portrait of a morning

credit – jim hester

Although today is sunny, bright and breezy – even coolish with essentially no humidity – I am sharing a poem written yesterday during the Poetry Marathon. As you’ll see from the certificate, I signed up for and duly completed the Half Marathon. Twelve poems in 12 hours. I think the 24-hour version must be utterly grueling, because I’ll admit, there were hours (a new prompt is posted every hour on the hour and you create/post your response within that hour) – well, two or three – when I didn’t feel tired so much as devoid of words. And yet, there are 12 entries on my page!

The prompt for this poem was to write a four-stanza poem, using a line from the first in each of the others. For starters, it was great fun to see how people interpreted this prompt differently. As for my own experience, I loved the challenge of the structure to bring the poem full circle – and have it make sense!

The slow drizzle of gray-turned-rain
laps gently on the canvas covered deck
tapping its own rhythm to the quiet continuo
of Corinthian chimes muting the wind

the slow drizzle of gray-turned-rain
sliding off branch and rail, soaking
the thirsty ground as yellow finches
and the occasional hummer in search of food

lap gently on the canvas covered deck,
the day’s rhythms of hunger and its filing
marking the passage of hours, staging
the shape of a day. Downhill the new house rises

tapping its own rhythm to the quiet continuo
of our life here, its shape and pace
undisturbed by change, though
change unfolds all around us.


the dance

Credit: shuffleprojects.com

I find myself at a confluence of Big Life Events: two years since moving to our cozy condo after The Big Downsize; two months until my son returns from his six-month stint in Ghana —  events connected with reference to the following poem.

Suffice it to say, he is much on my mind as we have begun to discuss what music to dance to next June 29th. Another Big Life Event. For all of us!! And we are prepared, having danced and played many rhythms en duet through these past two decades of his growing up.

They lean, one fore, one aft, a
moving frame in simple walk
sway side to side, their steps
acquired through pairing years.

One bends to pull, his partner
shifts. their balance sure,
contact complete –
their steps complex, a turn,
a feint, a helping hand;

their rhythm known
between themselves – no music
tells the when or where; their

watchful coach scans their steps,
hand out to guide
their moving feet,

as one’s hips swivel
subtle ocho, settle, place;
a few slow preparatory breaths;
then the measured

the key of breath, the angled pitch,
bracing hard with all they’ve got
against forces from behind, two men

hoist our baby grand
up stairs to level ground.