Saturday, May 8, 2010


No one wanted to tell her
What had happened exactly
They danced around the fact
Of how her father had met
His end, implying only
It had been quick, but nobody
Seemed able to meet her eyes
When she asked where was
He taken, what hospital and,
Should she rush there?

No, no – there was no need
For hurry – that was clear
So she knew he was dead
That was certain, but how?
Again, with the tip-toeing
Around, not coming out
With it – finally his boss
Just blurted it out – said
He was sorry, didn’t know that
Joe from Accounting was so
Unstable, ready to go postal
At any moment

When he finally did, her Dad
Just happened to be standing
closest; and old Joe grabbed him
In a kinda bear-hug and rushed him
to the big floor to ceiling windows—
It wasn’t until then that she
noticed the plywood covering—
Plate-glass windows that they had all
Assumed were super-strong,
Unbreakable in fact, but as it turned out,
Shattered on impact, like egg-shells
And did so when Joe released her Dad,
Tossing him like a Frisbee against them

Shattered as her Dad sailed on out
Of the thirty-fifth floor and plunged
To the sidewalk below
“Defenestration,” the boss said
“That’s what the cops say
It’s called when someone
Gets tossed out a window ...”
She just stared at him wondering
How he could take such evident
Pleasure in telling her such news
Talking about her father like he
Was nothing more than a child’s toy
And why it was necessary for her
To know this last useless piece of
Information- why he didn’t just stop
Talking now – why she felt so angry.


Friday, May 7, 2010

Learning the Lines

The lines in your palm predict the way your life will go
The lines in your face tell the way your life has gone
But the most important lines are the ones you say
Every day that aren’t written anywhere but make up
The fabric and weft and weave of the play that is what
Ultimately turns out to be the poem that is your life
If you are one of the fortunate ones, you learn early
Some of the phrases that work well to help keep peace
In your home, in your heart, in your family but don’t
Make you sell out your soul in the process; you learn
Your lines as if they are a part of you and one day, they
Will be; you will make sense of the lines and life will
become easier all round, once you begin learning
the lines.

©SE Ingraham

Thursday, May 6, 2010


If I would be happy, the world would know only peace
And children, every one, would be born into love and stay there
Hunger would never refer to starvation from lack of food;
there would be more than enough for all, and all would share
The thirst for knowledge would dwell in every soul;
a quest for a meaningful existence would be a given
However, religion would be recognized as a failed experiment;
one that had started out with good intentions, repeatedly
but had gone seriously awry, in almost every single example
resulting in war and acrimony, pitting god against god
If I would be happy, living a questioning, tolerant life
where everyone respected everyone else, would be presumed
While debate and intellectual foment would be encouraged
the true meaning of democracy would be observed
People would also be responsible stewards of the earth
realizing naturally and unselfishly that they are needed
If I would be happy, life wouldn’t be perfect but
it wouldn’t be quite so fraught with tension, worry,
hate and death - it might sound boring
If I would be happy, but I’d still like to give it a shot.


Poetic Asides Returns to Its Wednesday Prompts with "When Did You Start Writing Poetry?"

When Did it Start

So we were moving again
And I didn’t do it well
Even as a child; just didn’t
Recognize it for the soul-
Destroying event it would
Prove to be

And my mother said
Go through your papers
And throw out anything
That you absolutely do
Not need – that meant
Pretty much everything
But –

I found this little wooden
Box that I didn’t remember
And it was stuffed
With all these little
Notes and they were
Mostly short poems

And I wondered where
They came from and how
I came to have them
As I sorted through them
Kind of fascinated as they
Seemed, in an odd way

About a third of the way
Through the stack I came
Upon a heart-breaking
Poem that described an
Incident that I remembered
Clearly and in such detail
I found my face wet with tears

Wait a minute – was it
Possible – I scooped more
Of the poems out and started
Looking at them hard —realized
Some of them were dated—
Went back over several I had
Already looked at

Felt twinges of recognition
Starting up the way it does
When you finally realize
The person you just met
Is an old friend and you
Just forgot momentarily
What they looked like

Memories like photos in
An album started to flash
Through my mind – words
Like headings and descriptions
Were the poems and pieces
Of puzzles, and they were clicking
Into place faster than I
Could keep up

As near as I could tell
Some of the poems were
Printed as early as kindergarten
I would have been five —
And the poems from then
Were unbelievably dark—

Written by a sad, sad child;
I remember stuffing them
Down to the bottom of
The box, but not destroying

Even back then, I knew no
Matter how upsetting my
Work was —I did not
Want to obliterate
It —ever. It was the record
Of my life; my poetry was
My way of bearing witness

I think I was about ten
During this move and
Had already started keeping
A diary – I kept writing
Poetry and never stopped.

Finding the poems
From my childhood
Has always seemed
A watershed moment
To me...
Probably because it was.


Wednesday, May 5, 2010


“Imagination is more important
than  knowledge" 
Albert Einstein

“Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s
coming attractions,”
Albert Einstein

In the miasma that is quantum physics or mitochondrial DNA
As I struggle to come to understanding the chemical mystery
That is my insanity; I rejoice to learn that even Einstein believed
There was more merit in brainstorming about possibilities

Then dwelling on what has already been proven – in fact, he
Once said “I used to go away for weeks in a state of confusion”
A remark very similar to ones I myself make and, not infrequently

While admittedly, Einstein’s “what if’s” have resulted in some
Of the world’s truly great scientific finds and theories
It becomes apparent upon reading his biographies, and there

Are a plethora, he had a superfluity of those questions –
Perhaps the staggering number alone, coupled with his passionate
Curiosity couldn’t help but produce the theory of relativity

For instance – after all, there is certain logic to be considered
Here, and empirical data would suggest that – omigod – I am
Doing some scientific theorizing – am I out of my mind?
Well, yes – given my history, there’s a very good chance ..
It would appear that science and philosophy are growing
Closer together – some are even postulating that God
And Science are nearing a resolution previously thought

Unattainable, or even unthinkable; Albert Einstein must be
Chuckling or maybe just nodding, from wherever he is
After all, he did say, “All religions, arts and sciences are
branches of the same tree.” I could get behind that I think.
Every day, it seems that idea is becoming more accepted
As science embraces religion and vice-versa; Einstein also
Maintained that “God always takes the simplest way” and
“God may be subtle but he isn’t plain mean”- a couple of notions

That might not sit well with some forms of the more traditional
Religions but for much of the world, made weary by chaos
Brought on by war and bitterness, the divisiveness that little
Understood factions on both sides have taken to exploiting,
This could be welcome news, especially those who are ready
To accept God and Science as partners in a changing world

©SE Ingraham

highlights from PAD 2010

From Evening Dresses to Evening in Paris

Depending who you are and where you might be
Evening might describe all manner of time -
In the some parts of the southern U.S, for example
Many think any time between noon and sunset
Qualifies as evening; this apparently is also true
Of parts of Britain ...

Whereas much of the world tends to think of evening
as that period of waning light in late afternoon
when dusk or twilight begins to creep into the
atmosphere, shooing the sun from the sky
as if preparing the landscape for the moon, and
true darkness to descend

Still, no matter where you find yourself
Should you have cause to don evening clothes
Or be wished a “good evening” you will no
Doubt be quite sure of where and what
You are about

For evening speaks of grandeur and gowns,
Black-tie affairs, top hats and tails -
The opera and the ballet – as in, “an evening out”
And when one is bid a “good evening”
There is no confusion about whether they
Are to have a pleasant time, or go home
To bed – as would have been the case had
They instead heard, “good-night” – see, simple?

The synonyms for evening are many: the aforementioned
Dusk and twilight, plus: crepuscule, evenfall, gloam or gloaming,
And, nightfall—to name but a few—all of which appear
To refer to the time of day immediately after sunset
However, there is some dispute as to whether there
Is some light left in evening – it makes sense that there
Would be, else why not call it night straight away and
Be done with it?

Evening – a word with many shades and meanings
And one used metaphorically as well; one in the latter
Part of life is often said to be in the evening of it
Perhaps not such an unpleasant way to end your days

©SE Ingraham

some highlights from the Poetic Asides Challenge April 2010

Weary to the Roots of My Eyelashes
Can you remember being so tired you thought,
I just can’t lift my foot one more step
Or, my head’s too heavy for my neck, I can’t
Raise it off my chest, I just can’t, I can’t ...
The term, putting one foot in front of the other
Suddenly becomes real and you realize
What other people have been talking about
It’s moving by rote, robotic stuff where
Your feet move of their own volition
And if they didn’t know the way, you would not
Be going anywhere, you are that tired
Fatigue does not do justice to the feeling
Wrapped around you at this instant
Your eyelids are beyond heavy and you are
Hoping there is no real reason for you to open
Them as you struggle to stay awake but don’t
Really see the point – the only wondering you
Are doing might be why you are this tired
But even that gets old, exhaustion is its own
Demon and it chases all else from your countenance
You can’t seem to think of, or care about
Anything beyond the overwhelming weariness
That is consuming your every cell – and all you
Really want to do, is sleep forever, and you do
Mean forever – if you had your way, you would
Never wake.
©SE Ingraham

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


Infanticide – hard to fathom
Even if the mother-to-be
Is still a child herself

Incomprehensible to think
She could be so beyond
The pale, so unknowing

She might be unable to
Grasp the reality of a baby
Growing in her, and just do

Whatever it took to rid herself
Of it – toss it out, hide it
Leave it in a toilet –

Is she a criminal, or mentally
Unfit to stand trial, to face
Up to what she has done

Does she even know what
She’s done; will she ever be
Able to face herself again


Monday, May 3, 2010


For me, one of the most frightening
Colours of all tends to be grey
Shades of grey but not so much the
Lovely ones, like, dove, slate,
Smoke, ash, or silver; even some pale
Lilacs, I find lean a little into the grey
Palette, when I’m inclined to paint

No, the greys I fear, are more those
Reminiscent of the old black and white
Television shows – the faded, no colour
Look of them that happens to my life
When I feel my mood shifting and I can
Sense another spiralling down into that
Place where even colour dares not come

In fact, the blood-letting of colour is
Usually my first real symptom of being
Beset by yet another time of going down
Sometimes I don’t notice it right away
Or maybe I won’t let myself notice it so
Play all the games I’ve learned over the years
To put in place, to keep from noticing

Tell myself I need to get my eyes checked
There’s something wrong with my vision
Everything’s starting to look so washed out
Then try not to think about it – all the while
Seeing things grow fainter and more indistinct
Until finally, from my cave on the couch
Where I am starting to stay more and more
I have to acknowledge, everything is grey

Found on a Beach in Uruguay

As out of place as the dead butterfly
Found still but perfect on the white sand
Beach of Punta del Este, its fragile wings
Spread as if in perpetual flight, each
Unflawed vein and dotted sector mirrored
By its twin; the fragility and ephemeral
Nature as undeniable as poetry is to the
Scribe who wakes to pen verse in winter