Poetry: Sammi’s Weekender #205 (uncanny)

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Magic Music

Music finds my mood,
picks at my soul
it finds my feelings,
uncannily,
making music mine.
Is our love for sound and music
the saving grace of life?
Or is it our destiny
not to think about it twice?


Listen to the music but look to see it both ways.
The gaps between the notes, a place where angels play.

Poetry: News Tomorrow (NaPoWriMo day 13)

Today’s NaPo prompt is simply to write a poem in the form of a news article I wish would come out tomorrow.


Note: the following activity has been CDC approved.

According National and Local Weather Services,
today’s weather begins with morning mizzle
just before sunrise which will be hidden
by thin but pleasant cloud cover, shading away
ultraviolet rays throughout the day. The FBI reports
increased pluviophile online activity, anticipating
large crowds dancing in the streets. A blue-gray morning
fog is expected to precede any precipitation, which is
expected to last throughout the day. According to
biologists, environmentalists, and other health officials,
a noticeable petrichor will be olfactory possible early,
driving pollen counts to zero, extinguishing all house and forest fires,
and forcing plants and flowing shrubs into view
with leaves decorated by translucent pearly droplets.
A low temp of 74 will be followed a balmy 79 degrees.
Naked or lightly clothed people will likely be seen,
dancing on all roads and streets, like under a harvest moon.
According to law enforcement officials, no one will be
cited or arrested for lingering or loitering in the rain,
and wet citizens will be expected to dawdle in public.
As dusk approaches and all nearby deluge ceases,
the soft comforting rumble of distant thunder will be heard,
with the occasional lighting sightings to count until
telling, non-threatening bumps are heard. Local
businesses, libraries, and vendors will be moving outside
to serve refreshments while local bands are expected to play.
After midnight, as residents begin to sleep, the sounds
of distant thunder will turn to gentle lullabies
for a peaceful, uninterrupted night of rhythmic rains.


Look both ways for the finest of days.
Mind the gaps between drops and dance in the rain.

Poetry: A junk drawer song (NaPoWriMo day 10)

The day ten NaPo prompt is to write a junk drawer song.

The process was to choose a song, listen to it and make notes. I was not to overthink it (yeah, right), but too late. Next, I was to rifle through a junk drawer and make more notes about the objects therein.

Third, I needed to bring the two pages of notes together by writing a poem. The final step is to name the poem.

I made a list of seven songs, then selected “The Boxer” by Simon and Garfunkel. If I am to connect a song to a poem, that folksy tune is it. If you are familiar with the Bridge Over Troubled Water version, you may not be aware of the verse sometimes left off. Read it and you’ll see me.

The verse not included:

Now the years are rolling by me—
They are rockin’ evenly.
I am older than I once was,
And younger than I’ll be.
That’s not unusual;
No, it isn’t strange:
After changes upon changes
We are more or less the same;
After changes we are more or less the same.

I had less control over the junk drawer, but I was able to choose from various depositories for miscellaneous stuff.


Take Comfort Here

I am the boxer. Back then,
I had more future than past.
It could have been worse.
I found buttons and church keys.

How I saw it all then,
Doing wrong making bad,
And sorry I wasted anytime on that bull shit.
There was a domino of Oma,
Among bottle caps of cities,
Near an empty tube of something.

But it was to please them that I wanted.
And promises I’d heard,
Smiley faced measuring tape,
Two hand fans, or was it three?

Is that a hypodermic needle?
When a boy becomes a man,
For a long time, he’s neither.
Looking for something to make his own.
An orange highlighter to ruin a good book.
Dried up glue sticks.

I felt the pain and heard the call,
A temptation was my sin.
A needle and nail polish remover?

I didn’t and still don’t know what I wanted.
In such a coal miner’s lad finds comfort.
Low places. It could be worse. An old iTouch,
A thumb drive. Julie’s roller derby pin.

I stand before the mirror.
I am still a boy with a fighter’s heart
Crying out,
“I’m leaving, I am leavin’ ‘n want no company,”
But I’m still the same frightened boxer.


I look both ways, at who I was and who I am:
still the same, not wishing I was gone.
The gaps are bleedin’ me, leadin’ me…home.

Poetry: Omar’s Morning (NaPoWriMo day 9)

Today’s NaPo prompt was to write a poem in the form of a to-do list for an unusual person or character. I made a list for Omar Khayyam using some of his poetry as a guide.


“Awake! for Morning in the Bowl of Night
Has flung the Stone that puts the Stars to Flight:
And Lo! the Hunter of the East has caught
The Sultan’s Turret in a Noose of Light.”

Today I shall make math in the morning,
After a bit of love, and some science
To make the wine taste much finer.
Then I will make time to mend this tent.

Today, I must check the new calendar
To see if it works well enough to
Decide if today is the day after
Yesterday and the one before tomorrow.

“Here with a Loaf of Bread beneath the Bough,
A Flask of Wine, a Book of Verse–and Thou
Beside me singing in the Wilderness–
And Wilderness is Paradise enow.”

And love you I shall, until time for food,
And drink. Let us upset the local
Sufis a bit, they see me as atheist,
But they are wrong as this is heaven.

Then I must write for the art,
A bust of poetry as I lie with thee.
Who will know me in a thousand years?
I must get this damn sandal fixed.

Then I recall I must teach that class.
Oh, how to find the time?
Let us make a Sultan’s list,
As I’ll think of love and wine.

(Quotations are from The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, written by Omar Khayyam, translated by Edward Fitzgerald.)


Look both ways for Epicurean delights.
Mind the gaps with humorous and perverse exalting
gratification of the senses. Tomorrow we can decide what happens then.

Poetry: The Late Train (NaPoWriMo day 8)

Edgar Lee Masters’ 1915 book, Spoon River Anthology, consists of poetic monologues, each spoken by a dead person buried in the fictional town of Spoon River.

My day eight NaPo prompt/assignment was to read a few of Masters’ poems, then write a poem in the form of a monologue delivered by someone who is dead.


“Good morning America how are ya?” *
I’m J. R. Cash but call me Johnny.
I been a singer ‘n writer of songs all my life.
I wrote poems, too. Not no more though.
Paul and John Carter made a book
sometime after I moved out here.
I made lists of do’s and don’ts,
like who to kiss and who not.
Rockabilly, I walked the line in
more than one ring of fire.
Sue was a joke, Jackson was not. Either way,
I was the man in black, or undertaker was okay.
The Hag caught my San Quentin show. He signed up.
I was inside less than him. Now, I’m back with Jack
on the orange blossom special.
How ‘er my pals from Bitter Tears doing?
Ya know, that Lonesome Dove fellow?
He just hopped on this train.
“And often I say, No more I do it/
But I miss the traveling/And I miss the songs.” **

***

*From The City of New Orleans written by Steve Goodman, covered by many.
**Quotation from Cash’s poem, “My Song,” in Forever Words: The Unknown Poems.

Notes: ‘Paul’ Muldoon edited Forever Words. ‘John Cater’ Cash is his son. ‘Jack’ refers to his brother who was killed in an accident at a young age. ‘Hag’ refers to Merle Haggard.


Look both ways when you cross memory lane.
Mind the gaps well, or a song you might miss.

Poetry: Me in Drawing Class (NaPoWriMo day 5)

For this prompt, I was to select an existing poem and write my poem using the shape (form, style, beat) of the original. Each of my lines must begin with the same first letter of the corresponding line in the original poem.

For this assignment, I selected two Billy Collins poems. For shape, I chose “Class Picture 1954” (click to read it). I picked “Drawing Class” for subject and musings. Mr. Collins enjoyed his drawing class much more than I did. But we both like to draw.


Me in Drawing Class

I took the art class
for my drawing to improve.

To the instructor I was not
special nor obedient because
to me, she was retentive and inflexible.

The first day she belittled tardy.
I was early. Most were on time.
Is she too good to teach me?

At the front and center
in my surgical mask,
was I to be her basic class problem?

Because I claim my work
instead of me making art her way;
oh, how we entertained the others.

What’s so bad about using graphite?
And why is it carbon or charcoal
you think superior to what tool I use?

And now we’re done.
So class is over,
another moody artist goes his way.


Look both ways in dealing with the artsy types.
Mind the gaps, but graphite works equally well.

Poetry: A Pantoum


Morning Cat

Sometimes, in the morning I stretch like a cat.
It feels good to expand my arms into the air,
to feel my body push against itself,
to feel my life physically trigger another day.

It feels good to stretch my arms into the air,
quietly announcing my arrival before dawn upstages me.
I want to physically trigger another day in my life.
before dawn steals my self-awareness, that “I’m alive” feeling.

I enjoy quietly announcing my arrival while
admiring the cobalt blue and sunny pink sky colors,
as sunrise steals my awareness, an “I’m alive” feeling
that makes me want to make the best of the day to come.

I admire the cobalt blue and sunny pink morning skies
and I want to feel my body push against itself,
as I hope to make the best of the day to come.
Sometimes, in the morning I stretch like a cat.


Look both ways when you’re feeling a bit catty.
Mind the gaps. Especially the ones behind the eyes.

Sammi’s Weekender #201 (orbit)


Moon’s Grace

What about the moon?
I see it and can feel something
unlike the Sun or stars.

Mona, Selene, Luna, or Mwezi,
a nameless orb.
The Moon is

Waxing, waning, or full;
in orbit, playing with tides, waking
creatures of the night,
inspiring music and stories,
the moon relates to us.


Look both ways.
It is the same moon it’s always been and always will be.
Mind the gaps when it’s new and dark as night.

Poetry: Sammi’s Weekender #199 (element)

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Petrichor Remembered

Loved the feel as I stepped down to the trail.
Recent rains changed everything. I loved the smell
of dry leaves and trees and soil,
natural elements like the scent of petrichor,
a feeling that gives me chills today,
just thinking and remembering. All in with nature.


Look both ways. All is nature, a mistress to everyone.
Mind her gaps for secrets to survival.

Sammi’s Weekender #189 (troglodyte)

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Favored Bonds

With nothin’ left to lose, they closed their doors.
Perennials, long past thirty-seven point eight median years,
they lived what’s left of life.

She, an unwilling anchoress,
he a happy troglodyte of hopeful health.
With preeminence declining,
they stood their ground.

They shunned from their bubbled bastion those
who denied reality or died in denial
of reality’s science, as plagues of nonsense
took many from loved ones.

Together, they danced ‘till the end of love,
touched by mature minds.
Happy to be alive in a new world, until
the end of time comes for them.


Look both ways crossing life’s boundaries.
Mind the gaps and keep moving.