Word Poetry

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Site design: Skeleton

Sample Poems by Carol Smallwood

My Grandmother
spread clothes on summer grass till dry;
in winter they slumped against the trees-
frozen stiffs to be carried in.
She said dew, sun, and frost whiten
but didn't say why.

Minnie the Good Housekeeping Cat

Minnie's first life must've been as housekeeper
for she cleans anything dropped on floors
and even on counters is the relentless sweeper.
Minnie's first life must've been as housekeeper
although she's a sprawling day or night sleeper
and hides odd things behind any and all doors.
Minnie's first life must've been as housekeeper
for she cleans anything dropped on floors.

After the Ice Storm

Lily went for a walk with her children in the snow
leaving her husband's present in the closet-
a black snowmobile suit zippered head to toe.
Lily went for a walk with her children in the snow
where it was cold and the wind made her face glow
on the shore strewn with ice made of many deposits;
Lily went for a walk with her children in the snow
leaving her husband's present in the closet.

A red strip on a freighter offered relief to eyes
while Lily looked for trees with green moss patches:
Mark said, "Look, Bigfoot's tracks in disguise."
A red strip on a freighter offered relief to eyes.
Jenny smiled at Mark supposed surmise
taking her mother's hand smiling with wet lashes;
a red strip on a freighter offered relief to eyes
while Lily looked for trees with green moss patches.

Sun shone on the top of a pine bent by ice.
Lily walked back and forth as the sun sank lower,
the tree a question mark, holding her like a vice.
Sun shone on the top of a pine malformed by ice
Mark scrambled up the banks and fell down twice
while Jenny struggled up and down banks slower.
Sun shone on the top of a pine bent by ice;
Lily walked back and forth as the sun sank lower.

The Purse I Carry

is drying after being washed:
this is what it carries:

*Right Side Pocket

Leather wallet, coin pocket taped
from my husband before he left
3 keys attached with wide red ribbon
from a Christmas wreath
A quilting piece from a favorite aunt
who read to me
One of John Galsworthy's books
to read having lunch

*Middle Pocket

5 empty Kroger shopping bags
to use at Sav a Lot
Yellow napkins from Wendy's
to use anywhere
White napkins from McDonald's
to use anywhere

*Middle Zipper Pocket

Small plastic container with lid
for rescuing small things
Several covered toothpicks
to use lunching out
A rubber band from somewhere
in case I need it
A safety pin (closed)
in case I need it

*Left Pocket

Plastic bag from carrots
to carry daily pills
Orange case for sunglasses
to keep driving glasses
Retractable black pen
to capture words
Used copy paper cut in half
to write with
Coupons from Wendy's
for $1 off combo meals
Small Tupperware party case
for Merle Norman face cream
Flash drive the shape of
lipstick for computer files
Notes from Trauma and Recovery
by Judith Herman

Turkey the Shade

of George Hamilton's
tan graces the cover
of Williams-Sonoma:
demure with in-the- chest
dressing accented with
Mediterranean herbs.
This Thanksgiving
catalog is stuffed with
Spanish Cheese,
Beluga Caviar,
Licorice Scottie Dogs.

Diaries

are to thoughts as clothespins
are to clothes.

Words pin events but you can
tell from spacing, slant,
omissions, allusions what
really happened.

Unlined paper is recommended-
the effort needed to keep things
straight fostering the feeling
of control.

My diary was packed the night
before I married; in the wavy
mirror I sought assurance of not
slipping with the setting sun.