Friday, May 04, 2018

Poetry Friday - Toasting with My Poetry Sisters

Sara issued our challenge this month, which was to "write a pithy (or extended) toast to someone or something that could be recited on some occasion. You may use a form or not, as you see fit, but the toast must begin and end with the same two words."

Sigh ... I've never written a toast in my life, so I found this a bit daunting. Heck, I find most of our challenges daunting! The hardest bit for me was finding an appropriate topic. I fiddled for a long time, trying to find something I actually wanted to celebrate. Here's what I ended up with.

A Toast To My Sisters

A toast to my sisters
who see with keen eyes
the smallest details
from the ground to the sky

A toast to my sisters
who wrestle with words
and wrangle with meter
that begs to be heard

A toast to my sisters
who write it all down
then revise and rework
every verb, every noun

A toast to my sisters
who follow their hearts
give voice to the voiceless
emotion to art

To my poetry sisters
though we're miles apart
I raise up a glass to
offer my heart
and a toast.

Poem ©Tricia Stohr-Hunt, 2018. All rights reserved.

You can read the pieces written written by my poetry sisters at the links below. 
I do hope you'll take some time to check out all the wonderful poetic things being shared and collected today by Brenda Davis Harsham at Friendly Fairy Tales. Happy poetry Friday friends.

Monday, April 30, 2018

NPM 4-30: End of April

On this last day of April, it's fitting that I share this poem by Phillis Levin.

End of April

Under a cherry tree
I found a robin’s egg,
broken, but not shattered.

I had been thinking of you,
and was kneeling in the grass
among fallen blossoms

when I saw it: a blue scrap,
a delicate toy, as light
as confetti

It didn’t seem real,
but nature will do such things
from time to time.

I looked inside:
it was glistening, hollow,
a perfect shell

except for the missing crown,
which made it possible
to look inside.

What had been there
is gone now
and lives in my heart

where, periodically,
it opens up its wings,
tearing me apart.

I've enjoyed exploring different poets and poems this month. Thanks for following along. And remember, just because National Poetry Month is ending, doesn't mean the daily reading of poetry has to end.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

NPM 4-29: Like Two Negative Numbers Multiplied by Rain

Today I'm sharing a poem by Jane Hirshfield.

Like Two Negative Numbers Multiplied by Rain

Lie down, you are horizontal.
Stand up, you are not.

I wanted my fate to be human.

Like a perfume
that does not choose the direction it travels,
that cannot be straight or crooked, kept out or kept.

Yes, No, Or
—a day, a life, slips through them,
taking off the third skin,
taking off the fourth.

And the logic of shoes becomes at last simple,
an animal question, scuffing.

Old shoes, old roads—
the questions keep being new ones.
Like two negative numbers multiplied by rain
into oranges and olives.

Happy Sunday all.

Saturday, April 28, 2018

NPM 4-28: Insomniac's Song

Today I'm sharing a poem by Danielle Boodoo-Fortuné, a Trinidadian poet and artist. You can learn more about her at her web site.

Insomniac’s Song

The night is a bomb.

No one will sweep
up the morning.

I am wrecked,
a vessel hollow
and lost

Undone, I wander
an ocean of dying
moths, with a heartful
of flammable terrors
to buoy me.

This is my moon,
Sliver of bone
among the flotsam

I know the sun
will not wake
for me.

Happy Saturday all.

Friday, April 27, 2018

NPM 4-27: Poems by Safia Elhilllo

All this month I've been sharing poems as they move me. I've made an effort to read new to me poets and poems. Today I'm sharing poems by Safia Elhillo, a poet I learned about when I saw this advertisement during the Olympics. The poem is called Kintsugi.

Here's another poem by Elhillo.

ars poetica

“Autobiography practiced in the enemy’s language has the texture of fiction.”
– Assia Djebar, Fantasia

in ohio i tell a classroom of white students a story i mean to be beautiful
about my grandfather      retreating in his old age to his first tongue

in which there are no separate words for like & love      once at a restaurant
meaning    i think    to say i would like some tomato soup     repeats

to our flustered waitress      i love tomato soup      i love tomato soup
& the white students & the white professors like my story     they think i mean it

to be comic    the room balloons with their delight      they are laughing
at my grandfather & it is my fault    for carving tendernesses from my old life

without context      parading to strangers my weak translations
now they think i am joking & lap     at my every dripping word

& isn’t this why i learned this language      to graduate
from my thick & pungent newness      my accent & my nameless shoes       to float

my hands like a conductor         redirect the laughter to a body not my own
for a moment of quiet inside my traitor’s head

I  do hope you'll take some time to check out all the wonderful poetic things being shared and collected today by Irene Latham at Live Your Poem. Happy poetry Friday friends.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

NPM 4-26: Requiem for the left hand

Today I'm sharing a poem by Cuban poet Nancy Morejón. You can learn more about Morejón at The Poetry Center at Smith College.

Requiem for the left hand

                         For Marta Valdés

On a map you can draw all the lines
          horizontal, straight, diagonal
from the meridian of Greenwich to the Gulf of Mexico
                    lines that more or less
reflect our idiosyncrasy

there are also very large maps
                    in the imagination
and infinite terrestrial globes

but today I guess that on very
          small map
the smallest
drawn on notebook paper
          all of history can fit

Happy Thursday all.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

NPM 4-25: Poem About My Rights

Today I'm sharing a poem by June Jordan, the daughter of Jamaican immigrants born in Harlem in 1936. I have just learned about her and her writing and am humbled by it. You can read more about her at the Poetry Foundation.

Poem about My Rights

Even tonight and I need to take a walk and clear
my head about this poem about why I can’t
go out without changing my clothes my shoes
my body posture my gender identity my age
my status as a woman alone in the evening/
alone on the streets/alone not being the point/
the point being that I can’t do what I want
to do with my own body because I am the wrong
sex the wrong age the wrong skin and
suppose it was not here in the city but down on the beach/
or far into the woods and I wanted to go
there by myself thinking about God/or thinking
about children or thinking about the world/all of it
disclosed by the stars and the silence:
I could not go and I could not think and I could not
stay there
as I need to be
alone because I can’t do what I want to do with my own
body and
who in the hell set things up
like this

Read the poem in its entirety.

Happy Wednesday all.