Showing posts from February, 2015

Love Poems, 2.

It's Valentine's again
time to lay down the law.

no long-stemmed garish birds of paradise or alien heliconiasno heart-shaped coffins for sicky-sweet cherry cordial chocolatesno pre-filled cardsa general ban on all things red and fancy over-sauced restaurant mealsnot a drop of cheap champagne All I need is a mountain a river a lifetime.
That's all.

Love Poems. 1

I'm on a tropical island with you.
Whales breach, dolphins spin,
seals sun themselves, turtles surface..
We could go beach...

The canyon is every shade
of red and orange and green--
waterfalls are white streaks on cliff faces
rainbows arch into the misty sky...
We could go mauka...

Friends and family throng the pavilions at the beach,
barbecue smoke and sunset ocean views,
Slippers in a sandy pile, fish sizzling in the wok oil
wooden hashi snap and scrape
We could go party...

But let's us
You and I
Stay home
Light the candles
And keep the noise outside
at bay.

(Another class assignment! This one is based on "In Paris with You" by James Fenton, which is a funny anti-romantic poem about all the things the author will NOT be doing Paris. My prompt to the students was-- Write a love poem about all the things you DON'T want to do.)

On Avoidance

On Avoidance
My to-do checklist
multiplies like protozoa
osmosises and mitosises into
      things to procure
      things to discard
      debts to pay
      mundane tasks
The list glares at me from my phone
      an unblinking eye
            a high pitched tinnitus of
            adult obligations.
      so I subvert my list,
            add nonsense:

"sit in the sun: five minutes.""sample 3 kinds of chocolate.""draw a seabird.""sketch a mad genius." So between the sandpaper-on-bone tasks       of "callthebank" I can dutifully check off whimsey accomplish nonsense procrastinate responsibly       and with great satisfaction             avoid the doing by doing       and play a counter-harmony             on the vacuum-drone of my                    adult life. 
(This is another poem prompt I gave my students in-class. We read Grace Paley's "The Poet's Occasional Alternative" about the poet avoiding writing poetry by …