Wednesday, September 9, 2009

CPITS 2009 Poems


(Cathy Barber's Imitation class)
—after WCWs, THE ACT

There were the horses, in the sleet.
Don't scare them, I pleaded.
They won't like it, she said.
But they're so lonely
out in the field.
Ach, we were all that lonely once, she
and hugged me, and led them to me,
that wild band.

—after a poem by ee cummings

who knows if the sky's
pale, crawling out of a fogbank
into the dawn—filled with pretty flowers
(and if you and i should
run away from it, it
should take me and take you into the tule fog
why then
we'd be lost mid-winter with all that
and houses and cars and hills'd
go crawling
away and away into the dark
only which nobody's ever come out of, when
winter and everyone's
cold and even the stars are alone

—after Partho's untitled Chinese Poem

Inside the old abandoned barn
we locked up a childhood dream
with fence posts and 2 by 4s, a horse
who had wandered too far from home.
When at daybreak we heard
a little whicker of recognition, we
looked out the barn door to see
a brave new morning, a tiny white lie,
we later told the sheriff, to deflect blame.
Two slender girls, horse crazy enough
to steal a dream and bring it home.
He said But they still hang horse thieves.
And with that we let her go,
the shining mare. Our dream deferred.

(Dan Levinson's class)

Bizlandia is a huge woven picnic basket
of a building in the middle of a business park
with twin handles praising the sultry sky
like twinned golden Macdonald's arches
or the gates of St. Louis spanning the industrial river,
once the gateway to the Wild West.
Outside the windows, a bed of red Dutch tulips
a manicured bowling green, the idea of golf
and whatever passes for leisure—
where the natural world is stripped of its wildness.
From within the great bread basket of a building
the warp and weave of commerce yeastily rises.
Greysuits peer out from corporate balconies
both invisible and unseen, their eyes hunger
for the red flowers bleeding on the remains
of what once was meadowland and wilderness.
Whole fortunes have been won and lost
on the vagaries of tulips speaking
in broken colors from their cold winter beds.

Icebergs in the key of three
as the briar rose
heart, two vines
entwined from the grave
and birds
the duchess of birds
chimneys, weeds
air earth fire and water.

(Seretta Martin's class)


woodpecker laughter—memory of a childhood forest

poetry—our flesh was young once

distant bird warble—secret whispered words

jetstream painting the sky with words

slinking cat—crows eating catfood again

fog paints sumi on Mt. Barnabee

loved, starved, loved—cat wanting affection

equitorial sun—primordial origins, Galapagos dawn

stranded in Guatemala—mordida, war zone

party dress up—fall off shoe

cancer blooms—may aunts fight back

(Amanda Chiado's class)

Siren call of email
Praise be! I have wifi in my room.
Neil's plane is stalled in Glasgow
Better there than midair.
London will wait. So will home.

Distant trickle of fountains under the oaks.
Lizards race across hot pavement.
Smoke finds its way over the knife edge
of the Santa Barbara range
and cuts the eye
with a loneliness of clouds
lost in an indigo sky.

Odor of smoke, toyon and oak.
The natives are restless.
The memory of flame and ash—
too recent to be poetic.
A woodpecker laughs, his tiny crest, an ember.
Peter said the flowers outdid themselves
this spring with a firestorm of petals
bursting into riotous flames.

Sandstone dreams longingly
of the depths of the sea.

Sandstone outcroppings
clothed in toyon and in oak
long for the sea, but
content themselves
with the tidepool of sky overhead.

Last night's half moon
threw itself across the pond of the sky.
My camera trapped moving stars
combusting above the heads of poets.

A murmur of poets genuflect their gaze
uncomfortable beneath a writhing crucifix.

How the eye enters into it
throws light into this radiance
framed by oaks and toyons
and the tide pull of the sky.

last night's half moon
threw itself across the sky
my camera obscura
caught a faint trail of stars
as David read poems
of earlier fires.

Distant trickle of a fountain
a murmur of poets and a crow
in the clear bell of the sky.

Under the oaks
woodpeckers flash
vermillion and white wings
against the the sky,
greet each other
with raucous intent.

A confession of clouds
even the sun is afraid
on this dry coastline.

Smoke finds its way
over the ridges
transverse fault lines.

Sea dreaming sandstone
fossil love languishing
on the heights of San Marcos.

Mosquito madness
no-see-ums & midges' revenge
on sweaty skin
an itch that will never be satiated.

The distant sea
the distant sea amid the trees
a balcony view of nature.

Orcas in the Straits
fins break the sea
like mountain ranges.

Cadence of desire
dive into a village of the sun
I will rise, I will rise.

(Maureen Hurley's class)

Warriors could have passed this way
bright and vivid, feathered wind
they'll never know the mountains are chained
by roads and super highways.
The Arkansas River curls, a silt-ladened snake.
Still, the wagons rolled out across the parched plains.
Weather, they reasoned, was barricade enough.
But dreams would have been roads
and the thunder surged on forever.
The mind is stunned stark by guns, cannons.
My mind was a cove of light,
memory, the lost trail of tears.
A dying root, the last buffalo.
I know no such sorrow, other than.
I watched the house of dawn breathe
and the words jumped off a bridge.
Amerind, tamarind, the wind. The wind.

The dead woman's road is naming your life
your death, seeking gravity. The moon.
We are frightened by what we do not own.

Wind moving in the morning light
The land is like an oven
dry grasses, rattlesnake wind
singing of rain, singing.

The surrender of the sea
shivering in anticipation.
I am the power of the missing clouds
amid the names of stars.
I am the last buffalo of the heart.

(Partho's class)

Partho says write a poem to your soul
or let your soul write a poem to you
Tibetan music plays across the wavering fans
like an echo. Laughing meditation.
Sabut—like writing a poem
or a personal tai chi.
Let the subtle attention of the body guide you.
Partho is a wave, the sea is blindfolded.

The love, the preoccupation of the fall
The hand rising to the sky
the body hug, the love of self
Let your body lead, take shape
Let something else lead you.

And so I said to the ravens of my soul
be not death, but understanding
which shall be the light
that comes unbidden from within.

The odor of ripe peaches
the sound of tibetan bells
and the depths of the sea
resonate from within.

I said we know so little,
what we can hope for, so much.
One lifetime is not enough to contain
one raven's feather.

For love and hope come unbidden
to agitate the heart into action, into verb.
For without love, and without hope
there is only the darkness of the bird.

Behind every face
of every underground train of thought
the growing terror
blooming in dark gardens
of fear and mistrust
will eat away
at the edges of your soul
that which shines
in the darkness of night.

Take the song of water
and let it bathe you.

And so I said to my soul
be not blue,
but the blueness of sky
without smoke,
without fire.

Be not blank pages
but fill each page
fill your life with experience and love
then, hope will find you

Coming full circle
an olympics of the mind
the cat circles the ankles of the women
who weep over spouses and loved ones
who love the depths of the bottle
or the sting of the needle more than life itself.
The cat cries, paws for attention
the attachment of circles,
time flows in a wave
towards an uncertain future.

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