One of the blogs I'm following, Applehouse Poetry Workshop, had a lesson plan of sorts: write a poem about ten things you've not done, maybe wanted to do, never wanted to do, too scared to do, being sure to end with "But once I did...". I read through the poem comments they received and thought I'd give this a try for my two Selves. The first is for Toni, Woman of Letters and the second, for Joni the Barbarian.
The Missing Five or Ten
I never felt the free fall bliss
or silken parachute catch me up
from jumping from a perfect plane.
The rush of gratitude and love
from giving birth I've never known
but didn't miss, this time around.
Deepest blue green water scares me
I haven't dove the coral reefs
or breathed air bubbles from a tank.
I cannot say I'll ever know
the thrill of heights that others crave
to see the face of Everest's might.
A hairy legged tarantula
won't gaze at me upon my arm
I could not be as one with it.
As thrilling as it seems to be
I've never galloped free and wild
upon a horse who'd love it too.
Jamaica's where the rum is sweet
my sweeter husband wants to go
I just can't make my mind say yes.
The roller coaster tempts me Come
You won't fly off to Heaven yet
but I say no, I'm chicken still.
I've never stood upon a stage
with Karaoke mic in hand
I'd rather sing the Requiem.
I know too much about raw fish
to eat it in a sushi bar
I've pulled out squirmy worms myself.
But once I stood and braved the day
and said enough, I'm done at last.
I am a writer from now on.
Okay, now let's do one for good ol' Joni the Barbarian. Here are some things she did and shouldn't have, and one final thing Miss Joni regrets she's unable to do today.
That Ten That Made Me
Trajectory is everything when throwing
rocks at hornets' nests. So as I ran they
too could fly along, following air streams left
behind me, getting vengeance on the way.
A lovely cobalt bottle full of worms,
seemed a good idea one summer day
found, uncorked but strangely gone to liquid
Lost forever, sadly killed by little me.
Muttered "Stupid" when angry teacher stormed
had a temper tantrum in our classroom.
He had heard me, made me answer why, I
made up some excuse but wasn't sorry.
Flying Etch-a-Sketch sails through the antique
china hutch, and Thank God! smashing side glass
Meant to injure sis, but both of us will
suffer badly now when Mom and Dad get back.
Naked man with pecker-recktus picnic
table posing pictures, he's defendant
we're for plaintiff, wished I'd never seen them
Time cannot eradicate him from my mem'ry!
"You and your husband may come in now please."
My faux pas catching me too late, oh damn,
as hardened voice said "I'm a woman, too,"
the f--king ground refused to swallow me.
Warm champagne and hot lasagna, salad
with Italian dressing, seemed so very good,
Me drinked whole bottle. Riding, riding, homeward
Sick and spinning, porcelain is hugging me.
In my awful utter haste I stepped through
what I thought was solid ground, up to my
waist, my shoes and clothes all slick with slime.
Why can I never take the path more traveled?
"Geronimo!," I cried, as blue and deep the
ocean water called me from the wharf. My lover
said don't go, I jumped, he shook his head and
like a silly frozen fish gaffed me back in.
Summer party, kiddie pool, all done,
but tipsy me would do the trick. I lifted high
up on one edge, with weighty water pushing back,
to knock me down and souse me for the crowd.
But once I wish I'd known my Self enough
and slapped a privileged face real hard who
only wished to stall my life with talk of
love, far Lake Nipissing, scotch and little else.