Sunday, April 25, 2010

I think the facination we still have with Amelia Earhart is interesting. I guess I am not the only one who likes a good mystery. I wrote the two poems below after seeing the movie about her that came out last year. As I was walking into the theatre, the usher said "You know how it ends don't you?" I said yes, but we don't truly know how it ended. The possibility that someone will find the answer keeps us interested in the story more than 70 years later.

The Island in the Ocean

The challenge was a passenger on the entire flight.

The key to completing the circle

was finding the island in the ocean.

When the time came,

the pilot called out.

The island barely heard,

yet tried to respond.

They must have come so close.

Still, the connection could not be made.

The flight did not end on a runway,

but in a mystery that would intrigue generations.

Crossing Oceans

We all have oceans to cross.

The vastness of our problems.

The depth of our disappointments.

The sameness of our routines.

The span to reach our goals.

The turbulence of life.

How can we face these journeys?

Follow our compasses.

Navigate as best we can,

and see where we land.

Monday, April 19, 2010

I consider Emily Dickinson to be my "Guardian Poet". For most of the year in which I wrote the two poems that started me on this adventure, references to Emily Dickinson kept showing up in books I read. Now, I read mostly light fiction, especially mysteries, biographies (not of poets) or books about sports. All of a sudden, if an author put a quote at the front of a book, it was from a Dickinson poem or characters would mention that she was their favorite poet or they were studying her in a class. After about a year, I wrote a poem about this.

I haven't heard from Emily in a while, but then she popped up this weekend. So, I am posting the poem today.


You haunt me.
Your appearances jolt,
intrude on my solitude,
inhabit my thoughts.
Your visits puzzle.
I explore your talent,
but the message alludes.
Our encounters continue,
baffling or revealing?

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

When I am working with an idea, I may end up with a couple of sets of lines that don't fit together. If I am lucky, I can turn the sets into separate poems. That happened this past weekend when the comments of an announcer on a golf tournament triggered an idea. The results are the two poems below.

Right Club-Wrong Player

The club is designed for a specific result,
applied science wrapped in the materials of the day.
Perfection is built in.
The player draws it out by letting the club work,
not making it work.
Rely on the technology; don't interfere with it.
The proper execution always leads to the desired result.
The club is right.
Only the player may be wrong.

Ready to Wear

Everything fits someone,
but everyone doesn't fit everything.
Sometimes, the suitability is obvious.
The difficulty comes
when the match is questionable.
The first thought is
"Maybe I can make this work.
I can change or break this in."
Don't count on either alteration.
If it's not ready to wear,
don't buy it.

Friday, April 9, 2010

When I first decided that I wanted to try to write poems regularly, I struggled with the concept of triggering the process. The ideas for the few poems I had written basically had come to me. In order to write more, I knew I would have to seek out ideas. After writing consistently for about eight months, I realize that the ideas are all around me. I simply have to be open to accepting them when they present themselves.

I wrote the two poems I am posting today after reading a book that was set in New Orleans when Katrina hit.

Approaching a Storm

How do you handle the hurricane when it hits?
Stand your ground.
Take the pounding.
You or the storm.
Winner take all.
How do you handle the hurricane when it hits?
Never again.
Drive away
though you long to stay.
Complete change.
How do you handle the hurricane when it hits?
Recede from the force.
Assess the damage.
Salvage all you can.
Gain despite the loss.

Life in Context

Decisions are not made in a vacuum,
but in the context of other experiences.
Choices are altered by the day, the hour,
perhaps the very minute that they take place.
Each time you ask "What should I do?"
All of your life plays a part in the answer.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

April is National Poetry Month. Johnson County Library (Kansas) and The Writers Place (Kansas City Metro area) are partnering to present a poem a day on the library website during this month. Go to www.jocolibrary/poetrymonth to see the featured poem. Click the more link near the featured poem to see the poems that already have been featured. One of my poems, The Women's Interstate Network, was featured Saturday, April 3. This poem was inspired by my memories of the way my mother and my aunts kept in touch by writing letters.

The library and The Writers Place also are promoting Poem in Your Pocket Day, which is Thursday, April 29. The idea is to share a favorite poem with co-workers, family and friends on that day.