Friday, February 19, 2010

Poetry Stretch Results - Yearning

The challenge this week was to write a poem about yearning. Here are the results.
Sometimes There’s Something
by Kate Coombs of Book Aunt

Sometimes there’s something
I want so much I think
my hands will fly off,
fingers fluttering like birds,
to search in the east
and my feet will run fast
by themselves to the west
and my head will dive down
to the ground to roll south,
my eyes flashing to find it
while my body flounders
around, trying to go north,
every bit of me wanting,
wanting to know what it is
that I’m wanting so much.

--Kate Coombs, 2010

by Diane Mayr of Random Noodling

Reporter's microphone captures
background sounds of children
playing and unknown birds a-twitter.
Both groups unaware that they
put the war in context and make it
that much more unbelievable.

Round Frame
by Jane Yolen

My father's past lies hidden in an round frame.
The child there has plump cheeks,
uncolored eyes; a heavy Russian hat
perches awkwardly on his baby curls.
He stares out at me, through me, daring me
to take away his manufactured birth
in Connecticut. All those years Ykaterinslav
was lost to me, when I could have celebrated
Ukrainian winters, learned words of love,
fashion, passion, paternity,
how to season the fish with pepper, not sugar,
how to cut the farfl from flat sheets of dough.
All I had was New Haven.
Would I go there now, when Ykaterinislav
no longer exists; go and see
what Cossacks, Hitler, Chernobyl could not conquer,
the little shtetl my father alone destroyed
by never speaking its name.
No, I shall stay here, at home, instead,
gazing back at the boy who stares at me,
whisper to him, through him, dare him,
"Tell me the story of Ykaterinslav,"
till one day the picture itself speaks.

by Steven Withrow of Crackles of Speech

is to hold
the interminable
of time
over the bowl
of what's possible
and wait,
to savor,

Julie Larios of The Drift Record left this poem in the comments.

Each year I yearn
to write some fiction.
I think of dialogue
and diction,
and motivation,
rising action
point of view
(He and She
or Me and You?)
I do my best
with prose and plot
to do what poetry
does not:
Go on and on
and on and on
and on and on
and on and...yawn.
I toss my fiction
on the floor
and cuddle up
with Metaphor.

Still, She Cannot Write the Spring
by Doraine Bennett of Dori Reads

It was a cold Christmas
That chilled the roots and left no promise
Against the hard consonants of November.
A songless sparrow picks lichen
From trees standing bare in the wind
And listens with her for a touch
Of sunlight, for words to melt the icy ground,
To bear the burden of a crocus
Rising through frozen earth.

What I’d say to the mountains
by Harriet of spynotes

Your blue edges blur
Beyond the belltower
at the edge the town,
over the river
outside my vision, just,
but hovering over us
to catch us
in the event of a sudden loss of gravity.

Why are you not here
In this flattest, barest place
Where no blue exists,
Nor belltowers, nor even towns,
Only white fields
And more white fields
And more white fields
And tufts of dried grasses?

I know your contours,
Your smoky smells.
I could draw you, with my finger, in the air
I could erase the train that carried me away,
And leave me standing on a mountaintop
Looking at a mountaintop
While the valley between us
Hums with pleasure.

But my train rumbled out
And I wished I’d yelled and leapt.
You would have caught me, I think,
Picked me out of the air and held me close
So I’d never need leave you,
Never need remembrance or the writing of poetry
But only the living of it
Without this missing piece at the middle.

by Nicole Marie Schreiber

For passports and postcards,
countries with castles,
anywhere there’s tea brewing,
and tall ships at sea.

For sunrises on bridges
beaches with seashells,
anywhere with ruins,
and a tale not yet told.

For flowers and fairies,
dancing and music,
anywhere to read a book,
and a pillow to dream.

English Was Her Second Language
by Liz

In tears
Without words
She declared

My husband said.
Our government said
No. White-
My husband said.
We lost our jobs,
We lost our home,
We lost our servants,
All we had.

In external form –
Hand slapped
Against a classroom wall…

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. Reveries at Half a Century

    The rain has made a quiet place of winter. /
    Even the birds are waiting for the fog to clear and refusing to sing./
    Last night I searched a continent covered in snow/
    and dreamed of a large tureen
    steaming on a table with a servant standing
    beside it holding a ladel before an empty bowl.
    There were vast rooms
    and doorways and I was in the 19th century,
    in Russia in a room painted a deep green,
    so deep its hue was blackish.
    I had a quilt that color once,
    filled with down. The satin threads were sharp
    against my cheeks and not a high quality.
    I stayed in bed this morning,
    listening to the rain, wondering if i will love you again.
    wondering just how far off is the hill
    where I once sat, digging in the mud
    to make a little bowl,
    from the press of my thumb?

    Lost all line breaks!