Watching the first episode of the Netflix Original “High on the Hog”, listening to the news stories of the fighting between the Israelis and the Palestinians, and reflecting on the documentary of the Holocaust in Hungary, my heart became weighted down.
The grief was real. And heavy.
But I know the importance of wading through the ugly parts of history. We must know where we’ve went been to know where we are going.
We remember the past, so that we don’t make the same mistakes again.
Life In The Middle
A story has no beginning and it has no end, which leaves me living somewhere in the middle. Though I’m not one who came before,
I’ve no breath without the exhale of my ancestors. I come home to the place they left; I hold on so that place is not forgotten.
We must know where we have been, and where we are in order to understand where we are going; if we choose to ignore the past,
we ignore a part of ourselves. Light shines in the dark, and sunshine chases away the dim shadows, but where do the memories hide?
Where does the past leave the present? In the stillness of the night skies, there lives the anguish in our blood— fragments of a lost memory.
If we don’t valorize the past, who will? I’m not the beginning of the story, and I am not the end. I sit here with you in
this moment, knowing who we are, understanding our connection, convening with our ancestry— and choosing never to forget.
The prompt for the day was to write a sijo. This is a traditional Korean poetic form. Like the haiku, it has three lines, but the lines are much longer. Typically, they are 14-16 syllables, and optimally each line will consist of two parts – like two sentences, or a sentence of two clauses divided by a comma.
In terms of overall structure, a sijo functions like an abbreviated sonnet, in that the first line sets up an inquiry or discussion, the second line continues the discussion, and the third line resolves it with a “twist” or surprise.
For more on the sijo, check out the primer here and a long list of examples in English, here.
The startling blue sky woke me from my slumber; I begged for sleep. The old dreams returned at dawn, stifling the sun with their darkness. Eyes open, the daylight blinds me with reality; you are gone.
NaPoWriMo 2016The prompt for today is to write a poem in which I explore what I think is the cruelest month, and why. So here it is…
fall from grace
all due respect to the poet,
september is the cruelest month.
our children and our harvest, whisking away;
silence and dying leaves, singing melancholy in their place.
my sorrow complete by empty playgrounds reminding
of joy, but stark and barren like my arms.
i rode my bike to town, to the library, to the gym, and took myself out to breakfast.
george from the diner singing
the blues about the breakfast club dwindling down
to a few elderly patrons chewing–
a symphony of gums smacking against dentures.
an occasional heatwave bursting through,
dismal grey looming,
a goodweatherahead omen lying through the teeth of pre-winter storms.
ah september you wicked,wicked man!
your seductive sunshine belying
a heart of pure winter ice.
The prompt for today was called the “Twenty Little Poetry Projects,” and was originally developed by Jim Simmerman. There were twenty little projects themselves — the challenge is to use them all in one poem. I used ten because my day was too full to work all twenty into my poem.
the new road
emily says dying is a wild night and a new road.
i say dying is sort of like walking too close to the rails when the chicago el whizzes by: whooosh!
dying tastes like a quiet color
in explosive rainbow proportions.
i hear the clacking coming;
i feel the rush of wind
and touch the steamy air
just before that silver bullet train starts whizzing toward me.
i wonder if the actual moment of death feels like being a rider on the train watching the people stare as i pass by them.
i wonder if death feels like new life.
i wonder if becalmanddie would make a good slogan on a billboard advertising dying.
perhaps emily is right after all;
perhaps the billboard sign should be lit in blinking neon lights
guiding the way home on the new road (which just happens to pass a tad too close to the el train tracks).