The tongues of angels clatter against
ten thousand stolen beginnings
fluttering syllables like wings gone
wild, until letters float like
my dreams. Reminding sleep you
nestle next to me.
We end our day in silent
reverie, like spoons of primal
clay merged in a single am, filled
with shards of marmalade and jam.
Brenda Warren 2015
Love poems are a staple of the poetry scene. It’s pretty hard to be a poet and not write a few – or a dozen – or maybe six books’ worth. But because so many love poems have been written, there are lots of clichés. Fill your poems with robins and hearts and flowers, and you’ll sound more like a greeting card than a bard. So today, I challenge you to write a “loveless” love poem. Don’t use the word love! And avoid the flowers and rainbows.
Pre-treated in her subjective dimension
where good deeds ring like bell towers,
the stains on her spirit
mark avenues of change
used to remind us
of the price she pays
from her own pocket
to lift the rest of the world up
from its misery of circumstance.
Fishing for praise,
she says it takes time to answer
all of the pleas for magic that poverty
propels from hungry mouths.
(It’s almost like she’s an angel.)
it’s not a big deal;
she doesn’t mind doing it.
Falling through the looking glass,
your new life flashes backward.
Make it last.
Uncertain where tomorrow goes,
look to yesterday—
where petals open angels,
soldiers become toys,
and gown clad women
dangle like ornaments
in the trees
by their hair.
Your mother smiles on a star.
Endings come from beginnings.
Make it last.
Black swans dance upon
the beaches of tomorrow
and every girl’s lips look puckered.
Brenda Warren 2012
Process Notes. I watched the video, “Thirty Three” by Smashing Pumpkins several times, then recorded a list of images(side-by-side…video/word document), as I watched the video. From those images, this piece arose. Make it last is italicized as it comes from the song. The title of my piece is a paraphrasing of the first line of the song— Speak to me in a language I can hear.
Your secret touch eases
the clatter in my mind,
down to the flowering sound
where your hands open windows
that color the marrow of our grief
as rain swings in with its massive hips,
misting our faces
in tracks of tears
like drops down glass.
Perhaps your touch awakens angels
who swim through open windows,
riding in on the rain.
You plaster your dreads with the skin of serpents
enmeshing a Medusa, compelling society
to look the other way. A seditious struggle
pierces flesh with iron and ink,
rendering the sacred lost
beneath its pledge.
A falling away.
Wingless limbs falter while
sporadic sparks of truth
flint off your soul’s tufted feathers
and fall like tread from your feet
through this nether world
appled in sin’s black veil.
“Dreads” are dreadlocks. When I was in Ohio we dreaded my daughter Julie’s hair. People treated her differently. One woman actually pulled her children closer to her in a protective effort as we passed. It was disconcerting. Now I think Jules is an amazing young woman, not a falling angel, but obviously this poem contains a bit of her dreadlocked experience.
Visit The Sunday Whirl for more poems constructed around the wordle words below. I used all of the words except hinder. I had it in there as “hindering the sacred lost” – rendering made more sense.