Only These Bones


Driving down to the see the latest progress at NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility outside of new Orleans, where welding takes place for the Space Launch System rocket and the Orion crew modules, I was struck by dichotomy.

The event was taking place two weeks before Mardi Gras, and already that spirit was in the air — visitors to the event I was going to were fed king’s cake and received beads as their group identifiers. But then, the spirit of Mardi Gras is never really gone from New Orleans, is it? You think of everything that the name New Orleans evokes, and that’s where we’re building the biggest rocket in history. Again.

I don’t write a lot of poetry (or, you know, for decades, any), but it seemed the best way to capture how appropriate that juxtaposition is.

vac_gross1

Only These Bones

Bones
in boxes
resting higher.
The ground too shallow for its dead.
Old bones, old stones;
History creates mystery.
The old world becomes ever new,
But here the new world remains ever old.

Bones
with beads
strewn all over.
Foreign streets of Bacchus’ own.
Magicks, carnal;
Emerald and amethyst and gold.
Here abide vampires and spirits,
In a quarter owned by flesh.

Bones
of buildings
sinking lower.
A city challenging the sea.
Winds tear, waters dare,
The buildings rise again.
The storms, looming, relentless,
The city’s heart more relentless still.

Bones
of metal
rising higher.
A tower taking shape.
Welding wonder;
Eyes toward unwalked ground.
A city’s history, magick, resolution
Come together in a rocket’s heart.

There is a house in New Orleans
They call the rocket plant…

And Now For Something Completely Different… (via The Faery Inn)


So I’m a bit late with this blog post. I came across the following piece from The Faery Inn well over a year ago, and decided I would use the idea myself. As much as I loved the idea, though, and as much of a “free post” as it seemed to be, when I went to get started on it, it proved more difficult than I anticipated, and I put it off a few times, until finally it just went on the shelf and started gathering dust. I was cleaning up some old posts early last month, and decided that April, National Poetry Month, would be the perfect time to bring it back out. And, again, I had other things I wanted to write first, and so it got pushed back toward the end of the month. And, then, I got busy, and didn’t post at all the last few days of April, and now I’m doing my Month After National Poetry Month post. Oh well.

Here’s the original post, which is good stuff:

And Now For Something Completely Different... I have lost all inspiration and motivation to write today, so I turned to WordPress’ suggestions. I know that if I write absolutely nothing today, I will regret it. Anyway, they (ever so kindly) linked me to this page, and this is the prompt I chose: Choose a favorite poem written by somebody else, type a copy of it, delete every other line from the poem, and write your own lines to replace those you’ve deleted. Next, delete the remaining lines f … Read More

via The Faery Inn


Trying to find a poem to work with, I decided to go with one by my first favorite poet, A.A. Milne.

The Invaders
by A.A. Milne

In careless patches through the wood
The clumps of yellow primrose stood,
And sheets of white anemones,
Like driven snow against the trees,
Had covered up the violet,
But left the blue-bell bluer yet.

Along the narrow carpet ride,
With primroses on either side,
Between their shadows and the sun,
The cows came slowly, one by one,
Breathing in the morning air
And leaving it still sweeter there.
And one by one, intent upon
Their purposes, they followed on
In ordered silence … and were gone.

But all the little wood was still,
And if it waited so, until
Some blackbird on an outpost yew,
Watching the slow procession through,
Lifted his yellow beak at last
To whistle that the line had passed ….
Then all the wood began to sing
In morning anthem to the spring.


The hybrid version:
The Invasion

In careless patches through the wood
Where silence stayed because it could,
And sheets of white anemones,
In hidden places no one sees,
Had covered up the violet,
As if it were a painter’s regret.

Along the narrow carpet ride,
Marching with a mismatched stride,
Between their shadows and the sun,
The strangers wandered, almost done,
Breathing in the morning air
Exhaling all their fear and care.
And one by one, intent upon
Forgotten worlds, they ambled on
In ordered silence … and were gone.

But all the little wood was still,
The footsteps faded, the silence shrill;
Some blackbird on an outpost yew,
As if to share a secret he knew,
Lifted his yellow beak at last
His voice strong, its echo vast ….
Then all the wood began to sing
Honoring the glory of a fallen king.


My version:
The Invaded

In battered halls, so much withstood,
Where silence stayed because it could,
The acrid smell of smoke-filled breeze,
In hidden places no one sees,
Dull the shades of dark sunset,
As if it were a painter’s regret.

From the kingdom, an ebbing tide,
Marching with a mismatched stride,
Too worn to stay, too tired to run,
The strangers wandered, almost done,
And begin to hope, those who dare
Exhaling all their fear and care.
Looking forward, content to shun
Forgotten worlds, they ambled on
Into their future … their yesterday’s son.

And pinprick stars the sky did fill,
The footsteps faded, the silence shrill;
But one old man did whisper true,
As if to share a secret he knew,
Then louder still, sang of days past,
His voice strong, its echo vast ….
Promises of what new days would bring,
Honoring the glory of a fallen king.

My Poem About A Rocket


Way back when, I wrote on here about Newspaper Blackout, a book of poems created by taking newspaper pages and blacking out the words that aren’t in the poem.

I bought the book this summer and read it and enjoyed it and loaned it to Heather and moved on.

So Heather a couple of weeks ago reads the book and being more creative than I immediately wants to make her own.

So she did.

And then that actually did make me kind of want to do my own, which I’ve now done, though not nearly as well as she did. I blame the story I used. I’d kind of like to do it again, but with a better article. We’ll see.


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