Archive for October, 2005


The Next Poetry Carnival

October 30, 2005

The next Poetry Carnival is up at Erin’s blog. Read and enjoy!!!


I sing to my evolving hands

October 29, 2005

I sing to my evolving hands
a symphony of pain
the agony a metaphor
for what I can’t explain.

The rugged and the rough terrain
of what I have endured
allow my soul to understand.
Cold comfort I’ve secured

by fighting what I know is sure
and so my arms demand:
the signal travels from my brain
to my dissolving hands.

  • Note Part 1:

    I have joined the self-proclaimed “Best Thing to Happen to the Poetry Blogosphere since Sliced Metaphors” — and yes, I am talking about poetisphere. Started by two poet-bloggers whose work I admire, Andrew and Billy, the site promises to be a great discussion site/destination for other poet-bloggers.

    Imagine my surprise when I logged in tonight and saw I had been given an assignment. My task was to complete a poem using a first line entered from that site. I did that above (although I do admit to adding a “to” for metrical reasons (hope that is OK!!)).

    So, now my turn.

    The First Line:

    “The spinning cyclone spoiled the sky”

    The Assignee:

    Daniel from Finally Getting Somewhere

    (side note — ever notice how there are a large number of poets named Daniel, or is it just me?).

  • Note part 2:

    This is the first poem I have written in what I hope will be a new rhyming scheme… I call this a cyclone poem, as the rhyme swirls around within the poem itself. Cyclone poems can be written in increments of 12 lines (12, 24, 36, etc) with any metrical length or style. The one rule is the rhyming structure, which follows:




    As you can tell, the structure of the rhyme means that the end sounds return and return, whirling around and building (I hope) an internal intensity. Care to try to write a cyclone poem?


For Twenty-One Years – Poem from my Step-Father-In-Law

October 29, 2005

Yes, you read the title correctly…

My wife’s step-father is not a poet, or rather he doesn’t think of himself that way, but he scribbled this down a couple of years ago, and my mother-in-law just recently found it when cleaning up the study. I think the piece is beautiful, so I present it here:

My first wife was blonde.
Often said how we
loved each other.
I thought we did for
twenty-one years
didn’t fight much
didn’t talk much
we didn’t love much.
I thought we did for
twenty-one years.

My new wife is blonde.
Often say we
love each other
been more than a year
don’t fight much
talk a lot
we love more
like I thought it should be
for twenty-one years.


Remarkable Rosa

October 26, 2005

Rosa was remarkable.
With her calm and silent poise
in Montgomery she spoke
louder than the angry noise

of those who would refuse her
the front seat, the clean bathroom,
the job and education
she deserved. There is no room

in the society she
changed for those who still believe
that differences have bearing
upon what you can acheive.

Rosa, I am trying in
my unremarkable way
to say how grateful I am,
a white boy whose every day

could never compare to the
strength you showed that morning
but I wish that I could show
you how the world is mourning

our remarkable Rosa.


Wrapped in spun wool

October 24, 2005

Wrapped in spun wool
the spider casts and reels . . .
luring the daily catch.


Firelight – a 55 word poem

October 20, 2005

Firelight –
Embers flicker in crisp air.
White-hot center of the flame –
cooling to black husks of used woodpulp.
Standing within the fire’s reach,
heated air rising as the body’s blood warms –
shadow-dancing in the reflected light –
to the “hiss/pop/crack” of music played –
a cacophony of wood percussion.

Firelight –
hallowed haunting in the smoky Fall night.

Part of the 55 word poem series begun by .:A:. — although I am counting hyphenates and linked words as one word.

If you want to join in, post a 55 word poem on your blog with the following link embedded.




October 19, 2005


Roses blooming,
everywhere life flows
spreading a red light
over the earth.

Anger mounts,
cold scarlet rage
spreading a red light
over the earth.

Alarms ring,
the blush of panic on faces
spreading a red light
over the earth.

Crimson carnage,
bleeding on an open field
spreading a red light
over the earth.

Sunset, sunrise,
rosy in its deathly splendor
spreading a red light
over the earth.



October 18, 2005


I am seared by the heat,
I am chained to the street,
as the English walk on by.

I am down on my knees,
I am begging, “Please”,
but no English hear my cry.

I am dark, Indian
and for that I can’t win,
but a change comes soon, I spy.

And now those of this land
once oppressed will soon stand
and we’ll crush this hard English lie.

Written about the British occupation of India and the toppling of the provincial government. This was an exercise written for a summer academic program called Governor’s School in Charleston, South Carolina (held on the grounds of the College of Charleston), which I attended the summer between my Junior and Senior years of High School (in 1986). I attended Wando High School in Mt. Pleasant, SC, so the C of C wasn’t far out of the way for me, but I grew so much that summer…


October Poetry Carnival – updated 10/17/05

October 15, 2005

Way out on the other end of town sits an abandoned grass field. It used to be a fairground, but when the factory closed down and the meat-packing plant closed its doors, the fairground ran into disrepair. When you walk through the abandoned field, you hear the echoes of voices long stilled (Poet Bill Kenney gives voice to the image of the field in his poem “Path”):

overgrown path

leaves drifting to the earth

they will become

The field only comes alive once in a while. Then, with color, lights, rides, and spectacle, the fairground explodes and reveals itself in all its glory. The barkers call out, the games tempt, the aromas of food mixed with the subtle whiff of sugary sweet fried dough beckons.

The Carnival has pulled into town!

Carol sums up the invitation that the carnival offers here:

Or perhaps the attraction is a little more mundane (here as expressed by Mark in a poem he composed only for this carnival — and not on his blog):

in the carnival

of poets, i am the guy

in the dunking booth

Walk on into the field. See in front of you the wildflowers, worn down by the passing of many feet. Erin Monahan says (in her short poem):

The lilies have wilted, weighted

by the dogwood’s scarlet berries

and red-tipped leaves –

one pitiable death born

in the beauty of another.

Death and the reach of those from beyond the grave has a long history as part of the carnival. The words and presence of those who have come before comfort us:

Cold cemetery

the long sleeves of your old coat

warm my fingertips

even from beyond this grave

you manage to comfort me.


A carnival brings together all kinds of people. Some may come with a somewhat irreverent sense of humor. From Doris comes this submission to the Carnival:

Maybe you are a late arrival to the carnival, working your way through the line of cars in the parking lot. Andrew Nichols (also known as Dan Weasel) submitted “Car” on this point:

She carries me from

pain to pain; rarely braking:

safe. Accelerate.

The carnival appeals to the child’s soul, but also speaks to the “big” questions. Adam Graham raises one of these questions in his poem “Why?”:

Knowing the answer,

Understanding why,

It is the human quest

The word we think will restore,

But the answer to the question

Often wounds more than it heals.

The sun falls and the carnival lights flick on. The glare of white light contrasts with the presence of “white space” in our lives. The multimedia group of the World Haiku Club used the theme of white space as a recent exercise. Lary collected these submissions into a web page listing them (one poem by soji is highlighted here):

In the night time, whimsy makes itself known. Flights of fancy continue in the evening carnival. All rules are suspended (even the rule that says you had to write a poem of six lines to be featured in this carnival). From Poet Billy Jones comes Six Lines:

Six lines, but Sir, you surely jest.

Six lines, but Sir, I must protest.

Six lines, all right I’ll give my best

and do it with but four.

The end of the day approaches. For some, the carnival has been a time of enjoyment and frivolity. For us, though, the carnival has taught lessons not soon forgotten. From Presbypoet’s “Poems From God” comes “Being Corrected”:

Thank you for ripping out my heart.

Leaving it bleeding cut to ribbons.

Thank you for teaching

how little I know.

Thank you for showing

what I was too blind to see.

At the end of the night, the lights of the carnival go out and sudden darkness returns:


a sudden vastness

between stars


The carnival pulls out of town. Where will it set up next? Who will be part of the mad funhouse? What abandoned field will next be enlivened by its frolic and froth?

And what of our abandoned field? All left alone again to rest and reflect? I end the carnival with the 13th featured poem (we all know the power of 13 and carnival), an original of mine called “Empty Field”:

Empty field

silent in the moonlight . . .

carnival moved on

And now for a “Mea Culpa” — I missed one poem!! Renee Wagemans submitted a poem from her blog, Words to Go With, entitled “Dance in Memory Lane”.

All I can say is “Mea Culpa”, and here is the poem:

Thanks to everyone who submitted a poem for this month’s Poetry Carnival. Thanks especially to Andrew Nichols (aka Dan Weasel) for the invitation to host this month’s carnival. For future poetry carnivals, visit Dan’s web page!


Trying to find a parking space in downtown Boston shortly before an 8:00 curtain without having to spend $40.

October 14, 2005