Friday, July 17, 2009

Nothing More To Say, When I Turned Nine

There's a challenge in this more than one poem a day. Sometimes you just run dry. I have begun to let it go if I must. I say my goal is to match poems written and poems published, two a day. That's not so much a task since my poems are so short. But this week I accepted one poem each for three days, two poems yesterday, and four today. But here is one solution. Sometimes you pull back and look at trying to write. Write a poem like that.

Nothing More To Say

There's that sticky tongue
Tells me nothing more to say
And worse, that all I've
Said is shit, and worse
That I would dare to think like
Anyone would care.

That sticky tongue comes
Round from sleeping twisted,
Twisted up with dusty words.
I turn this sideways
In my vanity's mirror
And find a poem there.

January 28, 2009 9:11 AM


I have the experience I share in this next poem every day. For example, I can't get past and reframe my morning experience. I always leave a little late, get to work a little late and what I say about it, what I do in the morning just should not take this much time. There is something deeply not right about that according to my spirit. This is not the only thing like this. There are many. Always my inner space says some version of see? There's something wrong with this place or with me, doesn't really matter what or where, I just don't fit! I am still a little mortified at this one example from so long ago though.

I had a friend, a boy I considered my best friend. For some reason I don't understand still, this boy was a major light in my sky. His name was Conal Boyce. I have no idea where he is now, if he is now. I would pine for time with him. I was desperate when we moved away from Berkeley and my heart broke. We moved to Oakdale in the valley beyond Modesto on the way to Sonora. A small town. My mother and father both had teaching jobs and both went to the College of the Pacific in Stocton to get teaching degrees and licenses. That's why we moved.

We moved temporarily into one house, then bought a new housing tract house. I was a field away from a canal and orchard. We had many Siamese cats, two queens and a tom and eight kittens at one point. That year for my birthday, a package came from Conal. I was beside myself, amazed. I opened it as fast as possible when given permission. I looked in to see a beautiful butterfly seemingly floating in the middle of the box. It was in fact impaled on a pin glued upright from the center of the box bottom. I didn't really notice the pin. It was magic.

When I Turned Nine

It came right before
My birthday, the box you sent.
I opened that box
And inside was, pinned
To the bottom, bright purple
Butterfly. I gasped.
I reached in, broken
Wing so sudden, so damn dumb.
Parents mortified
And me far at sea
That the world would treat me so,
That there must be rules.

I know I'll never
Really get the need for rules.

January 28, 2009 2:25 PM


  1. Reminds me of the Holiday Barbies that I got as a kid. The first one I opened and played with, I enjoyed it until someone told me that I shouldn't have opened the box. That I should have left her in there. So then I felt guilty and tried to recreate her in the box, but it never worked. From then after every year I got a Holiday Barbie, I dutifully kept them in their boxes and placed them on a shelf. I never forgot the bitter taste in my mouth for having opened the first one and the joy that I had when I had played with her. Each year, each Barbie meant less and less until I hated, yet coveted the stupid toy's. As time passed quite a few of the boxes got destroyed for one reason or another, and I found that the dolls are not worth all that much, except the one that I played with. Yet they sit on a high shelf in my closet. To make restitution for it all I am going to give them to my girls. (and tell them to play with them)

  2. Children wonder and touch, so tactile...they can't help it. When I was six or seven, I had a robin's egg, filched from an abandoned nest. I wasn't to play with it, only look at it, but didn't listen...carried it in my overalls pocket...stumbled...broken egg, broken heart...

    I still remember the hurt, the wounded confusion of losing my treasure...

    It never quite fades, does it?

    Oh, and Mizz Strawberry? I had Madame Alexander dolls...wasn't supposed to play with them, but my mother always asked why anyone would give a little girl dolls and expect her to just look at them?? So I happily ruined their collector's value and loved them all - I collected memories, instead...

    Shade and Sweetwater,

  3. Smiling wryly for little Christopher and his passion.

    Poetry seems to drop out of nowhere for me....


  4. Ha, I had one of those too. She was in an old fashioned green box wrapped in pink tissue paper up on the high shelf of my closet. I climbed up there one day to discover her and behold my joy!! She cried when I turned her over and she had beautiful black curls. I decided to give her hair a wash and a dry, and it has never looked good again! OH the guilt ;D:D

    But I still love her, I played with her.

    (Sorry bout' all the memory posts on your comment thread Christopher) ;)


  5. Annie, this site doesn't really have rules, except maybe no divisive and hateful comments. Even those REALLY creatively written might survive. It touches me that people might get childhood memories and share them. To me this makes my comment section a "safe place". Sorry I can't really relate to dolls that much.

    I had an autographed baseball from the New York Yankees, the team that had Yogi Berra, Phil Rizzuto, Jackie Jensen, Joe DiMaggio, those guys (before Mantle). I couldn't leave it alone. I wrote over the signatures, trying to get the feel for writing like they wrote. Not good. But I never got in trouble because my Dad didn't value such stuff that much, not star struck.

    Kyddryn, yes, I imagine we all have stories of this nature. It is after all part of childhood to learn the limits. What should happen, I think, a person outgrows the issue somehow on the way up. Like they say, Get over it. I regret to say I never really have. I don't just get on with things. Instead I hold arguments and declare the world wrong because EVERYTHING takes longer and demands more attention than it is worth. :( Turning blue in the face now in my tantrum.

    Michelle, thank you for your tolerance of little Christopher.

  6. Sticky tongues pull out the sweetest nectar.

  7. I didn't really notice the pin. It was magic.

    I'm left there at that line just breathing and thinking. It's a line I needed today.

    Ever feel like a butterfly on a pin? And maybe not even the pretty sort and maybe not even only one pin?

    I hear you in both poems, Christopher.

  8. Karen, the last Tiger Swallowtail I spoke with said the same thing!

    Erin, it's another form of crucifixion.

    We are rude to the crucified in AA. We say get down off the cross. We need the wood. In our defense, alcoholics are very immature and often believe in avoiding responsibility by being victimized if they can get you to buy it. And the truth is, most alcoholics at least some of the time find people who will buy it.

    So to answer you, I have been crucified by circumstance once or twice and several more times by my own hand. How humiliating. I try to catch my self service early these days.

    On the other hand it is plain that people are often impaled at another's intent or by circumstance. The worst part can be the refusal of others to see it. To be lifted off the pin by someone who cares is much easier than trying to work one's own way back off.

  9. I feel like I touched that sadness, the lost friend, and the broken butterfly. Probably because it is a shared experience we have, though what I got in the mail was a huge packet of letters, poetry and artwork, some taped music, and a carefully concealed doobie of BC bud.

  10. I think we've all been that broken butterfly, and also the one who broke it. Life's like that, but god, either way, does it have to hurt so....



The chicken crossed the road. That's poultry in motion.

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