Friday, October 12, 2018

Waiting While Poetry Lurks

Spontaneity reveals nature,
The guide man lets us know.
A figure is born in one stroke,
That’s what painting shows.

I, with my personal traits, 
Look challenge right in the eye.
"Tell us what is right and wrong,"
The song goes, "you won't have to die".

I speak many words with less thought,
Some words fake ones; some are real. 
Here is where I write one more poem,
To tell you precisely how I feel.

Peace is right and war is wrong,
I think love is better than death.
If summer were here all year long,
I would worry not about my breath.

Summers come and summers go,
And I find beauty is but a dream.
Paintings may be all that is left,
And they are covered with steam.

Who is right is better than who is wrong,
Some say they change with every scene,
With money, everything is possible,
I believe that's the American Dream.

So, I put on my clothes every day,
We all go that way to work.
Then I take them off to go to bed,
As I wait while poetry lurks.


© Dennis Wright, 2018

"American Dreams Come True,"
photo of Spc. Nikolaus Stiles taken by Sgt. Uriah Walker,
from Wikimedia Commons

Monday, September 24, 2018

The Only Consequence of Truth

I’M NAKED ON THE JAMES,
BODY AND SOUL, BUT
CAN I BE AS HONEST AS TRUTH?

CAN I REACH INTO FEELING TIME,
WRITE DOWN AND COMMIT TO INK
WHAT I THINK, WHAT’S REALLY
ON MY MIND AND IN MY HEART?

JUST WHERE DO I START?

A SEPARATION IS SURE
BETWEEN TRUTH AND FANTASY--
BUT WHERE’S THE LINE I MUST DIVINE
TO INVEST ONE WITH REALITY?

THESE SANDED BANKS OF THE RIVERSIDE
MAKE RECORD OF A FLOOD THAT ROSE IN TIME--
BUT EVEN THAT RECORD WILL SUBSIDE
AS TIME AND FLOOD AMORE SLIP BY.

SO WHY IS THE MARK
OF MY FLOODED HEART WITH LOVING
SUCH A MONUMENT?

CANYONS ETCHED BY TIME IN STONE
RESIST THE PASSAGE OF MEMORY,
WITNESS AND MAINTAIN THE TRUTH.

THIS IS NOT TO BE DENIED, YET
MEMORIES CAN’T BE DEIFIED.

THE ONLY CONSEQUENCE OF TRUTH
IS THAT WE ARE, AS WE ARE.
WHAT WE MAY YET BE
REMAINS IN TIME FOR US TO SEE.

WE HUMANS ARE UNIQUE, I GUESS.
FOR WE, OF ALL, ARE ALLOWED TO CHOOSE
A PERSONAL MIX OF REALITY AND MUSE.

LODGED BESIDE THE WATER’S EDGE,
WINDED TEXTURES FILL MY EYES,
COLORS LEAP IN BRIGHTENED HUES,
THE SPIRIT OF CHANGE, ALONE, ABIDES.

EVEN THE TREES
WHICH BY PRIMAL GRIP AND TENACITY
HOLD THE EDGE TODAY,
TOMORROW MIGHT BE SWEPT AWAY--

ONLY IN THE MOMENT CAN WE STAY!

IS THIS WISDOM?
IS THIS LIGHT?
IS THIS SALVATION?
OR IS THIS OUR PLIGHT?

ALL I KNOW, AS I WALK AND STOP
ALONG THE RIVER HERE
IS THAT EVERYTHING IS MORE THAN IT APPEARS.

THE LONG RAYS SHOW
AS THEY RANGE ACROSS THE BOTTOMLAND, 
LEAVES OF GRASS ARE TALLER THAN THEY STAND,

AND SEED PODS LITTERING THE SANDED WAY
ARE ENLIGHTENED IN THEIR DISARRAY.

AS EVENING FLOWS UP TO THE STARS
AND STILLNESS GATHERS IN THE MAW, 
EVEN THE CLACKING OF THE CROWS
SOFTENS INTO AWE.

CRICKETS NOW TAKE UP THE SONG.

HOW THE MOMENT LINGERS ON!


© Gerry Sackett, 2018

James River from Robius Landing Park
by OlWhitey
from Wikimedia Commons

Monday, September 3, 2018

Vanishing

Was it last week I boarded a plane in Botswana, zebras on the 
runway, hot as hell?  Lifted up from hippo ponds, carried 
past Lilac-Breasted Rollers, today I’m back home to 
snow on the ground, bean soup bubbling on my 
stove.  Of every savanna glory, I’m still 
spellbound by the cheetah’s stare, 
head bobbing like a compass 
point, with padded gait of a 
nimble stalker.   These 
slender cats of highway 
speed, spotted skin, 
rudder tails, they 
are finite, 
they are 
retreating 
into shiny 
pages on 
bookshelves 
where 
almost all 
rhinoceros 
live. 


© Marti Snell, 2018

Two cheetahs
Photo by Gary Stolz, US Fish & Wildlife Service
from Wikimedia Commons

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

The Photographer

“Say ‘cheese’,” he calls,
as she stands before the camera
looking pensive.
Be happy with your
housewife-in-an-apron world.
Smile.  Say “cheese,”
and join the world of make-believe.


© Peg Latham,  1997

Picture of a "traditional" housewife
by JosephineRN28
on Wikimedia Commons 

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

I Will Stay

The gully leads the land to the water table
For the water’s sake as a young man
Would lay his coat in mud for the queen

The branch flows all summer gathering
Grasses and birches skirts all billowing
Because the pastures kindly tilt this way

This farm’s eight acres inclined to the sea
Sending water down and down even after
The trees have lifted so much to the sky

All last year I built sacred fires in caves
As high as I could find but in this watershed
The fire circle goes down behind the branch

And I still don’t know how it is I got here
Or why water behaves this particular way
But some love has roped me, and I will stay.


© Bill Prindle, 2018

Sprout Creek
Photo by Julian Colton
from Wikimedia Commons



Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Near the End of a Meeting of the Live Poets Society

A black clock
Was what I saw,
With white numbers
That were really planets,
Which ticked around
The round void.
We saw it all
Upon our wall,
And now we waited
As it commanded.
But one of us wanted
To say one more poem,
Not stopped by the clock,
Though the meeting had ended.
The poem would be sung,
Unafraid of time,
Unabashed, clear,
As it took a ride
On the white numbers
That were actually planets,
Forming a ring
In a void not inimical.
So the song did go down;
The song did go up
On a Ferris Wheel,
Measureless, 
Whose fun stops
Only to fearlessly
Start again--
Its turning renewed,
Slightly improved,
Surprisingly dependable,
Our glee unreproved.
But can a song be free
From clock and void?
Are we allowed to see
Our glee go free?


      © Stephen Margulies, 2018

Eye on the Bay, Bridlington ~ Yorkshire, England
Photo by Paul Glazzard
from the Geograph Project
on Wikimedia Commons



Monday, June 4, 2018

Dad's First Car

Somewhere in the ‘20s that would have been,
when a man learned about magnetos and mudholes,
when he took care not to break an elbow or thumb
when twirling a crank, carried a cake of soap
for a squeaky fan belt and a pinch of oatmeal
to seal a radiator leak, knew that somewhere
on a back road he’d borrow a fence rail for a jack,
have to back up the steepest hills
when the engine was starved for gas—

small bits of lore from a time long gone,
as he is, but strong in his memory
as he is in mine, lips still moving in some silent language,
still telling me stories I really want to hear.


              © David Black, 2018

Woman hand cranking the car to start it on a rainy day, August 1926
Photo by Infrogmation of New Orleans
from Wikimedia Commons