Winter is Coming

Going for a walk in the cool, the wild
River a crisp, laughing child
Trees weeping golden tears
They see this coming every year

Winter is coming, but
Fall is here

Cold as the bone of a castle’s keep
Down in the dark, where the flowers sleep
And further still, the earth twists round
Fall bites her lip. Her limbs are bound.

Don’t weep. Don’t weep. Time will keep
You nestled in her heart.

The moon exhales, softly, ah
As snow drifts down from the prickling stars
Even now, it’s drawing near.
Winter is coming–
It’s almost here–

How easily deer startle at the sound
Of winter, choking the river down
And Fall, dear Fall, how silently
She acquiesced the battleground

I feel this keenly; the setting sun
The wood is hollow
Winter has come.

 

© Amanda Smith, 2013. All Rights Reserved.
Please do not copy or reproduce without permission.

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I miss the silence

Doors slam.
Cars peel away.
The coffee hisses, forgotten.
The house goes quiet again,
As everyone noisily parts ways
And the silence is enjoyed by no one.
Just the house, sighing
Shifting weight.
Cracking knees.

And the dogs in the hallways
Heads on their paws
Listening to the phone
As it rings.
And it rings.
And it rings.

original work copyrighted 2013 by Mandy Smith.

please do not reprint without permission.

Blog hiatus is ALMOST OVER. I jotted this poem down this morning trying to capture the sense of frustration I had about the noisy, busy, wild mornings and how quickly they terminated, how little time I had before I had to become one of the people peeling away in the cars to my noisy job. I do love this new job, but overtime last week plus loss of last weekend plus working straight all this week, well…I am pretty desperate for some quiet. Haven’t had a chance to write in weeks and I haven’t worked on any web design projects in over a month! Am so very, very ready for this Saturday.

But there. Enough complaining 🙂 What about you all? Been as busy as me, or are you enjoying some downtime, for once?

 

Truly and always and wistfully poetic,
-Mandy
 

Internetless Girl

I thought I’d write a little haiku*
–my internet is slow, and buggy, too–
To let you know I still exist
And daily draft my manuscript

And not to worry, I haven’t died
I’ve just been otherwise occupied
While my internet has been down
And the library is closed in town

Not a single WordPress post goes through
So what’s an internetless girl to do?

I’ll soon be back. Don’t you fret.
I won’t waste a single minute
Of posting time once I’ve come back–

But, for now, here’s grumpy cat.

(j/k. It couldn’t even load that.)

*Obviously, I am terrible at haikus.

My Favorite Poem Ever

 

 

 

Ever since writing yesterday’s post on gradumacation, I have been thinking about all the other things I wanted to talk about. And one of those things is National Poetry Month.

I’m not a big fan of celebrating arbitrary holidays or theme-days that society invented to try and make other people think about things society deemed important. Every once and a while I get one of those calendars that has, like, All The Days on it. Society would probably yell at me for this, but I see those days and my immediate reaction is, pffft. Sorry, Society. I just don’t agree with you. My Earth Day is summer and fall and spring and winter, not April 22cnd.

HOWEVERNESS.

I do see these days/months/themes as fun opportunities. And I had been vaguely aware (but mostly too busy to notice) that April was National Poetry month, until I saw the excellent post on Novel Sounds, pairing some recent YA books with fun poetry snippets, which she did for Pocket Poetry day.

And immediately I wished I had been aware of Pocket Poetry day (where one carries a favorite poem in their pocket and shares it with people) because I knew exactly the poem I would carry.

See, a few years ago I purchased this thin, crackly little book of antique school-children poetry with dates like 1912 scrawled inside it. Not only did it contain classics like Brighen on the Rhine, Briar Rose, and Invictus, it also had some more obscure poems that were apparently classics at that time–Darius Green and the Flying Machine, Sister’s Best Feller, The Two Glasses, and others. I fell in love with the quirky poems, many of which were hilarious. But one in particular I loved so much that I actually attempted to memorize it. Now I’m sharing it here.

You ready for this?

The Fence or The Ambulance

By Joseph Malines

Twas a dangerous cliff, as they freely confessed,
Though to walk near its crest was so pleasant:
But over its terrible edge there had slipped
A duke and many a peasant;
So the people said something would have to be done.
But their projects did not at all tally:
Some said, “Put a fence around the edge of the cliff”
Some, “An ambulance down in the valley.”

But the cry for the ambulance carried the day.
For it spread to the neighboring city:
A fence may be useful or not, it is true,
But each heart became brimful of pity
For those who had slipped o’er that dangerous cliff,
And the dwellers in highway and alley
Gave pounds or gave pence, not to put up a fence,
But an ambulance down in the valley.

“For the cliff is alright if your careful,” they said,
“and if folks even slip or are dropping,
it isn’t the slipping that hurts them so much
as the shock down below-when they’re stopping,”
So day after day when these mishaps occurred,
Quick forth would the rescuers sally
To pick up the victims who fell off the cliff,
With their ambulance down in the valley.

Then an old man remarked, “it’s a marvel to me
that people give far more attention
to repairing results than to stopping the cause,
when they’d much better aim at prevention.
Let us stop at its source all this mischief, cried he.
“Come neighbors and friends, let us rally :
If the cliff we will fence, we might almost dispense
with the ambulance down in the valley.”

“Oh, he’s a fanatic.” the others rejoined:
“dispense with the ambulance Never!
He’d dispense with all charities, too, if he could:
no, no! We’ll support them forever.
Aren’t we picking up folks just as fast as they fall?
And shall this man dictate to us? Shall he?
Why would people of sense stop to put up a fence?
While their ambulance works in the valley?”

But a sensible few who are practical too,
Will not bear with such nonsense much longer
They believe that prevention is better than cure
And their party will soon be the stronger
Encourage them, then with your purse, voice and pen
And (while other philanthropists dally)
They will scorn all pretense, and put up a stout fence
On the cliff that hangs over the valley.

Amnesia Spring

Dear Spring,
Are you sure
You’re feeling quite all right?
The doctor told me
You had a fight with Winter
And bumped your head
And got amnesia
We’re all so worried
Summer sends her regards
She asked me to ask you
If it’s coming back
The memories
Do you remember?
Warm days, fresh air?
Nobody can make the birds
Sing quite like you do
The doctor said
You should try
He said don’t worry, it will
Come back in due time
But I still wanted to check in
Even Winter said he’s sorry
We all thought maybe
A visit would do you good
Thaw those hard edges
A bit, maybe,
Loosen up the memories

I suppose I should go now
But I will see you tomorrow,
Same time, I believe?
And we all hope you
Feel better soon

Your dear friend,

-the Sun

 

 


© Amanda Smith, 2013. All Rights Reserved.

Please do not copy or reproduce without permission.

 

 

Books, Please

 

Surround me with tea and lavender
With sunshine and golden leaves
Don’t give me art or history
Just give me books, please

A carpet of crafts in a quiet room
And a comfy chair at silent noon
Don’t give me culture or magazines
Just give me books, please

Give me magic and wild lands
Give me heroes with stronger hands
And heroines with flaming hair
Give me books that will take me there

*

A ream of white pages and inky keys
A pot of coffee and a twilight breeze
Don’t give me lectured responsibilities
Just give me books, please.

 

 

© Amanda Smith, 2013. All Rights Reserved.
Please do not copy or reproduce without permission.

By Creative A Posted in Poetry

Your Heart

I looked
On your nightstand
Beneath your pillow,
The dresser drawer
I opened boxes in your closet
Parted the leaves
Of your white lily
Ran an arm
Beneath your bed ruffle

And still, I couldn’t find it
Found your diary
Your lost earring
Your high-school yearbook
But I couldn’t
Find your heart

So I got sneaky, I began looking
In those places where people hide
Things they don’t want others
To realize is important
Like the un-dusted shelf
In the guest room
Like the cracked pages
Of a forgettable book
I searched
The box marked “scrap cloth”
In your attic
But I didn’t
Find your heart

Then I realized, how could I find
Something I didn’t know
Something I didn’t understand
What was its shape, its texture
Did it shift in tides
Or flutter like a moth to the flame?
I could have passed it already
It could be in plain sight
I was doing this all wrong

So instead I became
A student of you
I learned the face
You make in your sleep
And how you always
Kick off your shoes
When you’re ready for supper, but
You don’t take off your socks
Until it’s time for bed
I learned that you like
Coming unexpectedly on a rainbow
And that you cry
Over your bathroom sink

And I learned
You never sing
In the shower

And still
I almost missed it
One day, on the streets
Where it lay pressed against the gutter
Plastered with old news
Grit, cigarette butts
A sad matted thing
That only caught my eye
Because it wilted when my shadow
Passed over its form
I turned back
Shocked, ashamed
To see it so helpless
To feel it shiver in my palms
This
This was yours?

You deserved better

I took your heart home with me
Wrapped in my jacket
Whispering, soothing
I dabbed away the crusts
Of blood and tears
Of scabs and scars
The shedding layers of dreams
I cradled and smoothed it
Late at night against my chest
Changing the bandages
Under weak shadows from the moon
I held it all night long
All night long

I have found you
And I will keep you safe
I will hold your heart

© Amanda Smith, 2013. All Rights Reserved.
Please do not copy or reproduce without permission.