20 Lines A Day

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The Welcome Sun

Tri-angled shapes upon the hill behind
my house are given by the sun, and lined
in such a way that each thing, now refined,

looks springlike. Pine trees, holes inside the ground,
black squirrels as they run and jump and bound
from here to there, paint pictures all around.

I love to watch and feel the earth. It greens
from frozen tundra into warmth, careens
into when I go out and wear my jeans.


The Door (In Answer to Challenge of the Same Name)

As if a monster came and slammed the door
and interrupt the calm I’d known before,
it slid right in to do its nasty chore.

Before my consciousness went dark I heard
the door click. In my brain now nothing stirred.
I fought against the thief who stole each word

but lost the battle. Gone awareness, gone
to nether places where there was no dawn.
The monster flexed its muscle, showed its brawn.

Then three days later I could see the light.
The monster lost its power and strength and might.
A little daytime now replaced the night.

I speak of seizure as a monster thing
because it wraps around me, tightened string
that holds me in its grip like some tough sling.


A Father’s Advice

“Read poems others wrote,” my father said,
“and let their words come close, wash over you.
You’ll find that they’ll become your daily bread.”

And so I looked at Frost’s and Wordsworth’s spread,
ingredients upon which I could chew.
“Read poems others wrote,” my father said.

Advice he gave me, like a thoroughbred
approaching finish line, helped me know who
would be poetic friends, become my bread.

Then cancer moved in, stayed beside his bed.
He told me still, though daily he withdrew,
“Read poems others wrote.” My father said,

“Immerse yourself in Shakespeare, Sandburg. Sled
through all the masterpieces, see the view.
You’ll find that they’ll become your daily bread.

Through cancer I still give the go-ahead.
Please, honey, write your words each day, pursue
the others’ poems.”
 Breathing hard, he said,
“You’ll find that they’ll become your daily bread.”

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