Each month, write a new collection.
Under Grandpa’s Skinthe videosilentshows Grandpabare chestanimatedproudpoint toeach of hisprized cactisixty years passin the mirrorI seeGrandpaand wonder ifthere is moreof Grandpaunder thenaked skin
That is a really fantastic poem Tom. I love how you've used the device.
thanks. It's been a while since I payed attention to meter consciously, so that was fun. I love the different challenges in style.
I like it too!(Stephanie on a public computer)
y dadwalkedeverywhere --once we strolledthrough anew Yorkblizzard.central park becameOUR park:white silentperfect.he said "see?nature rules evenin the middleof the urban."we kept walkingarm in arm in thatfrosty but not frozengarden.Stephanie Hammer
nice. I like the: "see?nature rules evenin the middleof the urban."
Yeah, I love that line too. Your father sounds amazing.
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My Grandma’s Garden I used to see her bend lowto pick vegetablesin her garden dressed in herlong flowery housedress,her gray hair tied upand back in a bun.Since my grandma spoke only Italian,we never talked,yet, whenever she restedon the stone bench,I’d sit on her lap,and listen to her heartbeat.
very nice Barbara. I love your poems. I just read the one about your brother in Chiron Review.
I love this!
Barbara, this poem is fantastic!
i love how this poem -- a work of words -- is about communicating w/o them.
Yes. Nice insight.
The Micro-ballad of Bonnie & Clydeforbidden love forged; Gallanly yet gentlyhe woosshyly and slylyshe coo'swith passion and pressurethey loveto hope and happinessthey clingDark hearts bond; Fast and feverishlythey stealblasting and blazingthey killdusty and dirtythey playForbidden love crushedpanting and pulsingthey runspeeding and spiralingthey dieDark hearts eternalin music and moviesthey livethrough myth and legendthey ridemy Bonnie & Clyde
That's good and I love how you played with form too. Not only are you doing single stressed line, but you've got a high sense of end stop as well. That's great.
The Red-Whiskered Tomato ManTodd dug in the Arizona dirt,Broke the clods with his fingers,Sweat fell from his red beard:A hard-scrabble guyPulling vegetables from the desert floor.Fort Huachuca's menNeeded beans, tomatoes, lettuce,Because meat isn't enough.Todd had married ElizabethAnd her five children.Todd got the commanderTo let him do this. What a relief!A way to make money for the kids.But the hills loomed behind him as he farmed,And an arrow might find him any moment.He took refuge in the greens of lettuce,The pale shades of cauliflower,The rich reds of tomatoes,The verdant summer beansAnd the squash trailing heavily across the dirt.
Todd's a tough guy! What a tribute to him. How are you related to him?
"because meat isn't enough." love it.
I like how much you pack into this narrative with a few well placed details. The last stanza is wonderful.
Rio RicoShortly after they were marriedmy parents bought a pieceof Arizona desert just north of the borderin a place called Rio Rico.They’ve never seen itbut they pay the taxes every year.Imagine it nowbiding its timesun washed and sage scrubbeda distant rumorone acre square.
That's great. I love the imagine natural world here!
I love the symetry of ideas ---the parents buying the land's solitude and the land holding their dream. It's compact, yet creates a sense of place and hope. Lovely.
great control of language. i like the way this closes down and opens up at the end.
OkieIt was desperationTo find work And food to eatBack when theWind blew theDirt in our eyesWithout endUntil we packed the old Ford truckAnd headed for California
Daryl, that's fantastic. All of Steinbeck right there in the poem.
Failed to make what was coming work with single beat lines. It went the other way on me and I ended up with alternating heavy beats except for the final line which was passive. Thanks for doing this. I haven't written poetry for a long time.WANTThat weekend he shouldered his task:Extract by axe and muscle eighty pounds of citrus root,Clinging stubborn, veins of earth,Sinews stretching, pulling blindly against timeAs we laughed.
I found single beat lines to be a pain. But I like this!
This is really good.
I remembermy father's folks,grandparents,aunts,unclesand the restbecause they were not there.No photosgraced the walls.No portraits.I wondered whybut feltafraid to ask,fanciedI heard thembreathingbehind locked doors.
That's great. I love your use of "fancied"
Thanks. But the meter? Not so much.
The reason to play with it is just to try something out and let your imagination take over a little, but you never have to be a slave to it.
He taught methe oceanby throwingme intothe breakers.He relishedmy runningfutilelyagainst thatbrutal yawn.Inhaled withsand and shellinto it’sgaping mouth.Not that Iremember,but that ishow he likesto tell it.Lynne
Lynne poem is great especially that last stanza. That's beautiful!
Couldn't quite do the unstressed line. I always have a hard time with that. Here's what I got: And After That, He Said NothingMy father’s rough hands point the truck deeper into the desert. His stories of Muhammad, Abraham,and Jonas slip through my mindlike the handfuls of fine caramel sand that pass through my fingerswhile he makes this delivery,casts an order with that farmer.We drive boxes of tender datesin a crisscross below the stars.My father uses the sky to take us east. He tries to teach me how to deduce direction and the time of day from the sun’s position overhead. I am 7 and reply, “when am I ever going to use that? I’ll just take a compass.”
That's really beautiful, Shaymaa!
So rereading it now makes me feel like I should have titled it "Filicide". What do you think? It's sort of a different but disturbingly (and pretty unconsciously) workable angle on this.
And thank you!
Yeah, I think that gives it a new dimension when you're reflecting on the poem after you read it.
My Mom's Ex, Terry(I didnt do the one stress thing)Wait until you see this Ker-rina,Terry boasted before he led me and my mom through the back door of his huge, brown mobile home.I never expected to see what I did,It was as if I'd entered a level of Hell I'd always known I'd one day see.A black envelope closed me into this bright wicked place.Inside I laughed and cried and wondered and prayed.There were dozens of dogs before me,Each tied to its own pole with a chain.They barked and cried and taunted even pleaded or exclaimed, a canine purgatory maybe.They dont mind be tied up like that, Terry? I asked."Oh no, they're taken care of real good. They're just excited to see me" he replied. I didnt dare look at my mom.I prayed then we moved on to the next part of the tour.
Oh man, that's is a good and creepy poem. The discomfort of the moment really comes through
Cool, thanks. It was a very eerie moment.
My great grandfather FrankScotch-Irish Canadian.I never met himBut he was so imposing in his photographs.The look of a rogue:Tall, with a fancy moustacheBut an honest manEven better.He gave his wife 13 childrenOr maybe she gave him.With so many mouths to feedA jack of all trades - Carpenter, Constable,Yet a master of one:Wilderness river guide.His skills so well known That even the King of EnglandHired him for a trip.I’ve seen the newspaper articleAbout how Frank expounded onThe superiority of the birch bark canoeAnd then proved it.I picture that tripA group of menBig boots stepping carefullyInto the center of the delicate-seeming vesselThat flowed effortlessly between air and waterPassing deer, eagles, bear.Putting out at nightOn the riverbankGathering wood, Stoking fireSharing jerky and whiskeyAnd men’s bawdy laughter.Does the King have one attendantOr maybe many?Does the king shit in the woodsOr bring a gilded chamberpot?Do they shake handsOr does my great grandfather kneel?I cannot picture Frank kneeling before any man.But I hope he knelt before his wifeWhen he gave her a kingly gift:An 18 karat gold pin, its filigreeLit by one perfect diamond as its sun.
That's fantastic. All of that emotion comes through the physicality of the poem!
Thank you John! Not sure I got the stress thing right.