Poetry: Famous Shit Float

Not since Mobile Bay’s view
of the infamous Poop Cruise ship
(2013 docked view from I-10)
have I joined thousands on
a wasteful float to who-cares where,
doing nothing to be in the
vulnerable middle of
a watery nowhere.

Cruise food may be good
and if you are looking
for the ten pounds I lost
you may find it there,
but must we live
in postage stamp rooms
with a view of nothing
ever new, to overeat well?

I’m done with cruise line
silliness, getting on and off
and making memories
I’d like to forget,
but I hope not
so much for eating well.
ROAD TRIP!?

***

To look both ways, we must know one from the other.
In the middle of truly nowhere, not even the gaps can feed the fish.

Poetry: Cowtown Sacramento

Checked in on a Saturday afternoon
to a cheap downtown Sacramento motel.
Got a room away from the others,
but the place was deserted at three.

Cowtown Marathon showtime
was at six in the morning. I had to be
up and dressed, ready to drive
with all my stuff to the meetup place
for coffee, food, and start line directions.

At two in the morning I learned why
the motel was empty and the desk clerk
was already apologizing when
the party moved in, filled every room,
with loud voices, the distinct click clack
of hard, high stiletto heels and reveling

drunks having a wild noisy time.
Up and out at four AM, everyone was
gone when I returned at noon. None too happy
with my neighbors of the night, another
greater challenge run finished alive,
but tired and sore with a medal in my hand.

Look both ways and remember the idiom
about sleeping with dogs in cheap downtown motels.
Mind the gaps and the ladies in stilettos, tap-tap-tap.

Prose Poem: Sammi’s Weekender – Devour


Need of Greed

This economy lies with deceptive pleasure – destruction, pending one hell of a bill to pay. We suck and devour the heritage of descendant’s gifts, their demise through our greed. When the well runs dry, the piper calls for payment, recovery of burnt offerings to self without gods who care for a prayer. Easy plunder blinds our need for air, water, food, and fire. Misery awaits death and disaster, sending ignored warnings past personal pleasure.

It’s not yet too late to reverse unwanted ends with the wisdom of science, we can turn the page. What higher cause to save humanity, perhaps the planet, our tiny corner of the universe?


Look both ways to past mistakes, future consequences,
bookends for today’s wisdom.
Mind the gaps in human psyche for sources of timely recovery.

Poetry: In the Stacks

Circa 1890

Some things I’ve always known,
like where the Library was,
especially the one with a funny name,
the Osterhout Free Library,
in my hometown, which to me
was and is The Library.

Looking like the Presbyterian church
it first was in 1849,
with (now gone) ivy covered walls,
hinting of mysteries, adventures,
and the wisdom within;
a mile to walk was nothing
for a keen young lad to go
for a book or two.

Through church doors that open
into the vast, once Calvinistic,
nave with colorless unstained leaded glass,
now with desks and shelves filled
with books and things,
one finds it all.
Hush! Whisper please.
People are reading.

Off to the left dim dark stacks
beckoned like a secret
church transept and silent choir loft.

The true spirits of the library’s haunted
dark and dingy, yet welcoming,
old book-scented stacks, silent
dust and maybe mischief,
with muffled giggles of children
or lovers, each playing with
resident hushing ghosts.

Long ago—a place of prayer,
now a sanctuary
of human wisdom and happiness.

***

Comb the dark stacks of old libraries looking both ways for dusty old history.
Mind the gaps and giggles of the ghosts.


Note: Because this was my first community library during my formative years, it was what I expected all others to look like. Not a bad standard.

Click the image to link to library information.

 

Poetry: Sammie’s Weekender 138, lollygag


Sad how they fooled around
with lollygag, it’s just too bad.
Come with me my sweet,
upon my lap have a seat.
We shan’t dawdle,
but we may well diddle
if you’re up for some
geometric osculation
mixing DNA marks us
a fine pair of
dawdling shillyshalliers
out for a pleasant afternoon poke.
For the best, we both have hope.

Look both ways for that quiet little corner for making memories.
Mind the gaps and camera angles.


“Nowadays, lollygag doesn’t usually carry such naughty connotations, but back in 1946, one Navy captain considered lollygagging enough of a problem to issue this stern warning: ‘Lovemaking and lollygagging are hereby strictly forbidden…. The holding of hands, osculation and constant embracing of WAVES [Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service], corpsmen or civilians and sailors or any combination of male and female personnel is a violation of naval discipline….’”
(Source: The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/lollygag. Accessed 5 January 2020.)
No apologies.

Poetry Report: December 2019

Happy New Year, y’all!

My Confession

It was not so many years ago that I wrote my first poem; an exercise in rhyming couplets about Abilene, Texas. I wrote and posted it for the first day of the A to Z blogging and the National Poetry Writing Month (NaPoWriMo) online challenges, both of which started on April (first) Fools’ Day. Each poem worked dual duty for both challenges in alphabetical order, cuz that is what A to Z is about.

By the first of May of that year, I’d written twenty-nine more poems. I felt a certain amount of pride (yay, I did it) mixed with relief, and some embarrassment about my ignorance of poetry, poets, and verse in general. The next year I wrote separately for each challenge, using the NaPoWriMo prompts each day and I have done so since.

Almost immediately, I loved poetry and embarked on a self-directed program of adventure to learn all I could about the craft and art of poetry. What is it they say about when the pupil is ready?

Since that experience, with one surgical exception in 2018, every day I have thought about, read about, written, edited, and/or read some poetry. Although, I probably did think or talk about it on surgery day.

I’ve bought, read, and reread books about poetry by the likes of Packard, Oliver, Hoagland, and other masters. I have often devoted entire days to a somewhat tireless pursuit of forms and styles; to the art and craft of poetry writing. I learned about poets, which ones I liked and those I’m not yet ready for. I’ve read biographies of poets, and I know many histories and life experiences from the Bard (or Omar or more ancient versifiers) to contemporary characters and personal poet friends.

One day while discussing poetry with a friend we decided we could refer to ourselves as poets after we had written one hundred poems. I claim it now, however, it’s still a forced thing for me to say even after so many poems and, in her case, a published book of poetry. I’m working on a book, too. No promises. I still suffer from imposter syndrome sometimes.

How It Started

About this time last year, I committed to writing at least one poem each day. I call them daily poems (I’m so creative) to differentiate from others. They average slightly more than 100 words each, although some poems are much longer and a few are shorter, like those for Sammi’s weekender prompts which have specific word count requirements. Most are handwritten into one of three medium sized notebooks. Others live in my laptop.

I work on (edit, revise, correct, review) every poem I have written before I post it. Dailies are first drafts and nothing more until I go back and work them.

The experience of writing 365+ poems has taught me much more than I expected. Sometimes (rarely) the first draft is not so bad, but every poem needs work.

I like to think I am a better writer, and if I may claim it, an improved poet for it.

Finally (drum roll)

December’s poem titles were:

  1. Closer
  2. When You Go
  3. Making My Bed
  4. Trudy’s
  5. Happy Days
  6. The True Void
  7. Barricade
  8. Finding My Way
  9. What I Miss
  10. Poetry Comes
  11. My Library
  12. Dream Library
  13. Friday 13th Fears
  14. How I Want It
  15. Cleaning Crew
  16. Electric Romantic
  17. Taste of Love
  18. How Difficult the Challenge
  19. Erect Buck
  20. Twelve Ways to Twenty
  21. The Desert Call
  22. Hubris
  23. Average Joe
  24. Why Do They Die?
  25. The Gentleman I Wished to Be
  26. The Sled
  27. Matters Matter
  28. Old School Casual
  29. Complex
  30. What if it isn’t perfect?
  31. Clinical VA

So, this is it. A year of poetry and 11 other end of month reports like this one. It’s a new year, new decade, and new poems yet to write, but 2019 and my 365-poems project are fait accompli.

Always look all ways. Seek the gaps and mind them well,
wherever you find them time will tell.

Oh, go ahead and click it. It’s only 11 seconds…