Tag Archives: rhymed poem

Pariah


Pariah

His classmates found him bookish and his siblings found him odd.
There were no other similar peas within his pod.
Nobody understood him—not his parents, not his teacher.
He found no ally in his doctor nor his preacher.
Oftentimes the acts for which they should have been astonished
were the ones for which he had only been admonished.
They flunked him out of chemistry for blowing up the table
by concocting an explosive that was something less than stable.
They called him just a “ne’er do well.” It seemed he wasn’t able
to do what other kids could do and so he earned the label
of klutz and geek and doofus. He could do nothing right.
He couldn’t chug a beer down. He couldn’t win a fight.
He never ever dressed right. He was fond of oddball hats.

Other people shunned him. His best friends were his cats.
Even as an adult, bad luck didn’t abate.
He remained a pariah. He couldn’t get a date.
He failed at conversation and he was a lousy dancer.
His single social skill was that he found a cure for cancer!

The WordPress prompt today was astonish.

Banded

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Banded

From string to string and fret to fret,
they draw us into music’s net.
They strum and pick and blithely finger
notes that make us want to linger,
tap the table, move our feet
to their infectious strumming beat.

They are my favorite sort of band––
unique and playing their own brand
of acoustic, bluesy notes––
a kind of music that denotes
connection to a world of hearts.
Their music woos and cuts and smarts.

Opening sensibilities.
Music that unites and frees
our spirits to commune and soar.
Notes that journey to our core.
Which is what music’s meant to do
in  dancehall, city street or pew.

Good music sets our hats askew,
chases us down and counts a coup.
Stirs our hearts and brings a change.
Astounds us with its depth and range.
Draws us with it, layer on layer,
unites us in communal prayer.

Denominationless, it draws
us in and gives a place to pause
together to survey that place
devoid of sex or age or race.
That place where we unite in song.
Give up ourselves, and sing along.

The prompt today is fret.

Beauty’s Clutch.

 

Beauty’s Clutch

Life’s a library where we choose
book after book to read and muse
on the truth of each, or how it serves
to amuse us or to calm our nerves.
It starts with storybooks in our youth.
Cinderella’s lovely, her kin uncouth.

The pretty sister we all adore.
The others? Rotten to the core.
We judge by beauty evermore.

As teenagers, our thoughts are filled
with thoughts of hair, complexion, build—
the ways we rank and choose our friends.
For some, this method never ends.
We judge the world by what we see.
At court, the prettiest are set free.

Our dates determined by their cars,
Our peanut butters by their jars,
Our candidates are movie stars.

World is illusion, say the seers,
the thinkers and philosophers.
We cannot know reality
by going just by what we see.
Yet time and time again, we choose
our futures based upon our views.

The “curb appeal” that meets our eye
determines which house we will buy.
The crust is how we choose the pie.

Ted Bundy had a handsome face
that drew young ladies to his embrace.
An arm sling or perhaps a crutch
tricked them into his murderous clutch.
His handsomeness served to distract
till he’d performed his heinous act.

His cover perfect, his act most skilled,
he killed and killed and killed and killed—
lives ruined and ended as he willed.

So crack the book and look inside.
Talk before you choose your bride.
Drive the car before you buy.
Sip the wine and taste the pie.
See what’s inside if you are able.
Don’t go by face or box or label.

Though beauty dulled is less sublime,
scrub the tarnish from the dime.
Looking deeper takes more time.

Don’t choose the cover of a book.
Instead, take care to have a look.
One page nor twenty will not do.
You have the whole book left to view.
Avoid appearances and preening.
Look for truth and look for meaning.

George Eliot coined the adage first.
If for truth you have a thirst,
judging by the cover’s worst.

This  poem was written 3 1/2 years ago, when I’d just started my blog and had very few readers, so I don’t think many  reading my blog today have read it before. The prompt word today is clutch
.

Nosy Mortal Monologue

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Nosy Mortal Monologue

Why is our living just part of our dying
and why must our failures be part of our trying?
Who made up this game and who’s throwing the dice?
Why do we play on, no matter the price?
How can men worship this ultimate gamesman
who gives us our faults and then unfairly blames man
for acting the way he’s created to be?
Why aren’t we given mind power to see
how something so seemingly unfair might tend
to all turn for the best when it comes to the end?
Could it be that our dying is part of our living?
That somehow our getting is tied to our giving?
Does Karma exist? Does Heaven or Hell?
Does the Universe know, and will it ever tell?

A question poem for dVerse Poets

Rhythm Method

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(The poem I’ve written below is based on the “Five Principles for Getting through the Trump Years,” given by Alice Walker in her speech at a reading in La Manzanilla, Mexico two nights ago on February 20, 2017. I was fortunate enough to be at that reading where she and four other excellent writers also talked about subjugation, prejudice, inequality, poverty and the importance of kindness, open-mindedness, acceptance and education in bringing our country to a better level of fairness to all.  I’ll talk about some of the other poets and storytellers who told their tales in a later post; but for today, and since it fit in with today’s prompt, here is my take on Ms. Walker’s wonderful talk.)

Rhythm Method

You’ve got to listen to the beat.
Shake your booty, pound your feet.
If you want to survive the day,
the rhythm method is the way.
It’s been said by smarter folks than I
that it’s the way that we’ll get by
in times we think we won’t survive—
the way we stay fully alive
in spite of voters who were hazy
and voted in a man who’s crazy.

Instead of listening to his bleat,

until the time of his defeat,
first and foremost, kindness will
help us to swallow this bitter pill.
A close connection with nature might
help us stay strong in the fight.
Respect for all those elders who
just might be another hue:

native tribes or Africans
brought unwillingly as hands
to shore up our economy
and build a country for you and me
while they paid the awful fee
in poverty and slavery.
It’s time to set our people free!

Gratitude for human life,
both theirs and ours, will allay strife.
In times like these, less than enhancing,
“Hard times demand furious dancing!”
One wiser and more in the groove
than I am, says that we must “Move!”
James Cleveland sang “This too shall pass,”
Turn on his music and move your ass.

Thousands of people dance along
this wonderful old gospel song
in her mind’s eye and I agree.
While we are waiting, you and me,
for enough others to see the light
and step in line to wage the fight,
we have to keep the joy in us
in spite of this unholy fuss
that seeks to keep us frightened and
prisoners in our native land.

Instead of knives and swords and guns,
defeat the tyrant with jokes and puns.
Comedians will save the day
and keep us laughing on the way.
But in the mean time, move your feet.
Feel the rhythm. Feel the beat.
If this nation has a chance,
perhaps we’ll find it in the dance.

The quotations above are all from Alice Walker’s talk. In prose form, here again are her five principles for getting through the Trump years (or hopefully, months.)

1. Kindness, which can keep us going through these unkind times.

2. A close connection with nature.

3. Respect for our oldest biological ancestors including native Americans (specifically those at Standing Rock), Africans  (who survived the fierce physical brutality of slavery) and Europeans such as John Brown and Susan B. Anthony.

4.  ‘Move!  Hard times demand furious dancing.’ Reverend James Cleveland sang, “This too shall pass.”  Get a recording of it and dance to it! She has an image of thousands of people dancing to this wonderful gospel song.

5. Maintain gratitude for human life.

She ended by relating the importance of meditation, which she described as a means “to rediscover the blue sky that is our mind,” and by stating that one way we can overcome the constant bad news with which our oppressors drug us is to learn the bad news first from comedians. This, perhaps, is one way for us to get through this dark period in our history.

The prompt today was rhythmic.

Transformation

Tottering on stubby legs,
Reaching for the world,
Another child once nested
Now slowly comes uncurled.
Stretching out and learning,
Forgetting childhood woes,
Opening to each new thing,
Reforming as she grows.
Meet her in the springtime
And meet her in the fall.
The child you met the first time
Is no longer there at all.
One more child a woman,
Now a mother, now a grand.
Always we are changing,
Led by nature’s hand.

Libraries cannot answer
If changing has an end,
For we know not if transformation
Ends around the bend.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/transformation/