Pantoum by Paige Foreman

The Gardens of Sunflowers

There’s a girl who lives in a garden of sunflowers.
She swings her watering can back and forth.
She cannot bear the weight of beauty,
And no one doubts her innocence.

She swings her watering can back and forth,
Watering the sunflowers that look to the sun.
And no one doubts her innocence.
A boy went to her garden thinking it’s just another place.

Watering the sunflowers that look to the sun.
She inspired a boy to grow some of his own,
A boy went to her garden thinking it’s just another place.
He did not see the sticks supporting sunflower heads.

She inspired a boy to grow some of his own,
He swung his own watering can to and fro.
He did not see the sticks supporting sunflower heads
He did not doubt the sunflowers’ innocence.

He swung his own watering can to and fro
He dampened the cracked Arizona earth,
He did not doubt the sunflower’s innocence.
Then time elapsed and his sunflowers grew.

He dampened the cracked Arizona earth,
He continued to nourish and his sunflowers bloomed.
Then time elapsed and his sunflowers grew,
His sunflowers looked to the ground, not the sun.

He continued to nourish and his sunflowers bloomed,
He lost the will for them to go on.
His sunflowers looked to the ground, not the sun,
His sunflowers cannot bear the weight of beauty.

He lost the will for them to go on.
He walked to the girl’s garden asking why
His sunflowers cannot bear the weight of beauty.
She answered with a frown, pointing to the sticks.

He walked to the girl’s garden asking why
His sunflowers did not turn to look at the sun.
She answered with a frown, pointing to the sticks.
His sunflowers’ heads, heavy with seeds, droop to the ground.

His sunflowers do no turn to look at the sun,
And the girl, as she grew, bowed as her seeds engulfed her,
His sunflowers’ heads, heavy with seeds, droop to the ground.
If she smiled again, it would be because of those sticks.

And the girl, as she grew, bowed as her seeds engulfed her.
The boy, as he drooped, let his sunflowers die.
If she smiled again, it would be because of those sticks.
The boy, if he loved again, it would be because of the girl.

The boy, as he drooped, let his sunflowers die.
Now, the boy lives in an empty garden.
The boy, if he loved again, it would be because of the girl,
He cannot bear the burden of feeling.

Now the boy lives in an empty garden.
There’s a girl who lives in a garden of sunflowers.
He cannot bear the burden of feeling,
She cannot bear the weight of beauty.

Help Me Pick Some Lines of Poetry

I need some help selecting some lines of poetry. These will go on the gallery wall at 516 for the show “Wendover Landing.” The full text will be on a flock of birds by Christy Henst. I wrote this text for her when I was out in Wendover, Utah. I think of it as being a series of 1-line haiku.
So which ones go on the wall? Figure 3 or 4.

Writing on Salt

oddly purposive arrangement of stones water left behind

mirage can be mathematically predicted

who placed these beer bottles like Stonehenge?

I filled a baggie with salt

day after day the wind visited me like a busybody

an insufficiency of tears

the invisible left a glyph

time might not be moving the distance was so vast

the poem seemed like something that was outside of me

an alphabet has no numeric value

blue was an inadequate word in this field of illusion

metal outline of a man, target shot full of holes

the army built a city of salt and bombed it

I could never have believed anything this empty if I hadn’t slept here without dreams

mist rose from what once was sea as if it still was

Confession or My Life-Long Affair with Television by Devon Miller-Duggan

Confession

or My Life-Long Affair with Television. Actually, there are a lot of famously popular shows that I have loathed over the decades: Amos & Andy (thank God—I’d have to shoot myself if I’d ever like that horror), anything with Jackie Gleason in it, I Love Lucy, The Three Stooges (no surprise there), Twilight Zone (I am a wimp), Get Smart, Seinfeld (not a single character I liked at all, and yes, I love a great many New Yorkers).

Here’s a list of Things I Learned from TV Shows:
1. Humans might eventually get a clue: Star Trek in all its variations.
2. The quirky smart guy is a lot sexier than the conventionally handsome one: Star Trek, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., The Wild,Wild West.
3. Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire.
4. Sometimes it’s good to dump procedure and change the rules of the game: Star Trek.
5. History is much more interesting than what they teach in school: The World at War.
6. Watching dance in nearly any form is bliss: all sorts of programs, but mostly PBS.
7. Shakespeare: Hallmark Hall of Fame & PBS.
8. Everything sounds better with a British accent: PBS.
9. Lots of stuff from Rocky & Bullwinkle, most of which led to rebellious behavior later.

I could go on. And of course there are not-so-great lessons I also learned: the fat girls will always be sidekicks and/or pathetic, schadenfreude rules, girls are supposed to be___(boy, fill in the blank on that one…).

I was an unusual kid-with-two-working-parents in the 50s and 60s. For much of it, both parents worked two jobs. And I was an only child; I was alone a lot. I read voraciously. But I also spent a huge amount of time making things with the tv on (my Troll dolls had amazing wardrobes). To this day, I rarely sit down to watch TV without also sewing, crocheting, knitting, or otherwise making something—or lots of somethings. I love it when it’s complicated and tough (Oz), when it complicated and sexy (Justified), when it’s just plain complicated (Game of Thrones), when it’s preachy (Boston Legal), when it’s sleazy (Revenge), when it’s quirky and delicious (anything by Joss Whedon).

I love it. I don’t think it’s hurt my brain. But I wonder. Sometimes.

Grandpa At Rest : A Pantoum by Paula Miller

Grandpa At Rest – Paula Miller, Poetry Class Spring 2012

The casket lies open, the body at rest
Waxy lips, painted brows, cheeks molded stiff
Grandpa’s asleep, his soul gone to heaven
Suited up for a meeting with angels

Waxy lips, painted brows, cheeks molded stiff
No snickers, no mints, no peanut brittle
Suited up for a meeting with angels
Nothing to offer to sweeten his path

No snickers, no mints, no peanut brittle
Grandpa looks sad without eyes all a twinkle
Nothing to offer to sweeten his path
Cheeks all molded, no sign of a wrinkle

Grandpa looks sad without eyes all a twinkle
Grandpa’s asleep, his soul gone to heaven
Nothing to offer to sweeten his path
The casket lies open, the body at rest