To the Dance

This poem is dedicated to my first college roommate, Sam, and several friends who have come and gone–as foreign exchange students tend to do.

I walked into the ballroom
And I looked up towards the clock,
Observing how the hands turned ‘round
And ticked without a stop.

 

Knowing you’d soon leave me,
I still leapt and took a chance:
For the ball will end at midnight,
But there’s beauty to the dance.

 

If life’s about the leavings
There’s still much I’ve left to learn:
Like how to form a friendship
And then let them go in turn.

 

But this story’s far from over,
And there’s beauty yet to be,
So remember as the seasons change:
You’ve got a friend in me.

Macbeth: Watch out for Witches

I.
Shakespeare’s witches sat ‘round the brew
Plotting and scheming and making a stew
For Macbeth, so he’d now better watch out,
For those witches are evil, I say without doubt.
They say that they’re making him something that’s great
But I think they’re lying and twisting his fate.
Stirring in things they like the best,
They’re mixing and making a mess for Macbeth.
I watched them go shopping and stir up some trouble
And into the cauldron—boil and bubble—
A dragon’s been put, as well as an owl,
So really, Macbeth, their brew is quite foul.

 

II.
The witches have said he will be the next king–
Though I’ve heard you shouldn’t believe everything
You hear from weird strangers—but Duncan’s now dead
And clearly he’s letting this get to his head.
Now that he’s got the king’s blood on his hands
His wife says this makes him much more of a man
And his hit list is growing, it’s painfully long
But somehow Macbeth doesn’t see it’s now wrong.
To murder your king, your friends and your wife—
Wait…that’s wrong: she ends her life.

 

III.
Let’s flash to the end and see it all through
As I want to reveal the play’s ending to you:
The bloodiest battle became of the stage
As killings were fueled with widower’s rage
For Macbeth let the prophesies dictate his life,
And sure enough, soon he discovered his wife
Was among the cold corpses shoved to the side
But still he was stuck, blind with ego and pride.

 

IV.
Thus, the lesson we take from this short play today
Is that when you find witches, you really should say
“No, I’m fine with not knowing the course of my days,”
For it appears we can’t handle the future, always.

Most Anything

It’s late you know,
And out below the window,
A bus rolls by on shiny streets
You’d remember from pictures
Where the painter
Had sat, rain-rapt, too.

 

The sweet shh—shh—shh
Of slow traffic outside:
Most anything can be beautiful
As day whispers to night.

National Random Acts of Poetry Day

Happy National Random Acts of Poetry Day (October 2nd)!

While this holiday is not exactly widely celebrated (or known about…) we’re celebrating it today.

Tweetspeak Poetry has a fantastic article on 10 different ways to celebrate, and I encourage you to check it out.

In celebration of this wonderful day, I’m sharing my current favorite poem by a very awesome poet, Rupi Kaur. Kaur’s poetry is simple, poignant, and powerful, and if you’re looking for accessible, thought-provoking writing, you should absolutely check out her books.

But on to the poem! Enjoy. 🙂

most importantly love
like it’s the only thing you know how
at the end of the day all this
means nothing
this page
where you’re sitting
your degree
your job
the money
nothing even matters
except love and human connection
who you loved
and how deeply you loved them
how you touched the people around you
and how much you gave them

-Rupi Kaur

Shadowland

The shadows dropped from my dreams
To lurk in the bowels of my bedroom–the black gap
By the closet door and the murky well
Beneath my desk–where they know I won’t want to look.
I will (to know the face of my fear).
I won’t (I’m still afraid of the dark).
The moon marches to my rescue and clears
A path across the shadowland, but even he stops short
Before the inky mess inside my closet and we
Are both left wondering.
Coldness scratches across my chest
And my fingers fumble for my flashlight,
Until panic pushes it to clatter down the bunk bed
Ladder, landing far, far below on the floor
Where only little sister–from where she lies
On the bed below mine–can reach up
And hand me the light again.

There’s More to a Book

The bones of the
story of Beauty and Beast
are deception and danger:
he hardly kept peace
as he circled his castle
with claws and with rage
and Beauty was trapped
in the walls of his cage.

 

But she read and she listened
and watched and she kept
busy, earned freedom,
then got up and left–
returning to life
she had left in the city
where people were groomed
and where things were more pretty.

 

But remembering Beast
all alone in his lair
she packed her things up
and she traveled back there.
For she’d seen his true being
and realized she cared;
she’d grown from the girl
the Beast had once scared.

 

She followed this reasoning
to see past his looks:
for the cover’s important
but there’s more to a book.
See, a person’s a person
no matter how scary,
no matter how grumpy,
no matter how hairy.

Leaving Time

“It is very, very difficult to be the one who has to stay behind and live without them.”
–Fredrik Backman

 

No one sets out
to say life is a race
but things start a’moving
with dangerous pace

 

and as soon as I feel
I’m alone and bereft
I can see it is better
to leave than be left.