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Showing posts from April, 2012

Day 5 Poetry Challenge: Ten Rules

My grandmother was a woman of deep emotions but little words. Perhaps it was the broken English way she spoke, or the many hours alone in the back room with her foot-pedal Singer sewing machine, the dust threads flying into the stifling Lahaina heat like a gossamer shroud. But always, when she spoke, it was about the value of use, the shame of frivolity the decadence of wastefulness. Study hard, wear clean panties, no waste water, paper, fabric, food, money. . . no make shame, no shame the family, no shame yourself, be a good girl, be smart, no be like the neighbor girl, clean your ching ching good, clean your feet before you come in the house and marry Japanese. - Cathy Kanoelani Ikeda 4/5/12

Day 4: Poetry a Day Challenge - Big Ears

A student asked me where the stories come from to fill up my blank sheets of paper on the Elmo as they furiously try and make their 5-minute daily writing word count. I write, you write. Five minutes of furious drafting times three classes a day. I’ve been doing this for 20 years. I’ve put in my 10,000 hours of writing on blank sheets of paper. Making something out of nothing.
But really, it’s because I’ve always had big ears. The kind that stick out when I try to make my hair lie flat against my face, the kind that pop out from under the edge of the hat. Big ears to sit silent under the breakfast table until everyone forgets I’m there and then the stories come they always come if I wait long enough and stick my big ears up into the sky like an antenna they always come.

Day 3 Poetry a Day Challenge: Take

Take my right slipper when you break yours Take my jacket button to hold up your pants.. Take my prayers floating skyward, let them whisper you to sleep. Take my eyes to help you search for what eludes you. Take my book when words betray you, Take my hands to tether you. Take my intestines to center yourself and at the end of the days when I have nothing left to take but my left earring, take this poem and know love.

Day 2 Poetry Challenge - Words (a haiku)

Words trickle lazy Honey droppings of verbs fall Effortless as mud -- Cathy Kanoelani Ikeda 4/2/12

April 1: Poetry a Day Challenge: Living in an Airport

Arrivals and departures the same black screens cities scrolling by in steady waves Houston, San Francisco Johannesburg, Atlanta San Juan, Honolulu. . . Which leg am I on? How many tickets are stapled together? Which airport am I at? I check in on my Foursquare The local time is 6:26 am, this morning I’m in Newark leg three of four
Each airport looks like another Starbucks, Hudson News, Best Buy, Wolfgang Puck’s I file through TSA laptop in a bin shoes on the belt jacket stuffed in my bag passport out - but I’m always in the slowest line behind babies and foreigners hiding six-packs of water in their carry on bags the story of my life, learning patience from the airport queue some things cannot be controlled
arrivals and departures wanderlust solitary journeys anonymity of the gate aisle seats near the bathroom a preference for silent seat mates and redeye flights
my life made up of arrivals and departures the safety of being strapped in a seat stuck in a metal bird with nowhere to go and finally a chance to quiet my b…