April is National Poetry Month, and there’s often a “Poem-a-Day” challenge that goes along with it. 2019 is the first time I truly participated in it, and much like last year, this year I did most of the days. Unlike last year, I didn’t post them regularly here on my site, but now that we’re in the month of May and the challenge has wrapped up, I decided to post a few of my favorites in this post.
Now, here in California, we’re still under Stay at Home orders, and COVID-19 is at the forefront of everyone’s mind. This was especially true during the month of April, so you’ll likely see themes of the pandemic and of social distance throughout many of these poems.
These aren’t all the poems I wrote as part of the Poem-a-Day challenges, but some of my favorites. I hope you enjoy.
The Persona of Fear
I’m thought of as the thing that hides in the shadows
That jumps out at you in the night
That causes your heart to race
And your breath to quicken.
You’re told that I am the only thing to fear
As though there’s a way
To defeat me, or silence me, or stop me
From interfering with your day.
And maybe there is.
I do not exist to harm you.
I exist to try and keep you safe.
To keep you alert.
To keep you questioning.
So, perhaps, I need not exist…
If you keep your eyes
And your mind
And your heart
As wide open as possible.
We hired someone to come in
And plant lilies around a fake waterfall
In the center of our backyard.
The vibrant plants were alive
Brightening with red and yellow blossoms
And shiny green leaves.
But as the days grew shorter
And the nights grew colder
The color began to fade.
By winter’s end, there were
Just brown stalks
And a cold, dark earth.
But today I went outside
And among the brown
(And weeds that desperately need pulling)
I noticed something.
A light green stalk pushing up
Reaching for the sun
Promising color will return.
Color will return.
Is a daydream just
A wish wearing different clothes
To walk around in?
Springtime Haiku Sonnet
It’s raining again.
Water pools on brand new leaves.
Buds drenches as they break.
Once the clouds are gone,
The breeze keeps the air quite cool,
But the sun is up.
Bringing a lightness,
A cheerful glow of promise
Of new beginnings.
The rain will come back –
Off and on for a few weeks –
But so will the sun.
The season of renewal,
Springtime brings us to ourselves.
Funny Little Brains
What must it be like
In your funny little brains?
What fills the silence,
And the space?
What staves off madness
(or perhaps there is no madness)
If you’re not constantly referencing
An office you’ve never worked in,
A coffee shop you’ve never drank in,
A hospital you’ve never been treated in,
A diner you’ve never ate in,
An inn you’ve never stayed in,
A creek you’ve never rowed across,
A boutique you’ve never shopped in,
A castle you’ve never woken up in,
A tower you’ve never been captive in,
A park you’ve never helped save – or build,
A police station you’ve never called to solve a crime,
Or a campaign you’ve never run?
Could it be any harder…
(That’s what she said.) …to imagine.
What Would You Do Differently?
If you could change it all
(It would have to be all,
Because changing just one thing
Changes everything else
That came after it),
What’s the point you would pick,
The one moment in time,
“Now. Let’s start over from now.”
And would you be willing to sacrifice,
Everything that didn’t happen to you,
But that happened to someone else,
As a result of something that happened
To someone who knows someone who
Knows someone who knows someone
Who knows someone who knows
Because changing it all means changing it all
For them too.
Every friend they’d never meet.
Every baby that’d never be born.
Every heart that would never break,
Or mend, Or break and then mend,
Or mend and then break.
If you could change it all,
Knowing it would be all,
Because changing just one thing,
Changes everything else that came after it…