Featured “Couplets” Poet: Julene Tripp Weaver

April 23rd, 2012
The Poet and Her Father

The Poet and Her Father

Today as part of the Couplets poetry blog tour, I’m featuring the poet Julene Tripp Weaver here on my blog. She graciously offered to share three of her poems from her book No Father Can Save Her. The book, a coming of age story told in verse, explores ideas of relationships, sexuality, race relations, and more.  The poems I chose were some of my favorites, one from each section in the book, and each is followed with my haiku response in italics. Enjoy!


Teaspoons

Special permission child,
a rare visit to Dad at the Albany Veterans
Hospital. A slow walk, each room

its own tablet of unknown story.
My dad’s room a dose of sorrow
I cannot swallow.

Always a smile for his little girl.
His bone thin arms hold me
against his hard chest.

We will go to the World’s Fair,

his story
I swallow with a smile.
A waterfall crashes inside me.

We stare at the clock tower outside.
My life makes me tired,
so full of its teaspoons of death.
* * *

teaspoons
how the thin bones
hold his story

 

* * *

Ideal Childhood Except for Hodgkin’s Cancer

Things were not exactly perfect
after Dad hitchhiked across country during the war years
collecting postcards, married to Mom he took our family photos
in front of the house where the old man lived with the magnolia tree.

After he hitchhiked cross-country in the war years
he drove the whole family south to visit the Everglades.
Easter we stood for photos under the magnolia tree at the old man’s house.
I was the star in the lens in front of Daddy’s camera.

When we visited south we walked the paths of the everglades,
Daddy’s break from shoveling snow from our driveway.
I smiled, a bright star in the lens of his camera,
my father with a man’s skills: build, hunt, grow, tend.

His rare break from shoveling snow from our driveway.
I didn’t know how little time we had
together to learn his skills: building, hunting, growing, tending.
He would never have deserted his family.

I didn’t know how little time we had
looking through his yellowing postcards, our family photos.
He didn’t mean to desert us
things were never exactly perfect.
* * *

deserted…
white magnolia blossoms fall
on yellowing family photos

 

* * *

All I Want

is an open road, an easy fall
into soft grass, sun warming my skin
to freckles. Let me sleep late
between 400-count sheets, eat
strawberry ice cream, talk
of Socrates, sing goddess chants
with morning pancakes.

I love how we sat in a teepee
peeling pomegranates, sharing stories.
How we snap wishbones to decide.

On our lanai, you peel the brown skin
from devil’s club branches, expose
the sacred clasped hands the Native tribes
revere. Its deep earth scent permeates
our living space.

May we always have Broadway tunes
on our tongues, dance steps bending our knees.
Let me have the rusty license plates
from our last car, mountains we climb
to make love, your breath in my ear.

I want a day not on the calendar
a minute devoid of tomorrow.
Let us sit peeling walnuts across the table.
Make a list, careful,
each minute counts.
* * *

mountain peaks
our wishes marked
on the calendar

* * *

About Julene
Julene Tripp Weaver is a native New Yorker who now lives in Seattle and has a private counseling practice. No Father Can Save Her was published by Plain View Press. Her chapbook, Case Walking: An AIDS Case Manager Wails Her Blues, holds writing from her work through the heart of the AIDS epidemic. Her poems are published in many journals, a few include QarrtsiluniDrashMenacing HedgeGutter Eloquence, and Future Earth Magazine; most recently her work is included in Garrison Keillor’s collection, Good Poems American Places, and in the anthology,Wait A Minute, I Have to Take Off My Bra.  She does wordplay on Twitter @trippweavepoet.

9 Responses to “Featured “Couplets” Poet: Julene Tripp Weaver”

  1. Lovely call and response . . . wonderful imagery throughout this selection.  Thanks Julene, and Tina.

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  4. daphne says:

    brillinant ..inspired ..inspiring ..raw..broken ..medicine ..thank you.

  5. Maggie Chula says:

    I like this form of verse, followed by a haiku. A variation on haibun, which is very pleasing.
     

  6. Felicia says:

    love the picture and the poetry, thanks for the inspiration!
    xo

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  9. deanne marie says:

    Julene, your poems were wonderful, and evoking in what could have been, but wasn't. Thank you

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