Poetry: Rainy-Day Me


It is raining.
Outside everything is wet.
My long walk this morning
was in the rain. I wore
that red rain jacket,
got soaked only below my waist,
and I loved it.

Now it is afternoon
and the rain is still here,
and I should be reading,
drinking coffee, and
sitting on my back porch,
contemplating life and pondering
about what’s next.

But I’m having poetic thoughts
about rain (again), about
writing, and about Julie,
and I need to make some notes.

I’ll go sit on the porch now
where I can enjoy the rain more.
I hear distant thunder,
nature’s version
of rainy-day drama.
I can think about Zeus
or any one of dozens of other
gods of thunder and lightning.

I shall read, drink coffee,
and enjoy the rain, maybe
some thunder, if it’s not right
in my face. Maybe I’ll wonder.
We should wonder often, right?
I wonder what I’ll wonder about.


Look both ways for desire and disfavor.
Mind the gaps for indifference.

Sammi’s Weekender #207 (wayward)


Enigma?

Can we be both yin and yang?
Must we chose, dominant or submissive?
One, never the other?
Did untoward become honorable?
Wayward trump amenable?
Is unruly now a key resume word?

Weren’t intractable insurrectionists
compliant, obedient to the call
of a defiant (sore) loser? Monday’s hero
became Tuesday’s criminal. Judgment Day.

There’s a difference between being a tool of tyranny
and an independent, logical thinker. A wise sheep
is still wise, a foolish shepherd, still a fool.

 


Look both ways for perspective and logic.
Find and mind the gaps.
Scorpions cannot be trusted. They often sting themselves.

Poetry: Going Down? (NaPoWriMo day 30)

This final prompt challenged me to write a poem in the form of a series of directions describing how a person should get to a particular place. Sarcastic humor has my heart.


You may need to buy a ticket,
live a normal life, and do
human things, but they say
there is a way to Hell.
Who alive knows for sure? (Many)

To ensure arrival, you’ll have to die.
Before that, good intentions should
provide a smooth ride. You’ll wanna
mean well, tell the truth about what you think,
eat lobster and for God’s sake,
want what the Jones’s have,
or you’ll want one of the Jones’s,
or dislike the Jones’s as in no love.

Lie about the Jones’s.
Make a self-portrait.
Say “God damnit” or “Jesus Christ.”
Ya might say God’s name to no purpose (in vain)
Laugh at a George Carlin’s joke, or forget
the day it is when it’s Saturday or Sunday.
Work weekends, since Sabbat is negotiable.

Argue with Mom or Dad.
If ya marry the wrong person, get a divorce,
have an affair, kill them, then you should
find things warming up. Or just
be who or what you were born to be.

Having sex with anyone, especially
if ya likes it; or, if you’re shy,
having sex alone has been known
to get ya where you want to go.

If not, maybe just think about having sex,
or eat bacon (see the relationship there?)
Belong to some other religion.
Piss off the Pope if you can.

In the south, dance with a person
of the opposite sex, or better
dance with the same sex, except for girls,
unless you think of sex with her.

Drink booze or coffee if ya live
near a Salt Lake. Try pot. Try gambling.
Keep all your money (trash tithe)
Finally, you must certainly die,
but fear not, they tell me this is easy.


Look both ways for sarcastic humor.
Mind the gaps unless there are too many.
If so, look for the god of the gaps.
Above all, have fun and enjoy life,
especially if you’re Hell bound anyway.

Got My Ticket

Poetry: The Side I Never Met (NaPoWriMo day 29)

This prompt is called “in the window.” I was to imagine a window looking into a place or onto a particular scene. I was to write what I saw and what was going on.


Through distant darkness
neither walking nor running, I was
moving as if a floating camera
toward some spot of light
in a black universe, like one
dot of star, then to a portal,
which I determined to be a window.

A woman was there
on the other side,
in her world of light
from which she looked out.
Her almond eyes stared
and seemed to see into a past,
perhaps mine. Could she see
through me, as if not seeing me,
toward a distant, common hill
in the dark? One she knew well?
She seemed to look but not to see,
her blank blue eyes were calm
and comfortable.

Her hair was streaked with gray
atop her oval head, and softly it dropped
on both sides to a mild but wildly
smooth, unyoung neck. Neither naked
nor covered, her body was as a
faint veil with arms that
I could not see,
with hands she never looked to.

Her skin was pale but smooth,
with pleasant facial wisdom lines.
Her eyes seemed neither pleased
nor sad as she stared, deadpan
into the darkness,
as if I was not there, or perhaps,
she didn’t care; with
eyes that seemed to say something
of a storied past looking into
a dark, peaceful future.

Her nose was powder plain
above a mouth that neither
smiled nor frowned, as if she
thought I could not see her
from my darkness through
the window of her light.

I sensed a beautiful love that was
pure and honest, like a mother
for a child; but also, I thought
I could see a longing or an expecting
in her now-graying, moist eyes.

Eyes without tears or regret.
Then I saw that the window was
a mirror of reality. The woman was
my reflection, able to see
only into my past,
the image of the real me.
Or was it she that I needed to see?
A lighter, brighter, more loving
reflection of myself. The side I’ve never met.


See both ways when looking through windows or into mirrors,
especially as metaphors of life.
Mind the gaps, the cracks, the wrinkles, and the patina of age.
Everything means something.

 

 

Interrogative Poetry: Any Way the Wind Blows (NaPoWriMo day 28)

First, I want to wish Yolonda a Happy Birthday and many more.

This prompt challenged me to write a poem that poses questions. I think I am starting to get silly. Two more days after this.


If it has no effect on us, and some like that,
why feel bad when someone does good?
I mean, WTF is that? And where the fuck’s it at?

If the speed limit’s X and I’m in the groove,
why do I want to dive X + five and my motor
wants us to move?

Why do I like anyway the wind blows?
It seems wishy-washy, and why was
a bow-legged woman doing the boogaloo?

Why do I hate being asked if I need help
if she got the jive and I don’t?
But I do hear crickets at Fat Jack’s downtown
If it’s easy come, easy go, how do I know?

Do I like cats that keep the beat?
Do I like dogs that make me move my feet?
Why do I forget the drummer, drummer I want to remember,
but recall useless shit without trying?
Easy come, easy go.

Is it possible to think hard, or even harder? Can you give me the beat?
Is there a euphemism for euphemism?
Has the guitar player been around the world?
Can’t he play a lick for lookin’ at the girls?

One two three four five six seven,
will you change your ways just to get to heaven?
If eleven just lays there to rhyme with seven, then why
do some like this and some like that?
And don’t some know where it’s at?

If you don’t get loose, if you don’t groove,
will your motor make it or your motor not move?

If easy comes and easy goes, can it be anyway the wind blows?
If time won’t tell you then don’t ask me. Easy come,
easy go, which away does the wind blow?


Look both ways for nonsense questions.
Mind the gaps and keep your motor running.

Maybe you’ll wanna read the poem again after the video.

Parody Poetry: Bull Shit! (NaPoWriMo day 27)

It took me all day (admittedly, I was busy) to find my response to the 2021, NaPoWriMo 27th prompt, which was to write a poem inspired by an entry from the Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows.

It was dinner time before I chose the contrived word, lilo. It’s supposed to mean “a friendship that can be dormant for years only to pick right back up instantly, as if no time had passed since last seeing each other.”


I was friends with Jimmy as far back as I can recall.
Like forever. He was a grade ahead of me,
but only seven months older. Jack was younger.
Jack and I became friends in high school,
Class of ’64. Jimmy might have been ’64 too,
but I don’t recall cuz jumbled memory. It’s fishy.

I was the one who moved away,
yet so did they, eventually. But I went first.

That bond when you grow up together,
close in every way. Boys become men.
That’s sad. I knew their foibles and flaws,
and I suppose they knew mine. Jack did for sure.

Jimmy was a hyperbolist. He wanted to impress me.
To prove himself. Why? I feel guilty.
Why did he always feel like that? I loved Jim for him.
I knew when he lied, exaggerated, or fibbed up a storm.
I didn’t care, but it was pointless.

Fifty years later, face to face, Jack and I realized
we were alike in many ways, not all, but for years
neither would broach one thing cuz we both thought wrong.
The irony was we lost something there.
We each assumed, and we were wrong
about our best friends. I feel sorry about that.

When I last saw Jimmy, we met and talked.
Jimmy told me of all his achievements.
When and how life had cheated him: The Navy.
We hugged meeting and parting, as old men
who’d not seen each other since being children
will do. I knew then, Jim as was not well.

Jimmy died. Then Jack. We can’t lilo.
All I can do is to write about them and me.
Maybe that’s something. But good god we were
friends who did a lot of childish,
stupid, teenage shit together. I wish we’d
all been more honest as men. Like boys.


Look both ways in old friendships
unaffected by time or tribulation.
Mind the gaps.
Drink to the reunion. Nothing is for always.

Parody Poetry: Older than before (NaPoWriMo day 26)

For NaPo day 26, I was to write a parody. I was to find a poem or song and write an altered version of it. A parody is also called a spoof, a send-up, a take-off, a lampoon, a play on something, or a caricature. It is a creative work designed to imitate, comment on, and/or make fun of its subject by means of satiric or ironic imitation.

I decided to work on the song(s) “Old Hippie” by the Bellamy Brothers, a classic paean to male boomers that many of us related to. David Bellamy wrote three of these: one at 35, one at 45, and one at 55. Mine goes to 75 (the age of the other brother) and is more about me.


He turns seventy-five on a Tuesday
sometime late this next July.
Can’t believe his friends’ all dead,
but down the same old road he’ll  still try
to understand and to keep his level head.
But now he craves those crazy days
with his shoulders back,
his chin held proud and high.
He still looks at life and wonders why.
He stopped with church and never prays
but he never wonders when he’ll die.

He still loves old soft county rock,
his poems come from just such songs.
His only friends are now computer faces,
and medicine pros working to help him get along,
with medical-grade stainless steel heart parts.
But he’ll run no more endurance races,
Just the tips and bits on legs that hate him.

He’s an old soldier who wants to be
a hippie getting older every day,
with hair and colors and closet disco music.
An old hippie who knows what life is for,
still wanting to be her man, before
she goes knocking on his door.

He’s an old man who always hated war,
but seemed to know what it was for.
He’s been confused by a government
he both supports and finds disgusting,
and people who tell him to forgive,
while he decides to let them live.

He likes people but not in crowds.
He craves his tribe, but they’ve all died.
Spending quiet time at home alone,
his kids are still his universe,
and Texas is still his home.

He’s a boomer till the day he dies,
he now fears life more than death,
he’s looked at evil in the eye
believes in love and wonders why,
then drums to ten below his breath.


Look both ways and avoid reading the obituaries.
Mind the gaps in everything but believe
you’re this damn old.

Poetry: Electable Swine (NaPoWriMo day 24)

My NaPo challenge today was to find a factual article about an animal. I was to be sure it frequently repeated the name of the animal. I was to go back through the text and replace the name of the animal with something else, either abstract or concrete. Then, I could rearrange and edit the article into a poem.

Since my grandson raises pigs, and my daughter, his mother, loves them, I chose an article about pigs. I replaced pigs with politicians and changed a few other words (like boar to bore) before trimming into a humorous, somewhat insulting, poem. Now I have an urge to read Animal Farm.


Politicians are mammals with stocky bodies,
flat snouts that can move independently
of their heads, small eyes, and large ears.
Intelligent, social animals,
they’re found all over the world.

Politicians come in eight genera.
Sixteen species include wild bores,
wart-poli-hogs, pygmy poli-hogs,
and domestic politicians.
Politician, hog, and bore essentially
describe the same animal,
but there are some distinctions.

A bore is an uncastrated male
domestic politician, but it also means
a wild politician of any gender.
A hog often means a domestic politician.
Politicians are also called swine.

Today, of 2 billion domesticated politicians
on the planet, most are classified as wild bores.
Wild politicians vary in size.
The largest bore is the giant forest hog.

Bores, politicians, and hogs live all over,
except for Antarctica, northern Africa
and far northern Eurasia. Red River hogs,
also called bush politicians, are found in Africa.

All politicians wallow in mud
to help regulate their body temperature
and discourage parasites.

Politicians are “cognitively complex,”
capable of remembering objects,
perceiving time, and navigating environments.
Politicians can be playful.

Politicians communicate with
grunts and squeaks; as they warn
other politicians of approaching danger.
A politicians’ primary defense is speed,
but when cornered, tusks are weapons.


Look both ways in the Animal Farm (yes, that one).
Mind the Orwellian gaps for Democratic Socialists
who believe all animals are equal.

Note: Politicians will eat anything, including people. Farm accordingly.