Friday, May 01, 2015

The Last One for Poetry Month….NaPoWriMo #38 & #39

Well it was April 30th when I wrote the first one, but in a flash I had to write the second one and I’ll be posting now just after midnight….oh well. It was a good month! Here is a super simple poem to end on and then one of my signature rambles in the moment. The month always goes so fast chronicling it this way in poetry. I write a lot even when it isn’t April, I just don’t post them all.
We went to the UW Planetarium tonight for a presentation on the stars and planets. It was nice as it was a special night where families with autistic children could come in for free and hear this presentation and it was supported by the Autism Center there. So it was noisy and had a lot more little ones than I expected, but most of the kiddos were into it and that was fun to see.
I wish I’d had paper with me as I was thinking of doing a poem on the planets, but it had melted away by the time I arrived at home. Instead, I just wrote what I see at night here on a really great star night and then a bit of observation during our "Night Event Under the Stars".

Seeing Stars

When I look into the night sky
I see slurry of cumulus
Blurring out the moon
And all that might be hidden there
I stare intently searching the heavens
For a light or glimmer of life forms
That could be starring back at me
There is a small break
And as one that spake
A new creature tongue
There tenderly hung
Is one tiny particle of light
Shining so bright
Against the odds
Of obscuring obsoleteness
In it I pin my wish
Of another point of light
Laser beaming through the blackness
And coming up for air
That I might too
It happens like the dawn
Slowly the clouds pull
Away the magic curtain
Revealing a most grand treasure
Spread as King Midas might do
Extravagantly scattered pearls
Lining a vast ocean floor
I swim in the richness
Filling up my soul
Pouring over them
From my small spot
But feeling so gigantic
With the universe
And all the galaxies
Mapped out before me

It Happens Under His Stars

Dark eyes and tiny face
Looking up into a projection of space
You cry when they move
And when it stops, you are mesmerized
My son is leaning on me
Hearing the noise of little babies and toddler screeches
He digs into my shoulder
Squeezing my hand
Straining to hear what
Is being presented about Jupiter
I stroke his smooth, soft locks
Hoping my heartbeat will drown out
The sea of tension rising in his body
As the running little boy and sobbing babe
Peak in intensity
He hunkers down against me
Indeed finding my steady beat
This seems to defeat the cacophony
And he sits up ready to comment on Uranus
But Pluto is the one he has questions about
As the knowledgeable grad student
Called it once a planet and then not
My son gravitated towards
“What is the criterion please for a planet?”
The student didn’t really have a good answer
This made my son squirm
like there were ants literally in his pants
He wanted more facts to the matter
Hard as the planet’s surface
To chase the uncertainty of this place away
To paint a sure picture of what is in space
And tune out the other noises
That crumble his inside structure
Facts hold it all up
Like steel girders that
Are the bones of the building
Are inside his brain
But run all the way to his toes
There was another little boy
That was competing for knowing
All the facts by the naming the planets
And what they were composed of
The other little professor complained
That my boy was too quick to answer
So my boy stopped answering
And pulled my arm tighter around him
As he bit his left index finger knuckle hard
As if to say, “I can’t help it, sorry.”
I didn’t want him to be quiet
I wanted him to keep going and going
Like when it is just the three of us
And he is telling us parents
Every single thing he knows about
The universe, history, weather, or video games
It is his to dispense
With a sense of himself
He can feel himself in space this way
It helps him to know he is really here
And that his opinion and knowledge matters
No labels, no barriers, and no one else to tell him differently
He can see it all at once
The big, huge, gigantic picture
His universe on the inside
That tumbles out daily
In facts, figures, and fitful flights of fancy
It is freedom of the highest order
His vast galaxy

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Till the Cows Come Home….NaPoWriMo #37

This is a poem that is in the unfolding drama happening in Martin’s office at the moment. Yes, it is two hours past bedtime and the boy is still struggling to finish homework. It is his own choice as it isn’t due tomorrow or required, but he started a unit and by golly he is going to finish. We’ve already alerted his teacher via an email that he’ll be in later as he’ll need to sleep a little bit more.

Homework Haze

Your eyes droop
Your shoulders stoop
As you slide into your hard thinking chair
You have a task to do, but you stare and stare
I’m wondering if anything is there
Do you have the energy to finish?
But even though you are visibly diminished
From somewhere you push on
And I’ve seen you do till dawn
Because whatever it is that is in your mind
Is the only thing you can seem to find
To focus on and you will not let it go
Rubbing your face again
To find a new trace
To get to the end
You will not bend
It is the only thing that matters
Even though your brain is in tatters
You are shattered to try to think
I see you sink
Bringing you to the brink
Of nearly giving in
I think it is not a sin
But to you, it is a must
Even if it turns you to dust
It is two hours past your bedtime
Tomorrow we will not be in our prime
I hope whatever pushes you so here
Will get you where you need to be Dear,
The determined often win the race
I pray that you will always keep pace

Observations are a very good place to start…NaPoWriMo #36

I had nothing in my head tonight to write about, so I looked around my office and just started typing. It is half way a blog post and half way a poem. past midnight tweaking pictures even though this is my April 28th poem.

 My Son’s Present Art

Little drawings from little hands litter my office
They are time capsules that help me escape the rocket fueled present
That launches from the now into the space unknown to planet future
A pastel flower garden where the flowers all look like small suns
Was given as a first present on a Mother’s Day
My boy had always loved to give me flowers
Many hours that year we had spent planting and digging
He beamed with such pride to give me something
He had painted and knew I would love

A fiery furnace of an exciting Sunday School lesson
Is scribbled and so earnest on my cabinet door
I remember the flood of detail my boy tried to tell me
The words he could get out were about the fire and the angel
If there was no picture, I wouldn’t have understood his story
I looked at it with him and we went through it together
Finger painted hand prints from a desperate summer’s day

We were rained inside scratching for something more to do
My son didn’t want to do anything, but he let me take his hand
and put it in the paint then to the paper
He smiled, but wouldn’t do it on his own
He would hold his hand hovering there
Daring me to take it and place it just so

A computer printed, but hand drawn birthday card
That is a portrait of me with a Hershey’s kiss floating nearby
He presented it with a kiss and hug
So proud he and his father had kept this surprise a secret
They had pulled it off and then the next year I wanted a card,
But was told by my son, “no”
This helps me to know to not expect,
But to wait for what he truly wants to give

A coffee can decorated with shaky interpretations

Of butterflies and bees now houses a yellow miniature rose
We planted a sunflower in it that year you gave it to me
And that flower quickly outgrew our humble can
We planted it in the garden
Where it bloomed most of the summer that year
And now we include a few tall sunflowers every year

A tissue paper heart window that clearly
Someone else helped those little hands make
I found it shoved in his backpack and smiled
No presentation to me, nothing special
Just a memento of the season
But a heart with my son’s name had to go on my wall
As he has my heart in so many ways

The paper sack frog that hangs on the mantle

Is so faded from enduring at least three years now
I go to take it down and I can’t
There is something that leaps to my throat
When I touch that darned pop eyed faded frog
That he never played with
and I’m sure someone else cut out
as his scissor skills are shaky still
it is something about it
holding out it’s little hands
wanting to embrace everyone
that warms me to see
wondering if someday he
could leap forward
and run at life
like this little frog
there are signs
and simple maps
that bear his hand too
all pointing at what he is
and can be
this is his art
this is his heart
this is a great start

Monday, April 27, 2015

Race Cards Shuffled....NaPoWriMo #35

My son studies and loves history at a rate that is deeper than many college students. He is fascinated by assignations and wars. So, of course, Martin Luther King comes around in his studies as well as Hitler. They were on the opposite sides of the coin of racism and I often tell him that.
Today, when he was getting off the bus, he was yelling the word “racism” to someone on the bus, but when I questioned him about it, he wouldn’t say who or why. Later, he told Martin a little bit that the kids on the bus were discussing what they thought the word meant. His first question to me off the bus was, “Mama, what is racism?” I explained it several different ways to him. Still the question stuck with me as he repeated his question to me over and over (as he often does).

Making Best of Enemies
Racism didn’t begin with Martin Luther King
It is a very ancient thing
When someone looked at the shape of one’s leg
Or the color of hair or if that person ate eggs
The looker deemed it all unworthy
To not to be and called it “dirty”
What makes us look askance
at someone because they can’t dance?
We choose and say one is right and one is wrong
And we fight or struggle amongst the throng
People are people is what we say
But how is that shown today?
We are making judgements right and left
Sitting on the opportunities of others bereft
The opposite of this is grace
To judge not from race
Or creed, or purpose, or positions
Going out of our box creates imposition
To find that uncomfortable zone of friendship
Somewhere in an uncommon kinship

Sunday, April 26, 2015

NaPoWriMo #34

Summer Swim Time at Seven
Warm on the back of my neck
Inviting and deceptive
As my skin curls up, dries out, and reddens
The sweat dribbling down to the middle of my back
Half way out of the water
Laying my head against the cool blue tiles
To listen to the slap, slap, slap
Of the pocket gunk trap
In the corner of the pool
Imagining it to be a window
Opening and closing
Onto another world
I slip under the water
To cool off that neck
And sip in the muffled
Marimba-like punctuation
That is of that same comfort sound
Now on another planet
Blasting away down in the depths
Lying on the bottom
Until I must resurface again
To do it all over again

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Music in the air...NaPoWriMo #33

Trying to be profound and rhyme doesn’t always match up well in my poetry.

Voicing It

I think he was four here and it was Easter.
Sing a song of silence
Upon the sea of bread and treats
It gives you empty mileage
And slurps up all to defeat
Sing a song of soapsuds
To scrub yourself all raw
There is no other color
That brings you from the spa
Sing a song of sinews
Bunching it all up together
To cut them now would string you
A broken web light as a feather
Sing a song that’s silly
Except for your own part
The road with pebbles and rock candy
Shall always break your heart
Sing a song to sing
To free the soul and mind
Feel the wind with glee
Leave troubles all behind

Friday, April 24, 2015

Starry Night....NaPoWriMo #32

When any child speaks I believe parents tuck that away in memory. When a child with autism only repeats phrases they hear and never answers you when they are little it is an incredible moment when they speak for the first time. I mean say something that isn’t a script or repeating something you just said. At least that is our experience.
Our son we took camping and he had this moment. The stars were incredibly bright and it was hard not to look up at them for hours. I stared at him starring up at the stars because I was transfixed by this moment as much as he was.
Today, he and I were talking about camping and Oregon and he said,”Mama, the stars in Washington are quiet, but the ones in Oregon make noise.” Remembering back to this vivid moment when he was three, I told him about it and I asked him, “So, when you said “quiet stars” were you telling them to be quiet or were you saying at that time they were quiet? Are they no longer quiet to you?” He couldn’t answer me at this time. Knowing him, he will answer in a month or two. I’ll let you know when we all have an answer to that question. But for now, this is how I remember camping with him a little over six years ago.

Oregon’s Bright Nights

We pitched a tent and were so unsure
Not of us, but what you might do
You were three and full of energy
You didn’t answer to your name
You hardly played any games
You kicked at unknown stimuli
All of which made us sigh
But you are a part of us
We, in some ways, didn’t mind the fuss
We were teaching you to play
And trying new things to get you to say
Any words that you didn’t have
We worked hard not to make you mad
You often would just laugh and laugh
At sounds or butterflies or baths
But it was your anticipation
In looking into the night sky
With eyes so very wide
You wouldn’t go into the tent
You were adamant
We couldn’t understand it
Until you uttered a phrase
And we were amazed
That the earth’s beauty
Could draw you out
To the point we wanted to shout
Your little voice and smile
Reverently whispering
The sweetest of things
Nothing is still on par
With that moment you whispered, “Quiet stars”
In the day you wondered, “Star go?”
And every night we’d hold you so
As you gazed and gazed
Up at those bright spheres
Repeating “quiet stars” with no fears

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Happy Birthday Master Shakespeare! NaPoWriMo #31

It is William Shakespeare’s birthday and death day today. It is also the day Martin and I started dating 22 years ago. A marvelous day indeed!
I always try to write a sonnet on this day. I find the form a bit constraining and I don’t always construct it as well as I’d like. I like Martin’s sonnet he wrote today and that is below also as I find it very clever. Mine is the sap his is the snap.

Love Sonnet for 22

Oh may I be again your love for now
And always to your soul be true
Away from here I utter not a word
That comes to bend another’s view
I seek a loving being be
And sing when all the day is through
You see, the buses stopped this night
 You stay to see what you will find
A kiss that turned my eyes to you
This moment and for all time
You play your mandolin so well
You are truly one of a kind
I am always under your spell
I am forever yours and you are mine

Words for Will
Anon, it is sweet Shakespeare's day of birth,
And--which is more, and most convenient--
Upon this day was he return'd to earth;
The same day that he came, he also went.

Prithee, let iambs fall from every tongue,
In number, five; thus shalt thou form a line;
It is the sweetest rhythm ever sung;
With words thus build we Shakespeare's perfect shrine.

A measur'd word can scarcely go to waste;
We'd banish rancor, foolishness and spite
If all our words were chosen, form'd and plac'd
With all the care that poets take to write.

Rhyme if you can, or leave your verses blank,
But speak the speech--it's Will you have to thank.