Sparrows and Specular Poems–Just for Fun

Image result for sparrow images creative commons Attempts at specular poems, and yes, I probably need to leave the sparrows alone. They appear too often in my poetry; however, I do love sparrows since they STAY ALL WINTER and provide some color, sound, movement even during the dull dreariness of November, December, January, and February.

Specular poems are a form where halfway through the lines repeat themselves in a mirrored order.

Image of the American Tree Sparrow from the Creative Commons.

Thanks for reading!

 

 

 

Writing Sideways Poems/ “Where You Are Not” in Esthetic Apostle

Back in 2001-2005,  I suffered the loss of several loved ones, both families and friends.  Before then, I sometimes marveled how I had not experienced the death of anyone I cared about and I was nearly 50 then.  I knew that would end, and it did as friends died from freak accidents (falling on ice in a church parking lot and having a bone fragment reach the bloodstream–RIP Ruth) to dying while sleeping and choking (RIP Earl), to the death of my godmother from heart disease, my mother from dementia from a terrible head injury to my father to a stroke he suffered while we were on the phone–and so on.

All of this emotional and body memory is being resurfaced by the death of my only sister last week.  I remember grief, what it feels like (shock, anger, grief, disbelief, pain), what it tastes like (tears), what it sounds like (choking, crying, silence). And then the permanence, the inability to touch the loved one anymore.

I wrote a lot of poetry about grief before then because of childhood losses that did not involve death, during this time, and afterwards, for my sister was diagnosed with terminal illnesses, one after the other after the other.  She lived an amazing 15 years after the first terminal diagnosis–truly amazing.

But I rarely wrote directly about the one who died, except for about my best friend Susan who died young, before age 40, from colon cancer.  We were such close friends I was shattered.  When someone told me I should get over it, I snapped and wrote a very harsh poem titled NOTOVERIT, full of profanities.

You may have heard that writers used everything in their life to write, and that is true of me, but not in a direct fashion. I write sideways poems.

Sideways?  I usually wrote about the death of a spouse or a divorce, telling my dear husband it was how I could deal with the grief, to write about it sideways, obliquely.  Since we are still married, he just gave a puzzled look.  But it helped me to write about grief in a way others could understand without battering me further.

This poem, “Where You are Not,” was written to explore the empty feeling of not being able to touch, to feel, to see the loved one anymore. I am blessed to have my spouse with me in my daily life, but grief is grief I think, and while I could not yet write about the many others since they came too close together, I could fictionalize my losses and take poetic license.

I really appreciate Esthetic Apostle for publishing this poem in their June 2019 issue.

where you are not poetry at esthetic apostle June 2019

 

 

“Red Halo” Published Today in Prometheus Dreaming

prometheus dreaming journal cover page  Published here: “Red Halo” in Prometheus Dreaming.

I am thrilled to have a  poem published in a dream journal, Prometheus Dreaming. The editor treats writers and their work so well and the work is presented beautifully. As I sent a poem I truly love and was very close/ personal to me.

Thanks for reading!

Laura

 

 

Red Halo

by Laura Lee

I did not want to find you
by the mud flats
where things live that
I always want to see:
heron, fox, cardinal, hawk.

But the sun broke shadows
wildflowers bloomed late this year
brown eyed susans, sunflowers
unnamed purple velvet.

I did not want to find you
standing across the river
staring west into a sunset
you’d hoped would take you, too.

I do not know
how the red halo encircled
my pale face, peeked through
the weeds and the dirt.

About the Author

Laura Lee is a Chicago area poet, college instructor, literacy tutor, and writer. Her poetry, fiction, and nonfiction have been published in print and online journals in the US, the UK, New Zealand, India, and Greece.

For a complete list of publications, visit her website at: http://lauraleewriterpoeteducator.com.

Follow Laura Lee on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/LauraLe97942016.


 

“They Left the Bed” Published at Willowdown Books, Poetic Bond VIII

This poem was inspired by a photo in an ekphrastic poetry contest.  While I did not win the contest, I thought it was a good poem so submitted elsewhere.    You should have see the photo!  Desolate, reminiscent of something vaguely wartime.

 

Willowdown Books published the poem in Volume VIII, Poetic Bond late in 2018.   As rights have reverted to me, I post it here just because.

 

Thanks for reading!

Laura

They Left the Bed

They left the bed, he said
As I was thinking the same.
And wonderful
TV, one chair,
a painting.

Sometimes
we made up names
for each other
on cold nights on strange floors
but knew better than to know.

What’s that on the bed, he said?
And we were afraid to look
blood spatters or bone dust
police matters or lone lust
we’d seen it all by then.

I’ll take the floor, he said.
I wish I hadn’t seen the bed.
Moved closer to the painting:
A Renoir? I know I knew
In another life.

Not romantic enough,
he said,
a Monet is my guess
but the colors are all off.

The colors are all off
cold nights on strange floors
blood spatters or bone dust
police matters or lone lust
we’d seen it all by then.

“Devastation” Published at Headline Poetry Today

Happy to have a poem published today (“Devastation”) at Headline Poetry.

The history of the poem arises from when I taught ELL years ago.  It was around 2002.  I taught with a colleague who was a refugee from Sarajevo. She survived the siege–and the stories she told still haunt me.

saravejo siege

Thanks to the editors at Headline Poetry.

 

Photo credit: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

The Destructive Age of Urban Warfare; or, How to Kill a City and How to Protect It

John Spencer | March 28, 2019

 

 

 

 

Poem Being Published in Headline Poetry Soon

512px-Sarajevo_Skenderija_Sniper_Intersection    I am pleased to learn I will have a poem published in Headline Poetry soon, a poem I’ve been writing for years and didn’t want to let go of…for years. It’s a dramatic monologue–in two voices.  A double dramatic monologue if you will. 

Thanks @headlinepoets
More to follow.

And while I am not very radical at all, here’s what the journal is about:

Headline Poetry

Current Event Inspired Poetry, and other radical artistic commentary

 

Photo:Christian Maréchal [CC BY 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)]

 

 

 

 

Jab of Feral Cat

red cat picture from creative commons

A few years ago, I saw a male cat at my patio door. It was a loud August day, full of cicadas trilling.  I could hear them, but not the cat-sounds.  I could see his mouth move, and I think he was mewing.

It was high August, a loud fierce time of blasting summer heat, sounds, images.

As to the cat, whom I called Big Red?  He looked bad—had been in some type of fight. He was skinny, losing weight. I’d been noticing him for years and grew to be fond of this fighter—he had challenged a coyote and won!  He would fight younger, stronger male cats.

And he would eat from anyone who would feed him, learning quickly that the back patios were home to older ladies at home who loved cats.

And I am writing about a cat, but also poetry. Because I could not hear him.  Because the words “pane” and “pain” came to mind, and boundaries and borders came to mind.

I jotted down some ideas on my phone in Notes.  And just found them years later, since I had posted them on Facebook—yes Facebook—so I could find them again. They came up on my timeline, so it worked.

Just a cat poem rough draft.   I want to see where I can go with this with language, can I create a real poem?

We shall see—maybe that jab of feral cat will come alive.

Just a few snippets from that time ten years ago, since I am submitting a revised/ edited full version for publication and don’t want to have this considered published.

ROUGH DRAFT–partial poem

jab of feral kitten
black, white, orange
crust on nose and mouth
up to glass door
paw up to glass he
mewed silently
all that pane
between cat sounds
and my world…

 

 

(picture from the creative commons–Big Red does look like this, only bigger, furrier, and much older)C5438C4D-7EFC-4B03-8398-D253E9D9DDE8