Monday, July 12, 2010

“Poems Written on the Backs of Envelopes”

Dateline July 10, 2010

“Poems Written on the Backs of Envelopes”

Ink and paper are always in short supply in prison, especially when you go through writing materials as fast as I do.

I’ve discovered a good way to recycle mail and write poems, too, a technique I call “Poems Written on the Backs of Envelopes.” It is a good discipline strategy—starting and finishing on the blank side of a #10 envelope, having something to say, and saying it. (This blog is written the same way).

I hope you like this first example below. Let me know. Out of paper—have to stop.



Giants walked the land
in those days—uncles,
grandpa and dad.
Grasping their knees with
my arms, embracing
the tree trunks of
their legs, peering
skyward at their distant
smiling faces looking down
at me from the clouds

I raise my hands,
beseeching, and they bend,
lifting me up, higher
and higher to the land
of the birds and trees
and distant landscapes.

I feel their scratchy
faces against my soft
cheeks, smell the lingering
acrid smoke of Camels,
Prince Albert and Bull
Durham on their breaths.

They lift me higher, toss
me into the upper air and
laugh with me.

How odd, how small
they became, withering,
weakening and shrinking before
my eyes, ‘fore dying,
the giants.

Copyright 2010 by Charles Patrick Norman

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thus far, one of my favorite poems! Much Love, Judy T. Norman-Rains