We cried until our eyes were red
and his fur was spotted wet with our tears
His eyes were open
but he was gone
We had to say goodbye to old Boy kitty tonight, seventeen and a half years old. I had known him since 2009; my husband had known him since he was a tiny kitten. Yes. It was rough to say good bye. His kidneys were beginning to fail, he wasn’t eating anything, he had become a bag of bones, very quiet, subdued, just waiting…I know we did the right thing, but it is so hard to see my husband so sad, dazed, grief stricken, and it’s terrible to think about the empty place on our bed, the lack of cat hair (Isn’t it crazy? To actually miss the hair that had been annoying me?), no more warm cat waiting for a snuggle. Sad.
Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt asked us to write a poem backwards. What appears above is about as far as I could get in my exhausted and sad state. Maybe I’ll have the courage to write more, to fill in the earlier parts of the evening leading up to the moment of goodbye, but for now this is enough.
Farewell NaPoWriMo, until next year!
It was so cold for so long
I thought you would never get here
And then you teased me
for a few delicious days.
Then suddenly, mercilessly,
Old Man Winter came back and cackled,
placed icy hands around my poor heart and squeezed.
I just about lost all hope as I struggled to break free
of that cold, bony death grip…
But now you’re back,
I’m hesitant now.
Before I celebrate your return I must know–
How long will you stay?
The prompt for today: write a review. It was really open-ended. I thought I’d write a review of this spring. It ended up being more of a confession than a review, but that’s okay. Poetic license.
In Baltimore things are pretty hot
even as winter holds on
driving fingers of cold
into the hearts of young flowers wanting to take root
When I think of the desperation
that drives the people in my city
to senseless violence
I wonder on the next breath
How can I help?
Today, like every other day,
I take a seat, close my eyes,
wait and listen.
Today, like every other day,
I acknowledge the basic goodness
of all beings,
and I silently repeat the phrases of metta:
May you be free from danger,
May you have mental happiness
May you have physical happiness,
May you have ease of well-being
As I repeat these phrases,
I spin a million zillion rainbow bridges from my heart
to the hearts of everyone,
sending waves of harmony, peace,
happiness to all beings.
If you aren’t already a spinner of
it is simple to begin.
And please begin.
This world has need of your light.
Take a seat, close your eyes,
wait and listen.
You might feel the bridges that have been extended to you
since before the beginning of time.
You might start spinning your own
rainbow bridges now.
Over at NaPoWriMo.net today the prompt suggested we write about bridges.
Preparing a class on satya,
I discover I’m growing tired.
And still I press on,
looking in book after book
for the perfect words
to resonate with my vision
of the class
But my body is tired,
and my mind is hazy,
and I’m not being productive.
The minutes stretch on,
even more tired now.
It was time to be honest with myself.
“Girl, you need to go to bed.”
“Okay,” I said.
Today’s NaPoWriMo.net prompt sounded interesting so I gave it a go. Grabbed my tarot deck, picked a card at random, wrote for five minutes, and then made a poem.
Here is the card I chose, from Juliet Sharman-Burke and Liz Greene’s Mythic Tarot :
It shows Orestes caught in the middle of a big feud between his mother Clytemnestra and his father Agamemnon. Not a happy story, and not the happiest of cards, admittedly. I almost threw it back in the deck and mined for a happier one, but I decided that it takes the fun out of things to only ever want to write about fun. Um. So now for a poem…
He holds his head in his hands,
this poor young boy,
caught between his Mother and his Father.
Tormented by inevitability
any choice he makes will lead to sorrow, loss,
and he fears the consequences,
but choose he must.
Grey skies with storm clouds on the horizon,
soil a barren wasteland,
terrain rocky and unforgiving,
he is a long way from home.
They try to claim him for themselves,
but they do not see him.
Did they ever question what he wants?
He stands in pure white,
but soon his garment will be stained with blood.
Will it be his or another’s?
Storm clouds gather on the horizon.
He holds his head in his hands, aching.
Today’s NaPoWriMo.net prompt took me pretty deep. It introduced me to the landay:
Landays are 22-syllable couplets, generally rhyming. The form comes from Afghanistan, where women often use it in verses that range from the sly and humorous to the deeply sardonic and melancholy.
It linked to this in depth article that not only gave me more of a feel for the landay, but it also helped me to see a little more of what life is like for Afghan women growing up with no real access to education and few if any personal liberties. It told the story of a teenaged woman who reached for poetry when nothing else was available to her and found herself connected with a group of other women poets who encouraged her to continue. But her story is not a happy one. I found myself all at once feeling heartbroken as I read of her fate but also profoundly grateful for my own, being born into a family with the means to support me on my path of self-discovery, at a time when self-discovery is encouraged, and in a country that provides me with the freedom to make those discoveries on my own terms.
I wrote my landays for the Afghan women who search for themselves in spite of the terrible oppression they are forced to live with. I have hope for them. I will not give up hope.
My sisters, I did not start this war.
The foolish ones who chose it suffer forevermore.
Completely covered from head to toe,
They may hide your body; let them try to hide your soul.
Love and light forever reign supreme.
God sees neither borders nor the color of your skin.
Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt brings social media into the poetry equation:
…try to write a “social media”-style poem. Namecheck all of your friends. Quote from their texts, tweets, FB status updates, twitter accounts, and blogposts, and the back of the cereal box on your breakfast table. The poem is about you and you are about what you say, think, talk, eat. You might end up with a poem that seems bizarrely solipsistic (like the internet itself, maybe?), but there might also be a spark there of something live and fun and present (like the verbal equivalent of a really great animated cat .gif).
You know, sounds like fun…sort of…but like the terzanelle I contemplated last night, the social media just ain’t happening tonight. I spend very little of my time on Twitter, FaceBook and Instagram. Something about potty training, laundry, teaching yoga, cooking meals, and making time to bathe myself every so often–I don’t know, call me crazy, but the social media just doesn’t fall very high on my priority queue.
Anyway, social media or not, I write a poem every day, and it’s time.
I would quote one of your tweets, friend,
but I haven’t been on twitter for several moons.
I would post something on your wall,
I would hashtag your name
I would like all of your pictures on Instagram, friend,
but my son just had a pee accident
and my daughter needs a second dose of cough syrup.
I know I’m missing a lot of fun,
all of those viral YouTube videos
and the memes
and the latest news on HuffPo,
but dang it,
the kids need to eat again,
and I haven’t brushed my hair yet today.
And plus, you live far away.
I’ve never met you,
but you know what I look like.
What does “friend” mean anyway?