Archive for the ‘Whimsy’ Category

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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.

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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

12/16/2001

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…

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

October 14, 2005

Impossible.

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Light & Darkness

September 19, 2005

Text:

Light

nebulae collide
in the bittersweet heaven
bright iridescence
while light-years away I stare
at the computer’s dull haze

Darkness

nebulae collide
spilling heavenly carnage
over galaxies
on the evening news more death
a new nation emerges

Image courtesy of NASA.

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Sheep

September 14, 2005

I hear them bleating
more and more insistently
as I, sheepishly,
sit in the middle of cars
stuck in the intersection.

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2 ½ B / To Half Be

September 7, 2005

11/1984

2B or X 2B
Is it liberty to me?
Or freedom of choice?
I think not.

For whenever one is given
2B or X 2B
One may not choose the compromise –
2 ½ B.

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Coffee

September 1, 2005

My summer coffee treat: a Vanilla Bean Frappuccino® with Caramel Affogato. I love the “lava lamp” look as the Affogato melts into the vanilla bean.

Here is a shot of my favorite Barista making a cup of coffee:

And finally, today’s poem:

You awaken me
with the flavor of dark roast
so rich on my tongue.

Can your sensuality
and pale beauty
be contained in just one cup?