Sleeping with the television on

Did I sleep?
I remember moments
when colors flew by
kaleidoscope
and merry-go-round
and you–-smiling
that must have been a dream

our fingers
formed a web between us
and you lifted your hand
to
brush hair off my forehead–-
shivering with the notion
of one hundred nights

I trampled you
and you asked for more
assumptions. predictions. affirmations.
and a storm
of peppermint schnapps
the tip of your tongue
lazy–
saying–
come on

and I was drawing you
into every waking hour
the way I saw you
each day
a new destination
to reach that sunset
with you still seeing me–-

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you’ve been gone 20 years
but I felt you pass behind me
and touch my back
cold and reaching
while I was washing the dishes

if you are really there
you might help dry

Chasing butterflies

smell pink rose

every green
nourishes me
pulling me further
from the gray
fuchsia and coral
begonia and mother-of-pearl

GE

oh what a whirl
of sight
sound
and color
after paltry days of torpor
I tend to grasp at

bee in rose

so I learn here
what it means
to fill up with joy
I’m a girl
he’s a boy
chasing butterflies
across sun-dappled foliage

GE

first cuppa
with the rising sun
joyous and bright
cup two for discourage-
ment and woe
cup three for I Love Lucy
some laughs
fourth cuppa
to mute out the noise
bring on the joys
of so much good taste
and hot, steamy
give-without-taking
kind of cuppa

Lemon pie blues

Today hurt bad like cuts on my fingers
then slicing lemons for hours
your face, always disappointed, and
I would like to be the girl
to bring light to your eyes

How do I explain why it hurts more
to be misunderstood than kicked
honey, how I wish I could have you here
to protect me now
because I am feeling low

Feeling tired and wondering why
I never fit into this world of woe
come Sunday, everything
is going to feel alright
praise God on Sunday we will dance

and give happiness one more chance
come Sunday
everything is gonna feel alright

sudden cold snap
an unexpected breeze
like when he left
only to turn around
to touch my face again
Monday
you have been called
blue
but I wave my wand
and call you gold
leaving the blues
in the can behind me

you get no more of my heart
your stark, bleak revelations
of purity and righteousness
are dirty as menstrual rags
and your claims to freedom
no more than cymbals
clanging in an open
empty building
all this to say
you get no more of my heart

52. The book.

Hmm…this could be fun

52

52 PROMPTS Cover v3

The 52 project originated as a life-changing year of poetry prompts, published on this site by Jo Bell in the 52 weeks between January 1st 2014 and January 1st 2015.

Now Jo’s prompts – together with ten written by guest poets including Helen Mort, Philip Gross and Neil Rollinson – are available in a single chunky book from Nine Arches Press. It’s an anthology too, with each prompt supported by poems ranging from John Donne and Edward Thomas to contemporary poets like Kei Miller and Sharon Olds.

Who is the book for? Anyone who writes poetry, at any level. Beginners will find a rich wealth of advice and illustrative poems; experienced poets will find material to refresh their practice; and all will find heart-stopping new poems to show how poetry can move, shock and touch us. The first blog (and now, the first chapter in our book) has been re-published here

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