One of the things I’m going to stop doing is apologizing for how hard this is. Life stacks up sometimes, we all know that, and it makes perfect sense that poeming daily is hard. So, no more excuses. Just poetry, some bad, some good, on the daily. Bills, bugs, bedtimes, life does stack up sometimes, and sometimes the poems suffer. So it goes.
I had an idea today to write a poem about all the weirdest, most compact lines in nursery rhymes. It was inspired my my firstborn, who has been singing “iron bars to hold it up, hold it up, hold it up”, for the last five days. Someone, either at preschool or daycare, because it sure wasn’t me, taught her all the words to London Bridge is Falling Down. Turns out, upon further and brief research (okay, Wikipedia), that variations of this game have been played for centuries, all the same, single file marching underneath an arch made of two kids arms, and the arms come down, and boom, you’re locked up. It has been called, by various peoples, “London Bridge”, “Hark the Robbers”, “Watch and Chain, “Oranges and Lemons,” and more. Hark the Robbers is a pretty great title for a poem, but that’s not what I latched onto today. Or, what I latched onto a little two late. Maybe I’ll do that one tomorrow.
Instead, sitting by the creek, I started thinking about mortality. Typical. So, I got a few lines, and the rest is poem.
Stronger Till the Fire
I know a woman who hears the water calling, who hears in the bellowing echos the roar of the that. Rest here, it says, the creekbed, reckoning. Lay down here, under the cold shock, it tells her without words.
But I want to be crucified. It is the bark that invites me, in a language grown free of signs, this vocabulary has no sounds, and moves through cell walls with ease,
and sure recognition.
Yes, given the choice in death, that priceless luxury, I would choose to hang there, pinioned to the peeling bark, letting my flesh melt down the veins, allowing the melt, and letting the tendrils of new growth take take root in my hair.
Surrendering and agreeing to the absorption, take these hands that have grown gnarled, take these joints whispering decades, take it, this body,
and grown stronger till the fire.
I don’t know. Maybe I should’ve written the nursery rhyme poem. But, gah! no excuses. That was the whole point. At any rate, Happy Monday, poemies,