Thursday, December 31, 2009

Poetry Stretch Results - Endings and Beginnings

The challenge this week was to write a poem about a beginning, and ending, or both. Here are the results.
Left Behind: 2009
by Jane Yolen

Thirty-six pounds,
a lust for chocolate,
a heavy pocketbook,
five pairs of size 16 pants,
several boxes of books
I will never read again
or use for research,
the word awesome,
anger at friends,
boots that are pointed
and not water-tight,
an ice cream maker
with missing parts,
a jealous nature,
fifteen glass vases from the florist
that held funeral flowers
from almost four years ago,
the man who stuck his tongue
down my throat on our only date.

© 2009 by Jane Yolen, all rights reserved

A Song for New Year's Eve
by Kate Coombs of Book Aunt

1. Endings

Tail of a horse, flapping
like a slow flag. Last page
of a book, its surge of words
vanished. His back as he walks
away, smaller and smaller.
Song's final note, hovering
like a dragonfly, then suddenly
gone. Sunset kiss at the end
of a movie. December 31st,
dry as a spent Christmas tree,
fallen needles brushed away
by the broom of the wind.

2. Beginnings

Horse's face, large eyes asking
a question. First sentence
of a book, tugging you into
the story with both hands.
Familiar striding shape
of a friend coming closer,
smile growing. First note
of a song, rising like a sun.
Establishing shot: a town
one morning, a house, a porch,
an opening door. January 1st,
fresh and white as new snow.

--Kate Coombs (Book Aunt), 2009

Birth (Beginnings)
by K. Thomas Slesarik

Aww diaper, bib, and baby bottle,
a newborn girl to hold and coddle.
Trouble comes when they start to toddle;
at first a little, then a lot’ll.

© 2009 by K. Thomas Slesarik

Re-tirement (Endings)
by K. Thomas Slesarik

Grandpa is re-tired.
It’s really kind of sad.
I’ve been tired once
but twice is really bad.
He must be exhausted
to be tired and re-tired.
It happened once to grandma
and soon after she expired.

© 2009 by K. Thomas Slesarik

by Diane Mayr of Random Noodling

Someday, my friend, you will find yourself smack
dab in the middle of a bow. You'll be encircled by
the light. Embraced by it. Move, and you'll still be
centermost. You are the proverbial right person
in the right place at the right time--rain before you,
sun behind you. The angle is right. The reflection
is right. The rainbow both begins and ends with you.


Linda of Write Time shares a poem entitled A New Year Begins.

**on the beginning of winter...**

by Steven Withrow of Crackles of Speech

Shoveling snow at the curb, I
trade heaven for earth weight—
the high convergence
of stratocumulus
that ribs the sky like a scroll
is lost to digging and lifting;
it is only later, at my desk,
under an easeful lamp,
that I climb to reach winter’s roof.

Three steps up a ladder now, I
chip spikes of ice from frosted
gutters, drop each white knife
into a mogul of snowdrift
that melts in the drip
from my boots; it is only
later, awake in the dark,
I feel how cold this ground
grows without its fresh cover
of cloud.

**and on the beginning of a life...**

by Steven Withrow of Crackles of Speech
(for Lesley, weeks before; with a nod to Mark Strand)

Even at night, in voiceless sleep,
a trust, like tug of earth to moon,
converses between us in bonds of gravitation,
held weightless in the weight of kept promises,
pulled into greater orbit by that third body,
yet eclipsed by your own, but even now arranging
the fine tilt and flat spin of its arrival flight path,
the coming of its love, the coming of light.

©2009 by Steven Withrow

by Julie Larios of The Drift Record

She spent last year's ending
in a muddle, meaning to begin again,
but began mid-way unraveling,
began traveling to foreign places
but found the language – well - foreign,
the pacing off, the setting wrong, soon longed
for home's familiar adjectives and prepositions,
its overstuffed with nothing-new old chair.

Now home, the New Year almost knocking,
she hears the kettle whistle, hears
the front door’s been-there done-that sigh
hears the toast pop up, sits down each night
for supper, gets up later every morning
and begins again - or tries - to figure out the ending.

by Carol Weis

A new year
with arms
inviting me
its virgin

© Carol Weis

Andi of a wrung sponge shares a poem entitled A New Year.
My mother has been visiting for the last few weeks. This poem was inspired by her.
The ring she wears has
no beginning
no end
unlike the marriage it signified
rock solid for more than
fifty years
until he was taken from her

Now she marks the new year
a new beginning
on this road alone
caught in memories of the past
and an end that came
too soon
It's not too late if you still want to play. Leave me a note about your poem and I'll add it to the list.

1 comment:

  1. This was a really great stretch. I had to really think about how I wanted to present what I lost in 2009 (hysterectomy) and what I am reaching for/starting in 2010. My poem is here.