Slice of Life/SmallPoems Day 25 (sticks/streams)

(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 Five

Small branches and sticks
trick streams, currents as buoy,
while we stop to watch

Note: My wife and I took the dog for a long walk yesterday, on the heels of the snow storm. We wandered along paths along the river that had not yet been traveled because of the slippery conditions. I found myself stopping often, looking at the river, and noticing the many tree branches floating downward, maybe from coming loose with the melt or maybe from falling from the heavy snows. This poem also does double duty — the blog as a buoy for the words — as it is both a moment for Slice of Life but also a response to today’s prompt for of a poetry project called Water Poems, which you can learn more about here. I didn’t follow today’s directions for a found Haiku, really, but I did use the idea of the Haiku.

Peace (floating),
Kevin

Slice of Life/SmallPoems Day 24 (spring sledding)

(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 Four

Spring sledding seems wrong,
don’t it? Won’t it wait until next
winter? Fingers frozen in gloves,
the sled, ahead, rushes the hill
with riders; beside her, the boy shouts
out the call, all of childhood forgetfulness:
Yahooo!

Note: We got hit by a decent winter storm yesterday — a few inches of heavy snow and then sleet and freezing rain. My wife and I joked: no school tomorrow! We laughed. Gallows Humor for the times we’re in. Walking the dog during the snow fall, I came upon this scene of two young siblings (kindergarten age), riding their tube sled down the hill (really, a slant) of their front yard, yelling with such joy and abandon that their voices rang out in the quiet neighborhood. As if everything was normal. As if.

Peace (yelling it),
Kevin

Slice of Life/SmallPoems Day 23 (seeds sleep)

(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 Three

Sleep, seeds,
sleep; keep deep;
the spring’ll keep,
for cold is sure
still yet to come
and winter,
winter always creeps
back in to claim
the young

Note: We’ve been keen to noticing the flowers coming up, particularly as the virus shutdowns have us spending more time outside on walks. But now we see a Winter Storm Warning posted for today, with up to half a foot of snow possible — it’s one of those tricky-to-forecast fronts, with the temperatures hovering around freezing – so maybe more rain than snow, or maybe more snow than rain. But the bulbs need to get back into hiding!

Peace (expecting it),
Kevin

Slice of Life/SmallPoems Day 22 (branch/songs)

(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 Two

Listen:
the trees are singing;
the Spring winds are
bringing stress-fractured
songs to the wood,
the creaking sounds
of the forest in motion

Note: On a long walk yesterday, the wind kicked up as a change in weather moved in. What we noticed were the sounds of the tree branches, creaking and groaning. It seemed to our ears as if one would start, and then another would add in from a distance, as if the branches were doing a call/response.

I turned some ideas about the forest songs into a piece of music: TreeSong

Peace (listening for it),
Kevin

Slice of Life/SmallPoems Day 21 (out and about)

(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 One

We walk into uncomfortable quiet:
the microcosm of society
inside the strip mall
barber shop;

We’re there for a quick trim,
maybe a bit off the top,
before the city
brings business to a stop

The boy takes a seat;
I stay on my feet

as every alternative
chair’s already filled,
and emptiness between –
each of us a piece
of silence in a game
of checkers, or chess;

every motive, scrutinized;
every cough, every sneeze,
every sound, magnified –

Gosh – this world’s
a mess

Peace (and open spaces),
Kevin

Slice of Life/SmallPoems Day 20 (mourning rains)

(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

Don’t mourn these rains,
the drenching replenishment
of these rivers and ponds,
of oceans and lakes;
bodies, suddenly awake
in hopeful expectation

Don’t mourn the wet
that arrives by sky,
the falling on the first day
of this year’s sudden
Spring, the earliest
Equinox ever

These rains
herald beginnings
of a season
of change

Peace (falling),
Kevin

Slice of Life/SmallPoems Day 19 (rock/wreath/remembering)

(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 …)

Note: I had to bring some library books back to the bin (libraries are shuttered) and went the long way, driving a secondary route, if only to break up the day. My eye caught something at the top of the hill near the old Northampton State Hospital. A large wreath, with green flowers, set against a memorial stone that I already knew the history of, since it represents a terrible moment in my city’s history when prejudice and bias took the lives of two innocent men. Echoes of these injustices still ring out today, if slightly muted by the Pandemic. Someone remembered. Someone always remembers. Sorry for the downer verse. – Kevin

Day Nineteen

Someone left a wreath
on the stone on the hill
by the hospital where
they tried, and killed,

two men, immigrants,
two hundred years ago,
for the crime of being Irish,
and people by the hundreds
came out to cheer;

A rock memorial decorated
with green flowers and dedicated
as reminder of some things
never changing, even still;

The Other is always us,
always in us, always
wearing wreaths on the rock
on the hill near the hospital

More about this historical event: http://historic-northampton.org/daleyandhalligan/daleyandhalligan.html

Peace (in noticing),
Kevin

Slice of Life/SmallPoems Day 18 (song/writer)

(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 Eighteen

Within these walls
of words, this writer
wants to discover
something more
than just meaning of
passage of time, of
echoes heard

This writer requires
each day’s song to be
sung, too, in hushed
undertones and simple
stringed chords; Poem
where music’s begun

Verse strummed lightly
in tune with focused
morning thoughts;
Gifts to self and friends,
the last notes ending
on fade, then forever lost

Note: This poem arrived slowly through the day, upon thinking of a song I wrote and recorded yesterday morning for my friend, Terry, after reading some of his posts about the quiet of isolation in the time of the virus. Terry works a farm in Kentucky and is a professor at the state university system. Both places have gone quiet, although his sheep farming is anything but.

Take a listen to the song demo: Beneath the Ruins (Lives the Sun)

Peace (singing it),
Kevin

Slice of Life/SmallPoems Day 17 (fingerpainting birds)

(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 Seventeen

Such gray days;
such drained away
days, these melancholy
days of worry and want
in a world of need

but for the sudden presence of
the darting red cardinal
and the skirting yellow goldfinch,
fluttering both among
the branches of Evergreen

like fingerpaints splattered
upon a winter canvas
we’ve already somehow
forgotten existed;

this moment lingers
longer than most

Peace (still flittering),
Kevin

Slice of Life/SmallPoems Day 16 (today/tomorrow)

(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 Sixteen

I sense the gap:
more today
than yesterday;
tomorrow, even
more than today

Reaching for
invisible strands
resting in the silence
of this nothing

Where were you
heading when I saw
you last, before
the day came to
such a quiet close?

We wandered
away, not aware
even then that
this time between
would fall into
strange disquiet

more today
than yesterday;
tomorrow, even
more than today

Peace (and healing),
Kevin