Friday, May 17, 2019

Stone Soup Croutons, 5-16-19, What Burns

Stone Soup Croutons is a weekly poem I write using lines and impressions picked up from poems overheard from Stone Soup's open mic readers and features. I figure out a title (and sometimes the rest of the poem) later. You can read the other ones I've done since 2015 here. To paraphrase Lorne Michaels, this poem doesn't go up because it's ready, it goes up because it's Friday morning.

Toni Bee's feature was last night.She has many readings to go to promote her new collection 22 Again. I'm happy and honored that Stone Soup was one of those stops and that she still calls it her poetry home. This week's Croutons poem had a Mother's Day feel to it, even though Mother's Day was this past Sunday. Maybe it was Toni Bee's presence as a poet and mother, James Van Looy's poem about his mother, or Toni finally meeting my friend Katherine Jenkins, another working mom and educator. However it happened, here's what I have. Love to Toni. Thanks for reading.

What Burns

Your valley of solitude
is everyone else's
uncanny valley.

Your name is in
all stories if only

poor desperado who
never got message
from Fry and Henley.

No matter how many
singalongs, it takes
buildings on fire

to get  you out of you, run
with buckets until earth
breathes cool again.

After that...what?
contemplate tattoo
of self, on self? Artist

makes you look burnt
(not wholly untrue)
by first degree mishap

or by sun as you bake
on open boats searching
for new renaissance.

Your all-over scarlet
letter just in time
for Mother's Day

to sit while she talks
about latest criminal
revealed to be criminal.

You wonder how overt
some sins have to be,
how much swearing

in church need happen
before story catches.
You hope somewhere

a sitting grandmother
snaps fingers, is heard
and sparks new change.

Katherine and Toni, Together for the first time.

I just might start numbering lists from 5 from now on.

Special thanks to Deta Galloway, Yvone, John Lane, E.S., David Miller, Nancy Messom, Bil Lewis, James Van Looy, Julia Vogel, Laurel Lambert, Katherine Jenkins and Toni Bee. 

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