Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Night Before

The desert floor cracks and yearns
Somewhere in one grain of sand
The memory of what was lost stirs
And launches itself into the thirsty wind
Men shift in their mournful sleep,
Turn their dark, dusty faces
And breathe their brokenness out
To a bright and insistent star
While slumbering women cradle
Their arms to their aching breasts,
Feel the heavy night contract and push,
Sense the cresting of a tide
And the crowning of All That Is
Bear down on a pregnant sky

Monday, December 21, 2009

Cold Advent

Here's a repost of an Advent poem I wrote last year...

It was sufficient for us

To be the seekers.

A new stellar sign

Was all we needed

To spur our pilgrimage

Through barren wildness,

Blistering winds, stinging nights,

With only our parchments

And our intellect

To bolster our certainty.

We did not need

The heavens to burst open,

Like those simple shepherds

Who, half-asleep on the job,

Wiped the sand from their eyes

And found the glory of God

Ripping open the sky.

Who had angels’ wings

And harps of gold

And Be Not Afraids

And Good Tidings of Great Joy

And all the style and spectacle

Of heavenly holiness

In one giant pageant.

Of course they got up

And did as they were told.

But for months all we had

Was a pinhole in the sky,

A nick, a puncture

In the darkness.

And when we reached the Babe

In that tomblike stable

It was enough to see Him

To know we were right.

We left with our dignity in tact,

Requiring no reward,

No unearthly visions

Of celestial upheaval

To inspire us

Or cling to

Long after

When the sky was resealed

As tight as a drum.

Thursday, December 17, 2009


This week's readwritepoem prompt gave us a group of words from William Stafford's "An Oregon Message." I've included Stafford's words in bold...
She— pierced her navel
With your neglect
Stared at it til she saw stars
Cracked her shell
On your stiff backs
Then moved like meteors
Off your radar screen
And curled herself, safer,
Into an abiding moon

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Thursday, December 10, 2009

How to Get a Good Grade

This week's readwritepoem prompt asked us to write a sex poem--yikes! Inspired by the stacks of papers I will be grading over the next few days, I came up with this. I truly hope none of my students run across this poem. Double-yikes!
A strong, bold thesis
Is key, of course,
But more important
Is what you do with it

Don’t get me wrong
I like a man who
Can start out strong

But can you keep it up?
Can you substantiate
Your big generalization
With the details—
The little touches—
That matter?

In other words,
Do you know your audience?

Have you done your research?
Are you able to do more
Than just hit the same
Point three times
And get out?

Can you hit all of my
Rhetorical sweet spots?
I need more

Than the tired standard:
Your introduction
My body
Your conclusion

No, give me
Elegant syntax
And a willingness
To go beyond the obvious
Again and again
And again and again

Oh, give me
An unexpected finish
That leaves me
Completely satisfied
And eagerly anticipating
Your next piece
Of work.

Friday, December 4, 2009


Wow! It's been a while since I've written a poem. I've been away from the blogosphere and it feels nice to be back. This week's readwritepoem prompt gave us this lovely image by Nasos3. It would have never occurred to me to write a poem about a pomegranate, so I thank them for the inspiration!

I would rather look, thank you,
From out here
Than come in
And run my tongue against
You in my mind
Than allow my trembling
Teeth to break
Your skin
Or risk your good opinion
Of my manners
By dribbling your delicious
Juices down my chin