NaPoWriMo #21 – Where are the pearls?

As children
they wander,
wondering…
Why is the sky blue?
Why is the grass green?

They value those
older and wiser
who share, even sparingly, their capital.

As students
they plunder
squandering
Why do I need Math?
What use is Poetry?

They value those
bolder, disguised, or
who share their peerage and thus their fates.

As adults
They implore
clamoring
Why am I here?
What is my purpose?

They value those
nobler advisors
who promise sacrifice is self-serving, or worse
who share all dogma is dead.

The treasure chests of substance are dusty.
Ancient lexicons left unopened.
Contentment comes not with having all the answers
But in knowing where to find them.

NaPoWriMo #20 – To a Tragic Victorian Novelist

We shared a name and heritage
though not a country of birth.
Our childhoods were vastly different
separated as we were
by both a century
and siblings;
You had twice more than I
but mine were all younger.

I am just now finding my way into
that world of writing you knew so well.

Your writing successes came
far earlier than mine:
Publishing feminist reviews at thirteen
and poetry at fourteen.
At that age, I was still composing odes to unicorns
and wondering if I would ever lose my braces.

So many stories, essays, poems,
you had two novels before you were twenty-seven
before you succumbed to another thing
we have, well had, in common.

I read today that as young as
eighteen you contemplated
pills
or
drowning
to escape the tortures of your body and soul.

Me too, younger even.

Your eventual death at your own hand, whether to escape
the deafness,
the sadness,
or
the madness you felt was coming
is a familiar emotional place.

I lived it,
breathed it,
survived it.

The finality of your choice,
inhaling deeply those choking fumes,
reminds me that
only by continuing to live
can I continue to write,
even if no one is reading
yet.

NaPoWriMo #18 – Happy Birthday, Robin

The kitchen vent,
High over the stove,
Has three buttons.

One is next to the refrigerator,
All by itself.
One is beyond the laundry room door
Beside the light switch.
The last is over the desk
Which sort of makes sense
If you were cooking the books.

But none are within easy reach
When you are standing
Over the stove
Stirring a pot of garlic sauce
Or pho.

But rest assured,
In the ten foot ceiling
High overhead,
That bathroom fan installed
Is still to code.

Today’s poem is sort of a birthday present for a friend. She and her husband just bought a beautiful house with some pretty odd wiring choices.