This is topic Orginal Potry in forum Books, Films, Food and Culture at Hatrack River Forum.

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Posted by lukelmiller (Member # 137) on :
This one is kind of self-explanatory - submit a piece of original poetry and comment on others' works.
Posted by Amira T (Member # 138) on :
Ok Luke, I'll take you up on that one. This is a poem I wrote while thinking about my uni application form:

This ink upon this blank expanse of white,
These meaningless stock cliches I must write:
What soul can be captured by such duress
But one invented merely to impress?
How then to show the truth within my heart?
No way but silence of the mystic's art.

Yet still I write, here I must play my part.

Comments? Criticism?

Posted by aka (Member # 139) on :
Ground Cardboard Lightly Sauteed in Hydraulic Oil Over a Bearing Grease Base

The scrub brush scrubs
But it never fails
To leave mill dirt under
My fingernails.

That sneezy tickle
That comes and goes
Is the mill dirt pickled
Inside my nose.

The Q-tip tip
Confirms my fears:
There's mill dirt way
Up in my ears.

I'll soak and soap
Until I squeak
But I won't be clean
For at least a week.

Posted by lukelmiller (Member # 137) on :
"Three Verses"

Romeo and Juliet and all the other
little sad-birds
nipping eachothers' tail and chomping down
make a rope,
twirl like a ribbon in the wind

She held my hand as we walked out of the barn-
straw-dreams trailing behind us.
when we reached the house there was a fire
so you went inside and i
pondered the mystery of a half-broken fire extinguisher

outside the sunset shifted violently.

strangely steamships prowl around
in my bathtub, mysteriously fog-whistling
into the cricket-night

and you are there - frowning strangely at me
as we fail
to understand
so i'm left alone - the wind whistles also

Posted by billcu (Member # 144) on :
No poetry from me this time, only admiration.

AKA, you are a fine poet. In a previous thread you posted a poem called "Skygazer" which I printed out and tacked up in my office, because I couldn't get it out of my head. You also posted a piece of a Conrad Aiken poem which was brilliant.

Your taste and your turn of phrase are impeccable, madam. You should find a journal which accepts submissions and submit! If you ever have a mind toward publishing your verses in any form, you have one reader waiting, at least.

Posted by aka (Member # 139) on :
I'm speechless! Thank you. I'm so glad you liked them!
Posted by dmichael (Member # 122) on :
Roses are red
Violets are blue
I hate poetry
It's full of poo

Comments? Criticisms?


Posted by Fractured (Member # 135) on :
Whoops, I thought this was the site for the National Library of Poetry...
Posted by Wayde (Member # 123) on :
I thought this thread was for ceramics. Where are the discussions of "Potry?"

[This message has been edited by Wayde (edited June 02, 1999).]

Posted by Wayde (Member # 123) on :
But all joking aside, I really like the submissions so far. Very nice!


Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
A poet's heart
Ain't in you!

[This message has been edited by Wayde (edited June 02, 1999).]

Posted by lukelmiller (Member # 137) on :
Really, I don't understand people who are hostile toward poetry. Not that I don't understand why they don't like it - we all have our own tastes - but that they feel the need to display their dislike with such hostility! (and I'm not picking on you specifically, dmichael, this is something I encountered in my English classes as well - when the teacher tried to say that we were going to "get into some poetry" he got shouted down!) I mean, I don't necessarily understand the allure behind fishing, I won't go out and fight against it!
Posted by lukelmiller (Member # 137) on :
Oh yeah, about the title - now isn't that an unique and poetic approach to spelling "original poetry"? Actually, though, I just forgot to turn my keyboard into "insert" mode. Sorry.
Posted by Darlene (Member # 134) on :
For those who enjoy poetry and also have pre-schoolers in the home:

Today on "Arthur" (kids' cartoon) one little girl read her "original poetry." Here is a line she read:

In the room the women come and go/
Talking of milk and oreos.

Tee hee!
Anyone get it? Is this show really written for kids?


Posted by Fractured (Member # 135) on :
I don't think hatred for poetry is a trait inherent in the human psyche. Rather it seems to be bred into the subconscious through such profound verses like:
(warning: very "serious" poetry ahead)

I stand alone
By the window.
I am important.

or how about:

You are like an island
in my soul
I am a rose unflowering
for you.
Please count my petals.

I'm telling you, after reading stuff like that, I feel enlightened- in a strangely violent sort of manner.

Posted by dmichael (Member # 122) on :
Perhaps those students in the class who shouted down poetry were not expressing violent hatred of poetry per se, but violent hatred of being forced to endure it in school.

I actually got into poetry in my youth and wrote some. But I guess I just don't have the patience to read through it anymore. My eyes glaze over. (My ears if it's a speaker resorting to it.)

I'm not quite sure why. Maybe it's because so many people think poetry is supposed to be murky and unintelligible. Maybe it's because so many people resort to it when they want to get particularly sappy. Or maybe I just want to hear what you have to say without couching it in flowery language. Or maybe I'm just lazy.


Posted by aka (Member # 139) on :
Or maybe you're just missing the whole thing that's good about it. Like a person who is tone-deaf to music. Maybe? *grin*
Posted by Fractured (Member # 135) on :
Come come now. All poetry isn't bad, just most of it. There's a strange and very persistent paradigm out there- it's the thought that being sentimental makes one a poet. I believe this is a mindset purposefully brainwashed into our heads by an evil conspiracy (Disney?)threatening to take over the world.

But the good stuff out there is exceedingly rare and precious. Very rare. So rare that the meat is raw and bloody and ripped straight out of the fresh carcass.

Mmmmmmm. Fresh meat.

So if it's not a poem that immediately induces a subatomic reaction in your skull- with the atomic splitting and the kicking and the biting (oy!)- it's probably been done before.

Posted by aka (Member # 139) on :
True, but 95% of everything is bad. So poetry is not special in that regard.
Posted by Fractured (Member # 135) on :
Ok! I'll agree to that.

[This message has been edited by Fractured (edited June 03, 1999).]

Posted by lukelmiller (Member # 137) on :
I don't. Only approx. 10% of the chocolate chip cookies I've had in my life could be classified as "bad."
Posted by lukelmiller (Member # 137) on :
On a more serious note, I agree that there is a lot of bad bad poetry out there. But I still hope people will post poetry here, because there is a big difference between reading a bad poem and reading a bad poem by someone you know (even if you only know them from the web.) Reading someone's poetry can reveal a lot about them and can also be fun. I (personally) don't care if it's bad, bring it on!
Posted by Amira T (Member # 138) on :
There is a lot of very bad poetry around. But that doesn't mean there isn't any good poetry. Anyway, judgements about poetry are usually subjective so what I might class as good someone else might not. So I shall continue to post in the vain hope that someone will see the odd nugget of gold hidden among all the ore.

But no original stuff today - I am too tired. Just a comment on poetry from a poet - Elizabeth Jennings. This verse comes from her poem "Considerations."

But poetry must change and make
The world seem new in each design.
It asks much labour, much heartbreak,
But it can conquer in a line

Posted by Lara (Member # 132) on :
Oh, come on! There is some pretty good poetry out there. It's good for a laugh. Take Frost, for instance. Don't we all chuckle sardonically at Mending Wall? And the poems that suck, we like to laugh at them too. Such as everybody's English teacher's favorite, The Red Wheelbarrow.
(I personally am not convinced that red wheelbarrows are important. Now, if he had expounded upon the importance of the white chickens, *that* would be different.)

Anyway, I like this opportunity to share poetry, so here goes. Don't laugh, though, it's not funny.


In the movies
Heroes get the bullet or
Sigh a last beath in the battle against some savage disease
And they always
Whether forward or backward
Fall with mouths closed
And can be held and caressed and never turn cold.
What, are they kept from rigor mortis
By tears if someone loved them enough?
Are they somehow saved the humiliation
Of not looking nice in that final hour
By the violins?
Or have these filmmen never stood in the room where Grandpa died
Where the rag held his mouth not-quite-shut
The skin turned to parchment
And, as if life were sucked hard from him, his body tightened inward
And, because no breath would blow him out again, stayed that way.
Where I said good-bye to the wall

I think they have not.
Or perhaps they have and they know
Nobody wants to see their hero like that.


Posted by Lara (Member # 132) on :
Oh, and I also want to say that I loved Luke, Amira and aka's poetry. Bravo! Dmichael--um...your poetry has a...sweet spirit.
Posted by dmichael (Member # 122) on :
Well I was going to get all concilliatory and everything by sharing some of the poetry I wrote way back when, but I must not have saved any because now I can't find it.

So how about if I regale you with some lyrics from a song I wrote. That counts as poetry, doesn't it? Please remember these lyrics are copyrighted by myself. Please also take note of the title and don't expect Disney.

"Song of the Carthage Drunkards"

When the first star shows tonight
I will wish I may I might
Kill those dirty filthy Mormons
Just to do it out of spite
We will shoot them in their backs
Gun them down right in their tracks
We will take their women folk
Poke the parts we should not poke
Roast their children up for dinner
Pick the bones so we won't choke

(I'll let you all figure out for yourselves what this tune is about.)


Posted by Fractured (Member # 135) on :
Mmmmmmm. Bone pickings.
Posted by Wayde (Member # 123) on :
It certainly rings true to the well publicized boasts and threats of the anti-mormon mobbers!

Is this like one of those Mad Magazine parodies? sung to the tune of...

[This message has been edited by Wayde (edited June 09, 1999).]

Posted by dmichael (Member # 122) on :
No, not a parody. It's a real song with its own real tune.

Posted by Lara (Member # 132) on :
Ew. What year was it written in?
Posted by dmichael (Member # 122) on :
I wrote it sometime in the early seventies as part of an operatic musical. About twenty years later I arranged it and produced a recording of it. I'm still waiting for someone influential in the music industry to discover my genius.

Posted by Jacob Porter (Member # 31) on :
Pale death-like flesh and
Hellishly red bruised body
With delicious soul
Posted by IanO (Member # 186) on :
Your poem, Lara, was beautiful. I, at first, expected it to be a little humerous (despite your warning) but I quickly caught the mood. I guess it seemed especially appropriate to me since my Grandfather died last month in his bed while I was feeding him. He vomitted and choked and had a heartattack and then died a few minutes later. And he was so white, so lifeless so quickly, as his body become cold, his mouth open and I couldn't close it. I think no one wants to see real death in movies. It's somehow haunting.


Posted by Orson Scott Card (Member # 209) on :
Here's a poem I wrote this sunday in church. It's closely tied to the rituals of a Mormon sacrament meeting, so some of the references may seem strange or misplaced to those who use some of these terms differently or give them different theological import. And some who DO get it will be annoyed for other reasons. But here it is, for all that, because i love the whole idea of sharing poetry here.

It began because the chorister kept forcing the song to move from verse to verse without the normal caesura to allow a breath, a closure between verses. And then I just watched the familiar patterns of Mormon ritual, though I was in a congregation with which I was not very familiar.

Under the Chorister's Baton

Under the chorister's baton we bow
Breathless at tempos relentlessly beaten.
Prayers are intoned. Amen, we say, and now
Pass along trays so that bread can be eaten:

Body of Christ, and blood is in the cup.
Sip it and pass it: the pattern we follow.
Like the apostles, custom makes us sup,
Barely aware what it is that we swallow.

Once having promised, we will keep the vow.
Habit acts out what we barely remember.
Water appears - we lift, we drink it up.
Fire that once burned in us now is an ember.

Over and over we go through the motion,
Acting on faith like the waves of the ocean.

- Orson Scott Card


Posted by IanO (Member # 186) on :
I think all people at one time or another, regardless of individual religion, start going through the motions, forgetting (in our heart) the meaning behind the ritual. I know it's happened to me. Though I'm not LDS, I really liked the contrast between the sacred body and blood of Christ in the communion with not really 'knowing what we swallow.' It's a lesson to take to heart that I definitely appreciate right now. Thank you for the reminder.


Posted by IanO (Member # 186) on :
I wrote this in December of 1996 (one of the few that I can go back and read think wasn't too bad.) What do you guys think? Tedious? understandable? (I cast my bread upon the water...)

There are times
When I lose myself
When I feel like
inside me I am adrift,
unconnected to the me everyone knows
I float, trying to be found
trying to be heard

I hear myself calling
but what am I saying?
How do I accept?
The boy
it is him
how do I accept him?

What must I do to be
He calls
I answer
We are the same
We are disparate
I am lost
I cannot see who I am

But I can see myself-
I know me
But what do I now know?
Is it the me that I have constructed?

There are emanations
from my core
My deepest passions

The actions are facade- artificial, contrived
like me
But am I me?
I am me, I am everyone

The little boy cries
do I love him?
why did I hate him?
all he wanted was love
I fought him
I beat him
I berated him
and punished him
and banished him

How do I call to myself?
Where is he?
How can we unite?

I am he
he is me
I love him
he is me
You were good
I don't despise you
I accept you!
Join me

I am you
I have always been you
I will always be you
we are one


Posted by Darlene (Member # 134) on :
I ceramic smashed
Would spread clay arms to catch you
My crystal sister.

[This message has been edited by Darlene (edited July 27, 1999).]

Posted by aka (Member # 139) on :
In the cool of the evening
When locusts sing Your praise
I surrender to You.
Posted by Fractured (Member # 135) on :
Crazy, crazy man,
Swallow those razor blades
Wash them down with water
Posted by dmichael (Member # 122) on :
I hereby designate Fractured as our official comic relief.

Posted by Fractured (Member # 135) on :
I'm honored.

But on a side note, I'd like to state for the record that I'm more serious than you think. For instance, that haiku I just posted was a true story (and it didn't involve the Guiness Book of World Records or such similar novelty gimmicks). It actually involved a truly insane individual who hears voices in his head and one day showed up with a razor blade dispenser and proceeded to brake the blades into flakes and then swallowed them like pills with a glass of water.

Comedy is only good when truth is the punchline. Or as Homer Simpson put it: "It's funny 'cause it's true!"

Posted by lukelmiller (Member # 137) on :
If from desire comes the "ten thousand
things", I would sink a little softer into
wet cut grass and let all the creation
stick a little to my hair and never
wash it,
the ten thousand things all swallowed and silent.
Posted by amira tharani (Member # 182) on :
I like the haiku and OSC's poem and will comment on the weekend. Meanwhile, a poem from me:

Eye See Eye

I watch your face
Reading mine.
What is it that you see
In these new familiar eyes?
Do you see them soft
Liquid compassion, gently caressing?
Or brightness, steel fire
Of ambition blazing?
Or do you see them now turn inward
In fear and doubt
Become a glassy wall
Blocking you
Watching me?
You do; these eyes lie then.
For looking in
You look out
Through these new familiar eyes
Watching your own face
Reading mine.

Go on dmichael, do your worst! And anyone else, for that matter!

Posted by dean (Member # 167) on :
This one isn't mine, but I hope you like it.

i gave blood because
no other part of me was worth giving
skin and nose and plastic organs
all newly pressed and begging to be used
none up to code though all standard enough i see
no one seems to want these components
though no matter since they aren't worth it
i wrapped up a few organs in a blanket
the other day
drip of smeel of rust and hot feet
and wax runside bulbs to make it quick
limbs and tiny manhood and threads for good measure
dragged the whole package to the depot
a bundle
and scraped some thinkware from a bony downturned bowl
the pretty girl at the counter looked it over
and told me flat out, "junk!"
skunky stains on my blanket so sleep is a wet affair
fastened it to my belt, so i wouldn't know anyway
and weighed me under to sparksplah glug gasp and finally shut up

Posted by aka (Member # 139) on :
I DO like it, Dean. Please tell us who it's by.
Posted by dean (Member # 167) on :
It's by my sweetheart, Mikey. He posts here under the name Moonflower, sometimes. It's the only poem he ever wrote that he liked and I liked it too. It's from back when he was a self-hating teenager, but I think that it shows way more humor than most self-hating poetry ever does.
Posted by dmichael (Member # 122) on :
Huh, what'd I do?

I can't do my worst, because my eyes glaze over when I see poetry, so I don't know what you wrote. I justy check here to see if some other topic reared its not so ugly head (not so ugly as poetry, that is), like the Simon and Garfunkel thread for example.


Posted by aka (Member # 139) on :
Dean, ask Mikie about the poem is the pretty girl at the counter what finally weighed him under? I can't quite figure out the end what it is saying.

The downturned bony bowl is great! What a good image. Like upturned except with the normal orientation being upside down.

Does Mikie like Beck? If he doesn't then tell him I think if he did he would.

Posted by Tifa (Member # 372) on :
Well, I'm pretty new around here (actually I'm returning after a year of absence but I cant remember my old username so THAT does a lot of good)... anyway, I really like the idea of sharing poetry on here, and I've read some really beautiful pieces in this thread. Anyway, I thought I'd submit one of my own pieces for your enjoyment, criticism, or whatever!


A girl before the altar
Sings a prayer to one she cannot see.
Her eyes are shut tight against tears,
And blood flows from her aching mouth,
So long unkissed.
Naked and trembling, she kneels,
So cold in the light of the fire,
Her palms pressed flat against the earth,
Her breath coming in sobs.
She is bathed in a cold relentless sweat.
Her voice is ragged with the screams.
Her fingernails tear her skin,
For her own blood is all she can give:
Her blood and her tears and her song,
Silenced too soon.
The drops of blood in the dust
Seem to tell a story
In a language no one can read.
The holiest of scriptures.
The soul.

Posted by Richard Berg (Member # 133) on :

What would dmicheal's uplifting lyrics be without the music?

(I was going to post this a long time ago, but forgot about this thread until Tifa put it back up top.)

Posted by masteroftheobvious (Member # 363) on :
What a great topic, Don't know how I have missed this one since I have been here. Guess I will jump right in. Hope you don't all sneeze from the dust on this one.


The cool autumn air
Broken only by
Voices, imparting visions
Of the future
Any future
Our future?

Black velvet sky
Pierced by billions
Of burning cold dots
Of blinding hot light
Satelites tracing faint lines
Dust, becoming brilliant
Falling stars

The cold hood
Of my mom's car
The hard windshield
Behind my head
The warmth of your body
So close to mine
So very close

Drinking in
The dark heart of the night
The growing cold of winter
The huge expanse of the universe
The endless futures possible
Feeling the burden of it all
'Till I feel I will burst

You kiss me

I melt in your touch
Fully aware
Your body
My body
Knowing with every breath
I can bare any weight
Face any future...

So long as you kiss me
As you do in this moment


Posted by Thomas J (Member # 399) on :
hmm... I saw this thread, and couldn't resist. This is a poem i wrote in response to some pentacostal fanatics who come to our college campus and try to scare the hell out of is (literaly). It's written in the style of my favorite poet, Dr. Seuss, and should be read aloud, with a southern Baptist preacher dialect

If I Ran the Afterlife

My Brothers and Sisters, Hope you’re doin well,
I’m here to tell you that you’re goin to Hell.
Unless you do as I tell you, you’re gonna burn.
So listen real close and hope that you learn.
No using foul language, or the lords name in vain,
Using bad words earns you eternal pain.
You should always be pure, you should always be clean
and, unless it’s to heathens, you should never be mean.
You mustn’t sleep in, you mustn’t cut class,
and “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s ass!”
Don’t worship false gods, and don’t worship idols,
the thing you should worship is this leather bound Bible.
No wearing short skirts, they should cover your toe,
(bare skin is the work of the devil you know.)
No sex with a girlfriend, no sex that is queer,
no sex with yourself, and no sex in the rear.
No sex using toys, no sex with your mouth,
We have laws against that, down here in the south.
No rock and roll music, no ska, rap, or punk.
Good Christians don’t listen to that kind of junk.
So now I’ll be straight, and now I’ll be level,
I’ll tell you right who’s gone to fry with the devil.
Hey Catholic! You’re dammed! and so are you Jew!
God burns Buddhists and Moslems, and atheists too.
Those who don’t eat their beans, those who watch the “X-Files”
Those who saw “Armageddon”, they will lose Heaven’s trial.
If you don’t like Swiss cheese, or the color blue-green,
if you don’t own a cross, or a sewing machine,
Oh Lord it is true, I finally see,
They’re all damned to hell, unless they think just like me.

-Thomas Jenkins


Posted by masteroftheobvious (Member # 363) on :
Very funny! I love it!
Posted by aka (Member # 139) on :
But they're very rarely enforced.
Posted by bill cunningham (Member # 312) on :
Way to go Thomas J! That was hysterical!
Posted by Kant (Member # 154) on :
Indeed, Mr. Jenkins, it seems you have a talent. You should either spread that or try to sell it.

Here's a poem of my own, which is of a totally opposite nature and delivery. ("And now for something completely different...") It's not really a poem: more a prose, if I use the term correctly, and an attempt at a conceit. I wrote this in high school, by-the-way, so without further exposition...

You toss me about like a ship at sea. When you have me, I am without direction. I am
simply moved by a force greater than myself.

I spread sails like the boat. I want to catch you. But am I really catching you? Or do I want to be caught by you?

My seas were quiet until I was caught, and now I am motivated? moved? inspired? How much can words describe of the ways a wind propels a ship?

The seas around me become a blur. I speed over them and they do not matter. Only when
the wind is gone must I look about the rough, dark, and depthless ocean.

As a ship, I care about
the results of your presence.

But winds must do so many things.

Wear down the beaches, make the trees fall, produce that beautiful sound of your mere
passing through.

But do you notice how you propel me? Can you even, like I do?

And if you do not notice, can you possibly care?

Or am I just floating debris?

Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 124) on :
I've refrained from posting any of my poetry here because all the regulars have already seen a lot of it. *laugh*

You can get to it, though, by going to: and clicking on the books.

[This message has been edited by TomDavidson (edited January 04, 2003).]

Posted by aka (Member # 139) on :
But we do still want to see some posted here just for us! Pick a new one you like, maybe?
Posted by Jacob Porter (Member # 31) on :
a dripping faucet
with ants and spiders walking
across porcelain

[This message has been edited by Jacob Porter (edited October 17, 1999).]

Posted by aka (Member # 139) on :
That's what my bathroom is like.
Posted by lukelmiller (Member # 137) on :
Wow, thank you so much to everyone who has posted all the wonderful poetry here and kept this thread alive!

Lovesick is stupid
inconstant and clueless
it has failed me again with its
yellow ripping suns spraying
rainshine onto
twittering flowers
irelevant and illogical it sinks again
into its green-slime bog
to gurgle-and-burp up a new
victimizing me and
sirening beauty's composition;
true stars crying while their
hastily developed image
is plastered in a plywood room,
awaiting my

Posted by Annie (Member # 295) on :
Howdy. Yet another thread I've missed. I wish I would stop finding them - I really need to do some homework. Oh well. Here is a poem I wrote last year, but I just found it. Tell me whatcha think.


Upon horizon's bosom blue
Thy throne is set.
As scholars deem Thy streaming rays
Thine epithet.

I marvel at Thy warmth and care,
This lovely place.
They curse the light forbidding them
To see Thy face.

Through darkness, mists, and bitterness,
Thy seed has won-
Over men who gaze at stars,
Yet miss the Sun.

[This message has been edited by Annie (edited October 17, 1999).]

Posted by Annie (Member # 295) on :
OK, now for a total change of tone. That was one of my "refined" poems - this is one of my "tell-it-like-it-is" poems. I actually have a scrapbook of about 20 poems that I posted in the old Young Writers' Forum, but I doubt that many of you have seen them. So here is my favorite of them:

_He's Still There_

Me and Mama sat beside the fireplace on night,
Watching cabin shadows flickering with firelight.
Papa still was up in the West Coulee moving stock,
So it was me and Mama - chittin, chattin, women talk.

I asked her "Mama, sometime I been thinkin' long an' deep-
You think a man's still out there for me, dreamin' in his sleep?
You think he wakes and works the cattle, rides along the range,
A simple country fella, not conceited, proud, or strange?"

My mama smiled and years of sunlight showed upon her cheek,
She said "Darlin' he's there somewhere for ya, humble, good and meek.
He may not be a flashy fella, may not wear a tie,
But I guarantee he'll love ya darlin', till the day he die."

Salty drops of tears rolled down my mama's face and mine,
"Mama, I just hope to God he's there for me to find.
I hope he's willin' not to have the purtiest of faces,
But just a good ol' country girl from good ol' country places."

Me and Mama hugged beside the fireplace that night,
The sturdy log walls held out all the sorrow and the fright.
I never will forget my mama, in her old red chair,
Whisperin' softly in my ear, "Oh honey, he's still there."

Posted by Jacob Porter (Member # 31) on :
That was a great poem Annie, I really liked it.
Posted by ducky (Member # 451) on :
I am basicly a coward when it comes to sharing my writtings, but here goes.

Before we came to earth to dwell
and took upon us mortal clay
each child of God unblemished stood
and all in perfect beauty stayed.

There were no broken minds or forms
no shackles dull to weigh us down,
no twisted limbs, nor clouded eyes,
no lonely ears in silence bound.

Man is not just his mortal form
full more than half his stature hides
where we must search to find it out-
search with hearts and not our eyes.

Look close and catch a glimps or two
of brother, sister, child divine
and you shall be so richly blessed
to find within dear friends of thine.

So hand in hand as we go forth
let's gather each one heart by heart
and strength on strength shall love encrease
til fear and loathing must depart.

So now that's over and I'm having a stress attach so be kind!

Posted by Richard Berg (Member # 133) on :
Read any poetry of mine and you'll see all I do is force words haphazardly by trial and error into rhythm and rhyme. Ducky, I am forever envious of your ability to actually write verse.
Posted by Thomas J (Member # 399) on :
good stuff ducky! few pwople write good rhyming stuff anymore. (I miss Shel Silverstein and Dr. Seuss) I've already posted a rhyming one earlier here, but her's another one.

This is one of my favorites.


This is a love poem
You know I hate reading love poems
and hate writing them even more.
But I know you like them.
So here goes.

I love you.

There, I've said it.

We're from two different worlds.
Someone says Nirvana, I think Seattle, you think Sidhartha
(whoever he is)

I call you up at 2 a.m. and you listen.
When I forget your birthday, you pretend it dosn't bother you,
even though I know it does.

You like walking on the beach.
And whenever I'm broke (which is often) you loan me money,
knowing full well that I'll probably never get it back to you.

It drives you crazy when I buy your ticket for you.
And when that cop thought I was drunk because I was going 90 down Hwy. 17 blowing bubbles and singing campfire songs in Russian, you backed me up all the way.

You act like you like my taste in music and movies.
We borrow from each other, never expecting to get our stuff back,
except maybe as a last minute birthday gift.

You'll shoot a look across the room, confidant that I know what you're thinking,
(I rarely do, but I appreciate it anyway).
If I'm ranting and raving about something pointless,
you know that if you just stay quiet, I'll bore myself out of it.

So there you are. Here's your stinking love poem.
You put up with me, and I love you for it.
And that's it. I've just bled out all available romantic emotion.
This more than exceeds my mushiness quocient for the day.
Hope you're happy.


Well? what do ya think?


Posted by userAnnie (Member # 447) on :
Okay, I can't possibly compare to you guys. I tend to write/think on a child's level (appropriate since I'm an aspiring children's author). I had this one published last year in a children's magazine. Hope you like it.


Cranky people aren't much fun!
They go stomp, stomp, stomp
Waaah, Waaah, Waaah
Whine, Whine, Whine!
Cranky people are no fun at all!

They COULD run around and play
or smile through the day.
They COULD laugh and jump and run
Happy people are lots of fun!

But cranky people have forgotten.
They're stuck in a mood of being rotten!
Cranky people are no fun at all!

So how can we make them happy?
What will make them smile?
Perhaps a hug and a kiss
or playing with them a while.
A surprise tickle attack can do the trick.
But whatever it is - do it quick!
Because cranky people aren't much fun!

Hope you adults can stomach it, and if you have any 3 or 4 year olds, exaggerate the obvious movements and it works every time!

[This message has been edited by userAnnie (edited October 23, 1999).]

Posted by ducky (Member # 451) on :

I don't have any kids but I teach 4 year olds on sundays. Great poem for kids! And I enjoyed it too.

Posted by aka (Member # 139) on :

Ages and ages hence
When you finally know what it is
You were fighting

You will
Remember this day
And know what I meant when I say
We've already won


Posted by aka (Member # 139) on :

Pickled in fomaldehyde of envy
Blackened in the iodine of pride
Skewered on the scalpel of your vengeance
Store your tissue samples in the file


Before you touch a warm and living heart
Kindly wash that poison off your hands.

[This message has been edited by aka (edited October 26, 1999).]

Posted by ducky (Member # 451) on :
I liked those AKA.

Since the first was receive well, I guess i can share another. Tell me what you think of this one.

Ode to the Wild Iris

Amid the wild and rocky ways
You lift your fragile, pallid face
Strength belied by a slender form
In poorest soil you bloom with grace

Before the rain and windy storm
You bend and dance, submissive - meek
Or trodden down by passing foot,
You rise again in beauty sweet

[This message has been edited by ducky (edited October 27, 1999).]

Posted by jess (Member # 165) on :
aka, yours are amazing. i really liked Triptych especially.
Posted by Samuel Bush (Member # 460) on :
Hi, I’m a new kid (well, codger actually) on the block. I’ve enjoyed reading through these posts. There is too much there to grasp in one reading, but here are my first impressions of the ones that reached out and grabbed me.

Uncle Orson, I like your poem “Under the Chorister’s Baton.” I couldn’t help but think, as I read it, “Yes, that’s exactly how it is sometimes.” And one can hope that as he continues to ‘go through the motion, acting on faith,’ he’ll get the fire back? I was glad I got to attend your lecture at the U of U on Sept. 12th. You mentioned there that you like to write poetry. I don’t know why I was surprised by that, but it’s always nice to discover a new dimension to an author I like.

“Uncensored” – Lara, nice work. Well, it’s not a “nice” poem, is it? (We’ll leave that to the Joyce Killmer types.) But it strikes some chords. Well done.

Oh! Great masteroftheobvious, < picture a guy genuflecting with his arms extended over his head > “Youth” is a wonderful poem. I bow to your imagery and skill. It carried me back to many a night of stargazing. And the last five lines border on the sublime. Oh heck, what am I saying? It crosses over the border! I’m going to add your poem to my scrapbook of favorite verse.

“If I Ran the Afterlife” – Thomas J., I laughed and chuckled through the whole thing. We’re both going to hell for this, you know. Thanks a lot.

Annie, I really like “Helios,” and I’m sure I haven’t understood it’s full richness yet with just a couple of readings. I need to think about this somemore. But tell me this: Is it metaphors for the Son of God? (Is “metaphor” or “allegory” the correct word?) “He’s Still There” is sweet.

Ducky, I’m adding your “Before we came to earth to dwell” to my favorites also. I think it stacks up well with William Wordsworth. I read somewhere that it is one of the tasks of poets, to subdue the rhyme so it does not jangle and such. You have done beautifully there. I hope I can learn to do it even half as well. It is musical. (By the way, what is it’s title?)

I do write serious stuff but I thought that in honor (or maybe dishonor) of the World Series, I’d post a parody I wrote during the big old hairy baseball strike several years ago. I figure there are few poems so bad you can’t at least make them worse by using them for parody. By the way, Wayde, I submitted this to Mad Magazine, but they sent it back wrapped around a rock, saying, “We are a visual medium, but keep trying.” So I don’t know if it stunk bad or if they just didn’t need it at the time. I do know that it doesn’t lack for satire.

WARNING! If you hate parody and/or you think baseball is the only true and living sport, don’t read this parody. If you choose to read it and then feel a desire to have me put to death, just remember -- YOU WERE WARNED.

(with apologies to Ernest Thayer)

The camera's eye is on him as he saunters to the plate.
He rolls his head and pulls and tugs till all his clothes are straight.
He taps the plate but steps away . . . (he's got all afternoon)
And all the fans can only hope there'll be some action soon.

And now the pitcher holds the ball, and now he looks around,
And now the batter swings a few, and spits upon the ground.
And now the pitcher scuffs the dirt, and still he's holding on.
And now the air is shattered by a loud collective yawn.

In the midst of this exciting sport the players said, "See here,
"We're just so great no way we're livin’ on six million bucks a year!"
Straight to the bargaining table these mighty Caseys sped.
"Tough beans," said the owners. "We'll strike!" the players said.

So, as the money slipped away--a seasons worth or more--
You'd think that someone would get wise and end this strike before
The fans begin to wonder why they ever paid to watch
Some yahoo spitting on the ground and digging at his crotch.

Oh somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright;
The fans are spending somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light.
And some are losing sponsors' dough, and somewhere players pout.
Since fans have learned there's more to life--mighty Baseball has struck out.

Samuel M Bush


Posted by masteroftheobvious (Member # 363) on :
Thank you for the compliments Samual. Your imagry of my name is funny, but way off...picture a woman with a child on each hip, who has an uncanny knack for pointing out the obvious!
Posted by aka (Member # 139) on :
So, you too good for Hatrack now??? You want us to beg??? Please post some!!!!
Posted by LABSL (Member # 448) on :
You guys are really good! And to see Card's own poetry up here. You've got to love that! I mostly write songs, but I've got a poem or two and here is one of them. I guess it's free verse. I plan to read it with music next time I've got a band together. I'm proud of it, but I can't help but feel a moody vibe with it. Just add incense and mood lighting.

Mention love to me
I'll try to find meaning in the moment
Seeking words from you
That I cannot unbidden pronounce
To myself
Let alone share
As a topic
As an idea

Mention me to me
What you see in me
I find a meaning to hold onto
And pass it back playfully

Seeking words from you
Because I cannot unbidden pursue
Your sweet company

I feel tied down by my fear
Thrown there by my pleading voice-
Forced still
And left waiting, Wanting
To rise and be greeted in the open

My existence made okay by your eye
That won't look away
But that will hold steady
Until I cannot do anything but move


Posted by ducky (Member # 451) on :

Thank you for your gracious praise. You made my day! As yet, I have not named that poem.

I loved CASEY AT THE MAT!!!!
I think it speaks to every baseball fan. Wonderfully done!

Posted by Thomas J (Member # 399) on :
Samuel, thank you very much, and I loved your's too. I think people should write more satire, ar at least more rhyming stuff.
Posted by Samuel Bush (Member # 460) on :
aka, I really like "Triptych." It's simple, has nice rhythm and rhyme, the only problem is I'm having trouble figuring out what war you are talking about. It's tantalizing, and it seems like the answer is just right there in front of me if I just was a little less senile. But don't give me any clues yet. I want to figure this out for myself. In the mean time, I still have the satisfaction that, like Emerson wrote,"Beauty is it's own excuse for being."

Now, for all you Dr. Suess fans out there(or should I have said, "Sorry to all you Dr. Suess fans out there.") Here is another tasty parody to munch on.


That Sam-I-am!
That Sam-I-am!
I do not like that Sam-I-am!

"Do you like fried eggs and ham?"

I do not like them Sam-I-am.
I dare not eat fried eggs and ham.

"Would you could you in a tree?"

I would not could not in a tree.
They would kill me instantly!

"Would you eat them with a roast?
"Would you with Parkay on toast?"

Not with toast! Not in a tree!
Not with a roast! Sam, let me be!

"Would you with popcorn and pies?
Or with a Big Mac, Coke, and fries?"

I would not eat them with a Coke nor with fries!
Not with popcorn, not with pies!
Not with a juicy roast!
Not with Parkay on toast!
'They're bad!' the Surgeon General said.
If I eat them, I'll be dead.

"You do not like them so you say.
"Try them and you may, I say."

Sam! If you will let me be, I will try them
You will see.

Say! I like fried eggs and ham!
And I would eat them with a roast.
And I will with Parkay on toast.
And with popcorn and with pies
With a Big Mac, Coke, and fries.
These sure do beat tofu and sprouts.
Those food police are silly louts.
I do so like fried eggs and ham!
That health food craze is such a scam.


Posted by aka (Member # 139) on :
Thanks, Samuel! I like your Sam I Am, too. Are you Sam I Am? Was Sam I Am simply a pest or was he a fount of true knowledge? Hmmm... Deep Question.

[This message has been edited by aka (edited October 30, 1999).]

Posted by Samuel Bush (Member # 460) on :
Well, aka, I am Sam, and I certainly "am." At least I was all real and solid the last time I checked. But I guess it all depends on what "am" is. At any rate, any resemblance I might have to the Dr. Suess character is purely coincidental.

It just hit me today that I ought to write a sequal to Dr. Suess's "Green Eggs and Ham." It would start out:

That Sam-he-was!
That Sam-he-was!
He's such a scuzz that Sam-he-was!

The plot would be that the narrator almost died from SAManilla poisoning (what did he expect from eating green eggs and ham, for crying out loud!), and now he is looking for Sam who has changed his name and is fleeing from prosecution. What do you think? Would it work?

Posted by ducky (Member # 451) on :
That Sam I Am
That Sam I Am
I really like that Sam I Am
His parodies are sweet as Jam!

I'm, a Dr. Suess fan too. I think he would enjoy your parodies. I know I do. I also like green eggs and ham. Ever eaten green eggs? I am not talking about dyed eggs but the real thing.

[This message has been edited by ducky (edited November 01, 1999).]

Posted by aka (Member # 139) on :
Hah! That would be great!
Posted by Annie (Member # 295) on :
I raise Aracauna chickens, which lay green eggs. But they're only green on the outside. Is that what you're talking about, Ducky? I've never heard of eggs that are any other color on the inside, unless you dyed them. Once, in 1st grade, we had a green eggs and ham dinner - the teacher actually dyed scrambled eggs and fried ham - it was great for little kids, we got a kick out of it.
Posted by ducky (Member # 451) on :
that's probably what we raised too. When you boil them the yolks turned green as well. Love the flavor. They're a little stronger than most eggs.
Posted by JaneGrey (Member # 477) on :
Ok, here goes. This is a little baby poem


Taking out the safety pins
that hold my life together
and keep me from unraveling

And now for a longer, more depressing poem

I was wearing that necklace when I heard,
when she told me in hushed tones by the water fountain
that you tried to take yourself from this world to the next.
When the one who loved you like I did
told me to kiss the necklace clasp and make a wish,
she said "I know what you wished for."
And she did. It was what she wished for too.
And every time I kissed that clasp, I prayed
"God let him be ok, bring him back to us."
You'll never know how many prayers were said on your behalf.
But as time passed, I forgot sometimes,
and I no longer reached for that golden circle when I was afraid
The summer was too hot for jewelry, even for my talisman.
I left it guarding my home,
but who was guarding you?
I haven't forgotten you.
I can't tell if I love you or hate you,
but I know that your presence hurts me.
I will always wonder if you are happy.
I will always wonder why you never needed me.

Questions? Comments?

Posted by jess (Member # 165) on :
jane.. "unravel" is wow. largely because the personal significance - even literally, is so powerful.. wish i could say more, but it's hard to elaborate on that without spending pages, and this isn't quite the place for it. but that poem.. says so much.
Posted by Samuel Bush (Member # 460) on :
Jane, I like both of your poems but for different reasons. Also they are both read-again-and-again poems.

Amira T, your app. form is good. It reminded me of something my old English teacher told us. But I’ll tell that later.

aka, I like Biology .

ducky, you’ve done it again with Ode to the Wild Iris. Nice work.

I do have a serious side that twinkles through the mists once and a while. It’s different from my sirius side which I use when I’m trying to write doggerel. So here is a serious one. Let me know if I’ve mixed any metaphores that I’m not aware of.

Worship Service

Cathedral mountains and their wind sculptured steeples arise
Surrounded by each climate's gardens beneath the stained glass skies.
Where every hill is a house of prayer and every grove a shrine,
The world reveals it's secrets slowly line upon line.

There are hymns of praise in a rain shower’s susurration,
And the vesper breezes whisper the “Kyrie eleison.”
The myriad choirs of the earth in lilting oratory
Sing, "For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory."

There are mighty sermons preached by storm and thunder's roar
As the ocean pounds its fist upon the pulpit of the shore.
Colliding continents shout, "Hosanna, to God and the Lamb.
And valleys echo back in benediction, "Amen and Amen."

There are prayers of faith in each mother's gentle caring.
And prayers of hope in every root and seed. They all are sharing
The promise of the spring. For all that sleep beneath the winter's cruel
Snows, have hope to see the advent of the sun and life's renewal.

Give me ears to hear and eyes to see, and quicken my spirit sense
That I can see, in the bowing grass or the planets whirling in space,
The oblations that they offer and the testimonies that they bear
That indeed there is a heaven and a loving Father there.

Samuel M Bush
April 1998

(there now, I finally corrected 'its' on line 10 per Annie's suggestion -- 1-12-00)

[This message has been edited by Samuel Bush (edited January 12, 2000).]

Posted by Annie (Member # 295) on :
Wow, Samuel, that was beautiful. The imagery, especially in the first few stanzas, was awesome.
The only thing I could find was a small typo - in line 10, you used it's where you should have used its.
But other than that, wow.
Posted by Yebor (Member # 440) on :
The Thousand Screams

The wind blows.
The rays of my existence,
they are almost gone.

I am pale.
The bright colors that once engulfed my body have faded.
Shades of brown and yellow now pierce me.
My usefullness to the mother has ended.
I know that i will die soon.

My grasp to the foundation is tearing.
A searing, ripping pain courses through me.
My last ties with the mother are severed.
Death is upon me.

I fall.
For what seems like a million miles i glide towards death.
A lone wail escapes as i plummet.
Soon i will be nothing.

In the waining hours of dusk.
A thousand screams pierce the woods.
Heard by noone,
mourned by nothing,
except their own silent mothers.

the reason i wrote this is very simple. when i was in DESERT STORM, i had a pen pal who told me that i wrote so vividly that i could make people hear leaves falling. I had to try. I dont come up with poetry through planning. it is a spur of the moment thing that hits me and usually takes me only 5 to ten minutes to write. trhank you for reaqding it. it is one of my works that i am most proud of.


Posted by Yebor (Member # 440) on :
The Thousand Screams

The wind blows.
The rays of my existence,
they are almost gone.

I am pale.
The bright colors that once engulfed my body have faded.
Shades of brown and yellow now pierce me.
My usefullness to the mother has ended.
I know that i will die soon.

My grasp to the foundation is tearing.
A searing, ripping pain courses through me.
My last ties with the mother are severed.
Death is upon me.

I fall.
For what seems like a million miles i glide towards death.
A lone wail escapes as i plummet.
Soon i will be nothing.

In the waining hours of dusk.
A thousand screams pierce the woods.
Heard by noone,
mourned by nothing,
except their own silent mothers.

the reason i wrote this is very simple. when i was in DESERT STORM, i had a pen pal who told me that i wrote so vividly that i could make people hear leaves falling. I had to try. I dont come up with poetry through planning. it is a spur of the moment thing that hits me and usually takes me only 5 to ten minutes to write. trhank you for reaqding it. it is one of my works that i am most proud of.


Posted by Annie (Member # 295) on :
Here's another serious one:

The Cedar Chest

Great-Grandma had a dusty cedar chest.
At times she'd take it out and show me treasures it concealed.
Her dusty voice would paint for me the pictures
Of years and lands gone by as on her handmade quilt we kneeled.

A faded black & white of grandpa showed
A noble, regal man in decorated uniform.
She told me how he flew across the world,
And braved the horrid thunders of that god-forsaken storm.

Newspaper clippings dated '41
Announced aloud in bold italic font, "We've Come to War."
Her faded Western Union envelopes
She never let me read - I never understood what for.

At rest beneath the scraps and trinkets sat,
As once the Ark sat sacredly upheld in wond'rous awe,
A faded banner of the softest felt
Adorned with stars of blue and gold, whose like I never saw.

I dared to ask her one October day
What was the meaning of the reverence for this ensign?
Her melancholy eyes pierced to my soul;
She told me of a pain no words could dare try to define.

The freedom and the solace of our lives
Are not eternal; they came only after sacrifice.
Our generation fails to understand-
The greatest gift the world has ever known still had a price.

Posted by ducky (Member # 451) on :
WOW, I AM SOOOOO IMPRESSED! I had to print this page. I am begining to think we need a Hatrack poetry book.
Posted by Samuel Bush (Member # 460) on :
Thanks, Annie. I've red threw "Worship Service" at least three gzillion thymes oar maybe even a dozen and never noticed that error. Now that you mention it, its glaring.

I'm glad you like it. The "Ensign" editor didn't, alas.

Posted by masteroftheobvious (Member # 363) on :
Annie, I love "The Cedar Chest". I got all misty reading through it. My grandma also keeps grandpa's military stuff in a cedar chest. We just went through it again on Veterans Day. <sniff>
Posted by userAnnie (Member # 447) on :
Yebor, "A Thousand Screams" was fantastic. But before I realized that it was about a leaf falling, I thought it was about a newborn baby leaving the womb. Did you ever look at it this way? You know, the foundation could be the placenta and only knowing the womb as it's mother, and falling a million miles may be going through the birth canal. The screams would be from mother and child. Well, maybe I read more into it than you intended. But I really enjoyed it.
Posted by userAnnie (Member # 447) on :
I found this poem when I was going through some of my old things at my mom's house. It was written to my first love. Oh, what sweet memories!


Hearts meshed, intertwined
Arms locked, holding tight
Lips touch, parting slightly, lingering...
Souls connect, holding steady
Becoming one, combining, ecstasy forever climbing
Rising like the sun, but never setting
The love begins to flow, to grow
To shine like the stars, but never dying out
Like an eclipse, your heart envelops mine
Like a life begun, our love is renewed
Inspirations unfold, never growing old
Like tinted glass, we mirror each other's love
And like the glowing moon, we know our love will never fade away.


Posted by masteroftheobvious (Member # 363) on :

Running around
and around and around
Falling down
Getting up
to spin again
for that giddy dizzy feeling

Racing to a hidden spot
turning back
Racing to the starting point
turning again
Racing back to the magic spot again
for the thrill of the wind on your face

Singing a song
over and over and over
As loud as you can
for as long as you can
for the joy of knowing the words and the tune

Climbing impossibly tall trees
Wading into mucky ponds
Tramping through deep dark woods
Rolling down green hills

Breathing in pure excitement
Exhaling adventures
Living fully in each moment

Oh, to be a child again.



Posted by ducky (Member # 451) on :
MOTO, that brought back a lot of memories

Samuel, So you have been published. I was wondering. I've been to chicken to submit anything. Hatrack is making me more courageous though. I still can't believe I had the guts to put any of my poems on the forums.

Posted by Samuel Bush (Member # 460) on :
Yebor, you make me sick. I hope you get jabbed by lots of spurs of the moment. (I usually decimate whole forests with rewrites and then I still don’t know if I’ve done any good.) I didn’t get “The Thousand Screams” at first. But when I finally did, it was like a picture coming into focus. Thanks for one of those thrills-of-discovery that add spice to life. Nice work.

Annie, userAnnie, and masterofthenostalgic, hmm do I like “The Cedar Chest,” “Passion,” or “Reminiscing” the best. I’m having trouble deciding. Oh well, I’ll think about it tomorrow.

ducky, I must have been unclear. It was NOT published. The “Ensign” rejected it. Oh well. (If you are interested in my unlustrious history of published stuff see the “Hatrack writers in print” thread in the writers forum. You’ll be underwhelmed.) As to your being chicken – I know how you feel. Keep submitting. You are good. A few hours ago, I saw the following on a ballet poster in my daughter’s dance studio and I thought of your last post. It didn’t say who wrote it.

Dream your dream
Then do your best . . .
Never doubt and never rest
Until that dream is yours.


Posted by Yebor (Member # 440) on :
thank you all for your wonderfull comments.
USERANNIE: i never thought of it that way but then again i am not a female so i would not be able to portray something like that effectively.
SAM: i rarely get spurs of the moments. somebody has to suggest i write about something before i can do what i did there.
I suggest taking uncle orsons andvice and go with your first impulse when you write something. Fiune tune it later but just trust your guts. you night find that your work will be easier and more satisfying.
Everybody: here is another of my favorites probably my most favorite because it can be vague in its meaning. After ya read it tell me what relly happened in the end i like getting peoples opinion on this one. I had a clear purpose in mind and i like to know if i conveyed it properly.

The Day It Was Hot At Dusk

The sun has just begun to set.
I enter the clearing.
He is standing on the far side.
a young man preparing to die.

Oh the rashness of youth.
An unintentional insult, rage, the challenge.
The only honorable answer.
My identity revealed, the contanance of fear.

It has been played out too many times.
Rapiers clash, blade upon blade.
How i loved that sweet music.
The more skillfull blade always foung its mark.


So here we are.
The master and the novice.
He stands before me.
Brave in the face of death.

We bow in proper respect.
We take the stance.
Rapiers clash,
Blade upon blade.
I hate this racket.
Oh the skill of this youth.
Blade connects with flesh.
A look of shock on his face.
I finally smile.


this one i came up with when i was perusing through SHAKESPEAR. I was reading a sword fight scene and i said to myself i can do that too.


Posted by ducky (Member # 451) on :
Yebor, I loved it. Sounds like he was finally bested.

Sorry, Samuel, I guess I misunderstood. I really enjoy reading your poetry. I do not always agree with whoever picks those items that appear in the Ensign. They turned one of my mother's down years ago and everyone who has ever read it loves it! I'll have to find my copy and post it here to she what you think.

I am really impressed with the quality of work I keep reading in this thread!

Posted by ducky (Member # 451) on :
Samuel, I am not underwhelmed. You are doing better than me. The most public anything of mine has gone is Sacrament Meeting.

Please, PLEASE I want to read 'Mother's Button Jar'

My whole family has a thing about buttons. Especially if there's a story attached.

My poetry is mostly written for members of my family.

This was written for one of my nephews


I looked into the child's eyes
and saw the ages roll.
I wondered who the man would be
that dwelt within that soul.

A spirit old as time itself,
a greater one than me?
I pondered how the boy would grow,
what wonders would he see.

I looked into the eyes of youth
and saw the glint of steel.
I knew what battles he must face;
my fears for him were real!

The world would try to strip away
the armour of his soul.
I prayed that he would find the strength
to reach his highest goal.

I turned my eyes to 'Father'
and offered up this plea:
"This child, this man, this mighty one,
Please, keep him close to thee!'

"Please, teach him who he really is,
show him how to find
The courage to preserve himself -
a royal son of thine!'

~Laurie Weston~

[This message has been edited by ducky (edited November 19, 1999).]

[This message has been edited by ducky (edited November 21, 1999).]

Posted by aka (Member # 139) on :
Samuel, I've been trying to write something like Worship Service for a long time. I like it a lot. Now that I've read yours, maybe mine will finally take birth.

Posted by Samuel Bush (Member # 460) on :
Yebor, your pen pal may well be right. You could probably make a description of paint drying interesting. I’ll email you what I got out of “The Day It Was Hot At Dusk” and let the others figure it out for themselves. Besides I may be all wrong and that would be embarrassing. We can post it later if you want. I’ll just say this here: I like it. It tells a whole story.

Well, ducky, about posting Button Jar -- I’ll think about it. Ok, I’ve thought it over and I’ll send it later. In the mean time, I like “Eyes.” Now, I like comic verse; I like rambunctious and even dark poetry too; but I also like the sweet stuff. And yours are really nice. Some people eschew rhyme, but they can just go and chew on a shoe for all I care. Keep up the good work. (Don’t get me wrong, there is a lot of really good non rhyming verse out there too.)

There are just three little errors, or at least I think they are. I’m certainly no grammar and punctuation expert by a long shot. So if I am mistaken and/or these are deliberate, please just ignore this: Should there be a question mark at the end of line 6 after “me”? And does there need to be a question mark after “see” at the end of line 8? Does the end of line 11 need a semicolon?

It’s a wonderful poem regardless.


Posted by Yebor (Member # 440) on :
I have never had anyhting published but in something that a sophmore honors class put together. In fact they left out the last most important line when they published it for the school. For some reason they rejected the day it was hot at dusk and aceepted that one when i feel that it was a weaker poem. I just dont know how to get my stuff published. If anybody has any suggestions please feel free to let me know. I would like to see my work in print and share it with more people.
Posted by Samuel Bush (Member # 460) on :
Well, ducky, here is “MOTHER'S OLD BUTTON JAR” and here is the story behind it. I don’t normally think of an old five gallon honey can as a jar. I took a little poetic license there. At any rate, my mother did have this can about three quarters full of old buttons, and I loved to play with them. Oh, I had other toys, but you know how kids are. You buy them a toy and they play with the box.

My wife has accumulated a big enamel canning pot nearly full of buttons. Even as old as I am, there is something soothing about sticking my hands in there and stirring those buttons around once in a while and hearing their hiss and clatter. Probably because of my mother’s buttons, I don’t mind (very much) picking up a few buttons after my darling little niece gets through playing with them. She used to fill her pockets full of them and then when it was time to go home her mother would have to empty the pockets. We didn’t mind her absconding with a few (we have plenty of them after all) but her mother didn’t want to have to pick them all up when she got home.

Well, that’s still not the story yet. What happened was my wife was doing a craft project. She took some fancy jars, made nice needle point lids for them and filled them with buttons. While she was doing this she suggested that I write a poem about buttons for her and she would print copies and include the poem with the jars. I couldn’t resist the challenge. Drawing on my childhood and my mother’s buttons, I wrote the following poem. I don’t know how it stacks up poetically with guys like Bob Frost, but at least it’s nostalgic.


My mother had an old button jar
With a million buttons at least.
Just bits of plastic and metal and bone
In more colors than Monet could have guessed.
Sometimes I tiled the Taj Mahal
Or dug up a pirate chest.
Sometimes it might be a king's ransom
Or a scaly old dragon's nest.
But it was always chubby little fingers' delight--
The toy that I loved the best.

Samuel M Bush
April 1994


Posted by ducky (Member # 451) on :
Samuel, you were correct about the punctuation. Sorry, I did edit it. I love your 'Button Jar'. I have the same response to a jar of buttons. I have a collection, so does my mother and both of my sisters! To me a jar of buttons is art for the sense of touch.

Not all of my stuff rhymes either. I love prose and free verse. Sometimes they speak far mor eloquently of our deeper feelings as in this prayer.

Father, forgive all the pettiness of my mind. Increase the love and charity within my heart and teach me to forgive as I would be forgiven. Bless me with compassion for all thy children. Fill me with light and set me, as a candle, wherver there is need of me. Help me to accept thy will in ALL THINGS! Take me by the hand and lead me home; but help me to remember that I must do my part. Do not let me forget that it is my task to take another's hand and guide it into yours.

[This message has been edited by ducky (edited November 21, 1999).]

Posted by Samuel Bush (Member # 460) on :
Nice work again, ducky.

Amira, back in May you posted a poem about your uni application form. I really like it. It made me remember something my old HS English teacher told us that I hadn’t thought about for many years.

His name was Charles Hunter. Think of Alfred E. Newman (Mad mag. mascot) on steroids and you get a pretty good picture of Mr. Hunter. If he had a motto it would have been “What! You better worry.” He was ornery, crass, and cynical. He could read about 1300 words per minute and he refused to grade on the curve. If the whole class deserved an F on an assignment then the whole class got just that, and it would seem to make his day. He could spin around and bounce a piece of chalk off the head of a whispering student from clear across the room. I was terrified of him and I had the good (yes, good) fortune of having English from him both my freshman and senior years. He was one of the best teachers I ever had.

Besides having a sir name of Hunter, he also was an avid hunter. He also had an extensive gun collection –both antique and new. Two of his freshman students gave him a card one day near the start of the year that said, “Old hunters never die, they just smell that way.” He liked it so much it hung at the edge of the blackboard the whole year.

He also loved poetry. He was one of the few teachers I ever had who would teach it – even if he had to make a course himself and squeeze it into the regular grammar and spelling course which he was required to teach. That’s exactly what he did with us.

One time he was telling us seniors about some of the academic stupidity we would be facing in college. He mentioned a personality profile test he had to fill out as part of his summer school masters program. One of the questions was, “Do you like guns or poetry?” He said that he threw down his pencil and threw back his head and roared with laughter. If he told us how he ultimately dealt with the question, I don’t remember. But I can picture him either just giving them the answer he figured they wanted to hear, or suggesting to them some uncomfortable place they could store their test. It could go either way.

He may even have been the one who wrote “On flunking a nice boy out of school.” I just don’t remember. He certainly was the one who introduced it to us. I memorized it for a skit we did in which I was imitating him. He loved it. Good old Mr. Hunter – may he rest in peace.


Posted by aka (Member # 139) on :

No pain could ever pierce me near as deep
As this dark disconnection in your eyes,
No fear is to the core so wholly near
As in the presence of your absence lies.

How is the soul connected to the flesh
So that he every cell of him informs?
How is the thread enwoven in the mesh,
the stars in seas, the stems in wreathes of thorns?

From deep in the heart of warmth I call abroad
Across the frozen rim to where you roam,
Edain, oh stranger to us and we to him,
I stand at the door... come in, come in, come home.

Posted by amira tharani (Member # 182) on :
Anne Kate, you finished it! It's wonderful! I love it already.

Samuel, your English teacher sounds brilliant. You never forget people like that. An ironic note on the uni application poem... I ended up writing a completely conventional personal statement. Lol!

Posted by Thomas J (Member # 399) on :
To Writer's Block.

I can't write a thing.
I've been sitting in front of a screen with my finger's on the keys and my mind has wandered to the point that I have played an hour of solitaire without noticeing it.
I've been staring at this blank page, but my pencil might as well be a strand of overcooked spaghetti, at least then I'd have an excuse for gnawing the eraser off.
I have 10 term papers, 2 plays, 1 letter to my mother, 50 e-mails to friends, and 1 check to the electric company I really should write.
But nothing happens.
I have ideas, that's not the problem, I've got beginnings without endings, middles without beginnings, several witty sayings, two good lines of dialogue, and an idea for a modern retelling of Oedipus Rex, entitled "Oedipus was a Motherf*cker".
But my hands are gone.
They used to write poems that sounded good even when someone read them monotone, trying to be artsy.
But now the ideas travel from my brain and get lost, spilling into the air, and leaving me with this one, blanck page.

Posted by Richard Berg (Member # 133) on :
I've been curious ever since you posted your "brag," Tom. (That's HUGE, btw.) Which poem?

Let me guess: "Ode to a Fetal Pig"

Posted by aka (Member # 139) on :
This one is from Survivor:

                                 So Quietly 

Here There are lost dreams
and we quietly grieve Them
For Their dreamers are fled and will not Follow
and They must lie unfulfilled

In This cold shadow
The candlelight of mens dreams
So near extinction

Yet comes the morn
To those that hope
and wrest eternity
from death

In silent Battle engaged
for The dreams men dream
To God

[This message has been edited by aka (edited December 23, 1999).]

Posted by krynn (Member # 524) on :
my friend is into the beastie boys, and this is what he came up with the other day... i know its not origianl since it is from him, but for a spur of the moment thing he can really flow with rhymes! so here goes:

Now when it 4:20 and you know its time

To light up that joint and smoke that dime

You better step back when I start to rhyme

Only Sprite got's the flavor with the lemon and the lime!

i dont think that can compete with anything else on this thread, but it was just so cool how he made this up right off the top of his head!

i have some original poetry at my house ranging from spiritual to funny to pointless stuff. but im at my friends house now and he just came up with the above, so when my cable modem is working again i will post some of MY poetry. until next post, cya!

Posted by aka (Member # 139) on :
Oh, wow, wow, wow! That is amazing what you just did! More! Please give us more!

Edit: Hey! ScottR, there was a poem of yours here right before this post of mine! Did you delete it? Why?

[This message has been edited by aka (edited June 15, 2001).]

Posted by Samuel Bush (Member # 460) on :
Anne Kate, thank you for writing and posting “Ode.” It is really nice work. Also I want to thank you for mentioning Thomas Hardy back on Nov. 23th in the “Books: . . .” etc thread. I’d never heard of him before so it was fun to discover a new (for me) poet that I like. “Smooth” is one of the words that comes to mind when I read his poetry. It would be really nice to hear some of his works read by the late Vincent Price or someone of like voice. I wonder if any such recordings exist?

Thomas J., I liked “To Writer’s Block.”

Scott, DITTO to what aka said: WOW.

I wrote a poem today. This is the fastest I’ve ever done that. It takes me a long time to write one, and then I usually let it sit for a while after I have “finished” it and then see if I can still stand it after a few months. But I’m going to take a chance on this one and post it now. Most likely I’ll want to change some of it in the future. We will just have to wait and see. It was inspired by two things: 1) I have a close relative who is having problems with depression right now. And 2) I’ve wanted to try to write a poem for Christmas and this subject (i.e. Christ’s message of hope) fit. So as a Christmas gift to all of you, here it is. I hope it doesn’t turn out to be a ‘white elephant’ type.


Once verdurous, it now lies
A sere and sienna field of despair,
Until a waft of feather-snow
Wraps the meadow quiet in repose.
Then the day dawns clear and white,
And crystal radiance reveals the miracle
Wrought soft here in the night.

Once shepherds trembled
In darkness and despair,
Until the songs of heaven
Wafted peace into each soul.
Then each face turned toward Bethlehem,
And, from each heart, the miracle of hope
Dispelled the fear.

Samuel M Bush
Dec. 23, 1999


Posted by Scott R (Member # 567) on :
My high school AP english teacher used to hammer on the point that poetry was a medium of communication. It allows intelligent beings to reach out and touch one another's souls. Poetry creates connections between people.

In that spirit, I am submitting this little piece written just after the birth of my little girl.

'Twas the Eve of October

Twas the eve of October, and in our small house
Mandy was screaming, she scared even the mouse.

The curtains were drawn and the lights were all out
But Scott was awake and pacing about.

Mandy was sprawled out all over the bed
If she could have stood up she would have damaged Scott's head.

A pain so intense, like ten million slaps,
Kept her from sleeping, no not even a nap.

Scott was confused by all of the clatter,
His brain wasn't working, he asked "What's the matter?"

"Grab all of our things and don't forget cash,
We'd best hurry up, but try not to crash."

And soon to our wandering car did appear
The hospital! "Thank goodness we're here!"

The emergency personnel weren't lively or quick,
And we were in no mood to put up with their schtick.

"On doctors, on nurses, and on medicine men!
The epidural we want, we want it times ten!"

And in a twinkling we were up in our room,
The medicine was dripping, it did not come too soon!

We drew in our breaths with sighs of delight
And tried to get rest, it had been a long night.

But of rest there was none, no, not even a wink
The baby was coming! We were right on the brink!

So Mandy did push with all that she had,
And Scott cried out loud, "I'll soon be a dad!"

After sixteen long hours, and none of them mild,
We finally progressed to the birth of a child.

With a head full of hair and eyes like the sky,
We greatly rejoiced to hear our baby's first cry.

Scott R

Posted by Lord Ragged (Member # 568) on :
well met in this gathering
of avenues and oysters
the scream of steel in stone
dark glass unshaping winds
casting them upon these valleys
well come to this birthing age
its name still strange upon our lips
its rage as yet unborn
and on its back a scattering of shadow
but for now
the fires left unbanked will dance
a babble will rise from the throng
the flies will hum in symphony
the dogs hungry and wild will howl their song
oh! what a personal event
this singularity
contained in a million and eight million more
that we—
the thirst of oceans
the hunger of universes
the first breath of babies
—should meet
I, a passing thought
and you
a memory of leaves
Posted by Scott R (Member # 567) on :
Lord Ragged:

I liked the above- it gave me the sense of spinning out of control through a terrifying world. Madness, chaos- I don't think I've ever read them described so well as in your poem.

Of course, I could be totally off base in my interpretation of your work. In which case, I beg you to enlighten me.


Posted by aka (Member # 139) on :
Another contribution from Survivor


I am still
and quietly hear the soft click
and scrape of a pawn
I am still
and Reverently Touch the cold
shapes of my dead
I am still
and cautiously inhale the fragrance
of the crushed flowers and damp mossy earth by The stream
I am still
yet with feral anticipation taste blood
and Hunt my enemies
I am still
So the cool springs of mind
reveal the wider horizon
I am still
and look so Tentatively for the Eyes of a Friend
shaded and Deep pools that
shine softly with a warm
and comforting
yet painful
In Their shielded recess
Light of calm happiness

[This message has been edited by aka (edited December 31, 1999).]

Posted by Lord Ragged (Member # 568) on :
I guess that is how I see the world now. Either that or it's how I'm feeling right now. Truth to tell, I'm not exactly sure what my poem is all about. All I know is that I spent hours working on it and posted it anyway despite the fact that I thought it wasn't finished. You're right when you said you sense chaos. I sense it too.
I will be posting my comments within the week. That is, after I've finished reading everything here.
Posted by masteroftheobvious (Member # 363) on :
I have not looked at this thread in a while, I must say I was overwhelmed at the fantastic poetry here since Christmas or so!

Survivor, I am in awe of the imagery in your poems. They are simply beautiful!

Scott R, I have to ditto the Wows for Autumn #1. Again, the imagry captures so much! Very well done! Twas the eve in October brought back the memories of the births of my sons. Thank you for that poem. No rain was a haunting poem, it brought back the memories of a dear departed friend and how she lurks around corners in my dreams at times. I am curious to know what inspired it.

Samuel, Feather snow is very moving in it's beauty. I truely enjoyed reading it and will remember it for a long time.

Lord Ragged, I feel like your poem is just touching on something that is just barely out of reach of my concious understanding, but if I can just reach whatever it is, I will know what is wrong in the world and be able to figure a way out of it. It is a stirring piece. Very well written. I find myself reading it again and again to try to touch what it contains.


Posted by Scott R (Member # 567) on :

"No Rain" was written while I lived in Italy-it started out as a short story in my mind. I kept going over and over the theme of loss and redemption, and when I finally put it down into words, it came out as a poem. The idea to make it into an anthology of connected works came later, after I returned to the States.

As for inspiration, I'm not sure where "No Rain" came from. I could just "hear" it settling down in my mind, line by line. I've only lost one good friend (only? Like one is not enough. . .), and don't consider myself very experienced in the field of loneliness. I guess that's where empathy comes in.


Posted by amira tharani (Member # 182) on :
Just "wow" to all the last ones. Scott, I never knew you wrote poetry! They are amazing!

New poetry is not happening right now, but I'm going to post an old one that I don't think this forum has seen.


Woke to the world wheeling, room empty,
Desk full, papers strewn, random
Tunes blaring from the radio alarm.

Drank coffee from stained mug
Through gritted teeth, fingers
News-blackened. Left, slamming door.

Home in the dark of car headlights, street
Lamps spewing dull light. Wrote essays
On God's nature, James Joyce, mechanics.

Dreamed of a world apart, the manic
Life now a dream. On the open sea
A small boat, tossed on the wind. Turned

Into the grey dawn. Woke to angry music
Devoid of love, drums beating, heart
Wrenching. More coffee. Out.

In. More essays. More dreams. Up.
Drink coffee. Read newspaper. Out. In.
Essays, dreams, coffee, newspaper.

Newspaper, coffee, dreams, essays.
Wrote of the wrenching separation,
The chasm of creator from creature.

Dreamed of a fall into fire, a rope
Flung into a void. Woke on the brink
Of an abyss, looking down, reaching up.

Prayed for a firm hand, a strong grasp,
A steel bridge, a shrinking gap. No

Any comment or criticism is most welcome!

Posted by Scott R (Member # 567) on :

"Inarticulate" was not so inarticulate at all. I think you capture our harried lives very well. The rush and movement of the poem is what really caught me. Like the last week of finals, after working a 70 hour week in a busy restaurant.

Whew. Very well done. I think I need a nap now.


Posted by Lord Ragged (Member # 568) on :
Out of sorrow
Out of stone
Out of the old place some call Home
Out of shadow
Out of sky
Out of my own coiled fear I fly
Out of water
Out of shame
Out of the tired thing called my name
Out of age
Out of reach
Out of the cracked bent autumn speech
Out of pockets
Out of time
Out of breath and into rhyme
Posted by sarfa (Member # 579) on :
"Almost, But Never Enough"

Trails carved by neglect
traverse a ravaged arm.
A toppled pedestal subtly
hints at perfection, at disease.
Stones shatter.
Line by masochistic line,
powdered shards
overwhelm a haggard heart;
these shards cut blissfully deep.
Crimson trickles from the nose
to caress the lips;
a drop of blood
for every amorous rejection;
for the supple, gentle hands
that lingered upon a face
forced away. Bound by pain;
capitulating grace for the parasite of pity;
glamour for life; envy for love;
dependence for direction;
oblivion for agony.
A procession of intertwining almosts;
A surrogate existence conceived in fallacy;
A final,
of rest.


His callused hands clutch
at the waning sands of autonomy.
The borrowed pride that he transfuses
daily refuses to buttress his fragile ego.

Sometimes he stands in front of the mirror
for hours, fixated on catching some fleeting
sign of recognition. The myriad
faces before him melt and merge
into a grotesque, featureless mass
that almost could be called a man.

Long ago he resigned
himself to the mottled shroud
that blankets his true countenance.
The sparse approbation, doled
out in grudging spurts
from a bitter man, assured
that he would forever lust
after accpetance like a blood-frenzied
shark, gaunt from lack
of proper nourishment.

He adjusts his brightly painted noose
as he prepares to squirm
his way through pallid
colleagues, hoping to appease
enough for promotion, always assuming
the form of another's dispostion.

At lunch, he cannot look into the eyes
of the engineer, knowing the contentment
in them will always be at the periphery;
knowing it is the one thing he cannot mimic.

I wrote these about a year ago & I would appreciate any comments and/or criticism you might have. By the way, some of the poetry on here is amazing.

Posted by Annie (Member # 295) on :

Eight years old, at summer's dawn,
I went to search for butterflies.
Into the field of dun and fawn,
To capture colors of the skies.

A fleeting touch, a flash of white,
And soon she rested in my net.
I fed her leaves, I fed her honey,
But soon she died, and I'd forget.

As now I gaze upon the field,
The haze of dusk obscures my view.
Where once the butterflies would dance,
I see only fading dreams of you.

I must have lost my trusty net,
I must have kept the jar too tight.
I have forgotten where she lives,
I fall sobbing into the night.

I've searched the world for butterflies,
I've searched the world for my true love,
I have forgotten who I am,
I've lost the path lit from above.

If I could only see the days
When love was only butterflies,
When all I needed was a net
To keep the darkness from my eyes.

Posted by Piman (Member # 530) on :
I've just been leaning back reading all of the poetry here and I must say you all do very well. I have enjoyed all of them.

I wasn't going to post anything here, but changed my mind.

The following poem is a Sestina one of my favorite forms of poetry.

Jordan L. Hyde

My Grandmother talked to 'things' as if they were alive.
Stove, vacuum cleaner, kitchen sink, dust mop, garden shears.
My mom said she was talking to my Grandfather who is dead.
But that wasn't true, I watched her and I listened to her talk,
these 'things' were her friends.
She would only look at the framed photograph of my Grandfather.

I can't remember my Grandfather,
he was gone before I was alive.
He was a social man with many friends.
He would spend hours talking to his neighbor Mister Shears,
then my Grandmother would join in the talk.
Soon after my Grandfather, Mister Shears too was dead

My Grandmother was quiet after my Grandfather was dead.
She loved and missed him, my Grandfather.
After a while my Grandmother began to talk.
At first this was good, she seemed so alive.
She would go to the window and look outside, pulling away the shears.
Then she would let the drapes fall and talk to her friends.

In the beginning it was when she was alone with her friends.
After all, everyone she had loved was now dead.
One day my Mother found her in the yard talking to her garden shears.
My Grandmother told her she was talking to my Grandfather,
because to her it was like he was still alive.
When my Mom left, she continued to talk.

Soon, it was clear this was more than just self talk,
she started telling people about her friends.
No one could think of a friend that was still alive,
all her acquaintances were long since dead.
They excused it as pining for my Grandfather,
but just to be safe, they took the garden shears.

She talked to her vacuum and sink when they took the shears.
She just needed someone to listen. She needed to talk.
But she would only stare at the photo of my Grandfather.
She had a whole new circle of friends,
friends who would never be dead,
because they were never alive.

Garden shears, kitchen sink, vacuum cleaner - friends
They let her talk - now she is dead,
with my Grandfather. Now I talk with them, because I am alive.

Jordan L. Hyde


Posted by Lord Ragged (Member # 568) on :
Samuel, aka, Thomas J and Scott,

May I kindly have permission to post your poems in one of the lists I belong to? My old college friends are posting poetry right now so I'd like to share your with them. Pleeeeeeaaaase!

Posted by Scott R (Member # 567) on :
LR- Hmm. I don't mind too much, to tell the truth. As long as you send me the glowing praises for my work your colleagues will inevitably offer.

Piman- okay, that hit way too close to home this early in the AM. I worked at a mental hospital for a time, and at least twice a week went to the senior citizen's wing. Most of them were people who had no one to listen to them. I liked the simplicity and clearness of your sestina. You conveyed the emotion of loneliness very well

Posted by Samuel Bush (Member # 460) on :
Good grief, Lord Ragged! Including me with the other three is high praise indeed. When you use that kind of flattery, what choice does a guy have but to say – “YES!” Besides you DID use the magic word.

I just ask three tiny favors: (One) Please spell my name correctly. ‘Samuel M Bush’ -- there is NO period after the middle initial. I know that sounds kind of picky, but a guy has to be allowed at least one quirk.
(Two) Let me know where to find the site. It sounds interesting.
(Three) If you figure out a way for us to make any dough off this stuff, please let us know.


Posted by aka (Member # 139) on :
Yes, and also be sure to put a link back here to Hatrack, so in case anyone on the list is curious they can come and find us.
Posted by Carma (Member # 621) on :
I was meandering through the Internet when I fell into this Web site. I am impressed by
the caliber of Poetry shared here (for free, wow, I would even pay for this, and I’m
somewhat of a spendthrift). There are so many great gems here. “Thousand Screams”
took me two readings to start to figure out. “Cedar Chest” was great. Samuel Bush, I had a “button jar” as well. Thanks for sharing it yet again. The following is based on a wooden puzzle I had as a child.


around, up, & down
the long corridor winds endlessly
double back & dead end wall
still the ball rolls down the track
beyond the traps, left & right
finally arriving, what goal to see?
the end is the beginning.


Posted by Lord Ragged (Member # 568) on :
welcome carma! and i liked your poem so thank you for that too. i kept puzzling over it, seeing and hearing the puzzle clicking and snapping and unraveling in my head, making knots in my brain--but aren't brains knotty in the first place?
piman, what exactly is a sestina? i'm not too familiar with poetry forms. i know the haiku and i think i seem to remember something about iambic pentameters and stuff like that. but sestina I know nothing about.
Aka and Scott have been using rhymes and meters, something which I know is extremely difficult to do, which shows how much these two have honed their craft.
I also want to thank everyone who have allowed me to post their poems on one of the mailing lists I belong to. You are such great people. I'll cross-post the comments later.
Posted by Samuel Bush (Member # 460) on :
Carma, send your check to . . . never mind -- just kidding. Hey, I think I had that puzzle too when I was a kid. Glad to have you with us.

Piman, I’m glad you decided to post. Reading “Friends” was an emotional experience. Well done, sir. By the way, are Sestinas hard to write? I’ve never dared try to write one yet.

After all the fine posts lately, it seems a little like a desecration to post another parody satire. Ah, what the hell. Here goes anyway.

The original is “The Cremation of Sam McGee” by Robert Service. It’s one of my favorite comic poems. Especially in extremely cold weather like we are having now. It must be 58 degrees above zero out there. Brrrrrrr! Why, when I look out the window, I see polar bears cavorting. Wait a minute . . .my mistake. That was just a TV Coke ad reflecting off the window.

(with apologies to Robert Service)

There are strange things writ by the self-styled wit
by the ones who script for cash.
They think they're smart, and they call it art
but it smells a lot like trash.
And sponsors reap as they lure the sheep,
and their profits guarantee.
So to entertain those with half a brain,
they created trash TV.

So they gave us some shows where anything goes; where the young and the restless debauch.
As another world turns and the guiding light burns, there is one life to live (or just watch).
And the trashiness glares for certainly there's more sleaze that the writer contrives
In a half hour show than the rest of us know through all the days of our lives.

"Not my fault", groans little Jenny Jones. And Oprah is a big success.
Geraldo's face was there to catch a chair. Sally's still trying to impress.
There is Marilu and Springer too (another show that reeks).
Is nothing taboo! And just where do they dig up all those freaks?

Now the Povich guest is a swine at best. But Maury's such a sensitive guy:
When his guests repine and berate and whine, he make you almost cry.
And that Connie Chung is no longer young, and she wants a kid real bad.
But her big mistake if a child she'd make: she needs a real man for its dad.

"If we can't find news to fit our views, we'll make up some that will.
"Few facts attest? Invent the rest. We've got some time to fill.
"Experience shows that all the schmoes will believe anything we say
"If our smiles are bright, and our makeup's right, and Stossel has enough hair spray."

Can PBS really pass the test in the TV market place?
With their constant screech as they rail and preach of how evil man's laid waste
To the habitat of the roach and rat. Oh weep for Gaea's fate!
And the audience horde they hope won't get bored watching animals mate.

And the prime time fare?--no improvement there. Good taste won't stand in the way
Of the bedroom scenes and the joke routines and the fluff they show each day.
And they're making bets we'll be glued to our sets and they can sell some more cop shows
If they make with more of the blood and gore and a little less with the clothes.

From your hygiene needs to a car that speeds, they'll sell you all they can,
With a catchy song you can sing right along with a bozoid
fast food man.
Or the party throng with their beer and song--not a fat one in the bunch.
No hair out of place nor a zit on a face . . . I might just lose my lunch!

There are strange things writ by the self-styled wit
by the ones who script for cash.
They think they're smart, and they call it art
but it smells a lot like trash.
And sponsors reap as they lure the sheep,
and their profits guarantee.
So to entertain those with half a brain,
they created trash TV.

By Samuel M Bush
Feb. 1995

(P.S. If any of you think I have stepped off the foot path of satire into the swamp of mean spiritedness, let me know.)

[This message has been edited by Samuel Bush (edited January 14, 2000).]

[This message has been edited by Samuel Bush (edited January 14, 2000).]

[This message has been edited by Samuel Bush (edited January 14, 2000).]

Posted by Samuel Bush (Member # 460) on :
Wow, the formating sure got messed up on that one. The first and last verses were supposed to be in italics. How do you get italics on these posts?
Posted by Scott R (Member # 567) on :
Sam- That was hilarious! I've got to admit, every once in a while when I come home, I'm so tired I can't do anything but veg in front of Guiding Light. You're right, it's sheer drivel.

LordR- about that rhyming meter. . . For a long time I hated rhyming poetry. If it rhymed, it sucked. Then I started reading Robert Frost, and I saw the wit in it. Frost is succinct and elegant at the same time. As I read, I think it was "The Tolling of the Mill Bell" I hardly even realized it rhymed. He's that good. Anyway, I took it as a challenge to make some rhyming poetry, and now find I enjoy searching for the right turn of phrase.

Posted by Annie (Member # 295) on :
Ha ha! I love it Sam. I don't know why, but to me parodies are the funniest form of writing. That's why I love Weird Al and Mad Magazine - I guess it's just the fact that it takes something familiar and twists it that makes it funny.

Anyway - has anyone else written sonnets? I love sonnets, and I think it's because they're such a challenge. Rhyme and meter matter so much, and yet the words still mean something. I wrote one that I really liked while I was at home over break, but I wrote it on paper (astonishing for keyboard-happy little me) and forgot it there. If I go home anytime soon (don't hold your breath) I'll post it for you. Meanwhile, I'll try to find my sonnet rules again and write another.
But still, Shakespeare's sonnets are the best. My favorite one (of course, now I can't remember the number or the title) is the one where he makes fun of the methaphors used to describe beauty by saying his true love is less-than-spectacular-looking ("If snow is white, why then, her breast is dun"), but then concluding that he loves her anyway, and finds her extremely beautiful. What a sweet little poem!

Why doesn't anyone write me adorable little sonnets and lovely poems? Sigh....

Posted by aka (Member # 139) on :
My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun...

Yes, that's a good one! I also love...

No more be grieved at that which thou hast done...

Especially the line

Thy adverse party is thy advocate.

Shakespeare kicks butt, no question! I've never written any sonnets, though. Lord Ragged requested to see skygazer so I thought I'd post it here on the new forum. Apologies to those who have already seen it.


Stars like clotted dust across the sky,
You fit the Barlow, focus, squint your eye,
As gleaming planets swim into your view
I watch the night, the telescope, and you.

Exploding starsurf winds, galactic seas
Across the aeon spins in mysteries
Of long ago, of here, the never now
The deeping cold, the whistling void, and thou.

[This message has been edited by aka (edited January 14, 2000).]

Posted by Annie (Member # 295) on :
I remembered the name of another one I like... "The Forward Violet Thus Did I Chide", but I can't remember what it's about or why I liked it. Hmmm... sounds like time for a trip to the library.

I love "Skygazer," AKA! If I read it before, I don't remember doing so, but I really enjoyed it. It's one of those situations I've found myself in before, strangely enough. Cute, cute, cute. Yet refined. Gotta love it.

[This message has been edited by Annie (edited January 14, 2000).]

Posted by sarfa (Member # 579) on :
aka, yours poems are beautiful. Thank you for sharing them.


With hourglass he lightly treads
past soiled sheets and diseased beds
whose withered occupants berate
the passing of his malignant charm.
His threadbare robes and wizened eyes
have seen Caesars fall and tyrants rise
like pistons churning inside
the iron belly of a locomotive.

Conceived to die besieged by time,
I am the undead paradigm.

As Thanatos comes close behind
to ferry the souls that Time strips
from their flesh like rain soaked clothes.
He grants reprieve to famished lands
while plucking soldiers one by one
from crimson fields with his sniper's gun.
He is the drunk behind the wheel;
the cancer in the smoker's chest;
the maniac in the old school tower
with rifles poised to shower whirling
lead upon pedestrians far below.

Conceived to die, besieged by time,
I am the undead paradigm.

With a surgeons skill he stitches closed
the wounds afflicted long ago;
sutures shut the longing for the big black
bike that never came on Christmas day;
sutures shut with cold barbed wire
the lies of an unfaithful lover;
sutures the searing pain
of an overdosed and dead dear brother.

Conceived to die, besieged by time,
I am the undead paradigm.

He mutes the voices that bestow
the wisdom of compiled years upon
the sponge like ears of a naive young boy.
He negates the choices that weave together
to form the weathered road that supports the weary feet of all who tread upon it;
until all that remains is a withered frame in soiled sheets
berating the passing of his malignant charm.

Posted by Annie (Member # 295) on :
Sarfa - I really liked that. It made me think a lot about poetry.

I'm reading a book called "Triggering Town" by Richard Hugo for my texts & critics class - and it's basically a lecture on how to write poetry. I agree with a great deal of it, but the examples of poetry in it can at times make my skin crawl. I can't stand it when people think of a few good metaphors, chop all the transitory words out, and staple them together on a page to form a gob of mismatched nothings that are supposed to express some emotion. I can't stand poems that simply describe a situation without bringing in a meaning. Situations in poems should be "triggers" (according both to the book and my own personal tastes) that lead to a moral lesson/observation/profound truth/whatever instead of just saying it how it is. It's like one of those unattributed quotes that swim around my brain "We're drowning here, and you're describing the water." No matter how "poetically" you say something, it should have a point. On the opposite end of the spectrum, poems that are solely about emotion and use phrases like "I stand here, desolated and melancholy" are just as bad - emotion should come across without having to actually use words to describe the emotion. That's why I really admire poems like "Chronos" - they use such beautiful methaphors and poetic language (souls being stripped like wet clothes), aren't afraid to conform to rhyme or meter (and although "Chronos" isn't strict about either, it is lightly fringed with form, and that's nice), and still mean something that you can spend the next few hours thinking about!

Well, everyone, there's Annie's discertation on poetry today. Hope you enjoyed it. Here's a pleasant little poem that has nothing to do with any of that crap I just said, to make your day a bit brighter:

A birdie with a yellow bill
Hopped upon my windowsill,
Cocked his shining eye and said,
"Ain't you 'shamed, you sleepyhead?"
-Robert Louis Stevenson

Posted by Samuel Bush (Member # 460) on :
“Just shut your yap, you early bird!
You should catch worms. Or ain’t you heard?
So fly away and let me sleep.
It’s my day off today, you creep!”

Samuel M Bush


Posted by Jettboy (Member # 534) on :
The Internet Post

Last night I lingered
just a little too long
viewing the screen,
with the bright yellow

Trying hard as I might
to dispel my delight,
at encountering freedom
to write my thoughts

the keys gave way
to my fanciful word play
a little too quick
a little too harsh
for the gentle reader.

I found myself alone
with a few to answer
calling me names
calling the shots
against this gentle writer.

Nothing finished
no one harmed
we grimace, then smile
and continue along.


Posted by aka (Member # 139) on :
Lol, Sam, that was great!
Posted by sarfa (Member # 579) on :
Thanks for the compliment annie.
I wrote this poem when contemplating the death of a childhhod friend who was struck by a drunk driver. WARNING this is not a happy poem.

"Point Zero Eight"

The I.V. slips through
pale skin to meet the gushing
hunger of the big, blue vein.
The transparent tube, an umbilical chord,
sways back and forth in the tamed breeze
flowing through the open window.
The EKG blips a waltzing beat
whose green peaks reflect on the face
of the rolex watch resting
on the chrome tray littered with the contents
of emptied pockets; a stick of chewing gum,
a scuffed leather wallet. and a cheap, black comb.
He flips his disheveled hair back
from his brow and orders another
shot. The shrill shouts of his
wife still echo inside his skull;
so he drowns them in scotch,
another night spent on the rocks.
He trips over a short, squat stool
as he stumbles through the oppressive
smoke towards the door. He focuses
on the seconds ticking by on the face of his Rolex watch as he fumbles
through his pockets for the keys to his car.
Thec concrete pylon rips
through the steel frame of his BMW,
his head caroming off the steering wheel
like a billiard ball. The shattered glass
settles in his hair and shines
red in the spinning lights of the ambulance.
The door to the room whips open
as a thin, green line traverses the face
of the Rolex watch resting
on the chrome tray littered with contents
of emptied pockets; a stick of chewing gum,
a scuffed leather wallet, and a cheap black comb.

Posted by Annie (Member # 295) on :
Such abuse, such bitter words!
To get revenge, the little bird,
Perched upon a Christmas cactus,
Used Sam's head for target practice.


Posted by sarfa (Member # 579) on :
annie, you just put a smile on my face.
Posted by Annie (Member # 295) on :
I aim to please.
Well, here's a not-so-happy poem, and I really want your honest opinion, because, frankly, I don't like it. I actually wrote an unrhyming poem of the ambiguous type that I love to hate. But I'm taking the advice from the book I'm reading, and hoping I can do it justice. This poem was "triggered" (inspired, I guess you could say) by a visit I took to Peerless, Montana, which is not the end of the world, but you can see it from there. (actual quote from a local.) Tell me what you think.


$3.97 for lunch and $15 in the gas tank.
Three hours and three grain elevators later,
I pulled off at a brown sign.
I talked with the senior class - three girls.
They envied my cup from McDonald's.
The horizon was a Mobius strip.

Postcards from visits litter my desk.
A piece of postcard-sized letterhead
Says "Peerless" in black ink.
My wall is covered with men who will never love me
And works of art that no one will ever see.
The window is shrouded in branches.

I am a mosaic of poster putty and compact disks.
None of my plastic voices can comfort me-
My neighbors can't hear my stereo.
The wind whimpers, wounded by the mountains.
The answering machine stares at me with one eye,
All-knowing, unblinking.

In Peerless, girls with beautiful hair
Wake up early and curl it painstakingly.
Thirteen people see it.
I stick pictures on my third-floor window and
Three hundred people pass. I wish loneliness
Came in neon tubes.

[This message has been edited by Annie (edited January 17, 2000).]

Posted by sarfa (Member # 579) on :
Wow. I'm not sure why you don't like it, it conveys emotion, but is anchored in concrete images. I usually do not like poems that are fragmented (by fragmented, I mean each line presenting a different scene or emotion) because they lack continuity and are full of vague abstractions, but yours is so specific, so visual, while at the same time it overflows with emotion. Usually I can pick a poem apart until the writer breaks into tears, but this one has me stumped. I think (and I'm not exagerating) that this is one of the best poems I've seen posted here, (but then I've always liked dark, morose, and macabre poetry). By the way, it would make a good song. how do you make those little smiley faces?
Posted by Samuel Bush (Member # 460) on :

Now Sam’s pate is not so dark.
The little bird has found her mark.
His wit is stumped of things to say
To gentle Annie but – “Touché!”


Posted by Lord Ragged (Member # 568) on :
Haha! Sam. Serves you right!

Annie, your poem is great. I felt melancholic and lonely reading it. The book on poetry you're using seems to be giving you perfect advice. I'm curious, what do you not like about your poem? Maybe it's Peerless, Montana that you don't like. But I like the choice of your poem. Peerless--the name is ironic because it means "without peer, unique." And that makes it a lonelier place than other places that may physically compare with it.

Sarfa, a darkness hovers over your poems. There is death, tiredness and a sort of meaninglessness to existence. That is what I'm getting. I do not sense hope, just terrible lonely endings. I'm curious about Point Zero Eight. Did the drunk driver die or were you wishing him dead in your poem? Just curious.

To everyone on this thread or those simply looking in I'd like to ask a few questions which I hope you'd all answer. Can you make a happy poem when you're sad? Or a sad poem when you're bursting with happiness? Or is poetry too much tied to emotion to be anything other than what the poet feels at the very moment when he or she writes?


Posted by gumbo (Member # 618) on :

What would I have been
if she wasn't born
those many long years ago
I was already here
just two years old
on my way up to Idaho

My birth had begun
in a southwestern town
with tacos and cacti galore
And here I am now
in a southeastern town
where she's blessed me with so much more

What do I owe her?
The list never ends
She's given me peace and joy
She gave me a baby
now a two year old girl
(when at the time I wanted a boy)

She gives me good sense
when it's not to be found
in my shallow and empty brain
She keeps me in line
and guides me home
when all others have dropped the reins

Her birthday's today
She is lonely, depressed
Her spirit is withered, fatigued.
She holds in her hand
the key to my heart
And thus I too have grieved.

I want to give her
a present that will
make the world in her eyes look better
Without much money
will someone please tell me
what in the world I should get her?


Posted by amira tharani (Member # 182) on :
To Gumbo

Though still just a child,
And ignorant too
I really do firmly believe
That your true love
And your gratitude
Is the greatest gift she can receive.

Posted by sarfa (Member # 579) on :
Lord Ragged, you are right about the darkness of my poems. I usually only write poetry when I'm depressed or angry. It is something like a therapy session, it let's me empty my emotion on to a page for me to examine (as well as a way to redirect those negative emotions into something creative). It's not that I'm never happy, or never hopeful, just that I don't write poetry (generally) about those times. My favorite poet is Edgar Allen Poe. I like dark, introspective art (of all kinds), and that is reflected in my writing.

No, I did not want the drunk driver to die (and he didn't). The poem is not even losely based on the story behind my friends death, I just transfered some of the feelings I had during the event to a made up circumstance for poetic purposes.

I do think poetry is too tied into emotion (for me)to ever write a happy poem when I'm sad or vice versa.

Posted by gumbo (Member # 618) on :
I thank you AMIRA
for the counsel you gave
which I read, pondered, and followed
I humbled myself
put pride on the shelf,
my ego I hastily swallowed.

To her what meant more
than gifts from some store
was to do what came akward to me
So I did my best
to grant her requests
to do what came unnaturally

I must have looked foolish
or crazy to some
but I went and "took one for the team"
But when it was done
we had loads of fun
and her eyes had recaptured "that gleam"


Posted by sarfa (Member # 579) on :
Tell you what Scott R, If you want to skip the angst driven poetry, no problem; any time you see my name in this section, skip it, as the posted poem will probably be full of nasty angst.

On that note, here is a real oldy (I'm almost out of recent material, guess I'll have to get depressed so I can write more poetry ) If you haven't noticed, I finally took the time to check the FAQ to learn how to make those smilies.


Stumbling across a cluttered room,
he was a befuddled giant, trying in vain
not to crush the petrified villagers
below with his immense feet. His eyes
shifted nervously as he stifled soft sobs.
"At least I made them laugh," said the jester
as his finger traced the sinuous scar
that traversed the breadth of his temple
like a dried up worm on sun scorched concrete.
He turned away and began foraging
through the decrepit shelves that lined the walls,
mumbling to himself as his fingers grasped
the smooth, cool surface of a large glass jar.
He hobbled over to a plush sofa,
setting the jar on a desk as he melted
into the inviting folds like a stick
of butter over an open flame. "I got drunk
and broke a broomstick over my head,
today." His inebriated state caused
him to slur his speech. The only response
that seemed appropriate was "why?"
"I thought it was funny," but his careworn
expression revealed more than his meager
words ever could. I knew that he had failed
again; laughter does not equal affection.
He was a convict incarcerated
in a prison of his own design;
the eternal ouroborus, doomed
to forever devour his own tail.
"I should use this more often," he muttered
as he tapped the jar, causing the content
to stir. I could only grimace and nod
He plunged his hand into formaldehyde,
extracting the shriveled mass of flesh
that rightfully belonged in his vacant skull.


Posted by Samuel Bush (Member # 460) on :
Good questions, Lord Ragged. My own personal opinion about that is that a poem can be crafted to convey anything you want it to – if you are skillful enough at your craft. And it is a craft that can be learned. I’m pretty sure that I haven’t gotten anywhere near as proficient at it yet as I need to be. I may not live that long. Of course that brings up the question : Is it possible to convey a feeling you haven’t felt or to describe a scene you haven’t seen? I don’t know. But one of my mottoes is: Who cares if it’s true as long as it scans.

When I sparked that recent little sparing match with Annie with my smart alecy crack about the early bird, I was trying to convey a grumpy attitude. I most definitely was in a wonderfully happy mood. Wide awake, and the time I would have to start hating my alarm clock again was many days in the future. Of course that was just a bit of doggerel and I don’t know how well I succeeded. Serious stuff, though, takes more work.

I have a copy of Judson Jerome’s “Poets Handbook” and in there he quotes an old poem by I-forget-whom in which the poet is saying that he tried to learn all the forms and tricks of the trade of poetry but couldn’t seem to get it right. Then he was inspired by some Muse or something to just “reach into thine heart and write.” Jerome points out that this brilliant little poem was crafted that way. There was very little of the spontaneity that the poem conveyed that went into the deliberate crafting of it. (I guess it is sort of like Scott Hamilton making skating look so easy.) Jerome says that a lot of crap has been written by people just trying to spew emotion on to a page and calling it poetry. That’s not to say that a well-crafted poem can’t be composed quickly. I’ve seen examples of that, but even then some polishing is usually needed. I tend to agree with Jerome on this. In my own case, I tend to agonize over every word and comma, and then I’m still not sure I write it right.

I had to laugh when Scott R said, “For a long time I hated rhyming poetry. If it rhymed, it sucked.” It tickled me because I started out on the other side of the boat. Because of my basic ignorance, I thought poetry was supposed to rhyme. To me, if it didn’t rhyme, it was prose. Oh well, you live and learn. I think that we should bring back all the old forms as well as experiment with new. I think we should also break the “rules” if we want as long as we can make it work. I think we should master every tool and use whatever it takes to craft for the effect we want. I think that we shouldn’t be scared to use poetry to just describe – say a pretty flower for instance -- if we want to just because some snooty avant-garde fad says, “Oh! Flowers are so not with it, man. You dig?.” On the other hand, if we want to explore some deep dark emotion, then I say, “Go for it.” I guess what I am saying is there is only one rule – “Craft well.”

Not too long ago I was in on a scifaiku (science fiction haiku) list and the first poem I posted was one in which I was trying to convey what Clarke’s space elevator from “The Fountains of Paradise” would look like off in the distance with the already set sun hitting just it. I had also just seen a program on the History Channel about the transcontinental railroad meeting near Promontory, Utah and how it had ushered in a whole new era of commerce and communication. So I wrote the following little thing and posted it. I was mildly chided because it . . . RHYMED. Oh my! I had broken a rule. I don’t know if it worked well enough to justify the crime. You judge.

Distant shining trace –
a golden spike through the clouds.
Railway into space.

-- Sam


Posted by aka (Member # 139) on :
I don't know what real poets do, but I only write poems when in the grip of the feeling the poem is about. That's probably a severe limitation, but it's how it's always happened for me so far.

Usually some phrases or words just start coming to me, then I go over and over it searching for what is in the blank spots and finding a better word here or snipping something unnecessary from somewhere else. Once the entire meter changed after a day of playing. It always feels like I'm discovering something which is already there rather than inventing something which does not yet exist.

The same type thing happens when I'm painting or drawing. To me those feel exactly analogous to writing a poem.

Posted by Scott R (Member # 567) on :
I was very avant-garde when I first started writing poetry. Only non-rhyming, ethereal, weirdly phrased poetry for me. I bought into the myth that to be great poetry, it had to be absolutely vague, implausible, and incomprehensible. Had I continued in that vein, I can imagine myself sitting now in a closed room with six other people, smoking and trying to talk poetry and feeling totally empty about life. Kind of a Albert-Camus-existentialism take on "Dead Poet's Society."

I learned otherwise, and I hope my poetry reflects that. I may still be quite vague, but I'm not vague on purpose anymore.

Like aka, I usually start a poem with a phrase that pops into my mind. I try to build the poem around that phrase or theme, and let it grow from there. I love to play games with poetry- take three words, selected at random from the dictionary, and incorporate them into a poem. Dump a jarful of stuff onto the table, close your eyes, and pick up the first thing you touch. Then write a poem about whatever you picked up. (I wrote an awesome analogy about how a paperclip symbolized life's quirks and journies- I lost it, of course.) Playing with words like this has helped me get a grip on my style, and is fun to boot.

Posted by sarfa (Member # 579) on :
Scott, Now you know the true power of the dark side. It is your destiny

I don't usually write fixed form poetry, but here is a sonnet about (sort of) a very bad relationship I had. I wrote it for a creative writing class I took a year ago 9which is the only reason I think I would write in fixed form). I did not like it much then, and still do not like it much now. Give me your honest opinions. (surprise, it's Dark )


A boy is wakened from his slumbering rest,
and lured beyond the confines of his walls
to meet a cunning mind with supple breasts
whose wicked plot it is to make him fall
in love. But he does not know love from lust;
his brain sees only perfect form, but her
perfection shrouds disease, which, like rust
decays the mettle of the boy. She butchers
his fledgling pride and laughs her caustic laugh.
She adds the broken boy to her batch
of cloistered shells with whom she vents her wrath
upon, releasing only to later catch.
The callused, clammy hands close around her,
to grope and bruise the flesh of a frightened daughter.

(The last two lines are supposed to be indented, but I could not get it to post that way)

[This message has been edited by sarfa (edited January 25, 2000).]

Posted by Annie (Member # 295) on :
Hmmm... interesting ideas, but I think sonnets should be happy. Sorry, Sarfa. Write it free verse and I can accept it as being dark, but if you write a sonnet, it has to be about love, butterflies, and the constancy of the human condition.
Posted by sarfa (Member # 579) on :
Sorry Annie, almost every poem I write turns out unhappy in the end (even poetry I intend originally to be at least neutral, like Chronos). I guess that says something about me. Oh well, we're all doomed (I'm not really that negative, but somehow art seems to bring out those negative feelings in me).

two smiles

for every frown

still can't help, but bring me down
maybe four

or five


But this could not the problem fix.
A hundred, maybe a million more
could possibly start to even the score.

But if that many smiles did abound
I cannot help to think I'd drown.


Posted by amira tharani (Member # 182) on :
I don't think sonnets should be happy always. Sarfa, yours was as good an example as any of a dark sonnet. But what I liked is the way you still played around with the form - run on lines and so on - even though you were using a fixed metre and rhyme. So it still had a freer feel and didn't sound constrained.

I've been scribbling absolute heaps lately. Heaps of rubbish mostly, but here's one that I was quite proud of.

One Soul

He created you from one soul – Holy Qur’an
A Mu’min (believer) is a mirror for another Mu’min – Hadith of Prophet
Muhammad (s.a.s)

Once a unit, created together,
Why did we fragment
Into a crowd of broken mirrors
Glittering at each other;
Sharp at the edges, roughened
Or dulled by contact with evil and pain,
And a rare few polished,
Made clearer by love.

I long to be made whole again
And reflect the face of Allah
Entire in its glory.
But until the Last Day
I must be content to see my fragmentary
Reflection reflected in your fragment.

Comments, anyone?

Posted by sarfa (Member # 579) on :
Thank you Amira. Your poem has a great start, but I'm a huge fan of concrete images. With that in mind, you might consider giving specific examples of evil and pain (as well as love). That will convey the actual emotion much more effectually than simply writing the abstract words themselves. The last lines read a little awkwardly (like a tongue twister). I would try saying them ten times fast, but I would feel like an idiot talking to my computer screen . The poem has great potential though (sorry I kind of picked it apart, but the only reason I bothered is because it has the potential to be a really good poem)

Now here is one for you pick apart. I also wrote this one for the same creative class as my last one. It is not fixed form, but it did have to be in iambic pentameter (which I can't stand when used throughout an entire poem). This is my least favorite of the poems I have written that could be considered passable. It is about integrity, Let me know what you think


A clever mind with dexterous fingers
can build a thousand wonders with sweat and steel;
massive girders that stretch their shining tendrils
upward, balancing clouds on fulcrum tips
like Atlas holding the sky aloft.

But Janus lurks within the engineer,
exchanging nimble digits for hooks and claws;
gnarled, ugly things that rend and tear the flesh.
Fragile limbs, cracked by twisted minds, attempt
creation like a cripple striving to walk again.

But shattered hands can never build;
once destroyed, they become a barren plot.
A simple gesture now draws blood;
to wipe a tear is to scar the face.
These jagged hands, they only kill.

[This message has been edited by sarfa (edited January 26, 2000).]

[This message has been edited by sarfa (edited January 26, 2000).]

Posted by Jettboy (Member # 534) on :
part i
The Creation

The Stars Shone bright,
With purity and prudence covering patient lips
Of people moving softly against silent halls of salient comfort.
They enter shimmered rooms that shone green shining trees,
A promise of glory making greatness the goal proscribed.
Houses are built for masses who start mirroring a master's heart
Among frames facing upright.
We must do and see, like Son for Father.
We will do and see, like Brother for Son.
We have seen and done, in turn back to Father.
The dreaded darkness vanished
And the ground does grow as against great skies
Forming brown seed against blue for a better day.
The bright sun emerges, stopped sudden by the moon.
Flapping wings arise with other wierd creatures new,
And thier kind and God's kind were kept together.
With rest reastablished the sacred.
A garden was given for two groveling folks
Who were tricked by the half truth of a trouble maker
Sent forth toward the field to fulfill a promise.
How great is our fortune
What delight now I see.
Not before, but now shall we be
Like a seed makes us He.

This is only the first part of a three part poem I am trying to write. Most people who read this will know what this is about. For others it might hold deeper meanings and for this reason I have to ask if the poem works. If it is badly written or seems to go too far in a certain direction I don't want to waste my time (because it took a long time to complete) trying to write the other three parts.

I corrected some of the punctuation.

[This message has been edited by Jettboy (edited January 30, 2000).]

Posted by amira tharani (Member # 182) on :
Sarfa, thank you. I actually prefer for my poems to be picked apart than brushed aside with "good poem." I will read yours properly soon and comment at length, and yours too, Jettboy.

Here's mine, redrafted.

One soul

He created you from one soul - Holy Qur'an
A mu'min (believer) is a mirror for another mu'min - Prophet Muhammad.

Once a unit, created together.
Why did we fragment
Into a crowd of broken mirrors
Glittering at each other?
Sharp at the edges, some roughened
Or dulled by constant scraping
Against the mud and stone
Of our own inhumanity;
But a rare few polished,
Made clearer by love.

I long to be made whole again
And reflect the face of Allah
Entire in its glory.
But until the Last Day
I must be content to see
My fragmentary reflection
Reflected in your fragment.

I'm thinking of exchanging the word incompleteness for inhumanity. What do you think?


Posted by Unperfect (Member # 665) on :

she hung it up on her wall.
she printed it herself
in the dark
focused on light and chemicals
the negatives danicing
searching for clarity
among lenses and filters.

she filtered reality
through the gray sheen of a 3x5 glossy
mesmerised by her past
by a moment
by an elusive smile on the face of a stranger.

one second that won't die
makes her afraid sad and sometimes
sends her into a religious ecstasy
and she makes ferverent promsises
obsequious and pathetic
she worshipped immortality
in a look that was immobile.

when she was sad the picture grinned
showing hunter teeth
displaying status
grinding into dust
her delicate webs of love.

and other times the picture smiled
it was redemtion
it was the love of a stranger
on a 3x5 glossy.

it was a photograph that she hadn't taken
on a negative she found on the sidewalk
and someone's camera
having captured the smile of a pedestrian
changes shutter speeds elsewhere.

she developed it herself
and now it hangs on her wall
and she looks at it
trying to understand
whether the woman paintedin chemicals
knows her
loves her
and wants her to live reflected
in her glossy eyes
in her glossy heart
in her glossy dreams


what do you guys think?

there should really be a separate forum for poetry.


Posted by sarfa (Member # 579) on :
amira, I love it, the changes anchor the abstract with concrete images (I really like this one). The word incompleteness (or a synonym of) would probably work alot better than inhumanity. It would better tie in the shattered concept that seems to be your theme, and also, it is a term that is a bit more specfic than inhumanity. I still stumble over the last two lines, but after giving it greater thought, I kind of like it like that. It forces the reader to focus more intently on those lines, to contemplate them.

Jettboy, it is good, though their could be some more puncuation. Run on lines without consistent puncuation can lead to much confusion, and take away from the poem itself. I loved the use of alliteration. there were a couple of lines I had a bit of trouble with:

"Bright sun emerging, stopped sudden by moon" and "Who were tricked by half truth of a trouble maker." you really need the word "the" before bright sun, moon, and half truth. You use complete sentences throughout the poem (even if the puctuation isn't consistent), the use of the fragments in those two lines break up the continuity of the poem. Other than the lack of the puncuation & a few missing prepositions, the poem is great, I look forward to reading the next installments.

unperfect: I really liked your word usage. The poem was vivid and profound, but please punctuate. It is very hard to tell where one thought ends and the other begins, it is really distracting, as a reader, to have to go back and re-read part way through the poem because of lack of commas and periods.

I wrote this one a couple of months ago, it is the most recent of my works.


Her bleached-blond hair dusts
the sweat slick floor of the stage.
The lights flash blue, green, red
against her oiled torso;
contrasted by the dark pucker of areola
and an oriental dragon wrapped sinuously
around her navel.
She unfurls her legs in front of a pudgy
man with wispy hair and horn-rimmed glasses.
Her dark thatch of hair is reflected, distorted
by the thick lenses.
The rhythmic vibrations of the bass
fade away, replaced by the bored,
gravely voice of the announcer.
She gathers up her clothes
and begins to pluck
the crumpled wads of green paper
that are strewn across the stage
like tufts of wild grass.
As she trots down the steps
to the dressing room,
she glances at the pudgy
man in the front row with wispy
hair and horn-rimmed glasses,
consummating their affair
with a smile.


Posted by aka (Member # 139) on :
Time for another Survivor poem.
Men's Sight

All That hear me
Fear not for Thy life
Listen To The quiet places
And caution yourself
Against the darkness
That obscures The whispered protest
They bring
Men all learn
one day or another
the perilous Thinness
of The Illusions
That preserve them
from destruction
Those who stray too far
from The lines of reason
And remain deaf

Cannot withstand the morning light
Which dispels the shadow

[This message has been edited by aka (edited January 30, 2000).]

Posted by Jettboy (Member # 534) on :
Part ii

The Moon makes them all
Come a little closer along the climbing latter
With a name in their hearts another never hears.
Those having washed hands shall wear white robes
Signaling the gratitude of glorious people grasped firm
In the love of the laborer who leads the thrones.
Those believing bow to the promise.
Innumerable Kings and Queens unite strong as a tree.
With Holy Heaven approaching,
The annointed are two of the heart, the humbled knee and hungered soul;
Having the past and present bound together to promise the future.
In circles do the commited try to conduct peacefully
As they pray for those persons who see problems of life
Ever growing carefully gaurded by a garden of thorns.
All holy houses stand forward.

This one is more cryptic than the last. I don't know how many people would know what it is about. That is the bueaty of art, to be able to interpret another's language to make sense to one's self.


Posted by aka (Member # 139) on :
Here it is... including at least one poem by OSC, I think.

This thread is number 18. Are our first 200 threads back, then?

Wow, that Survivor poetry is good! I think I may have another one somewhere to post.

[This message has been edited by aka (edited May 20, 2000).]

Posted by aka (Member # 139) on :


I Sit here, by The soft hum and click of Idling

And Am startled by The light and far muffled Laughter
that Their smug semi-activity seems to emanate .

And I must wonder, what do they show of their maker's
soul .

Each hum, every soft click, a Long suspended action
performed vicariously
To the artist by His artifact .

And if They go awry
does Their artist not
feel that pain ?

by Survivor, of course.

[This message has been edited by aka (edited May 20, 2000).]

Posted by aka (Member # 139) on :
Glad this thread hasn't come under the guillotine yet. Hope it never does. OSC poem herein.

[This message has been edited by aka (edited August 26, 2000).]

Posted by Destineer (Member # 821) on :
Thanks, aka! I had no idea the tradition of Hatrack poetry was so venerable.
Posted by aka (Member # 139) on :
Speaking of venerable, I feel like posting again the first poem I ever posted long ago on the old forum. Hopefully nobody's seen it before. It's about Odelay. Weird to see the music I was listening to then.

Those Trains

Those trains slam into the sound of living here
Way too much; I can't even play guitar,
Without being forced to harmonize
With some godawful minor chord
Not quite in key, which drops about
A whole tone at the crescendo and fades away.

Lucky to go a whole song between two trains
With maybe a tortured diminished fifth next time...
And they crash my dreams as trombone tones in hell
And they clash with the Cure and Chrissy and Run DMC,
Adam Duritz' sweet pain, das Punkins, and TMBG...

But my beautiful Beck makes 'em sound so sweet
Like he knew they were coming and planned it that way,
And always above and behind the beat
Singing way too loud, coming in, sliding down
And finally, painfully, fading away...
Those trains just egg him on out there
Into weirder and groovier places inside the soul of listening to him.

[This message has been edited by aka (edited August 27, 2000).]

Posted by aka (Member # 139) on :
I thought I'd already posted this one somewhere but I can't find it. Sorry if anyone's already seen it.


Let me write you long love letters
That I can spend hours composing
So rattling mouth and frivolous brain
Won't be allowed to betray me again.

This deep slow swell of serious joy
Quietly shining here alone
In your presence that shallow fear
Wraps blather around and bundles off
Before it can get any signal through
To let you know it's here.

So read my long love letters
And learn of a secret sweet
One who's true and burns for you
Whom you can never meet.

Posted by aka (Member # 139) on :
And here's the ORIGINAL original poetry thread. Thank goodness it wasn't gone! But the search function isn't working for me tonight for some reason. I just had to look through all the pages until I found it.
Posted by sarfa (Member # 579) on :
thought I'd revive this one as well, just in case anybody's interested in reading some more Hatrack poetry. (I think there's one by OSC in here somewhere if you care to look).
Posted by aka (Member # 139) on :
Looks like nine of the last ten posts on this one are by me. I can't bear to let it die, though. There's so much stuff I like on this one. I haven't written any new poems in a while.

Where did Luke Miller go away to? I like his stuff. And we're due for another funny Sam Bush poem, too, I think. Sarfa, don't you have any new poetry to post?

Posted by sarfa (Member # 579) on :
aka, you might want to try there....

*points at the the "original poetry continued" thread*


Posted by aka (Member # 139) on :
Why do we start new threads when there are perfectly good old threads on the same subject? What is the purpose behind that? I love this thread. I hate to see it ever die. I find I must continue this yeborian exercise and bump this thread again to the top. Maybe I'll even write a new poem to post in it someday.

Hey, Lissande! Look on page one to find where I heard that Arthur / Eliot reference. Hahahahah!

[This message has been edited by aka (edited June 15, 2001).]

Posted by Destineer (Member # 821) on :
Hm, maybe because the original threads become too long. Though I'm glad this thread is around for posterity's sake.

In fact, I'm thinking it may be time for Original Poetry III...

Posted by Ruffs100 (Member # 1988) on :
Close your eyes and say goodnight,
To the man you last kissed tonight.

Rest your head and fall alseep,
He is there your soul to keep.

When morning comes open your eyes,
He is there waiting to rise.

He always knows just what to do,
When his wife is feeling blue.

Watch her sleep all through the night,
Makes her feel like dynomite.

(laughs) can't wait to be married some day!!


[This message has been edited by Ruffs100 (edited June 17, 2001).]

Posted by aka (Member # 139) on :
Ruff, what a great image, of a husband watching his wife sleep. So powerful and intimate, but so ordinary and peaceful too.

I suggest you should redo the last couplet, though. Rather than "any woman" I think the poem would be better if your words seemed to be about a particular women (even if non-specific).

Well, I just noticed that it's in second person all through until the last couplet. Why not just stay in the second person? Make the penultimate line "Watch you sleep all through the night"?

And then rewrite the last line.

[This message has been edited by aka (edited June 16, 2001).]

Posted by moonflower (Member # 169) on :
Woohoo! I'm glad this thread has been recovered...
Posted by dean (Member # 167) on :
A haiku I wrote recently about my diary; this is the only poem by me you will ever see because I happen to be aware that I'm not poetically endowed.

Spring flower-thoughts bloom
Reduced, on ice, I mail them
To fragrant later

Posted by Destineer (Member # 821) on :
Fine, if you guys are gonna boycott the other thread I'll post this here...

To My Senses

Three months ago I thought
I could cut metal with my fingertips.
Said those exact words.
Not by bread alone I said.

But some kinds of bread are so tasty.
A long French baguette, I think I could eat a whole one
eat yards and yards.
And black pumpernickle rye with pastrami in the middle
(probably meat counts as bread in the proverbial realm)
and my dad makes such a loaf with that mix of his.

I could go on for a while and now I wish
I had more room in my belly for bread.

There’s another girl and until I’m with her
bread will fill me up just fine.

Posted by aka (Member # 139) on :
Alas, that's a good idea, I mean poem. Yay for the revival of the original original potry thread! Deany, I like your haiku a lot! Packs a lot into a few words. "Fragrant later" is really cool. It's the kind of phrase that stays in your mind, filled both with meaning and sound.
Posted by jehovoid (Member # 2014) on :
i think i realize now that i don't like poetry.
Posted by Destineer (Member # 821) on :
Yeah, thanks a lot. All the rest of you who don't like poetry, just don't post on this thread, and we'll assume that anyone who's never posted here doesn't like poetry. That should save us all some time and effort.


Posted by aka (Member # 139) on :
Yes, that does seem to be a good solution, doesn't it? You'd think people who didn't like poetry would be off with the people who don't like plays, and those who don't like music, and those who don't like fiction, wouldn't you?

But somehow they feel evangelical, I think. Not only do they not like poetry but they think we shouldn't like it either. So they're kindly giving us the benefit of their viewpoint, I gather. Which we, of course, gratefully receive.

Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I've tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.

Posted by aka (Member # 139) on :

(Not original aka poetry, btw. Robert Frost. aka only wishes she could write something that good.)

Posted by stihl1 (Member # 1562) on :
I think
I shall never see
A thing as cool
As a toy.



Posted by Tresopax (Member # 1063) on :

How do you fly?
Across the shaking dunes
Across the swirling sky

Where do you belong?
Come back to the rock
Where once you lived so long

You wander alone
As we lie on our stone
Safe here in our homes

O, why did you go?
O, what do you know?
O, why don’t you sink like the others below?

Skipping o’er the land
A master of the sand
You are at peace.

You really see
Truly free
Not like me
O, can I be
A sand-walker?

[This message has been edited by Tresopax (edited June 22, 2001).]

Posted by Samuel Bush (Member # 460) on :
I really need to get busy. There are so many things in the world that need to be ridiculed. I’ve been shamefully neglecting my parodies.

Meantime . . .

Tres, I like "Sand-walker."

Dean, I really like your haiku. Nice image. As for the phrase “fragrant later”: What aka said! She took the words right out of my keyboard.

BUT . . . you said that you are not poetically endowed. Endowed schmowed! It’s a craft that can be learned. Good haiku is not easy to write, or so I’ve read. This one either just flowed out of you spontaneously in it’s oh-so-smooth form or you took a lot of effort to make it look like it had. Either way -- nice work. Keep writing stuff.

Destineer, I like “My Senses.” I don’t completely understand it yet but each time I read it I get a little more. And it is very rereadable. I like the rhythm too.

Aka, what can I say? Of all the really good poets in Hatrack, you are certainly one of them. Thanks for posting “Those Trains” and “Recluse.” Are a couple of “wow”s in order here or what? However, I feel that I must critique one little thing you wrote. I’ll try to be as gentle as I can but two little words must be said in response to your statement: ”(Not original aka poetry, btw. Robert Frost. aka only wishes she could write something that good.)”


The poem I’m about to post came close to being the first thing I was going to post on the Forum way back when. Then I chickened out and went for flippant instead. I’ve chickened out several times since then because I’m still not sure how I feel about this poem. But I’ll take a chance.

I wrote it and my sister-in-law composed music for it with the intention of entering it into a hymn contest which we did indeed enter. But alas, we didn't win. I have changed some of the words and polished it up some since then. This form doesn’t exactly fit the music anymore either. I have always felt that it isn’t worthy of her music. The music she composed for it is very good -- every bit as good as the music in many of the hymns that we use in my church. Maybe the judges weren't ready for a hymn which is, in part, about fractal geometry. Of course there is the remote possibility that they had a lot of better hymns to choose from that year. At any rate, here it is. <drum roll>


In keys of all nature, perfectly tuned,
Lilt worlds full of lyrical sights.
With scent, sound, and touch in harmonic blend
On rhythms of savory delights.
In flawless arraignment His masterworks roll --
Sonatas of God to enliven the soul.
Performed in one endless glorious round
By the touch of the hand of God.

A galaxy's ponderous pirouette
Is mirrored in eddies of foam.
The dance in which all God's creations are set
Are marvels of balance and form.
The beauty in all of His uneclipsed art
Both pleases the eye and gladdens the heart.
Choreographed in all the light steps of hope
By the touch of the hand of God.

If the thrill of discovery here heightens a sense
Of wonder that nearly overwhelms,
What might we see, from small to immense,
Amid God's celestial realms?
For eyes have not seen, nor have ears ever heard,
Nor have mortals imagined the great things prepared -
Serenity here; full happiness hence -
By the touch of the hand of God.

Samuel M Bush
Jan. 1993


Posted by Destineer (Member # 821) on :
Thanks, Sam. I'm not a big churchgoer, but I like your hymn. Certainly I understand the urge to praise the intricacies of the world, and I think you did it eloquently. Too bad you can't post the sheet music... though I can't read music anyway, I'm sure somebody would be able to enjoy it on that level.

To understand my poem better, you might want to look at "Original Poetry Cont" which contains several pieces I wrote about a girl that I was in love with last year. "To My Senses" is about me realizing that I'll be okay without her.

Posted by dean (Member # 167) on :
Thanks Sam, but I know I'm not poetically endowed. I've got my feet too firmly on the ground to think of high-flown verse. I can appreciate it, but I can't write it. I wrote that haiku in the car on my way home from school, and while it's decent for a non-poetic type, it's not real poetry. =)
Posted by aka (Member # 139) on :
Ooooh, Sam, that one gave me chills. Especially the part about the galaxy's whirlpool being mirrored in eddies of foam. There's something that is very amazing about the deep way in which everything is connected, isn't there? The equations that describe oscillation, say, are the same for so many different phenomena on so many different scales. I can't help feeling there's something important revealed about God's plan in those deep connections.
Posted by Destineer (Member # 821) on :
Yeah, God has a fetish for springs.


Posted by aka (Member # 139) on :
oooh, true! Springs and Beetles.
Posted by Scott R (Member # 567) on :
Jatraqueros: Let's try to keep this folder up top!

This is one that I don't think I'll ever sell- so here it is in its entirety:
Something Southern

mama velvet has a potion,
and a notion,
your mojo's been cursed.
the lady is versed
in honeysuckle and voodo,
so whatever you do,
stand in the surf at dawn
before the last star is gone
and drink to her health.
in exchange for your wealth,
she's got notions and potions aplenty.
at least twenty.

the seams of the road
beat a rhythm to goad
weary travellers to seek
a path more meek-
a narrow tree lined track
limbs to dense to see back
to that Hell of a trail
the asphalt snake pale
and scorched beneath the sun.
turn away and run
through trees, down hills
until your flight kills
the need for roads and seams-
trackless, boundless, freedom dreams.

Posted by aka (Member # 139) on :
Cool, Scott!

(There's a "to" in there that should be a "too".)

I wish I had something to contribute, lately, but my wells of poetry seem to have run dry lately. So for the moment all I can do is cheer on others' efforts.

Posted by sarfa (Member # 579) on :
Here's a brand spankin new one. I thought I saw my ex-girlfriend today, turns out it wasn't her, but that it just looked an awful lot like her. Anyway, it still brought back some of the old pain I felt when we broke up (almost a year ago, but what can I say, I bruise easily ), so I was inspired to write this little guy (feel free to critize, since I just wrote it, it's still pretty much a rough draft):

Deja Vu

Your face is a familiar wound,
a scar upon my ravaged breast.
Your blue-grey eyes once blessed
me with a warm and sweet repose
that came as such a needed boon.

But now, see how they start
to rend the stitches from the sore
and tear the flesh that lies before
their awful gaze, to but expose
the infection that is my heart.

[This message has been edited by sarfa (edited July 14, 2001).]

Posted by Ele (Member # 708) on :
Wizard lord, sing to me,
Crystal cave, fire, and sea.
Silver star burns within
Circle soft; spells defend.
Candle flame reflected and refracted
White to color, broken light:
Stars stream down to sea like diamond tears
About the moon, the lady white:


Mage, why must I ward against your spell?
That lesson hard you taught me well.
Can you think that you are just any man
To take my heart into your hand?

I had hoped that your wizardsong could hush my cries.
Promise me that you'll sing me only lullabies.
Let me dream:
Cast your spell within the magic circle 'round the star.
Hold me enchanted and protected in your heart.

My wizard lord.


Posted by Snowden (Member # 1660) on :
Wonderful, Ele
Posted by Black Fox (Member # 1986) on :
I liked that a lot Ele. And thats saying a lot because generally I don't like poems with a lot of masculine ryhme ; )
Posted by aka (Member # 139) on :
sarfa, once again I have suggestions for you poem. I always love them so I take them up and start twiddling with them as though they are my own.

Would "but to expose" not be better than what you have? I like the rhythm of it, and it just reads better that way to me but sounds a bit archaic, maybe, a sound that I like but you perhaps would not.

"Your blue-grey eyes that once had blessed" scans a lot better, but then the "that" that comes two lines later would sound funny because of being repeated too close, and perhaps you like that one better. "Came then as such a needed boon", maybe?

Love the rhyme scheme! It works just right.

Great poem! Sorry about the girl, though. <hugs>

[This message has been edited by aka (edited July 15, 2001).]

Posted by sarfa (Member # 579) on :
thanks aka, I agree that the third line scans better that way, but I'm not happy with the alteration to the fifth. I tried a few different ways, when I wrote it, to make the third line have 8 syllables to match the rest of the poem(except line6, which has six). I like the suggestion you have for it (and will proabably end up using it, or a variation of it),but I'll have to play with the fifth line to make it work right.

I tried saying the ninth line both ways out loud, and "to but" rang truer to me than "but to" ("but" seems like a word that would be more naturally accented than "to", making the iambic rhythm more consistent), but either way would work ok.

you've got some great imagery in there, I'm impressed. One suggestion I have is to use less fragments. For example, adding the the word "of" to the beginning of the second line would connect the ideas conatined in the first two lines better, and make the language flow more smoothly. It will also help to soften the rhymes a bit, which I think would be a great benefit to the poem, as the rhymes are rather harsh in some places (endstopping rhyming lines will do that, and even though your rhyming lines aren't always technically endstopped, because you've written in fragments, they scan as if they are in fact endstopped). Complete senteces make poetry much more coherent and smooth out the language.

Also, the second line "That lesson hard you taught me well." reads a little akwardly, as does the line with the word "lullabies" in it. Taking out the second "me" would fix the latter, the use of "me" twice is not neccessary, its removal will smooth out the line and the readers will still know who the lullaby is being sung to. To fix the first,you'd have to shuffle a few of the words around to smooth it out.

[This message has been edited by sarfa (edited July 15, 2001).]

Posted by sarfa (Member # 579) on :
Here's a new one, and, as always, feel free to criticize:

Ankle Deep

I stand beneath the dew slick deck
of lifeguard tower number three,
burrowing the tips of my toes
into the surface of the cold, damp sand.

The night veils her face, but I can hear
the frown in the timbre of her voice.
Her words are in a foreign tongue,
and so I stare at the moonlight dusted
waves rolling onto the shore.
She wraps her arms around her waist,
and though I wish mine were in their place,
I am grateful they remain stuffed
inside the confines of my pockets.

I realize her glossy sheen is but a thin veneer
That wipes away with the utterance of a single phrase.
I drive her home while the humming engine
converses softly with the stereo.

[This message has been edited by sarfa (edited August 22, 2001).]

Posted by aka (Member # 139) on :
Is she a girl? The sea? A ship? "She wraps her arms around her waste", is it spelled that way on purpose?


Posted by Valentinetoo (Member # 2139) on :
Did she turn you down? I also wonder about the waste issue. hmmmm I like the images you create but you need to use them to shed more light on what was going on. At first I just thought that perhaps you were watching a woman's evening swim.

I really like the poem in general I just want a bit more clarity.

Posted by vortextual (Member # 2021) on :
An old poem of mine, because I'm feeling blue and amateurish


She continues to elude me
no longer will I search
for the meaning of my freedom
in the silence of a church.

A chill I feel upon my arms
I look down at the floor
lines never-ending
windows without a door.

The midnight smell of summer
the sound of a distant train
dreams unforgotten-unrealized-
numbness replaces pain.


Posted by KarlEd (Member # 571) on :
Wow, I think that first stanza is absolutely brilliant. You set up an intriguing problem (though I'm not sure what "She" is). Your rhythm in this stanza is nearly hypnotic, almost a chant.

However, the second two stanzas don't seem to follow what you've started. The imagery begins to get too personal or too arcane for such a short poem, and I begin to lose you.

If you ever feel like re-doing that poem, I think the first stanza is a great starting place. What it makes me want to know is:

1. who is "she". (If "she" is "the meaning of my freedom", I'd use "It" unless you have a more specific reason for more personification).

2. What did you find lacking in church?

3. Will you find the "meaning of my freedom"?

4. Where will you search for it?

Not that you have to answer all of those questions, and not that you can't answer some other question, but the following stanzas don't seem to do either.

On second thought, you might be expressing dissatisfaction with religion in general. If this is the case, the driving rhythm of your first stanza seems to be setting up either a determined tone, or perhaps a bitter tone, but your closing note is one of despair and surrender.

Or, it could be that I'm totally misreading the whole thing. So take all of the above at face value. I wouldn't have posted at all except that I really do love that first stanza.


Posted by vortextual (Member # 2021) on :
I appreciate your comments KarlEd, and I think you are absolutely right. I haven't written or even read any of my poetry in a couple years, and when I chanced across this poem while cleaning up my computer I thought I'd post it. But you've given me a fresh perspective, and I agree that the first stanza sets a tone or at least raises questions that the rest of the poem fails to address. I think I was trying to include too much is such a compact space. Maybe I will rework it. I've never been much for editing my poetry, but I need something to push me back into writing. Thanks again for your input.
Posted by KarlEd (Member # 571) on :
OK, my turn. My sister and I used to write each other a lot. We'd write little quotes or short poetry, etc. on the back of the envelopes. Here's something I wrote on the back of an envelope to her.

You may fade from the light of the Sun and the Moon
And the Stars in their black-velvet sea.
And the Earth be bereft of your lyrics and tune,
But your music lives always in me.

[This message has been edited by KarlEd (edited August 22, 2001).]

Posted by vortextual (Member # 2021) on :
Wow, a beautiful and succint poem, almost haikuish. It seems to me like a sweet expression of love and a haunting farewell at the same time. If you wouldn't have told me the circumstances of its creation I might have interpreted it as an elegy of some kind.
Posted by KarlEd (Member # 571) on :
Thanks. Oddly enough, I was in Korea for two years and wrote to this sister (I have 3) extensively. We were very close. It was very shortly after this time that we began to drift apart. We aren't as close now as then, so it feels a little like an elegy to me too.
Posted by Panguitch (Member # 2191) on :
Hiya all! Thought I'd contribute by throwing out some old stuff that I haven't looked at for years. Might be fun.


Snatch the dawn
and kill the cock,
but still! the clock will scream.
So kiss the night
and fence the world
with polyester chains.

Swim in dusk
but drown in light
and shiver in blue flames.
We hide from day
and scratch our eyes
but soft! the sun will scream.

Posted by sarfa (Member # 579) on :
well, it was suposed to be waist (mispelled it, hehe), but it kind of has a cool double meaning that way now, I'll change it anyway though (as it seems to be more confusing than anything else).

"She" is certainly a girl (not quite sure how I'd drive the sea or a ship home). was it this line that confused you:

Her words are in a foreign tongue,
and so I stare at the moonlight dusted
waves rolling onto the shore.

I originally had it like this:

Her words are in a foreign tongue,
so I ignore her and stare at the moonlight dusted waves rolling onto the shore.

I took it out because I didn't think it needed to be there and that it just cluttered the language a bit, but I guess it might make the poem a little unclear without it.

[This message has been edited by sarfa (edited August 22, 2001).]

Posted by sarfa (Member # 579) on :
I reworked the poem to hopefully make it a little more clear what is going on (at least to the extent that the she involved is known to be a female):

I stand beneath the dew slick deck
of lifeguard tower number three,
burrowing the tips of my toes
into the surface of the cold, damp sand.

The night veils her face, but I can hear
the frown in the timbre of her voice.
Her words are in a foreign tongue,
so I ignore her and stare instead at the moonlight
dusted waves rolling onto the shore.

Out of the corner of my eye, I see
her wrap her arms around her waist,
and though I wish mine were in their place,
I am grateful they remain stuffed
inside the confines of my pockets.

I realize her allure is but a thin veneer
That wipes away with the utterance of a single phrase.
I drive her home while the humming engine
converses softly with the stereo.


Posted by Zalmoxis (Member # 2327) on :
"...but I can hear the frown in the timbre of her voice..."

This line is fabulous, sarfa. I forget that tone of voice can be just as expressive as actual facial expressions.

I also like how the toes interact with the damp sand at the beginning of the poem and then at the end the engine converses with the stereo. I think the reason I like these images is that they frame the poem well. They show an interaction that is lacking in the interim i.e. with the girl, and yet they also make sense in the context because neither interaction is necessarily romantic (or at least not classicly so).


Posted by sarfa (Member # 579) on :
thanks zalmoxis, I appreciate the input and I'm glad you liked it.
Posted by Valentinetoo (Member # 2139) on :
Much better, sarfa. I really like how your words play with each other. I like this poem very much.
Posted by Destineer (Member # 821) on :
Very nice, sarfa. Very nice.
Posted by Casey (Member # 2237) on :
I have written very few poems, but I rather like this one. When I first wrote it, (last year) I posted it on the young writers’ forum, because there was a young writer’s forum and I was supposed to post things there. I wish we still had one. I liked it so much better than this...

Anyway, we had this trend where no one would post poems that rhymed. Every time someone would post one, several people would say that it would be better without the rhyme, that the rhyme restricted your use of vocabulary and that they felt it didn’t allow you to express yourself freely. I wrote this in couplets because I like couplets and I felt someone needed to use some sort of rhyme. So, unless you really mean it, and are willing to go into detail, don’t tell me to change it! The rhyme scheme, I mean.

Please, read it for enjoyment first, then read it to critique last, if you read it to critique at all. And the commas are there for a reason! It’s not meant to be read fast! Or at least that’s my opinion. But what do I know? I’m just the author.


I look inside the window, at the snowflakes falling there.
They try so hard to stay aloft, but gravity’s a gentle snare.
They seem unique and wonderful, but still they fall the same.
I watch them as I wonder. They seem so very tame.

Just floating there until they land, and cluster on the ground.
Putting pressure on each other, still they make no sound.
Molding together effortlessly, their pressure making one.
Waiting for the spring to come, so their winter will be done.

I yearn to follow them, let the simple things take flight.
To be as one, forever one, we would not fear the night.
Melting in the springtime, below the brilliant sun.
Turning into raindrops, when our winters done.

I’m still alone, the waters froze, and I remember fear.
My eye sees for the first time, and from that eye, a tear.
This feeling is so new, like cold, but only more extreme.
I forget why the snow is falling. I remember now, a dream.

Cold ice is on the windowsill, snowflakes in my hair.
I wonder how I went inside, the window isn’t there.
I see them all around me, softly they start to call.
I love them for the peace they bring, as I begin to fall.

I’m more interested in your overall feeling at the end, and whether or not you found it confusing.

I trust if you’re reading this, you read the poem. If not, read it before continuing! I figure this poem will have more meaning for my peers, but tell what you think, age-group-wise.

And yes, the beginning could use some work, but I’m not sure what to take out and what I should add. Actually, I almost didn’t post it because every time I read it I think that it could be a lot better if only I had some time. I hope that some criticism will help it along.


Posted by sarfa (Member # 579) on :
Alright Casey, you asked for it . I think you have some really good ideas and a great theme for this poem, but there are two major problems that I see with it.

First off, I won't attack your rhyme scheme (when properly done, rhyme can be a very effective poetic device), but I will call into question your execution of said rhyme scheme. You endstopped every line of the poem, and that creates a very harsh mechanical feel, and endstopping with couplet rhyme only exacerbates the problem and kills the mood of the poem. Stick with the rhyme scheme, but try running your sentences and thoughts from one line to the other, and ending them mid line. It will greatly enhance the emotional impact of the poem, and smooth out the harshness of the rhyme (but not so much so that it looses the impact of the rhyme).

Secondly, the poem is overflowing with abstractions (words that represent an abstract idea or emotion, like love, freedom, jealousy, etc.), poems are much more effective when they use concrete words and examples to create the abstract feelings in the reader, instead of using the abstract words themselves. Here are a couple lines from your poem that suffer from too little concrete description of abstract emotions/ideas:

"They seem unique and wonderful"

why are they unique, why are they wonderful? paint a picture, with words, that illustrates this. If done properly, you won't have to say they are unique and wonderful, the reader will realize it himself because of your word usage in describing them.

"I’m still alone, the waters froze, and I remember fear."

what makes you afraid? describe a specific instance of fear.

there are others in the poem, but that is a place to start. You also should consider using more detailed descriptions in your poem, I cannot stress enough the importance of good imagery (it's the whole idea of showing, not telling).

I hope I didn't rip your poem apart too much (it has some great potential). And don't worry too much, those are two of the most common mistakes young poets make, including myself.

Posted by Destineer (Member # 821) on :
I wrote this just last week. I've been having kind of a love-at-first sight experience lately, and it reminded me of a song by Cove, one of my favorite Canadian bands. So I wrote this poem based on the song and the girl I like. If you want to check out my inspiration, you can see the song here:

Or listen to it here:

Fugues of Amnesia

Isn’t this the first time you’ve ever watched someone?
The first smile you’ve ever seen?
Frightening to realize how much you’ve learned
from a look.
Frightening to think how much more
a hand on that face could teach you
or lips on a face that lovely
or her voice.

you can’t think of names now
or even ask her name.
You wonder what could make her forget
the way you’ve forgotten names
and what she can’t help watching
the way you can’t help watching her.

And to make room for this wondering you’ve already lost
the rest of life.
Tabula rasa is the word for it-
an abiding question in bare black
Just a clean slate but still wanting her answer.

Somewhere in those eraser smears you think you’ve seen pictures of other girls.
Maybe you loved someone last year. Maybe ten years ago
you looked across a classroom
and saw the first question asking itself.
Could be she was drawn in there once
maybe ten times
and now that you’ve wiped it clean you’re drawing her in again
and you want to draw her closer.

Every slate is the same- just stone. Life is life.
But none of this changes your questions.
Must be this new cleanliness.
Must be those old memories gone.

[This message has been edited by Destineer (edited November 06, 2001).]

Posted by amira tharani (Member # 182) on :
Destineer - I can't believe I was away from Hatrack for so long that I missed this! I really liked your poem, I love the way it sounds like you talking to yourself, and I like the extended blank-slate image. *thumbs up*

Just wanted to resurrect this thread... more poetry please!!!!

Posted by amira tharani (Member # 182) on :
oh, and while I'm at it, I'm going to plug my college's new writing mag (yes, there's a couple of my poems in there). You can find it at . Please let me know what you think!
Posted by amira tharani (Member # 182) on :
Go to the top! Go! Go! Go!

Posted by Destineer (Member # 821) on :
Thanks, Amira, both for the kind words and keeping the thread up. Don't you have any new ones to post?
Posted by amira tharani (Member # 182) on :
Hi Destineer. Yeah, I do have new ones, but they're on the scrawl site and I was too lazy to do anything but post the link! Still, now that you've asked:


People make my nationality a guessing game.
The raven hair and pale skin reveal nothing.
The accent is no help either, it is chameleon:
Something vaguely foreign in the speech-rhythm
But any Londoner drops their ‘t’s when they talk fast,
If I speak slowly, choosing my words with care,
My voice is precise, giving nothing away.
And so I let them guess: Greek, Spanish, Israeli,
They latch on to something closer to home
Than the correct answer: East African Gujarati.
Surprised when I tell them: for how can I
So like them, come from so far away?

But perhaps I have no right to claim the label Anglo-Indian.
Too white even for that, my very poetry
Westernised to the core, yet not at home
In this white skin, for my brown soul
Yearns for saris and dandia raas and Bollywood films.
For the Qur’an and Rumi and the Pirs of Gujarat.
And so I am condemned to an in-between existence
My words fall through the gap between my roots and my home.


Posted by Elysium (Member # 1705) on :
Here's a little acrostic thingy.


Everything is quiet here
No breeze stirs the sluggish air
No sound greets my waiting ear
Unlife meets my unreal stare.
I close my eyes and cease to care.

Who hopes

For the land of the dead is the heart's size
And the star of the lost the shape of the eyes


Posted by pH (Member # 1350) on :
Whoo, I wrote a poem. It will probably be the highlight of my week. *chuckle*


One_by_one, the greenskin pulled agonizingly from the flesh
Drips spraying into the air nearclear and to my eyes
There is no sting, with nonacid lubricating
A little breathing factory
Over_and_over, with onefocus which inherently must be directly before
Dulls and quiets
As the urges WEAKEN and the dumbness overtakes
Which wills the mechanized to continue
Thy savior Singlemindedness
eating away at the guesses and the conjectures and the
our heaven is stupidity..


Posted by Renesontzman (Member # 2934) on :
I have been reading through the poetry here, but I am new and have only gotten to page 3. Here is one I wrote, which I am currently making into a poster (comming soon to a shopping mall near you!) Let me know what you think. I promise to read the rest later, but it is already one o'clock and you have such a head start!

Dragon’s Bane

We trod home with the dragon’s bane and thought our welcome passing strange
For in the eye of passerby the war was long since lost
With lances raised above our dead and saddles hung with dragon’s heads
We brought no cheer to those who fear they cannot pay the cost

With gravity we took our vow and valiantly returning now
We had our share of peril but were still alive to follow
We left our king in such great haste returning proud to warm his face
To find our dragon victory not enough to ease his sorrow

He spilled some wine upon himself and coughed some on his counted wealth
The scribe next to him jumped to save the scroll he was inscribing
He sobbed into his thinning beard, ”The very thing that I had feared!
I heard the news, I was confused to see you now arriving.”

We fell at once upon our knees and begged him with our poetries
To cheer himself, for we had solved the cause of all his woes
So strange to see the tears he shed when we held up the dragon’s heads
His anguish should have left him, but it held him in its throes

“Though many years ago it seems, I see it nightly in my dreams
A dragon swooped down from the skies and took our seven daughters prize
I thought they long ago were killed, but now I find their blood was spilled
By the men I sent again to try to slay their captor.”

Maiden’s heads, not dragons as our recollections vaunted
Purest royalty the ugly trophies that we flaunted
We stripped our armor off to curb the fury of his ire
When all at once the monarch doused us all in dragon’s fire

Because I lay upon my face with nothing left to prove
The fire shot above me roasting those who held the daughters
On looking up the castle I had traveled to was gone
The visage of the king was now revealed in real form

I cast my gaze around me cowards cowered in dismay
Or howled in bloody torment from the fireworks display
I almost saw him taking off the amulet he wore
Tail slashing through the standing men the worm let out a roar

Remembering the wisdom of the dragon’s was my king’s
And seeing bands of gold around his claws which were his rings
Spines with crusted jewels was the crown upon his head
The drink he spluttered on himself was thick and deeply red

“Dragon King!” I shouted and the throne slowly uncurled
In the hall, which seemed much bigger now it’s wings unfurled
I hefted lance and ran headlong into a waiting claw
Glowing diamonds loomed above a giant portal jaw

Pulled into it’s face, I jabbed my lance into his eye
When he tried to stuff me in the lance began to pry
Flying out of socket flew the bloody perfect jem
Hanging from the hole it left the ravaged hanging stem

Globs of blood fell down on me in acid clinging rain
King dragon opened up his mouth and sang an earthquake pain
I fell at once upon the floor and loathe to test my honor more
Clutching tight the eye so bright I scrambled from the lair

Even as I left the cave the air was choked with sound
In rage the creature struck the earth, it threw me to the ground
Crawling up upon my horse I rode till she was sore
Then wrenched upon her tangled mane and made her travel more

I came unto the palace and I found the place was solemn
Hanging on the elbow of the king a filthy golem
Slashing through the monster there was bile in my throat
I pulled my sword out of his chest and threw him in the moat

The weeping king was silent and his head was deeply bent
On the hand that clutched his face were bloody tears that he had spent
Slowly then he raised his head to show his face to me
A gaping hole under his brow where his right eye should be

I knelt before the monarch then and when I kissed his hem
I held above my facedown face the dragon stolen jem
“Arise,” he said, “You serve me well to bring to me this blessing,
Though I expect your other news will no doubt be distressing.”

I rose and almost answered him but all my blood had froze
For the king had crushed the thing alongside his nose
Pulling skin around the prize, Blinked and quickly had two eyes.

By Erich Clark


Posted by Scott R (Member # 567) on :


I don't know what it is in 'Anglo-something' but you touched a chord in me.


Posted by Destineer (Member # 821) on :
Yeah, that's a good one, Amira. Very interesting, too... I had no idea about your heritage.

I wrote these over Christmas break when I was sad. The second one is kind of a prose poem, which is weird for me.

She Told Me

Every few minutes I feel that old scream
welling up-
the one that can’t come out of my mouth.
I thought with her help I’d done something
about that scream.

The Giving Tree

There was a nice old tree where I grew up.
He gave me everything I wanted when I was a little boy.
Today I went back to my tree and asked him,
“How would you like to be my crucifix?”

Posted by Renesontzman (Member # 2934) on :
Here's another one. I wrote this feeling lonely.

The Cave

In a cave in the heart of the hills
There is a beach that no light sees
Long ago the rocks were sharp and cruel
Shattered from the timeless walls
By quake and fingers of ice
Laying on the dark shore
Worn by the endless churn
Of tide no one has seen
The rocks are worn and smooth
They fade away into mud
Washing into depths none will ever go
Their faint clicks as the waters move
Will never be heard or picked
To skip across the surface that cannot be seen
Or piled to make anything useful
Even whimsical and frivolous use
Is not an option now
They will not stand upon each other
Small swimmers on their backs
Paddle with tiny oars to set sail
Beaching again where they cast off
They are the explorers here
Vikings of miniature continents
Conquerors of emptiness
Sailors that have no future
To be seized from underneath
By jaws mysterious to them
In darkness never warned to steer away
They disappear one at a time
Without a cry gone forever
For a fish lives there, never caught
Growing lazy uncontested
Eating what he may, could not see
If light were ever given, does no good
To him who has no eyes
Would not swim away at the approach
Of fisher’s footfalls on shore
Would take the bait like a glutton
Swallowing the hook and line
Confused to be drawn out
Little chance of that, he will die old
His flesh will flake off
Smelling bad to no one
His bones ground by smooth stones
To become splinters that erode
In the soft mud until they are gone

Posted by Unmaker (Member # 1641) on :


Posted by katharina (Member # 827) on :
I wrote this about five years ago.

My mother's heart is made of glass
Bodies are shapeless
Solid and silent
Gliding through doors, Hugging 'round stairs
Watercolor outlines, nothing to hold
Warm love surrounding, but my center is cold
And her heart is fragile, crystal glass.


Posted by Destineer (Member # 821) on :
I like that, katharina. It's always refreshing to me when a poet doesn't feel like she has to spell everything out, but leaves some things implicit.

This is relatively new. It's about a quote by Blaise Pascal that I mentioned elsewhere. Referring to outer space, he said,

"The eternal silence of these infinite spaces terrifies me."

Pity Song for Infinity

When you think of your death my darling
and you think of how a corpse must wish
for movement
wish for walking and all the motions of mind,
Think of what longing they must have
These huge quiet openings.

When you feel the heat of rage
or the heat of a real burn marks your soft hand,
Even then do not envy the coldness
of these great gaps.

When night reminds you of what’s in store
Remember your only darkness falls around your shoulders
with soft hair
and blends your pupil with the edge
of your eye’s brown iris.
These sorry spaces make up the night.

If they could mouth desires could you guess at their pleas
for some taste of our heat and substance?
How long would you beg even for tears
if you were so dry?
Time is a slayer to us.
To them it sets the pace of vacuum
and shows a single speed
Never expanding round a kiss
or thinning hours of sleep into moments.

I know what you’ll say, and I agree:
One day we’ll know and justly fear
that all our heat is spent.
But what scares me more than time’s meager plan for us
is eternity the way they’ve had it
these poor pieces of space.

Posted by Perelandra (Member # 3632) on :
I see once again the sky of blue
Another morning full of bright
My life filled with the lovely hue
Lightness replaces empty night

Enter in the faithfull few
A rag-tag band of happy men
Veer not from your path now new
It will be worthwhile it in the end

Now usher forth an age of might
Go and make a worthy fight.

Posted by Slash the Berzerker (Member # 556) on :
do you think lukelmiller realizes how long his "original potry" thread has lasted?
Posted by IrishAphrodite19 (Member # 1880) on :
Man, I haven't shared these with anyone, I guess out of fear of critisism or somebody getting the wrong message and throwing me in therapy again. But I've kinda been dying to share them with somebody. So here it goes!

What will hapepn when I grow old?
Will I be able to find that box in my mind?
Will I even have a box?
A box to open and share;

How old must you be to have a box?
What is the year when you get a box?
A box just for me from good times to bad;

Does a box get full?
Does it ever get lost?
Or does it stay forever?
A box for me, to open and share
A box of memories

My soul is like a rainstorm
Trying and appearing to be peaceful rain
But dominated by the clashes of the tearing thunder
The trees of my heart sag
While the rivers of joy sing.
Can such differences exsist without tearing the soul apart?
The happy and content exterior is just that
A face, a picture to show the world
No one knows of the inner torment
That undoes the hearts bindings
Alone in the storm.

I'll be your pillar in the darkness
Together we weather all the trails
I may not stand as strong as you need
But you will always have me.

Well, I chickened outta putting up a fourth one, cuz its long and about the death of my grandmother. But those are my poems. I don't rhyme, but oh well.
That's a link to more poems I wrote for a school assgn. some of them are pretty bad, and I know it. But I really like some of the others. (I'm Ray, Allison)


[This message has been edited by IrishAphrodite19 (edited February 24, 2002).]

Posted by Bob_Scopatz (Member # 1227) on :
Hell bent

Bent to hell
Leaning towards it, anyway.
That giant wrenching sound you hear is just me,
Going over, folding it in
Kneeding a mix of this n' that into melting mettle.

Stick me on a lathe and shape me
Punch me full of holes
and roll me out in strips
or stretch me into wire, miles long
To hang a bridge on.

I don't care,
I'm bent all to hell and all mixed up with you

Make me a can,
an urn, maybe.

Make me into tinsel and I'll be tossed out by epiphany, hanging on some dead tree from your living room.

Ah, what the hell,
I could'a been a car, a space ship,
or a pin on your memory chip.

I would'a felt at home in a socket.
All plugged in and warm.

But I've turned,
bent and useless
And messing up your instructions
at millions per second.

And just not fitting company anymore.

Maybe I should be a blade?
Or a cage?
Could I keep you then?


Posted by Briseis1000 (Member # 3091) on :
wow! my personal favourites are ian0's, aka's, master's, and amira's. i wrote this to a friend a while ago and would like to hear what you all think about it.

Priceless Gifts (To Renae)

priceless gifts
are often spoke of,
but few in life
can really know of,
just how priceless
these priceless gifts are.

the gifts of life,
of love,
and thought,
all priceless, for
such are the gifts of humanity.

the gifts of friendship,
of seasons,
and freedom,
all priceless, for
for such are the gifts of friends.

the gifts of understanding,
of empathy,
and being,
all priceless, for
such are the gifts of dreams.

the gift of light out of darkness,

the gift of hope from despair,

the gift of joy out of grief,

such are the gifts you guve to me,
and for that i am thankful.

Posted by Human (Member # 2985) on :
OK...this is very rough...I'm not very good at poetry...but read it, please?


In heart torn agony I cry
Shutting my eyes, i lify my face
To the sky, the cold stars.
From my throat, a howl,
Tearing, pain filled, a plea,
For mercy from the sky,
Is ripped, piercing the night.
And still, these pictures,
Of pleasure unmatched,
And pain unbearable, pound at my mind.
But I can give no vent, no escape.
My torment rages,
And I lift my face to the sky.
I cry out for release, for an answer,
But all I silence.

Posted by Briseis1000 (Member # 3091) on :
human? did you pick your username merely because he was your favorite character or because you identify with him? just curious.
Posted by Human (Member # 2985) on :
Both. Very much both.
Posted by Human (Member # 2985) on :
Why do you ask?
Posted by Briseis1000 (Member # 3091) on :
because i am briseis. because from that simple question i learned more about you than i ever could if all i did was talk to only you for five years. because i want to know and understand everyone that i can. because i am me. and because this is the part of ender that i carry with me.

[This message has been edited by Briseis1000 (edited February 24, 2002).]

Posted by Human (Member # 2985) on :
That sounds very strange, even though it makes a kind of sense...
Posted by Briseis1000 (Member # 3091) on :
did i answer your question?
Posted by Human (Member # 2985) on :
Yes...sort of.
Posted by Human (Member # 2985) on :
Now, tell me something. What conclusions did you infer from my answer? I just want to see how accurate they are.
Posted by Briseis1000 (Member # 3091) on :
i knew you'd ask.
let's see if i did this well... (probably not)
you identify with human so that could mean a number of things all on its own but one of human's most prominent motives was acceptance that what you want? does it mean that you feel alienated? or am i going in an entirely wrong direction?

Posted by Human (Member # 2985) on :
Keep going...

Posted by Briseis1000 (Member # 3091) on :
hmm...well, human's problem was that he wasn't accepted by another species but seeing as we haven't found any other widely recognized sentient species that can't be it. soo... that would mean you're the alien. except that your case is worse because you don't even feel accepted within your own group, your own species. you feel alone. utterly and entirely alone. did i get it right?
Posted by Briseis1000 (Member # 3091) on :
want me to delete all that so no one else can read it?
Posted by Human (Member # 2985) on :
Congratulations. You are very astute. I don't know enough about the Illiad to do the same for you, I'm sorry to say. Let me ask you the next best thing: who in any of the Ender related books do you identify most with?
Posted by Human (Member # 2985) on :
No need to delete. People can take whatever meanings they want from it. I don't really care.
Posted by Briseis1000 (Member # 3091) on :
hmm...this is harder than answering what i figured out...
ender. not briseis. ender.

Posted by Human (Member # 2985) on :
Which Ender? Ender the child, fighting for some peace, a cause he doesn't understand? Or adult Ender, weighed down with his guilt, speaker of truth, a compassionate man?
Posted by Briseis1000 (Member # 3091) on :
the latter.
i just read the "teens" thread.
your anger was justified.
and now i know why you feel so isolated.
Posted by Human (Member # 2985) on :
If you'll read the only Afghanistan thread I was foolish enough to participate in, you'll understand more fully...I have the terrible gift of being able to see from other people's points of view. Something that is rarely acceptable.
Posted by Briseis1000 (Member # 3091) on :
oh god...i'm sorry. i've never know someone with the same "problem" i do. more of a blessing turned barrier i'd say. is it the same way with you?
Posted by Human (Member # 2985) on :
My analysis...tentative as it may be, is this:

You, like Ender try to speak the truth as you see it. But instead of welcoming you, people shun you because of it. Truth often hurts, as it forces you to look at many things that you don't want to. It is a rare person who invites that, much less tolerates it. So you, too have a sort of isolation because of who you are.

Posted by Human (Member # 2985) on :
Yes...I think that way too. You should have seen my cousin's face a week after 9/11 when I told her that I understood Bin Laden's reasoning, even if I didn't agree. Up to that point, she had been comparing him to Satan. You can see where that placed me.
Posted by Briseis1000 (Member # 3091) on :
yes, but you didn't do that. why? empathy tangible to you? i mean, do you feel it, as if someone is pulling gently but forcefully at you heart?
Posted by Human (Member # 2985) on :
This is very surreal. Never before have I encountered someone who knew what I feel so accurately. No one. Before now.
Posted by Human (Member # 2985) on :
And yes, it feels like that.
Posted by Briseis1000 (Member # 3091) on :
its almost frightening. but right when it scares me most i get pulled back in.
may i have your screen name? i think we're providing too much opportunity for gossip talking like this.
Posted by Human (Member # 2985) on :
I don't have AIM...but will email work?
Posted by Briseis1000 (Member # 3091) on :
i think this is faster.
Posted by Human (Member # 2985) on :
Not if you check your mail often.
Posted by Human (Member # 2985) on :
Briseis, what if you set your email to check itself--oh, wait...your email tells you when you've got mail, doesn't it?

[This message has been edited by Human (edited February 24, 2002).]

Posted by Bob_Scopatz (Member # 1227) on :
Jeez you two. Get a room, er, I mean start a new thread or something.

I mean, I came here looking for discussion of my poetry (without, of course, having to read anyone else's). And what do I get??? Not one post about me, but a bunch of stuff about whether Human and Briseis are on the same wavelength...


Thread killers!

(just kidding. Please, continue.)

[This message has been edited by Bob_Scopatz (edited February 25, 2002).]

Posted by Perelandra (Member # 3632) on :
Bob, your poetry has given me deep insight into your personality. I never knew there were other people out there who don't share my personality. It's amazing. I feel a wave of relief.
Posted by Aelysium (Member # 2940) on :
Wow, Human, talk about wussy fan-boy bonding.

Just kidding. I, too, can see other people's point of view, but while this, in you, seems to have engendered an increase respect for them, mine has pretty much created an intense hatred of the whole thing. I'm wrong almost all the time, other people are wrong almost all the time, hell, we're all probably wrong almost all the time, so why the **** should I put up with other people's poitns of view if they aren't internally consistent? In a discussion, I thus do my utmost to demolish opposing points of view, unless I respect the person voicing them are are fond of them.'Tis all.

Tally-ho, pip-pip and all that rot~

Posted by Bob_Scopatz (Member # 1227) on :
I never knew there were other people out there who don't share my personality

Pere, that's one of the funniest things I've read on Hatrack in months!!!

Good one!!!


Posted by Human (Member # 2985) on :
Sorry for hijacking the thread, guys! The conversation has since moved to email, and your threads are safe!
Posted by Punchdrunk (Member # 2654) on :
What’s funny to me is that this thread seems to reach back into the Tolkeinesque Depths of Time when the First People to Walk the Earth were posting here. But that was only 1999. Two and a half years ago. Not much has changed since summer ‘99. OK, I got married in the intervening time, and now we have a little girl, but other than that…. So why does it seem like such a long time ago here? What a weird phenomenon.
Posted by Doug J (Member # 1323) on :

Yes, they've told me.
They all have told me,
that i'm a little weird.

When i do,
what i do
I ask what they fear?

I'm not right?
I feel alright.
This has gone on so long.

Time has told me,
answers for me.
Too insecure for a song.

Yes, they've told me.
They all have told me,
that i'm a little weird.

When i do,
what i do
I ask what they fear?

Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 124) on :
I have always believed that poetry's primary function is to enable two people who are looking for soulmates to fool each other into thinking that they've found one.


Posted by Human (Member # 2985) on :
I have a feeling that's directed at me.
Posted by Bob_Scopatz (Member # 1227) on :
I thought the sentiment was rather inhuman myself.


Posted by Kama (Member # 3022) on :
May I have one in German?

I wrote it this summer, when I was doing a German course. An impression on the dormitory.


ich schliesse die zimmertuer hinter mir
die welt lass ich draussen
alleine in der leeren kabine des weltraumschiffs
geometrische figuren ohne phantasie
stammen aus dem dreissigsten jahrhundert
voellig unangebracht fuer ein junges maedchen
in ihrer sturm- und drangzeit
mit ersten lieben ersten trennungen

weisser kalter steriler raum
-der krankensaal wird die romantik heilen

I'm going to work on the translation now, but if anyone so wishes they may translate this for all the hatrackers who don't speak German.

Posted by Briseis1000 (Member # 3091) on :
ha...ha...ha. oh well.
kama: even though i don't understand a word of german i'm sure it was a great poem.
Posted by Kama (Member # 3022) on :
thanks. I actually don't think it is, but oh well... I like to show off.
Um, can anyone tell me what 'Sturm und Drang Zeit' is called in English?
Posted by policyvote (Member # 3044) on :
I don't like poetry very much, so I wrote a poem explaining myself:

Poetry, it seems to me
Is abuse of the “Enter” key
The subject artificially
Ripped from its closing verb

Why cannot the poet see
The ideas of her poetry
Are conveyed more effectively
In plain, prosaic words?

All the poems of history
Are nothing more, essentially
Than op-ed columns cleverly
Disguised as pretty verse

Let us tell it as we see
Eschew nebulosity
Without its crutch, can poetry
Speak to our best and worst?

Feelings expressed honestly
Without tearjerking homily
Or punctuative trickery
To clothe the writer’s soul

I suppose it’s not to be
If poets deigned to write plainly
Then all the world could clearly see
The breaking of the poet’s spell


Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 124) on :

You seek to touch what you must taste,
want to grasp and pinch for ripeness.
You measure out in teaspoons
the pinches, the handfuls,
the seasons.

You pull a net across the sky,
and wonder why the wind keeps blowing.

It rhymes when it's time;
it finds order in chaos
and breaks
where it must
because prose ain't all
it's cracked
up to

You dig?

[This message has been edited by TomDavidson (edited February 26, 2002).]

Posted by odouls268 (Member # 2145) on :
I call this piece "Comments? Criticism?"

Comments? Criticism?

I can but wonder what is amiss
AH! There it is!
An Ass To Kiss

Comments? Criticism?

Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 124) on :
Oh, are we getting all metapoetic now?



poetry is a lot like advertising
if they remember it well
well they remember it

sex moves so
watch every head turn to watch
and somewhere behind the calvin klein
cummings is saying the exact same thing

I realized, too, that the link to most of my poems in the earlier parts of this thread is now long dead. Here's the update:

Posted by Doug J (Member # 1323) on :
Dead links:

Departed from us,
known in no history book.
Like servents to the greats,
only to be overlooked.

Markers in time,
signs of a lost city.
Events march on,
waiting to be used when ready.

Where did it lead?
What were we to follow?
Something grand and great?
Or evil and hollow?

Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 124) on :
404 Not Found:
Look on my works, ye mighty,
and refresh.


Posted by Bob_Scopatz (Member # 1227) on :
A song lyric perhaps?

If I had a dollar for each time I thought of you.

If I had a dollar for each moment I wished we were two.

Oh if I had a nickle for each time I wish'd I had you on my motor-sickle.

Well, baby, I'd have Two dollars and thirty-five cents.


Posted by Punchdrunk (Member # 2654) on :
advice for bank robbers

if you shout/they’ll understand.

your gun.
it speaks
focus (attraction)

fascination. (rubber soles
good for marble floors.)

don’t. pull.

remember (in/grab the cash/out).
moving parts cleaned oiled (in/out)
in. out.
lovingly in dark, no

damp. (they’ll find you there)
don’t think.
they’ll accept/ what it says.
not friends/but respect.

don’t (speak).

cut the thread (speak).



Posted by Justin Pullen (Member # 441) on :
Forget the Sun

And so comes the night
Brawny as a stallion
Consuming the fading light

Devour, devour, yea ravenous dark
Descend on us like locust
Upon our forehead we find your mark

Memory, memory, fading fast
Brightness dies in the mind
Smothered in the void come at last

Lonely souls weep in fear
As the emptiness comes inside
And the Eve flashes an ebon leer

Forget, forget, forget the Sun
You senseless children
Your foolish hearts have buried the Son.


Posted by Doug J (Member # 1323) on :
Original Post?
What can that be?
Can anything be as original,
as a tree?
Posted by Destineer (Member # 821) on :
Wow, I love to see this kind of traffic on this thread... especially Tom Davidson poetry. All right!

Here's something I did about a month ago, I guess...

He's No Dreamer

You'd like to see where things
are going with him
though maybe there's no future in it.

You know you can't strike a flame
in his chest.
His blood won't burn for you like mine will.
His blood isn't fuel for you
like mine.

And you know what that means:
His words don't come from fire.
How can they compare to this steam I must breathe
when you soothe away the needs
you made for me?

Posted by Doug J (Member # 1323) on :
O' Chop liver,
how i feel like thee.
When i give my
Original Potry.
Posted by ElvenWench (Member # 3113) on :
DougJ, DougJ, do not despair!
Your potry is fresh, like a breath of spring air.
I love it, I do, and I do not lie
Cross my heart and hope to die.
Posted by Belle (Member # 2314) on :
Justin, I liked yours very much.
Posted by Baldar (Member # 2861) on :
Death has stolen my moments with you
Life has faded the thoughts I once held

Innocense, that prize is now ignorance
As I pry the last fleeting moments of life from deaths grip

And yet, in that moment of clarity
The deepest and purist beauty is found

Floating upon the invisible strands
Bringing the leaf of fall to its resting place

Reminding me that no tomorrow exists and no yesterday lasts.

But the now is what should be loved.

[This message has been edited by Baldar (edited March 12, 2002).]

Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 124) on :
Here are two love poems, refugees from a genre in which I very rarely dabble:



And so,
by way of demonstration,
I pull a cobble off the bridge
And drop it, hard
and heavy, off the side.

“Now, look,” she said,
her arms spread wide,
“You’ve got me wet.”


Prince Ahmed and the Peri Banou

Conjure up visions of tempests and fire;
stride across deserts with Sufis and liars;
measure out prayers to the width of a hair –
and you’ll never approach my desire.

But passion is lacking in time and perspective,
and visions and prayers only get you so far.
Sure, tempests are fun – but when all’s said and done,
if you’re still in the desert, who knows where you are?

A flash of your flesh in the steam of the shower,
A brief demonstration of feminine power,
A beckoning grape in the nape of your neck:
Love is forever; these things pass in hours.


Posted by Storm Saxon (Member # 3101) on :
Everyone, you have such fine poetry.

These are lyrics to a song by a singer by the name of Kate Bush that I thought might be appropriate for Hatrack:

Deeper understanding

As the people here grow colder
I turn to my computer
And spend my evenings with it
Like a friend.

I was loading a new programme
I had ordered from a magazine:

"Are you lonely, are you lost?
This voice console is a must."
I press Execute.

"Hello, I know that you've been feeling tired.
I bring you love and deeper understanding.
Hello, I know that you're unhappy.
I bring you love and deeper understanding."

Well I've never felt such pleasure.
Nothing else seemed to matter.
I neglected my bodily needs.

I did not eat, I did not sleep,
The intensity increasing,
'Til my family found me and intervened.

But I was lonely, I was lost,
Without my little black box.
I pick up the phone and go, Execute.

"Hello, I know that you've been feeling tired.
I bring you love and deeper understanding.
Hello, I know that you're unhappy.
I bring you love and deeper understanding."

I turn to my computer like a friend.
I need deeper understanding.
Give me deeper understanding.


Posted by aka (Member # 139) on :
Composed unopposed
Such thoroughly bogus shows.
Shy eye peeked through,
True you?

[This message has been edited by aka (edited May 04, 2002).]

Posted by Leto II (Member # 2659) on :
There once was this chick from Nantucket...
Posted by aka (Member # 139) on :
Children of the morning
Children of the night
Children of the darkness
Children of the light

"Blown from the fall of even
"Blown from the dayspring forth
"Blown from the noon in heaven
"Blown from the night and the north."

[This message has been edited by aka (edited May 04, 2002).]

Posted by aka (Member # 139) on :
*that last bit nicked from Housman's Oedipus Colonius
Posted by EarlNMeyer-Flask (Member # 1546) on :
Posted by Chuckles (Member # 2865) on :
Since it faded rapidly into obscurity in its own thread, I'll put it here to do the same :

For Sam

The time's burden laid simple and bleak
Truth loses sight
Soldiers lose conviction, wandering in thick air
And the trainer becomes the trained
Then must windows be resealed
The hearth be fed and stoked
And a short end bidden to long ago gone.
Brief glimpse
Painted on telescope with gossamer brush
Wears tracks in the landscape green
With or without the light feet of morning.
In sleep, no delicate strands of heavy night
In smile, no ships put to sea
In time no time at all.
And so the vision of walking rolling flight slide
Hangs green as the air moves grey
Strings tempered, jangling but sublime
The moon revolves once again
In her orbit round the sun's jest.
And so, away.

Take care

Posted by Chuckles (Member # 2865) on :
*bump for T_Smith*
Posted by T_Smith (Member # 3734) on :
lol, time for me to delete that then.... if i can
Posted by Frisco (Member # 3765) on :
A good friend of mine once wrote this to me. I've long since forgotten what I did to deserve it, but it still makes me laugh.

A sonnet entitled: Ode to the Suckiness of Ed.

Today i pondered how much thou dost suck
Thou dost in truth suck more than a vacuum
Thou suckest like a fish feeding on the muck
Thine great suckiness dost thine life consume
Thine arrival is cause for great despair
Everyone gasps and falls to the floor
For thine sucking has stolen all the air
Thou ar condemmed to suck forevermore
Shall i to a remora compare thee?
In truth thine sucking doth rival that fish
Sucking so hard seems to fill you with glee
If suck were food you'd be one tasty dish
I believe your suckiness knows no bounds
When you are near i hear a sucking sound.



Posted by Frisco (Member # 3765) on :
And my reply(obviously not 100% original)

An ode to the pain I feel when I read your poetry....

Two poets conversed through electronic mail;
One was a poet-the other did suck;
How many classes did she fail
With the inability to rhyme a tale
That could even entertain a duck?

Then I read the other, and it made me smile;
The words he wrote were making sense
It's clear he went the extra mile
To make his words as far from vile
As a cow from an electric fence;

Yet both of them I studied and read
To search the former for a bit of talent;
I looked until I finally said,
"I could look until the day I am dead
And never read a phrase that's gallant."

The latter was an amazing guy
Whose bust should be upon a hill;
Two poets separated by a gift, and I--
Pity those, who in vain try
To get by with their lack of skill.


Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 124) on :
Dante complimented me on the "404 Not Found" haiku, so I'm bumping this thread.

Posted by Dante (Member # 1106) on :
I sure did. It is a very clever poem and one that stuck in my mind when I first read it all those months ago. I'm glad I got a chance to compliment Tom on it.
Posted by deceptive (Member # 3472) on :
It's not as good as most of the poems here, but oh well...

If you take the tears from my crying eyes,
would it stop the hurt?

If you take away my trembling,
would it stop my fear?

If you end the pain in my broken heart,
would the wound still be there?

If you stole my voice away from me,
would it stop my sound?

If you take away my brain,
would I still have my thoughts?

If you take away my hope,
would I be alive?

If you know the answers to my questions,
would I even care?

I like this thread

Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 124) on :
Here's one I wrote of a similar nature:

Being Habitual

I don't wanna be your albatross;
I don't feel the need to stay.
I don't wanna be your heavy cross;
you don't want me that much anyway.

If I leave, would you miss me?
If I seethe, would you kiss me?
If I breathe, would you piss me out?

If I try, would you hurt me?
If I cry, would you burp me?
If I fly, would you jerk me down?

I can't tolerate your fear of loss;
I can't take your pushing me away.
I can't win this (I've already lost);
why do you keep forcing me to play?


Posted by Zalmoxis (Member # 2327) on :
What I like best about Tom's poem/rock lyric:

The opening image: albatross
The closing sentiment: why do you keep forcing me to play?

Now everything in the lyric builds from the opening image to the final exclamation of frustration, but there's on line in particular that makes it work for me:

If I seethe, would you kiss me?


The other thing is that this seems a little more complicated than your normal passive aggresive response to a dominant, whimsical lover. For instance: the lover has a 'fear of loss' and pushes the narrator away, and yet in this very statement (the poem itself) the narrator (esp. with the questions) keeps playing all the while complaing that he [or she] is being forced to play.

At least that's how I see it. Other interpretations?

Posted by Amorphous (Member # 3838) on :
The Canoe

There was a man, who was quite red, because an apple, fell on his head.
Now the apple, it seemed quite true, was made of nothing, but ruddy glue.

The man it seemed, on second glance, had not been hit, merely by chance.
For in the tree, above his melon, perched a young lad, was quite a hellion.

The man cried out, the boy climbed down, and in a moment, was nowhere found.
The man by now, was quite disheartened, and red grew redder, as his face darkened.

Then he jumped up, from where he sat, he screamed and yelled, he even spat.
But soon he stopped, when it was clear, no matter what, no one would hear.

So feeling sheepish, he sat back down, under that tree, there on the ground.
He hoped the lad, now gone from sight, would not come back, to further fight.

And so he sat, under that tree, and soon asleep, with head on knee.
But moments later, awake once more, from a sharp pain, a head quite sore.

“Damn all to hell!” the man cried out, and turned to find, the culprit out.
No boy this time, he saw with fear, his attacker now, was an angry deer.

The deer stood tall, with frightful horn, and eyed the man, gaze full of scorn.
For his part now, the man stood frozen, unable to move, as he’d have chosen.

The deer charged forth, his head bent down, skewered the man, right through the crown.
The man fell quick, his face quite bloody, though barely showing, since already ruddy.

And so we see, the moral is, when under trees, beware of kids.
Now some may think, when reading here, a better moral: “beware of deer.”

But ah my friends, you’re soon to find, men killed by deer, are one in nine.
Whereas the ones, whose foul end, comes from a child, is nine in ten!


Posted by Scott R (Member # 567) on :
Inspired by actual events.

Post McDonald's Epiphany

Something you said in the minivan,
The moment my fingers brushed your hand,
Caught the beat of my mind and held it still.
What was it there, between the soda spill
The Barbies and Hot Wheels and happy meal toys?

This quiet, mercurial, still-unheard joy,
Doled out without thought, like cups or fries,
Is all that binds the trees to the skies.
And it binds us together, here in our van
Whether or not I hold your hand.

[This message has been edited by Scott R (edited July 30, 2002).]

Posted by Scott R (Member # 567) on :
Bump. Too many hyper-politikal topics. Had to put this back on top to keep the board zen.

Tom, I'm curious to know the reason for formatting 'Being Habitual' as you did. I hate to jump to conclusions, but the rhythm and lyrical qualities are so strong, I'm tempted to think that this was written to be a song rather than just a poem.I think that you have a good, tightly constructed piece of work here.

I like the way the narrator alternates between imagery of independence and forced reliance on the object of the poem.

Quite frankly, I envy your talent. I'll trade you my job for your writing ability. . .


Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 124) on :
Trust me, that is NOT a trade you'd want to make right now.
Posted by Scott R (Member # 567) on :
You're right. I have a good job, and I can always improve my talent.
Posted by Human (Member # 2985) on :
Haiku is.
Posted by Human (Member # 2985) on :
A Gift was mine
The Gift of Words
They flowed from my fingers
Drawing bright pictures
In the minds of those who read
The Words I spun on the page.

But I set my Gift aside
To delve in darkness
of my own creation
And suddenly I found
That my Gift was walled away
I grasped for it, but it was not there.

How do you break down a wall
That you yourself have made
How shall I reclaim my words
So they can flow once again
And brighten the pages
With their pictures and stories.

Posted by advice for robots (Member # 2544) on :
Orginal Potry
Hearken to the siren call
Ye poetasters
Posted by JohnKeats (Member # 1261) on :
Thread so long and good,
Know you your eternity?
Everlasting be.
Posted by Dan_raven (Member # 3383) on :
My wife's stepfather passed away a couple of months ago. At the time I was asked to write a Eulogy. It was my only experience playing Speaker for the Dead. This poem was written as I tried to tackle that job.

I Did Not Know Him Well
By Dan Davis

I did not know him well
He was hard to know
Quiet and hidden
Like a pearl beneath the shell.

I knew his magic hands
That sculpted wood
Turned cold iron into roaring power
Crafted a garden from the earth.

I did not know him well
Reserved and difficult
Aloof and demanding
Like the essence of rose adrift on the summer?s breeze.

I saw his magic hands
Call a fish from the water
Rev a dead engine
Create beauty from scraps

I did not know him well, tall and thin
Straight and unyielding
Like a fortress wall defending his heart,
Defending his loves, his family

I shook those magic hands
That created hope and a future
From tragic beginings
Over and over again.

I did not know him well
He strove to make you happy
In his own ways
What else need I to know

I held those magic hands
He did not know me well
Yet we shared a smile
What else need I to know


Posted by Dante (Member # 1106) on :
You ask if I'm alright? Well, yes and no.
In brooding Pascal moods I might agree
the heart has reasons reason cannot know.

This day above all others serves to show
our feelings' mutual ambiguity.
You ask if I'm alright? Well, yes and no.

Your guarded question tells me nothing, though
your blue-eyed glance reminds me wordlessly
the heart has reasons reason cannot know.

I hope but dare not hope too much, and so
I smile and keep my silence fearfully.
You ask if I'm alright? Well, yes and no.

Must all our assignations undergo
this same wilfully sure uncertainty?
The heart has reasons reason cannot know,

but when I came to love you, long ago,
I learned of faith in things we cannot see.
You ask if I'm alright? Well, yes and no.
The heart has reasons reason cannot know.

Posted by amira tharani (Member # 182) on :
*grin* Dante I love that form... can't remember what it's called but Elizabeth Jennings does it well. I like the poem itself too, especially the way the thought progresses and the refrain (which is one of my favourite quotations anyway)
Posted by Dante (Member # 1106) on :
Thanks, amira! It's the first and only villanelle I've ever written, so your kind words mean a lot.

It's a wonderfully challenging form, but I think if I tried to write more than one or two a year I'd start to go crazy or turn to drink. Um, cf. Dylan Thomas.

Posted by mackillian (Member # 586) on :
Dante says the following is poetry:

and I have no effing will to write
or the energy
I feel hungry
but I am full.

Posted by Heraclitus (Member # 25) on :
Here's something I wrote to help along a novice poster on another poetry thread in a time long, long ago:

"Lima Beans (for Libby)"

It's true that we may never see
a poem as lovely as a tree,
for when you try to end each line
with an excruciating rhyme,
your once-majestic oak, you'll find,
becomes a lima bean.

Posted by Heraclitus (Member # 25) on :
And since I'm trying to catch up, here's another. You sort of have to be quite familiar with the works of John Milton to appreciate it, though...

O Miltie, with your slick and slanted words,
Your vaulted notions heavily earthed o'er,
Bare not one stone to our fierce, searching gaze,
But bury us, instead, in tangled lore.
Devoutly do we dig, nevertheless,
Deeper into dark and noxious earth;
Faithfilly you lead us into moist
And marshy bogs, 'til, waist-deep in your worth,
We dive to drown ourselves in watery
Allusions e'en elusive for your age;
As Orpheus' strains to earth-bound ears give wing,
Our dying breath goes bubbling up the page.


Posted by kwsni (Member # 1831) on :
I wrote litte nonsense poems when I'm bored or stuck on a story. here's a few.

Quickly snarling,
the broken ghost
weeps blood
and brittle dreams.

In a steely smile,
rotten wind
bumps along
rusty junk.

High surprised monkeys
juice moose into
sparkling cake,
and dance on loony sails.

Pounding ribbon
sticks to cross
clowns with
green warts.

Velvet lions fly
through delicate
dreams, chasing
steel cake.


Posted by Heraclitus (Member # 25) on :
One more and I'm done. I just couldn't pass up the chance for a song lyric.


You hope and pray, and always say
you don't believe in these "futile gestures,"
but in the dark at night
I know you know you do.

This doubt is everything to you --
your very own religion.
Take a look at yourself;
you know it's true.

But every time that we sit down,
it seems you've got the higher ground,
'cause every word I try to say
won't leave my mouth.

So take your time; I'm paralyzed.
I'm going nowhere.
I'll be right here when you come home,
right here waiting.
This time I'm paralyzed;
we're getting nowhere.
I'll be right here when you come home,
right here all alone.

Call it a masochistic streak;
I know my position's a little weak:
an atheist misologist
versus a shameless idealist.
But still we go around again,
hoping this time we both might win,
but we can't even agree
on what we're fighting for.

And every time that we sit down
it seems you've got the higher ground,
'cause every word I try to say
won't leave my mouth.

It's getting late again
and, once again, we're stuck in nowhere.
It's past time to turn and walk
and never look behind.
But I'm not the kind to walk away,
even with the battle over;
I'm stumped, but still hanging around.

And every time that we sit down,
you know you've got the higher ground,
and so I sit here like a fool
and write it down.

Posted by Dante (Member # 1106) on :
I toast your coming nuptials
with ardent strength of cup and pen,
and as a Wendy’s denizen,
I eat my food and write my thoughts:
the root-beer hope in Biggie shots,
my french-fry love a Puritan.
The air is thick with virilence,
(society’s big-breasted lie)
and hypo-hypno techno dance
that binds my legs like rubber pants.
Amidst these men I am no man,
who cannot serve his love a meal,
and so my fervor seems unreal,
my eloquence a charlatan.
Live love untold lives not so long
as frosties frozen at a glance.
Oh, combo-meals! Lost innocence!
consumed by greed, and so I grieve.
You both are in a better place.
For hungry pride seeks eateries--
But sated love is out of space.
Posted by Chuckles (Member # 2865) on :
Bravo Dante! Nicely done.

Take care

Posted by sarfa (Member # 579) on :
Very good villanelle Dante, I am impressed. At first I thought the line :

the heart has reasons reason cannot know.

read too akwardly, but upon rereading it, I like it that way because

a) it's damn clever
b) it makes the reader focus on it more, making it stand out from the others.

the same can be said for

I hope but dare not hope too much, and so

it was an expertly crafted poem.


Posted by sarfa (Member # 579) on :
This is my first poem in over a year, probably the longest drought I've had. As always, your critism is welcomed with open arms.


The window has cracked.
The shards buried in the carpet
pierce my bare soles
as I approach the pane.
The sunlight shines brightest
through the jagged hole.
I thrust my face outside
to see the bluer sky.
A gust of wind rakes
needles across my skin.

The mirror has cracked.
The shattered pieces lay strewn
across the damp countertop.
Each tiny sliver reflects
a different angle, a different world.
My face stares back
through each, warped and skewed.
My eyes are drawn to the empty
frame. From within I see
my every virtue, my every blemish.

The egg has cracked.
Fragments of the shell
settle in the plush yellow plumage
of the new hatched chick.
The tiny bird struggles
within, thrusting it’s head
through the opening.
The incubator’s gentle
hum halts as the clear
plastic lid opens with a click.


Posted by sarfa (Member # 579) on :

(and not for any selfish reasons at all )

Posted by Bob_Scopatz (Member # 1227) on :
My new dot com...

Office chairs
and Ouija boards
Dry Erase markers
and faxes from the coast.

We plan, we plot
we Strat-e-gize, man!
We build elitist dreams,
And just melt that friggin candle.

All the things we say we'll do
We've done before,
by different names,
on other shores.
But now we planned that they shall be
the future of our company.

Like brilliant stars
we shine and glow
We preen and show
Act like we know

Until the day our emperor goes
and demonstrates he has no clothes.


Posted by Scott R (Member # 567) on :

Bob, do you work for my company?

Posted by Human (Member # 2985) on :
Requiem for Peace

Patriotism is alive
and I hate it
It divides us
And splits us
We can't seem to shake it

It's all about us
But what about them?
The ones who we bombed,
Whose lives that we end?
Who mourns for them?

We punish the many
For the sins of the few
Look in their faces
I can, can you?
They're human, too.

But we're blinded by hate
and dazzled by war
A taste of blood on the news
We start screaming for more.
The slaughter begins.

Where did it start?
Rather, where does it end?
Once killing starts
It's not easy to end.

Tommorrow I'll mourn
Not for those in the towers
But peace, blessed peace
It's gift we have shattered.

(Note: Also posted on the Young Writer's Forum)

Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 124) on :

I used to think Death came
on little cat feet.
He had a British accent,
and wore black because it
went with everything.

Black hides the blood,
that's all,
and who has lungs to speak?


Posted by sarfa (Member # 579) on :
He had a British accent,
and wore black because it
went with everything.

no, Tom that's Neil Gaiman . anyway, I loved this little gem, it's going on my list of all time favorite hatrack poems.

Posted by :Locke (Member # 2255) on :
Mine too, Tom.
Posted by Dante (Member # 1106) on :
Wow, Tom. And you accuse me of over-allusion? Pot, meet kettle. <snicker>
Posted by Leonide (Member # 4157) on :
yay! i love this thread!
of course i find it three years later...;0)
i've only written three poems ever, but i love poetry, and this is the only one i ever really liked.(that i've written) I wrote it after reading e.e.cummings "Anyone Lived in a Pretty How Town" , quite possibly my favorite poem ever.

somebody read a poem all bent
(with nary a clue as to what it all meant)
saturday, sunday, monday, today
somebody searched and strove for a way

to understand just what mr. cummings was stating
when he said “up so floating” -- the question was grating.
she searched and she worked and she toiled all the eve,
till her sanity was ready to pack up and leave.

but suddenly (and in a flash of great joy)
she saw what he meant, about the girl and the boy
how they grew and they loved in their own special way
from year to year, from day to day.

and quick as a flash she had tears in her eyes
for the plight of the anyone was her in disguise.
for she sang her didn’t and she danced her did,
and longed for a noone, this somebody did.

and the story gave hope to a withering heart,
with cheer in the message the tale did impart.
and somebody, so glad of what to her it all meant,
wrote words of a girl who read a poem all bent.

(edited for ambiguity)

[This message has been edited by Leonide (edited September 28, 2002).]

Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 124) on :
Hey, Leonide, have you seen my home page? Check out the ALT tags on the first image, and the title on the guestbook.

[This message has been edited by TomDavidson (edited September 28, 2002).]

Posted by Dante (Member # 1106) on :

I. En arche

in the beginning was,
in the end shall be.

But there was between beginning and end
a Light
that shone in the darkness,
and a Darkness
that resembled the Light
but the Light comprehended it not.

I am not that light.
I have been that darkness.

But I will bear witness of that Light.
I will show you what was, is, is to come.

I will show you what letters
come between
alpha and omega.

I will show you what Words
come between
beginning and end.

(edited for font issues)

[This message has been edited by Dante (edited September 28, 2002).]

Posted by Leonide (Member # 4157) on :
Tom - that is quite possibly the coolest website i have EVER seen...kudos! love the e.e. cummings references, too...very very clever!

Kira ;0)

Posted by Dante (Member # 1106) on :
III. A Holiday Repast

In a dingy, common attic
we huddle together, one soul with thirteen bodies
(or maybe twelve), all One, but with one
who was before us, who sits before us.
He is a stranger to me, this man who says
he is in me, and I in him--his words
come from my mouth (for we are one)
and reach my ears
but do not touch my heart.

“Eat,” he says,
and I eat,
rending the plain bread to manageable portions,
chewing three times, then swallowing the unwieldy mass.
It has no taste and sits heavy in my stomach.

“Drink,” he says,
and I drink,
letting the sanguine wine anoint my lips,
feeling it burn my throat like bloody flame.
The more I take, the more I thirst.
“This is my body, this is my blood,” he says.
But his body is my body
and his blood is my blood
for we are One.
And as I eat his body and drink his blood
he is in me, and we are one.
And as he gives his body and sheds his blood,
I am in him, and we are one.

But what will happen
when I am no longer in him,
when he has discarded blood and body
and all my bread and wine avail me naught?
And what will happen
when he is no longer in me,
when I have purged him from my body and blood
and all my prayers and tears can’t bring him back?

And what will happen
when I have consumed myself entirely,
when I have eaten and drunk damnation to my soul,
when I twist for a shred of thought or drop of pain
and there is nothing?

Then I will have a holiday repast
and swallow their stale bread and staler theology,
and subsist on their sour wine and sourer hope.
If they have kept his saying,
they would shun mine also.

In a dingy, common Attic
these things I have spoken unto you
being not present with you.
Eat your meals,
you who have believed through my word,
and pray you may not be one
as I am.

Arise, let us go hence.

[This message has been edited by Dante (edited September 30, 2002).]

Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 124) on :
Excellent work, Dante! I'm a bit iffy on the bread stanza, but the rest of it is lovely. This is mine, on the same topic:

Mr. Fix-it (You've seen him on TV)

Hey there mr. fix-it man,
i wanna, no, i gotta know if you can
fix-it all up spic'n'span,
find it in your master plan and

Hey there Bobby
sleeping in the subway
joking with the junkies
looking for his own way
to the place where the marigolds grow
and Susan and her children seem to know
that God's in the Easter basket,
God's in the air,
God's in the resurrection,
God's in your hair

Who can fix it if not mr. fix-it?
If not mr. fix-it, no-one can.
Who can fix it if not mr. fix-it?
We got no-one else but the fix-it man.

See em on the streetcorners
slipping out of straitjackets
working for a dime and
handing out pamphlets
they believe and they know that it's so
and telling you is saving you if only you'd go
but God's in the street mime,
God's in the prayer,
God's in the caterpillar,
God's everywhere

What if mr. fix-it heard?
What if mr. fix-it learned?
What if mr. fix-it cried?
What if mr. fix-it died?

Hey there preacher
stitching up his sermon
picking out a parable
to make his point
he understands that He knows what he sows
but he doesn't care 'cause He knows that you know
that God's in the Sunday mass,
God's in the teacher,
God's in collection plates,
God's in the preacher

We've all seen dear mr. fix-it;
we've believed in mr. fix-it;
we all need our mr. fix-it;
(where in hell is mr. fix-it?)

[This message has been edited by TomDavidson (edited October 01, 2002).]

Posted by Dante (Member # 1106) on :
My last two are, I think pretty obviously, the first and third sections of a longer poem. I haven't included the second because I thought it was the weakest in the poem. There are two final sections that I may post later.

Tom, I think some of the imagery in my last one is a bit heavy, but I figured that the images I was using were a bit trite and overused by their very (dual?) nature, so I didn't worry about it too much. As for your latest entry...I like it a lot. The choice of form and style is perfect, and your commitment to it is constant. The rhythm is absolutely delightful, and the mixture of a light sound and heavy meaning works very well.

Posted by Dante (Member # 1106) on :
IV. Hymns, Crepuscular and Auroral

Lord, in the shelter of thy name
(a secret since the world began)
we meet to praise thy son who came
to dwell among us as a man.
The darkness drowns the sun’s last ray--
Lord, let us see the break of day.

Too soon our Master leaves forever,
his the glory, ours the loss.
Deserted, we must learn together
to bear the lash and mount the cross.
Our mortal god must soon away--
Lord, let us see the break of day.

Another Comforter will come
and teach us what we are to speak--
but now our faltering tongues are dumb,
flesh unwilling, spirits weak.
The world drowns out the words to say--
Lord, let us see the break of day.

Lamp, torch and hearth are shadows of
the way our hearts have in us burned,
yet, though the inward flame of love
thy son has taught, we have not learned.
The night obscures thy holy way--
Lord, let us see the break of day.

Now tears are shed for mortal grief
as blood is shed for human sport--
the rising sun our sole relief,
a day, a life, too soon cut short.
Grant us the light! Do not delay!
Lord, let us see the break of day.

Posted by JohnKeats (Member # 1261) on :
Petrarch, Brubeck, Keats-Caleb

Cradled in amongst the hair,
Smells, and sounds of you,
Undiscovered world view,
So I lay me there.
Survival is not our care,
Death has lost its hue,
Pleasures take we not a few,
Gems no longer rare.
Yet worthy still
To grace us more
Than life adored
Through lonely will.
Home of dancing melody:
You're what's moving me.


Posted by JohnKeats (Member # 1261) on :
Ten points if you can discern the meaning of the title.
Posted by Dragon (Member # 3670) on :
My best work so far:

Delphinian Mermaid
Alone in her under-sea cave she waits
A gem, a moonstone, lies in her palm
Lighting the cave, shining in the waters
She sits gazing into it's light.

Many futures dancing before her eyes,
Happy, sad, all things are possible,
And in the light of a moonstone
They can be seen together.

She watches children dance, hair flying,
Parents laughing, weeping, fighting,
Kings and beggars battling fate
All these swirling in the stone's light.

She cannot alter them, though she tries
Her power is only to see
She cries in quiet frustration
But the stone cares not for her tears.

Committing herself to silence
She sits, staring at the future
Unable to live it herself
She will stay, incased in her grotto, immortal.

Time stands still, even the bubbles wait
Tides and currents are motionless
Awaiting her command, but she watches still
And around her life goes on.

btw, Human, I like yours, I feel that way too.

Posted by JohnKeats (Member # 1261) on :


Posted by Dante (Member # 1106) on :
(Okay, it's done, now. This is the last section. I promise...and congratulations to anyone who made it all the way through. I and my exceedingly Johanine imagery thank you.)

V. The Epyllion of the Revelator and the Beloved

I was in the beginning, and I was with God,
but I was not God.
I was in the beginning, and I was with the Light in the beginning,
but I was not the Light.

I have borne witness of the Light.

How many times each dusty day and sleepless night
among the smell of tar, and brine and fish
I have borne witness! But not of me,
no, never of me, for I am not that Light.

I cannot complain.
I have received my wish.
I last forever.

I am a holy Tithonus--preacher and vagabond, never
a hero, sometimes a fool, often a nuisance.
I am a good thing come out of Nazareth,
led by the will not of the flesh, but sometimes not of God,
usually in between. I am not free from fear,
though I do not fear death.

I am a seer with his eyes wide closed,
a prophet cursed to believe his own
self-fulfilling prophecies, swooning in a trance
of holy ecstasy, then asking for a modest fee.
Food isn’t cheap, though love is free.

Black clouds gather to the east, blown
by the awful wind of rushing wings,
speaking of a storm yet to come,
a storm I have seen over and over
until it becomes almost a litany,
until I would fix my eyes shut with nails to escape the sight,
but I know that I would see
more with my eyes closed. Nothing remains hidden long.

Oh, I will not bore you with details,
nor terrify you with kingdoms to which you may belong.
I could, you know, for I have seen it all:
heads, whores, beasts, angels, tails,
backs, plagues and horsemen. It would mean nothing to you.

I have told you only what I know, and what is true.
The Light has not always been the same thing,
but I have always borne witness of it.
My light has perished, but the Light is everlasting.
Increase, decrease...increase, decrease...

What I have written, I have written. I must have rest.

Spero enim me futurum apud vos
et os ad os loqui, ut gaudium meum. . .sit.

Thou shalt see greater things than these.

Posted by Destineer (Member # 821) on :
Autumn, Like Always

Some dreams are more than dreams;
the solid ones find their way
into the days.
So he explains why he can’t leave her.
Last night he found her dead.
That’s how his vision found her.

I try to explain, this is a swift season.
The dreams - they also come quick
and the morning memory’s all that persists.

The wind is like flutes, and it blows a girl’s hair
But sometimes it chills your lungs
when you breathe it.
Is this a cold fall that’s begun?

Posted by Scott R (Member # 567) on :
This place, for poetry,
Is a good spot
To wish without mobility,
Without doing-- perhaps not
Only will you wish and breathe
But find a garden gone to seed.

I'm experimenting with writing poetry I think OSC will hate. I just can't be high-faluting enough, though.

You broken, religious, stick men.
Push our eggs from our wombs
And sing, sing, WARBLE,
While the clock sickly sticks
Us out, tongue-like,
And we lick up your singing tears.

Until we drown.

Umm. . . yeah, definitely time to go home and get some sleep.

Here, by the way, is where poetry can safely sleep, or cavort, or brood.

Until the critics come and nibble, nibble, nibble.

Posted by Scott R (Member # 567) on :
::malicious bump::
Posted by Destineer (Member # 821) on :
I thought your second one was quite cool, Scott. It had a strong sound and message. Keep on experimenting.

Here's my latest:

Look Away, Lady

Listen listen
The bus drove by
and the squeal of its brakes matched the squeal
in my mind.
It wouldn’t have screeched that way if not for you
but don’t give it another thought.
The treasure shop has what you want.
Nothing here but monstrous me.

[This message has been edited by Destineer (edited November 19, 2002).]

Posted by sarfa (Member # 579) on :
I just found out that my father's mother probably won't live through the weekend. I never knew her very well, and haven't seen her in years (she has alzeihmers and doesn't remember her own children). It seems very sad to me that the only really vivid memory I have of her is the cinnamon apples she used to make. Anyway, here's a brand new one, it is still very rough (wrote it tonight), and, as always, your criticism is more than welcome.


Brittle bones
in sheets and skin
…and all I remember are cinnamon apples.

Autumn days
on porch swings
waiting for games
of dominoes to begin
…and all I remember are cinnamon apples.

of tiny flowers
on greeting cards,
sewn expertly with
a worn metal thimble,
unworried by trembling limbs
…and all I remember are cinnamon apples.

Holiday feasts
spent sitting across
from her smiling face.
As plates are passed around
the table, no one thinks to ask
if she is content to sit and listen.
…and all I can taste are cinnamon apples.

Church pews
creak, the service ends
…and all I will remember are cinnamon apples.


Posted by Ophelia (Member # 653) on :
Sarfa, I'm so sorry to hear about your grandmother.

I really like the poem. I tend to like poems that repeat a single line.

This is my favorite part:

As plates are passed around
the table, no one thinks to ask
if she is content to sit and listen.

Here's one I wrote about six weeks ago, after, well, a walk along the bayou. I also wrote it in sonnet form, but I think that this one, while very rough, is truer to my feelings at the time:


I see the coming storm before we set out
(the sky so white above us, yet darkened grey to the south)
but I take your former role and remain silent.

You glide ahead of me on wheeled feet,
leaving me staring at your back.
Yes, that's how it is.
You circle, waiting for me to catch up,
but I know that eventually you'll forget to turn around,
you will leave me staring into a grey sky.

You point out the flowers in the grass beside us,
entranced by splashes of yellow, purple, blue in this grey world,
but my eyes just move to the white paper that litters the walkway,
the green-brown sludge on the cement by the water.
You skate on ahead. I watch you, wanting to shout
out everything that's been on my mind,
but I remain silent.

There are fish in the water.
They fight against the current,
struggle just to stay in one place.
Some don't swim hard enough, fall back
and drift silently in time with me.
I can't spare any pity for them,
too busy thinking of myself.

We head home, crossing paths with the man who lives
under the bridge with the "No Camping" sign.
"I hate crossing roads," you sigh
as the rain begins to fall.
I nod, and still remain silent.

[This message has been edited by Ophelia (edited November 23, 2002).]

Posted by sarfa (Member # 579) on :
thanks Ophelia (and, unfortunately, the docotor's were right, my grandmother passed away yesterday).

I really like your poem Ophelia. it's got some really good imagery, and I love the way the imagery hints at what is going on between the speaker and the other skater. without you having to explicictly come out and say it (especially in the 3rd stanza). Excellent poem.

Posted by Scott R (Member # 567) on :
Destineer- I like it.

I like the way it contrasts the monstrosity of the scene with the 'lady's' apathy.

The last line is well executed.

Sarfa- I can relate. My mom's mother died while I was in Italy. . . we didn't know eachother very well.

For the poem-- why is the second stanza only 4 lines long? The two after it have six lines. . . and the first and last stanza are composed of three lines each. Was there a conscious decision to make the 2nd stanza the odd man out?

Othewise, there is a palatable rhythm in your poem, despite the 'free-verse'ness construction. I rather enjoyed it.

The last stanza is the punch. . . nice.

Ophelia-- I really like the sense of conflict and loneliness you portray in 'Bayou.'


. . .I know that eventually you'll forget to turn around,
you will leave me staring into a grey sky.


One complaint:


I can't spare any pity for them,
too busy thinking of myself.

These lines make your narrator seem more selfish than I think was your intention. . . But maybe I'm interpreting wrong.

I got a good sense of longing and need. I found 'Bayou' to be haunting. . . I liked it, in other words.


Posted by JuniperDreams (Member # 3471) on :
Bumble Bee

Bumble bee,

I love thee,

How your wings sparkle in the light,

Do you have fun,

Working day and night?

With the pattern on your back,

With the tune I always hear,

I will love the bumble bee forever.


Posted by JuniperDreams (Member # 3471) on :

Good bye, my friend,

We'll meet again,

I used to be so naive.

I never knew of troubles

That would make my heart heave.

Betrayed but thrice

I payed a mournful price.

So evil did indeed succeed.

I say goodbye

And in my eye

My heart will never let go...

Posted by JuniperDreams (Member # 3471) on :
A child dies

I weep

A baby is born

I rejoice

A man kills

I Shutter

A boy aides a stranger

I am inspired

A woman is crippled

I ache

A young girl dances

I feel strong

An animal suffers

I feel heavy

A bird soars free

I feel light

Life is a seesaw

Life takes, life gives

Life is what life is, no more, no less

Life- Live it!

Posted by JuniperDreams (Member # 3471) on :
THe perfect vacation

The perfect Vacation Is filled with peace

Don't know who it wouldn't please

Sunny skies and butterflies

Laughing hills and Twinkling eyes,

Golden memories And paradise,

What a Vacation to Remember!

Time ticks by As every minute

Brings yet another Faded moment,

Fun, yet wild, But no one gets hurt.

People gather,The friendship is strong,

All come relax, But for how long?

Take your time, You'll always be welcome here,

Do not worry, Learn to cheer,

Generations Reuniting,

No more cultures fighting,

Time stands still,So remember forever,

The great vacation we had together.

But now it is time,To get to work,So Come back soon,

Wave goodbye To all your friends As the World returns to Reality

From The Perfect Vacation

Posted by JuniperDreams (Member # 3471) on :

Sometimes I gaze at the sky

With its brilliant streaks of white

And I marvel at the birds

When they are in flight.

Sometimes I dare to dream

To venture out into the world

Loneliness isn't as bad as it seems

It's easy to behold.

Sometimes I take comfort

In nobody's presence but mine

I sit against my tree

The sun will always shine.

Sometimes I just think

About love, life, the world

And people say I am different

Does that make me bold?

Sometimes I want to cry

When I see people strike

Sometimes I want to hide

When pain is alive.

I often look and ponder

At what is just out of reach

And I see the violence

And I tell you, I beseech.

Sometimes I think am I

The only one who cries?

Sometimes I start to worry

What if someone dies?

Sometimes I just lay there

And let the world pass me by

And I think that sometime

Sometime I will die.

-Dawn I. Cambridge, 2002

Posted by JuniperDreams (Member # 3471) on :
"Reflections" by Dawn I. Cambridge, 2002

As I look beyond the painted hills

And past the southern skies

I'm filled with a sudden wintry chill

That brings a yearning out from inside.

My gaze falls upon a silver lake

My reflection stares right back at me

The silence of the water is so disturbing

Who is it that I see?

A breeze blows by and her hair twirls

Freely into the night

Her skin gives off a golden glow

Under the pale moonlight.

I lift my gaze back to the skies

As a pack of geese fly by

And see a bit of the girl in them

And suddenly want to cry.

The stars shine brightly watching me

As if to give me a clue

But the uncertainty lies deep within

Wondering, was the reflection true?

I step into the quivering waters

And look down once again

The girl with wavering brown eyes is still there

Her reflection never ends.

Still as I look into the pool of mistiness I see

The reflection of love and emptiness

Is she truly me?

Pale reflections bounce off my memories

And once again

She stares me right back in the eye

As if to ask, is this the end?

I dive into the water

And when I wake up, I'm on shore

And I curse those mocking silver stars

All the way down to their core.

Then I start to tremble and cry

As I look into the sea

And do you know what I finally found?

. my reflection staring back at me.

Posted by JuniperDreams (Member # 3471) on :

By Dawn I. Cambridge

Look at them, then look at me Tell me, what is it that you see?

I close my eyes and disappear Into a land I wish were real

I open my eyes once again And wish for once I had a friend

I wonder if this is truly real Is this what we're meant to feel?

In the corner I stand alone Waiting, watching, because I don't need a home

I won't give in to what they say I live my life in only my way

I won't well up with tears and cry The way they do and want to die.

When at night I'm all alone I don't even cry or moan

In the darkest midnight hour I find I've acquired the highest power

I don't need love, I don't need hate I'll do what I want- it's my own fate

I don't need laughter, I don't need tears I've conquered all that's to be feared

I don't need anyone to keep me strong I know exactly where I belong

I'm a survivor, ruler of all I will keep soaring, what means to fall?

Then I get a glimpse of their joy And I wonder why it isn't me with that boy

I see girls laughing; flicking their hair And filled with jealousy, utter despair

But they are worthless human mortals I need to concentrate to open other portals

For what really does lie for me

Is going down with conformity; being truly free

'Cuz I'm a survivor, the only one Who does exactly what needs to be done. Sometimes I myself do not see That I am more imprisoned than I thought I'd be free..

Posted by JuniperDreams (Member # 3471) on :

A poem is a soul that breathes free

Like the angels watching me.

Poetry is the dewdrops over flowers at night

The dazzling white stars that illuminate light.

Poetry is life; it lives everywhere

In deserts, springs, fresh mountain air.

The fire within us

Glows brighter still

Because poems are the wings of free will.

Like friendship, it blossoms over time

It lives in spirit, bourne in the mind.

Death is the end

The last verse of a poem

But alas! Not to worry!

Ashes are reborn.

From the dying embers of a phoenix

A new chick is born

And into this world it goes,

Delivered at home.

- Dawn I. Cambridge, 2001

Posted by JuniperDreams (Member # 3471) on :
Sorry... I'm a poem fanatic. If you like my poetry, please review them at by searching for this username. THanks!

Dante... your poem was cool. And the funny ones crack me up! Keep at it, scott r! Dare to write!

[This message has been edited by JuniperDreams (edited November 26, 2002).]

Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 124) on :
Juniper, would you like comments on your poetry?

Posted by Ethics Gradient (Member # 878) on :
Is this the oldest surviving thread at Hatrack?
Posted by Ophelia (Member # 653) on :
This thread was one of the reasons I joined in the first place (nearly three years ago now). And then I didn't post here . I posted on the "Original Poetry Continued" thread. Which died. Silly me.

Scott--actually, I was feeling pretty selfish at that point (questioning my right to feel the way I felt and all that). But I'm not sure I want to keep the line. Thanks for pointing it out.

JD--if you want comments, you're going to have to post fewer poems at one time. There's just too much there for me to take in.

Posted by JuniperDreams (Member # 3471) on :
i could care less about comment.. .i post for the enjoyment of the public

Hit ya guys hard, dint i? WEll, you know, theres like six pages more...

Posted by Scott R (Member # 567) on :
Well, if you post more, do us the courtesy of NOT double spacing.
Posted by twinky (Member # 693) on :
I also posted to the other thread.

Here's what I posted. Some of you may have seen it before.

[This message has been edited by twinky (edited November 27, 2002).]

Posted by JuniperDreams (Member # 3471) on :
uh... i'm sorta confused now..
Posted by Scott R (Member # 567) on :
Whatever happened to the other thread?
Posted by twinky (Member # 693) on :
It died. I think it has been deleted now...
Posted by sarfa (Member # 579) on :
Scott, The number of lines in each stanza was conciously chosen. Originally I had a 2,4,6,8,2 structure, but I changed the 8 to a six for a couple of reasons:

1)The stanza read better as six lines

2)The line length of 6 just fit better with the mood, that is, originally, I wanted the reader to notice the lengthening of stanzas as the speaker remembers more and more about the grandmother, sort of mimicing the natural progression of thought processes (a sort of snowball effect of memories), but the second to the last stanza has an abrubt change in mood (and is a little less detail oreiented), and so the 6 line stanza is there to show the limit of the snowballing process (that is, the speaker could only remember so much), a petering out, if you will.

wow, that was a rather longwinded explanation, hopefully it made some kind of sense

Posted by Scott R (Member # 567) on :
Yup-- thanks, sarfa.
Posted by Scott R (Member # 567) on :
Ophelia's poetry's too nice to be sitting on page 3. . .
Posted by JuniperDreams (Member # 3471) on :
still hangin around, are ya, scott?
Posted by JuniperDreams (Member # 3471) on :
still hangin around, are ya, scott?
Posted by Sal (Member # 3758) on :
(With a nod to katharina, I'm re-posting this. Comments are more than welcome. It's the first time ever I actually tried to rhyme in English , and I feel kind of weird about it. I also spent very little time, and I know it's not one of my strengths...)

When childhood dies,
And our thrones grow thinner,
When the armrests close in,
And the floor meets our feet, -
Stealth enters our eyes,
As we sever our inner
Smile from our faces,
Preparing deceit.

When childhood dies,
And our walk rises taller,
When the ceiling drops near,
And the sky marks our height, -
Walls made of ice
Crowd our faith ever smaller.
The glittering pebble
Withdraws from our sight.

When childhood dies,
And the corpse is banished
To a tomb that we carved
From our innermost cell, -
Alive the child lies,
Forgotten, not vanished,
Silently whispering
To teach us the spell


Posted by Ophelia (Member # 653) on :
Sal--I really like that, especially the first half of the first stanza. I love how the child doesn't get bigger, but instead everything else gets smaller. Beautiful. And your rhyme doesn't even sound stilted--something hard enough for native speakers to accomplish.

Here's a short piece I wrote exactly a year ago. I don't particularly care for the second stanza. But I like going through my writing and seeing exactly where I was one, two...I guess I have from up to six years ago now. Anyway (now that I've written more than is in my poem), here it is:

The Dead

you left me waiting with your dead
who rise and rise and rise
refusing to remain buried
refusing to remain hidden
refusing to speak

and I
can’t escape from their silence
when they
look me in the soul
as though I am one of them

December 12, 2001


Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 124) on :
I just can't let this thread die. Here's a recent one:

Like Flying
When she said yes, I had no idea
that gravity was about to flip into reverse
and hurl me out the window and into the sky
like a dollar bill on a prankster's string.
But it did.
She waved once, her mouth a startled "O,"
sparks dancing between our outstretched palms.

I found myself bobbing over the suburbs,
picking up speed. Traffic stopped.

A woman in a SUV pulled onto the curb,
and her oldest son stopped hitting his brother
long enough to press his nose flat against
the safety glass. He whined, "Mom, can
I be a flying man?" And with weariness
she felt something snaking out of her throat
to say, "Maybe when you're older."

A pigeon was pacing me for a while, giving me the evil eye --
"hey, buddy," he said, "ain't got no right" --
but the clouds were soft as candyfloss, so
I flipped
him the bird and kept on swooping.

As the air got thin and the sky got dark, storms
below me and stars twinkling all around, I
almost got to thinking about bare skin
and the vacuum of space.
But then it dawned on me,
as the sun peeked over the edge of the Earth:
Who am I to need air? Who am I, to float past the moon
fretting over minor details, sweating small stuff?

Let ice crust my astonished face, my eyes turn into mirrors.
Let Saturn tip its hat to me, and Pluto fetch my slippers.
Let my lungs swell full to bursting, my heart cook in its blood.
Andromeda waits to dance with me and stroke the face of God.

[This message has been edited by TomDavidson (edited January 04, 2003).]

Posted by Deirdre (Member # 4200) on :

Very nice. Especially the image of "a dollar bill on a prankster's string," the line break in "I flipped / him the bird," and the whole bit about the SUV.

[This message has been edited by Deirdre (edited January 04, 2003).]

Posted by Ophelia (Member # 653) on :
I love it! It makes me very happy.
Posted by Destineer (Member # 821) on :
Excellent as always, Tom.
Posted by Maethoriell (Member # 3805) on :
Shweet Tom..

I liked the last stanza..

Posted by :Locke (Member # 2255) on :
Syc volo merj yna ksa ra
Ra me vola brula
Syc volo merj yna ksa ra
Vola recogita me?

(I've acquired the bad habit of writing poetry in a language I made up)

Posted by Sal (Member # 3758) on :
Nice one, Tom.

I like that, unlike with most modern stuff, the language is accessible. The only word I didn't know was "candyfloss",--but it sounds like fun.

Also, what Deirdre said about the bird-flipping.

Posted by aka (Member # 139) on :
Yeah, that was a good poem, Tom. I liked it.

I liked yours too, Locke, though I didn't know how to pronounce it or what it meant. Can you give us pronounciation and a word by word literal translation along with a translation of the sense of the poem? I think I could appreciate it more that way.

Posted by Scott R (Member # 567) on :

What synapse snaps to,
Attentive, affectionate, bounding
Across my cranial reserves,
When my lips touch yours?
Familiar touch, softness and breath
And heat, like sweet racing
Between lips and souls.
Our lips, our souls,
Our racing synapses,
All so quick, we blur
At last.

Posted by Scott R (Member # 567) on :
Um. . . shameless, self-promoting bump.
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 124) on :

There is poetry in my soul.
Sometimes he tries to crawl out,
but a boot to the face fixes that --
and he tries less often anyway,

I really don't know why I bother;
most nights, he sits there in his s**t
and pokes at and plays with his food,
making little tangles out of the dailies
and clippings and sitcom sauces. Sullenly.
And it's not like his droppings are
solid gold anymore, or his steaming vomit
worth plating up and passing around.

I'd complain, but it's not worth the trouble --
and who has the time now to cook anything?

So what's the point? Half the time,
he just paces back and forth, banging
his head into my ulcer and calling
for his lawyer. I haven't had the heart
to tell him.

Used to be good times, him and me.
I'd drop down scandals and smile,
and get similies back. We spent a whole day
hanging up paintings my first time in Paris
-- and even if he didn't really come through
for me that time, at least we had fun.

But he just doesn't understand. I've got
things to do. I'm married. Got a house.
I don't have time to take him to the park every afternoon. Computer job.
And it's not like he's housebroken.

A few mild shocks might help.

[This message has been edited by TomDavidson (edited January 29, 2003).]

Posted by Scott R (Member # 567) on :
Posted by Deirdre (Member # 4200) on :
That's it. I'm applying to grad school.

j/k, sort of.

Posted by ae (Member # 3291) on :
Mild Days

In the days when the sweat-shined sun hung high,
Quiet as mice were we before the windows;
Palm to glass to palm is no less palmers' kiss.

But now beneath such cold and harsh fluorescent glare as this,
We tap electric nothings in our studios
PDA a false memory, and I

When I sleep, dream not of local skies
But cool air, mild days, green and orange meadows,
Sitting on the gates of apple orchards; this dream is

None of our lives, but a stolen season:
Waking to perpetual summer, I rub my eyes and wonder what the lesson is.

Copyright (c) 2003 Nicholas Liu Sheng

By the way, Tom, I loved your poem, but I think it could be strengthened by removing "...I/almost got to thinking about bare skin/and the vacuum of space./But...."


Posted by ae (Member # 3291) on :
I refer to "Flying", of course.


Posted by Destineer (Member # 821) on :
Lately I've been writing down some of my thoughts in prose peoem form, inspired by Pascal's Pensees. Here's the first installment:

Earth is an earthenware container,
containing this:


Who set these limits for me? Sight, sound, touch and all of sensation - why not something
real and immediate? Unfathomable passages is what they are, mazes leading into the mind
that cannot be followed back out.

Time: why is just this one segment of my life’s long serpent here for me?

I feel like I am on the verge of something.

Sensation. A membrane of skin streched across a four-dimensional manifold. The feeling
of time’s flow against it.

Not yet night... a gray sky. What a thing it is to stand beneath a gray sky!

These blood vessels move like mechanical parts - it’s not my will that moves them! I am automated flesh. I feel like a corpse in the making.

[This message has been edited by Destineer (edited February 21, 2003).]

[This message has been edited by Destineer (edited February 21, 2003).]

Posted by ae (Member # 3291) on :


smell the fire: this
is pitch-song. fastitocalon drowns
in a bowl of fire: his
own sweet smell betrays him.


she is the sort born too late.
an earlier age would offer more
to rage against: cf. the burning of bras
cf. the raping of locks
and oh, oh the joys
of picketing the makers of whale-bone corsets.


I eat the flesh and skin and eyes
of fish sadly unschooled
out of their bass natures.

I take inventory:

sockets, rami, branchial arches
muscle, cartilage, pectoral
pelvic, dorsal, anal, caudal
fin fin fin fin fin fin

flesh and skin and eyes.


fastitocalon passes
water passes fire passes
wind and notes and burns in schools:
you can hear it
but is it keening or siren-song? fastitocalon
drowns in fire.


It is failing of school system! Come, we have
beautiful time. Collon is make crisp and bright,
for your benefit:
Harmony! Artistic! Providence!
Do try our Nippon.


But during the above speech the play fades, overtaken by dark and music.


Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 124) on :
*grin* AE, both of your last two have been marvelous. The meter and rhyme are impeccable, never forced, and the repetition is handled well. Nice symbolism in the latter, too, although I may not be able to forgive you for this:

"of fish sadly unschooled/out of their bass natures"

[This message has been edited by TomDavidson (edited February 21, 2003).]

Posted by ae (Member # 3291) on :
Thanks, Tom. Your stuff;s cool beans too.

And hey, I don't blame you. I'm not sure I can forgive myself for that one.


Posted by saxon75 (Member # 4589) on :
Posted by Dante (Member # 1106) on :
La Spezia

We baptized Luca in the ocean
near Lerici at sunset, when
the sun hit the September water
low and rough. It was my second
month in Italy. I wore my whites for the
first and only time. When Anziano
Cabitto spoke, there was a sound
like the rushing of wings, and Luca
disappeared beneath the clutching waves.

Arisen to new life, he smiled like a
simpleton, like a man receiving
a death-row reprieve, and we slapped him
on the back and changed our
clothes on the rocky beach in twilight. Within
three months he had slept with some
girl and was never seen in church again.
It was the Bay of Spezia, where
Shelley sailed into a storm beyond his skill
and vanished under the gray water.
Posted by saxon75 (Member # 4589) on :
From time to time I think about posting some of my own work to this thread, but then other people post and I realize exactly how clumsy and embarassing my poetry is. Even so, I love reading what you folks post here.

So thanks for making me feel small, Dante. [Smile]
Posted by Fishtail (Member # 3900) on :
There once was a puppy named Piggy
Who ran into my auntie's lit ciggy
His black and white tail
Left a gray smoky trail
That was doused before flames got too biggy.
Posted by advice for robots (Member # 2544) on :
Oh, man, Dante, that brings back so many mission memories....
Posted by ak (Member # 90) on :
As I did watch, these fourteen thousand years,
The vines curl slowly round these piers of stone,
The marble etched away by nature's tears,
And salamanders' toes, and all unknown
Unthought of tiny things, I dreamed of how
We'd speak, we'd sit, and paddle our bare feet
Amid the fountains' swift bright stabs of now,
Just so, as here alive we cherish sweet
A song's duration, framed between the deep
Long past and futile future reaching on
Alone into the mountains bare and steep
And past them through the night without a dawn,
Remembering all the while that bright sun's rise,
The light upon your brow, and in your eyes.
Posted by saxon75 (Member # 4589) on :
That was beautiful, Anne Kate. My sense of metaphor is a little underdeveloped; was the length of time meant to be literal? If so, who was the speaker?

I liked the images you used quite a bit. Haunting. . .
Posted by ak (Member # 90) on :
Yes, it's literal. The speaker of the poem is me, and I'm actually fourteen thousand years old.
Posted by saxon75 (Member # 4589) on :
Fourteen thousand, eh? Wow. I've seen your picture on foobonic and I have to say, you look amazing for your age.
Posted by ae (Member # 3291) on :
That was lovely, Dante. Kudos.
Posted by ae (Member # 3291) on :
De Profundis

Woman on the bus
coughing only slightly
I, recoiling, sit.
Posted by Annie (Member # 295) on :

I drank from terra cotta glazed in calla lilies
a smooth draught that reminded me of

Water from a pitcher overlaid with dragon jade
enamel of the dynasty-before-last that

Tasted just like sips I took from dainty
Breton porcelain and realized

That the wells must all eventually converge
inside the center of the planet.


I've actually put some of my poetry on the web now, too - at my geocities site. Stop by and look if you like.

I liked yours, Anne Kate - it was very OSCish in a strange way.

And Dante - when did you serve in Italy? I have a couple really good friends who went to the Padova mission.
Posted by Annie (Member # 295) on :
Ha ha ha ha!

I just read some of my really old poetry on this thread - back on page two. Wow. I wrote that when I was a... a freshman. *shudders*

I do hope I've gotten better.

Actually, I think the naivete showcased in those old poems can be explained by one of my newer ones:

Enter Stage Right

I enter stage right to discover
that the stage is not as smooth
nor the characters as flat
nor the dialogue as clear
as a child in the balcony
had always hoped to hear.

[ May 03, 2003, 12:30 AM: Message edited by: Annie ]
Posted by Dante (Member # 1106) on :
Thanks for the kind words, guys.

afr--I've hardly ever written poems about experiences on my mission, which is really kind of odd; I mean, a mission is FULL of bizarre and/or emotional experiences. I'm glad to see that this one rang true for you, at least.

Annie--I finished my mission in 1995.
Posted by Scott R (Member # 567) on :
Anziano Cabitto?

Penso che sei troppo giovane, pero' stai parlando di Anziano Aaron Cabitto?
Posted by Pixie (Member # 4043) on :
Something to Believe In

Find something you believe in
And never let go
Let it become something
No world could overthrow
Cling to your faith
Like the child their home
Let it become something
The world has never known
Too many in this life
Have lost that precious sight-
Of the rock we may cling to
And that ever-constant light
Whether your faith be simple
And of the simple things
Or of the unseen angels
And their silent wings
Keep the faith inside you
Keep the fire alive
For this belief in something higher
Many men have died.

...::blushes a little:: I wrote this a few minutes ago. Definitely not the best I've ever written (I haven't even gone through for edits yet) and I feel rather silly posting it here but I'm looking to improve my writing so any comments would be most appreciated.
Posted by Dante (Member # 1106) on :
Scott--yes, that's him.
Posted by Nick (Member # 4311) on :
I think this is probably the oldest thread on Hatrack. OSC even posted in here. That was back when he used to have time to post before starting on Crystal City. [Frown]
Posted by Scott R (Member # 567) on :


Aaron and I have been friends since 1990. We attend the same ward.

Cool! What a small world!
Posted by Dante (Member # 1106) on :
Scott--that is cool! Yeah, Aaron was one of the coolest guys I served with. I got to see him a year or so ago when I was at Penn State. Before that I hadn't seen him since, well, since La Spezia in 1993.

I'm actually in the process of writing a poem about each of my eight cities on my mission. I probably won't inflict them all on you guys here, but it's keeping me entertained.
Posted by ak (Member # 90) on :
Oh please inflict, inflict! [Smile]
Posted by Xavier (Member # 405) on :
I may not have been here when it started, but I got registered before it got to page two [Cool] .
Posted by ak (Member # 90) on :
saxon75, yeah, people often tell me I don't look a day over ten thousand.

[ May 04, 2003, 10:25 AM: Message edited by: ak ]
Posted by popatr (Member # 1334) on :
I haven't read all or even many of the poems here- but here's one. I know nothing of structures or meters etc, so I don't know how to follow them.

rain poem

It's raining on me now
It's been dry, I allow
and we really need this

But Im angry, digging out this trench
and I need this done today
It should have rained another day

Then I picture this "other day"
and hear, I think, another say
Why is this happening now?

So I get back to work

It's got to rain on somebody,
Hiss I, bring it on, drown me
Then I shovel defiantly.
Posted by caliburn84 (Member # 4949) on :
I'd love to be able to write poetry books work got published in my school paper when i was in highschool, But i am by no chance any good at it. I just write what comes to my head. This was originally part of a longer poem...but i cut it down a lot. There's no rhyme scheme or anything...just a free verse poem.

In the middle of the road
is where I stand
thinking about the life
that's slipping away like sand

it's 2 am
and here I stand
here I am
come take my hand

walk with me
hand in hand
and maybe we can dance
to an imaginary band

i'm breathing the cold air
looking at you there
with moonlight in your hair.

To bad
the light in you eyes
begging to be seen
so sad
that being with you is just a dream

I want it to be real,
the touch
the feel
I want it so much

my love held back
by an unbroken seal
waiting to be broken
by your hands only

P.S.- Loved your poem ak! nice work there

[ May 10, 2003, 11:07 PM: Message edited by: caliburn84 ]
Posted by amira tharani (Member # 182) on :
If you look at the thread number you'll see how old this one is - it's the 18th thread ever posted on this forum... its staying power is amazing!
Posted by :Locke (Member # 2255) on :
This whole thread makes me wish I could write poetry.
Posted by Caleb Varns (Member # 946) on :
And if we could ever get luke to log in again, he could finally correct the spelling of the title!

Posted by ak (Member # 90) on :
Yes, but how could we change it now? It's the traditional hatrack spelling. It would just be wrong to change it now.
Posted by Apathy (Member # 4810) on :
A reed in the sun,
a thin steel blade breaks the dawn...
fights back the abyss.

The great serpent is
coiling, he bites his own tail.
Jormungand, world snake.

With no emotion,
it feels not pain, nor pleasure.
A killing machine.

Like a bird in flight,
My thoughts and dreams flit in mind,

[ May 11, 2003, 10:17 PM: Message edited by: Apathy ]
Posted by MrFantastic (Member # 5115) on :
Haiku is the ultimate expression of intellect and compassion. I often also suspect that it's the preferred method of poetry for the deaf.

Do deaf people understand "rhyme"? Do they understand syllables?
Posted by Steel (Member # 3342) on :
I always enjoy haiku. Gives me something to do in math class. [Smile]

[ May 11, 2003, 10:24 PM: Message edited by: Steel ]
Posted by Abyss (Member # 3086) on :
I've been doing the whole 'lurker' bit for a while now, but this thread draws me out of hiding. As a matter of fact, I'm liable to post my own poetry here soon... Stay tuned, all.

Great job to the previous posters. You guys are great.
Posted by ae (Member # 3291) on :
Two old pieces that are quite crap:


Everything is quiet here
No breeze stirs the sluggish air
No sound greets my waiting ear
Unlife meets my unreal stare.
I close my eyes and cease to care.


Unmourned lies he here
not one bothered
life of lack meant
lack of life
bothered one not.

Here he lies,


Hey, I was young(er) then. Give me a break. [Razz]

[ May 12, 2003, 08:31 AM: Message edited by: ae ]
Posted by ae (Member # 3291) on :
A Matter of Fact

I have seen him walking on the wrong side of the corridor.
I think he may have a tendency
toward the abnormal.
Posted by Diosmel Duda (Member # 2180) on :
I like your last one a lot, ae.

I haven't posted a poem since my very first post on Hatrack. I guess I'm due for another one.


Limp heat hangs over a road.
Orange cones mark the construction zone
where men lean on their shovels.
A young girl reclines in the grass,
looking at clouds.
Posted by ak (Member # 90) on :
To whomever
Would take from you
This deliquescent pain
You also
Must Give
This Joy.

Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 124) on :
*bumping for newbies*
Posted by Steerpike (Member # 5179) on :
lol. Thanks for the newbie bumpage.


A man stood on the rocky soil,
Tired from a days hard toil,
He raised his eyes up to the stars,
And thought, I’ll never get that far.

He sat upon a cold gray stone,
Weary, pained and so alone,
He has worked almost from day of birth,
To till and sow the harsh black earth.

The moon and stars glowed like jewels,
Unlike the earth so hard and cruel,
Oh to reach up and to hold,
One; he then decided to be bold.

As he cast off his heavy yolk,
Deep within no conscience spoke,
His life was naught, there was naught here,
He felt no shame, he had no fear.

He went up on a mountain top,
He climbed and climbed and did not stop,
His self had undergone renewing,
He did not think what he was doing.

He went to a land where evil dwells,
Where devils reign in empty shells.
In bodies which gave over souls
To a life of luxuries and gold.

Some are there for not believing,
Killing, slaughtering, and not bereaving,
The loss of life they caused another—
They tricked and robbed, misled their brothers.

They have sickly red eyes, cruel yet with sorrow,
That because of teir yesterdays they have no tomorrows,
They have skinny, gaunt bodies that sway with the wind,
They hold in one hand an account of their sins.

In their other hands, they carried their hearts,
Broken and bloody and torn apart.
They cry out in the pain of the fire that burns them,
Pleading in vain with the devil who spurns them.

Their hair and beards are knotted and wild,
They wail and cry like a tormented child.
No time anymore to regret or repent,
To straighten the lives they have twisted and bent.

To this barren land did the ambitious man go,
To find the demon who would know.
How he could fly into the beyond,
His greed for the moon kept him moving on.

He tried not to look at the ghostly creatures,
The killers and rapists, the hard money lechers
They haunted him, lured him to the fiery graves,
From which no soul has e’er been saved.

He came to a pond surrounded by flames,
Reflecting a prize pumpkin like a picture frame.
As he watched and stared, at the image blurred,
And throughout this hell a great howling was heard.

Everyone was deathly still; no one made a sound,
Flames and smoke shot up from the ground.
And up from the steamy pond came a demon
Who ruled the Devil’s domain in the heavens.

His wings were jackal bones and shrouds
He was clothed in mire and stormy clouds.
His hands were nailed from tip to wrist
His eyes so red, they numbered six.

His teeth were fanged and long and pointed
He was the Devil's first annointed.
The murderer's den trembled in fear
Under the terrible, powerful stare.

Five giants surrounded him, a devil's fleet
Grinning in delight at the hell-holes heat
Their eyes spewed fire, they carried axes
Woe to the one who breathes or relaxes.

The man could not move, he could not run
He had not reached the moon, but the fiery sun.
Then he drew from his courage and stood his ground
For he dared not flee or turn around.

The demon, in a voice mighty and sneering
Proclaimed he was ready for the hearing
The man's voice came out trembling and weak
He dared not be still, yet he dared not speak.

He sank to his knees in a fervent plea
And begged to leave, to go back free
So the demon showed him the silver moon
And the diamond stars of the skies in June.

And the man could not feel the heat anymore
He saw not the filth, the fire and gore
He needed only to reach those skies
He listened and believed the demon's lies.

And so he flew on wings of death
And reached the moon in but a breath
And oh, imagine the great cruel shock,
The moon, it too, was made of rock.

The stars didn't sparkle once he reached them
He lifted his hands to the heavens and cried,
"Lord, oh God, what a fool am I."

And there he stayed on the barren stars
In the company of Moon and Mars
It was for this, to be alone,
He left the earth, that earth of stone.

He climbed a mountain and fell into a hole
He bought his death and sold his soul
And there he died on his silver dream
Which simply wasn't as it had seemed.

If you watch the stars at night in June
And hear the cries of some lonely loon
It may be the soul of the man so sad
Who could not be content with what he had.

The End.

Comments of any kind appreciated.
Posted by Steerpike (Member # 5179) on :
I got inspiration for this poem when I visited my great grandmother in her old-age home and saw the dining room at dinner time. Very depressing. Some of it may not make sense because you just had to be there.

This poem does not follow any specific style or syllable count, but I feel that it flows very nicely over all, even though it is not 100% grammatically sound.

The woman sits in rocking chair,
Facing window, she stares and stares.
There is naught left than she can do,
They tell her so, at least; it is not true.

Once that frame, though frail, held confidence, esteem
Now it is just a sad reminder of what has been.
She has been robbed of all self worth,
They stole it so smoothly she did not realize how much it hurt.

They spoon feed her her meals each day,
They do not even let her wipe the drool away.
So at meal time she does the same as now,
Sits and stares and wonders, "How".

How have I become this thing?,
This waste of life, this waterless spring.
Once so free with spirit and soul,
Now thrust into this rotting hell-hole.

Devoid of any meaningful life,
There is neither happiness nor strife.
This place devoid of human feeling,
The soul long gone, the skin just peeling.

Convinced in subtle forms and ways,
That we are near the last, enjoy these days.
But I know so well the lie in this,
We are cast here only for our so called uselessness.

By the outside world no longer caring,
For our feeble bodies; in their minds ours have no baring.
They do not give a second thought,
For what we go through, the torture we are wrought.

By nurses with their painted faces,
Their painted smiles still leave traces,
Of what is truly going on inside,
Their minds hate us, the burden unto them that we bind.

I long to dig my nails in,
To those glass eyes and pull out what is within.
To rip the smile off her face,
See what is behind the lace.

See and show to all who care,
What is the truth about right here.
Murdered, we are murdered every day,
From inside out 'til we are flayed.

Flayed from happiness and life,
By words, though, not with a knife.
Words so subtly depreciating,
That most do not feel the ever present hating.

But everyday they are there, the words
The lies begging me to give
The last of what is me and mine,
What make it worth it to live. ****I know, the style changed in this verse, I am working on it****

So each day I hatch and plot,
What will work and what will not,
In my quest to overthrow,
These hideous witches; make them low.

Make them feel what I have fealt,
Deal them the card that they have dealt,
Hurt them deep, where it counts,
Destroy their souls leave not an ounce.

Alas though, this day will never come,
Their iron grip is too hard wrung,
Others must see as I have seen,
What is and stop what soon will have been.

Then the day will come victorious,
We'll expose the world to it's deemed "not-so-glorious",
And the young will cower, the young will fall,
The old will rise, the old stand tall.

Critique please
Posted by Steel (Member # 3342) on :
I like it. Some of the rhymes sound forced, tho.
Posted by Steerpike (Member # 5179) on :
Are you referring to the first or second poem?
Posted by Steel (Member # 3342) on :
Both, as a matter of fact. [Wink]
Posted by Steerpike (Member # 5179) on :
I hear ya. More in the second then the first one, no?
I still like to make my poetry rhyme, quite simply because I'm not that great of a poet and whenever I veer off the rhyming path I find my verse structurce and syllabilic (sp?) structure to be consistently inconsistent. I start out in one style and then veer completely off, resulting in a conglomeration of poetry ranging from Shakespearean style to Ogden Nash, if ya git my drift.
Posted by popatr (Member # 1334) on :

Inclement skies
blurred eyes
shaking sighs
then swallows flies.

Why do it
say and spit
just quit
stay home and sit.

But miss a run
feel fear stun
recall square one
run from that, run.

So mile tree
calls to me
mile two grafitti
black dog three.

Then I change my pace
the ground retreats
put a smile on my face
feel my heart beats
without even touching.
And I love myself
because I ran today.

Tell me what you think. Sometimes I fell like expressing myself in poem, and I'd like to get better at it.
Posted by ae (Member # 3291) on :
People would be much better off if they just stopped rhyming entirely until they're absolutely sure they know how, and that the specific poem demands it. Read the sections on rhyming here.

[ June 13, 2003, 01:40 PM: Message edited by: ae ]
Posted by popatr (Member # 1334) on :
Fewer rhymes, eh? I'll think about it, and maybe have a resubmission in a while.
Posted by Dante (Member # 1106) on :

Excellent re-wording of your post! After your initial post I was going to respond with some disagreement, but when I came back this afternoon you had edited it to include pretty much what I would have said. Well put.
Posted by solo (Member # 3148) on :

The clouds they drift
His mind explodes
The thoughts so swift
He scarcely holds

He writes them down
He has no pen
He starts to frown
And wonders when

He did awake
From that strange dream
He starts to shake
His eyes agleam

The time has come
To leave this place
To depart from
This lonesome space

Where will he go
He knows not yet
Where has he been
He can't forget

It brought him here
That painful path
He's lost his fear
Of their cold wrath

He won't go on
Trapped in this cell
He has withdrawn
From his own hell
Posted by Sachant (Member # 5206) on :
Hrm.. here's one. I wrote this a long time ago.

The Smell of It

I never knew before that the senses worked this way,
it seems almost incomprehensible.
I never remembered this smell before,
as if something just beyond the nose.

What is this thing? This cloying fragrance.
I don’t remember. What was it?
Life, I think. What was it? The smell.

I think it is stronger now, coming closer,
creeping into the senses into my mind.
It is something I can’t recall from…..
What was it? Life?

What was life?The smell, pungent.
What was it again? Acrid like sulfur.
What was it? Smelling like……

It is closer now, almost on top of me,
almost smothering me in itself.
I don’t recall what is was I was. I was..
Someone is coming for me, I was told so.

Who was it? Someone wicked.
What was it again? Wicked life.
Mine? I feel something. Heat?

It is here now, burgeoning with something
something I know too well, knew too well before.
It was all before when I said things, did things,
things that hurt …others. Things that smelled of…

What was it? Just beyond the nose?
Something has come for me. Him?
Yes! The smell has come. There!

I remember now. I remember life and the smell,
the smell that came to me. It was him.
I remember. I remember he came and followed and the smell,
it followed as I did things…..repugnant….vile.

Why? Why did I? I knew the smell. I denied it.
IT was everywhere. Why?
Because he was… Who? He was why.

I know where I am now. The gates await me,
they gape wide to swallow me and he is here.
Laughing, I should have known, beckoning,
I should have known the smell…

What was it?The smell of…
The smell of IT. The smell of the something,
THE something…..the smell of EVIL.
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 124) on :
Please forgive me, Sachant, but I just had this huge Lynyrd Skynyrd moment. [Smile]

[ June 13, 2003, 06:08 PM: Message edited by: TomDavidson ]
Posted by Sachant (Member # 5206) on :
LoL.. you know.. I wouldn't doubt he's influenced me. I used to get "wow, that poem is like a Led Zepplin song!" from many of my poems too. I was raised on a mix of ..eww... country and AC/DC, Iron Maiden, Led Zepplin, Yes, Rush etc.

But the real question is.. do you like Skynyrd? [Big Grin]

Here's another one. Just of note.. in RPGs I tend to gravitate toward evil characters. They're just plain out fun.

The Vamp

She slides in on silken waves of blood
and bone and horrors' screams
Licks her lips and smiles

Another victim sits and waits
for pale and glistening beauty fair
to steal away his pulse

The moon above is wan and full
and cold and shining still above
upon her cursed child

Scraps of rags adorn her thin
and sinuous deadly form
stained and thin

Her eyes blaze cold and dead
as she enslaves and feeds
her embrace like steel

His ecstasy lost in her arms
slipping over her hungry lips
feeding her undead heart.

[ June 13, 2003, 06:28 PM: Message edited by: Sachant ]
Posted by BelladonnaOrchid (Member # 188) on :
Tom-Obliette was humorous! Poetry personified, what a Like Flying was fun to read. I liked 'sparks dancing between our outstretched palms.'

Apathy-really interesting imagery. Keeps you busy while reading the poem.

[Smile] Not quite sure what it means, but *bumps*.
Posted by BelladonnaOrchid (Member # 188) on :
A Recouvrer la Memoire

The wind will blow
Through my wings
Fate will not be as cruel
As to forbid it.
My darkened feathers
Will glisten,
Will be ruffled
by the cool breeze.
I shall set sail
on warm gusts
far above the black ocean,
rising towards the night sky.
I will be my own-
Captive of no one.
I feel these things
within my deep
They shall happen again,
Or I shall perish
Causing them.
Posted by T_Smith (Member # 3734) on :
Oh the insanity of nothing
The incomprehendable end
The life without you, my friend.
I still wait by the phone
Though I am alone
Hoping; waiting.
Maybe it's
just a
Posted by Ryuko (Member # 5125) on :
Belladonna Orchid: I liked it. Is the title meant to mean "On Recovering the Memory"? Because it's more like "On Re-covering (as in covering again, which is recouvrir) the Memory" A better word than that would be retrouver, if that was what you meant to mean. I like the idea, and the imagery you use. Also, the wording of the last two lines seems a bit stilted to me.

T_Smith: That was a really sad poem. I think that though the rhyme scheme might not fit another poem, it works well with this one. I liked it, it almost made me cry.
Posted by popatr (Member # 1334) on :
I have no remake of my Jogging poem. I couldn't work up any ambition to change it, and I decided that the fast forced pace and heavy thrum were somewhat appropriate for the subject.

I can't do like you suggest- I can't stop rhyming entirely. I don't have a soul of a poet, and only derive pleasure from the challenge of trying to say something clearly while rhyming. But after reading the site, I did want to try some of the suggestions regarding internal rhymes and off rhymes, and etc. So I wrote another one, but I think it sounds weird as well. Ie, I don't know if you will like my rhyming better than last time. But I had fun making it, and I felt like I really expressed myself to myself in a way that was curiously satisfying.

First an explanaiton- while reading the poetry site, they show poems whose rhymes they felt were heavy handed; and then they showed remakes with softer rhymes, which possibly flowed better. However, they also added that "HUH? element" which I feel resentful of because I never get it. It reminded me of english classes where we read poems with the huh element and the teacher expounded, and I resented. That's where this poem comes from.


I'm trying to bear my english class
staring, I hear wondrous things
this wordman, saying what some poem means
and we've run throught the looking glass.

Hey Alice, who's gone mad?
author of this, or perhaps it's you
No, you're both insane, so your world seems true.
I'll stand in the rain, you party in your mushroom pad.

I'm frustrated bad, I feel lonely here
my convictions sag, I live the tale
is the emperor naked, does he have something to wear?
If you know this is faked, please tell me-lessen my fear.

Either way,
I keep hoping the day when I can see meanings clear.
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 124) on :
It's a pretty good use of rhyme, even if a few bits -- like "meanings clear" -- sound a little forced. It's a remarkable and dramatic improvement, though.
Posted by larisse (Member # 2221) on :
I am not so sure about this, but if you guys can be brave then so can I.

First, I love the haikus Apathy. Simple and elegant.

Sachant... love the story that shows through the images of The Vamp. Deadly kisses. You have a way of painting words. Very lyrical.

Steerpike... Greed reminds me of Dante. It's a spiral into corruption spurred on by misplaced dreams.

Ok... so here are my own contribution. (All rhyming is unintentional.)

*I edited the poem. The edit probably makes it less readable... hahahaha.... but what the hey. It's all about taking steps right. So one more big step.*

Quiet Time

Deepness converges in blue on black.
A sea with endless sparkling lights
Unfolds in cloudless windows of milk and white
While shades of pink-pulled cotton dress the nightsky.

Tiny hints of nothingness drift and scatter,
Echoing existance in their brief arrangement with creation.
Bridging distances in their split-pea fashion
And holding court about broken laws.

Explosions abound among this velvet scene.
And no sooner has the light show begun,
Then the noise is shattered with silence
As the great maw of aching space begins the job
Of vacuuming the dredged-up Universe.

Quiet time returns.
Building into an infinite deafness
Until once again a giant roars
And begins to beat with a heart so pure.
With waking dreams and scattered light
That binds the life pulse of that which never ends.

[ June 15, 2003, 07:19 PM: Message edited by: larisse ]
Posted by popatr (Member # 1334) on :
Thank you for saying that.
Posted by Annie (Member # 295) on :
First a flippant poem for you:

Love Poems

Once I wrote a couple love poems
For a boy who never knew me -
Well, he held my hand on Fridays
But we never traded hearts.

So I took those not-so-loved poems
And I put them in my basement
And I store them with my ski boots
And I use them now for parts.


and then a little more serious:

Santo Domingo

Sketching perspectives
For field trip critics
Was never quite as fulfilling as

Buying dulces for
And friendship bracelets from
Catalina, Ana, and the baby with no zapatos.

They lived on pigeon and cactus
And regalos from gringas,
Blistered girls with too many pesos and no babies of their own.


Is the title OK, or should I have been more explicit and gone with "The Courtyard of Santo Domingo"?

[ June 15, 2003, 06:37 PM: Message edited by: Annie ]
Posted by Annie (Member # 295) on :
Larisse- liked your poem. Way to be brave [Smile] I think the 2nd stanza is definately the strongest - the velvet scene and the great maw of aching space are fabulous images. Your first stanza has too much going on with the color. I find it best to describe color in a poem not by using the word, but by using an image that conveys that color. You know, red becomes pomegranate wine, green becomes unripe tomatoes, pink becomes umbilical cord. Whatever. Just adds another layer of depth. And depth can be surprisingly simple. When tackling something as undefinably huge as the universe as you do, it's sometimes more effective to contrast by zeroing in on really small details as your descriptions. Personally, I just think that the less vague a poem is, the more effective it is.

Great work! Your poem makes me want to go paint...
Posted by T_Smith (Member # 3734) on :
There is a tropic island in my mind
That I tend to visit frequently.
The sun is always setting down
And I bathe in rays of warmth.
A brief breeze blows the leaves
And birds fly over,
Singing their songs
I don't want
To wake
Posted by BelladonnaOrchid (Member # 188) on :
A Recouvrer la Memoire=To recover the memory. At least so far as Cassells French-English Dictionary and what I learned in my college class is concerned. The character in the poem is actually recovering, not searching for something. I may change 'the' to 'from the' though to avoid confusion. Thanks for the suggestion though. Do you think if I placed a comma in the third to last line, it would make it seem less stilted? I've pondered that, but wasn't sure.
Posted by larisse (Member # 2221) on :

Thank you for the comments. The main reason for the color in the first stanza is the wonderous images of galaxies and nebulae taken by the Hubble. And really, I just liked the alliteration of pink-pulled cotton [Smile] .

The poem itself is very much how I picture floating in space would be. Allowing myself to travel throughout the universe and observing all its wonders. But, also being a bit separated from it all.

I like vague poems as well. Heck... I write vague poems. Poems so vague they don't even make sense to me.


I really love the Santo Domingo poem. It's like describing a painting. And indeed, I like the Courtyard title because that is what I thought the painting was about. I pictured a large dusty courtyard with small outdoor shops and people lazily walking around looking at wears.
Posted by Annie (Member # 295) on :
I'm glad that image came through for you, Larisse. Santo Domingo is actually a cathedral, and the courtyard, where the poem takes place, is just a large area where people sit around, nerdy art students draw, and little girls sell you things and befriend you. I don't know about the title, because I thought perhaps leaving it at simply "Santo Domingo" would have a religious overtone that I'd like to preserve and save the poem from being entirely secular.

But thanks for the input.
Posted by popatr (Member # 1334) on :
This tries to describe how I felt one night while I was out on my mission in Georgia. This time, there is little reason in my rhyme scheme.


My comp blew a flat
one night in nowhere
So we stopped on the bridge
as he worked, I looked up

The sky just came inside
I was surprised how it fit
It slipped in through my eyes
Stars tickled my breath

Oh, and velvet night
filled my bottomless pit
So right, I sighed
thank heaven, thank God

Everything about that time
became precious
the flat, the bridge, the nowhere I was
I try to put down in words.

[ June 15, 2003, 11:45 PM: Message edited by: popatr ]
Posted by popatr (Member # 1334) on :
Fever Dream

Go to sleep and the world tilts
Down so deep into the pit
crowned in hell you have to feel
with growing wail the madness grip.

You have a body but it breaks and fails
now nothing to see or do so freewill
feels worse than needles in barbarous jails
die if you can, but there's nothing to kill
this life is eternal, if it is real.

Wake and see the feelings you have
while reality rebuilds your mind
compassion for demons if they feel that bad
therefore compassion should be easy for everyone you find.

Of course I've been describing my own fever dreams. I thought of skipping the third verse, because it stops describing the fever dream and instead is an oddly placed moral. But Oh well, that is often what I think as I come out of it, so I'll leave it.

Tell me what you think of my last two. What should I work on most?
Posted by Dante (Member # 1106) on :
Tell me what you think of my last two. What should I work on most?
I would give the following advice to any novice poet.

1. Read poetry. Lots of it. At least a hundred poems for every poem you try. Read ALL different styles of poetry. Once you start to feel yourself gravitating to a particular style or poet, deepen your readings in that area, but don't completely abandon the others. One of the worst qualities I see in many current "young" poets is that they haven't read enough poetry.

2. Learn the terms. Dactyls, trimeters, caesura, enjambed--poetry, like any art, has a number of specialized terms. Make this study parallel to number one, above, and with both of these go on to...

3. Identify the poems you really like, and then figure out why you like them. Is it their sound? Then figure out what they're doing so well: assonance? internal rhyme? Hopkins-like sprung rhythm? Or do you like the images? Are they startling, or are they refreshing new examples of an old favorite? Do you like the form? Why?

4. Remember that occasionally trying a poem or two does make you a poet any more than changing your oil once or twice makes you a mechanic. If you don't want to be a poet, then this is fine; write a poem every so often, show your friends, and be happy. But don't expect that your poems are great just because you've written them.

I made a box in my junior high wood-shop class; having very little manual skill, I was proud of the work that went into it and how I came out with a finished product. Now, if I had presented this to a professional wood-worker and said, "Tell me honestly: is this a good, well-crafted, professional-looking box?", he would have said, "Well, no. It's crap." And that's okay. I didn't have the talent or the knowledge to make a good box. But I didn't claim that I did.

If you're a novice and all you want to do is "make boxes" every so often for your family and friends to ooh and ahh over, then that's all you need. But if you're a novice who wants to become a serious, skilled, accomplished poet, you have a lot of work and effort and study and practice ahead of you.

Fortunately, it's also a lot of fun!

[ June 17, 2003, 01:00 PM: Message edited by: Dante ]
Posted by ae (Member # 3291) on :

it's easier to be modern than not
with phone and fax and iseekyou.
everything exists, in short

hand. are you keyed in
logged on
tuned out? w(ho needs a soliloquoy
when a msg will d0, ya?)ords
stretch easier now, all the better
to bundle you in them (enigmas
are so last century).

how do you resonate
in PHP?
Posted by katharina (Member # 827) on :
That's a fabulous list, Dante.
Posted by ae (Member # 3291) on :
By the way, I'd just like to remind everyone that The Metastatic Whatnot is looking for submissions. Do send us a poem or three. (We do pay! Well, a little.) If the link doesn't work (we're switching servers now), here're the pertinent guidelines:

We purchase first electronic rights. Though we will consider reprints as long as they are accompanied by a declaration of this fact (including information on where the piece was previously published), we are much more interested in unpublished works.

Once accepted, we will publish your piece on our site for a period of three months (with one exception; please see the special note for details), after which we hope you will allow us to continue to display it in our archives.

We accept electronic submissions only. Submissions should be included in the body of an email (as plain text) as well as attached in the form of a .rtf file. Please send all pieces to Submissions otherwise received will be deleted unread.

For poetry, you are to submit a packet of 2-6 poems in a single email. This is to increase the likelihood of our finding a poem of yours that meets our needs for the issue being prepared. Your email header should follow the format "POETRY SUBMISSION: Title of poem (or the first poem in the packet)". The pay-rate is US $5 per poem, payable upon publication.

Simultaneous submissions are acceptable if declared as such, but we must emphasise the importance of notifying us immediately if your work is accepted elsewhere. This cannot be stressed enough.

Posted by popatr (Member # 1334) on :
"Read Poetry"

Ok, could you suggest stuff that
2)is intelligible (ie, no images that are very hard)
3)has serious subjects
4)not supershort
5)is almost something a person would say
6)is good


Oh, by the way, I think "the raven" is an example of all that. While the overall poem is very challenging to understand, none of the individual images give any trouble. Therefore the poem is no more difficult to decode than a matching piece of prose. It is almost something someone would speak.

[ June 17, 2003, 10:34 PM: Message edited by: popatr ]
Posted by ae (Member # 3291) on :
You lost me on the first point.

Look, there's nothing wrong with rhyming poetry, but reading only rhyming poetry is simply myopic and narrow.
Posted by flyby (Member # 3630) on :
Angel Mother

In the silence of her memory
I hear the angeled tune
Her song is sweet and soothes the soul
Of bitter tears I've cried
She sings to me her song of grace
That I her child may be
My angel mother I do love
She watches over me

Dreams of Stars

So many stars in the heavens
That fill me with wonder and awe
I look above and yearn
To touch just one that I saw

They look as speckled jewels
Something I would hold and clutch in my hand
That would also give me comfort
That they would understand

I look above and sigh
For the dream that cannot be
For star of night, star of morning
You are so far from me

Gentle Rain

In the shadow of the night
The song of death is heard
But none do listen,
but ignore the power of the tune
It's haunted refrain weaves and slips
through the sounds of broken strain
But in the end, when song is done, is heard
a gentle rain


Into the light
Where night doth flee
I lose my haunted memory
Of love once had
Of love once lost
I live inside myself
An echo of my past

Wounded Soldier

There lies the wounded soldier
That fought to give his life
There lies the wounded soldier
Who left behind his wife

There lies the wounded soldier
Who sings the song of death
There lies the wounded soldier
Who waits for his last breath

The wounded soldier rises
But leaves his body by
The wounded soldier's blood goes cold
And ripped from me, I die

[ June 18, 2003, 01:09 AM: Message edited by: flyby ]
Posted by T_Smith (Member # 3734) on :
I know a little something about dealing
Blocking the pain, hiding the feeling
People are afraid, and they get notions
That its impossible for a friends emotions
To be anything other than happy or torked
Depression for some, has to be corked
Don't bottle it up, you have a friend
Who can try to help, I've a heart to lend
I've been there, and I'm here for you
Lean on me, friend, I'll help you through
Posted by sarfa (Member # 579) on :
My first poem in awhile, I'm not quite sure about the title. As always, you criticism is welcome and even encouraged.


All I want as the day begins
is to smell her hair and taste her skin.
But lonely sheets do greet my gaze
as I breathe dawn through morning’s rays.
This empty house my faults have bought;
reminding me of what I’m not.

I’ll see her there, in silent halls
beckoning me into her thrall.
She’ll wave hello with head askew
and flash a smile that rips in two;
a small token, desperately sought,
does remind me of what I’m not.

As others’ arms wrap round her waist
and others’ lips caress her face,
I mask myself behind a grin
and feign content to play the friend;
this roll in which I have been caught,
does remind me of what I’m not.

A church bell tolls, the march begins
with tears and lace and matching rings.
The binding vows proclaim freedom
from sleepless nights but do become
words that linger into rot,
reminding me of what I’m not.
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 124) on :
Popatr, Poe's poetry blows chunks. Seriously. He's not known for it, and I cringe whenever I read it. For the most part, it's sing-song tripe. There are a few pieces -- like "The Raven," "for example -- that are known, but they're largely known in SPITE of their style than because of it. (One good lesson from Poe, though, is that narrative poems are more memorable if you use a single strong image, driven home through clever repetition.)

That said, REAL poets that meet most of your criteria include:

T.S. Eliot
Carl Sandberg
Dorothy Parker
Gary Snyder

These poets all used rhyme fairly often, wrote in intelligible English, and didn't produce images that were TOO hard (except possibly in Eliot's case -- but the beauty of his poesy is strong enough that you'll enjoy his poems even if you don't "get" them.)


Sarfa, here's one I did years ago on a similar theme. I think it's interesting how differently we approached the same emotion -- and I think I like your take a little better.

She says i shouldn't love her
that everything is wrong with that
we're friends we're friends we're only friends
-- and that's the way it's got to be
doesn't love me doesn't want me
-- that that's the way it's got to be.

it wasn't like i had an option
it wasn't like i swore a vow
it wasn't like i signed some pact
entered into some contract
or ever chose all this somehow
it happened when it happened sud(den
swiftly lightly flash of whitely
trumpets glory overnight)ly
and then i loved her
god i love her
and she doesn't love me back.


i'd change for her go mad for her
buy jellybeans and red balloons
and fill up all her afternoons
with crayon joys and taxicabs.
But when she wanted me I wasn't
and when she didn't then I was
and there isn't anything to help it
and there isn't really a because.


Where do we two go from here
Where do we two go from here
Where do we two go from here
And does it really matter?

[ June 18, 2003, 09:03 AM: Message edited by: TomDavidson ]
Posted by Scott R (Member # 567) on :
Robert Frost-- absolute best poet America has produced, bar none.
Posted by Dante (Member # 1106) on :

I'm a little confused by your list. For example, you want something that rhymes but "is almost something someone would say?" I think you might be missing my point; I was suggesting that reading ALL kinds of poetry would be helpful. However, I can generally back up what Tom said. I'm afraid I also have to agree about Poe. I find "The Raven" to be a tedious sing-song artificiality. While Poe is not a great poet, he did have other poems which were better: "Israfel" and "The Conqueror Worm," for instance.


I've noticed a tendency for your poetry to sound (or at least look) like song lyrics; any of them put to music?


Nope. Frost is good--very good--but there are better. Eliot, for one.
Posted by ae (Member # 3291) on :
Hurrah! Eliot!
Posted by ae (Member # 3291) on :
These poets all used rhyme fairly often, wrote in intelligible English, and didn't produce images that were TOO hard (except possibly in Eliot's case -- but the beauty of his poesy is strong enough that you'll enjoy his poems even if you don't "get" them.)
Didn't Eliot himself address that last bit? Something about it being possible to apprehend a poem before actually understanding it?
Posted by Scott R (Member # 567) on :
Dante-- sei pazzo.

Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 124) on :
"I've noticed a tendency for your poetry to sound (or at least look) like song lyrics; any of them put to music?"

One of my friends used to play bass in the background when I was reading poetry aloud in coffeehouses (*cringes self-consciously*), but I've only set ONE poem to music in my life -- not least because I believe pop music killed the poet, insofar as any aspiring poet who could play a guitar became a rockstar instead. [Smile]

This is the one that came with music (quite appropriately, too):

The Newborn Baby Boogie
I got my diaper and my bottle
and I'm learning how to toddle away;
I can gurgle sixteen letters
and my bladder's getting better each day;
I got a brand new fuzzy teddy and
when we snuggle up in bed we both say,
every day:

Oh, baby
(ooh aby daby) (gooh aby daby) (goo goo),
we do the newborn baby boogie.
(goo goo) (gooh) (gooh)
I still got twenty years until the varsity drag,
but for now I get the spotlight with a cool crying jag.
(ooh ooh aby daby) (gooh aby daby) (goo goo)
We do the newborn baby boogie.
(goo goo) (gooh) (gooh)
I got all my fingers and I got all my toes,
and I got some things I can't use yet but I'll figure out those.

I got a woman here who feeds me
and who says she really needs me around;
I got a room with cool wallpaper
of rhinoceri and capering clowns --
but there's simply nothing finer
than this catchy forty-liner I sing:
I may not know how to speak yet,
but you've got to take a peek at how I swing.
Wow, I swing. Take it, Teddy.

(Improv. sax solo: lots of waah-waah)

And I tell ya, baby
(ooh aby daby) (gooh aby daby) (goo goo),
I do the newborn baby boogie.
(goo goo) (wooh) (gooh)
If you see me standing up, please just don't knock me down;
I'm getting old enough now to be getting around.
There's a flat stretch of floor there, and nowhere to fall --
and I sure as hell ain't gonna wait to learn how to crawl.
(waaaah--goo aby daby) (gooh aby daby) (goo goo)
I do the newborn baby boogie.
(goo goo) (gooh) (gooh)
I simply got no reason to be singing da blues
'til I gotta go to preschool and start tying my shoes.

(Improv. to end)

Woah, Mama, don't you burp me now.

[ June 18, 2003, 02:01 PM: Message edited by: TomDavidson ]
Posted by sarfa (Member # 579) on :
thanks Tom, I tend to be overly critical of myself, so when something goes wrong, I assume there is something wrong with me and get all broody and sullen, and that is usually where my poetry comes from. Your poem seems to come more from frustration and yearning, and your use of repeatition enforces that well. The two different approaches may tell quite about about the differences in our two personalities and how we cope with pain, but then again, maybe not and they're just some silly little poems [Wink]
Posted by Scott R (Member # 567) on :
Tom-- you and babies. . . what is up with you recently?
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 124) on :
*grin* That's a poem from my senior year of high school. [Smile] But Christy and I have been talking. *laugh*
Posted by Scott R (Member # 567) on :
Talk is cheap. [Wink]


Don't want to think about this too much. . .
Posted by T_Smith (Member # 3734) on :
Is it too much to ask,
For my brain to silence?
To sleep just a bit?
My body would enjoy it, I'm sure.
Its not a difficult task,
It doesn't need violence,
But I'll have a fit
If I don't get sleep true and pure.
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 124) on :
Here's a hastily-written poem for my mother, who's livid that her Mother's Day card didn't arrive:

Appointed Rounds
An Apology for Undelivered Mail

I like to think there is a young man
in Guatemala, or maybe Spain,
who has for years been receiving mail
in a language he does not understand,
and – impressed by the paper, and the
bold handwriting on the mangled envelopes –
has incorporated them into a thousand
pieces of paper-mache, his masterworks:
donkey piñatas and brightly-painted bowls,
Icarus gliders and reproductions of Rodin
and other great artists this young man
has always admired, and by whose names
he is determined to see his own someday.
He hopes.

There is a young girl nearly starving in Tibet –
her father killed in riots by the Chinese occupation –
who tiptoes out onto a perilous ledge
every Sunday at three o’clock. And,
as she waits, a single yellowed envelope
flutters down, its sides stained and bulging.
Sometimes she opens it, shaking out
sparkly confetti or a fading picture,
and traces with her fingers the lines of text,
looping and curling each “o” and “a” and
marveling at the foreign shapes; there
is little beauty in these blocky letters, but
perhaps they are still more beautiful for that.
She brings them home, these letters,
and lays them in the fire that keeps her mother,
sick in bed these last five years,
from shivering and coughing in her sleep.
Someday, she thinks, a letter will come for her,
in words she understands, and it will tell her
why the world is the way it is, and what to do about it.
She hopes.

I have sent a hundred letters. A thousand.
May as well say a million, although the cost
of stamps alone would bankrupt me, if so.
The people who wait for them –
bill collectors, anxious lovers, friends
and family and state and federal governments –
cry out, sometimes, in the face of cruelty.
They wait to be touched, to be reassured,
to be paid or pandered or informed. To
know that I am tied to them by the threads
of the United States Postal Service, and
the occasional private carrier. But things
do not always arrive. As I said, cruelty; still,
they hope.

And I could send them certified,
and I could type the addresses,
and I could find the hunchbacked man
who sits in the darkness of a Midwest dispatch
to pluck out the mail with my address on it
and stick it in a random bin, bound for
Tibet, or Spain, or Guatemala,
and ask him to please stop doing it.
I hope.

But I like to think that there must be a higher purpose,
that things go missing only so that they’ll be found;
and maybe in a village tucked up in the Himalayas,
someone’s grateful someone’s straying far from his appointed rounds.
Posted by ae (Member # 3291) on :
It may have been hastily-written, but it's also rather good, and could be really good with a little work. The last stanza falls flat on its face, though, particularly the very last line.
Posted by Godric (Member # 4587) on :
Heh... I was just going through a bunch of old stuff on my computer and I ran across this little gem. I wrote this after I had my heart broken for the first time. It's really, really awful, but it does have a couple individual lines and word combinations I enjoy and I have a sentimental attachment to it, of sorts. Anyway, here it is, Another Beautiful Love Story.

It was just another beautiful love story
Another Romeo and Juliet with a tragic end
Another Bonnie and Clyde with nothin' but dead left behind
But that's just life 'round here

And when they say that time heals all wounds
I don't believe them, it just dulls the pain
And all the flattery in the world doesn't make up for a broken heart
And a few scattered dreams

With our fragile hearts plastered on our sleeves
We say with conviction that we will survive
But it's just a matter of time until someone takes the knife to them
And big wheeles just grind on

Knowing all the answers just makes things worse
Just because answers can't replace your dreams
So damn the hypocrisy and damn the pride, just let me curl up and cry
Take me someplace I can hide

We're just a bunch of orphans of God
Lost out here under the stars of eternity
Lost with a bunch of kissers and killers and the lunatic fringe
Trying to make some sense out of this
Posted by Scott R (Member # 567) on :

If it's good enough for Bonduville, it's good enough for Potry!
Posted by Scott R (Member # 567) on :
:bump again:

No poetry in Hatrack?

Can it be?
Posted by ae (Member # 3291) on :
Perhaps everyone's saving up their poetic goodness to send to me?

One can hope. . . .

[ July 17, 2003, 10:57 AM: Message edited by: ae ]
Posted by Christy (Member # 4397) on :
Done, I'm done! I've finally compiled all the poetry from these pages into word files per username. Is anyone interested in such a thing? I had thought about printing them out and compiling a Hatrack poets book of sorts, but wasn't sure if the poets would be keen on this (and seeing the number of pages I have, perhaps my home printer wouldn't quite be up to the task of more than a few printings). Any suggestions?

I'm going to search the rest of hatrack now for other miscellaneous poetry to add.

Btw, I had posted a start to this compilation on fugu's site, but can no longer get to it. Does anyone know if its still around?

And for goodness sakes, where are all the poets? Don't let this lovely thread die!
Posted by Ryuko (Member # 5125) on :
Scott R- I love Robert Frost, and was somewhat sad I forgot to mention him in my Landmark post. But since I feel ill at ease about editing it, I'll just put what I would have said about him here, "I love Robert Frost because he says the things that I would say about the world, only more beautifully."

And here's a little Robert Frost Homage poem. [Wink]

Waiting for my Ride on a Windy Afternoon.
(A little homage to Robert Frost)

The wind outside is bitter cold,
I don’t know what would make it bold
enough to challenge such as I,
one who is cast from a frozen mold.

But still I freeze, and wonder why,
as icy breath falls from the sky.
And then I lean upon a pole,
as folks in cars are driving by.

I frown and squirm and am, in whole,
A miserably cold Scandinavian soul.
The passers honk and sometimes jeer,
I remain silent in my frozen role.

Miserable, I move to the pole’s rear,
And then around the pole I peer,
And see a van that’s drawing near.
I smile and wave without fear
Oh, good, I’m free, my ride is here!

(just for fun, is all)
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 124) on :
Posted by Annie (Member # 295) on :
Thanks for the bump, Tom.

How did I miss those poems, Scott? Those were priceless! I especially like Creep in the Bathtub - such a childish quality, with a little Poe and Baudelaire and Edward Gorey, all to a 1980's rhythm. Love it - keep it up.

Here are some of my more recent ones:

Elastic Skin

Occasional Tuesdays I come home
And put on my elastic skin.

When I'm falling out,
My parts falling out,
My head falling out,
My soul falling out,
It holds them in.

I am suspended from infinitely high
Cold cavern ceilings.

I pull out straps,
A web of
Will hold me in.


I always dreamed of horses;
black, white, red, pale.

I always hid from horsemen,
whores, and dragons.

I cried in terror at the specters
that appeared outside my window
in the darkest winter stirrings
when the beast inhaled my sleep.

I never thought to look around,
to doubt the horses in my kitchen.

I never thought to see the horsemen
sleeping in my den.
Posted by Scott R (Member # 567) on :
Thank you, annie.

You are a mizzle if ever there was one.
Posted by Ryan Hart (Member # 5513) on :
This one is a sonnet.

Psalm of Vengence

How do I loathe thee,
Let me count the ways.
All of the times you betrayed me,
Cursing me all of your days.

Every time I saw you with her,
Every time you held her hand
The world around me withered
My garden a barren land

Woe for you Uriah
Woe for you must fall
Let Bathsheba cry for you will die and
Vengence is mine in all

Now Uriah’s ever sleeping now the deed is done
And only slightly tainted is the prize that I have won

Holy Death

Holy Death come to this place
And free me from this futile chase
Help me Lord by thy good grace
Bring me Lord to see thy face

Now I lay me down to sleep
I pray the Lord I don't wake up
Bring me where I no more may weep
Where angels come and fill my cup

But I am here and You are there
Do You hear what I say?
You who haven't and ne'er will err
Please kill me where I lay.

Now I lay me down to sleep
I pray the Lord I don't wake up
Free me from this futile chase
Of perfection unattainable

The Knell

Listen fast and hear the knell
The knell that calls a soul to hell
Listen fast and listen well
Hear echoes in the dell

Death is coming ride away
Fly and live another day
Hide in the ocean midst the spray
Let not devils drag you away

Listen and hear and fly away
Yet know that you will die today
Posted by :Locke (Member # 2255) on :
Untitled IV

THEY SHOOK HIS BODY from between the cracks,
That pierced the bitter land across its waste.
His eulogy cut short; they threw him in a sack,
And carried his body away to hell.
They laughed and laughed and laughed.


THE DEAD MAN PULLED his blackened lips from teeth,
That seemed to be dark tombstones in a smile,
He cried out for relief, and I stood by,
He begged me, pleaded as I watched in horror
With eyes downcast; I heard him screaming all the while.
There were no eyes in all the world for him to see.
The sun had burned them from his lids,
The vultures taken them as toll.

No man crosses my desert.
No man may pass.
This is the place where I will die.


THE END OF THE EARTH is two miles away,
To the left. I have been there, on sunny days,
And rainy days, and foggy days through mist.
Across the sand I came, from the dream lands.
Over hills and fields and valleys,
Across mountains and through rivers I came,
To the end of the world; THE END,
All I found there was a box
With a child's corpse inside.

It said "BEGINNING" on the box;
It was a cruel joke.
It was then that I wished to die.
Posted by asQmh (Member # 4590) on :
My great-granddad, the only granddad I've known, died earlier this month. I'd written this toward the end, when the illness was its worst and while we were reading the Book of Job. It's a sort of pastiche, cuts of verses culled from the NRSV, and I can't get the lines to transfer right, but here it is.

[In Memory of H. E. Grimes, Sr.]

A Psalm of Job:
Bear with me while I speak,
and after I have spoken, mock on

Yet if I speak, my pain is not relieved;
and if I refrain, it does not go away

But I desire to speak to the Almighty
and to argue my case with God.

So man wastes away like something rotten,
like a garment eaten by moths.

My spirit is broken:

'God stores up a man's punishment for his sons.'
Let him repay the man himself, so that he will know it!
Let his own eyes see his destruction;

when I think of all this, I fear him.
God has made my heart faint;
the Almighty has terrified me.

The groans of the dying rise from the city,
and the souls of the wounded cry out for help.

Death is naked before God,
who has made me taste bitterness of soul -
the breath of God in my nostrils

'The fear of the Lord- that is wisdom'

[ September 26, 2003, 09:32 PM: Message edited by: asQmh ]
Posted by T_Smith (Member # 3734) on :
Chain and leash around my head,
Plugged into a line of boredom
Talking to parrots,
Repeating a pointless process
Of signing people up over the phone
For something they don't want.
Someone wants AOL,
No credit card required,
But give it to me anyway,
Phone bill preferred
Will it go through?
Try again?
I go back to talking to parrots.
Posted by :Locke (Member # 2255) on :
*ahem* You're allowed to critique here, too, people.
Posted by Zalmoxis (Member # 2327) on :
Steamed Reverie
(version 2)

With my hands treading water
I have shown you.
With my cracked lips smoothed by indecision
I tried to make you feel.
With my slavish throat
I heard your gurgling reverie
And now I point it all out.

That there is your plate glass profits
cutting away deadened wood.

And that there is inflated rice
smoldering in the charcoal wet fields.
That there is the harvester's cry
when the winnowed stalks snap at his face.
And that there is the dragon's breath
misting its way into your paralyzed gold.

That there is the image of jackrabbit emotion
faded onto gray.

And that there is the desert prophet
eating honeyed shreds of filed documents.
And that there is the brazen swallow
plucked from the gripping furnace.
And that there is the raised blistered hand
swearing it has no need of salve.

And those are your glycerin manners.
And these are your glossy apricot ways.
Posted by Annie (Member # 295) on :
That's totally cool, Zalmoxis. I like the inflated rice and glycerin manners.

Very chic.
Posted by Annie (Member # 295) on :
Sorry, a little shameless self-promotion, but I felt I needed to immortalize this here:

The boy was selling kosher pickles,
Trading passersby for nickles.
I thought he was rather cute
In his brine-encrusted suit.

I asked him for the deepest one,
And kissed him when his work was done.
His face blushed red from chin to tips,
How salty were his kosher lips!
Posted by Zalmoxis (Member # 2327) on :
I just want to point out that my poem above (which was written in 1995) prophesied Enron et. al. with stunning precision (or at least as precise as you're going to get with a poem filled with lazy, convoluted imagery).
Posted by Brinestone (Member # 5755) on :
A little preachy, but why not?

Dog breath in the face of the dreamer—
Awake! There is life to be lived—
Cannot convince him that the day is worth standing for.

Ah, but the sun! cries the frantic tail of Dog
As the dreamer pulls folds of fabric round his cheeks
And shuts his eyes to the eager rays scaling his windowsill.

While Dog’s nose lifts to the scent of bacon frying,
The dreamer empties his cares into unconsciousness,
The wasted morning as pricey as the yacht he sees with shut eyelids.

Annie, I love your poetry. [Smile]
Posted by Annie (Member # 295) on :
Ruth, I'm trying to like that poem even though I dislike dogs, and I think I'm succeeding!

I know this may be a little obscure, but I know that some of you are Frenchier than me and may be able to give me some thoughts on the sonnet I have to write for my French lit class. Here's what I have so far:


La Cuisine

Tu apparaissais en cherchant un goût de lait,
La femme qui cuisinait t’a reçu, t’a plu
Chaque jour tu te couchais sur ma table nue
Chaque jour dans ma cuisine je te langeais.

Je versais tout, tu as bu, tu as mastiqué
Tes mots, tu as mâché bien les miens sur le plat
Si chaud, comme le pain et comme l’odorat
Comme l’haleine que nous partageons, piquée.

J’ai choisi avec soin les fruits de chuchoter
Dans tes oreilles et sur ton sein, j’étais nourrice
Tu as trouvé le meilleur feu dans ma matrice
Tu étais lui dont mon four était à côté.

Mon enfant, homme, dîneur : mange, mange-les.
Donne-moi tes parties, et je vais les mêler.
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 124) on :
Annie, have you noticed that many of your poems, obliquely or directly, are in some way about the symbolic (carnal) importance of food?

[ October 13, 2003, 12:33 AM: Message edited by: TomDavidson ]
Posted by Annie (Member # 295) on :
Freaky, isn't it? Read all about the theories that inspired this one here.

I'm all about carnal implications of food.
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 124) on :
It's worth noting that she's wrong about culture, though. Lots of tools, transportation devices, military hardware, and hunting-related art have also survived. [Smile]
Posted by Annie (Member # 295) on :
But it's mostly kitchen stuff. The majority.
Posted by Rappin' Ronnie Reagan (Member # 5626) on :
a light in the faraway distance
a train behind me
walls to the left and right
the only way to go is forward
and the only way to think is ahead
i can't go back
i'm scared to go forward
on the ceiling there is an opening
can i reach it?

i wish i was a poet
then i could turn emotions into words
feelings into song
i wish i was a writer
then i could weave a story with meaning
and tell the world someone's life
i wish i was a filmmaker
then i could unite song and speech
and cause someone to realize who they are

through a dark tunnel i crawl
never knowing if it will end
the events around me swirl
into an undecipherable sphere
shadows loom over me and
trap me in their spidery arms

red blends into the orange
and brown blends into the white
it's all the same to me
it compresses my imagination
and hinders my sight
if i had a ladder
i could go out the window
but there's not one around
i can escape in my mind
but can only go so far
somewhere in the world
there's someone thinking the same thing
maybe we can find each other
and escape to somewhere
we can be at peace

i only seem to be able to write depressing poetry.
Posted by pepperuda (Member # 1573) on :
As I lay in bed reflecting
on a night without a fear,
I am startled into consciousness
by a tickling in my ear.
I gently press the offending one
to rub the itch away,
then jump and scream and hop and howl
like a wretch on her doom day.
For a gibber-gabbling has started now
in an angry, alien tongue.
And a frantic, squirming journey
to my brain has just begun.
"Out, Out!", I scream in terror
at the squiggling in my head,
then flail and thrash and beat about
with a desperate pound of dread.
When all at once the beast plops out,
and flops onto the floor.
It's an inch-long hairy centipede,
and it wriggles under my door.

I stop and think for just a moment
about the life that centipede has led,
and the terrible mistake he must have made
in thinking that I am dead.
Or perhaps I have just kicked the bucket
in my bed while fast asleep,
and he is the first of many crawlers
my harvest come to reap.

"Oh, no you don't," I think to myself,
then run and grab a shoe.
Now he is a feast for another beast,
I think he knows it, too.

I just thought I'd share my morning:)
Posted by katharina (Member # 827) on :
please, please, please tell me this is not based on a true story, pepper. [Eek!] [Eek!] [Eek!] [Eek!] [Eek!] [Eek!] [Eek!] [Eek!]
Posted by pepperuda (Member # 1573) on :
Yup! Tis true, way too true. I should put that on my list of the 101 worst ways to wake up in the morning.

By the way, Kat, how do you always manage to find my posts so quickly?
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 124) on :
Can I get really quick input on this one? It's a hasty poem I've written for a friend on the occasion of his marriage, and I'm looking for concrete advice on it:

Two newlyweds were hurrying to refinish their home
Ahead of winter weather and a second set of loans,
But it always seemed, no matter what, their work was never done;
No sooner would they patch a hole than find another one.
And he grew tired of hammering, and she got sick of grout –
So even as they fixed the house, each dreamed of moving out.
The day they put the plumbing in, it nearly came to blows
When he forgot to kill the main (so water overflowed
And wrecked the downstairs drywall two days before her mom
Had promised she’d be dropping by to see how far they’d come.)
But as they sat there steaming, sunlight flashed and lit her hair
In rivulets of cinnamon; she caught sight of his stare,
And smiled wryly back at him, amusement in her eyes,
Inviting him to lift her to her feet with a small sigh.

She wove her left hand’s fingers through the fingers of his right,
Then passed him down the pliers; she took up the putty knife.
Did it matter, the next morning, that the job took twice as long?
They may have built it slowly, but they slowly built it strong.
Posted by Brinestone (Member # 5755) on :
Tom, that's beautiful. I love it, and they will too. Mind if I print out a copy for myself?
Posted by Zalmoxis (Member # 2327) on :
looking for concrete advice
[Big Grin]
Posted by jeniwren (Member # 2002) on :
That's lovely, Tom. *prints off a copy* Don't change a thing.
Posted by Zalmoxis (Member # 2327) on :
It is quite lovely. The last two lines rock.

If there's one rough spot, it's here:

But as they sat there steaming, sunlight flashed and lit her hair
In rivulets of cinnamon; she caught sight of his stare,
And smiled wryly back at him, amusement in her eyes,
Inviting him to lift her to her feet with a small sigh

The flow and imagery is really going here until we hit the ;. It's not the stop that doesn't work (because this is a turning point) but rather I think that it's the monosyllabic words and the internal rhyme of 'caught sight.'

But maybe this is just bugging me, and I'm totally wrong.

I have no suggestion for fixing it at the moment.
Posted by Scott R (Member # 567) on :
bumpety bump bump
Posted by cyruseh (Member # 1120) on :
maybe never knowing

you're never gonna know
what could have been
and you're never gonna realize
what we may have done

i used to love you
but now im redefining
what that means

everything that was special
has been tossed to the ground
everything that was secret
has been forgotten

im sorry for my failures
maybe never knowing
turns in to never caring

OK. it's my first attempt at poetry in about 4 years. What do you think? crap?

[ December 22, 2003, 02:10 PM: Message edited by: cyruseh ]
Posted by Papa Moose (Member # 1992) on :
In honor of my newfound hope to find meaning in poetry (and my receipt of An Open Book), I'm bumping this, Orginal Potry, the oldest thread still on the forum -- approaching five years of age, and begun eight days after the birth of Hatrack UBB.

Posted by advice for robots (Member # 2544) on :
*Raises a glass to the ghost of lukelmiller and to all lovers of orginal potry.*

I must admit, I have a hard time reading poetry, especially when it has a high degree of imagery or abstraction.
Posted by Richard Berg (Member # 133) on :
I assume the limericks thread is purged? That's the only place you're likely to find my contributions.

Anyway, I was a bit curious to see Luke's name at the top of the forum, but not too surprised having seen the length and age of other threads you guys keep current. Then I clicked inside: holy moly does this bring back memories. As I got into choral music after my departure, the metaphor of the chorister's baton stayed with me -- but even Sr. Martindale's quip was shamelessly quoted at one sardonic moment. I suppose the most poignant observation for me is that enthusiastic newbies of the time like motu are just as dead (if not forgotten) as relics like IOhlander who had practically drifted away before the UBB. Maybe I'll write a poem about it.
Posted by advice for robots (Member # 2544) on :
As I said two years ago as Punchdrunk, reading through this thread is like looking back into the Depths of Time. Why is that?

[ February 17, 2004, 01:47 AM: Message edited by: advice for robots ]
Posted by Nato (Member # 1448) on :
I like that the first three posters on this thread have the member numbers 137, 138, and 139 respectively.

There once was a really long thread,
That nobody wanted dead,
Moose bumped it one day,
To the front page to stay,
And everyone went off to bed.

(Limericks and "Roses are Red" poems are about all I can do.)
Posted by Dante (Member # 1106) on :
For those of you in BYU community who are interested, I have two poems in the most recent edition of Inscape. One of them took first place in their poetry contest, which brings my cash total from writing prizes at BYU to $700! <laughs> Too bad I have to get my degree and get out of here this year...
Posted by David Bowles (Member # 1021) on :
I've been getting back into writing poems recently as I read epics and ancient poetry with my students. Here are a couple of my recent attempts:


The wind's own son examines, bites and breaks the gift
His orange eyes, they peer at every stone he plucks,
And Rama, angered, tries to understand his friend.

'Tis worthless, Lord: the bracelet does not bear your name
Hanuman says. The demon Vibhishana mocks:
Why not destroy your flesh as well? It too is plain

Devotion questioned, brave Hanuman doest flinch.
The monkey pulls his flesh aside to show his love
For carved in every bone is Ram's holy name.

I read this teary-eyed, and something bubbles deep.
My inward-turning vision scans the porous white,
But not a word is written, nowhere lurks a god.

A sigh: I'd guessed as much, but whimsically I sink
To cells, to chromosomes, to codons, gene
Obsessed increasingly by dumb, unknown desire.

I enter molecules and burrow deeper still,
Near drunk with hope, but growing sad with every void,
Approach a proton, pry it desperately apart

Unleash the quarks and bosons, quantum bits of stuff,
And in a maddened thrash of deepening despair
I find your name, aglow in every particle.

More Alive than the Living

Swirling words through eyes to mind
Dance in complex patterns there
Characters freed from the world of the page
Whispering urgently into my soul
Pandemonium, secret nahualli
Keep me company, thrive inside of me

Berate me if you must,
And praise me when you wish
Just don't slip back into that finished book
I'll turn the final page, but always stay

Let your voices echo,
Fire synapses as you will
Iterate and mingle with the present residents:
The sweet yet husky rasp my wife has burned into my brain,
The soft and squeaky rhythms of my daughter loving praise,
The rapid, happy burble of my boisterous little boy,
And every rounded character
That other minds have birthed for me
All the precious clones that my conscience now comprise.

Then, in time, breed-
Merge, break yourselves up,
Let the bits be drawn together
As they will, to form new patterns:
Bricolage children whre born from my fingers as
Colonists searching for eyes and for minds.

[ June 09, 2004, 03:20 PM: Message edited by: David Bowles ]
Posted by David Bowles (Member # 1021) on :
While I'm at it, here's a rough draft of a poem about Gilgamesh... it's written in Sapphic stanzas, not the easiest of meters for English:

Trochee trochee dactyl trochee trochee
Trochee trochee dactyl trochee trochee
Trochee trochee dactyl trochee trochee
Dactyl trochee

Anyway, critiques are welcome, since I'm trying to tweak it.


Sorrow rimes old Gilgamesh ashen, pallid.
Shuffling steps he takes in the twilit throne room,
Mighty Uruk slumbers; her king ignores her:
Dead is Enkidu.

Nightly dreams do echo Humbaba's curses
Uruk's greatest son does not see his fortune
Clay-like sibling dried into dust and mourning-
Blessing sempiterne:

Never will their friendship begin to falter
Nor Enkidu leech from his richer friend, while
One day cursing Gilgamesh as a miser,
Most ungratefully.

Never will a woman erode their closeness,
Boring into both of them, hungry temptress,
Putting mates at odds while she smiling watches
Friendship atrophy.

Uruk's offshoot plucks at his graying whiskers,
Longing after Uta-napishti's secret.
Seven loaves have augured his mortal kismet,
Ever taunting him.

Why does Ninsun's progeny run from death? Our
Mortal end gives meaning to life, makes poignant,
Precious every second we live. The deathless
Slowly petrify-

Spouses die and children fall prey to old age,
Friends betray and cities begin to crumble,
Onward moves th' immortal undying shuffle:
Solemn weariness.

Shamash rises sleepily over Mashu,
Sunlight warms the city's foundations slowly
Serpents stir, and Gilgamesh snarls in anger:
Youth's abandoned him.

Ancient men have died, and the king is weakening:
Skin will not be shed, for the Plant of Heartbeat
Snakes have eaten; mas metamorphosis is
But a fantasy.

Oh, my king, why weep for the past? You're older,
Wiser- round you mighty and unmatched works stand,
Tablets praise you: Gilgamesh, friend Enkidu,
Heroes endlessly.

Smile at fortune's subtlety, turn your face to
Shamash, stand on Urus amazing walls as
Thirteen mighty winds ruffle your graying hair, and
Know your destiny.

-David Bowles

[ June 09, 2004, 03:24 PM: Message edited by: David Bowles ]
Posted by David Bowles (Member # 1021) on :
Ah, and here's one that is really appropriate for this site: I sent it to several friends during Christmas-


Across the miles I feel your joy
For friendship spins its unseen threads
From heart to heart to bind us all;
Though distance pull them taut and thin,
It cannot truly sever them

They form a web of strength and love
That sometimes, in our darkest hour,
Does glow with supernatural light
To guide us swiftly through the night
Back to the waiting arms of hope.

[ June 09, 2004, 03:24 PM: Message edited by: David Bowles ]
Posted by David Bowles (Member # 1021) on :

Come one, someone say SOMETHING... heh.
Posted by KarlEd (Member # 571) on :
Well, I, for one, really like Philotes. I also like More Alive Than the Living. The other two, while I can admire their craft, were a bit beyond me, not really getting much of the literary allusions. (But I consider that a deficiency on my part.) [Smile]
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 124) on :
I really, really liked Bhakti, but thought the other ones were too obviously exercises in craft. They're GOOD exercises, though. [Smile]
Posted by Spike (Member # 6198) on :
My Butterfly

I sit and wait covered in black leather binding my back
Waiting and wanting just you to come to me bringing
They say you are mad and I dont believe it could be
I wait in the shower sullenly imagining your singing

Trapped in a room where everyone laughs their mind
No one understands your arent lying when you say
Our love is true and pure and sweet, there we will be
Together I wish, you ask me-for only one day?

My butterfly an empty cold shell of hate and pain
But still sparked inside will last a burning light
To touch together our tear stained lips in lust and hope
Don't forget me, I wont forget you my gloriously bright
Posted by David Bowles (Member # 1021) on :
Thanks, Tom. That's precisely what I was looking for. Trying on new techniques is always rough going at first, heh.
Posted by David Bowles (Member # 1021) on :
Very dark, Spike. I can imagine the band Disturbed singing it.

BTW, for Karl, bhakti means devotion (it's a Hindi term)- the poem is derived from an incident at the end of the Indian epic The Ramayana. Rama, the incarnation of Vishnu, is walking along with the brother of the demon king he's just defeated and with Hanuman, the monkey warrior largely responsible for that victory. Hanuman has been wanting some token of Rama's for a long time, something with his name engraved. Rama gives him a bracelet, and the monkey tears it apart looking for his lord's name. Rama thinks he's being difficult, and Hanuman tells him the bracelet is worthless without Rama's name on it. The demon then scoffs and tells him he ought to destroy himself, then. Hanuman rips open his chest to show Rama enshrined in his heart and the god's name written over and over on all of his bones. I admire such devotion, I am brought to tears by it, but I can't seem to find anything worthy enough of it... except my wife.
Posted by J T Stryker (Member # 6300) on :
I diddn't know about this thread, so i started one for my self [Wall Bash] but now i know, and I'll let my other thread die.

"Our future"

I long for nothing more than you,
I wish for no future but our future,
With our house in the mountains,
Just above our meadow,
Where we fish in the head waters,
Of our river, the Rio Grande,
Our meadow is surrounded by trees,
These trees are evergreens, aspens and the like,
Our children will play in them,
As we sit on the porch watching,
Growing ever older, and more ornery,
Never leaving our utopia,
Until one of us dies,
And the kids drag the other away.

Edit: This poem is a work in progress, I'll edit it as I improve it, feel free to give suggestions

[ March 15, 2004, 07:02 PM: Message edited by: J T Stryker ]
Posted by Poet-sirrah (Member # 5687) on :
just because

three sacks of groceries
and a delivery boy on the porch
ordered from the next state over

even a honey ham for easter dinner
and five redandyellow tulips
the world’s not ending yet
Posted by Annie (Member # 295) on :
Last semester, I wrote a French sonnet and posted it here a page ago. I'm now working on a series of artwork about woman and the kitchen and I've spiffed it up a bit. I also wrote a companion sonnet in English, that's not a direct translation, but basically the same poem. Here they are:

La Cuisine

Tu apparaissais en cherchant un goût de lait,
La femme qui cuisinait t’a reçu, t’a plu
Chaque jour tu te couchais sur ma table nue,
Chaque jour dans ma cuisine, je te langeais.

Je versais tout, tu as bu, tu as mastiqué
Tes mots, tu as mâché bien les miens sur le plat
Si chaud, comme le pain et comme l’odorat
Comme l’haleine et ton morceau de fruit piqué.

Môme de moi, tu étais toujours affamé
Sur ton sein et devant le mien, j’étais nourrice
Tu as trouvé le meilleur feu dans ma matrice
Tu est mon Sire et mon descendant à jamais.

Mon enfant, homme, dîneur : mange, mange-les.
Donne-moi tes parties, et je vais les mêler.

The Kitchen

You'd come in slyly with an empty glass
The cooking lady liked you and would wink
A friendly wink over a steamy sink
My table was your bed and then your class.

I'd empty all my pitchers as you'd sip
On milk and words and stutters in your bowl
Warm from my oven, bread and fruit you stole
We'd top it with our breath to give it zip.

Oh, baby boy, so hungry and so bright
I nursed you as you nursed me in your arms
My oven was the warmest of my charms
My master and my child and my light.

Now come on baby, come fill up your bowl
You give me all your parts; I'll mix you whole.
Posted by punwit (Member # 6388) on :
Lovelorn souls connecting in the ether
fragile threads reaching out across the miles
no skin to skin, no loving caress
but gaining insight and flowing light
where shadows hide and dispel the night
Although that touch is sadly missed
the soul is gently kissed

[ April 10, 2004, 08:17 AM: Message edited by: punwit ]
Posted by cyruseh (Member # 1120) on :
I guess I only write the poetry that comes natural to me, and its usually words of "wisdom" directed at my friends or people i know:

substituting honest for
substance abuse

trading real life for
surreal amuse

when will you realize
you’ve become who you despise.
Posted by ClaudiaTherese (Member # 923) on :
A Brace of Plums

You were the fruit
too tender
to touch
not mine,
you lingered
there, just
beyond reach
until plucked --
how sweet.



Some man
once told me
that a word
has more power
than a bullet.
I said.

said he.


Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

Who knew he bent
That way?
Posted by Scott R (Member # 567) on :
CT, the fruit poem was delightful. REALLY delightful, on second read.

EDIT: I thought, in the interest of giving a good critique, I should say exactly what was delightful about CT's poem.

It was so succinct. Simple and evocative to the point of . . . well, sensuality. You capture the pain and sweetness of being in love, and not knowing if that love is returned, or even returnable.

Wonderfully done, again.

In case mackillian ever deletes her 'Frozen over' thread, here's my latest:

I shall bathe

I've been rolling in dew, running in rain,
But I've never seen a river.
Never heard water whisper, in love and in pain,
So deep to my heart that I shiver
And burn.

I've walked in blizzards, and stumbled in mist
But I've never heard the sea.
Never felt the waves around my legs, and reach to kiss
My lips. The hopeful all of me
Licks salt.

I shall not wade.
I shall bathe.

And this dust that I shake into the waves,
Dust from snow, and dew, and rain,
May it rest. May it stay lost in the sea of days,
And never see the sky again

[ May 22, 2004, 09:56 PM: Message edited by: Scott R ]
Posted by ClaudiaTherese (Member # 923) on :
The hopeful all of me
Licks salt.

Nice. This evokes Salt Lake City for me, but in a broader sense, the base of the poem feels very "Mormon." Is this what you intended?

(And thank you. [Smile] )
Posted by Scott R (Member # 567) on :
The poem is definitely religious, and geared toward the religious experience of immersive baptism.

As far as being indicative of a unique Mormon viewpoint. . . having ONLY a Mormon viewpoint to see from, I'm probably not the best judge.

Posted by ak (Member # 90) on :
I love Scott R's poetry. This one is no exception.

CT yours are wonderful! The first one is my favorite, too. It is a plum. [Smile] <smacks her lips on it>
Posted by ClaudiaTherese (Member # 923) on :
And thank you even moreso on the further critique.

I was also trying to play with alliteration (too/tender/to/touch) and loose rhyme (You/fruit/too, touch/just/plucked, tender/mine/linger, reach/sweet). I was going for a structure that was simple enough to fade into the background.

What I'm reading as Mormon in your piece is -- I think -- the acceptance (even embracing?) of desolation, almost as birthright. I expect that the line "And this dust that I shake into the waves" likely was intended to evoke baptism in water, but each time I read it as washing dust into waves of sand. Desolate, stark, but -- hmmm, homelike? I believe it's the "salt" and "burn" references too, although I imagine that for you it is a reference to the salt of the sea.

For me, it reminds me of what John/Leto II would write to a wormgod of Dune. (I hope this isn't sacreligious to you!)

And then the salt lick is such a powerful metaphor. Again, for you, likely it is the salt of the sea, but it reminds me strongly of the dire need of a deer at a winter saltlick. Lastly, this reminds me of a powerful poem written by a friend (a Lutheran minister), who wrote of a wolf at a saltlick with a blade buried inside. As he licked his tongue bled, and he lapped so eagerly at the salt, unknowing. (Much, much less goth than it sounds -- this was actually a cycle on Christian themes of death and rebirth).

So, a lake of salt and dust, the power of redemption and rebirth, the anticipation of desolation (and persecution), the consumption of self for sustenance -- eh, yeah, feels pretty Mormon by my read. Maybe I was reading a different poem, though; still, maybe we got to the same place with it.

[Thanks,ak! [Wave] ]

Aha, I got it, Scott -- what turned me toward a dry bath was the initial contrast drawn in the first line. You -- I think -- were contrasting the other waters you've washed (or waded) in with the baptismal waters, but something (mis)fired in my brain and set me up for a contrast of water with dryness. Heh, wow, great on both reads. [Smile]

[ May 22, 2004, 10:23 PM: Message edited by: ClaudiaTherese ]
Posted by Ryuko (Member # 5125) on :
Wow. There's some good poetry in this thread. I especially like CT's Indeed. It made me laugh inside. I didn't see the Mormonism in Scott's poem, but I don't know much about it actually... Hehehe. Still, the poem is very good. Reading it over a couple of times, I really felt it. Thank you Scott.. [Smile]

Here's one I randomly picked out of my vaults.

I'm filled with starts and stops,
now allowing myself to speed past my cares
now tripping over the potholes of my life...

Now halting on the threshold of the world
before going from zero... tosixty!!!!!
Heart beating ten thousand miles a minute,
eyes burning with joy and fear
and thengrindingtoascreechingHALT
and rolling sideways in surprise.

Is it my destiny to go fast and slow?
The wheeling weights of speed marred
by a lonely halt in a land
that I don't understand.

Better to be zooming past
blurred landscapes,
unable to see the wasted plains,
burned by the heat of the sun and fear,
beyond the frosted windows.

[ May 23, 2004, 03:00 AM: Message edited by: Ryuko ]
Posted by Scott R (Member # 567) on :
CT-- Thanks for the kind words.

'Salt' in this sense is sea salt-- the narrator is being kissed by ocean waves, after all. In my mind, I was thinking of Christ's "You are the salt of the earth," speech.

But I LOVE your interpretation. Interpretation is half the fun of poetry.
Posted by Polio (Member # 6479) on :
"Euthanasia", par moi:

My body tortures my empty soul
I am falling, falling...
Free me, Death, and take your toll!
I am fleeing, fleeing...
Mournful wails assault my ears
I am shrieking, shrieking...
The living pain cries joyful tears
I am breaking, breaking...
Hear the battered skull scrape stone
I am spinning, spinning...
Filled with sharp and shattered bones
I am fading, fading...
The Ghost of Present Time is damned
I am laying, laying...
Kept here by a single strand
I am playing, playing...
My body is numb; my soul freed
I am probing, probing...
Soaked in life, my spirit bleeds
I am praying, praying...
I tell you now to murder me
I am pleading, pleading...
Take me, O wise Deity
I am leaving, leaving...

(written in Grade 7) [Roll Eyes]
Posted by Pixie (Member # 4043) on :
Searching through the embers

Burying into you, searching out your heart,
Finding a comfort and a bright space
That, for all the world's troubles,
Is still unknown elsewhere.

Warmth encompasses me,
And still it's not enough.
So I give back some of what I take,
And try to exceed the gifts

You've given me.
It's a hopeless match of loving -
The giving and the taking -
Each to each, and each together.

And so I bury into you,
Searching out your heart,
Seeking it's light and comfort
So I may help it grow.

So that we may grow together -
That the lights combined no longer flicker,
But burn as embers -
Ever constant, ever present, ever real.

Balanced in imbalance,
Warm in all things,
A hearth of home and hope,
And of a love that,

Unlike the earthen embers
Of winter's smoldering logs,
Dims not with the dawning of the day
Or the sunset of one's life,

But, rather, that lives on
Perpetually in our hearts
As if the very breath of God
Kindled in us a new life each morning.

Posted by Pixie (Member # 4043) on :
Satan's Flames

So hurt, so tired,
So pained, exhausted -
Holding onto a thread
You're not even sure is there.

Your hands slip,
And you fall -
Into the abyss,
Traveling ever faster the farther you go.

You wonder when you'll hit the bottom.
You wonder if the bottom ever comes.
You wonder if the hands of God will catch you...

Or if even your Maker would rather let you sink...

Deep into the fiery pits that burn
In a way so much alike your heart...

That you wonder if you were wrought...

Of their Satanic flames...

Rather than His clay.


The Fall Continues

The fall into the abyss continues
And a slight calm swells.

You don't know if you'll hit the bottom,
Or even if it exists...

But you know that all's for naught -
That there's nothing you can do,

That the flames will catch you...


Is someday today?
No matter.
Someday will come.



You wonder if the fall continues,
and the peace is broken.

The flames rise up,
Higher and higher,
From the bottom
Of the Bottomless Pit.


The End

Will the hand of God save you?

Has he done so already?

Are the flames already upon you?

Has Satan found you in his grasp?

Who catches you when you fall?


Will Anyone?
Posted by Scott R (Member # 567) on :
Posted by beverly (Member # 6246) on :
I do not write poetry, not anymore. But I was just wondering, why has this thread survived so long with "Potry" on it?
Posted by Scott R (Member # 567) on :
Because Luke made it, and just about all of us old-timers liked Luke.

Can I be an old-timer now?

Alternatively, I think it's survived because 1) It's so quirky, and 2) Luke hasn't changed the title.

Honestly, if he or the mods changed the title now, after so long. . . I think I'd leave Hatrack.

Some blemishes make the whole bit more beautiful.
Posted by Scott R (Member # 567) on :
Zhug so spicy, zhug so strong
I eat zhug the whole day long.
On toast, in stew, on birthday cake,
Zhug on tzimmes, cheese, and steak!

I like zhug, I cannot lie
I like zhug on ham and rye!
Smell the zhug upon my breath--
Sniff too much, and meet your death.
Posted by beverly (Member # 6246) on :
Ah, the beloved imperfection. Scott, you will always be an "old-timer" to me.
Posted by Christy (Member # 4397) on :
How quickly we forget! It wasn't possible before this "new iteration" to change thread titles.

CT, I LOVE Indeed. This thread brings back happy memories. I love reading all your work.

Scott, "I shall bathe" gives me a transformative experience, but not religious in any way! I would almost say sexual, but that's not right, more a living to full potential, experiencing life "fully immersed" rather than just letting the water lap at your ankles/touch you in small bits.

Pixie, are yours meant to be read together or are they separate explorations on "the fall"?
Posted by saxon75 (Member # 4589) on :
The conundrum for me is why everyone comments on "Potry" and no one even seems to notice "Orginal."
Posted by beverly (Member # 6246) on :
Astigmatism. It's a lot easier for me to miss an "i" than an "e". "e"s are fatter.
Posted by David Bowles (Member # 1021) on :
Oddly enough, upon re-reading my posts, I noticed quite a few letters and apostrophes had strangely dropped out of words, far too many to be just typos (and these poems had been heavily edited in Word before being posted here). Anyone else experience something similar?
Posted by Telperion the Silver (Member # 6074) on :
This one's for Bev!

I love sushi!
Yes I do!
Sushi sushi in my stew!
Give me sushi every day
I'll use my credit card to pay!
Posted by beverly (Member # 6246) on :
Yay! ^_^
Posted by ak (Member # 90) on :
Double Star

On the lip of a crater you squeezed my hand
On the face of an airless moon.
I caught your eye and laughed and said,
“I think I should breathe some soon,

Or else change into my dragon form
Which has no need for air,”
And your shining eyes glowed back at me
From beneath your shining hair.

“I’m good,” you replied, “I can just do this,”
And the skin of you crumbled and broke,
The dark fell away and from underneath
The light of a new sun woke.

It waxed as I watched the last shreds of the shell
Break away blasted out by the light
Of the star of which the astronomers tell
That arose on the moon that night.

I saw you then with skin so bright
And remembered you from the start,
And then I recalled my own self as well
As I gathered you to my heart.

And my outsides, too, broke off and fled
Toward the edge of the farthest strand
And shining we flew with hand in hand
O’er that stark and airless land.

And nothing has ever been the same
Since the night when I lost my skin
And grew up and left the shards of my shell
And remembered the one within,

And I dance with joy as I go before
Looking back across the bar
To you, my friend, as I sing this hymn,
Remember who you are.

[ July 11, 2004, 03:29 PM: Message edited by: ak ]
Posted by ak (Member # 90) on :
Rough first draft. Ideas appreciated. [Smile]
Posted by Farmgirl (Member # 5567) on :
Very, very nice, ak!

Of course -- I know very little about poetry, but I read it to myself, then again aloud, and I love the way it sounds.

The light of a new star woke.

This line -- I found when I read it, I always said "awoke" instead of "woke" and I seemed to like the "awoke" better, but either way is good.

Posted by ak (Member # 90) on :
Farmgirl, I've been twiddling with it here and there. Does the line sound any better to you as it is now?
Posted by ak (Member # 90) on :
<wistfully wishes someone would tell me what they think of my poem.>
Posted by drumsntolkein (Member # 6095) on :
I wrote this poem in Seventh grade as part of a science project....I thought I would put it on here until I can concoct something a little more delectable...hmmm, lemon merengue pie sounds good...


Tiger, roaming the wildlands green,
Your coat has such a lovely sheen

The Asian "Outback" You Call your home,
Only to you is devoted this poem

You enjoy playing, swimming in lakes,
Strength and Stamina, that's what it takes

Your roars shake the earth, few humans may hear it,
We're so scared of you, we can't hardly get near it

On Cattle and Goats, you mainly feed,
And possibly Buffalo, if you feel the need

You, o radiant king of beasts,
We marvel at, admiring your feats

To the Spanish, you are fondly known as "El Tigre"
The french prefer "Le Tigre", sipping their Tea today

So whether you be French, Spanish, or American like me,
Admire the Tiger, and better off you'll be.
Posted by Dante (Member # 1106) on :
Here's the poem that aka was talking about in another thread (it initially appeared in Inscape Vol. 23, Iss. 1).


The night that Margaret got sick, we made
the hasty decision to go and help (she was
afraid of hospitals and wouldn’t call
an ambulance). The buses had long since

stopped running, so we put on jeans and t-shirts
and ran ourselves, even though their apartment
was on the other side of town. We reached
Piazza Primo Maggio near midnight,

and in the park-like square I jogged right by
a hooker underneath a street-light. Dressed
in purple—-mini-skirt, blouse and stockings—-he
towered above me, at least 6’3” in his

five-inch heels. In that brief moment, I
heard him cough brokenly and sigh and shift
his weight from foot to foot. My feeling of
terror and revulsion passed. My eyes

met his. We shared a passing glance, and I
felt a sudden flare of empathy
for my transvestite prostitute—-both whores
and missionaries learn early on to keep

a clinical distance, not to be discouraged
by scorn, and above all not to take
rejection personally. We both nodded
as I ran past—-professional courtesy.
Posted by ak (Member # 90) on :
Yes, THANK YOU! <<<<Dante>>>> You're the best! What a wonderful poem! [Smile]
Posted by King of Men (Member # 6684) on :
It is the custom
on other fora to write
haiku against trolls.

Here I can unfold
seventeen syllables for
the joy of writing.
Posted by ak (Member # 90) on :

Grisha and Rahul,
Oh what could be more cool?
No gods could furnish out a pair
Of dudes so awesome, wise, and fair.

Who is so funny, smart, mad cool
As you, my wonderful Rahul?
And who could help but kiss and kiss ya
My sweet, adorable, dear Grisha?

I can’t believe my crazy luck,
That such delightful lightning struck.
Indeed, there can be joy no higher,
I must have joined the celestial choir.
Posted by ak (Member # 90) on :
<bumps for nighttime crowd>

<sniffs> Isn't anyone going to congratulate me on my engagement? [Cry]
Posted by PSI Teleport (Member # 5545) on :
I did! On AIM! Congratulations, and awesome poem!
Posted by Scott R (Member # 567) on :
Dante-- that was perfect.

And congrats, ak!

[ August 03, 2004, 09:03 PM: Message edited by: Scott R ]
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 124) on :
I assumed you were speaking metaphorically, as you've never suggested here that you were dating. Were you not?
Posted by ak (Member # 90) on :
You know how these things are. They happen quickly sometimes. [Wink]
Posted by ak (Member # 90) on :
I never said this

Did you say poems make you happy?
I can DO that!
Could it possibly really be that easy?
Spill out,
Tripping tumbling one on top of the other
Giddily stupidly vying to try and please you.
Now I'm surely simply just trying to fool me
Life could conceivably ever really rahulme
You could
Tolerate, or LIKE even, this crazy memetic infection
Or ever
Stand up to
The full firehose blast of my affection.
What chance do you think they have at the pennant?

[ August 13, 2004, 06:19 AM: Message edited by: ak ]
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 124) on :
So, who is this Rahul? Please tell me he's not an Iraqi Mormon. [Smile] j/k
Posted by ak (Member # 90) on :
You know me,
Nothing so normal and quotidian as that!
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 124) on :
Is he a corporeal, living, human being?
Posted by ak (Member # 90) on :
What's it
To you?
Is loss of sleep from newfatherhood making you kind of grumpy?

[Smile] j/k

[ August 09, 2004, 02:26 PM: Message edited by: ak ]
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 124) on :
No. I'm just curious, and you're being coy. I figure that if you didn't actually want us to ask, you wouldn't be acting coy in the first place.
Posted by ak (Member # 90) on :
Now what?????
I'm talking in some goofy tombombadillian meter!

[ August 09, 2004, 01:15 PM: Message edited by: ak ]
Posted by Scott R (Member # 567) on :
Someone get her some insulin.
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 124) on :
I'd still like an answer to the "corporeal, living human being" question. [Smile]
Posted by ak (Member # 90) on :
I'm fine
But thanks, Scott, for worrying about me and my hyperglycemia.
Posted by ak (Member # 90) on :
Thrice with the fomula409bottle of my affection>

[ August 09, 2004, 02:22 PM: Message edited by: ak ]
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 124) on :
Okay. Clearly, fallow has obtained Anne Kate's password. If she's still alive, and he hasn't horribly mutilated her body in some way, I'd imagine that he's got her locked up in a basement somewhere. A rescue mission may be necessary.
Posted by Marek (Member # 5404) on :
Sometimes people need to be in hatrack chat more often to know what is going on.
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 124) on :
No. That's like saying people should try reading the hug thread.
Posted by Scott R (Member # 567) on :
Aw. Tommy needs some hugs.

Posted by Christy (Member # 4397) on :
Hugs all around [Smile] But the best ones are still the real ones.

So enlighten us you evil pranksters! What romance has been budding on Hatrack Chat? Is love in the air, or is it just another game?

And where did all the poets go? Yaay for Anne Kate for reviving the thread! *goes off, scribbling some baby-related verse* Tom?
Posted by ak (Member # 90) on :
Well, just we all three got engaged is all. And I'm the luckiest girl in the galaxy! [Smile]

Edit: The Local Group, even! The supercluster!

[ August 10, 2004, 02:33 PM: Message edited by: ak ]
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 124) on :
You still haven't said whether these are actual, physical people.
Posted by ak (Member # 90) on :
Celestial Glory

Now crawl into the lap of Uncle Grisha
And read a story
All about a tree
And about a boy.

About some gifts of fruit
Of limbs and branches
A trunk
A stump
The sun, and a quiet joy.

Fast forward now, to Volemak the man,
A vision pointing towards the promised land.
Melted, his iron, into a silken rope,
Leading again to that one white tree of hope.

No higher exaltation could there be
Than to eat
... From your hand
The fruit
... Of that tree.

[ August 10, 2004, 06:42 PM: Message edited by: ak ]
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 124) on :
Still not following. Sorry. [Smile]
(Edit: I mean, I THINK I get the references, but not remotely how they'd apply to what you say you're talking about. *grin*)

[ August 10, 2004, 04:20 PM: Message edited by: TomDavidson ]
Posted by ak (Member # 90) on :
These are all just epithalamia. It's a series.

[ August 10, 2004, 04:42 PM: Message edited by: ak ]
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 124) on :
Thank you. [Smile] But who ARE these people, the ones who are marrying? *grin*

[ August 10, 2004, 04:54 PM: Message edited by: TomDavidson ]
Posted by ak (Member # 90) on :
I'm trying to introduce them to you. They are Grisha and Rahul. Grisha and Rahul, meet Tom. [Smile]
Posted by Ryuko (Member # 5125) on :
Here's something I wrote about working a shift just after I got back from Kamacon. It's post-partum depression. [Frown]

I don't walk that way anymore, no.
Now I sit in silence with my hands over my mouth
watching the door and thinking as best I can
about the things I can no longer do
and the places I can no longer go.

I miss the voices and eyes already.

And I'm stringing myself along, thinking
though I don't want to go on thinking.
Blinking though my eyes want to stay closed.
So I shoot my veins full of colors...
Drop into my soul the insidious poison.

Much as I hate it, it works.

There's a deluge though I'm blinded,
hidden away in a bolt-hole
that shines with lines on my TV screen.
A crick in my neck and the memory,
clothes on the floor that I wore.

Faces pass in my mind.

An hour left to go, before
another drive separates me from another home.
Not one nearly so long.
And maybe someday I'll be there again.
With names and faces and blurs around me.

Home among strangers.

(Keep in mind, I've slept a grand total of four hours in the last twenty-four. I'm running on coffee, duct tape and hope, so my poetry might not be great...)
Posted by ak (Member # 90) on :
I love that! Home among strangers! Wow!

You guys aren't strangers, to me, though. You are my family. I'm not one of those with threespace bias. [Smile] I live here at Hatrack, in cyberspace.
Posted by ak (Member # 90) on :
Tom, speaking of the divide between three- and cyberspaces, I understand you met one of my fiances this weekend. I hope you found him suitably corporeal for your satisfaction. I understand you gave us your blessing and for that I am delighted and grateful! [Smile] The other one is going to be hard to get into crowds. You guys may just have to take our word for it that he exists. <goofy grin>

The latest brand new one seems to like a bit of attention and so I'm sure he'll soon be here posting like mad, and you'll be able to learn of him directly from the jorge's mouth, so to speak. [Smile] I expect you'll approve of him highly as well.

<---lucky!!!! [Smile] [Smile] [Smile] [Smile] [Smile]

[ August 17, 2004, 01:33 PM: Message edited by: ak ]
Posted by ak (Member # 90) on :
Since he IS adorable, clever, smart, funny, and interesting, and since he does seem to enjoy attention, I take the liberty of linking to his journal, for those who are interested. Maybe you guys can get him making more frequent updates! I sure hope so! [Smile]
Posted by PSI Teleport (Member # 5545) on :
No. That's like saying people should try reading the hug thread.
Why do people keep thinking this? The correlation between the two is almost non-existent. I think two people from chat post on the hug thread.
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 124) on :
I understand now; the corporeality isn't fictional, but the fiance bit is. [Smile]
Posted by Christy (Member # 4397) on :
I like, Ryuko. And I sympathize. (even with eight hours of sleep under my belt [Razz] )

AK *intrigued* No fair!

[ August 17, 2004, 11:07 AM: Message edited by: Christy ]
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 124) on :
You've met Grisha, too, Christy. [Smile]
Posted by PSI Teleport (Member # 5545) on :
Posted by ak (Member # 90) on :
<Wonders why Tom would think her polyandrous engagement is fictional, but oh well, is too happy to care> [Smile] [Smile] [Smile] [Smile] [Smile] [Smile]
Posted by ak (Member # 90) on :
<<<<sveta>>>> I don't blame you at all for being jealous, darling! Any girl in the universe would be jealous of me right now. I still can't believe my insane luck! (Not because I'm engaged to 3 guys but because I'm engaged to THESE three guys!) I feel like I won 10 lotteries back to back, and then my hot water kettle dropped 10 degrees in temperature and jumped a foot in the air. [Smile]

You know what? I wonder if there's some sort of infinite improbability field working around here somewhere. That would explain it! [Smile]

[ August 17, 2004, 03:28 PM: Message edited by: ak ]
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 124) on :
"Wonders why Tom would think her polyandrous engagement is fictional"

Well, um....I respectfully decline to respond to that question on the grounds that my answer would tick you off. [Smile]
Posted by ak (Member # 90) on :
Tom, dearheart! Anger is not something I seem to be able to feel anymore. [Kiss]
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 124) on :
That's not something I'm willing to test, even under controlled conditions. [Smile]
Posted by ak (Member # 90) on :
<giggles> Ah, breaking news! We added the D last night. I'm positively overjoyed! I thought I couldn't be happier before but I was wrong!

I've got lots of poetry to write now! But more details forthcoming! Just had to announce right away because I'm bursting with happiness. [Smile]
Posted by Ryuko (Member # 5125) on :
(shakes head) AK, you are some kinda oddball.
Posted by Scott R (Member # 567) on :
In case you missed it, from OSC's Uncle Orson Reviews Everything.

What poetry needs are new poets speaking in the vernacular. Not screaming in the vernacular -- the Def Poetry stuff on HBO is merely sad. We need poets with power to use the language and poetic forms to say things that need saying to people who are hungry to hear them -- and to hear them said with beauty and cleverness and skill.
Posted by Scott R (Member # 567) on :
Frivel and Schleck, Sesto!

When you walk under the moon,
Just sing this little tune,
And think of all the fiddle-floo we've played.
Though your mijjle's gotten weary,
And your plickton's feeling smeary,
Don't ever think your welcome's overstayed.

Loo-dee-loo-dee-lollie. . .
We'll sure miss you, jolly.
Lie-doo-lee-doo-leeloo . . .
We sing our song for you-loo.

Perhaps our jimps will play again,
When there's sun instead of rain.
And maybe when your grinkle's well,
We'll sit and frivel for a spell.
Won't it be fine, won't it be grand
To again throw yarjubs across the land?

Loo-dee-loo-dee-lollie. . .
We'll sure miss you, jolly.
Lie-doo-lee-doo-leeloo . . .
We sing our song for you-loo.
Posted by beverly (Member # 6246) on :
First off, I'm *not* a poet. The only poetry I wrote was in adolescence. But I pulled up an old poem I wrote long ago to use a Cub Scout Pack Meeting. I revamped it a bit because of the awkward wording. It is still awkward. I thought I would post it for kicks.

The sands of time glitter like diamonds, and O how precious they are
They stretch on before me in an endless stream reaching eternity far
I may not bid them stay, no matter my wish, their flow will never halt.
But as they pass, they transform to shadows and become as they were naught.
Yet I retain a piece of each one past, and the ones I treated well
Are stored up unto me--I treasure them, and stories they do tell!
The moments that I did not cherish are worthless sands to me.
N’er again may I have a second chance to restore their lustrous gleam.
If I stop to ponder upon this truth and see what harm I’ve done,
I cry to myself in deepest scorn, “How could you waste a diamond?”
Posted by beverly (Member # 6246) on :
Scott R, that was fun. I love nonsensical words used in poetry. Jabberwocky comes to mind. As does e e cummings

[ August 28, 2004, 02:14 AM: Message edited by: beverly ]
Posted by Scott R (Member # 567) on :
For those of you who missed it on the Mrs. Powell is the devil thread:


I've lost my direction but I double my speed
The signs on your heart are too tough to read
This road is too lonely, I cry for the light.
I race past your window, get lost in the night.
And the trail is too dim, or my soul is just damned,
Am I chasing shadows or do you hold my hand?
My unwhispered question, "Am I out of your grace?"
Is forgotten behind me, sacrificed to the chase.
And so I run or I limp, I fly or I crawl
You lift up my heart, but then let me fall.
I'm not looking for answers, just a moment of peace
But the dark path runs long, and there is no release.

Some interesting tidbits about this poem:

This is one of my few angsty poems.

I wrote it in high-school, when I was feeling put out at God, and at a girl. The first line is from a talk given by one of the Mormon apostles. I don't remember which.

My dad read it years later, and thought my wife had written it. This is because my family thinks I'm Mr. Cheery McHappy. They do not know about the Implacable Engine of Ultimate Destruction.
Posted by katharina (Member # 827) on :
Scott is one my favorite poets.

When are you publishing your poetry book? I'm absolutely serious. I want one.

Have you sent any in? I know you send in the short stories - have you tried with the poetry?

[ September 02, 2004, 08:32 PM: Message edited by: katharina ]
Posted by Scott R (Member # 567) on :
Kat-- Every once in a while, I consider getting my poetry published. But not very seriously.
Posted by katharina (Member # 827) on :
Is there a reason why?

...maybe you could do some sort of limited book run for your fans.


Okay, this is edging into fan girl territory. But the truth is that the words only three Hatrackers have made it into the back of my planner, and you're in there TWICE. I think you should publish. [Smile]
Posted by Goody Scrivener (Member # 6742) on :
Okay, i've finally decided to take the plunge and post this one....

I wrote it in 1988 or 1989 for a classmate. On a dare, I submitted it to my high school's literary magazine my senior year, and it got published... and then the subject responded!!! Maybe I'll post the response later.

To Chris

When I first met you,
I saw your outside and fled.
I never bothered to look at
The things that filled your head.
I acted like the populus,
Making fun of the gifted, the smart.
Never once did I stop to see that
We were one of mind and heart.
We separated and I forgot
About the innocent boy I knew
So by the time we met again,
The one I saw was the real you.
Now I know to look inside
Before judging a personality.
Unfortunately, I learned too late
To save friendship from fatality.

(cool! new page!)

[ September 04, 2004, 03:45 PM: Message edited by: Goody Scrivener ]
Posted by Scott R (Member # 567) on :
Kat-- Which two? I'm honored. . .

I haven't submitted poetry anywhere because I don't know the market.
Posted by Scott R (Member # 567) on :
Of the last five poems, I've posted three.

There's just something WRONG with that.

Come on people! Unite in poetic creativity!
Posted by katharina (Member # 827) on :
My favorite is "I Shall Bathe." The other I am not sure what you call, but it begins with something like (my planner's in the car, so I can't look) "Get in line, don't stand out/or we'll punch you in the snout."

I don't know the poetry market either, but I'll find out and post it if it means you'll submit some things.
Posted by Scott R (Member # 567) on :
That was InLine, Katharina.


My second Frivel and Schleck.

[ September 08, 2004, 09:48 PM: Message edited by: Scott R ]
Posted by Christy (Member # 4397) on :
I look at her in wonder --
angelic eyes, dimpled smile,
Flesh of my flesh.

I look into her eyes --
bright with the future,
Spirit of my spirit.

She looks at me in wonder --
full of love and adoration.
But there's a sparkle in her eye.
She is her own.

I'm no poet -- it's a bit simplistic, but there you are, Scott [Smile]
Posted by ak (Member # 90) on :
I've got tons of epithalamia left to do. All possible permutations and combinations of four different fiances? We'll be here from now on! But I'm letting them percolate slowly to the surface now. And hey, Jorge's may totally not be suitable material for hatrack consumption. [Blushing] [Blushing] [Blushing] [Blushing] [Blushing] <@<@<@<@<@

[ September 09, 2004, 04:31 AM: Message edited by: ak ]
Posted by KarlEd (Member # 571) on :
My dad writes a lot of poetry. Much of it is religious in nature and most of that is mind-numbingly simplistic in its message. (I'm not saying the two are inherently connected, so please don't misunderstand me.) He set up a poetry list and put all of his kids on it as well as a bunch of people I don't know. A few weeks ago he sent a series of poems that were all of the "God loves you so it's all OK" vein and this poem practically wrote itself in my head in response:

I've never known a god to be
Much interested in equality
Or children starving in distant lands
Or mothers beaten by father's hands
Or general suffering of any sort.
They sit on thrones, hold heavenly court,
And watch us mortals down on Earth,
Living and dying and giving birth
And wondering why the pains and tears
Cried up to heaven fall on deaf ears.

I decided not to send it by way of reply to the list. In fact, I didn't share it with anyone and only hesitantly post it here. I admit it is pretty bitter and that there are several valid religious rebuttals to its central idea, but it is representative of the way I feel when people get preachy on me and act like life would be so much simpler if I'd just surrender to Jesus.

Has anyone else read a poem they deeply disagreed with and wrote a poem of your own in response?
Posted by katharina (Member # 827) on :
I actually dislike most religious poetry, actually as much as I dislike most religious writing and almost all religious fiction. That's part of why I was so shocked by Scott's "I Shall Bathe" - it surprised me that I love it.


In answer to your question, I haven't, but I love the pairing of The Passionate Shepherd to His Love and The Nymph's Response to the Shepherd. It may not have been meant as a reply, but I like Lady Montagu's The Lover: A Ballad even better.
Posted by ak (Member # 90) on :
There's also Dover Beach and Dover Bitch.
Posted by BannaOj (Member # 3206) on :
This reminded me that a long time ago I wrote a response to this poem. It was a class assignment and short, but I thought it turned out pretty well.

"The Coy Mistress' Response"

Dear Sir, I find your rhyme
Speaks most eloquently of time
And of its lack thereof
Yet in time will fade your love
Unless I take much time to inspire
The poetry of your soul, your desire
Posted by Annie (Member # 295) on :
Last year, I posted my French sonnet on food here. Now, I have a polished version of it, and I've written a companion English version (I say version, and not translation) for those who are interested. Let me know your honest feedback. [Smile]

La cuisine/The Kitchen

Tu apparaissais en cherchant un goût de lait,
La femme qui cuisinait t’a reçu, t’a plu
Chaque jour tu te couchais sur ma table nue,
Chaque jour dans ma cuisine, je te langeais.

Je versais tout, tu as bu, tu as mastiqué
Tes mots, tu as mâché bien les miens sur le plat
Si chaud, comme le pain et comme l’odorat
Comme l’haleine et ton morceau de fruit piqué.

Môme de moi, tu étais toujours affamé
Sur ton sein et devant le mien, j’étais nourrice
Tu as trouvé le meilleur feu dans ma matrice
Tu es mon sire et mon descendant à jamais.

Mon enfant, homme, dîneur: mange, mange-les.
Donne-moi tes parties, et je vais les mêler.


You’d come in slyly with an empty glass
The cooking lady liked you and would wink
A friendly wink over a steamy sink
My table was your bed and then your class.

I’d empty all my pitchers as you’d sip
On milk and words and stutters in your bowl
Warm from my oven, bread and fruit you stole
We’d top it with our breath to give it zip.

Oh, baby boy, so hungry and so bright
I nursed you as you nursed me in your arms
My oven was the warmest of my charms
My master and my child and my light.

Now come on baby, come fill up your bowl
You give me all your parts; I’ll mix you whole.
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 124) on :
I'm rather impressed, Annie. It's very difficult to write an effective translation of a poem, even one you wrote yourself, and you've done an excellent job. [Smile]
Posted by Tatiana (Member # 6776) on :
Whoa, Annie! [Eek!]

That freakin rocks!

My my my! That sizzles!

[ September 30, 2004, 01:35 PM: Message edited by: Tatiana ]
Posted by Tatiana (Member # 6776) on :
This is a poem from my son Sasha [Boshenka]. He said for me to tell you that some farmer from Idaho left it on a scrap of toilet paper in the bottom of a sack of potatoes he delivered for him.
Apples and Bananas in Jimmy's throat.
Mr. Joey Hotpants found out grandma didn't float.
Went to save her, but it's too late now.
All that's left in the water is her rose gown.

F**k Mr. Hawtpants, for he well knows his mistake
He never loved her, no matter what she baked,
That bastard took everything she gave
She was his toady, that's the bitter truth of the day.
And never to appreciate anyone at all
Mr. Hotpants jumped and landed on a wall.
A thirty floor jump makes Apples and Bananas
Out of anything, including Monkeys and Ig-wan-uhz.

[ October 04, 2004, 10:52 AM: Message edited by: Tatiana ]
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 124) on :
Posted by Scott R (Member # 567) on :
You could've bumped with poetry
Or sufficiently broken prose-ry
Instead you chose
A :bump:-- no rose!
And I end this rhyme coquettishly.
Posted by Kama (Member # 3022) on :
bump for new people who write poetry.
Posted by Teshi (Member # 5024) on :
I wrote a poem the other day, and its had mixed reviews from those that read it but here goes:

Freddy Likes

Freddy likes his glasses clean
A single smudge, a tiny scratch
He wipes the screen;
He likes them clean.

Freddy likes his glasses clean
He likes to see through sparkling glass
“Nothing in the way,”
He likes to say.

But Freddy your glasses
are filthy with grime.
Freddy all you’ve ever seen
(even with your glasses clean)
Is white and black and you and them,
Like a flashback (setback).
And you don’t want them to be-
Or you to see-
Freddy there’s debris
on your glasses.

[ November 12, 2004, 11:30 AM: Message edited by: Teshi ]
Posted by Scott R (Member # 567) on :
:bumpety for da n00bs:
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 124) on :
Teshi, I like the "Freddy" poem, although I think the last two stanzas are unnecessary, and I'd swap out the word "debris" for something more powerful and monosyllabic. The first two lines of the third stanza are also a bit expository; I think you can alleviate that feeling by tightening their meter.

[ November 12, 2004, 10:35 AM: Message edited by: TomDavidson ]
Posted by Teshi (Member # 5024) on :
Thanks TomD! I agree that the last two stanzas are unnecessary and that the first two lines of the third stanza need revising...

However I'm going to keep "debris", partly because it rhymes and partly because any other word just doesn't flow as well in my mind.

If I think of one I'll out it in but as it is I'll stick with what I have.
Posted by Taalcon (Member # 839) on :
Here's my first attempt at poetry in, well, a long time. It comes in light of a couple of recurring dreams featuring a person from my past. Needed to express it somehow, so, here's the result.

Rip her up and down folks.

In circles round and seasons short and long
(The ones that made and form’d my recent days)
‘Twas Mem’ries, Dreams, and Stories, (Love?) and Song
That shone as beams of Light through thicken’d haze.

There was a muse I knew not long ago
A cycle first begun, in motion set
Yet of these turnings she may never know
A word not written she will never get.

Her words filled up my soul like agéd wine
Yet still I left those favored words to rot.
My world was dark and she became a sign
She does not know this for I told her not.

The Circle that was opened did not end.
I wrote the words but then I could not send.

[ December 22, 2004, 08:56 PM: Message edited by: Taalcon ]
Posted by Taalcon (Member # 839) on :
...and another. I think I really enjoy the sonnet form. Really makes me think.


A lockéd heart seems righteous at the first
Affection neither sought nor entertained
But what of when that muscle starts to thirst?
It’s hard to hold a bev’rage when you’re chained.

A quitter loses taste for what he quits
Yet still remembers every sense and more.
Of what he cherished once he still admits:
A thing that heals can also make one sore.

But is that pain a worthy price to pay?
The key is in my hand, it never left.
I will not turn it now, no not today.
So now to take my heart it would be theft.

But maybe I’ll be ready one day soon.
And maybe people live up on the moon.
Posted by Teshi (Member # 5024) on :
I like them both very much, although I'm just going from my terribly uneducated eye (but that's a good thing, right, I like them as they are, most definately!). They make me think de DA de DA de DA de DA de DA, though [Wink] .

I think the accents (like the one on aged) should be the other way around?
Posted by quidscribis (Member # 5124) on :
Hellfire and be damned
Damnation isn't the goal
Devil spawn are bad

[Evil Laugh]
Posted by Dante (Member # 1106) on :
Taalcon, I really like sonnets, too; they're a lot of fun. I think you have some good ideas, but I have a few suggestions--which essentially all fall under the rubric of "style"--that you might want to consider.

I think the main weakness of both sonnets is the tortured syntax. Anytime you stick adjectives behind their nouns ("in circles round"), draw out lines unnecessarily ("she does not know this for I told her not"), or otherwise change normal word order ("so now to take my heart it would be theft"), it's going to call major attention to itself, and if there is not a strong, over-riding reason for having done so (i.e., if you've just done it to make the rhyme/meter work), it just sticks out like a sore thumb.

On a related syntactical note, I think you've definitely got to change the truncated (e.g., "Mem'ries," "thicken'd") and accented (e.g., "agéd," "lockéd") words. It worked in Shakespeare's time because words like that could genuinely be pronounced both ways, but in current usage no one says "thicken-ed" (so you don't have to truncate) and most people say "age-ed" (so you don't have to accent it). And no one says "lock-ed," so I would just take that out entirely.

Anyway, just a few initial observations from a closet Formalist-sympathizer and fellow sonneteer.
Posted by Scott R (Member # 567) on :

There's a riddle here-- see if you can figure it out before my family does.

Welcome to Hoober-Town!

We've got thinggles and stinggles, whoppers and whams,
Two trucks of treacle, and a bin full of yams;
There's everything that's anything, in our Hoober-Town,
So there's a place for you here- come right on down.

We were lunky and flunky, and all out of sorts
Like there was a half-hitch knot in our undershorts,
'Till we heard and we knew the great gafferel news,
That along came a someone-- and that someone was you!

And we shouted for joy! And why shouldn't we shout?
Our flunky is gone, and the knot's straightened out!
We shouted and sang, and made such a noise-y
That we woke the old fitch that lives up in Boise.

We're ready for you, oh, we most certainly are!
Whether you come by train or by goat or by car,
The first thing you'll notice when you enter our place
Is the welcoming smile on each Hoober-town face.

We've rolled out the carpet, and shined up our streets;
We've swept out the cobwebs, and even washed up our feets!
'Cause you're a Somebody, and we're as happy as flim!
And Hoober-town's a wonderful place to live in.

Let me tell you the things that make Hoober-town great:
For first, there's the mayor, over there-- she's first rate!
There was never a lady more smarter or kind
To help you with grimmles or work out your grind.

And second of all, there's the Three Mighty Gamers!
(They may look a bit wild, but you'll find no one tamer)
They'll teach you the meaning of gremulous fun--
One word of caution-- just watch where you run.

There's me, of course, the town's erstwhile crier--
I let everyone know when there's a party or fire.
I can see you'll fit in here, I'm sure that you will.
And we'll fit to you, like a duck to its bill.

We're so happy to have you, to make you our own!
And we'll give you ourselves so you're never alone.
There's a big party for you, in the center of town--
We love you already-- dear Someone, come down!
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 124) on :
OSC visiting? [Wink]
Posted by Scott R (Member # 567) on :
No-- we don't clean our feets when he comes to town.

And please, Tom-- I'm not THAT much of a fanboy. Am I?
Posted by AvidReader (Member # 6007) on :
Easter? That's what the foot washing made me think of anyway.
Posted by Scott R (Member # 567) on :
Not Easter, and the poem has no religious meaning, per se.
Posted by ReikoDemosthenes (Member # 6218) on :
no thanks to Dave I ended up writting two sonnets, this evening...

Sonnets of Lightness and Darkness


A twisted cord of silence danced a song;
A line of subtle joy and mirth. The strands
Of gold were wrought, holding tales of lands
Now ancient and forgotten. Shining dawn
Would break, the string has told, and life was drawn
From wells of liquid breath. The rolling sands
Once flooded brilliantly, then formed by hands,
So skilled, to coloured glass was formed, then shone.
Then darkness came. It slipped in quietly
At first. It stared at endless lines of gold,
All turned upon themselves to form the sign
Of power, light, and peace. A living sea.
“An Alexandrian solution holds
The key,” then struck, then broke the golden line.


A reeling cry and day was split. A whine,
Then shriek, of twisted joy echoed pain. Cold
Began to spread o’er dying silence. Old
And aching, silence ended, breaking time.
A blast then struck the glass, so crystalline
To shatter, raining coloured shards. Untold
Lay beauty, living, once, now slain. The bold
And sooty victor stood amidst the fine
Glass, coloured pins, which held, unknown, a dream
That held to darkness. Soon began to dance
A silver line of light. It reached along
To grasp the scattered seas of glass, formed seams
Across the darkness. Beauty woke, then lanced
Along the line. Deepened, there, light lived on.
Posted by quidscribis (Member # 5124) on :
But I notice that no one comments on my haiku. [Cry] [Cry]
Posted by Trisha the Severe Hottie (Member # 6000) on :
I don't think I've posted in this thread before. But I do like your haiku, qs.

Okay, here is a poem I wrote a few years ago:

Beneath the skin
I seek you
Drinking the vision of you
I listen
For a reflection of my feeling
But between our two skins
Will we ever meet
Beyond the taste
Of the same anticipation.

[ December 24, 2004, 07:17 AM: Message edited by: Trisha the Severe Hottie ]
Posted by Jonathan Howard (Member # 6934) on :
Here's one of my poems... A multi-stanzad limerick! Entitled: "The Lame Poem Here, Mates!"

There once was a man from Berlin,
He used to get drunk in the inn,
Every day till midnight,
Lest he’d sense there was light,
And he never thought it was a sin.

Man! That German was almost insane,
Every night he was drunk to the vein!
“Please, just help him, alright?
Oh, just please!” every night,
Every night, said the barman in vain.

May he live and be sober once more
He’d be able to walk – not on four,
Else we’d feel he’s gone
“Rest in peace”, and we’d mourn,
(‘End this lim’rick, or you’d be so sore!’)

May his soul be forever serene!
And in this way our conscience be clean,
Till we help him, “But how?”
“End his misery, now!”
So why won’t we be, just once, mean?

[ December 24, 2004, 07:58 AM: Message edited by: Jonathan Howard ]
Posted by Tatiana (Member # 6776) on :
I'm so glad this thread is immortal now. There was a while (around page 4?) when I thought I was the only one who cared enough to keep it alive. No new poetry from me lately, alas.
Posted by katharina (Member # 827) on :
Twas the morning of Christmas;
I woke up at six.
No snow but more cold winds
The weather predicts;

The plans for the snowmen
Were shelved for next week.
I struck for the kitchen
To find something sweet.

Hot chocolate and short stories
Warmed me with the sun
Three moments of quiet
My heart came undone

Christmas Past ghosts crowded the room
Who I was met who I am and who I may become.

[ December 27, 2004, 12:08 AM: Message edited by: katharina ]
Posted by Scott R (Member # 567) on :
The fam didn't figure it out, either.

So I'ma tell you right out:

We're expecting child #4 in June/July.


Need a name for the kid now. . .
Posted by katharina (Member # 827) on :

Congratulations, R family!!
Posted by Scott R (Member # 567) on :

Good gracious, there are a MILLION Harry's out there.

No, no, no. I need something with. . . verve. Panache. Flava.

Like LooptyLoop. Or Pogostick.
Posted by Lisha-princess (Member # 6966) on :
Freckled Hands

My father’s hands are pale
white with a few scattered freckles;
his fingers are short but

He carves with them, causing
wooden spoons and toys to appear
from blocks of seasoned wood.
The cyclic,
motion is evocative of waves lapping
at a sandy beach—on the kind of island
that’s a poster child for tropical
I ask him why the returning surf
in the ocean is so soothing
to watch.

He looks up and says,
“I’m not making a beach scene—
this is a hat rack.”
Posted by Katie DeShane (Member # 7026) on :
Written back in the fall semester of ninth grade (1996) after reading a book with a similiar title.. comments, questions?

Home 'Fore Dark


Runnin' Screamin'
Laughin' in the dark
Little kids of no worries
Endless summer nights
Darkness falls
Crickets chirp
Lightning bugs light their flights
A jar full to mama
So she ain't 'fraid of the dark
Mr. Monster is afraid of the light
In the lighted jar
Mothers all over say thank you
Mighty nice night light
Later as the children sleep
They'll let the bugs fly free to
Their own homes
And to their own mamas
Safe at home
Home 'fore dark.


The light's on
Shadow of a woman in the dimness
No doubt worried
No doubt anxious
Little Suzy or Bobby ain't little no more
The first party
First date
Imagining different scenes
Tentative ones at first
And then things changed
It grows into a fear of an accident
As the hours mosey on by
Finally four hours passed
Little Bobby comes in drunk
Little Suzy smelling of sickly sweet cigarettes
Mothers' eyes widen
Some cry
Some nag
Others are just as bad
'Cause they do nothing but
Let it go forgotten in fear that
Father will wake
And find little Bobby or Suzy
like this
Home 'fore dark.

katie21jazz on
Posted by David Bowles (Member # 1021) on :
Here's a poem I posted at about the aftermath of the Trojan War. For the longest time, I've been obsessed with the death of Hector's baby son at the hands of the Greeks: it has always sounded some strange chord of anger in me. Several times I've tried to write a poem that captured that emotion, and I think I might've succeeded with this one.

On a technical note, most of this poem is written in dactylic hexameter, though not the last six lines, which contain a Sapphic stanza and two glyconic lines (each with a bacchiac added). For those who don't know what any of that means, the upshot is that I used really hard-to-adapt-to-English Greek meter.

Andromache’s Prayer

Silent Andromache kneels in the shadows of Troy’s walls —gutted,
Smoldering bastions of lost hope, death and degenerate hungers—
Patting the mound of indifferent sand, the widow, unheard, weeps.
Under her hand lies Troy’s sad destiny, shield’s curve cradling,
Wrenched from his mother as uncles and grandsire had been as well,
Noble Astyanax, prince of the city that Argives have murdered.

One above others Andromache curses: Achilles, the butcher,
Father and brothers’ assassin, the slayer of Hector her husband,
Sire of the villain who flung from the walls the innocent baby
Buried today (shade winging its way to Elysian Fields, yes:
Priam and Hector awaiting him). “Neoptolemus: New War.
Bastard’s own name is a key to his nature,” Andromache mutters.

“Me? I’m War among Men,” she reflects with a hushed sob, pensive.

Standing, she lets tears dry on her face, looks sullenly seaward:
Slave to him now, lone son of Achilles, a-glow by the black ships,
Gesturing haughtily, Helen and Sparta’s old king in his shadow
Lengthening ominously toward dead Troy now as Helios drops low.
“Doubtlessly talking of marriage, those three; will Hermione shudder,
Feeling those bloodstained hands on her? Gods, will you keep me from screaming?”

White-armed Helen appears to be laughing, but Hector’s new widow
Hates not Zeus’s fair daughter; Andromache knows in her heart’s core
Wars are not fought for the noble excuses, the specious incentives
Men claim angrily spur them. The truth is the Argives have come for
Glory and gold and the raping of women, their only true gods Death,
Eros and War. To the last of these three now Andromache bows down:

“Hated Lord Ares, you bringer of slaughter, I yield you my one son.

Chomp his white corpse greedily —hurled from Troy’s heights—
Calm your hunger, Widower, briefly: soon more
Babies may you anxiously make us give you:
Quench now your red thirst…

May you choke on his blameless flesh, you sick fiend!”

And she spits her libation out on hot sand.
Posted by Icarus (Member # 3162) on :

I have been slowly easing myself back into an appreciation for poetry since you posted some on the Spanish thread. I had burned out on it as a lit major in college and grad school, but now I'm daring to raise my eyes and see that there is some poetry out there that actually is meaningful and powerful without needing extensive decoding. (My occasional glance at this thread has helped with that too, actually.)

I might even decide to try writing some again some day.

So thank you, David, for reacquainting me.
Posted by David Bowles (Member # 1021) on :
You're welcome. You know, in teaching poetry to high school students, one of the things I've noticed is it really isn't nearly as dense and obtusely symbolic (once you ignore T.S. Eliot) as all of my professors made it out to be. You know what I do? I pretty much stay away from all exegeses of poems and just read them: their meaning and power leap out at me instantly that way, and my students get so much more out of their poetry lessons as a result.
Posted by Icarus (Member # 3162) on :
Don't forget W. B. Yeats.

Posted by KarlEd (Member # 571) on :
That's really impressive, David. I could feel her fury and pain, especially toward the end.

I really loved this:
White-armed Helen appears to be laughing, but Hector’s new widow
Hates not Zeus’s fair daughter; Andromache knows in her heart’s core
Wars are not fought for the noble excuses, the specious incentives
Men claim angrily spur them. The truth is the Argives have come for
Glory and gold and the raping of women, their only true gods Death,
Eros and War. To the last of these three now Andromache bows down:

Discussions of the Trojan War are so often about the beauty of Helen and the cleverness of the Horse ruse (or gullibility of the Trojans, if you prefer). Your poem really brings to light the suffering of innocents caught in the middle, and I think that is very important, today as much as in ancient times.
Posted by David Bowles (Member # 1021) on :
Thanks, Karl. I'm glad it makes the impact I'd wanted. You're right: it is always a mistake to forget the horrible secondary effects of war, one of the biggest being the slide into inhumanity that the power felt by the winning army typically occasions.
Posted by Dread Pendragon (Member # 7239) on :
I wrote this when I was at the beach in Oregon.

Between the Tides

Gentle ripples tumble over my toes
But stinging cold reveals the ocean’s true nature
That all life within exists only as she allows
Inside its strength a calmness
The ability to destroy, but not the need
It renders all defenses irrelevant

At that’s why we wander in
between the tides to consider
Before coming we’re busy at being or not being for others
And stop seeing ourselves
But all of that is an afterthought here
Without the consequences people bring
You stand alone
With the horrible but bearable realities
Of who you have become and are becoming
Then you can decide, and leave
Posted by Dread Pendragon (Member # 7239) on :
Didn't OSC write something about why poetry is a dying art?

Also, it sure seems more fun to write poetry than to read it. If you posted a poem here, do you regularly read poetry or buy/check-out books on poetry, or are you like me? The only poetry I read lately are Haikus on (as people dropped out of the presidential campaign.

[ January 21, 2005, 08:40 PM: Message edited by: Dread Pendragon ]
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 124) on :
I'm a pretty avid reader of poetry, myself. I think you'll find that most good poets are.
Posted by David Bowles (Member # 1021) on :
I thinking reading poetry is essential for those who want to write it, if only because it's senseless to ignore thousands of years of lyrical tradition in hopes of reinventing the wheel...
Posted by Ryuko (Member # 5125) on :
And it's PAINFULLY obvious when someone who writes poetry hasn't read it. Just as it is when someone who writes fiction doesn't read it.
Posted by Scott R (Member # 567) on :
This is as good a place as any to post the REAL Valentine's Day poetry.

My Love

My love, she's sweet. Not just to taste,
But the whole sense of me sips her and smiles,
Like laying bare under the touch of June,
With the wind wild all around,
And she is the warmth that is above me,
Over me, finally all through me.

Sweet, my love.

My love, she's strong. Her heart holds
The strength of all the earth, to build
Or wreck. And her fingers find me, sculpt me.
Edging along the soul of me,
Til I am carved and fit, and she has
Sunk her own strength into me.

Strong, my love.

My love, she's wise. Language like light,
And she hunts my darkness out of me,
As skillful as weaving sunbeams,
To clothe my terror with her own calm.
She knows my deepest secrets.
And loves me still.

Wise, my love.

Posted by Scott R (Member # 567) on :
This thread is part of the Grand Jatraquero Poetry Bump.


In fact, of the first ten pages on this forum there are less than six threads with poetry on them.

And this poor guy, the granddaddy of all poetry threads, was languishing on page two-- and that's only because I posted to it yesterday! Before then, the last post was on friggin Jan. 22nd!

[No No]

Let us have days and months of poetry and wine! Or ruby red grapefruit juice!
Posted by Scott R (Member # 567) on :

Because the foreign language poetry should not be on the first page while this gem languishes on the fifth.
Posted by David Bowles (Member # 1021) on :

The People knew about the truth
In ways we only vaguely see;
No man can point it out to us
No priest retains the needed keys.
Its power dwells where each believes
That truth resides; to reach its strength
There’s nothing you can really do:
The more you strive to grasp at truth
The further truth will move from you.

The People said you must lie down for power,
You pick a place where someone blessed with truth
Has spent much time, or even died, and there
You wait. And pray or meditate. And wait.
In silence contemplate while opening yourself.
And then, not God— some local source of power
May choose to pity you and gift you with a truth
That’s tailored to your needs, with special songs to sing,
Or other amulets to help you wield
The mighty tool for living well you’ve gained.

Perhaps you won’t be answered.
Perhaps you’ll die of hunger.
Perhaps you’ll choose a sterile site
Where charlatans have seemed to draw
A power that was only feigned.
But if it is truth you would have—
Real power, truth, or “medicine”
(As puha is so sadly called)—
You must lie down for yours,
And stop trying to steal ours.

*"Lying down for power." Erroneously termed the "Comanche Vision Quest" elsewhere.

[ February 17, 2005, 02:51 PM: Message edited by: David Bowles ]
Posted by ElJay (Member # 6358) on :
Paint a Monet for me with your touch
Water-lily kisses, traced against my skin
Though the only color I will turn is blush
Your pallet hides a thousand shades within

Lily-pads and sunlight, and softly drifting clouds
A pond of blue the color of your eyes
The promises you make me are never said out-loud
But the picture that you paint me never lies
Posted by Annie (Member # 295) on :
I mean this entirely good-naturedly, but:
I'm a pretty avid reader of poetry, myself. I think you'll find that most good poets are.
is just so comical I had to point it out.

And I do think Tom is a good poet. [Smile]
Posted by Jon Boy (Member # 4284) on :
Saw a man today
Pink-and-purple umbrella
Twirling as he walked
Posted by Choobak (Member # 7083) on :
Ok... I don't try English poetry, but in french this is what i do :

Rêve en voyage

Le Wagon va, voguant sur la voie
De fer, foulant de verdoyants pois
De senteur que cent heures de langueur
Rendent heureux, amoureux de lenteur.

J’ai l’esprit pris, l’espace empli
De pensées insensées sans cesse :
L’abbaye de ma vie embellie
D’une brune béguine abbesse.

Cette vestale et altesse femme
S’empara de ma belle âme en flammes.
Elle l’étreignit, mais ne l’éteignit
En réclamant une amante vie.

Me traînant, le lent train ralenti,
Me laissant, inlassable, enlaçant
L’Eve de mon rêve aux lèvres saisies.
Je descends, dansant et rêvassant.

What do you think about ?
Posted by Teshi (Member # 5024) on :
This is the poem I wrote today. It's pretentious to the point of totally ridiculous but since I have no shame and I'm twistedly proud/amused of/by it I thought I'd let everyone else have a bit of fun untangling my "sweeping" metaphor and total lack of direction [Wink] .

Don't judge me, because I am young and impressionable and just having a bit of a laugh sounding high-and-mighty. Also, it's not supposed to be political, but it may have ended up a tinsy bit that way. Furthermore, it sounds really depressing, and I'm really not this depressing (hence the glued-on last stanza), only this poem got out of control... (It's aliiiiiiiiive)

His was a mind, hers was a body

I fell sick on Sunday.
But sunshine filled the room,
And evicted the gloom.
(All forty days
Of the rent had been paid
To the landlord)

On Monday, we laid ill together
Live, dead, forever.
The man, the woman and me.

His was a mind, hers was a body,
Curled on opposite sides of a courtyard
Where the blind gardener’s grave
Is mined and paved.
Mine was a voice gone still,
In the week’s global chill.

Dues-day brought Spring,
But no song; last night,
Someone shook the Southbank,
But there were no pennies left.
We’ve no more tax to pay.

Hers was a body,
An antique shattered visage in the sand;
Scratched by the last dry winds day
Of hundreds missed.
His was a mind,
The same stone pedestal.
Once loved, once forgotten.
Rediscovered by journeyists,
In search of a story
To relate to the guests
Of the next grand marriage.
The wedding-singer’s
Throat was parched with sand.
A rain-date was provided.

Thursday’s warmth
And the body stumbled on death,
The mind not far behind.

Fool day Friday
No one will die today
(No joke, Pope)

The angels covered their ears
Immune to the unmusical fears
Of voices in a concert
That started at nightfall.
We silently croaked out
An unspoken elegy
To her, and to him.
(I know that my
Song held my goodbye.)

Saturday: closed our eyes
And watched one side of
Our cube-shaped dies
Weep a tear or more
From every corner
Of the lonely lost marble.
“Heaven preserve us,
Animus mortuus.”

Thunder crumbled Sunday’s
Snow-filled clouds,
Scattering ashes in the soul’s sarcophagus,
And on Eros’s shroud.

Midday bells rang;
The tumbling peals
Of an afternoon wedding.
The sky brightened.
Posted by Scott R (Member # 567) on :
In answer to this assignment on the forums, I wrote the following:

sink my lovely,
storm-tossed, forsaken worm,
thrown to sea by God's will,
man's hand.
my gentle lips enfold you.
engorge me,
worm, storm, ship, god.
Posted by T_Smith (Member # 3734) on :
It's friday night
Time to go to the hooters
Back at home I got a stack
Of first person shooters
People laugh and say
Tha I am stuck in denial
When I say to their face
That I still got my style
Oh you know who I am
And you've seen me around
I'm the drunken hairy guy
Lying on the ground
I'm an old college man
I'm in college right now
I can do as I want
Cause there's never a how
If you ask me what I'm taking
Oh you'll get a blank stare
I have never enrolled
And they don't seem to care
I've been here living life
For more than 10 years
I've broken my own record
For number of beers
I know the menu of wendy's
And they know my card number
I mutter obscenties
While deep in a slumber
I build all of my furniture
From pizza boxes
I got 20 different people
On my 5 xboxes
Oh why do I come here
Oh why don't I leave
Are questions I ask
As I'm starting to heave
I know it's all pointless
But I like being cool
So do as they tell you
And stay the hell in school.


I was up pretty late last night. It's not great, but hey, I thought it was funny.
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 124) on :
Bumping for newbie. [Smile]
Posted by ambyr (Member # 7616) on :
I'm not the right newbie, but I'll bite anyway.


I have never tried spearing fish,
only paper pieces,
drawn with faint suggestions of scales,
in a science classroom.

And that was only once:
a demonstration.
Afterwards, we took out textbooks,
downed our heads diligently,
and calculated angles.

Heady knowledge, but
we never put our pencils,
newly enchanted with equations,
to the test.
No one had fish for dinner.

I have hypothesized
a thousand formulae
to reach you
but I am still talking to sand.

You are still talking to clouds.
So many words of monologue
went missing in the air.

They are lost for good.
If we ever meet on the riverbank,
begin with, "Hello."
Posted by Destineer (Member # 821) on :
Wow, it's been a long time since I've posted anything on this thread.

Here's something based on some old notes:

Scrawlings From Fall ’00

I had something to reveal
years ago
Something about flesh and metal
Curving substances, shielding us within
The cyclic quiverings, curses that rebound off the steel
Chains of wishbones binding human lives
Plural nouns and those objects afraid to be grouped
Cave-wall scrawlings, was that 2000 AD?
A mad year, but now I am truly wild
Unafraid, though my brain is a fear organ
Matching stillborn Christs for absurdity
the thought humiliates the thinker.

I forgot what it was I meant to etch
on that wall, when I was a caveman.
Posted by quidscribis (Member # 5124) on :
A caveman, he looks
for animals to hunt. None.
What will he do now?
Posted by T_Smith (Member # 3734) on :
Thalia, o great muse of my passionate heart
Where did your inspirational guidance go
Without you, O Thalia! I am torn apart
I was soaring high, and have sunken low

Thalia, I hate the ruse you send my soul
Teacher, you tease, you unrational sprite
My love, O Thalia! its taken its toll
And I ask why, and there’s no light.

Thalia! I lose your gifts from my mind
My model of life, you’ve left me behind
Alone and afraid, I go to the grind
No inspiration for me left to find.
Posted by erosomniac (Member # 6834) on :
Interesting rhyme scheme.
Posted by Tatiana (Member # 6776) on :
<<3 this thread>
Posted by T_Smith (Member # 3734) on :
A friend I had known for a while
Left me, she had cold and gray hands
When I saw her night before last
I wasn't there when I saw her
Least ways, not acknowledging her
She was a forgotten flower
Among family, left alone
She was gone years ago, really
Spaced conversations had happened
Between us. Still, who else knew her?
Did anyone remember her?
Only gray days seperated
Us, and yet, I too forgot her
No longer in my thoughts, my heart
She truly had left me and now
Now I feel nothing, and why nothing?
Why is my body dead and cold
Why is my heart heavy and old
My eyes keep searching, and for what
I don't really know but they search
They search where a person should be
And when they see nothing, they cry
Two days, lord, it has been two days
Why cry over an aquaintance?
True, through years I had known her name
But what more did she know of me?
Still I sit in sleepless slumber
I was an ear, but she was more
She was a connection to life
I listened to her, but said nothing
I had learned I am not alone
And that my worries, that my pain
Were not just my worries, my pain
But the pains we share together
And that is why I will miss her
Posted by Scott R (Member # 567) on :

Cagey Bird

Cagey bird, blues you sing
Keep on swinging,
Birdhouse swinging,
Blues don't mean a thing.

Cagey bird, perch is clean
Song you fling,
Turds you fling,
But spotless where you sing.

Come the cat, slinking slow
Open cage, closed window.
Song is done, feline fun
Flit about, but cannot run.

Gone the blues, gone the words,
No more swinging
No more flinging
Just a cat, and cage, and turds.

Posted by Dante (Member # 1106) on :
Mortality Boast

No one will ever read this poem.
No word-fumbling young lover
will plagiarize it for his girl-friend's ears,
no high schoolers will have to find
it in an anthology, no old man
will curse his slipping mind
because he can’t remember how it goes.

At least I’m realistic about it. I mean, people
ooh and ahh over the prophetic wisdom
of those poems that talk about how they will last
forever, but let’s be honest: in three
thousand years, how many of those kind of poems
must have been written? The remembered
ones—isn’t it really just a matter of odds?
Posted by Teshi (Member # 5024) on :
I love that ScottR!
Posted by KarlEd (Member # 571) on :

Why should this big and scary bear
Lash out because I poke him there?
Except for scars, there's not a trace
Of where I shot him in the face.
In fact, my buckshot (you will find)
Has only left him half-way blind.
His other eye should clearly see
It's stronger now because of me.
He ought to greet me with applause
But all I get are teeth and claws.
What could be going through his head?
You'd almost think he wished me dead.

You see, I raised him from a cub
Way back when Mama Bear got clubbed.
(Although the bat was in my hand,
You’d think a cub would understand
Superior philosophy --
That pain and great adversity
Are better teachers in the end
Than gentle guidance from a friend.)
When I threw him to the wild,
I knew he'd hear "I love you, child"
In ever bite and every sting
My "hands-off" parenting could bring.

So when I last came to his lair,
To bless him with more tender care
By blindly slashing with my knife
To better make him fit my life
And -- a bit less bear-ish -- be
Presentable to my family
You'll understand my great surprise:
No open arms. No grateful eyes.
Instead, just roars and gaping maw.
All because I stabbed his paw?
How was I supposed to see
The pain I caused he'd blame on me?
Posted by Scott R (Member # 567) on :
That's some clever verse, Karl.

I like it.
Posted by Tatiana (Member # 6776) on :
Hooray for the resurrection of the original potry thread! [Smile]
Posted by T_Smith (Member # 3734) on :
Take me back to the sunset I remember
Take me two summer sunsets ago
Let me live in that moment forever
Let me breath in the love that I know
Believe me when I hold your hands softly
Believe me when I look in your eyes
Live with me till my life has left me
Live with me under those sunset skies.
Posted by KarlEd (Member # 571) on :
That's beautiful, T_Smith. It begs to be set to music.

That said, can I quibble with the first two lines? I don't like the broken meter in the first line, and the tone makes me think you're referring to two years ago, but the second line actually refers to the day before yesterday. How about: Take me back to sunsets remembered/ Take me to sunsets two summers ago/ etc. Also, if you change "Believe" to "Trust" the meter works better for lines 5 and 6 since "believe me when I" has 3 unstressed syllables in a row unless you artificially force a stress on "when". (Whereas "Trust me" begs a natural slight pause that I think breaks the run of unstressed syllables better.) Or if you really prefer the word "Believe" there, (and I can see why you might), making it "Believe in me" naturally puts more stress on "when", breaking the string of unstressed syllables.

(Just my 2 cents. I really like the poem.)
Posted by Tatiana (Member # 6776) on :
"Trust me" sounds like someone is lying, though. I prefer believe me. [Smile]
Posted by T_Smith (Member # 3734) on :

Yeah, I was referring to two years ago, when I had proposed to Jamie (whom is in Atlanta till Sunday). I was hoping that "Two Summer Sunsets" would come across as "Two July 2nd Sunsets" to try to fit it into the flow of the verse, but it is worded improperly, I now see. Would "Two Summers Sunsets" convey that? If Jamie were around, I'd ask her, being an English Major and all, and the fact that my brain sucks with words.

I do like "Take me to sunsets two summers ago" as a replacement line.

I see what you are talking about with "trust me" as opposed to "believe me", and in the technical aspect, it fits better. However, like Tatiana, I prefer "Believe".
Posted by KarlEd (Member # 571) on :
I actually like "believe" better, too. [Dont Know]
Posted by erosomniac (Member # 6834) on :
I Pen A Picture of My Father

Trying to depict the unreceding hairline
I hope I’ll have when I’m fifty,
To catch the Makakilo sunset on his glasses,
But I never took a decent art class
So these details escape me.

The Seattle sky dims, and
Raindrops hit the paper until
The lines blur and I
Can’t recognize my father
In the bleeding ink pooling on my page.

But they’re just lines, separating
One section of white from another,
Hair from hair,
Pore from pore:
Nothing so dramatic as
Country from country,
Words from heart,
Father from son.

But there they are,
Each line a smeared memory
Stuck in my head
Like rice on the dining room floor,
Refusing to be brushed away with
Something as weak as will.
Posted by KarlEd (Member # 571) on :
Nice one, erosomniac. [Smile]
Posted by Lyrhawn (Member # 7039) on :
I'd have considered posting something in here until I saw KarlEd's critique of T_Smith's poem.

::goes to hide in the corner with the other poetry impaired folk::
Posted by Tatiana (Member # 6776) on :
Wow, Lyr, a critique is high praise! It means the person liked your poem enough to mess around with it and try to improve it.

I haven't written any poems in a couple of years, myself. [Smile]
Posted by T_Smith (Member # 3734) on :
Pause me a moment of pure ecstacy
Let me go faster than light
Rebound that minute of child fantasy
Where dreams last more than a night
Unlock that door that is keeping me in
Unlock illogical thought
Let optimism no longer be sin
And I’ll live in a land that is not.
Posted by KarlEd (Member # 571) on :
I like that a lot, T. It sounds like a mantra or a prayer to a muse.
Posted by KarlEd (Member # 571) on :
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
I'd have considered posting something in here until I saw KarlEd's critique of T_Smith's poem.

::goes to hide in the corner with the other poetry impaired folk::

That makes me feel terrible. Should we not critique here? I don't want to discourage anyone from posting. On the other hand, I'd rather get a critique, myself, than no response at all. [Dont Know]
Posted by erosomniac (Member # 6834) on :
Originally posted by KarlEd:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
I'd have considered posting something in here until I saw KarlEd's critique of T_Smith's poem.

::goes to hide in the corner with the other poetry impaired folk::

That makes me feel terrible. Should we not critique here? I don't want to discourage anyone from posting. On the other hand, I'd rather get a critique, myself, than no response at all. [Dont Know]
It varies from person to person, obviously, but I wholeheartedly agree with Karl here, especially since what I've seen of his critiques is very to-the-point without being rude or indulging in PC "compliment sandwich" crap.
Posted by T_Smith (Member # 3734) on :
Karl, thank you for the compliment. Perhaps at one point I'll gather the poems written in the last two years and put them in one place so I can see if I've improved.

Personally, one should expect a critique when posting here, and if one is not looking for one, one can just as easily write "no need for critique", but I believe that is shooting ones self in the foot. Lyr, I would enjoy reading some of your work if you would care to share.
Posted by Pelegius (Member # 7868) on :
Other Streets, in Another Market.

“I no longer believe in exclamationpoints.”
— from “La meglio gioventù”
My mind drifted towards you,
Allen Ginsberg, as it is wont to do,
as the sun set over the Plaka
I went out,
questing for images.

As for style
I must keep my lines shorter than yours,
for in 50 years, we have rejected
long lines and exclamation points,
symbols of our misspent youth
and the dreams that faded
with the swish of the ducal robes of fur.

Under the bright holigan glare,
men sat speaking, smoking, laughing.
Still, no sign of Lorca
amongst the melons.
Nor do I see the Buddha
playing chess
under the watchful eyes
of a dozen theotokoi.

I wandered down a dark alley,
decorated with cigarettes, beer bottles
and other mementos of a saturday night,
and sawdust restaurants with oyster shells.

In the melancholy shadows,
I saw a Keatsean beggar sitting, smoking,
drinking and mumbling to himself,
concerning beauty, truth.

I silently walked on,
looking for poetry.

I wandered into smoke-opaque rooms
where men sat,
watching scores on plasma walls,
laughing, cheering
Brasil versus Hellas, Hellas scores
the boy cheers.

I silently walked on,
looking for poetry.
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 124) on :
My mind drifted towards you,
Allen Ginsberg, as it is wont to do,

I liked most of your poem, Pel, but this line actually made me laugh out loud.

The rest of it's pretty good, even if it's trying rather hard to wear its allusions on its sleeves. (I'd dump the "Keatsian" descriptor attached to the beggar, for example.) There's nothing wrong with exposing your influences, especially in poetry, but some of them are a bit too transparent. (And there's a diminishing rate of returns: when you quote a poem that in turn quotes a poem which quotes a poem, how far are you from the original inspiration?)

Out of interest, how do you feel about the "worldplay" thread?
Posted by Pelegius (Member # 7868) on :
Yes, well, the poem was inspired by a combination of main three things, an actual night out in Athens, T.S. Eliot's Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock and Allen Ginsberg's Supermarket in California especialy the idea of Allen Ginsberg being with me like Whitman was with him.
Posted by T_Smith (Member # 3734) on :
Perhaps I was dropped on the left side of my head, because I feel as though words are pus-like fluids seeping out of my ears, and not a single decent one can be retained long enough to flow out of my fingers and onto the page. Sometimes I put my ear over my keyboard in a vain attempt that they'll leak on the keys and that the prose will write itself. I'm far too unfortunate, though, because whenever I do so, all I end up with is scrambled French and German. Is it possible to cultivate my words in a jar, and run them through a centrifuge?
Posted by Pelegius (Member # 7868) on :
No Title As of Yet
I am not a Horatian character,
such heroic blood flows not in my veins,
I am a cynic, plain and simple.

A cynic cannot be a poet,
so I have been told,
“go, write novels,
there is room for pessimism there.”

“But a poet must love,
like Martí loved Cuba,
like Dante loved Beatrice”

I fear I love nothing,
nothing but myself.
I see myself in the mirror of humanity
a distorted image that still looks clear
I reach, it reaches back
Between us a pane of glass.
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 124) on :
Your poems are love poems, mainly to other poems.
Posted by Pelegius (Member # 7868) on :
Yes, I think so too. Actually, I tend to oscillate between deep cynicism and profound humanism. The former is a much easier position.

Thus, I present

The World's Shortest Prose Poem
There is cynicism and there is humanism and between them are synapses.
Posted by sarfa (Member # 579) on :
Here's my first new one in years. Let me know what you think (oh yeah, girls suck).


Pinky, ring, middle, fore

Fingers drum erratic
beats on the sofa’s side
while the digital clock
traps weary, darting eyes.

Pinky, ring, middle, fore

Ambulances driving
through my brain give sick hope;
rebutted by growling
knots lodged within my guts.

Pinky, ring, middle, fore

My head whips round to face
the telephone, willing
it to life, but it sits
silent and accusing.

Pinky, ring, middle, fore

My legs begin to shake,
so I leap to my feet
to continue my march
round the coffee table.
The concrete foundation
lies exposed in patches,
staring up through the worn
carpet. I curse the man
on the television
screen for laughing at me.
I begin to quicken
my pace, while my hands tug
at my hair. The muscles
in my legs ache. Sweat beads
on my brow. I collapse…

back onto the sofa
to resume my solo
upon it’s threadbare side,
which echoes through til dawn.

Pinky, ring, middle, fore
Posted by Teshi (Member # 5024) on :
Your poems are love poems, mainly to other poems.
There are quite a few poems-to-poems, though.
Posted by Bob_Scopatz (Member # 1227) on :
We had an assignment for our birthing class. Write a poem to the placenta.

It takes a villus

The placenta is a special place
A disk-like installation
It means “flat cake”
It can’t be faked
Except in Science Fiction.

Derived from not-so special cells
Early in development
It builds a sack
Prevents attack
And handles all procurement.

The chorionic villi too
Have their special purpose
They flesh us out,
And flush us out
Thank God they’re semi-porous!

Bathed in drops of mother’s blood
The villi set the rules
For passing gas
Increasing mass
And grabbing molecules.

Up and down umbilicus
All this stuff is flowing
The baby grows
And never knows
How this organ keeps it going

Lasting all through 9 long months
The placenta stays the course
A final push
It all goes squoosh
And no-one shows remorse.

Come let us sing placental praise
For despite the many ouches,
Without it we’d be laying eggs
Or growing kids in pouches!
Posted by Teshi (Member # 5024) on :
I like the whole poem, but I love the last two lines.
Posted by Bob_Scopatz (Member # 1227) on :
Posted by sarfa (Member # 579) on :
hmm, I think my poem got buried on the last page, so I'm going to repost it. Anyway, here it is again, brand spanking new (first new one in a few years in fact). As always, your criticism is welcome.


Pinky, ring, middle, fore

Fingers drum erratic
beats on the sofa’s side
while the digital clock
traps weary, darting eyes.

Pinky, ring, middle, fore

Ambulances driving
through my brain give sick hope;
rebutted by growling
knots lodged within my guts.

Pinky, ring, middle, fore

My head whips round to face
the telephone, willing
it to life, but it sits
silent and accusing.

Pinky, ring, middle, fore

My legs begin to shake,
so I leap to my feet
to continue my march
round the coffee table.
The concrete foundation
lies exposed in patches,
staring up through the worn
carpet. I curse the man
on the television
screen for laughing at me.
I begin to quicken
my pace, while my hands tug
at my hair. The muscles
in my legs ache. Sweat beads
on my brow. I collapse…

back onto the sofa
to resume my solo
upon it’s threadbare side,
which echoes through til dawn.

Pinky, ring, middle, fore
Posted by cmc (Member # 9549) on :
upon the changing season of my life i find myself proud.

two years time plus earnest hard work
yield progress i myself stand in awe of
from a confused girl to a confident woman
i feel a completeness i didn't realize i was missing

taking time for myself i learned who myself was and
what it took to learn that was only hard till i'd started.
i have become my own best friend, confidant and supporter...
a far cry from the previous role of worst enemy

i have become that much closer to being the person
i'd like to have people think i am
and realized that i had become an ocean of
doubt and negativity whose tides have gladly changed

now set on this path i intend to move only forward
while using the past as a reminder of how far i've come
remembering past mistakes just long enough to learn from
and celebrating success with an eye always toward the future...

upon the changing season of my life i find myself proud.

Posted by sarfa (Member # 579) on :
Bob, that is the greatest poem I've ever read about a placenta. That praise should be in no way lessened by the fact that it is the only poem I've ever read about to a placenta. Between the rhyme scheme and the playful irreverance, you managed to make a placenta seem "cute" (which is no small feat).
Posted by foundling (Member # 6348) on :
sarfa, your poem was, as usual, beautiful. It made me nervous.

cmc, I loved your poem. It reminded me of very specific moments in my own life.
Posted by T_Smith (Member # 3734) on :
I saw her standing, in the shadows of the night
With golden blonde hair and blue smile
She had a low cut corset, as sure as you can bet
I quickly glazed o’er her profile

She’s my warcraft girl (world of warcraft girl!)
I’m her warcraft guy (world of warcraft girl!)
Never had one before! (a world of warcraft girl!)
Hope she don’t ask why (world of warcraft girl!)
She’s my warcraft girl, my warcraft girl.

I asked for her heart, in exchange for my shield
She told me to throw in my sword
I agreed to the trade, and we went on a raid
I was hers when she let out a roar

She’s my warcraft girl (world of warcraft girl!)
I’m her warcraft guy (world of warcraft girl!)
Never had one before! (a world of warcraft girl!)
Hope she don’t ask why (world of warcraft girl!)
She’s my warcraft girl, my warcraft girl.

Now I am her man, ‘though she leads the clan
Least thats what I let her think
I still run the show, when I battle our foe
It’s my call that we all wear pink

She’s my warcraft girl (world of warcraft girl!)
I’m her warcraft guy (world of warcraft girl!)
Never had one before! (a world of warcraft girl!)
Hope she don’t ask why (world of warcraft girl!)
She’s my warcraft girl, my warcraft girl.
Posted by Teshi (Member # 5024) on :
(EDIT: To people when things don't go the way you wish they might.)

Don't let it get you down.
The stars are right;
The night is young.
Posted by Pelegius (Member # 7868) on :
Romantic Notions of my Youth
“No finiràia il dizùn dal timp?”
“Will time's hunger never die?”
— Pier Paolo Pasolini, from “I dis robàs”

Here dwells Christ the Tiger,
sleeping in the cave-corner cages,
rusted columbaria of our collective mind.

Like Dervishes, we turned in tightening gyre,
inward-eyed scholars, ink fingered, truth’s pages,
fire-eyed with steel sword to cut the serpent tongues that lied.

My friends, we set cross-legged neath Bodhi trees,
reading mystic, Gnostic, Sufist scrolls, seeking truths in some distant past,
Boethius, Benedict, ben Eliezer: we could not think (what to know?); we tried to feel.

We, Apollonian figures on Athenian frieze
studied our mosaics and El Greco— iconographer, iconoclast
—in great cities of stalled subways, crumbling castles and falling minarets, all unreal.

Monks, with bells and gongs, and trees bore witness to the passing time.
Time stood still, and yet, in darkness, slid like sleds on the Archduke’s hill
the dikes shattered, the Ianiculum taken, the docks lie beneath the Zuider Zee.

Here stand I, old man, blind seer, poet with strainéd rhyme
and labyrinthine reason, laid bare in limitations, yet more strainéd still,
look back with false remembrances, to the flowered crags of Arcadia, when I knew me.
Posted by JimmyCooper (Member # 7434) on :
Hey I've been a lurker here for a couple years. I really like poetry so here it goes.


You crunched my Raisin Bran, dashed away my Corn Flakes.

You drove me Fruit Loops.

I snapped, crackled, and popped my Rice Crispies and you still didn’t hear me in the darkness.

My Corn Puffs became cold and soggy waiting for you.

I poured away every last one of my Cocoa Puffs.

You still don’t want me.
You still don’t need me.
You will never love me.
Posted by Pelegius (Member # 7868) on :
Hmm, Prevert wrote a poem about Breakfest that reminds me of yours:

Il a mis le café
Dans la tasse
Il a mis le lait
Dans la tasse de café
Il a mis le sucre
Dans le café au lait
Avec la petite cuiller
Il a tourné
Il a bu le café au lait
Et il a reposé la tasse
Sans me parler
Il a allumé
Une cigarette
Il a fait des ronds
Avec la fumée
Il a mis les cendres
Dans le cendrier
Sans me parler
Sans me regarder
Il s'est levé
Il a mis
Son chapeau sur sa tête
Il a mis
Son manteau de pluie
Parce qu'il pleuvait
Et il est parti
Sous la pluie
Sans une parole
Sans me regarder
Et moi j'ai pris
Ma tête dans ma main
Et j'ai pleuré.


He poured the coffee
Into the cup
He put the milk
Into the cup of coffee
He put the sugar
Into the coffee with milk
With a small spoon
He churned
He drank the coffee
And he put down the cup
Without any word to me
He emptied the coffee with milk
And he put down the cup
Without any word to me
He lighted
One cigarette
He made circles
With the smoke
He shook off the ash
Into the ashtray
Without any word to me
Without any look at me
He got up
He put on
A hat on his head
He put on
A raincoat
Because it was raining
And he left
Into the rain
Without any word to me
Without any look at me
And I buried
My face in my hands
And I cried

Posted by cmc (Member # 9549) on :
I Still Believe in Forever

I've just remembered that forever is for me... Not you and me.
At least not you and me together.

How many years have passed since I lay
My blue eyes on your face?
Since I last saw those Sunflowered eyes? A Lot.

How much have I changed since
The last time I let your influence
Influence me? A Lot.

I've grown up and discovered Myself
In a way I really have to give you some credit for.
So thanks. A Lot.

For breaking my heart and my spirit.
Guess I needed it to realize my Potential,
But I've still got more. A Lot.

Won't ever forget. Still love you. Glad I realized that
when you're not with me I love you more. A Lot.

I Still Believe in Forever

Posted by Avatar300 (Member # 5108) on :
Here the tao of now:
Lose yourself in the present,
Not in yet-to-comes
Nor in might-have-beens.
Treasure this time now, for all
Moments are fleeting.
Posted by Rotar Mode (Member # 9898) on :
Originally posted by Avatar300:
Here the tao of now:
Lose yourself in the present,
Not in yet-to-comes
Nor in might-have-beens.
Treasure this time now, for all
Moments are fleeting.

Here's to the Te of today:
Let life come, hold it tightly
Push your death as far away
To be born again every day
Live your life for now, let
Tomorrow never come.

I'm sorry to piggyback off your poem. Let it be said that yours inspired mine, a spur-of-the-moment type of thing.
Posted by KarlEd (Member # 571) on :
For Christopher

My life would be a desert, save
For fountains shared with you.
My spirit, parched and caked with dust,
Seeks out your morning dew.

I then, at parting, thirst again
Until I see your lights
Marking oasis waters in
My lonely desert nights.
Posted by erosomniac (Member # 6834) on :
I really liked that, Karl.

The meter and word choice make it a pleasure to read aloud.
Posted by KarlEd (Member # 571) on :
Thanks. [Smile] I gave that to Chris on our first Valentine's day together.
Posted by cmc (Member # 9549) on :

jeweled eyes captivate my mind
as i recall soft moments
captured in your arms.

thinking back with a sleepy mind
to moments best spent with
you right along with me.

how did you sneak out of nowhere
and somehow knock me off my feet?
it still surprises me

how you eased your way into my life so
subtly and now it’s difficult to even
imagine a finish without you.

butterflies multiply in my belly
as i remember your touch…
legs weak, heart flitting.

jeweled eyes, strong hands, warm heart
captivating my mind first with
my heart soon to follow…
Posted by cmc (Member # 9549) on :

I find myself paused.

Something happened and I let you in.
There's this thing that happens sometimes when I kiss you
that makes me have to breathe in and then the rational
part of my brain and my heart start yelling.

So I stop.

But not before a little piece of whatever it is that you are
makes its way into whatever it is that I am.

My rational self screaming
because even my heart knows
it's probably going to wind up broken
in those places I breathed deep and welcomed you into.

I still wouldn't trade it.
Sometimes heartache is worth it.
The beauty's in the journey not the destination.
Just enjoy the ride.
Posted by Epictetus (Member # 6235) on :
The scent of a ship seeking harbor,
a shallow field of Sea-World strollers,
a broken pearl necklace in the blackberry sky,

Kites dissolve in the napalm sky,
a jeweled mist sifting through the shadows,
the sight of thunder over a shallow grave,

Flying leaves in the dancing wind,
black hands moving like crow wings,
hot tears like liquid fire.

Flying leaves seeking harbor
jeweled thunder, broken grave
napalm tears like the dancing wind

Sifting scent moving like shadow
in blackberry strollers hot with mist
the sky dissolves under fire

A ship moving with hot tears
sifts through the dissolving shadows.
Fire pearls in Sea-World’s graves
breaks the crow, flying above the napalm thunder.
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 124) on :
Posted by Tatiana (Member # 6776) on :
Good bump there, Tom. This thread must never die. [Smile]
Posted by Nethy (Member # 6462) on :
this is a poem I wrote for my dad on Father's Day:

My father can make few things in the kitchen
the whirl of hard counters and ripe fruit sensory overload
to his engineer's mind
but on Sunday's when my mother has
fallen fast and soundless into bed
he strides through
Napoleon in a white shirt and tie
first the bread, thick and brown, lathered with sweet cream butter
The cheese now
sliced by sword and his determined shaky hand
the smell of the dirty griddle rises through the house,
last weeks' sandwiches now burnt on
he slaps his babies down, spanking the griddle for some misdeed
it sing sizzles into the afternoon air
and calls us in.
We have never heard of Waterloo.
Posted by KarlEd (Member # 571) on :
I like that one, Nethy. Good job.
Posted by Destineer (Member # 821) on :
Here's something I wrote today.

In Five Years

Half-lit trees by the chapel
shake at their leisure, knowing they have centuries left.
The music is all right but I still wonder
when was this ever enough to please me?

I imagine your thoughts in parallel: What other world
was Cape Cod, where one of my fingers
on your arm was enough?
You chewed a curl of hair then
and I was proud
in a way more private than sex. Thought of leaving
a different taste in your mouth. Will I ever?

Never ever, for all I know.

But despite all I know
I mean to show you this someday in five years
before tumbling on top of you,
my five-year-old words touching you like one finger did.

[ July 08, 2007, 08:22 PM: Message edited by: Destineer ]
Posted by cmc (Member # 9549) on :
i sit betrayed
the force of that phrase hitting me like
ten thousand bricks.

willing to wait forever if that's
what it takes for you to find what we're looking for...
it's worth it, it's worth it, it has to be worth it.

longing that someday i'd find you
i just realized i've got to wait until
the day you find me.

you've got to find yourself first.
Posted by cmc (Member # 9549) on :
writing words leads to feeling feelings
i sometimes think i'd be better off not writing or feeling.

it always feels better once i've put them down
and they're out there for someone else to read or write down or feel.

i wonder what blissful ignorance is like.
i'm too curious to be satiated by it...
i still believe it might be fun

for someone else.
Posted by cmc (Member # 9549) on :
Death of a Forest

There is construction happening outside my

Woken one morning to the sound of
beeping heavy machines and
Trees being quite unceremoniously
ripped out of the ground.

It was, is a horrible sound.
Much like a tooth being torn out
of gums, magnified by a googolplex.
Is that what the sound of Children
having a Grass fight sounds like to the ants?

The view is not the same;
Will never be the same.
Where once was a sea of green, brown
and at times yellow, red, orange;
At other times light green and whitish,
changing like the tides...
now more resembles a chain-link fence.

Nature giving way to man's incessant
need to destroy in the name of...
in the name of...

The view's not the same.
It's more like a puddle
made beautiful by a long ago
oil leak.

I miss the Sea.

Posted by Scott R (Member # 567) on :

Where you let go of the agenda ("Leave my trees alone!") and just bare the imagery of the scene, you succeed well enough. I love the image of the teeth being ripped out. You do have a lot of different elements in there, however, which can make for a kind of overload.

Your last line-- "I miss the Sea--" doesn't work because the water images in the stanzas previous are not strong enough. I know you say "sea" and "tide" and "puddle" but I need more association with them than just words in order to justify they last line.

Does that make sense?
Posted by Scott R (Member # 567) on :
Here are a couple poems that suck.

Eros Blues

Saw a cop eat a bullet for a girl,
They were sitting in a coffee shop.
Muzzle flashes like flags unfurled
Kiss that girl, that cop.

But there's neon tonight
And an itch in my jeans
Howl beneath the baroom lights
And wish that I were clean.

Can't stay sober in this riot,
Not for a cop, not for a dame,
Not for God would I stay quiet,
Here and now, I drink the blame.

But there's neon tonight
Outside the bedroom door
And all of Eros is alight,
I go walking 'cross the floor.

Saw a kid drift into space,
He must have thought that he had wings.
Drifting sunward, I saw his face,
And I heard that poor boy sing:

There's no neon tonight,
That I'd trade for the sun
You're all locked inside those lights,
But I'll see you when you're done.

Eros Blues, pt II

When the hammer comes down, baby, who you gonna love?
When the other shoe drops, baby, who you gonna love?

He's a sweet sweetener man, yeah, but I've got a better plan,
I'm going to take you downtown, find the underground
Ride that midnight train, and scream your name,
Make your love like a whip, and I'm kissing your wrist.

When the hammer comes down, baby, who you gonna love?
When the other shoe drops, baby, who you gonna love?

It's a jingle-jangle world, in a hurdy-gurdy street,
So it's strange, baby doll, there's only silence 'neath my feet.
Where are all the jangles, and hurdy-gurdy men?
I'm kissing your wrist, love, and I'm pulling the pin.

When the hammer comes down, I'll be your only love.
When the other shoe drops, I'll be your only love.

My love, we'll explode, and noise will eat the night,
Jingling, jangling trains, and names that shine out bright,
It's a light, it's a light, light that strikes me like a fist,
When we fly into darkness, I'll still be kissing your wrist.

When the hammer comes down, I'll be your only love.
When the other shoe drops, I'll be your only love.

Need context?
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 124) on :
Posted by James Tiberius Kirk (Member # 2832) on :
oh 'e'
dear 'e'
oh letter 'e'
you are 101 ascii

oh 'e'
where could you be
if you were here, there would be
no 'potry'

Posted by BelladonnaOrchid (Member # 188) on :
Lol! I love that.

I read the one that Bob Scopatz wrote for the placenta, and it reminded me of a poem I wrote earlier this year while I was still pregnant.


I can not see you yet
Though you inhabit my dreams
and fill my body with
your own yearnings.
I keep waiting to see
that swell of my belly
to tell me that you are coming.
I wait, are you real
or am I still asleep?

I can not hear you yet
Though your complaints
rock my stomach
as if I were on a boat.
I keep waiting to feel
your quick movements
to assure me that you’re well.
I wait, but instead
I am greeted with silence.

She tells me as I lay still
the image on the screen is you.
So small as you move about,
Suddenly you are real.
She tells me that you’re strong
While I listen to the hushed thumping
I close my eyes and imagine,
At once you have a voice
And I am reassured.
Posted by SenojRetep (Member # 8614) on :
This is the first poem I've written in, oh, years.

There's always been a clunkiness in my poetry that makes all the rhymes feel forced. It was interesting for me to read this, when I finished, and see how the patterns that bug me about my writing haven't changed since middle school.

The Wind that Blows (the Last Leaf from the Tree)

Crashing cold
From Northern lands
Biting steel
To riven bands
I madly scream
From out my cave
To seek the weak,
The fool, the brave

It cannot last
This idyllic pageant
Our joy, tho' now full,
Can last but a moment
Our colors now bright
Tomorrow must wane
To glory we’ll cling
But fast nears our death bane

A breeze, now a gust
We tremble and quiver
With a sigh, the first falls
And floats down to the river
Two more, then still more
In droves now they speed
We have but resolve,
No hope can there be.

Blood red with dead husks
Our tree’s roots now are crown’d.
Save me, all have fallen
To the frost-hardened ground;
Alone now I face
The brute force of the storm,
Awaiting the moment
I too will be shorn.

I square to the teeth
Of the red-muzzled wind
Tho’ fain would I fly
As the fleet-footed hind.
Once more I surveil
My storm-ravaged land
And having done all
I stand.
Posted by advice for robots (Member # 2544) on :
Why I let my plant die

If you came in today you might ask me why I let my plant die.
I would tell you I bought it full grown from the hardware store,
And I never really taught it how to live.
You, though, your three faces, my faces, smiling from my desk,
I coaxed from the soil,
And sang to, and fed the best of what I had.
You, who thrive and therefore fill my heart,
Would in your abundance sorrow for a poor green plant
That shriveled on fluorescent light and tap water
And no kind words.
But I, with a thumb that is green for you only
And black for all else,
Am content to let my plant die.
Posted by scifibum (Member # 7625) on :

I've started many things
without finishing.
Tales of knights and kings,
hand carved wooden rings,
songs that no one sings:
many things.

These tasks are well begun
and start out fun.
But well before I'm done,
each task I shun, every one.
And yet I've won.

The devil's in the detail
and so I quail.
What would completeness entail,
but that Lucifer would prevail?
To finish would be to fail.

Aloof above the demonic grind
I keep my mind.
Infernal knots not to unwind,
my efforts are the purer kind:
I keep my skill set unrefined.
From hell enshrined.
Posted by All4Nothing (Member # 11601) on :
There are so many excellent poems here....

I just sat down a min. ago and wrote this one to have something to contribute to this topic. The movie "Bridge to Tarabithia" inspired me.

Midnight rainbows
Riding moonlight beams
Warm green waves crash
On bright orange seas

Sunlit shadows
Finding daytime dreams
Climb up golden treetrunks
O'er purple falling leaves

Twilight shepards
Herding counting sheep
The blue grass they graze
Turns yellow under feet

Dreaming traveler
Seek no explanation
There are no answers to your question
Such is imagination
Posted by dantesparadigm (Member # 8756) on :
If you like these I'll post more.

Flowers for Hitler
I’m Sorry
Words wasting in a tin can
In some bunker In Berlin.
I have a flower
A solitary bloom of colour and life
That found it’s way through
A tempest of human indifference
And I think I’ll give it to Hitler
So he can see before the end
How he could have made a difference.

Domestic Gravity
That night,
When he followed the mosquitoes
Who had found their way to your body
Hoping to follow their lead.
He pulled a beach rose from the sand
Thinking to coalesce its beauty
With chemical charm
But you refused his tribute
Saying “I dream my own dreams and have no need for tired symbols of times when to be a woman was to be a flower. If you must find something to pluck, then let it be a rose plucked for the rose’s sake and not your own.”
But the petals of that multifoliate rose
Were no less numerous for
having fallen through
the mire of domestic gravity.
Posted by scifibum (Member # 7625) on :
Silly rabbit,
tricking us kids.
I mourned for you -
your endless want.
The box - empty.
And you - a lie.
Posted by Brinestone (Member # 5755) on :

That's great.
Posted by Tatiana (Member # 6776) on :
Wow, this thread still exists! [Smile]

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