Archive | poetry

I wrote

This weekend was primarily a writer’s retreat for me.  The idea was to lock myself in a room with pen and paper and work on a story that’s been on my mind…the story in question has been interrupting my sleep with ideas, characters, so I had to give it some attention.

But that’s not what I wrote.

The words on a phone screen pushed me into a new direction, revisiting some feelings I’d shoved down deep.  I don’t know exactly how to explain it, but it was like certain feelings had been stitched up tight for years and the stitches blew out. Much of this was ugly and raw…infected feelings.  There were some sunny rays of light in all that dark mess, but I still haven’t quite corralled the beast I accidentally unleashed and I don’t wanna drag this monster home with me.

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Autumn Equinox

It’s 1 AM in the wee hours after the autumnal equinox, the perfect balance of daylight and darkness.  I fall into my rhythm this time of year, hit my stride.  Screw January for new beginnings; my rebirth is when the first hint of chill hits the air, summer yielding its power, relenting to cool nights, blankets on the couch, overflowing words.

I should be asleep, but what am I doing? I’m up streaming some YouTube videos, awestruck by talent.  Inspired.  Moved.  Thinking on what collaborations, what genius can come when one creative spirit crashes into another and sparks fly.  Late nights with blankets and winding conversations and empty shot glasses set my muse free.

Inspire me.  Let me tell your story thirty-five different ways.  Let me tell the truth; let me tell a lie.

And let me inspire you.  Move forward.  Smile.  Be happy.  Trust me.  Don’t waste a day, a moment-when I turn away, call my bluff, because I will sure as hell call yours.  Create create create, and share it with the world for free or for pay but don’t ever stop again…keep going, inspire me.

As the leaves start to turn, I feel the possibilities on the wind…something magical with wild potential just around the corner.  I don’t want to figure you out; I just want laughter, words, and for your music to play on.

 

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poetry break!

it’s been a while since i’ve laid any poetry on ya, hasn’t it?  here’s a favorite by ee cummings, something sweet and shmoopy and wonderful…i love the line i fear no fate for you are my fate, my sweet.  so here, take a poetry break with me now, enjoy:

i carry your heart with me (i carry it in

my heart) i am never without it (anywhere

i go you go, my dear; and whatever is done

by only me is your doing, my darling)

i fear

no fate (for you are my fate, my sweet) i want

no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true)

and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant

and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows

(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud

and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows

higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)

and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)

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hey you—-don’t go back to sleep…

so i post this every few months or so on my blog, a translation of a rumi poem…and there are several translations, this is the one i like the best:

 

Today, like every other day, we wake up empty
and frightened. Don’t open the door to the study
and begin reading. Take down a musical instrument.
Let the beauty we love be what we do.

There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.

 

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,
there is a field. I’ll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass,
the world is too full to talk about.
Ideas, language, even the phrase ‘each other’
doesn’t make any sense.

 

The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you.
Don’t go back to sleep.
You must ask for what you really want.
Don’t go back to sleep.
People are going back and forth across the doorsill
where the two worlds touch.
The door is round and open.
Don’t go back to sleep

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hey

Ask me.

Ask me anything,

I’ll tell you,

I wanted to tell you something,

Wanted to blurt out five thousand things,

But wasn’t sure if silence was the currency

Holding it all together.

Will I, can I

Can you, will we

Ask me.

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Can I throw a little fiction at ya?

I’ve hesitated to publish any of my short stories or prose or vignettes or whatever, any of my fiction, online for a lot of reasons…I guess the main reason is that any time I’ve ever shared a story or a poem with someone, they immediately want to know who it’s really about.  “Is it about me? Is it about someone I know?”  It’s fiction, it’s made up.  Sure, it’s been inspired by people and places and movies and songs and everything in this goofy life of mine, but it’s made up.  It’s not about you.  It’s not about me.  It’s fiction.  OK? OK! OK.

But it is mine.  Kat’s.  Written by Kat.  Copyright Kat. Trademark Kat.  Not yours to copy. Amen.  So here we go…something from the Kat Fiction Archives in West Ashevegas:

I couldn’t write that day.  I had no words left; the guy with the green eyes tore all my words away, leaving me shaking and vulnerable.

 

The guys with the green eyes always take my words. 

 

I remember the tall one, the lanky man with the camera always within reach.  With every click of the shutter, he snapped away at my soul.  No, that’s not really true.

 

With every click of the shutter, I felt more and more alive, electric.  With every flash of light, I became beautiful, graceful and all the things I never was before; all the traits of the pretty girls I’d envied and feared were mine in the moments in front of his lens.

 

When the proofs were in my hands, I’d marvel at the confidence and radiance of the woman in those photos.  She was happy and in love and loved in return.  I knew she was some part of me, but she wasn’t the ‘public’ me.  She was the private me, the one only the tall man with the green eyes knew.

 

I have a photograph he took; I only saved a few, and this was one of the last images he snapped of me, just a quickie candid shot taken before I argued that I was too grungy to be on film.  In the photo, I’m looking up at a waterfall, only you don’t see the waterfall, just me gazing upward.  I kept it because it reminds me of my ignorance.  We’d just spent the whole weekend together at his request, and the hike to the falls was the icing on the cake of our adventure.  I stared up at the rocks and the water and thought about how fantastic it was to be sweaty and dirty in the midst of all nature’s glory with a man who obviously loves me.  I felt so comfortable, so safe and at ease with him and with myself.

 

Only an hour after that photo was taken as we drove out of the woods and back to the harsh realities of the city, the green-eyed photographer announced that he didn’t love me.  Not only did he not love me, but he could never love me because I was much fatter than any other woman he’d dated.  It just wouldn’t do for a man as sexy as he to be seen with someone like me. 

 

Someone like me?  I wanted to ask what that meant, but I had no words.  I rested my head against the cool window of the car and watched the world whiz by.

 

Later that night, I sat down with my journal and discovered that though the ink in my pen still flowed, my words had dried up and wouldn’t come out onto the page.  The next day, he emailed me the photos from our trip, said he’d hoped I wasn’t mad and hoped we could still hang out.  I hit the reply button, but found I still had nothing to say, so I hit the cancel button and mourned the loss of my ability to communicate.

 

Seasons changed and in the winter of the same year, there was another green-eyed gentleman, the gameboy.  When he wasn’t fawning over me, he was playing a computer game, some computer game, any computer game until his green eyes were bloodshot.  He adored me.  The gameboy told me he loved me.  I said it was too soon for me to know yet about love.  He said we should move in together.  I said if we’re still together in six months we should consider it.  He said goodbye, said I was distant and cold and good luck finding someone who would put up with my crap.  I said nothing, because of course I wasn’t able to utter a single syllable in my own defense.  All my words followed him silently out the front door and into the night.  I watched the taillights of his car until they disappeared.

 

Years later, I met another green-eyed man, the man who gave me the hour-long hugs.  Under the apple tree, he hugged me tight to him beneath the stars and as I breathed the scent of his neck, my words flooded back in a rush.  My muse was alive and well.  Inspired by affection, I wrote poems.  I wrote stories.  I sent letters.  I fired off a million and one emails to everyone I knew.  I scribbled little bits of nonsense on Post It notes.  I filled my journal and ran out of ink in my favorite pen.  I posted ramblings on the Internet.  I had so many words I just couldn’t keep them all to myself.

 

He hugged me.  He touched my face and I blushed.  He scratched my back at lunchtime while the summer heat made my skin sticky.  I could hardly keep still long enough to savor those times; I wanted to scamper off and write it all down.

 

The man with green eyes who gave me fantastic hugs one day decided he couldn’t be around, that the child whose hand was tight in mine was a burden he didn’t want to be saddled with as he gallivanted through life.  She’s not a burden, she’s an angel, she’s part of me, she’s amazing and fantastic…all the things I wanted to say, but I couldn’t even scream in pain.  My throat had closed and again my words were gone.

 

I thought the words were gone forever until I met the man with the brown eyes.  The sound of his laughter broke the dam that held my communication in check.  I could say anything, write anything, expose my secrets and he still smiled.  He held the hand of my child and made everything right in my fragile world. 

 

Today in the sunlight, I will stare at him hard to make certain that his eyes aren’t the slightest bit green.

 

 

 

Memorize

The curve of an arm

Backlit by the morning sun

Memorize

The scent that lingers

Just behind the jaw

Memorize

The feeling of bliss and

Cozy familiarity

Memorize

The possibilities

Before they disappear

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I love this poem

Periodically, I like to share a fave poem–found this in my desk drawer this morning, so it must mean that I should share it with you asap:

THINGS TO THINK

by Robert Bly

Think in ways you’ve never thought before.

If the phone rings, think of it as carrying a message

Larger than anything you’ve ever heard,

Vaster than a hundred lines of Yeats.

Think that someone may bring a bear to your door,

Maybe wounded and deranged; or think that a moose

Has risen out of the lake, and he’s carrying on his antlers

A child of your own whom you’ve never seen.

When someone knocks on the door, think that he’s about

To give you something large: tell you you’re forgiven,

Or that it’s not necessary to work all the time, or that it’s

Been decided that if you lie down no one will die.

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One of my favorite poems…

I’m a sucker for words.  I jot down great quotes and beautiful phrases that I hear on post it notes and napkins and tuck them in desk drawers so I can reflect on them later.

The excerpt from a Rumi poem below is one of I have in several translations–the words vary slightly by translator, but I think the imagery is fabulous.   I had an interesting experience recently that made me want to dig this poem up and share.  Enjoy:

Today, like every other day, we wake up empty
and frightened. Don’t open the door to the study
and begin reading. Take down a musical instrument.
Let the beauty we love be what we do.
There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,
there is a field. I’ll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass,
the world is too full to talk about.
Ideas, language, even the phrase each other
doesn’t make any sense.

The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you.
Don’t go back to sleep.
You must ask for what you really want.
Don’t go back to sleep.
People are going back and forth across the doorsill
where the two worlds touch.
The door is round and open.
Don’t go back to sleep.

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