Here are the saved poems from the Postcard Poetry Fest I participated in the month of August. There are, undoubtedly, common threads running through these days and reflect what was going on in my life and surroundings.
The goal of the PoPoFest is to write and send one postcard a day during the month; and the focus is to write about what is going on in one’s life or a reflection of the postcard or any damn thing you want to write. It’s a fun exercise and those of us who participated this year (over 400) have Paul Nelson to thank for his efforts and support. I’ve included some photos of postcards I sent, since the large collage is the ones I received.
(Unfortunately, two of my postcards got sent without my having saved them. Next year I won’t rely on modern technology and will copy each one.)
I thought of you
Or people like you
For days on end
When the wisps of smoke
Burned our eyes just a little
Or made our throats scratchy
I prayed for you though I don’t trust prayers, people who pray
If so, we brought further disasters of different kinds.
I saw the evidence today
I hope you’re safe and suffered no loss
I prayed for you though I don’t believe in prayer or take stock in those who pray.
We never really understood what it was like to be cold
To understand terms like bone chilling or teeth chattering
The shock was like electric
Like a big slap in the face
And yet we survived and begged to do it all over again.
Glaciers in the middle of summer.
Thrill seeking insanity.
The ocean of my past visits my dreams
Bringing characters I’ve known,
loved and hated.
Ghosts who caress and soothe,
jab and jabber,
poke and plunder.
I wake most mornings hanging onto images that sometimes haunt me throughout the day.
Until night when a new wave washes in.
Sent to Arthur Tulee
I took you everywhere on my bicycle.
Sometimes Mary Lou would come with us on her horse.
Mom said “you have a baby now” and I know she thought you might convince me
to have none of my own. It was a chance she was willing to take.
She never regretted anything.
Sent to Ashley Sage
I don’t want to be Lucia Berlin,
Buried in the back shelf of literary history,
Late in life success and little renown
I would give anything to be Lucia Berlin
Even if buried in the back shelf
Discovered as some old dottering typist
Sent to Chrissy Burd
I wonder if my grandma sent us back to our mother with disguised relief.
We were forced to be indoor and outdoor visitors.
Sit up to the table bus our dishes use napkins and welcome mats.
I, too, enforce the rules with my little guests.
Giving in to electronics, at times…
I miss them when they go but
I kiss them goodbye with a limp
but sincere sigh of relief.
Sent to Margaret Santhanam
I don’t want to fight
Have no talent for it
Never practice and best at walking. Away.
I only want to embrace you
Tell you how much you are loved
And ask if you remember any of the good stuff
I don’t want to fight.
Sent to Libby Maxey
This isn’t my lifetime
I’m just learning now
I have some other lessons to learn before I’m done here
I want to move on but I don’t think I’ll be able to.
I’ll have to come back and do some things over again.
I wanted to be a cheerleader in high school
Now I realize how unimportant that was
And glad it never happened.
Sent to Judy Kleinburg
I grew up with skin privilege
I knew it because my father knew it and he told me so.
“You’re lucky you’re white.”
He told me to never look down on another human being because of their difference.
Short, fat, skinny,
Woman who wants to be a man,
Man who wants to be a woman.
We’re all equal.
Same color blood.
Sent to Judy Mayhew
Today I thought about our words exchanged yesterday.
is all they are.
There is no feeling, emotion, warmth
When two people tap letters into a phone
And send it across a distance.
I left a phone message but you claimed you didn’t get it.
I can’t prove that since it’s not “saved.”
I wish you’d talk to me.
Sent to Theresa Pappas
The fires are eating us
Coming slowly like a death march
over tree and stream.
My daddy said it was the fire that would take us.
Landslides and mountains tumbling down and then
He was always right about these things.
If he’s watching he’ll be nodding and grieving for the trees.
Sent to Marge Merrill
The last time we were together
We all smiled
Looked into the camera and pretended things weren’t prickly
We spoke with friends and family and fooled them all.
“What a nice relationship you have with your brothers,” it was said.
Like drinking vinegar, gulps and snorts.
We weren’t brought up to lie but
we’re very good at it.
Sent to Lynne Shapiro
She was my sister.
From different mothers.
They say “soul sisters.”
I never had one…a sister.
I was surrounded by brothers.
And hand-me-down overalls and t-shirts.
Cap guns and under-the-bed farts.
I wanted a sister and when I finally got one,
Sent to Linda Crosfield
Today was a stormy, sunny, mad-cap day!
It was the kind of day to wear your grandmother hat and bake in the kitchen
Cakes from scratch and scones
And flip blueberry pancakes and
Fill the hummingbird feeders
It all got hot and sticky and humid
And we tore our clothes off with Wild Abandon
And JUMPED in the lake! J
I stepped outside to see if I could see
The meteor shower,
So dark but no stars in the sky.
A jet came from the north.
A big one.
The big ones come in slow and low.
They take their time floating down through space.
They come from where one can see the stars.
Up close but far away.
My friend died yesterday.
She “took her own life.”
What an odd expression.
To take a life.
A grand theft robbery.
And that expression too:
“Stealing away in the night.”
I suppose it was somewhat criminal what she did.
She’s left us empty handed.
We feel “taken” as in “fooled.”
She fooled us into thinking everything was okay.
We were robbed.
“Let a smile be your umbrella,” he said.
“I can fix it so,
make it a better day for you. Be it
Storm or sunny weather.”
I knew it would be okay
As things always end up being.
But a broken umbrella is such an annoyance
And I could not
For the moment,
See beyond the snags and shatters.
Sent to Kellyanne Pearce
Where will you be at Christmastime?
My family wants me with them
And I love my family
But oh… the unhappiness -
I was once “Mother Christmas,” and
You never saw a home so decorated, inside and out.
With every day the baking and all the heavenly preparation.
But our angels flew away one day and now I go to palm trees and beaches
And Christmas is for giving to the needy, not the ungrateful.
Sent to Rosanne Braslow
Like an angel, she went her way.
I held her, didn’t want to ever let her go.
Her stinky little breath, the last ones and then
No more pain.
The struggle to keep on keeping on.
That’s down now.
How quick a little life can go and all the joy over.
Oh, we loved her so.
Azula (Zuzu) Rome Oct 22, 2001 – Aug 3, 2015
Sent to Sue Anne Brannan Walker
What if you knew her?
What if she sailed away and you didn’t get your chance to say “goodbye,
My friend, my sister, my girl, my lovely girl?”
And you followed the waves, the hand waves and the ocean waves
But there was never a port.
Sent to Susan Watson
I wanted to tell you about the silly women in high heels
And how they tottered
(Yes, they tottered!)
On the uneven streets and I wondered
“Who will catch them if they fall?”
But they are the steady ones
They are the ones who will lead the way.
Sent to Anthony Kolasny
I want to share this with you.
This time from far away and long ago.
How brilliant to remember
To remember the little things
The feel of my shoulder leaning into yours
The song we heard that morning at breakfast after we made the bed
Peering at each other over a continent of sheets and pillows.
Sent to Kristin Williams
My uncle’s name was Roy.
My father’s brother.
They were born in 1903 and 1905,
and moved from Missouri
when they were little boys
to live with their grandmother in Montana.
They moved from the West to the Way-Out-West.
They were Indians and cowboys, my father and his brother.
They were American originals.
They were real pioneers.
Sent to Gillian Standley
Did you ever think what does it mean to be of the “working class?”
How does a “working class” exist if there is no work?
Find a piece of cardboard, write your own legend and
Stake yourself out by the freeway,
Never expecting a ride;
Just a little bit of class.
Sent to Terry Holzman
I’m going to Mt Everest tonight
In my book
I’ve been to Africa, Nepal,
Slogged through the mud in Tibet.
I have feared for my life and saved that of others.
I’ve died in childbirth and fought in wars.
All from my pillow.
For the love of books.
Sent to Amanda Adams
My daddy was raised in Montana.
Said he raised some hell there.
Was afraid of snakes his whole life
And things that moved across the earth without feet.
That would include fire, which scared him more than rattlers.
He was familiar with the tongues of deepest fears
And managed to practice humility while considering
Sent to Carole Slesnick
Did you hear my song?
It was a book I wrote
It was a book I wrote
I poured out my heart
Like red wine from a broken bottle
About all the loves I lost
First with My Boy
The only one who tore me up and down my middle
All the way to the last one who flew away………..
Sent to Paul Nelson
It’s another Saturday
It was just Saturday so recently
So how can it again be Saturday?
How can all these hairs on my head be gray?
How can my chin droop in this way?
I blame it all on all these Saturdays.
Sent to Bev Fesharaki
It came. It came upon that morning
And you can remember her
Blowing kisses at you
As she stood high above the sea
You, on the wooden planked dock
The scent of creosote so strong you could have
eaten it for breakfast.
It came and it brought her to you.
Send to Nicholas Kolasny
Thank you for reading.....