A Poem Thread

Discussion in 'Art & Culture' started by Angelus, Nov 9, 2002.

  1. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    Tomorrow's such a drag...lol!
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  3. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

    The frenzy of Black Friday is over. Time to "swing" into the dread of next month's ongoing shopping spree and preparations.
    - - - - - - - - - -

    Yuletide Noir (2024 version)

    Winter sinks down, the snow builds up.
    Don't drink the slumber in old Odin's cup.
    Stay awake, catch a midnight muse.
    Slap the poor thing with your holiday blues.

    A Viking theme, a masquerade.
    Not a gunman's gal nor a kingpin's maid.
    Yet you're here, you know how to play.
    Racketeers revel till it's Christmas Day.

    Thor meets Baldur, they're speaking low.
    Guess who eavesdrops beneath the mistletoe.
    Dirt is sweet, but loot is the best.
    One cache hidden is worth two gems possessed.

    Jingle some bells, swear some gang vows.
    The season is arching its heathen brows.
    Dance downstairs, clean the Norse lord's sleigh.
    Find yourself a gift before Christmas Day.

    Streets aglitter, houses adorned.
    Carolers sing like a snitch to be scorned.
    Roll your doubts, chance the game of fools.
    Point is to vanish under Midgard rules.

    Sermon runs long, much to atone.
    Huginn and Muninn have already flown.
    Rappel cliffs, make your getaway.
    And you might live to count to New Year's Day.

    When Skadi stalks, her prey is doomed.
    The other mobsters seem quaintly costumed.
    Dodge arrows, and Ullr's bribed Feds.
    Everybody here is missing their meds.

    An icy waste, it stretches far.
    Reaching the end erases who you are.
    Take soiled gold, go where palm fronds sway.
    And you might live to count to New Year's Day.

    Magical Realist likes this.
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  5. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

    by Bob Perelman, 1999

    Aliens have inhabited my aesthetics for
    decades. Really since the early 70s.

    Before that I pretty much wrote
    as myself, though young. But something

    has happened to my memory, my
    judgment: apparently, my will has been

    affected. That old stuff, the fork
    in my head, first home run,

    Dad falling out of the car―
    I remember the words, but I

    can't get back there anymore. I
    think they must be screening my

    sensations. I'm sure my categories have
    been messed with. I look at

    the anthologies in the big chains
    and campus bookstores, even the small

    press opium dens, all those stanzas
    against the white space―they just

    look like the models in the
    catalogs. The models have arms and

    legs and a head, the poems
    mostly don't, but other than that

    it's hard―for me anyway―to
    tell them apart. There's the sexy

    underwear poem, the sturdy workboot poem
    you could wear to a party

    in a pinch, the little blaspheming
    dress poem. There's variety, you say:

    the button-down oxford with offrhymed cuffs.
    The epic toga, showing some ancient

    ankle, the behold! the world is
    changed and finally I'm normal flowing

    robe and shorts, the full nude,
    the scatter―Yes, I suppose there's

    variety, but the looks, those come
    on and read me for the

    inner you I've locked onto with
    my cultural capital sensing device looks!

    No thanks, Jay Peterman! No thanks,
    "Ordinary Evening in New Haven"! I'm

    just waiting for my return ticket
    to have any meaning, for those

    saucer-shaped clouds to lower! The authorities
    deny any visitations―hardly a surprise.

    And I myself deny them―think
    about it. What could motivate a

    group of egg-headed, tentacled, slimier-than-thou aestheticians
    with techniquies far beyond ours to

    visit earth, abduct naive poets, and
    inculcate them with otherwordly forms that

    are also, if you believe the
    tabloids, salacious? And these abductions always

    seem to take place in some
    provincial setting: isn't that more than

    slightly suspicious? Why don't they ever
    reveal themselves hovering over some New

    York publishing venue? It would be
    nice to get some answers here―

    we might learn something, about poetry
    if nothing else, but I'm not

    much help, since I'm an abductee,
    at least in theory, though, like

    I say, I don't remember much.
    But this writing seems pretty normal:

    complete sentences; semicolons; yada yada. I
    seem to have lost my avant-garde

    card in the laundry. They say
    that's typical. Well, you'll just have

    to use your judgment, earthlings! Judgment,
    that's your job! Back to work!

    As if you could leave! And
    you thought gravity was a problem!

    Magical Realist and C C like this.
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  7. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member


    "You lose them over and over,
    sometimes in the same day.
    When the loss, momentarily forgotten,
    creeps up,
    and attacks you from behind.
    Fresh waves of grief as the realisation hits home,
    they are gone.
    You don’t just lose someone once,
    you lose them every time you open your eyes to a new dawn,
    and as you awaken,
    so does your memory,
    so does the jolting bolt of lightning that rips into your heart,
    they are gone.
    Losing someone is a journey,
    not a one-off.
    There is no end to the loss,
    there is only a learned skill on how to stay afloat,
    when it washes over.
    Be kind to those who are sailing this stormy sea,
    they have a journey ahead of them,
    and a daily shock to the system each time they realise,
    they are gone,
    You don’t just lose someone once,
    you lose them every day,
    for a lifetime."
    ©Donna Ashworth
    C C likes this.
  8. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    "It was beginning winter
    An in-between time,
    The landscape still partly brown;
    The bones of weeds kept swinging in the wind,
    Above the blue snow.
    It was beginning winter,
    The light moved slowly over the frozen field,
    Over the dry seed-crowns,
    The beautiful surviving bones
    Swinging in the wind.
    Light traveled over the wide field;
    The weeds stopped swinging.
    The mind moved, not alone,
    Through the clear air, in the silence.
    Was it light?
    Was it light within?
    Was it light within light?
    Stillness becoming alive,
    Yet still?
    A lively understandable spirit
    Once entertained you.
    It will come again.
    Be still.

    Theodore Roethke
  9. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    “If you suddenly and unexpectedly feel joy,
    don’t hesitate. Give in to it. There are plenty
    of lives and whole towns destroyed or about
    to be. We are not wise, and not very often
    kind. And much can never be redeemed.
    Still, life has some possibility left. Perhaps this
    is its way of fighting back, that sometimes
    something happens better than all the riches
    or power in the world. It could be anything,
    but very likely you notice it in the instant
    when love begins. Anyway, that’s often the
    case. Anyway, whatever it is, don’t be afraid
    of its plenty. Joy is not made to be a crumb.”

    Mary Oliver - Don’t Hesitate.
  10. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    "I celebrate myself, and sing myself,
    And what I assume you shall assume,
    For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.

    I loafe and invite my soul,
    I lean and loafe at my ease observing a spear of summer grass.

    My tongue, every atom of my blood, form’d from this soil, this air,
    Born here of parents born here from parents the same, and their parents the same,
    I, now thirty-seven years old in perfect health begin,
    Hoping to cease not till death.

    Creeds and schools in abeyance,
    Retiring back a while sufficed at what they are, but never forgotten,
    I harbor for good or bad, I permit to speak at every hazard,
    Nature without check with original energy...."

    Walt Whitman
  11. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

    The ruin and emptiness of cognitive decline, and the futile pretense of halting its progression. New title with the revision.
    - - - - - - - - - -

    Maintenance Crew (2024 version)

    Down a road that's bare of traffic.
    Feral district. No demographic.
    Cracked pavement sprouting weeds and grass.
    Billboards wincing at their vintage past.

    Mental spaces. Delusion roams.
    Troubled trees groping cobwebbed homes.
    Factories burned like twisted cages.
    These are dementia's yellowed pages.

    Through a town pocked by street art scars.
    Sunken-eyed facades; beheaded cars.
    Silence still greets our monthly rite.
    We're waging on to a better fright.

    Relic diner outside the limits.
    Desolate farms reached in minutes.
    Did Plenitude once bless this land?
    A suave shadow surely stole her hand!

    There's the spire where judgement started.
    Much love lost to the great departed.
    Tributes spiral round point zero.
    Nameless plaques for each antihero.

    What revelations stayed the foe?
    Some redacted document might know.
    Armed grunts sweep our surreal scene.
    Techs upgrade the stout sentry machines.

    Requests and commands suffuse hexed air.
    Childhood dreams moan deep from their lair.
    Above jade hills, light leans its head.
    We leave before afternoon has fled.

    Later, night's poison slips her levee.
    A fat, leering orb sags heavy.
    Stoic scarecrows command the field.
    Forlorn again, but shall never yield!
    Write4U likes this.
  12. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

    Maybe a kind of clinical depression or darkside Valentine's Day ditty and animated avatar for next month. Eight extra lines added since last time, other modifications.
    - - - - - - - - -

    Shipwrecked (2024 version)

    Weeks of creaking timbers.
    A voyage beyond stark slopes.
    Ship's logbook remembers
    How foreboding frayed our hopes.

    Oaken ribs cracked the dark.
    It lurked muted like a snake.
    Damning glare from dawn's arc.
    I'm aground upon heartache.

    There's haven at the caves.
    Brittle bones beneath barbed vines.
    Biting flies come in waves.
    The greedy gulls hatch designs.

    Others have known this isle.
    A place of loss and mistake.
    Just one's self to revile.
    I'm still wrecked upon this ache.

    Up south's leafy thicket.
    Searching for treasure in vain.
    Strange fruit, but I'll pick it.
    The peril might dull the pain.

    Clinging without reasons.
    Ragged sails flutter and break.
    Ebbing through the seasons.
    I'm still wrecked upon this ache.

    Stranded down a pale sea.
    Farther than the Queen's domain.
    Blurred ghosts can't rescue me.
    At our ruins I'll remain.

    Hollowed by grating winds.
    Wobbling in Poseidon's quake.
    A toll that never ends.
    I'm still wrecked upon this ache.

    Last edited: Jan 14, 2024
    Magical Realist likes this.
  13. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    "For the first time, on the road north of Tampico,
    I felt the life sliding out of me,
    a drum in the desert, harder and harder to hear.
    I was seven, I lay in the car
    watching palm trees swirl a sickening pattern past the glass.
    My stomach was a melon split wide inside my skin.

    'How do you know if you are going to die?'
    I begged my mother.
    We had been traveling for days.
    With strange confidence she answered,
    'When you can no longer make a fist.'

    Years later I smile to think of that journey,
    the borders we must cross separately,
    stamped with our unanswerable woes.
    I who did not die, who am still living,
    still lying in the backseat behind all my questions,
    clenching and opening one small hand."

    Naomi Shihab Nye
  14. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    “We are
    Born like this
    Into this
    Into these carefully mad wars
    Into the sight of broken factory windows of emptiness
    Into bars where people no longer speak to each other
    Into fist fights that end as shootings and knifings
    Born into this
    Into hospitals which are so expensive that it’s cheaper to die
    Into lawyers who charge so much it’s cheaper to plead guilty
    Into a country where the jails are full and the madhouses closed
    Into a place where the masses elevate fools into rich heroes”
    ~ Bukowski
    C C likes this.
  15. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

  16. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    "Geese appear high over us,
    pass, and the sky closes. Abandon,
    as in love or sleep, holds
    them to their way, clear
    in the ancient faith: what we need
    is here. And we pray, not
    for new earth or heaven, but to be
    quiet in heart, and in eye,
    clear. What we need is here."
    Wendell Berry
  17. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

  18. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    Nocturnal Transmissions

    Night descends furtively over the landscape,
    Trees and mountains, wind and stars.
    Dreams echo longingly in my cavernous soul.
    Voices are overheard from worlds afar,
    Reminding me of other lifetimes.
    C C likes this.
  19. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    "Leave the Christmas tree up
    because it makes you happy.
    That’s a good enough reason.
    Spend the day guilt-free in bed
    with the shades drawn.
    Justification isn't necessary.
    Ignore phone calls
    when you don’t have the energy needed.
    That’s reasonable.
    Some days, I’ll listen to all the sad songs on repeat because I don’t have to fake how I feel.
    Our truths must only be honest, not positive.
    I can’t hide from myself.
    There are parts of who I am
    that I’m not proud of.
    Pretending they don’t exist
    only made me sick.
    It only took away from my peace.
    Know yourself.
    Accept yourself.
    We’ve got to start loving what we already have, and who we already are,
    on the way to whoever we’re becoming.
    Find joy in the mundane.
    Embrace your weirdness.
    Go where you’re watered.
    Grow where others love to see it.
    Act childish, be kind, mind your business,
    and smile,
    because the thrill is life,
    and the ride is short."

    J. Raymond
    "Keep The Tree Up"
    From The Kindred Project: Vol. II
  20. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    "There is a place in you,
    a part of your making, that was etched into your bones.
    It cannot be taken, abused or stolen.
    It is held in your heart, your soul.
    A beating, wild ensouled place that can never be damaged.
    Be still, be silent and let yourself listen to the language older than words, held deep within.
    Waiting to rewild, restrengthen and support you, waiting to introduce you once more, to your shine, your tender and fierce medicine."

    - Brigit Anna McNeill
    C C likes this.
  21. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    "Sometimes, when a bird cries out,
    Or the wind sweeps through a tree,
    Or a dog howls in a far off farm,
    I hold still and listen a long time.
    My soul turns and goes back to the place
    Where, a thousand forgotten years ago,
    The bird and the blowing wind
    Were like me, and were my brothers.
    My soul turns into a tree,
    And an animal, and a cloud bank.
    Then changed and odd it comes home
    And asks me questions. What should I reply?"
    --Hermann Hesse
  22. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    "To The Ghost of Jim Morrison"

    By Vampyre Mike Kassel


    "you were right to take that header in the bathtub.
    If you had lived, they would have made you
    They would have
    tossed you into Betty Ford,
    force fed you Antabuse,
    bathed you in healthy thoughts,
    made you jog.

    They would have dressed you in a
    three piece black leather business suit
    and taught you about real estate.

    They would have made you
    crawl across the pages of People magazine,
    write autobiographies,
    hug Phil Donahue.

    They would have made you
    suck big Jesus dick,
    do benefits for the Cirrhosis Foundation,
    kiss the patent leather hooves
    of Madd Mothers
    and Parents' Music Resource Harpies.

    They would have made you
    eat wheat germ and shit,
    judge poetry contests,
    talk at high schools.

    They would have made you
    live in a better house and garden,
    save a rain forest,
    sing a duet with Linda Ronstadt.
    They would have made you write
    three thousand times on the blackboard of your soul:

    They're beating on the walls of my bunker, Jim,
    "Ecstasy can be cured!"
    "You're not living up to your end
    of the social contract!"
    "Do you know what that cigarette is
    doing to your lungs?"

    There's cracks in the walls.
    The Good Health Police
    and Citizens for a Sane and Sober Society
    have broken out the stun guns.
    They're shouting something about safe sex and crack babies.

    They want to help me, Jim.
    Splash over one side, there,
    I'm climbing in.
    This bath tub has
    a familiar ring."
    C C likes this.
  23. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    "The only thing to be done now,
    now that the waves of our undoing
    have begun to strike on us,
    is to contain ourselves.
    To keep still, and let the wreckage
    of ourselves go,
    let everything go, as the wave smashes us,
    yet keep still, and hold
    the tiny grain of something that no wave
    can wash away,
    not even the most massive wave
    of destiny.
    Among all the smashed debris of myself
    keep quiet, and wait.
    For the word is Resurrection.
    And even the sea of seas will have to
    give up its dead."
    -- D.H. Lawrence

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