Saturday, April 05, 2014

EARTH MEMORY

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Where do these ideas for poem forms come from? Last month a friend told me about Billy Collins and the paradelle. I love the fact he invented it with tongue firmly in cheek and got some pretty stinky reviews based on the poem he wrote. You can about it, and Collins' very funny poem, here.

So today's prompt, thanks NaPoWriMo, is to "write a “golden shovel.” This form was invented by Terrance Hayes in his poem, The Golden Shovel. The last word of each line of Hayes’ poem is a word from Gwendolyn Brooks’ poem We Real Cool. You can read Brooks’ poem by reading the last word of each line of Hayes’ poem".

Here's my golden shovel poem, using Lorine Niedecker's poem You are my friend which you can read here or by reading the last words in my poem. This one's for Ted.

Earth Memory



The trees that loved us with peaches you
picked each August are
gone now. Who knew my
missing them would be like mourning a friend
—the kind you
trust with every secret, bring
each soaring joy, each heartache, me
loving you loving me, peaches
blushed and
round, bringing to mind the
crazy joy of a first time high
as we toss pits in a bush
that gives us luscious cranberry
jam but nothing like the peaches falling from hands you
open like a prayer meant to carry
all you have to give. My
hands are distracted by, perhaps, a fishpole.
They cannot catch you
on land, in sky or water.
Instead, you lift my
spirit that was, till now, as worms
in the garden of soul, for you
find me, renew me, here in this patch
of earth memory where ghosts of trees my
father planted still abide, his boot
tamping the ground with
care, and I remember him as I watch your
hands trace imaginary peaches, mending
the trees’ absence with a kit
of your own making, nothing
for it but to reach out in
amazement for the gift of memory it
carries, nothing for it but
peaches, juicy, ripe, my
open mouth, your hand.

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4 comments:

P.M. Fong said...

That warms my heart like single malt scotch.

Linda Crosfield said...

That may be the nicest thing anyone has ever said about one of my poems. Thank you so much!

Paul Nelson said...

He did not mention the hangover! good to see you digging Lorine.

Eileen Delehanty Pearkes said...

Hi Linda you have a lovely blogspot. I am reminded of the line from "America the Beautiful" that I used to belt out with great sincerity as a little girl growing up in California: "...purple mountain's majesty/above the fruited plain!"