WE ARE STRANGERS STILL
I introduce myself
As though we never met
Surprised you play along
You smile and name yourself
Who’ll give in first? Who’ll let
The other right what’s wrong?
We think we won’t forget
But love is not that strong
After having no luck yesterday, I almost gave up on finding a form today. I figured I could either take the month off (always my first choice) or just go back to writing whatever the hell comes out on any given day. I had been planning, half-heartedly, to so just that, to let June be formless. I was okay with the idea when it was part of a plan, as the halfway point in this year-long challenge, to see if having stuck with a form each month had made any difference in how I approached writing without that structure. That’s not the mindset I had, though, once I found myself here in June. I was floundering again, just as I have every month, so giving up on forms felt more like a failure than a plan.
I spent yesterday pouring through Turco’s The New Book of Forms, trying to settle on something: ballade, interlocking rubaiyat, madrigal, roundelay. All of them made me feel drained. I didn’t have the energy to write twenty-eight lines of anything. I didn’t want to think about rhymes and refrains. I thought that prose poems might be the way to go, but after reading Dawn Song by Wesli Court (the example given in this book), I wouldn’t dare. I wish I had the words to write like that, but I’m feeling like a wrung-out sponge. If I were to keep writing, I’d have to find something else.
Enter the rimas dissolutas. I hadn’t paid much attention to this one until a post on Writer’s Digest reminded me of it. There’s no set line length, meter, or stanza length. An envoi is accepted, but not required. In other words, there’s room to play. Still some structure, but relaxed enough that I could ease into it with something short if that’s all I had in me.
And that’s all I had in me.
SPRING AMBLED BY OUR SIDE
More gray than green this spring too soon undone
By May’s hurried exit. She left without packing,
While June bursts in, taking for herself what’s
Left behind, bouncing on the bed covered in
Roses. Come play, she calls to the rest of us
Hiding behind closed doors, still mourning
Our friend. What will we do without her gentle
Smile and soft touch? She dried our tears when
March lashed out, so cruel. And kissed our cuts
Each time we fell, taking April’s dare to ride
Without training wheels. Impatient June is
Already calling her hot friends. Summer begins
Now. We’re all invited to the party. No crying.
Spring ambled by our side, but summer struts.
MY SOUL IN STARLIGHT
I wish I lived where stars still fill the sky,
Where night’s true darkest nature is revealed.
And trees stretch tall, uncut by road and wire.
Give me mountain views, and sunsets, and the wild.
Build me there a home far from the crowds.
I don’t need neighbors, just a place to heal.
Let me rest on glacial boulders, dreaming clouds.
Storms batter the adult, but cleanse the child.
My prayers burst into flames as lightening’s fire
Carries them to gods who have no names.
What angels will appear, what ghosts draw near?
How many tempered hearts have they beguiled?
Exposed my soul in starlight truths concealed
From heart and mind, what spirit most desires.
lost in an ancient wood
spirit falls back through time
lives past flash silently
who am I with no name
lost I’ve done all I could
searching the way back home
tangled in memories
why do they look the same
lost in a simple rhyme
following word by word
new paths I write myself
I am the one to blame
what is the likelihood
of escaping this paradigm
DEAR MIDNIGHT, STAY
midnight held his breath and slipped away,
closing the door behind him with a soft click
he left me dreaming of a different life,
and I was happy for a moment alone
midnight left the room, left room for day
to slide into my bed and curl around me
easing under covers warmed in darkness
cooling touch on fever, passion lit, love grown
midnight’s love never-lasting, alive
only while I dream. day is death’s chill stabbing
my open heart, no dream, a waking knife
its sun-point sharpened, whet on stolen moonstone
let me sleep, just sleep, dear midnight stay
let me live my dreams, there is no afterlife
IS THIS THE STORM THAT WAKES ME?
Lightening dances in the clouds,
Trees wink in and out of being,
A flash of green and gone.
Wind kisses windows slammed shut.
Is this the storm that wakes me?
I long to feel the thunder,
But it’s timid, barely loud
Enough to hear. It’s not what
Shakes me. The storm surrounds me,
Yet I feel nothing. Stale air,
Hot with my own sweat, safe on
The inside. I wait hours, but
Am unmoved, wrapped in a shroud
I wove from leftover yawns.