Monday, December 28, 2009

Monday Poetry Stretch - Endings and Beginnings

With the new year approaching, I'm thinking of what will be left behind in 2009, as well as the fresh start offered by 2010. It seems particularly appropriate then to focus on endings and/or beginnings for our stretch.

Leave me a note about your poem and I'll post the results here later this week.


  1. Left Behind: 2009

    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.

    c2009 by Jane Yolen,

  2. A Song for New Year's Eve

    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

  3. 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.

    c2009 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.

    c2009 by K. Thomas Slesarik


    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.


  5. I am LOVING these poems. Thanks.


  6. I also am enjoying these poems as they make me want to try writing a free verse poem. Thanks

  7. A New Year Begins

    Like a field of fresh fallen snow
    a new year sparkles
    with possibility

    unblemished, unspoiled, unbroken—
    a magical moment
    gone too soon.

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


    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...**

    (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

  9. (Hope the format holds! and Happy New Year, everyone!



    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.

  10. Forgot to say wow! nice work this week! Thanks, as usual, Tricia.

  11. Been meaning to say, I'm glad you've joined in, Steven--I really like your poems.

    And Julie, nice line about the "familiar adjectives and prepositions."

    Jane, I'm still trying to figure out how to leave my lust for chocolate behind!

  12. Thank you Tricia! And Happy New Year to all the wonderful poets who gather here.


    A new year
    with arms
    inviting me
    its virgin

    © Carol Weis