Nine Month Sentence ROUGH DRAFT. To edit. Revise.

ROUGH DRAFT. to edit. Revise.

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.

The Nine Month Sentence

Stunned. Nine months of

little sun, closed streaked windows to follow.

We had not

used our summer well.

We had not slept

under the June blue sky,

toes curled in fresh green.

 

…We might

flee with them.

“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

 

 

 

 

Moth Mate/ Rough Draft

Just a few snippets, since I hope to submit a revised/ edited full version for publication and don’t want to have this considered published.

Moth Mate

Moth to a
Fake flame

Candle, lit
To accompany

Mid summer’s night
Solitude

White flint
Small gold flutter

Before any

Dawn songs.

 

img_5737

 

(I wanted to see what I could do with this learning and healing time. Can I observe more? Can I see what I don’t really see on a busy workday? What do you do, what do I do with those middle of the night silences? The crickets have stops singing. The cicadas have not yet started their trilling. And I am waiting to learn when the robins start their dawn songs.

I shall find out soon.

I hear frogs now. They’ve joined us.

And I’m trying to find out what can I do with my limited mobility and access right now to Technology.

This was created in the hopes of making meaning out of silence and pain.

Dare I send from my iPhone? So unliterary.

But this to me also speaks of the power of literacy to sustain.

I turn to words.)

sent from my iphone

Brake for Beauty

Around 17 years ago,I started “braking for beauty” during a time of great grief and sorrow. Suddenly, I was losing friends and family members. Nine in just a matter of a few years. I was devastated.

I carried sunglasses with me everywhere, in all pockets of all jackets and all my purses; I also tried to look for the beauty in life. If I could safely pull over when driving, I would look for beauty, brake/ break for beauty, take a picture or two, keep those pictures on my phone so that I could look at them when times got very hard.

Nature rather saved me during this time, which lasted six years.

I wrote a poem back then, titled “Parking Lot Maple,” one of the few poems I love. I like this poem so much I don’t want to publish. I will submit it every now and then for publication then withdraw it because I just don’t want it gone for me, if that makes sense.

I still brake for beauty since it enriches life.

Beginning of Fiction Rough Draft

A boy, on the verge of being what is referred to as a young man, asked for his mother.

 

Where is she? What have you done to her?

 

And because he was a boy mistaken for being older, they answered him.

 

She is gone. She won’t becoming back.

He knew not to cry in front of those men with the prickly faces and matter of fact voices.

And he knew that this news, of the loss of one person, changed everything. (Image from The Art Institute of Chicago, Mark Chagall’s Chicago Windows.)

img_5249

 

Pleased a poem to be published in Esthetic Apostle this week

Poem here.img_4809               I was pleased to learn a poem, “Where You Are Not,” is to be published in Esthetic Apostle this week.  Great to wake up to pleasant news.

It was written during a time of grief, and as I have returned to such a time, it was fitting to send this poem out into the world.

Thanks for reading my blog–and thanks to Esthetic Apostle for publishing my poem later this week.

Fifty-Five Years of Gratitude

img_1235-1(From a work in progress)

 

The heart knew it was 55 years ago that you last went to that restaurant with your uncle. Do you say something to him?

 

Probably not because back then you were a child who was too small to even look out of the backseat of his car and see the snow covered streets, streets with no one but children who had been forced from their home during another Sunday night alcohol fueled rage. Do you say something, hoping he would remember?

 

Do you look at him and realize that back then he was barely more than a teenager himself, so young and proud of his red 1963 Chevy with back then unheard of features of automatic windows and doors. I drove all the way from the city to pick up the kids, your uncle said, so they wouldn’t be walking in that empty field or the swamp.

 

You look at your uncle and realize he’s nearly 80 now. You look at his hands that have had dozens of operations from damage done during the lifespan of a laborer.

 

Yet he still has that boyish smile, the quick wit, the quick temper.

 

But he’s 80 and you’re not eight years old anymore. You have a career, an education, a loving kind spouse.

 

But this is a gratitude 55 years in the making , for taking a child off the street that night, making jokes, buying hot chocolate, anything other than spending a cold winter night alone outside.

 

You can’t say thank you for that to an 80-year-old uncle. You just can’t. You’ve never spoken about it.

 

You reach across the table, take the check, walk to the counter and pay.