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Flowers, yellow,
sprawled over the
grass, green
grooving to the
whims of the breeze

indifferent
to the battle line
of automobiles –
parked, silent

or the solitary man
who slumbers
on this floral bed
the sun on his back
a bicycle by his side

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so many days of
sunrises, unseen
sunsets, unmet

heralded
and followed
by a time
neither
light nor dark
neither
dawn nor dusk –

purple and
orange hues

softly remind us,
twice,

the world is not
all black and white

deadlines (and dead lines) have, sadly, come in the way of my month long poetic ambition.

satisfaction
on a word spelled well,
on crossing the t’s
and dotting the i’s
(if you are thorough),
on the progression
of thought
in words struck out
and replaced,
in words added
above carets

satisfaction
at the distinctiveness
that is your writing,
with all its flaws –
smudges, and
blots
where your pen
lingered
while your mind sought
the right
word
or sentiment

satisfaction,
sadly denied
by a word processor

the pleasure of writing, in the nearly archaic sense of the term, is likely to be lost on future generations. References to writing an email or a word document, far from being an oxymoron, have come to represent our resigned acceptance of writing as synonymous with typing.

from the sea
of endless memories
arise waves
of nostalgia,
overwhelming
the outline
where the past
meets the present,
then receding
whence they came,
submerged

till forgotten winds,
now recalled
set them in motion again

are there ones
for chapped lips,
missed buses,
forgotten keys,
wrongly paired socks,
bad hair days,
unquiet phones,

whose invocation
soothes
such minor breaches
of our immaculate days?

Patron saints and deities across beliefs have most of the troubles we share with antiquity covered. We come up with new ones.

in closets, cabinets,
corners of rooms,
cupboards,
dust-covered sleeves,
they lie in wait
for a rainy day

The word umbrella derives from the Latin umbra meaning ‘shade or shadow’. It has been raining where I live.

do they drop
stiff, like a branch
with a soft thud
muffled by fallen leaves?
or do they soar
higher than ever
in a final valiant push
to reach the sun
till at last,
victims of gravity,
they fall
into oceans, swept
onto distant shores
unsullied
by the callused feet
of fishermen

the reference to the callused feet of fishermen was borrowed from one of the short stories in Italo Calvino’s Difficult Loves titled A Ship Loaded with Crabs that I had been reading today. The phrase stayed with me.

clouds conspire
to steal the moon; caught
weeping on cold cornices

found out about NaPoWriMo through the WordPress blog. The goal is to write 30 poems over 30 days – one poem a day. I have attempted its prose equivalent, NaNoWriMo, before without success. The brevity of verse may be a blessing compared to the 50,000 words that NaNoWriMo tries to exact out of the wanting writer. Or it may be a curse, as I will soon find out.

I and Pangur Bán, my cat,
‘Tis a like task we are at;
Hunting mice is his delight,
Hunting words I sit all night.

Better far than praise of men
Tis to sit with book and pen;
Pangur bears me no ill will,
He too plies his simple skill.

via MeFi, an excerpt from of a 9th century poem with charming rhyme by an anonymous Irish monk. The above translation is by Robin Flower (links to the complete poem)

From  Adam Zagajewski’s collection of poems titled Without End*; the following is from the poem – How High The Moon

My uncle supervised
our outings: he loved life
(but it wasn’t mutual)

If anyone told me then
that this was childhood,
I would have said no;

it was just hours and days,
endless hours,
the sweet days of June

on the banks of a canal
that never rushed,
drenched in damp dreams,

and the meek young moon
setting out alone
to vanquish night.

A review will have to wait until I have lingered on the unread poems. I am unable to place my finger on the pulse that brings these poems, those that I have read so far, so beautifully to life.

* translated from the Polish by Clare Cavanagh, Renata Gorczynski, Benjamin Ivry, and C. K. Williams. 

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