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Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 134

Categories: Personal Updates, Poetry Prompts.

In case you haven’t heard the news yet, I’ll be selecting 20 poets to publish and pay for the 2013 Poet’s Market. Click here to read guidelines.

Also, I announced the winner of The Bop challenge yesterday too. Find who made the Top 10 list.

*****

For this week’s prompt, write a “let’s get serious” poem. There is serious, and then, there’s serious. I’ll let you decide which serious your poem is going to tackle. Seriously.

Here’s my attempt:

“Apocalyptic Signs”

And just like that, the world did not end.
We waited as if maybe, but not really,
because the world never ends
when they say it will.

You know how little boys are always crying
wolf, though some things did go missing:
random socks, pocket change, pencils
and pens. The world did not end,
but we didn’t let it ruin our day.

*****

Follow me on Twitter @robertleebrewer

*****

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About Robert Lee Brewer

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165 Responses to Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 134

  1. Taylor Graham says:

    SPRINGTIME OF THE PEOPLES, 1848

    Revolution. Barricades
    in the streets. Out-of-work workers
    heap paving stones and upturned carriages
    against the Garde. Even troops
    can’t map the filthy maze that is Paris.
    Stink and haze of smoke, stagnant water
    that floods the rez-de-chaussée
    when it rains. But our Spring is over.
    It swept through Europe,
    and what difference did it make?
    M. Cabet took his utopian
    ideas to a New World. Herr Marx
    from Germany would spark class war.
    From America, Mr. Burritt hoped
    to organize world peace. They’re gone.
    We’re left with things as they were
    and will be. Slum-streets, refuse
    running in the gutters. Rats.
    A new plague – this year, cholera.
    Revolution? What’s likely
    to burn are the walls around us,
    our roof above, our selves.

  2. Juanita Lewison-Snyder says:

    Warning Shot
    by Juanita Lewison-Snyder

    The first time you used the "L" word,
    I stopped you mid-sentence and called you
    a user of fine words that leaves only scars.

    Still, on knees and belly, you made
    the decision to brave the no man’s land
    between us — mud, barbed wire, sniper fire
    just to place your hand over the grenade
    seductively serenading my own, and
    simply pull the pin.

    © 2011 by Juanita Lewison-Snyder

  3. AC. Leming says:

    Humidity

    Steals your breath with moisture.
    Like breathing under water, it’s difficult
    not to drown on Southern air 

    when summer holds you hostage.
    The dogs wake me at 5 am.
    Humid air pours though the door

    my grey dog noses open, a feat 
    which the spotted dog has yet
    to figure out at 9 years-old.

    I shut the door quick before 
    a passing car can see me in my 
    undressed state.  I feed the dogs

    and think I should stay awake,
    write in my journal and walk
    the pups while it’s still somewhat

    cool.  But I succumb to Morpheous’
    arms for another morning and flirt
    with heat exhaustion for the three

    of us on our 9 o’clock morning walk.

  4. Taylor Graham says:

    “Earth being used as ALIEN GARBAGE DUMP!”
    — the SUN

    Recovered from the Potomac and Anacostia Rivers
    in six years (a very partial list)*: 10,154 car tires,
    7,286 feet of barge rope, 1,900 square feet of carpet,
    737 refrigerators, 420 antifreeze bottles,
    104 water heaters, 88 washing machines, 73 life-
    jackets, 60 BBQ grills, 44 toilets, 21 messages
    in bottles, 12 bathtubs, 12 couches, 6 motorcycles,
    6 Porta-a-Potties, 5 farm tractors, 3 tops of school
    buses, 3 transmissions, 2 cupboards, 1 septic tank,
    1 gas pump (unleaded), 1 piano.

    Does this sound like aliens to you?

    * from Capital River Relief website

  5. Dennis Wright says:

    A song that might be a poem.

    Walk Just Like a Man

    Southern families came to the toe
    there they lived the same.
    Little Dixie they called the place
    and it lived up to its name.
    Poor sod farmers bitten by snake eyes
    wanting a horse to ride,
    they prayed high for threes and eights,
    and kept their southern pride.

    Oh, your neighbors shaved the dice
    so you would always win.
    Everything they did not have
    they gave to you to spend.
    They made your life so unreal
    you could not fall to sin.
    You never learned to stand your ground
    and walk just like a man.

    Daddy preached the Holy Book
    and then he died out west.
    Momma married another man
    and held a shot gun to her breast.
    Then you were in the field
    as sheriff came for your brother dear.
    You were too young to have such pain
    and to know, oh so much fear.

    Oh, your neighbors shaved the dice
    so you would always win.
    Everything they did not have
    they gave to you to spend.
    They made your life so unreal
    you would not fall to sin.
    You never learned to stand your ground
    and walk just like a man.

    The daily press printed words
    they thought were in your mind.
    The editor made some bucks
    with his axe to grind.
    And you went along with everything
    that he had to say.
    You loved to much the telling of the tale
    and your killing ways.

    Oh, your neighbors shaved the dice
    so you would always win.
    Everything they did not have
    they gave to you to spend.
    They made your life so unreal
    you would not fall to sin.
    You never learned to stand your ground
    and walk just like a man.

    Copyright, Dennis Wright, June 7, 2011.

  6. Sam Nielson says:

    Cameron Steele,
    ‘Serious Sestina’ is quite serious indeed. I loved it from the first stanza. Wonderful work.

    Mariel,
    I love the imagery for your work ‘Serious’. The black marks, the owls lock, ‘sees me despite death’ ‘failed/To capture what I was’. Keep it up.

  7. Mariel says:

    Serious

    I won’t indulge what I can write
    Or type a letter to you to provoke
    The last words I spoke were rough
    And well deserved
    So I’ll build a sandbox out of vanity
    And dig a hole deep to stick my head in
    Carry myself to bed with a pencil
    To ponder Brazil and the South
    To creep soft; slowly pills entering through veins
    With a new lover; who has scars
    Black marks made in Iraq
    Who sleeps well into the night
    As owls lock our lazy eyes into sleep
    Who sees me despite death at the door
    Despite chills in the air that murmur
    Sneak off into the night;
    One a ghost, the other a wife
    Where you seriously failed
    To capture what I was

  8. Marie Elena says:

    Oh my gosh, Robert! I can see why you enjoy conducting interviews with poets. De Jackson was my first, Andrew Kreider is my second, and I’ve fallen hard and fast!

  9. A busy morning tomorrow, so we’ve gotten a jump on the Web Wednesday interview. This week Andrew Kreider has accepted the designation. Read the exchange between Andrew, Marie and me at Poetic Bloomings.

    http://poeticbloomings.blogspot.com/2011/06/web-wednesday-andrew-kreider.html

  10. Guarded Heart

    It wasn’t always guarded,
    It’s always pumped out truth,
    and soaked up all the sunshine
    since the warmer days of youth.

    But somewhere down deserted roads
    there is an empty box
    which once held many jingling keys
    to hardened steel locks.

    To understand and sympathize
    and pat you on the back
    would undermine your weapons
    though defensive, not attack.

    It always seems so scary
    to drop your only shield
    and blow right thru the stop sign
    not waiting there to yield.

    It’s only cupids arrow
    firing at the red,
    piercing thru your guarded heart
    which pacifies your head.

    The arrow or the bow man
    or the guarded heart set free
    need air for flight and breathing
    to sing in harmony.

    Unguard your heart and take the shot.
    Drop shields on fertile ground.
    Listen for the heart beat.
    It is a glorious sound.

    By Michael Grove

  11. HAIKU – (7) Seriously

    A prince on white horse.
    A brave soldier on a mule.
    It’s all the same now.
    ~
    He knocks on her door.
    She leaves him waiting out there.
    He waits and wonders.
    ~
    Together a must.
    Separate the love from lust.
    Two shall share a trust.
    ~
    This will work, really.
    Love unconditionally.
    Try it, you will see.
    ~
    Let’s get serious.
    No more fooling around here.
    Time for going big.
    ~
    It is not a game.
    Love is still the feelings name.
    If it’s all the same.
    ~
    Now seriously.
    What’s the point in wasting time?
    Except for guarding heart.

    By Michael Grove

  12. Joy Cagil says:

    Cracks in the Concrete

    The path with cracks
    soil-squatted, weed-sprouted,
    a bother to the eye.
    Those landscapers
    bypassing the fine lines
    to make me frown, until…
    I hear my neighbor’s cane
    tiptap on the sidewalk,
    his other hand holding to the leash
    of his animal companion
    leading him with its eyes.

  13. Sam Nielson says:

    Let’s Get Serious

    The mortician said to the sexton
    Over a new concrete vault.
    Shall we start digging?

    He said to his body,
    Numbering the decades,
    Let’s get past these aches.

    He said to his wife
    After their fifth anniversary,
    What about a baby?

    She said, a boss addressing
    A waiting employee,
    Let’s start now.

    To a parent, Can I? said a child
    Looking at a clean sidewalk
    Holding a new box of colored chalk.

    An amniotic newborn
    Yelled to any near to hear
    Make room, let me breathe!

  14. Limbo Land

    All the thoughts of failure
    racing thru the head.
    Crucified for loving.
    It’s better than if dead.

    Live and learn, not likely.
    Same mistakes again.
    Heart out on the sleeve.
    Pray for trust. Amen.

    Understand objection.
    Always do your part.
    When in limbo land.
    Keep following heart.

    By Michael Grove

  15. Marie Elena says:

    FITCH IS BACK!! *wavewavewave*

  16. cynthia stewart says:

    Seriously

    We all know what to do to get in shape.
    But there are so many ways to do it -
    You can get lost in the calories, exercise styles,
    Good Carbs, Protein, L-Carnitine, Fasting.

    But when you get serious, it is easier because,
    You just do what will work, whatever it takes,
    Keep doing it and don’t stop,
    And ignore the rest.

    Cynthia Stewart

  17. Thanks to all who have expressed interest in my chapbook, WOOD. I have updated the details on my blog and some may have received an e-mail. If you haven’t gotten notification yet, please shoot over to:

    http://wjw2356.blogspot.com

    for the information. The CDs audiobooks will contain two bonus tracks of material not included in the book. This has indeed been an experience. Thanks to Robert for setting the example.

  18. Colette ;D says:

    Thanks, Wallt! Just kidding, Walt ;D
    Colette

  19. Brother Ralph! Welcome home, pour yourself some coffee and stay a while!

  20. Ralph J. Fitcher says:

    Hey all, it’s been awhile. Thought I would write this just to say hi. Not my best, and done very quickly. Enjoy. Ralph.

    Come and Go

    It seems all too often we come and go
    Leaving the only thing we know
    In search of that which is more
    Seeking a thrill we’ve all felt before

    When that which we leave behind
    Is loving, gentle and kind
    As we leave, we dare not look back
    That we might be perceived by the courage we lack

    Though, to return we must
    To the one place we can trust
    To be as warm and safe as a mother’s womb
    Only to leave again, all too soon. . .

    Ralph J. Fitcher
    June 5, 2011

  21. Marietta Goretti says:

    Seriously
    I wanted to invite him
    but lost his address

    Fortuitous perhaps

    he would bring
    his family
    his extended family

    his polypussy cats
    his hideous pugs
    his fractured friends
    his bevy of fans

    he would storm out
    leave me in the lurch
    again

    because the cucumber
    wasn’t sliced wafer thin

    because I spilt tea
    on his erasure poem
    scrawled on my damask
    table cloth

    pity
    it would be nice
    to have an
    off the planet playmate
    to be silly with

    just a numero uno
    sans multiple you knows
    but not to be
    unless he gives
    a guarantee
    of fidelitee
    countersigned
    by the waving tree

  22. Lol’s to Sara and JB … Grand synchronicity…great minds and all that! Thanks again ;)
    Heiberg … Thank you so very much… Comments deeply appreciated…yes, poor Jimmy eyes torn from his waving tree… :)

  23. Heiberg says:

    Pearl, your line:
    "Jimmy! Get your eyes off that tree waving outside"

    Love it.

  24. Joseph Beckman says:

    Pearl Just checked with the missus and nope no Sara in this house but I do remember that when I started writing my comment Sara’s had not shown on my screen yet. If it helps my grandfather moved my dad’s family from Pennsylvania a few generations back. Maybe it is in the DNA.

  25. Sara V. …so sweet … I love synchronicity …. Nit sure if you knew of Leigh before but think her work is top notch.
    Enjoy the rest of the weekend. Seriously….Not. :)

  26. A toast to you and "beau", Collette! Congrats!

  27. FIN

    Silent intruder
    coming to call while you sleep,
    keeping his appointment
    to take who he wants
    He can’t wait for you to be
    ready as he, he slinks
    in the darkness. He lurks
    in the light of day, come
    what may, when your day comes
    the drum beat will silence without
    violence or struggle. Lock your doors,
    and a window awaits. Death be not proud,
    be he thief in the night
    or comfortable friend, it spells the end.
    As serious as a heart attack.

  28. Colette ;D says:

    ~ We Got Serious ~

    About twenty-four years ago,
    I got serious about my beau.
    Twenty-three years ago today,
    We "tied the bow" and made it stay!

  29. Colette ;D says:

    ~ Let’s Get Tereus ~

    Philomela was raped by her
    brother-in-law, Tereus.
    Her sister, Procne,
    said, "Let’s get serious,"
    and boiled him a surprise
    that was really deleterious.
    The philomel will never tell
    what made her so delirious.

    { a serious little morsel from classical mythology ;D }

  30. Sara V says:

    Hi Pearl! Nope don’t know Mr. Beckman, but appreciate his comments on my poetry :-)
    Leigh and I seemed to have the same words too–guess you were just inspiring a "warm, wonderful" mind meld in all us PA’ers <3

  31. Taylor Graham says:

    ORIENT

    Magnet in a darkened room, the song
    of seabirds as you speak the word
    for “gull” in twenty languages.
    Seriously, does the world get smaller
    as we sail beyond its edges?
    Time and space contracting, the straits

    opening with each new idea. How
    shall I get my bearings when
    the instruments need a better satellite,
    a truer star? Polaris taps out its
    Morse; the turtle-shell sings of sands
    breaking open, eggs like plosives.

    A new dialect, salt of oceans
    on the tongue. If opening a book closes
    other pages, I’ll dream in oracle
    bone script. Seriously, our port-of-call
    is Jenseits, fluent in all tongues.
    We log our lives by dawnings.

  32. Let’s GET SERIOUS!

    In the middle of the room
    Sunlight streaming on their heads
    They grinned and laughed milk through
    Their not grown noses
    At "Serious" their unfriend who still to school wore "Keds"

    Serious sat in a far corner  near the hallway
    Book propped up on the wall
    Eyes bright behind thick lenses
    Lost in his read he knew no fright at all

    "Hey Serious" they called as always
    Across the heads of nibbling, chewing, slurping others
    " Hey, we’re talking to you" they shouted above the din
    Anyone who had been watching could see trouble about then to begin
     
    Their spittled voices missiled over the head 
    of lunch lady Miss McGee there busy twirling a lock of her long  hair 
    At Mr. Kaye, the tall new gym teacher sharing lunch duty with her standing near her there

    Muscles bulging from his bright white Anyplace Middle School knife creased ironed tee
    Twirling, smiling,  shifting from one pretty foot to the other Serious’ would-be savior,  
    Love-lust-struck, now completely oblivious-irresponsible, pretty Miss McGee

    Serious’ book was just reaching a grand crescendo, his heart pounded with his protagonist
    When the Middlers,  plain right there out in the sunlight threw the first milk carton at him
    And that first hurl missed

    Serious barely noticed, heard the splat and felt a bit of spray
    But his hero was on the seas a-sailing and so he missed the assault moving inexcorably his way

    Felt the spray on his ankle, heard the roar of voices lost on the sea
    Never saw them rise and run past giggling girls toward him
    Never heard their "LET’S GET SERIOUS! " rage-charge filled with glee

    "We’re coming for you Serious, you wormy little nerd
    Sitting with your flippin book in your corner
    Think you’re cool pretending we’re not heard!"

    But Serious’  hero was on the mast the roiling seas slapping hard on tipped boated side
    As Miss McGee sidled three inches closer to muscled Mr. Kay
    Heated to a boiling point hard for her to  any longer stay cooly to abide
     
    No one would say they heard them run, knock Serious from his seat and slap, punch and kick
    Until from his nose on that particular lunch-room day mightily did spray geysered blood thick

    Serious hardly knew what had happened, had learned to ignore them long ago
    From on the floor, book in half tore, glass-less now they were a hazy blur in motion slow

    They laughed and hollered into his face and attempted to tickle him with fingers stuck in hard
    "Come on and fight or at least laugh, do something" they hissed "you creepy quiet "reee-tard"
    And mind you, Miss McGee and Mr. K.  had slipped out the kitchen door into the school-yard

    There was no one to hear the cruelty that later each, every and all would solemnly deny
    Even though Kristina, with a Down’s baby sister, did hear it all and face in hands hard cry

    Serious lay on the floor his glasses thrown and shattered
    Beneath his teeth he tasted the salt of the mighty roiling sea
    This to him was all that mattered,not the ways of violent boys
    or the ways of giggling girls who fussed on and on and nattered

    In fact this type of boy snd girl were ever to Serious
    Little more than odd phenomena who were simple and mysterious

    (Planned he when he went home to research "group behavior in lunchrooms and the absence of appropriate protection as mitigated by the intervening variable of an intense good read.")

    Serious smiled within at his new project, undaunted, unprotected, unhurt by the physicality
    For Serious this was within expectable parameters of how his life had evolved and come to be..

         
      
    ( whoops sorry for the repost of this looong poem…needed spacing and some changes on re- read)

  33. FOR THOSE WHO HAVE NOT YET DONE SO…CLICK. DANIEL ARI’S LINK. S E R I O U S L Y !!!
    ADORABLE :)

  34. Thanks Rose….my mother is a 35 year survivor of breast cancer
    Heiberg…. Hi there and thanks…. I write silly too….( sometimes)… Which did you enjoy?
    Thanks to Domino
    Meagan. … I write triolets? Thanks. Which ones did you enjoy?
    Thank you Joseph Beckman for the mention
    Leigh.. I am delighted that you are feeling at home…you are obviously welcomed by moe than "moi".
    Thank you Nancy
    Thank you Marie
    Thank you Sara V. are you and Joseph Beckman a couple? Your comments were identical.

    Back later or Monday for more reading and commenting on others. Some wonderful poeming here!

  35. Let’s GET SERIOUS

    In the middle of the room
    Sunlight streaming on their heads
    They grinned and laughed milk through
    Their not grown noses
    At "Serious" their unfriend who still to school wore "Keds"
    Serious sat in a far corner  near the hallway
    Book propped up on the wall
    Eyes bright behind thick lenses
    Lost in his read he knew no fright at all
    "Hey Serious" they called as always
    Across the heads of nibbling, chewing, slurping others
    " Hey, we’re talking to you" they shouted above the din
    Anyone who had been watching could see trouble about then to begin 
    Their spittled voices missiled over the head 
    of lunch lady Miss McGee there busy twirling a love of her long  hair 
    At Mr. Kaye, the tall new gym teacher sharing lunch duty with her standing near her there
    Muscles bulging from his bright white Anyplace Middle School knife creased ironed tee
    Twirling, smiling,  shifting from one pretty foot to the other Serious’ would-be savior,  
    Love-lust-struck, now completely oblivious-irresponsible, pretty Miss McGee
    His book was just reaching a grand crescendo, his heart pounded with his protagonist
    When the Middlers,  plain right there out in the sunlight threw the first milk carton
    And missed
    Serious barely noticed, heard the splat and felt a bit of spray
    But his hero was on the seas a-sailing and so he missed the assault moving inexcorably his way
    Felt the spray on his ankle, heard the roar of voices lost on the sea
    Never saw them rise and run past giggling girls toward him
    Never heard their "LET’S GET SERIOUS! " outraged cry
    "We’re coming for you Serious, you wormy little nerd
    Sitting with your flippin book in your corner
    Think you’re cool pretending we’re not heard!"
    But Serious’  hero was on the mast the roiling seas slapping hard on tipped boated side
    Miss McGee sidled three inches closer to muscled Mr. Kay,
     Heated to a boiling point hard for her to  any longer abide  
    No one would say they heard them run, knock Serious from his seat and slap, punch and kick
    Until blood from his nose on that particular lunch-room day mightily did spray geysered thick
    Serious hardly knew what had happened, had learned to ignore them long ago
    From on the floor, book in half tore, glass-less now they were a hazy blur in motion slow
    They laughed and hollered into his face and attempted to tickle him with fingers stuck in hard
    "Come on and fight or at least laugh, do something" they hissed "you creepy quiet "retard"
     Miss McGee and Mr. K.  had slipped into the yard
    There was no one to hear the cruelty that later all would deny,
    Even though Kristina, with a Down’s baby sister, did hear and face in hands did cry

    Serious lay on the floor his glasses thrown and shattered
    Beneath his teeth he tasted the salt of the mighty roiling sea
    And this to him was all that mattered
    The ways of violent boys and giggling girls who nattered
    Was ever to Serious a phenomenon quite mysterious

    (Planned he when he went home to research group behavior in lunchrooms and the absence of appropriate protection as mitigated by the intervening variable of an intense good read-
    Inside himself he smiled at the new project… undaunted, unprotected, unhurt by the physicality)
    For Serious this was within expectable parameters of how his life had evolved and  come to be..

         
      

  36. Hi friends,
    Glad I could make it to the party this week, even if I’m late. :)

    Mason Jars

    Wide-mouthed mason jars are perfect
    For drinking lemonade at night,
    Dressed up with lemon slices
    Like your mother always did.

    You too a long drink
    Before each open-eyed kiss,
    Your mouth placed on thickest threads,
    Addicted to the feel of residual sour.

    You hated those jars for reminding you
    Of our pretend house and our pretend love,
    A sour passion too raw for normal.
    The breaking was real enough.

  37. Hi friends,
    Glad I could make it to the party this week, even if I’m late. :)

    Mason Jars

    Wide-mouthed mason jars are perfect
    For drinking lemonade at night,
    Dressed up with lemon slices
    Like your mother always did.

    You too a long drink
    Before each open-eyed kiss,
    Your mouth placed on thickest threads,
    Addicted to the feel of residual sour.

    You hated those jars for reminding you
    Of our pretend house and our pretend love,
    A sour passion too raw for normal.
    The breaking was real enough.

  38. Rachel Green says:

    Jiggedy Jig

    home after a few days
    to sleep in my own bed. Ways
    to fuss the dogs are found
    while trying to sleep.
    The sound
    of fox and crow a far cry
    from the mournful sigh
    of gulls across the loch.
    Roaming on the beach
    with sea-salt spray in our hair
    no care
    for today but finding shells
    and pretty stones, to reach
    for contentedness among the hills
    and highland mountains.
    Now back, with shells and rock.

  39. Dennis Wright says:

    Serious, Maybe

    Somewhere off the road in southern Indiana
    I came to this coffee shop serving food
    where they make the best coffee on the scene.
    "Give me the right bean" the cook said,
    and "I can do the brew". Although he looked
    like an Armenian, he said he was American.

    And so I ordered a cup and a bit of to eat;
    toast, butter, and an egg. The egg like the sun,
    looked right at me complete and reminded me
    there was once when I was a snowman back then.
    When you laughed so hard and brought me the rain.
    Do you remember back then? You were such a card.

    I went to find relief before my journey anon.
    I found dirt upon my hands, washed, looked up
    to the mirror to see the words "The Beast"
    You scratched on the rim of the frame for me,
    a word from your place on the other side
    of the moon. I see your fine hand in the line.
    I took my feet out the door, put my foot to the floor.

    Then down came the angels looking for some souls
    to take with them to that great room in the east
    where people would wait in earnest for what
    they would hear when at last their lord appeared.
    The radio was filled with news of those pious many
    who saw no reason to work were they did not want
    or live with those who they no longer love.

    The road disappeared but for a highway to the sky.
    It was the only road this vehicle would drive
    the cruisematic permanently on, the wheel locked on,
    I drove up to a door. Found a large room floor
    so spacious well meaning room to wander. The
    pious were not and all heard was chatter.

    And arrived a glow of light, they looked away,
    like it had to be. I sought to hide my disbelief
    but found no walls to slide behind and escape
    their gaze of whar others see. You were there
    wondering aloud, "How did he get here?" and,
    I, of course have no answer to give to you.

    I wish I could tell the rest of this odd story.
    These people and places seem to hold intrique.
    My memory grows dim as this tale hangs on a tether
    swinging in the breeze leading to no answer why
    I am here and the pious are not. It’s a mystery.
    Someone said "do". Southern Indiana was gone.

    You stand there again. Well how could I pretend
    that your rain could ever mend this aging snowman
    who wends through the roads of America seeking
    a piece of the song the singers sing in the hours
    of the day weaving the tune of the day. Of course,
    it can never be. I melt in the sun of this dream.

  40. Henry Ward says:

    Seriously

    exquisite moments
    sustain one through the bad times
    each precious one cherished

  41. Taylor Graham says:

    LET’S GET SERIOUS HAIKU

    Rush hour – I’d be
    a cloud above it all and
    not in a hurry.

    You claim the sign read
    PERMS $10. I’d swear
    the sign said POEMS.

    That old mulberry
    they cut – it was so messy!
    I mourn a sister.

    In the vet’s office
    I hold my dog and ponder
    our mortality.

    No stops for fast food
    or the mall. I’m headed back
    home to my wildwood.

  42. Here’s mine finally… better late then never, right?

    He Goes Out

    "I could not love thee, dear, so much, loved I not honor more."
                                                               Richard Lovelace

    He goes out
    from his refuge, his
    home, to strive
    against foes
    of his homeland, to
    war, that he might live in peace.

    He goes, not
    loving to leave, but
    engaged by
    honor, by
    duty to his country,
    his motherland, his mistress.

    He goes with
    God and gun in hand,
    armed and brave,
    competent,
    to win freedom for
    his home, his wife, his children.

  43. Mike Bayles says:

    Take Cover

    Sirens scream
    when winds blow
    under a cover of black clouds
    a storm breaking through
    a sultry day.
    You must take cover.
    Drop everything
    and grab your children
    and radio and flashlight,
    no time to take stock of your life,
    not now.
    Move orderly
    downstairs
    seek cover
    wait
    out the forces
    unseen
    as they
    twist along
    the plains
    somewhere,
    and cower
    in shadows
    of your
    life.

  44. Nancy Posey says:

    Bruce,
    Love the villanelle. Since I have folks in Alabama, this series of storms really touched close. I heard from my sister this week that groups have gone from Tuscaloosa to Joplin to help with search and immediate needs, knowing how important and urgent the first days are.
    Thanks for the poem.

  45. Heiberg says:

    Oh, Rose Black, you leave me without words.

    Maria Elena, thank you. That was what I wished for.

    And Pearl. Though you write some very "social-realistic" poems, and I just like to play, I must say, you sometimes hit me and you did so today. Thank you.

  46. Bruce Niedt says:

    Going to a workshop on villanelles and triolets next week run by Molly Peacock, so I have to get in practice:

    Storm Season

    I swear it sounded like a train.
    It ripped apart most of our town,
    as we stood bleeding in the rain.

    Baseball-sized hail destroyed our grain,
    the sky turned ugly, green and brown.
    I swear it sounded like a train.

    It came so fast we can’t explain,
    my wife, still in her white nightgown,
    as we stood bleeding in the rain.

    The splintered houses, hearts in pain –
    God’s finger touched and shook the ground.
    I swear it sounded like a train.

    In Joplin, Tuscaloosa, strain
    is in our faces. Springfield’s found
    themselves, too, bleeding in the rain.

    This havoc wants to numb the brain,
    but we won’t let it tear us down,
    we swear. It sounded like a train.
    We stand together in the rain.

  47. Willy says:

    SUPPLICATION

    God,
    why
    must I
    be the one
    to die? Please, let me
    try one more time to reach for the
    sky; let the children see how high they can climb up on
    my branches; and let my old leaves
    provide shade as they
    dry, sigh, cry
    just one
    more
    time.

    W

  48. Rose Black says:

    Such a moving, encouraging tender poem on breast cancer PKP.I’m sure this will be a great comfort to many.Your heart priliks with empathy and love.

  49. There for a few more days

    She pulled up her shirt
    Face ashen
    Touch here, do you feel it?
    Weeks later
    Crammed between plated
    Radiology
    Twirled minature pizzas
    Flattened and knifed
    She pulled up her shirt
    Face colored relief
    See, just a small scar
    A few bruises
    Weeks later
    She messages
    Bad news
    She folds arms 
    across the breasts
    Still there for a few days
    Safe and sinister 
    Shirt pulled down, 
    Tucked in tight

  50. SE …There is a profoundly exquisite well of sparkling grief and fathomless longing which you illuminate brilliantly…these poems..in my humble opinion need to be gathered into a collection. Simply stunning…and always moved to the core of being – you touch the "hurt, lonely, aching, yearning" places. Yep, you touch where it hurts and others respond with …Yes…that is where it hurts…just right there…..

  51. Henry Ward says:

    Run like the wind
    That Rose is so bad
    Take up with her
    And you’ll end up mad

  52. Rose Black says:

    Let’s get serious
    the word
    is:
    surrender

    Say
    ‘I do’
    and
    the muse
    will be
    cool

    she will rise
    from the ashes
    all smudgy and black
    grab you by the shoulders
    and get you back on track

    and if you grovel nicely
    she’ll fetch you jugs of mead
    and give you words of honey

    but always sleep
    with one eye open
    the muse will remember
    how you broke her

  53. Marie Elena says:

    Heiberg: Love the uplifting feel!

  54. Marie Elena says:

    Daniel Ari: Just clicked your link. HA!!

    More greatness from Patricia (Convertible) and Beth Camp.

    Sharon, you have a way with riveting lines:
    “Your bed remains alive and weeps”
    “The scent of dead leaves crawls in my shoes”

    Glad this poem is not your reality. Would love to hear you read this particular piece at Buddah’s site.

  55. Heiberg says:

    BED AND BREAKFAST

    Through this noise of
    hard work,
    bills,
    and luckily,
    salaries,
    I look up and see
    your smile and
    listen when you say:

    Let’s get,
    serious,
    the word
    is:
    happy.

  56. Heiberg says:

    Sorry, I missed a letter – that is for the one whe cared to read this, sorry. How a "r" makes all the difference. Sorry, and I’ll send the corrected version in a minute.

  57. Heiberg says:

    BED AND BREAKFAST

    Though this noise of
    hard work,
    bills,
    and luckily,
    salaries,
    I look up and see
    your smile and
    listen when you say:

    Let’s get,
    serious,
    the word
    is:
    happy.

  58. S.E.Ingraham says:

    Domino – thank you for your kind words and thoughts – please, though – for anyone who thinks that poems was in any way shape or form related to reality – uh, no … glad it had that much impact, I think …

  59. Thank You J.Lynn – Really taken by your skype fight club.
    And Walt… please shake and wake the muse. You have 30 days yet to lead us onward and upward to poetic greatness. Here is a serious quintain…

    Messing Around

    It’s time we all just stop messing around.
    Some see the shallow waters there as deep.
    It’s peace within your soul that must be found.
    So share some love today before you sleep.
    What goes around will surely come around.

    By Michael Grove

  60. Beth Camp says:

    "Let’s get serious"
    <li>
    No one can say what will happen
    to Mother’s handkerchief embroidered in blue,
    the journals, the drawings, scraps of poems,
    love letters tucked in favorite books,
    packed and unpacked again and again,
    the dried flowers from my daughter’s wedding,
    the quilt blocks begun and nearly finished,
    a favorite cup with yellow cats.
    No one can predict
    who will come to take all this away,
    not even with the most careful preparations,
    not even with the most trusted friends.
    I’m remembering an old Greek woman
    who lay in state on the floor in an empty house.
    I only hope for kindness
    even from strangers on that final day.
    </li>

  61. Laurie Kolp “The Keys Hold the Key” was haunting yet still lyrical. I could feel every gasp.
    mike Maher – “and it Alone” – as I have come to expect, your take on the world is a bit askew to what I normally perceive – which is awesome because that’s what we look for isn’t it. “I taste of flames too” Fantastic closing line.
    Nancy Posey – “Seriously Now” – all excellent questions and many of them I’ve wondered myself.
    MA Dobson – “World Without End Amen” I don’t know whether to laugh or cry… But I still like it. ^_^
    PKP “Getting Serious” really tells it like it is… I think I prefer the June giggles to that much reality, though.
    Brandi Lynch – “All’s Lost” epic and tragic and beautiful.
    Shannon Lockard “Is it Time?” – Please tell your daughter for me, childhood is short, but immaturity is forever. ^_^
    Walt “Do they really miss me?” – Yes.
    de Jackson “Brass Tacks” Your prose is so lovely, thank you for sharing you with us.
    Andrew Kreider “Pumping Iron” as the mother of three sons, I totally get this. I like it very much!
    Jane Shlensky – “Slogan” tore me up because I wonder things like this too. “Semantics” was so well-written – I totally saw that cavalier and have felt the same sense of inappropriate, yet totally appropriate humor given the opportunity.
    Joe – “Al of a Sudden” I’m sorry for your loss. I hope you feel better soon, ‘cause all dogs go to heaven.
    Buddah Moskowitz “Silly and Magnificent” is just that. ^_^
    vivienne blake “Gynarchy” A point when the arguments go on: Once a month a woman will have her cycle with all her unreasonableness and random decisions – how will she handle the country then? Why, for at least a few days, just like a man.
    Brian Slusher “Walking Past the Graveyard…” Well said – no unnecessary words!
    Leigh Spencer “Serious as a Heart Attack” words fail me, it was so … good! I read and reread.
    Taylor Graham “Emergency Dog” Had my heart in my throat too. I’m glad he is okay.
    S.E.Ingraham “Ever Since you Left” left me in tears… So sad. Thank you for sharing, and I hope things get better.
    Daniel Ari “The narrative nebulae” Loved it – and really loved the clicky bonus. ^_^
    Patricia A. Hawkenson – “Convertible on the S-Curve” Served the bugger right.

    Thank you for the mentions: MA Dobson, PKP, Marie Elena, Nancy Posey, Joseph Beckman, J.lynn and Sara McNulty, It means a lot!!

  62. Dennis Wright says:

    Getting Serious

    Eisenhower lied about U2.
    I was twelve years old and what did I know.
    I believed him. He was president.

    Orson Wells actually ruled the world.
    It says so here in this history book
    I thought it was Tonto who ruled all.

    Now I am disallusioned so I
    will pack up my saddle bags and move
    away, perhaps to Costa Rica.

  63. Recorded poem LET’S GET SERIOUS PEOPLE … which speaks to the killing of poetry ( too often) in schools. Have a. Listen at virtualpoetryreading.com THANKS BUDDAH <3

  64. Convertible on the S Curve

    South prevailing winds are cold.
    A rear view of my windblown hair
    shedding no resemblance of me.

    Signs passing like wispy dreams
    with lovers and apartments I don’t recognize
    swirling cockroaches and knick-knacks.

    Somehow he knows my path,
    but double daring me over the center line,
    sadly, he loses.

    Squirting water to thin its blood,
    I’m wiper whacking that unlucky bug
    smearing into a rainbow over my dash.

    Still no navigator at shotgun,
    I have no ounce of caring
    simulating concern if its children cry.

    So I’ll keep driving until the off-ramp.
    My hands are wringing the wheel, a poor
    substitution for his throat.

  65. Daniel Ari says:

    "The narrative nebulae"

    What precedes the start of a story arc?
    A place devoid of heat, sound and motion,
    a still space fraught with potential to spark.

    With the house closed and the theater dark,
    a bald bulb burns by no one’s attention.
    This precedes the start of the story arc.

    Then a door opens and light finds its mark.
    Humors boil in dramatic reaction,
    still spaces fraught with potential to spark.

    Beginnings self-invent within each quark,
    lightning-fired intrigues of excitation
    that proceed to start every story arc.

    Soon, there’s the amoeba, and then the shark,
    and then the rise and collapse of nations,
    still spaces fraught with potential to spark

    A ship docks. A cloaked figure disembarks.
    What was nothing is now expectation.
    What precedes the start of a story arc?
    A still space fraught with potential to spark.

    DA

    PS: Click my link. Seriously.

  66. Just read Paula, Leigh S (lovely balance), Taylor (serious animal lover myself), Buddah (love silly magnificence), and Brian S. Great ones! Thanks for the mentions from Andrew, Marie Elena, Nancy, Cameron, and J. Lynn. Walt, go for it!

  67. Joe says:

    thanks to all for the comments.

  68. Leigh Spencer says:

    one = in. OOPS!

  69. Leigh Spencer says:

    Thank you so much for the warm welcome and kinds words, Marie Elena. Pearl (PKP) and I are one some other poetry groups together and she suggested I join in here. I am very grateful for the suggestion. :)

    Joseph, I really appreciate that you shared the beautiful poem you wrote for your father. It conjured in me many of the same feelings I tried to express with my piece. Goosebumps and sadness, but I’m also so thankful there was so much love to miss.

  70. Get serious

    Time to get serious
    And lay the cards on the table;
    You may think me delirious,
    But you languish while I am able.

    No more innuendo, no more deception,
    I may be laughed at but I do so for you –
    Painted signs and bated breath – all for fun?
    You couldn’t be that cruel too.

    Now we meet in a room,
    With no walls and no door.
    I’ve been playing along without a broom –
    To conjure in the night and shift with a roar.

    Grow out of your childhood games
    And grow into maturity
    For in reality, you don’t need so many names,
    Glory arrives with pure honesty.

  71. S.E.Ingraham says:

    Ever Since You Left

    Ever since you left our place
    The house feels unfurnished
    Dinner is never quite ready
    Laundry always needs folding
    And the dog smells like old winter

    Ever since you stumbled away
    Cradling your arm like a fragile child
    Your bed remains alive and weeps
    We don’t speak of you anymore
    And your girlfriend has not called but once

    Ever since I first began waking early
    Picturing you at the foot of our bed
    Shadowy and younger than you are now
    The scent of dead leaves crawls in my shoes
    And pulling the covers over my head hurts.

    Ever since we spoke words we cannot recall
    That drove you away from here forever
    There has been nothing for us to do, to think
    No way to be, or even breathe at times
    But one cannot hold one’s breath very long

  72. Taylor Graham says:

    EMERGENCY DOG

    Between un-harnessing from duty
    (search-dog on the trail of a wanderer)
    and supper, I find a bulge
    on his left side. How can something
    the size of an orange emerge
    just like that? Is it a tumor,
    child of the gene that killed his uncle?
    I imagine cancer cells that brood
    in bone; merge, grow, a germ gone
    crazy. My fingers can’t help
    touching, wanting not to know.

    Trip to the vet. Shaved, sedated,
    cut, and sutured up. A foxtail – tiny
    golden sliver-gem, so small
    a thing – removed. Here he lies now
    in his dog-regency, safe, back home.

  73. Joseph Beckman says:

    Leigh I think I have shared this before here, but my pop passed decades ago and I still savor the ache like an old photo:

    In My Dreams

    Last night you came to visit me
    While I was quietly asleep.
    I wonder what you left with me
    That left me, want to weep.
    .
    So many times, so many days,
    I’ve looked to hear your call.
    So many times, in so many ways,
    I’ve heard nothing at all.
    .
    So last night when you came to me,
    and only left, as I awoke,
    I hope my heart was touched by you,
    and that my heart heard what yours spoke.
    .
    In such whispered stealth your spirit came,
    and brushed along my dreams,
    To leave a memory, a thought, a hope,
    Of what lies beyond the seam,
    .
    That separates my heart from yours
    And all the lives around,
    But only in a superficial way,
    For life goes ’round and ’round.
    .
    It has no start. It never really ends.
    This is hard to deny.
    Because last night when you left me,
    You made my spirit sigh.
    .
    Last night my father came to me,
    And whispered in my dreams.
    .
    .
    © January 5, 2005 by Joseph Beckman

  74. Joseph Beckman says:

    Leigh how tender sweet and sad.

  75. Marie Elena says:

    How sad, Leigh, and how sweet of you to write it. You are a new voice to me. Welcome.

  76. Leigh Spencer says:

    Serious as a Heart Attack
    (For Greg)

    Your pallid face
    with clown rosy cheeks
    First photograph
    Now
    When I remember you

    I have to forcibly flip
    to happier others

    You
    with a flashlight
    midnight on the golf course
    telling me the names
    of the stars

    You
    a lifetime away
    in the murky waters
    of Memorial Pool
    coaxing me to swim

    You
    blaring Chicago Transit Authority
    or Journey’s Escape
    making the walls shake on cleaning day

    Your tradition
    never fully embraced
    by mom and me

    Did you ever imagine
    that your rich Doo-Wop voice
    would leave it’s Clifton corner
    to be used while vacuuming
    and inspiring
    a surly pre-teen
    to clean her room?

    You
    tried to teach me to drive
    but the throbbing vein
    in you head
    convinced you to call
    a more neutral Driving School.

    The vein
    offered less useful advice
    for handling
    the handling from
    my string of
    older boyfriends

    I think I almost
    gave you a heart attack

    Almost

    Or did I?

    Your father gifted it first
    when he died at 42
    You never wanted to follow
    those genetic footsteps

    And yet
    you divorced my mom
    with her nagging
    low sodium diet

    The day you died
    you dropped and broke
    the platter of steaks
    you were carrying to the grill
    after enjoying a long jacuzzi
    with wife number three

    Three –
    the number you beat
    your father by

    You were 45

    Massive heart attack
    Massive void
    left

    I seriously think
    you would have loved
    your grandsons
    and might have had better luck
    teaching them to drive.

  77. Paula Wanken says:

    MEN AT WORK

    Five guys in hard hats.
    One is down in a hole
    The other four are looking on…
    …seriously!?

  78. Megan says:

    Salvatore your river poem was a great way to start to read the prompts
    Pearl wish my triolets sounded so effortless and natural wonderful
    Hannah I loved your deadline poem

  79. Sara McNulty says:

    Loved the poems of Nancy P., Pearl – Getting Serious, Sara V – Good use of prompt, Cameron – An enviable sestina, Domino – "though he took the uniform off, it still wears him" – wonderful poem, Connie – Caregiver is a lovely poem, Joe – So sorry; I have been where you are many times. Never
    gets easier. Walt, I await your masterpiece. Buddah and Brian Slusher – great poems.

  80. J.lynn says:

    M.A. Dobson and Andrew: thank you.
    Salvatore: “where it adds steel to my spirits” ooh, that gripped me.
    Shannon: I had a third grade teacher who said that same thing—all adults lose their imaginations. Scared me silly.
    Domino: “it wears him still.” My dad is a Korean war vet, still proud he is one of the few.
    De: your voice is so unique. I knew Brass Tacks was yours before I even read your name at the bottom. Well done.
    Andrew: “Something blocking the sun. . . Your pride.” Wow.
    Jane: you made me smile.
    Joe: sorry for your loss. I lost my sweet St. Bernard not too long ago.
    Walt: congratulations on your collection–no doubt all 31 will pack a punch.
    Buddah: your virtual poetry—CRAZY COOl.
    Michael Grove: seriously sobering and sad.

  81. Marie Elena says:

    Annell, yours touches my heart in deep places.

  82. Marie Elena says:

    Sincerely saddened
    By growing accusations,
    Real or illusion.

  83. Thank you for all the mentions.
    Upon further reading, was overjoyed to read Annell’s "To Paint," Buddah’s "Silly and Magnificent," Sarah’s "A Serious Play …" and Jane’s "Semantics."

    Really loved everything that has come out of this challenge.

  84. Nancy, Thank you for the mention and the thought (I agree). I think that is why movies made from books are always such a disappointment. But even now that Ashlyn is ten, she will sit in a quiet corner and make up new stories fro the pictures in her picture books; she uses her imagination to create new stories.

    Thank you also to Marie Elena and M.A. Dobson for the mentions.

    So many great poems!

  85. Tracy Davidson says:

    It’s That Time Again

    Wimbledon -
    strawberries and cream,
    rain delays,
    and cries of
    "You cannot be serious!"
    carried on the wind.

    The crowd cheers -
    as Andy Murray
    beats Nadal
    in straight sets
    in the final – I wake up,
    it was just a dream.

  86. Sara V I enjoyed the cosmic view.

    PKP Getting Serious I enjoyed the cosmic view.

    Joseph H Nice View of the changing chapter of this part of life.

    Domino How true. It is the smelling salts of life.

    Joe Sorry-well felt

    Walt Congrats

    vivienne Let’s let the gyn’s have a real go at things for awhile-certainly can’t do worse and would definitely do better (at least that is what my wife told me to say:) )

  87. To Paint
    I pick up the brush
    It drips oil paint
    The still life is before me
    A rather ordinary day
    The famous light finds
    Its’ way through
    The studio window

    I do not feel like me
    A stranger in my place
    Holding my brush
    Standing before my canvas

    It is said
    If you feel comfortable
    Change your medium

    It has been awhile
    Since I held this brush
    Mixed the paint
    Drug the brush
    Across the canvas
    It is as if
    It is the first time
    A virgin… again

    All that I know
    All that I have ever known
    All that I can remember
    Is required

    Now…
    I have created some markers
    I know some unwanted things

    That is all

    I will continue to
    Hold my brush clumsily
    Until I can do otherwise
    Destination unknown

  88. Hannah says:

    Andrew and Nancy, thank you for your comments! The depth of what the schools need to know makes me a lil’ nervous. All the what-ifs while he’s away from my watchful mama eye. I don’t even have a babysitter I trust (besides my mother in law)! Oh well, time to sever the umbelical cord I suppose, lol.

    I’m hoping for a chance later this afternoon to delve into the sea of wonderous work here! Thank you everyone.

    Warm smiles~

  89. Nancy Posey says:

    Taking time to read–instead of breakfasting. Lots of good ones. Here are just a few that struck a chord:

    PKP: Favorite line–Yet burbling June giggles refuse to abate
    SaraV: Sirius–I should have seen that one coming. (That’s a Bruce N. twist, isn’t it?)
    Joseph–Good one. Equally sombering: Everyone I know is getting divorced.
    M.A. Dodson
    Jane’s Slogan (I guessed that was yours before I got to your name on the page)
    Cameron–Great job with the sestina
    Hannah, before I got to the end, I was thinking of sending a child off to college. Each stage carries its weight of seriousness.
    Joe, isn’t it funny that someone losing a pet seems so every day until you lose one yourself. Just went through it. One grown son made me mail the second collar and tag to the older son.
    Shouts to Andrew (Pumping Iron) and to Domino (Uniformed)
    Shannon L., I love the daughter-inspired poem, but I couldn’t help thinking of how much more my imagination was challenged when the books started coming without pictures and I had to make my own in my head!

  90. Brian Slusher says:

    WALKING PAST THE GRAVEYARD ON THE WAY TO GRADUATION

    The morning glare glazes the markers,
    sparks each stone to glow from
    within, and the names blaze out of
    these graduates from life who now

    matriculate in the school of dust

  91. Gynarchy

    Government by women, the idea
    brings howls of horror from the men.
    “Emotional tantrums
    illogical bitchiness,
    full length mirrors in the House,”
    our gender still indicted.

    On the other hand,
    a gynarchy would bring
    seeing-the-wood-for-the-trees,
    feet-on-the-ground practicality.
    Oh, and fairness,no more war,
    good money management:
    no argument.

  92. Sobering

    Bet it all on red.
    Then he lost his shirt.
    It’s all fun and games
    until someone gets hurt.

    One more unborn baby
    who never got a chance
    to sing a merry tune
    or dance a happy dance.

    One too many anyway
    still got behind the wheel
    and put a lot of loved ones
    thru a terrible ordeal.

    Another fallen soldier
    stakes a cross in Arlington.
    Never a clear enemy
    and no small battle won.

    By Michael Grove

  93. Marie Elena says:

    Seriously thrilled to see Salvatore up there in the number one spot this morning. Wonderful work, Sal!

    Benjamin, so good to see you again!

    Pearl, you are on a roll!

    Favorites today: De Jackson, Shannon, Cameron (whoa!), Domino’s Uniformed, Jane’s Slogan (wow), and Joseph Beckman.

  94. Marie Elena says:

    Seriously, folks,
    Print one of seventy six
    Has my name on it.

    =)

  95. Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 134
    For this week’s prompt, write a "let’s get serious" poem.
    .
    .

    just another school day

    the thin pencil leaves the hand as a gift

    to the girl who smiles with a twirl

    for a small deed

    done so big

    by one so small…

    the thin bullet leaves the hand as a gift

    to the girl who’s dad dies with a twirl

    for a small deed

    done so big

    by one so small…

    .

    © June 01, 2011 by Joseph Beckman

  96. Kathy Bowman says:

    linkettycinquains

    love you!

    but them’s fighting

    words, and ever after

    we live with the gravity you

    applied.

    someone

    call the cops, she

    said the bad words, she is

    ogawd, looking for commitment

    nuh-uh.

    whydja

    have to get so

    serious about it?

    it is and was true and I won’t

    recant.

    let the

    drama commence

    it’s too late for anything

    else. this time it’s you, over re-

    acting.

  97. Pam Redmer says:

    Seriously

    Uh Oh! Did you say, let’s get serious?
    I know precisely what that means.
    You have got a bone to pick
    and haven’t got the means
    to tackle your interpretation
    of an issue that makes you mean.

    You get serious, if that is what you want.
    But join you? That is an offer I decline.
    Your gravity’s a great black hole.
    You’ve seduced me one too many times.
    All the research I’ve offered to your causes
    has never changed your mind.

    You’ll get mad. I’ll get you to laugh.
    We’ll see later that you got the point
    by some kind word or thoughtful deed
    and no one’s nose got out of joint.
    So don’t ask me to get serious,
    because I simply won’t.

  98. Henry Ward says:

    So seriously
    one swallow makes a summer
    for all bird lovers

  99. Sara McNulty says:

    A Serious Play on Fibs and Shardoma

    I
    try
    not to
    be grave at
    a cemetery
    if I didn’t know the man.

    She
    is
    faulted
    for having
    acute face, charming
    only those who can help her.

    He
    had
    a whole
    series of faces
    he could use when dealt a hand.

    If Ernest
    was truly earnest
    he’d admit
    to being
    a fraud and a cheat, despite
    what it might cost him.

  100. Benjamin Thomas says:

    Pearl:

    Thank you for all of your posts today. You were seriously in pearls arrayed!

    Good Job :)

  101. Dear Poetic Asides poets,

    Please consider participating in the online open-mike I call

    http://www.virtualpoetryreading.com

    All you have to do is call 951-665-8161 and recite your poem on the voicemail. I’ll then upload it to the site. It’s been a real treat hearing all the talented poets, and I’d like as many voices up there as possible.

    So, that’s my pitch – call 951-665-8161 and be heard as a poet!

    Thanks
    Buddah Moskowitz (click my name to access the site)

  102. Benjamin Thomas says:

    Hi Walt,

    How are ya?
    Good to see that you have put together a chapbook. I’m sure it will be really good. Sounds pretty creative and that you’ve put a lot of thought into it.

    Take care..

  103. “Silly and Magnificent”

    By definition,
    tomorrow never gets
    here
    and I am convinced
    that God is forever
    re-creating the past
    as a cosmic collective
    reconstructed memory
    for His own amusement.

    So all that
    exists
    is in the
    here and now

    and even this
    is an illusion.

    So,
    when I say
    I want my illusion
    to be
    beautiful
    compelling
    sweet and juicy

    equal parts
    silly and
    magnificent,

    I’m serious.

  104. Thanks Melissa, Sara, Andrew, but I didn’t really go anywhere.

    Thanks Pearl.

  105. OH BENJAMIN BRAVO! BRAVO! Hope all is well. Welcome you have been missed. Of you have not Bern over to buddah’s virtualpoetryreading.com site….take your phone and run… This poem would be wonderful to hear! Again. Great poem.. Going to use the smile you’ve left as an inspiration for sweet dreams.

  106. Benjamin Thomas says:

    Seriously?

    Hello my fellow poets!
    Hows life?

    My muse has been on snooze of late
    I apologize, tis’ but this I hate
    Just occupied with life’s woes, life’s sorrows
    Pondering my days and my morrows

    But I’ve never forgotten about PA street
    Its good to be back
    Yeah, back on my feet
    to see all of your names
    The familiar or new
    To feel the breeze
    and smell the stew
    of many poets, many poems
    many walks, not a few
    To wet my muse
    with a with Wednesday prompt
    To sink my teeth
    and chomp and chomp

    Serious? Not sure how to go about that one!
    Barely have a serious bone in my body!
    For me its a stretch
    Like a dog on a fetch
    from a throw
    with a grip
    with a grunt
    from the lip
    with a bend
    from the hip
    with a twist
    and a turn
    from muscle
    with a burn
    and alot of elbow grease
    hand opens, grip released
    with ball taking flight
    sailing all day through the night
    Like a grand slam, out of reach
    out of sight
    That would be quite a stretch
    for a dog on a fetch
    and for somebody, what a catch!

    Well, I’m exaggerating.
    But you get what I’m saying right?

  107. Walt! Would I like to read your collection? Wooden eye….wooden eye! CONGRATULATIONS!

  108. Let’s Get Serious People

    Put away the colored pens that doodle
    Sit up spine straight and stiffen up your noodle
    Jimmy! Get your eyes off that tree waving outside
    And you know I’ve told YOU Janey, that dreamy look I will not abide
    Sam! Shut that window, rid this room of that annoying fresh grass stink
    How in heaven’s name are you with all these irrelevant distractions supposed to think
    And do remember,  branded on your brain, repeat after me
    The most important avoidance there is to be
    Do whatever you must do to remember the number one preparatory thing
    There must be be ABSOLUTELY NONE OF THAT IMAGINING 
    No wandering here and there in your own mind
    You WILL stick strictly to what I tell you what there is to find
    Now from your desks take out your books of poems. Oh so lovely and correctly poetic
    Let’s get serious people.  Finally, I truly hope YOU get it.
     
     

  109. mike Maher. says:

    Thanks very much, Andrew, M.A., and Jane!n :)

  110. MY POETRY COLLECTION. SERIOUSLY.

    Thanks to Robert on many levels.
    -For leading the charge here at Poetic Asides
    -For the release of ENTER.
    -For last week’s prompt setting "priorities" and
    -For following up with "Seriously" today. And so…

    After three years of intensive poem composing, I’ve finally found my nerve to compile my first collection of poems into the limited edition chapbook entitled, WOOD. The inspiration for WOOD was two-fold. Of the poems included, the majority is about my Father who was a very skilled carpenter. It is fitting that Dad worked his mastery of woods while I have developed a mastery of words. Along, with that connection, we lived at 76 Wood Street.

    I had gotten a bit ambitious in offering 31 poems in this collection, but strung together, they actually tell the story of my relationship with my Father and that place near the Erie Tracks where we lived and grew up.

    I will initially be releasing a limited run (76 copies) of the First Edition of WOOD. I plan on also issuing an audio CD of a reading of the book. Further information will be posted soon. Anyone interested can submit their queries to Walt at wojisme@roadrunner.com

    http://wjw2356.blogspot.com/2011/06/announcing-my-first-poetry-collection.html

  111. Sara V says:

    Walt–Yes, indefinitely, irrationally, we believe the star will shine forever and light our way–BTW, you sound like Lennon-an interview where he chided the fans about always wanting more… :-)

    Many thanks to Andrew (glad you’ve shared that breathtaking spiritual moment where sun and sandstone dance the light fantastic); really enjoyed all your visuals–glistening like a sword drawn from the sea" Nice! and
    M.A. Dobson for enjoying my humor; and writing such lovely words–I will stay with you; and
    Pearl for such warm wonderful words! You were rocking this prompt–my fav is "Irony"

    Happy Poeming all!

    Michelle–nice phrase "tidal wave of silence"

    Joe–sorry for your loss, those furry children really generate a life of joy

  112. Dance Around

    If we perceive that it is dreamed of
    we will try to make it true.
    We can wish upon a rainbow
    for a pot of gold for you.

    We can dance around the obvious
    or blindly forge ahead.
    We can keep this candle lit
    until we’re luke warm, cold or dead.

    We can simplify the process here
    by living for today.
    We can dance around forever
    and never find the way.

    By Michael Grove

  113. Michelle Hed says:

    Gatherings

    Voices mingling,
    laughter,
    food and drinks,
    a quiet conversation in the corner
    causes a tidal wave of silence
    to sweep the room.
    “The cancer is back, I have only weeks to live.”

  114. Yes, Walt. You are missed!

  115. Jane – your slogan hits home. Thanks for wrestling with this one so well.

  116. “Revival” – Dedicated to the poet, Molly Rice, who awakened the devil

    I rejoiced
    At the news you had drawn
    Your last wicked breath
    Knowing no other child
    Would be found at the mercy
    Of your vile fingertips

    And then there was peace within me

    But as poetry can bring
    One respite
    Its imagery can stir up
    Long repressed memories

    The poet’s words -
    Her recollection of horror -
    Shaking me to the core

    I wake in a cold sweat
    Lewd eyes behind smoky glasses
    Peering at me from a gaunt, toothless face

    Satan
    Revived by a poet’s reflection.

  117. In a quick read, always wowwed by the good poetry you guys generate, these grabbed me: Nancy, PKP (getting serious), Joseph H, de Jackson, Andrew K, Mike M., and Connie P. Cameron, you get extra credit for just trying to write sestina, which you rightly concluded was a serious poetic form;-D

  118. Joe says:

    All of a Sudden

    Your collar is now a keepsake,
    resting in our shrine
    of daily prayers
    for loved ones gone
    far from home
    but close at heart.

    The pitter-patter of little paws
    echo in my mind.
    A favourite photo
    of man’s best friend
    fills a void on the wall,
    but that’s all.

    You brought great joy to my life
    each and every day
    of your 13 years and 7 months,
    and not a single day less.
    Cancer took you away from me.
    All of a sudden life is serious.

    (This is for my beloved Nikki, the world’s happiest dog, who passed away on May 16th)

  119. Semantics

    When my ex-husband called
    me “cavalier,” I imagined
    wearing epaulettes and
    a wide-brimmed jaunty hat,
    a fluffy feather aloft and dancing.
    I’d turn to him
    in a slow sweeping bow,
    muttering “merci” in my most
    frenchified voice
    that always made
    me laugh and him curse,
    my very reaction
    to his label
    proving his point
    that I was not serious
    about what he found serious,
    but that was before we
    seriously
    parsed “marriage”.

  120. Sorry I’m late to the party again. I actually saw this bumper sticker the other day which means they’re mass-produced unless someone is printing them in their basement one by one. I’m trying shadorma here.

    Slogan

    The bumper
    sticker said, “God Bless
    Our Troops, E-
    specially
    Snipers.” The message is for
    God, but I read it.

    Here on the
    ground of a troubled
    Earth, I read
    and wonder
    what specific seed of pain
    has grown this prayer.

    I try to
    be God and bless this
    mother’s son
    weapon close
    to eye, sights honed on humans,
    waiting, following,

    squeezing the
    trigger and watching
    life jerk and
    ebb, terror
    radiating out from his
    handiwork’s center.

    What feeling
    blasts back to him from
    his success?
    Is it pride,
    joy, love of country, or loss?
    Does he sigh? Give thanks?

    And does God,
    watching all our acts,
    answer the
    call to bless
    our warring hearts, our slaughters,
    by turning away?

    Enemy
    snipers instill fear
    in us, death
    a finger
    twitch away, hidden cowards.
    This man is our own.

    He kills at
    Our bidding, carries
    His skills like
    An anchor
    Victims’ faces filed away
    for his dreams. Bless him.

  121. Wonderful poeming today. Here are some that grabbed my lapels…
    mike – and it Alone – seriously fabulous. Love it; Nancy – the needful boundaries in Seriously Now; M.A. Dobson – all the becauses, beautiful; Pearl, your avalanche of seriousness; Joseph – keenly observed and so true; Sara – I know that north rim sunset – beautiful; J.Lynn – loved the shape and shaping of Fight Club; Cameron – love the steamy sestina with all those noons and cotton bedrooms; Domino’s haunted soldier; de – push-pinned prose and stapled tongue; Rob’s looney lune; Hannah – all those details, so true! And Walt – shine on!

  122. Sara V. Adorable play on the prompt. Terrific poeming and a great read over at Virtuapoetryreading.com
    Domino…agree with MA on that line " it wears him still" stayed with me all day…
    Shanon….poignant and lovely….and provocative dies she or we ever have to " leave the best behind"

  123. de jackson says:

    Muchas gracias to M.A. Dobson, Joseph and Cameron.
    And Cameron, yours would have wowed me even in mere mortal poetry world. The fact that it also happens to be a sestina (**as she breaks out into cold sweat just from saying the word**) makes you a rock star, in my book. Seriously.

  124. M.A. Dobson says:

    . . . and Robert’s "Apocalyptic Signs": "because the world never ends / when they say it will." Seriously cool. Sweet. And biblical to boot!

  125. Hannah Gosselin says:

    m.A. Dobson! Thank you. :)

  126. M.A. Dobson says:

    An incomplete sampling of seriously cool lines:
    mike Maher, “and it Alone”: “We keep finding mice stuck in the pool filter, / maybe it creates a more even kilter,” the Beelzebub spider and “I taste of flames too”
    Nancy Posey, “Seriously Now”: “Why are we surprised, then, to find that love / needs boundaries?”
    Joseph Harker, “Everyone I Know Is Getting Married”: “Love used to be commonplace and universal: / now it’s spiderwebbed with house-dreams and / little children”; “And memory of how things used to be, / when all futures were a morning-kissed sierra / grinning from such a long way off.”
    Sara V: “Star Power”: “Let’s get Sirius / He always was a troublemaker”
    Shannon Lockard, “Is It Time?”: “Read the news without a tear. / Blink and lose another year.”
    J.lynn, “Skype Fight Club”: Seriously cool title & poem.
    Cameron Steele, “Serious Sestina”: “The world is roomy / and bigger than skies and oceans in afternoon / mythology when I’m steeped in your love.”
    Domino (Diana), “Uniformed”: “Though he took the uniform off, / It wears him still.”
    Hannah, “Deadline: June 2nd”: that scary list, and “It’s time to get serious, / It’s time for my baby / To go to Pre-school next Fall.”
    De, “Brass Tacks”: “if she were somehow / able to concoct a new super fuel from the fumes / of her own self doubt”
    Andrew Kreider: “Pumping Iron”: “Something’s blocking the sun, I said at last. / Your pride, he spat. No, I smiled, your biceps.” – love that.

  127. Caregiver

    S urely, it’s hard to feel dignified or take yourself seriously when
    E very time you stub your toe or burn your finger someone’s practically
    R olling on the floor laughing. And it’s equally difficult to get down to business when
    I n any moment you are requested to give a hug, accept slobbery kisses or make Tigger dance.
    O nce in a while you wonder what you can do about the sick, the poor, the lost, the
    U nloved, the abused, the captive, the victims, but for now you’re being followed by a
    S huffler or you’re vacuuming and he’s jumping up and down beside you, or she’s
    L aughing a deep belly laugh as you pretend you’re going to crash her wheelchair. So
    Y ou content yourself in the do dailies knowing that smiles, laughter, playfulness is serious stuff.

  128. BECOMING A PHILOSOPHER.

    Liquid black sweats from pen to paper.
    The wise woman, her soul opaque.
    Judgemental eyes sear through her mind.

    Nothing.

    The clock continues to click.
    The years continue to pass by gently.
    But no words may she utter.
    No knowledge great enough to be spoken…
    …to be heard.

    She has one thought whilst one has one million.
    Though her thought much deeper, more consise, comprehended.
    Scratching the surface of intellect.

    A breakthrough.

    One thought incomplete and broken,
    damaged by years of abuse.
    A sigh that would rattle shakespear’s bones.

    Silence.

    A clock is ticking near but far away,
    whilst in her mind she becomes a philosopher.

  129. Sear ( Eee ) Us

    The Would Bes

    You can taunt us
    and provoke us
    with a bad review
    or two

    You can analyze us
    and praise us
    from ivoried-ivied towered rooms

    But please do not on the barbecue sear all copies of us
    For frustrated flames will seal our charcoaled dooms

  130. de, Andrew Kreider, M.A. Dobson – I have read all of yours over and over.

    Joseph, thanks for the shout-out.

  131. Pumping iron

    We started pumping iron on the porch
    The summer that our river burst its banks.

    He stood in the driveway with his shirt off
    Glistening like a sword drawn from the sea,

    Shouting, I am strong now. What have you left
    To offer, old man, before I slay you?

    Eye-to-eye we fought to keep our balance
    Two strangers astride the Leviathan

    Each one thrilled and yet terrified. It was
    Blood-lust and it was hubris that tossed us

    Until we washed up on our backs, arms raised
    And flexed and raised again without talking.

    Something’s blocking the sun, I said at last.
    Your pride, he spat. No, I smiled, your biceps.

  132. Seems kind of quiet today…

    Favorites thus far: Salvatore, Mike, Cameron, and de. Hat tips all around!

  133. de jackson says:

    Brass Tacks

    She wonders if she pokes them directly into
    raw nerve, perhaps then she will find her

    groove, make some move that means some
    -thing, just get down to it and do it. Maybe

    if she had chosen the route of starving artist
    instead of selling out, or if she were somehow

    able to concoct a new super fuel from the fumes
    of her own self doubt, maybe then she’d take

    these words farther, loose them to waiting wind
    and let them fly. Heart longs to try, but mind

    clings still to stubborn will and flailing fear, push
    -pinned prose and stapled tongue. Held fast, she

    gasps through every phrase, each frozen phase
    a longing song, waiting to be etched in stone.

  134. Hannah says:

    DEADLINE: JUNE 2nd

    Pages and pages,
    Lines upon lines:
    His name,
    Age, birth date
    Social security
    Certificate of live birth
    Allergy information
    Transportation needs
    Family medical record
    Living situation
    Primary language
    Gender
    Ethnicity
    Siblings
    In case of emergency contacts
    Special needs/interests.
    On and on
    Line after line
    Page after page.
    Road trip to doctor
    And town office
    For proof of town residency.
    It’s time to get serious,
    It’s time for my baby
    To go to Pre-school next Fall.

    ©2011 Hannah Gosselin

    :)

  135. Rob Halpin says:

    SERIOUSLY LUNEY

    I’m going looney
    attempting
    a serious lune

  136. Jarvis says:

    WHY…SO…SERIOUS?!

  137. DO THEY REALLY MISS ME?

    Sometimes my abilities wander,
    Escaping with my muse in tow.
    Reality always shows me that
    I am not this superman of words.
    One can be sure of this,
    Under normal circumstances priorities
    Supercede the need to post fast and furiously.
    Let the curious wonder. I am not under the gun.
    You think this brilliant blinking beacon will glow on forever?

  138. Sara V says:

    Writing in the light of Walt…

    Let’s Get Serious
    No

  139. Ambush

    Yes, the cat threw up in my shoe.
    And yes, I found out by
    putting my foot in it
    of course.

    Yes, I am running late, again.
    And yes, I still haven’t had
    any breakfast
    or coffee.

    Yes, I know I’m behind on filing
    And yes, I promise to get
    to that dictation
    still waiting.

    But then

    a call comes in
    and someone’s child
    has died.

    My boss’s son
    has just
    passed away
    on the operating table.
    A minor surgery.
    Nothing extensive
    or scary.

    And all of the minor
    crazy
    trivial
    things
    that made up my morning
    are so ridiculously
    insignificant now.

    And all we can do
    is cry.

    Strange how death
    can take us by surprise.
    An awful ambush
    of the worst kind
    that changes one’s entire world
    forever.

  140. Uniformed

    Open-ended conversation
    Asked a stranger’s place and station
    Found a soldier to the bone
    Often traveled far from home.

    Many hours we spent talking
    On the bus and later walking
    About the world that he has traveled
    And his soul, which came unraveled

    When in war zones far away
    Prompting him to leave one day
    Though he took the uniform off,
    It wears him still.

  141. Megan says:

    Serious, my days are dealt with
    Endless
    Repeating drudgery of dealing with being unknown.
    I need a dose of
    Outright funny
    Upside down riotous laugh out loud verse, I
    Search for Billy Collins but he is lost along with all the other memories.

  142. Serious Sestina

    I never used words like true and love
    in the same sentence or accurate way:
    On scalding mornings or steeped noons
    or after drinks at some bar I’d sway
    to the songs in my head, making room
    for lies and blinking eyes to some boy

    or man I knew I should need, but boy
    I didn’t know a damn thing about lovin
    with fingers and teeth and world-filled rooms -
    how can you learn about cotton sheets? The way
    they become some kind of cool skin, the sway-
    backed girl I’ve always been in the afternoon

    changes to a thing straighter, I am nooning
    with you, the spring-summer infinite boy
    I sought in spheres of early-hour swaying.
    Remember Gaia was strong, loved
    only what she could make in her own way.
    Didn’t need no thing, no man, no bedroom

    to be wrapped in cool cotton? Rooms
    fill my head when just like that it’s noon
    and my legs are words I never knew, ways
    I wouldn’t take ’til you, the boy
    who gives me a sky wrought with some love
    that earth-woman won’t ever reach. Sway

    with me. Build me into a mountain swaying
    with hips and lips cuz I will give you room
    to become a God or the First Man I love
    or sentences strung out like afternoons
    laced with something wilder: My sweet boy,
    am I saying it clear? I have weighed

    it all out, rolled across the minutes and ways
    a woman forgets what she thought she knew,is swayed
    by the slightest glance from a man now a boy
    in her hands and eyes and spines. The world is roomy
    and bigger than skies and oceans in afternoon
    mythology when I’m steeped in your love.

    Boy, this is it: I got the words and the way
    to love you true (I don’t blink) With you, I’ll sway
    through time and noons and cotton bedrooms.

  143. J.lynn says:

    Skype Fight Club

    It was the most graceless exit
    /stripped/slipping/silent

    vanishing. Leaving behind
    /throbbing/ threatening/ thrusting

    face-to-willowy face
    /shouting/smirking/spitting

    kind of crazy. You—

    both priest and sacrifice
    in the pyre ofunwashed
    hands and smoldering eyes.

    Kind of crazy. Me—

    Face-to-willowy face
    shouting /smirking/spitting
    at your

    vanishing. Leaving behind
    throbbing/ threatening/thrusting
    questions

    stripped/slipped/silent
    exit without grace.

    Kind of crazy.

  144. Kit Cooley says:

    For Your Consideration

    Consider this: each move you make
    effects the world around you,
    each breath you take,
    an exhale closer to your last,
    a serious reminder to remember
    to be mindful in this life.

    Still, each Elder will tell you
    that balance is the key,
    and humor lightens all you do;
    don’t force a frown each moment,
    do keep an eye on what is true,
    because a sour face might stay that way!

  145. Kris K says:

    Owning Life

    Dioxazine purple bathes,
    Infiltrates, flushing life
    Aching with consternation
    Terror appoints itself randomly
    Life’s haven, soul’s darkness

    Pulsing intensities,
    Destresse, life draws tight
    Erosion, weakening,
    Doors warp, closure sticky
    Winds rattle, pipes leak

    Answers assumed
    Intrusive chemistry,
    A long snaking journey
    Crack the cage
    Pig or cow, they choose

    Stop, Sojourn, Cease!
    Go in, explore,
    Navigate the darkness
    Don’t go without light
    Nothing is too dark

    Resolve, expose, honor
    Choices liberate
    Grace fear, melancholy
    Honor its heritage
    Release it to the wind

    Take back, recant, renounce,
    You reign
    Ownership unshackles
    The nucleus of your life
    Your connection to the world

  146. Thanks Mike … I think it is some kind of disorder ….great poem …." Beelzebub swirling in the drain ". taste of flames …great images…

    Back soon to read more….

    I am guessing Walt is polishing his collection….seriously.

  147. This poem was inspired by my daughter, Ashlyn, once doesn’t want to grow up because adults lose their imagination. Don’t worry, I told her she could always pretend no matter how old she became.

    Is it Time?

    When is it the exact right time
    to leave your childhood behind?
    Relinquish fluffy, threadbare friends,
    box up imagination and pretend.
    Read books with only white space and words,
    black and white, uncolored worlds.
    Jump over puddles, create no splash.
    Stop wishing on a lost eyelash.
    Read the news without a tear.
    Blink and lose another year.
    Between the lines, infer the worst.
    Always stop to ponder first.
    When is it the exact right time
    to leave the best of you behind?

  148. Giggles

    It’s not serious is it?
    She giggled there in the chair
    Her manicured nails delicately
    Raking her coiffed perfumed hair
    It’s not serious is it?
    She asked, heart banging thunder
    As surreal silence satanically shrieked, stabbing, Hope rape-ripped asunder
    It’s not serious? She tried to ask, slumping, already dead there in that chair
    As vampirously Truth suckled each oxygened breath leaving only blood soaked ashened air, there

  149. Sara V says:

    Congratulations to all the Bop winners!

    Salvatore, love the river/prayer connection–beautiful!

    Nancy, very nice–Hemingway seemed to travel with a case of heartbreak–beautiful words but always attached to sadness. (love his description of eating oysters in "Moveable Feast")

    Happy Poeming everyone! Walt–where are you?

    Star Power

    Let’s get Sirius
    He always was a troublemaker
    Kowtowing to Orion
    Oh sure, he was the brightest
    But he also brought the Nile floods
    The Grecian heat, dog days of
    Summers and weakness to men
    He’s had his turn at greatness
    Time to hit the dimmer switch
    Give Pleides some fame
    Let’s get Sirius and
    End his scorching reign

    Rimming with Awe or
    Ode to the North Rim Sunset

    Sitting on the edge
    Of greatness
    Canyons of sandstone
    Jasper red, shell pink,
    Stucco white, drifting
    Into shadow
    Clouds rimmed in gold
    Fade, then turn blue
    Deep and dark as the canyon
    Awe rising like the mist
    Surrounds the tiny group
    Sitting, silent on the edge
    Of greatness

  150. EVERYONE I KNOW IS GETTING MARRIED

    We used to play dice with our hearts,
    stake cocks and kitties against these romances
    brief as sunshowers. College kids, cut-offs and
    T-shirts and never a thought for anything else.
    We could compare each other’s lips
    and joke about jagged teeth, having explored
    every glade of our own wildernesses. So,
    it seems unfair that we should be laying claims,
    parceling out a territory of freedom. This tongue
    is private property. These hands
    wear bands of white gold: and we remember
    where those fingers once slipped.
    Love used to be commonplace and universal:
    now it’s spiderwebbed with house-dreams and
    little children, a slow and steady new beauty
    burning out the former. Maybe it’s just jealousy
    tingeing the corners of unwed eyes outlining
    everything with divorce statistics:
    but behind jealousy is sadness, and hope.
    And memory of how things used to be,
    when all futures were a morning-kissed sierra
    grinning from such a long way off.

  151. A shake and a sigh

    The slight shake of a doctor’s head
    And a sigh before turning
    From obscure innered films
    Unconscious tells of a fate
    Now obvious – you will be learning

  152. Brandi Lynch says:

    All’s Lost

    His form, silhouetted against the red sky
    Held a sense of defeat
    It was not his slumped shoulder posture,
    Nor his outstretched hands, pleading
    to some being
    Long gone from that tainted battlefield.

    Glints of fire far from his reach
    reminded him of his solitude
    On a hilltop won by no one;
    the child’s body lay at his feet.

    Why?
    His voice echoed across
    the land and in his mind.
    Blind eyes returned the question,
    burning through his soul with
    accusation.

    Purple sky sparkled with white ice
    Still he sought an answer
    A lone figure against the night
    Blotting out stars

    Death’s perfume rose
    The scent of rotten fruit and decomposed leaves
    from the massacred below.

  153. mike Maher. says:

    Pearl, I am always blown away by your ability to just pump out poems like an assembly line. Great stuff, as always.

  154. Getting Serious

    Slides of economic, earthquakes, tsunamis, tornadoes
    Environment screaming as ice caps fall into seas slicked with oil
    Revolutionaries hopeful eyes crushed underfoot
    In and around the spinning dulling blue orb
    Outlandish atrocities just daily fare
    Underwhelmed, overwhelmed, those who could help
    Stand by, in dazed stupification, serious

  155. M.A. Dobson says:

    WORLD WITHOUT END AMEN

    Because the moon is new
    Because the dark is too
    Because we’re less than few
    I will stay with you . . .

    Because the far is near
    Because the time is here
    Because there’s no all-clear
    I will stay with you . . .

    Because you are to me
    Because there is no lee
    Because the rising sea
    I will stay with you . . .

    Because the chance is shot
    Because the farm is bought
    Because it comes to naught
    I will stay with you . . .

    Because it’s said and done
    Because the bell has rung
    Because the end has come
    I will stay with you . . .

    Because the children bless
    Because the seers guess
    Because but I digress
    I will stay with you . . .

    Because it wouldn’t do
    Because the hours are few
    Because we’re face it through
    I will stay with you . . .

    Because you know it well
    Because I made you tell
    Because it’s gone to hell
    I will stay with you . . .

    Because you would not see
    Because I lost the key
    Because you stayed with me
    I will stay with you . . .

    Because I don’t love you
    Because I don’t I do
    Because the room’s a view
    I will stay with you . . .

    Because I cannot fly
    Because the by and by
    Because a lie’s a lie
    I will stay with you . . .

    Because the sky is red
    Because my aching head
    Because you’re in my bed
    I will stay with you . . .

    Because the wh—

  156. Irony

    It is so ironic
    So silly really
    That oft told
    "Too serious"
    Is when called
    Not to be

  157. Mhmmmm

    Let us get serious
    Let us pull our faces
    Into dour masks mysterious
    Let us get serious
    There Is so much dark to contemplate
    Yet burbling June giggles refuse to abate
    Let us get serious

  158. Wow. Usually just dive in…but these first 4 ….WOW…. and Robert’s adorable kick off!

  159. Nancy Posey says:

    Seriously Now

    Did you honestly believe we could go on,
    playing with fire, basking in the glow,
    laughing at the flash, never feeling the heat?

    Why did hopping on a train, speeding away,
    toward something else, seem the answer,
    an alternative to looking life in the eye?

    Why did playing with no rules seem safe?
    We wanted them in bullfights, in poker,
    book contracts. Didn’t we want to trust
    the other driver to stay on his side of the road?

    Why are we surprised, then, to find that love
    needs boundaries? If we must treat it
    like a game, shouldn’t we play to win?

    (I just finished reading The Paris Wife, a novel about Hemingway’s first wife. Heartbreaking in many ways.)

  160. mike Maher. says:

    "and it Alone."

    I have been trying to figure out how to achieve
    surrealism and sobriety at the same time,
    how to dream and not just sleep.
    When all was said and done
    little was said and done,
    but I felt better for knowing that I wasn’t going to jail
    and could breathe at a more normal pace.
    To the aggravated man in the dark robe,
    it’s not your fault. That amount of judgement
    would wear down even a field of stones,
    could cause a monk to scream out in agony.
    We keep finding mice stuck in the pool filter,
    maybe it creates a more even kilter
    but what do I know?
    Not as much as you would think or I would like,
    certainly not enough about pure psychic automatism.
    How do you express the pure function of thought
    when all you can think about is expressing the pure function of thought?
    Hold up, I’m asleep again.
    What did you do with the bad mojo after we built the doghouse
    and a raccoon moved in,
    or after you killed that spider in the shower
    after watching that based-on-real-events movie about exorcisms
    and you couldn’t help but wonder if it was Beelzebub swirling down the drain?
    I taste of flames too.

  161. Laurie Kolp says:

    The Keys Hold the Key

    Lynn’s metronome ticks an erratic beat
    Back and forth, then – (gasp)
    Echoing crescendos fill the air
    I wonder how it came to this
    Whiffs of bleach tease the musty room
    My stinging eyes rebel against the smell
    Could these tears reflect morbidity?
    A quick span, my head skirts the obvious
    Back and forth, then – (gasp), then Oh, my God!
    Luminous rays paint golden stripes
    Across her upright hogging space
    Like a sunny jailbird on the loose.
    The drop of red shining on middle C
    A haunting omen of that fateful day.

  162. MY SERIOUS PRAYER

    The river slides by;
    it’s my own prayer, traveling on,
    staying right here
    in the dazzle of this day’s chores
    where it adds steel to my spirits,
    helps me steer the course
    unafraid of harmless waves
    or icebergs too far to be perilous.

    The river slides by:
    this land-ahoy prayer
    shouted from the deck of my voyage
    to all of nature and super-nature,
    an admission that I am a sailor
    who can brave the currents of this life,
    take on sky and sea and not let pirates
    toss me overboard because I pray.

    #

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