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Searching for: Margot Suydam; 2011 Challenge

What got me here

Sitting alone by a tearful flame
made a choice, none to blame

but myself, the big story me
made me blind, just didn't see

that the thrill of stepping out,
shakes the rotten limb about,

sounds a crack through crust
reveals much more than just

hours of lukewarm romance under
brush: the vows man put asunder.

--Margot Suydam
(55 words)
Hi all, Happy Poetry Month! Thanks to Robert for keeping this going year to year. I look forward to the challenge of writing a poem a day and all the supportive comments by all participants.

(34 words)
Boston Slyline
No camera, just this image
For you, the clouds are silver
Against the skyline glimmering
Golden dome rising and sinking
With the wind swimming upstream
River reflections of hidden sun
Behind city scapes I am lost
(30 words)
Head Turned

Only for a minute
She reached for talcum
powder or a safety pin
a young mother without
enough experience to know
that babies can wriggle
and roll in an instant
The gravity, the floor
could have taken me
And sent her back
to another lost world
a sacrfice breaking
her heart already
(43 words)
The Lover

when you aren't
looking: pants
leg bleeds,
skin sliced
miniatures leaking
what you don't
want captured
as you watch
to unfelt caresses
A bastion sunk
into waste
of time
your berated heart

(34 words)

We were a home:
the wild kittens

scratched furniture

blankets draped
to catch the hair

full-length curtains
designed for climbing

while faces grimaced
then softened--like

gusting snow--with
body flops and rubbing,

the weight of gentleness
dropped to the floor.

Out back someone left
a door ajar to empty

the weight of kindness
slipped out the door.

The white still tumbles,
the blinds transparent.

Single trees converse,
protecting scarred bark

from whimsical claws,
the squirrel-chasing cats.

(62 words)

We were a home:
the wild kittens

scratched furniture

blankets draped
to catch the hair

full-length curtains
designed for climbing

while faces grimaced
then softened--like

gusting snow--with
body flops and rubbing,

the weight of gentleness
dropped to the floor.

Out back someone left
a door ajar to empty

the weight of kindness
slipped out the door.

The white still tumbles,
the blinds transparent.

Single trees converse,
protecting scarred bark

from whimsical claws,
the squirrel-chasing cats.

(62 words)
Don't just visit, Stay

Map across
your lap
on your brow
a tourist
in your life
the bus rumbling
jerks and battles
stop and go
better to just
ditch the ride
and walk

(28 words)

What if

I had not slammed
doors, broken things
on my way out, could
I ever trespass back
into the confines
of your tired heart,
chance that embraces
with warm intentions
ever be well-received
not ignored and left
to their own devices?

(39 words)
Celebrating April

There is a hole in me
that leaks when I read

poetry: what shimmers
remains disquiet, rockets

down an empty hallway,
like an ousted child,

jettisoned to the principal's
door with promises to confide

some unacceptable act,
thoughts that won't perish

when backs are turned.
And then that hole in me

shrinks when I watch
all-night television; what

shimmers abides the rules,
arranges flowers, mops up

the messy, sits quietly
in stop-and-go traffic

because there's nothing
left to do.

(77 words)
Early Riser

I chastise
myself: Alarm
sounds 5:AM
on a Saturday:
Should be
turned off.
No, I want
to fill the day
with doings
not flush it
away with nil.
Sun turns
room to light
poetry flows
through windows
So it begins.

(33 words)
Never Again

Television light on
a Saturday night,
the home spun
dinners forgotten
for fried chicken, mashed
potatoes, bland string
beans and some sweet

cake, our dessert,
all served in a tin.
And the small TV
tables positioned
close to the edge
of our joint escape
into the B-rated

horror so popular
when Nixon was
bombing the shit
out of people
we didn't know, and
when the parents
of everyone we did

were leaving
each other,
that I can't remember
what scared us more,
was more eery.

(79 words)

A scab growing
in my pocket
tethers me
to wasteful pursuits
tapping and tilting
at hawks that float
and dive on breezes,
the mislaid missives
of widows. Deafening
cattle-call of music,
rattling in my breast,
entitles me to ask
just one question,
digest the response,
then send it out
on a bird's wing
with hopes it never
returns: Will you
ever vacate my heart
or can I palm
walls for a hollow,
dig out with one
fingernail, maybe?
(72 words)
May Day

Flowers will bloom, bulge the empyrean
blue, as if they are pallid youths in denim
stitching spiraling green veins up the side
just to display both their legs, stem the tide
of war-time rack and ruin. Still calls
for help are unheard amidst the slippery
din of piratic planks and gunner walls,
all power lifted, a spent battery.
But still we scrub our faces clean, awake
blossoms that are nothing more than hope
parade with banners tucked at armpits gate.
The chance spring gloves stay white with soap
a breath we always hold, what remains at stake
is promise of may or may not: We wait.

(98 words)
Jersey City

Under the blissful shadow
of Manhattan sky,
tall towers intact,

they built a jaded mirror,
filled an abyss that was
but industry gone to waste.

Fisheries and factories
once lined the shoreline,
coached blue and shampoo

squeezed nets and toothpaste.
Boats and barges tugged
the only river passengers.

But then in boardrooms,
the architects grouped,
joined minds, elbowed

in the new. Line by line,
scribes penciled vision
late into the night

as printers waited to press
drawing to drawing, duplicate
the word spread blue,

And then like pharaohs,
the victorious called forth
masons to bear cold and heat

to erect paper into pyramids,
the windows now washed high
above the Hudson coastline.

(105 words)
Nobody's Business

One man toddles
down the line,
commuters idling
to go home Friday
night at the bus
station. A palm
flattens full frontal
to each silent face,
outstretched with gurgles.
We ignore him, retreat
clumsy into crinkled
newspapers, protected
from fear and fumes.

Margot Suydam
(41 words)
RIP Profile

Driven by
data and poetry,
spent and tired
right brain
versus left,
money making
or making art,
utilitarian in,
aesthetic out.
but good.

(22 words)
Night Out

Milling about
the shabby
bar, smells of beer
and sweat dancing
off musical prowess:
the crowd drumming
in air, stomping
on floor boards,
shaking off
the residue
of the ordinary.

(23 words)
New Look

in black mink
discarded, zipper
stuck halfway,
yet I glow through
winter bleakness;
thaw in currents
the warming
forms of spring.

Or maybe a light
and golden shift,
glimmering oyster
pearl found in thrift,
a shop on the corner
a new lease, a new star
I am entranced

with beginnings,
the casting off
replaced by signature
form firmly rooted
and displayed,
a head nodding;
boredom erased.

(62 words)
Like Philip Glass

I float on taut
string, bounce
and slide off
the slightest wind
before it slices
through light
and sails over
deep ravines
the mountain calls
all the unanswered
questions that make
my children laugh.

(29 words)

Remember when we came
in Amherst to visit Emily

Dickinson's house. It was you
who set the trip in motion. I,

the one with a literary bent,
could not understand why

you cared, thought it a mere
curtsy to some whim of mine

to crush the solitude of jade
edged parlors, finger gentle

touches to the silent pine
work table of a dead poet,

a tourist to small town life
where neighbors were few

yet lived too close, while
on the outskirts, farmers

tilled fields, row upon row,
a barbwire fence of harsh

muted landscape, single
track roads the only way.

Yet, in such feral isolation,
the brain can still run free.

That's what you knew,
what you came to see.

(112 words)

In this metal rack
of slides, we are
the three babies,
tow-heads circling.
Naked on the beach,
we group, we balance
on a single shell-strewn

shore. Touching fingers
and toes, we test the same
waters; we fill the same
pink bucket with sand.
Bare backs to the sun,
we wait for our turn
to drink from the large

red thermos she lifts up
first to the smallest gaping
mouth. Dark hair fallen
about her face, tanned
skin, still smooth,
still calm, so pretty,
she is the hinge around

which we pivot. We are
enthralled, her young legs
sprawled on the summer
house lawn, assembling
our collections of sand
dollars, stones, and shells
into miniature moss gardens.

(110 words)
Second Thoughts

Today is your birthday
and all I want

is to hear your voice.
Yet, I can't bear

to listen to the recordings
you made, recitations I have,

set to sad symphony, aria.
I want to send you my best

wishes, but all I hold are best
dinner dishes--they used to be

yours, a few left unbroken
after I spent hours packing

boxes, they crashed on the sidewalk.
Birds chirped in that early May,

and you waited on the back
porch, set your face in dismay,

as I rummaged, gathered together
all the belongings you'd need,

and only what could possibly fit
into one-half of a bedroom

It was no surprise then when
you accused me of stealing

your life, as I carted it
off in the trunk of my car.

(128 words)
The Only

Scarf tightened
around my neck
The knot crafted
to withstand beauty
I remain attached
to the only straw
Lost in haystack
Heartened by loss
I warble to sky
Blue swallows sailing

(24 words)
A Warning

Soon forgetting
Will ring truer
Never thought
I could erase
The pinpricks
Of callous love
Note the tenor
Of crying days
How memory
Tricks innocents

(16 words)
Pagan prayer

The perfect form of egg
Conical, circular, unbroken
White pure as chalk
Language of druids unspoken
Boldness to await the new
What fertile thoughts can breed
We ask that earthly cracking
Reveal less of labors loss
That casting flashes of color
Stains roundness into hope.

(37 words)
Falling Winter

Snow, it buries us
Flattens into bleakness
Silence makes no fuss

Collects in mounds
Blankets in reserve
A lone runner rounds

The sadness of peace,
Falling, he soldiers on
Yet, cold will not cease

Taut muscles in flight
Burning against gusting,
Escape the frigid, home

As white still haunts
kettles steam windows
Fuel yearning to stay.

(46 words)
Let Me Follow

The smell of the desirable
changes across tidal waves

as they peak and crash
never lose scent under

water, lining nostrils wet
Salt chalking. Cracking lips

I will not speak: White washes
Past and present drift,

(30 words)
In the Center of Town

I try to write a poem
as the din of evening
traffic sidles by my table.

Fighting talk on the phone
stranger echoes thoughts
no one wants to hear.

The whir of senses
paints foggy line by line
I am done!

(36 words)
Without Coffee

The world
would sleep
head in hand,
perched always
on an elbow
or flat out
face down
on a table.
Snores would
be the only
chatter, hearts
pumping slow
pace, jitters
gone quiet,
morning blahs
would remain
all day. Art,
work, no charge.

(37 words)
Ode to Sex

Sliding down
river without
even an oar
no one steers
yet we swim
two eels, wrapping
round jarring
passing waves
rapid and rabid
water stones
us still we
float right
never skirting
to the edge.

(31 words)