"dazzle gradually"

"Dazzle Gradually" 2017 poems, paintings, new art & photography--a diary, a discipline, a delight. Read over my shoulder as I post my unedited poetry ---you can see it in the raw or get my first book and see how the work evolves with new books rolling out next year.


Polly Alice

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

ADD

ADD

Attention Deficit Disorder,
he said when the graph of my test results
glowed red off the chart--
apparently, I have trouble attending...

attendance...explains why I skipped
almost every ethics class in college,
because the professor had arm pit
stains on his shirts...

Oh, what were you saying?
Yes, you were right I have ADD...

D...Dusty...This is really the
most dusty office I've ever been in.
I had to wipe off the keys of the keyboard
before the computer test.  Then I couldn't
find a trash can to put them in... That's probably
why I failed the test---besides trying to
read all the sticky notes on his desk, and then
sitting in the chair trying to type backwards...

Oh, what were you saying?
Yes, I will have to take this prescription in
to my regular doctor...

Doctor...Eye Doctor...This guy has
extremely thick glasses.  My glasses are new
and I'm not used to them yet which means
I can't really see with them or
without them.  At least I can hold my head
up.  An why does he have that strange
bug collection on the wall--freaks me out--
stink bugs?  Does that signify something?...

Oh, what were you saying?
Am I embarrassed about having ADD?
Of course not.  It means I'm
an absolute genius.  Do you
know what kind of grades I got in school?...

Imagine what I could have done
if I had been able to actually listen to what
the teacher was saying?  I could
have been as smart as Steven Hawkings--
worked equations inside out and backwards.
I would rich and famous and my house would
be a fabulous terra cotta roofed mansion in...

Oh, what were you saying?
Yes, time to go home.
Thank you for your time.

Now what all did he say?

First Anniversary of the Day the House Burned Down

That's it.  Tomorrow.  It's the last day of June.
I've done everything I did last year-- most of the
spring cleaning anyway--
I killed the weeds in the driveway with vinegar,
oiled the doors with DW40, so they won't squeak,
started to clean the guest bedroom, planted herbs,
weeded the garden--some of it--,
washed the windows, and the car...
Was this the recipe for disaster?
Here's what I won't do on the burnaversary--
leave the kids alone.
What I have mind to do:
Gather that old Christmas Santa out of the freezer,
the Easter Candy off the top of the fridge,
the Valentine Candy out of the TV drawer,
and take them all out in the yard and throw them
at the house one piece at a time.
I will announce that not everything
from this year was burnt or spoiled
some of it was sweet.
The sugar will melt into the hot July soil
and grow a candy tree.
We will safely sit here,
year after year,
letting only sweet things
drop into their mouths from
now on.

Mom Freecycling

Mom gets up and puts on a shirt from the chair--
it was worn only a few hours yesterday, so it's okay.
Mom gets up and toasts the day old bread for breakfast.
She spends the morning on the sewing machine
hemming cut-offs into shorts,and fixing
the rear end split in the baby's pants.
The old cuffs become Barbie cocktail dresses.
Around eleven forty she remembers there's nothing
to cook for dinner, because it's the last day
before the last day of the month--
two days til pay day.
She rummages in the bottom of the airy light
fridge, among the crumbs,
bum sticking out like a flag while she talks
to herself.
She brings out, half of an ancient onion,
half of cabbage, still good, a bowl
of drippings from the Father's Day baked
Chicken, and some dry baby carrots no one will eat.
Mom skims the fat, trims the veggies, and throws them
into the old broken crockpot without a handle.
Then Mom raids the freezer for some frozen white
beans, tiny pieces of lamb, and some
Thanksgiving Pumpkin.
They all go in.  And she starts shaking in
spices so fast her arms are like
hummingbird wings.  The parsley
flies off the shelf as though summoned.
I count the bay leaves: two.
In goes my leftover tomato soup, olive oil,
lemon, salt, and a few grinds of pepper.
Who knows if it will taste good?
And who knows why she was rejected
from Kansas City Freecycle?

A Poem about ADD


Sitting Down to Write a Poem about having ADD

Friday, June 25, 2010

Sunlover

Gene Kelly confessed truly
love's first light
to his yellow umbrella,
splash-dancing
through fictional puddles
in patent shoes...

I'm singin' in the rain
just singin' in the rain
What a wonderful feelin'
I'm happy again.
I'm laughin'  at clouds
so dark up above
The sun's in my heart,
and I'm ready for love.

This was my song on summer days
when I wore a ponytail
and a bandanna--
before I could imagine
your sun rising
in my heart.

Some people say
new love fades from
its dancing frenzy
only to be transformed
into something dark
enough to hide in your pocket
heavy enough to sink to the bottom of
the water filled studio street,
lost.

Honey, I never lost
that sun,
it burns brighter than ever--
but I'm so old and tired now,
when it rains,
instead of dancing,
I'm just glad to have
someone to share
my umbrella.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Parkinglot Bird

Parkinglot Bird

Parkinglot bird, you sing
from your metal tree.
Parkinglot bird
mocking me.
Cat bird,
you whistle,warble and
call twelve dozen
different bird songs.
Maybe you will still
be here to sing for them
when they are
long gone.

Revised version on Sept. 20, 2010

Parkinglot Bird
Parkinglot bird, you sing
from your metal tree.

Parkinglot bird,
are you mocking me?

You old mockingbird
copycat all

twelve dozen types
of other bird calls.

I wonder if you sing loudly
or not at all?


Sunday, June 20, 2010

Early to Rise

Bread of Life,
You get up early
fresh and ready
when I wake
wholesome enough
to sustain me all day
prepared
always a step
ahead.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Four Seasons in Kansas City

Spring starts between February and April
with the introduction of ice storms.
Thick Popsicles of clear ice
over brown grass, gray twigs, and
your elderly neighbors driveways
where they will most definitely slip
and break their hips, because
they must not ask for help getting the paper,
and they have to read the paper to find
out about the ice storms.
The ice storms knock over the trees
which knock over the wires so there is 
no electric heat periodically or light.
The ice storms are followed by tornadoes,
real ones, imaginary ones, televised ones,
movie ones, nightmare ones, barely-missed-you
ones.
The tornadoes coincide with the hail storms,
green wicked witch of the west winds,
thunder storm watches and warnings,
and runnings to the basement
with a flashlight.
After tornadoes die down,
there are more thunder storms
followed by heat, heat lightening,
mosquitoes, and humidity.
Summer starts at ninety degrees and moves
up to around a hundred.
Humidity is followed by 
drought, but it's still humid mind you.
Autumns is when the leaves dry up 
and fall down brown from lack of rain,
they sort of just burn up.
Winter comes,
brown, cold, dry
and desolate with white skies
and a bit of peace before 
the thunder rumbles
back to bully
everyone again.
This explains why everyone
has to talk about the weather all
the time, it's a matter of
survival, one.  Two, it
explains why the Midwest Anxiety
Center regularly advertises
televised attention to
their services. 
I'll call if you will.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Pumpernickel

It's hot in here.
The new air conditioning can't beat
-my week sixteen pregnancy generator
-the ninety seven degree sauna that is the Midwest
-my four hundred degree oven baking bread.
That must be why baker's get up early.
They aren't going to heat up
the ovens at the hottest part of the day.

I'm not that smart. I didn't remember
I was going to bake bread
until well after breakfast.
I let the yeast sponge with some
honey, water and a little flour
well until after nap time.

I forced myself to keep adding flour
in between getting the baby out of his crib,
and other chores.

When the spoon couldn't turn
anymore, I had to finally get
down to it.  I had to knead the dough.

I'm lazy.  I do it in the bowl--
easier that way, and less mess,
and who can knead for ten minutes
anyway?  I maybe get in five.

I let the dough rest under a towel.
I can barely stand up.
I take a vitamin.
I make iced tea...
I eat leftover birthday cake.

Ahh some energy kicks in.
Now I'm ready to tackle it,
but can I?

There is a huge beast in that bowl.
Large enough to push up the tea towel
and make its presence known.
The cocoa, dill pickle juice,
and rye flower leave
an odd scent in the air
like scratch and sniff stickers
left out in the sun.

It's now or never.  If I don't
tame it, the dough will explode out of the
bowl, or wilt into a mass of glue
I'll never be able to clean up.

I have to do it.  Ugh.

I put in a lot of white flour
the dough looks like
chocolate mousse. I wish I
could make that instead.

I punch down the monster
dough, and pinch it into two pieces.
One I roll into a ball, the other a log.
I place the ball into Great-Granny's
cast iron skillet with a little Always Save
olive oil.
I cut a criss-cross design in the top.

Relief.  I have tamed half of it.
The log--I roll it up one way and
then the other.  I put it in
grandma's old banana bread pan with some more oil.
I slice the top right through the middle.

I set them on the stove under the tea towel,
a white flour sack cloth, mostly new.

The stove heats up.
They rise silently,
so well behaved.

They are beautiful.
In the oven the loaf rises up into a heart shape,
the ball poufs into a crown round.

I take them out
when the irresistible smell
fades and I smell nothing at all.
I set them on the counter
then turn them out to make
sure all the alcohol evaporates.

Set out on a brown tea towel
ready to slice, they look
like a seventies cook book cover.

They really don't
taste like pumpernickel at all--
too much honey, not enough rye.

Oh, well.  That means
the kids will like it.
I can share.

They smear it with butter,
and eat it,
laughing.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Bust lines

Visited G.G. at the Presbyterian Manor today.
She wants a summer hair cut,
so I cut off ninety-eight white curls
one for each year.

Then I clip and file her nails.
There now, all pretty.

She smiles with her few last teeth.
She's wearing a blue polyester dress
it's over forty years old.
The bust line sags empty--
G.G. gave up bras over five years ago,
(around the time she became a great-grandmother,
changed her name, and moved out of her house)
so there is no going back to find them.

If I ask, she'll tell me how she's still angry
about the time around 1925 when
she developed a bust in the first place.
She tied her chest tight with rags
in hopes to avoid braziers all together.

And she'll probably add on the story
how ten years later, she cut off her long hair
for the first time--"one thick braid" only
to discover her hair was curly.

She has refused to shop since I can remember
trying to wear out the polyester
before she dies.

She tells me goodbye,
reminds me it's a terrible world out there 
hands me a bag to take home--

Two five dollar bills for the hair cut,
two yellow bananas
and one "Glamour" magazine.

It's a good thing G.G. is too blind
to see the woman's low neck line
on her blue dress--
more of a waist line, really.

How to write a blog poem in second person

How to write a blog poem in second person:

Turn on laptop
open blog
check for comments
plan to “really get them this time”
go get your glasses downstairs in the kitchen
stop to put away laundry
take dirty laundry down
stop to put away lunch dishes
make a peanut butter and butter sandwich
take laundry down and sort
put in a load of darks
clean out lint trap
bring clean load of pink laundry up
sit down at computer
check for an unfinished poem
go get your glasses downstairs in the kitchen
sit down at computer
forget what you were going to write

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Servant Threads


This poem is an attempt at a sequel to another poem
I really liked from 1999, Servant's Songs.   

Servant Threads (2001)

Servant threads
string us together
like beads on a wire
or a tangle of line.

Servant threads poke through
satin and denim equally,
sewing stars into their charted dance.

Servant threads dangle
from wash rags
drying on back porches,

or diguise themselves
as Grandpa's floss.
They run through button holes
machines, and looms

to come out fringe
in the Rabbi's shawl

so we will not forget.


             Servant's Songs (1999)

Listen to servants’ songs
And sing them out again.

Sweet melodies rise over soapy dishes
and fly through kitchen windows
to the wishing stars.

Some grow in gardens under hats,
and in sidewalk crevices
where men carry the paper home
humming.

Others float in mop water
like lily pads
and leap out wherever
janitors light windows golden at night.

Servants’ songs spring
from swing sets, laughing
choruses of tinkling ice cubes
from a thousand evening porches.

They rise into orange twilights
from fire escapes and
free themselves from clothespins
to soar over cities.

And those who capture them
let them go again.

The Box

When I opened it I knew
she had decided to fly
Wrapped inside the newspaper,
were her stained glass birds--
her namesakes,
her creations,
her joy of light

Goodbye, Aunt Polly
I wish you well

Haiku 2001



Those parking lot birds
worship oceans of pavement,
a black, endless sea.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

How to make broth

How to make broth

Broth is easy to make and hard to mess up.
It's a cross between painting watercolor and making Kool-aid.
You experiment with the color you want.
Asion style broth has lemon, ginger, and garlic for a yellow color.
My usual broth has a nice gold color from chicken and carrots.
Today my broth is made from all the slightly wilted veggies in the drawer.
One pack of old mushrooms, destemmed, makes the broth very dark,
One small very old, red cabbage, just the center part, adds some reddish purple to the mix,
One oddly shapped carrot, adds some sunny orange,
Two homegrown leeks, add a touch of green,
parsley, thyme, and oregano from the garden make it fancy,
and one large white turnip, because what do you do with a turnip anyway?
Salt the water, give it a boil, simmer for an hour, or until everything is soft.
Strain.
You'll have a dark amber, clear, liquid--fragrant and ready
to be mixed in with your special "anniversary leek and potato soup."
Yes that was the day when one potato convinced you to marry into the McCann family.
That's another story...

Dear English Teacher


Dear Mrs. Masoni,
To whom I’m writing an apology
for all those jokes I made about you in school,
about whom I said hateful things
Something happened that year
I’m not sure why….
I decided not to be an English major.  What was it?
Your mouse brown hair, permed into a small tuff?
Your small brown vests and dresses?
Your owlish eyes magnified by thick eye glasses?
Your wrinkled mouth always perched in an O?
Who or how must have been your only questions
to maintain such a birdlike look of surprise.
I’m sorry Mrs. Masoni, to whom I was rude.
Mrs. Masoni, who I understand now-- how well you taught us
The Odyssey of Oedipus, of Sophocles’ Cave,
fifteen S.A.T. words every week for thirty two weeks.
It must have been those agonizing stories--
Stories I had to write, memorize, and rewrite
made of those intangible SAT words,
“Spelling counts!” you'd coo
every Friday when I wrote about a capricious princess,
or a frog prince who became incapacitated.
I got a high score on the SAT’s .
I took them twice.
I won a scholarship to college
the college where I learned that
sometimes words are not enough
and now I am old with two children 
just my own--
who thankfully don’t look like owls,
but they probably make little who faces
in their sleep when
we discuss the Odyssey late at night
after the TV is off,
and they dream about a cave with shadows
and of little brown birdies.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Sunglasses

Don't fret about yesterday's poem.  Today I have the lasagne noodles, the kids are at pre-school and everything is going to be great I can just feel it.  So today's poem is about sunglasses.

Sunglasses

Sunglasses keep the sun out of your eyes while driving a car,
walking the baby, or hanging out around the yard.
They are protective gear for the electronic weed wacker
and it's smacking rip roaring huger for green.
Sunglasses with sparkles act in place of jewelry
when you are low on bling.
Sunglasses are easy to break and easy to replace.
They keep your hair back better than an Alice band.
They make you cool like your from Star land.
Stocking up on sunglasses are my new favorite thing,
and I can't just lose one,
like all my half sets of earrings.

Morning Sickness V

Thank you for all the supportive comments I received about my list poem, "Making Spaghetti."  I really had no idea that so many mothers’ felt the same way or that people would find it very funny.
So I'm going to add one more list poem to cyber space.  I hope you enjoy.  And maybe sometime t-shirts will be available as requested:) 
 How to Make Lasagna
1. Skip shower.  Get everyone in car.  Drop husband off at work
2. Takes kids back home
3. Clean up breakfast
3.  Feel queasy, and exhausted
4.  Put on cartoons for kids, collapse on couch
5.  Decide kids are crazy and you want to sit in the pool at the Y.
6.  You deserve a special treat!
7.  Drag butt upstairs and put on workout clothes
**Bring towel, swimsuit, clean shirt, and shower gel to take a nice long shower by yourself
8.  Drop kids off at YMCA daycare
9.  Feel guilty because they are crowded and understaffed.
10. Get sweaty and out of breath waking up stairs to track
11. Walk around upper track for 1/4 mile and observe kids in daycare below
12. Feel guilty because one looks miserable and the other is obviously stuck on top
of a slide and can't get down for about fifteen minutes.
13.  Rescue both children
14.  Think about taking them into the locker room and letting them sit on a bench while
you take that wonderful shower you promised yourself.
15.  Decide against it.
16.  Wonder why baby cries all the way home?
17.  Wonder why baby won't eat lunch or even let you spoon-feed him soup?
18.  Put baby down for a nap.
19.  Collapse on couch into a coma while Barbie sings about why being a princess is too hard,
she'd rather be doing math with her cute tutor.
20.  Wake up to screaming baby
21.  Tend screaming baby for over an hour
22.  Try teething gel, popsicle, bath, hugs, food, drinks, and Tylenol
23.  Call doctor
24.  Try to tell them that the baby won't stop crying while he screams bloody murder into the phone.
25.  Agree to bring him in right away
26.  Cram everyone into the car.
27.  Wonder why baby stops crying as soon as appointment is set?
28.  Take baby to doctor.  Sit on "well side," just to avoid contamination.
29.  See Dr.  who thinks that I and the receptionist have pulled one over on her because baby now looks innocently healthy and calm?
30.  Hear about how the baby has two terrible ear infections, and how I should not have missed my last appointment so that this would have been avoided.
31.  Drive to Target to get prescription and stuff.
32.  You deserve a treat; pick out a nice orange juice.  Promise the kids popcorn.  Go up to pay.
33.  Find out that wallet is missing.
34.  Go back out into parking lot, find car, put cart in a random spot. Promise to return to it.
35.  Drive back to Dr.'s office.  Leave kids in car.  Run inside.  Bite tongue to keep from screaming at them that you have a real and proper name when the receptionist calls you "Mom" for the sixth time.  Get wallet. (Thank God someone turned in wallet from parking lot and didn't take anything).
36.  Squat your triple size pregnant butt down into the parking lot and check under all the cars near where you might have parked to look for your cell phone.
37.  Get back in car and find cell phone in purse.
38.  Go back to Target: get OJ, popcorn, a soda, a water, and a sandwich--You really deserve a treat now!!!
39.  Agree that whiney daughter should get an slushy instead of a lemonade.  Return soda and ask for a slushy.  Listen to directions about how to fill up the slushy and to what line on the cup.
40.  Swipe target card twice.
41.  Fill up one cup with water and part OJ for baby.  Give it to him.   Fill OJ with part water for yourself.  Put popcorn in bag so it won't spill.  Throw sandwich in back of cart-- how and when did you think you were going to eat it?  Fill up slushy.  Wonder why it is not rising to the top like cashier said.  Wait a second.  Fill it more.  Wait a second.  Fill it more.  Yes, past line she mentioned.
42.  Go back to cashier because you swiped your card twice and messed up the next lady's order of three dollars and eighty cents, which was charged to you.  Get cash back for $3.80.
43.  Turn around back to kids at soda fountain.
44.  Watch as blue slushy slowly exploded and grows from a lava overflow to a cookie monster bush.
45.  Listen to daughter explain what you did wrong.
46.  Clean up mess.
47.  Get various supplies including new shoes for baby.  Drop a trail of popcorn all around the store.
48.  Don't think about how you are a messy haired, sweaty, work-out clothes wearing glob, with blue slushy, pavement muck, and baby snot all over your shirt while you pick out father's day cards.  Decide not to eat sandwhich while shopping in store to further make a scene.  Let baby eat popcorn all over the store.
49.  Target does not carry lasagna noodles.
50.  Pick up husband.  Go home.  Collapse on couch while husband makes mac 'n cheese.  Take that shower.  You deserve a treat.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Cafeteria food forever


I spent a lot of time in college
just wishing that for once
I could--
sit on a couch
eat home cooked food
hear a dog bark
play with kids
walk in the suburbs--on a sidewalk
get married
have a garden
and get on with my life

Fourteen years later,
I spend a lot of time
just wishing that for once
I could--
live in a dorm
never wash dishes
use a bathroom I don't clean
eat at a cafeteria forever
be by myself
walk somewhere besides the suburbs
be by myself
spend every night with friends
and get on with my life

In summary,
I've decided Heaven therefore
cannot possibly be the place where I get
exactly what I've always wanted.
Instead it will actually
be when I'm
thankful for what I
already have.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Morning Sickness IV

This is my third pregnancy,
so for five years I've either been
nauseous, breast feeding, leaking from somewhere
or carrying a baby or was leaking from somewhere.
Since this is my second pregnancy in this area
I've thrown up all over Kansas City--
at grandmother's nursing home,
yes, at the Wal-mart,
on the side of the road,
in trash cans etc, etc.
And if I wasn't leaking from somewhere
you can bet I was crying--
at the sad song on the radio,
or in Marshall's, or coffee shop/ guitar only podcast at Taco Bueno,
at just about anything or anywhere.
That is why when I get to Heaven
I'm expecting an apology to all women.
Like Toyota, I'm sure God will finally have to admit
there was a problem.
There will be a little plaque somewhere
saying there is a recall on all women.
And in so many words, God will apologize for
all the leaky parts he designed in our model.
I'm sure he'll explain why it was necessary,
but the best part is we will all get new parts.
And the Bible backs me up on this.
In Revelation it says we will
all be wearing new "white" clothes.
This is obviously because it will be the first time
with the new anti-leaking parts
that this will be humanly possible.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Making Spagetti

Making Spaghetti or Morning Sickness III

1.  Put baby straight from bed into car seat
2.  Drop husband off at work
3.  Go to Wal-Mart
4.  Throw up in parking lot
5.  Change baby's diaper and dress in car
6.  Buy Groceries and don't forget spaghetti,
     liquid plumber, and milk***
7.  Answer call from Plumber
8.  Answer call from Babysitter
9.  Feed baby breakfast of donuts from box
10.  Rush Home
11.  Carry bags in from car, then to kitchen, put away in fridge etc.
12.  Forget to put spaghetti away, defrost hamburger in sink
13.  Change a load of laundry
14.  Run to the basement for something
15.  Find baby dumping dry spaghetti all over the floor near plumbing problem
16.  Call plumber again
17.  Call insurance again
18.  Call plumber again
19.  Call plumber again
20.  Make lunch for everyone
21.  Feel sick, do the dishes
22.  Feel sick, throw up
23.  Feel sick, do more dishes
25.  Make pasta sauce, put in crock pot, forget to turn on
24.  Turn crock pot on high, drag self and two kids back to the store
25.  Push the cart and let kids run behind for exercise
26.  Let the kids put candy and cookies in the cart and chew on taffy in wrapper
27.  Remember to get liquid plumber, eggs, and ....?
28.  Spaghetti! Go back and get it
29.  Check out--get a 7-up
30.  Put everything in car
31.  Drive out of parking lot, lose sippy cup in store
32.  Pick up husband
33.  Take husband home, present "The spaghetti sauce is ready see!"
34.  Prepare salad and fresh strawberries while screaming at kids
35.  Let kids help prepare garlic bread (forget the garlic at the store)
36.  Set table, find daughter covering bread with layers of salt, put bread in stove
35.  Forget something?
36.  Boil the spaghetti! While everyone else eats hot bread and salad.
37.  Eat spaghetti with sauce, salad and bread--an entire meal with sides!
38.  Decide to randomly hoe the garden, water the garden, so kids will play outside
39.  Collapse from exhaustion, let husband run bath for kids
40.  Scrub down kids wash hair with strawberry shampoo
41.  Really collapse
42.  Let husband put kids to bed.
43.  Feel sick, watch TV
44.  Feel sick, watch DVD of TV
45.  Feel sick
46.  Throw up entire dinner
47.  Tidy bathroom, brush teeth
48.  Take a shower, wash hair
49.  Put on pajamas
50.  Eat pretzels, drink milk
51.  Go to bed

Thursday, June 3, 2010

cream filling

Or Morning Sickness part II.
What is inside the cream filling
of....say, an oatmeal cream pie?
Please don't guess sugar and butter.

No, this is a sparkling
concoction of clouds, dust
and minerals mined from the earth.

Some say in the ages
before prenatal vitamins
a pregnant woman might
crave dirt or even eat it
to gleam some missing minerals
from her diet.

I haven't eaten dirt yet,but who needs
to? I can buy a hostess "ding-dong"
instead.  Full of minerals
no one would ever guess edible.

One per pregnancy will do, or
maybe two.  Because as you
might guess the prenatal vitamins...
just come up like the rest.

Doll

What is as still
as the porcelain peace
on the painted lips
of a doll--
a hundred years
with out a wink,
three thousand days
waiting to be kissed?

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Morning sickness

Someone told me there are
many odes to the wonder of the womb
and new life arising.
I guess I missed those.
I'd add another
except I've never had room to feel this way.
For my womb was too busy
on each of my one hundred twenty days
attacking me with a nausea
strong enough to make me
drop every lid I unscrew,
forget every word that comes through,
dream a hundred nights of ship wrecked seas
of water logged puddles and
cafeteria line sprees,
forget how to sleep,
eat and do
most anything I used to do.
Morning sickness is a funny joke
for I'm sick all day, all night
and in between.
Please forgive my lack
of rosey glow--
I'm green through
and through
wondering how much
puking one
can actually
do.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Rain smells


Post number 100 will help me promise that June will live up to the poem-a-day standards I've promised here at the For a Place blog.  May was a dismal poetry month due to all day morning sickness.  However, I've been advised that it is still okay to say something even if you don't have anything nice to say, so a few poems about morning sickness are in order. (The sensitive reader is warned).  But first, another poem about birds and rain.  Really that is the only nature here in the Suburbs and easier to write about than air conditioning trouble, plumbers and the other quiet chaos of an oozy puddle mysteriously arriving in the basement and my victorious suckage of 20 gallons with the help of a new wetvac. (though you may read a poem or two about that as well.)  Happy June.  We've made it.

Rain smells

Who is that says that rain brings out the smell of ozone?
I see this in novels and poems everywhere.
I have no idea what ozone smells like.  I imagine it has no smell
or does it smell like smog? or the absence of smog?
I have sniffed carefully during the last 34 rainstorms.
I do smell the cement cooling, the chalky steam full of
minerals and the creation of mud, of worms
coming up for air.  Is that ozone?
I can tell you exactly what it smells like.
Rain smells like turtles
turtle shells to be exact.
Now if you have never been friends with a turtle
held him up to your face and talked in a
sensible manner about bugs, berries,
and other things he likes,
while he swims in midair and thinks
about biting your nose,
then you've never really smelled a turtle.
If you had, you would know a turtle has
something between a cat and a bird's eye.
He smiles with a yellow beak and a small
pin hole for a nose.
His dry skin, even in the armpits
and behind the knees, smells
like the inside of his honeycomb
carved shell,
and the inside of his shell
smells like rain.