Friday, December 20, 2019

2 Poems of Hope for the New Year

Howdy, Campers ~ and happy Poetry Friday (Two poems and the PF link are below)

CONGRATULATIONS to the TeachingAuthors reader who won Kimberly Hutmacher's book, Your Nose Never Stops Growing and Other Cool Human Body Facts in our last giveaway of the year.... drum roll, please...

 ---> John S! <---
(This is not a picture of John, but I'll bet he's this excited)

I'm honored to be writing the last TeachingAuthors post of our 10th year. We'll return refreshed and ready to entertain, educate and inspire you on January 10, 2020.

I wanted to end this year with a note of hope.

Or two.

I scrolled through old poems tagged with the word hope--there are lots!

Then I cold-bloodedly killed off all but two...and can't decide which to post. So here are two to send you into the new year with hearts full of hope. Which do you prefer?

by April Halprin Wayland
July 27, 2018

I'm fourteen
the sand is neon hot
I run into the sea
letting its waves drink me

I swim as if I'm in our school's pool
burying my face in its warm water
savoring that strange grey light the concrete walls cast
reveling in its chlorine smell

but I'm in Kauai, Hawaii, salt in my eyes, salt in the air
there are fish below, but I don't have a snorkel or mask
so I swim and swim and swim
there are no concrete walls here

and oof! I bump into a snorkeling man and his daughter
we laugh and he takes off his gear, "Here—you've got to see this"
as if it were the most natural thing
as if we were long-time friends

so I do—I put my mouth on the bite tab
even though we've never met
and slip on the mask to see
what I knew was there

what I didn't know
was how much kindness
was swimming
so near

by April Halprin Wayland
August 19, 2010

My brain is sinking into the first chapter of a really great book.
I’m on top of the bed leaning against four fat pillows
wearing my seriously soft socks
as always.

Gary's reading The Economist on the little couch
head back against the square cushion he’s positioned just right  
feet on the opposite arm of the couch
as always.

Eli is upside down, back legs against the couch
front legs straight up in the air, paws flopped
eyes closed, breathing deeply
as always.

The balcony door nearest the couch
is open
letting in a loose tangle of African daisies
and this just-right August night.

I turn a page.
Something makes me look up.
pokes her head in the bedroom door.

Her green eyes narrow.
She studies the dog for a minute.
Then she slinks blackly along the edge of the room
towards our bed.

I wave my arm frantically over my head,
finally catch Gary's eye,
mouth, “ELSIE!”
and point.

Elsie is evading a predator.
She relaxes as she slips past the bed
which will block Eli's view if he wakes,
then takes a cat-light leap, landing next to my thigh.

By the time I turn on the ten’ clock news
(which wakes Eli)
Elsie is warm on my stomach.
Eli trots over.

She offers her head to him for a lick.
For several licks.
She leans further forward,

His tail wags furiously.
He puts his paw on her
and cocks his head.
Her ears flatten.

Elsie's purr goes guttural, dark, deep.
Eli sits down.
Then he yawns (I am so bored).
Chews an itch by his tail. Lies down.

Maybe there is hope
for peace
in the Middle East
after all.

 Elsie & Eli the first day they met, 2010

Eli romancing Elsie when they were young

poems (c) 2019 April Halprin Wayland. All rights reserved.

From all of us at TeachingAuthors ~
may you have moments of peace
this holiday season
and may we all find
in the new year.

posted with a little help from Eli by April Halprin Wayland


Linda Kulp Trout said...

I enjoyed both poems! I especially love the surprise ending in "Almost 10 PM."
Wishing you health and happiness in the coming year!

Buffy Silverman said...

Here here to hope, in the kindness of strangers and the friendship of dog and cat. I enjoyed both, April, but am partial to any poem featuring furry friends! Joyful holidays to you.

April Halprin Wayland said...

Thank you, Linda and to you, too!

April Halprin Wayland said...

Thanks, Buffy, and I meant to comment on that sounds intriguing! Thanks again for hosting!

Ruth said...

I love the way you've preserved such specific moments in your poems.

Carmela Martino said...

April, I love the specificity of both poems. I was especially struck by this line in the first one:
letting its waves drink me
And I was touched by the generosity of the stranger.
Thanks for ending the year on such a hopeful note!
All the best to you and yours in 2020.

Mrs. Wyman said...

Almost 10pm bears a bit of a resemblance to my household! Cheers and happy holidays to all. -- Christie @

sarah shahzad said...

Nicely used words and a topic that needs a deep thought process. I liked the way you presented the whole things in a simple convo... Nice to read it :) well i love 2 write as well :) i write short poems so please visit my website hope that you like & enjoying it :) thank you..

April Halprin Wayland said...

Thank you, Ruth and Carmela, regarding specificity...I keep going back to the importance of observation and those small details. That's what I enjoy most in a novel or a poem.

Christy/Mrs. Wyman ~ ah...our households at 10pm: when Gary's ready for sleep and I'm still brushing my teeth!

Thanks for stopping by, Sarah! Happy poeming!