The Dead Republic
Full of Bull
Justice for None
Are You Kidding Me?
Who Says Elephants Can’t Dance?
The Dead Republic
1 mighty ocean
3 million grains of sand
11 towels dotting the shoreline
30 feet from the lifeguard stand
2 lifeguards, gabbing
1 expectant mother, resting
2 prayers said for husband at
1 interview that morning
1 brand new cell phone
15 times checked
0 calls or messages
from 1 husband, missing
1 engine roaring
8 beeps while backing up
2 tires crunching
2 victims, surviving
1 mighty ocean
3 million grains of sand
11 witnesses, yelling
1 ambulance, wailing
all prayers, answered.
You struck me
as a guy’s guy
when you stopped by
to shoot the breeze
with another victim, not me
you did most of the talking
and I caught every word
as they drifted downwind
past my towel, where
I was trying to take a nap
but, perhaps that
was a lifesaver?
I heard all about your workout
the strength of your arms
and about some chick, who
impossibly was immune
to your charms, you swore
every other word, and
while inwardly I rolled my eyes
at your alpha stud guise
you jumped in your truck
kicked your back tires in the sand
and you struck me.
Fuistes, y fuimos
soy, y no somos
pero, si algun día
seremos de nuevo
dejamos de ser.
There wasn’t a set time or place
no way to predict, could have been day or night
when I found myself, in the grip of grace.
The engine got louder, something was off base
he was cutting a corner, it didn’t sound right
there wasn’t a set time or place
Under the weight of the wheels, I felt myself brace
but in my weakness, I relied on His might
as I found myself, in the grip of grace
I can still remember the lifeguard’s face
I told him, “I’m pregnant!”; I forgave his slight
(there wasn’t a better time or place)
I asked for his help with my particular case
and he listened to me, there wasn’t a fight
then I surrendered myself, to the grip of grace
He helped me sit up, as the ambulance raced
“the Lord is my shepherd,” I began to recite
There isn’t a set time or place
To find yourself, in the grip of grace.
This poem is in drafts right now, as I am still working on it. I do appreciate constructive feedback on it. I am hoping that you will also read my post This Is What I Came To Write, which explains the process I am going through in writing a series of poems about an accident I had fifteen years ago.
This poem explores one aspect of that experience: before I was run over I was lying on the sand, on my towel, reading a book, In the Grip of Grace, by Max Lucado. In fact, the lifeguard ran over me and the book, leaving it bent and concave. It was a library book, and a few weeks later I returned it to the library in that state. I kind of wish I had kept that one, and given them a brand new copy instead.
This is a villanelle, which according to Wikipedia, “consists of five stanzas of three lines (tercets) followed by a single stanza of four lines (a quatrain) for a total of nineteen lines.” One very famous villanelle is Dylan Thomas’ “Do not go gentle into that good night.”
I wasn’t raised for domesticity
I found this out too late
So I often delegate
household chores I really hate.
But, although it’s mundane and routine
I have found great pleasure
and a brief sense of accomplishment
pulling clean clothes from the machine.
The fresh smell, the crisp cloth,
hanging laundry on the line,
but most of all, the smug joy
in removing stains and grime,
and when my clothes emerge,
fresh and lily-white, I can’t hold back
the feeling I get of triumph and might
I wish we could pour bleach all over us,
erase our stains, wash away our yuck.
But, bleach can’t barely tackle
what our stains are about, and
in love it always makes things worse
if we try to Shout it out.
Fifteen years ago I was run over by a lifeguard, driving a Ford Bronco, while I was sunbathing on South Beach. I am not the first person that this has happened to, but I am the first pregnant woman to be run over on that beach, and survive. At the time, I was eight months pregnant with my first child. I had multiple fractures in my pelvis, as both tires of one side of the Bronco ran over my hips, and I was rushed to Jackson Memorial hospital in Miami. I was conscious the whole time, and ultimately, six weeks later I delivered my daughter naturally with a midwife at the Miami Beach Maternity Center, but it’s everything that happened between that bright, sunny morning in April, and the day my daughter was born (May 31st), that I want to write about.
I remember everything: the book I was reading, how many people were on the beach, the name of the lifeguard, the time in the emergency room, meeting all the doctors, etc. There are a lot of gory details, and many more amazing details, that I intend to journal about, but ultimately the form I am choosing to express myself in is poetry. It’s definitely “my story,” but I want to spin it in as many directions as I possibly can.
My request is this: Now that you know some details about the story, and how I intend to communicate it, will you please help me in my journaling process by giving me a question to ponder and journal about? Your question can be about anything. I am looking for different ways to approach the subject, ways that I may not have considered, or that approach the incident from a fresh, new angle.
My hope is that with your questions I can fully write out everything and have a lot of material to mine from as I write my collection of poems.
I have already written a few poems about the accident on my blog. If you’d like to read them, please click here: http://notenoughpoetry.com/category/my-story/
If you are ever in an accident
do what you can to stay awake
because you will need an advocate
and the only one available
might just be you
The paramedics will strap you to a board
and take away your cell phone
when you arrive at the emergency room
the first thing they will do
is cut off your clothes
and leave you naked, under lights
while they rush around pretending
you can’t hear them, and
if you are unconscious,
there is no one to tell them
how cold you feel, or ask
can I please have a sheet?
however, if you are conscious
they will put a clipboard
on your naked chest and insist
that you need to sign a form
granting them permission to do
whatever they see fit, which
could literally be anything
and, I’m not trying to be difficult
but, I like to ask questions before
I sign my child’s life away,
however, if you are passed out,
and all alone, no one
would be there
to tell them no.
Consciousness is a fight
I fought to keep it, and
This poem is in drafts right now, I am still working on it. I do appreciate constructive feedback on it. I am hoping that you will also read my post This Is What I Came To Write, which explains the process I am going through in writing a series of poems about an accident I had fifteen years ago. This poem explores one aspect of that experience, when I was transported to the hospital after being run over by a Ford Bronco, driven by a lifeguard, while I was sunbathing on South Beach.
Time, you took it.
Staked a temporary flag
on the opposite side of the globe.
“Tell me, what does tomorrow hold?”
It’s just a question of time
from my ever-inquisitive mind
I can hear your eyes roll
and the nanoseconds unfold
as you tap-tap away
“You are so yesterday”
We laugh, in the right tempo
and so our games go …
I am your lunch break
You are my midnight snack
Time, we make it.
Mary at Dverse Poetics has us contemplating time, and writing a poem about it. I am playing WWF with a friend who is in China this week, so I decided to play with words, and time zones. Besides, it’s 3 am and I can’t sleep.
Always wear black to a party
because you never know
how many guests will show
and not on purpose, but
while weaving your way back
from the bar, through a sea
of cheeks and kisses, you might
step into a jacuzzi, or the pool,
whereby black will save you
but red, would never do
There’s always that moment:
a clock chimes, and you’re struck
with the sudden need
to blend into the shadows
behind a potted palm for a
stolen kiss, or two, so I say
wear black to let the stars shine
brighter, and the skyline glitter
besides, people only remember
faces anyhow, the smell of
whiskey and perfume, the tinkle
twinkle of the ice cubes in crystal,
and the way smoke curls
against your cheek, just so
you know, and let this be a lesson
no one remembers
the lady in red, dancing
cheek to cheek
It’s party time over at Dverse Poet’s Pub … I love parties. This poem was inspired by actual events.