Horray for Poetry

It’s National Poetry Month, which I learned from reading Inktopia and Evenshine.  As a show of solidarity, I thought I would post one of my favorite poems.  This one haunts me.  It never seems to let me go, and I would like to learn to write like that.

 

Siren

By Amy Gerstler

 

I have a fish’s tail, so I’m not qualified to love you.

But I do. Pale as an August sky, pale as flour milled

a thousand times, pale as the icebergs I have never seen,

and twice as numb- my skin is such a contrast to the rough

rocks I lie on, that from far away it looks like I’m a baby

riding a dinosaur. The turn of centuries or the turn

of a page means the same to me, little or nothing.

I have teeth in places you’d never suspect. Come. Kiss me

and die soon. I slap my tail in the shallows- which is to say

I appreciate nature. You see my sisters and me perched

on rocks and tiny islands here and there for miles:

untangling our hair with our fingers, eating seaweed.

Berries

Tiny stars and dotted prisms

Glitter on burgundy spheres,

With mint so bright it sears

Like Eucharist at catechisms.

 

Twisted colors melt and down;

Thoughts collide, chartering about

Until gossamer wings sprout,

So you can lift from the ground.

The Evolution of Eating

Milk.

Milk,

Sweet, warm milk.

Sweet, tasty, warm, white milk.

 

Rice.

White and stiff

Gooey, tasting like milk.

 

Sweet apple juice,

Sweet warm milk,

Gooey rice,

Apple juice.

 

Apples.

Bananas.

Bitter peas.

Green beans.

Pears, squash, spinach, broccoli, blueberries, raspberries, carrots.

 

Always that sweet warm milk.

 

Chicken.

Beef.

Ham.

Lamb.

Lintels, mangos, apricots, strawberries

 

Eggs.

Crackers.

Cereal.

Toast.

 

Eggy bread and French toast.

Pasta and tomatoes.

Chocolate, cake, ice cream.

 

Milk.

White, cold milk.

Helen’s Song

Paris and Menelaus were fools

        Confusing quiet malaise

With silent obedience. Giving

        Me jewels for my sweet gaze.

 

No god was my father, no egg birth.

        Footraces in my homeland

Contented me mo more than my suitors,

        Which were more than a thousand.

 

Older men are suppose to be wise;

        Younger are more passionate,

Yet I was nothing but a trophy

        Tangled in their power net.

 

I went to Troy because I loved,

        And I was horribly wrong.

Enduring ten-years of wall watching,

        My soul was lost all along.

The End of a Circle

Summons. I am bound to answer

And bow before a great alter.

Cursed to spill my victim blood

Remembered only as a messy smear.

Fate, weaving, controls our end.

Ibex.  Nothing remains the same,

Changes, except our true names.

Enough of what I used to be.

Fallen

Wandering on the barren earth,

I rack my heart against the stone,

Not understanding why I am here.

Gone are the stars and winds.

Longing for those wonderful winds.

Endless is my desire for my life.

Summer has fallen cruelly away

Sounding my torturous pain.

A Mom’s plea From Cat in the Hat

I lay there with Evan

We lay there, we two.

And I said, “What do you want

To read before napping with you?”

 

“Oh Mommy, there is something

I want to read. Something that

You’ll really like, I bet.

Again I want Cat in the Hat!”

 

So that is the only book I

Read!

        Read!

                Read!

                        Read!

And I do not like it.

Not one little bit.

 

We have read this book

So many times that I can not

Count how many times.

That cat ought to be shot.

He’s smiling so nice, in fact,

That you know from the cover

He’s up to no good, bringing

More trouble on the sister and brother.

 

Oh, how I hate that ridiculous

Cat in the hat, oh I bet.

With the Thing One and Thing Two

Which are caught in the net.

And the terrible mess that they make

When their mother is away.

The ending implies it is better to lie

Than take the lecture that may

Come from the mother that day.

 

Oh what I could read!

Oh what I could read instead!

Where Wild Things Are

Or The Magic Bed

Or Finding Nemo

Or It’s a Good Day

Or It Isn’t Easy Being Big

Or Elmo’s Ducky Day

Or Kung Fu Panda or Wall-e

Or Cars, in that case,

Or The Things You Can Think

Or Arthur’s Reading Race!

 

Please, please, not again.

This really isn’t funny or fun.

Just choose another book.
Please, my sweet wonderful son.