt to keep me as her “captive entertainment”, sold the bike the winter I was 11.)
Maybe I should buy a Vespa...?

September 09, 2010

Are You Listening? (BTP)

(Photo courtesy of Photobucket)

 At   Big Tent Poetry  this week the prompt was to "Think of something you've said, now write what you wish you had said."  This long ago scene immediately flashed through my mind...

Staring into your
empty, glistening, reptilian eyes
for some sign of shame,
(or perhaps contrition),
I see your self-absorption, 
 your thoughts containing only
basic, clawing want.
Your insectile ears just hear
(blah- blah, white noise).
 Human conversation is
  incomprehensible blather
you refuse to understand.
Then a slapping realization dawns 
that all I’ve said
(and dreamed of saying all these years)
has wasted too much energy
and can’t  matter to a soulless thing...
I should have only said 
A long time ago, in an act of self-preservation.  I had to cut myself away from someone who had spent years hurting me.  When I tried to finally let them know what they had done,  I realized I might as well have been speaking to a snail….

September 03, 2010

Day After Day (BTP)

This week's prompt idea at Big Tent Poetry, was to listen for interesting words or phrases to use in a poem.

Instead, I thought of those same words, sounds, and questions I hear every day, and find myself wishing for a respite from the endless clamor.

G' mornin'…
Have you seen my phone? today’s headline news…
Are you pouring more coffee?
...and now for sports…
I’m out of shaving cream.
Have any cash on you?

Despite the blaring television,
I hope for silence. 

The truck broke down, order's late.
Why are you out of the ONE thing I need!?!
Would you be interested in donating….?
Do you carry...?
I'll take the deposit.
What do you have for energy?
I need tomorrow off.

Between each endless numbing decision,
I listen for silence.

Ready to order?
You've got to see the new shoes I bought!
More tea?
This is NOT on my diet...
I just don't know why she acts that way.
There's this new exercise class...
Save room for dessert?

Amid the clatter of dishware and conversation,
I long for silence.

Welcome to...
Want a sales flyer?
Did you find everything you needed?
Would you like to donate your change to...?
Is that debit or credit?
Paper or plastic?
Can we take this out to the car for you?

Through the endless looping Musak,
I beg for silence., the stock market lost…
What’s for dinner?
I don’t see my shaving cream.
Your mom left a message, you better call her.
Where have you been, I've been calling...
...we’ll return in a minute, after this important message…
Did you make the coffee?

In midnight's final cocoon of silence,
I pray for strength.