Tag Archives: control

We Cannot Surrender Her


We Cannot Surrender Her

 Try as I might, she will not go.
She sends me on to test the water
but remains on the shore.
Ankle deep and then no more.
Fingers trailing and then no more.
Having once found a false bottom,
she trusts no foothold.

The falling is the thing, I tell her,
yet she holds back from the fall.
Let me always be the one going down, I tell her.
I will always be the one bringing you up, she answers.
This is the role we alternate being the stand-in for.
What I want she keeps me from.
What she fears I pull her toward.

 Relax, I tell her,
but she fears what relaxation brings.
She cannot surrender herself.
I cannot be content until she does.
Twin sisters, we rail against each other, then hold hands.
Comforting. This is enough, she tells me.
Nothing is ever enough, I tell her.

This poem, written in yesterday’s session, loosely meets the prompt. It is about going places––that part of one’s self that wants to let go and that part that fears risk and needs to maintain safe control.


Flip Flop

flip flop

the sound  of ease
and summer

not much to slip into
or out of

sand between toes
and other cracks

released in sleep
to gritty sheets

grinding our sleep
and clogging up washing machines

long gone the days of high button shoes
and the shoe horns that went with them.

Waist cinchers
give way to bikinis

and bikinis
to nude beaches

half of the world
flip flopping

rubber soles
and swinging breasts.

flip flops
taking the place

of gasps
as stays are tightened

the other half
burqas and Jimmy Choo

these differences
in freedom found

and freedom
found too slowly

find release in
collapsing towers

conceal, reveal.
flip flop.


Three Pantuns (Day 15 of NaPoWriMo)

Today’s assignment was the pantun, which consists of rhymed quatrains (abab), with 8-12 syllables per line. The first two lines of each quatrain aren’t meant to have a formal, logical link to the second two lines, although the two halves of each quatrain are supposed to have an imaginative or imagistic connection.

Here are three I dashed off quickly in an hour, after a too-busy day. It would be nice if there were room for poetry in every day, unfortunately that is not always so. NaPoWriMo gives us that additional shove to make some time for it, even if that time is very short.

She grows exasperated with his love.
See how his fingertips caress her face?
The hand that fits too tightly in the glove
Might chafe from the embrace of even lace.

The coat tossed idly over kitchen chair.
Inside the pocket is a diamond ring.
The branch outside the window stark and bare.
One tries in vain to pay the birds to sing.

The window that is your connection with the world,
when darkness falls, shows only you.
The author writes, his characters’ truths unfurled,
but it is he the readers view.