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abortion absence
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hello hero
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Long Poets Poems

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Long Poems
Long poem by Brian Johnston | Details

Week 3 - Brian's Poet Of Note - 'Richard Wilbur Part 1'

Imitation! Creative Compliment, Lacking in Originality, or Plagiarism? 

This week takes me back to college days. I was taking a graduate course (as a Physics major)   in 'Modern Poets' at the University of Oklahoma. Our assignment for the week was to write a poem ourselves in the style of a modern poet we had already studied. I had already been attracted to the poems of Richard Wilbur and got to hear him do a reading while I was on campus at OU. In fact, his, 'A Boy At The Window, ' remains a personal favorite to this day and reminds me a lot of Robert Frost's best work! In any case, the poem I chose of his (to 'write in the style of')   was another of his famous rhymes called 'Love Calls Us To The Things Of This World.' And here it is from PoemHunter.com's library of famous poets and their poems. I only regret that PoemHunter, in spite of their many virtues, gives such short shrift to a poet's formatting which I have laboriously restored here for your enjoyment. What do you suppose it is? Is PH so soulless that they would deny you the right to see Richard Wilbur's verses flapping in the morning breeze? 

'Love Calls Us To The Things Of This World' by Richard Wilbur

The eyes open to a cry of pulleys, 
And spirited from sleep, the astounded soul
Hangs for a moment bodiless and simple
As false dawn.
      Outside the open window
The morning air is all awash with angels.

    Some are in bed-sheets, some are in blouses, 
Some are in smocks: but truly there they are.
Now they are rising together in calm swells
Of halcyon feeling, filling whatever they wear
With the deep joy of their impersonal breathing; 

    Now they are flying in place, conveying
The terrible speed of their omnipresence, moving
And staying like white water; and now of a sudden
They swoon down in so rapt a quiet
That nobody seems to be there.
                                           The soul shrinks

From all that it is about to remember
From the punctual rape of every blessed day, 
And cries, 
'Oh, let there be nothing on earth but laundry, 
Nothing but rosy hands in the rising steam
And clear dances done in the sight of heaven.'

    Yet, as the sun acknowledges
With a warm look the world's hunks and colors, 
The soul descends once more in bitter love
To accept the waking body, saying now
In a changed voice as the man yawns and rises, 
    'Bring them down from their ruddy gallows; 
Let there be clean linen for the backs of thieves; 
Let lovers go fresh and sweet to be undone, 
And the heaviest nuns walk in a pure floating
Of dark habits, 
                         keeping their difficult balance.'

Poet's Notes: by Brian Johnston, not Richard Wilbur: 
In years past city people used to hang laundry to dry on string cords that they would run between buildings on pulleys! I have not seen this or even pictures of this in a long time and suspect that the practice is either illegal or has just gone out of favor with the advent on self-service laundries where you can both wash and dry your clothing in machines. It is, of course, a very colorful image that Richard paints.

    Now here is the poem that I turned in and read aloud to a Graduate class full of English Majors. Please remember too that I was a graduate student in Physics and not an English Major.

For Love Of ________ by Brian Johnston

In a house by a highway by a railroad
Eyes open to a self-set sleep-destroying buzzer
That waking mind impudently pretends
To ignore.
        Penetrating the window barrier (1)  
The air conducts a heavy diesel lullaby.

    Over wealthier suburbs slips a transport, 
Supersonic, though no sweeter music, 
For rich and poor alike a boon (2)   to sleep; 
Heard only by more wicked insomniacs
For whom the watch's competent hum is a dirge. (3)  

    Descending in a shower of metallic disintegration (4)  
Three men ignite the atmospheric blindfold, (5)   survive, 
Do not plunge white-hot into the sea, a common meteor, 
But drift coolly down on nylon wings
To the waiting Carrier of the 300 lb. Angelfood. (6)  
                                                   The mind shrinks

    From the prospect of that confrontation, 
From the phallic disruption of Christian paradise, (7)  
Then cries, 
'Oh, let there be nothing on earth but leavings, 
Nothing but starships on a photon sea… (8)  '
Now begins man's search for a Southland.

    Yet, as light passes Venetian blinds, 
Like music through classical guitar strings, 
Touching the softened form of familiar Love, 
The rods of the eye (9)   wander adagio
Along the bars of a century-old sight before rising, 
    'Dethrone the convict from electric eclipse, 
Redress the squalid in disposable, dust-free clothing, 
Release the lovers to their denouement…'
The earth womb trembles in the last pains
Of the dark hour, 
                         heralding man's difficult birth.

Poet's Notes: by Brian Johnston
My poem makes reference to several dated pieces of culture and technology as well…
(1)   A jet going faster than sound is said to have 'crossed the sound barrier' and causes an explosive sound for people below. Windows are just a joke to this kind of noise and provide no protection at all.
(2)   The sound made by a jet plane crossing the sound barrier is called a "sonic boom." So there is some word play between 'boon' and 'boom.' 
(3)   At one time in wrist watch technology, the most accurate had tiny tuning forks inside to improve accuracy. You could put them up to your ear and hear them hum. Modern electronic watches use quartz crystals for the same purpose which cannot be heard and are much more accurate.
(4)   A composite shield ignites when a space capsule reenters the atmosphere at high speed which carries heat away from the capsule thus protecting the occupants.

****More Poet's Notes and Analysis in Part 2****

Copyright © Brian Johnston | Year Posted 2017

Long poem by Brian Johnston | Details

Week 2 - Brian's Poet of Note - 'Herman Hesse'

Brian’s Poet of Note – ‘Herman Hesse’ Week 2

This week I thought I would discuss translating poetry from another language. I just finished retranslating from German this poem ‘Stufen’ from Hesse’s famous novel ‘The Glass Bead Game’) but it has been a favorite of mine for a long time. I first translated it 50 years ago when I was studying German in college, but I have misplaced the earlier translation. So today I include the original version of Hesse’s poem in German as well for those who can read German or those who want to compare my translation to the original German.

There are different ways to translate a poem if this is something new to you. 1. The simplest way is a word for literal word translation. And these are interesting in themselves I think but suffer from the fact that the word the poet chooses may not always be the best word in expressing the poet’s intent. For example, an idiom in German might sound funny translated into English, but there might be an expression in English that is the German equivalent, but which uses very different words. 2. Some translations skip rhythm and rhyme altogether but try to communicate the translators “understanding” of the poem using often very different words. 3. And finally, some translations will make an effort to preserve the structure and even the rhythm and rhyme pattern as well. It is not easy to do this and to also use most of the poet’s original words!

Whatever technique you use, the original poet’s poem is going to suffer. Think of it as reading a friend’s poem and then trying to write a personal version of the original work's content without looking at your friend’s poem again. Rewriting another's idea is a fun game to play. Sometimes I will write an Echo Poem of a friend’s poetry. I rewrite his poem using my Muse and interpretation of reality, or the Echo may veer off tangentially and not be my version of his effort but of what I think is true. Both are fun exercises when you are looking for something different to do. It seems to me that translating another poet’s poem is very similar to writing an Echo Poem in many ways.

Hesse’s Original Poem in German	         Translation

Stufen	                                                 Stages (First Translation)

Wie jede Blüte welkt und jede Jugend	         As every blossom wilts and every
Dem Alter weicht, blüht jede Lebensstufe,	 Yields to old age so manifests
                                                                 every stage of life,
Blüht jede Weisheit auch und jede Tugend	 All wisdom and every virtue
Zu ihrer Zeit und darf nicht ewig dauren.	 Has its time, and cannot last
Es muß das Herz bei jedem Lebensrufe	 At every call of life, the heart,
Bereit zum Abschied sein und Neubeginne,	 Wrapped in bravery and without
Um sich in Tapferkeit und ohne Trauern	  Must be ready to take its leave
                                                                  and start again
In andre, neue Bindungen zu geben.	          To embrace each new adventure.
Und jedem Anfang wohnt ein Zauber inne,	  For a magic lives in each
Der uns beschützt und der uns hilft, zu leben.     That shelters and helps us to

Wir sollen heiter Raum um Raum durchschreiten,	Let us move calmly from
                                                                        place to place,
An keinem wie an einer Heimat hängen,	   Clinging to nothing as if it were a
Der Weltgeist will night fesseln uns und engen,  The “Age” does not chain or
                                                                    confine our dreams,
Er will uns Stuf’ um Stufe heben, weiten.	    It guides each step toward
                                                                    increased opportunity.
Kaum sind wir heimisch einem Lebenskreise	    But homelike surroundings,
                                                                    creature comforts,
Und traulich eingewohnt, so droht Erschlaffen, Tempt us to let down our guard.
Nur wer bereit zu Aufbruch ist und Reise,	    Only those prepared to let go,
                                                                    to love revolution,
Mag lähmender Gewöhnung sich entraffen.	    Have a chance to escape
                                                                    crippling habits.

Es wird vielleicht auch noch die Todesstunde     Perhaps even the hour of our
Uns neuen Räumen jung entgegensenden,	     Will open fresh new vistas to
                                                                     challenge us,
Des Lebens Ruf an uns wird niemals enden . . .  Might life’s call to life be never
                                                                      ending then?
Wohlan denn, Herz, nimm Abschied und gesunde! Let it be so! Heart! Take your
                                                                         leave and health!

Well this seems to be the best I can do with the formating. There are more comments to come. If you like what you see so far be sure to check back later. This is obviously a work in progress and experimental!  :-)

Copyright © Brian Johnston | Year Posted 2017

Long poem by Tom Quigley | Details


Say I:

On the websites I used to share, I was frequently amazed 
     Poems got greeted with silence; it seems eyes were quickly glazed. 

It’s as if I’d morphed into a Pig Latin-speaking warthog.
     My past efforts to share poetry should all be on failblog.

At the time I could not comprehend how it fell on dead eyes.
     On further examination, the why of it I surmise:

          Appreciation of the written word
          Like a dying dodo bird
          Many don’t know why exactly they should bother.
          Why you gotta write so much?
          Give that thought the modern touch!
          Nothing says it like a Facebook Post, my brother!

Says the Humanities Professor:

“You see, there, chap, I most certainly don’t mean to sound perverse, 
     But quite stricken and dying is affection with written verse.”

“Folks like their thoughts concise, not with endless poetic device. 
     Why speak it if you can see it? Please kindly take my advice:”
“If you want imagery, try an image! Everyone knows it--
     Don't waste your time saying it; it’s oh, so much quicker to show it!” 

          A picture’s worth a thousand words
          A GoPro 120 frames per second.  Absurd!
          Thinking about writing so long just makes my hands blister.
          Why would anyone write that much?
          Give that thought the modern touch!
          Nothing says it like a YouTube Vid, my sister!

Says the Psychiatrist:

“As laughter is our culturally preferred catharsis, 
     People would rather see a vid of drunk frat boys on horses.” 

“All those salty tears you poets try to cause people to shed,
     You just make everybody want to bang their heads instead.”

“Wow, did you hear that? I think that's genius!  Totally sweet! 
     Quick, hand my iPhone right here, and I’ll give that bird a Tweet!”

          Who needs form and meter?
          So what if it sounds sweeter?
          Just say your piece and beat it out the door!
          140 syllables and rhyme?
          140 characters max is fine.
          I just can’t see why anyone would ever need any more.

Says the Neuroscientist:

“Overuse of your cortex depletes glucose as a substrate,
     And since we’d rather conserve energy, video is great!"

“Humans prefer images that skip straight to the limbic brain.
     Oh, and YouTube’s got some vids that are totally insane!”

"Read it? No chance! Not nowadays.  This will take folks far too long.
     We want it quick! And this is why your art form is going, going, gone!”

          Poetry to me is dead
          You can just text me instead
          Just touch-type your thoughts super quick and send ‘em.
          Why you gotta write so much?
          Give that thought the modern touch!
          Unnecessary style, well, it’s just so last millennium.
Says the MMA fighter:

“Sorry, man.  No way.  All that reading is a total pain.
     That, and there’s gotta be someone else with a bigger brain."

“Who needs all those stupid kittens and butterflies and stuff?
     All those fancy words are just a bunch of big crybaby fluff.”

“Are you kidding me? Feelings are for wussies.  Yeah, I think I’ll pass.
     No, hold on--I’ve got one--I feel like kickin’ your pansy ass!”

          You can blow it out your ear
          If you think I want to hear
          A whole bunch of sissy rhymes, unless it’s gangsta rap.
          Why would you write at all?
          Grow a me-size pair of balls!
          You’re damn straight that it’s a big old pile of crap.
Says the college kid:

“You say that you’re a poet, but dude, I’m just not interested. 
     ‘Cuz, like, I’ve never seen any of your stuff on Pinterest.”

“And if you don’t have a website, then you’re no good at your art,”
     He opined, with a fist pump and a deeply resonant fart. 

His friends cheered and exclaimed, “Dude! That was a total grand slam!”
      “You video that? You’ll get a million likes on Instagram!”

          Wait, did you just say ‘inanity’?
          ‘Cuz it sounded like insanity
          Which sounds totally kickass and stuff to me.
          I’m gonna eat a slice of ’za
          Care to join me, brah?
          There’s a couple left, and it’s da bomb biggity!

Say I:

Sometimes all this writing feels like banging my head about,
     But every so often, something interesting will still fall out.

And I see it’s the same with you, when I read the poems you write.
     All the beautifully flowing words have become a new light.

This inspiration is no longer so hard for me to find. 
     Even though Videocracy is hobbling our minds.


Copyright © Tom Quigley | Year Posted 2016

Long poem by T Wignesan | Details

Unquotable quotes: Poets - XXXVI

Unquotable quotes: Poets, Poetasters and Platos – XXXVI

     For James McAuley – in remembrance of a memorable week in Cardiff 1965 

The greatest poet ever is NOT Homer, Lao Tse, Ovid, Dante, Chittalaic Chattanar, NOT Chaucer, Shakespeare, Dryden, Tulsi Das, Archipreste de Hita, NOT Goethe, Pushkin, Pope, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Quevedo, NOT Shelley, Keats, Gongora, Rimbaud, Yeats, Pound or Eliot, BUT as you all already must know: Ern MALLEY, for he draws on a thousand surrealist tongues. To be even greater, just emulate his creators!

The difference between a poet and a prosateur is that the latter is honour-bound – at the risk of exposure – to master grammar while the former is granted the licence to invent his own by those who cannot tell the difference.

The real reason why poets continue to dish out what they write is that no one expects them to be intelligible, much less by those who put their work out.

The less a poet appears rational in his creations, the more he’ll be praised by those who do not or cannot understand his work, for they will read whatever they want into his work to conceal their own lack of comprehension.

The great thing about being a poet is that you can say the same thing a million times over and over again and no one will mind, so long as you are less coherent every time you repeat yourself.

If a poet understood or mastered the craft of poetry, he would still be composing the first canto of his epic at the end of his life.

In other words, the poem is the shortest cut to the epic highway leading back to the first steps of the poetic phantasy which is the fine art of lisping with words without aim.

This is why he who has never died alive cannot know the soul of the poet.

No poem says nothing.

Each word in a poem alters the meaning, if any, of a poem. The more the words, the greater the risk of deranging the sense, unless you really mean what you mean and not just let words mean what they mean anyway.

Poets are born, not made, says the critic who is weary of reading more than he can take.

Poets are born and made, says the poet who takes the trouble to read.

Poets are neither born nor made, says the mad poet drunk with the sound of words.

A poet who conveys exactly what he wants to say in a poem is a mathematical genius who has cracked the riddle of the poem and is eager to record his findings in an equation which he is convinced is a poem.

A poem is like a person you meet for the first time: the more you get to know him, the less you might think of him – unless you remember while you talk to him (or read the poem again) what others who know him better than you have said of him.

The most successful poems are those which like some (wo)men bend backwards to reveal every nook and crotch as long and as longingly as you want them to.

Poems that taste good to the tongue reek often of bad breath and gums.

A poem out-of-shape spilling out of the page is best read in the dark.

A hot poem makes you sweat with joy.

A poem which tickles your fancy is best read in the pantry.

A poem that cannot stop giggling in bed ought to be pilloried and bled.

A not tragically-inclined poem should be read post coitum when omne animal triste est sive…..

Poems never die, only unpublished poets.

Proverbs are poems distilled by the illiterate masses over the ages.

Didactic poetry is the constant attempt to achieve proverbial status.

Even an anthropologically lost or isolated tribe is survived by its sayings, jingles and rhymes.

No great wealth or dominion, no nation, country or civilization can occupy the summits of glory if its heart is empty or even half-empty of poetry.

The human soul is entirely made up of poetry which is when it entirely stops being human.

Every people’s greatest pride is their greatest poets, more than founding fathers or conquering victorious generals who spoke poetry to their wards and soldiers.

The gods people invoke to soothe their woes make them wax poetic.

The stuff of dreams is poetry turned to cash: stop dreaming and you end up among the poor mass.

Even a Cyrano de Bergerac nose turns into a Marlowe’s which launched a thousand ships through poetising with his love.

The Republic everywhere is in shambles due to a Plato’s hardened and un-poetic logic.

Abuse a poet, if you will, with common pedestrian pun, and he will return the kindness with sweet lilting rhyme and fun.

What poets love turn into pairs of lifelong doves.

Skip a meal a day and buy a book of poems every day: Dieu vous le rendra!

© T. Wignesan – Paris, 2016

Copyright © T Wignesan | Year Posted 2016

Long poem by Gary Bateman | Details

Heinrich Heine Revisited

I can clearly sense your utter despair of Der Matratzengruft*
As you valiantly carried on your poetic works to the very end.
This did not change your literary accomplishments well-known,
And your courage through the misery and morphine* is undeniable.

Your lyrical poetry speaks volumes among all of German literature,
And it was most marvelously set to music by the likes of Schumann,
Schubert, Silcher, Mendelssohn, Brahms, and Strauss—to name a few. 
Their melodic tones as applied to your verses then, now live on forever!

Your role in and principal contributions to Romanticism fall in line
With the highest quality of your poetic language and its intention.
Your role in battling early nineteenth-century censorship in Prussia set 
You out front of many of your contemporaries who resisted much less.

It’s so tragic Herr Heine that your literary resistance so prominent in
Challenging Prussian censorship would make you ever so more noted,
And besmirched as the Nazis in 1933 burned your books and those of
Other German scholars as a reflection of their insane and twisted beliefs!

It’s with great irony indeed that the banning and burning of your works by 
The Nazis was parodied further by them as they ignobly quoted and used
Your famous line from “Almansor,”* when you likened that “where books 
Are burned, in the end people will be burned too.” We know what they did!

And so, with both honor and sadness I do understand the very cry of lament
From the confines of your mattress-grave about your final exquisite poetry,
Written through writhing pain and tears as you faced the end of your life.
It took great courage to face your end like this while staying true to your Muse!

Gary Bateman, Copyright © All Rights Reserved (December 15, 2014) 
(Narrative Quatrain poetic format)

*Der Matratzengruft from the German means “The Mattress-Grave.” 
(Heinrich Heine was confined to his bed, his “mattress-grave,” in 1848
with various illnesses until his eventual death eight years later in 1856.)

*Heine poetically referred to his pain predicament in the poem “Morphine,”
written near the end of his life, when he noted in two famous verses: 
“Gut is der Schlaf, der Tod ist besser—freilich / Das beste waere, nie
Geboren sein.” (In English: “Sleep is good, Death is better—of course, /
Best of all would be never to have been born.”)

*Almansor was a play written by Heine in 1821 that had a most famous 
line in German: “Das war ein Vorspiel nur, dort wo man Buecher verbrennt,
verbrennt man auch am Ende Menschen.” (Rendered in English: “That was
but a prelude; where they burn books, they will ultimately burn people as
well.”) The significance here is that as the Nazis burned the books of Heine
and other German artists on the Opernplatz in Berlin in 1933, they actually
celebrated this event by “engraving” Heine’s famous words from “Almansor”
in the ground at the Opernplatz site. The obvious depravity of this terrible
event reflects the innate cruelty, stupidity and evil of the Nazis as they 
burned the books and defiled the names and reputations of Heine and other 
famous German writers. Their actions were monstrous and shameful, and 
were indicative of mankind’s base instincts at their very worst. Moreover, 
despite converting to Protestantism from Judaism in 1825, Heine’s Jewish 
origins played a continuing presence in his life and were one of the major 
factors for his being scapegoated by the Nazis later in 1933. And besides,
the Nazis were always more interested in burning books, rather than 
reading them!  

Copyright © Gary Bateman | Year Posted 2014

Long poem by Suzanne Delaney | Details

Randomlings Contest

The Quality of Mercy.
A mouse doesn't ask for mercy from a cat. It can't meow the syllables.
Though its stomach is full, the cat,being unacqainted with mercy, 
will toy with a mouse. 
Does the tiny heart that beats to bursting point, feel eternity?.... while pinned to the floor by that mighty paw! Any soldier could tell you.
Suzanne Delaney

My cat is so magnificent
Each of his whiskers lies content
His purrs are so benevolent.

Morning Glory
The clouds have on the blush of dawn
And birds give voice to early morn.
Now spreading light pulsates with life
With joy another day is born.

Fairy's Dilemma 
The fairy was stuck in the cobweb
The spider was hungry and near
But she whipped out her golden scissors
And snipped herself free from Fear.

Mind and Heart
Impressions are like footsteps in the sand,
They leave their mark as surely as a Lover's hand
On Mind and Heart.

Teddybear Dreams
My Teddy bear stayed in Toyland
When I out- grew Childish things
He stayed there in carefree moments
And lives on in make believe dreams
Alone on the bed he ponders
He heaves up his shoulders and wonders
Looking and longing for Childhood
That can never come again.

Mother you gave me life and breath,
and yet I asked for more.
Lover you gave me self and worth,
A peace I waited for.

Sense of Betrayal
Lies are a thin veil -
A filmy shield
Through which the heart can sense
The shape of betrayal 

Grains of Truth
Aware of our potential-
We sift the sands of our past
Until huge dunes block our heart
and pile up in our minds
And make a desert of our Souls.

Minotaurs All
We are all separate entities-
Isolated in the labyrinth
Of our minds.

Tuesday, September 22, 1998
Eve's Advocate
With cold eye, beady, dead in space,
Uncoiling with hypnotic grace,
Slow motion skin - an awful lace,
To silent earth, no sudden trace. 

Friday, November 6, 1998
Weed in a Crack
Arid soul with barren mind
Sees desert where oases' stand
In concrete bare, instead of courage,
Sees a weed he should discourage

Poet's Impasse'
Why should I add another word
To words that everybody's heard
To say, "The morning web is hung with light."
Is not to say,
"A spider gathered jewels today."

Eternal Read
Let heaven be a library
Of books a great infinity
And on a cloud I'd fill my need
To read and read
And read and read

Hands of Fate
Sophisticated games 
All aimed at selfish gains
And motives devious and real
Around the mind like strangers steal

Feline Wonder
My cat's back hocks are so comical
She walks like a teen Lolita in her first high heels
She teases all the tom - cats with her feminine, feline wiles
But never intends - to make one of them
The champion of her nights

Gem of Ages
The Earth is a living Opal
A vital jewel in space.

Blue Flowers
Blue petals - Fragments of sky
Notions, emotions
Forget - Me - Nots sigh
Bring me blue flowers when I die.

Indelible kiss.
Blow me a kiss. How intimate it seems to my soul. The memory of it,
 is now stamped in my mind, indelibly. For that instant
 we remained connected across the space between us.

Endless Beginning
Are Eternity and infinity equal? On and endless journey
 in an un-mapped cosmos would eternity run out?... before I reached infinity. Entering a black hole I might find myself ?......at a dead end in space......
or falling into the threshold of time.

For Randomlings Poetry Contest


Copyright © Suzanne Delaney | Year Posted 2015

Long poem by Vicki Acquah | Details


Vicki Acquah

                                 SCOFFING LOVE

 Which witty poem did you inspire in me, what sincere praise did you give my words when I thought enough of you send a poem your way. Which line did you write with my spirit surrounding you? 

What song did you sing when you thought of my name? Why did you say you love me? What have I done to make you smile, how did you get in my head anyhow? What part of me did you arouse. 

Why do I say I love you.?  Were you sincere when you said amen to the wisdom that I shared, were you one of those who thought your mocking, was more valuable than compliance. I have lived with the resentments of scoffers.
 I digest your response with a gulp. 

I thought so much better of you. I do not have a real clue, as to why you would be the one to undermine and scoff at love with snide remarks of false pride; I was called to this throne you seek to banishing me from. 
This cannot be done, no man can put asunder what was set in motion by the higher laws of nature.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       I speak of the ills in society, I speak of false realities.  What you didn't say holds fast inside.  
I saw what you didn't do, and wonder why. In-spite of your mockery I still have a love inside me, that adores the greatness in you!  Even if you choose to undermine; this only bothers me because of the effect it will have on you, only my friends who are genuine, will continue to ride on my cloud of joy. 

Receiving no threats, as human I be, human, with the attributes of goddesses. Take what you like and leave the rest of me. 
That's why I so perfectly ...tolerate you. 

Because of the worth I see in you. And of course, what is left of you need not be disturbed. One day you will figure things out, one day you will know why I shared a part of your life. 

One day you will see what they value in me, it’s not because you scoff love deliberately that I speak, it’s not because you will give in, but because you are better than this. Because the miracle of love and fate combined will one day comply with your finite mind. I know who I am even though you don't ride on my rhythm, or step to my drumbeat.  

I see you tweaking to my heartbeat. Yet more will be understood bye and bye.  
To those who feel, and appreciate each others poetry:  
Eventually the meaning of things will be revealed. 

Who knows why scoffers scoff whenever love speaks out. Just be patient and wait, sincerity and love never needs defending. All you less callous people, who seek understanding as opposed to malice, just wait at the top of the mountain. 

One day with open eyes the slackers shall join you there. No need to compare, we all need prayer, as long as we are not stuck on the slippery slope, of contempt, as long as we who hold the rope are willing to pull our brother up with our words, the poets words :
The message for the masses is hope...so, I live  for the poems you send my way. For, I grow strong in our relationship sailed by the winds of your encouragement, to my poets, my true friends; I truly know who you are, don't ever think I don’t!

Copyright © Vicki Acquah | Year Posted 2012

Copyright © Vicki Acquah | Year Posted 2012

Long poem by Inaam Al-Hashimi | Details

Final Wishes of a Poet

Final Wishes of a Poet 
Arabic poem By: Rukn-al-Din Yunus
Translated into English By: 
Inaam Al-Hashimi (Gold_N_Silk)
(Part 1 of 3)

Lend me a handful of earth
So that I may make you a statue 
You have not seen the like before
In your dreams.
Lend me a breath of spring
I’ll paint you cities, seashores 
And passionate rendezvous.
Lend me some of your crazy letters 
And I will dispatch couriers
To deliver them to gardens
And send elegantly dressed devotees
With a touch of sadness 
To receive them from the gardens
And read them to the river.
Lend me some of the words
Escaping from under your hat, 
Which has no resemblance to Pablo Neruda’s,
To write you an epic 
Spelled out by tyrants
Every night 
To cry their own fates in the morning.
Lend me an evening you could spare
To romp through virtual streets 
Named after living poets 
From different generations
Wherein a river of music goes over the heads of passersby
Drowning all in ageless glamour. 
Lend me the rest of the golden letters
In your pocket
To disperse them over the outskirts of my words
And the lanterns of my dreams
To light up what’s left of the opaque sentences 
In the imagination of the painter
And the wisdom of the poet 
Who is crazed about the clay
On the banks of the Hilla River.

(Part 2 of 3)

I'll die tonight...
O my dear wife!
I’ve never liked farewell ceremonies
In my life
So let things be normal and quiet.
Forgive me! I will not kiss you tonight
Just lie down beside me on the bed
For now.
Don’t tell the boys about my no-return journey 
Don’t let the girls cry with you
Especially the married one
And the little one
The middle one as well.
Let everything be as ordained for me
By those I don’t know
All I know for sure
I will die tonight.
How? ..... I do not know!
How? ..... I do not know!
At what time? …. The mind of the poet is unable to tell.
I will die my dear wife
Don’t forget to feed the dog “Yoyo” early in the morning.
Don’t neglect spraying the garden 
First in the morning
Even if it was time for the funeral.
And don’t forget the seven o'clock news
Listen to it for the sake of your love for me
They always mention news of the lost homeland.
Don’t forget ever....
The chicken feed
I’d like to hear 
The cock’s crow every morning in my grave.
And hide the empty wine bottles
Out of the sight of mourners...
I don’t want them to accuse poets of infidelity.
And if they ask you 
What was with him before he died?
Just tell them:
He forgot to live!

(Part 3 of 3)

Before I died
My wife made me a clay statue 
And cried at it
She and her five daughters did.
But my two sons took no notice
Of their mother crying
Nor of their sisters wearing black 
But, rather,  
They seized the opportunity
And went out to join their peers
In a football game!

Before I died
My friends vied 
And jostled in front of  
Mercenary and non-mercenary newspapers’ buildings
Led by “Riyadh Alghareeb”
To provide their elegies for my immortal soul
Which reminds them of their own
As they greet death.

And since that day
I am holding on to my soul
Lest it slips away 
In a moment 
Of inattention
From me
The poet
Rukn al-Din Yunus
Translated by: Em. Prof. Inaam Al-Hashimi
November 2013

* Rukn-al-Din Yunus is a poet from Iraq

Copyright © Inaam Al-Hashimi | Year Posted 2013

Long poem by Brian Johnston | Details

Week 3 - Brian's Poet Of Note - 'Richard Wilbur Part 2'

(5)   At the same time, the US was exploring space, and we were able to view the stars for the first time in space above the atmosphere. Earthbound telescopes have to look through miles of dirty air which distorts the images of stars that we see (this is why stars seem to twinkle) , so I refer to the air as an atmospheric blindfold that is burned up by spacefaring astronauts.
(6)   Early landings were at sea, and on at least one landing the astronauts were taken to a waiting aircraft carrier where the cooks had baked a 300-pound 'Angel Food Cake' to welcome them home. The aircraft carrier had thousands of people on board waiting to party.
(7)   Many 'religious' folk worried greatly in the late 1950s that NASA 'shooting holes in heaven' with its rockets might bring about the end of the world! I even wrote a poem about it! 
(8)   Space is not empty but contains millions of photons (a kind of sea) .
(9)   The human eye contains both 'rods that can detect weak light' and 'cones that can detect colored light when the light is stronger.' The color disappears after dusk because the cones are not sensitive enough.

    In any case, when I read my poem aloud to the class, both the Professor and all the English majors got suddenly quiet. It was the first time in my life that I had a strong sense of my potential as a future writer and a poet! I felt that all were genuinely impressed by what I had done! 

Imitation: A Creative Compliment? 
    Well, of course, there are different kinds of imitation. A simple one would be to strike the poet's name and publish the poem as your own. But of course, if you do this often enough you will get caught eventually.
    To write the same poem but change a few words, so it is not an exact copy would be another way to imitate. But in both of these cases, the intent is clearly to deceive others and where plagiarism rears its ugly head. 
     Foster Harris, a creative writing instructor at OU, wrote some books in the area of 'Writing To Sell' which are interesting, though perhaps outdated by now. Foster claimed that there are only a small number of actual plots available for writing a novel, less than ten as I recall. If that is so, then it certainly creates a problem for someone wanting to write an original work. He suggested to his students that they think of their writing as you would the weaving of a carpet. There are the supporting threads he called the 'warp' and the right angle threads he called the 'woof.' He suggested we think of the 'warp' threads as the plot, which while important play, mostly a supporting role. And then, there is the 'woof' which is the insight that you weave onto the warp. Your life education is what you get paid for (if you do!)   Ha! 
    Now my imitation of Richard Wilbur's poem is two-fold. I wanted to write a composition that would hang on his scaffolding and also be thematically similar, a sort of snapshot of what I see and love when I look at the earth. Is this plagiarism? I would say not! But loving imitation, yes, a heaping spoonful. Though I doubt that Richard would even see his poem in mine, I have no qualms at all about honoring him for his influence on me. Never-the-less, I would argue that this poem is clearly mine and not his. And I would love to think that he might love my work as much as I do his! 

****More to come!****

Copyright © Brian Johnston | Year Posted 2017

Long poem by T Wignesan | Details

Translation of Eric Mottram's A Faithful Private - 4 with a Clive Bush Comment by T Wignesan

Transl. of Eric Mottram’s A Faithful Private - 4 with a Clive Bush comment on Mottram's poetry 

Excerpt from an article, “From space to caves in the heart recreating the collective world in Eric Mottram’s poetry” by Clive Bush, Director of American Studies, King’s College, University of London in The Journal of Comparative Poietics, Vol. I, Nos. 2 & 3 (Paris), 1990/1991, p. 49. Founder-Editor: T. Wignesan.

“The very few good English poets are buried endlessly under unbelievably overpublicized and minor poets like Larkin, Betjeman, Tom Gunn, Irish exiles, expatriates from previous colonies (and the darker the skin the better) who are endlessly flattered by the Arts Council, the British Council, and the Establishment Poetry Society and who have never understood the difference between writing “political” poetry and writing poetry politically.4*  They ensure that anybody with a noisy social, sexual, racial, religious, or mental/physical problem, and almost everybody published by Faber and Faber since 1960 is instantly legitimated in a market dominated by the comforting guilts of liberals. (…) Mottram himself is absolutely unprovincial in form, content, and in the sheer range of available materials he puts together. In this sense he is closer to an English tradition which took for granted it was artistically part of Europe: a tradition which includes Chaucer, Milton, Coleridge, Shelley, Byron, and beyond Europe, an American tradition which would include Whitman, Pound, Williams, H. D., Rukeyser, Olson among many others. Jerome Rothenberg is among the exemplary poets whose sense of the world enables him to draw on traditions which range from ancient Indian and Chinese poetry to poetry of Native Americans, Eskimos, Pacific peoples: that still enormous range of different histories, often non-literate poetries, artistic practises, forms of life, and human experience which academics, aristocrats and commercial advertisers designate as “ethnic”. “ 

4. Le chanteur 

l’Interstate 40 au croisement
de la State Route 27
abandonnée aux graffiti 
les fumeurs et copperheads
— Visant la Gloire —
la bibliothèque d’Okemah
Oklahomah ne voulait pas
ses écritures et signes
ses cendres
au-delà des falaises d’Atlantique

la pluie tombe          ne tombe pas
sur les peacans cacahuètes 
sur une église
pour chaque centaine
pour le compte de la fierté civique
dans des clubs de service militaire
où un agent de service secret
témoigne sur serment quotidiennement
le chanteur en déplacement
est détenu par les Soviets
afin qu’il fasse adapter les chansons de guerre russes
en ballades américaines jouables 
agent Matusow R. S. No. 115

Woody Guthrie Memorial Inc.
une corporation à but non-lucrative 
pour un musée en vigueur
la date est 1972
le faux témoignage
sans vitre  sans portes
la maison à l’intersection

de qui la terre
de qui
les chansons

* The distinction is Kurt Well’s….(…) quoted in Eric Mottram’s Interrogation Rooms (London: Spanner, 1982), p. 10.

(c) T. Wignesan - Paris,  2017

Copyright © T Wignesan | Year Posted 2017

Long Poems