27 March 2015

This Search for Tribe

This search for tribe
along world's riverbanks
with names of past ghosts
exhausts me. At some point
I sigh surrender, go home
among the ghosts of ancestors

long past whose names I do not know
but whose genes form my riverbanks,
folded and tucked, course bent, 
hands structured, twilight eyes, 
this mother tongue spoken,
my tribe.

Posted for Open Link Night at dVerse Poets and inspired by Margaret's archived challenge, Play it Again # 15, back on Saturday over at the Imaginary Garden with Real Toads. I chose the one imagined by Ella in 2012 about Poem Sketching- using a word group and developing it into a poem. I'm a little late but the words I used are: tribe, riverbank, ghosts, names. I took the photo in Prince Edward Island where my maternal grandmother is from.

09 March 2015

Strange Dirge

"You pluck strange dirges from the storm
sift rare stones from the ashes of the moon"

You've always been this way.
It's what drew me to you in May

of '71. Me with storms in my life
that needed music and moon-struck strife

that begged a mining of sorts, a sifting through
remains searching for stones you blew

to life like a shaman, prelude to all that came after.
We mined together then and sang out loud until we crafted

our sweet song. That time the strange dirge was sung
over our first daughter you stayed in such a way that along

with storm's barrage and from the ashes, we rose, not triumphant,
but still standing, longing that phoenix might bring bereft

to some other incarnation, any other incarnation than only gone,
us left alone, two not three, with nothing more to be done.

Posted for Grace at Real Toads who introduced us to the poetry of Wole Soyinka, the first Nobel Laureate in Literature from Africa and asked us to use his work as inspiration. The first two lines of this poem are his from the poem: Fado Singer for Amelia Roderinguez. The photo was taken by my Honey at the National Orchid Garden in Singapore.

The Hike

Raptor Ridge, once scaled, 
sets a vista 
flung to the horizon,
nature unbounded,
Mt. Baker on the skyline, 
dappled ferns on Rock Trail, strong sun

on mountain and stone, 
steep terrain, difficult
to navigate, demands switchbacks,
a sweep herds stray hikers 
to Chuckanut Ridge for 
final views of this wide sky.

Posted for DJan for her ongoing example to stay active and for Anna at dVerse poets, Meeting the Bar, who gave us three approaches to create a new poem. One is Reduction and although she suggested we use our own work I was taken by a post of DJan who writes at DJan-ity about her weekly hikes with a group of elder hikers in Washington state. It contained such wonderful names that I wanted to use them in a poem. Who could resist Raptor Ridge? She was the "sweep" in their latest hike staying last in line to keep the group intact. I don't want to reduce her description which you can read here but couldn't help feeling a part of it and inspired. 

02 March 2015

The Weight of Blue

Back when I didn't yet know that goodbyes 
might be final, when time stretched generously to places
untraveled, back when you and I lived
in the pink bloom bubble of always, 
blue came, wrapped us in crenalated
folds dampening other colors, tamping down  
heartfire as it introduced finality. W
bowed under the weight of blue.

Posted for Flash 55 Plus for Kerry O'Connor at Imaginary Garden with Real Toads who asked us to add the element of color to our 55 words. I took the photo in the Montparnasse Cemetery in Paris.