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John Fox Workshop Poems

These poems were written during a workshop
held in St. Paul, MN on March 27 & 28, 1999
Lead by John Fox, CPT.

   Six Headlines 
(Word Bowl Exercise)

Friends cooking receive treasure

Snake lifts throat

Flung cup drips

Streams dance dark side

August Queen dissolves discrimination

Wow!

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      REGRET POEM

An ache without a body part
registers with recall;
missed chances 
to speak our truths

I checked the medicine chest
in the downstairs bathroom
no remedy was there
no labels mentioned
disembodied aches

So I had to check the dictionary:

"Couldn't" does not work.
We both know an abundance 
of sufficient words.

"Didn't" holds us both
responsible for
what's been left out.

"Wouldn't" catches us both
as stubborn, willful
choosers. 

Knowing I can still find you
resumes my private debate
over whether, when, how.

Finding this in your mailbox,
my invitation to listen
and compare meanings,
just let me know
that you know
I am now ready.

 *   *   *   *   *   *   *    *

      HAIKU

You ask deep questions
as if you expect answers;
I don't know, either!

 *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *


  PASSWORD HOLOGRAM

Iron
lace
chiffon
plastic
velvet
beads 
asbestos

stage
window
bedroom
shower
entry
theater
funeral

down -up
shut - open
private - public
close - disclose
shadow - sunlight
cover - uncover
divide - invite
stop - start

All options before
it's finally
"curtains"

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PINE CITY, SNAKE RIVER,
 CABIN, RAPIDS, ROCK

Mother Earth's rapids
hummed me in to search

You might not believe
how many other rocks
I picked, seeking 
another like this one,
finding none.

Symbol of layers
of seasons
of unevenness
variety, irregularity
of depths, colors
compositions

(like laundry it
sometimes soaked)

Saying:
often only one
sample is offered;
give it your 
undivided attention.

Buildings, rivers
have several floors;
we live stories
between floors;
floors hold
special secrets.

[Wm Stafford's poem says:
"Sometime when the river is ice,
ask me about mistakes I have made."
It ends with "Whatever the river says,
that's what I say."]

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       PICTURE POSTCARDS
(One of a hat, broom & rocker
a second one of Charlie Mingus)

What sort of song 
needs to be played:

About a perfect circle
straw hat on a peg
patiently waiting
to be chosen to
protect my head
knowing how reliable
it could be and would be
over and over and over?

About a broom
on a bracket
never ever reciting
things swept under
countless rugs
forgetting these
in its best
most forgiving way
over and over and over?

About a rocking chair
with no odometer
that's carried varied
persons multiple
imaginary miles
within a single room
over and over and over?

Maybe a gentle bass rhythm
capturing coverings,
repeated strokes,
back and forth motions

perhaps a melody
for strings weaving
memories not requiring
much of any lyric?

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