Saturday, February 18, 2006

A Matter of Numbers Feb. 17, 2006

At the supermarket of hopes and dreams
I am careful to avoid the aisle of wishes.
Dangerous packages dangle from the shelves,
distracting me with their colorful boxes,
promised chocolate flavor,
and metaphorical comparisons with horses.
Horses and I have never been close.

This is no time to repair the ancient wounds
left by stampeding mares. Instead,
let’s fill my cart with healthier stuff:
retirement funds
the deed to the house
savings bonds
a hatchet
cordless drill and other sturdy tools
long underwear
lug-soled boots
oh I almost forgot my 401k
and why not take out a loan to purchase
a loader and small bulldozer?
Don’t forget the checkbook,
with the last check numbered

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

I sail over the sacred sea to the forbidden country. I never want this journey to end. The sacred sea nourishes me with the miasma of its moisture, its foggy atmosphere hanging above, shot through with the colors of dawn or sunset or noonday. Let the fresh air of the ocean clear my head and prepare me for the next

I hate composing poetry on the computer. Excuse me...

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Tibetan Personality Email Quiz
in which the sea is equated with one’s life,
and I described my sea as sacred…

I sail over the sacred sea
never wanting this journey
to the forbidden country to end.
I am nourished by the ocean air
shot through with the colors of dawn
or sunset or noonday. My head is clear;
I am ready for the next surge,
the next tack, the next change of course.
I am possessed of the power required.
My hair is pulled back out of the wind
and I have the strength of an element, a stable molecule,
or an atom, with charges circling,
a foundation with footers sunk deep in the ground,
a column, standing graceful and still,
a sustained note enwrapped with silence
and poised to reveal the rest of the melody.
But I don’t want this song to end,
so I pretend to be lost at sea,
confused by the star signs,
choosing one wrong sea lane
after another.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

another lonely night. the time is filled up with whatever i can muster: solitaire on the computer screen, a trip to the fitness center, a bowl of apple and banana and caramel, another chapter of the sequel i just don't like (give it up and return it to the library; it is overdue anyway).

last night i read seventh graders' test papers; today i read sixth graders' test papers, responses to a listening selection during the testing a few weeks ago. sometimes they were so cute and i laughed out loud, annoying the other teachers scoring at my table, who teach sixth grade and did not think it was at all cute when students used the planning page to draw a funny little lion like the one in the story and a dark cave behind it. i suppose i'll be edgy like that next week, but on the other hand, i might just be sick and tired of scoring next week when we read the eighth grade papers.

why do we have to increase the testing to every year? what is it that we hope to discern? we may have no poets left when we finally cease this annual punishment, and the last test papers float to the ground after the explosion of wrath. we might not like the monster that this formula writing can create. florida is dealing with its monster right now as thousands reach college age after testing that required acronyms and formulae to get kids through the foolish assignments.

and still i come home to an empty cold house. i talk to this blog, instead of a real person. this blog cannot stroke my skin or pull me close. this blog just takes my words and lays them flat to dry, to swirl out there in the ether, until they disintegrate, reborn as cyber-dust.

Friday, February 03, 2006

being in a gigging band can get to seem like all work and no play. rehearsals can be hard. other musicians telling you what you're doing wrong, you knowing what you're doing wrong, you hearing what they're doing wrong: it can all begin to wear on you.

until the next gig. you've hauled the equipment and set it up. you've tuned and adjusted and tweaked. the drummer clicks and the first notes go out. you hit a groove and hear a delicious riff from the guitar player. you settle back and watch people start to enjoy what you enjoy so much. then you forget how angry those critical comments made you feel. you float on the notes, on the sheer joy of making music with other human beings who play and react in that complex call and response that is ensemble performance.

until...the gig winds down, the crowd disappearing as the hour grows later. then you have to break down, reload and drive for who knows how long before you can close your eyes and rest your ears.

i'm tired just writing about the ups and downs...but i can't give it up yet.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

searching for the road

a blog! i must have finally entered the 21st century. as a science fiction lover, i have always dreamed of being this up-to-date. now that i have your attention, what breathless message of truth shall i put before you? i am paralyzed with consciousness. i think, therefore i exist. but not necessarily with forethought.

when i clicked on the GET YOUR OWN BLOG button, i had no idea i would really go through with this. and now, here i am before the erstwhile empty page. is there an etiquette about posting, dos and don'ts that govern the content? will i get in trouble if i post only old poems for a few days? that would help me get going. will someone complain if i post unrevised chapters of my book? will anyone read anything i type here? do i care or is it just a nice paperless place to keep my journal?

oh well i am sick of my own meanderings so i will post a new poem:

A Sense of Urgency

the candle sputters
the matches are missing
the little girl runs
from her dark dream
the woman
from her strange life
the candle sputters
the matches are missing
you can't run away
from dreams or life
face them, live them,
own up to the one
you really are.
take hold
of your own heart
take it back
the candle sputters
the matches are missing
don't let it
go out