NaPoWriMo: Shimmer in the Rust

(I am participating in National/Global Poetry Month as I continue to write small poems each morning. – Kevin)

Day Six: Shimmer in the Rust

Like you
I devour the news
searching for
shimmer in the rust,
solid in the dust;
a voice I can trust

Note: I created a small experimental music piece I wrote on thinking of the ways I am drawn as a news junkie into the confusion of the messaging of any given moment these days .. I feel as I am forever reading between what is said, trying to figure out what’s true … Listen: https://some.audio/5e8af43b28d3ee0fa995101c

Peace (is dissonance),
Kevin

NaPoWriMo: Until Further Notice

(I am participating in National/Global Poetry Month as I continue to write small poems each morning. – Kevin)

Day Five: Until Further Notice

The official notices now say
don’t come in to play –
stay away, for today
and tomorrow, too

from beyond the chain-link gate
the children turn away –
reluctantly obey, for today,
and tomorrow, too

Peace (needing play),
Kevin

NaPoWriMo: Empty Classroom Still Life

(I am participating in National/Global Poetry Month as I continue to write small poems each morning. – Kevin)

Day Four: Empty Classroom Still Life

I am here

wandering through this Still Life –
this classroom, our community,
this place of connection and caring,
this school, where we gathered together –

my eyes catch the vacancy:

a scene, frozen
in abandoned books
in scattered pencils
in forgotten papers
in steel chairs leaning
at odd angles against uneven desks
and in chatter, too, all your words like
ghost images still languishing on air

you should be here, too

All this and more, we left behind
on that Friday, the 13th of March,
in the year of the Great Pandemic,
this visual sculpture before me
just another unlucky reminder
of what our world was
before it was not

I leave it behind

Peace (filling in the empty spaces),
Kevin

NaPoWriMo: Anxiety Dances

(I am participating in National/Global Poetry Month as I continue to write small poems each morning. – Kevin)

Day Three: Anxiety Dances

Anxiety’s
dancing with
the data –
swerving left;
shifting right –
we’re forever
in motion, the
arrows forging us
towards night

Peace (looking downward),
Kevin

NaPoWriMo: Let the Last Note Linger

(I am participating in National/Global Poetry Month as I continue to write small poems each morning. – Kevin)

Day Two: Let the Last Note Linger

Get your anger out
in power chords –
frustration as
fretboard distortion –
but leave the last note
lingering, ringing
with hope’s resonance

Note: I was finishing up a song yesterday and getting into the recording of it — a protest song about the president and the times and how angry and frustrating it makes me to watch him not just spew lies to help himself but to do so and let people die from his inactions. This poem bubbled up from that cathartic songwriting experience, of using the strum of the guitar and some underlying distortion chords as a way to express emotion of the times. I had Woody Guthrie on my mind. Here’s a version of the song, if you’re curious.

Peace (singing it),
Kevin

Slice of Life/SmallPoems Day 31 (not one but many)

(I am participating in the March Slice of Life challenge via the Two Writing Teachers site.  Slice of Life is the idea of noticing the small moments. I have been a participant for many years and each year, I wonder if I will have the energy to write every day. This year, I am going to try to coincide it with my daily poetry writing, and intend to compose small poems on small moments. We’ll see how it goes …)

Day Thirty One

Not one wasted
word, but many
Not one wasted
rhyme, but many
Not one jaded
thought, but many
Not one poem
worth such love
but many
Not just one small
story unfolding
inside this insanity
but many
Not merely one of us
unaffected, unmoved,
unmoored, unafraid,
unbound, misunderstood,
but maybe all

Note: I was intending to write a poem, reflecting on the poems I’ve written this  month for Slice of Life, which started off in one relatively normal place on March 1 and veered unpredictably and out of control into a whole new reality. Which is where I find myself now, on March 31, writing a poem that didn’t want to play by my intentions. The lines just kept building, like a building about to collapse on itself, and I just went with the flow. For maybe it did what I intended, brought some closure to a month of writing poems of observation, that we are affected by the pandemic in the world. Not just one. But maybe all. Maybe all of us.

Peace (sending it your way),
Kevin

Slice of Life/SmallPoems Day 30 (little library)

(I am participating in the March Slice of Life challenge via the Two Writing Teachers site.  Slice of Life is the idea of noticing the small moments. I have been a participant for many years and each year, I wonder if I will have the energy to write every day. This year, I am going to try to coincide it with my daily poetry writing, and intend to compose small poems on small moments. We’ll see how it goes …)

Day Thirty

Sometime, we wonder
what the small house
on a stick at the edge
of the road says about
the people around us –

Who discarded the college
application guide? the
peanut-free cookbook?
the Learn Hebrew Now,
scribbled with blue note
marks? the spy novel?
the beach read? the picture
book gone grey with age?

And what does it say
about me, a reader
picking through the bones
of abandoned tomes
in this small home,
eyeing titles through
the glass door, wondering,
do I really need just
one book?

I do

Peace (in words and pages),
Kevin

PS — earlier this month, I shared a demo of a song: Beneath the Ruins (There Lives the Sun). Yesterday, I worked in a more polished and produced version of the song and then recruited my lovely wife to sing harmony vocals with me, all as a gift of hope for ourselves, for the world, for you.

 

Slice of Life/SmallPoems Day 29 (seasonal surrender)

(I am participating in the March Slice of Life challenge via the Two Writing Teachers site.  Slice of Life is the idea of noticing the small moments. I have been a participant for many years and each year, I wonder if I will have the energy to write every day. This year, I am going to try to coincide it with my daily poetry writing, and intend to compose small poems on small moments. We’ll see how it goes …)

Day Twenty Nine

Unexpected winds of winter
may be best remembered
by broken sticks and branches
and pinecone piles, long buried
since late December –
now debris, freed from snow:
a seasonal backyard surrender

Peace (picking it up),
Kevin

Slice of Life/SmallPoems Day 28 (generation pandemic)

(I am participating in the March Slice of Life challenge via the Two Writing Teachers site.  Slice of Life is the idea of noticing the small moments. I have been a participant for many years and each year, I wonder if I will have the energy to write every day. This year, I am going to try to coincide it with my daily poetry writing, and intend to compose small poems on small moments. We’ll see how it goes …)

Day Twenty Eight

Forever
changed is
what they’ll be:
these Children
of the Pandemic

Whether shaped
by panic or fear or
the greater good –
no child today
escapes where
the world once stood
and now, stands
at a fragile start

the hope for all
rests with open heart,
nurtured by together
and not by distance
dividing us apart

Note: I was listening yesterday morning to The Daily (New York Times) podcast, which had very young children sending in questions about the COVID-19 virus to the NYT science reporter. At the end, the host wrapped up some related news and then played part of a news conference from New York Governor Andrew Cuomo that really struck a nerve with me. I listened to the section three times. I wrote down his words. Then I made the comic below. Then, I composed the poem. He’s right, of course. An entire generation of children are forever now impacted by this event.

Thinking of the Children comic

Peace (on us all),
Kevin