Monday, March 12, 2012

Monday Poetry Stretch - I Left My Head

I've been playing the absent-minded professor lately. I seem to be forgetting everything. In thinking about my seemingly constant state of confusion, I was reminded of this poem by Lilian Moore.
I Left My Head
by Lilian Moore
I left my head
Put it down for
a minute.
Under the
Read the poem in its entirety.
So, I'm thinking we need to write some forgetful poems this week. Will you join me? Leave me a note about your poem and I'll share the results later this week.


  1. Head Scratch

    That name, the one that was just
    squatting on my tongue,
    has migrated up into the nasal passages
    and been sneezed out my nose
    before I could say hello.
    That noun, the one that described—
    oh, I don’t know—something
    bigger than a breadbox
    though smaller than an elephant;
    that one has leaked out of my fingertips.
    And that verb, oh God, don’t let it be
    a running, jumping, leaping, loving
    kind of verb that's gone,
    but maybe a quieter one,
    contemplative, soft-bodied, nuanced.
    I think I can live without nuance.

    ©2012 by Jane Yolen, all rights reserved

    1. Oh Jane ~ this put such a wide smile on my face. Loved that name squatting on your tongue and migrating into, then sneezed out your nose. And hope you can relocate that verb.♥

  2. Wow, Jane. Perfect! (I've been forgetting words and names; it's horribly unnerving.)

  3. Thanks both. . .but where are YOUR poems?



  4. Can't Remember

    Can't remember your name,
    though your face looks familiar,
    like so many someones,
    and the graceful way you turn
    to hold out a plate of fruit
    reminds me of—I don't know.
    Who are you, and why
    are you here in my kitchen?
    Are you a book character,
    escaped from the pages?
    The daughter I didn't have
    come to life in a green dress?
    Or a ghost, left behind by
    the people who lived here
    before. The spinster aunt,
    Emily without the poems.
    Maybe you are the neighbor,
    come to welcome me
    to this afternoon. The sun makes
    your shadow seem friendly.
    I take an apple from the plate,
    hoping you are neither snake
    nor witch queen. Hoping
    you are someone real
    who will sit down and chat.

    --Kate Coombs, 2012
    all rights reserved

  5. Yum, Kate--needs rereading. Will come back again to it.

    A poem is a kind of one-way chat.


  6. Wonderful poems! I'll lighten the mood with my own attempt:

    The Lost Poem

    I wrote a poem
    But where’d it go?
    On my note pad? iPad?
    I don’t know.
    In Evernote?
    My Writing Spot?
    In the margin
    of the lesson taught
    last week (or was it
    the week before)
    the one with a
    tale of the lion’s roar.

    Uh oh!
    I think I know -
    but where, oh where did
    the envelope go?
    The one with the
    scribbles on the back,
    could it be hidden
    in that stack
    of creative clutter
    on my roll-top desk?
    Or under my napkin
    (how grotesque.)
    I’d better clean
    while I’m in this room.
    Now where, oh where
    Did I put the broom?
    And why was I in here
    Might as well take
    the trash away.

    The trash-man came
    later that day.
    About the poem,
    what can I say?

  7. This is a revision of a poem I wrote in response to Joyce’s “The Dead” and Yeats’ “Aedh Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven.”

    for Gabriel, who Wishes not to Remember

    who doesn’t love
    the falling snow—
    despite its limitations,
    its icy implications.
    like a swollen fruit—
    juicy, intoxicating—
    it silences the earth
    with piquant scent and velvet hand
    for one resplendent moment
    before melting into sodden, blackish pulp…
    like Gretta
    in the lamplight,
    remembering Michael Furey—
    he, a flame, a flicker
    in the half-forgotten night—
    she, a caramelizing peach—
    stinging, sweet, insouciant...
    like snowflakes falling, falling,
    in the evanescent mist
    as Christmas evening dwindles
    into caviar and wine—
    voices ringing, crystal clinking,
    laughter hollow, rippling,
    in fast, ferocious waves—
    inside—fires glowing,
    outside—whitely snowing,
    whitely, whitely snowing—
    all the while, Gabriel sadly knowing
    the love he thought pristine,
    a mere echo of that early, blighted snow.

    (c) julie krantz 2012, all rights reserved


    Where did my head go?
    I don't know ... oh
    there it is spinning against
    a cedar wood fence

    Now this vertigo
    is making sense.

    (c) Charles Waters 2012 all rights reserved.

  9. Thanks, Jane!

    Some really great metaphors, Julie! Also some difficult, yet musical language.

    All--these poems are making me feel better about my own bits and bouts of forgetfulness!