A pinhead punk
called me a dinosaur.
An obsolete relic!
I said, talk to your mother.
Why? Said he.
‘cuz I’m yer father, Punk.
Age is gain and loss but look both ways at kindness.
Mind the treachery of old gaps.
Day 18 prompt: write a poem that is an ode to life’s small pleasures. I did a semi-sonnet of 14, ten-syllable lines.
Ode to My Pillow
You hold my head up with a pleasing touch
you ask nothing, I take you for granted
dressing you only encased, on a whim
I hold you, or tuck you between my legs,
or force you to support me from behind.
I turn, and show you my boring back side,
throwing you to the floor, replacing you
when you get old and dirty and baggy.
I bend and stuff you, your silence supports.
You hold my tears, each a precious diamond.
In nightmares or pleasant dreams, when I call,
I wake for no reason, I find you there
for me. You bolster my brain, hide my mind.
I sleep with you, and you ask for nothing.
Look both ways to fluff a pillow.
Mind the gaps under your head.
Day 17 prompt: write a poem that features forgotten technology.
It’s For You
Privacy was not an issue, there simply was none.
I vaguely recall the telephone first being installed,
owned and operated by the telephone company (till the break up),
on a party line shared with neighbors about four houses over.
It sat on a round table in a short hallway near the unlocked front door,
next to our living room, from where all could listen to every word I said.
I could listen back. Wires were straight or twisted, and got in the way,
or we fumbled with them. You only had to spin-dial three or four numbers.
Learning how to dial was like tying your shoes or walking. You just learnt.
Our number was Valley – forty – eight-hundred, and I’ve known that
for as long as I could say my name, maybe longer, like our address.
The farthest room from the phone was my parent’s upstairs front bedroom.
First my friends would call, mostly Jimmy or Jack. Then later, my girlfriends.
Only one at a time so no one had to ask her who was calling. But they did.
We had to turn down the TV so Dad could hear, but that was because
he couldn’t hear. The sound was always too loud. Dad did not like phones.
As I recall, no one called Dad until my half-brother went into the Maine Corps.
Danny called Dad. And when Danny was in a car wreck, Dad was called.
Few call my smart phone. I, too, have trouble hearing. I’m like my Mom.
Socially, I am like Dad, too. When the phone rang, someone answered it.
I remember when the scams and telemarketing started. If you wanted to text,
you needed to put a stamp on it, but it was only a few pennies for a post card.
Mom called family on weekends, and when I moved out, so did I. Sundays.
Long distance cost extra and over three minutes even more. No more.
Look both ways for someone to answer the phone.
Mind the gaps on a party line.
Day 13 prompt: write a poem of non-apology for the things you’ve stolen. (Lingo warning)
Ted P. stole your fucking car. Not me.
I didn’t steal it from you. I borrowed it from him.
Scout’s honor, it was just a lesson using locks and keys.
See, in my mind, it was no longer yours. It belonged to Teddy.
You left it unlocked—just gave it up. No key required back then.
Clearly, a case of baiting entrapment, don’t you see?
Use some logic here. Stolen property, like your car,
once taken is fair game. It’s still hot, just on loan. In a way,
it was still Ted’s, I stole nothing. He said it was okay.
From hood to hooligan, if you will. But he took it.
Then he called me. Wait’ll you see what I got, he said.
Holy shit, I said. Are you nuts? I don’t know why I asked.
Ted was a leader of loonies, among which I sometimes loomed.
Don’t ask me why. Doing dumb-ass shit is fun. You got it back.
Not trashed or nothing. It was a six, automatic. You fer real?
Yeh, I knew your black, with red leather bucket seats, Chevy
was cool and hot at the same time. I got blamed for re-stealing it.
If Ted could-a returned your car a little sooner, we’d all be good.
Look both ways with disambiguation.
Mind the mental gaps in the logic of youth,
but learn the lessons.
Day 9 prompt: write a concrete poem wherein the lines and words are organized into a shape that reflects the theme of the poem. Old, beat up baseballs, covered in electrical tape, were not always spherical either. This must be viewed on the site. Email will not provide the shape.
stickball, wiffleball, were all
for me, when I was a cantankerous lad
of some age without a uniform or cap, and maybe
a black taped ball in hand, air, or a grounder to bounce
just right to smack my face, but no such fear did I ever show,
even though I had bouncing grounders or fliers catch me taking
a peek to home or second, at the runner, and not a catch would I
make, or when batting rocket arm riley wound up to heave a bean
ball shot at me wearing no sissy hard hat or gloves or pads, just me
in the sun on a warm summer day doing things with balls or games,
like burn-out, whatever cleat-less shoes we had worked and we had
no managers, couches, parents, or girlfriends to bother with us. An
old dog chased our ball, swiping it, tearing the tape, and left us to
scavenge for a new old beat-up ball. The dog would not give
ours back. We could not catch one old dog. I recall many
memories of taped balls and bats and days when we
would just play the day away with whatever we
had. That left us with only memories of balls,
old dogs, and names of many games
we played in those dirty
Look both ways, but do not take your eye off the ball.
Mind the gaps but take the longest lead you can safely manage.
Day 3 Prompt: List ten words. Then, list two to four (that’s three) similar sounding or rhyming words for each of the ten. Use the listed words to write a poem.
If Tony Hoagland could write a poem titled dickhead, I can write one using Australian, British, and (when common to all three English speaking countries) American swear words. My list is of ten chosen Aussie/Brit swear words. The rhymes are another matter. Some folks think I need an excuse to swear. I do not (like this guy). I do it a lot, just not so much in the blog.
My List (10+30=40 words). Ten Aussie terms are in italics.
sound so bloody plucky,
like Brits, when they cuss
to discuss dickhead fuckwits
of a hag. In a pub
they say bullocks
with a wanker who’d bonk ‘er
while the dummy bunny
holding a fag to his honker.
When the twisty wristy bugger
got caught with a thought
of a twat
he made a nifty switch
to whiskey. That sucker
wanted to root in the chute,
but he had to scoot,
or he’d be shot.
A full lips tag
punched at the buzzer,
a loss I couldn’t conquer
with my twisty flute
when I jumped
into the bunk bed
with a new spread,
when the utter said suck it with butter,
I decided to tuck it or pluck it. ‘nuf said.
Even embarrassed by poems,
look both ways for the universal swear.
Mind the gap lest you twist and shout a cuss or two.