Back in February, we announced a brain poetry contest. This week, just in time for the end of National Poetry Month, we will reveal the five winners, chosen by Michele Kotler, executive director of the Community-Word Project.
These poems convey thoughts on the brain in a range of ways—from verse inspired by injury and recovery to explorations of the senses and functions of the three-pound organ.
Make sure to come back each day to read some excellent brain-inspired poetry from Dana readers.
By Catherine Morocco
I’m shaking scarves over my mother’s bed,
where there’s no evidence of thought.
In one of seven silken scarves, lithe women
sway around a mandala. Their skirts are painted
amber, apricot, and blue. Each sylph is named
after a continent: Antarctica’s fur headdress flames,
blue dolphins leap, swim at her feet.
My mother’s eyes are closed, while Oceana’s
teasing head is crowned in grass and leaves.
She holds a plate of purple fish. I spread
Toros Magnifico around my mother’s feet. A picador
thrusts his pic to pierce the bull into the ring.
In corners, matadors and bull horns’ swelling.
Velvet ladies hurtle roses to the bloody kill.
Just lying here, my mother is a dreamless spot
without a nerve. I cannot stir her. Is she struggling
with shades? Will she open up her eyes to see the golds,
smell fish, flowers, blood? I tie a corner
of the bull fight to a corner of the dance, join seven
scarves into one rope, lands billowing. If I throw it,
she must cling. I’ll pull her to her body, knot by knot.
“Son’s Story” is one of 60 poems written by Catherine Morocco while she was recovering from hematoma surgery. These poems are part of an as yet unpublished collection that she has titled Brain Storm. Recovering from Brain Injury. She has published in numerous poetry journals and collections of poems. She currently writes and teaches in Newton Massachusetts.