Posts Tagged ‘consequences’

Thanks to Deb for beginning this poem.

round eyes like windows are

what’s the fare of being a bird?
brown, winged, featherweight.  but you don’t always fly.
sometimes you perch, ripe-apple-like
sitting like another walnut in a crowded backyard tree.

delicate eager plum, aged oak, hybrid walnut arms open
wide.  how many trees in just this one neighborhood?
how many limbs where you might imagine in between
shadow and aerobatic brown-eyed navigation?
what difference all those twigs stems glistening oval
drooping leaves?  a chorus by any slight breeze.

would you even think why? why your eye scans for crows,
boasters in black or landscaped lurking stealthy cats.
first nature, you just do.

no time to consider consequence.  the danger of small
boys below.  a function of earth and light.  certainly you
would forestall any big ravishing cloud getting close.
but your science is all bone and sinew and fleeting eye.
ready for swift blue somersaults.

yet unready for the near trajectory of a small copper
clad ball coming into rest beneath your feathers now.
ripe-apple-like, you fall into dirt.  dried grass for feathers
now, falling wings, falling breaths.

the boy runs with Mercury feet, so seldom, well never
before actually, making his mark.  for that moment that
measure of time taken for a spark to go blind,
it all had seemed a good idea.

then looks down.  then master no more.

holds no hand that can undo done.  only witness change,
the way time never apologizes.  the way two boy hands
can’t hold water back from falling out.  nor the life of
one small brown bird.  he hates that now it requires
a second blow to punctuate the suffering with a final
stop.  a period mark.

the boy as well too slight to understand the science
of physics, the way life responds and gravity willingly accepts.
you might leap skyward but gravity is always the patient home.
here, here, summed in simple phrase,

      you can take,
but you cannot make, not a world, not a singular life.
a book might suggest, a parent might preach, yet
nothing teaches like what lays at your feet.  like one
life may give everything within itself that a boy might
see outside inside beneath an old walnut tree.

that’s the window opening.

neil reid @ may 2011

Thanks again to Deb Scott and her poem Diving in at A FINE KETTLE OF FISH, the new collaborative blog for Deb, Carolee and Jill. Credit due for lighting a match.

Deb’s poem touched an old memory for me, and with what? seven words of encouragement, began my own willingness to consider doing this poem here. Proof I suppose that “being ready” don’t actually count for much!

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Circling Mount Kailash, i.

Circling Mount Kailash


I have always imagined myself a childless man.
A man without any enduring consequence beyond myself.

Just myself. Just one man. My best, my worst.
My singular joys. My singular sorrows.

What matter if one day, no dawn?
Surely my cares would wash away.

Honestly, I always imagined myself alone.
If another, more like a cereal box illustration than real.

And if painting the room is unfinished, what difference?
No wife, not even a cat, so who’s to care, including me.

Might not wear that like a flag, nor any pride.
Yet scratch aside the sand and there’s one mask.

So am I honed of that mask or bare, one face?
And poems aren’t writ for art, but for sake of

a genuine life, a better heart. First step.

You’ll know when it reaches you.

neil reid © september 2010

Circling Mount Kailash. Just a distant second-hand participant. This high climb even to approach. The reality of that would likely be the end of me. However, listening here, my life is yet real enough, this part I’ll keep for now. More of where and why I’ll leave for another time, another page, and now mostly the words of a poem will begin. Only slight to say that looking near the face of god, truth becomes inevitable. One circle begins.

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read write poem   napowrimo #12

prompt by Carolee Sherwood   secret codes

We are more than one-third through NaPoWriMo. If you feel like you’ve started to make things up (two parts desperation, one part coffee grinds), then Carolee Sherwood’s prompt for Day 12 will play into your hand.

Make up a secret code. Begin by writing a few nonsense sentences, like “The raindrops tap out a cry for help” or “The dandelions are saying all at once, ‘You are overwhelmed.’” The formula is easy: come up with a message and assign it to something unlikely. Remember, of course, that inanimate objects can speak and that signs and symbols may be nonverbal.

Once you have a few sentences, select the one that is most intriguing to you and use it to start a poem.

(Iris are to sheep as wool is to warm soup. If monsters dare, why not me?)

monsters under the bed

study reveals monsters under the bed are real

japanese scoff, over your shoulder beware they say

and why am I wearing his face? you might ask

only a mask, vulcanized, but the beard is all mine


it ain’t that gambling is wrong daddy dear

but betting everything has consequences

did green lips devour your pictures with me

or her remorse tear you to shreds or

were there simply none?

here sailor, stand behind the poster

get your photo snapped and halved

reduced in a puff of smoke

or was it little girl shrills as hairy hands

grabbed your ankles, whisked you away?

did you groan? perhaps (I wish)

just another plum pudding gone astray?

all you left was your face

I carry it, but changed the name

Neil Reid © April 2010

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