Below are the all-time best Allan Koven poems as chosen by PoetrySoup members
What is life?
Euphonies, cacophonies and chromosomal anomalies
intertangled destinies and illusive methodologies
Occurring in obscure dimensionless time
Millenniums fertilized to create the sublime
Perceived by ideations so pure it would seem
To exist beyond mind and to all in between.
Lingering as lore to an all distant past
There is no redo, there is no redraft.
The questions, the answers so rightly proclaimed
are composed and transported by thoughts still unnamed.
In limited struggle, the moments unspent
Become the result of a living lament.
In what and wherefore and why and with whom
we unwrap our existence in this paradoxical womb
Can we find meaning, a clear sign that we see
inclusive to all, this existential decree.
From naught made of all and conceived in a star,
we landed on earth, neither near nor afar
For reasons unknown and telegnosis unclear,
These salient projections are all jockeyed by fear
We stand in the way of unknowing surmise
And find the world is still much a surprise.
A quest overwhelming in distressed sanity
For answers not known play havoc to vanity.
To end these remarks with a questionable phrase
all becomes known in 'one of these days.'
From the moment of birth to when we die, life presents us with dilemmas and questions that amuse, titillate and confuse us. As we get older, we realize that what we thought we knew was all pure conjecture. This poem is meant to reflect the myriad of disjointed thoughts that have run through my mind throughout the years. The "why me?" and "what is my purpose in life?" questions usually are met with ambiguity and incoherence.
Many of us are beleaguered with these conceits and although some find solace in religion, for people like me it becomes an existential never ending struggle.
It seems I always
against the current.
of conflicting contradictions
and unsweetened scripts
at odds with others
in deeds and words
a emotional dissonance
played out over a lifetime.
banged and buffered hard
against the onflow;
prevailing opposites rush
to assail my efforts
intent on wearing me down
scraping, scarring, challenging
calling me out with
harsh ridicule and doubt
why must I cause stirred sediments
to muddy, blind and bewilder me
blurring reason so that
what is seen as truth
often becomes mixed
with drama and ambivalence?
how righteous is the direction
of this timeless stream?
shall I swim with it or against it?
go one way or the other;
does it really matter?
I cannot give up
I cannot relent...
this is who I am
a person searching
for kindred spirits
to swim backward
against the current.
to find some direction,
some marker that guides
this hurrier to a another plane
of purposeful existence.
I think most people at some time are contrarian.
Some from the start; others in their teens.
Some all through their life.
I can't remember being otherwise.
In retrospect, am I really that different
or do I use it an excuse
to be noticed? Perhaps both.
Beauty abides, and as her lover,
I lift her veil to see transparent eyes glimmering
with an enticement worthy of seduction.
Touching some primordial passion,
she wreaks havoc on my senses.
And graces me with unspoken words
that promise delightful pleasure.
Beauty reigns as Queen supreme.
Upon her throne she emanates majesty
with an exquisite demeanor and
I stand back intimidated and shy.
Who can reframe this emotion?
Not a poet or artists brush.
Her soft rolling hills and gentle valleys;
expectations of undiscovered treasures
fire an imaginative pose
I am bound up in a mystic rush
that dominates like a drug's addiction.
And in a exotic haze I lie dreaming
of ephemeral caresses,
highly charged currents
that flow unrestricted around
her coveted reactive spaces.
Alone, with thoughts in time displaced,
I wonder, does she entrance all others?
Or in my silent muse am I the only one
transformed and felled by her abstract beauty?
Her allure is enduring, enshrined for all to see.
The recherche picture of her memory
never grows old and she still remains
indelibly imprinted on my erotic mind.
10-12-2012 Revised 9-25-2013
A question for you...
1.) Is the poem about a woman?
2.) or is it about a beautiful mountainous valley?
Life is like a coloring book
with few or many pages
filled with complex
We are given a box of crayons
and are asked to color in the
background and spaces of the images
Sub-titles are allowed.
When the coloring book is finished
we are given a new one to complete.
REINCARNATION THINKING 2 -SOUL SEARCHING
Was I once before or never
Don’t know how or even whether
I was a firefly, a bird of prey
a centipede, a fish fillet?
A baseball fan to keep the score
a mockingbird, a carnivore?
A blossom in the midst of spring
a sign of what the day might bring.
A germ grown in a Petri dish
a chicken bone an unmade wish
All things and species could I be,
even remnants of a tree.
Of all of these, I leave this post,
I am for now what I am most.
MORE QUESTIONS ON RE-INCARNATION
As 'core' beliefs thicken so,
does it leave us room to grow?
As aging souls say we must,
complete the cycle which was thrust
upon our bucolic living place
turned upside down in whorling space
searching for a redemptive life.
But for you, dearest one, do you not remember
before you arrived, you took this bucking horse of soul,
tamed it, labeled it and proclaimed it.
To become what you needed in order
that your ride be contained and controlled.
It's name is 'balance' and it keeps you level in the saddle
so you don't fall off.
REINCARNATION THINKING 3 -
If, we are on a soul journey,
then what must that soul become?
A better soul? A wiser soul?
A sad soul? A learned soul?
Until one reaches the end of time,
There are so many lives to live out
to fully experience all aspects of this world.
Animals, plants - more souls searching?
One can speculate, but from my perspective
none of it makes sense.
Was the Phoenix reincarnated?
Or was its embers reignited?
Perhaps before a lowly worm or soldier bee
or brown turned leaf upon a tree?
A seahorse, a shark, which fish shall I be?
In fisherman's net to be eaten by me?
And when the cycle is complete
and x equals x on our balance sheet.
Can we then rest in a celestial lair
with memories gone and unaware
of trials by all things forgotten?
If choose I must or chosen by me,
I'll remain in the stars and just wait to see.
TALKING TO ME
Do you ever get the feeling that inanimate objects are talking to you?
Sometimes I do, not often, but sometimes.
Like trees that seem to be murmuring in an unknown language
somehow suggesting a meaning to me.
And clouds when billowed tell me of some distant place I haven't visited.
They display portly faces that look strangely familiar and seem to mouth
Once I heard running water in a stream ripple in nomadic sounds, it told me
the secrets of how to go with the flow.
Flowers often, when in full bloom gossip and say "look at me, aren't I beautiful?"
But when dying cry out say "I was younger then, but now I'm old and frail!"
It seems when picking out socks to wear, I imagine them vying for my attention.
Pick me.. no pick me. And when I do, feel a little guilty that I didn't pick the other.
Once I took out and put back pliers from my tool holder on the wall. One cried out to me saying that I shouldn't put it so close to the other one (considered far inferior). And of course, the screwdrivers made it known that Phillips do not belong with Flatheads.
Should it be, do I have to endure these insults to my sensibilities?
As I said, sometimes.
WATERFALLS, RIVERS AND DROUGHT
The frenzied forces of cold, icy streams
detonate explosively on the rocks below.
Their rapid currents wreak havoc
on logjams caught in crevasses beneath
the mist and rainbowed spray.
We blink in awe to see this
of pretentious power abruptly
become whirling vortexes
of descending splash downs.
But then, almost as quickly, this despoiler settles
and begins to accumulate in multitudes
of rippling bubbles and froth
immediately bleeding onto the embankment
promptly losing much of its potential goodness
swooshed as sucking sounds
into the wild soils of the firmament.
What survives roams free and for awhile
flows in any direction, with no beginning, no end
as the river turns into riverlets
Eddying on without any selected steering.
The rains that used to drip down from the mountain top
cry to see the diversions of the most glorious river
dissipate and dry up knowing that the drought
which has appeared can not adequately supply
sustenance to a parched soil.
For that sunbaked soil to be reclaimed
the river must continue to extend its reach
and water the seeds of new growth.
and use its silt to fertilize the new life
that waits anticipating its turn
in creation's timetable.
CAK 6-04-2012 Revised 6-18-2013
Closed eyes; under a locked prism of unavailable light
subjects our third eye to mind's internal creation;
imagined images viewed by non-existent senses
on an opague three dimensional screen.
In an algorithm of shedded particle waves
Insight quickly fades back into a darkened vision
of only half a picture without reflection.
It leaves with us a broken trail of possibilities
new thoughts, new choices, changes in destiny
warily made under duress of immediacy
trying to conceive a canvas framed
by the hand of God.
It is in response to these panchromatic memories
held back by the sun's blackened light,
that we clearly notice how the prism
reflects an undercurrent. of shadeless secrets
different than the realm of visionary colors.
Sensory detections relinquish an uncompleted picture.
The image within, at times, may reveal an idea.
the transmission of which however placed
when received should strive to become an emotional
mover of otherwise placid thinking where wizened leaders
can in causes wept in sorrow from yesterday's sadness
proclaim a hope for a brighter tomorrow.
When our eyes are shut tight, there is no light or vision.
We are limited to what we see with our inner mind.
Nevertheless there is an internal sense,
a feeling of a creative process going on.
It occurs as insight and often fades into a clouded vision
of a thought picture barely perceived within.
When we leave the path of contemplative thinking,
we lose the benefit of what could have been.
The choices we make are usually expedient
and we struggle to determine
what it is that we really want.
Often we are faced and challenged by outside forces
many of which we deflect as we espouse our point of view
without exploring all the possibilities.
We see what could be and would like to be
hoping that it will make a difference.
and help humanity move forward
to a brighter tomorrow.
FROM WHERE YOU STAND
Quiet, peaceful, erect in the morning light
glorifying creation in silent praises.
The night wind blows in a sacred dance
and whispers heavenly praises to you.
The earth below you holds you in a firmament
and sustains its life with praises for you.
Your bow bends as enchanted echos
resound in praises to you.
As your skin sheds and falls
It rejoices in praises for you.
For you are life,
the beginning and the end
the source and flow
of all that exists.
And for all these miracles
praises don't suffice;
but just the same from all our kind,
forests large and orchards small,
saplings new, and trunks quite tall,
we thank you in praise everlasting.
CAK 9-2012 Revised 9-16-2013
SHARING A NEW BIRTH
Life begets life.
A Miracle takes shape
Bathe in its aura and
let the joy wash over you.
You are the recipient
Of the Creator's great glory.
flavored with amazing grace.
A poem written to my niece
of the birth of her son.
I'm thankful not to be in Canada
Where sad memories live
it asked me for and demanded more
of what I could not give
if you ask what was it worth
for me to have taken the lower berth
I will not hesitate nor eplicate
the answer would be yes.
The lower berth is America.
I love this country and it gave
me the opportunities I needed.
Wrong-right, being equal sides of the same coin
when tossed ends up blown by a blast of wind
and falls out of sight.
So who won the toss? Did it matter?
Knowing and not knowing,
questions and non questions,
to the flipped coin each has a truth all its own.
Could it be that the many sides of destiny are
found in other dimensions?
Age sedates the imperfections of youth
excuses passions and
Yet we heap glory on the culture
of their newly discovered experiments.
Often we tremble to see them go astray
biting away at civilized norms.
But when they reflect our dreams
of hedonistic excesses we smile
and wonder how to recapture the fire
that now simmers; a burnt out ember
of a flaming heart.