King of Pentacles

Happy National Poetry Month, folks!

I have no idea what poetic practice (if any!) I’ll stick to for the whole month — but it felt appropriate to at least write a poem on Day 1. And completed with seven minutes to spare, no less!

Let it never be said that I don’t like to live on the edge…


King of Pentacles

The night my mother drank chardonnay until 4 am in a friend’s kitchen
looking for a third answer to the question
stay or go

I too sat in a kitchen
cradling my father in my arms and praying
hail Mary full of grace—someday

let her mail me the map
for leaving.



(image via)

3 thoughts on “King of Pentacles

  1. Amazing, and also why I will never feel that poetry is my personal form of expression. A few simple lines, strung together in just this particular way say more to me than weeks of my own trying to write about crap and blame and indecision and staying or going or love or not love…
    I believe that this post today, in all its simple magnificent expression, has set me straight to leave behind poetry as a viable personal form of writing. I always struggle and try too hard and hate that I cannot just say what I want as easily as if I were just speaking.
    I will stick with the just speaking and let others decide what they want to label the form but poem shall not pass my lips again I think 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh thank you! I’m glad this piece worked for you, and so glad you told me how! In a way that I would never do in relationship to the label “writer,” I sometimes give the word “poet” too much power — that “aw shucks, little ol’ me could never be worthy of the term” power. Which never does anyone any good (but which does mean that getting positive feedback on a poem means an extra something to me 🙂 ).

      That said, at the core I value a certain workhorse practicality to the forms one chooses to write in — so absolutely, if writing “poetry” feels like a thankless struggle to you, write something else! Write all the something elses!

      What I like about working in poetry is just how profoundly it differs from “just speaking.” How it both forces and allows me to clear out all extraneous crap and just focus on one central image or idea. As Marvin Bell put it: “Prose is prose because of what it includes; poetry is poetry because of what it leaves out.” (Bell said a bunch of things I love — many of which apply to writing of the non-poetic genres as well:

      I’m totally grooving right now on this form of a “one-sentence poem.” Maybe I’ll make this my own daily challenge for the month of April: you do zentangle letters, and I’ll do single-sentence poems…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sounds good to me. Also I fully realize that I like the extraneous crap, probably way too much, thus another reason why that central focus idea doesn’t gel so much with me 😉

        Liked by 1 person

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