Sunday, July 15, 2007

Dark Answers to Cynthia's Meme Challenge

Cynthia tagged me a while back with a meme where you are to list five things about yourself. I generally have trouble doing these things so I put the task on the back burner.

I was thinking about the challenge yesterday and I thought I would offer her more personalized answers to the meme. I usually just offer generic quirky things when I do one of these memes, but I have about run out of generic quirky things to confess about myself! Cynthia knows I am a poetical type person, she might even go so far as to call me a poet, so I thought I would share a few of my poems with her.

For the rest of you: The poems might not be what you would expect from me, judging from my regular blog posts. I have written some nice and tender poems that are not so intense, and I have posted a few of those on the blog, but these are the ones I chose to share with Cynthia, for whatever reason. I do not mean to offend anyone with these things. And not everybody enjoys poetry so I will not be offended if you do not read further.

I don't know why the title to this first poem is not showing up. I see it in my draft, but not in the preview. It's called "Rare Bird", in case it does not show up. And if the formatting looks wonky, I will pull this post and probably take it as a sign that I should not have posted these poems! Also, Blogger is acting just a little crazy these days. What is up with that?)

Rare Bird

A harmless bird preens
cock-like outside our window.
Pleased with what he sees

reflected in the
mirrored windows of the store.
Self-absorbed, he scares

timid customers.
A nuisance -- bad for business
so I tap firmly.

Unseen, from inside.
Tap, tap
. The noise startles him
and he runs away

skittering. We laugh
at the bird with broken wings.
His mother named him

Mark. The story goes:
someone slipped him a mickey
and bad acid fried

his tender young mind.
Now he smokes used cigarettes
picked up from the ground.

A wounded bird preens
cock-like outside our window

pleased with what he sees.


I'll rent a room near the gambling boats and play
the slots one last time before retiring to my suite.
I'll take a long soak in the whirlpool and linger
till I am wrinkled and shriveled as my grandmother,
whose stocky build I now possess.

And then-- then I will eat myself stupid,
munching peanut M&Ms while I compose letters:
Having a great time, glad you aren't hear.
To my therapist, who wants to hear me say, I did it,
I'll leave a voice mail: Guess what, I just did it.

I am a woman of action. I will lie in repose
and ponder those who will cry, and I will smell
the flowers – yellow tea roses, How thoughtful –

look over there I didn’t think he’d come.
What kind words they all have to say.

In the morning when I wake, I’ll flush the pills
I neglected to swallow (no gun or messy guts for me).

I’ll go home again and wash the dishes.

Room With A View

On the thirty-first floor of a beachside hotel.
a woman stands with her husband. Rain
has held them captive for three days
and tomorrow they go home.

As far as she can see, there is only grey gulf,
swallowing a dull horizon. She shivers
and he drapes her bare shoulders
with cashmere. Still the chill persists.

Terrazzo tiles are so slick in the rain
and the balcony railings are entirely too low for a tall man
reaching over to grasp a sweater flung by the wind
from the shoulders of a cold woman.

There are so many fish out there. Why
have tuna everyday?
As he falls, she gathers
her breath and prepares to scream.
Clutching cashmere to her breast,

warmth arrives.

Shelling Peas On The Porch At Dusk

Dusky dark, being neither day nor night,
disturbs the child. The breeze holds
its breath and waits for dark to fall,
smothering them in pitch. The grown-ups
shell their peas with quiet abandon.

The symphony of crickets magnifies.
No other noise, save soft voices
of the old folks, telling stories of times passed
and perhaps, the screaming woman
sound of a peacock deep in the woods.

The woman swings on an empty porch
and remembers the little girl who shelled
her peas and listened to these simple sounds.

In the distance a lone coyote wails.


Okay, so that is four poems (dark poems--sorry). I have had problems in the past with depression and one of the things that seems to help me is to dig into the darkness, sometimes in creative ways. The two "true" poems in this group are the ones about Mark and the woman on the porch. Dusk does bother me.

Here is one other thing about me—I collect quotes. I have nearly 50 pages saved in a Word document containing nothing but quotes. Some of those quotes are from my blog readings.

I did this earlier today, though I am not entirely satisfied with it. I snagged this anonymous quote on Real LIve Preacher's blog. That's how I came across your blog. I don't know why, but when I remembered that I needed to answer your meme, this quote was one of the first things that came to me. "turn the knob". How often do we forget that tiny little step?? (As always, you can click on the picture to make it bigger (huge, probably. I always forget to make my stuff smaller for the web).


  1. Well shucks, it all looks okay, so I guess you will be subjected to my darker poetry! I also forgot to say that sometimes I imagine Cynthia wrote that quote in the Covenant prayer journal book. (As I remember the story, they had a journal where church members could write down thoughts or prayers or words of encouragement. I thought that was the coolest idea.)

  2. Your poems are evocative and well-written. You should post more; art should be shared.

    Thanks for taking the risk...

  3. Oh annie...they leave me hurting and thinking. I have the same feels and that is where the hurt comes in.


    And I love the last that you did. Wonderful.

  4. Annie, Annie, Anniiiiee!!! These are fantastic poems! I sat transfixed and read each one two or three times ... especially the one about Mark. And the visions of cashmere sweaters in the wind ... you are really quite the writer! Please post more!

    And the last bit was also just wonderful. You are the mistress when it comes to combining words and images.

  5. These are so vivid! (I love he one about Mark, too. And the woman who used to be on the balcony.) Thank you for posting these. And the last quote/image is incredible!!!!

  6. Beth Thank you. These were hard to share since they are a departure from my normal "let's find the bright side" attitude!

    Mindy I guess hurting is inevitable in life. I am generally always amazed at what feelings just a few words can stir up in people.

    Linda Thank you! I still see poor Mark wandering the streets near where I used to work. I don't know how he supports himself but he has lived in that area for several years.

    Rach Thanks. I figured you'd like the dark stuff!

  7. This is the absolute best!! I forget who said something about we're all cracked and that's how the light gets in. So appropriate for my life...
    p.s. google decided to let me sign in...

  8. Ayekah Thanks. It's good to see you back here!

  9. Now I am trying this again. I swear I commented on this and then left a note at a more recent one to come here.

    These are great! Great! and I know great. The one reminds me that I saw a bird with a broken wing in the parking lot of the bank the other day. I drove slowly to not hit him. He kept trying, trying to fly. He reminded me, at the time, of people who are like that. Seems you thought about that, too.

    And it was me with the quote.


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