Religion Is Politics

Day 24 (Include a verb in every line of your poem.)

(Inspired by the Kansas City Repertory’s production of The Who & The What)

paths

Religion is Politics

Go ahead pretend
it is not true.
A great but human life twisted
to mold a fable
a thin veil dropped
to arouse
or even extinguish passion
now disguises oppression.
Go ahead believe
this has nothing
to do with you.
Despite it all
the truth lies
hidden in our sacred texts.

Just Be Yourself

Day 23 (Write a poem that discusses a real moment in your life without discussing its larger meaning or attempting to lead the reader to a conclusion.)

justbeyourself

Just Be Yourself

I was given
a list of things to avoid
— kiss boys too soon
— swing too high
— judge too quickly

I was given
a list of behaviors to adopt
— obey
— be respectable
— show compassion

I was given
a list of titles to achieve
— Wife
— Mother
— Secretary

I was given
many gifts to live by
— discipline
— shelter
— love

Permission to be myself
that came later.

Bearing it All

Day 22 (Try something that scares you (just a little) and then write a poem about it.)

 

cropped

Bearing it All

I can see it in my head
a crowded room
ready to hear me speak
my poetry.
Their eyes like darts
their judgement like daggers
ripping into my words
as I stand naked fleshed
in front of them.
My tongue bound
to the four corners of my mind
spread eagle unable to recoil
from their presumed thoughts.

It’s not public speaking
I’ve done that since I was young.
It was a church thing to speak from
the pulpit and bear your heart
and testimony. So proud I was
to mimic adults, wait my turn
and tell everyone the church was true
because I was going to be a big sister soon.

No it is not public speaking,
it is standing in front of people
and speaking my bold words
words of my radical faith
words of my authenticity
words that are my humanity
words that expose my fragility.

I might as well be at a podium
and nude. Believing I am safer
with a mute tongue
then to speak my fleshy words.
Slowly I shed
a word,
then two
until I can stand
to bare it all
for poetry.

Game On

Write a three stanza poem that shows a progression with each stanza. The three stanzas should serve as a beginning, middle and end respectively. It might help to picture the poem as a three act play.

Waterlogue-royals-2014

Game On

With luck of ‘Super Fan’
SungWoo Lee
the Royals stood
at their plate, faced a Giant
and tasted victory.

Some games hard won
‘the boys in blue’
a wild-card not to trade.
KC’s pride beaming
city fountains burst blue
in a sweep
American League Champs!

Today the K a blue buzz
our mighty town
it’s not just a game
it’s a dream decades strong
it’s the World Series
Game On!

#GoRoyals

From the Storm Cellar

Day 20 (Negative to positive)

bluesky

From the Storm Cellar

Hard and fast the winds came
like a freight train
windows rattle
house quivers
shingle after shingle
pull at their tar laden nails
and spiral like swallows
into a sick green sky.
The wind’s roar drums at the ears
every hair on the body comes to attention
skin crawls across bones.
Just as quickly as it came
it is gone.
Pots tipped over
the swing set twisted on its side
that’s all.
Children’s cries come to a rest
in their parent’s grateful arms
under a calm blue sky.

From Nothing

Day 19 (Write a poem that has a variable line length rather than a set meter. Use either enjammed or endstopped lines.)

Red Onion Watercolor

Red Onion Watercolor

From Nothing

An onion is layers
upon layers
layered. Peel back
one to find it overlaps
another. She loves me
she loves me not
she loves me. One layer
pulled and stretched
followed by another arched
away from center. Until
the last of the thin delicate shell
is gone. All that’s left to hold
like salty tears, is discovery
that out of nothing
something came to be.

A Casual Formality

Day 18 (Include the words “formal” and “casual” at some point in your poem.)

Painting by Claire Murphy Murdough

Painting by Claire Murphy Murdough

A Casual Formality

a casual look
an interesting coffee
a romantic stroll
a sensual touch
an electric smile
a smoldering kiss
a tentative question
an exuberant answer
an exploratory year
a brave decision
a daring move
a solid purchase
a decade or two relished
a dream sanctioned
a life of casual vows sealed with
a formal “I do!”