Archive for November, 2005


Twas the Night of Thanksgiving

November 23, 2005

Twas the night of Thanksgiving,
and all through the house,
not a creature was stirring
not even a mouse.

We all had had more than
our share of good food,
eating turkey and stuffing, and
not to be rude

but our waists had expanded
past one more belt notch,
was it fate that demanded
that last glass of scotch?

Well, now that the eating
is finally done
and all of the “younglings”
are resting their “tums”,

it’s time to start planning
the shopping excursion,
we’ll take in the morning,
some say it’s perversion

the sheer gabs of money
we spend on our gifts
when all the world over
their needs are for thrift

but we spend our dough
as though it will never
diminish and so
we think we are clever

when deficits rise
(both our own and the national).
Can you sense the surprise,
we don’t think that it’s rational

when our stomachs and purses
fill up, pop our buttons,
the rest of the nations
know we are just gluttons.


Rent My Blog — Welcome to Rollin Thunder Poetry!

November 19, 2005

Rollin Thunder Poetry is the first Blog Explosion member to rent my blog. This program (available through Blog Explosion) allows me to rent my blog (for BE credits which translate to more viewers) and to find like-minded blogs which I think you will enjoy. Take a moment to visit Rollin Thunder, I think you will find it is worth the visit! Check out the link in the right column of the blog!


I Breathe and So I Manage to Survive (de/composed from “I Am Alive”)

November 17, 2005

A while back I posted a poem of mine called “I Am Alive”. I also posted a review of a book called “De/Compositions: 101 Good Poems Gone Wrong” in which the author takes poems and rewrites them to illustrate how the original poem works. I have challenged folks at Poetisphere to do the same with their work by taking a poem of their own and “de/composing” it.

Here is “I Am Alive” again, a poem written after 9/11. I will present the original and then “de/compose” it by rephrasing it with meter and rhyme to show how this poem feeds on its jagged rhythm and measure:

I Am Alive


I am alive
I soar with the spirits of a new generation
My voice rises from the ashes of my former self
And I sing a new song.

I am not the man I once was.
Then — I hid behind the insecurities of my former self
Now — my spine is broken and I see clearly.

I have lost much
Some may say that in losing I have gained,
Yet I know that the gain comes, not in having survived the loss, but in spite of it.

I am cleaner, purer,
I am burned beyond all recognition, charred, smoldering,
Yet all who see me call me beautiful.

I still struggle for meaning,
Every day I journey through all of the hidden piles of rubble and call out names.
And wonder why.

And here is my new version:

I Breathe and So I Manage to Survive (de/composed)

I breathe and so I manage to survive
while soaring with the spirits of this time
I sing, my voice is ashes, “I’m Alive!”
My body left beneath me, I remind

myself that I am not the man I was
I used my false security to hide.
My spine is broken, can I seek to judge
the terrorists who taught me how to glide?

You see I have lost much this horrid day
but I might argue that I’ve gained as much.
The gain, it comes not from my loss, I say,
but rather from the strength it takes to touch

my cleaner, purer, burned and charred remains,
some call them beautiful, but I still know
I will seek out the echos from the planes
and wonder why, no answering “Hello.”

So what do you think? Which one reads better? Why? Do you agree with me that the 1st one with its more jagged edge and lack of forced meter and rhyme allows for a more immediate response? Or does the second one build for you? What about word choice? Images? Does the more explicit 2nd version speak more than the more suggestive first?

And now it is your turn. Take a poem of your own, or take a poem of someone else’s (maybe another Poetisphere poet, or maybe a classic verse you want to try your hand at) and “de/Compose” it by rewriting it to point out the original’s beauty. Post the results here or at your blog…



November 16, 2005

3/31/1983 (added stanzas 11/16/05)

I walk through the fields of your mind –
I live in the questions of your brain –
I fly over eternal clouds of knowledge –
I fall in the crystal of the rain.

I ride on the waves of many oceans –
I live on the salt in the sea –
I am every unanswered question –
in the unequal equality.

I feed on the embers burning lower –
I drink in the liquid of your tears –
I feast on the hunger of affliction –
I share in your hopes and darkest fears.

I shout when the agony and horror
I witness, become too much to see –
I am every unanswered question –
in the unequal equality.

I wait for the challenge of your question –
I thrill for the piercing of your doubt –
I answer with languid flowing rivers –
I withhold so you can go without –

I fashion the passing of the seasons –
I paint with the shadow of the tree –
I am every unanswered question –
in the unequal equality.

You wonder what maker winds the timepiece –
You ponder what power set the stars –
You question the nature of forgiveness –
You struggle, and thus you wear the scars –

Of those who would seek to know the answers –
To questions they cannot see to see.
I am every unanswered question
in the unequal equality.


“Ars Poetica” Poetry Carnival is Up

November 15, 2005

Hey all…

The new poetry carnival is up at Legwarmers. Liz has done a fantastic job with this month’s carnival. Check it out…

Submission details for the next Poetry Carnival can be found at Glittering Muse. The new theme is music poetry. Submission deadline is 11/29/05.

Join the Poetry Carnival Google Group to receive updates on Carnival events.


When Life and Laughter Merge

November 13, 2005


When life and laughter merge,
and lights and curtain rise,
the real world is put away
(and all is fantasized),

then comes the thrill and pleasure
of being on the stage,
and with them comes the treasure
of hearing the applause.

Then when the show is over
and curtain-call is done,
when off comes costume, make-up,
(and with them goes the fun

of pretending to be another),
and on goes real life.
But an actor never leaves it.
The theater is his life.


Ours, Poetica

November 10, 2005

Imagine, were it possible to see
a world where every object was expressed
as reference to another, every tree
a metaphor, and every one addressed

by “rose” or “poem” or “ancient crooked man”.
If poetry existed as a state
of being, we could live it rather than
depend upon the poet to create

a world of imagery and fertile thought.
What would we call this world of which we dream?
Poetica her name and yet would not
her very same existence make it seem

that Poetry itself would be a sham?
A feeble, mild attempt to call to mind
a state of grace, perfection in the land,
then every single poet could remind

his reader that the work is more than metrical.
You find your own expressed as “ours, Poetica.”

For the next Poetry Carnival.


WMD Haiku

November 5, 2005

Red flowers trampled
under the soldier’s rough boot . . .
casualty of war.


Night lightening sizzles
the thunder cannons booming. . .
oil fields burn.


Field mice skitter,
the lion is on the prowl . . .
The U.S. invades.


Folding white linen,
Bush sits down to his meal . . .
tuna in oil.

These haiku are inspired by the new “WMD Haiku” blog. Check it out and create your own.

UPDATE — 11/17/05 The WMD Haiku site has been taken down. Feel free, however, to post your poetry here on this theme!


Little fruit

November 3, 2005

Little fruit
of poisoned vine
you look for
a water source
with the roots
of your branches.

You will find only
dry riverbed there.
Once there was a
rushing stream which
carried water
past like miles
by a speeding car.

You ignored the
water then, like
we ignore the cries
of drowning sailors,
marooned at sea
by pirate ships.

You were used
to plenty but as
you’ve ripened
you see that
love is not

or free or
You stick your roots
in whatever dirty soil
will hold them,
and as the soul

gets dingy by the
stink of pollution
you close off this
chapter, wall it off,
leave it in the
fruit jar, ignored.

until it bursts,
festering, and
causing heart-burn
or -break. Fruit
of my loom,
sleep the troubled

dreams of childhood
when your biggest
fears are big fears
and let me know
tomorrow if the
fruit remains
on the vine,

poisened and unripe.
Or, travel elsewhere
so you seek more sun.
Pull up your roots, and
travel to another
orchard where the
Keeper watches over you.