Category Archives: free verse

things that i can’t forget

things that i can’t forget

i don’t remember when
the world turned blue
maybe it was when
the post-it notes on the ‘frig
lost their power to inspire me
or perhaps it was
when i stopped listening
to the nameless
portraits on the wall...
aren’t they just voices
in my own head after all,
me trying to preserve
my sanity is like using crazy glue
to stop a dam from bursting
i lost control of everything
that late spring into summer into...
the seasons are all a blur
here behind closed doors,
no hope left inside
locked, the key tossed
into the starry night,
into the beautiful purple haze,
that faded to grey, the darkness
in my soul changing hue, to blue
it’s all coming back to me now
like loose change in my pocket
i realize it’s the little things,
things that i can’t forget

~kat

NaPoWriMo2021 - Day 10 Prompt: 
First, find a song with which you are familiar – it could be a favorite song of yours, or one that just evokes memories of your past. Listen to the song and take notes as you do, without overthinking it or worrying about your notes making sense.
* Next, rifle through the objects in your junk drawer – or wherever you keep loose odds and ends that don’t have a place otherwise. (Mine contains picture-hanging wire, stamps, rubber bands, and two unfinished wooden spoons I started whittling four years ago after taking a spoon-making class). On a separate page from your song-notes page, write about the objects in the drawer, for as long as you care to.
* Now, bring your two pages of notes together and write a poem that weaves together your ideas and observations from both pages.

The Song:

Vincent

Starry, starry night
Paint your palette blue and gray
Look out on a summer's day
With eyes that know the darkness in my soul
Shadows on the hills
Sketch the trees and the daffodils
Catch the breeze and the winter chills
In colors on the snowy, linen land
Now, I understand what you tried to say to me
And how you suffered for your sanity
And how you tried to set them free
They would not listen, they did not know how
Perhaps they'll listen now
Starry, starry night
Flaming flowers that brightly blaze
Swirling clouds in violet haze
Reflect in Vincent's eyes of china blue
Colors changing hue
Morning fields of amber grain
Weathered faces lined in pain
Are soothed beneath the artist's loving hand
Now, I understand, what you tried to say to me
How you suffered for your sanity
How you tried to set them free
They would not listen, they did not know how
Perhaps they'll listen now
For they could not love you
But still your love was true
And when no hope was left inside
On that starry, starry night
You took your life as lovers often do
But I could have told you, Vincent
This world was never meant for one
As beautiful as you
Starry, starry night
Portraits hung in empty halls
Frameless heads on nameless walls
With eyes that watch the world and can't forget
Like the strangers that you've met
The ragged men in ragged clothes
The silver thorn of bloody rose
Lie crushed and broken on the virgin snow
Now, I think I know what you tried to say to me
How you suffered for your sanity
How you tried to set them free
They would not listen, they're not listening still
Perhaps they never will
Source: Music match
Songwriters: Don Mclean
Vincent lyrics © Songs Of Universal Inc., Benny Bird Co. Inc.

from the junk drawer
loose change
screw
batteries
checkbook
pen
paper clip
keys
pocket knife
screw driver
measuring tape
post it notes
crazy glue

island retirement

Hart Island, NY, USA
island retirement

always wanted to retire on an island,
not exactly what i had in mind but
gotta give it to this place, if disappearing
is the goal, it fits the bill, it’s a bit
crowded and noisy, but the city gave me
my own four walls, a fine pine box actually,
kinda’ reminds me of my first apartment,
damn, but we were cramped in that place,
walls thin as paper, no room to move,
the family packed in like sardines,
like this place where they stack us
three deep...some of the locals say
this place has been around for 150 years,
there’s folks here from 1918, the Spanish
Flu, from that Aids Crisis, and Yellow
Fever, this place has some history,
more than a million souls rest here they say
and now me, plopped here like a time capsule
from 2020, from COVID-19, whose time ran
out, a day past two weeks sprung from the
morgue to make room for more folks
with no one to claim ‘em, not that i don’t
have nobody, my people, they live out
of state, and i didn’t tell ‘em i was sick,
didn’t want to worry ‘em, you know
humph, wonder how long it will take
‘em to miss me, maybe they’ll find me,
maybe not, doesn’t matter much now,
peace out as they say and hey, wear a mask

~kat
For NaPoWriMo2021 Day 8 Prompt: Today, I’d like to challenge you to read a few of the poems from Spoon River Anthology, and then write your own poem in the form of a monologue delivered by someone who is dead. My subject is inspired by the Potter’s Field on Harts Island in NYC, now being used to bury the unclaimed victims of COVID-19. Read this NY Times article. 

like shooting stars

like shooting stars

soft as a whisper,
her sweet perfume
lingering in the air,
tosses wisps of my hair,
like a comet, bright,
breathtaking, for a brief
moment as she flits by,
i tilt my head to catch
the sound of her laugh,
avert my eyes when
she glances my way,
she’ll never know how
my heart flutters
when she is near...
it’s for the best,
i tell myself,
i’m not her
type anyway

~kat


NaPoWriMo2021 Day 6 Challenge:

Go to a book you love. Find a short line that strikes you. Make that line the title of your poem. Write a poem inspired by the line. Then, after you’ve finished, change the title completely.

You may notice the resulting poem is nothing at all like the book or the inspiring line. That is the beautiful irony of taking words or statements out of context, don’t you think?! 😉
The book I chose, one of my all-time favorites…

Old Turtle
Text by Douglas Wood
Watercolors by Chen’s-Khee Chee
and the text:
“sometimes i feel her breath as she blows by”

bananas for bananas

bananas for bananas

a banana is
the perfect fruit

ask anyone
and they’ll tell you

literally anyone...
what is it about bananas
and why are they so special

oh i can list a few reasons
how do i love thee, fair banana...

almost ripe, firm, smooth on the tongue,
a tinge of green, bittersweet

in smoothies, puddings and
in muffins and cakes and

quick breads (warm from the oven, sliced thick, slathered with fresh butter) too,
long, lean, and luscious, perfect

to eat raw, sliced or mashed,
to take along anywhere

already wrapped, delightful to peel
such a fine fruit...the banana

who wouldn’t love them

~kat
———————-
For NaPoWriMo2021 Challenge - Day 5: Find a poem, and then write a new poem that has the shape of the original, and in which every line starts with the first letter of the corresponding line in the original poem. I chose Rita Dove’s poem, “Flirtation” (see below).

Flirtation
BY RITA DOVE
After all, there’s no need
to say anything

at first. An orange, peeled
and quartered, flares

like a tulip on a wedgewood plate
Anything can happen.

Outside the sun
has rolled up her rugs

and night strewn salt
across the sky. My heart

is humming a tune
I haven’t heard in years!

Quiet’s cool flesh—
let’s sniff and eat it.

There are ways
to make of the moment

a topiary
so the pleasure’s in

walking through.

Rita Dove, “Flirtation” from Museum (Pittsburgh: Carnegie Mellon University Press, 1983). Copyright © 1983 by Rita Dove. Reprinted with the permission of the author.
Source: The Poetry Anthology 1912-2002 (Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2002)



NaPoWriMo 2021 – Day 4 – promises, promises

photo courtesy of @SpaceLiminalBot
promises, promises

they never returned, even with faces
masked, big screens, media rooms and sound
bars had saved them from having to cram
themselves into uncomfortable seats, elbow
to elbow with strangers, potentially
dangerous, infested with deadly viruses
or worse, brandishing assault rifles,
the noisy demons in their heads begging
to be slaughtered in the bloodletting
of innocents...no, they weren’t going back.
renovations could not disinfect the crazy,
protect them from the madness, for they
had grown comfortable in their shelters,
unwilling to risk contact with deplorables, cult
crazed zombies, veins boiling with infection and hate...
it’s been years now, since these doors
were shuttered, renovations teased on
a tattered marquee, the people had long grown
weary of promises, promises impossible to keep

~kat

NaPoWriMo2021 - Day 4 Challenge: Select a photograph from the perpetually disconcerting @SpaceLiminalBot, and write a poem inspired by one of these odd, in-transition spaces.

				

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