Poets are soldiers that liberate words from the steadfast possession of definition. ~Eli Khamarov, The Shadow Zone
By the time a man realizes that maybe his father was right, he usually has a son who thinks he’s wrong.~Charles Wadsworth http://ow.ly/4Qimn
Poetry is a deal of joy and pain and wonder, with a dash of the dictionary. ~Kahlil Gibran
Poetry is just the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash. ~Leonard Cohen
Poetry at times involves going off the deep end. Other times lyrical phrases can be light and airy. Then there comes the melancholy, the angry and all the other emotions. The following poem comes from a collection I’m building and brushes life’s landscape with broad strokes in dark areas…
All the Wrong Places
Bring us no closer to death than the wind’s whisper from our grandmothers’ graves
No further from love than the rise and fall of our lovers’ breasts
We cling to our distractions, desperate souls in search of meaning
From that which we cannot understand.
Who are we? Conscious, aware beings,
Cognizant of too little and too much at once
Living in a frantic world of habitual chaos
Too-fast-to-live and too-soon-to-die realities.
Our pleasures, snatched, stolen.
Our personal histories – barren shelves –
Devoid of soft moonlit strolls or nestled spooning
Instead, data transfers and emotional disasters tracked ad nauseum.
Heads fed by corporate greed mongers.
Sight lost of our souls’ inner workings.
Always the desire for more –
More speed, more wealth, more pleasure, more life.
Yet life’s definition eludes us
Forever outside our modern grasp.
We travel further from our beginning.
We know and understand less as we go.
A sad truth we refuse to face –
Lies we wish to believe,
Tidy. Convenient. Comfortable.
Our stagnant pools of self-reflection grown full of mold and scum from lack of use.
No finger stirs our souls to life.
No fountain breathes life to our depths.
Just shoreline-flames – pyrotechnics
To lure us from contemplations of primary importance.
Our society lost its soul in search of external fulfillment.
People in this land, so fragile in existence,
Live as though no end draws near – until death’s cold fingers clutch our throats
With the epiphany – we searched all the wrong places.
Writing poetry always tended to vex me. My desire was to write fiction, science fiction at that, and all that flowed from my pen were poems. Then I discovered some of the poems were damn good. After a few decades, I decided I should put them out there for the world to consume. Then I began winning awards and getting attention for my writing and I liked it.
Now, I’m less inclined to toss my poetry off as something I write on a whim. I actually purpose to write poetry and I even promote my work in this area. The desire to write fiction remains, but now the two genres get along in my heart and mind.
The following poem is my first attempt at a “Nonet” poem. A Nonet is a poem that begins with nine syllables and diminishes by one syllable each successive line until you are left with a single syllable. I used alliteration (all words beginning with the same sound) as well. I love West Virginia (my home state) and winter and snow and everything associated with that special time of year.
This poem will be included in the upcoming book Poetry in Black and White due for a late June, early July 2011 release. There will be black and white art that accompanies the poem in the book as well. Please let me know what you think!
Slipping, sliding soft silken snow sheets
Sipping cider, scorching, searing
Seeing stores’ short stockpile sold
Send silly signals
Saying “sit still”