Tag Archives: last poem of April

#438: Human Nature (a cento on April 30, 2022)


As it is the very last day of April, hence, the last day of National Poetry Writing Month, I kind of wanted to go out with a bang–to do something ambitious. That’s the worst way, FYI, to begin a writing thing. “Today I am going to do something great” is a path to abject failure. In reality, I let the morning go by feeling a total lack of ambition toward greatness and a bit of resistance welling up against any kind of writing whatsoever. I looked again at today’s prompt from Napowrimo to write a “cento.” You may well ask, what’s a “cento”? From the Academy of American Poets website: “a cento, from the Latin word for ‘patchwork,’ is a poetic form composed entirely of lines from poems by other poets. Okay. I’m in. I’m stealing from a gaggle of modernist poets found in a collection at the Poetry Foundation website. Turned out to be more “ambitious” than I anticipated. Win!

Human Nature: A Cento

Let us go then, you and I,
as freedom is a breakfastfood,
in long alleys
over a wide solitude.
It is human nature
to stand in the middle of a thing;
the imagination, the one reality
in this imagined world–[where]
the children learn to cipher and to sing.
For we can still love the world, who find
the ocean flowing backward,
heavy with shut-flower’s nightmares
as thought’s intricate polyphonic.
I was of three minds,
a kind in glass and a cousin.
Surely, the Second Coming is at hand.
As freedom is a breakfastfood
beneath the music from a farther room.

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#316: Chakras and Chi Balls (the Last Poem of April)


Some people
associate a rainbow of colors with
various parts of their bodies and
they ascribe certain powers
or characteristics of their psycho-emotional
life to these various colors or energies;
Some people think you can concentrate
on a color, say, orange, and a body place,
say, your privates, and that somehow
your relationships will be more intimate,
the sex will be better, and you will
experience a kind of emotional centeredness.
And some people play with imaginary balls,
balls that contain something called Chi,
and that Chi Energy allows one to touch,
warm, or heal someone else
without laying a finger on them
or to feel their energy coming right back.
I held my imaginary Chi ball
and a couple of people moved their
hands around it and I felt pretty silly.
I just wanted to be quiet.
Or I wanted to look at a real thing,
say, my specific thinking about an
issue in my life and in the world,
or I wanted to read a poem
about dirt, or birds, you know,
something like what Mary Oliver would write,
and then just be quiet around that,
and maybe talk a little bit about it
with people who were interested in things.
And I don’t mind checking out someone
else’s energy, but I think I’d do that better
without the use of imaginary balls,
with my eyes open, looking at them,
hearing them talk, listening to their stories,
asking them good questions.
I’m not trying to debunk or
otherwise poke at anyone else’s Chi Balls
or Chakra energies, and I know it’s
wrong of me to call these things
imaginary; I just think I’m in a
different wagon, one that’s lower
to the ground, one that steers
toward the concrete, materialistic
world of stuff and things and the
myriad processes of the heart,
the brain, and all those other organs.
All my invisibles are manifested there.
Sure, it doesn’t hurt to color them up
like a rainbow, and I can imagine the
middle of my forehead as glowing
a deep purple color if I want,
but no matter how many times
I catch myself in the mirror, my
forehead is still going to be the color
of my forehead, and that eye,
the third one, has likely divided
and moved to either side of my head
where it has become ears that listen,
or it has submerged deep inside my head
where I think my thoughts and live my life.


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