The Encounter

Last month, I attended Poets at Play for the first time at the Markham House in History Park, San Jose.  It was nice to meet a small group of poets and spend a nice afternoon writing and discussing poetry.  The theme for the month was “memory.”  I was able to write two poems that afternoon and I will share one with you today, the one I didn’t read out loud.  A poet suggested writing memory from someone else’s perspective, so I decided to write this.  I hope you enjoy it.

The Encounter

Coming out of the trashcan,
I felt my fur on end…
a pair of eyes watching me.
She was there, the human,
looking at me, watching…
my every move.

I jumped back in,
I jumped back out.
I poked my head
around.
She was still there
watching me.

I scurried down the trashcan.
I scurried up a tree,
found a little nook
that was comforting to me.

I lost sight of her.
She lost sight of me,
or so I thought,
until I felt her eyes
once again, watching me.

I pretended not to see.
She pretended to let me be,
walking away,
so I could enjoy my day.

Maybe a squirrel and a girl
could be friends.

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The Sound of Change

Penny spins like a ballerina,
rhythmically, beautifully,
dangerously
as she slows… then speeds up,
getting lower and lower
to the ground,
flapping louder
and LOUDER
until she finally
falls
flat
in silence.

Heads or tails?
Coins flipping in mid-air,
sometimes elegantly,
sometimes clumsily,
falling to the ground
with a THUD.
50% chance.

The porcelain pig
shakes upside down,
rhythmically,
like a mother giving birth
to copper and silver coins.
Heads and tails pop out.
Pennies, nickels, dimes
fighting and squeezing
to get through the slot
in front of the smiling eyes
of a little boy.

Coins raining down
on the wet floor,
sparkling in the sunlight,
falling with gravity,
ting, ting, ting, ting, ting,
musically distracting,
musically awakening,
music to your ears.

Whether you have bills or not,
everyone can appreciate change.

Tonight, We Feast!

Crunching leaves, crackling branches,
creatures enter our land.
Slipping and sliding, huffing and puffing,
hearts beating to the rhythm
of life.

Their sweet, sweaty aroma
causes a buzz.
Tonight, we will celebrate.
Tonight, we will feast.
We will savor the pulsating blood
from the human beast.

Dancing around the tiki torch
in the dark of night.
Left, right, left, we dodge,
we gag, we hold our breath
from the evil scent.

An opening here…
an opening there…
like ninjas, we snip and snap
and eat our fill.

They clap and they slap,
but we’re way too fast.
Night after night, we feast
off sweet, sweet blood.
And time and time again,
they come back.

For herein lies
paradise –
tall trees, lush greens, fresh air,
plenty to share,
as they become prey
to the vampires
of the jungle,
the buzz-worthy
mosquito.

tiki

Teddy’s Story

I haven’t written a poem since November, so I figured I should attempt to break out of my writer’s block.  A while back I had asked my boyfriend to give me a topic and he had said, “write from the perspective of trash.”  Initially, I wanted to write something romantic and nostalgic, like from the perspective of a broken pearl bracelet or a torn photograph, but it just wasn’t speaking to me tonight as I sat down to type.  I thought I would end up with a comedic piece instead, but somehow, that wasn’t it either.  In any case, I’m happy with the result. =)

Teddy’s Story

Arms and legs spread out,
the sun kissing
my chocolate brown fur
on a lovely summer day
as she went to play,
letting me sunbathe
all alone, in the middle
of the driveway.

When I heard a sound,
vibrations on the ground,
massive tires before me,
roll over, paralyze my knees,
“Daddy, no, please!”
She screams.  My life
flashes
before me…

Many memories
of tea parties,
decked in a dress
embarrassed to be me.
She made me pretend
to be a girlie teddy.
Time and again,
we played school.
She talked to me
and her imaginary
buddy.
She loved me…

I felt her hold me,
her glistening tears fell
over my furry body.
“He’s dying,” she cried
as cotton beads
came out of me
and I felt deflated
and ripped and ugly.
“It’s too late,” Mom said,
“He’s too dirty.”

Little by little,
Mom pries me away,
away from my Susie May
with half my beads
still on the driveway
and I fall
down and down
into an abyss
of musky darkness.

I can hardly breathe.
I can hardly see
the trash around me:
soiled papers, rotten veggies,
banana peels, nut shells.
The stench consumes me,
the flies buzz around me,
I continue to bleed
cotton beads…

Dreaming
of my life to be
in a sea of trash,
worthless, neglected,
tire-marked,
broken, alone –
a smelly Teddy
in a landfill
of hopeless memories.

Then I hear a voice,
the sound of an angel.
She was blond, disheveled,
damaged, dirty, but still
a pretty Barbie.
She smiles and says,
“I’m glad I have company.”

Broken Teddy Bear
~ image from Google

Living with Stress

In my previous post “A Poem for Your Thoughts: Experiment 1: Stress,” I posed this question: If stress were tangible, would it be a person, animal, plant or object?  One of the first images I came up with was a dog biting your pant leg.  My dog liked to do that a lot, it was adorable.  But it was also a little annoying, especially when you had things to do.  Anyhow, when I decided to write a villanelle piece to describe stress, this image didn’t quite fit in because it was too cute.  I created a new poem just for this.

Dog Biting Pant Leg
image from Google

Living with Stress

Stress follows me around
like a puppy dog
biting my pant leg.
He chases after me, watches me,
glares at me, snarls at me.
He tugs and pulls,
but he never lets go.

I push him and shove him,
shake my leg, shake my fist
tell him “shoo” to no ado.
He only barks and whines.
This damn stray
won’t go away.

He follows me
from the house to the car,
from the car to the office,
here, there, everywhere,
I drag him by the pant leg,
he just won’t let go,
slowing me down
from chasing dreams
and buttery happiness.

Tired and annoyed,
I take a breath, lean down
to pet him, love him,
pick him up and hug him,
set him down to play.
It’s okay.
Stress is now happy,
Stress will go away
and come biting back
another day.

30 Days of Beard

The last couple of poems I posted were pretty feminine, so I thought I would give you a fresh perspective this time around.  I wrote this poem during the crazy season at work using testimonials from my male coworkers.  I hope you enjoy this piece =)

30 Days of Beard

Leaving at dawn,
returning at dusk,
my life has become
a blur.

Day after day,
night after night,
the second hand moves,
the beard grows longer.

Little by little,
patches of hair
come to life.
I know myself
no more.

Staring in the mirror,
I see someone
who’s not quite me,
for HE
is hairy.

I want to grab
a razor, a knife
to slice
it off
cuz it itches,
so I scratch it.

I find it annoying,
but I keep toying
with it.

I rub it,
I scrub it,
I poke it,
I stroke it.

It’s my stubble
of knowledge,
or so I think.

“You look homeless,”
they say,
but who are they
to me?

An aura of manhood,
harboring strength
and warmth,
connecting me
with my father,
my brothers, my ancestors.
Bam, bam…
I am caveman.

Outside, it is drizzly,
I can wrestle a grizzly
anytime.

But not today,
for today,
I will shave.

Little by little,
the hair
drifts away,
taking my memories
with it.

Now…
smooth and clean-shaven,
I am handsome
once more.

I look at the mirror
and I feel empty
inside.

After Shaving