Epistolary Poem (A Letter)

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To the Man who Killed my Mother

There was always a sense of urgency about her,
as if there was so much love in the world,
you had to run fast enough or
you wouldn’t catch it. Ironic that
you threw her shoe out of a moving car.

She often trusted strangers; you weren’t
the only one who took advantage –
you were just the first. Funny,
how you closed doors, while you opened others.

I bet you don’t even remember the colour
of her hair, her eyes, or the many shades of
her screams. Did you hear the longing in them?
Did her name ever grace your lips
the way her kisses did?

I don’t blame you for what you did;
it’s all about genetics and chromosomes.
I’m just angry that she is no longer
herself, without your ink on her skin.

Do you cultivate flowers now,
instead of sexual identities?
Did your germination end with her – or was she just
a filament of sunshine?

Her funeral was farcical and oddly
beautiful. She was naked (tattoos bandaged),
shoes on both feet.

© 2017 Lisa Mulrooney

Between the Known and the Unknown

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NaPoWriMo 2017 has suggested the following prompt for today:

“Write a poem that reflects on the nature of being in the middle of something.”

So, here goes . . .

in the knowing

Oblivion was pleasant, naive – and now –
only disquiet. Somewhere, a streetlight
burns out – and a fawn calls out for its mother.

Outside, it is raining; storms don’t exist
until they are named. In the knowing
and shadows, seen and unseen,
Anubis raises his hackles.

It is the time between: imagination toying,
skillfully coy paramour
of the man with the vanishing rabbit.
Delight in his secrets. Children always want
more – until blackened, the stage becomes
more than just a stage.

© 2017 Lisa Mulrooney

Ghazal

I have not participated in this year’s NaPoWriMo challenge to write a poem a day; however, I was intrigued by yesterday’s prompt to write a ghazal. Here’s what I came up with. It was much harder than I thought it would be!

Intertidal Ecology: A Love Poem

Goodbyes are hardest said in person, beside the ocean’s furrowing rhythm,
Tossing along notions of return, helpless vessel, in complicit billowing rhythm.

Rocky shelves, cursed by sailors, are exposed just prior to contact.
Candid inner sanctums echo a similar, sombre, crowing rhythm.

“Refrain, refrain.” Again and again, siren call and conscience meld:
Neither sanity nor drowning – both – provoke the heart’s flowing rhythm.

Awash in weeds and pummeled driftwood, bearing the scars of every tide,
I lay my head in your lap and listen to the ocean’s knowing rhythm.

We danced along with drifting continents, tidal shifts and evolution.
Though dying, we’re immortalized in this last rendition of life’s slowing rhythm.

© Lisa Mulrooney

Poetry Retreat

My family has just returned from a wonderful week long vacation to Vancouver Island. We stayed in Metchosin, just outside of Victoria, and during our stay, we got to visit some beautiful locations, including the Town of Sidney and the Village of Ganges (Salt Spring Island). These amazing places, rife in natural beauty and culture, got me thinking about going on a Poetry Retreat. How wonderful it would be to leave the hustle and bustle of everyday life behind, and find some wonderful spot like Sidney or Ganges to spend time in, solely for the purpose of studying poetry and being inspired to write more.

These thoughts led me to muse about creating my own “retreat,” customized especially for me, allowing time to take off my mom, wife and teacher hats, and exclusively don my poet’s hat.

I haven’t yet figured out what the retreat would entail (aside from a beautiful location – like the ocean or mountains), but I’m working on it and looking for input. How would I plan my days? How much time should I spend looking for inspiration, reading, writing? Which texts or exercises would I take along with me to facilitate the process? I’m open to suggestions!

I’m wondering if this book might help? I just noticed it in our local bookstore today (click on the image to link out to the book on Amazon):

Speaking of bookstores, I had the great pleasure of visiting a really interesting one in Sidney: The Haunted Bookshop.

And what a treasure I found there: a book that came from the personal library of Canadian Poet Phyllis Webb. Interestingly, she now resides on Salt Spring Island – and, today (April 8th) is her 90th birthday! The book: T.S. Eliot’s Four Quartets.

5-Haunted