Abstract Magazine International | 33 Sententious Epigraphs That May – or Not – Prompt a Poem by Carolyn Martin
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33 Sententious Epigraphs That May – or Not – Prompt a Poem by Carolyn Martin

31 Dec 2017, Posted by admin in Poetry

Art: Thomas Kräher, @tkraeher.

33 SENTENTIOUS EPIGRAPHS THAT MAY – OR NOT – PROMPT A POEM

                                            The purpose of writing poems is to save epigraphs.

– Kay Ryan

In the beginning, God.

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What’s a twist of facts when truth rings true?

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The letters spelling death are not death.

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Small cuts hurt the most.

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Avoid boring people. They suck.

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Contentment is the death of bliss.

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What’s useful to know when nothing’s just itself?

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A journey’s not complete until its story’s told.

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On this side of life, nothing risen lasts.

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I think it’s true and I don’t like it: Laws make criminals of us all.

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You can be forgiven for thinking nothing – or thinking that nothing is as perfect as what-might-have-been.

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Choices navigate what is. Memories re-navigate what was.

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There’s more to you than you.

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The navel I’ve been gazing on is yours.

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The fly in a spider’s web, the spider in a wasp’s death-grasp, the wasp in a honey buzzard’s beak: Karma’s seamlessness.

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When a solo ant climbs two floors to rest on your toilet seat, how can you fear solitude?

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The ease of the gift does not take away from the gratitude.

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The Big Bang created time: the prison we’re bound in.

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There’s no direction in space. Getting lost is simple in every way.

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Rubberneckers slow down to assure themselves the body lying in the road is not theirs.

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Ignore expiration dates. Leave death to professionals and damn the consequence.

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When the wind’s too far to rouse our sails, what’s left to guide us home?

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I’m not listening, but I don’t want to appear as if I’m not listening.

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Does the ash remember wood? Does smoke remember ash? Does the wind know what it carries through the firs?

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Are the woodnotes curling through each branch more aware of their source or the air they fly through?

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I mocked a laryngitic crow. She dropped a two-inch bolt on my new car’s roof. Two bounces, two dents, two ways to communicate.

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A dissuasion group? A typo can deliver punchy truth.

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Panhandlers on off-ramps claim: Homeless. Will work for food. Need a room.

My shame: maneuvering a lane away.

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I can’t take credit for good soil, wind-borne seeds, or multiplying bulbs; but mine’s the strong back and cracked fingernails.

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Catbird seat: sitting pretty with the upper hand: my kind of resting place.

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Stop to notice and you’re saved.

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I feel like I’m two feet behind myself.

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Some days God is embarrassed to be God.


About the author:

From Assistant Professor of English to management trainer to retiree, Carolyn Martin has journeyed from New Jersey to Oregon to discover Douglas firs, months of rain, and dry summers. Her poems and book reviews have appeared in publications throughout North America and the UK, and her third poetry collection, Thin Places, was released by Kelsay Books in Summer 2017. 

Art: Thomas Kräher, @tkraeher.

In the artist’s words:

First contact with photography I had at the age of 18 after I had finished my apprenticeship as a salesman. I was working for a professional photographer to sell his industry reportage series to the companies he was working for. After many years, I discovered that photography is a through inspiration for me while I was travelling heavily (for my profession in the travel retail industry). During my stay in these countries (sometimes for months), I explored the different cities by foot, always in the sense not to visit the most know tourist places or attraction, more to see what the city has to offer from another point of view as a citizen.

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