Coffee Cup Poem no.93

When Women Write about Death

Roxanne Roberts wrote about how the Grieving
“never ends,” how suicide stays with you,
her father, dead, like mine—two events
so singular and so unique, but then again not.

I feel more like Joan Didion at the death of her husband,
a cool customer, unable to formulate thoughts,Coffee Cup Poem no.93
wasting brain on the fly on the wall, waiting
for the panic to hit—the frenzy to begin.

I am still young in my writing—
without the luxury of looking back, years later,
and putting this in perspective, if possible.
No, it never goes away, but lingers

sometimes in the front of consciousness,
but sometimes just as that fly on the wall,
the monster in the closet that no bedtime story
can eradicate. I am no cool customer, and no

statistics citer—I will never be either,
I am a mad woman in the attic, biding time
until I feel better and some days I do and
that nightmare under the bed goes quiet.

Some days I sleep peacefully and restfully
without waking in a sweat, without seeing violence
under my eyelids, without cringing at images,
once indifferent but now unsettling.

Some days things are alright, but other days
I hold back the frenzy, like a shadow it follows me
sewn to my toes and mockingly dancing with pain
as it pokes at the back of my neck trying to get a rise.

No, I am no cool customer and no trodden advocate—
I will never be either; instead I am a mad frenzy
of pent up energy and love that bangs on the edges—
knock, knock, knocking—at my head continuously.

Coffee Cup Poem no.88

Sixteen Breaths of Fresh Air 

There is nothing magical to death.
It simply is.
Death whispers us out of the worldccp88
in a breath as silent as the breath
that breathed us into it.

The magic in this world
sits in another place.
Joy and Exhalation,
Patient and Wonderful,
waiting in the nooks and crannies
of everyday.
Silent like death,
and the footsteps of mice,
and the sweet songs of lovers,
and the swaying of tall grass
and the secrets of children.

Coffee Cup Poem no.86

My Cat, the Killer

It appears that she is floating,
not a limb pressing down on the coolCCP 86
grass beneath four feather-paws
as she tenses her entire body, pulling
with stored energy and killing motive
as the butterfly is in her sights.

Her golden tuffs of fur
are the only part visibly moving,
as she imperceptibly shifts weight
and twitches with anticipation–
her victim flutters unknowingly, absent
minded and innocent to the threat.

In a second she pounces entrapping
the butterfly in an instant
but she does not kill it–not then,
because it is far more amusing as a toy.
To watch it flutter inches and fall,
all within her control, never going too far
and all the while the butterfly
is suffering as silently as its life
passed, too quiet for the human ear,
beating its wings, trying to
catch the last of the summer wind.

Coffee Cup Poem no.70

I Live Life By the King of Words (Jorge Luis Borges Was Right)

I chose to see the world through my eyes
and through blank pages
letters scrawled across empty spaces
and connected by seas of ink.

I seek to go many places
see them, The Word, experience…
life sometimes forces it into dreams
and out onto the pages, my pages.

The pages of history & romance,
the pages of drama & violence,
Fables collected by time’s scribes
to be retold over and over
and find a resting place
in the ears of childhood
and in the dormant consciousness
of adulthood.

Sun blankets the midnight seas
of the penned words of lives
that glare in the peak of days
and dim in evening’s goodbyes.

There is one word I look for,
always, The Word,
that attatches to memory
vividly evading a lifespan.

(Can you guess it?)

Coffee Cup Poem no.69

Theories On the Nature of Tragedy: A Working Mule

The devil likes to keep a mule,
And nudge it with a stick
Or lash it with a whip.

When it stumbles, this mule,
Loses its balance, and trips
It becomes the devil’s trick

For it does not strike, but runs into
And that is how tragedy begins,
The sneaky little thing it is.

This mule, tragedy, has no life of its own,
A devil’s slave with poor falling aim
Moving when a red beast yanks its chain

With no real motivation to harm
It unsuspectingly causes pain,
A sad creature with tight reins.

But when god uses it as his muscle
The mule becomes a weapon, carefully aimed–
Two sides of the very same coin.

Coffee Cup Poem no.64

Definitely a work in progress, but for now:

Reading Musings of Childhood Nostalgia

My hands linger on these pages
as if trying to take back
my childhood
even if just one word, one word
of something I know is gone.
I want these words to look as they did,
promise the same enchantment,
as I stay longing on this page
am I looking for answers?

Could I still make friends
with a Black Stallion,
when shipwrecked after raiding
a hooked captain’s ship
deep in the Wonderland
I found hidden in a wardrobe
or was it Platform nine and three quarters?
 As I take a magic carpet into the sunset
not with a prince,
but with a friendly giant,
will animals guide me anywhere, anymore?

Magic, I miss
magic is what leaps into my mind
from these words, childhood’s words
but I no longer believe it
the way I did ten years ago or five.
Nostalgia is the word I find,

for the places this story
used to transport me
the first time,the second time,
the times I believed.

No, no.
I don’t think so,
My imagination has grown up
and these are no longer beliefs
but wistful musings.
Still, I’d rather let them take me
far away to lands un-inhibited
by thoughts of politics, economics…
Wendy returned from Neverland.

A smile returns to my face
hoping to travel away
as I turn the final page.

Coffee Cup Poem no.63

Happy Easter! I decided to write a poem about a rabbit, but it’s not exactly cheery. It’sreally just the retelling of a Grimms’ fairy tale “The Rabbit’s Bride.”

A Rabbit’s Tail for Good Luck

Sit on my tail and go with me,
Go with me to the Rabbit hutch, he said
Gathering cabbage, waiting patiently
As the girl, young and clever, looked suspiciously
At what the Rabbit had said.

Sit on my tail and go with me,
Go with me to the Rabbit hutch, he said
Twitching now, impatiently,
Jerking his ears, leaning back on his haunches,
You will be my wife the Rabbit said.

Sit on my tail and go with me,
Go with me to the Rabbit hutch, he said
And she gathered a boquet and accepted his plea
Thinking what a beautiful bride she would be
I will go with you to the Rabbit hutch, she said.

So the went together to the Rabbit hutch
To be married happily, as he said
But the girl, very clever indeed
Snared the Rabbit, her groom to be
And carried him home, so it is said.

She took the Rabbit to her mother
And they cooked him in a stew as they said
Never again will he steal our cabbage
Or tempt this young clever girl to marriage
And mother and daughter kept his tail, so it is said.

Bedtime stories turned insomnia cures

In my opinion, one of the most challenging things to do as an author is to create a work that is both appropriate and enjoyable for young readers, yet equally entertaining for adults. For adults this entertainment is not purely nostalgic, but genuine. These stories are plain and simple magic. They combine elements that capture a young person’s imagination and stimulate an adults. Since I think this is a great accomplishment for any author, I’ve compiled a list of some of my favorite books that I feel fit very neatly into this category.

1. Anything by Roald Dahl. Really. Take your pick. Here is the short list of some of my favorites/his most well known.

  • The BFG
  • James and the Giant Peach
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
  • Fantastic Mr. Fox
  • Matilda
  • The Witches

2. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass, Lewis Carroll
3. Something Wicked This Way Comes, Ray Bradbury
4. The Harry Potter series, J.K. Rowling
5. The Hobbit, J. R. R. Tolkien
6. The Chronicles of Narnia, C.S. Lewis
7. Peter Pan, J.M. Berry
8. Haroun and the Sea of Stories, Salman Rushdie
9. A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens (Can’t forget the holiday spirit, now can we?)
10. The Phantom Tollbooth, Norton Juster (One of my sister’s favorites)
11. Watership Down, Richard Adams
12. The Giver, Lois Lowry

One of my favorites on this list is Haroun and the Sea of Stories by Rusdie (its sequal, Luka and the Fire of Life is equally entertaining). There is a wealth of history and culture in this book, and I would eventually like to incorporate in my curriculum. When High School Students are taught multi-cultual novels, they are often from a very short list of books in the cannon (India, if covered at all, is usually studied through the eyes of Kipling). Now, Rushdie is certainly in the canon, however when teachers decide to use one of his novels it is usually Midnight’s Children, which is an extraordinary undertaking for a HS student. Haroun offers a literary merit that should satisfy even the most enthusiastic clingers to the classics, and, most importantly, a story and characters that students can connect with and will root for. You can’t help but feel as if you’re carried along on a magic carpet and transported into a world where the Word and Stories not only have extraordinary power, but are valued by all. Not only is it fun, but it actually satisfies Common Core Standards too.

These are just a few in what is probably a list of many. My options are not terribly extensive considering the fact that I’m limited to books I’ve read both when I was younger and as an adult. I would love to hear some childhood favorites that you still pick off the bookshelf for a good read. Hopefully (although you are no longer a child or young adult) you can find enjoyment in reading some of these books. I know I certainly still do!