Category Archives: poems about poetry

Word Processing

IMG_3616

Word Processing

Lightning flashed,
sparking the current which fueled the dream.
Letters zinged across a field of white,
waiting for justification to join other letters
in neatly-spaced rows of words.

For split seconds between thought and white space,
they danced into the dream.
Smoothly, straight-backed l’s and i’s
slid together
in magnetic minuets
while b’s and d’s bumped heavy bottoms,
vying for position.

Into the dream they went,
and then,
their brief dances over,
they froze into equal rows upon the stage
to watch the choreography
of each new letter as it joined them,
for the dream was of
entire dictionaries of words––

syllables holding hyphenated arms with syllables,
antonyms crowding synonyms in tight ironic cliques,
articles moving in swing rhythm
toward their appointed nouns.

Four rows of tables
faced the stage,
one fat spectator sitting on each table,
third row back,
surveying the white screen of the dream.

Applause issued from the table-sitters,
pushed out in broad solid farts––
brief ovations as they jumped from table to table
in swift movements
so that they themselves
seemed dancers on hot pavement.

When they paused,
it was to hover lightly over each table
before pounding short applause
with their fat rumps
and moving on.
Yet their applause was indispensable,

for it fueled the dream.

When lightning flashed again,
the dream stood still.
The dance over,
the spectators vanished
like the single-fingered ghosts they were.

Rain tapped the window,
adhering to the spider web
which hug like an intricate rope ladder
between the bougainvillea
and the window frame.

A distant alarm clock
burred into the silence.
A door opened,
and a woman
entered the empty room.

The dream called out to her from the screen,
but she did not heed it
as she disconnected the cord
that ran from the machine to the wall,
destroying its memory of the dream.
And so the poem died.

 

For dVerse Poets Pub Open Link Night # 262.

Advice to a Poetry Critic

I wrote this for the figurative language prompt but missed the deadline for posting it by 30 minutes, so here it is in all its tardy glory!!!

IMG_1316

Advice to a Poetry Critic

Each poet worth her salt adores
well-appointed metaphors,
but when they step up to the mike,
similes they only like.
Before you discuss simile
consult an expert vis a vis
the difference between the two
so you will never have to rue
mislabeling your imagery.
Hyperbole is not allusion,
so don’t add to the confusion.
Synecdoche to oxymoron––
as you choose what to write more on––
get their names right for your reader.
There’s more to poems than rhyme and meter!

for dVerse Poets Open Link .

Cerebral


An Apologia for Poesy

My gardener’s broom goes whisking light
first left, then right, then left, then right
with touch so slight I barely hear
the bristles as they take their bite.

The birds were first up and about,
and then both dogs asked to get out.
Then that broom reminded me
of one more creature left to rout.

I stir myself to go and pee,
sifting the words dreams left in me,
birthing a new poem in my head,
Until it’s written, I’m not free.

Back to bed, I find it best
to go, computer on my chest,
typing words with beat and rhyme
still ensconced in my morning nest.

Searching for ideas and words,
I use the rhythm of the birds
and Pasiano’s sweeping broom
the braying burro, the bleating herds.

Noises fill this busy world
even as I’m safely curled
still abed, my senses all
alert and ready, full unfurled.

I hear the grackle far above,
the insistent cooing of a dove,
as in the kitchen, Yolanda dons
her apron and her rubber glove.

I hear the water’s swirl and flush
the busy whipping of her brush
around each glass I might have left,
careless in my bedtime rush.

Her string mop silent, I barely know
if she’s still here. Or did she go?
I find her in the kitchen still,
arranging glasses, row on row.

It’s back to bed again I trot.
Arranging glasses I am not,
but rather words I nudge and shift
here and there until they’re caught.

Glued to the page forever more––
be they rich words, be they poor––
nevertheless, these words are mine:
poems, stories, truth or lore.

We are not slothful, lazy, weak
because it’s words we choose to seek
instead of labors more obvious
like plumber or computer geek.

Words’ labors are most harrowing.
Our choice of them needs narrowing
and not unlike the farmer’s sow,
mind’s riches we are farrowing.

So blame us not if others mop
our houses or they trim and crop
our gardens for us as we write.
From morn till night, we never stop.

As poets, we, too,  have this chore:
each day a poem, and what’s more
we never know till morning’s light
what imagination has in store.

As poets, our lives may seem effete––
not much time spent on our feet––
but those feet are busy, still,
tapping out our poem’s beat.

Cerebral though our work may be,
we are not lazy, you and me,
for though we lie in bed all day,
our writing’s labored––­­that’s plain to see!

 

Fandango‘s prompt today is cerebral. This is a rewrite of a poem written for NaPoWriMo four years ago. It is a  ruba’i, a Persian form comprised of a four-line stanza with a rhyme scheme of AABA. Robert Frost’s famous poem Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening uses this rhyme scheme. Multiple stanzas in the ruba’i form are a rubaiyat, as in The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam.

Exchanging Words on Little Santa Monica

photo by Georgia King


Exchanging Words On Little Santa Monica

There on that city avenue,
I watched you as I sipped my brew.
Not the woman you’d chosen to woo
as you read poetry so true,
so raw, so blunt, so rare and new,
the air around you turned to blue.
Your sad poems caressed and drew
us closer. All that motley crew.

For me, love was a new venue
that night I first set eyes on you,
but there was such a ballyhoo
around you, that you had no clue
that I had joined the retinue
of women waiting in your queue.
But as I left, oh yes, I knew.
My life took on a brighter hue.

And though you were far out of view,
your memory stuck to me like glue.
Thoughts of you both birthed and slew.
Our meeting was long overdue
that night I saw you in the pew—
there to hear the poems I grew
from words carefully chosen and few,
I drew you in by some voodoo.

Perhaps our muses conspired and blew
winds from exotic Xanadu
or Zanzibar or high Peru,
the air around us to imbue,
giving us the selfsame cue:
this is the lover meant for you,
your octoroon and kangaroo,
the heart you’ll break, the fat you’ll chew.

Of all words plucked from life’s rich stew,
the ones that I would never rue.
Never would they ring untrue.
Those words that, though we might redo them,
never could I overdo them.
The words I’d sought my whole life through.
The vow I’d renew and renew.
That one rare thing I’d finally do.

 

The prompt word today is continue. It is the first word I’ve ever found that has a rhyming word that begins with each letter in the alphabet! I discovered this without consulting Google or a rhyming dictionary, which I occasionally have to resort to when a word is especially hard to find enough rhymes for. I found 64 rhyming words. Still haven’t checked any dictionaries. They may have additional ones, but these are mine, all mine! The only rhyme that is repeated is the word “you,”

“The” Words: avenue ballyhoo blew blue boo (boo hoo) brew chew clue crew cue do (doo doo) drew due eschew ew few glue goo grew hew hue imbue issue Jew kangaroo Kew, knew  loo mew moo new  overdo  overdue Peru pew phew poo queue redo renew retinue rue screw shrew slew stew sue through true undo untrue  venue view vindaloo voodoo whew woo Xanadu you zoo

 

The prompt word today is continue.

Rhyming Violation

The prompt word today is rhyme.

 

Rhyming Violation

There is a reason and a rhyme
to the word they chose this time.
For though I am not in my prime
and don’t play tennis, do not climb
or stoop too low to conquer grime,
In any terrain, any clime,
my mind spins like a twirling dime.
If over-rhyming were a crime,
I’d probably be doing time.

 

(If you are a glutton for punishment, yes, you can click on these to enlarge them.)

 

If I Follow the Wandering Poet

jdbphoto


If I Follow the Wandering Poet

Who cares
if I swim naked in my pool?
All other human occupants
have left this neighborhood behind,
leaving more room
for possums, skunks,
birds, scorpions, spiders
and me.

I keep a closer company with them
than I do with any human these days.
This week, I talk to the large caterpillar
who seems to sprout two crystals from his crown
as he sits for a day on the Olmec head
that guards my swimming pool.

Back and forth, back and forth I pass,
adding a look at him to my lap routine.
For one long afternoon,
he sits still—like Alice’s caterpillar,
but hookah-less,
meditating in this grey place.

If he were on my Virginia Creeper,

I’d be repositioning him
to the empty lot next door, but here
he seems to be a guest; and so some etiquette
keeps me from altering his placement
as he sits on stone, moving his suction cups in sequence
now and then only to alter his direction, not his territory.

Perhaps I’ve stayed too long
in this one place.
That wandering poet within me
may have somewhere it thinks I need to go.
If it creates a good alternative, 
I might follow in much the same way
that I have come to this point
in my poem.
Blindly, in a maze of words,
open to what comes next.

The prompt word today wasmaze.” This is an extensive rewrite of a poem written three years ago.

Overworked or Labor Shirked?


dsc00030-1

jdbphoto


Overworked or Labor Shirked?

It’s hard for me to find the middle
between hard labor and the fiddle.
Work? I either overdo it
or endeavor to eschew it.
Work all day and then all night,
being very erudite—
putting words down on the page,
imprisoned in my muse’s cage.

Perhaps I fear my distant past
when good work habits didn’t last
and days were spent in dreaming or
novels read behind closed door—
midnight radio a chance
for fantasies to spin romance.
Whole days stretched as though to catch
an errant dream of true love’s match.

I feared such days were sloth, and yet
perhaps they were just roads to get
to the place where I would tell
the stories that I knew so well
because I’d lived them first in dreams
or days just bursting at the seams
with doing nothing but living life—
its pleasures, problems, romance, strife.

First the doing at my leisure,
then the writing, and the seizure
of all the details of the past
that, once down on paper, are made to last.
Overworked or over-lived,
life first collected, then finely sieved.
Panned like gold to find the treasure—
leisure and work in even measure.

Overworked” is the prompt word today.