Things that seemed poetic were always sad,
though I yearned for sparkle
and my dad's guffaw, which never came.
Familiar things were always drear --
repeated motions in the same old game.
There were only distant glimpses
of budding spring, fleeting views
of daffodils. The strongest
poems dealt me death and dying.
Yet I always hoped, never went under
to gray despair, always dreaming
of a garden of love that we could share.
But those forbidden delights faded
quickly away; the only reality
I understand is the ever-looming
and final one. Nothing's changed.
The strongest poems deal death and dying.
I count my walks through herbs and shells
never knowing how old bones can be fleshed
from a heart bound on scrolls of endings,
and here I am among rows of an orchard…
feet like dust sanded by twelve months
of famine and feast ; somehow the maple boughs
wither from the laundry of evenings’ regret.
Often times, like the gypsy rose,
I climb into the lattice of my family tree
smelling its tar and citrus that knit arms
glossed by twilight’s love,
then raked by froths of autumn’s debris.
Closing a fence as another year shuts off,
I am between silence and scream…
eyes groaning with the music
of an anonymous breeze sheltering
a collected beauty of tragedy and the comedy
of drama: trials pinned by veiled nights
when kinship endures the flood of weather's hands.
It is so, I mean, the certainty of taming
the last ride before new seeds from a new year
twirl upon unborn fruits…
I disrobe the old bones to greet the unknown.
"“In times of test, family is best.” – Burmese Proverb
Charlotte Puddifoot's Open Free Verse Contest
Come and gone like small twister
like the cloud of debris he’s left.
Echoes of Charlie Brown’s buddy Pigpen
blow through the cobwebs in memory.
Left over coffee cups replacing
Transformers still dumped in the attic.
Reams of knarley skateboards, wheel-less,
lay in piles like so much unburnable refuse.
The obligatory hugs and peck, over and done
the never paid chauffeur collapses…
Ah, to have him always near,
So, each kiss was not quite so dear.
The last fair maid on parade has wandered across
the home front, wondering about her predecessor,
still tacked with magnets to the fridge,
still part of my heart and his…
Sons…they say, do not cause such angst.
Couldn’t prove it by this mother.
This maternal blimp of unused helium
was not permitted a girl child.
One did come and fleetingly leave before formed.
We’ll never know the sweetness of her.
Let the image of his manly self disperse, this son..
into the mist as his Father’s has…
to be remembered again, only in times of need, his need,
for to do anything else, would be to rub salt
in an open wound.
Poet: D. Guzzi
*the day after Christmas
We let down the top to soak in the sun
Now that the harshness of winter is done
As you let back the seat and put your feet on the dash
Saying, “keep your eyes on the road I don’t want to crash”
I truly must admit that I’m torn completely in two
The coast has its beauty, then again so do you
As the beauty of the Sun is absorbed by your skin
Like a kid at the candy store I simply want to dig in
If life is a candy store sweetheart you are the treat
All the other candy I tasted, never tasted so sweet
The reason I love summer is because of the heat
The skimpier the bikini, the greater the treat
I can’t begin to express how wonderful you are
Saying, “hey take a look at her I’ll steer the car”
At first I truly had no idea what I should say?
Though now it’s, “ok sweetheart, have it your way”
I think that is because you know these words are true
I may take look at her but I shall forever belong to you
Summer is a time that is as bright as the sun
Out goes the cold as it’s replaced by the fun
We have our barbecues and sit under the stars
Let down the tops and go for rides in our cars
Go tend to our gardens in farmer John clothes
Truly amazed at how fast everything grows
Go hang out at the river as well as the lake
Cover ourselves in oil than let our skin bake
Embrace the moments because these words are true
The days last much longer and the sky is so blue
The dog days of summer I reckon that’s so
We bark and howl at folk we don’t even know
If life is banquet then summer is the feast
I think we should gobble it up, to say the least
Written for john's Summer contest.
* Written for my daughter, who really does have a precious pair of Little Yellow Socks.
Little Yellow Socks
by Amy Swanson 12/5/2008
Little yellow socks
running down the hall
"Slow down with those socks on,"
I'd yell... too late, the fall!
Little yellow socks
padding softly late at night
climbing up into my lap
one more hug, out goes the light.
Little yellow socks
follow me with squeals of laughter;
Oh how she loves to run in them,
Begging me to come chase after!
Little yellow socks...
now not being worn a lot.
My little girl is growing up,
No longer just a tot.
Little yellow socks
will be cast aside someday
I must guard these precious moments;
in my heart, they'll safely stay.
Slice me with your tongue,
Razor blade wounds,
To suck out all my poisens,
Sweet lonely lullaby,
Accusing eyes of sadism,
Picture perfect prodegy,
My Deadly Sin,
A bitter taste of arson,
Burning in my vital organ,
Your the pyre that burns away my mortality,
A sip of tea made from Lilly of the Valley,
A shadow of Death stalking,
With odd angel like wings,
A Numbing kiss like Drowning in Morphine,
Sweet arms to rest in till my vision no longer holds,
Eyes neither like Hell nor Heaven,
That Drip of Drugs into your system,
Intoxicated blood stream,
I'd rather not dream,
And instead get lost within - Your paralysing,
Your Paralysing, Brain lapse,
Your moving too fast,
Stay slow and dreamy,
Like a burning forest fire,
Pain throughout my veins,
Ravishing and Beautiful,
A voice torn from my throat,
With my last sight of you. . .
Here further down the hillside slope
Down close to the creek with hope
My husband bought a house, land
Fenced in and made many plans
Subdued the land to cow pasture
And planted a garden, fruit trees sure
Fathered another child to call him sir
The creek seemed to like the stir
Enjoyed the children for a little while___
Loved them so that it made her smile
Today she loves grandchildren the same
No girls there are in frills ___tame
The creek keeps on flowing to the sea
The land is mostly stripped of trees
(This is my adaptation of Robert Frost's poem "The Birthplace". I hope that it does not insult
Orphaned footsteps round the old place.
Pitch black soil, packed deep with bartered
coin and Indian heads – wood and otherwise,
coat her worn leather shoes, Hutterite chic.
The long land screams within its own silence.
Prairie sage burns somewhere, a ghostly smudge
for the undulating grass and, those it serves.
Its alive scent makes the dead turn towards
its head - and the barely living turn to listen.
The impossibly endless horizon holds its bright
blue at bay, begging acknowledgement for
its self-professed being and looming enormity.
She looks at the broken window glass and
through the tattered, delicate gray lace. “Those
were hers.” She whispers to the one who listens.
This great-great-granddaughter sees the curtains
as they once were – wistful in the hot Manitoba
wind; fresh and lowing with the honest elemental
scent of aspens, hope and bare-knuckle wash boards;
always fresh; shifting in the cry for solace in summer
shadows – never as still as this moments endlessness.
Blowing through the deep brown of splintered pine
front doors; cracking the announcement of cast iron,
rot and burnt wood comes the simple statement of –
I lived. This mother of five young does not cry,
just yearns to walk in the old ones footsteps;
to know them loved; hear the birdsong through
unbroken bedroom windows for a 5am waking;
feel the resistance of dough on fingers that beg
to be broken, and kiss the twisting undead, living.
The burning of the noonday sun taps her whole,
marking; branding her pale Swedish skin its own.
The red sting of burnt breaks her inward silence,
welcoming her familiar face home.
© Kristin Reynolds 3 29 2009
*Reposted for John's Summer Celebration Contest. This is a personal celebration;
celebrating and honoring my great grandparents who settled in Manitoba after leaving
Sweden and Denmark. This celebrates the summer of family, at least for me. We went there
every summer until it was gone...
I do not know?
I never did the
''He loves me not....
He loves me'' game
I already knew nobody loved me
so why should I listen
to a stupid flower?
I did make wishes
after the bloom died
and it was tiny spikes of fluff
waiting to blow away
till next year.
I hated wasting my time
but I couldn't resist.
''If there's even a small hope
that this will work....
I've got to try! ''
I would find a spot
where nobody could see me
and I'd whisper
my one wish
the same wish
Thousands of dandelions
by my pleading breath.
I never told a soul
I wished to be happy
with a husband
who loves me
and kids who love me.
I wished so hard...
I never thought
I am whatever you say I am...
but, let's get back to reality...
Three short years ago, this room shined welcome mats across a screen of doldrums.
A place of unfamiliarity that screamed,
"You don't belong!"
Yet, a voice of reason spoke and said,
"Expand yir' roots. Venture beyond the comfort zone. Academia resides inside that room, but know you won't be alone."
Repeatedly,brainwaves declined what my wife and editor had told me.
"no way, I'm givin' up my soul for free, they read, they pay, like it's always been, the way it's going to always be!"
Unbeknownst to me one day, and with a slight of hand, my "Open Sores" were put on display and surprisingly more than a handful of great ladies and nice guys began to give feedback on what I had devised.
This interaction was something very new, helpful, and impressive. For a change, it was something real.
For years, those around me were quick to give praise with hidden reasons. Constructive criticism is amazing, and I welcomed being corrected or set straight.
Now there are those who choose to shut me down without explanation, and call me names.
DO NOT mistake me for sophomoric! These words bleeding from my guts have no style and need no approval. There is no thinking involved here, no plan. If you don't like it, fine...don't censor or bracket me in. So what if I am illiterate? If you don't like "street poetry" or the pathetic stuff I write, don't read it. If I offend you, tell me.
We should welcome those who are different than us.
Words of truth inspire movement, like fire.
I came to this room to expand my horizons, step outside the box, learn, help, grow.
There will be no apologies dealt for being different, or for being labelled as something uncomfortable to you.
This has been an ok room so far, but there is some clique trickanery going on.
If the dictionary must come into play, let me recommend looking up the term "Poetic License."
True, I may not be the writer you prefer, or aspire to be....but tread carefully my friend, for you have no idea of my profession. I've made a fine living, for a good long time, spewing words onto paper. I came from nothing, and may still be nothing to you...still, I do what I love, have no boss.
I am not an aspiring writer who dreams of a life, I live my dream. In conclusion, I must wish you luck in finding what you peddle poetry for. Until then, keep