NaPoWriMo: 30 poems in 30 days (day 8)

Day 8 prompt: Use a portion of a poem from a twitter bot as seed (inspiration) to write a poem.


Confession: I dislike the words twitter, tweet, and bot. It’s getting late. I need a poem. I’ve read nearly all of Anne Carson’s “The Glass Essay” searching. I considered her “Where does unbelief begin?” and discovered her phrase, “That was the night that centered Heaven and Hell,” which I may use later. I pondered Richard Siken’s words, “Let’s admit, without apology, what we do to each other” and “This has nothing to do with faith but is still a good question.” I did the perusal work of reviewing several twitter bots. Nothing worked.

Then, as I was re-reading Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried (1990), I found it. I try to do “optional” prompts. I hope I semi-followed the elective prompt with a twist.

My poem is based on a scene from O’Brien’s book, specifically from the chapter, “On the Rainy River.” Tim writes of sitting in a small boat 20 yards from Canada while facing his inner dilemma of doing what he thinks is morally right and what his family and most people (at the time) thought he should do: to accept his draft notice and fight in the Viet Nam War.


The Embarrassment of Tears

It was a moral freeze,
part hallucination, he supposed,
as paralysis took his heart,
a tightness he wants me to feel.

He could swim but he saw them,
a blind poet scribbling notes, people,
his past and his future, and mine.

His conscience lost the battle in a war
it could not win. He would do it.

He would go to the war –
he would kill, and maybe die
because he was embarrassed
not to. That was the thing.

And so, he sat in the boat,
and he cried, but he did not die.
Not a happy ending, his war,
his book, our war. He went to the war.

He was a coward, he claims,
because he stuffed it for them,
for their love, which he carried then,
and carries today. I disagree.

He asks me, and you,
would you cry? The scene jerks
my tears, not for Tim, or the war,
but for me. I was not in his boat.


Sit in your boat and look both ways, to Canada or to home.
Mind the gaps, there may a book or a poem in them.

NaPoWriMo: 30 poems in 30 days (day 4)

Day 4 Prompt: write a poem based on an image from a dream.


Falling

I dream. Real life things.
Clears the mind is what they say,
acting out, kicking or yelling.

I remember falling,
although
I’ve never fallen like that,
frightened.
Trying to swim
in the air, in my bed.
Crazy, right? But seems so real.

The fall ends
with an awakening,
a tension,
heavy breathing, until then
It’s like Aerosmith
singing, telling me to sing,
screaming in my ear
dream on…
Dream On…
DREAM ON!

Uncontrolled. Letting go,
all of it,
the stress, the tests
normal life washed
from my mind as fear falls
into a new day
of happiness and blissful life.
Dream on, dream on,
and sing with me. Before
he takes you away.


Look both ways.
Sleeping and dreaming, both part of living.
Mind the gaps with me, sing with me. Dream on, with me.

Poetry: Deep Cuts


I’ve noticed within you
dormant dark ironic
meanness which,
aroused by stress,
fueled with fear,
ushers in you a strife
emblazoned with virulent rancor,
etched with vitriol and venomous
words more harmful than
some source
of your frantic painful sputum.

You strike
like a cornered dog
or captured snake seeking vengeance
without sense of reason, cause, or goal,

neither coherent illumination nor purpose
tempers or dulls your slashing fangs.

Let lost conscience be not your guide,
nor grief and guilt become your
warrant.

Count to ten. Then count again.
Nothing can be unsaid,
unheard, or unfelt.


Look both ways when emotions rise.
Seek the mindful gaps of calmness and search for love.

Sammie’s Weekender #148: Somnambulist


Acrostic Sleepwalker

Secrets we’ve never been told
Oceans nature never fully filled
Memories of loving happiness in eyes of laughter
Nights kissing when we’re young together
Amour aplenty to fill our hearts with passion.
Mysteries make us wonder why
Bodies, then so young and strong, a
Universe without chaos, and a cosmos within us
Lasting love that never leaves us
Innocent children who needlessly die, while
Some just pray and wonder why.
Time to take the dance into the street.


In the street, look both ways and be aware, or woke, as they say.
Mind the gaps as hidden happiness and sadness.

Poetry: Share the Morn

It’s early
but not dark
and it’s raining,
none too gently

clouds shed rain drops
and hide the sun
for a while. Hear –
feel – smell – taste,

and see the rain
on a mild morning,
to walk and get wet
feels good to be

alive, wishing you
here by me with rain
to share
what is so good.
I guess, in a way
you are here.

Look both ways, morning, noon, and night.
Mind the gaps, puddles, and slippery when wets.

Sammi’s Weekender: hubris


Does hubris feed my ego? Is it the other way around, where my pride has need of honor and glory? Are the two without peer? Tell me please, the middle aged or old, has-been American male; and what of truth? When did somewhere in the middle cast the shadow of failure? When did wealth become honor, dishonor become firebrand, and fact become fiction?

Can I stand naked and alone, on my own merits and feel sufficiently honored in my own skin? Do I need groupie demagoguery to feel satiated at my needy soul?

Look both ways to see the approaching train-wreck.
Mind the gaps and seek the truth.

 

Poetry: Up Your Rolex

You know who you are,
driving fast and weaving past
in your European model automobile
costing four to ten times
the worth of my car. I am so
sorry to have used your
private interstate highway

And set my cruise control
a mere smidgen over
the legal speed limit of eighty
fucking statute miles an hour.

I was foolish indeed,
to humbly assume such speed
would suffice to get you
to your Sunday morning
emergency appointment.

Trucks once had their speed limits
for safety. But, no longer. Perhaps
you can have limits removed
for drivers of a Beamer, Audi,
Benz, or a Lex.

Maybe even
your own lane forbidden
to the minions who believe
their thirty-dollar Timex
is as good with time
as your uptown Rolex.

My foolish economy has jaded
my vision since I struggled
to see life your way.

And finally, begging your pardon
one last time.
Fuck you, asshole.

 

***

Look both ways, these wankers pass on both sides.
Mind the gaps, they’re filled by saps.