Poetry Philosophy

All posts in the Poetry Philosophy category

TO WRITE A POEM

Published January 25, 2020 by Nan Mykel

To write a happy poem don’t you

need to be happy? Liar if you’re not.

At this moment I’m neither happy

nor unhappy.

So…not much fuel in that tank.

No one wants a gloomy poem.

What’s left?  Mad?  Ditto for rants.

If no one is happy these days

and sad and mad are verboten,

we could pray and hear our echoes

bouncing between billiard balls

around our table of plenty.

But if hunger and thirst were feelings–

empathy alive in this land–

I’d eat this page in a minute

and spit out the truth in a can.

 

nan

THE CATERPILLAR SPEAKS – Postscript

Published December 29, 2019 by Nan Mykel

P.S.  Forgive me–I skipped right through the coccoon stage.  Wonder why?  Wishful thinking, I’d guess.

_____

 

Hi. I’m Joe, an erudite caterpillar

who lives above you on that weeping willow.

You may not know the sky is falling

because I see you’re not bawling.

We caterpillae can see ahead

and oh there is so much to dread…

Shall we two souls just run away

and let the others join the fray?

Leave reality far behind

and link up with the other kind

who stick their head into the sand and

pretend the farce is really grand?

But wait! Hold on! Does this really say

that cowards speak  for the US of A?

Shame used to be a painful feeling

worthy of prayer, seeking healing.

Kindness, truth and compassion?

Weaknesses, now under ration.

Will the worldly rich give a damn

or is honor and heart only sham?

Hard to be true to yourself if you lie;

a lifetime of shame if you don’t try.

Meanwhile erudite Joe on his pillow,

sends hope from up on his willow,

that all our best wishes  come true.

With new wings he flies to the blue.

DEEP THOUGHTS UPON WAKING

Published November 11, 2018 by Nan Mykel

I might be digging myself a hole here, but here goes.

On November 1st this year I gave my talk about the material in the book I self-published in 2014. After I scheduled the talk at the library, NAMI kindly stepped in and sponsored it. My daughter flew up from Atlanta to support me, and counted 25 in attendance. I gave them egg nog. Almost half those attending were friends, come to support me.

My book is actually quite good, and failed to be puchased widely because I was unable to push it. This morning I realized that my synonym for push is manipulate, and that’s something my father was good at.

Then it came to me that this is what capitalism is all about, manipulation.  I don’t believe I manipulate, and am touchy when I suspect others might be trying to manipulate me.  Oh I could dig down deeper and discover times when I may have unconsciously manipulated, but if so I apologize.  These reflections led to the “poem” I published on my blog yesterday, and some of the feedback.  I embarrassed myself by the stanza:

Poems mirror the mind, you know.                                                                                                            What are the parts we’re willing to show?
Blood from a refugee’s eyeball
pooling on the floor at the mall?

I might have done better if I’d taken more time.  But, still waking up this morning, I began to wonder who we write poems for.  If we post them publicly on a blog, surely we write for others?  After five years (omg, has it been five?) my readership is miniscule, which suggests that I don’t write for my readers.  (Sorry).

Tho it sounds stuffy, I write from my own muse, who does a good job of comforting me.  I guess I write for the echo.  I recall my tidbit from the past:  Here’s the thing: I’ve been talking through this loudspeaker I found in my crib 80 years ago and just now notice it’s not plugged in.

I realize a line might be drawn between therapy poetry groups and straight ones, but where does a blog fit in?  And now I wonder what’s the difference between trying to make my point versus manipulating you, but at least I’m upfront about it.

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