Poets' Corner (Serious Poems)
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09-09-2011, 03:32 PM
RE: Poets' Corner

Whenever I am depressed
over the 'human condition';
when the world seems so hopelessly
hell-bent on its own destruction;
drowning in hate, ugliness and stupidity -
I play a mental game I invented
so I'm able to live,
so I'm able to forgive
and forget.

Imagine the ugliest slum,
squalor, poverty and desolation,
and then mentally remove
item after item,
all objects and artifacts
that belong to men...
...then, when you’re done
and have nothing left
but the Globe with all its naked inhabitants,
then you know what Paradise
we were given
when this cosmic experiment started -
then you know what's still underneath
of all you want to forget...

(...yes, I know,
we did not invent
this Darwinian nightmare:
there is violence, pain, fear and suffering
built into the nature of creation;
we humans were the first
to create ugliness
where there was nothing
but the splendor of grass, trees, sunsets,
springs, lakes, majestic mountains
and ever-lasting oceans
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09-09-2011, 03:58 PM
RE: Poets' Corner
(09-09-2011 03:32 PM)Zatamon Wrote:  then you know what's still underneath
of all you want to forget...

or remember.

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11-09-2011, 05:57 PM
RE: Poets' Corner
Wild Dogs

I saw a pack of wild dogs
on TV, the other day,
they brought down a gazelle,
didn't kill it outright but
started feeding,
tearing out chunks of its flesh,
still alive.

It's the gazelle
that shocked me most:
head slightly raised,
just watching them,
with almost an interest.

I didn't see hatred,
outrage or moral indignation
in those sad eyes,
I saw nothing there
but, pain, acceptance,
fast fading light.

Not the gazelle,,
nor the wild dogs
knew about evil.
The dogs had to eat
what they could find,
they were hungry,
had pups to feed.

And then I knew:
for carnivores
life is just survival,
by whatever means:
by hunting, killing, devouring,
by sheer force or deception...
...they have no choice...

...we do.
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16-09-2011, 05:08 PM
RE: Poets' Corner
Wake up, thread!

How to Paint a Perfect Christmas
by Miroslav Holub

Above you paint the sky
delicate as maidens hair.
Below, pour a little darkness
heated to room temperature
or slightly more.

With a cat’s claw in the dark
scratch out a little tree,
the finest tree in the world,
finer than any forester
could ever imagine.

And the tree itself
will light up,
and the whole picture purr
with green joy
with purple hope.

Right. But now you must
put under the tree
real big thing,
the thing you most want in the world;
the thing pop singers
call happiness.

It’s easy enough for a cat,
a cat will put a mouse there,
Colonel Blimp will line up
the largest jet propelled halberd
which shoots and bangs and salutes.
A sparrow will gather
a few stalks for its nest,
master junior clerk will submit
a stuffed file tied with red tape,
a butterfly will put there
a new rubber peacock’s eye -
but what will you put there?

You think and think
till the day grows grey
till the river almost runs out
till even the bulbs begin to yawn
you think

and finally

there in the darkness you blot out
a hazy white spot,
a bit like a florin,
a bit like a ship,
a bit like the Moon,
a bit like the beautiful face
of someone (who?) else,

a hazy white spot,
perhaps more like emptiness,
like the negation of something,
like non-pain,
like non-fear,
like non-worry,

a hazy white spot,
and you go to bed
and say to yourself
yes, now I know how to do it,
yes, now I know,
next time
I shall paint
the most perfect Christmas
that ever was.

It's not the mean god I have trouble with - it's the people who worship a mean god.
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16-09-2011, 10:11 PM (This post was last modified: 16-09-2011 10:14 PM by GirlyMan.)
RE: Poets' Corner
(16-09-2011 05:08 PM)Peterkin Wrote:  Wake up, thread!

Here you go Peterkin.

"I should have been a pair of ragged claws
Scuttling across the floors of silent seas."

The Love-Song of J. Alfred Prufrock
By T.S. Eliot

"If I thought my reply were to one who could ever return to the world, this flame would shake no more; but since, if what I hear is true, none ever did return alive from this depth, I answer you without fear of infamy."
— Dante, Inferno

Let us go then, you and I,
When the evening is spread out against the sky
Like a patient etherized upon a table;
Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets,
The muttering retreats
Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels
And sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells:
Streets that follow like a tedious argument
Of insidious intent
To lead you to an overwhelming question. . . 10
Oh, do not ask, "What is it?"
Let us go and make our visit.

In the room the women come and go
Talking of Michelangelo.

The yellow fog that rubs its back upon the window-panes
The yellow smoke that rubs its muzzle on the window-panes
Licked its tongue into the corners of the evening
Lingered upon the pools that stand in drains,
Let fall upon its back the soot that falls from chimneys,
Slipped by the terrace, made a sudden leap, 20
And seeing that it was a soft October night
Curled once about the house, and fell asleep.

And indeed there will be time
For the yellow smoke that slides along the street,
Rubbing its back upon the window-panes;
There will be time, there will be time
To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet;
There will be time to murder and create,
And time for all the works and days of hands
That lift and drop a question on your plate; 30
Time for you and time for me,
And time yet for a hundred indecisions
And for a hundred visions and revisions
Before the taking of a toast and tea.

In the room the women come and go
Talking of Michelangelo.

And indeed there will be time
To wonder, "Do I dare?" and, "Do I dare?"
Time to turn back and descend the stair,
With a bald spot in the middle of my hair— 40
[They will say: "How his hair is growing thin!"]
My morning coat, my collar mounting firmly to the chin,
My necktie rich and modest, but asserted by a simple pin—
[They will say: "But how his arms and legs are thin!"]
Do I dare
Disturb the universe?
In a minute there is time
For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.

For I have known them all already, known them all;
Have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons, 50
I have measured out my life with coffee spoons;
I know the voices dying with a dying fall
Beneath the music from a farther room.
So how should I presume?

And I have known the eyes already, known them all—
The eyes that fix you in a formulated phrase,
And when I am formulated, sprawling on a pin,
When I am pinned and wriggling on the wall,
Then how should I begin
To spit out all the butt-ends of my days and ways? 60
And how should I presume?

And I have known the arms already, known them all—
Arms that are braceleted and white and bare
[But in the lamplight, downed with light brown hair!]
Is it perfume from a dress
That makes me so digress?
Arms that lie along a table, or wrap about a shawl.
And should I then presume?
And how should I begin?
. . . . .

Shall I say, I have gone at dusk through narrow streets 70
And watched the smoke that rises from the pipes
Of lonely men in shirt-sleeves, leaning out of windows? . . .

I should have been a pair of ragged claws
Scuttling across the floors of silent seas.
. . . . .

And the afternoon, the evening, sleeps so peacefully!
Smoothed by long fingers,
Asleep . . . tired . . . or it malingers,
Stretched on the floor, here beside you and me.
Should I, after tea and cakes and ices,
Have the strength to force the moment to its crisis? 80
But though I have wept and fasted, wept and prayed,
Though I have seen my head (grown slightly bald) brought in upon a platter,
I am no prophet–and here's no great matter;
I have seen the moment of my greatness flicker,
And I have seen the eternal Footman hold my coat, and snicker,
And in short, I was afraid.

And would it have been worth it, after all,
After the cups, the marmalade, the tea,
Among the porcelain, among some talk of you and me,
Would it have been worth while, 90
To have bitten off the matter with a smile,
To have squeezed the universe into a ball
To roll it toward some overwhelming question,
To say: "I am Lazarus, come from the dead,
Come back to tell you all, I shall tell you all"
If one, settling a pillow by her head,
Should say, "That is not what I meant at all.
That is not it, at all."

And would it have been worth it, after all,
Would it have been worth while, 100
After the sunsets and the dooryards and the sprinkled streets,
After the novels, after the teacups, after the skirts that trail along the floor—
And this, and so much more?—
It is impossible to say just what I mean!
But as if a magic lantern threw the nerves in patterns on a screen:
Would it have been worth while
If one, settling a pillow or throwing off a shawl,
And turning toward the window, should say:
"That is not it at all,
That is not what I meant, at all." 110
. . . . .

No! I am not Prince Hamlet, nor was meant to be;
Am an attendant lord, one that will do
To swell a progress, start a scene or two
Advise the prince; no doubt, an easy tool,
Deferential, glad to be of use,
Politic, cautious, and meticulous;
Full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse;
At times, indeed, almost ridiculous—
Almost, at times, the Fool.

I grow old . . . I grow old . . . 120
I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.

Shall I part my hair behind? Do I dare to eat a peach?
I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach.
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each.

I do not think they will sing to me.

I have seen them riding seaward on the waves
Combing the white hair of the waves blown back
When the wind blows the water white and black.

We have lingered in the chambers of the sea
By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown 130
Till human voices wake us, and we drown.


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17-09-2011, 01:39 PM
RE: Poets' Corner
Its a strange light....the clouds are grey and dull.....and I stand among the trees.
They are not phased by my presence....and in chorus they reach for the sky.
There is a calm silence standing here and I am simply in awe.

The wet grass heavys my step slighly as I approach an oak.
It doesnt fear my approach.
A breeze touches us both and the damp bark enhances the oaks scent....I deepen
my breath to recieve its faint, sweet welcome.

My eyes take it in.....it seems deeply familiar but it is tottaly unique and we are
arkward strangers. Focus wanders upwards over strong wooded skin and soon gets lost in the branches, out of the design I follow one... it is small yet it reaches out as far as the others.....it ends with two large broad leafs and I watch as they quiver.
The welcoming breeze returns stirring life and I hear them glide on there own for a moment...before being lost in the deafening softness of brothers and sisters.

Watching it move...powered by an invisible wave..... I get lost in its motion and sway.

Steadying myself brings awareness.....as I blink I pick up a faint noise softer
than anything.....barely on the edge....as I turn my head I hear the concrete river and its noisy two way stream resonates a steady fake whisper across the landscape.....it starts an avalanche of thoughts, busy responsibilities and jumbled memories of life and my eyes dull as I observe them yet I allow them come.....just watching, not getting caught.

I stand proud next to my new friend , I concentrate on within and soon all old thoughts are gone...... once again we are left alone in the silence of everything.

As I start to reach out I notice some of your skin peeling.....fingertips brush a smooth curl fleetingly, then texture, rough, weathered, wet, cold but alive.
Fingers rolling to palm......my whole hand lays flat on and we are connected
......You have been here long before me and you will stand when I am gone....
your quiet wisdom outshines mine that makes me feel a deep humble respect.....yet we share a simple acceptance of one another.

As I press my hand harder I lower my head.....you have thick roots dancing downwards..and I wonder on how strong your grip is to your mother....and I am sure it is met with a grip that is tighter.....but just as loving.

There is a deep understanding within this.....somewhere in me sings.....and I cling onto it......for in this I moment I am closer to everything than I could possibly imagine....and when it passes what remains brings a sad smile....yet leaves a strong spark in the eyes and heart.

This spark is a legacy to remind that the moment is never lost....but simply forgotten....I may take advantage of it but the love I feel will never be betrayed, nor matched by anything else ....and as I swim in the wake of its simplicity I realise I have never been alone, nor can I ever be.......as long as my I keep my light shining in the darkness.

For no matter how much I use these symbols, to describe symptoms of my existence.
You are your own emphasis.
So I say nothing.

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17-09-2011, 02:26 PM
RE: Poets' Corner
You, tree hugger!

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17-09-2011, 05:04 PM
RE: Poets' Corner

Guilty as charged....Blush

For no matter how much I use these symbols, to describe symptoms of my existence.
You are your own emphasis.
So I say nothing.

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17-09-2011, 05:36 PM
RE: Poets' Corner
I am sixty.

When I was six,
my mother convinced me:
I was a genius, a poet, a musician
rolled into one.

It was fun
to believe those things –
no-one suggested:
what I needed
was talent,
a little inspiration
and a lot of – sweating
(perspiration is a better word,
but has already been done).

Still, I dabbled at things
over the decades that followed:
I tried the violin from six to sixteen,
and even though you could recognize
the pieces I played,
Oistrach, Menuchin and Perlman
just played on.

At sixteen I fell in love -- on schedule --
and, naturally, became a poet;
hunting for rhymes and cadence
to impress the girl
with my eloquence…
…She did have the patience
to hear me out,
but had to interrupt,
to leave for her wedding.

At last, it dawned on me
that science was my calling
because I knew: Einstein was wrong,
so “it’s Physics where I belong”,
I told myself hotly
and I spent the next six years
getting me a degree…
…Einstein just slumbered on.

Finally I turned to computers:
this is my cup of tea (I thought)
and for the next thirty-two years
even if I didn’t put Bill Gates out of a job:
it was a living.
(my mother’s assurance fast receding
into a thick, merciful fog).

At thirty-six
my wife bought me chisels,
so I tried a dolphin, a penguin, an eagle,
and in each case,
(as with the violin)
you could actually recognize
what they were meant to resemble.

Today, I am sixty.
and, after fifty-four years of trying,
I can admit, with assurance:
my mother was wrong.

I am not a genius, a poet,
a musician all rolled into one –
but I am not complaining:
I’ve had fifty-four years
of never ending fun.
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18-09-2011, 02:05 PM
RE: Poets' Corner
(17-09-2011 05:36 PM)Zatamon Wrote:  …She did have the patience
to hear me out,
but had to interrupt,
to leave for her wedding.

I love this part.

You made it as a poet though Zat........just because you may not have had your works published not had critical acclaim from all over the world.......doesnt take away your talent my friend.

For no matter how much I use these symbols, to describe symptoms of my existence.
You are your own emphasis.
So I say nothing.

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