A poem of tribute

For Kerry’s Prompt on Real Toads – Instructions for Living a Life – A tribute to Poets of our Time. Write a poem in tribute.She gives us several names but of course, we are free to choose our own still living poet. I chose Shay Simmons as my contemporary living poet, posting two of her poems as an example of her work and my poem of tribute.

My Poem of Tribute
Imagine finding a jewel in the dust –
a glowing ruby red and rich
or a sapphire – blue as the autumn sky.
Of course you would bend down and pick it up
dust it off, hold it to the sun,
put it in your pocket filled with lint
and pencil stubs.
Take it out of your pocket to
watch it sparkle by starlight –
The inner fire still showing.
Would you leave it in a birds nest
and wait for it hatch?
Would you take it to the ocean with you?
I would. I would hold it in the waves
letting them wash over it again and again.
I would hold it up to a candle
and watch the blue red green lights
decorate my bare white walls.
Yes I would.
In a heartbeat.

What would you do if?

What would you do if the sky gave up its birds
on an afternoon
made of the name you used to use?

Could you go home?
Would you even want to?
Appearing there, could you sing white dust and 8 bar blues in equal measures?

A Love Poem for K
My house is small.
If I buy an orange,
And bring it home in a canvas bag,

I have to decide what to get rid of;
What object it will replace.

If I lose something–
My book of Whitman poems, or
The card from my friend in New York,

It’s bound to be right there,
As close as coffee to the cup.

Should the postman drop me a letter,
I must then send one out.
I dream only once each night, but richly.

There would seem to be no room
For Another
In my life,

And yet,
The sun comes through my window
Each morning,

And seems to belong there.
What about that?

16 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. coalblack
    Jan 30, 2019 @ 20:10:36


    Aw garsh! *looks down, kicks the dirt* Thx fren. 🙂


  2. kanzensakura
    Jan 30, 2019 @ 20:54:20

    Anytime fren.


  3. annell4
    Jan 31, 2019 @ 11:03:22

    I love all that you wrote!!! Wonderful!


  4. Kerry
    Jan 31, 2019 @ 11:33:29

    I love your poem, Toni. The contrast between the rich jewel and the other objects in the pocket, and then the washing of the gem in sea and candlelight… I can see that so clearly in the way you have expressed it.


  5. sanaarizvi
    Jan 31, 2019 @ 11:52:49

    Such gorgeous imagery in this poem, Toni! ❤️ I love the questions you pose and the bold statement “in a heartbeat.” Yes, Yes, Yes!! 🙂


  6. kim881
    Jan 31, 2019 @ 16:16:45

    I enjoy colours in a poem, Toni, and you’ve brought me some in the ‘glowing ruby red and rich’, and the ‘sapphire – blue as the autumn sky’. And then you made them sparkle! I like the idea of a jewel hatching – I wonder what would come out!


  7. Sherry Marr
    Jan 31, 2019 @ 23:57:12

    This is what i LOVE about online poetry, and our community…..we encounter incredible poets and poetry we otherwise would have missed, we are enriched and inspired by them. And, sometimes, we take a leap in our own poetry, having seen how high they fly. I afore this poem. Love the ruby. LOVE your closing lines. My favourite poem of yours.


  8. anmol(alias HA)
    Feb 01, 2019 @ 00:25:06

    Ah, such a resplendent use of colours — the poem/poet as a gem sparkles and shows these multiple hues in every environment. This is such a lovely verse, Toni! 😄


  9. Magaly Guerrero
    Feb 01, 2019 @ 01:18:50

    What about that? Indeed… Love the red and the treasures.


  10. Susie Clevenger
    Feb 01, 2019 @ 12:11:34

    We have treasures that sparkle like jewels and make the delightful crinkling sound of paper. I love you chose Shay as your inspiration. Your words combined with hers are truly art.


  11. Brendan
    Feb 02, 2019 @ 05:20:41

    I think its marvelous that you reflect the light of one our own lily pads here at the Pond. I feel the same awe at how fresh and real and surprising the poems she delves. We are more for her, and increased to by your poem.


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