Friday, December 08, 2006

On October 8, I got bucked off my horse and broke both bones in my wrist. I ended up in a cast for six weeks. Jack wrote this Villanelle:

A Broken Mother by Jack Carson (Copyright 2006 Jack Carson)

My mother broke her arm;
It did not make her glad,
Because it caused her harm.

My dad felt much alarm
And it was very bad
When my mother broke her arm.

She almost bought the farm
And it made her sad
Because it caused her harm.

The bones that were so firm
Snapped like pencils of lead
When she broker her arm.

It must have been bad karm-
a, having made some cosmic force mad,
And so my mother was harmed.

There really is no charm
When you must depend on Dad.
When your mother breaks her arm
All are harmed.
A Sestina by Jack Carson
Note: a sestina is a strict poetic form composed of six stanzas of six lines each. Notice how six words are repeated to end each of the six lines in the stanza. Jack’s words are: sandwich, tail, enjoy, picnic, armadillo, and book. (It’s a little distorted because this blog has an automatic text wrap feature that breaks up the lines).The final stanza is always three lines. I love this sestina. If Maurice Sendak is still out there somewhere, I think he should illustrate it.

The Epic of the Cat, the Hare, the Gecko and the Armadillo (Copyright 2006 jack Carson)

Once there was a Cat, a hare, a Gecko, and an Armadillo.
One day, they gathered for a picnic.
They had lots of sandwiches.
There was roast beef and ham and peanut butter and they all enjoyed
them. Then they read to each other from a book.
All was going well until Cat stepped on Gecko’s tail.

Since he was a gecko, Gecko’s tail
Broke off and this caused Armadillo
to panic and curl himself up into a ball. He didn’t realize he was on the book.
Gecko said to Cat, “You’re spoiling our picnic.”
Hare said to Armadillo, “Get off the book so we may all enjoy
it.” Cat decided he wanted another sandwich.

And that’s when they all realized (except for Armadillo); There were no more sandwiches.
Gecko went to retrieve his missing tail
While Cat and Hare, lamented that there were no more sandwiches for them to enjoy.
And Armadillo,
Still curled up in a ball, was unaware that the picnic
was almost over. And Hare still wanted the book.

He pulled on the book,
And heard Armadillo ask for another sandwich.
Hare told him he couldn’t have another sandwich because the picnic
was over. Trying to uncurl him, Cat pulled on Armadillo’s tail
Causing a yell to come from Armadillo.
Uncurling himself, Armadillo said, “I did not find that enjoyable.”

And Hare said, “No one can enjoy
anything when people are sitting on books
and scaring armadillos
and eating all the sandwiches
and getting their tails
stepped on. And now it’s over for our picnic!”

“This can’t really be the end of the picnic!”
said Cat tearfully. “I was just getting to enjoy
myself.” And then Gecko returned with his tail.
It was still thrashing, as geckos’ tails do when they are cut. He picked up the book
And said, “I know where there are more sandwiches.”
Let’s go!” said the others. (except for Armadillo)

He was still thinking of the lost picnic and the book
That they’d hardly had the chance to enjoy. He was still hoping he could have a sandwich,
Not realizing his friends had turned their tails toward him to look for more. Alone was Armadillo.
Another poem by Janell:

“Lost Head Start”
In the darkness of the morning when the moon is sinking low
And over in the eastern sky the sun has yet to glow,
The dewy fresh of nighttime rest is hanging in the air
It’s a moment brief and precious sans the world and all its care.

With the stars and planets twinkling close enough, it seems, to touch
You think “This day is one in which I can accomplish much.”
You think you might just get things done, and do them right, not wrong.
Or get around to starting stuff you’ve put off way too long.
And so you start to make a list of stuff inside your head
Stuff you’d like to get around to someday soon – before you’re dead.

And then the eastern sky begins to give a faint pink glow
And you hear a truckers engine whine on the blacktop way below
The waking of the world sets off a pang inside your heart
It makes you want to quit because you’ve lost your great head start.
A poem by Janell - this one came to me several years ago as I was watching my mother lose her memories one by one to Alzheimers.
It’s getting awfully quiet all alone inside my mind.
The most elusive penny for the thought I cannot find.
Exaggeration, trepidation, trembling painful stand
The one and only fragment of my heart lies in my hand.
Dodging bullets, chasing demons, crawling ‘neath the line of fire
Reaching out for missing angels, watch them burn upon the pyre.
Is that why it’s so quiet here, where stories used to flow?
Did the demons steal my angels? Where’d all my good stuff go?
I’ve chased away the burning shame, I’ve finally won the fight.
A pile of ash is that’s left, there is no other light.