Poetry: Poem’s Point of View (NaPoWriMo) Day Seventeen

Today, I’m challenged to write a poem that presents a scene from an unusual point of view.

***

He will not leave me alone. All that touching and feeling me, he tweaks me mercilessly,
and (too often) makes me look like barfed up SpaghettiOs.
It’s embarrassing.
He thinks I am his and that he knows all about me.
He doesn’t.
I know teenagers who know more about me than that old fart.
Others simply see my words or hear my meter while he sees me as his personal art (bitch).
He puts his name on me – how rude is that? He doesn’t get it.

He talks about me (us—there are others) endlessly, influencing his friends
to fool around with me.
Sometimes he gets violent with paper and pen and pushes me around
because he thinks his mental malady will be short-lived. How rude!

He knows so little. He has been writing poetry for fifty-three (long) years.
BFD, right?
When he was young with a hard cock, he ignored me. Thoughts?!
That’s all I got from him. He liked us, but he was ashamed
because I didn’t do much to make him look strong and tough and mean.
I think he is an imposter and so does he.

I am all he does—all he thinks about. He explores me in every embarrassing way,
he sniffs me, touches me, he reads bawdy stories. He acts like I am some sort of trophy bride. And oh, my fucking god!
The limericks! The men who write them must be burning in hell.
I know for a fact that he’d rather a crusty, edgy limerick over a sweet love song poem.

Sometimes he writes me and then loses me.
Rather than be upset, he writes another me.
It’s as though I matter, but I also don’t. Which is it?
What the fuck?
He will never win a damn thing.
He wants to put us in a book and claim us as his own.
Such possessiveness! It’s unacceptable.
We are our own persons, who just happen to be poems.
If we belong to anyone, it is the poetic universe,
but he’ll never understand that.

There are reasons he was as he was,
and more reasons why he is as he is,
but none of that has anything to do with us,
the poems, the words, the lines and rhymes of Our verse.

When he looks at me it is like he is seeing a ghost, a shapeless cloud figure,
wavering without beginning or end,
just flowing shapes in many forms of endless words,
of unknown visions and interpretations.

Oh crap, he is picking up that god damn pointed, sharp pencil.
Soon he will be poking and scratching, adding and removing, or changing—endless changes.

In my next life, I want to be prose. Just a little time on his laptop, maybe one printing and we’re done. At least he knows prose and has been doing it since way back.
This rookie old fart poet will be the end of it all.

©Bill Reynolds, 4/17/2019

Look at all things both ways, male and female, creator and created, toucher and touched, kisser and kissed, poet and poem. Mind the gaps which harbor resentment of the art.

Poetry: Why am I Me? (NaPoWriMo) Day Eleven

My poetry challenge today is to write a poem of origin. Where am I from geographically, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. And having come from there, where am I now?

It’s not really a home, but it’s where I am from,
a place and a people from whom I’ve come,
other places they called home were not theirs.
Were they as proud as I, of who they were?

My look, perhaps a taste or a talent; a religion
or a language, this tribe of people like me.
Am I good enough? Were they? My foibles,
both pride and shame cloud my reality,
I don’t know what to feel about who or what I am,
or that I am at all, or who or what they were.
Why does it matter now? Is it because
knowing you is knowing me?

Why should I care? Am I a conduit of genes, maybe
I pass on life, survival, perhaps some weakness?
Who am I? Why am I? Why now? What do I want?
Taste, beauty, mindful intelligence, with durability
all passed from them to me, then to continuous family.

Why am I and what did you want? Life until death?
What is it that I don’t know? Not just life, but
thoughts. What did you think? What did you cling to?
Did your strength or weakness pass to me?
We’re from there, and there, and other places.

The you I’ve never met, secrets you’ve never told,
burdens never experienced, fears not shared,
friends, enemies, jealousies, hatreds that
may have traveled, but then died with you.
So much of what I am flowed from you to me.
Maybe I simply pass on, or maybe I just do.

©Bill Reynolds, 4/11/2019

Careful as you peer into the gaps of history but look both ways.

 

Poetry: Time Will Allow (NaPoWriMo) Day Five

Today’s challenge: write a poem incorporating the villanelle form, lines taken from another text (poem), and/or phrases that oppose each other in some way.

I selected two lines from the Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám (trans. Richard Le Gallienne). I think I wrote sufficiently opposing lines. I tried to do all three.

Time Will Allow

Heed not tomorrow, heed not yesterday
Our life is our blood, flowing here and now
O fools, that after some tomorrow stray!

Darkness does not age, even in the day
Drink and love much as our time will allow
Heed not tomorrow, heed not yesterday

Yesterday was here, but now goes away
Let us drink our love, ‘neath a shady bough
O fools, that after some tomorrow stray!

We kissed our wine, but now it’s gone away
Love is our wilderness, paradise is now
Heed not tomorrow, heed not yesterday

We are the fruit of gods, sent here to stay
Return again here to me tomorrow
O fools, that after some tomorrow stray!

Love us forever, together we pray
Wine and we between, let me show you how
O fools, that after some tomorrow stray!
Heed not tomorrow, heed not yesterday.

©Bill Reynolds, 4/5/2019

Look both ways but live for today. Mind the gaps between the gator’s teeth.

Poetry: What Do I Want? (NaPoWriMo) Day 2

Today’s challenge is to write a poem that resists closure by ending on a question, inviting the reader to continue the process of reading (and, in some ways, writing) the poem even after the poem ends. Did I?

What do I want?
And you, the same?

Everlasting life?
Perfect existence?

Is it happiness?
What exactly is that?

Heath and wealth
Both common goals

But is there more?
What is enough?

Love, perhaps, or
in my perfect world?

Let’s compare notes.
You show me yours

And I’ll show you mine,
In the balance it hangs

Every important thing
about life and time.

What do you want?
And, for me, the same?

©Bill Reynolds 4/2/2018

Look both ways for what you want. Mind things hidden in the gaps of life.

Poetry: To You, My Reader

Only you and I are
Important characters
in what I write.

This is a poem about you
my reader –
I know how many people
read my work –

That makes for a very personal
relationship –
us –
two people, you and me,
and some words –

You gift me the most precious
thing you have – your time –
your time, and sometimes
your thoughts.

This poem is for you.
I was never a closet poet,
I was out from word one!
Late in coming as it was.

Somewhere in me is this thing,
these words, written down
by me, for you –
Thank you, I love you

For completing me as
poet and writer. Without
you I might as well not
write, I’d be in the closet making

Noises no one ever hears.
Think about it.
How important you are
to me! Feel my gaze and let

My eyes show you my gratefulness.
Everything I write is for you,
often inspired by you, always
to you. Thank you.

©Bill Reynolds 3/21/2019

Look both ways; you to me, me to you. May we mindfully fill the gaps.

Poetry: Cat Tight Transforms

 

With a stretch of transition,
I transform night into day
body and soul awaken so slow,
to the bitter sweetness of life
which is so heavenly sensed.

Time means nothing to me.
Cats care and have not, you see,
clocks or alarms or times to be
places like here or there,
or anywhere.

We lions have no closets to open,
no purpose but life, but to hunt and to live.
No worries outside my litter box,
which, by the way, clean it, slave!

To awaken tight sleepers
A king must be fed,
before he hunts and stalks
to eat a fresh breakfast
prepared by my slaves.
And maybe a spot of milk,
but not too cold, and my milk must never
be given too old.

Then off to my stalking, to warm up the day.
After a check on the birds I see in the yard,
a brief hiss aimed at the dog
so he knows his place, as least of my slaves,
then onto my perch, high above my kingdom.
You’re lucky to have me, that’s what they say.

On to the work of annoying the human
who is trying to write without
my permission, cajole her I will,
surely, she knows the importance of kill.
King cat is awake, all bow down so humbly
in homage to him. I’m sure that you will.

©Bill Reynolds 3/18/2019

Look both ways. The king wears fur. Mind the gaps and claws.

The Greatest Gift

It cannot speak
cannot see or hear
No feeling or form
It moves through the universe,
But it never leaves my soul

It has no name
but knows me well
it makes no sound,
But explodes in every human heart,
it is the beginning and the end
the lost and the found
the discovery and burn.

It is in every thought of every day,
It crosses and straightens,
It eats nothing but feeds everything
It curses not but many swear upon it
It sticks like glue and slips too easily away
Without cost it is the dearest of all
Giving strength to the weak, it
brings the powerful to their knees.

To give love,
To take love. The love of life,
The sights and the sounds and the smells
the feels and the tastes of love.
The least and the greatest of all gifts

Both taken and given.

© Bill Reynolds

Let your love look both ways, to what is and what might have been.
Fill the gaps with the time we have, as precious as it is.