Monday, September 20, 2010

Monday Poetry Stretch - The Shape of Things

My son posed this question over the weekend. "Mom, if you could be any shape, what shape would you be?" While I began pondering my life as a circle or square, I wondered if perhaps a lemniscate or concave polygon might be more appropriate. I'm still thinking about my answer to this question while thinking about shapes in the world around me. Since I'm thinking about shapes, this seemed like a good time to write about them. This is NOT a concrete poem challenge, but rather a challenge to write about a shape and the things you see or the things it makes. However, if you feel the urge to make it concrete, by all means do!

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


  1. S

    Serpentine S
    goes this way and that
    Trail in the sand
    Tail of a cat

    Slithering S
    goes that way and this
    Starts every snake
    Ends every hiss

    ©Robyn Hood Black
    All rights reserved.

  2. Heart

    A real heart is rounder and softer.
    It doesn't taper to a point. It's a pump,
    like the old water pumps in farmyards
    before water flowed obediently through pipes.
    You had to work to get water. A heart
    works hard, pumping complications.

    Twelve-year-old girls sign their notes
    with hearts or dot their i's with them.
    These hearts are symmetrical, suggesting
    that love is an even match, and that red
    is a kind color. Instead, love is often
    uneven, shifting like sunsets
    pink to crimson. Sometimes gold,
    sometimes shaded by storms.
    Or love is permanently crooked.

    The heart is a lonely hunter, and two
    hearts beat as one and besides,
    my heart belongs to you, yeah baby,
    doo-wah, hey honey, yeah yeah—
    except when it's occupied
    pumping my blood. Which
    is pretty much constantly.

    Paper hearts lie flat and look good
    gussied up with glitter and lace.
    But they lack the intricacy
    of veins and chambers, lack
    the studied construction of a life
    spent with somebody else,
    the oxygen and cells of love
    circulating like words and smiles
    for miles and miles of minutes,
    for minutes and minutes of days.

    Cut out my heart and fold it in half.
    Keep it in your pocket, and I
    will keep yours. It will wrinkle
    and get run through the wash.
    It will lose its color. Its edges
    will blur. By the time it's done,
    it will look like the real thing.

    --Kate Coombs, 2010, all rights reserved

  3. Two haiku/senryu:

    the toddler purses
    his lips for a kiss...
    a perfect "o"

    summer discovery
    the stem of the spearmint
    a perfect square

  4. One more:

    mile-a-minute weed
    the perfect triangle
    of the devil's tail

  5. Thinking about the power of circles:

    By Steven Withrow

    Because the tide’s rising measure
    Drowns the sloping sand bar,
    Smoothing over flat beach stones,
    Flooding in its awful hour,
    I will not build my parapet,
    I will not build my tower.

    Copyright 2010 by Steven Withrow

  6. Hi Tricia ~ In answer to your son's question, I'd have to go with my favorite shape:


    I am heart

    oozing hugs
    spreading fondness

    gushing hope
    lending courage

    hoisting trust
    pumping honor

    breathing love
    pulsing kindness

    onto every passing soul.

    Carol Weis, 2010, all rights reserved

  7. Where’s the Point?
    By Liz Korba
    Straight line – who is forever,
    Who will never stop, be there -
    Wherever you are going,
    I must ask you, do you care?
    Do you ever seek an endpoint?
    Envy segments, even rays?
    Is life hard when it’s forever?
    Do you want to stop some days?