Tag: Poetry

I keep returning to one of the poems published in NEWS FROM NATIVE CALIFORNIA, “When Coyote Comes to Visit” by D. Lorraine Sanchez.

Why is the “When Coyote Comes to Visit” poem so relevant in my view? We are living through times, it seems to me, when unpredictable, egotistical, cheating and foolish coyote energy has gained an alarming amount of power.

This poem has given me a different way to look at our current situation in the world. Perhaps, it is more important than ever, not only to see the amusing and entertaining side of coyote phenomena, but also to understand how we must not be mesmerized by the dangerous antics that are so blatantly displayed. I am grateful to the poet for the healing detachment and light this piece creates.

Gudrun Mouw (c)

Personal Updates

THE NO IDEAS IDEA

Words without connection rumble,

arrive and disappear.

Images without explanation

fly through the sky of vision.

Meanings are lost.

How and why, I do not know.

 

Mistakes, weakness and imperfections

penetrate the early hours before dawn.

Where is maturity? Humility?

Forgiveness? Change?

 

Who will finish what?

No beginning. No end.

Fear sinks its head

as a hopeful smile lingers

without reason.

Gudrun Mouw (c)
Sept. 24, 2018

A Poem

I began a poem about my mother early this morning and titled it, “Mutti.” I was trying (she’s been gone over 17 years) to “retrieve her multitude of unspoken words.”

I glance over at a 9×12 flower painting, separated from its frame, lying on the dining room table where I am sitting. The landscape has just recently been returned to me. I had given it to a friend who yearned to see the blue petals of her European childhood.

I am still grieving this British-born friend, who died just a few months ago. A mutual friend, who returned the painting, had brought up its subject. She thought it was “Edelweiss,” I thought it was cornflowers. We were both wrong. We hadn’t accounted for the yellow/orange centers of the blue flowers. On the back of the painting, I notice “Alpine Forget-Me-Not,” written in my father’s handwriting.

My father, the artist, has been gone over 18 years….And now, it will soon be spring. A rebirth. I can feel the change–that brutal morning cold has abated; the California hills are green and flowers bloom. Perhaps, the poem may yet finish itself.

Gudrun. Mouw (c)

Journal Entry

The day I finished reading, The Sun and Her Flowers, I saw an interview with the 20-something poet and also learned about the international admiration for this book, which has been quickly translated into numerous languages. Apparently, Rupi Kaur’s fame began with a controversial Instagram image.

I like how the author has made the idea of poetry popular, which by itself is an immense achievement.  Born in India, the poet was raised in the west with a multicultural family awareness, which I know something about from my own experience. Overall, the poetry style seems quite innovative.

I was struck by how the poems in The Sun and Her Flowers dramatically expand the possibilities of the genre. Sometimes, the poems are simply short statements; other times, there are italicized summaries at the end (which serve as captions; there are no titles). Often the language seems designed to jolt and surprise. At other times, the poems are quite prosaic. 

In the interview, the poet responded to critics, who have called her too simplistic, by saying she was fine with that, but in the end she wanted the reader’s stomach to turn.  

Though this book is interesting, in the future I would like to see the kind of poetic mastery that could, perhaps, slow down the reader in order to deepen one’s experience, move one towards a rich, intuitive silence and keep the poems from falling flat emotionally.

 

Personal Updates The Process of Writing

After Fires from Three Directions

 

Past red-orange retardant,
wind diminished, intuition says:
return to Santa Barbara County
do not be overwhelmed
by unacknowledged fear.

I enter our home filled with a surfeit
of noise and hear…a man’s voice,
the drop of lumber, whirr of automatic tools,
the closing and opening of doors,
his music.

Heat continues, and no rain comes down
in that ancient October way. Who will refuse to see
earth’s change, or the need to investigate
how we lead our lives? May we listen well
and learn from nature’s plea.

 

Gudrun Mouw (c)
October 9, 2017

A Poem

A ceiling of morning fog contracts around us. Now that the intense heat wave has passed, a cooler brain may function once again. Happily, it’s hoodie wearing time.

Reading “The Search Engine,” a story in Sherman Alexie’s Ten Little Indians, I am fascinated by two powerfully drawn and unique characters who demonstrate the anguish, the calling, the questioning and the imagination of poetry. The world of poetry has many pitfalls, and Alexie highlights the ups and downs in his startling, harsh, fearless and heart wrenching story telling. I am brought to serious reflection about my own journeys in the arena of poetry writing, and I can only hope I have the courage to continue the endeavor and answer the call when it arises.

Journal Entry