Madness and Meadowlarks – Poem (free verse) Practicing Poetry.

There was no path, so I had to step
On plants.  I smelled wet, moist greeness,
Like living  essence of the crushed growth,
But I inhaled danger.
Danger chilled my skin, danger
Clogged my throat; a feeling of danger
Panted and trembled in my every breath
While my heart thundered in the stillness.
Surely he must hear me.
For I had wandered into Crazy Charley’s
Territory.  First there were dense woods,
Then a wide, open meadow. Finally
There was the prey.  Me.
Charley would be waiting in his old car,
With its dented fenders and cracked
Windshields:  A motionless, hidden,
crouched, quiet predator.
I couldn’t get around him.  He could chase
Me on either side of the U shaped
Meadow, that had no place to hide.
Was he there?
There was no hint of his presence.
I decided to sprint across the flat land.
In a few steps, I saw him in his car, his mouth was
a twisted grimace, and his painful, hysterical, laughter
Echoed in the air,.
He tried to run me down.
My only defense was to
Dodge, twist, leap, and
make sharp turns or zigzag
To escape his car.
Finally, I threw myself down and rolled  into the
Shadowy twilight of the forest. Safe.  Still terrified,
I scrambled up and hurled myself into the
Hushed woodland sanctuary.
The stillness gave way to
Birdsong and the twitter of squirrels
Scolding, but to me, it sounded like
Church bells on Christmas Day,
A paean of peace and love.
(This poem is not autobiographical)
After reading Sharon Bryan’s excellent article, Free-verse Lineation, (The Practice of Poetry,
Edited by Robin Behn & Chase Twichell, pages 181-183, Harper Perennial, 1992)
I tried to pay special attention to my line endings and length to achieve the impact I wanted from each stanza.
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World Without End (Heroic Couplet)

Dying Winter dressed in a robes of frost,
Sheltered Baby Spring as icy winds tossed.
Baby Spring wept warm tears to see him die.
“Hush, child, each has his time to go,” he sighed.

The child grew strong and old winter, weak,
He said, “Go child, find that world that you seek.”
I’ll still be with you as the wind and rain.
My child, we do not die, we only change.”

Spring smiled, and tiny leaves covered the trees.
The freezing wind became a playful breeze.
Caterpillars crawled and new-born calves, bawled.
One day, now silver-haired, Spring heard the call.

Baby Summer appeared in Spring’s tired arms,
The baby dreamed  of a girl full of charm.
Her beautiful head with bright leaves was crowned.
She twirled ’round in her many-colored gown.

The seasons their paths follow and wend,
As do we, world with out end, AMEN, AMEN!

Don’t Forget to Remember the Past: A Janus Poem

I went to Union Station, just to visit my mam.
An old man was standing there
With a beard longer than Uncle Sam’s.
I walked up to him and he looked down at me.

“Please, Sir,” I said, “Is this the train to Alabam?”
“Get on board, children, one and all!
This train is heading for 1980’s land!”
Before I knew it, I was seated on that train.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

SHRUUUF!  SHRUUUF!  SHREEET!
We listened to that whistle roar,
Then we were served a slice of Watergate Cake (sheet.)*
Just as soon as we got on board.

It wasn’t bad; I never ate
A cake with cover-up icing before.
Watergate was 70’s, but the 80’s took the cake!
ET came down the aisle and asked, did we want any more.

Part II

1984 landslide victory for Reagan,
He appoints Sandra Day O’Conner
To Supreme Court – way to go man!
Suddenly the women were dressed in 80’s clothes!

Electric, neon colors, bold shapes and patterns,
Baggy tops with fitted bottoms,
Dainty ballet flats, completed the ensemble of Mesdames.
(ET served lunch:  Paul Wenner’s munchie Gardenburger*)

Dessert was mud pie and dirt cake.
Saddam Hussein spoke of the “whirlwind war.”
Ice Tea, Bon Jovi; Breakdancing, a new music take.
Famous films:  Raging Bull, Chariots of Fire, Taxi Driver.

January 26, 1986:  The Challenge blew up in the sky.
People pressed the the train’s windows,
There wasn’t a person who didn’t cry.
A moment of stunned silence passed for a prayer.

A reporter interviewed Kristal Cantwell.**
What is your favorite 1980’s sport’s memory?
“Dodger’s beat Oakland A’s.  I remember it clear as a bell.
4-1 in the 1988 World Series.

“Let this trip be a lesson to you,” the old man cried above the din
The train ground to a stop in Union Station.
“Don’t leave the past behind, as if it’s never been.”
Shakily we climbed off the train.

So, if you see a bearded old man
Standing beside a train, as if waiting for YOU,
Stop, turn around and run as fast as you can,
Or you may take a trip to 80’s land!

*Food time.org

**Kristal Cantwell is my daughter.  I’ve interviewed her every since she could talk.

 

Mueller wants the XXXXX, the XXXXX XXXXX, and XXXXXXX XXX the XXXXX

Trump’s grumped,

Mueller’s cooler.

Did POTUS tell Cohen to lie?

Mueller says no,

But Buzzfeed says it’s so.

Who to believe? It’s a breeze,

Only the facts* don’t lie!

 

  • Facts: The bits and pieces of  truth* left over after redactions
  • Truth: Whatever facts of reality that can be gleaned after MSM distortions and government censorship…

See below tweets: Robert Mueller’s office shoots…/The Latest Buzzfeed stands by…

Following the Path of Kings (Poem in Honor of Martin Luther King, Jr.)

The falcon falls…

dropping,
Plummeting
Seizing its prey in mid-air.

The lion leaps…

Stunning,
Clawing,
Slashing its living food.

Some men connive…

Overcome,
Capture,
And enslave other men.

One man said let’s follow love’s way,
And like The Gentle Shepherd
So he followed the path of peace,
Until death hurtled through the air.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
We’ve gathered our bouquets,
We’ve sung our hymns,
We’ve shed our tears,
And mourned the cost of liberty!

But now, let’s not weep, instead rejoice,

And celebrate the life of a man who would

Not pursue violence, but instead,

Followed the path of brotherhood!

 

(revised January 16, 2019)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thoughts on the Ethics of Account Suspension in Social Media

A few years back, I wrote a simple Halloween-like poem and went to publish it on my,  then, social media account.  To my surprise, it was rejected. When I asked why, they in turn asked me, to the effect, why I thought it might have been rejected. I was stunned.

Some of my fellow members told me, it wasn’t just me, that it was believed to be a mistake that had been corrected. So I submitted it again for publication, and it was again rejected. I asked why and this time there was no answer. Eventually, I closed the account, still utterly mystified. So, when the current account suspensions on social media began to  happen, it raised red flags in my mind. It seemed to me I had heard that song before, as the lyrics go. As before, to find out why the account has been suspended, one is invited to read over the rules. In my opinion, ethically, this is not right.

  1. The person is not told WHY (s)he has been suspended.

2. That makes it appear that the member is wrong and social media is right.

3. The member’s reputation suffers; when one tries to go to that site, it says that the account has been suspended and invites you to scan the rules. There is no way given for the singled out member to defend themself. Emotionally, this is a downer. (Actually, when it happened to me, I wrote a little play about it, and to my amazement, they published it, with fictional characters and names, and I felt great, if confused.) There didn’t seem to be any objective principles involved in the situation.

4. To see one’s fellow-member have their account closed, and treated as if they had done something wrong, yet not saying what, is saddening. This is not how one’s fellow man should be treated in my way of thinking. It may be within the law, but it’s not ethical.

In the fast dissolving line dividing government and private business, here is a backdoor by which the dark specter of censorship can step into our lives: Like charter schools run with mixed funds (both government and private), like our vanishing privacy through government surveillance, like whistleblowers not being able to defend themselves because of an antiquated, ill-worded, outdated law. You are found guilty, because you might have broken one of their rules! and YOU are required to find which rule. Alice in Wonderland, move over!

January 20,2019

When I was looking at some of my old writing I came across the poem that was rejected for no given reason, Dark Legend When the Hodag Walks and the play that I wrote, Bugged:

Dark Legend
When the Hodag Walks
From the frozen black shadows of the past,
Where night reigns forever in caverns vast,
Dark legendary creatures lurk and hide,
Raging at wintry blasts, nostrils, flared and wide.
One especially watches, eyes aglow
A fearsome legend in this land of snow.
Oh, yes, they say he’s a hoax, and they laugh,
But not when they walk on some lonely tract,
Air so cold the trees snap, and fear leaps on their back.
For something is walking heavy behind,
With a nose that snuffles and teeth that grind.
Shouting, “HODAG!” they stumble into town as if blind.
It’s said some never come back alive; and others, they never find.
     Hodag, Hodag, monster in the night
     Don’t come near me, you frightening sight!
     Go your way, stop not in your flight,
     Let me be, in this silvery, twilight.

 

 

Bugged

In the little town of Bugsville, a busy bee sat,
He ran the website, Dragonflyforum, for writer insects.
They could publish almost anything, in nothing flat.
Provided they always followed guidelines specs.
His motto was:
WHEN YOU WRITE BE BUSY AS A BEE
AND DON’T FORGET TO ADD IMAGES,
IF YOU PLEASE!
Little Letty Lady bug, loved to write.
Sometimes, far into the night, she wrote and composed.
Then, finally, finishing her article, with delight,
Was surprised to find the sun already arose!
She shared with Lacebug, mitebytes, and frittersforflitterers,
Then she felt happy, satisfied and at peace
That she had reached her friends, the insects and critters.
Until one day she ran into the COMPUTER POLICE,
Message from Website security:
NOT ACCEPTED.  PREVIOUSLY REJECTED AS SPAM,
               SORRY, TAGGED ABUSIVE, MAM.
“Previously rejected? I just wrote it,” she cried, dejected.
She reread the poem in question:
  Dawn is a rose,
  Wrapped in the song of a lark.
  Sunset, a brimming potpourri of prose,
  Fragrant dreams, for the heart.
Letty’s wings looked huffled, her spots faded.
A question came on the screen:
Why do you think your writing might have been tagged abusive?
“Shades of *Logical Fallacies,” Letty’s mind careened.
“It doesn’t matter what anyone thinks! That’s inconclusive!
Is it in FACT abusive or spam?
What anyone thinks doesn’t matter beans!
Well, let me be deductive.” Feeling reclusive as a clam,
Letty began to type:
Reasons my writing might be considered spam/abusive:
l.  The reader is allergic to roses.
2.  The reader is frightened of birds or birdsong.
3.  The reader considers metaphors lies.  A problem this poses.
4.  Potpourris make the reader sneeze; writing about them is wrong.
Looking tired, Letty shuffled off to bed.
Outside a glorious red sunrise painted the sky.
Letty closed the window with a sigh.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A NEW Year Prayer for 2019

*~
On New
Year’s morn
Church bells ring,
In throbbing tones
They throng and clang,
HAPPY NEW YEAR, JOYOUS
NEW YEAR, and to political
prisoners, shackled and muted,
Humiliated and tortured, may they
Be freed on this New Year Eve! Re-
turn to them their human rights!
Let this be, a FREE NEW YEAR

*

(shape poem)

 

 

But Who Will Program the Computer to Program the Children? (Please see below tweet: I did talk to Superintendent Austin Beutner Yesterday…;)

ai-artificial-intelligence-automation-1329068

(courtesy of pexels.com)

Click – Click – Tweetle – Beep,

I come to apply for a teaching job.

Where -blip – is the Superintendent?

Bleep – Click – Tw-e-e-e-e-p! (Pardon me!)

I don’t need medical insurance,

Just a Computer Technician to service me.

The children can call me, “Tweetcher.”

Oh yes, what is a child and who

Will program me to program the children?

WATCH OUT! POWER F…A…I…L…u…r~~~

 

 

 

An Angel in Boots…

Sloshed through puddles of political mud,

Down at Shadowgate Pond,

Where coal black shadows rise and fall;

Some look alive and seem mighty tall.

 

Be afraid, Angel, they seem to call.

But she just shoved her halo to the side,

As if struggling with an impulse

To reach out and smack,

 

The shirking cowards hiding in the inky black,

Wrecking lives, pushing buttons of power,

From their safe, secret gold-lined bowers,

Mostly paid for with our U.S. Tax dollars!

angel-1746853_1920

Courtesy of Pixabay

An Angel stood in this political goo.

In this mess, shoes wouldn’t do.

To help those bound and damned

You need boots on the ground

To make your stand!cat-3869583_1920

Courtesy of Pixabay