Blueberry

I Have Your Back. Acrylic on watercolor paper. #lexleonardartist

Blueberry

  1. Take a handful of blueberries, toss them one by one, her attention, the prize awarded.
  2. They shatter, those berry blue words, like bullet splatter behind her back.
  3. Let their juices flow between the cellophane wall separating you from her with her cherry berry dyed hair.
  4. Draw your berry blue bloodied finger along the line of demarcation, a line for which you shall never pass.
  5. Let her know even though she will not turn to hear, twist to look, let her know you have her back, will you always have her back if she returns.
  6. You will have her back at the slightest drop of a single berry blue rolling its escape from the clamshell carton on the kitchen counter, remind her it was a mistake.
  7. Your hands stained, guilty for there is no excuse, no words to make amends in the blue puddle of berries gone.
  8. Your berry blue words streak sad, speak your words, this be your poem, your truth without remorse, your bloody berry blue words without regret, your poem to her, and to every blueberry lost.

………

Author’s Note..

I am drawn to surrealism and find this writing exploration unsettling. This image I painted has always bothered me and I didn’t know where it fit. I think it fits here with today’s prompt. A good practice piece again to push boundaries, experiment.

From NaPoWriMo:

‘Finally, here’s our optional prompt! Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem . . . in the form of a poetry prompt. If that sounds silly, well, maybe it is! But it’s not without precedent. The poet Mathias Svalina has been writing surrealist prompt-poems for quite a while, posting them to Instagram. You can find examples here, and here, and here.”

Beginning With Light

Beginning With Light…

Beginning With Light. Acrylic on watercolor paper. #lexleonardartist

Beginning with light,
without it there can be no life on 
top of this plain
where feet, toes curled
tickle dry brown 
interspeckled with tender green 
answering back, 
listening, and yet, too cool 
for bare arms, she accedes —— it is there
“Hope” is the thing with feathers –

Back and forth, black wings
from nest to Source
and back again. Dark night
sustenance, a treacherous stillness
unwelcome — but 
a required embrasure 
a grace miscalculated
a path toward light 
That perches in the soul –

In her room a tiny brass box
with lid open spins — en pointe
balanced confidently
a mantram rhythm bound to Self
but free knowing
her purpose, 
her path,
And sings the tune without the words –

She reaches down 
fingers brush dry and green —
it is spring
and turns the wheel to the new 
from dark night, to the light,
the constant springs
And never stops – at all –

……….

Author’s Note

From the kind folks at NaPoWriMo:

“And now for our (optional) prompt. This one is a bit complex, so I saved it for a Sunday. It’s a Spanish form called a “glosa” – literally a poem that glosses, or explains, or in some way responds to another poem. The idea is to take a quatrain from a poem that you like, and then write a four-stanza poem that explains or responds to each line of the quatrain, with each of the quatrain’s four lines in turn forming the last line of each stanza. Traditionally, each stanza has ten lines, but don’t feel obligated to hold yourself to that! Here’s a nice summary of the glosa form to help you get started.”

While I was still teaching, I always shared this video with my first graders during National Poetry Month. It is beauty and grace in words and action. They understood and it was magic watching them moving their arms and hands in concert with the girl even though no one knew her language. We watched it many times.

https://www.poetryfoundation.org/video/77372/hope-is-the-thing-with-feathers

A Villanelle for Benny

Day 2: NaPoWriMo

A Villanelle for Benny

I taught him how to shake.
Now when he yearns, I get the paw.
I will give him no reason for escape.

Oh, what an ally to ease my ache
to be loved, giving me one to kiddle.
I taught him how to shake

in his middle-doghood shape.
No longer a pup, but a handsome soul,
I will give him no reason for escape.

The Bean will never mistake
my fierce affection.
I taught him how to shake.

In our oneness, how can I forsake
those eyes and heavy paw?
I will give him no reason for escape.

He came to me, I the remake,
his third home to care.
I taught him how to shake
and there will be no reason for him to escape.

…..

“Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem based on a word featured in a tweet from Haggard Hawks, an account devoted to obscure and interesting English words. Will you choose a word like “aprosexia,” which means ‘an inability to concentrate’?”

I chose Haggard Hawks Word of the Day: KIDDLE (v.) to embrace warmly, to caress. https://twitter.com/HaggardHawks

And I decided to work through Tania Runyan’s How To Write A Form Poem becuase writing a poem a day for a month isn’t difficult enough…🙄😂😉https://www.amazon.com/Tania-Runyan/e/B0073Z3IDQ…

So, here is my first try at a villanelle. Don’t judge. I’ll get better. 😂

Tania actually does a beautiful job leading you through the process. If you teach poetic forms, I highly recommend this book. And she’s funny.

For The Sake of Mitigation

NaPoWriMo

For The Sake of Mitigation

He said begin each day proclaiming, “Today is going to be a great day.” My knee protested. We walked to the open space, our refuge, the Bean and I. Labored. He was patient. He knows. They cleared away bushes, trees. “For the sake of mitigation.” To keep us safe from fire. Fire that burns from indifference, not from within that quickens marrow. I wonder about Fox who follows us weaving within the woods rose and willow. Raven registers displeasure, a loss of camouflage against Hawk. “I’m sorry,” my offering against sadness. Maybe tomorrow.

Ledge

Ledge. Lex Leonard. Acrylic on Watercolor paper.19’X24″

Sleep the ledge where line meets touch
don’t roll 
one side or other 
lest balance lost

Doctor, hold hands 
fill with marigold petals 
color of forest fire sunset

Caramel sky, saucers fly
do you belong
if, so, welcome

Smooth skin spirals
stem of possibility 
little mouse where are you

Walking the door
opening roar 
blackholes
silence sitting 

Corpse seed cleared 
E=empty bowl
gurgling pool 

Syndrome of afterlife
nothing certain
no need

You ride voices

Do the math

Look beyond

Beautiful hands

.

.

.

Author’s Note.

Another visit to the Denver Botanic Gardens for our writing group to write.

During our community time before putting down our thoughts, I gathered words from our conversation. These became our prompts and opening line:

Sleep. Doctor. Caramel. Smooth. Walking Corpse Syndrome.

You do look beautiful.

Skiff

Skiff. Lex Leonard. Denver Botanic Gardens. 07.18.2021

A pink umbrella floats across water upside down right side up reflection a masked woman her partner saunter lotus floats edges ripple into shapes unknown just reflections Emma’s shoes drop bag opens an escape of used tissue tumbles with breeze no longer confined finally free Emma lowers bottom placed on cemented edge toes submerge into cold no excuse from early morning rain door opens through threshold a pink umbrella upside down floats a skiff holding promises forgotten floats away Emma wiggles her toes through the door a threshold a marigold sea of petals remembers golden sun and sweet scent of bloom a pink umbrella carries away excuses pain rememberings upside down filling too full Emma watches sinks below waterline under lotus pad into murky substance a place to break down become that which feeds new growth from murky substance repaired Emma’s toes curl stretch sprout vines reaches into murk feeds from what she once knew now reconstructs releases lets go gives in grows new bud precious bloom turns to sun’s face warmth color bright graceful 

Emma transformed

Dear You

Dear You,
You’ve gone ahead and taken over
as you should,
wrapping your arms around my rubbish.
Verdant flourish over my decay.
Filling air with sweetness 
for which only you have the prescription.
Teach me one more time to play.

Your Foundling

Dear One,
We are a braided ribbon.
One, yet separate,
of hues unique.
Not in isolation, but communion.
I am always there for you, 
will you be for me?

Your Loving Mother

.

.

.

Author’s Note:

Na/GloPoWriMo Day 11. Write a letter to and from.

Dear You. Watercolor, pencil, computer. Lex Leonard

Junk Drawer

I rattle the box.

An Altoids tin.
A jangle collection of screw heads
I didn’t know was there.

Birthday candles.

So many shapes and colors
to light celebrations
I no longer have.
And when I do,
I forget,
and buy more.

Much like the years that pass each May.
Collections I forget were there.

But I can’t buy more years
when I can’t find the memories,

lost possibilities.

I can’t keep them in an Altoids tin.

And even if I did,
would I remember?

.

.

.

Author’s Note.

Day 10 of Na/GloPoWriMo and an interesting exercise.

Pandemia

Re-arrange dust mites
resting on the self

Find the shoe that
has not been worn
for, oh, so long ago
it may be needed someday

Listen to the chimes
choral with the wind

Sit in sun at 10:23
on the steps
the ones leading upstairs
not down

Touch your heart
deep inside
count the beats
you are still here

Peel two clementines
stack the skins
breathe deeply their balm

Sweep his fur
from corners and crevices
he’ll return soon
to claim his space once more

Run your fingers
along the hem
of the silk peach slip
your grandmother gave

Close your eyes
feel your ancestors
at your left and right
above and below
in front and behind

You are never alone

.

.

.

Author’s Note.

Today from our friends at Na/GloPoWriMo we are asked to write a list poem about an unusual character.

I don’t think Pandemia is too unusual and I have never taken to list poems. And yet, here we are. I like this one.

Anna Flight

Ice. Acrylic. Lex Leonard.

You didn’t hear me leave.
My footfall precious on wood slatted floor
under early morning light, my escape.
Your slumbering breath keeping beat.
Across lawn, down walks,
over the berm into the field
where dew forms without knowing you.
Mother bird begins her day.
I lost my way.
I couldn’t help it, never to see your face again.
I got lost and then,
snow.
Everything blanketed.
It was easy to lay down.
I wanted to say goodbye, but
I was lost.
Sleep well, my sweet.
There is nothing I need to remember any longer,
just your breath,
my ghosted shroud in early morning light.

.

.

.

Author’s Note.

Day 8, just in the nick of time before the clock turns, of Na/GloPoWriMo.

Our inspiration today was to write a monologue influenced by Edgar Lee Master’s Spoon River Anthology.

Oh, one of my most favorite theatre pieces ever – to watch, read, and perform.