Oh Say, Can You See?

26 Aug

I can see you
13 rivers red blood brothers
13 pillars victorious mothers

blue promises in the night sky
your stars shining as they guide

give me liberty, give me life
bless the fruit of our strife

o majesty, wave your banner over us
bless our battles in the dust

your colors dipped in God we trust
I can see you, I will be you
wave, wave, wave

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one thousand places where you are not

24 Aug

rollinggreen grassy field, zephyrs concourse
saltcresting gulfstreamwaves, miles from land
hayloft of a barn, Tennessee horse farm
mossyaired spaces in between forest trees
nestlecurled beside a hollow rotting log.

Mexican rooftop, anotherplease tequila
sunrise filtering through empty playground
swings, floatspinning down a lazy river
in a warm rainstorm, poundingpavement
in the everincreasing heat of daytime.

an airplane holding pattern slowwaltz,
banking over the Panama Canal,
hilltopview of Manhattan, twin lights, painted desert
highwaygunning towards Pacifica, that
bar in Copenhagen, wintermidnights
on west 57th. the Jewish weddingdance
in Buenos Aires, au pied de cochon
Amsterdam, Aachen. Gare de Lyon.

who do I kid not? you were there, are
there, always will be and anywhere
elseplace I go you ceasenot
to leave your footprints for
even the windleaves they carry
your indelible invisiblemark
even in watersounds i hear your
wonderous laughter

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Places. Kennings. An experiment and some truth. Can you guess the influences?

Take a listen:

Break Through

20 Aug

I’m looking for a spoon.
I’m looking for a spoon
to crack an egg. To smack
through the oyster shell
of my heart, the soft boiled
container of my soul.
That shining spoon
has to fit my fingers
it needs to be surgical steel
with the right balance
of stem and bowl
so when it thwacks
upside the egg, it’s ready
to dig, to scoop out
all the glorious goo,
all my runny ideas
and inspiration in one
yellow flow, but first
I need that spoon.

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The Audience Awaits

5 Aug

I went outside to watch
the stars tonight, curled
in my Adirondack chair
but those stars, I swear,
peered right back at me
blinking their diamond eyes
in the quivering silence
as if saying in unison,
So, what are you
going to do next?

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Pelicans Pause

29 Jul

Perched upon pilings,
pelicans pause, pensively
primping and preening.

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We went to Ponce Inlet, FL last Saturday to participate in a poetry reading at Lighthouse Park (I got to read 4 poems, YAY!). Afterwards I wandered around the neighborhood taking photos. Across the street from the park, at the marina, there were a bunch of large pelicans perched on pilings, almost 20 of them. Pelicans are curious birds, and I love to watch them. This group seemed to be waiting for the resident head boats to come back from their morning fishing trips.

Wrote a haiku about them, because lately I have been in a haiku sort of mood.

This Idea Must Die (American Sentences)

24 Jul

This idea must die:
The Tao of Twitter
Calming your angry mind.

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A found poem at my local library, culled from the “newly released” bookshelf.

American Sentences are a type of modern haiku invented by Allan Ginsburg. They are Sentences with 17 syllables and can be solo or in groups.

The Armchair Railman

21 Jul

My Dad, he loved trains
he loved the chug of them
the noise and wind
of a full steam scream
the metal and fire and hold on
for  your life, looking
for the next stop
coming round the bend

Standing on a platform
with places to go,
hat in your hands
miles stretched long
stitched across the land
heads hanging out
windows, whooshing past
abandonded depots
in towns that time forgot

My Dad, he loved trains
never met a station
he didn’t like, and
built railroad altars
throughout his life
to hold those engines
in the palm of his hand
my Dad, he loved trains.

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Well, thanks Bill. This is the type of prompt that I need. Something to help me out of my poetic rut.

Trains are in my blood. They are an Eyde Thing (as are planes, but let that be another poem). My dad loved trains, and he knew all the lines, all the railroads, used to travel to obscure places just to see their train stations. He was famous for saying, “the train used to stop here, in this little place!” with the same tone of nostalgic amazement, every time. Trains brought life, and my dad celebrated that. It fascinated him, much like boats and ports and maritime history fascinates me. Ever since I was a small child he used to buy train sets and built model railroads with my brothers and I. He never stopped, up until he passed away at the age of 71 he built train sets and models. It was his indulgence in his later years.

The photo is of the old train depot in Gettysburg, PA. I took this photo while I was visiting Gettysburg with my mom and one of my daughters. Local legend says that President Lincoln arrived at this station with his train car when he came to deliver the Gettysburg address. Gettysburg is a bit off the beaten track, so it didn’t get much traffic and the train station shut down in the mid 20th century. My Dad went to college at Gettsyburg, and I imagine that he probably got a kick out of the train station there, just a couple of blocks from campus but historically significant because of it’s place in time and history.

The Philosophy of Disposal

19 Jul

so much depends upon
the backseat of a car
a sundress, a boyish grin

so much can happen in
a makeshift time machine
your hands, gentle in my hair

so much depends upon
the urgent silence of
not taking ourselves too seriously

with you, I never felt time
slip so quickly
through my fingers, before

and letting you go
is the bravest thing I’ve ever done
with a smile on my face

but none of this explains why
I feel like I am missing a limb
the ache of which haunts me

Live oak tree limbs.

Live oak tree limbs.

I have been tiptoeing around my thoughts and ideas, looking for something to spark a poem. I have been wanting to write for several weeks, but I have been holding back, knowing that my thoughts are not clear, my feelings too raw. There are things I don’t have words for. There are things I don’t want to put into words, because words are insufficient. Silence can be a good friend.

Last week, Brian posted a prompt over at Dverse, to write a poem about the philosophy of something. The first line of a William Carlos Williams poem immediately came to mind, so I used that as a springboard for this poem. I tried to keep it raw.

Full Tilt

6 May

Like spring
you came on strong
arousing me from a dream
with birds in my ear, mornings
awakening into a cacophony
of call and response, let me tell you
I know how the flowers feel
as they wait for the bees

noon was rising
a sudden, full burn
like summer
that left my head spinning
hazy visions of a future, elusive
the way heat dances above
a stretch of highway
which sems to go on forever

all senses full tilt
I was aware, every nuance
of you, each part of me affecting
you became a harvest
a gorged Indian Summer
and spinning, spinning,
you made the leaves leap
off my branches
like fall.

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Taking a Step Back

18 Apr

I am going to take a step back from writing for a while. I am going to try being a student of poetry instead.

I started this poetry blog two years ago, in April 2013. Since then, 262 people have liked my poems enough to follow my blog! It has been a wonderful thing. I want to take a moment and thank you all for following and liking my poems. I have been very encouraged by your participation in my blog, at a time when I needed it very much.

Of the 200+ poems I wrote during the past two years, I chose to keep about 40 that come straight from my heart. Of the poems that I decided to keep online, most of them were written about people I love, places, and experiences that have moved me. They are all linked on the right hand side of the screen. I hope you enjoy them.

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