Poems by Palline Plum 2018

Palline Plum newPALLINE PLUM is a visual artist and recovering social worker, who has published poems in Tiferet, in regional journals, anthologies, also…in Poetry in Buses in Kalamazoo. Her notable poetry credit was winning a Grand Prize at the Dancing Poetry Festival in San Francisco. (It was also a hoot!) Palline earned a BFA in Fine Art from University of Michigan, and an MFA in Sculpture from Queens College, CUNY.

Currently, she obsessively photographs flowers in all their stages from bloom to decay and exhibits and sells the results in a variety of settings. https://www.facebook.com/PallinePlumPhotography. Palline has also placed over 45 high school age foreign exchange students, who came from more than 20 countries to study in Indiana and Ohio. She considers this important work for the future of our world.

THANKS TO THE INTERNET

I can follow
Two of my rapists
Through the years.

There was another
Whose face I never saw,
And name
I never knew.

That one,
Because of the knife,
At least, himself, did know
That he was one.

The others,
Those whose names are known,
Just assumed their right
To use my body.

So I looked them up
The other day.
Both have extensive
Public records.

Both are still alive,
And seemed to prosper
Within their realms.

Both are likely
Still confused.

LAST NIGHT, EMBODIED

After midnight
And after I put down my book,
I turned off my light
And found I had no pain
At all.

I didn’t want to sleep
Through this new,
Sudden
And memorable state.

The last, if ever,
Was so long ago, It is
Almost completely
Hidden in the past.

So I lay there,
Listening to the space,
The weight,
The roundness of my limbs
The blood moving,
Without pain.

No burning, no aching,
No need to shift from side to side.

Just me,
Embodied.

HERE IS THE STORY
Tonight I went to a lecture
On Process Theology.
I didn’t really know what that meant,
But hoped to learn.
From where I was sitting
I could only hear one,
Or maybe two words out of each 20,
So I didn’t learn.
I did worry that I might be going deaf.
I decided to write down
As many words as I could hear,
And see if I could make a poem out of them.
The disconnected, orphan words
Filled several pages, but weren’t
Much good for poetry.
(I will go back and look at them,
I might be wrong.)
After the lecture and the questions,
I asked my neighbor if she could hear
What was being said.
It seems my hearing is no worse
Than hers.
It’s good to know!
Afterwards there were snacks
And lemonade.

 


SALVAGED,
(FROM A LECTURE I COULDN’T HEAR)

God was mourning
For me…Inside out.
Yes, inside out.
Coherence,
By and large, two ways,
(Remember Jones?)
Ethnic suffering, crisis, trouble,
Resisting whiteness,
Inside out.
Connecting blackness
To brown skin,
Absorbs all oppression,
But strips
The richness,
(inside out).
Military service,
Traditional religion,
Who has no power to kick that out?!
But they also are
Alive in memory,
And …INSIDE out.
Likewise,
Tomorrow,
Just show up into the world…..
We are named as co-creators,
And tied to incarnation,
With power, Inside out.
Tell the story: God is in me.
All are one, all the time,
Inside out.

 


(YET ANOTHER)
I WAS DRUNK, ASLEEP AND
TWENTY TWO.
MY ROOMMATE’S BOYFRIEND
COULDN’T FIND HER,
CAME INTO MY BED,
BEGAN CARESSING ME.
I SLOWLY CAME AWAKE .
SAID, “NO, RON!”,
“SEX AND NAUSEA DON’T MIX!”
HE KEPT ON.
I SIGHED AND ,
WENT INTO THE BATHROOM,
INSERTED
MY DIAPHRAGM.
YEARS LATER HE BECAME
FINANCIAL AID OFFICER
FOR THE UNIVERSITY.
I TRIED TO DEAL
WITH SOMEONE ELSE.
THAT DIDN’T WORK.
WHEN I TOLD HIM
I WAS STILL ANGRY,
HE HAD NO MEMORY
OF THE EVENT.

 

 

Luggage

This afternoon a helpful person
Went deep into my extra room
And came out talking about
Red and blue, plaid “fluffy totes”.
I knew exactly what she meant.
Otherwise known as
Chinese luggage”,
They only cost a buck, years ago .
A friend gave me some back then
To help with some awful, desperate,
Humiliating move.
I don’t know which.
There were so many of those
Throughout the years
Til i finally came to rest
Here, in a more friendly town.
I got snugged up in this
Kindly, brick and oak,
Century-old structure – older than me,
But not by much, as houses go.
If I travel now
It is with hardshell,
Red or black spinner cases
That I can handle on my own,
And bring back
Home

 


SILENT
MEETING FOR WORSHIP
(IN THE MANNER OF FRIENDS)

We
gather once a week or more
To
listen for God’s voice,
And
pass on
What
we think we’ve heard.
It’s
our hour of Silence,
The
time to turn to “Light”.
Yeah,
right!
That
silence never really is:
There
are shuffles, coughs,
And
sometimes snores.
There
are bird songs, wind songs
And,
(if we are lucky),
Human
infant songs.
All
speak to us!
And
even when no human person
Speaks
a single word
The
heating system’s pipes
Still
have lots to say, in season.
They
bang and squeak and sigh
In
no clear rhythm
Or
harmonic key.
For
fifty years they’ve kept this up,
In
vain.
No
Quaker (that I’ve heard of)
Has
managed to interpret
Their
very vocal ministry.

 


The Glass Jar
The glass jar is
Short and
Undistinguished,
And really…
Just a jar.
It has been home
To some odd,
Blue-ish,
Purple tulips
For a while.
They stayed closed
Too long
In tight formation
While also shrinking,
Wrinkling.
Then, Thursday
Petals began to fall, and
Opened
Gorgeous spaces up
To Light.
We,
(My camera lens and I,)
Had never guessed
Those colors,
Curves and textures
Could be there.