These are some of my favorite poems this month. (They are still drafts, not final versions, and may not be shared outside this website without permission. Thank you.)
* * *
(once thought lost times)—
turn a knob,
that were open before
left her calling card last night—
a hurried note in a glaze of ice
that read: “I’ll be back.”
Searching for the holy truth
(the rhyme and reason of this life)
I may have searched away my youth.
Now I’m feeling in my prime,
well-paid for any sacrifice
because—I reason—I can rhyme.
not the truth
BEST WHEN BEST
Viewing is best
when walking the land.
Musing is best
once views have been scanned.
Writing is best
(views mused) pen in hand.
my muse said
put it down
that’s all she said
I guess I have to
take it from there
[To a meteor]
You seem to race,
you seem to soar—
but always you are
Till you fall
into the explosion
of your beloved’s
SWEATING THE FINAL
In school, the lesson
comes first, then the test.
In life, that’s not so—
the test comes first;
only then do you know
if you should have done yes
or should have done no.
At least, I contest,
it sure seems as though.
Bringing all who love it to it
(to that soulful art within)—
the work is teaching how to do it.
Art attracts the awe that’s due it,
working its best wonders when
bringing you, who love it, to it.
Value talent and accrue it;
focus like a monk at zen—
the work will teach you how to do it.
Match its modes of flight to woo it:
bold as eagle, shy as wren,
bringing all your love into it.
Surrender to this love and through it;
share your passion. You’ll know then
the work has taught you how to do it.
Art is life and how we view it.
With halleluia and amen,
bringing all who love it to it,
the work keeps teaching how to do it.
[ASIDE: Learning the villanelle,
thanks to Kate and Poets Northwest]
The scribbles on my pad
tell what a night I had.
My Body’s one request
was bed and time to rest.
My Mind was in accord.
(The very notion soared
my Spirit off to dreams.)
My Muse has crafty schemes
like this to get her way—
it’s how she has her say.
To Do List:
FETTERS TO A YOUNG POET
They may never forgive you,
but they’ll likely quasi-condone you,
decades later, for sacrificing standard
success principles in service of your art—
provided your work eventually receives
Take care this occurs, this outcome
you cannot control; otherwise you remain
a failure forever.
Alternatively—first nail the practical.
Then, around the edges, you may be
as impractical as you like.
[ASIDE: This poem came not as a reaction
to Rilke’s letters, but as a prompt to finally
read them. As you can see, it is actually
outside-in on how to be as an artist.]
(Senryu for Leatha)
an old woman stoops
to admire a withered leaf
fallen on her path
A memory, for her,
was coming slow…
“…that was a
spinal fusion ago.”
* * *
Photo Credit: by Jo Lightfoot
I love these – as usual they shut down my ever active need to ‘fix’ things. I want your book. I want to help you make a book…..Whacha doing some afternoon in the next few months?
Kate, it’s wonderful to hear this.
About three years into writing poetry, I designed a sequence of 8 or 10 book covers. Since then, I’ve only put one book together Words for Hard Times). If you’re willing to brainstorm with me, I’ll gladly accept your input and encouragement.
I so enjoyed reading about you in today’s “Personal Space.” Looking at your photographs and this poetry confirmed my sense that you are a kindred spirit. We’ve lived in Bella Vista for almost ten years and have friends and many acquaintances, but my kindred spirits are back in MN where we came from. I’d love the opportunity to chat with you.