April is National Poetry Month. I didn't even realize it until my friend Deb Stein (BonBonOiseaux) who makes poetic jewellery told me it was.
(It is also National Frog Month --really!)
My daughter hates poetry; Percy Bysshe Shelley thought that poets should be the supreme legislators. There must be a happy medium somewhere.
To celebrate the month I offer two poems that I like a lot. The first is by Eileen Morrone.
White Narcissus and the Cat
One bleak February day,
unable to fly off to Florida or Rio,
I went into town.
Newspapers and dried leave littered the streets.
Shops looked the same as last week
while bundled up pedestrians hurried
to escape the cold.
Wasting time, walking about, not
tackling bills or writing thank-you's
I stopped at a flower shop, its window
filled with baskets of paper white narcissus:
tall green stems with tiny star blossoms,
their whiteness dazzling.
And, behind, sat a black and white cat,
staring out at the street.
I wanted to share the sight
and stopped a woman passing by.
She nodded and kept on walking.
I've returned twice with my camera.
The white flowers remain,
but the cat lounges inside,
its back to the window
The second by Gracie Conway
at St. Patrick’s Cathedral
The summer I turn fifteen
Mom and I leave dad at home
get on the greyhound bus
and go to New York city
We stay near the library
passing the open-mouthed lions
every day on our way to
The Puerto Rican boys
make slippery sounds
with their mouths
This thrills me in a dark way
my mother says
don’t look at them
I am obsessed with the
procession of mourners
stretching around whole
He was so cute.
I hear over and over
wherever we go
At night, I don’t sleep
I listen to the water bugs, made brave by the darkness,
march determinedly up out of the drain
into the kitchen sink
The next morning I tell my mom
I want to go look at Bobby’s body
I need to see him
She says no
When we leave the building
later that day
I tie up my shirt and look straight at
the Puerto Ricans.
We go back to Ohio.
Photos from yesterday morning on 23rd Street.
More 23rd Street.
And last of all my new little poem book available here with a preview here. I'll send a proof copy to one of the people who comments. I'll pick the commenter on Saturday.