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

Slice of Life/SmallPoems Day 15 (still/woods)

(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 Fifteen

Walking through
woods to escape
the world

if only for a
moment ..

the river still flows
the birds still sing
the flowers still bloom
the path still wanders
the branches still bend
the wind still rustles

with every step
back into the world
still alive with

hope

Also: This one is also about Hope, written the day after the last presidential election but general enough to resonate with these days of closures and worries about the pandemic.

Peace (and resistance),
Kevin

Slice of Life/SmallPoems Day 14 (all our children)

(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 …)

I have mostly been avoiding any context for my Slice of Life poems this month, hoping the words will surface the moments that inspire the verse. But with the temporary closure of our school, and many others around us and in the country and world, I can’t help but think about the divide between the Haves and the Have-Nots, and those kids who need school as a safe place, as a place for regular meals, as a place for connecting with peers. And how summer vacations and other breaks are not seen as something to look forward to but something to dread. I think a lot about those kids. They’re all our children. – Kevin

Day Fourteen

Whose children
will awake in uncertain
days, only to wonder
whether it is better
to save breakfast for lunch,
or lunch for breakfast,
for one is now the other
until otherwise notified?

Our Children

Whose children
will worry about neighbors
on all of our behalf —
the elderly, the sick,
the lost and lonely,
the forgotten cul de sacs
of community —
the not knowing
more unsettling than
the knowing itself?

Our Children

Whose children
will spend their time
in unforced silence –
a collective quiet beyond
the hum of youthful noise
on the tail of social distancing –
neither connected nor rejected
but reflected in reality
that home might be
the loneliest place to be?

All Our Children

Peace (reaching out),
Kevin

Slice of Life/SmallPoems Day 13 (passing tracks)

(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 Thirteen

I hear it –
your chords
your melody
your beat

I’m in it –
my synth
my voice,
beneath

We’re together –
building on
what you’d
begun

Our song
surfaces:
father and
son

Listen to the track we made

Peace (sounds like love),
Kevin

Slice of Life/SmallPoems Day 12 (close the lid)

(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 Eleven

Listen, kid,
shut the lid –
the bin
won’t close itself

there’s bears about
and stormy times
and last night’s remains
belong inside

not scattered about
on the morning grass,
like a New Year’s Day
party aftermath

Remember, kid,
to tighten the lid
next time you’re tasked
with closing it

Peace (tighten it up),
Kevin

— PS .. late added word — ‘closing’ – in last stanza … corrects a bit of odd rhythm

Slice of Life/SmallPoems Day 11 (plastic cat)

(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 Eleven

it’s easy to misread
the street — at least
it happens to me when
the window’s wide open, this
world’s off-kilter rhyme
of visual sneak

what i thought
was a cat on padded
paws was not a cat
at all but a bag, discarded
white, with flapping
plastic feet

i followed this cat
home, picked it up
and became a poem,
another quiet day recycled
into fingered words
i can’t speak

Peace (looking),
Kevin

Slice of Life/SmallPoems Day 10 (river run)

(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 Ten

I cannot keep up
with this river’s flow,
it surely knows more than
I’ll ever know

my feet in pursuit,
I quicken the pace
even losers are winners
in this race we embrace

Somewhere behind us
on a mountain top drop
the ice is in melt
the water can’t stop

‘til it reaches the ocean,
the sea beyond port
but I stopped long ago
to compose this report

No, I cannot keep up –
I’ve grown too slow —
the river knows more than
I’ll ever know

Peace (following it),
Kevin