Posts Tagged poems

On Finding Old Writings: Lost Love Poems

887299_391205761023088_140069575_o-1One of my writing friends polled those of us in our writing group about a piece she’d found on her computer. She didn’t think she’d written it, but none of us claimed it, either. Coming across published pieces you’d forgotten about is equally disconcerting. I’d completely forgotten about this particular piece which was published in Poetic Justice.

“Ice-god”

Dream with me…
we will meet
in winnowing moonrays
silent as distant suns.
You place your fingers on my cheek,
small cool touch,
needlepoint of starlight.
Your eyes like cloudless nights,
moonless wind,
like frost
freeze
my soul
into endless dreams
of you
looking away…

I did remember this next one since I often think of it when I’m picking berries. It was published in another little journal, The Yellow Butterfly.

Wild Berries

Stooping among brambles
I envision you holding women
for I know there have been many.
With each searing thorn
I wonder if you pause,
remember me

your first you said
and love you said

and like a bitter berry
curse the men
who’ve held me since.

(photo credit: Kathyrn Taylor, Feb 2014. Used with permission.)

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A Day Discussing Words

Today I was talking to my best friend from high school about a trip we took to Watkins Glen and Corning Glass Museum. There were six of us on that trip, plus her mother who was driving. My friend, Hannah, didn’t remember the details. I remember we were exchanging AFS students. I’d just hosted a Japanese girl for a week and it seems that we were picking up my classmate and potential AFS student, Dan Lloyd. But who the other exchangees were, I neither of us remember. Possibly I have those details wrong.

Later this morning I had a nice chat about writing, publishing, books, and characters with my hair stylist. In an hour my writing group is meeting. All in all, a day full of books, writing, and words.

I believe this was my first published poem, in the journal Voices International. It was inspired by the trip to Corning and someone else along on that trip.

In the Glassworks

Row on shimmering row of bottles
stood silent, glazed guard
while I dared not breathe
amidst the burnished vials and goblets.

Glintily he shadowed me,
grey-mirror eyes
shattering the fragile world around us
into multi-colored shards.

And I could feel the glass melt,
sense the heat
from the glass-blower’s torch,
and I could hear wind chimes
delicately tinkle
as from behind he sighed in my hair.

And in the dancing prism lights
he whispered,
voice thin as spun glass
and no one heard,
no one was witness
but the row on glimmering row of bottles.

April Cole

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Stonemen

We were speaking of dreams the other day and since I’d written about my “best” publication, I thought I’d copy out the actual poem. I’m also taking a two-week workshop and will have to devote time to that rather than my ramblings.It was written under an early pen name. (Kalliope, Volume 7, No. 2)

Stonemen
April Cole

In a dream I was taught by touching the walls of a cave

I would turn to stone,

not be noticed by the armies of the night.

Watching brown-shirted boys

wrap around blue-bloused girls,

blowing hot breath in their tangled hair,

I feel my fingers claw the clay.

I am sixteen.

Between arias

we eat Tandoori chicken

twine fingers to cislunar violins.

Intermezzo harp resonates

deep space darkness of the heart.

He licks saffron from my lips.

Natant, I become the liquid sky.

I am twenty one.

In the distance he is standing

silhouetted against brush blue hills.

I call and he runs towards the scarlet sun.

He is a rabbit hopping through reeds,

he is a bramble bush blowing down the fence row.

He tumbles and flies, tumbles and flies.

I am twenty four.

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Sometimes Early Success Is Not Helpful

When I first started writing, I wrote poetry and was reasonably successful in finding a places to publish. Most were in small, independent “journals.” One appeared in a college journal, Kalliope, in the same issue as Susan Fromberg Schaeffer, Kathleen Norris, and Kathleen Spivak. That was my biggest success. Eventually, I decided I wasn’t a very good poet and started writing and sending out short stories. I was asked for rewrites and usually received a comment or two, if only a scribbled, “Thanks. ” I took an upper level fiction writing class at Colorado State University during which I handed in two or three stories. This class was huge, maybe forty students, mostly kids in their early twenties. Four or five were slightly older. The professor, an odd, quiet man and published writer, called out two stories he considered possibly publishable, both belonging to older students. One of them, titled, Casanova With Fleas, was mine. His suggestion for me was to cut; the original was around 12,000 words. I cut it to  6,000 and eventually to between 4,000 and 4,500 words. Meanwhile, I wasn’t particularly happy in my job, especially when I learned the only other employee of the senior transportation program I worked for made significantly more money than I did. The director of the program wasn’t willing to increase my pay even though I basically ran everything but volunteer recruitment. I decided to quit and give myself a year to see where I could go with writing.As soon as I gave notice,  we flew back East for my husband’s 20th high school reunion. When we returned, I had an acceptance for Casanova and a check for $35 dollars from a start-up journal, Modern Short Stories. I never did like the name, nor its pulpy look, but they were trying to produce a popular journal to be sold in places like smoke shops and airports. The unfortunate timing, though, made it so I’d met my goal before I started, and I think I wasted a good part of my year, not seriously tackling the business of writing.

My writing group usually has a holiday dinner at my house or a special-event restaurant in place of one of our December meetings. This year we plan to release Flying wish-papers  as well as set our yearly and/or quarterly goals. The trick will be to write goals in such a way that success is achievable without undermining the desire to more completely fulfill each goal. Possibly those of us who are inherently lazy can overcome minor fulfillment of our goals by staggering goals or setting new short-term quarterly, or even monthly, goals.How do others handle setting goals, and has anyone else had the experience of prematurely meeting a goal and having your motivation self-implode?

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