Thursday, April 30, 2020

May 2020

Batman shows us how it's done...

Now, my friends,
Let’s let the earth breathe.
We can doze and stretch
Like Kate’s Batman
On his bright, bright, bright
Green chair
On a bright, bright, bright
Sunshiny day.
I think you can sometimes
Judge a book by its covers,
Especially when those covers
Look like these:
An embossed dust cover
Over a paperback cover!

Each day I open
One new page of
Béa Gonzalez rich book,
The Mapmaker’s Opera.
I’m reading it slowly
On purpose.

This is part of my work
As artist-in-residence,
Sequestered doyenne,
Locked-down grande dame,
Quarantined mémère,
Sheltered Nana-Bee.

As I finish reading each page
I stop and grab a pencil.
Circling a word here and there,
I find a poem
From Béa’s lush words
On her page.
Eventually, I will have read
And enjoyed
All her pages and
I’ll have a whole book
Of my own little found poems
Bound between
These glorious covers.

There is no deadline…
There is only process,

Here’s my Page 6:
     Heart diseases
     Hint of mockery,
     Parchment transformed
     By trembling names.
     Something secret…
     Years of mysteries,
     Once again.

And my Page 9:
     The red spot…
     Wait at the edges
     Of mortality
     Pause briefly.
     Oh! Hush!

Like Johnny and Jimmy said,
We can see clearly now
All obstacles in our way!
We’ll be ready to
Have our own
Bright, bright, bright
Sunshiny day.

Johnny Nash 1972

Jimmy Cliff 1993 (for movie Cool Runnings)

and this utter delight from Bobby McFerrin 2011


And about found poetry: Austin Kleon's Newspaper Blackout. NOTE: I have chosen to circle words in pencil instead of blacking out the unused words because this book is so beautiful and I don't want to let black ink bleed from page to page. I'm very disciplined, however. Once I've completed a page I will not go back and add words.

If this isn't nice, what is?

              ~ Kurt Vonnegut, of course

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

April 2020

Just look at what the sun is bringing forth...

As many of us shelter in solitude,
Or cling together in personal situ,
Last month's promise of sunshine
Is unwrapping the way.

This is
Farley Hill National Park
In Barbados.
The 1818 mansion, setting for
Movie Island in the Sun, burned
The year I graduated from university.

It's perched atop a hill, overlooking
Both the Atlantic to the East
And the Caribbean to the West.

I think we all would like to
See life with a 360° perspective...
Only maybe we'd like our degrees
To be time-stamped.

This sun-drenched garden,
Glimpsed through long-abandoned windows,
Offers us all reminder

Of the sun's arc of promise.
And of Nature's determination
To renew...
To persist...

In the meantime, my friends,
I'll be watching from my balcony...
and thinking of you