More Than the Moon (Poem)

Here is an excerpt from a beautiful poem by Dawn Wilfong:

When I am settling down to bed,
you’ve slept for hours. As you
wake up I am still soundly sleeping.
If I long for you as you
dream of me are we connected?

Read the entire poem, called “More Than the Moon,” here.

Photo courtesy Bartek Ambrozik at Stock.xchnge

Quirky Cool Poem (There Be Lions)

Photo courtesy Irum Shahid at Stock.xchnge

I love anything that’s written in an absurd or quirky style, and “Sunt Leones” (translated from Latin: there be lions) certainly meets that criteria.  Following is the now classic poem written by the talented Stevie Smith (1902-1971).

Sunt Leones

The lions who ate the Christians on the sands of the arena
By indulging native appetites played what has now been seen a
Not entirely negligible part
In consolidating at the very start
The position of the Early Christian Church
Initiatory rites are always bloody
And the lions, it appear
 
From contemporary art, made a study
Of dyeing Coliseum sands a ruddy
Liturgically sacrificial hue
And if the Christians felt a little blue
Well people being eaten often do
Theirs was the death, and theirs the crown undying
A state of things which must be satisfying
My point which up to this has been obscure
is that it was the lions who procure
By chewing up blood gristle flesh and bone
The martyrdoms on which the Church has grown
I only write this poem because I thought it rather looked  
As if the part the lions played was being overlooked
By lions’ jaws great benefits and blessings were begotten  
And so our debt to Lionhood must never be forgotten. 

See a list of books by Stevie Smith on amazon.com.

Poets are like Butterflies

The editor of Poesy Magazine proclaims on his News page that he’s “back again,” and, after 18 months of downtime, he’s “continuing Poesy and returning refreshed, rested and with a vengance to make an impact.”  Except that was posted 5 months ago and there doesn’t seem to be any activity since. 

Ah, well.  I know what it’s like to burn out on a project; I myself am the proud owner of a number of abandoned blogs and social networking pages strewn far and wide across the internet.  Anyway, the good news is that you can still read some cool stuff on the site, including several featured poems from the last issue.

Photo courtesy Asumann at Stock.Xchnge

Following is an excerpt from a poem called “Poem for David Church” by A.D. Winans.  It is from a memorial poem written for a poet who passed away:

poets are like butterflies
inhabiting temporary space
tasting the pollen of life
spreading their wings
reshaping the stars the universe
cosmic matter waiting to be reborn

My Sneaking Tears (Poem)

I saw this poem and found it so beautiful that I immediately searched for the author (Mark R. Slaughter) online in order to ask his permission to post it here. Fortunately, I found him, and even more fortunately, he was kind enough to allow me to reprint this poem and share it with all of you.

My Sneaking Tears

How heavy fell the rain that day
From burdened clouds of mournful grey.
The torrent forced them stay their height –
Composure swayed by onerous might.

My skin wrung wet with icy chill
As mud embraced that sodden hill.
But mind of mine had elsewhere gone –
‘Twas clouds abandoned I was on.

The driving drops advanced their gears
To camouflage my sneaking tears –
Whence now did swell such floods of pain
To see me melt into this rain…

On equal bearing now were we:
This rain; myself, in harmony.

The author lives in the United Kingdom and is a prolific writer.  You can view more of Mark R. Slaughter’s poems (over 200 of them!) at poemhunter.com.  Also, visit his website, Poem Crypt, and follow him on twitter.

Cabbages, Kings, and Pigs with Wings

I don’t know what Lewis Carroll was smoking, but it must have been some pretty good stuff to come up with poetry like this… 

The Walrus and the Carpenter

The sun was shining on the sea,
Shining with all his might:
He did his very best to make
The billows smooth and bright–
And this was odd, because it was
The middle of the night.

The moon was shining sulkily,
Because she thought the sun
Had got no business to be there
After the day was done–
“It’s very rude of him,” she said,
“To come and spoil the fun!”

The sea was wet as wet could be,
The sands were dry as dry.
You could not see a cloud, because
No cloud was in the sky:
No birds were flying overhead–
There were no birds to fly.

The Walrus and the Carpenter
Were walking close at hand;
They wept like anything to see
Such quantities of sand:
“If this were only cleared away,”
They said, “it would be grand!”

“If seven maids with seven mops
Swept it for half a year.
Do you suppose,” the Walrus said,
“That they could get it clear?”
“I doubt it,” said the Carpenter,
And shed a bitter tear.

“O Oysters, come and walk with us!”
The Walrus did beseech.
“A pleasant walk, a pleasant talk,
Along the briny beach:
We cannot do with more than four,
To give a hand to each.”

The eldest Oyster looked at him,
But never a word he said:
The eldest Oyster winked his eye,
And shook his heavy head–
Meaning to say he did not choose
To leave the oyster-bed.

But four young Oysters hurried up,
All eager for the treat:
Their coats were brushed, their faces washed,
Their shoes were clean and neat–
And this was odd, because, you know,
They hadn’t any feet.

Four other Oysters followed them,
And yet another four;
And thick and fast they came at last,
And more, and more, and more–
All hopping through the frothy waves,
And scrambling to the shore.

The Walrus and the Carpenter
Walked on a mile or so,
And then they rested on a rock
Conveniently low:
And all the little Oysters stood
And waited in a row.

“The time has come,” the Walrus said,
“To talk of many things:
Of shoes–and ships–and sealing-wax–
Of cabbages–and kings–
And why the sea is boiling hot–
And whether pigs have wings.”

“But wait a bit,” the Oysters cried,
“Before we have our chat;
For some of us are out of breath,
And all of us are fat!”
“No hurry!” said the Carpenter.
They thanked him much for that.

“A loaf of bread,” the Walrus said,
“Is what we chiefly need:
Pepper and vinegar besides
Are very good indeed–
Now if you’re ready, Oysters dear,
We can begin to feed.”

“But not on us!” the Oysters cried,
Turning a little blue.
“After such kindness, that would be
A dismal thing to do!”
“The night is fine,” the Walrus said.
“Do you admire the view?

“It was so kind of you to come!
And you are very nice!”
The Carpenter said nothing but
“Cut us another slice:
I wish you were not quite so deaf–
I’ve had to ask you twice!”

“It seems a shame,” the Walrus said,
“To play them such a trick,
After we’ve brought them out so far,
And made them trot so quick!”
The Carpenter said nothing but
“The butter’s spread too thick!”

“I weep for you,” the Walrus said:
“I deeply sympathize.”
With sobs and tears he sorted out
Those of the largest size,
Holding his pocket-handkerchief
Before his streaming eyes.

“O Oysters,” said the Carpenter,
“You’ve had a pleasant run!
Shall we be trotting home again?’
But answer came there none–
And this was scarcely odd, because
They’d eaten every one.

Read more of Lewis Carroll’s poetry at poemhunter.

Super Short Poems You Will Love, from Twitter Poets

Recently, Tina Nguyen and Claire Everett hosted a twitter poetry party.  People from around the globe joined in to write gogyohka, a Japanese form of short poetry consisting of 5 lines of free verse.  The themes were “summer” and “spirit.”  Here are some of the wonderful and sometimes quirky poems that came out of that virtual get-together…

the neighbor lady / having to remind me / that while it was July 4th / 8 AM was no time / for fireworks (by P.R. Clark Twitter)

dirty, stiff, and tart / refreshing / with a bit of a bite / my conversation / my martini (by Vince L. Wilson Twitter, Website)

nightly at 8 / office goblin spirits arise / chewing stray pens, / unfolding paperclips / xeroxing buttcheeks (by Vince L. Wilson Twitter, Website)

at my shoulder / my grandmother / long dead / still tuts about / bikinis (by Claire Everett Twitter, Website)

a shell of memory / against my ear / I listen / to the sea / of a distant summer (by Claire Everett Twitter, Website)

that moment / I was / his dream girl / but just / for that moment (by Heather Feaga Twitter, Website)

firefly-sized hope / still lit / I’d like to stomp it with my army boot / but won’t / because I haven’t learned a thing (by Heather Feaga Twitter, Website)

hurt and shattered / I swore to be lonely / till my spirit rebelled / yielding / to you (by Nimue Twitter, Website)

her / spirit wild / and free / she roamed / with the wind (by gennepher Twitter, Website)

sleeping / under the stars / cool fresh summer night / the dogs hot breath / on my cheek (by gennepher Twitter, Website)

an era lost / where any child / can run in and out / of homes / unlocked (by amoz1939 Twitter)

working late in the lab / black out / held hands with her / tip toe out / into summer night (by amoz1939 Twitter)

attar roses / no showy blooms for Grandma / when I was little / I knew how her ghost would smell / and this July she haunts me (by Liu Tiemo Twitter)

her words / have painted / a meadow in me / where countless flowers / bloom (by Paul Smith Twitter, Website)

at sunset / summer spills / itself / into the ocean’s / depths (by Paul Smith Twitter, Website)

the spirit of summer / led us to a meadow / at dusk / more than this / I cannot say… (by Paul Smith Twitter, Website)

babbling brook / merging in the sea / loses her identity / yet still she seeks / in its depths her destiny (by Neerja Pande Tiwari Twitter)

it never ends / our story / changing as it flows / like river / to sea (by Aki Gibbons Twitter, Website)

my girls / not so small / but not so big / to make popsicles / and leave the mess for me (by An Mayou Twitter)

do you / really believe / that God could love you / more than any / other (by Kane Fielding Twitter, Website)

summer / how your skin stuck to mine / sliding across hot vinyl / roads drawn fine / around Appalachian mountains (by ten ten ten Twitter, Website)

moonlight / the empty patio table / shadows / of aspen leaves / a lacy cloth (by Christina Nguyen Twitter, Website) 

to risk it all / you forget yourself / and remember / only / your wish (by Christina Nguyen Twitter, Website)

remember / that summer / mom sent us to Florida / so dad / could leave (by Cady Ford Twitter, Website)

spirit of the Muse / bless these poets / with words / as plentiful and rich / as pomegranate seeds (by Stormerne Hunt Twitter)

the earth / measures / her life / by the breaths / of her seasons (by Stormerne Hunt Twitter)

when summer comes / I will wear white / take tea on the lawn / watch cricket / and be ridiculous (by Stormerne Hunt Twitter)

Click on the links following the authors’ names to visit their individual twitter accounts and/or homepages.  Then continue the party:  add a comment and write your own 5-line poem.

Fourth of July Poem

I found this wonderfully written patriotic poem on a site called poemsource.com.   The site is home to the poetry of the very prolific Joanna Fuchs.  She has written poems on a variety of subjects for holidays and special occasions, including weddings and birthdays.  Here is a prize-winning poem she wrote for a bicentennial poetry contest in 1976.

Free In The USA
By Joanna Fuchs

On the Fourth of July, I raised the flag,
As I spoke with love and pride:
“I’m blessed to be an American,” I said,
To two friends who stood by my side.

One was my neighbor, who lives next door,
He’s a citizen, like me.
The other, a visitor from a hard, oppressed land,
Far across the sea.

“My flag stays in its box this year,”
Said my neighbor, boiling mad.
“The terrible shape this country’s in,
The future looks nothing but bad.

“Taxes, scandal, indifference and crime,
On our land like a giant stain.”
My visitor said, “We have all that, and worse,
But it’s against the law to complain.”

My neighbor looked startled, but not subdued;
Then he started in on the Press:
“There’s nothing but bad news; the headlines are bleak.”
(It gets me down, too, I confess.)

“Our news is all good,” said my visitor.
“It’s just how you’d like to be.
We know what our government wants us to know;
Our press is controlled, you see.”

My neighbor spun ‘round and marched toward his house,
And here is the end to my story:
The next time we saw him, he was out in his yard,
Proudly raising Old Glory.

Poetry Lovers: Do You Gogyohka?

According to The Spider Tribe’s Blog:

Gogyohka is a new form of Japanese short poetry, founded and pioneered by Japanese poet Enta Kusakabe. Gogyohka is pronounced go-gee-yoh-kuh (the “g”s are hard as in “good”), and literally translated means “five line poem.” Gogyohka is five lines of free verse on any subject matter. There is no set syllable pattern, however the poem should be short and succinct. The goal is to compellingly capture an idea, observation, feeling, memory, or experience in just a few words.

I love this form because it’s simple and beautiful.  Here are a few gogyohka I’ve written in the past couple of days… 


Hawaiian Summer
by Edie Montgomery-Pool
 
That summer in Hawaii
Hanging with fast boys
Chasing adventure
Jumping off waterfalls
Clothing optional

Granny’s Songs
by Edie Montgomery-Pool
 
Granny loved church hymns
Voice high and shrill
Full of joy
Loud enough
For the angels to hear

Heaven’s Jewel
by Edie Montgomery-Pool
 
Tiny woman
Big spirit
Big heart
My mother
Heaven’s most precious jewel

Add your own gogyohka in the comments section.  (Try it…it’s easy and fun!)

The 2010 Winter Olympics in Verse

(Edit:  Originally, I was going to document the majority of the sports in the 2010 Winter Olympics, but I just kind of flaked and now I’ve forgotten everything that happened.  So…yeah, I just ended up writing about one of the sports–snowboarding.)

Dedicated to the memory of Nodar Kumaritashvili
Georgian luger who died in a training run hours before the opening ceremony
World-class athlete, beloved son, kind-hearted soul
Taken from the world too suddenly, too soon

2010 Winter Olympics
by Edie Montgomery-Pool

Atop trucked-in ice and man-made powder
When Vancouver’s snowfall fell short
Amidst the breathtaking splendor of Canada’s beauty
The world gathered for the glory of sport

* * * * *

Men’s Halfpipe

Twenty-one healed bones and a mountain of talent
Was what Scotty Lago brought to his bronze-medal finish
And Peetu Piiroinen took silver that day
Much to the pride of the snowboarding Finnish

Yet nothing compared to the anticipation
Of one man’s daring acrobatic flight
The unfolding legend, the King of Cypress Mountain,
The Flying Tomato, Red Zepplin, Shaun White

With razor-sharp tricks at skyscraper heights
Like a tomahawk, he sliced through the competition
Then floated to the ground as if his board had wings
Landing himself in the gold medal position

At the top of the pipe, in sheer jubilation
Knowing the coveted prize had been won
He dropped in and pulled off a Double McTwist
1260 on the final run

* * * * *

Women’s Halfpipe

Kelly Clark thought she was Kelly Clarkson
And sang loudly before each run
It must have worked because she took home the bronze
When the women’s halfpipe was done

Bright had a dark moment when she teetered and fell
Leaving the door open for others to beat her
But Torah nailed it the next time, winning gold for Oz
With the silver awarded to Hannah Teter

If you like this poem, you might also want to take a look at my Summer 2008 Olympics poem.

The Metro and Wild Violets, Poems and Stuff

Check out Wild Violet, an online literary journal which features poetry, fiction, interviews, art, and more.  While you’re there, read Lyn Lifshin’s poem, On the Metro, which starts like this:

a woman with dark curly
hair is on p. 101 of Fear of
Flying. I’m flung back
to when my hair was
thick and curly as hers is,
all that seemed ahead
and all that was and I
couldn’t tell…

Click the link above to finish reading this poem.