Tongue-tied 

NOTE: Depression is insidious. A dark and ravenous locust-cloud, it can arrive without warning and strip everything bare before you are able to find your wits. Warring with depression in myself can also become the battle of watching it attack those I love. These current writings are about that fight.

We are getting help.

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She once held her cup beneath the faucet of my mouth and drank deeply seeking understanding. Lately my words are clumsy incantations chosen with worry and whispered with care at the keyhole of her mind’s door. I keep getting the order wrong, mispronouncing the dialect. When she flinches, my own mouth floods with the acidic taste of smoldering ink and paper. I used to be the poet with the agile and well-oiled tongue — a skeleton key. But the locks are changed, there’s a secret code. I do not know the language and can’t remember how to conjugate the verbs.

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AUDIO FILE:

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Once Bitten – a Dizain poem

There is no houseguest quite like a spider!
She’ll spin her web, working throughout the night.
You might never know the pain inside her,
though she may try to share it with her bite.
Who is to say her sharing’s not polite,
and how can you know joy without sorrow?
There is no remedy you can borrow,
once by her venom you’ve been paralyzed!
Await the pleasure coming tomorrow —
you’ll find it sweeter than you realized.

—–

POETRY PROMPT:

Use 5 words from a random word generator.
(spider, sorrow, realized, houseguest, pleasure)

POETIC FORM:

Dizain – a 10 line French poetic form, consisting of 110 line stanza, with 10 syllables per line, and an ABABBCCDCD rhyme scheme.

AUDIO FILE:

The Words

The words have flown — I don’t know why.
Perhaps they’re nesting in the trees.
My pen is empty, ink is dry–
my thoughts are drifting on a breeze.

I will not worry, at my lack
of flowing verbiage for a poem.
They’ve fled before; they will be back. 
Like me, they know the road to home.

—–

AUDIO FILE:

Out of Ink

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Some days
even though words
are all around me
–on page after page
in book after book
on shelf after shelf
–on the back of every
shampoo bottle
in the shower
–in every envelope
of every piece
of junk mail
in the mailbox
–on every label
of every box and can
in the kitchen.
I still cannot seem
to find the right ones
for a poem.
It’s a good thing
silence and I have
become friends
when I sit still
and listen, she
reminds me — poems
take coaxing — words
can be shy — maybe
tomorrow

—–

AUDIO FILE:

Four in the Morning

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It’s the hour before the darkness fades
—the hour when silence yawns hungry,
wakes me from sleep, begs to be filled.

It’s not the witching hour, but the watching
as I gaze upon you while you sleep–
counting breaths and twitching fingers,
wondering what dreams spin in your head.

It’s the hour when words burst the dam,
spill out on the floor– the hour when I am
frantically mopping with sheets of paper
–to catch poetic lines before ink dries.

It’s the hour for conversation between
longing and regret, hope and fear.
–the fourth hour of the morning,
 and my soul refuses to let me sleep.

—–

AUDIO FILE:

Hiding – a Blackout Poem

solace

We are ourselves,
in necessary time
–the virtuoso quiet
of an internal pulse,

underestimated–
until we grow ready,
for the names
that have caught us.

We have been too easily
seen and too easily named.
We live in a time of
imaginings and longings–

too much, too often
— squeezed into
our sense of self,
our sense of others.

What is real is almost
always precious,
does not care to be known
with no place to hide.

A creeping necessity,
creative and subversive,
leaves life to itself
–to become solace.

—–

SOURCE TEXT:

HIDING is a way of staying alive. Hiding is a way of holding ourselves until we are ready to come into the light. Even hiding the truth from ourselves can be a way to come to what we need in our own necessary time. Hiding is one of the brilliant and virtuoso practices of almost every part of the natural world: the protective quiet of an icy northern landscape, the held bud of a future summer rose, the snow bound internal pulse of the hibernating bear. Hiding is underestimated. We are hidden by life in our mother’s womb until we grow and ready ourselves for our first appearance in the lighted world; to appear too early in that world is to find ourselves with the immediate necessity for outside intensive care. Hiding done properly is the internal faithful promise for a proper future emergence, as embryos, as children or even as emerging adults in retreat from the names that have caught us and imprisoned us, often in ways where we have been too easily seen and too easily named. We live in a time of the dissected soul, the immediate disclosure; our thoughts, imaginings and longings exposed to the light too much, too early and too often, our best qualities squeezed too soon into a world already awash with too easily articulated ideas that oppress our sense of self and our sense of others. What is real is almost always to begin with, hidden, and does not want to be understood by the part of our mind that mistakenly thinks it knows what is happening. What is precious inside us does not care to be known by the mind in ways that diminish its presence. Hiding is an act of freedom from the misunderstanding of others, especially in the enclosing world of oppressive secret government and private entities, attempting to name us, to anticipate us, to leave us with no place to hide and grow in ways unmanaged by a creeping necessity for absolute naming, absolute tracking and absolute control. Hiding is a bid for independence, from others, from mistaken ideas we have about our selves, from an oppressive and mistaken wish to keep us completely safe, completely ministered to, and therefore completely managed. Hiding is creative, necessary and beautifully subversive of outside interference and control. Hiding leaves life to itself, to become more of itself. Hiding is the radical independence necessary for our emergence into the light of a proper human future.

… Excerpted from ‘HIDING’ From CONSOLATIONS: The Solace, Nourishment and Underlying Meaning of Everyday Words. 2015 © David Whyte – Now Available – http://davidwhyte.stores.yahoo.net/newbook.html

AUDIO FILE:

Unsaid (a #NaPoMo #APRPAD rondeau poem)

sleepless

 

Sometimes it is the words unsaid,
the darker things that need to keep
–until I sort them, let them steep,
the thoughts that linger in my head.

At times I’m glad they can’t be read
and so I hold them, oh so deep.
Sometimes it is the words unsaid,
the darker things that need to keep.

Some nights I lie awake in bed.
I cannot quiet, cannot sleep.
When others might be counting sheep,
I simply count my thoughts instead.
Sometimes it is the words unsaid.

—–

#NaPoMo INFO:
Poetic Asides #April Poem-A-Day Challenge – PAD #20:

For today’s prompt, write a poem of what goes unsaid. Maybe it’s unrequited love, a hidden contempt, spoiler to the most recent TV show or blockbuster movie. Whatever goes unsaid, maybe write it instead.

http://www.writersdigest.com/whats-new/2016-april-pad-challenge-day-20

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POETIC FORM INFO:
The poetic form focus for my PAD 2016 Challenge is the Rondeau — 13 lines in 3 stanzas; rhyme scheme: ABba/abAB/abbaA (uppercase letters are refrains) Usually 8 syllables per line. For info: http://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/poetic-asides/personal-updates/help-me-rondeau-help-help-me-rondeau-another-french-poetic-form

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AUDIO FILE:

Blues (a #NaPoMo #APRPAD rondeau poem)

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I do not want to write today.
I want to sit. I want to sigh.
I want to watch the world go by,
to watch the rain and here to stay–

at this table, in this café,
and nibble on a slice of pie.
I do not want to write today.
I want to sit. I want to sigh.

I will not mourn, nor will I cry.
It’s not that I am sad that way.
My muse has gone outside to play,
and I am left here, warm and dry.
So, I will write another day.

—–

#NaPoMo INFO:

Poetic Asides #April Poem-A-Day Challenge – PAD #10:

For today’s prompt, pick an emotion, make it the title of your poem, and then, write your poem. Possible titles might include: “Happy,” “Sad,” “Angry,” or well, there’s a universe of emotions out there.

.

http://www.writersdigest.com/whats-new/2016-april-pad-challenge-day-10

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POETIC FORM INFO:
The poetic form focus for my PAD 2016 Challenge is the Rondeau — 13 lines in 3 stanzas; rhyme scheme: ABba/abAB/abbaA (uppercase letters are refrains) Usually 8 syllables per line. For info: http://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/poetic-asides/personal-updates/help-me-rondeau-help-help-me-rondeau-another-french-poetic-form

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AUDIO FILE:

Drunk on Rhyme (a #NaPoMo #APRPAD rondeau poem)

image

Urban bourbon can you taste it,
how the rhyme slips right off your tongue
— like you’re happy and feeling young? Can you giggle at your own wit?

Chortle like you really get it?
It’s an inside joke come unstrung.
Urban bourbon –can you shout it?
Can you sing it like it’s unsung?

Wriggle like you’re having a fit!
Laugh out loud like bells just rung!
Who cares if they think you’re unstrung?
It’s a riot, you must admit!
Urban bourbon — can you feel it?

—–

#NaPoMo INFO:
Poetic Asides #April Poem-A-Day Challenge – PAD #7:

For today’s prompt, take the phrase “Urban (blank),” replace the blank with a word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of your poem, and then, write your poem. Possible titles include: “Urban Cowboy,” “Urban Warfare,” “Urban Daydreams,” “Urban Living,” and so on.

http://www.writersdigest.com/whats-new/2016-april-pad-challenge-day-7

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POETIC FORM INFO:
The poetic form focus for my PAD 2016 Challenge is the Rondeau — 13 lines in 3 stanzas; rhyme scheme: ABba/abAB/abbaA (uppercase letters are refrains) Usually 8 syllables per line. For info: http://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/poetic-asides/personal-updates/help-me-rondeau-help-help-me-rondeau-another-french-poetic-form

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AUDIO FILE:

Listen to Drunk on Rhyme (a #NaPoMo #APRPAD rondeau poem) by Penelope Connor #np on #SoundCloud