poems 2013-2014

upper- and lowercase doubles the choice of letters, though usually i prefer using only lowercase, so please bear with me.

a year ago a friend challenged me to write a poem a day. these are some of the results….

lazy poetry

i like a lazy kind of poetry.
you know, where i don't have to think too much,
where i don't constantly need a dictionary or footnotes--
i don't mind free verse or sprung rhythm--
i don't mind loose rhyme--
in fact, i'm wary of too much rhyme,
as if the sense was forced to fit the sound.
that's the kind of poetry i like to read,
that's the kind of poetry i like to write.
'computers are dumb'

computers are dumb
they just add
zeroes and ones
okay, they're quick
that's their trick
but they are so
passionless and numb
'what if?'

what if we got it all wrong?
 no god of power and might
no spears and swords and guns
 no 'god is on our side' when there are no sides

but of comfort and joy
 of solace and tears
 of 'i'll hold you and rock you and carry you'
 of love

what if?
'why wait for stone?'

in a million years
when you and i are fossils,
will it matter?
what matters now?
only love, or its lack.
can you enstone love or its lack?
ammo casings and rockwall paintings
and sweet music hint,
but why wait for stone?
without love today,
what fossil tomorrow?
'joy when it rains'

the blowing snow and rising wind,
the weather is quite harsh,
but soon the melting ice will drip,
joy will fill the marsh.
and soon the peepers' song will soar,
and white becomes the green.
we claw to mem'ries and to hopes,
to joy when the rain.

water, water ev'rywhere,
but liquid does rare appear.
of all the planets known to us,
only oceans here.
oceans outside, oceans in,
ocean of your brain,
melt like ice and sing like frogs
and dance in the rain.

love is like the ocean,
though sometimes underground.
so pump it up or let it pour.
such joy to be found.
swim in the sea and drink from the creek.
water pours from stone.
play on the beach and jump right in.
let it soak you to the bone.
flat and fizz

eat, drink, and be mindful; it is what it is
life is flat and life is fizz
reach for the crown and while sliding down
be curious 'bout life and life's little quiz
zen and the art of living

how to live:
build castles in sand
write poems few folk, if any, will likely read, posts too
catch the fading light, the brightening stars, only in your mind's eye
sing lullabies even though the children may forget them in their slumber
but sing them anyway
watch the sun set, watch the stars come out
write, even if badly
build castles by the sea
give yourself to love
among the skids at a supermarket in midland

[i wrote most of this first, and then encountered the famous poem ‘A Supermarket in California’ (1955) by Allen Ginsberg (1926–1997) (http://www.poetryfoundation.org/features/audioitem/4506), which i had last read in the eighties in university, so i added a bit, changed the line-length a la whitman and ginsberg, and lengthened the title too.]

sitting near the skids, near the skids, the skids of stacks of bottled coke
at the giant super-market. another kind of skid row, i suppose, another kind
of poverty.
in my mind i wander the aisles, not looking for you, i wander the aisles, well-lit
and cooled, powered by fission and falling water,
past the global fruits and veg, the local meats and milk

i sit near the skids and watch the people come and go, come and go. do they know? 
some take some coke or pepsi or canada dry, they come and go,
but the skids stay with me.
'falling water'

arne naess once shackled to a fjord
did he see nature being crucified?
after taking him down, we built the thing
we built the pipes and turbines, wires and dam

like when we built the tower of babel
and we think the stars will do our bidding
we imagine we'll drive the chariot
in fact we barely hold on for dear life

pipes rechannel dammed and falling water
turbines making energy for power
aren't we, in so doing, less like daedalus
more like icarus, damned and falling too?

['I am okay with calling it a practice of emergency, if by that we mean to include
the emergence of new forms of life.'--jonathan skinner, ecopoetics anthologizer]

why the urgency on what is emerging?
breathe deep.
it's not the same-old same-old,
it just looks that way.
the way a glacier looks like it's not moving.
breathe deep.
don't panic.
'i waver between'

i waver between
meager and might
despair and delight
verse that is formal and verse that is free
between you and me and me and we
between and extreme
meaningless and theme
and do i make every line rhyme
this time?

between clarity and riddle
saying too much and saying too little
need i say more?
being a bacchant and being a bore
finding my centre and having no core

between holding out and giving in when i crave
seeking calm and catching a wave
i waver
gratitude and birdsong

at six in the morning a hush descends,
so quiet i hear a bird.
there's food in the fridge, and more in the store,
and more that grows in the earth.
the land, not bombed, the water, pure,
the shelves in the store are stocked.
and no one has cut the electricity,
the walls no bullets have pocked.
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