Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Sixty-Third Beginning: Cache of Old Poetry

I have to warn you that most of these are old and most of them haven't been edited.  I do not post them here as an example of good writing.  They're here so that I can throw away the paper copies and give me a bit more room in my file cabinet.

See, I like you well enough to warn you.  I'll also try to put the shortest ones first.  

Small brown footprints walk

     across the red tiles and up

          the carpeted stairs.

[counts out as a haiku]


Ohio trees

Caught season-short and

Full of life at winter's start

Tremble with rage before,

Screaming crimson,

They die.

[I forget the name of this form.  The syllable count is 2-4-6-6-4-2.]



     the book from both ends - - - Write


     when the words begin to

     you are



My lover smiles, his eyes still closed,

With a lazy ease


By pools of warm cats


Like melted crayons on the summer sidewalk;

And the hammock sways

As he moves

His arm to pull me close - 

- deep into his delicious



Buster did it right.
[My father's words.]
He died in his garden
While his wife was out.
Just sat down in the
Upturned wheelbarrow to  nap
And never moved again.

A neighbor noticed
Two hours later.
The coroner's boys
Didn't push the gurney
Down the gravel drive,
Just wheeled him round
To the front.

Father didn't get
A wheelbarrow, but
Did get his wish to
Die in his sleep.


I can meet you now
I am ready
and I have
a good
of what we'll say
and what we'll do

once we meet.

I know the way
your eyes will fold
when a small thought
brings you laughter,

once we meet

I have a 
good idea
I am ready
for good ideas:

I can meet you now.


And the girl found the hawk
in her fourteenth year - 
the hawk with the broken wing.

But the healing was fast
and she set it free
on the noon of her fifteenth birthday.

And it flew away
without looking back
and her eyes scanned the hawkless clouds.

And the old woman's voice
sang behind her ear:

     That is the way of flying - 
     It wears no roads in the sky

     That is the way of flying - 
     It wears no roads in the sky.

[This one is a chant, rather than a poem.  It came with a tune, although, being a chant, it wasn't a very melodic one.  I think that's why the sentences start with conjunctions.]

You know, 
    it should be gone by now,
Melted down 
    to a blunt nub
    from so much use
    in such a warm, wet place.
But there it is
    right on his hand
    if you can see it:
Eric's thumb,
   which slips, pop, into his mouth
A perfect fit,
Damming so much noise
    where it rattles itself still
    with the help of some busy sucking
    and a

For David - - 
     - - who shows lies

forget that stuff about
wrapping him up to
remind him
of the perfect place he'd known.
he'd had enough of
that cramped space
had longed
to s t r e t c h.
just try to bend that kid
in half.

and just try to quiet him
or tell him
he's supposed to be
some other way.
he won't believe.
he's know himself 
since long before
you breathed.

just try - - 
     - - but beware
I won't have him harmed
to protect
your rules.

that's right, David,
rattle your presence

[there are multiple versions of this one]

See her sit
so sure and smug
just sit and smile
look at her sit
see there?
she sits
look at her chin
just see her sit
just sit and smile
just smugly smile
just look
her chin, she lifts
stare straight at her
she lifts her chin
stare at her smile
she lifts her chin and smiles
so stare right back
when she smiles
stare straight into the
pock-eyed faith
of the moon.

[That one's full if sibilants.  I like the words for the sounds of language:  sibilants (s, sh, z, zh), plosives (p, b), dentals (t, d, th), nasals (m, n, ng), fricatives (f, v).  There are others, I'm sure.] -----

Poetry as a Hologram

The poet - - 

     gathering Words,

     polishes some

     mirror-bright  and  Arranges them

     in Exact Pattern;

     stacks and shrinks


     to a grid of fine lines

     which He places


     among the mirrors;

     folds others together,

     compressed tight and ruby-dense

     These (stimulated with reading) emit

     a thin, bright Thought

     that bounces

     in a tangled dance

     among and through the other words

     to form (from their dissonance)

     hanging softly sudden and three dimensioned

     above the page

     (a poem)

[This one was written back in the old days when I was in junior high and National Geographic had articles explaining what these new things called lasers and holograms were.]
[This one needs editing.  It was done quickly to snag an idea.  I had ridden on a bus at night and the driver had left the inside lights on.  That made the windows into reflective surfaces, so that unless you really worked to look beyond the windows, all you could see is reflections of the inside of the bus.]

Night bus
     lit inside, the windows are dark mirrors
     reflecting unplugged faces
     mute as angelfish
     in dormitory pews.  

     click of announcing sign
     button fireflies in unison  
     a football card section
     Yay!  A-Line!  Go, Downtown!

     hiss of brakes,  squeak and rattle
     as the door folds and unfolds.
     heads bob in unison as tires flex,
     grain-heads in a field of wheat

     cardboard ads above
     not, as in Sac, of contraception,
     prenatal care, foster care,
     but of votes and theater.

     in our blind aquarium
     we trust we are going home
     and not riding that other bus
     the one we've seen whose sign reads
Nowhere in Particular.


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