As much as I would love every single one of my poems to be deeply thoughtful, I simply cant crank them out like that. So this is just a little something I jotted down while sipping tea on my apartment porch this morning.
Musings Upon Waking Up
The sweet smell of freshly mowed grass
raises up through the summer air
and tickles my nose as it passess
along on the warm summer breeze.
I take a long sip of tea
letting the chill sooth the heat
and trickle down into my soul
as I open stale pages and wait
to hear the early morning swallows
to peak their hesitant heads out
and begin to sing, to bellow
the mourning songs of spring.
They too were taking note of the heat
wishing there were still a chill
to help ease the 85 degrees
that makes us al sweat until
we’re forced inside for refuge,
the sweet blow of air conditioning
and the calm circle of the fan.
This year will be a hot one.
I love with burnt edges and a tea bag heart
weaving together orange and lemongrass
with the red poppy adorning my hair
seared with cinnamon, my lover’s heart,
for safe keeping in a pouch of silk
hanging from scented string, swinging
with burnt edges, my lover’s key,
my love for you held in a pouch of silk
locked and latched to my tea bag heart.
This semester is different than many before due to the fact that I have more freedom both in what I chose to read for class and to read in my free time. Thus, I have been devouring books, old and new. I have raided the shelves of Barnes & Nobles for all those contemporary releases that I’ve been missing. This post is somewhat of a departure from the Coffee Cup series, but so much of writing is directly related to reading. What themes are influencing you, what styles? The bigger reader one is, the bigger writer one is. Now, that is not necessarily a rule of thumb but it is what I believe. So here are some of the books I’ve read since summer’s end. (I think instead of summarizing, I’ll simply comment on the books for times sake)
Freedom, Jonathan Franzen: It’s long, but not slow. I think perhaps I expected more from this book because of the hype surrounding it, however I found that it lacked depth. My general feeling after completing it was that the same points could have been made with much less fluff and ink. Not that a text requires depth to be enjoyable, yet that is what I was led to believe by reviews. Freedom on Amazon
The Magician King, by Lev Grossman: The sequel to The Magicians. I was really excited for this one. It did not let me down, but there could of been more. It ended with a whisper, and very obviously hinting at a third book. The alternating story lines of Julia and Quentin were new compared to the narrative style of the last book, but I also found it fresh. If you enjoyed the first one, the second is no disappointment. The Magician King on Amazon
Luka and The Fire of Life, by Salman Rushdie: Another sequel (to Haroun and the Sea of Stories), and Rushdie captures the same magic of the first book with less of the overt political allegory. As in most of Rushdie’s novels, he creates a world of magic that is both thrilling and captivating; as are his excellent prose. I would certainly recommend this for any age, even if you haven’t read its predecessor. Luka and the Fire of Life on Amazon and Haroun and the Sea of Stories
The Book of Sand and Shakespeare’s Memory, by Jorge Luis Borges: It’s Borges’ short stories. enough said. He leads you, as usual, through labyrinths and riddles that are rewarding and perplexing. I strongly urge reading Borges, because I believe he is one of the most influential and greatest writers of the 20th century. No joke. Borges on Amazon
Swamplandia! by Karen Russell: Good debut novel. Again, this is a book that can be enjoyed by many different ages. The world she creates in the swamps of Florida is enchanting, however Russell fools readers into believing in things that are not what they seem. Readers feel what the 13 year old protagonist, Ava, feels–a mix of naivety and the childish wisdom she comes to possess. My only complaint about this book is that the ending, after a dark twist, wraps up very quickly. I suppose I wanted more. Swamplandia! on Amazon
The Good Thief, by Hannah Tinti: Another book that spans young adult and adult interests. I loved this book. I thought the adventure was wonderful, and yet executed with a muted darkness that truly takes skill to convey with such subtlety. It is a quick read and well worth your time. The Good Thief on Amazon
The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak: This is shelved in the YA lit section, but it is a true crossover. Zusak’s novel is told through the eyes of death, which is always interesting, and is a unique point of view and narrative style; especially on a subject, WWII and the Holocaust, that has such a wide selection and readership. Like the other crossover-esque novels, the writing is sophisticated enough for older generations to enjoy. The Book Thief on Amazon
There are a few more, but I think I’ll stop now for the sake of overwhelming you. If you noticed, there is somewhat of a commonality in some of these novels in their ability to bridge adult and young adult readers’ interests. That is something I consider very difficult, especially with the amount of YA fiction being pumped out at a fast rate, but I feel that many of these books will urge both teenagers and adults to put down fast reads like Vampire books and James Patterson, in exchange for something that is well worth the extra time.
A poem for Sundays, because it is one of my favorite days. And, no, I don’t feel like creating a better title.
On slow, soundless Sundays hours fade,
and tea grows cold and still
while someone wishes a smile to appear
through book pages, from under thick blankets.
Sundays look over the world
with Eeyore eyes and turned down lips,
loneliness sits in the lines of her face.
Sometimes words of the head
betray those of the heart…
conjuring scenarios of what may be,
pastimes, passing the time sipping stale tea,
but wishing for a glass of red wine,
to muffle the musings of the mind.
A good day for overthinking, Sundays,
wake memories of what was,
and visions of what will come.
Tea always steeps slow in the still of Sundays,
while distant church bells break the silence,
bursting from the bleak, light hours,
shaking yesterday’s tears off blades and branches,
and ringing the last hours, begging for a week anew.