Friday, January 15, 2010

Poetry Stretch Results - Firsts

The challenge this week was to write a poem about a first. Here are the results.
by Jane Yolen

My first kiss was a revelation,
not because it was deep, soulful,
full of tongue,
but rather hesitant
or perhaps respectful,
hard to know at the moment
of such new, sweet heat
or even years later, trying to recall.
A quick peck on the lips,
a butterfly not a wasp,
and yet I was stung
there under the Vermont trees.
That boy, I think his name was Paul.
The trees, I think they might have been birches.
The place, by the main house at summer camp.
I remember that name at least:
or Indian Brook,
now Farm & Wilderness,
because Quakers are wary of misnomers.
But names fall away fifty-five years later
and only that first young kiss,
Whether Paul or the birches do as well,
well, it little matters
when the matter is not reality
but memory.

©2010 Jane Yolen All Rights Reserved

My First Poem this Week
by Ken Slesarik

Can you fix this poem?
For Jane Yolen I am not.
It’s not a sonnet or an ode
with a complicated plot.
It’s closer to a limerick,
a basic, simple jaunt.
The best parts of my poem
are the paper and the font.
The meter it is woeful.
The cadence clearly weak.
My grammar needs some work
so go on and take a peek.
Please do your best to fix this.
I’m certain you won’t fail.
And if you know a publisher
this poem, it’s for sale.

©2010 by K. Thomas Slesarik

First Time Roasting a Turkey
by Diane Mayr of Random Noodling

Come to think of it
I'm now sixty and I
have yet to roast a turkey,
or even to cook a roast
beef. I've got endless
"firsts" possibilities--
making the aforementioned
roasts, knitting--anything,
writing a sonnet, welcoming
a grandchild, traveling
west of Pennsylvania,
getting a pedicure, taking
tap dance lessons, going
up in a hot air balloon,
seeing a Broadway musical--
on Broadway, winning a Newbury
(actually any award would do),
growing clematis, wearing
high heels (nah, I'll never
do that), running a mile,
eating a hot fudge sundae
with three scoops of ice
cream, nuts, a cherry, and
real whipped cream without
feeling guilty. Hey, I'm
sixty--that doesn't make
me old--only I can do that.

for Lesley
by Steven Withrow of Crackles of Speech

February night, stuck inside
a stuffy, dim-lit dorm room,
people talking nonsense.

I say to no one, anyone,
"I'm going for a walk,"
hoping it won't draw a crowd.

I've got your attention.
You ask, "Can I come too?"
We grab our warm coats

slip out the door to the hall.
Multiple musics surround us:
Frankie Valli's "Oh, What a Night"

mixes with Pearl Jam's "Black."
The corridor reeks of popcorn.
Outside, cold air blows

swirls of snow on the road
that goes from Cedar Hall
up toward the frog pond

by the auditorium.
It's well below freezing --
maybe fifteen degrees --

but I don't notice.
In fact, I'm flushed in the face.
We're both eighteen.

The heat between us
is palpable,
like a delicate shape

of glass in soul-space.
I start to speak, stop,
awake to something new

in your sidelong smile,
a kiss of dark, dark eyes,
an inner shift I cannot name

and know how loved
I am in love, how we'll never
be separate, or the same.

Shirley Klock shared this modified tanka.

Creek gurgles, out there.
Trout sizzles, in here.
My first time to crunch down whole,
Head-first, a bony small fry,
While outside, fish rise to feed.

Liz left this poem in the comments.

The End

First Child
How I waited
Prayed and yearned
For you
To be
To see
The you
Of you
Alone – with a small part of me
And he – the one I love the most
(He waited
Wanted too)
But you
Of all we thought should be
Will never be
No part of him
No part of me
No dream
No hope
No faith not dark
No first born
Beloved one…

Greg K. of GottaBook shares a poem entitled Getting Ready.

First Sentence
by Kate Coombs of Book Aunt

It was a dark and—
no. She ran, shrieking—
no. The breath of dawn,
the pink breath of dawn?
No. No. I couldn't believe—
If an octopus would only—
maybe. Tilly had flown
just once. Not bad. But if—
okay. His fangs dripped—
no. Absolutely NO vampires!
The hydrocephalic earwig—
yuck. Or maybe...
I wanted to tell a story.
But nothing worked.

That works.

--Kate Coombs, 2010

I wonder if anyone had a first love like mine?
by Carol Weis

it was his lack of
respect for
that I fell for
his (parentheses)
out of nowhere
his words
swaggering down
the lines
luring me in
with mouth
my blossoming body
could only dream of
ee(first love)

© Carol Weis

by Barbara Turner of Afternoons With Grammy

a month or more
in chysalis,
limbs sore
and stiff at this
moment of awakening.

surging wings
antennae strings
pop, unflex.
A butterfly’s first breath.

Susan Taylor Brown shares a poem entitled First Kiss.

Taking the Years Away
by Rachel Green

i gave you a piece of my mind
and you took it away; kept it with
my heart (which i gave you the day we met)
in an old Liquorice Allsorts tin
you bought at an antiques fair.
i lost my mind when you left
but you stayed in touch
and over the years came to love me
like a well-remembered aunt
and you gave me back that first piece,
dried and withered as it was.
i remembered our youth
and the old quarry where we fell in love
over a fossilised snail shell.

Jone of DeoWriter shares two poems about firsts.
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. Thank you for making us stretch once again. These are all lovely. Such diffeent takes on the prompt.