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Seer of ghosts & weaver of stories

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Savvy Verse & Wit: The 2012 National Poetry Month Blog Tour

For this stop, I'm offering a new poem that's a follow-up to one of my previous works (which is linked in the title below). Happy touring, friends and fellow poets!

Five Times I Lived by Water: Reprise

1. Thames

Mother, my home has been taken
by uncaring thieves. They cast me
adrift on the ash-strewn cloud beds
shrouding the sea. Mother, they kill me
with paper, drown me in ink and bind
my feet against returning. I will swim
as far as my tired arms can take me,
but Mother, great river, protectress
of mine: cry vengeance. I cannot fly.

2. Indian Lake

I know no songs of this place
except the sad. That six-leafed
clover I found on the bank
just won't cut it. They say luck
comes to those who make it,
but, poisoned well, if I may
go so far as to skip stones—
your hollow reeds have failed
to brace my shattered bones.

3. Charles (Revisited)

Remind me, river bending
of what I have lost. Throw shades
and specters of days long gone
in my uncharted path. When
did they last pull the dead
from your depths? Your bridges stretch
in stately neglect, your shores
flecked with cinder and sand
beneath waning skies. This time
I'm ready for what you will 
tell me, and it will be lies.

4. Ware

You see me there 
and back without care
for where I am going 
or where I have been.

5. Kiskiminetas

Always from a distance. Safe
is how you like it. Grandpa says
you've grown too toxic. Grandma says
she never learned to swim. Father says
you might have drowned him. Uncle says
we've all been played for fools. So, I'll say
we got off on the wrong foot, played it safe
from far too great a distance. Means and ways.

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#1 :( *clings tight*

There's a very sort of American seeming feel to most of these, or at least it seems so to me as a foreigner and outsider.

Is it weird that Charles made me automagically think of X-Men, and it seems to fit so well with the ending of First Class. It could very well be Erik reflecting afterwards, the bridges and shores standing for Charles's telepathy and the safety he offered when Erik was drowning in more ways than one. Ahah...

There's a good reason for that, I'd say - except for the Thames, all of the other rivers and lakes used as titles are here in the US!

No, I don't think it's weird at all; I see what you mean about resonances...

I like how well these two pieces fit, almost like there is a collection begging to emerge. Thanks for being part of the blog tour.

Or a chapbook sequence, in the very least :) Thank you for inviting me!

Love this. I was thinking (hours after having read it) (I usually read your poems then give myself time to absorb then come back to comment) about the lake I am living next too. Devils Lake. It has been quite active last 20 years (18 federally declared disasters in the last 20 years). But the words would more be like drowner of land, you tube spawn, anhililator of woodland, passive taker of life.....you got me thinking! Belching trucks hauling the underminings of the hills to the sacrifice for the lake, unfriendly strangers haunting nightmares, rapist of the ecology - destroyer of the past....

You really need to write this poem <3

The only way I seem to be able to meaningfully comment on your poems is by writing more!

(This is beautiful; I loved Five Times I Lived By Water when I read it when it was first published, and this continuation of it is really very interesting because it's not quite the same style but they fit together so well!)

Any additions to 5xLW were bound to be more terse and angry, I think, given my present circumstances. Thank you :)


A wilted lavender, its fragrance
Projecting images of
a day in the sun
where its scent spoke
of a passion burnt
burning like oil
But now ,shrinking
Dying it exudes
a calm fragrance
on my pillow

Thank you for sharing this :)

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