Happy National Poetry Month! I got a little side-tracked by a visit with my beautiful daughter and her precious new son 🙂 So enjoy a cluster of prompts for catch-up! 🙂
I’m over the moon in love 🙂 His name is Max and he is beyond magical 🙂 So’s his Mama 🙂
All night the douanier in his sentry box
at the end of the lane where France begins plays fox
and hounds with little spurts of cars
that sniff to a stop at the barrier
and declare themselves. I stand at the window
watching the ancient boundaries that flow
between my daughter’s life and mine dissolve
like taffy pulled until it melts in half
without announcing any point of strain
and I am a young unsure mother again
stiffly clutching the twelve-limbed raw
creature that broke from between my legs, that stew
of bone and membrane loosely sewn up in
a fierce scared flailing other being.
We blink, two strangers in a foreign kitchen.
Now that you’ve drained your mother dry and will
not sleep, I take you in my arms, brimful
six days old, little feared-for mouse.
Last week when you were still a fish
in the interior, I dreamed you thus:
The douanier brought you curled up in his cap
buttoned and suited like him, authority’s prop
–a good Victorian child’s myth–
and in his other hand a large round cheese
ready to the point of runniness.
At least there, says the dream, no mysteries.
Toward dawn I open my daughter’s cupboard on
a choice of calming teas–infusions—
verbena, fennel, linden, camomile,
shift you on my shoulder and fill the kettle.
Age has conferred on me a certain grace.
You’re a package I can rock and ease
from wakefulness to sleep. This skill comes back
like learning how to swim. Comes warm and quick
as first milk in the breasts. I comfort you.
Body to body my monkey-wit soaks through.
Later, I wind the outside shutters up.
You sleep mouse-mild, topped with camomile.
Daylight slips past the douane. I rinse my cup.
My daughter troubles sleep a little while
longer. The just-milked cows across the way
come down their hillside single file
and the dream, the lefthand gift of ripened brie
recurs, smelly, natural, and good
wanting only to be brought true
in your own time: your childhood.
Make art about babies, the miraculous beginning of life.
One of my favorite things about traveling are the signs on the road 🙂 And one of my favorite poets ❤
All night I dreamed of my home
of the roads that are so long
and straight they die in the middle—
among the spines of elderly weeds
on either side, among the dead cats,
the ants who are all eyes, the suitcase
thrown open, sprouting failures.
And this evening in the garden
I find the winter
inside a snail shell, rigid and
cool, a little stubborn temple,
its one visitor gone.
If there were messages or signs,
I might hear now a voice tell me
to walk forever, to ask
the mold for pardon, and one
by one I would hear out my sins,
hear they are not important—that I am
part of this rain
drumming its long fingers, and
of the roadside stone refusing
to blink, and of the coyote
nailed to the fence with its
And when there are no messages
the dead lie still—
their hands crossed so strangely
like knives and forks after supper.
I stay up late listening.
My feet tap the floor,
they begin a tiny dance
which will outlive me.
They turn away from this poem.
It is almost Spring.
Make art about seeing signs.
Today is my niece Jennifer’s birthday. I was fourteen when she was born, and I was absolutely certain that my sister Andrea had this miraculous fairy child just for my enjoyment. From scrambling through woods to the tune of Little Rabbit Foo Foo to watching her become a loving accomplished incredible woman, and one of the best mothers I’ve ever seen, that fairy child grown to woman has consistently been one of the greatest gifts of my life. No other poem would do 🙂 ❤
by Maya Angelou
Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
It’s in the reach of my arms,
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I’m a woman
I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
It’s the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I’m a woman
Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can’t touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them,
They say they still can’t see.
It’s in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I’m a woman
Now you understand
Just why my head’s not bowed.
I don’t shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing,
It ought to make you proud.
It’s in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need for my care.
’Cause I’m a woman
Make art about a phenomenal woman in your life.