From Why Poetry by Matthew Zapruder, pg. 81
Poetry is a constructed conversation on the frontier of dreaming. It is a mechanism by which the essential state of reverie can be made available to our conscious minds. By means of the poem we can enter this state of reverie with all our faculties alert and intact. Poems make possible a conscious entry into the preconscious mind, a lucid dreaming. …We can be aware of reverie while it is happening, and can hold onto that experience in the poem. Reading the poem allows us to achieve, consciously, a particular kind of very precious awareness.
The deer said to the little girl,
Then the black bird
The sky said to the little girl
She looked to the
The tiny yellow bird whispered
The white bird then spread her
The yellow flowers
Reflecting the rain’s
A blue bird sang a song
An owl hooted all night long
The alligator with his deep croak
The brilliance of the 200 year oaks
Reminded the little girl
She would never be alone.
The Hill Path
by John C. Gilmore
Day-dusk was a lonely time
to walk the path up to your house.
Sometimes a disinterested garter snake
might cross the path in front ad make
me wary. Or maybe a cautious mouse
would watch me climb.
It didn’t seem too far
if I considered the persistence
with which the hills cast long shadows,
that wavered like ghosts, over meadows
lying silently in the distance.
or if the evening star
was bright for the hour
I might sit for awhile and think
about the way that it hangs there, just so.
or if it is my imagination that its glow
seems to make the darkness shrink
away from it. A flower
stands in the gray aftermath
light. It moves to and fro so slow
that the effect s curiously frightening
if you walk alone. But it’s enlightening
to me, and intimate, for i know
it knows you end the path.
Infant hands, exploring.
Where am I? What is this?
I know that voice–so loud
through the pulsating walls
that held me. So loud, and
scary. I cry for me and for
her, poor soul. The world….
The following poem is re-printed courtesy of Patricia L.H. Black, email@example.com
What’s Wrong with This Picture?
I met some corporations and
because I had a hunch they had
all been adjudged “persons,”
I invited one to lunch.
Oh, that naughty corporation!
As far as I could see,
it had not been taught its manners—
I got no R, S, V nor P.
But since I was the hostess
I had duties to perform,
though this corporation person
was so outside the norm
that making up the place cards
put my thinking to the test—
could I just write General
and forget about the rest?
And since Incorporated is so very long,
tell me what you think—
would it be uncouth of me
if all I wrote was Inc.?
Then, again, there’s gender
to complicate my tale.
Is corporation female
or is corporation male?
Somehow it seems that neither
is appropriate or will fit.
But it goes against my training
to call a person “It.”
Well, I had invited it
so I assigned it to a seat.
Now I had a problem—
What do corporations eat?
Was it carnivorous or vegan?
Some persons can eat seafood
while other persons can’t.
There were peanuts to consider
and corn syrup issues, too.
If I fed this so-called person eggs
would it suddenly turn blue?
What a jolt at lunch time
when the corporation knocked!
When the door was opened
I was shocked, I tell you, shocked!
I’m used to thinking “person”
as my neighbor or my dad
but I was sorely disabused
of all such thoughts I might have had.
There were janitors, clerks and typists,
lawyers up to you know where,
receptionists and file clerks
and scientists to spare;
there were bricks-and-mortar buildings
from here to Timbuktu;
fleets of trucks and warehouses,
the list just grew and grew!
Shareholders by the gazillions,
ships, public and private planes,
and miles and miles of trains.
There were CEO’s and CFO’s
and all sorts of other O’s.
How this “person” would fit
my dining room
the Supreme Court only knows.
Nan wrote this poem:
Written for dVerse’s OLN but unable to post due to ignorance 4/14/16:
My first mom was a microbe–
it is written in my book;
randomness was all it took.
A virgin birth by golly,
no horny teenage folly.
T’was a sideways injection
and without an erection.
That’s the way microbes did it,
linking up to a tidbit
as it says here in my text:
a daisy chain without sex.*
*Life’s Engines by Falkowski, 2016
Evidence says I lie
Though all the world concur–
One voice, and one alone:
The experts cluck and groan,
“No, no! It’s round, not flat!”
Their data second that.
But I prefer my own.
He picked up his pen
before he could think
spread over the page
of the sage
who reddened with rage
at the incredible voodoo
behind his boo boo
and pink ink of the sage.
(Sorry about the quality but I almost did it!)
Written for dVerse as though from another’s point of view:
OUT TO GET ME
On the streets of New York
every woman wears a lasso at her side.
She struts her stuff and gives a wink–
or was an eyelash in her eye?
Her beauty lures me to her until I am
the captor, no longer her, and with
my marriage vows in shambles,
she escapes. There ought be a law.
Me, I stay on the path in the forest. Lord
knows the path is not a straight one,
meandering as it does on the heels of
those who have gone before. Did they
return this way, or do they still walk
the trail? The unknown life beneath
the brush is not silent but pulsating
and hungry. I know, and bear the scars
to prove it. Suddenly a thought comes
to me, and my step falters. Have I not
too come this way before?
we realize we are more
snow than star, and melting
fast into a vast and
unstringed sky. The Milky
Way’s a helix twist
of fate and falling, hidden
’twixt the waning of this
crescent home. We’re high
on helium, hope,
..who knows if the moon’s
a balloon,coming out of a keen city
in the sky–filled with pretty people?
– E.E. Cummings
Come jump into my arms, you furry-feathered verse!
I’ll know you when I see you, either wordy or terse.
Let your metaphor roll in like an occupying force;
sit up high in your saddle on your literary horse!
A shining black stallion, he snorts and passes by,
leaving a desolated mule who gives a piteous sigh.
My metaphor has four legs and is not a happy guy.
He does not jump into my arms or even give a try.
But nuzzles me as though to say,
“Thanks for waiting for me today.”
03/03/2016 by Polly
She won’t give money,
she suspects it would go,
not on food–probably on blow–
so buys a sandwich and hands it over;
her disgust when it’s given to Rover
leads to anger, a decision to never
give to the man who sits on the corner.
He sees her coming with gift in hand,
a patron’s smile, a look so grand,
Lady Bountiful in Jimmy Choo shoes.
The dog is suffering, they’ve had no food
for three days.
The dog has stopped his whining, soldier.
He’s glad of the food and gives half to the stray
sees the look on her face and is about to say,
‘Thank you, I’ll have a bite, too.’
But she’s gone, she’s through,
Lady B in her Jimmy Choo shoes.
© 2016 Polly journalread.com
The World Is Flat After All
Dubbed Democracy, it used to be
top of the line, the lead ship, at sea,
and on the land it served us well,
until the strains of its death knell
baring an underbelly swole
with all the pilfered things they stole
in broad daylight, and on t.v.!
Gone is the half-belief in he
who’ll take us safely to the shore
while staying steadfast to the core.
The compass nestles in the deep
while those on board remain asleep.
They used to say the earth was round,
that right makes might, but I found
that all I knew I now know not,
nor how to tell the truth from rot,
and not so sure that we’ll endure,
to make a safe arrival.
A quadrille is a folk dance or a poem of exactly 44 words, not including title. At dVerse Poets Pub today, we’re writing quadrilles with the word “skip”
Words can touch,
words can chatter,
words could tell you
What’s the matter.
Words can cut,
slice and dice.
In other words
be not nice.
I’ve come to hate:
in the grate.
Empty words like love
go poof like bubbles
in bad weather.
So what can I say
when all is done?
Add a grain of salt
This poem needs tiny shoes
for each and every one of her iambic
feet. She’s ’bout to hit the street and break
c o n c r e t e
and play in the sprinklers.
This poem longs for a pair
of flip flops and a tall cool drink
and some tiny umbrellas.
She knows she would look
sexy in Manolos, but she’s
broke (did we mention she’s a poem,
and therefore somewhat unpaid
and underappreciated and a tad
bit unclothed). But she’s still gonna
take her scantily clad bad self out
for a late-night drink of that crazy
moon. This poem is swoon
-ing over ballet slippers and tall
heeled boots and strappy sandals
that allow stray syllables to spill
right on through. She’s got her
eye on a pair (or two) of Adidas,
so she can fly, or at least run
-on sentence her way across
the city. This poem is pretty
sure her tootsies are content,
though that first little piggie is
squealing. (On second thought, maybe
she’ll just go barefoot, instead.)
Afterwards. When only veins remain, when the bursting buds of love, the “yes” and tingling taste flesh has faded, there is silence.
Today. Fine lines of sorrow etch your face and your hands are rough from labor. But I find your beauty dignified and when we sit at night together there is comfort in our silence. We don’t need words, but communicates in cadence of our breath, and when it’s time you touch my cheek and smile.
Spring. I see in sunlit flashes still the sparks of youth and you. The giggling brooks remind me how we laughed at jokes that were not funny but because we were, just were. I take your hand and smile.
underneath my oak
the broken branches wither —
THE SHADOW AND POETS
There’s a chapter called “The Shadow” in The Poet’s Companion: A Guide to the Pleasures of Writing Poetry, by Kim Addonizio and Dorianne Laux (1997). They write, “The problem is that while the shadow is necessary to the formation of who we are, we end up denying its existence, or at best fearing it.”(p 56)….”Poets can’t afford to be ‘nice’ if they’re to explore the more troubling realms of human experience.” (p57)
How can you gain access to the shadow and mine it for poetry? “Give yourself permission to explore wherever the writing takes you.” Read the original chapter for more on mining the shadow.
I’m just a silly bit of verse
Some poems are better, some are worse
Personified, I have green hair
But on the page no hair is there
There are some crumbs upon my chest
I think that cookies are the BEST!
I have four feet in every line
(I hope that you like Iambs fine)
My socks don’t match, my shirt’s tucked out
I’m out of fashion, there’s no doubt
As verses go, I am a slob
I am a poem, and my name’s Bob.
No resemblance to anyone named Bob, living or otherwise is intended.
(Written for the final day of NaPoWriMo. )