A final piece of my own writing from my now-defunct creative writing class. Several members of the class and I wrote a "tag poem" during the final week of the course. Basically, each person had to write a poem using the last line of the previous poem as either a title or a first line. The following were my four contributions. I'm particularly happy with the first and last ones, though I'd like to spend more time with them before I call them finished.
Elemental fire cannot rest
On a pedestal.
Some goddesses are not content
To be worshipped.
She would rather consume,
Turn all to ash.
She would rather give birth,
Her maculate labor.
Flowing, hardening, the hair and fingers,
Pele’s very heart turns
To igneous rock.
Lately I relate to happiness
And anyway, I’d rather smile and laugh
In paradise, it’s mad to want much less
Than sheer perfection, on the world’s behalf.
I wonder, though, what paradise might be?
Is it a sunny day, a sandy beach?
Or is it mauka showers, greener trees,
And eighty warm degrees each day to each?
No, all those things do not make paradise
All by themselves, for they are in the world,
Experience alone cannot entice
Determined misery to come unfurled.
Yes, lately I relate to happiness
And anyway, it’s better to feel blessed.
For the Sound of Her
A spoken word seems like proof,
Conclusive evidence of her presence.
But today even electrons can talk,
And so the mind can hear voices
Long after it has forgotten a face.
For the sound of her, I listen,
Straining to hear more than a voice,
Needing proof, not content with faith.
For the sound of her, I moan,
Needing to possess, or be possessed.
Distance is the progenitor of doubt.
If I cannot imagine four thousand miles
How could I perceive her in that desert?
How could I, surrounded by trade winds
And coconuts, conceive her in red mud?
For the sound of her, I wait,
Or should, but need to own her
As much as she owns herself.
For the sound of her, I waste
Her love, listening all the while.
Water running in the bathroom,
The creaking bedroom door,
The rustling of bedsheets,
A sigh of contentment,
These demonstrate her existence.
Harmonica Heavy Southern Twang and Banjo
Band go twing twang, the harmony can
Drum up a trance dance, a piercing piece
Of musitchy excellence, Notus’s wind
Instruments blow, and bellow
Boom and boon loom soom jazz.