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Poetry: Three Stories From a Stranger

April 25, 2011


Three Stories From a Stranger

At 17 fresh in California from Chicago
at the Pacific she walks the flat rocks along the low tide
with her former best friend, her former boyfriend.
It’s her first ocean and what she remembers most
is the big sky—it’s vast and blue, reflects her eyes
stretches out forever like her limbs.

She carries with her everywhere in her imagination
her baby seal with cat ears.
He’s piglike too: with his wings he can fly.
On her lap, he purrs his violin song.
When he’s hungry he sounds his horn
calling for peblets, for apples, for leftovers.

She wants to go to a cathedral in Ireland
to see something so precise and big
to stand in the doorway
to just be there on a gloomy day.
Grey skies blend in with her nubby wool sweater;
green hills roll a cotton scarf across her shoulders.

I wrote the first draft of this poem in Danika Dinsmore’s “Poetry BookCamp” writing workshop during Ojai’s WordFest. It came out of an exercise where we interviewed a partner. I wanted to add a final stanza but it kept sounding like I was “telling” about her and I thought the poem already “showed” what I was telling so I gave up and post it now as is.

Many thanks to Danika for a wonderful workshop, to my partner for sharing her stories with me and to Sequoia Hamilton for organizing the Master Classes during WordFest.

For more poetry by bloggers from all over the world, catch the Monday Poetry Train!

I took the accompanying photo above with my iPhone February 2011. For more of my poetry, please check out my new collection 3:15 experiment poetry  Middle of the Night Poems from Daughter to Mother :: Mother to Son (en theos press 2011). Read sample poems here. Read a review by Robert Peake here.

One Comment leave one →
  1. May 4, 2011 4:00 am

    Your voice reminds me a bit of Ellyn Maybe, the conversational tone is definitely at the forefront alongside the observational tone. I really liked this poem.

    Found you at Monday Poetry Train, and wondering if maybe Gautami got a little backed up during National Poetry Writing Month, writing a poem a day. I know I got very bogged down myself, so keep logging in and I will too!

    Here’s mine from this week:

    Peace, Amy Barlow Liberatore

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