I ... entered the poem of life, whose purpose is ... simply to witness the beauties of the world,
to discover the many forms that love can take. (Barabara Blackman in 'Glass After Glass')

These poems are works in progress and may be updated without notice. Nevertheless copyright applies to all writings here and all photos (which are either my own or used with permission). Thank you for your comments. I read and appreciate them all, and reply here to specific points that seem to need it — or as I have the leisure. Otherwise I reciprocate by reading and commenting on your blog posts as much as possible.

30 July 2016

Communing with Ghosts

Morning coming thin
in a small town with hills and a river.
I got home just as the light was changing,
the cool and sweet
rain running down.

Our house had stained glass windows.
The water blurred the glass:
waterfalls of cloud.
You smiling,
drinking the quiet cold.
I wonder at this great blessing.

But that was only the beginning.
Late afternoon sun,
long summer nights.
Hibiscus buds fall open,
red gauntlet to bloody the first ...
trails of fern move to evade.
I am not quite ready to engage fully with my sorrow.

The old church never alters.
The wind clings to the wall,
down through the strange dark –
the confluence of waters where
further mysteries open,
chalked on dark stone.

You kept falling over
in absolute amusement.
The gates were slow to close.
You don't remember that now.
You cough in your sleep.
The old dog knows.

Today I'm grace but for litter.
I am a void that everything flows through. 
(Owl with the black face,
what is the name of this power?)

He is alone in another country
using his derelict hat to salute me.
It was all a long time ago.
Again we have stayed silent,
not knowing we lied.

The moon is coming to the full.
Moonlight and your shining face.
And afterwards we wept as we embraced.

And remember last year in Lamesa –
the evening light on the grass,
the house where she planted roses?

She came on the night blinded,
radiant with tears.
Her skirt fluttered...
I had to do what I did.


This is an 'egomaniacal cento' (found in The Crafty Poet: a Portable Workshop by Diane Lockward). A cento is a poem made up entirely of lines borrowed from other poets. The egomaniacal cento uses lines taken from one's own discarded drafts, journal entries, etc. In this case, they are all from discarded drafts, and chosen to create a certain mood. The fun is in the arranging, and sometimes re-punctuating, so as to suggest actual meaning.

Linked to dVerse OpenLinkNight #176



19 comments:

  1. Gayle Walters Rose30 July 2016 at 13:48

    What a fascinating form...I had never heard of this. This had quite an eerie feel throughout and then that last line cinched it! Very cool, Rosemary.

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  2. The tone is really beautiful. I really like how you describe morning, late afternoon, and then proceed to evening. You put this together superbly!

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    1. Thanks for picking up on that. It was actually the work of my subconscious, so I'm glad to be made conscious of it.

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  3. What a challenging and fascinating way to create a poem Rosemary. This is my favorite part:

    I am not quite ready to engage fully with my sorrow.

    The old church never alters.
    The wind clings to the wall,
    down through the strange dark –
    the confluence of waters where
    further mysteries open,
    chalked on dark stone.

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  4. That's pretty spooky. I think I've seen the cento prompt before. You weaved it well.

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  5. An interesting presentation, Rosemary! You know how I'm always looking for new forms to explore? Well this one will be given a ride soon. As for your cento, I love the construction and your progression; so well done!

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  6. "I am not quite ready to engage fully with my sorrow." A fabulous line! I love the owl and the question. I thoroughly love this mystical poem, dear Crone. Then I read the explanation of the poem form and am even more impressed. I love the tone and the perfection of how those formerly discarded lines work together. Wow. I might try this!

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    1. The first and fourth verses were easy to assemble; after that it was hard work – and then the sequence of verses took more time.

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  7. This reads like a dream... discounted, but seeming to have meaning none the less. Wonderful cento!

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  8. Wonderful indeed and wonderfully dreamlike. I might try it too.
    Kind regards
    Anna :o]

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  9. I love the flow you created. Discarded drafts put to new use. I thought of you this morning, Rosemary. We're visiting the beach and took a walk through the neighborhood where we're renting. Two separate black cats came out to greet me. Well, "greet" isn't quite what they did. One flicked it's tail continually as I passed. The other looked me in the eye knowingly and crossed my path. One possibly, but two really got my attention!

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  10. Oh this is gorgeous, Rosemary. Very fun form and well executed.

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  11. An interesting form, haven't tried it before. Some beautiful lines here..especially liked : 'Again we have stayed silent,
    not knowing we lied."

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  12. What an interesting form! Is each line from one poem? A gorgeous and haunting read.

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    1. Yes, each line is from a different poem (I have a lot of discarded drafts, lol!)

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  13. Quite a journey of seasons and emotions here... loved it.

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  14. What an amazing form! I will definitely be sifting through my journals :)
    And this write -- the mystery of it....the imagery. I am a void that everything flows through....haunting. So many wonderful lines........thrown away words recycled in an artful way!

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