OK… this is my final final poem of the year. I forgot I wrote it. It is in the Diamante style. I encountered this form a few years ago, tried it once, but then promptly forgot it. I became reacquainted with it when I read a fellow writer over at Tao Talk, so I tried it again.
Happy New Year, everyone. Here’s hoping for more empathy and understanding in 2020.
What if our cleaner lines were gobbled-up by my pen?
What if I sketched our imperfect borders into nothing?
What if I created perfection; a blank slate?
What if I swallowed the wrong words instead?
What if I said the right thing and you stayed?
My final poem of the year, written for the final Real Toads prompt ever: PLAY IT AGAIN! with REAL TOADS, hosted by Kerry O’Connor. I chose to write to Kerry’s LET’S FIND OUR POETIC VOICE prompt and then – as a tip of the hat – to erase, clean, or “un-write my voice”, as many of the wonderful prompts here directly contributed to my poetic voice growing and stretching in ways I never imagined possible.
Thank you to everyone at Real Toads – both the hosts and the contributors – for all of your efforts, encouragement, and support. I know this isn’t goodbye, so I’ll see you all out there next year.
Approaching winter solstice,
dawn is a selfish lover
refusing to yield our time –
stubborn purple shawl – to Sol’s
feeble glare; nature is still,
unsure of beginning as
humanity’s headlamps speed
through, splitting tapestry in
two in the name of progress,
harsh budgetary deadlines,
missing blissful, seemingly
fickle metamorphic dance
of dew into mist into
diamond dust. The disturbance
is a series of ripples;
dawn creeps along on her own
terms, and I love her all the
more for it. I wait with her.
Some speed off into the day,
fixated on what comes next.
Others linger in the night,
trapped by fate no longer seen.
Stay here with us for a while.
Let your eyes adjust to her.
See how her shadow shimmers?
Unhurried, yet still fleeting.
Past problems hold no power.
Next year’s light won’t reach us yet,
but today’s sunrise soon will.
I wish you’d too embrace her,
in her splendid stubbornness.
Her wonders are apparent.
You need only to wait here,
and see her stir for yourself.
After erasure, starting anew,
I’d begin with you in permanent ink,
and perhaps myself next in shading-pencil,
or even a charcoal, perhaps not
quite that dark or indelible.
I don’t know
where I’m supposed to be,
but it never really matters
as long as you’re here
and not necessarily here with me,
on this massive rock,
daring to exist without meaning,
exchanging meaningful vibrations,
we’d bubble, churn,
and ooze into anvil-clouds,
raining grey slivers onto sunsets.
Because I love you,
and that is true and fine
and completely permissible
even without my understanding;
I say the words, and I feel it,
even as I don’t know exactly
what it means; I mean I chose it,
but even had I not,
I’d have it all the same,
splitting my breastplate,
spitting into my denying eye
as the heart rushes to keep pace
with the words that won’t come,
claims that get caught out-of-sync
like an 80’s high-hat sharp-hit
where a 90’s boom-bap snare-kick
should land as planned.
Nothing went as planned;
I crave order and there is none
and that is perfectly fine
except when it isn’t;
I desire structure and superstructure
even as I chafe at the yoke
holding us together; holding us apart;
I’d shatter the firmament
for your fleeting smile;
with a snap of my fingers,
I’d snuff-out the sun
if it meant that my final moments
were sitting on a rapidly cooling
solitary park bench
next to you,
hips scarcely touching,
in tranquil silence.
I’d ruin the image,
saving your sketched outline;
my greatest work.
How can I possibly remake this world,
the next, or any other?
My own name,
now and beyond,
lacks structure or meaning
unless you write its narrative
with hands that shape its very context,
or unless you call upon it,
breathing its purpose
with your own lips;
which isn’t the same as saying
without you in my life, in some way,
I am nothing,
but it’s oddly similar to
The Commodores without Lionel Richie
in that I struggle to find the point.
But what I do know is this;
I’d begin with you
in permanent ink.
“True intimacy is a state in which nothing exists between two people; no space, no inhibitions and no lies.” – Ranata Suzuki
Have you ever had pure intimacy?
Not to be confused with lingering,
humid summer passion,
it is timid, pallid winter sun
kissing ice crystals with fleeting beauty,
arriving at low angles on high latitudes,
vulnerable, rarely intense enough
to accompany morning tea,
breaking fast after breakfast as lovers
franticly throw open south-facing curtains
capturing as much tenuous warmth
as time and nature allows.
Ever leaned into a winter sunset?
It ignites frosty edges of clouds,
embracing with fiery shadows,
but then it is barely there,
gone in a ghostly cirrus whisper,
leaving Mercury in retrograde as lovers
shrouded in twilight wonder
if it ever existed at all.
“But I couldn’t control my restlessness, an eagerness for violation was growing in me, I wanted to break the rules, as the entire world seemed to be breaking the rules.”
– Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay, a novel by Elena Ferrante
We should forget.
It’s better this way.
I won’t divine
from rat-nested bedsheets,
We have fun.
Yeah we did.
No love misplaced,
like spilled spirits
Yet I return,
to the mistake
we never made.
Inspired by Real Toads Words To Live By, hosted for the final time by Rommy. We were asked to reflect on a word or quote that means something special to us.
Ironically, as someone who loves words, I drew a blank here. Ultimately, I settled on a quote from a book I’m currently reading (Book three of a four-book series by Elena Ferrante, collectively titled Neapolitan Novels.)