Friday, November 12, 2010

Poetry Friday

"You can smell a poem before you can see it." Denise Levertov

This is my first Poetry Friday post. I'm excited to join this effort that honors and recognizes the richness that imagery, rhythm and metaphor add to our lives. I'm also thrilled that my poems are starting to grow again. The seeds were nourished in the rich soil of the Asian Rural Institute last summer. This is the first fruit!

I write mostly free verse, but sometimes fall into a form of sorts, with no regular end rhyme, but listening for internal rhyme. I wrote this poem yesterday, spurred on by Poetry Friday. As Levertov says, before the poem shaped itself, I smelled the dark soil on my hands and strawberry juice on my fingertips.

Lotus Field in June

Strawberries glisten in Lotus Field
but Tuesday’s harvest is hours away.
“Pick?” Nilushi asks her group.
A murder of crows hovers above.
Glossy feathers flap to the ground and
beady eyes fix on the fruit.

Trays are ready on harvest day
for crimson nuggets ripe with juice.
But pale fruit waits under leaves.
No berry bites leave telltale clues.
Who raided the strawberry patch?
Butog grins, “Maybe black-haired crows.”

Coal black wings now dangle from a pole.
Victim or thief in Lotus Field?
We pound stakes low to the ground,
crisscross string over leaves and fruit.
It keeps out wings. Not sweet-stained feet.

Check out other Poetry Friday posts at Scrub-a-Dub-Tub


  1. Joyce, I'm so glad to see you inspired by Poetry Friday, and inspiring in turn. I love the Levertov quote. And the crows. The last line of your poem: wow. Hope the muse stays with you!

  2. Thanks, Jeannine. It's all in creating space for the muse to stretch, I think. Sometimes, my mind gets too cramped for her!

  3. Wow..what an interesting story. It makes me curious to know more. Why is the field called Lotus Field? Who are Butog and Nilushi? Etc.

    Great to see other poets inspired to write originals for Poetry Friday!

  4. Thanks, Carlie! I just read your autumn poem. You are a wonder at word choice. Love it.

    My poem is the first in a series about my volunteer time in Japan on a wonderful organic farm that teaches sustainable living and community leadership to men and women from Southeast Asia and Africa. My group named their field, and the characters are two dear friends who are this year's participants.


Comments welcome.