Posts Tagged ‘free verse’

I am thinking of the bird’s nest built on the spring season wreath that was hanging on my front porch at home this summer. I thought the eggs would surely be hatched by the time I returned. Perhaps then the young birds, mouth wide open, would still be begging a meal from mother robin and stealing a bug or two from their nest mates. Or maybe if I was long coming  home, they would have flown the nest, placing their trust in the thin air as I am today traveling far from my home.

It is always sunny here on top, above the clouds. As the wisps of mist turn to thin clean air, we break into a hidden world above the cloudy day. Towering columns reach high but try as they may they still are beneath us. Our earth thousands of feet below is now only white vapor and rain and clouds covered by sunshine.

One hundred and five minutes, that’s how long it will take to travel what would take my four-wheeled conveyance eleven and a half hours. I’m traveling seven times faster but there is no breeze to my face or rumble at my feet. And as far as I know, no one on my bumper, to the left or right of my lane or rambling too slow ahead of us. How can others sleep while I am wide-eyed. I have traveled 12700 miles by air this year so far. I have never kept track of the miles in earlier years. Tell me, how many miles does it take until a guy is able to read a newspaper, play a computer game or sleep while being 35000 feet in the air and traveling 535 miles an hour? How many miles until you are deadened to the marvel of it all? Keep the orange juice, forget the pretzels or peanuts, don’t bother me, I’m looking out the window and wishing I was up front.

Nothing better than being on the way home. Check your bags, who cares if you’ll never see them again. No reason to drag your dirty laundry with you in the tightly packed, neatly tagged and tiny wheeled canvas Samsonite. Sure, keep the computer and camera but pack the little black bag so you are traveling lightly. You need at least one hand to drink the Tim Hortons or Starbucks. Worry about balancing the coffee and watching the scenery, not balancing two bags and keeping sight of your replaceable possessions. Don’t waste your time and energy protecting your “stuff”. You are miles from home and seeing things that you may never have the chance to see again, even if it is just a pretty girl or a set of 4-year-old twins each carrying a complete boxed set of Matchbox cars that Dad gave them on his way to war.

DSS

* From 4 years ago.

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We drove into the rain last night
followed skies lit by lightning strikes distant miles away.
We were sprayed by rain raised from the lanes of giant trucks
with bright red and yellow tail light eyes
that streaked across our faces in time with our windshield’s electric rhythm and beat.
And we reminisced of other stormy nights
and recalled long forgotten birthdays and road trips
that may have also been our best of better days.

DSS

I zoomed past the first day of summer in June, then in August the greatest solar eclipse to cross the United States in almost a century  and now in a few more weeks we will be entering September and the Autumn equinox. Time flies sometimes when you are not paying attention. I should say being preoccupied with other phenomenon of the social kind.

Oh, I noticed those physical events. I paused shortly and admired the Sun on the morning of the longest day. I went along with the rest of the family and sported cardboard glasses with the ISO approved lenses and watched the sun, moon and earth alignment that caused the street lights to come on precisely at 01:08 PM on that Monday afternoon. I just wasn’t connected with the Universe as securely as I usually have been in the past.

That Universal gravity, that invisible presence of compassion that we’ve been told was filling the vacuum of the vast misunderstood black emptiness, we call the Universe, just hasn’t been there this year. Everything has seemed to be so..so commonly earthly. I’ve felt this way since the season turned on our shortest day of December’s winter solstice. I became noticeably disturbed by it on our March equinox.

All these wonderful astronomical phenomenon marking our days and I’m unattached, absent and disengaged with them. Since November I’ve been surrounded and living under a hateful absence of compassion. Just as sure as the wrongs and disheartening of Arthur spoiled Camelot, surely this emptiness, this vacuum so close to our homes, will fill our country with the bile of this ignorant man’s hate. When have we, our country, ever been led by this kind of influence? Surely not in the past 60 odd years of my life. Oh, there has been hate in my lifetime but not from the leader of my country.

Whether it will be the denying of climate change or the postponement of scientific exploration here at home and literally of our Universe out there in that real dark vastness, the absence of our leader’s compassion will affect our world. Hate, bigotry and scientific denial has that effect. Perhaps more now than at any other time of our country’s last 100 years we are being threatened by an asteroid, an asteroid of hate. How will we dodge it?

Such is the life of John

Better Angels

Posted: August 14, 2017 in free verse, poem, poet, poetry, writing
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Again we are told Where.
The invisible where.
Searching for the mystic chords of memory
we were told binds us to the graves
of the brave, young and the innocent.
These thin chords made only of the light strings
of loud sounds and trailing smoke.
So easily absorbed, so quickly dispersed among the mist.
Chords so soon broken and forgotten.
Nothing done.
And still not touched
by the better angels of our nature.

E.

  • Italics – Phrases by Abe Lincoln from 150 years ago

Butternut Hill

Posted: August 11, 2017 in free verse, poem, poet, poetry, writing
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I’m going to go there again some day
It has been many years
when I walked arm and arm with my sisters
and sang crazy rock and roll songs
And laughed how the new tune could be sang
using the name of our Butternut Hill.

Our Butternut Hill,
So well known for bad brakes
pumping our bicycles up the slope
slowing down all of the way.
spinning a tire on the loose gravel
reaching , reaching for the top.

Known for its bread trucks and
bottled milk men
That slid backwards on the ice
past the stop sign
across Highway 2
and into the ditch below.

Butternut Hill
Why do I remember it still
Just a steep grade on a short block
and now so much easier to climb.
Downhill north, uphill south
Where I learned to reach.

DSS

 

Ninety Minutes

Posted: August 4, 2017 in free verse, poem, poet, poetry, writing
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One hour and thirty minutes
I will be late if not there in
One hour and thirty minutes
But I am in no hurry to burn the time
between now and then
Children are born in that length of time
from no breath and not breathing
to first gasp and first cry.

In that length of time I can sit peacefully
and ride miles high from Chicago to Kansas City
breathing only filtered air
and with window shades pulled
never feel or see a motion
other than a bump from a pocket of air
or a staggering walk to the lavatory.
In that length of time.

I am in no hurry to burn the time
Those ninety invisible minutes
Minutes I must use to wash my body and hair
and shave my creasing face.
For crying out loud..
Husbands and wives are married
in that length of time
in those same damn fleeting minutes
And here I am spending it taking a shower

Important things happen in that relative
but accurate to the second length of time
So I will serve up my own importance
between the now and then
this ninety minutes of life
I may seem late on the time of others
but I won’t be late on mine.
Those spent ninety minutes of time.

DSS

(This is an old one from a few years ago. Back when I looked at time a little differently but not much. Sorry for the re-blog, but I really am working on something new. I think it will be worth your time. )

 

My head turns to thoughts of the Moon
The Full, the Crescent, the New
I think of the Moon’s oblong Tide that rolls across our planet
Not stopping at the ocean’s edge but continuing across plains, mountains and Man.
Tugging on water, granite and skull as it makes its way around Earth captured paths.
Raising and lowering
Stretching and shrinking
Day in and day out
Performing a constant celestial massage on all things of this world.
Forming and changing shores, mountains and minds.
Bringing spring tides or slack waters

DSS

The quiet morning’s sounds of dog barks and bird songs were broken by the cranking whine, stuttered start and roar of 600 horsepower round engines. Two more spray planes take off to the south. From my window I watch the planes climb to only tree top level and disappear beyond the close horizon.
Another early beginning to take advantage of the calm winds and light turbulence that will only last a precious few hours on hot summer days like these. What will the enemy be today, green bugs, corn borers or ravenous grasshoppers? Miles away from here the planes will perform their low level ballet spreading their fog from one end of the fields to the other. At the end of each pass a short climb, a quick bank and a slow roll to an opposite turn. The chandelle complete, a dive over or under the power lines and aligned for another five foot high pass. The noise, precision and grace are spell binding and impossible to let pass without stopping to watch. Very beautiful, at least for a temporarily earth bound pilot like me. Emptied, they will soon return to port.
I will hear them first as they fly downwind directly over our home. The change of engine and prop pitch as they pass adds to the pulse of my chest. They must do this to tease me. Damn its hard work but I know they are having fun.

Such is the life of John

If you could peer through that wavy glass,
on the other side, it isn’t covered in silver
It is only a thin shiny grey coat of paint
and there is nothing more .
The mirror shows only a thin reflection
of my messed-up hair and unshaven face.
There is nothing more in that square frame.
If it could only show the way I feel,
the good or bad that I see
or the light or heavy touch of my hands,
it may be of tangible value.
But that thin mirror shows no more
than the faint reflection of what others already see.

DSS

Ignite It

Posted: July 16, 2017 in free verse, poem, poet, poetry, writing
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It’s time to rid the page of the negative
and gently scribe the positive.
Somewhere deep within the jelly of the mind and skull,
shaking there, quivering there within it.
A small spark is firing,
a spark waiting to be fueled,
igniting a more good thought.
The combustible will come from outside it.
It will be a kind word,
the purr of a cat,
or noticing the beauty of young unblemished skin.
The fuel is everywhere.
Let that small moist spark ignite it.

DSS

(An oldie but goodie)