Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 135

In case you missed it earlier, I’m soliciting feedback from the Poetic Asides community. So far, I’ve received more than 20 responses, and I hope to make my first Poetic Asides Round Up post tomorrow. Click here to learn more.

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For this week’s prompt, write a “don’t start that again” poem. There are many ways to take this. A person may have an annoying habit. A lover may try to steal one more kiss. A dreamer may try one more half-baked idea (that’s surely doomed to failure). Of course, the act of poeming itself may be the subject for such a poem.

Here’s my attempt:

“Poem”

There you go again,
getting me all nervous
that I ain’t gonna have
another good thought
drop out of my head.

It’s been a whole week
since you’ve been around,
rolling around town
with some other guy
who don’t even revise.

Please come back to me,
or at least call me,
tell me it’s gonna be
just like old times when
you came again and again.

This here stanza is
big enough for the two
of us, plus I found
us a rhyme or three
under the poet tree.

*****

Follow me on Twitter @robertleebrewer

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Want to get metrical?
My poem above isn’t perfectly metered, but you can learn how (and why) to write metrical poetry with Writing Metrical Poetry, by William Baer (currently available for less than $7). This book includes step-by-step instruction, actual poetic examples, and non-intimidating guidance.

Click here to learn more.

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138 thoughts on “Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 135

  1. Kitty Witty

    kitty cat loves big dog
    but sometimes he can become enraged
    if the full moon is out or there are bats about
    he can become aggressive and strange

    now Buddha Moscowitz,dog’s old friend
    he is not like that
    he writes kitty beautiful love poetry
    and buys her lots of hats

    his humour is great
    up there with first rate
    makes kitty sizzle
    like chestnuts on a fire grate

  2. Michael Grove

    Scaredy Cat

    Scaredy cat, you scaredy cat.
    Come outside and play.
    The big dog in the front yard
    has gone away today.

    He went into the back yard
    to bury his new bone.
    Scaredy cat, you scaredy cat
    why do you play alone?

    The big dog loves the kitty
    and he does not bite
    Oh, you little scaredy cat
    you cower in your fright.

    Step out to the back yard.
    Let him be your friend.
    The scaredy cat and big dog
    Can be friends ‘till the end.

    By Michael Grove

  3. Michael Grove

    Thank You with bunches of love and fresh daisies Amy and Sara…

    Woman’s Penitentiary

    She was never charged.
    There was no trial.
    She has neither been
    convicted
    nor sentenced.

    She exits the green bus
    with no driver
    thru the rear
    emergency door
    as it stops at the gate
    of the stone penitentiary.

    The warden shakes his head
    in utter disbelief
    as she stumbles
    thru the gate
    anyway.

    He hands her the key
    to her own cell.
    She enters
    and the cold steel bars
    slam shut behind her.
    She throws the key
    thru the bars.

    The warden picks up the key
    Which he had always held.

    He stands in front of her cell
    holding on to the key
    considering
    the endless possibilities.

    He does not put the key
    in his pocket
    or on a chain.
    Instead,
    he inserts it in the lock
    of her cell and steps back
    but never away.

    She closes her eyes
    and steps away
    from the bars
    from the warden
    from her freedom.
    refusing to consider the key.

    Her bunk
    so neatly made.
    Her unruffled sheets
    so tightly stretched.
    Her blanket
    so full of holes.

    She rests while standing
    next to the bunk
    with the unruffled
    tightly stretched sheets
    and the blanket
    so full of holes.

    The warden watches, waits and weeps.

    By Michael Grove

  4. PKP aka Pearl Ketover Prilik

    A child stands face tipped to darkening sky
    Baseball mitted hand heavy at his side
    Thunder rolls across the lost horizon
    Mist obliterates the demarked bases
    Air scented desperation – calls game OUT
    Yet there somewhere beyond cold wetted cheeks
    Sunshine smiles spread ear to ear on this field
    Dappled with clear light, in early morn
    Day dawns on the simple sense of baseball
    Batter up! he hears as raindrops fast fall

    Do not start that again! child’s toughened lip shouts to his fist raised railing toward an always ambiguous future,

  5. Walt Wojtanik

    READING MORE INTO IT THAN NECESSARY

    Well, there we go again!
    Circular and cyclical
    goes our typical banter.
    I can’t recall giving
    any other impression
    than a secession from the fray.
    These days are crazy
    and I have a hazy recollection
    of what happened last.
    It’s fast becoming a habit
    I’d soon not repeat.
    Don’t read into it,
    it is, what is. There we go.
    Again.

  6. Clauette Young

    So many beautiful and inspiring poems. I have only one for this prompt so far. Enjoy, please.

    Again It Begins

    Ever do I abandon hope
    That cooperation will triumph.
    I give my all to perform to standard
    Only to feel the lash of the erroneous whip
    That strikes across my screen, throwing me to
    Wolves of unfamiliar kind, pages no yet seen, and
    Operations unintended or wanted in the moment of keystroke.
    Anger erupts to glaze the eye and spew forth heated words
    Before logic contains the fire of discontent and lowers
    The likelihood of destruction of machine or work.
    Only such calming effort brings about an end
    To what might be workable prose or verse.
    Even its creator cannot find solution
    For its jumps, twirls, and leaps
    Across space and time.

    Dare I say it. "Please! Don’t start that again."

  7. Juanita Lewison-Snyder

    the neighbor’s peacocks
    by juanita lewison-snyder

    for months they hounded me,
    iridescing swirls of avian color,
    holding court in my yard despite my objections,
    screeching calls to one another
    that peeled paint off the rows of mailboxes
    aligning the front of my house,
    and stunting even the crabbiest of crab grass.
    sociopaths that ruthlessly picked on my cats
    punched holes in my composite roofing with their talons,
    broke birdbaths and feeders and flowerpots,
    graffitied their messy bottoms all over my deck.
    the last straw was the hit and run in the driveway
    as i unloaded groceries from the car.
    a little game of trial & error but i
    managed to sway them back to the neighbors
    with the sting of little green plastic beebees.
    summer becomes tolerable once again.
    then, as pumpkins begin ripening on the vine
    they are back, posturing and namecalling
    and i am loathed as ever before.
    @#$%&*!!!
    not again.

    © 2011 by Juanita Lewison-Snyder

  8. Austen

    @ Dennis
    Real love is altruistic and can never turn to hate.When one loves genuinely and deeply so many allowances are made for a beloved and usually to one’s own detriment .It is impossible to bring one’s self to destroy or wound a beloved, regardless of the circumstances.On a personal note I would choose to suffer the pain myself rather than inflict it on a beloved. That is why in the past,I have tried to avoid being in love with anyone.The ideal situation of course is mutual love..

  9. Dennis Wright

    Austen – Dingos do always know. Hatred drives an escaping animal to places unknown. Hatred and don’t do that again. Yes that’s a path of an outlaw.

    Sometimes hatred may wear a mask. What do you think? Could it be a bandana covering the eyes of love. Love placed in the golden hills rather than the softness of anothers eyes.

    Thanks for the poem.

  10. Dennis Wright

    Don’t Start That Again

    Don’t you start thinking that
    you’ve taken off my clothes.
    I tell you I walk as I walk
    as naked as I ever will be.
    And if you start again thinking
    you see me as I really look,
    flat open, real, and just me,
    you’ll start all that stuff
    over again that I left behind.

  11. Austen Tayshus

    Don’t Do That Anymore Either

    Dingo was feral hated
    an outlaw unwanted

    smart as a rattle snake
    he could sniff the wind
    and hear a fox a mile away

    they starved him
    to lure him out
    with poison bait

    fumes of fresh meat
    almost overpowered him
    but the song of survival
    danced in his head
    again and again

    ‘Don’t Do That Anymore Either’

    Dingoes always know

  12. Dennis Wright

    Don’t Do That Anymore

    You led me like a sheep to a valley,
    many, so many, times before.
    You said there was grass so green and free there
    I could sleep with no floor.
    The tone of your voice to me sweetly
    said believe evermore.
    As a child I saw ribbons on your chest.
    Don’t do that anymore.

  13. Sara McNulty

    De, Eve, Autumn, Hannah, Shannon, MIchael Grove (too many to choose just one), Walt (ditto Michael Grove), MaryGrace, and I’m sure there are more I haven’t read yet. Bravo!

  14. MaryGrace

    A buzz across the cemetery stirs my hearing
    Its familiar frequency seems to be calling
    To the present, to this moment I return
    I feel my aching feet pound the sidewalk
    Just as quickly, the quartz-topped cemetery wall draws me
    It’s apparent there were stones where there are none now
    How has this wall changed? I wander away
    The brick is dull and chipping, fading to match the sidewalk
    What did it look like the day it was built?
    Perhaps each brick a uniform shade of rich red
    Slathered together with sandy white cement
    I circle the city-block cemetery
    Bringing myself back to the moment
    My hips joints swaying like pendulums to move my legs
    Here the possibilities rest; I surrender my mind to my body
    The pavement draws all the sun’s warmth and radiates it up my legs
    I feel the sweat on the backs of my knees
    I feel wrapped in the humidity of the afternoon
    The large weeping trees whisper as they rustle
    They say to me “you’re in Dixie”, dreams of the old South call me
    I grab reality by the string it sent me away on
    Pull myself back to the present once again

  15. Amy Barlow Liberatore

    Thank you, Andrew!
    Michael, that was dreamy and romantic.
    Nancy, been there, honey! You captured labor perfectly. And you kindly left out the barf bucket, LOL.
    Taylor, I do believe the new OED included the word "google" as a verb. Perhaps Google hasn’t caught on to that yet. The English/American language is quite fluid, isn’t it? Good writing!
    Finally, MELISSA HAGAR MADE ME CRY. Brought back stuff, and the crying was all good. Truly wonderful. Thank you. Amy

  16. Pomes

    Hiding behind the lies
    Running from the truth,
    Silence broken from the cries
    Of the troubled youth;
    Being independent
    “I can do it myself”,
    Beginning to feel neglected
    Now asking for some help;
    Still trying to bury the pain
    And turn away from the trouble,
    Life’s pleasures never aimed
    Now buried within the struggle;
    Air filled with regret
    Wanting to turn back time,
    Stricken with every breath
    Just about to cross the line;
    No one will remember
    The tears of the fallen youth,
    Forgotten they are, forever
    Because they never chanced the truth
    – J a R –

    Look for more at Pomes!!

  17. Sally Jadlow

    DON’T START THAT AGAIN

    6/10/11

    I say, in response to your whine.
    I’ve already heard all the “he saids”
    and “she saids.”
    Restating it doesn’t solve squat.

    Let’s get on with how
    you’re going to enjoy
    a new life without him.
    How you’ll discover life
    in the new lane
    you’ve been given.

  18. Michael Grove

    Absence

    Absence really makes the heart grow fonder.
    It fills the void with hopes and dreams and wonder.
    When love is in your heart it just grows stronger.
    You can’t wait to be together any longer.

    But if there happens to be fear and doubt.
    Communication has to work things out.
    Absence only serves to cloud it all.
    And starve the heart that’s set up for the fall.

    Absence truly makes the gut feel ill.
    You can’t eat or drink at all. You just sit still.
    Waiting for someone to see your face,
    And grow in love touched gently by the Grace.

    Patience solves so many different things.
    Absence tugs strongly at your heart strings.
    Sit back, relax and search the skies above.
    Wait patiently for them when you’re in love.

    By Michael Grove

  19. Nancy Posey

    Contractions

    After all these hours of wave upon wave,
    I barely remember the thrill when I felt
    the first, low, dull cramp, that sudden
    splash as the rupture released the waters,
    signalling that most anticipating onset.

    Now I focus on a picture taped
    to the wall when we first arrive, ripped
    from a magazine in the lobby;
    unbearably bland, it long ago
    took on meaning beyond itself.

    I should instead focus on this life
    pushing to leave me, to enter the world
    we hope to reshape for her, to make
    it safe, prime soil for her growing, but
    for now all I want is rest, however brief.

    They say I will forget the pain, my body’s
    mutiny to tackle the task before me, but
    I’ve caught them in so many lies before.
    For now, as I register before the needle
    on the monitor marks its ascent, pain
    will pulse through my tired bones.

    Against logic, I imagine this child
    plotting her exit, intrinsically sure
    that first sight, that first warm, wet
    touch, skin to skin, will erase all memories
    of my panicked pleas: please stop.

  20. Rosie Black

    late night
    late start
    busy bee

    blathering about
    on a blustery winter’s day
    in coat scarf and gloves

    leaves swirl in whirlpools
    of gust crackling
    through the gutters

    a grey cold sky makes
    for a good change
    snow forecast for slopes
    for this holiday weekend

    I’m spending mine
    under a fur rug
    with my cat Mr.Cole

  21. Taylor Graham

    IS GOOGLE A VERB?

    You keep on asking me. So I
    checked (what else?) the Internet.
    I got on Google. I googled it.

    There’s no verb for that, insists
    a lady in French. I checked other
    languages. Speech is sacred

    to its speakers, generations
    of words learned at mother’s knee,
    by lips, heart and memory.

    That’s the rub: such a new-
    coined word, we have no history
    for it. Our mothers never crooned

    lullabies to its soothing gurgle.
    “The prince set out to google
    the world and find his love.”

    But don’t we use it all day long?”
    you keep on asking. “Don’t we
    trust it to answer every question?”

  22. Autumn N. Hall

    M.A. Dobson, Andrew Kreider, and Domino-I can’t tell you how much your kudos are appreciated this week, a much needed balance to the rejections reaped! Many thanks!

    Hannah Gosselin-loved your last line, "Words spread on dry toast" an apt metaphor for a parched poet!

    Walt-(Do Not Pass Go) you took my least favorite game in the whole world and turned it into one of my most favorite poems this week!

    Daniel Ari (Contraction Reaction)-A clever, if a mind-bending/tongue twisting take on the apostrophe. It’s and its are my lifelong nemeses!

    Rachel Green (Bedclothes Buzzing)–I hope you will not be offended by a small critique: your title coupled with that third stanza lend some oddly out-of-place sexual overtones to this piece. Was that intentional? As it seems to be about a child (perhaps your daughter), I’m guessing not. Unless you were being deliberately suggestive in hopes of surprising us with the innocent ending? Just thought you might like to know this may not have come across as intended!

  23. M.A. Dobson

    With apologies for the inevitable omissions, while flitting about tonight, I got caught on these lines:
    Andrew Kreider, “Cheating”: “There were matches on the dash, and Big Red / for afterwards”
    Joseph Harker, “Trikonasana”: “From hero pose, I’m feeling pessimistic”
    Domino, “O You Flower!”: “food for bees / and sexual juice / (such that it is)”
    Lori, “Voices in My Head”: “The ceaseless gnawing on the bone of confidence”
    Ann, “just as the red lights flash / and when gates come down”
    Salvatore, “Enough Already”: “The way I fly wingless / through my life”
    Autumn Hall: “Rejection Dejection, without Question”: “Our winner recently published a translation of Icelandic poetry”; “why is that blue so damn sky?”
    Sam Niel: “Don’t Start That Again”/ “Do Start That Again”: “from the chair/ From the bed / from the all”
    Linda Rhinehart-Neas, “For Every Time”: “The garden is lush with life”
    Nancy Poesy, “Replay (for Jan)”: “the residents of those drab beige halls / encroached on one another”
    Rachel Green, “Bedclothes Buzzing”: what a brilliant naughty girl!
    Daniel Ari: “The Contraction Reaction”: “the apostrophes / swarm like fleas.” Here too.
    Mariel Dumas, “Depression (I wink)”; "Until you club me on the head / Drag me back for keeps” (glad you wink)
    De J, “Cease and Desist”: “The Sin still drips / from your lips like / a warning song, long / unheeded”
    Eve, “Yes, I’ll sleep with all those extra adjectives / struck down while they were still young” Nice.

  24. Melissa Hager

    “Don’t Start That Again”

    Baby boy throws blocks on the floor
    Momma picks them up
    On the floor they go
    Don’t start that again

    Toddler boy bestowed with baby sister
    He is already potty trained
    Jealously opens the flood gates
    Don’t start that again

    The whine of a little boy gets louder
    As he mopes over math homework
    Grumbling “I hate math” for the thousandth time
    Don’t start that again

    Older boy conquers the perfect bike ramp
    Hollering that he made another level
    It’s supper time
    Don’t start that again

    Electric guitar wails from teen boy’s room
    While talking to exasperated math teacher
    Jimi Hendrix comes alive!
    Don’t start that again

    Young man devastated over a girl
    Who broke his heart for another
    He calls and begs and pleads
    Don’t start that again

    Wedding day, birth
    Wedding day
    Wedding day, birth, birth
    Don’t start that again

    “I love you, Momma,” says a gray haired man
    By the bed, gently stroking my hand
    Tears well up in his eyes
    Don’t start that again

  25. Walt Wojtanik

    COME AGAIN?

    You seem to be forgetting things
    so I repeat them. It’s as is
    you delete them from your screen.
    I’m not being mean, but can you hear me?
    Or am I not making sense? What?
    In your defense, you seem a bit distant.
    It’s like your memory is resistant
    to save the important things. Your thoughts
    sprout wings and head south to ruminate.
    I sit and wait for the question to come
    again. I repeated the answer. Did you forget?

  26. Daniel Ari

    “Contraction reaction”

    You can
    or can’t.
    You won
    or you won’t.
    You don
    the medal, or you don’t.

    The apostrophes
    swarm like fleas,
    itching tiny t’s
    unease.

    Apostrophes
    like legalese
    undercutting guarantees
    with hidden fees,

    or decrees
    to freeze
    our liberties
    by degrees,

    or apologies
    to appease
    the jealousies
    of anyone who disagrees.

    Or, among these maybes,
    maybe apostrophes
    guard the keys
    to test our expertise,

    making do’s into detainees
    to force us from the lees.
    She or he who foresees
    the absence of apostrophes

    Can’t be
    canned
    and won’t
    be won
    over by donning
    any don’t.

    DA

  27. cynthia stewart

    Wrong Thought

    Oh no, here it comes again –
    That thought I don’t need –
    The one that asks for more
    Of this or that –
    And gives sorrow in return.

    Don’t choose that one,
    Turn a new page and get
    Another thought going
    That makes you sing.
    Make it stick, as they say –
    For three weeks –
    Until the right thought,
    Becomes a habit.

    Cynthia Stewart

  28. Rachel Green

    Bedclothes Buzzing

    A look at her face reveals the trick;
    an impish smile, a facial tick
    a buzzing sound, though very faint
    beneath the sheets, she is no saint

    although to see her when she knelt
    you’d think that butter wouldn’t melt
    in that angelic, cupid bow
    of lips but it is bedtime. So

    without adieu I hold my hand
    for battery-powered toy and stand
    a sentinel against her pleasure
    she knows I will have her measure.

    Reluctantly, she hands me this —
    her toothbrush, then waits for a kiss.
    “Don’t start the toothbrush up again
    you need your sleep. Now goodnight Jen.”

  29. Mike Bayles

    Shop Talk

    After the critique group
    and discussions ended
    you talk about the poem again
    as I drive you to a bar
    where we can sing karaoke.
    You discuss the values
    of each line and comma
    of how each
    increases the intrinsic value
    of the piece,
    as if it hadn’t already been said.
    You say you want
    it to be more confessional
    as if that’s the only poetic form.
    You tell me my favorite singers
    are not poets,
    as if poetry is the only art
    blah, blah, blah,
    an affront to my lyrical mind.
    I say that for now
    the poem is done,
    and I want to have a drink
    and let it rest,
    although I’m sure
    somewhere else
    another poet picks up a pen.

  30. Mike Bayles

    Shop Talk

    After the critique group
    and discussions ended
    you talk about the poem again
    as I drive you to a bar
    where we can sing karaoke.
    You discuss the values
    of each line and comma
    of how each
    increases the intrinsic value
    of the piece,
    as if it hadn’t already been said.
    You say you want
    it to be more confessional
    as if that’s the only poetic form.
    You tell me my favorite singers
    are not poets,
    as if poetry is the only art
    blah, blah, blah,
    an affront to my lyrical mind.
    I say that for now
    the poem is done,
    and I want to have a drink
    and let it rest,
    although I’m sure
    somewhere else
    another poet picks up a pen.

  31. Hannah

    WAITING FOR
    NOTHING

    Morning has me running ragged
    again
    doing all the musts that make the world
    turn
    and I didn’t even get a chance
    to stop
    and write a word
    or two;
    create the things that wait to
    be created.
    Paint suspended in brush-tip
    bristles
    words spread on dry
    toast.

    ©2011 Hannah Gosselin

    Smiles and happy poeming friends!

  32. Mariel Dumas

    Depression (I wink)

    I know you’re there by the door
    Lying in wait for me to come home
    Turning the turnkey to my apartment
    Wanting to sing to me in dark notes
    Read Gothic tomes; lock the door
    Sharp fingernails trace veins on my arms
    As you cook the gospel stew; last supper rites
    Ballads and fever-pitched hums
    It starts with a melody; a slight refrain
    E flat, then C; viola D
    You shift like a night crawler; pretend you’re a ghost
    So that I can’t see you until I close my eyes
    You lie in wait; ripping my wrists from hope
    Longing to kiss my lips blue
    I hold on like a pillar on this June bug street
    Empty benches; lonely stairs
    Dark clouds and spirited stars
    As I walk along Broadway in a chill
    Neon lights sing, Downtown!
    I hold on still
    To keep moving
    Pick up the pace
    Sit down to light a cigarette
    To think of pretty things
    Until you club me on the head
    Drag me back for keeps

  33. Domino

    O Walt! O PKP! You poets you! <3 your work—all of it! (OMG – “Groundhog Day”!!)
    mike Maher – Not That Again; MA Dobson – The Meeting; Buddah Moskowitz – This Desire – how to say what I often feel? You found a way. Thanks; Connie L Peters – Lost My Spatula – Perfect, just perfect title for that exact poem; Andrew Kreider – Late Again – I love every word of it; Rose Anna Hines – “Your Poems Are…”; Joseph Harker “Trikonasana” Laughed so hard because I know the feeling of agony and wanting the pose to end. But I do love yoga. After you’ve pushed so hard, the reward is to feel very good. It’s worth it; Salvatore Buttaci – “Enough Already” – Yes, baffling; Sara V; Marie Elena – “Job Bumping”; Joseph Beckman – “PreK” (teary and smiling!); Shannon Lockard – “Evidence of Guilt”; Taylor Graham – “Remembering Time Past”; Autumn N. Hall – “Rejection Dejection, Without Question” (Hang in there!!); Heiberg “How Come Blue”; Wanda Landowska – “Warsaw Concerto” – !Wow!!; Jane Shlensky – Mutation!; Michael Grove – “Elephant in the Room”; Nancy Posey – “Replay” (Wow, you so captured the year!!); Joe – “The Wink” melted me. ^_^ ; Oh de Jackson; There you are!!! “Cease and Desist” lovely and so true.; Eve Brackenbury – I do that too!

  34. Eve Brackenbury

    In the morning I’ll dust off the eraser crumbs from my sheets,

    after having dreamed of chasing melancholy peaches

    and recklessly riding atop galloping heartbeats.

    Yes, I’ll sleep with all those extra adjectives

    struck down while they were still young.

    And in the end I’ll make my bed and

    start anew, my poem unfinished,

    diminished beyond

    repair.

  35. de jackson

    Cease and Desist

    Don’t kiss me again.
    The sin still drips
    from your lips like
    a warning song, long
    unheeded. I needed
    to taste some kind
    of freedom here, some blind
    reason near to my heart,
    some fresh start between
    your lying teeth. But beneath
    all this your rage still boils,
    coils, lies in wait
    my last shred of soul to steal
    while I just keep sinking,
    keep thinking these
    torn scorched scars
    will heal.

    But they won’t.

    So please.
    Just
    don’t.

  36. Kim King

    Eyelashes

    So, I thought you ended all that banter,
    where you tease and flirt, just like a girl
    who bats her dark lashes and flips her hair.

    Mute, you stroke your head and blink
    one and a half times so I see your eyelids
    and wonder how they would look, closed

    as you sleep, a fly perhaps buzzing nearby,
    that I “shoo” in whispers, protecting
    your breath, regular inhales and exhales

    that I count until fifty, when I stop. lean over
    to kiss your lashes, one at a time, and breathe
    in your sleepy air, before licking your parted lips.

    You barely wake and vaguely remember a dream
    of sexy lingerie and faint perfume. Pushing dawn
    away, you rub your head, sigh and close your eyes.

  37. Joy Cagil

    Baking Bread

    Chills in your skin, you measure the flour
    and grit your teeth, then set the yeast to rise.
    Who says the dough will hold this time
    despite the kneading, punching, hunching?
    Maybe it will be crisp and salty
    after this self-inflicted punishment.
    Maybe it will find its way to the trash
    under the sink, waiting to devour
    another letdown as you keep wishing for better things,
    like your last relationship, youngest child,
    twelve academic tomes that no one reads
    for bread is life rejecting despair or indifference
    akin to the baking you start over and over again,
    and maybe today, there will be no castaways.

  38. Andrew Kreider

    Great poeming, all.

    Robert, I love Poem – it is so true, hanging out under the poet tree; Pearl, the wheedling voice and motorcycle hell; mike M. – I love entering the worlds you spin, and this one really catches me – just as if we’re halfway between sleep and waking. Great. M.A. Dobson, so striking, especially with the buried secrets kept safe; Rose Anna – I’m with you, brilliance like breathing doesn’t seem fair, but I too love their work.

    Joseph – love it! Especially the denuded shorebird! Barbara – so much happening! Lori – the ceaseless gnawing on the bone of confidence; Cameron – grinning like lemmings following each other to a granite cliff; Shannon – tabbing felonies of character; Walt – text that warning to Mississippi ASAP!; Autumn – so true, I love it, face palm indeed; Sam – flicker, fly on; Heiberg – generation crisis reflected in the washing; Amy – remember; Paula – watching TV like an addict in recovery; Jane – channeling feline patience and zen aloofness; Nancy – beautiful mix-tape!

    Y’all are an inspiration, truly.

  39. Joe

    The Wink

    It’s Beatlemania, Olympic Gold,
    a Megabucks lottery win

    It’s an adrenaline rush, the ultimate high,
    the Mount Everest of tickled pink

    Every time she winks at me,
    all these feelings burst

    into fourth of July fireworks,
    leaving me starry-eyed

    I try to take it all in stride
    and act like nothing matters

    but my tattered composure
    exposes me, I can no longer pretend

    My God, she just did it again

  40. Walt Wojtanik

    Thanks Sara. No rest for the weary. Spreading my muse much like seeds.
    Far and wide, and I hope they bloom. When I’m not planting, I’m Woodworking. An old habit I came by honestly. Maybe I’ll write about it sometime…wait a minute, I already did. My collection of poems, WOOD, is starting to gain some momentum; keeping me busy, but not busy enough to keep me away from Poetic Asides. This is my "Home" page.

  41. Sara V

    Sara McN–oh the doggie do, when we wish the don’t

    Nancy–you took me right back down the halls of my dorm! Fleetwood Mac ruled the turntables and cassettes…great words triggering great memories-thank you

    Walt–nice to see/read you again–missed your prolific poetic postings last week, yet know we all need our rest

    Mike Grove–you are most definitely on a roll! Nice words

    Pearl–we were both in a fighting mood yesterday :-)–lots of nice images

  42. Nancy Posey

    Replay (for Jan)

    More Lord of the Flies than Utopia
    our college dorm assembled a distorted
    microcosm—same age, same sex,
    the similarities stopped there.

    Without earbuds to sequester sound
    inside a single set of ears,
    the residents of those drab beige halls
    encroached on one another, spinning
    forty-fives on turntables, tone arm
    in place, set to repeat, regaling
    others with their musical moods:

    "Muskrat Love" a hundred times at least
    (Would you please shut that off, Helen?),
    break-up songs for the tearful,
    the Beach Boys through summer quarter,
    taking our minds where our bodies
    could not go, a soundtrack of our lives,
    one song one time never enough

    as they mingled, a virtual mix-tape
    between a few dozen almost-friends,
    like the song stuck in your head, but no,
    it’s really there: Stevie Nicks’ throaty
    growl, singing over and over and over,
    as the landslide takes her down,
    down,
    down.

  43. Linda M. Rhinehart Neas

    FOR EVERY TIME

    The garden is lush with life
    Rose opens her face to the sun
    Petunia trumpets her delight
    Pansy faces each new visitor
    smiling happily at their arrival

    Over in the vegetable patch
    Peas push their way to the summit
    Tomato cheekily ripens red and plump
    Squash runs willy-nilly through the plot
    hiding beneath big green leaves

    Then, when least expected
    Autumn appears in all its glory
    Precursor to the chilling fact
    that Winter will soon arrive
    freezing all where they stand

  44. Walt Wojtanik

    DO NOT PASS GO

    Marathon Monopoly.
    Your race car running over my dog.
    Double hotel on Park Place
    erasing any fortune I have emassed.
    Outclassed and bored out of my wits,
    it’s times like these that my pleas
    for an early end fall on deaf ears.
    And my greatest fear recurs to me
    when your say "Best two outta three!"

  45. Michael Grove

    Option

    Never be an option
    to your priority.
    Never take a back seat
    if they cannot see.

    When you are an option
    you’re waiting there in vain,
    hardening your heart
    and wallowing in pain.

    To dream of being chosen
    As someones’ number one
    Is everything to everyone,
    everywhere under the sun.

    Never be an option
    to your priority.
    Never take a back seat
    if they cannot see.

    By Michael Grove

  46. Michael Grove

    Stay The Course

    Navigate these waters.
    Captain and first mate.
    You have been brought together
    By destiny and fate.

    These dreams of sailing onward
    Toward the setting sun
    Are more than just a vision
    You two shall become one.

    This is when you use the card,
    for better or for worse.
    Wild storms may rock the boat.
    But you can stay on course.

    By Michael Grove

  47. Michael Grove

    Silent Treatment

    Don’t go there again.
    I really can’t take it.
    Stay out of my head.
    You just can’t fake it.

    You open the door
    and know that it thrills me.
    Then close it again.
    You know that it kills me.

    You say everything
    without speaking a sound.
    I understand you
    when you crawl underground.

    By Michael Grove

  48. Michael Grove

    Wake Up

    Wake up from your dream.
    It is not reality.
    Head out of the clouds.
    Close your eyes to see.

    No one can ever loose
    what they never had at all
    except when all your dreams
    are shattered and they fall.

    Live now in the present.
    Feet back on the ground.
    Everything is clear.
    Peace of mind is found.

    By Michael Grove

  49. Michael Grove

    For Crying Out Loud

    I didn’t pick you
    out.
    You said with grace.
    I didn’t pick you.
    Ouch
    You slapped my face.

    I’m just another
    slapped face in the crowd.
    That’s what I get
    for crying out loud.

    By Michael Grove

  50. Michael Grove

    Elephant in the Room

    There’s an elephant in the room with us
    and now I cannot sleep.
    I cannot eat
    or even think straight anymore.

    There is an elephant in the room with us
    and now I’m paralyzed
    it is sitting
    on the one who I adore.

    By Michael Grove

  51. Benjamin Thomas

    Drain-No

    Threw a pity party
    Nobody showed up but me
    In a deep dark dungeon
    thrown away key

    Unfortunately Stuck
    In the web of my introspection
    Drunk as a skunk
    in the trunk
    inflamed with
    toxic flatulence
    fumes of fraudulent feelings
    and subjective deceptions

    But hey
    I ain’t goin’ there
    not today
    Got a one way ticket
    Out of misery county
    Hands in my lap
    and peace in bounty
    Flying high
    over pity city
    with a smile on my face
    as I’m sittin’ pretty
    clogging up ateries ain’t for me
    cleared up blockage
    joys flowing free
    through the stents of fellowship
    and solvent of hope
    A solid rescue
    Unbreakable rope

  52. Jane Shlensky

    Mutation

    What Soviet experiment in mind games
    has led to your belief that muting the
    television harms people?
    Showing rather than telling
    you this is folly,
    I point the remote
    in your direction and click mute,
    while you curl like plastic under flame,
    wicked witch splattered with water,
    Oyyy! I can feel it!
    crackling from your lips.
    Intrigued, I turn the instrument
    on myself and click. Nothing.
    Like roulette, I click it against
    my ear, my forehead, my heart,
    my toes. Nothing, my superpowers
    shielding me from the waves you feel.
    I laugh remembering telling my
    parents when we were married
    that I was the victim of Soviet aggression
    while you told yours that you had
    succumbed to American imperialism.
    Were we both right?
    A sleeping cat gets muted
    without interrupting his dreams.
    I mute the walls, the raccoon on
    his nightly patrol,
    the doorway. Nothing.
    Again, I turn to you as you shield
    yourself and cry, Mutation!
    Entertained by word play
    and by your extraordinary
    imagination, I nevertheless
    know that the button has changed
    our lives, that every time I innocently
    reach for the remote,
    your eyes will say, Don’t!
    the real experiment being a test of trust.

  53. Jane Shlensky

    Hiho, everybody! I’m just sliding in under the wire tonight with this one. I’ll be back to read tomorrow.

    Nagging 101

    The cats want a treat, staring at me
    as I read, their feline concentration
    hypnotic andun blinking.
    Stop it! I say, but their green eyes
    bore into me until I’m distracted,
    an idea occurring to me.

    Your to-do list is filed
    in the mound on your desk,
    the second task reading
    “clean desk.”
    Eight others remain undone
    for weeks now, my reminders
    ignored.
    I excavate the list from the lost
    and silently hand it to you.
    Oh, yeah, you say.
    I don’t meow or hiss,
    just look at you,
    the undivided attention
    you used to crave.
    A moment passes and you say
    What?
    I’m silent, glancing
    at the list lying beside you.
    OK, you recite,
    but don’t move.

    I channel feline patience
    and zen aloofness,
    just-be-the-eyes
    echoing in my head.
    I stand close and look at you,
    expressionless.
    I’ll get to it, no problem,
    you say. Stop nagging.
    But I’ve said nothing,
    nothing at all.
    Two more minutes
    of eye contact pass
    when you stand, exasperated,
    and say, All right!
    I’ll do it if that will
    shut you up! Wordlessly,
    I smile, watching you
    stride down the hall
    toward number one on your list.
    Nag! you say,
    somehow troubled that
    I’ve said nothing,
    this new technique,
    disturbing but effective.
    I get the cats a treat
    and purr.

  54. Sara McNulty

    Another attempt.

    Forays In The Night

    Please don’t jump off the bed
    I see your head peeking out
    from under the covers where
    all good dachshunds sleep.
    I know and you know
    that at 2:00 AM, you
    would only have one reason
    for getting off the bed,
    and if I don’t get up,
    throw a long shirt on,
    in case there is someone
    in the backyard who can see
    me, you will pad on into the office
    and shit on the rug,
    again.

  55. Sara McNulty

    The Clothing Chart

    No, Ma, please
    don’t tell them about
    my clothing
    chart for school.
    I was far more organized
    when I was a child.

  56. Wanda Landowska

    Warsaw Concerto

    could I love
    a passionate polak?
    burning through life
    at a rate of knots
    living on exposed
    nerve fibres
    leaving
    crackled trails
    of electricity
    with his pen
    and those deep
    sad pool eyes

    herring and vodka
    filled nights with
    chopin staring through
    the lace curtains
    coaxing cupid along

    kreisler strumming
    irresistible strings
    gentle gianni reciting
    dante

    Every fibre of my being
    screams YES
    Every component of my memory
    says NO
    Don’t start that again

  57. General Favre Fan

    General Favre
    is my kind of man
    over sexed and pushy
    and making a stand

    Even though Walt
    has ordered him off the site
    he’s not going without a good fight

    I’m going with him
    I think he’s so cool
    mature self possessed
    and certainly no fool

    It’s winter here
    a fur rug is not enough
    I need a General
    to perform his stuff

  58. Paula Wanken

    TIME TO RHYME

    Once upon a time
    I was quite fond of TV,
    watching far too much
    of what was not good for me.

    And then came along
    the digital conversion,
    which was meant to be
    “all that” in television.

    I bought the right box
    and I plugged it in just so,
    ran the channel scan
    and it didn’t work–oh no!

    But I am too cheap
    for TV I will not pay,
    which meant my routine
    I would alter on that day.

    How would I pass time?
    What could I possibly do?
    Not spending a dime,
    I first read a book, then two.

    It was quite a switch
    to turn off the background noise.
    But what did I learn?
    Tranquil silence brings great joys.

    In this great silence
    I discovered something new.
    I can write poems
    that I can then share with you.

    Tonight, at a friend’s
    I’ve made a new discovery:
    I watch TV like
    an addict in recovery.

    I sat down to write
    my next poem for the day.
    The TV is on,
    it tries to pull me away.

    Though I like this show
    a thought pops into my head:
    Don’t start that again;
    turn it off and write instead!

    2011-06-08
    P. Wanken

  59. Frank Scudelowski

    Don’t start that again
    presenting yourself
    on a cv
    as an intellectual
    Shakespearean scholar

    Your love life
    could come unstuck
    over
    misapprehension
    miscommunication
    misunderstanding
    misnomers and
    missed rosers

  60. Lola Cabana

    She was never a friend
    but she was always there
    an antithetic clasp
    to my brooch

    I miss that old bird
    with her yellow lola feathers
    cracked spartacles and hula skirt
    she made me fall about with laughter
    a crooked seam to my ww2 stockings
    wont start that up again

  61. Amy Barlow Liberatore

    Walt, I’m with you on Brett. And I’m from WI now!
    Taylor, Snow Owl, exquisite.
    Marie Elena, Bumping, so true. The fight for union rights here at Ground Zero, Madison, is continuing.
    Joseph, I feel your pain! Once wrote one about yoga class and all of us old broads falling down and laughing and going out for lattes after class. Ah, the dedication… love when you’re ironic and fun.
    Sal, about those around you chiding your situation, I’ve been flying wingless for years now. How DO you soar to such heights? I never cease to be in awe. Screw ‘em!
    Rose Anna, I know what you mean about, "I never edit." It’s like people who do the NY Times Crossword in PEN, just irks you, right? (PS: If you change "prodigy’s" to "prodigies," you’ll have a pretty perfect poem! Hope you don’t mind the advice – copy editor here!!)
    Andrew: "Late Again," you are a hopeless (or hopeful) romantic, loved it.
    PKP: Do not start again a reconciled fight. Great advice and a darned good write!
    Buddah, bruddah, "the compassion and love of a truly enlightened being." Aaaahhhh…
    Finally, Robert, "under the poet tree" was charming, thoughtful, and really fun. Thanks for the read, all.

  62. M.A. Dobson

    Some lines that stopped me, reading from the top, and I didn’t get far; hope to come back again later:
    Robert’s “Poem”: “tell me it’s gonna be / just like old times when / you came again and again.” Poem as fickle sex partner!
    Walt: “Finnegan, Begin Again?”: “Mad as a hatter / and twice as worn. I was not born / to listen incessantly to this melody”
    Pearl: “Thought We Were Finished”: First your grandmother’s quilt; now this comforter; your words are tactile; I can feel that argument.
    mike M, “Not That Again”: “All day pain relief depends on your definitions / of all day and of pain and of relief”: disjointed leaping from topic to topic replicates disrupted sleep yet makes a crazy kind of sense. I’ve been that squirrel!
    Buddah, “This Desire”: “just as soon as I become / aware / it vanishes / and I desperately try to gather / the tantalizing details / to hold forever” Meditation = poeming. All desire.

  63. Amy Barlow Liberatore

    Hey, Pearl Girl, see, I AM ALIVE! Wish you would all come by my blog, and will be by to comment on yours later, but wanted to put this on here before the horrible thunderboomer starts. Back later to read. Amy

    Don’t Start Doing That Again

    Think first.
    Remember.

    Exhalations to renovate reality.
    Perforations to perceive perfection.
    Condemnations from family, friends.
    Intimidations from drug dealers

    Remember.
    Think first.
    It ain’t worth it.
    Run.
    Fast, baby,
    run as fast as you can
    to your NA meeting.

    © 2011 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

  64. Heiberg

    HOW COME BLUE?

    Here we are again.
    The same old story of love or hate or something else too big for me to understand,
    since I only asked you
    to put your huge piles of laundry in the washing machine and turn it on
    yourself.
    And here I find myself in this ever lasting generation crisis?

    That was when I pulled a poem out of your jeans and read:
    how come blue?

  65. Rose Black

    @ Joseph Harker
    Your poem this week is excellent.Your cohesive economic style demonstrates your understanding of the subtlety and rigors of an applied discipline with reference to the Bard as referred to earlier.

    Congratulations on your recent graduation and imminent betrothal.At the moment I don’t have any stones to give you as a wedding gift, which you requested on your blog .I will send a cage of white crested pigeons instead if you give me a forwarding address.

    Kindest regards
    Rose Black

  66. Sam Nielson

    I thought my last one a bit depressing, so another attempt
    or flippant.

    Do Start That Again

    I flick a caddis fly under the edge
    Of the low-hanging willow. Those
    Branches try to finger skim
    The river water I’d say
    Dreamily,
    But I have other intent.

    Brown, cutthroat, brookie, whitefish
    Whoever you are living
    In that cool, kissing shade,
    I hope you like my olive
    Offering,
    And bite my little hook.

  67. Sam Nielson

    Don’t Start That Again

    A Northern flicker wings in
    Between the aspen and maple
    Trees and lands in the apple.
    He thrum dull drums
    Looking for a meal. Not his
    But my head feels the ache
    And slow body vibrato.

    Pain has its never-ending
    Spasm stretched out over
    The course, from the chair
    From the bed, from the all.
    Even the bright rusty wingbeat
    From the flicker does not cheer.
    Please, flicker, fly on.

  68. Autumn N. Hall

    Andrew Kreider "Cheating"-sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, and yet…loved how quickly you slipped us into the setting and mood, loved the way the minimal details still painted a clear picture, loved how you let the readers put their own tune on the radio and their own faces on the "good ol’ boys"

  69. Autumn N. Hall

    Rejection Dejection, Without Question

    drag my feet to the mailbox
    in dread of white envelopes
    addressed in my own hand,
    stamps stuck with my own spit,
    taste of government glue
    still bitter on my tongue—
    I can’t believe I actually pay
    to reject myself

    ears peeled for the ping
    of e-mail responses
    “Congratulations to our finalists”
    of which I am not one
    “Your entry fee includes a subscription”
    to the journal I won’t be in
    “Our winner recently published
    a translation of Icelandic poetry”
    face palm

    best yet: rejection-less rejection
    “send us your best ten”
    never hear from us again
    translation: your best—
    not our best
    signed: Best,

    best not to ask, “Why?”
    why am I doing this?
    why his poem, or her poem?
    why is that blue so damn sky?
    best not to ask
    just write
    and let them
    fly

  70. ann

    Again this Morning

    Again this morning
    you start telling me everything
    just as the red lights flash
    and the gates come down
    on Rock Road. The train’s here,
    and the rest is left unsaid.

  71. Walt Wojtanik

    BRETT FAVRE

    Hail Brett Favre, your time has gone,
    you’ve sullied your reputation.
    Your constant come backs were a pain,
    now what’s your situation?
    Your playing days are finally through
    you were long past expiration,
    Forget the texting, you over-sexed thing,
    just go back into hibernation.
    Old generals never die, they simply fade away;
    old field generals always try, to play another day.
    But when others’ time has met its end,
    Methuselah Farve tries, tries again.

    GO BRETT! As farve as you can get from the game.
    And mean it this time!

  72. Taylor Graham

    REMEMBERING TIME PAST

    There you go
    again, lost in our
    past. A road –
    Alaska –
    snow everywhere. Ptarmigan,
    that plump tundra-hen,

    in winter-
    plumage. White as peace.
    You stopped. I
    focused my
    camera. Blur of white too fast
    for the shutter. Great

    Snowy Owl
    on silent wings crossed
    ptarmigan
    with its one
    dark shadow. My photo smudged
    with white on white: Frost’s

    death design.
    Now you bring me back again,
    the image
    develops
    still in my mind. What shall I
    do with our time past?

  73. Shannon Lockard

    Evidence of Guilt

    Don’t start that again.
    She files away infractions
    chronologically,
    tabbing felonies of character,
    color-coding misdemeanors
    according to severity.
    She retrieves files with
    automaticity.
    Each new infraction is greeted
    with compiled files,
    evidence of guilt.
    There will be no counterdefense.
    When her argument ends,
    the case is complete.

  74. Cameron Steele

    Don’t ask me to call you

    Cuz I can’t bare it.
    My throat is hollow and
    I am always thinking about the
    times when we held hands
    and grinned like
    lemmings following
    each other to some
    granite cliff.
    You think this rift
    is human-made?
    It isn’t,
    it’s that pitted
    place in my belly
    where some sick
    thing
    whittles me down
    into separate
    holes and I find myself
    dropping you
    lipless
    through them.

  75. Joseph Beckman

    Pre k
    .
    .
    A new world, just a year, a day at a time,
    in your life, our life.
    Road “0” of 12 or 16 more to go,
    Fun, kids to play, things to learn,
    But tears and fears.
    “Don’t start that again little son, soon I’ll return.”
    .
    Eyes full of tears,
    liquid fingers tear
    my ambivalent coat in tatters,
    a pool of sadness spills forth…
    Stay daddy, don’t leave me here.
    “Don’t start that again little son, soon I’ll return.”
    .
    Months later, each leaving still stings
    pricks, bleeding bit here and there,
    A million, a million, million million mil…
    hugs and kisses more before you go daddy.
    Eyes of pain, face of sadness.
    “Don’t start that again little son, soon I’ll return.”
    .
    Round the bend, end is here.
    Tears anticipating, become drops of joy,
    Time together again,
    One year gone, so soon,
    never to return.
    “Would you start that again little son?”
    .
    .
    .
    © June 08, 2011 by Joseph Beckman

  76. Lori Thatcher

    Voices in My Head

    It always was the same lame apology:
    don’t risk or reach or be a bother,
    fear embraces limits and barriers, after all.
    Excuses are cuddled and dare rocked to sleep.

    The ceaseless gnawing on the bone of confidence
    the narration of lack and challenge of merit
    All these voices in my head, I thought you had gone
    Don’t start that again. Don’t.

  77. Ivanius

    PLODDING

    I tell you no,
    trying to hush.

    Words are not
    a humble mob.

    They come and go,
    as any pleases.

    Better be good
    or silence rises.

    If only for
    a thankful moment.

    But there you go:
    you have a poem.

  78. Walt Wojtanik

    GROUNDHOG DAY

    Winter never ends,
    it extends for six, and six,
    and six weeks after that.

    Buddy Holly never dies.
    His bespecaled eyes adorn
    album covers for years and years.

    Year One has thirty three days
    and no one ages, evey stage of life
    is the same. A redundant game.

    "I Got You, Babe" is the last song
    ever written. Ever played.
    Everyday it remains February Second.

    I am never born.
    The tragedy in that is

  79. Elizabeth Johnson

    Not sure if this is any good, kind of going through a writing slump right now…

    Unmotivated (again)

    Gas pedal stuck,
    it goes faster,
    wheels spinning harder,
    cataloging distance,
    and it just goes for
    pages of miles,
    miles of pages,
    every stop sign a whisper
    on a black and white journey,
    every light a glimmer
    but nothing to stop it,
    faster and longer
    and longer and faster
    until one sunrise-

    brake pedal slammed
    by invisible hand,
    halted on
    some lost road,
    miles from stoplights,
    volumes from words,
    out of gas-

    and so it sits,
    waiting for some stranger
    to add fuel to dying fire,
    sparks to wavering flame,
    so it can explore again,
    write its journey,
    ride out its words.

  80. Walt Wojtanik

    DEJA, DEJA, DEJA VU

    This happened once before.
    And what’s more, I’m sure
    it’s happened long before that.
    I remember it like it was yesterday.
    I remember it like it was the day
    before the day I say. It may have
    (might have)? Have I the right to say
    it has? I remember it like it was
    three lines ago, when I went where
    I had been before, again. This happened
    once upon a time before the last time
    it happened, and I happened to remember
    it happening then. It’s happened again.
    And again. And again. And I think
    we’ve gone this route a while back,
    and for lack of a better time, I hope
    you don’t mind if I go this way again.
    Not to worry, this rant has an end.
    Just before it begins again.
    This happened once before…

  81. PKP aka Pearl Ketover Prilik

    WOW this is some day for poeming! cannot begin to comment…. Took some time to read….Again WOW….
    Sara V, Sal, Domino…oh no I’m stopping before I begin! Comments later!

    Lori thank you! ( btw way fictitious fight…no worries) " piercingly perceptive" now that ‘s a keeper for my heart..:)

  82. Lori Thatcher

    Wonderful Poems everyone. I had to read before I tried:
    Robert, what a great start, but your muse sounds like she can be a real B****
    Walt, I’m glad you stopped staying sleeping, but the gift of Finnegan is one I did not want.
    PKP, Do not start again a reconciled fight, But don’t stop writing your piercingly perceptive poems.
    M.A., You had me at “The streets here lead in one direction: back.
    Connie, I hope you find that spatula again, but if it’s absence inspired that sweet little poem – it can stay lost.
    Andrew, loved the cheating.
    Rose, I could feel the claws.
    Joseph, we mutter oaths and do our bodies wronger – and you described the wronger so succulently.
    Sara V, Round Infinity – I loved the images.

  83. barbara

    Could NOT get away from my first reaction. Oh, no, don’t go down into the basement…..SCREAM

    Bed and Breakfast:  Who Notices a Robin?

    Like the unfortunate occurrence
    in a first or second chapter,
    on the morning of the first of June,
    a day described as hotter than it should have been,
    while the guests tucked into eggs
    baked into golden flakes of pastry,
    sipped pomegranate juice 
    from bell-shaped glasses,
    and made ambiguous plans,
    a brown and white alpaca wandered off to die.
    Later in the shade of a sculptural catawba
    the narrator remarked a pair of 
    what she calledcanaries 
    in the tree above the llama.
    She considered them a curious irrelevance.
    The sun across her iPad 
    made it a chore to read her ebook;
    she retreated to the air conditioned red front parlor.
    On page one of her journal, dutifully she wrote:
    Nothing Happened
    and tonight the Whites arrive.

  84. Marie Elena

    Here We Go Again
    (Job “Bumping”)

    My job was cut for lack of money.
    You can bet I’ll bump YOU, honey.
    Though you’re great at what you do,
    AND your colleagues count on you,
    AND I don’t possess your skill,
    AND my job know-how is nil,
    AND you’ll have to do the same,
    (bump another – that’s the game),
    AND this system takes its toll,
    AND it’s crippling, on the whole
    ‘til we’re trained and settled in,
    AND the bumping starts again…

    Some might wonder, so I’ll let you know up front that this is not my own experience. Yet. University of Toledo (where I work) is now going through yet another round of "bumping." It’s supposed to help keep those with seniority from losing work there altogether, but it sure does wreak havoc. It is a terribly flawed process. Ugh…

  85. Sara V

    Wow, y’all are really putting together some potent poetry this morning. I’m a bit breathless just from reading–vivid, rich, mmmmm tasty poems!

    Have a lovely poeming day!

    Round Infinity

    In the brain it sounds
    Faint, at first, building
    The grinding whine
    Of that metal handle
    Bent, with the paint peeling
    In your hand again,
    Turning, faster and faster
    Like the beat of my heart
    Adrenalin pumping
    We already know how
    This will end
    The ugly clown pops up
    And the fight begins

    Unstarted

    He rose, looked both ways
    Thought I didn’t see
    Walked across the floor
    So nonchalantly
    Reached out his little hand
    To That
    Tried to turn the key
    Was on him in a flash
    It was over quickly
    “Don’t start That again!”
    I said, and
    Threw away the key

  86. Salvatore Buttaci

    ENOUGH ALREADY

    You remind me again today
    how my life is going downhill
    how I will never amount to much
    because my dreams are bigger
    than the dream basket I’m holding

    What’s it to you anyway
    Why must you drone on
    about my lack of common sense
    my impractical nature
    the way I fly wingless
    through my life
    unafraid of hunters
    itching to shoot me down

    Let me wake up just once
    without sermons from the fount
    of your ever-flowing knowledge
    let me pass invisibly through
    your told-you-so’s and go on dreaming

    #

  87. Domino - Diana Terrill Clark

    O You Flower!

    How your beauteous
    petals wave
    and your stamens
    and your pistils
    secrete
    that lovely
    yellow
    food for bees
    and sexual juice
    (such as it is)
    and share that
    pollen
    that floating
    yellow
    pollen
    with me.

    Please Stop

    I was so proud
    when my sister
    stopped smoking.

    She started running
    to keep off the weight
    and keep her mind off
    cigarettes.

    She runs marathons now

    Of course, her husband quit too
    and her son.

    But when I visited recently
    my sister had discovered
    her son was smoking again.

    “Oh my God” she said.
    “I wish he would stop.”
    Mirroring
    what I have said to her
    for so many years.

  88. Joseph Harker

    TRIKONASANA (Triangle Pose)

    Halfway through class, I feel worn out already:
    you’ve put us through our novice yogi paces.
    I’m slickly frictionless from being sweaty.

    You see exhaustion written on our faces?
    Our hips and lower backs can’t last much longer:
    we’ll all collapse and sprawl out in our places.

    I know the purpose is to make us stronger,
    but I suspect a hint of the sadistic.
    We mutter oaths and do our bodies wronger.

    From hero pose, I’m feeling pessimistic
    when you say, stretch your upper body forward.
    Spine parts from pelvis: I think, be realistic.

    With arms spread out like some denuded shorebird,
    you tell us, twist. We twist. The sound of popping
    as vertebrae become confused, disordered.

    You praise us, breathless, agonized and sopping.
    We lift isosceles hands up to the ceiling,
    though all we think about’s how soon til stopping.

    To straighten back our backbones leaves us reeling.
    Pain cuts serenity. An ache that’s good, though:
    is this what, in the end, we should be feeling?

    Recovered, we forgive: it seems you would know
    what’s best. And when, once more, we think we’re steady:
    Left side! you sing, and whimpering spines say,
    oh no.

  89. Rose Anna Hines

    DON’T start that again

    the little paw dance
    with sharp needles stabbing
    with each step
    leaving
    crimmson tatoo’s
    ””
    ""
    "
    "
    "
    ""
    of a cha cha on my thigh
    while you purrrrrrr so sweetly.

  90. Rose Anna Hines

    Your poems are
    deep
    poignant
    images that ignite memories

    lusty
    sensuous
    titillating

    can make me smile
    cry
    dance

    they twist my heart
    whisper in my ears
    hold my hand
    tickle my toes

    In short they are brilliant.
    But, Don’t start with
    "I just write on what ever is handy,
    it just pours out complete,
    a baby, I never rewrite or edit"

    I hate prodigy’s
    those to whom brilliance is like breathing
    but I love their work.

  91. Andrew Kreider

    Late again

    You know I can’t resist you
    When you run your fingers through my hair.
    Even though I try to
    You know I can’t resist you.
    There’s so much urgent stuff I have to do,
    My boss will go insane but somehow I don’t care.
    You know I can’t resist you
    When you run your fingers through my hair.

  92. Andrew Kreider

    Cheating

    We were sat by the lake, just a couple
    Of good ol’ boys with the radio on,
    When suddenly he produced a cigar
    From under the driver’s seat, big and fat,
    And bit off the end. I just looked at him.
    Man, she’ll kill you if she ever finds out.
    He just grinned and reached back for another.
    There were matches on the dash, and Big Red
    For afterwards. Lying there on the bank,
    I told myself there are worse ways to cheat.

  93. Connie L. Peters

    Lost My Spatula

    I hear the tremor in your voice,
    see the tear in your eye. I should be
    happy you’re taking interest in something,
    but I know you’re seldom emotional.
    I remember scraping you off the ceiling.
    So, don’t start that again.

  94. Buddah Moskowitz

    “This Desire”

    These moments
    of inexpressible happiness
    sneak in
    as though I shouldn’t hear them coming

    and I feel the profound
    connection to everything
    and then the truth breaks through:

    I am only spirit,
    unencumbered
    to light upon all things
    knowing only
    the compassion and love
    of a truly enlightened being,

    but then
    just as soon as I become
    aware
    it vanishes
    and I desperately try to gather
    the tantalizing details
    to hold forever –

    and this desire
    to possess
    that which is not mine

    signals the return
    of my cursed,
    flawed
    humanity.

  95. PKP aka Pearl Ketover Prilik

    Mike.. you have me reading and re-reading… whirling images of so very many "don’t start that agains"

    M.A. somehow always haunting

    Back later for more reading.
    Thanks Mike! (walt incipient paranoia has me placing myself as that poor dead beaten equine splattering your cranium…lol) …. terrific images btw

  96. M.A. Dobson

    THE MEETING
    The streets here lead in one direction: back.
    Passageways of gray and black give way to
    retro pink, horsehair crumble, porcelain sink
    and you beside the bed, dripping wet.
    This warehouse scene is no match for it.
    My hands are new. My mouth is too . . . myself.
    I would not do the things I used to do.
    Here, that part of me I told you would be yours
    tomorrow, take it: I know there’s no shape to it.
    I found it where it never was; you can’t
    blame it for being small, for disappearing
    every chance it gets (the gold band, La Gloria
    Cubana, on the other hand, is buried
    under the hickory tree where I live now;
    see? I always did have secrets of my own).
    This is what remains. Take it and stop looking.
    Take it and go home, or wherever
    it is you go when tomorrow has come.

  97. mike Maher.

    Great starts, everyone. Especially the always energetic Walt and Pearl. And Patricia, I recommend The Art of Recklessness by Dean Young. It’s a wonderful book and helped me not only write poetry, but appreciate it in an entirely new and different way.

  98. mike Maher.

    Not That Again

    I go to sleep awake
    and wake up asleep and tired.
    I’m not sure what that means either.
    Everyone else surely dreams about dreaming too,
    wakes up a squirrel and has to use the bathroom.
    Better hold it. Your dog has to go out.
    He can wait but sometimes he won’t.
    Will power has nothing to do with it.
    All day pain relief depends on your definitions
    of all day and of pain and of relief.
    Poetic license and all that, even for drug companies.
    Our odds of surviving arm amputations have come a long way since Gettysburg,
    the then 77% survival rate now easily in the upper 90s.
    Hip wounds still stuck but they used to be fatal.
    I too was brought to the edge of town and told to walk west,
    but they spared me the boulder and mountain routine.
    Don’t stop or look back or we’ll shoot.
    Where have we gone wrong this time?
    Almost everywhere.
    When you try to concentrate you can’t help but think
    how one cell phone could have won the war.
    Well, probably two.
    She made a mistake getting the name Paul tattooed
    on her body three separate times.

  99. Walt Wojtanik

    WHAT IS THE LOGIC IN ABUSING A HORSE THAT HAS ASSUMED ROOM TEMPERATURE?

    Incessently you rant.
    There’s a point to be made
    but it evades my sense
    of logic. Any cogent
    theory leaves me bleary eyed
    and beside myself.
    Stated concisely,
    but not precisely once,
    your one-two punch
    leaves my mind battered
    and splattered across
    the inside of my cranium.
    Over and over and over
    again, over and over.
    Not a lover of redundance,
    I try to follow, but I can’t;
    incessantly you rant.
    Your thought is hit or miss.
    Reiterate this!

  100. PKP aka Pearl Ketover Prilik

    Whew… finished morning poetry run…. Robert, will be thinking of the " poetry tree"…just lovely and vivid. Walt, terrific alliteration but moreso will now have to find and listen to Finegan as a wordless , music- less song, just vaguely familiar to me, now plays on in my mind! Great kick off guys and niw will stop and …." not start that ( freely associated poeming) again! Enjoy the morning!

  101. PKP aka Pearl Ketover Prilik

    Thought We Were Finished

    Thought we were finished, sure we were done
    But here you are speaking as though we’ve not begun
    Thousands of syllables tossed in the air
    Vanished now seems evaporated there
    Forth and back talked weaved through most of the night
    Now in sunlight no tapestry in sight
    Thought we would wake in comforted cover
    Instead room is chilled, stranger not lover
    So what were those words exchanged through the night
    Do not start again a reconciled fight….

  102. Patricia A. Hawkenson

    Robert, I don’t usually bite on the offered books, but I did order Writing Metrical Poetry, by William Baer. I am hoping that it has great ‘easy to understand’ examples that I can use with my students next year. TKS for suggesting it.

  103. Walt Wojtanik

    ALLITERATION

    Seems the same sounds surrounds.
    Something seeps surely surprising.
    Since somehow she sees sights she
    senses s’more stress. Sun shine
    shifting shadows southward.
    Should’ve stayed sleeping.

  104. Walt Wojtanik

    FINNEGAN, BEGIN AGAIN?

    There’s that song.
    All along I’ve held this animous,
    an anonymous dislike for its root
    that burrows into every furrow
    of gray matter. Mad as a hatter
    and twice as worn. I was not born
    to listen incessantly to this melody.
    And just when it appears to disappear,
    I hear it. There’s that song.

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