Category Archives: Poetry

Almost Happy

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A rocky stream in the U.S. state of Hawaii.

A rocky stream in the U.S. state of Hawaii. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This is the one and only poem worth keeping from any writing related class I took in college, roughly 5 years ago. Rhyming is definitely not my strong point, but this piece struck me as extraordinarily above average.

ALMOST HAPPY

It’s a beautiful day—
I love the fall weather.
Too cool for a T-shirt,
Too warm for a sweater.

The sun is shining,
And there’s a glorious breeze.
The sight is so breathtaking—
Gorgeous orange leaves.

As the water trickles,
Down the wondrous stream,
My heart is soothed—
I begin to gleam.

It’s been so long
Since I’ve been so calm.
The sound of the water
Plays my heart’s song.

I wouldn’t trade this feeling—
Not even for the world.
The peacefulness is priceless—
Worth more than pure gold.

The sound of the birds,
As they twitter and twatter.
The frog on the lillypad—
The slightest splatter.

I will remember—
Everything about this time.
For I’m ALMOST happy,
But I just want to cry.

My soul is at rest,
For once in my life.
Away from my sorrow,
Self-pity, and strife.

I’m so afraid of losing this moment—
I can barely speak my thoughts.
I think that’s my spirit washing away—
With the water, down the rocks.

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“Samurai Song”

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posture
Image by pesbo via Flickr

Here’s another one by Robert Pinsky–I’m loving everything of his I’ve read so far!

When I had no roof I made
Audacity my roof. When I had
No supper my eyes dined.

When I had no eyes I listened.
When I had no ears I thought.
When I had no thought I waited.

When I had no father I made
Care my father. When I had
No mother I embraced order.

When I had no friend I made
Quiet my friend. When I had no
Enemy I opposed my body.

When I had no temple I made
My voice my temple. I have
No priest, my tongue is my choir.

When I have no means fortune
Is my means. When I have
Nothing, death will be my fortune.

Need is my tactic, detachment
Is my strategy. When I had
No lover I courted my sleep.

“Poem About People”

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Here’s a poem I recently ran across, by Robert Pinsky

Robert Pinsky

Image by Lisa Newton via Flickr

He may very well be one of my new favorites!

 

The jaunty crop-haired graying
Women in grocery stores,
Their clothes boyish and neat,
New mittens or clean sneakers,

Clean hands, hips not bad still,
Buying ice cream, steaks, soda,
Fresh melons and soap—or the big
Balding young men in work shoes

And green work pants, beer belly
And white T-shirt, the porky walk
Back to the truck, polite; possible
To feel briefly like Jesus,

A gust of diffuse tenderness
Crossing the dark spaces
To where the dry self burrows
Or nests, something that stirs,

Watching the kinds of people
On the street for a while—
But how love falters and flags
When anyone’s difficult eyes come

Into focus, terrible gaze of a unique
Soul, its need unlovable: my friend
In his divorced schoolteacher
Apartment, his own unsuspected

Paintings hung everywhere,
Which his wife kept in a closet—
Not, he says, that she wasn’t
Perfectly right; or me, mis-hearing

My rock radio sing my self-pity:
“The Angels Wished Him Dead”—all
The hideous, sudden stare of self,
Soul showing through like the lizard

Ancestry showing in the frontal gaze
Of a robin busy on the lawn.
In the movies, when the sensitive
Young Jewish soldier nearly drowns

Trying to rescue the thrashing
Anti-semitic bully, swimming across
The river raked by nazi fire,
The awful part is the part truth:

Hate my whole kind, but me,
Love me for myself. The weather
Changes in the black of night,
And the dream-wind, bowling across

The sopping open spaces
Of roads, golf courses, parking lots,
Flails a commotion
In the dripping treetops,

Tries a half-rotten shingle
Or a down-hung branch, and we
All dream it, the dark wind crossing
The wide spaces between us.

“I Carry Your Heart”

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This is one of my favorites by E.E. Cummings. I cherish this love poem.

E.E. Cummings, full-length portrait, facing le...

Image via Wikipedia

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in

my heart)i am never without it(anywhere

i go you go,my dear; and whatever is done

by only me is your doing,my darling)

i fear no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want

no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)

and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant

and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows

(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud

and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows

higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)

and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

My Idol On Stage

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This poem’s about going to see my favorite band perform.

 

The first time I saw him

LIVE—

Breathtaking. Unforgettable.

I’d cling to every word he’d sing.

I closed my eyes

to savor the moment.

When I reopened them

it happened.

I realized I was sharing

him with everyone there.

He wasn’t just mine.

He belonged to

the people on the floor,

in the doorways,

up in those balconies.

When his music speaks

to me

at home,

it’s as if a dear friend

is whispering to me

their biggest secrets.

A dear friend

who’s there for me

in times of darkness.

I saw my idol a second time.

Going in then

I knew what to expect.

My guard was up,

You couldn’t fool me.

I was mouthing every word

he’d utter

to a favorite song of mine.

Then, it happened.

He changed the words

in that gorgeous melody—

So much so

the meaning was murdered.

I never quite

got over that.

I still treasure his music,

as it so beautifully flows.

But there’s a barrier up

in my heart and mind.

There’s nowhere

for those lyrics

to safely stay.

“Let the poets cry

themselves to sleep,” he says,

as I carefully tuck

his words

and my memories

into my pocket.

I Avert My Eyes

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Eye

Image by aepoc via Flickr

I wrote this one today. I often feel like this in public places. My emotion starts out as self-consciousness, then gradually spins into something else entirely.

Your gaze meets mine.

As nobodies,

we pass on the street.

Is it stranger danger I fear?

Too scared to murmur a polite hello.

I avert my eyes.

 

You’re my new co-worker.

The friendly, spunky sort.

I like you,

what you’re saying.

We could be friends.

I avert my eyes.

 

I recall a peculiar Kevin.

Fourth grade. I didn’t mean to stare.

He was just so tiny, I was intrigued.

He’d catch me gawking, glare at me.

I’d avert my eyes.

 

I catch you looking at me.

Perhaps we’re at a bar.

Dimly lit. Smoky, like the good ol’ days.

Maybe you were about to buy me a drink.

Too risky—

I avert my eyes.

 

You’re a girl about my age.

I love your scarf. Your nose ring.

Your whole vibe in general.

I should compliment you.

Instead—

I avert my eyes.

 

I look at you, looking at me

as we pass in the grocery store.

Is there something on my face?

Only my obtrusive optics.

They’re too bright.

I avert my eyes.

 

Do my eyes…

Pierce your skull?

Burn your soul?

Why do I feel mine can’t dare meet yours?

Do you fear your secrets exposed?

Don’t worry…

 

As your gaze meets mine,

we’ll simply pass as nobodies,

on the street.

I know now they’re

Dangerous. Daunting. Electric.

I’ll avert my eyes.

My friend, Jerme

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This one is about a friend that has recently come into my life. A perplexing being. I’m trying to understand him as a person, but am coming to terms with the fact that I may not ever entirely.

Existence 1

Image by Vincepal via Flickr

He’s brilliant, book smart.

Bright, but unglowing.

FASCINATING

if he gets the Floor.

 

Not ugly, not beautiful.

No sadness, no joy.

He just exists,

and that’s enough

for HIM.

 

Thee single solemn soul

I’ve yet met

to NOT care to seek

companionship.

 

Does he possess

a lesson to be learned?

Are our concerns

to love and be loved

Narcissistic?

ELEMENTARY?

 

A MINISCULE particle

of our existence

chalked up to

Human Nature?

 

He’s content

all alone.

No warm body

next to his

in BED.

 

I imagine “LONLINESS”

poetically described

to him—

He’d scratch his head,

cocking it slightly

to the side.

 

Life to him is

simply

existing.

“REALISM”.

 

Perhaps this perception

isn’t hard & harsh.

Just maybe

It’s what we should all see.

 

For in his eyes it’s simple.

Plain.

Neat.

People, places, things—

All just NOUNS, to his being.

 

Looking at a still life,

What does he see?

“A bowl of oranges,” he says.

Are you fucking KIDDING me?

 

Maybe his intelligence

reaches outside my mind’s realm.

For his thoughts are

CRISP

black and white.

Mine are a

HUGE

GRAY

swirling cloud.