Friday, March 26, 2010

Poetry Day Four

Today we talked about being precise and concise. We read a selection of poems by William Carlos Williams, such as this one and this one and this one.

Here is the poem I wrote:

To Jonah on his 12th birthday

you sit
perched on the edge
of a chair and
armpit hair
I scan your upper lip
before you hug me
hoping not to see
any hopeful hairs
glinting of early stubble

your spine knobs crack and creak
beneath my anxious fingers
you melt into my arms and I
breathe you in
your love is younger
than you are
and infinitely stronger

my eyes sting
as I watch you rushing
through these days
these last days
of your youth
and I fold you up
try to fit the bones
and eager sinews of you
where you belong
a small helpless thing
just there
tucked up under
my heart

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Poetry Day Three

Today, we talked about using vivid language, and we read this poem by TS Eliot (one of my favorite poets: have you read "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock"? Do it.) and this poem by Sharon Olds and this poem by Emily Dickinson.
Then we all wrote poems using vivid language. Here is mine:

on the edge of sight I see
a flag of red
like flame or a tongue
Startled I turn
and see double

they have returned
carved a path through
limpid air cracking
their way north to an earth
still shivering
still dead

they bring something with
them, grasped wriggling in their
it looks like hope

they pause at my window
deign to glance in at me
blink their yellow eyes
and lift their sharp beaks
to the sky to launch
their primeval cry sky-

they pass on
beating occasional wings
the sticks of their twig/legs
bending farewell
the wrong way

i settle back against my chair
waiting (hopeful) for their return

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Poetry Day Two

Today in Creative Writing, we talked about using imagery (a description that appeals to the reader's senses, right? you knew that). We read this poem by Margaret Atwood and this poem by Gwendolyn Brooks and this poem by Lucille Clifton and this poem by Gail Mazur.

(These are bluebonnets...)

The students had to write a poem using imagery, and here is mine:

once more i made the wrong choice
as i slipped down a twilit hall
past any attempted good night hugs
shrugging off sticky kisses
in pursuit of my own dark comfort.

i curled under the blankets one
small light overhead shedding a dim
glare on the pages. i yawned and stretched
and tried to ignore the guilt curled up
cold against my back poking me with
sharp fingers and knobby knees.

maybe if i turn over
maybe if i turn off the light
maybe if i close my eyes

guilt remains and when you open the
door your face spangled with sawdust
your eyes rough with the work
you still must do before you sleep

you don't have to say anything
you dross hard arms against your chest
pushing disapproval deep inside
and you leave, trailing a wake
of golden dust.

i turn out the light and close
my eyes to guilt (grinning)
a death's head
curled up now right beside

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

A Week of Poetry

In my Creative Writing class, we're working on poetry for a week. Each day, I add one more building block, one more technique. Yesterday was their first day, and we talked about what poetry is (my favorite definitions: poetry is memorable speech/poetry helps the reader see something in a new way).
We read a few poems about poetry, such as this poem by Ishmael Reed and this poem by Archibald MacLeish.
Then, the students had to write their own poems about poetry. Here is mine:

an apple freshly picked
smelling of sun and rain and
168 days of life
hums with potential. it could be

this infant grasps my finger
and smiles a wide milky
smile. her skin smells of
powder and love and something like
rain. she could
be anything.

i lie in my bed, my heart racing/my
ears aching with the still-ringing
jangle of my alarm clock.
the night sky beings to peel itself
away and the new days begins. it
could be anything.

this poem began with an image
an apple freshly picked. adding
a worm lurking inside was considered/discarded.
this poem became what it is.
it may change again: probably will.
it could be anything.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

This is MY style

I love so many beautiful things, but when it comes to picking a style of furniture and architecture, this is what I'm drawn to. The arts and crafts style is perfect because it celebrates the beauty of clean lines, and yet it has a strong substance. Also, it relies on the grace of natural materials to make the design sing. And of course, many of the style books and websites I've looked at have lots and lots of bookcases. Always an indicator of the value those arts and crafts people place on what is really important.
So, as Clint is designing a mantel for the woodburner in our living room, I have been scouring my sources for great arts and crafts mantels. This one is my favorite:

(photo courtesy of

Thursday, March 11, 2010

A bit of a daze

I have had my eye on this fabric for about a year now, and I finally bought it. It has a satiny feel, and I know it would make something very beautiful--and not to mention, super fun.

But as I was laying it out to cut out the pattern for a sundress I just got, I had to sit back and think. I'm afraid my peacocks may be a bit too much on a dress. Maybe they need to be toned down a bit, maybe made into this pattern?

I KNOW the top would look cute with a denim skirt (and I certainly have plenty of those to choose from), but is a denim skirt dressy enough for Easter? Oh, the dilemma!