all poems and photographs
© by Maya Stein

all poems and photographs
© by Maya Stein
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Monday, October 30, 2006

10-line poems from readers like you

Opera Night for Christie
by Sonya R.

On the drive to the opera I ask my sister if she is happy and she breathes in,
considering. Oh, sometimes I think I could chuck it all and go off
on my own she says, and we ponder what it would be to walk away from
mortgage, meals, musts, meetings, mail. Our children headed into the world are safe
enough to weather fallen mothers who call from Florence reporting on the state of gelato.
Still we stay rooted in something we don’t know that we like anymore, our days like
those frozen bags of dinner you hope will be good if you can add the right exotic
ingredient. When the curtain opens, she’s huge in turquoise and cinnabar and a voice
that quakes the world, and we lean toward each other, my sister and I
imagining moving into all the edges of the room, what could be if we let us be that big.

10 lines in 10 minutes flat
by Mara L.

pearl grey sky and twice as cold
kicked the sun out an hour ago.
me in a muted green chair
like big hairy baby
tucked into a peapod costume for an anne geddes calander: april.
it's october now, and i'm sitting here, writing
wishing this was a letter to every friend i have
Wishing so hard my blood warms.
the letter, direct, bold and driven as the asphalt roads in the Southwest.

Oldest friend and her lover
by Lisa J.

My best and oldest friend took a lover and with it our everyday e-mails
-- our across-the-Rockies howdies and isn’t-writing-hard and marriage too!
and here’s-what’s-true-about-my-life-today
once effortless, are gone. She has taken a lover; she takes her mysteries to him
so I have discovered other things on the Internet
the cashmere coat, for example, deeply on sale, just arrived;
tomorrow the espresso machine from Ebay, and I swear I didn’t even mean to buy those white linen napkins.
I have other friends, you know; even some in my own town
but suddenly my day is crowded with moments requiring the warmth
of cashmere; the zing of espresso, the purity of white linen.

by Judith F.

I know the pace of the ticking clock
As I lay here, recovering
A pace normal life hardly allows the experience of
The anticipation of three weeks of rest on the couch
Movies stacked high, ready for viewing
A pile of mending close by, lest my fingers get bored
books spilling over on the coffee table, all as of yet, unread
The anticipation of down time while recovering from knee surgery
and the reality of the same are hardly recognizable as distant relatives
never-mind close cousins, au-revoir, as I must now sleep, yet again.

by Andrea P.

Turn in the direction of life, he said.
From the elevator, follow the carpet, away from the metal covered hallway, to the office by the window --simple directions.
Turn in the direction of life, my father said.
Let the violins rip your heart out, let the bad joke make you giggle, let your body work and sweat and lengthen, leave your family, start your own life.
Did he turn in the direction of life 50 years ago today, when
His hands let go of his land, his mother, his brother, photos of the family dog, the family bird, the house with the walnut tree in the back, at the end of the tram line?
When he took his new wife to America, after falling in love with jazz and allowing the sounds of Radio Free Europe to waft out the partially curtained window into the Budapest Street, begging for revolt and freedom?
You can’t go backwards after crossing the line, like you can’t put your car in reverse over the horrible looking teeth at the park gate, because you know if you go back, it would be ugly. The ripping, the tearing. Better to choose, to decide to go in the direction of life.

On Procrastination
by Kyra A.

I am reading an inconveniently good novel.
Midterms bearing down and I rely on infrequent
library stints and then latening nights.

It's getting bad, the amount of pressure needed to start.
I eat peanut butter, do laundry, trim my nails.
Do yoga, help a friend find a Halloween dress,
even write, or try to.
I wait for the silent hours in the true middle
of the night, when finally
I am out of excuses.

by Larissa M.

big yawns
dark room
loving cuddles
soft voice
milky milk...
those big blues don't want to miss a thing!

Aloha Laura
by Jen C.

"I live life to the fullest but take my time doing it."
She wrote it in her high school year book just the picture of her beautiful smiling face.
We had many adventures together that would support that statement.
Mother of two young children, wife, friend, animal lover too.
Their plane went down over Nevada a few days ago.
Rescuers had to camp out over night before they could get to it to confirm they all died.
Her husband, self-professed dare devil and rarely at home, piloted the plane.
She and the kids had joined his latest adventure so they could spend time together.
The email chains from the last few days of high school friends recalling our antics of 20+ years ago have made me laugh and cry.
Aloha, Laura and your beautiful Ohana.

Our Strands of Time
by a.r. morgan

Stranded in time, a strand of time
we string ourselves together with
touch and shared laughter,
connecting our lives with moments –
a pearled connection.
Then those moments go unraveling
shedding them selves from our daily lives –
without our commitment, our consent.
We once again become strangers and our moments
become stranded in time like a strand of time.


Anonymous said...

Thanks Maya for this -- it's great to see what people wrote. You are an inspiration!


Mara Luthane said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
GailNHB said...

Oh Maya, Maya, Maya - thanks so much for sharing the powerful poetic words of your readers. Such beauty, such expression, such grace. Thanks to all of you who shared. I am touched deeply. Motivated to do some writing of my own, perhaps even to try my hand at poetry... Wow, Gail

stephoto said...

Great idea Maya,

Beautiful writing all around. I am inspired...


Anonymous said...

some of them i do not unn-dar-stund... i'm just a humble city folk reading poems to find the true meaning of life...

Anonymous said...

Thanks Maya,
I'm truely inspired by all of these poems...
They all really touch me,
but what do I know? I'm just a city folk trying to find the true meaning of life...
and these poems have showed me...
the true meaning of life is to believe.
Thanks Maya!

Anonymous said...

Maya... whoever you are.. i'm looking for a poem for school and my teacher said it had to be 10 lines long and it's due tomarrow and i already got an F in poety so im trying to get it to a D by the end of the semester... =(
i hate school... its so.. so... boring and i sleep thru it...
well i might use "Our Strands Of Time" but its kinda long and i have a really bad memory... i dunno maybe i just wont do the poetry unit at all... lol wats worse than an F...??? WELL... 13 year old kid (me) says bye bye and maybe thanks =)

Anonymous said...

Maya.. whoever u r.. (i jus saw other people saying ur Maya lol... well i needed a 10 line poem for language arts class and im using "Our Strands of Time" and thank you for making it so i don't get an F!!! i have a D right now and im not gunu fail because of you!!!! THANK YOU SO MUCH MAYA!!!

Anonymous said...

hey maya i love the poem
but i need some info about the writer that i need for class so i was wondering if you could please tell me
if you wrote it yourself or who is it by
if you have any info please tell me at
thank you.

hailey said...

i love your peom im going to use it in a class project i think my teacher will love it!!

-Hailey R.

mike r. said...

Hey thanks for the poems i have a assingnment due tommrow and im going to use strands of time

Anonymous said...

Thanks, I really needed some ideas for forming a peom for school, anyways thanks! Have a great day everyone!

Anonymous said...

Thank you! I love the poem by Kyra A.! I am using for my english project!

Thanks so much! :)

Anonymous said...

well done maya like this you can write other poems also

Anonymous said...

good job