The Practice-On Hiatus

The Practice is going on vacation for the month of April. Poetry Month. Each day for the month of April, I will post a poem from a different poet on my Facebook page. Join me there. Let us drift with the poets for a bit.

The practice is inspired by Naomi Shihab Nye and her notion that words are like oars. Dip them in the water. Explore with them. Feel how they touch and bump up against one another. Let them take us further down the stream.

The Practice-Sanguine

Those joker doctors
Such godlike wisdom
Dividing us by humors:
Slow moving, Phlemy people
Predisposed to unexcitability
Got Phlegmatic.
The Bilious,
Whether from the Melancholy black or
Choleric yellow stuff
Were ill tempered.
Wouldn’t you be?
But the ruddy,
Apple cheeked,
Blushing
Blood born
Healthy sanguineous souls
Tinged by optimism
Even when our blood runs cold or
Gets sucked from our veins
We keep our cool
Slip on a red sequin dress
Tip sangria to ruby lips and
Smile

The practice is inspired by Naomi Shihab Nye and her notion that words are like oars. Dip them in the water. Explore with them. Feel how they touch and bump up against one another. Let them take us further down the stream.

The Practice-Cleave

Did it begin with the butcher
Or the lost soul?
Was the slicing first
or the joining?
These conundrums of beginnings
These chickens with their eggs
Same chicken but which came first?
Were we ever whole
Or did we begin with splitting apart
again
and again
and again?
Have we been picking up pieces and sticking them together
madly trying to reassemble ourselves and find
our place in the tribe
from which to leap
again
and again
and again?
Or maybe it began with the simple confusion of a word
Misheard
Misinterpreted
Misbegotten
By one who thought he might be leaving her
When really he was always going to do the opposite.

The practice is inspired by Naomi Shihab Nye and her notion that words are like oars. Dip them in the water. Explore with them. Feel how they touch and bump up against one another. Let them take us further down the stream.

The Practice-Redemption

The weight of it lands
thump in the middle of me
heavy in my palm
evil girl
lost girl
fallen from grace woman
If you do this
And this
And this
Oh so many this’s that you can barely lift them up
Then you will—
Wait, wasn’t I good at the beginning
Aren’t I still
Doesn’t the fine print say
I will be saved
I will exchange good deeds for great deals
I will win the premium coupon from His BigHearted Shopping Bonanza

The practice is inspired by Naomi Shihab Nye and her notion that words are like oars. Dip them in the water. Explore with them. Feel how they touch and bump up against one another. Let them take us further down the stream.

The Practice-Treacle

It began in Greece as Theriakos—
A wild animal with teeth that tore holes in flesh.
Then it became Theriake and turned into a goopy serum
Poured into the gashes and wounds.
The Romans imported it as Theriaca
And repackaged it as Triacle to the English
Who completely lost the thread
Because English really is a cluster fuck of a language.
Why not turn the sticky goo into Treacle and make it sweet
like Trifle or Turkish Delight?
After all, England is the country of White Queens
Turning forests into winter with no Chrismas so
Little boys go mad and betray sisters and that Lion.
A different lion lies on this tin of treacle
Transformed into Lyle’s Golden Syrup,
Still a sweet elixir,
Still a deft tip of the bowler to the original wild beast
Still a kind of antidote that might save us all.
Only Lyle’s lion is swarmed by bees
With a Biblical caption:
Out of the Strong Came Forth Sweetness
A cloyingly sentimental phrase
Which is all
That’s left of treacle
To this day.

The practice is inspired by Naomi Shihab Nye and her notion that words are like oars. Dip them in the water. Explore with them. Feel how they touch and bump up against one another. Let them take us further down the stream.