Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Tough Love and Manifesto

This is a re-post from April 2009, when I shared a couple of poems for National Poetry Month. It's been a while -- a year, maybe longer -- since I've written any poetry, but it's something that has to strike me, not something I tend to approach as I do fiction: almost daily, and often with a hammer. ( :/ )
Here are a couple of angst-y pieces, inspired by two different people, years apart, and both poems have won awards. (I can't recall the years or the contests. I did pocket the money, though!) Call the first poem an act of tough love, and the second a manifesto.


She is a choking vine,
twining my limbs,
wrapping my throat,
squeezing my strength
as if I am the soil that succors her roots.

I was, at first,
a sympathetic, willing trellis,
thinking my role temporary,
like a stake to guide a sapling,
but she will not let go.

Sun and shade equally strike,
yet she claims the lesser share,
complaining her weakness, her lack,
her compromise—
shadowing me as she seeks more light.

I am dying,
throttled by her need.
Freeing my hand, I tear at her tendrils;
broken stems bleed on my skin.
Remnants of her cling to my clothes.

She cries her shock and anger,
pleas the length of friendship,
but I reck not her arguments,
turn from her tilting form,
and say, “Stand.”


The Flood

You left
a high-water mark
on the walls of my heart--
a crusted undulating line
that marks the end
of the rising filthy tide
of pollution I once called

of receding emotion
lap against my reality boots
and cover the toes,
but I feel nothing,
wading through the muck and
debris like Peter walked on

If I
look down, I might sink
into that miserable morass
of self-pity and doubt,
mourning the lost years
and cursing you for taking them,
for making the dreams

of memory bleach
saturate the walls and wash away
disease, letting the clean things shine through,
leaving behind the bones of a house
in which laughter will ring


Brandon Barr said...

glad to see your still blogging. I've been off the grid for a long time.

Keanan Brand said...

Hey! I haven't been doing much, either -- thus the re-posting of old material. ;) Life's taken some different turns, and I just don't have much to say.