For Terry

•July 27, 2011 • 4 Comments

This month The High Calling and Tweet Speak have collaborated on a prompt to bring a study of conversations to the awareness of writers and photographers. As an additional challenge, Tweet Speak poets have been writing some gorgeous sestinas about everything from avoirdupois (yes) tea caddies to the aforementioned conversations with melancholic husbands and a “dear unreasonable poet.”  

I’ve written a couple of sestinas. I love the way end words drip through the subconscious like a rain that seems random but is, in the end, specifically poured.

Today my conversation poem is not a sestina. Obviously. 

For Terry

The big white dog smelling of skunk greeted me and the screen door stuck, gave way, the preacher sat on the couch with some others who rose when I entered to say they were leaving but not without a prayer, the kind where we all hold hands and someone declares a lot, “dear lord.”

The lazy-boy was full now of Sue and Downer, the small dog, and Sue passing the phone to Jack, and Sue telling the story of how he died, forgetting the names of days but recalling his needs by the hour, the coffee ground vomit, the filling of containers, the back pain, and aspiration.

Ana softly told the science of his death while Jack paced in the kitchen on the phone with a cousin who could help by talking so he did. Sue mentioned that she would tell Ana’s story to Terry, because surely he would be home soon; he had been coming home for 42 years.

Conversations when fathers die usually involve pets, specifically the cat, whose nerve problem recently received little attention, and also nieces, the last athletic-tape-wrapped wiffle ball he ever pitched, thirty photos for the slide show, and when children stick their hands in pies.

And conversations like these may last years or end with monumental truths: Downer enjoys wontons.  Sue’s new rock from Africa is safe in a pill bottle. Terry could tease us all to solid laughter.  Love and death come sometimes like goats in trees or with the humpback timing of minks.


I thought I would start a blog

•June 24, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Jane picked up a phrase from kindergarten: I’m ready to participate now.  And so am I. Motivated strongly by the idea of sharing and growing inspiration, and also by the idea that perhaps if I practice sharing my work I won’t feel paralyzed by it, I’m creating this blog to write in the world. I hope to use it as a tool to connect with existing poetry communities, and I hope to grow one here too. Some days I’ll write poems. Some days I’ll write prompts and hope you’ll share your words with me.

Hot dog, friends, we’re all blogging.


May you be happy
May you be well
May you be peaceful
May you know joy
May you also know
Your offering
Blesses and multiplies
All that you give,
All that you receive,
And all that you are.

-Metta I saw once on a green box.