Skip to content

Posts from the ‘Poetry’ Category

16
Oct

A Pleasant Chat With Myself …with no regrets

Writing 201, poetry: Pleasure, Sonnet, Apostrophe
(not that kind of apostrophe…)

                     Say What, SELF?

Talking to Myself is something I do
Listing accomplishments, dreams, and regrets.
Bragging to Self is always permitted
as long as the truth is told.

But sometimes I resent what SELF has to say
in questioning and doubting and high-handed
pouting over things that
I never got to do.

Travel might have been, should have been, would have been
had the opportunity and ability been present
much sooner in life than it was..

What’s that you say, Self?–
I didn’t apply myself?
I wasted much of the time of my life
on the mundane and unnecessary (in the grand scheme)
pursuits such as housework and not
enough adventure and travel?

Well that’s not the case!  I hasten to say–
I’m not indignant, I just need to explain.
My years as a gadabout (now I only can write about)
Only regretting but never forgetting
the places I did NOT get to and sites unseen.

What’s that you say, Self?
I never got to Australia — why not?
Well you know the reason…lack of money.
No, it is NOT an excuse
a trip to my Grandpa’s land
never made the itinerary
until it was too late.

Well, I’ve been to Minnesota, where I’m infamous for closing the airport
twice in two years.

What’s that you’re saying, S?
Yes, indeed there IS now a sign on the door
DO NOT CLOSE OUR AIRPORT!
It’s the airport that never closes,
rain, sleet or snow notwithstandingl
but it did clamp down in a blizzard
(NO it is not fair to blame it on ME,
just because of a misunderstanding…

Well, OK, do you remember THIS, Self?

I’ve been to the jungle and mountaintops, where I slept in relative comfort
guarded by masked men with guns.
I love that cool, lofty city, high in the mountains–rebels and soldiers, and all.
Now don’t get judgemental and argumental, it was all pure and nobel.
YES, I do admit to thinking as the shadow appeared on the wall–
what the hell am I doing here, after all?

 What’s that you ask, SELF?
Now–don’t take me to task, prattling about morality
and culpability, and what would people think?
You know that I always bask in adventure and human rights
YES I was able to deal with the ghosts aflight in the nights.

So, sophistication was never my thing, and try as I might there was no chance
to be anything but me–boring old ME.

What is it now, SELF?
You remember it all? You DID love the days when I
could run through airports without too much effort,
and react bravely to full-gear soldiers with rifles, looking for passports
— and exist for weeks on a few Spanish phrases.

At the end of this sonnet, if that’s what it is,
Myself and I have agreed that no changes are needed
to worry and fret and make-up regrets, and argue and re-hash old times we would change
Now I can WRITE about memories of times when I REALLY was traveling…
not just in rhymes.

15
Oct

When–Be Specific

Day 9 Writing 201,Poetry: Cold, Found Poetry, Epistrophe/Amaphora
I didn’t do the “found poetry” part of the assignment yet.

                                         BE SPECIFIC

Once in awhile I think of the song “Once in Awhile.”
Once in awhile I say hello to someone I see only once in awhile.
Once in awhile it is “Now and Then”

WHEN? they ask, when?
When will we meet?  Will we meet now?
Now, now is the time to meet–NOW
Not “sometime” if its “sometime–not now.”

To put off ’til tomorrow only brings sorrow
sorrow of putting off ’til tomorrow, when tomorrow may never come
Tomorrow may never come.

Come with me now, or meet me tomorrow–don’t make excuses
or make us recluses, come meet me tomorrow at ONE.
🙂

here’s another for today…

                                                                     COLD FEET

Cold feet he had when he asked her to dance,
but he stamped and stamped his cold feet
and he let his warm heart take the chance.

“Oh yes,” she said and followed his lead.

His lead led to twirling and whirling the girl, and
the girl felt such joy–such joy and laughter
laughter and joy that lived ever after

and he never, ever, again had cold feet.

14
Oct

An Elegy to an Endless Moment in Time

Day 8: Writing 201,Poetry:   Flavor, Elegy, Enumeratio

An Endless Moment

Sometimes a moment can encompass an hour,
a few days or a week enhances the power
of a memory — how poignant or sweet
or mundane as a walk down a street.

Fraught with danger, when meeting a stranger,
some moments include a flash of lightning
that strikes like a bolt and never retreats
no matter how old, or how far time has traveled,
the moment lives on and is never unraveled.

A moment remembered in memory unchanged, ever the same
no embroidery of the facts of the night.
The sprinkle of stars on the velvet black sky, lit the atmosphere
as the brilliance of a meteor shower, creating a twinkle in time.

Over and over, in reminiscence, we walk down that street
his hand takes mine, and warms to the welcome and tries a kiss…
and the rest of the tale is history

There is no happy sequel, all things being equal
but never forgotten by time as the years preserved and enfolded
that sweet long moment in time.

13
Oct

There’s Work to be Done…but Poetry is SUCH Fun!

Writing 201: Poetry, Day Six — Faces, Found Poetry, Chiasmus
(what the heck is Chiasmus?)

just a few books

just a few books

            Booksellers Lament

Books in order means order in books
to find them is the key
with thousands of books the ONE that is wanted
is the one nowhere to be found.

Well, it MUST be somewhere unless it was sold!

If order is everything and if everything is in order
the book business thrives, sporadically
(at least theoretically)
but only if you’re listing, they keep insisting
books on the shelves can’t sell themselves

an order’s an order but books MUST be in order
to fill the order–when there’s an order to fill.

12
Oct

Thanks T. S. Eliot, I loved meeting J. Alfred Prufrock

[This poem by T. S. Eliot is my all-time favorite.  I had not decided on an appropriate entry for this weekend’s Writing 201 assignment, which was to offer a work by “someone else,” other than our own.   I suppose it was serendipity that started the sound track in my brain, whispering the words “In the room the women come and go, talking of Michelangelo” … and the T. S. Eliot masterwork with the fun name that has thrilled new students forever.   (Perhaps that is a bit over-stated, but at least I can say that the poem with its wonderful metaphors and similes and all that poetic stuff thrilled ME.  Nevermind that I was 50-ish when I first read it.)   Courtesy of Bartleby.com Great Books Online, http://www.bartleby.com/198/1.html

THE LOVE SONG OF J. ALFRED PRUFROCK,
by T. S. Eliot 

LET us go then, you and I,

When the evening is spread out against the sky

Like a patient etherized upon a table;

Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets,

The muttering retreats

        5

Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels

And sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells:

Streets that follow like a tedious argument

Of insidious intent

To lead you to an overwhelming question….

        10

Oh, do not ask, “What is it?”

Let us go and make our visit.

In the room the women come and go

Talking of Michelangelo.

The yellow fog that rubs its back upon the window-panes,

        15

The yellow smoke that rubs its muzzle on the window-panes

Licked its tongue into the corners of the evening,

Lingered upon the pools that stand in drains,

Let fall upon its back the soot that falls from chimneys,

Slipped by the terrace, made a sudden leap,

        20

And seeing that it was a soft October night,

Curled once about the house, and fell asleep.

And indeed there will be time

For the yellow smoke that slides along the street,

Rubbing its back upon the window panes;

        25

There will be time, there will be time

To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet;

There will be time to murder and create,

And time for all the works and days of hands

That lift and drop a question on your plate;

        30

Time for you and time for me,

And time yet for a hundred indecisions,

And for a hundred visions and revisions,

Before the taking of a toast and tea.

In the room the women come and go

        35

Talking of Michelangelo.

And indeed there will be time

To wonder, “Do I dare?” and, “Do I dare?”

Time to turn back and descend the stair,

With a bald spot in the middle of my hair—

        40

(They will say: “How his hair is growing thin!”)

My morning coat, my collar mounting firmly to the chin,

My necktie rich and modest, but asserted by a simple pin—

(They will say: “But how his arms and legs are thin!”)

Do I dare

        45

Disturb the universe?

In a minute there is time

For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.

For I have known them all already, known them all:

Have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons,

        50

I have measured out my life with coffee spoons;

I know the voices dying with a dying fall

Beneath the music from a farther room.

  So how should I presume?

And I have known the eyes already, known them all—

        55

The eyes that fix you in a formulated phrase,

And when I am formulated, sprawling on a pin,

When I am pinned and wriggling on the wall,

Then how should I begin

To spit out all the butt-ends of my days and ways?

        60

  And how should I presume?

And I have known the arms already, known them all—

Arms that are braceleted and white and bare

(But in the lamplight, downed with light brown hair!)

Is it perfume from a dress

        65

That makes me so digress?

Arms that lie along a table, or wrap about a shawl.

  And should I then presume?

  And how should I begin?

.      .      .      .      .      .      .      .

Shall I say, I have gone at dusk through narrow streets

        70

And watched the smoke that rises from the pipes

Of lonely men in shirt-sleeves, leaning out of windows?…

I should have been a pair of ragged claws

Scuttling across the floors of silent seas.

.      .      .      .      .      .      .      .

And the afternoon, the evening, sleeps so peacefully!

        75

Smoothed by long fingers,

Asleep … tired … or it malingers,

Stretched on the floor, here beside you and me.

Should I, after tea and cakes and ices,

Have the strength to force the moment to its crisis?

        80

But though I have wept and fasted, wept and prayed,

Though I have seen my head (grown slightly bald) brought in upon a platter,

I am no prophet—and here’s no great matter;

I have seen the moment of my greatness flicker,

And I have seen the eternal Footman hold my coat, and snicker,

        85

And in short, I was afraid.

And would it have been worth it, after all,

After the cups, the marmalade, the tea,

Among the porcelain, among some talk of you and me,

Would it have been worth while,

        90

To have bitten off the matter with a smile,

To have squeezed the universe into a ball

To roll it toward some overwhelming question,

To say: “I am Lazarus, come from the dead,

Come back to tell you all, I shall tell you all”—

        95

If one, settling a pillow by her head,

  Should say: “That is not what I meant at all;

  That is not it, at all.”

And would it have been worth it, after all,

Would it have been worth while,

        100

After the sunsets and the dooryards and the sprinkled streets,

After the novels, after the teacups, after the skirts that trail along the floor—

And this, and so much more?—

It is impossible to say just what I mean!

But as if a magic lantern threw the nerves in patterns on a screen:

        105

Would it have been worth while

If one, settling a pillow or throwing off a shawl,

And turning toward the window, should say:

  “That is not it at all,

  That is not what I meant, at all.”

.      .      .      .      .      .      .      .

        110

No! I am not Prince Hamlet, nor was meant to be;

Am an attendant lord, one that will do

To swell a progress, start a scene or two,

Advise the prince; no doubt, an easy tool,

Deferential, glad to be of use,

        115

Politic, cautious, and meticulous;

Full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse;

At times, indeed, almost ridiculous—

Almost, at times, the Fool.

I grow old … I grow old …

        120

I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.

Shall I part my hair behind? Do I dare to eat a peach?

I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach.

I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each.

I do not think that they will sing to me.

        125

I have seen them riding seaward on the waves

Combing the white hair of the waves blown back

When the wind blows the water white and black.

We have lingered in the chambers of the sea

By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown

        130

Till human voices wake us, and we drown.

11
Oct

Who said Girls are Not Good at Math?

One of the things I always wanted to understand is the wonders of Math.

My algebra teacher said “try, try again, if at first you fail.
An understatement…like trying to teach Math to a whale.

Here is a poem I’ve penned (so to speak) which conveys the point I am trying to make for no reason than thanks from those fortunate old lads and lasses that never had ME in their math classes.

Is it true what they said, that girls don’t know math?

There was an old lady named Madge,

who didn’t get Math as a girl

as hard as she tried, the more her brain fried.

I’ll get this, I will,

if its the last thing I do, she said as she studied

and figured

in spite of the glaze on her eyes.

Don’t confuse me with squares and axioms or paradigms

paradoxes, place holders, equations or boxes.

Then one day a bit of “New Math” gave her some clues

where a pencil and paper would only confuse

It was grey matter that made a much better board

for figures and signs and all sorts of

Math Tricks.

Finally!  Eureka!  a breakthrough, Madge said

as she solved two plus two

and started to realize what she could do.

One more life time should master Madge’s math disaster.

Beginning all over without being reminded that

 “Girls are NOT good at Math.”

9
Oct

Paper, please: Ode to a Genuine Map

[Writing 201, Poetry.  DAY FOUR: Metaphors]

                          Paper, Please…

One of the things I quite enjoy and sorely miss is a Map,
a good old fashion paper map in a neatly-folded packet.
Nevermind that it opens easily, but defies return to its jacket

Assuming a set of highway coordinates– say 77 and 211,
a North or a West or the name of a city,
a paper map illustrates orientation in words and symbols
helpful and geared to simplicity

Spoken directions–out in the boondocks
may be  clear to a resident but like mud to a stranger
who needs good direction to get where he’s going.
it won’t help him to look for a “guy mowing” a field

Clearly murky and  useless advice
“turn left at Jim Handy’s place, over the creek,
then right at the big Chestnut  tree (or it may be an Elm…)
about a mile, or two, where the old well used to be.”

At a four-way junction there is no function to say
“a drug store on the corner” an ambiguous term
which is not helpful at all for Right or Left
and East or West can be clearly obscured
when the sun has disappeared.

Much clearer indeed is direction with proper inflection–
take this way, then left, then two rights and a STOP sign,
a mile to the South and you will find
the address…a big white house with a blue barn–

Give me a good old paper map–even ripped and torn
it is  better than guessing if I will ever get where I’m going.
I don’t miss the cheerful depressing voice, which after agonizing
pauses and fear of malfunction, startles in the silence–
After twisting and turning, on an intricate quagmire of unlikely paths:
“This is NOT your destination.”

7
Oct

wrinkles in time, a poem

[Writing 201: Poetry, Day Three — Skin, Prose Poetry, Internal Rhyme]

      rhythm and flow and here we go–gathering information and seeking inspiration

              Wrinkles in Time

Once her skin was smooth and soft

inviting a lover’s touch…

Now her arms recall the delight of it all

as the feeling  of warm fingers still lingers

erasing the wrinkles in time.

6
Oct

A PERFECT PAST PRESENT for Poetry Class

[Writing201, Poetry.   Today’s assignment involves the word GIFT, and Crostic, and Alliteration.]

        A Perfect Past Present

Better a book, than a boat or a bear

Or my childhood dream would be dashed

Only such a gift would

Keep me a happy child.

I would never have wanted clothing

Neither undies nor socks…in a box

A doll or a hat or even a unicorn of bisque would have been taking a terrible risk

of dashing my special specific dream of a gift

But–alas!  There was only one lonely gift left…and that in a box!

OXYDOL SOAP said the  boisterous box, causing my young heart to sink

X-actly!   I  cheered as I peered inside, and shouted — “MY BOOK IN A BOX!”

25
Sep

Would you ever, if you never… (reblogged from OM)