Original Poem 21: Seg-men-ting

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This poem is dedicated to #BlackLivesMatter

July 16, 2016

Seg-men-ting

Children learn to segment words

And blend them back together

To create

A word

An understanding

I-f         s-ou-n-d-s           r-e-m-ai-n           s-e-g-r-e-g-a-t-e-d

Understanding become laborious or unknown

A segment means one of several pieces that fit with others to constitute a whole

To segment is to divide

Segment is synonymous with segregate

To segregate is to separate or isolate one thing from another

To divide something from it’s whole

We teach our children that they must blend words together

So they can understand:

l-o-ve, l-o-ve, love

Yet not enough of us believe in the importance of teaching integration

And when people don’t learn how to blend themselves together

They become illiterate to humanity

And understanding is lost

Right now

We are l-o-s-t

Listen

Do you hear the sound

Of tears that drop like men onto the ground?

And we ask ourselves, “What can I do?”

Teach your children to blend

That they may understand

Original Poem 17: Reed Song

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“Reed Song” is a poem that fuses the pantoum and the pastoral forms, written to celebrate the upcoming marriage of my dear friend, Claire Reeder.

The rules of the pantoum: The first line must be the last line of the poem. The 2nd and 4th lines of each stanza become the 1st and 3rd lines of the following stanza

November 7, 2015

Reed Song
*
Love is comfort and forthcoming,
and appearing in new forms
is the truest love, still growing.
Love is strong when it transforms.
*
And appearing in new forms,
love may challenge our conventions.
Love is strong when is transforms.
You are filled with love’s intentions.
*
Love may challenge our conventions.
Once the shepherds played their songs.
You are filled with love’s intentions
and you’ve found where you belong.
*
Once the shepherds played their songs,
and the reeds stretched toward the tune.
You have found where you belong,
a place with golden leaves and moon.
*
And the reeds stretch toward the tune.
The music echoes through the air
from a place with golden leaves and moon,
and a couple dancing there.
*
The music echoes through the air.
In good company friends look on
at the couple dancing there,
as spring awakens on the lawn.
*
In good company friends look on
and in the distance there’s a humming
as spring awakens on the lawn
love is comfort and forthcoming.
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Also read “The Passionate Shepherd to His Love” by Christopher Marlowe: http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/173941

Original Poem 15: Refrain

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I wrote this villanelle poem during my poetry course at Grinnell. I wasn’t fond of it then, and still think it needs tweaking now, but I like that it is a bit edgier than my normal writing style. However, what remained constant when writing this poem was my love of playing with word meaning. I found a unique opportunity in this poem to use the word “refrain” for its double meaning: v. to abstain from an impulse and n. a refrain, phrase, line, or group of lines repeated at intervals throughout a poem. In noun form, the word “refrain” compliments the villanelle poem in an amusing and playful way.

Refrain by Liz Davis

2009

You see me as a drop of rain among many

sprinkling droplets, yet I worship

you, and—no. I must refrain

from drinking too much champagne

and saying impractical love-sloppy (stop me!) shit

to you. I am a single drop of rain,

a teardrop sphere, driven insane

by you—and it’s hard to admit,

but you already know. I must refrain

from pouring my heart down the drain

every time I skip, then slip,

then take a sip because of you. I drop like rain,

roll down your hard veins, and gain

nothing, feeling desperate pain when I strip

and you say no. I must refrain

and give up this drowning campaign,

a weathered obsession.

You tire of rain.

I must refrain.

The Watcher

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I read a poem called “The Watcher” at the funeral of my step-grandmother, Annette. She was also known as “Grandma Nut” for a number of reasons, including her health conscientiousness, her sense of humor, and her artistic nature.

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Annette, September 13, 1930 – April 26, 2015

“The Watcher” is a beautiful depiction of motherly love and attentiveness, and in a way the poem absolves children of their tendency to resist or roll their eyes at a watchful and concerned mother. In fact, ironically, the poem comforts the mother’s children by reassuring them that their mother is still watching from heaven.

“The Watcher” by Margaret Widdermer

She always leaned to watch for us
Anxious if we were late,
In winter by the window,
In summer by the gate.
And though we mocked her tenderly,
Who had such foolish care,
The long way home would seem more safe,
Because she waited there.
Her thoughts were all so full of us,
She never could forget,
And so I think that where she is
She must be watching yet.
Waiting ’til we come home to her
Anxious if we are late
Watching from Heaven’s window
Leaning from Heaven’s gate.

Original Poem 14: How do I know my heart belongs to you?

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This is a sonnet that I wrote to my husband for our one year wedding anniversary ❤

June 21, 2015

How do I know my heart belongs to you?
Of fate or choice is of no consequence,
In truth, love’s beauty thrives as I pursue
A constant light of love with confidence,
Just as a ship seeks safety by the shore,
And fears of ruin fade when light appears,
My aspirations, clearer than before,
I sail toward happiness when love’s light steers.
Forget the sunken wreckage of the sea,
Two mother ships that bravely faced their storms,
Our flame’s enough to last eternity,
Love’s providence, you need no longer mourn.
I cherish our unwavering life together,
Love fills my heart and brings me constant pleasure.

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The River

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I saw The River on Broadway last weekend and fell in love with this poem. The play revolves around the idea of a man’s relationships with women and his obsession with catching the perfect fish. There is ambiguity in the play about time and space. The audience isn’t sure if the women are real, if the play is depicting one woman in the present and one from the past, or if one woman is reality and one is a fantasy. The poem is sung throughout the play by the women. The image of a “wand” for a fishing pole suggests a mystical element in the play. The “fire” in the man’s head also suggests that the cabin is a retreat from madness. On the other hand, the cabin is actually a place where a man can go mad–as they do in the woods in many Romantics/gothic poems and short stories.

The Song of Wandering Aengus

BY WILLIAM BUTLER YEATS

I went out to the hazel wood,
Because a fire was in my head,
And cut and peeled a hazel wand,
And hooked a berry to a thread;
And when white moths were on the wing,
And moth-like stars were flickering out,
I dropped the berry in a stream
And caught a little silver trout.
When I had laid it on the floor
I went to blow the fire a-flame,
But something rustled on the floor,
And someone called me by my name:
It had become a glimmering girl
With apple blossom in her hair
Who called me by my name and ran
And faded through the brightening air.
Though I am old with wandering
Through hollow lands and hilly lands,
I will find out where she has gone,
And kiss her lips and take her hands;
And walk among long dappled grass,
And pluck till time and times are done,
The silver apples of the moon,
The golden apples of the sun.

Original Poem 12: Reminiscing

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Devotion

The heart can think of no devotion
Greater than being shore to the ocean–
Holding the curve of one position,
Counting an endless repetition.

-Robert Frost

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Reminiscing

The heart thinks fondly of loving acts,
captured photos, artifacts,
kindred kisses rendering emotion,
overflowing with love’s devotion,
reminiscent of the shore to the ocean.

-Elizabeth Hereford

July 20, 2014