Showing posts with label poems. Show all posts
Showing posts with label poems. Show all posts

A Sonnet for J

This peasant life, though pleasant be, it sours
Like ripest fruit, which gives so sweet a taste
That from the vine the sated mouth devours
Yet over time decays to naught but waste.

My roots within her earth — she has a hold
On me. I grow in dreams, in fertile lands
Of queens and light and cliffs of glass and gold,
Forsaking stalk and stem and their demands.

My plight and plot: a slow death by ennui,
Light-starv'd in this suburban oubliette,
But in my mind a meadow, light, and She. . .
I dwell within, I wilt without, and yet,

Although my blossom withers here, I know
My heartwood's safe with her. She makes it grow.


Any Appropriate Title Would Be Too Mushy

confessions (Photo credit: dickuhne)
I really was a horrible, romantic, lonely, lovelorn galoot in college. Here's a short poem from 1995:
With beauty all around me,
My mind absorbs the art
Of every face that smiles
And tears my world apart.
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April 4, 1968

All the trees in the yard are dead,
Bare brittle branches sway in the wind,
Lifeless on a clear, sunny day.

Martin Luther King, Jr., was taken from the world 46 years ago today. The preceding was a poem I wrote on this date in 1995. Every time I read it, I see a different interpretation. Which, I guess, is why I like it.


New Readings of Old Poems

An old friend has inadvertently inspired me to thumb through old journals going back over two decades, even though I can't possibly be that old. I had already planned on posting a bunch of poems this month -- National Poetry Month -- but now many of those will be poems I wrote long ago, to people I haven't seen in years.

In college, I swung wide arcs from lovelorn to world-weary. Looking back, I really should have been medicated.

Here's one I wrote for Alison that she never saw:

Love --
For me
To be
Much freer
To see her
Without my mask --
No easy task.
I sense the presence
Of my renaissance
In the curls of her hair,
In her deep brown eyes, where
I would dive and die so deep
And leave my heart there to sleep,
And with each beat my love extol --
A buried treasure in her soul.


National Poetry Month 2014

Some people say that poetry is hard,
And they are right. The thought of rhythm, rhyme,
And form, and worse — the shadow of the Bard
Who set the standard high for all of time —

It's all enough to drive the meek away,
To lock their inner poets deep inside.
But April marks a change: It's thirty days
Of celebrating poems nationwide!

So if you've thought of writing, now and then,
From out that part inside that rarely speaks,
The time is now to grab your fav'rite pen
And write a poem in the coming weeks.

And even if your poem coughs and dies,
Success can only come to him who tries.


Today's Poem: Oh Captain! My Captain!

Today I feature a Walt Whitman poem whose opening exclamation was made famous (at least to people of my generation) by the wonderful and wonderfully sad movie Dead Poets’ Society. It appears in his famous collection Leaves of Grass in a section called “Memories of President Lincoln,” and it’s a great example of metaphor.


Today's Poem: John Clare

Today's poem comes from John Clare, an Englishman who spent a lot of time in British asylums. He couldn't always remember who he was and at times claimed to be married to women he wasn't married to, and even claimed to be Lord Byron or William Shakespeare.

Whether his poems, which were distinctly unselfconscious, were a reflection of his mental problems or an escape from them is anyone's guess. But here is one in which he recognized who he was.


Today's Poem: Complaint of the Skeleton to Time

Today's reading is not of my doing, but of the poet's . . . and his friends. Here is Allen Ginsberg reading his own poem, "Complaint of the Skeleton to Time," from the album The Lion For Real (and courtesy of Spotify).


Today's Poem: The City in the Sea

The City in the Sea
by Edgar Allan Poe


April is National Poetry Month!

As the title says, April is National Poetry Month.

Last year, I wrote a bunch of silly poems throughout the month. This year, I decided to mark the month a bit more seriously . . . and play around with some new software at home. Throughout April, I'll be featuring poetry readings here on the blog — every weekday if I can manage it. And they'll be snazzed up with background music and a little something to look at.


Double Ent-tendres

It's Three-Word Wednesday time, and today, we use the words douse, naughty, and pale.

Some trees come alive in the night
After Luna has doused her pale light.
Naughty pines, like an eel,
Writhe and wriggle until
Morning would find them standing upright.


The Way to a Man's Heart

My triumphal (or at least monumphal) return to three-word Wednesday begins with the words heave, ponder, and valid. So here's a limerick for you:


Someone's Wrong on the Internet, A Sonnet

A Three-Word Wednesday sonnet. Today's words are dismal, luscious, and waffle.

The luscious colors of a well-made page
Bedazzle eyes that stare into the screen
That mirrors back this electronic age
When beauty, with a single click, is seen.


A Three-Word Wednesday Limerick: Hire an Editor

Today's three words are abnormal, dangle, and lavish.

An editor knows how to wrangle
Participles that just want to dangle,
And your abnormal text
Will be lavished, not hexed,
If you hire a pro to untangle.

See what others have done with these three words at


Twas the Night of Thanksgiving

A Black Friday Poem

'Twas the night of Thanksgiving, and all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
Our family had left after Thanksgiving meal
In hopes we could grab a great doorbuster deal.

We'd given up all thoughts of snuggling in beds
While visions of gift receipts danced in our heads,
As ma with her wish list and I with a cart
Were waiting in line for Black Friday to start.

A clatter of locks and the shoppers all scrambled
As doorways sprung open (and three guys were trampled).
Away through the entrance I flew like a flash
And snatched from the greeter some "holiday cash."

Ma ran toward the back and I veered to the right
And the children set off for the toys, out of sight.
With wandering eyes we filled up the cart
With a flat-screen, a Wii, and a pink crystal heart.

We nabbed Tickle-Me Elmo, a George Foreman grill,
And all the Bond movies but "View to a Kill."
Then we packed up the car and, showing no shame,
We went to more stores as we called them by name!

"Now Wal-Mart! Now Macy's! Saks Fifth Avenue!
To Sears! To Home Depot! And on to J. Crew!
To Linen 'N' Things! To the Gap! To the Mall!
We'll shop at them! Shop at them! Shop at them all!"

As dry leaves that before wild tornadoes spin,
So we spun through boutique shops again and again.
Then we quickly drove home, down the roadway we flew,
With the car full of toys, and appliances, too.

And then, in a twinkling, we dropped off the loot,
Locked up the house, and then retraced our route.
It was shopping, round two! We weren't done yet!
No matter how deep it would put us in debt!

We found second wind, we found the right pace
As we dashed through the checkout at place after place.
That we'd get what we wanted, there was not a worry,
As we threw knees and elbows, a Black Friday flurry.

But suddenly there stood a big, burly man
Who wanted, it seemed, to impede our great plan.
His wide drooling mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And his scraggly soul patch was as black as a crow.

A lump of tobacco stood out in his cheek
And his big porous nose jutted out like a beak.
He had a broad face and a half-covered belly,
And his eyes, when he stared, turned my courage to jelly!

He was grumpy and mean, not at all like an elf,
And I plotzed when I saw him, in spite of myself.
A squint of his eye and a tilt of his head
Soon gave me to know I had so much to dread.

He spoke not a word, standing up there so tall,
But turned to the shelf, took the last Dora doll,
And pushing his finger inside of his nose,
He shoved through the crowd (to check out, I suppose).

Though we didn't get Dora, all was not lost,
As into the car all our presents we tossed.
And I heard my wife yell as we all drove away,
"Happy shopping to all! On to Cyber-Monday!"


Election 2012, A Week Later

A Sonnet

A week ago, the country went to vote
Mitt Romney and Barack Obama sing
"Ebony and Ivory" to thousands of adoring fans.
For who it hoped would be the candidate
Who'd curb the constant governmental bloat
And change this country back from good to great.
For months before, the hopefuls flung insults,
Not stopping until ev'ry barb was spoke,
While others tried to purchase poll results —
Relaxed on the veranda with a Koch.
But then democracy just did its thing
And proved the cause of freedom can't be Trump'd.
The winners hoped for what the future'd bring;
The losers raved and Roved and oft harrumphed.
That's how elections work, but dry your tears —
We'll do it all again in four more years.


Three-Word Wednesday: Old Money

Today's Three-Word Wednesday words are error, jingle, and vindicate. Here's a poem about something that really gets to me about the Republican robber barons who are trying to dictate what America is. It's called...

Old Money
The gold that jingles on your wrist
  Is not sophistication.
The hour a day you spend at "work"
  Is not a vindication.
The family wealth in offshore banks
  Is not an indication
    That you are living your life Right,
    Or that your soul is virgin white,
    Or that you should sleep well at night.

If you can look upon a child
  Who lives her life in terror
And think that this so human world
  Could not be any fairer,
And that you earned all that you have,
  Then you would be in error
    About the sum of your true worth,
    Th' importance of your sacred birth,
    And why you're here upon this Earth.


The Mother's Day Card

Mother's Day weekend rolled around once again, and I found myself scrambling for some sort of gift to give my mother to let her know . . . you know . . . the type of things you're supposed to let your mother know on Mother's Day. Like, my favorite movie and how regular I've been and stuff.

But I've been on the low side of broke for a little while now, so my options were rather limited. So I did what any thoughtful, loving, 10-year-old son would do: I wrote my mom a poem and put it in a card.


A Trip to the Video Store

A late-night three-word Wednesday post. Better late than never!


Today's words are bloody, kinky, and tender, which may also be the title of the next Red Hot Chili Peppers album. Here, though, we visit a couple who are having trouble seeing eye-to-eye.


A Lawyer Leaves the Nest

It's three-word Wednesday. Today's words are dependence, rumple, and kept.

The lawyer gave up his dependence
On the love of his rich, aging parents.
In his rumpled old shirt
He kept trying to flirt,
But the best girls were always defendants.


Claimer and Disclaimer

The opinions expressed on this blog are solely mine. None of the opinions necessarily reflect the beliefs of my friends, family, or employers, past, present, or future. I reserve the right to be wrong.

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