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  • Poetic Asides

Day 6 Highlights

Categories: Poetry Challenge 2008, Poets.

On Day 6, I asked you to record the details of your day and write a poem about it. The resulting poems were great. While they may seem “routine” or “ordinary” to you, the rest of us “on the outside looking in” get to read a poem that is either out of the ordinary or something we can definitely relate to our own lives. Thanks for the great writes!

Here are today’s highlighted poems.

*****

 

A Day in the Life Of

 

Soft sunshine on Frank’s face.

Clock says 8:11—oh no!

Turn on coffee machine.

Kitchen clock says 7:12.

Reset new-fangled clock

(manufactured before Congress

voted in new Daylight Savings times.)

Turquoise-stripped towel on the carpet.

Back exercises. Frank in the dining room

chair sipping coffee. Watching me.

Discuss Chris Vogler’s personal paradigm shifts:

1) Everybody’s gotta be happy=everyone but me.

2) Me first=monster!

3) Me too, but first=balance.

Pray for work for next week.

Pay bills.

Blueberry pancakes, bacon, and strawberries.

Nauseous. Kneel by toilet. Salivate. Spit. (Repeat.)

Almost throw up. What’s wrong? Those triple-action

weight-control pill before breakfast?

Go to church. Hugs. Love. Connection. Sing.

Song of Solomon—dating is the

process by which you observe and evaluate

a person’s character to determine if

they are the right kind—not entertainment.

Albertsons.

Carol-super-sandwiches for lunch.

Central Oregon Songwriters Association

annual awards. Wow! What talent!

Pinto beans and fresh yeast rolls.

Sense and sensibility.

Post this poem.

 

 

Carol Brian |csp2000AT NOSPAMearthlink dot net

 

*****

 

Choices

 

I shuffle my way into the kitchen.

I crack an egg,

pour in a teaspoon of wheat germ,

a pinch of salt and pepper,

and whisk the mixture.

I put an English muffin in the toaster.

I pour a dollop of olive oil in the skillet, and

as the turkey bacon and sausage

softly sizzle,

I attack last night’s dishes.

One plate has dried pasta sauce on it

and I must use my fingernail to

scratch the red mass off.

 

After we’ve eaten breakfast,

I walk past the hamper full of laundry.

Upon entering my bedroom,

I stare at the unsorted mail

and the papers that must be shredded.

 

Had my mother come over

I am not sure she’d understand

that the reason for the disarray

was that I had

a poem to write.

 

 

Carla Cherry |cmcmagiconeAT NOSPAMgmail dot com

 

*****

 

Spring Sunday

 

We slept late, my hand gently

laid across your sore ankle,

your hand tangled in my hair.

You bought pepper plants and

marigold seeds. We pulled weeds.

Read stories aloud to grandhildrem,

corrected rough draft, packed ice chest.

You kissed me before you drove back

to your weekday life. I already miss you.

 

 

Victoria Hendricks |seastarvshAT NOSPAMaol dot com

 

*****

 

sundazed

 

the morning stretched

six cigarettes long

and after weeks

of messages

from you

we meet

13 years later

to eat indian food

and 45

minutes drone

on slowly

then we say good-

bye but don’t fall

in love

 

i nap cat-like

on my bed

in a sliver

of sunlight

that chases

the afternoon

across the sheets

and for 3

hours i’m

not obsessing

over my flaws

and why i probably

won’t hear

from you again

even as a friend

 

tonight

law and order

marathons

babysit me

between my

escapes

to the backyard

where i count

the stars

winking back

through trees

and the smoke

of an evening

six cigarettes

deep

 

 

k weber |ilovehateyouAT NOSPAMhotmail dot com

 

*****

 

Sunday the Sixth

 

At 10:30,

I awoke in my hometown

to warmth, open windows,

and bird-songs

drifting upstairs

from the open kitchen door

to my bedroom,

 

then walked down to Main Street

to meet Dad for lunch.

I watched the cars pass

from a tiny park bench,

wondered how so many people

could be driving through

such a small city.

 

I joined the dreary deluge

of carbon and chrome

to come back north.

I stopped to see my man;

he was waiting, cross-legged,

his bright bicycle leaned

against the donut shop.

 

The sun was still shining,

but our shadows were so long

as we pedaled to day’s end,

singing songs of spring

and sliding with the wind.

We said goodbye at nine,

and another week began.

 

 

Callan Bignoli-Zale |shehadausernameAT NOSPAMgmail dot com

 

*****

 

SUNDAY, THE DAY OF REST?

 

Sunday was meant as a day of rest, that’s what I’ve always heard

But when I think of the average mom, that statement seems absurd

Now since I am a grandmother, this day seems harder still

For now I have five grandchildren that go to church with us as well.

Today I got up early just barely half past six

I wanted to sleep in awhile but I knew I had to fix

Breakfast for my little gang, no small endeavor by far,

“I want some cereal,” “Well I want oats” “There’s no jelly in this jar.”

“Is soy milk all that we have left” “When did you get this bread”

I finally get one child in the tub, while another sneaks back to bed.

“Nanny can you find my shoes” “I lost my underwear”

“The zipper is busted in these pants.” “Where’s the ribbon for my hair.”

“Honey, can you iron my shirt? It’s almost time to leave.

Can’t you try to speed things up? Hey, you forgot to iron this sleeve.”

I finally make it to my room, and there’s a runner in my hose

A rapid knock, says, “hurry up” “Can I please put on my clothes?”

At last we make it to the church, a mere ten minutes late

And though I feel all tense inside I try to seem quite sedate.

But then I look at my little crew, and my heart is filled with pride

And I know that I am blessed of God to have them at my side.

 

 

Bonnie |bcholbrook05AT NOSPAMyahoo dot com

 

*****

 

But You’re Not Here

 

I rose not at the crack of dawn

but at the static just off station

of the radio on your side of the bed

where I now lie.

 

I rattling around in the kitchen,

putting something on for lunch,

brewing three cups of coffee

just for me.

 

I would have made more

but you’re not here.

 

I grab a quick shower then stare

into the closet for something warm

but not quite wintry.

 

Any other day I’d crawl back

into bed for five more minutes,

just a quick snuggle.

 

Maybe I would

but you’re not here.

 

At church I slide into our pew

Leaving room for you–a habit’s

hard to break. I’m ready

 

if anyone asks

why you’re not here.

 

I grab a bite; what I eat

can hardly be called a meal,

just a few bites taken standing up.

 

Then dragging in the never-empty

well-traveled bag of student papers

from the trunk of the car.

 

I lug it to the couch, spread out

the folders, rubrics, find a pen

under the cushion where I sit.

 

Then I spread the Sunday paper

right on top, read what’s new in

Arts and Books. You’d tell me not to

 

Work the LA Times crossword puzzle

in pen–if you were here.

 

Even procrastination fails

as the clock chimes slowly,

needing to be sound–

 

Something you would do.

But you’re not here.

 

At least a dozen phone calls,

one wrong number, no one here

by that name, and no call from you.

 

The Sunday evening blues slide

in my windows underneat the doorjamb.

Friday evening’s promise not quite met.

 

I move from my place to yours,

leaning back in the chair that bears

the imprint of your body.

 

I feel its chill

since you’re not here.

 

Finally back to bed, not quite

to sleep, piles of unread books

and papers scattered on the covers.

 

I slip undercovers on your side of the bed

Since you’re not here.

 

 

Nancy |nposeyAT NOSPAMembarqmail dot com

 

*****

 

Toddler Science

 

he insists that the trees

make the wind, imagining, perhaps

tiny pursed mouths exhaling on each leaf

great trunkfuls of waiting air pushed

out by rhythmically beating branches

the trees: Earth’s respiration

 

he says that the bird’s nest

visible from his bedroom window

is full of eggs we should take and eat for breakfast

and also full of baby birds that will soon fly

but the eggs have nothing

to do with these baby birds

eggs are eggs and birds, of course, are birds

 

he contends that reading is impossible

without speech, reminds me disdainfully

that you have to say the words

to read, that word and sound

are inexorably bound

 

 

tria

 

*****

 

Two Days After the Dentist

 

Before I even got out of bed,

I took Darvocet on an empty stomach.

Stupid.

Dizzy and queasy all morning,

I spent the afternoon munching tiny bites

of mac and cheese and watching NASCAR,

ate my third Wendy’s frosty–chocolate–

and dreamt of meat.

Sarah |MusicToKnitToAT NOSPAMyahoo dot com

 

I wake up before him, quickly switching

off the alarm. I make him breakfast, thankful

for the microwave oven at 4am. Getting him

up, ironing his clothes, pushing him out

the door; each day begins pretty much the

 

same. I try to do some housework, usually

surrendering to the TV at some point. I write

poetry, prose, emails. Having dinner ready

when he gets home from work, so he can

quickly eat, grab his books, and head to

class. A typical Monday since I lost my job

 

 

Susan M. Bell |maylandwritersAT NOSPAMgmail dot com

 

*****

 

Back in DC

 

I woke up alone again with a bloody

nose on a fold-out couch

to the sounds of NASCAR.

After I showered, we drove

to see the cherry blossoms in bloom.

We parked near the Capitol

and walked the length of the Mall,

my Mall (I hadn’t been gone so long)

with my museums and my trees

and my sculptures and grass and life.

In the sunshine, we wandered

around the Tidal Basin, snapping

pictures with the other tourists.

Sometimes, we’d catch a whiff

of the flowers on the breeze

and sniff like dogs to find it again.

We walked back through the city,

down Penn,

and I found my buildings

there, warm but still imposing.

That night, we barbequed hot dogs

and hamburgers in Alexandria,

and I hugged all my old friends

and tried my best

to welcome

their new ones.

 

 

JL Smither |jlsmitherAT NOSPAMgmail dot com

 

*****

 

Sunday Afternoon

 

Even after the bitter

words of morning, he

canceled his plans

and drove back to me,

just so I could leave

him. Again. He put

away shotguns and shells

then opened the hood to

see what made the “check

engine light” ignite

before I made it to the

end of our road. Me busy

transferring bags and

books from one vehicle

to another, then dumping

dog paraphernalia back

inside. A brief kiss,

a serious look, and “I’m

sorry to ruin you day.”

“It happens. Drive safe.

Call me when you get there.”

 

 

A.C. Leming |fackorfAT NOSPAMhotmail dot com

 

*****

 

Working Out

 

Today

I read essays online

with a lavender clay mask drying on,

my lips slathered in a balm of

the labor of bees and lemons

and herbs tweaked, symphonic,

eat your heart out, Estee Lauder:

here in my nightgown, in the living room,

listening to the conspiracy channel,

with truffles and green tea by my side,

I am happy as a sunflower

living through my computer,

making a living, diva-nerd, a library mule.

 

 

Maria Jacketti |medusashairdresserAT NOSPAMmsn dot com

 

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About Robert Lee Brewer

Senior Content Editor, Writer's Digest Community.

4 Responses to Day 6 Highlights

  1. Linda says:

    Finally having a chance to read through more carefully… beautiful. K, really loved your sundazed…’six cigarettes deep…’ stayed with me all morning. Peace, Linda

  2. Andrea Louise Jones says:

    Tria, i loved your toddler science…so true..and makes much more sence!

  3. Callan Bignoli-Zale says:

    Wow! I can’t believe I was highlighted not once but twice! Thanks so much for "showcasing" me here, Robert! I really appreciate it.

  4. Corinne says:

    I felt very uninspired by this particular prompt. Plus a busy weekend. For me, reading the poems posted by you guys on this prompt has been my biggest learning so far of the challenge. There is so much humanity conveyed by these, they’re all breathtaking. Thank you.

    Corinne

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