Category: Poems (page 3 of 4)

Poems I’ve written, both published and yet to be published

Poem: That Night

This poem was written during a talk by Jules Nyquist at the UNM Writers Conference today.

Short story ahead of the poem: It turns out that I sat in on a similar talk by Nyquist 2 years ago at the ABQ Book Fiesta. When I made that connection, I mentioned it to Nyquist and thanked her for my first poetry publication that happened this month. We had a great conversation.

Also, I met a bunch of great writers today at the conference. Shout out to Susan and Bryan, Mary who also had a 1 on 1 with Liz Trupin-Tulli, and Marsha (a poet). Mary managed to make me both calmer and MORE nervous about meeting and pitching my manuscript to Liz. To be fair, I thought Liz was incredibly intimidating. Not true! Very friendly. Very kind.

I think I completely bombed my 1 on 1 pitch but I think the plot spoke for itself enough to make Liz give me a chance. I’m sending my first 50 pages to her this week (per her request)!!!

On to the poem. The prompt: take “As I recall the meal I ate…” and make something of it. Nyquist read the entire original poem, but much like Finding Forrester, find our words by starting with some of theirs.

“That Night”

As I recall the meal I ate
was sitting there waiting
for us.

The sticky scent of over-browned
hamburger meat
covered us.

Mom kept her eyes on dad.
Dad kept his eyes on the floor.
Brother and I couldn’t
keep our eyes anywhere.
Wondering if we could eat.
Hamburger Helper gets crusty
if you don’t touch it too quick.

Poem: First Snow

This poem is based on encouragement from one Robin Kalinich who is participating in the National Poetry Month challenge. The challenge as to ask people to answer 5 questions and put together a poem based on those answers.

The questions:

1. Describe happiness.
2. How do you recognize true love?
3. What do you fear?
4. Do you always finish every book you begin? Why or why not?
5. List your three favorite words.

THE POEM: FIRST SNOW

Lost in fear, moisture in her breath hanging in the air,
She shivers.
So quiet she can hear the snow patter the ground.
Her heart slows.
His spirit lurks just around the corner,
Her heart quickens.

He will never do that again, not to her,
Not to nobody.
She did not like how her story was ending,
So it’s rewritten.
As his cold embrace leaves into a world beyond,
Her heart quickens.
He hangs from the windowsill she stared out for years.
Her heart slows.

Faded Love: A Poem

Faded Love

A decade of marriage later
I can’t help but think our love faded.
Our vows feel so far behind us,
like a black and white movie reel
sputtering a young love of long ago.

If asked, neither of us can remember
how long we’ve been married,
how long we’ve been together,
without counting fingers, looking at the wall.

The other day I found myself
staring at a different, more refined woman.
Watching her bright eyes and inviting
smile – daring me to take her home.

The soft bounce of her hair
matching the luscious
movements of her curves.
A shiver bubbled up from
somewhere deep inside.

And I realized…
I get to take that woman home
and hold her till our arms are numb.
Because our love has faded,
faded into a something deeper, stronger.

Bully: a poem

“Bully”
 
Father went to school. He dragged me. He forced
me to tell my story again. Stinging in my chest continued.
Principal Somani gave Father the same plastic smile everyone
gives me. It’s easy to spot.
“Frank, the school is aware of the problem and working on it.”
Father left satisfied. So did Somani.

 

Mother asked how my day went again. “Fine.” “Details?” “No thank you.”
“Why won’t you let me in? Why do you have to be so negative?
It’s your attitude that makes everyone hate you. Fine,
you can just spend the night in your room.”

 

The phone rang. Mother answered.
“This is Margaret. No. I can talk.
It’s just my ungrateful child. Think they call it Emo.
Maybe Goth.”

 

Hallway giggling crawls deep under my skin. Each chuckle
feeds whatever’s growing in my chest cavity.
Laughing used to be direct. They pointed at me, called out names,
said what they wanted. Teachers heard nothing, saw less.

 

Mr. Durand told me to suck it up. It’s not as bad
as it seems. But he’s not standing beside me on the bus,
walking me home, sitting in my family’s house, standing in the halls,
or whispering in my ear.

 

“He apologized,” spat Mrs. Jenson. “So,
he doesn’t mean it.” “Do you mean it?”
“I do.” “See, he does.” “He said that to you five times already.”
“Shake.” “No.” “Shake his hand.” “No.”

 

“Apologies are for those who make mistakes;
he recognizes his mistake.” “You don’t get it.”
“SHAKE.” I shook. “You can leave,” she told him.

 

She told me, “you have detention.”
 

Martyr: a poem

Inspiration for this came from a song. Now I can’t remember which one. Think it was a Depeche Mode song I heard on the radio that brought it on.


Martyr: A Poem

I walk into the room.
It goes dark before my mouth opens,
before the world collapses
around everyone inside.

I walked into her life,
alone, lost, ashamed
of who I was or thought I was.
My voice didn’t matter.

Now my voice is heard.
I hold my head up high.
I take one the world with biting accuracy.
The world belongs to me.

But at what cost?

She makes me so happy,
but I make her so miserable.
As she lays beside me I realize,
how much I love my beautiful martyr.


NOTICE: The image is not mine. It is a famous painting: The Martyr of the Solway by Millais. But I thought it was was gorgeous and so fitting.

Red: A Poem

Red

Some say it’s blood’s color. It’s not.
Blood is far less pure than what I see.

Flags are vibrant.
Stop signs, dresses, sun burns
and sports cars scream for attention.
But none of this shows the tint I see.

It’s the shade of something else.
Not pain. Not love. Not anger or disgust.

It’s the color of the need.
The need boiling up from inside.
It starts slow, simmers for months, sometimes longer.
It starts with whispers in my ears.
When it escalates, nobody wins but IT.

The bloodbath ensues in absolute calm and tranquility,
for me anyway,
like aftermath of the finest sex
with a great love.

For the Other, it’s all those other
things.
The pain.
The hate.
Anger.
Flags
Stop signs.
Sports cars.
Dresses.
Blood.
Sunburns.
Screams.

"Love for HIM": a poem

While waiting for my writing critique group last night, I wrote this little poetry gem.

“Love for HIM”

My love for him is unbending.
At night, his image fights its way into every dream,
waking and sleeping.
We meet quietly and in secret,
Hold hands when nobody’s eyes burn our skin.

Our love is wrong.
Their words remind us every day.
I still have not met his parents,
nor he mine.
It never will happen…
Because I love him that much…
And because I’m married to Heather Isabella Mandel.

Yesterday: A Poem

At More Ink, we did two exercises of similar caliber. The outcome of the first was in an earlier post. The latter is below.

To my More Ink brethren, the words have been edited, but only mildly, yet still contain all the words I had to use in the exercise. To everyone else, below is simply another reason to love, or hate, poetry.

Yesterday I was a black box.
–orange and bland
–quiet until asked to speak
–facts only, when spoken

Yesterday I was an origami clock that tocked
every tick of daily life.
Folded but never unfolded,
strategic lines,
ordered numbers,
predetermined hands.

Today that origami clock no longer tocks.
It ticks.
Folds have been unfolded,
Ticks to a softer second,
at a sweeter minute,
on a brighter hour.

This is That: a poem

Today I met a lot of great writers, amateur and published and everything in between. I’ll post later on my visit with them. It’s late. But I do want to give a huge shout out to the More Ink organizer: Robin Kalinich! And I do want to share my most recent attempt at poetry. One of two attempts written via prompts give by Robin during our creative writing session.

As you know, I’m no poet. I don’t generally like poetry, and would never walk around saying “I WRITE POETRY.” Yet, here I am, in the public blog-o-sphere, telling everyone just that.

“This is That” by Yours Truly

My real name is That.
Under my husk is something other than That: This.
This is Them. This is You. This is Him and Her.
This is anything but me.
This is what muscles under That.
That, being This: my willful self,
my inside voice,
my internal sunshine.
This is That.

If you don’t know, Robin Kalinich is a writer (buy her new book here) who also makes a lot of effort promoting other writers and artists of all types and styles through More Ink as well as Ink and Alchemy.

Bully: Poetry Attempt Number 3

This poem took several days to write. I’m not fully satisfied with it, but there it is: my third attempt at poetry. It still has a story (something missing from most poetry). It still has at least two layers. For the few readers I have, please give me feedback on this one. It’s missing something but I’m not sure what it is. 

Bully


Father dragged me to school. He forced
me to tell my story again. Stinging in my chest continued.
Principal Somani gave father the same plastic smile everyone
gave me. It’s easy to spot.
Frank, the school is aware of the problem and working on it.
Father left satisfied, so did Somani.


Mother asked how my day went again. Fine. Details? No thank you.
Why won’t you let me in? Why do you have to be so negative?
It’s your attitude that makes everyone hate you. Fine,
you can just spend the night in your room.


The phone rang. Mother answered.
This is Margaret. No. I can talk.
It’s just my ungrateful child. Think they call it Emo.
Maybe Goth.


Hallway giggling crawled deep under my skin. Each chuckle
feeds whatever’s growing in my chest cavity.
Laughing used to be direct. They pointed at me, called out names,
said what they wanted. Teachers heard nothing, saw less.


Mr. Durand told me to suck it up. It’s not as bad
as it seems. But he’s not standing beside me on the bus,
walking home, in my family’s house, in the halls,
or whispering in my ear.


He apologized, spat Mrs. Jenson. So,
he doesn’t mean it. Do you mean it?
I do. See, he does. He said that to you five times already.
Shake. No. Shake his hand. No.


Apologies are for those who make mistakes;
he recognizes his mistake. You don’t get it.
SHAKE. I shook. You can leave, she told him.
She told me, you have detention.

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