National Poetry Month: A Few Last Poems

Well, today is the last day of April. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading the poems I’ve shared this month, both mine and others. Today I leave you with a poem I wrote on March 18th, 1995, called “Little Chairs.”

LITTLE CHAIRS

Little Chairs with Private Affairs
Gaze through Windows on rainy Days
Sitting alone because No One cares
And the Rain, too, is unamazed
The Cat ignores their conversations
Especially if they are rocking
Birds detest Chair salutations
So they do not bother flocking
Litter Chairs dream of joining the Elite
This thought often makes them smile
But if only Someone would take a seat
And just visit for a while
Wintry Nights are always cold
Chills fill Little Chairs with dread
Because Little Chairs are too big to hold
And they cannot fit into the Bed
They just long to be kept warm
But a Stove would set them on fire
So they sit, watching the Storm
Waiting for Someone to come and retire
Little Chairs will wait patiently
For Private Affairs to come to an end
And when older Ones come and sit so slowly
Little Chairs know they’ve made a Friend.

At first, I wrote this poem because I wanted to given human qualities to an object. I’m not sure why I chose to capitalize most of the nouns though, except to draw attention to them as well. Possibly the “little chairs” idea represents small children, though I don’t think I thought of that at the time. Plus I was going on 19 when I wrote this poem. But it does have a Shel Silverstein quality to it, don’t you think? For that reason, here’s a beloved Silverstein poem for you from his collection, A Light In the Attic:

THE BRIDGE

This bridge will only take you halfway there
To those mysterious lands you long to see:
Through gypsy camps and swirling Arab fairs
And moonlit woods where unicorns run free.
So come and walk a while with me and share
The twisting trails and wondrous worlds I’ve know.
But this bridge will only take you halfway there-
The last few steps you’ll have to take alone.

And though this poem isn’t related to the other two, I’d been meaning to share a Sylvia Plath poem this month, so the end of April seems like a good a time to do that as any. Here is Sylvia’s poem, “The Sleepers” from 1959:

THE SLEEPERS

No map traces the street
Where those two sleeps are.
We have lost track of it.
They lie as if under water
In a blue, unchanging light,
The French window ajar

Curtained with yellow lace.
Through the narrow crack
Odors of wet earth rise.
The snail leaves a silver track;
Dark thickets hedge the house.
We take a backward look.

Among petals pale as death
And leaves steadfast in shape
They sleep on, mouth to mouth.
A white mist is going up.
The small green nostrils breathe,
and they turn in their sleep.

Ousted from that warm bed
We are a dream they dream.
Their eyelids keep the shade.
No harm can come to them.
We cast our skins and slide
Into another time.

So that’s it for April. Did you read or write any poems this month? Feel free to share if you wish.

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