Friday, April 30, 2010

NaPoWriMo Winds Down

I missed the first day of National Poetry Writing Month, but wrote a poem every day in April thereafter. Might write one for May Day, just to get to 30.

Odd stuff happened along the way. The first poem I wrote inspired my friend Deb Beroset to do a lovely painting that she posted on her Zesty Artista blog. Subsequent poems got me in trouble at work. And a few caught me by surprise, expressing things I didn't know I knew.

If you just keep writing, things happen. Here's what happened today, end of the month, beginning of who knows what:


April Ends In Rain

You don't know what could come down
on your head. Every day, we wander out
into the world, avoiding car wrecks
or not, unknowingly dodging bullets flying
elsewhere in the city, pile-ups and ricochets
behind us, fate rolling its red carpet back up
like a tongue that licked around our edges
and decided to eat something else.

There's a man who's been struck by lightning
several times and lived to tell about it,
some magnet in his body drawing down
the charge, boom, and the air crackles,
his hat's on fire, or he's holding a torch
that was a book. Maybe those words
were just asking to be set alight.

Maybe the rain this morning was just to say,
yesterday was a dream. You worked
in the sunshine, you made love, you talked
with friends and played with kids, you wrote
about a wind that blew through and now is
gone. The weeping cherry you planted
when your son was born has shed its last
blossoms for the year. Look how green
the world can be when you wake up
and it's today, and today only.

The sleepwalker has left you, shuffling
off in slippers, a light rubbing sound
like a samba under the echoes of
his song, the one he's been mumbling
since you first fell in love with dreaming
and writing and women and the music
of your own wild imagination. You still
remember the words, 35 years later:
Green, it's your green I love.
Green of the wind. Green branches.
The ship far out at sea.
The horse high on the mountain.
Shadows dark at her waist,
she's dreaming there on her terrace,
green of her cheek, green hair,
with eyes like chilly silver.
Green, it's your green I love.

Who knows what it means? You never did.
But you love it to your soul anyway.
Everything that has conspired to kill
what is most alive in you could not do it.
You are awake.


[The quoted section is from Lorca's "Sleepwalker's Ballad," translation by John Frederick Nims, whose book Western Wind cracked me open just enough to glimpse a poet inside.]


Deb Beroset said...

Who knew that in this lifetime I'd ever be mentioned in the same breath/blog as Lorca? Wonders never cease.

Nor does my gratitude for being one of your lucky readers.

Thank you for allowing me to take one of your poems for a spin, and thank you for this particular gem, which will serve to sustain many of us through some of the inevitable moments of hunger, weariness and doubt with which life presents us. It's really beautiful.


Joybells said...

This is extremely cool - the poetry, the art, the both of them together, you, your friend Deb. Thank you both! I added Deb's blog to my blog roll. Now she'll probably get FEWER hits, and if that's the case, I apologize in advance.