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Author Archives: Paula

Haiku By Kayak

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     The neighbor’s white truck is stacked with kayaks he is too busy to unload. Yard work and dogs, wife, family, wife’s family, day job, errands, children’s sports practice, the house he is rebuilding room by room, board by board. Was it last weekend we camped with kayaks and tents? The weekend before that? Next weekend.? Maybe, maybe. Time will tell.

rainstorm in the night
truck bed became a stream where
Kayaks learned to float

rainstorms many nights
truck bed becomes a small lake
Look! Kayaks can swim

Yoga Shadorma

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Shadorma is a poetic form, possibly Spanish in origin, which is built on a syllabic line count: 3/5/3/7/5
Warning: In the right mood, it’s as addictive as rhyme!

We need rhyme.
Sometimes an ocean
of vowels
can form a chain reaction
a trail to follow

from stanza
to stanza, laughing
at how far
we can travel together
rising from old selves

looking back
at where we began
Twist into
summer’s Sanskrit asana—
a group tree, in words

Contagious
describes what those rhymes
awakened
Distinct as snake’s skin, we built
a poem together

Writing A Poem About Yoga

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I.
What is yoga? Please answer in complete sentences
totaling no more than our goal of 108 words.
Or 216, or any multiplier of that original number.
Be brief but thorough.
This question appears on the final exam.
Everyone who breathes
must take the exam
eventually.
The good news is, everyone
who takes the exam passes it
eventually.

II.
What is yoga?
Yoga is a poem your body recites to itself.

The poem is read by everyone we meet
and, as in all the best art, each reader
brings themselves to yoga
and writes their own part into this
unfolding work.

On the days when you’re awake,
you hear it everywhere and are inspired
to help write this brief haiku, this massive epic,
with stanzas scribbled
by checkout clerks and prep cooks
master teachers and old men pulling dandelions
from their manicured lawns
with a tool especially made for this task
Right this minute, it’s being written
by honeybees buzzing in the orchard
by Arjuna on the battlefield
by Vishnu, who dreams it up on the ocean waves
by all of us whenever we open
another one of our doors to the world.
This stanza, for instance,
was written just this morning
when one of us turned off the window fan
to listen to the birds.

Another Red Wheelbarrow

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I spray painted
the old wheelbarrow
Bright Red
to remember the poem
and the poet

so much depends
etcetera

the wheelbarrow itself
was peaceful, brown,
spider web wrapped
in the barn for years

for years, for many years
it rested and rusted
dreamed and dozed
or possibly gossiped
with the barn mice
Who knows?
only the spiders, the mice
and the wheelbarrow

 

American Goldfinch

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bright yellow, smaller than the palm
of my hand or your hand
goldfinch lands beside me in the grass
Both of us are too surprised
by the other to move.
For a moment
we sit together
In my day of goal setting
timetables and checklists
add this: Look for
openings, chances to
breathe for a few breaths
with someone wild and other

Who You Are This Morning

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solitary robin hunting earthworms
in the crab apple shade
or new bird practicing stunt dives or
blue jay in the maple tree reprimanding the cat
or hidden doves calling or are you
that blackbird on the rooftop
while cousins race by
You, a still point breathing
in the brightening air

Dandelion’s Cousins

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Sometimes it is good
to step out of your own way
to remember the answers
to Big Questions
do not come to us
Simply
do not come to us
by moving faster
Spinning in circles
of work and worry
brings us nowhere
except exactly here
falling over
dizzy, tumbling to the ground
lucky to land in sweet grass
green flecked with deep yellow
dandelions.
**************************************
The root went down a foot, at least, he said
Proud that he had dug it up and
destroyed it—a weed.
Maybe something with a root that deep
deserved to stay. Maybe it had something
Important
to tell us. But do not grieve its passing.
Look. The dandelion’s cousins are everywhere.

The Novel Bunch

aka: The Happy Bookers

The Sketchbook

MOSTLY MONTREAL, MOST OF THE TIME

Red Wolf Prompts

I came to where you were living, up a stair. There was no one there.--John Ashberry, "The New Higher"

typewriter rodeo

custom poems on vintage typewriters

A Poet in Time

One Poet's Writing Practice

Writing the Day

A Poetry Practice

Invisible Horse

Living in the moment

leaf and twig

where observation and imagination meet nature in poetry