Tag Archives: Poems

Unraveled

“Sleep that knits up the raveled sleave of care, The death of each day’s life, sore labor’s bath, Balm of hurt minds, great nature’s second course, Chief nourisher in life’s feast.”—Wm. Shakespeare

Ravel can mean either to combine thread or to separate it (in linguistics, a word like this is called an auto-antonym). In the sense that it means to combine, unravel developed as a true antonym.reddit.com

Unraveled

The pain of love unraveling? No one knows it better,
for she wears her heart upon her sleeve, knit into her sweater.
Each day her heart unravels and lies tangled down her arm.
They say it cannot harm her. Loosened hearts cannot do harm.
But she’s a prisoner of these tendrils of love that’s come undone—
the truth of it revealed to her each day by a new sun,
while each night in her dreams, sleep knits it up again
and the ardor of her lost love once more draws her in.
She forgets the present and relives what she once had—
what she imagines in her slumber cancelling out the bad.
This unknitting and reknitting can’t be what life is for.
She must search for her dream’s exit. She must try to find the door.
Cast her old garment on the flames. Burn up that raveled sleeve.
Real love stays firmly knitted. A true love doesn’t leave.

The prompt today is sleeve.

Goblins

Goblins

They steal into town to pillage and croon,
Invading on tiptoe, every third moon.
With fiery red hair and warts on their noses,
they cut all the tulips and pee on the roses.
Venting belches that reek of porter and scallions,
they chase all the ladies in randy battalions
and press scaly lips on unwilling misses
who scamper away to wipe off their kisses.
But still the next morning, their sickly taste lingers
on unlucky lips and unfortunate fingers
of girls who’ve attempted to purge these advances
that with lecherous hobgoblins pass for romances.
So all ye young maidens take heed of this warning.
Put off your wanderings until the morning!

 

 Further thinking about whether there are in fact girl goblins and what their activities might be regarding human boys led me to write this additional (very bad) poem: https://judydykstrabrown.com/2018/04/27/questions-of-diminution/

The NaPoWriMo prompt was: write a poem that includes images that engage all five senses. Thanks to Forgottenman for adding the “goblin” prompt to the mix.

Lush Night (Erasure Poem for dVerse Poets)

 

Lush Night

That delicious
middle
of the gravel road.
Safe sun coming up.
The first time
pleasures
of a night owl—
finding time
everyone else was wasting
on dreams.

An aficionado of night
ever since.
Poems written
in the dark
while cities slept.

Time for yourself
with magic happening.
Ever afterwards,
you have survived
on as little sleep as possible.

Party years,
dancing and drinking until three,
then breakfast with the single crowd
and driving straight to school at six.
Invulnerable.

Even married,
sneaking out of bed
to your basement studio
all night long,
back to bed before he awakened,
feeling that little terror,
like a vampire caught by light.

At 54, with no more husband,
above ground,
no longer hidden,
watching light go out
as you sat piecing art—
until suddenly,
impossibly,
light after light went on again
so you were going to bed
as your neighbor was arising
to start his day.

Romance at 62
entered your midnight afterworld.
Serenaded by a night-addicted lover bard,
Skype your love letters
and your trysting spot.
Night that intimate invisible union
through the magic
which now joins you
in that single space
within you
you keep separate
from the world.

At night,
you know exactly
what it is you want
and live it
with no world
to lead you elsewhere.

This poem was written to a prompt by dVerse Poets. The idea is to take a found poem and to erase parts to create a new poem.  I used my own poem, Lush Night. This is what it looked like before the erasures:

Lush Night

Remember that delicious
walking, arms linked,
down the middle
of the gravel road
in your pajamas
at five in the morning
when you were twelve?
That first slumber party
in your safe small town
when you all stayed up all night
for the first time in your lives?
That eerie first sight
of the sun coming up
when your head had never hit a pillow
since it went down?

And then you knew for the first time
the pleasures
of being a night owl—
of finding time
that everyone else was wasting
through dreams.

And you have been
an aficionado of night
ever since.
All of your term papers
and exams studied for
at the last minute,
all night long.
Books written, poems written
mostly in the dark
while towns and cities around you slept.
That power of having all of your time for yourself
with not a chance of phones ringing.
Some magic happening
once you had the world to yourself
so ever afterwards
you have survived
on as little sleep as possible.

During your party years,
dancing and drinking till three,
then going for breakfast with the single crowd
and driving straight to school at six.
You were invulnerable.

Even married,
sneaking out of bed once he’d fallen asleep
and working in your basement studio all night long,
sometimes sneaking back to bed before he awakened,
at other times caught.
“It’s nine in the morning! Have you been up all night again?”
Feeling that little terror, like a vampire caught by light.

Then at 54, with no more husband,
no more job necessary,
with a new country and a new studio
above ground,
guilty pleasures no longer needed to be hidden—
watching light after light go out
as you sat piecing art together
in your studio—until suddenly,
impossibly,
light after light went on again
so you were going to bed
as your neighbor was arising
to start his day.

Then, improbably, at 62, internet romance
entered your midnight-and-after world.
Every night serenaded to sleep
from 1500 miles away
by an equally night-addicted lover bard
at two or three or four a.m.—
or whenever pillow talk led to it.

Skype became your love letters
and your trysting spot
now and then all day long;
but still, night better swaddled
that intimate invisible union
through the dark air
that has always been magic for you,
but which now joins instead of
sending you into the single space
where you unite with that within you
which you keep separate from the world.

At night, united or alone,
you know exactly what it is you want
and live it,
with no world
to lead you elsewhere.

 

 

Genius

 

The Genius of Choice

I do not crave a sylphlike form.
Mere gorgeousness is not the norm
If I seek to build my ego up,
I do not need a 4D cup—
the back strain nor the stares and gawking.
The genius of a Stephen Hawking?
I do not want it, seek it not;
and I would not wish to be caught
inside a Porsche or Aston Martin.
Joy’s not packaged in a carton
large nor small. No jewels seek I.
No diamonds sparkle in my mind’s eye.
I do not envy your honor student.
Your sex life I just find imprudent.
I covet not thy ox nor ass,
thy husband nor thy backstage pass.
There’s just one thing I’m thirsting for.
If I had it, I’d need no more.
I guess I’ll tell the truth, y’all.
What do I want? I want it ALL!!!!

 

The prompt today was genius. (This is an edited version of a poem formerly published in 2014 under a different name.)

Disappointing Petrarch (Three Shakespearean Sonnets for dVerse Poets)

Three Wan Dogs before Their Feeding

Our mistress lies upon her bed too long,
her favorite silver thing upon her lap.
That she should put our feeding off is wrong.
We sit and stare at her through her door’s gap.

She taps upon her thing and taps and taps.
Sometimes she chortles, but we don’t know why.
Where formerly her bed was used for naps,
a favorite dog cuddled against her thigh,

she now spends all  her time there with that thing
as we sit hungry, waiting to be fed.
She seeks the nourishment that words can bring,
for she is sure that if she leaves her bed

before she finishes her sonnet, then
her muse will not agree to come again.


Three  Hungry Dogs Intent Upon Their Feeding

At last at last she opens up her door
and feeds our sister first, lest we devour
her food ourselves and then not leave the poor
dear girl with any sustenance to power

her barking at the other dogs who pass.
But now our mother fills our bowls as well––
each portion measured by a measuring glass.
Each second  we must wait becomes a Hell.

She scoops out first the dry and then the wet––
more for the big dog and less for the small.
We worry over how much food we’ll get,
remembering times when we had none at all.

But finally, our portions, too, are dished
(although not quite so full as we’d have wished.)


Three Patient Dogs after Their Feeding

Now see our dishes cleaned and neatly stacked?
Our human lolls once more upon her bed.
to write more stanzas that she formerly lacked
and free herself of rhymes that fill her head.

The small dog leaps upon her bed to lie
and garner a small scratching now and then.
We larger dogs lie watching from close by,
kept from our human in her iron pen.

See her now, look quizzical and rapt?
We know not what she thinks there on her back.
Where formerly she read or watched or napped,
she stews about just what her poems might lack.

For Shakespeare she is not, the silly goose.
Her talents? More in line with Dr. Seuss!!!

(Click on the first photo below to enlarge photos and read captions–also written in couplet form.)  Good grief. It’s my muse’s fault. The girl can’t help it!!)

 

A sonnet for dVerse Poets (Sorry, Petrarch.  These are Shakespearean!)

Revelation in Twilight: 19 Studies of the Moon

Revelation in Twilight

This morning I woke early—an hour before light
obscured my vision of the moon, hanging like a kite
in the night-stained sky, there through my window bars.
suspended high up in a sky devoid of clouds or stars.

Just a minute later, it moved along with me
to float the pool’s surface that only I could see.
Too soon the sun would come, its golden light to douse.
But for now, it followed me as I walked through my house.

Friendly moon to loiter in my company.
It seemed this early morning that both of us were free
to spend a few rare moments quietly alone.
Both of us free-floating in the twilight zone.

(Please click on first photo to enlarge all.)

 

 

 

The prompt today was revelation. All photos by jdb.

In the Pink: Mismatch

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Mismatch

When a certain fella has had a drink
or two or three, he’s bound to wink
at the little lady dressed in pink.
Her drink’s cubes give a subtle clink
as she decides what she might think.
Is he a stud or just a fink?
His clothes are sort of rinky-dink,

yet her long lashes, swathed in ink,
flutter in a come-on blink.
One fingernail is seen to sink
into her glass. He’s at the brink
of coming over to seal the link.
She checks her breath.  It doesn’t stink.
She reaches down and dons her mink.
But then he stops and seems to shrink.
In this sure deal there seems a chink.
It’s clear that when she deigned to flirt,
she missed the writing on his shirt.
“Be kind to animals,” it said,
“Who’d be caught wearing something dead?”

The prompt word today is “pink.”