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Convoluted Whirl

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~~ 1 ~~
Three redwing blackbirds
swear an oath to the north wind:
We will outlast you.
 
~~ 2 ~~
 
To be in fifth grade
is to sip from a dry brook—
your tongue turns to wood.
 
~~ 3 ~~
 
Through an April fog
three strange women are stumbling—
one begins to chant.
 
~~ 4 ~~
 
a porcelain doll
without a stitch of clothing—
enigmatic smile
 
~~ 5 ~~
 
singed with fires of hope
a dozen souls in limbo
crying out to God
 
~~ 6 ~~
 
on her wrists and palms
a dozen faces held fast
by tattooer’s ink
 
~~ 7 ~~
 
tumbleweed heaven—
ten thousand miles of fences
on the Kansas plains
 
~~ 8 ~~
 
three crickets chirping
papers littering hallways
my house is too small
 
~~ 9 ~~
 
gaudy little gifts
clutched by desperate tourists
for the folks back home
 
~~ 10 ~~
 
Park bench at midday—
the bag lady rests briefly
before shuffling on.
 
~~ 11 ~~
 
listening deeply
hearing a cry of distress—
from her eyes falls frost
 
~~ 12 ~~
 
moonlit this evening—
Jaffa, the port where Jonah
runs away from God
 

 
© 2014 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
 
More The Sunday Whirl #156

To Build a Poem

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To build a poem, you need stones—
some call them words—
and you need the right ones.
Some, like seditious and tremor, are not suitable;
they will crumble in your hands like old mortar—
it’s no use trying to build with them.
Set them aside and choose something else,
something simple, yet sturdy and enduring,
something you will still be proud to hold
twenty or fifty years from now.
Choose words of granite.
 
In building a poem, you undertake a sacred task,
let no one hinder you;
no stigma can be attached to those who choose
each word with care.
Remember: The nether regions are filled with those
whose work is shoddy and sporadic—
cast in plaster, not carved in stone—
be not one of them.
 
Pledge to me—or to yourself, at least—
that you will not enmesh your work in words
that waste away to dust at the merest touch,
but that you will choose words that dance and chant and sing of all that is holy.
Then you will be able to show us the single tuft of grass gracing the desert wash,
and the fire of mercy blazing down from ten thousand-thousand stars.

 
 

© 2013 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
More Sunday Scribblings: “Poem”