Heart Songs

I’ve decided to put up only the audio file of this poem.

Heart Songs (Spoken Word)

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Our Beautiful World, Take Two

Late last year, I wrote a poem entitled Our Beautiful World. Well, I tried revising it, and friends in my writing group told me I really had a second poem, not a revision of the first one. So I worked on it, and wrote it up, and here it is (minus a new title):

Untitled
World destroyers infest the blue green jewel.
Vastnesses beyond ken of water,
Mountains of sand and sky,
Every empty space full of cast-offs.

The lovely little jewel clouds up, weeping.
She swarms with worms, scraping her away,
Fouling her body.
The other animals flee.

A bell rings sweet. Some scrapers glance skyward.
From the clouds descends a shimmering
Winged woman, saying,
Arise, you crawling lizard sons!

Arise! She taps the skyward peering ones.
Writhing, they moan, slipping their old, dry
Skins. Out of the dust
Rise sparkling ones, stretching bright wings.

Clouds scatter and the sun glimmers softly.
The jewel ceases to weep. Animals slip
Softly from hiding.
The shining jewel has new champions.

Spoken Word:

Ode for the Dead (not for all audiences)

Just a warning, this is not an easy poem and touches on mature themes.

Ode for the Dead
Who are we? Who have we been?
What are we? What have we done?
We are sisters, mothers, friends,
Simply women, living.

Living our lives, day by day.
Poor, not, girls, women.
They came for us.
Men, youth, our mothers, fate.

Torture, murder, stoning.
Disaster, war, rape.
Every day, we die.
Innocent. Silently, screaming.

This is part of an ongoing project of mine. I think it’s evolving. This poem is going to be part of a collage I’m working on about this. The collage is still in the works, my work on this issue takes a long time for me. I’m not sure where it’s going beyond this poem and the collage, but I want to write more about the women and girls who die because they were women, because they were girls, because no one cared because of their gender.

I’m not the first person to be bothered by this, and there are many earnest people, women and men, working very hard on this problem every day. For now, I am focusing on my own response to this issue, and the many complicated emotions it brings up for me.

If this is an issue you want to learn more about, I can help you find resources and information about other people and groups working on it.

A couple comments about the poem itself. It started as alternating iambic tetrameter (four metric feet) and iambic trimeter (three metric feet) although a trochee or two crept in. However, I have made a conscious choice not to use strict meter (the lines are a little shorter than they ought to be) and shorten the lines as the poem progresses (the last line is an exception) to convey the shortening of the women’s lives and the abruptness of their deaths.

And, if you are wondering about the literary terms, I refer you to the books on writing on my books page on this blog.

Updated 2/15/10: I am updating this to add an audio file. I made some changes to the poem when I read it, this is still very much a work in progress. I decided not to change the words written above, they were what I meant the day I posted.

Glass Fish

Glass fish on a ledge

Little glass fish, where
Do you go?
Swimming along,
Swimming to
Nowhere — where do
You go?

Paradise

Silver
Green garden, land
Of paradise, Bird so
Sweet colors gleaming flitting through
The trees flowering heavenly floating
Smells arise love among the walls
Set down in a golden
Land of honey
Silver.

This is a rictameter. The lines have a syllable count of 2/4/6/8/10/8/6/4/2. The first and last lines are identical. Thanks to Words, Words, Words (and Phrases) for the idea. I also wrote another rictameter for today’s prompt over at Write With Pictures.

Our Beautiful World

What have we done to our beautiful world?
Filled every empty space with trash
The ocean is empty of course — who cares
For dolphins and fish, eels and worms?
The desert mountains are empty of course —
Only goats, snakes and coyotes live there.
The air is empty of course — birds only fly there —
Just our breath and blanket.

Carve away hills, toss poisons in forests,
We don’t live there. We live elsewhere. Do we?

Spoken Word:

Our Beautiful World

Breathing: A Meditation

I found inspiration for this in my knowledge of Tibetan Buddhist teachings on meditation, though the words and ideas are my own. May it bring you peace, also.

breathing

Written version posted at poetry critical.

New audio files up

I’ve added audio files for the poems Changing and Afterwards. Listen to them at the original posts.

Afterwards

We bury the dead.
One shovelful after another
We dig the graves, we bury the dead.

The rain pours down,
Soaking our hats, our uniforms, sneaking
Under our collars, trickling down skin.

And still we bury.
Our side, the other side,
Friend and enemy alike.
We bury the dead.

cross-posted at Pictures, Poetry & Prose

Changing

Luscious, creamy red rose
Sensuous in its glory
Petals fly down
Living the change.

cross-posted at Dani’s Daily Drop

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