On the Death of Robert Bly

I wanted him to live to be one hundred even though his readings had stopped years ago. Who am I to judge how long a man should live? Or how his living, his writing, his teaching helped my life. I was just a woman in his workshop at Centrum learning as much as I could.

He would take his class on writing walks. One day on a beach hike, we stood together and watched a fish die in the sand. Another day, we sat with an old stump that had once held up something magnificent. We translated Francis Ponge, “the poet of things”, and looked deeply into an orange.

seasons come and go

left alone to find my way

sad hearing the rain

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dVerse prompt to write a haibun on something or someone to be thankful for

On the Death of Robert Bly

Asking

“What are the roots that clutch, what branches grow out of this stony rubbish?”

(Richard always asked questions. Even when he was giving an answer, he would speak the answer in the form of a question. Sometimes that made life miserable and misunderstood. Other times it brought clarity and enlightenment.)

“Was it rhubarb?”

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dVerse prompt using the line from The Wasteland by T S Eliot

Asking

More Than I Know

I

Woke this morning

cloudy with chance of rain

brown of death hanging

from trees

waiting to fall

II

Inside where it is warm

oven holds greater heat

melts the butter

sugar and flour and eggs

holds the cookie together

III

A child pets the dog

soft fur under her hand

rising and falling with breath

curious to greet

this nonhuman being

IV

Preparing for winter

I mend the armscye

thread moves through fabric

brings together these parts

making it whole again

V

There is much more to life

than what I know—

enter from the inside out

breathe deeper

rejoice

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dVerse prompt on cadralor— five part poem each part can stand alone. Parts seemingly unrelated. Fifth part brings wholeness.

More Than I Know

A Place in the Sun

Houses for sale in the Algarve

follow the cobblestone to the yellow one

imagine myself speaking Portuguese

eu escrevo em poesia

nadar no Mediterrâneo

cultivar vegetais

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dVerse prompt concerning an imagined house — I’ll take one in the Algarve of Portugal. Translation:

I write in poetry/ swim in the Mediterranean/grow vegetables

A Place in the Sun

Past Present and Future

I stand

I stood

I am standing

I have stood

I will stand

I will have stood

I was standing

I had stood

I will be standing

I have been standing

I had been standing

I will have been standing

Stand

Let’s stand

Stood

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dVerse prompt to write a quadrille with the word stand. Thus, here is a found poem from research on trying to understand the word stand and not to be misunderstood.

Past Present and Future

Condor

Standing on Navajo Bridge

I see two condors

on the cliff face they look small

great wings tucked and resting

Colorado River moves below

takes rafters through the Grand Canyon

hoping to see a condor

maybe a peregrine falcon

Our guide tells of the time

high on the rock ledge

temperatures so hot

fledglings died in their nest

Still I want to see a condor take flight

I want to watch it soar

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Nesting condors have been observed at Zion National Park and I am hoping that global warming doesn’t push them out of their nests too early. https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-9814501/amp/Two-critically-endangered-California-condors-spotted-near-Zion-National-Park.html

Condor

Oyster Knife

The oyster knife fit perfectly in her hand, its old wooden handle smooth and darkened with a century of use; how it pried open the barnacled shell (shell after shell) until there was a pile resting at her feet and the soft flesh of the oysters filled a bowl, their delicate lace edges curling outward away from the green sack of their being. She slipped one into her mouth— oysters on the half shell always her favorite. Always a top shell and a bottom shell. Never a pearl. Someday, she said to herself— someday she will find a pearl, but until then she promised herself, she would keep on eating oysters.

When the blade goes dull, I will think of Zora Neale Hurston who wrote

“No, I do not weep at the world — I am too busy sharpening my oyster knife.”

Sharpen your knife.

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dVerse prompt to write prosey using the words of Zora Neale Hurston from 1928 in World Tomorrow —How It Feels to be Colored Me.

Also using Ursula K. Le Guin’s Steering the Craft Exercise 3, using long and short sentences.

Real old oyster knife pictured found at a thrift shop San Juan Island.

Oyster Knife

Walking My Dog

Walking my dog into the labyrinth

he has no sense of following the path

(marked with stone and showing the way)

he prefers random ins and outs

sniffs along breaking the barriers

(set by man to keep us in line)

smudge on his nose

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dVerse prompt to write a quadrille and use the word smudge. I actually know a dog named Smudge but this is not about him. This is about my dog who always has his nose in just about everything.

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Walking My Dog