Poetry: Nature Knows (NaPoWriMo day 16)

The NaPo prompt for Friday, April 16th, was to write a poem using a form called Skeltonic, or tumbling, verse. Skeltonic poems have short lines of three to six words, two or three stressed syllables, and are simple verses. There is no specific length. Lines must rhyme and new rhymes may be introduced. There is no alternating rhyme scheme.


Nature can be dastardly
Random in her apathy
Extending thru the galaxy
Giving freely of catastrophe
With all her immortality
With no kind of partiality
Uncaring of our flattery
In her lavish asexuality
At the center of gravity
Lacking godly spirituality
Devoid of all sentimentality
Guilty of total impartiality
What can I possibly say?
What will save us this day?
As to tragedy we give way
Maybe we should pray
To express our dismay
Of her uncaring touché.


Look both ways, in the blues and thru the grays.
Mind the gaps as there may be traps making all of us saps.

Poetry: War’s Bitterness (NaPoWriMo day 6)

The irony of today’s prompt is that it comes from Holly Lyn Walrath, who wrote of prompts, “…they all suck.” She poses this one as simple.

“Go to a book you love. Find a short line that strikes you. Make that line the title of your poem. Write a poem inspired by the line. Then, after you’ve finished, change the title completely.”

I want to finish this assignment today, so I am amending the prompt slightly.

I have lists of lines (quotes) from books I like. Examples I considered from Bukowski’s poetry book, Love is Dog from Hell, (also the title of one of the poems) include:

  1. “Sissies have a hard life.”
  2. “I never quite understood what it all meant and still don’t.”
  3. “Human relationships aren’t durable.”
  4. “Just drink more beer, more and more beer.”
  5. “An early taste of death is not necessarily a bad thing.”
  6. “Hit that thing/hit it hard.”

I rejected them for a sentence from Tim O’Brien’s book, The Things They Carried. The protagonist is referring to his decision to be drafted and go to Viet Nam, rather than flee to Canada.

“I would go to the war—I would kill and maybe die—because I was embarrassed not to.”

I used each of these three independent clauses as the title for a quatrain. Then, I wrote the overall title of the combined poem, but I left the original lines.


War’s Bitterness

I would go to the war*—

Not to defend my country
or the Constitution, or our freedom,
or our way of life, to a war
I did not believe in.

I would kill and maybe die*—

Even my own countrymen would
condemn me and others who did
see themselves as defenders, many heroes
who would be wasted in a war they hated.

I was embarrassed not to*—

I cried. I didn’t want to go. I felt
that I had no choice. Could I kill?
Would I be killed or maimed?
Would I ever understand why?


(*Taken from the boat scene while fishing on the Rainy River in the book, The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien.)

Look both ways. Feel the pressure. Decide.
Mind the gaps, especially those in your mind.
You’re only a living, fallible human.

Poetry: See No Evil (NaPoWriMo Day 1)

The day one prompt challenged me to write a poem inspired by watching “Seductive Fantasy” by Sun Ra and his Arkestra.

Click link to watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bX_xh2do3eM


See No Evil

She asked permission to paint her room.
We agreed without knowing anything.
The nineties were pointless trips to nowhere
without boring rhythmic sounds of psychedelia,
like coos of Mexican doves
invading my ears, dulling my brain.

As with straight lines and square corners in nature,
nothing made sense without the age and drugs and booze
opening accepted altered states understood only
by artists who painted strange images upon
home wall canvases in rooms to sleep, to dream.
Unaware of, but fearing, impending nightmarish doom.

Why did monochrome pointlessness happen?
I want to cry. Sometimes die. Because life is a lie.
None of that is possible for the imprisoned people,
unable to see whatever reality there is or isn’t,
when certainty is a soundless death
after a meaningless life of pitiful existence.


Look both ways, but never look back.
Mind the gaps where the music stays.

Sammi’s Weekender (Dire)


From the Universe, I call down a pox upon them.
Dirae with Furiae shall tear their poisonous skin
to feed comrade vultures sitting in shadows of guilt.

Curators of dire curses upon innocents, dealers of death cards,
may shepherds of fools find woeful futures haunted
by those who paid the greatest price to dance with fantasy and lies.


Look both ways seeking answers, but beware
gaps of darkness are where truth is hard and lies come easy.

Sammi’s Weekender (Paradox)

Click to go to Sammi’s blog.

 


A Paradox of Love

How can it be?
They were once lovers intent on solving the riddle of forever.
Time was the mere scent of one, aroused the other
and they clung together like peach and stone.

How can it be as time passed, such love was lost?
How did what was become unthinkable?
When did the passion of love serve up malevolence?
What paradox now leaves two enigmatic lovers
with a secret neither knows?


Look both ways on the road of love.
The past is not the future. The present is not forever.
Mind the gaps for the riddle of discontent.

Sammi’s Weekender #182 (bequeath/bequest)


I Lied to Me

His first words,
“What will you get?”
With such words our brother
accounted for decades of silence.

“He can’t help it,”
I’d tell myself.
“It’s not his fault.
He was raised like that,”
I told myself.
“Forgive him.
He’s your big brother.
He should be your hero,”
I still tell myself—
Not some pitiful old man
Who’ll never understand why,
I told myself, again.

Our sister’s bequest
was that he suffer
as he caused her, but I couldn’t
let her love lapse, I told myself.


Look both ways with family and friends.
Mind the gaps, but learn to live without them.

Friday Fictioneers 9/18/2020 (Poetry: Joe’s plan)

Thanks to Rochelle @ Rochelle Wisoff-Fields-Addicted to Purple for providing another Friday Fictioneers photo prompt. Her weekly challenge is for us to write a story of 100 words or less based on a photo prompt (thanks to Roger Bultot).

PHOTO PROMPT © Roger Bultot

Genre: Narrative poetry
Title: Joe’s Plan
Word count: 96

***

Joe was okay for 96;
a walker, a bag, and caths.
not bad. no cancer.
she was long gone.
he felt guilty and missed her.

Joe had a plan.
one night, after the poker game,
the pain was too much.
at the hospital er, shingles, they said,
was not deadly.

Joe’s plan,
that night in his bathtub
he used his .38 Special
to join with her,
just past the veil.

Joe’s girlfriend found him, cops came,
hazmet cleaned up. some family members
dealt with his stuff. all they ever wanted
was joe’s money. now it’s finished.

***

Look both ways and wonder why, but death awaits all.
Mind the gaps and keep your powder dry.

Click for link.

Poetry: Another Morning


Awakened hours before sunrise,
he must guard, lest they come and kill;
this boy filled with fear and shock,
barely 19, taught to hate and kill,
now loyal to his clan, this new family,
his only friends, his only protection
as war has become his real world.

Miserable, hardened in every way,
unsympathetic, unimaginably deadly,
drawn to flashing light, learning
what he never wanted to know, addicted
to the battle, to the intoxicating fight.

He celebrates life with death, seeks random
revenge where none is possible,
has forgotten questions, never asks why,
lives in his personal accepted hated hell.

Sunrise lifts despair from his soul.
He smiles, alone, at the light of life,
happy to survive one more night.
He looks for answers, for that part of him,
now dead because he kills without a care.
Can he ever again be who he was born to be?


Look both ways to find another view.
Mind the gaps where questions decay away.

 

Poetry: Sammi’s Weekender #169 (misanthrope)

Click to visit Sammi’s page and see other responses to her prompt.

 


***

Love and hate, two words
once pithy
now made windy by insincerity,
like sorry or mea culpa (my bad)
to keep some false shallow peace.

Apologies mean little as expressing
regret where no fault or damage was done,
ad infinitum. I’m sorry,
but I’m so not sorry.

No, I don’t love that man nor hate that one,
love does not conquer all without wisdom,

or discernment of the scorpion’s sting.
Call me misanthrope if you like,
or cantankerous skeptic.
I like some people, hate others,
present company excepted.

Words with meaning and grace
make life tolerable. Nothing is perfect.

***


Look both ways, into self and judging others.
Mind the gaps of deception.

Poetry: Sammi’s Weekender #168 (peristeronic)


Hear pathetic, peristeronic sounds,
glorified pigeon’s monotonous cooing,
hunter’s prey, called white-winged Mexican Doves.

Sounds and shots signal long, hot, dry August days
in El Paso, Texas, at Walmart,
where hateful hearts sang out in murderous joy.

Supreme white-hot hate hammered home death
& destruction to familias con niños.
Pathetic politicians paraded past.


Look both ways into the hearts of men.
Mind the gaps. If you see only good, look again.

***

Explicación: Next Monday, 3 August 2020, marks one year since 21-year-old gunman and homegrown Texan terrorist, Patrick Crusius walked into a Walmart store in El Paso, Texas, with his legally purchased assault rifle and murdered thirteen Americans, eight Mexicans and one German, and randomly wounded 23 other innocents, including children.