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
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
Licking the batter bowl
mother didn’t know that it could kill us
sweet sugar egg flour
on our tongues
she didn’t know those little pet turtles
(the ones in their plastic island paradise)
with salmonella all over their tiny prickly feet
could kill us
mother didn’t know that our cotton pajamas
could kill us
when we fell into the fire
Dutch word verboten has such a nice sound to it. Verboten is German, verbose Afrikaans
(When life is a question does anybody have an answer?)
What am I going to do with my life? he asks
Can you really answer that? she responds
Why can’t I just get on with my life?
What kind of a life do you want to get on with?
Can we take this in another direction?
What direction do you want to go?
Can I consider space?
Is space what you want to do with your life?
Can I be buried in space?
To be jettisoned into the universe?
Do you want your body to expand twice its size?
That’s what would happen?
Can you see yourself frozen in space for millions of years?
What if I’m close to a star?
Do you want to burn to a crisp?
Why are you asking all these questions?
Do you really want an answer?
NaPoWriMo Day 28 prompt to write a poem of questions.
To My Dear Robinson Jeffers,
When the fog rolls and the horn sounds
I will think of the stones you carried
up the hill on Carmel Point
to set a foundation for Tor House
You kept going higher and higher
until you met the hawk
the world expanding around you
your small window with a view of the Pacific
I want life and death to come as naturally
I want to thank you for placing stone
upon stone in such a way it formed
narrow pathway to the highest point
Yes, my dear,
“Against the outcrop boulders of a
We built our house when I and my
love were young.
Here long ago . . .
. . . all that we saw or heard
was beautiful.” Robinson Jeffers
NaPoWriMo prompt on letter to a favorite historical figure and response by that person. One of my favorite poets. I visited his house and Tor House in Carmel one day while road tripping. Original take on this experience written in 2016.
Although I am gone I see you there
so nice how you gathered flowers while I
(below in my coffin)
smiled the mortician’s smile
and watched as each of you
placed a rose upon the lid
before I was lowered into the earth
Now I would rather be placed
in a tree pod
feeding a fig tree
(remember the one
on the south side of the house)
you can eat my figs
There is sorrow in that
I would have to die twice
NaPoWriMo Day 8 — writing from the POV of a dead person. Photo of an ancient burial urn taken at Muséo Archeologico Regionale Paolo Orsi in Syracuse, Sicily
Tramway granite from near Aioi Bridge
target of first atomic bomb
on Hiroshima City
6 August 1945 8:15am
odor of charred meat or burning hair
I took note of this at the Vatican Museum
A Stone for Peace
displayed on the wall
carved into stone is Kannon
Goddess of Mercy
who prays for eternal peace
dVerse prompt on war— in 1991, 188 slabs were individually hand carved to be distributed by Stone for Peace Association of Hiroshima.
“The clear vowels rise like balloons.” Sylvia Plath
Deeper are the diphthongs
Neither the o or the u can rise
In their own sound
dVerse prompt taking the end of a poem (in this case Plath’s last line of her poem Morning Song) and using it to make a beginning. My mind went to diphthongs and how the vowels no longer make their own sound. Sylvia Plath was such a great writer but so bound. This poem makes me want to cry.
pigeon walks under tire
all those radiant feathers
will not fly again
dVerse prompt to write a jisei (death poem) I knew the day my daughter ran over a pigeon it would someday become a poem.
Quick the seasons were
in the time of pandemic
under a clear sky
caught up in futures
if we live or die here— who cares
know this for all days
that are shorter now
with the cold of winter coming
I want my blanket
dVerse quadrille prompt on the word blanket
It was the first death I could remember—-my father’s father, my grandfather. It came as a surprise, an aneurysm, as the family sped on the highway trying to get to the hospital. We were too late. I never saw the body.
How could I make sense of death at such a young age?
When we returned home, I picked the butterflies off of the grill of the car. These were dead, their soft bodies smashed, the wings intact. I took those colorful wings to the garden across the street. I sat under the overgrown asparagus in the corner of Laird’s garden and buried the butterflies one by one.
life is a flicker
mind what is more beautiful
pathway to the rest
dVerse prompt on how nature plays into our lives. This is a haibun about a death and how nature played a role in how I dealt with that death. I was six years old and loved butterflies.