February 10th, 2009


Poetry Fishbowl Open!

Starting now, the Poetry Fishbowl is open! I will be checking this page periodically throughout the day. When people make suggestions, I'll pick some and weave them together into a poem ... and then another ... and so on. I'm hoping to get a lot of ideas and a lot of poems.

In this online version of a Poetry Fishbowl, I begin by setting a theme; today's theme is romance, science and love, selected by the audience in an earlier poll. I invite people to suggest characters, settings, and other things relating to that theme. Then I use those prompts as inspiration for writing poems. Consider sponsoring a poem or commissioning a scrapbook page as a Valentine's Day present for someone you love!

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Poem: "Like the Dew on the Leaves"

This poem was prompted by jenny_evergreen although the line itself came from her husband Tom. She has sponsored it here for everyone to enjoy.

Like the Dew on the Leaves
– a quatern

Like the dew on the leaves of the fruit-bearing trees,
All the tears of our hearts are the least of the scene.
They will come, and then go, and will leave behind ease;
And the love that they water will flourish and green.

When the mist of confusion comes forth with the dawn,
Like the dew on the leaves of the fruit-bearing trees,
Merely wait for the day to bring truth, and it’s gone
With the light of the sun and the kiss of the breeze.

If the frost of indifference creeps forth to freeze,
It will meet with a heat that releases its flow,
Like the dew on the leaves of the fruit-bearing trees
Falling off to replenish the roots far below.

For the apples and cherries and pears are the goal
Of the orchard, as love is the seed that we seize;
And our sorrow is only the sweat of the soul,
Like the dew on the leaves of the fruit-bearing trees.

Poem: "Stronger Than Concrete"

Valentine's Day is often considered a romantic holiday, but I like to broaden it to love in general. So the freebie poem for today's fishbowl deals with different kinds of familial love. It was inspired by a picture and a traditional poem posted to therebirthofme today.

Stronger Than Concrete

Hey, Black Child,
Do you know that brick wall
Is mostly made of empty space, ‘stead of bricks?
Do you know those bits
Bounce around like balls and jacks on a playground
And you can make them do tricks if you just think how?

Hey, Black Child,
Do you know why the sidewalk cracks
More’n’more next to the empty lot?
Do you know that roots are stronger than concrete
And just heave it up out of their way –
That they could hide this whole city in a hundred years?

Hey, Black Child,
Do you know what else
Seems like empty space but ain’t
And is stronger than concrete
And older than the forests of Africa?

Hey, Black Child,
Look up yonder at your momma
Hanging laundry high overhead,
Stringing out blue jeans and white towels.
Look at her belly rounding out like a ball –
You got a little brother or sister coming soon,
Someone for you to help look after.

Hey, Black Child,
How does that make you feel,
Not to be the littlest no more?
Did you know that hanging laundry in the wind
Is good for the world that babies get to grow up in?
Did you know that brick walls and tree roots all got their place
And someday it’ll be up to you to set the balance?

Hey, Black Child,
How you gonna do all that?
I’ll tell you – it’s that thing
Emptier than air and older than Africa,
Stronger than concrete and Kingdom Come –
That thing is love, Black Child.
Love can do any thing.
Just ask your momma.

Poem: "The Architects of Love"

This poem was prompted and sponsored by minor_architect ... and I was several verses into it before I realized that I was using the metaphor of architecture in a poem inspired by someone who has "architect" in her username!

The Architects of Love

Love is not
the whole of the arch
through which the days of our lives must pass.

Love is
only the keystone
that holds the pieces together.

We are
the architects
who carve the blocks from sandstone.

We are
the ones who shape
loyalty, desire, fidelity, confidence, hope, reliance.

Our hands
are roughened
by the work of building a life together.

Our hands
are not the same,
yours and mine, skilled at different things.

I carve
the blocks of my being
broad on the outside, narrowing inward.

You carve
the coarse stone
of yourself for the sake of me.

We take
time for each other,
the things I love that you don’t, and vice versa.

We make
time together,
moving in unison, breathing in communion.

We curve
toward each other
like the sides of an arch.

We curve
until we touch,
united by our love.

We are
stronger together
than either would be a pillar apart.

We are
the arch holding the world’s weight
so that our days may pass freely through the center.