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Archive for the ‘Poems’ Category

Preparing for my class this evening I came across the poem  Fragments for the End of the Year by Jennifer K Sweeney.

I’ve written my own response ( a work in progress but posted all the same). 

Fragments for the beginning of the year

Though I have changed countries

and accents to get here,

and been through my items one by one,

I have left little behind:

my suitcases are so full the zips are bent,

the buckles are popping at the strap.

The shelves meant to be

left bare for tasteful objects,

are lined with the same books,

the same bills –

And still there are repairs,

bricks to be lain,

friends to ease into like slippers till they fit.

 *    *    *

The garden is bare and frosted now

though I can see a spring

when there will be herbs,

and stalks twisted around twigs, 

and soggy paper aeroplanes.

I watch the children building

their memories on purpose.

*   *   *

I still can’t kick my habit of longing,

though really there is not much that I want,

only sometimes to stop the blackness that might come,

unexpectedly, like an earthquake in Haiti

with its own tree houses, and memories,

not built by anyone, and not on purpose,

but there, indelible, all the same.

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I need a place to write by a window where

I can concentrate and not be disturbed by

the whistling wind

the whining telephone

my heartbeat

all the chores I haven’t done and never will.

I need a place to call my own

that is not my mother’s

or my brother’s

or the place I think my husband would wish it to be.

I need a time to start writing that feels right.

And writing that feels right.

Not this stuff here,

churned out of wedlock,

pausing for effect,

stumbling from one sound to another.

I need Annie Proulx and The Shipping News,

a new world of ships to explore,

a character that comes to life on his own

and I just have to write him in.  

I need space, a place, a face to start with.

Let’s start there.

A face. An old face? Yeah!

And a young one too. Young and old.

Cliché, here we go, say the voices in my head,

but I  don’t care, I won’t go there.

I #am writing.

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