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Bird's Blog

Poetry, musings, observations, commentary, rants, confessions...and who knows what else!

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Location: San Francisco Bay Area

Teacher, writer, poet, grandmother, lover, wine-drinker, chocolate eater, beach comber, hiker, traveler, Giants fan, San Franciscan. All work on this blog is copyrighted material.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Finessing Poetry

Over this Thanksgiving break, I've managed to get none of my teaching work accomplished, but I have worked on two poems that were quite fexing me. I am thankful for the break - for the poetry time, for being able to finesse what were rough drafts into pieces which, though not quite done, are worthy of being read aloud at an upcoming open reading. And I am thankful for the fellow writer (A) who gave me some excellent advice and some much-needed inspiration.

The second of the following poems I posted here a few weeks back, in its very rough form.

The Wheelbarrow and the Props Master
(for MJ and with thanks to A)

Somewhere along the coast,
an old wooden wheelbarrow stood
forlornly, yet hopefully, in some fallow field.
Standing in the mud and the muck,
with the light rain drizzling down upon it.
Waiting, patiently waiting
for the props master to discover it
load it into the back of a small pickup truck
with the rich, dark mud clinging
to its two rotting legs and its worn gritty tire
and place it center stage
the spotlight trained upon it.

Somewhere along the coast
a props master hunted
desperately, yet hopefully
in countryside feed and grain stores
and the little boutiques along Main Street
stuffed with quaint oddities
for an old wooden wheelbarrow.
Slogging through the rural lanes near the coast,
peeping into front and back yards,
she hoped to spot an old wooden wheelbarrow
neglected or perhaps filled with dirt and geraniums
that she might ask the owner the lend of.

So much depends on
this old wooden wheelbarrow
the props master fretted with the play but a few days away.

That night the props master
saw her wheelbarrow in her dreams
standing alone in a barren field
moonlight gleaming down upon it.
Setting forth down the road, eyes sharply trained on the wheelbarrow
she saw William Carlos Williams dressed in dingy white
sitting in the wet, dirty wheelbarrow as on a throne
his long legs sprawled out before him.
A can of red paint in one hand
a brush in the other
and he grinning like a ghost.

Nothing depends
on any wheelbarrow
he whispered in the props master’s ear.

In The Poet’s Tent at the Book Faire
(with thanks to A)

I am a polite member of the audience and even though
I am bored now with you and your poem
and my stomach is imagining what the sugar-fried doughnuts on-a-stick
might taste like - I did see a doughnut stand at the far end of the book stalls -
and the sun beckons me from outside the poet's tent at the book fair -
I am a polite member of the audience
sitting in the front row and will not interrupt your moment to leave.

But as I am no longer interested in your words
(though I am compelled to tell you
I thought most assuredly I would be)
I stare at the huge redwood tree outside the tent
in the center of the square
noticing the Christmas lights still nestled in its limbs
even though it is September.

I hear the low murmur of the crowd out in the square
as it peruses the book stalls
sounding almost like a cocktail party
except for the notes of ice clinking in glasses
which are absent with nothing to stand in their stead
and lead me to wish I had a drink in my hand.

And as you read
the heavily weighted, meaningful, ponderous
words of your poem
One
At
A
Time
And with e-xact-ing e-nun-ci-a-shun

I scribble all these thoughts down
across the names of featured authors
in the small white spaces between lines
and along the grey margins of the program
for I forgot to bring a pad of paper,
and though I walked up and down the rows
of booksellers before I took my seat
none of the them
had a blank book to sell.

2 Comments:

Blogger /t. said...

i
would love
to hear you read

HAPPY THANKSGIVING, BIRD

/t.

November 22, 2007 4:07 PM  
Blogger Jack K. said...

Thank you.

Happy Thanksgiving.

November 22, 2007 7:36 PM  

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