jillypoet: mom trying to write

Each day I wish I had invented waterproof sticky notes (for shower inspiration) or pen-friendly diapers to get down all my quirky thoughts that I am sure are relevant and publishable. And so God (actually another writer-mommy) sent me The Blog.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Rubbing Two Sticks Together

Well, it wouldn't be my blog if there wasn't a poem about my son. And since it's almost Thursday, I am posting a poem for PoeTrY ThuRSdaY! I am having some trouble getting the words to flow, I have quite a few poems started but can't seem to get to the heart of them. I'm trying to find an online poetry class that doesn't cost a fortune. Anyone know of any? It seems foolhardy to spend money on an online course when I spent six years and way too much money on a Master's Degree in English, but I feel like I need the motivation.

Ah well. Here's the poem. Comments/critique welcome!

Rubbing Two Sticks Together

Out of the ashes of five, my son blazes
into his sixth year,
shrugging off the black
rubber fireman’s coat of kindergarten,
sliding easily into the asbestos mask
of first-grade pyromaniac.

Saving cats in trees
still heightens his senses,
but what if you rub two sticks together
at the base of the tree?
What if the roots ignited?
What if fire crawled up the belly of the tree,
licked the cat’s paws?
Who would save the son-of-a-tiger then?

Jagged sticks and branches
that used to be guns
take on new dimensions.
Rumor has it, rubbed hard and fast,
these pretend guns, these wooden fakes
spark blue blazes, the hottest fire, fast and furious.
Burn. Burn. Burn.
Danger. Danger. Danger.

In a white-hot flash, lightning scorches bad guys,
Death Star, Clone Troopers and both world wars.
God’s angry growl, electricity punching the air
assumes its rightful place as ultimate weapon.
What if lightning burns our house down?
What if the firemen need to come?
What if it’s a three-alarm fire?
What if the whole world burns up?

He has crawled out of his cave,
my son the first grader.
He has risen up on two legs,
smashed his sticks together,
and left the fire to burn
until he figures out
just what to do with it.

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Blogger paisley said...

a gentle reminder of the unsung fears of childhood....


10:47 AM  
Blogger Paul Decelles said...

Oh this brought back memories of trying to light fires in the same way. I never managed to get this to work. Besides I found lighting fires with a magnifying glass much more fun. I used to play war of the worlds; I was the Martian with my death ray and ants were the Earthlings.

I know, sick. Maybe that's why I became an entomologist.

11:11 AM  
Blogger etcetera said...

Great! I love the whole image of figuring out what intrigues and scares us as kids. And the graduation from kindergarten to first grade, phoenix-like.

12:22 PM  
Blogger gautami tripathy said...

This is so evocative of childhood. As a child we are fearless and can do anything, rise to any challenge but as one grows up, those inner fears start...

12:25 PM  
Blogger tumblewords said...

Consider teaching an online class - you have style. Many descriptive phrases remind me of childhood's fears, delights, dreams!

2:48 PM  
Blogger paris parfait said...

This is an excellent poem - you've captured the wonder of childhood and the danger as well. Bravo!

6:36 PM  
Blogger Constance said...

I can just picture him careening around the room, from one extreme to another, wanting to grow up but not really.... Nice

7:44 PM  
Blogger pepektheassassin said...

Jillypoet, soooo glad to see you back! 'S been too long!

7:53 PM  
Blogger pepektheassassin said...

PS We have 2 just crawling out of the ashes of 5 and entering 6, so I'm with you all the way.

7:55 PM  
Blogger polka dot witch said...

i think this is a powerful way of saying that your son has so much amazing passion and drive and spirit but struggles, maybe, to channel it without singing his eye brows.

11:15 AM  
Blogger polka dot witch said...

P.S. you said that when you started your blog, it was I who inspired you and led you into it. this time, i think YOU'VE inspired me to return. thanks! i'm still figuring out a format but you know me, i may pull it all together in a flurry and take no prisoners!

11:17 AM  
Blogger Sasha said...

Hi Jilly, I'm glad you're back... I'll be a faithful reader as long as you're writing.

ESPECIALLY when you write about parenthood.

4:56 PM  
Blogger Peter said...

Hey, this is a lot of fun! It's spacious -- lots of room for boyhood and his toughts and fears. I love your comparision of his growing older with evolution and the discovery of fire.

8:57 PM  

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