Sunday, January 31, 2010

Poetry Train Monday - 137 - American sentence 1

Last week was the first time I didn't post a poem since I started riding the Poetry Train on May 14th, 2007.

It felt weird. But I decided to leave up my protest against Stephen Harper instead, since there was a national initiative to introduce the prime minister to actual ordinary Canadians, rather than the ones he thinks populate this country.

I had intended to give a new-to-me poetry form a try, so a week later, here is my first American sentence.

For more poetry, Ride the Poetry Train!

Jockey for spot at frigid gas pump not like fight for rice in Haiti.

For a trip down memory lane, here's my first-ever post for the Poetry Train: The Artisans

Photo from Monsters and Critics

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Poetry Train Monday - 136 - She Was Too Strong For Me

Here's a backstory poem for one of the characters in the story I worked on during NaNoWriMo in November.

Cavan is the grown son of the village wise woman in a 6th century Welsh village. He spends his days hiding his own sorcerer's power from his mother. He both adores her as a son and fears her power as a witch.

For more poetry, Ride the Poetry Train!

She Was Too Strong For Me

My cries filled our hut
My cries
Mother roused long enough to soothe me
I was too distraught to fight off
Her quick charm

I slipped back into sleep
Slipped back for
More torments

Sat up
Whispered words of my own charm
Sadly, I whispered
With a seething anger

Did all mothers try so hard
To care for their sons
Did all mothers force sons to be cruel
To break away from so much caring

I jerked awake

Mother stirred

I moaned
Tried to force myself
Past Mother’s whispered charm
She was too strong for me

An eerie comfort, her strength
"No…" I moaned
Sweating with effort
I fought her
Fought the invisible bonds

I lay
As though deep in sweet slumber
I sensed Mother rising
Sensed Mother creeping over
To look

Felt her soft fingers brush
A sweaty tendril of
Hair from my forehead
I moaned

Mother bent down
Mother kissed me
She whispered a soothing charm
Thinking to keep her son safe
From dream demons

Couldn't she hear
That my moans were really screams?
Her charm muffled them
Like thick cloths stuffed hard in my mouth

I fell into dreams
Down and down
To places no one should be made to go
“Hush, now,” Mama said

Forcing her breast in my mouth

I shook my head from side to side
Protesting this outrage
She guided my face with
Immovable hands
I was made to suck

In a while it comforted me
But I had sharp little teeth

I watched as Mama’s face
Lined with the pain of feeding me

- Julia Smith, Jan. 17, 2010

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Poetry Train Monday - 135 - The Sheer Terror

For more poetry, Ride the Poetry Train!

The Sheer Terror

I listen
I listen to two friends
I listen to two women
Two mothers

They worry
They worry with their mother’s hearts
They worry over their teenaged children
Their children

Nothing to worry about, I say
They sound like wonderful kids, I say
Remember what you did, I say
Remember when you were their age

That’s when panic rises in their mothers’ hearts
That’s when they remember the things they never shared

But aren’t you sitting here today? I say
They will get through it, I say
That’s easy for me to say, with my woman’s heart
Easy to say with my friend’s heart

I will never know the sheer terror of their mothers’ hearts

- Julia Smith, Jan. 10, 2010

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Poetry Train Monday - 134 - Holding Christmas Near

Welcome to a brand new year aboard the Poetry Train!

Here is my newest poem, freshly crafted this evening. For more poetry, Ride the Poetry Train!

Holding Christmas Near

Not yet ready
To put Christmas away
Not yet ready

Mom whipped up a
Huge pasta dinner
Mom gathered us to her
Not yet ready to put Christmas away

The tree remains
Stands at a safe distance from
Neighboring eyes
The tree remains
Behind closed blinds, brightly shining
We still hold Christmas near

My husband and I clear the way to this table
Clear the way through the fresh page of snowfall
My husband and I clear the way for fresh starts
Mom gathers us round the table
Still holding Christmas near

My sister and her honey bundle up through the cold
My sister and her honey bring news and laughter
Mom gathers them round the table
Still holding Christmas near

Not yet ready to put it all away
Auntie and Uncle bundle up through the cold
Auntie and Uncle bear smiles and hugs
Mom gathers them round the table
Still holding Christmas near

Uncle bears salad greens
Grown in his greenhouse
Grown with no heat source but the sun
We eat the earth’s bounty
Freshly picked this January day

The tree remains
The lights still shine
The laughter still erupts
The appetite for family never wanes
Still holding Christmas near

- Julia Smith, Jan. 3, 2010