Wednesday, April 30, 2008

NaPoWriMo #30: finished

I did it; thirty poems in thirty days! Deep breath, and then one last haiku.

April's Over

Nothing satisfies
me quite like an end and then
beginning anew.

NaPoWriMo #29: death

Earlier this month I got a new job at church. In addition to doing my old emergency preparedness assignment, I'm also the adult advisor for "Activity Days", which means I'm in charge of an after-school program for girls ages eight to eleven. We get together every other Tuesday afternoon and have a brief inspirational message, memorize a scripture, and do a project. Right now I have five girls in my group, and yesterday I had an unsettling experience with one of them that I know is going to stay with me for a long time. I had to write about it just to try and make some sense of it.

Snakes in Heaven

I had read her parents as two leaves
of the same sour book so when I
picked her up after school and she asked
are you scared of snakes?
I wanted to seem interested not repulsed asked
what kind? a garter snake
and taking it gingerly from her pocket she
held it for me to see there was something
wrong with it in my car she explained
he choked on a bug but I think if I
get it out he’ll still be alive
when we get to church you’ll have
to keep him in your pocket I don’t
want you to frighten the other girls
knowing full well she would and
so after another girls’ mother exclaimed
how disgusting go wash your hands
I hid the coat away without making
a big deal of it and we moved on to
our counted cross-stitch projects when
we finished and were leaving I gave
back her black and red nylon jacket and
immediately she opened her pocket pulling
it out to frighten a younger girl riding home
with us so once again I intervened kind but firm
that’s enough please keep your pocket
zipped put the coat on the floor
as soon as we dropped the other girl off
she asked timidly if she could take her snake
out again more gently than before I said
I’d like you to keep him in your pocket he’s
got a lot of germs on his body when
snakes die they decompose from inside
out those bacteria could make you sick
she was silent a sideways glance showed
her hand in her pocket tenderly stroking
tiny head with her finger and I saw this
one thing that loved her back would be
missed in ways she could not say
did you know when animals die they
go straight to be with God again?
I’m sure right now he’s slithering in
the green grass of heaven find a pretty
box to bury him in make a grave marker
with a big rock it’s okay for you to be sad
don’t let anyone make you feel bad
if you want to cry
she was still silent when she closed my
car door behind her climbed grim trailer steps
and I drove away trying to remember
everything she had touched.

Monday, April 28, 2008

NaPoWriMo #28: jargon

This week's prompt at Read Write Poem is "jargon". In 1999 I enrolled as a history major at the University of Washington and found myself immersed in a field with its own specialized vocabulary. At the same time I was working at the City of Bellevue in their transportation department, and a huge part of my job was to write newsletters to residents about transportation projects being constructed in their neighborhoods. It was a weird time because on the one hand I had to translate very technical engineering jargon into everyday language at about a sixth grade reading level, and in my after hours I was slogging through obtuse terms like "hegemony", "milieu", and "historiography" and learning how to bandy them about in the many, many, many term papers I was required to write.

I felt like my writing had a split personality, and rather than completely compartmentalize, I started to fuse the two styles. Not that I wrote about the hegemony of transportation. Or dumbed down my research projects. Instead, I tried to resist the urge to be as verbose as many of the historians I was reading; I kept my papers as pithy, interesting, descriptive and fluid as possible, using lingo only where appropriate and necessary. I tried to think about writing my papers in such a way that people would actually want to read them, rather than making myself sound stuffy and academic. Mostly this worked (I got excellent grades and one professor in particular gushed about my writing), but my boss did on occasion send back drafts of my newsletters, telling me I needed to tone down the vocabulary.

History’s Failing

I doubt the Aztecs knew
they were falling to
Spain’s inexorable hegemony or
if the curved-helmed conquistadors
were aware of their driving
force in a colonial milieu
that might have shifted opposite
if not shaped by smallpox
what does it matter for
Hernán Cortés Pizarro
Bernal Díaz del Castillo
Francisco López de Gómara
Bernardino de Sahagún
are on more spines than
Fernando Alvarado Tezozómoc
Motecuhzoma Xocoyotzin
Cuitlahuac and
especially Malintzin
the failing of history is
no terms translate hegemony
into the reality that every one of
Tenochtitlan’s thousand upon
thousand now anonymous casualties
had a face and a name.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

NaPoWriMo #27: outrageous

The first thing that sprang to mind when I looked at this week's prompt at Writers Island was something Janet Livermore (Bridget Fonda) said in Cameron Crowe's Singles: "I think time's running out to do something outrageous." Except I remembered it wrong. When I googled it, I realized the quote is actually: "I think time's running out to do something bizarre. Somewhere around 25, bizarre becomes immature."

I started thinking about why I had once related to Janet so much. She was almost exactly where I was at emotionally when I first saw Singles in 1992. I was her same age (23) and I completely understood the drive to be whoever, whatever I needed to be to preserve a relationship, no matter the cost. Janet did some pretty bizarre things to try and keep things going with her deadbeat grunge boyfriend Cliff (played by a hirsute Matt Dillon). Probably the most bizarre thing I ever did (that I would admit to) was to stalk a former boyfriend I had broken up with by driving by his house every night on my way home from work to see if he was home, for the first month after our breakup. Make that two former boyfriends. But the first guy was the one who ended it with me.

Which is why Janet intrigued me. She did a lot of the same dumb, desperate kind of things I had done, and yet she was able to walk away. The scene with Janet up on the rooftop of her apartment was a mystery to me, a place I aspired to reach. She'd just broken up with Cliff, and reclining on a lounge chair she said, "I've always been able to do this. Break up and never look back. Being alone, there's a certain dignity to it." By the time I got to my second drive-by ex, I had the courage to break up with someone I knew was totally wrong for me; I just had a hard time not looking back. It took me over a month to get to the point where I could be alone and do it in a dignified way. But I did do it.

Incidentally, I disagree with Janet on one point: I don't think there's any statute of limitations on doing something bizarre. Or outrageous.

Driving By

It might take me
a while to discover and
by a while I mean several
more weeks or even
months of waiting till
after dark to drive by hoping
for a glimpse of
you walking out your door
you checking your mail
you on your bicycle or even
you getting into a car with
someone else yes it might
take some time to know not
just believe I'm better off
without you the good news is
no matter how long it
takes you'll never know.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

NaPoWriMo #20-26: my week

In some ways I'm regretting my decision to commit to NaPoWriMo during a month that has turned out to be unexpectedly emotional, stressful and busy. On the other hand, it's been good to have a reason to make time to write when I probably otherwise would have not. So, in a last-ditch attempt to get caught up, here's a series of seven hiaku: one for each day of this past week.


An apple, the core
of contention; humility
my bittersweet fruit.


Pained introspection
insight comes while folding clean
socks and underwear.


Frantic cleaning to
prepare for houseguests, worth it
to see my sister.


We eat salty teared
pancakes; miles away, they try
to stop his bleeding.


Pick up trash with kids
around neighborhood, save earth
one block at a time.


Woman to woman
shared wisdom gives me hope for
change and a new start.


Riding once more, wheels
turn, bringing inspiration
perspective, prayers.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

NaPoWriMo #19: forgiveness

I did something really dumb, really mean today. It was awful. I felt terrible, and then I said I was sorry and asked the person I had hurt to forgive me. He said, "Thank you for the apology. I forgive you." And I knew he meant it.

That's the best gift I've gotten in a long time.


The question:
how can I
endeavor to deserve
such simple sweet
and utterly complete

The answer:
I can’t.

The miracle:
I don’t have to
deserve it.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

NaPoWriMo #18: saturday

Playing catch-up again...

Weekend Warrior

Saturday morning and I’m trying to
shake the ache from my bones
so I’m up first
creeping downstairs in
faded fuzzy slippers and
flowered pajamas
two slices of wheat bread spread
with peanut butter, a glass of milk
while checking email
then I’m putting away
last night’s dishes, reloading our
decrepit dishwasher
and it’s off to mow grass
wash four loads of laundry
eat leftovers for lunch
sweep, wipe down, wash
another load of dishes
make dinner, put kids to bed
and squeeze in a run
if my bones ache a bit less
than when I woke.

NaPoWriMo #17: survivor

Writers Island's two prompts this week are "survivor" and "triumph". This is short and sweet but it combines both prompts without too much of a stretch.

Joy in the Journey

Just getting by is a triumph some days
but I want more than to merely survive
coping crisis to crisis; my soul says
find joy in love, life, creation and thrive.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

NaPoWriMo #15: mythology

Icarus Considers

I’ve known seductive rush of
wind bearing from beneath until
my wings arched of their own accord
rising so all I could do was yearn
to go even farther into cerulean
not noticing sweaty trickle stinging my neck
too high to sense it had burned
too blinded by headiness of sun and
sapphire sky to catch acrid scent of
singed feathers before molten wax
scalded flesh and falling to impact on
earth’s unyielding breast I still
felt it a fair price for ascent’s thrill.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

NaPoWriMo #14: knowledge

This is what happens when I blog and write poetry really late at night: I have no idea where my poems are coming from or going to; they just sort of happen. Since I'm playing catch-up again, I decided to flow with this and see where it went, and I like what happened, even though it's extremely rough.

Hold to the Rod

From the tree of knowledge I’ve eaten fruit
so warm and sweet it glowed all the way to my belly
beams of light escaping from my eyes and mouth
but it wouldn’t have been enough to gorge myself
because knowing isn’t wisdom isn’t living isn’t being
so I walked on down a plain road
where a new moon cast no beam
where cunning fog curled itself around my heels
wrapped me in a cool caress
pulling me backward into the gloom
I caught a star to light my way
but it burned a cold hole in my hand
fell and sputtered out in dewy grass whose blades
sliced cold and wet between my toes
as I faltered on the unseen path
and then I remembered the rail I had let go
and grasping out into the black felt
again the reassuring iron under my hand.

Stars rise and fall, moons wax and wane
but my feet know where to go
even without their feeble gleam
when I hold to the rod.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

NaPoWriMo #13: reality tv

The prompt at Read Write Poem this week is "speak freely", which has been ironic in its own way as I've struggled to do just that: wrap my brain around the idea, find my own take and articulate what I want to say. Just moments ago I was sitting here at my computer, unsucessfully grappling with how to interpret the prompt and finding it hard to concentrate with Jim watching "DEA" on Spike TV in the background. Ah, the mixed blessing of satellite television: such an immense buffet of quality viewing options and here I am having to try and tune out the constant bleeping in the background. Thanks, honey.

Actually, thanks, honey. Because "DEA" was just the distraction I needed to warp my train of thought into something workable. Bleeping and speaking freely. Go figure.

Reality TV

Never was so much
air wasted on saying so
little of value.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

NaPoWriMo #12: flight

And the other prompt this week at Writer's Island was flight. It's a big relief to be caught up; no promises, but I'll do my best to not get behind again.

The weather here was absolutely lovely today. I went for an early bike ride, and it was just the right temperature, cool but sunny with no wind. We worked in the yard most of the morning and into the afternoon. Last fall we didn't get up all the leaves before it snowed, so we had several large piles that had matted down and choked patches of our lawn. We got all those leaves up, raked out several of the flowerbeds, including our little strawberry patch, and tore up all of last year's dead bamboo. Then we took it easy the rest of the afternoon.

After dinner, we went for a family walk around the neighborhood and enjoyed the sunset together. The prompt and all of the little wonderful moments from this perfect day are the inspiration for this poem.

Signs and Wonders

Sparrow’s wheeling flight while day’s last light
dyes a vaulted ceiling of sky
five perfect tiny fingers grasping one of mine
the example of a thousand ants working as one
my last moment of patience stretched just far enough
new strawberry runners shooting
from under brittle brown leaves
forgiveness humbly asked, freely granted
small miracles and tender mercies
I have no proof
no reason to believe
but these.

NaPoWriMo #11: chance encounter

One of the prompts at Writer's Island this week was... you guessed it: chance encounter. This immediately made me think of how Jim and I met almost fourteen years ago (our thirteenth anniversary will be next month), so be prepared for a little bit of sappiness. After the title, it gets less sappy.

Love at First Sight

Unsuspecting, I arrived with friends
completely unglamorous
in my denim short overalls
white tee-shirt and saltwater sandals
love at first sight at a barbeque was
utterly unexpected, let alone
true love at first sight at a barbeque
if I had known
I certainly would have dressed the part
for such a pivotal moment
instead, with perfect precision
you sank an ice cube
into the large pocket
on the front of my overalls
and six hours later
or was it seven?
I lost count
you drove me home.

Fast forward nine months
no, I’m not that kind of girl
just an impulsive one
anticipating, I arrived with family
completely breathless
in my tea-length gown
white flowers in my hair
love after such a short courtship seemed
utterly foolish, let alone a
love that might last forever
but how could I have known
or prepared any more if I had years
instead, with perfect faith
we took our leap
into the unknown together
and ten hours later
you carried me over the threshold
and we were home.

Friday, April 11, 2008

NaPoWriMo #10: mending

I'm playing catch-up because yesterday got away from me. The truth is, the time I should have been writing was spent immersed in reading. What can I say? It wasn't even poetry, but I'm a sucker for a good book. And I'll make up for it by writing two poems tomorrow, okay?

Earlier tonight I was down in the basement in my sewing/computer room mending a housecoat for an older friend of mine. I fixed a couple other things, too, from my big stack of "UFOs" (unfinished objects). This may reveal what a simple creature I really am, but I always feel a tremendous sense of relaxation and accomplishment when I do mending (which is not necessarily true about my other sewing projects). It's about the soothing rhythm of stitching, whether I use a machine or sew by hand, and also about being useful, extending the life of something just a little beyond what it might have otherwise been. Somehow that makes me feel as though I'm extended, too.


Green white black blue spools
carefully threaded through
hand wheel turned gently forward
catching bobbin thread
fabric laid flat lined up
against ruled throat plate
comforting pressure
of knee lever against my leg
soothing reverse forward reverse
sweet and steady hum
old Singer reverberating
seven stitches per inch
fleecy green pajamas
faded floral housecoat
cotton crib sheet worn soft
front pocket tee-shirt
wool skirt with ripped hem
return to service.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

NaPoWriMo #9: bones

I've got a thing for the Day of the Dead. It started in middle school when I read The Halloween Tree, by Ray Bradbury. The skeletons creeped me out, but I was morbidly fascinated.

In my college Spanish class I had to do an oral report on some aspect of Hispanic culture, so I chose to do it about the Day of the Dead, and came across The Labyrinth of Solitude, by Octavio Paz. In Paz' treatise on the Mexican psyche, an entire chapter is devoted to the Day of the Dead, and it changed my point of view forever. In further studies in an Anthropology course on Aztec Thought and Culture I learned that the entire ninth month of the ancient Aztec calendar was set aside for honoring their dead, including one day devoted just to remembering children who had died. I don't think this was about compartmentalizing grief to just the observed period of time. Rather, it struck me as being a very emotionally healthy way to normalize coping and grieving.

I've been discussing with some moms in my playgroup lately about when and how to talk to kids about death, be it goldfish or grandparents. It's sad how our Western culture (Euro-North-American) is so paralyzed by its fixation on youth, fed by fear of death. I have great respect for a cultural tradition that teaches about death in the context of its part in a continuing cycle of being. Pardon the pun, but ¡viva día de los muertos!

Día de los Muertos

At first I failed to appreciate the
too sweet savor of a sugar skull
pungent brightness of scattered marigold petals
soft succulent bread with tender anise sprinkled crust
skeletons in frilly dresses riding their bicycles
but it was the ofrendas
oh, the ofrendas
decorated in lavish affection
with best beloved delicacies of those departed
chilis, tortillas, chocolate, tamales
each faded photo bathed in candlelight
they made me yearn to be so joyously mourned
made me see one day a year was not enough
to laugh in the gaping jaw
the hollow sockets of my own mortality
and revel in a comfortingly macabre sensibility
of death as an old friend.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

NaPoWriMo #8: eight

A few American sentences because a) it's late; b) I have to get up early; and c) eight is my favorite number.

The eighth day of April means six months until I'm one year from forty.

Today eight boys (four to six) cycloned through my house but I'm still standing.

Luck is just magic in the shape of infinity standing up straight.

Oh, and if you want to know how I got the Magic 8 Ball to give me an answer of "NaPoWriMo", check this out.

Monday, April 07, 2008

NaPoWriMo #7: aunts

The prompt this week at Read Write Poem was "aunts". I had to think for a while about where I wanted to go with it. My mom and dad each have one sister and one brother. Both of those brothers have been married twice, so I've had a total of six aunts, all still living. My very favorite auntie, the one I felt closest to, was actually my mother's cousin Joan, who passed away about eight years ago from cancer. At first I tried to write about her, but was finding it hard to distill all my emotions and experiences, and some of them I had already written about in my poem "San Francisco Thrice" (she was with me on my first trip and was the one who took me on a shopping spree at Macy's).

Instead, I wrote about how Nancy, my father's brother's first wife, accidentally left something at our house after she and my uncle split up.

Aunt Nancy’s Paddle

For a few months when I was ten
Aunt Nancy and Carrie came to stay
I’d barely remember if not for
a souvenir left behind
seventeen thin inches of wood
painted with Nancy in fancy letters
and a red heart.

Too narrow for a trivet
its intended purpose
must have been decorative
but its ultimate practical use
was to grace
five recalcitrant posteriors
with sting of unyielding oak.

For years how we five
cursed the name of Nancy
parenthood and time
have softened the sting
tempered enmity with empathy

Spare the rod, indeed.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

NaPoWriMo #6: lost highway

The latest prompt at Writers Island is "lost highway". It made me think of Reecer Creek Road, way out in the sticks, where I go biking on Saturday mornings. It's a long, straight stretch of worn asphalt with a strong headwind, a slow but steady incline, and a wide enough shoulder for me to ride on—which is good, because the speed limit is 50 mph, and I prefer not to have to share the road when folks are driving at such a good clip. Actually, I don't see much traffic at the early hour when I ride, which is one of the reasons it feels like a lost highway. I love it when the sun comes up across the Whisky Dick Ridge, illuminating the hay fields and making even the cows look heavenly.

So here's a little biking poem...


I may have pulled ahead but
don’t forget to wave
and shout “Left!” as you
pass me on the path to

Saturday, April 05, 2008

NaPoWriMo #5: overheard

Last week the prompt at Read Write Poem was "overheard". I am a homebody most of the time, and I kept forgetting to eavesdrop on the limited occasions when I was out of the house. So it didn't happen until yesterday when I was in the locker room at the pool that I finally remembered to eavesdrop on two little old ladies talking about different brands of body wash and lotion. I couldn't see them because I was in a changing stall and was trying to guess if I would recognize them from the pool or if they had just arrived.

I love the older women at the community pool; they're all very matter of fact and accepting of their bodies and just go about their business without a second glance at anyone else. Instead of concentrating on the lotion conversation, I started to think about modesty and how people can eavesdrop just in the way they look at each other, too. Even a furtive glance can be invasive if someone is judging. So the poem I wrote took a completely different direction from what I first overheard, but the prompt was a good inspiration. And by the time I was done changing, the lotion ladies were gone.

The Lost Art of Modesty

I’m a not-so-secret locker room
prude though you might be
surprised to know it’s not about
shame for me as I’ve grown grateful
with age for a body doing all
I ask with few complaints
and soft ones at that
the least I can do is forgive flaws not
render them common after an
hour of laps without even
having to catch my breath I can
stride confidently flaunting
every extra pound and inch
lycra doesn’t lie
but to expose more would
cheapen me disrespect this temple so
discreet I retreat to my own
private stall shielding my most
sacred parts and after emerging I
will do the same for you by
averting my eyes though
in the pool I saw enough to
know we both belong
to the sisterhood of cellulite.

Friday, April 04, 2008

NaPoWriMo #4: refrigerator

Here's that silly poem I was trying to write the other day when all my maternal hang-ups got in the way.

Fridge Raider

My refrigerator boasts a most astounding range
of science experiments both wonderful and strange
so numerous, in fact, I can only list a few
I'll hold the door wide open, so please, enjoy the view
of rancid pork chops, sour milk, fuzzy cottage cheese
a few shriveled small round green things that used to be peas
rubbery yellow Jell-O, limp lettuce, rotten eggs
an old bottle of ketchup emptied down to the dregs
potatoes covered with sprouts that have started to grow
mayonnaise last opened at least a year ago
dried up mustard with no lid, club soda long gone flat
moldy left-over tuna I meant to give my cat
lastly, something way in back I can't identify
better get a move on—I've got groceries to buy!

Thursday, April 03, 2008

NaPoWriMo #3: children

Today I'm teaching a poetry lesson at the homeschooling group we belong to, and I've been looking at several anthologies of children's poetry. At first I thought about trying to write a kid's poem for today but when I sat down at the keyboard, something else came out. I guess I needed catharsis for events earlier this week, and I liked the prose poetry form I tried yesterday, so... heres's what happened.

No and Yes

No one could have warned me I wouldn’t have listened my need to take myself too seriously would also cripple me as a parent I wouldn’t have heard because I was the one always shushing her kids in church grocery store library waiting room restaurants lying to myself manners do matter but deep down and I’d never admit it I was worried about being judged like I used to judge before it was me irony not lost of being more concerned about being perfect than being loving had to discover for myself how hard it was to let down my hair and simply play pull faces sing silly songs sure we went to parks read stories but I struggled always so responsible bossy stern severe even shushing at home where there was no need my wake up call came one night when I was tucking my son into bed he wanted me to sing a song his dad had sung the night before making up wrong words and sending him into shrieks of hysterical laughter but mom you’re not allowed sing the silly words he said only the regular words and each night if I tried he stopped me again.

Yes that was when I started to change do my own PR and mean it meet your new funny mom she cooks, washes laundry even does windows started to peel back layers of a smelly serious regular onion protecting my inner secret silly self from whatever I was scared of somehow now we’re all having more fun except when I relapse like Monday at my son’s yearly check up I didn’t shush only reminded him hold my hand in the parking lot watch where you’re going use your inside voice but didn’t make time to listen to I don’t want to go to the doctor mom just told him honey we need to be sure you’re healthy no shots this time it will be easy weight height blood pressure ears heart beat that’s all but I didn’t listen to his fears just pressed forward being responsible my heart contracted when completely uncooperative he cried and hid behind the exam table oh how I wanted to do the same as our pediatrician so helpfully recommended parenting classes a session actually starting this week I think the issue here might be C-O-N-T-R-O-L I whispered the doctor growing impatient shook his head you’re too hard on yourself be more in control these classes will help I drove home seething at his five minute diagnosis temples aching questioning myself while my son had already moved on now danger had passed.

No I’m not taking classes and yes I’m going to listen more tell jokes read stories blow bubbles finger paint do underdogs sing funny words make silly eyes hug kiss cuddle more and try try try to keep shushing to a minimum.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

NaPoWriMo #2: sandburg

I've been reading The Complete Poems of Carl Sandburg for the past few days. His writing leaves me in awe: the accessibility, ruggedness, optimism, simplicity and sheer command of language. He has a way of expressing big ideas, important things, in the most basic terms. I would be envious if I wasn't so utterly enthralled. Okay, so I am envious; how could I not be? But it's not a depressing, rancorous envy because somehow his poetry makes me think anything is possible.

Including things I've never tried before. So here's my first attempt at prose poetry. Please, don't laugh. Too hard.

Sandburg on a Stationary Bike

I am one of the people yes a dozen of us dark driving before dawn parking in our solitary spots ascending cement steps through our own frozen breath hanging on still air some young punk stole stainless steel L from pool through glass I see silver-haired slow lane ladies but I’m not swimming today so I push open warped wooden weight room door still smelling chlorine now mixed with stale sweat after it closes water bottle and thick book of his complete poems propped in front of me soaking up some solace within cinderblock walls painted mismatching shades of pale aqua reading while riding self-credulous in slow motion harmony of simultaneous physical and mental wheels spinning getting where I want to be even though it may look like I’m going nowhere.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Seven months

NaPoWriMo #1: u2

The obvious challenge of writing a poem every day for a month is finding inspiration. I know if I get desperate, I can resort to random prompt generators, but I'm planning to save those for emergencies.

Today I'm inspired by music. Most of my favorite songs are by artists whose lyrics are poetic, and one of my favorite bands for good lyrics is U2. I love "The Fly" from their Achtung Baby album, especially the lines: "every artist is a cannibal/every poet is a thief/they all kill their inspiration/and then sing about the grief." For a long time I wondered if those lines were true about myself, because so much of my earlier poetry was based on angst. It took me years to find I could coexist in a state of happiness with my muse.

A couple weeks ago I was listening to this song and started thinking about the concept of cannibalism in writing poetry: stealing lines from songs and arranging them into a poem.

This is rather rough, but I had a lot of fun doing it. In order of appearance, I cannibalized the following: "The Sounds of Silence," by Simon and Garfunkel; "Sorrow," by Pink Floyd; "Wishing it Was," by Santana and Eagle Eye Cherry; "Strength, Courage & Wisdom," by India.Arie; "Temptation Waits," by Garbage; "All My Trials," by Peter, Paul and Mary (and various other artists); "Canned Heat," by Jamiroquai; "I’m So Happy I Can’t Stop Crying," by Sting.

Sing About the Grief

Hello darkness my old friend
sweet smell of a great sorrow
lied the truth I can't pretend
putting off my living for tomorrow
I'm waiting for my moment
too late, but never mind
I know this anger's heaven sent
got to leave the darkness sometime.