Whirlings: for Adrienne Rich


Poet Adrienne Rich died at her home in Santa Cruz, California on Tuesday, 27 March 2012. Each haiku or senryu below begins with a five-syllable phrase taken from poems in Rich’s book Midnight Salvage, and includes one of this week’s Wordle words.

Their newfound passions
will trick them time and again—
yet nothing’s wasted.
~~ ~~ ~~
guitars at sunset
taste of wine still on my tongue—
tell me your story
~~ ~~ ~~
You wanted the words
to be in the shape of plums?
Here, take just one bite.
~~ ~~ ~~
on Tomales Bay
string drifting in the current—
a narrative thread
~~ ~~ ~~
How can you hear me
if all I do is whisper
ten thousand proverbs?
~~ ~~ ~~
There is the table
where I wish to be seated—
sonnets for breakfast.
~~ ~~ ~~
From frugal larders
we will scrounge enough to pack
for our odyssey.
~~ ~~ ~~
Feed the feral cats,
but do not try to pet them—
they know where you live.
~~ ~~ ~~
a mammal heartbeat
small paw groping for purchase
on the milk-filled teat
~~ ~~ ~~
thirty years in love
and her amber eyes still shine—
she’s heard all my jokes
~~ ~~ ~~
For personal use
you need one small point of light
to pierce the darkness.
~~ ~~ ~~
under the freeway
the smell of unwashed bodies—
Church of the Homeless

© 2012 by Magical Mystical Teacher
More The Sunday Whirl, Wordle 50
More The Poetry Pantry #95
More Poetry Picnic Week 29

Posted on April 1, 2012, in Adrienne Rich, haiku, Poetry Picnic, senryu, The Poetry Pantry, The Sunday Whirl. Bookmark the permalink. 24 Comments.

  1. What a lovely idea, and you have developed it so well. I particuarly liked you narrative thread!

  2. Yes, absolutely agree with Viv … what a lovely tribute and exquisite haikus… Thank you 🙂

  3. You have truly honored Adrienne Rich with your words! (And sonnets for breakfast? I think I would like that.)

  4. I admire Adrienne Rich and am delighted. I tasted each one.

  5. It does not do to arrive with a comment, even in fifth place. I agree with all they said above. Both lovely and clever.

  6. This is a fabulous tribute. Wow!

  7. A lovely tribute to Adrienne Rich; a marvelous idea for your poems this week. And so well done. I can’t name a favorite – they’re all so good. Thank you.


  8. A beautiful tribute… I especially like the second one.

  9. Yes, a wonderful and clever tribute, mmt.


  10. Thank you for this. I can not begin to tell you the impact Adrienne Rich has had in my life. I am sorry to hear of her passing. I love your wordle honouring her.

  11. wonderful tribute to an inspiring genius…also a brilliant set of poems that attain a startling unity of their own.loved it.

  12. Church of the homeless.. very nice…. have a good picnic

  13. Beautiful set of haikus, mmt.

  14. My fav………..The Church of the Homeless……

  15. hypercryptical

    Lovely haikus – especially like the feral cats and the wisdom therein!

    Anna :o]

  16. While all are delightful, I really enjoyed #3 and #5. Thank you, MMT!

  17. A beautiful tribute. You’ve inspired me to read up on her.

  18. great haikus!
    this part i like :

    How can you hear me
    if all I do is whisper
    ten thousand proverbs?

    great write!

  19. inspiring! wonderful:)

  20. sprigblossoms

    “sonnet for breakfast”, “thirty years in love”, “church for the homeless” – some of my favorite ones here. Lovely compositions all!

  21. sprigblossoms

    “sonnets for breakfast”, “thirty years in love”, “church for the homeless” – some of my favorite ones here. Lovely compositions all!

  22. Yes, I believe I will avoid those feral cats, thank you!

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