It’s always been my secret,
now others must learn its ways.
Start using words like “egret,”
in conversation on the page.
I began this a decade back,
while I sat alone and lonely.
Imagination an empty sack,
I thought of you and said, “If only…”
Pulled apart by distance and time,
I couldn’t feel you if I tried.
So I called to you, not in rhyme,
but poetically I kind of lied.
Made-up stories, observations
of a somewhat intimate nature,
took the place of conversations,
all in my own nomenclature.
My words became more than my own,
since they touched others in some way.
But now it seems I’m not alone,
since we all have to keep away.
I suggest if you crave a touch,
and social distancing won’t let you,
write an ode, sonnet or some such
and see how close that’ll get you.
We’re in a new world, living apart,
wearing the mask and rubber glove.
But if you wish to reach a heart,
a poem can be a touch of love.
Day 1 of a stab at my annual Poetry Month poem-a-day quest.
I’ve reached that age where things start going south,
at each doc’s visit I say “You’re kidd’n’ me.”
I think, after she checks my ears and mouth,
“What this time? BP, Prostate or Kidney?”
But those are already on my long list,
and we’re trying hard to get them off it.
When they find something new, I try not being pissed,
but medicine’s become for-profit.
What if I get that corona disease?
It can be deadly for old guys like me.
Copays and premiums, all rising fees,
if you think they’ll go down, that’s unlikely.
My Doc means well, she keeps me upright.
It’s the med bills make me feel sick and uptight.
The further twisting of this twisty tongue,
made of words homegrown and appropriated,
has gone unabated since I was young,
and some I have even procreated.
I guess that’s the price for a language loose
as the American vernacular.
I’m fine with words made up by Dr. Seuss,
but it’s the disuse I find spectacular.
You may not notice how the public speaks
as they hear language on TV mangled.
In texts their lack of care or knowledge peaks.
I gave up on participles dangled.
I’ll still weep for Mother Tongue, totally annoyed,
whenever I hear, “completely destroyed.”
Day 24 of my poem-a-day quest, which I’ve already completely destroyed…uh, I mean…
Oh, and the prompt for today was a poem with a title beginning with “Complete…”
I see greens (a few) grays (a lot)
and shiny cars outside my window.
Duplex houses in varied earth tones
standing cheek by jowl
chain the cul-de-sac beneath
high, hazy clouds diluting
the morning blue sky.
That’s what I see.
That’s my view.
Yours would be different, even if,
right this instant, you sat
in this spot by my window.
You might see the tan patches
and brown mud splotches
where I see grass,
see the dirty pickup truck roll by,
the white sticks of winter’s
snow plow reflectors still standing
in doubt this Spring day will last.
But you wouldn’t see my view
unless I told you, and I wouldn’t see yours.
That’s why I like art,
almost any art.
It speaks the truth of the artist’s view
of her subject. And I can choose
to listen, read, observe, feel what
she says she does, as she does it.
Or I can turn away and
not pay attention to it at all.
Just as you can skip on by
my view from my side of this window,
the town, the country, the world.
And I can skip by yours.
I wish life was more like that.
I don’t necessarily need to hear
if you do.
Day 13 of NaPoWriMo. A “view” poem. There are a lot of lines up there and just a little more between them.
In Jack London’s The Star Rover,
the warden at San Quentin
wraps a man serving life for murder
in a cocoon of canvas, The Jacket,
to break his rebellious spirit.
How many times have you (or I)
felt crushed within the constraints
of our Jackets, the class, gender,
race, religion, duties and all the
turns of the fabric of our lives?
Do you, too, lie in the darkness
of your nightly solitary confinement,
alone in this prison full of souls,
and dream the What If or
the If Only of your one life?
The prisoner withstands his torture
by entering a trance state,
in which he experiences portions
of his past lives.
Last night, I shed my shroud
of Here and Now, reliving the day
I fought the British on Lake Erie,
only to lose that life in the blast
of a 24-pounder hit amidships.
It was then I wondered,
“In which life do I sail now?
Which will I see of yesterday.
Or will it be a million tomorrows?”
Perhaps we’ll meet again in one,
slipping the bonds of our
unforgiving jailer minds.
I’ll bake files within
these cakes I write you.
All you need is to take a bite.
I remember times I thought of calling,
but then stopped short after some reflection.
See, sometimes I get that feel of falling
and can’t help but think about our connection.
Soon, though, I realize my delusion,
which is a step in the right direction.
I’ve always struggled with love’s confusion,
which led to many kinds of rejection.
I sit down and put these thoughts in writing,
which you might think is half-assed projection.
But really it’s my way of inciting
a muse-less artistic resurrection.
So this is my way of self-protection:
poems of love with no real affection.
Just warming up for Valentine’s Day, y’all, with this sonnet that needs a lot of correction.
I can’t tell you what to do with your days.
Even I, myself, no longer listen
to my own words, philosophical ways.
I see now something’s always been missin’.
So feel free to ignore what I say now,
though you have never listened to me much,
but here’s what I’ve learned, and don’t ask me how,
it’s where I earned these scars…here, have a touch.
That warmth made me happy but it won’t last,
because true joys are but such fleeting things.
Cherish while you can, ‘cause life’s smiles go fast,
those too-brief moments that give your heart wings.
Warren Zevon advised before he died,
“Enjoy ev’ry sandwich.” Boy, wish I tried.