And Now, Some In-Class Writing

This is a group of poems we write in class as a 5-minute warmup to get into the mindset for writing and talking about poetry. I’ve tried to place them in chronological order… But maybe not.
Goes like this: 5 words are put up on the board, and 5 minutes are given to write, including as many of the words as possible. I’ve found that even when I haven’t been productive all day, all I need sometimes is a bunch of unrelated words to get me rolling.

29 August 2005

After thunder rolled
through the neighborhood
and passed, with the sleet,
into time, the Grave Watch,
endless, paced eternity at
the horizon, a peach hummingbird,
who glazed slick wet ice
in His lit-lighter-fluid stare.

31 August 2005

The smile in my head
spread more easily than in person,
slow tide waves of ocean,
but her eyes lit
and a blush on her neck
said she often recalled
silk sheets, lavender candles,
and our fingers entwined,
and searching in the bed.

14 September 2005

Turnips, cultivated in rows,
dig themselves into the earth,
pull and grasp the soil
against screeching, raptor-clawed
machines that would exhume
them, and leave the pyracantha
where it stands.

No Date (Sept. 2005)

This creek is not really a creek.
It is a trickle, a sewer a floe
of slow lava erupting from
the underbelly armpit of our metropolis.

Long ago it was a creek pristine,
with wild onions, and dark
woods and fairies flitting about
lone sunrays.

It is no longer a creek,
it was covered and then tunneled then buried
under steel and asphalt and concrete
and earth.

It is no longer a creek,
but a slow sewage-filled
chemical lava
beneath our eyes and tongues and feet.

No Date (Sept. 2005)

The Shibboleth

In our museums, now,
on Mars, and Venus, and Tau-Ceti,
there are old pictures of Earth
printed on paper and taken
from orbit by the swarm
of traffic and weather satellites.

Long ribbons of asphalt aglitter
with pebbles of vehicles, curlyques
sparkle off in various directions:
vehicles numerous as sand
on the blackened beaches.

26 September 2005

It rains into the ocean
the staccato pelting of a piano
played with the mute-pedal pressed
and a backdrop, overpowered string
section of violins and cellos,
violas and basses
all plucked and surging with the waves.

And at this desert littoral,
an oak leaf
dances drunken
in the tide.
The wind carries
the scent of forest
from across the sea.

*Note: aside from spelling, I have changed nothing written or annotated in the original.
*Note: the links to dictionary.com are for my use as well as yours.
*Note: in class, the shibboleth was defined as a practice or phrase denoting that a group of people has been become ‘backward’
*Note: enough notes. I’ll come back to these at some point, and maybe one will turn out good.

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