In Her Bones, a Storm

“…those move easiest who have learn’d to dance.” ~ An Essay on Criticism, by Alexander Pope

The quivering of his knees, the clenching of her fist, the darkening of their eyes… tell my spine their bones feel the urge to break in classic agony dance. The brown keeping my skull from the bleaching kiss of the sun has met no homelessness, but my brain knows of being unwanted. My heart feels their feels—We must be human together, or we will be nothing.

My soul echoes the Colossus wail: “The ‘tempest-tossed’ can’t breathe with stone walling their throats, with water drowning the life out of truth.” The quivering of his knees, the clenching of her fist, the darkening of their eyes… My heart breaks.

in her bones, a storm
howls of broken dawns and shame,
of hearts bought and sold

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(not so) wee notes…
– A friend said she felt terrible to see how my physical “pain has worsen” these days. It really hasn’t, so I asked what made her think so. She told me, “I can always see your pain in your poetry.” To her, and to anyone who is feeling bad for me—thinking that my Crohn’s and my other chronic illnesses have gotten worse—I want to say that they haven’t. My body hasn’t made any leaps towards full recovery, but things are stable. The pain, outrage, tiredness… you have been reading in my poetry and prose are reflections of the current socio-political state of affairs. Pain is contagious… for people with feeling hearts, working minds, seeing eyeballs…

– Linked to the Imaginary Garden with Real Toads (Tuesday Platform), and to Prompt Nights Writing is both mask and unveiling… Battle of the Bards: Choose a famous bard—William Shakespeare, Robert Burns, William Cowper, William Wordsworth, Alexander Pope—and pick out a poem or quote (that inspires you best) from their works and prepare to launch into battle! I chose to dance with a bit of Pope. And yes, I also borrowed a few words (and sentiments) from “The New Colossus”, by Emma Lazarus.

Created out of words from Edgar Allan Poe and Sigmund Freud magnetic poetry kits poems. The background is a detail from “Blooming Howls”, a painting by Gina Morley, inspired by my short story collection of the same name. When I placed the Poem Bit over it, I thought of the Statue of Liberty. Partly because of the color, mostly because of the agony I see on her face. It looks as if she feels the pain of the entire world, and the horror turns her insides into screams.

A Life-Kissed Tongue

Kim, over at the Imaginary Garden with Real Toads, wishes to know if a long poem would be as effective if it were “reduced like a rich sauce”. She chose Pablo Neruda’s “Sweetness, always”, and invited us to use our own words to condense it into haiku, tanka or sonnet, while holding on to what we think is the essence of the poem. Here is my wee attempt in tanka form:

“A Life-Kissed Tongue”

a life-kissed tongue needs
no honeyed quill to speak true.
let’s plant words in dirt—
poesy that nourishes
the mind opens mouth and eye

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– Linked to Poets United (Poetry Pantry, 338).

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