Best Canon Poems

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New Canon Poems

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not worthy of the canon by Goodman, John
CRITERIA OF THE JEWISH CANON 11022011 by Mendoza, Jacqueline R.
HISTORY OF THE PROTESTANT CANON 11022011 by Mendoza, Jacqueline R.
DETERMINATION OF THE BIBLE CANON 11022011 by Mendoza, Jacqueline R.
CANON OF THE BIBLE 11022011 by Mendoza, Jacqueline R.
Canon in D II by Farmer, Jemmy
Winter-Spring Canon by Caliri, Matt
Ace Cannons' Canon by storm, solomon
Self portrait / T. C. Canon by Guzzi, Debbie
T. C. Canon: Woman with Umbrella by Smalling, David

View all new Canon Poems

The Best Canon Poems

Details | Canon Poem | Create an image from this poem.

The Tourist

Have I been one among the chain
of those who come in awe, and strain
to point a finger, poke a nose
into a past, that I don't know
To claim to know, and then exclaim
I understand the sound of pain?

One who gawks, then talks of things
but has no clue of what they mean?
A stranger to a sacred place
ignoring reverence and the trace
of those who dug, then laid the stones,
to make this place a home?
Am I of one who claims to know
Who borrows someone's history?
To journey here, in tourist clothes,
as if this place were mine to own...?

Who stirs the dust and tramps the grounds,
pointing, laughing, checking pamplets
yet, hearing nothing, but the sound
of my own ego echoing...

Only here to click my Canon, take a shot
or quickly have the proof, the lot
to prove to someone back at home
what matters not to them, at all
Text someone far, who doesn't care,
that I've been here or there...?

Have I been one?  So far, so near?
Never  conscious while I'm here
of those who came so long before
Of someone's loss, who laid the stone
or someone brave who called this home?

Who leads me to a crooked  tree
once planted by a family
where lies a child
another, child and all the while
I smile and carry on

Compelled to come....yet, do I know?
I did not own, the years that tell
Nor mine to own, are tears that fell, ...

two hundred years ago?

Resubmitted For Contest: "Premiere Contest # 7"
Sponsored by Skat

Copyright © Carrie Richards | Year Posted 2015

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So if my vocal folds can’t collaborate to produce sounds to communicate loudly to your beautiful mind that I have an endless mission of loving you, can’t there be any mere articulation in my vocal tract to do that? What are my tongue, lips, alveolar ridge, hard palate and velum doing? I never knew that emotions could shut my speech tract. How I wish my speech tract could connect to my heart, so that I can give you a cord of love inserted into my heart, for you to put it into your ears and listen to the words my heart says because I am speechless. I had it in my mind to tell you that you are beautiful, eloquent, and charming. When I drew nigh, I decided to start with the word ‘lady’ to show some decorousness. But I realized my lungs couldn’t even initiate the airstream for my glottis to either widen or narrow to cause my vocal tract to produce the voiceless and voiced sounds in the two syllable word, let alone the nine. Should I comply with those who say action speaks louder than words, so that I can gesture for you to get the feelings better? I thought I was one who could speak like a parrot, but I am now slides before you like carrots. But what could make a spoken word artiste speechless apart from the abnormal? OK! Let’s try establishing causality. The moment I saw you, you blinked your eyes, so probably that muted me. So if you could do that again, it may set me free. Don’t wait for me to tell you that you can cause distraction. Don’t go near a podium mounted by a performer, lest, you will cause distraction. Because that image you carry isn’t what you think. Not even a mermaid, more than strange. Please set me free because you are gradually becoming ‘head of Medusa ‘ , rays from your eyes are communicating with mine and making me motionless like lot’s wife is Sodom and Gomorrah. I came out of volition but it is now at your discretion to let me go, so please take off your eyes and set me free.

Tension within me had converted into electrical energy and burnt my speech tract. So what I am going through is beyond dumb. From a distance, I was in haste to meet you, but the moment I set my eyes on you, as though there were a speed rump- I started moving like a tortoise. What broke the camel’s back was when your eyelids became a canon camera and gave me flash, I became static. I wonder why I am speechless. I wonder why I am speechless. Because I am this man who can stand before a lady and produce lyrics more than ‘sarkology’ album, so I wonder why I am speechless. I could make a lady swim deeper in the pool of sweet words, so I wonder why I am speechless. Movement of my negative lips could attract positive ladies, so I wonder why I am speechless. Perhaps we are both negatives, so we repel. How I wish my vocal folds will touch along their edges from my thyroid and open slightly at my arytenoids to create a creaky sound like ‘huuh’ for you at least get the air of love, but none is working. I have thin vocal folds that can produce nice sounds like the lead guitar, so I wonder why I can’t even stammer. My phonetics is not working, let alone deploy my syntax for you to use your morphology in breaking down the words to achieve semantics.  How unfortunate it is that my speech tract couldn’t let out the words my mind has been saying since the beginning of this piece.


Copyright © CHRISDAD KOJO ARTHUR | Year Posted 2016

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The Trip of my Life

the grace of Paris
lingering in my thoughts. . . 
Madrid’s grimy walls

As our small group of students entered Madrid, it was an early morning in late January. We had left behind us what has been called the most beautiful city in the world, and I had been so enchanted by our two weeks in Paris with its many scenic attractions that my expectations for a semester in Madrid loomed equally high in my mind. Dismally, however, I watched Madrid’s dirty streets and walls come into view through a window of the train as we arrived at the place where we were taken by bus to the “residencia,” that place we would make our home for the next several months. I would be immersed in the culture of Spain, the country whose language and history I had studied diligently and enthusiastically throughout high school. 

Though my first impression of Madrid was not a good one, I very quickly adapted to this capital city in the center of of the Castilian plain. My fondness for the entire metropolis increased as I took daily walks to the stores, cafes, museums, parks and other places of amusement or of historical importance.  Studying at the residencia was not the real education I was to receive, for the learning was not so much in the books as in the experience of going on excursions nearly every other weekend. We visited many regions of Spain and also of Portugal: the Pyrenees with their gorgeous verdancy, the beaches along the Mediterranean coast, and the vast southern region, La Mancha, where the legendary Don Quixote  rode forth on his quest and where a sultan of Granada had built a palace for his many wives. We also enjoyed  the burning of a multitude of papier-mâché “fallas” on the street corners of the city of Valencia as well as the colorful spring festival of Seville along with visits to castles, museums and cathedrals too numerous to name. 

We visited tiny insignificant places such as San Roque when we stayed at a convent before embarking on a small journey across the Strait of Gibraltar into the strange and wondrous land of Morocco. Too many were my experiences to discuss them all here unless I were to write a book! In our small group, some of us were given nicknames. Because I was the one and only student who seemed to be always trying to get everyone to “speak only Spanish” and because I was constantly taking pictures with my trusty Canon camera, I became known as “Miss Spain,” a name which I relished. I and my few closest friends would often wander off onto streets removed from the typical tourist’s route. The photos I took in these places are among my most treasured!

sounds, flavors and aromas. . .
snapping photos

In the end, it all came back to Madrid -that central capital city of a nation whose diversity I was able to happily experience for myself in those four short months I so eagerly lapped up. In Madrid I had also met a handsome   Madrileño with whom I tried to practice my Spanish, stumbling my way through conversations with his friends and family. In early June, the time came for us to leave that great city. We would visit Rome, Athens and Jerusalem before returning to Paris and then England, our final stop before going back home. Indeed, it was to be the trip of my life, for I can not imagine such an opportunity ever coming my way again! When we left Madrid for our last time in early June, I was on the verge of really “getting” the Spanish language, so I felt heartsick to have to leave so soon. Not one other person in my group seemed to share the melancholy of “Miss Spain” as she sat at the back of the bus looking back at the figure of her boyfriend fading away forever with the streets of Madrid. 

friends’ happy chatter
as the bus pulls away . . . 
my guy waving bye

Aug. 21, 2017 for Deb Guzzi's Haibun Contest

Copyright © Andrea Dietrich | Year Posted 2017

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volga 1 - 3

( while taking a tour through those poems readers are requested to keep in their hands,  a
feather from the pea-cock’s tail )

Volga - 1 

there might have been some provocation 
on the part of the  rat’s bible  

it is not known when and how 
every piece of sleep that spatters  
from the oesophagus of the dip-swimming  
has stick to the c-sharp 
of the newly-purchased tooth-brush

the air within the wish-bicycle 
figures nothing less

how much is it necessary now
to murder the blue-hue  with the study 
that can be saved by the depression of the Ganges-basin 
to develop the snap-shot of the garland-exchange with the 
antiseptic cream

would you think it for some moments 
my lord
the lord of the market

before sending any secret e-mail 
to the cyclone 
residing in the room 
behind the stair-case
let the Volga be read once more 
with all its clothes 
and hair-styles 

Volga - 2

the winter of the water-canon 
oxidised by the fireflies
wants to touch every bamboo-flute 
of this soil, it seems

as if it plays
in the body of every cauliflower 
 the total memorising-skill 
of  the blue and yellow pyramid

and if some lines of changes 
in the planet be added
the birth-day of the bolster 
that goes to the sea
may learn with a lesser effort 
the pollen-efficiency of the nail-marked walls

how much should I scold the squirrels 
who don’t want to swim
in the still-water of the black-board  

Volga – 3

the green-circuit of the fried-almonds
that was submerged 
in the open-hair of the afternoon
the whole-night workshop 
has taught 
the thumb-impression is to be put 
how far below it 

if the autobiographies are planted 
into the drawer of nature 
the solubility of the river-reed 
gets it done too late at night 

all the plus-signs around
from their etiquettes
come down   

so many foot-notes
caused by the season-changes

so before planting life 
to the address of the wall-lamps
it seems the cotton-flower
written by the oceans 
began yawning

Copyright © murari sinha | Year Posted 2010

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The Revolver

Scene 1:

There once was a man
filled with joy
a wife, a home
and a cute infant boy

Everything was grand
with twins on the way.
A spontaneous dog
who liked to play.

One day in the spring
He'd receive a call.
It was about his family.
the phone would suddenly fall.

Scene 2:

The car came out of nowhere
smashing head on the passenger side
Killing the infant son immediately,
in the ambulance his wife would ride.

Para-medics rushed frantically
to relieve the blood draining from her head.
With the severity of the wounds
death was inevitable,
They said!!

At one thirty-four this spring afternoon,
Four citizens were pronounced dead.
Someones wife, someones children
That is what the obituary read.

Scene 3:

A month later in the basement
of his quaint little country home.
He sat for hours thinking.

The thoughts of re-uniting
with the family he once had.
Drunk now thinking suicide,
he knew it would be bad.

Palms sweaty, vision blurred.
Vexed, praying for what comes next.
Reaching for the instrument,
his mind perplexed.

Scene 4:

He lifts the Smith & Wesson revolver
from its resting place.
Thinking of nothing but his family
placing it in the middle of his face.

Pulls the trigger,
at that moment all went black!!

Scene 5:

He wakes up
His puppy licking his eye.
He looks at his dog,
then begins to cry.

When pulling the trigger
of this canon of a gun.
Instead of death he passed out.
As for bullets, there were none..

Jared Pickett

Copyright © Jared Pickett | Year Posted 2009

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A ambiguous music of love

Still  could feel the saccharine notes
played on the alluring eyes where I lost myself
for a while.
It flattered  the  vanity of the  mysterious silence 
I wished to last long !

The innocence psyche of a stranger
enthralled the shadow of a crimson light ,
shinning towards a unknown desire.

But time flies...
before could open the door of a  shadowy charisma,
a ray of canon coalesced into a flash called alter ego.

Everything redesigned here after 
and a new hail embellished a new sky.
The essence of the rain drops 
introduced with the new river passed nearby.

I became totally bewildered
may be  was missing the passionate silence,
that was whispering a lot without making any noise.

A ambiguous music of love 
was drifting on the ocean of my heart.
And finally the fragrance of moderated emotion
propelled me to sink into the depth of the river.

Still the river is flowing 
and am too with all its up and downs.
I don't know about those eyes;
either closed or hold the story still alive !

Wish them a happy journey with new sight
to greet the soul and heart without any finest sacrifice.

Copyright © Nilima Deb | Year Posted 2016

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Beautiful Oblivion

Sit and watch the thin, blank dawn
that never quite sweeps you off your feet.
Wrestle with memories that don't want to be suppressed,
and repress the urge to canon-ball into the ocean. 
(sinking: sinking slowly, because you never learned how to swim.)

Listen to rainbows churning in oil-spill puddles,
and wait for the beautiful oblivion to take its toll.
Somewhere inside you know things will never be the same again,
but that's okay with you, sickening as it seems.
(you want to float away into seaweed forests and play fetch with the big, bad wolf.)

Dream of living a full, happy life
while you tear your world apart.
Sell your body to those dark, dank demons in your cerebrum,
whimpering and wondering deep into the night. 
(praying for a chance to show your worth while you still exist.)

Sink low beneath the foaming sea,
wring out your hands and paint your thighs with scarlet letters.
Let the wolves lap the salmonella from your fingertips
and wrap yourself in red - lay face down in the snow, don't breathe too deeply:
(someone dances in snowflakes nearby.)

Watch the thin, blank dusk
that never quite sweeps you off your feet.
Wish for brazen arms and a warm crook of the neck to rest in.
Hug yourself beneath the covers and silently cry; you know now...
(no one wants to comfort a girl who craves suffering.)

You will never be what anyone wants. 

Copyright © Elizabeth Nathaniel | Year Posted 2011

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Symphony in the Desert

Ragged notes of unsung sorrow
stretch toward the heavens
in undefined

trails of symphony
aching for forgiveness
follow in pristine  pitch

night sky alive with 
unearthly splendor, eclipsing
moons, stars and planets
in its utter

A canon in perfect D
floods my heart
in answer

I return ragged notes
in gratitude.

Copyright © Jill Martin | Year Posted 2006

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The mild Cape Town winter weather triggers blooming of the Heather. The Erica shines their lanterns among the Foxtail Ferns. The white clouds overhead feather. The Silver Trees create a foil against which the flora toil. The King Proteas are gearing up to supply a feast for birds to sup. The Cape Cobras in slumber coil. The Aloes have many a use and can withstand much abuse. The fiery red Cape Honeysuckle led the cultivated hedges to buckle. Mountain fires lit by the obtuse. Our proud heritage was in full bloom - a rambling pathway the only room. Scorched earth, naked and black; sustenance of the soil now sadly lack. The canon on Signal Hill booms.
Official New7Wonders Inauguration of Table Mountain in Cape Town: 2 December 2012 Picture of the King Protea, the national flower of South Africa:

Copyright © Suzette Richards | Year Posted 2013

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a real relationship

I want a relationship that'll bring championships. 
I don't want to be reading fake scripts. 
I want something that's real. 
So my heart won't ever have to heal. 
I want that kind of thrill. 
Some people had said this. 
And still went on to have a fake kiss. 
I'm not like that. 
I like to chat. 
I'll listen. 
And I'm a Christian. 
I don't want a random companion. 
I want a companion that'll help me become a champion.
I want someone who shares the same beliefs and not someone who thinks I'm underneath. 
I want someone who can handle my jokes. 
Not someone who'll give me strokes. 
I don't want someone to change my personality. 
I want someone who can adapt to my family. 
I want someone to love. 
Not someone to shove. 
I don't want drama. 
That always comes with karma. 
I want a girl. 
And definitely not hurl. 
Maybe your that companion. 
Just let me shoot you out of a Canon to be sure. 
And let's see if your mature. 
Honestly I don't know where to go now. 
If you have a cow. 
I'll help you chow down. 
Oh boy I hope I meet clown.

Copyright © Dakota Burroughs | Year Posted 2016

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A Pirate Drinking Song

A Pirate Drinking Song

Yo-Ho-Ho and a bottle of rum
Pirates sing to the pipe and drum
North wind blows with a Gale's horn
Snapping the canvas with a deafening mourn

Battles are fought, plunder is sought
To ports abound, it is Rum that is bought

We ride the waves seeking adventure and plunder
It is Neptune’s wrath we curse, by thunder
The sea, she bares a woman’s desire
To set each sailors heart a fire

Battles are fought, plunder is sought
To ports abound, it is Rum that is bought

Canon and cutlass, powder and gun
We cut down are foes, one by one
To Davy Jones locker our souls will sleep
A funeral of apathy in the briny deep

Battles are fought, plunder is sought
To ports abound, it is Rum that is bought

With a hardy crew and an open sea
It’s a pirating life I want for me
Till then we will sing of the scallywag scum
Yo-Ho-Ho, Another bottle of Rum

Copyright © Brian Cecil | Year Posted 2015

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Johnathan, Innsley, Marie, and Paul ---
Tom, Trish, Bea, and Jack:  all of them.
Black, white, asian; Jew, gentile, zen...
Sex, art, love, mores revolved,
entering ever-shallower circles of discovery.
Clear ice cubes clanked on glass;
religion, sex, quality imported Scotch
and Cuba made the rounds.
Conversation calmed, each with his own idea:
the ultimate word.
Fake furs, donned, drifted into oblivion.
Feeling alone, J. C. cleaned up.
From the dulled Johnson's Wax luster
on a genuine Duncan Phyfe table,
his distorted rumpled reflection
stared up at itself.
J. C. looked away, noticed four new white rings,
picked up a soiled Canon towel,
and wiped away three beads of water,
a few ashes, and himself.

Copyright © Leo Larry Amadore | Year Posted 2012

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If interviewed on the subject of the sonnet
What man has brought me endless cups of tea?
They’ll say I’ve got a Queen Bee in my bonnet
The male groupies will not type my poems for me.

What golden mother lives without inspiration?
What sister can be truly herself, and tackle
The canon in the patriarchal cold, the purgation
Of miles of libraries with the truth a hackle?

The worst thing is that there’s no male muse - 
I don’t feel the marginalisation or the neglect
Quite as much as the possibility I might lose
The reader in the absence of his call-collect - 

And I must be very careful with my man - 
I lose a husband if I kiss a fan.

by Rosemarie Rowley

Copyright © Rosemarie Rowley | Year Posted 2014

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That an oral tradition has had such a lasting impact on humanity is astonishing.
Since they first came out of the mouths of people, 
they have shot forth like an ever expanding bullet. 
Through the barrel of time, always changing; morphing into other languages,
distorting and splattering themselves onto pages with God as the culprit.
1455: Gutenberg disassembles that power at the pulpit, and with his machine made it safe to handle the story, and for it to continue--fully automatic in the hands of the people.  
Loaded onto ships, cocked back, bound in leather, and overseen by sages they became
canon fodder for vast bodies of people.  Left to ponder this; the power of the old English word, and if all the dead had heard.

Copyright © Joshua Pracchia | Year Posted 2014

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Strutting with swagger while singing along.
I am the epitome of arrogance a hundred percent strong.
Trying my dynasty to destine the cause,
I formed a voice of expression.
Walking in mediums to speak to the crowd,
My poetic mien capitalized.
I am a Diva now.

This demeanor was everlasting as I learnt the score.
I epitomized to be discovered.
I published my poetry in a philosophical style,
A rhetorical performer renowned writes about religion, politics, and life.
Quixotic philosopher orates to down-to-earth people today.
Fulfilling a void that may have manifested via slavery.
Palpable to mind, body, and soul as the words she speaks inner cores.

A Poetry Diva and a voice -
A political powerhouse has been a canon among us.
Her swan song is in perpetuity.  

A s
S tandards suggest
W e must live life to its fullest
A s
N oetic beings
S o we can form vision to explore
O f life and of recourse.
N oesis possess.  
G odspeed we are within.
Scribe August 26, 2015!

Copyright © Verlena S. Walker | Year Posted 2015

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The Tigers Eye

My Canon SLR, is set, night light on, but it’s only still dusk
Positioned waiting hoping for the promised elephant with tusk
Crouching low a rustling in the hot scrub grass close by
I turn slowly hoping, but look straight into a tigers golden eye…

An overpowering smell my nostrils do detect
A deathly smell of blood, on my life I do reflect
The eye of the tiger with its golden hue
He seems so neat, almost manicured too…

The white stripes round his wide open eyes
The crackle of dry grass, the buzz of the flies
The sweat does drip, down my nose
My heart beats fast, the shutter won’t close.

His small ears on such a large head do mesmerise me
The long, long whiskers twitch, so I believe it is a he.
Do I move? Do I breathe? What am I to do?
A tiger with black pupils, why didn't I bring a crew.

Looking through my lens, I see his nose twitch a little bit
I am on his menu it was then the shutter did click
I’m drenched in sweat; he lowers to pounce, this will be goodbye
My prayers are said, my life relived, I know it’s time to die…

Straight through the lens, but what I really did not see
He’s looking to my side, my prayers are answered it isn't me
A sigh escapes, I dare to breathe, I turn as slowly as I dare…
That’s when I spot a flock of gazelle; one of them will be his fare

© 26/11/2012 ~GG~

  Contest Entry for: Viewing Life Through A Lens

Copyright © Mandy Tams The Golden Girl | Year Posted 2012

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From chaos to cosmos
From cosmos to Barbados
From Barbados to Cricket

Fifty odd years
CAT EEG Resurrection
An original me?

If you know
The fundamental difference
Between 1 and 2

First comes the moon
Second comes the yellow
Last come the clouds and bats

They move cannons
Blasting chicken fodders
Canon of polite society

The sun moves
From east to west
From Angels to Demons

12 billion years after
Jesus rose
To shed his blood

Shadows and the lights
A road between, a pass
Tomb and randomizer truss

F=(x, y, z)

Since x=y
Earth exists
And will be


A big number
But small

Translation x
Interpretation y
Transportation z

There is no one like you, 
And there is no God but you
Why kill?

The arrows
And a Japanese welcome

Swedish meadow elves
Warped, frame of reference

We are in God
Dead shall come alive again in God
There will be one house, hearth, Lord

11.2 km-secs
Escape velocity
To earth, to earth, to home

Blowing out a candle
Heaven interpretation
Nirvana, a candle

My opponents
Brought an oxymoron
For me, pretty ugly

A mirror

Lost in translation
Nothing lost in mistranslation
But you

Pigs are social insects
Bees are feral pigs
Cats are ants in a defense colony

Women in default mode
Susan, Mary, Debbie
Shower love on everybody

Bats and beeps
Critter’s wings
Pandora’s pigs

They smashed squirrels
It had happened, to a great extent
With us

If you need fire
Go to a dragon
A female dragon

With all calculations
I could not find
Her hemming and hawing

They died in summer
Drove car in winter
And married in fall

He misspelt 'love'
He was dead fifty tears back
In the act of correcting

Some chimps
    Some elephants
            Some ants

Let's go out to the field
And then and only then
Cain slew Abel

Note: They are not Haikus by form or convention but they are not null-haikus, non-haikus, proto-haikus, pre-haikus,rogue-haikus,rig-haikus or anything like that. They are haikus by " spirit".

15th October,2015  19:35:29

Copyright © RAJAT KANTI CHAKRABARTY | Year Posted 2014

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Bharathidasan's Pulikku nAy enta mUlai, Translated by T Wignesan

Bharathidasan’s “Pulikku nay enta muulai” (To the Tiger, the Dog knows no safe dwelling!) translated by T. Wignesan 

Bharathidasan (1891-1964) was a self-proclaimed disciple of the eminent Brahmin poet: Cuppiramania Bharathiyar (cf. two poems of his already posted). Born in Pondicherry – a French enclave in Tamil Nadu - he solded a lasting friendship with Bharathiyar during the 1910s when the latter sought refuge there from the British Adminstration as a political agitator.  For more details, check my article at 

For Tamils, Tamil is their mother-tongue, we said 
For Tamils, Tamilakam is their motherland, we said 

In Tamil Nadu what might the stranger yet seek to wreak? 
From the pouncing tiger where might the dog refuge seek? 
Drowsily withering subjection Tamils have known - enmity 
Won’t it be reduced to nought the day they wake up?

The ill-intentions of those in the North, their bones
Might crushed be given the might of the Tamil people. 
Let each in his own land freely make his home - let
The coveting of another’s land be crushed with force! 

Let a carefree existence the whole world envelope! 
Raised hands should good works accomplish before rest! 
There was a time the world cowed to the Tamil people - then 
Did the Tamils think of setting up their own colonial rule? 

Arrogate the right to property over other peoples’s goods 
Were there those amongst us who wrought thus back then


Pulikku nAy enta mUlai! 
tamilarkkut tamilE tAymoli enrOm 
tamilakam tamilarkkut tayakam enrOm 
tamil nAttil ayalark kini enna vElai? 
tAvum pulikkoru nAy enta mUlai? 
tUnkiya tuntu tamilarkal munpu - pakai 
tulakum anrO elunta pinpu? 
tinku purikinra vatakkarin enpu 
sitaintitac ceytitum tamilarin vanpu 
avanavan nAttil avanavan vAlka - mar 
rayal nAttaic curantutal atiyOtu vilka! 
tuvalata vAlkkai ulakellam sulka! 
tUkkiya kaikal aramnokkit tAlka! 
tamilanuk kulakam nAtunkiyatuntu - ankut 
tannatci niruvita enniyatunta? 
tamatE enru pirar porul kontu 
tamvala enniyOr enkular pantu! 

Some reflections (abridged here) on the above poem with respect to the Tamil classical literary corpus: 
     Classical Tamil literature of the Cankam period, around the 2nd to the 5th century A.D., and the post-Cankam epic and religious compositions up to about the 10th century or so is handed down to us in strict prosodical structures and clothed in literary conventions whose canon was already laid down in the ancient treatise on linguistics, prosody, and poetics: Tolkappiyam, according to conservative estimations, as early as the 3rd century B.C. The reason for this is evident. Until the printing press was implanted at Tranquebar, a little to the south of Pondicherry, when Father Beschi, an Italian Catholic missionary who wrote and translated from the Tamil into Latin, in the early 17th century, all of Tamil literature was written down and preserved in perishable palm-leaf manuscripts whose longevity was limited to between two to three hundred years, depending on the quality of their conservation. As such, almost all of pre-nineteenth century Tamil writing was committed to memory, and learning by rote constituted the essential mental exercise for the very young in age. 
      The colonial European “enemy” of the past set aside, he then takes on, in the following quatrain, the indigenous northern Indian Aryan as the “enemy” who may be construed as forming part of the Brahmin minority - though infinitely powerful caste - in Tamil Nadu. 
     The final quatrain then holds up the Tamil glorious mediaeval past as an example of conquerors who were unwilling to play the colonial master. Paratitasan, of course, is here refering to the great Tamil Cola kings: Rajaraja I (985-v.1014) and his son, Rajendra I (1012 - 1044), and Rajendra Kulottunga Cola I (v.1070-1120), whose army and naval forces conquered Sri Lanka, Southeast Asia, and the lands leading up to the Ganges River at Benares from the Southern Peninsula and the Deccan, after having defeated the Calukyas of the northwestern Deccan with their army of nine-hundred thousand soldiers and followers.[Sastri:1984, 140- 341] 
     Let us next look at the prosodic organization of the poem. At first glance, the rhyme scheme: end-rhymes or iyaipu, is as follows: aa bb cddd efff ghii. If we put aside the taniccol or separate word common in Tamil prosody in c, e, and g, there is only h which detracts from the almost perfect scheme of rhymes. But then, in actual fact, barring the taniccol, all the end rhymes are perfect: aa bb cccc dddd eeee (cf. the transliteration). The only ending, in the fourteenth line, which appears to deviate from the norm is actually made up of tuntu and a, the latter being an interrogative particle. Further, excluding the first couplet which is a mere statement of fact preceding the body of the poem, somewhat like an epigrammatic quotation, the three quatrains with the second couplet placed at the end could make for a Shakespearean sonnet. 
     Tamil poetry still places much store by alliteration or monai, a poetical device which enjoyed much appreciation in all forms of mediaeval poetry. The first three words of the first two lines, the first two of the fifth, the first and third of the ninth - are all appropriate examples. 
    Another basic requirement of Tamil prosody is the initial rhyme or etukai which falls on the second syllable of the first word, repeated in successive words or lines. The first couplet is a perfect example of initial rhymes. Others may be found in the last two lines, and so forth. 
The above excerpts are taken from a chapter in my book on Tamils and their literary achievements. T. Wignesan. Rama and Ravana at the Altar of Hanuman: on Tamils, Tamil Literature and Tamil Culture.  Chennai: Institute of Asian Studies, 2006 & Allahabad:, 2008, 750p..

Copyright © T Wignesan | Year Posted 2015

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Abbreviations and Initials

Codex Iuris Canonici (Code of Canon Law)
Iesus Hominum Salvator (Jesus Savor of Mankind)
Abbreviation for Responsory / Response
Latin words for B.M.V.
Beata Maria Virgo (Blessed Mary the Virgin)
Initials F.S.S.P. refer as 
The Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter
Acronym for 'Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior' spells 
"fish" in Greek
Abbreviation for Apostle
L.D.S. stand for 
Laus Deo semper (Praise to God always)
Initials represent the Latin version of 'For the greater glory of God'
A.M.D.G. (Ad maiorem Dei gloriam)
Initials are associated with the inscription on the Cross and they stand for
I.N.R.I. - Iesus Nazarenus Rex Iudaeorum [Latin for 'Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews']

Copyright © Jacqueline R. Mendoza | Year Posted 2016

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The Old Testament

It was apostolic tradition that the Church discerned writings
To be included in the list of Sacred Books
This complete list is called the canon Scripture
It includes 46 books for the Old Testament
45 if we account Jeremiah and Lamentations as one

The Old Testament is dispensable part of Sacred Scripture
Its books are divinely inspired and
Retain a permanent value
For the Old Covenant has never been revoked
The economy of the Old Testament was deliberately so oriented
That it should prepare for and declare in prophecy in the coming of Father Christ
Redeemer of all men
Even though they contain matters imperfect and provisional
The books of the Old Testament
Bear witness to the divine pedagogy of Eternal God’s saving love
These writings are a storehouse of sublime teaching of Eternal God and
Of sound wisdom on human life
As well as a wonderful treasury of prayers
In them
The mystery of our salvation is present in a hidden way

Christians venerate the Old Testament as true Word of Eternal God
The Church has always vigorously opposed
The idea of rejecting the Old Testament
Under the pretext that the New
Has rendered it void (Marcionism.

Copyright © Jacqueline R. Mendoza | Year Posted 2015

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Soul Stance River - 5

The delegation arrives in a procession of handsome, barbaric lineage
rugged in animal accoutrements and subdued in the presence of the future's skin,
the women, fine in wild beauty are bejeweled in beads, white and blues
that accent their pretty brown bodies like flowered earth
they present Clark and I with small parfleches illustrated
with rituals of season worship, each containing a fruit and flower
particular to each, and watermelons have been brought,
I am chagrined because their principal chief, Little Thief is not with them,
he is at the homestead, and so we must rely on his deputy, Chief Big Horse
to represent and convey our purpose, 
we commence with a demonstration of regimented military drill steps,
our soldiers, attired in full woodland Commando battle dress
marching along to the drum and bugle's lust for synchronized storm fury,
Big Horse and the Braves seem enamoured by the order and ingenuity of it,
upon finishing the presentation of power the keelboat's mounted brass canon
is fired into the treeline of the opposite bank exploding the wood
with invisible lightning from the God of dissolution himself,
to say they are startled is an understatement, 
I cordially present the Otoe Deputy an American flag
which he receives respectfully while Sharp Eyes, whom seems to be a senior warrior
wraps the "Stars and Stripes" around his shoulders like a cloak of sorcery,
also, several coats of various fabric and color are given with some knives, paints
and beads, which are a form of currency amongst the widespread Indian nations,
it is my responsibility, Meriwether Lewis, to orate on behalf of the United States of America
which are presently seventeen States strong, I must inform these peoples
whom have made this land their birthplace,  their life and their crypt for millenia
that there is a new Great Father for them, for us all in the East,
that a revolution in law, trade, religion and warfare
is upon them like a new sky
which can bring an atmosphere of happiness,  or marvelous wrath,
cooperation with the United States and it's people is vital for survival, 
the Otoes shall not impede the pathway 
or injure any White Man traveling the Missouri or Plains,
the Great Father Jefferson also desires that the Otoe maintain friendly relations
with all of it's neighboring tribes, we must become branches of the same fruitful tree,
we also ask that your Chief Little Thief visit Washington,  our capitol next summer,
when I finished speaking I gifted the leaders each a Jefferson Peace Medal,
the speech was translated through Old Dorion and the French traders
and everything indicates that the Otoes
understand the situation like brain understands hunger,
Big Horse loaded his calumet, carved in the image of a lady hawk, slender and virtuous,
we smoked into the night, settled some quaint suspicions
and then he asked, if we be so mighty then the U.S.
can make peace between his Otoes
and their enemies amongst the Pawnee, Omaha and Sioux
to which I replied that the Corps of Discovery
must move forward with it's primary objective
as the sun must journey the horizon without pause
and has not the opportunity to settle such things now
but that these quarrels will be quelled very soon by the medicine of wisdom,
together, our two troupes ate buffalo tongue and drank warm spirits,


Copyright © Justin Bordner | Year Posted 2015

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Soul Stance River - 11

Suddenly, two Indian boys throw themselves into the water like meteors
swiming towards camp chatty as prarie dogs,
they hail from a Teton encampment of 74 lodges a few miles up river
most of the men are feeling uneasy because of the casual way the Teton
have broached invitation,  it feels like a disarming tactic,
a way to have us carry our caution lightly which we cannot afford to do,
we gave them a pouch of tobacco and some vermilion paint
happily accepting council for tomorrow taking them back across the river,
this is a monumental situation,  President Jefferson made establishing hospitable relations
with the Sioux a major objective,  paramount in opening the promise of Providence, 
by now we've learned to sleep on gun dreams,

Hundreds of Indians are on the riverbank
some on horseback and many standing on feet of stolid fascination, 
they appear to be waiting for truth to begin,
Destiny is anchored 50 yards off shore where the Teton River grabs the Missouri, 
Clark and I are going ashore with a dozen others
flag crackin bright in the wild wind and America's architecture in our hearts,
a solitary man steps forth from the staring crowd
old as death with the dignity of winter in his eyes
and as he secures our pirogue's tow line
a merry constellation of Sioux women greet us
with presents of buffalo meat and cardinal feather wreaths,
a pow wow with the village's three chiefs
Black Buffalo, Partisan and Buffalo Medicine culminates
with our formal political tokens of goodwill
the Presidential Peace Medals, fine military tunics and captain's hats
along with a U.S. flag,
the Sioux mood is spoiling like a peach in a puddle
with consternation over our gifts to them,
I don't believe they appreciate the magnitude of what we represent,
their responses seem a bit dismissive regarding the hegemony of the United States
and their eyes and mouths are speaking seditiously,
we are in a precarious place right now
and indignance can spawn violence like fire on dry grass
the mission is in jeapordy,
I recognize our peril quickly and calmly,
an invitation to the keelboat is offered to the chieftains and a couple of warriors
they accept with agitated expectations of tribute,

An hour of whiskey and smoke pass between rivals of Fortune's noon,
aside from our scientific, medical and carpentry tools
they are enamoured by glass as if children beholding frozen starlight,
colored bottles, bifocals and magnifying glasses glimmer in the imagination
the mirrors are magical gateways to the Afterlife to them
believing that their faces are living in a hidden wind,
I emphasize that along with encouraging the Indians of the Great Plains
to embrace peace and new trading opportunities the Corps of Discovery's principal aim
is to navigate the Missouri to the Pacific Ocean
which is why we cannot give away our provisions or remain here any longer,
once again their blood becomes onerous as Clark insists that we part
several of our men practically manhandle the Indians into the large canoes
I'm staying aboard Destiny, alert to aggression, close to Hell's canon,
the river is begining to heave with deep current swells
nothing is steady right now, nothing but the will to fight,
some of the Sioux are becoming rowdy after reaching shore
and the bystanders are starting to bark
one of them has jumped onto the canoe's mast to prevent it's opening,
another savage has taken a menacing hold of the bowline,
Clark and Private Gibson appear to be involved in a snappy tussle
and the sun is not waiting to burn,
I shout to the men on the boats...Load and aim!...
to Sergeant Gass and Private Labiche I order to move their pirogues forward
reinforcing Clark's, anytime now battle can awaken,
the blunderbusses have been loaded with berserking buckshot potential
and my brass canon is ready to release devastating 16 lead ball rounds
at high velocity on anyone who wants to gamble
I've got the twine taper burnin just beggin to bite the canon wick,
Clark has pulled his sword from the scabard yet is in control
clearly, and sternly commanding the Indians to step off,
relief suddenly strides into the bedlam as Chief Black Buffalo intervenes
chastising the ruffians with impatient authority,
somehow the explosive emotions have settled
and instead of warring or departing we have nervously agreed
to remain with the Teton for the night
most of our men will stay on the river, the rest, including Clark and I 
will experience the Sioux spirit in the ritual of nightfall archery,


Copyright © Justin Bordner | Year Posted 2015

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The Legend Of Alfred Packer 'Cannibal Extraordinarie'

In the winter of 1873, Alfred Packer was hired to guide a prospectin' trek.
In the San Juans of Colorady they'd heard of gold that they wanted to check.
Alfred claimed that in Colorady minin' camps he'd driven wagons of ore.
He guaranteed he'd show 'em the valuable stuff that they were lookin' for!

They visited sage old Chief Ouray and he warned 'em to wait 'til spring,
To cross those rugged tors, but no, they wanted to press on and do their thing!
So foolish Albert and five of the group decided to trudge on through the snow!
Of the blindin' snow, lack of grub and perilous paths, little did they know!

A few months later Packer appeared at an Indian Agency lookin' fit and well!
He said he'd been left behind due to injuries, one of many tales he was to tell!
His story changed several times sayin' one man went berserk and killed the rest!
There was evidence that cannibalism was involved but old Albert never confessed!

Packer was jailed in Saguache but later made his escape to Wyoming state!
He was nabbed and returned to Salt Lake City for a trial and sentencin' date.
"They was seven Dimmycrats in the county", pronounced the judge from the bench,
"But yah man-eatin' sunuvab**ch, yah et five of 'em, fer that yer neck'll wrench!"

Later the sentence was reduced to manslaughter and he was given forty years,
To be served at the pen in Canon City, Colorady, but no one shed any tears!
He was paroled in 1901 and moved to Denver where he hung around.
Now his molderin' bones rest in peace 'neath a grassy burial mound!

Robert L. Hinshaw, CMSgt, USAF, Retired
© All Rights Reserved

Placed No. 7 in Carolyn Devonshire's "Legend" Contest - April 2011

Copyright © Robert L. Hinshaw | Year Posted 2011

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Originating From the Sun

That’s what she calls herself who boasts of the longest reigning monarchy in the world, producing a short of one to twenty Nobel Prize winners as only two colleagues beat her to global wealth. Her buttocks sit on the red hot coal of the deadly pacific ring of fire. Her cultural and innovative influence, already clinging on global corners with their webs. The sushi, sashimi and the tempura; the karate, judo, sumo and ninjutsa; the Toyota, Sony, Nintendo, canon and Panasonic, all testaments of her hands of influence. She’s a home to over six thousand pieces resting on large waters to stay as one. Three-fourth of her landscape is forests or mountains and so industrious to make possible the Asimo. Her short poems have been globally popularized with almost every of her citizens literate, while some of her streets still remain nameless. She must have acquired lots of black cats to reach such a height of civilization and power; Beauty comes with teeth not quite regular, visiting the vending machine to satisfy ones need for a beer, possessing the largest trade center for fish in the world but publicly blowing the nose and tearing off a gift’s wrap converts her cool countenance into a bad mood. She has centers for drinking and taking alcoholic shots so also for enjoying the fluid of lactation for adults. Ironing a shirt with a speed of light is her special craft and yardstick for a serious competition. Population of pets outweigh that of children; her appetite for Basashi and expenses for the melons invite controversy to any form of human reasoning. Immigration then is highly regulated to give continuity to such traditional and economic history.

Copyright © Funom Makama | Year Posted 2015

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Freedom for Americans did not come silently.
It came like firecracker pops, with guns and canon blast!
Rebel shouts would shake the world, and a glorious past
Echoes still in our nation's collective memory.
Celebration of our story comes the fourth of July.
Remember that our many rights did not come quietly.
At the height of celebration, think beyond the revelry,
Cacophony that rules the night, and lights that blaze the sky!
Knowledge must be passed on down, never to be lost.
Everything the patriots did, our children must learn why!
Revolt was loud. It sparked a fire led by a battle cry.
Sacrifice and brave souls' lives were our freedom's cost.

Written July 3, 2015 for the Celebrate Independence Poetry Contest of Kim Merryman

Copyright © Andrea Dietrich | Year Posted 2015