Poem (PAD 2020): Sound the Alarm (5:32 am)

Photo by Aleathia Drehmer

So this month’s poetry prompts have come to me late at night. Normally I collect lines throughout the day and see what I can string together when my friend finally pushes the prompt into the light. He was still writing his poem very late and I was tired, but he gave me a hint: a mule that lost its shoe.

What? No really, what? He wanted me to write about a donkey?

As it happened that day, I had not written any lines because I was at work and tending to things after so I had to go into it cold, not that anything I would have gathered could have prepared me for the prompt. I went to sleep and my body woke at the same time it does for work, but without the alarm. Half asleep, the poem came to me. I can’t guarantee it is worth much, but I wrote a poem with a donkey. I did it. That bastard!

Sound the Alarm (5:32 am)

The journey we are on is long
and ensconced in the pages of books, 
their history just dreams that seed 
fantasies we are unable 
to cleanly separate in time. 

I am the Sanchez to your Quixote, 
following your moves across the landscape 
on a donkey named Dapple. 
Adding light to the path as well as laughter. 

At times my steed disappears, 
much like my meaning in this world 
and reappears without a shoe 

as we limp along together 
in our lameness, unashamed.

Poem (PAD 2020): The Meaning of Existence

Photo by Aleathia Drehmer

Another soul gone from the pandemic, 
a day spent running, chasing our tails
with no time to be scared of anything.

The knowledge we could die, present and real,
surround us but no more than any other day.
We dig our graves one shovel at a time.

I leave an hour late, my body aching
as I remove the mask I’ve worn
for thirteen hours.The air has never 
tasted so sweet.

Drawing in deep breaths as the wind
brushes strands of hair across my face,
I stop to listen to the peepers by the pond.

I realize it has all been taken for granted.
Every thought, every kindness,
every heartbreak, every kiss.

Poem: Easy to Forget

Photo by Aleathia Drehmer

It had been a month
since we fucked.
There was illness
and work
and deadlines
but mostly illness. 

Then the absence of bleeding
created pockets of silence between us. 

I feared abandonment
and you, creation at its fullest. 

Now, it feels like we never
cried over morals as we push
into each other with hunger. 

Your crucifix is tangled
in your beard, steel chain swaying,  
reminding me that prayers
are sometimes answered.

Poem (PAD 2020): You are Norse Mythology in My Ear

Photo by Aleathia Drehmer

We talked about poetry and nature
like teenagers standing awkwardly
with hands in our pockets
and inspecting the dirt beneath our shoes.

I turned out the light, huddled beneath
a winter’s pile of blankets, too warm,
and listened to the half-moon
whisper secrets from under the curtains.

The morning shrouded around my shoulders,
my mind folding in on itself, scattered,
standing by the window staring
at the tender frost on the grass.

Dawn regaled its song of creation
behind black mountains, the clouds
thin and stretched like thoughts,
my hand reached out for just one more.

April Poem-A-Day 2020

As was previously mentioned on this website, I love a good poetry prompt for all the different aspects of my life it can show me. It brings once hidden things about the environment to light. The brain is a powerful machine that will work tirelessly to pull details from the past and present for the task of poems.

I have always loved April for several reasons: new buds on the trees, Starlings in the yard, birdsong, and my mother. When she passed away, poetry month became a dark time for me. Her birthday was April 1st and so for the last six years my poems have been funeral dirges, if I’m honest.

This year I made the distinct decision that I wasn’t going to right another death poem. This year I opened up my palm and let her fly away because I am tired of missing all the things I love about spring. Soon the lilacs will be in bloom and I will be in a fragrant heaven.

Last year, I witnessed a fellow writer’s journey through poetry month. Though I had read and published Jason Huskey’s work before, I didn’t get the full appreciation for his style and the distinct beauty nestled among his lines until poetry month the year before. This year, I am following his prompts for the month to see what is revealed to me in poems. I may share one here from time to time.

Photo by Aleathia Drehmer

I Can’t Stop the Ringing in My Ears

The alley is blanketed in night mist
so heavy it clings to the tiny hairs
on my face, reconstituting
all the tears I’ve ever shed.

Lines blur with groundlessness, a parallel
universe plays out in the haloed street lamps
of past drunken Friday nights when we
stumbled home in fits of laughter.

Secretly our love was dying,
kept alive by the pulsing
of false dreams and manipulation.

Back inside the warmth of a home
we built together, my fingers soberly
stitch flowers in Frida Khalo’s hair
and I dream of what it means to be in love.

Aleathia Drehmer 2020
4/3 sobriety

Poem: Giacomo Balla, Girl Running on a Balcony, 1912

Girl Running on a Balcony, Giacomo Balla, 1912

The clattering of shoes
on the balcony distracts me—
she runs by in a blur
of aquamarine and teal, 
her peach flesh poignant
and effervescent, the auburn
tendrils surge like a fire
in my brain.

She has moved me

                            disturbed me

                        unnerved me

                      released me.

The mind loops this girl
in frantic flip book motion.
It is a nightmare
that will never find
it’s undoing.