Friday, 10 February 2017

A Poem A Day 30

Parting Pantoum

I wanted to beat writer’s block
With a poem a day, for a month
Friends encouraged me, much to my shock
And I wrote every day without stint.

With a poem a day, for a month
Such a public vow, I dared not stop
And I wrote every day without stint
The muse being present or not.

Such a public vow, I dared not stop
But the strangest thing started to happen
The muse being present or not
I still found the joy of creation.

And the strangest thing started to happen
My muted voice started to soar
Rediscovering the joy of creation
With each poem, I found so much more.

As my muted voice started to soar
I was met with encouragement, daily
With each poem I met so much more
As community reached out to bless me.

I was met with encouragement, daily
And friends added their voices to mine
As community reached out to bless me
It was greater than I, was divine.

When friends added their voices to mine
I was able to break writer’s block
It was greater than I, was divine
Your encouragement, much to my shock.

 Kerry Miller

Here endeth my "Poem A Day" challenge.  Not quite 30 consecutive days, but 30 poems nonetheless. I have surprised myself, written things quite different to anything I've written before, and found inspiration when I thought I had none - and I really have to thank all of you who wrote with me, encouraged me, and cheered me on.  Thank you.  

Here's to continuing the creative thread!  

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

A Poem A Day 29

                    What They Said

When we said some words, in front of a minister, before God.
          They said our vows were holy, unbreakable.
                    I signed with my life.

When he exploded because I moved furniture in our newlywed apartment.
          They said things would get better.
                    I waited, on eggshells.

When he blamed me for something he had lost and yelled, and yelled, and yelled
           They said I should not have yelled back.
                    I took responsibility for the escalation.

When he soiled everything, did nothing, and my frustration boiled over
           They said I should respect him.
                    I could not, and felt a failure.

When the yelling and fighting and demanding became too much and I ran away
          They said our bond was sacred.
                    I went back to him.

When I did not want sex, and he pressured and bullied me
          They told me I needed to love him.
                    I drank numbness to satisfy him.

When his abuse became intolerable, and I left the house to escape
          They said our relationship needed help.
                    I kept going through the motions.

When, exhausted, with a newborn, I said no to sex and he railed all night, relentless
          They did not say anything
                    And I was too tired to even think of a response.

When I rang the police, to ask if they could stop the yelling
          They said if he was not hitting me, they could do little.
                    I swallowed my pain.

When I ran to my family after yet another argument
          They questioned my communication skills.
                    I continued struggling.

When I broke down in Church, begging God for help or relief
          They said I needed to believe more.
                    I prayed harder.

When he worked through our family holiday and we were without him
          We breathed freely, walked on solid earth
                    I found clarity.

When I finally walked away
          They questioned my motives.
                    I believed myself.

                    Kerry Miller

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

A Poem A Day 28


In the shopping centre carpark,
trolleys crash
breakers. Echoing
traffic mimics distant surf.  My
smartphone becomes
washing up sculpture in
MMS.  Curves in weathered wood
sound like a whaleboat,
crazed and craggy,
yet timeworn smooth, the deck invites
touch, while above,
aimless harpoon
gun still shines with menace, a resonance
of fear; a sculpted
singing beauty and dissonance.

Kerry Miller

One of the most wonderful things about this poetry challenge, has been hearing from friends who have been also inspired to create as a result of the poems. This poem was written in response to a beautiful sculpture by my friend Andre Nortje, representing a derelict whaling boat. He sent me photos in a text message, telling me he had been inspired to begin sculpting again by the poetry challenge, and that this sculpture, in particular, seemed to him like a visual poem.  I have to agree.   

Friday, 3 February 2017

A Poem A Day 27

Day Surgery

Gowned, tagged, prepped,
Transmuted from person to
patient; a body to be overhauled. 
About to be etherised upon a table 
(I think of T.S. Eliot). In this 
peculiar instance; my flesh and 
being oddly distinct.  I maintain 
myself, write poetry in the ward, 
hold dignity under this white
shroud.  My body the domain
of professionals and procedures
until they return it to me again.

Kerry Miller

Thursday, 2 February 2017

A Poem A Day 26


in queues.
for appointments.
for traffic to clear.
for the right moment.
for a good opportunity.
for enough time.
for enough money.
for things to improve.
for “the one”
to find purpose.
to find now.

Kerry Miller 

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

A Poem A Day 25

Bad News Week

The world is a firefight
in a gas station.
A gun in the hands
of a toddler.
Destruction reigns, and
words, poison as Flint
water, irrigate tensions.
Fears flourish like nepotism,
and executive orders.
Division's floodgates burst,
eroding canyons
between “us” and “them”.
As blinding rhetoric stings
the masses into conflagration,
humanity weeps.
There is only us.

Kerry Miller