Category Archives: Rhyme

Coffee For (In the Style of John Masefield’s Sea Fever)

I must go down the street again, to the coffeehouse near the Y,
And what I need is a yogurt scone and a grande latte chai;
With a mule’s kick and a banshee song and the white milk that’s shaking,
There’s a grim look on the barista’s face, and the coffee press is breaking.

I must go down the street again, for a caffé mocha, iced.
It’s 2 pm on a Wednesday, this cannot be denied;
And here it is a promotions day with the caramel clouds flying,
And soccer moms with their matcha green, and the frappuccinos vying.

I must go down the street again, this vagrant caffeine strife,
For the blended way and the fruit juice way where the drink is a whetted knife;
And all I ask is an espresso shot that keeps me stone cold sober,
And doubly-steeped herbal mango tea or a smoothie I could go for.

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A “Terrible Poem” written in response to Chelsea Owens weekly prompt to destroy (my words, not hers) a classic poem at https://chelseaannowens.com/category/terrible-poetry-contest/

This one was written in the form of Sea Fever, by John Masefield – the first poem I recall having to memorize in eighth grade English. Thanks Miss Dunn.

Abandon

Chalk sun-faces on an asphalt driveway,
drawn to chase away the chill breeze
and forecasted rain.

Bicycles circle the cul-de-sac
blazing trails, pedals flail.

Shouts and whoops
to Scout
to fetch the ball
and chase the calls.

Children playing with abandon.
Adults watch and see themselves –
their childhood, stranded.

A response to poetry

Dear poet, I have so enjoyed your poem:

the one about the tree branches
that hang over the river -sometimes dipping into the water.

Yesterday, I read it several times slowly to myself and then once out loud –
when no one was within earshot of my voice.

I liked the sounds that it made and the confines of its place. This contributed to the imagery you’ve drawn and I felt I was moving there, then gone.  The lyrical qualities appeal to me, especially the internal rhymes that feature throughout the piece.

Upon revisiting the words the next day, the meaning
or at least what I thought) was clear.
The branch is not sufficient in its purpose to simply reflect
from the stream.

The eddies created are themselves rhythmic and gleam.

Thank you poet for allowing your words to spill and flow,
so that trees from the riverside can touch them and grow.
****
 

Devolving Winter

I lingered to watch the snowfall settle
upon an outside marble pedestal –
building layer-on-layer of snowflake and ice,
fractal and spacious, this echelon

drawn as a disk – its depth elevated
by landing these crystal forms intercalated
a structure withstanding the bitter wind,
conformed to the table’s circular whim.

Skimming this image, one wonders of words
that fall into place, or alight just like birds,
landing on branches selected ahead,
braving the wind and the ice also there.

Where, after the storm and the cold disappears,
the warming sun scratches, begins to shear
the sides of the snow-layered platter –
the melt dripping over the edge.

Alleged fair weather sets in
and devolves the lattice: winter’s has-been.
Leftover water pools in the center,
the plinth just a basis for puddles.

Then subtle, come birds, that alight like the words
that bathe in remnant splashes
and wing away the last fluency
of winter’s framework and brashness.

Christmas passed

I sit at the side of an aging Christmas tree,
its lights still glittering, the ornaments of memory
and seasonal delight put away since yesterday.

Times of Yule have passed, and a passionate thread
winds with the ribbon, translucent and red,
around the fir’s perimeter, wreathed and twisted.

Perhaps, tomorrow I shall put it all away –
the strings of lights, the skirt with gold inlay,
And finally, the tree itself – for future holidays.

And in the empty spaces that it leaves
I shall remember light and ribbon, though it grieves
that such a brightening emblem has to leave.

a plain heaven

A version of heaven –
through vertical blinds
the old tree branches propagate
angular lines
over blank and blue sky.
From where I am sitting,
this vein satisfies.

I recollect heaven –
its columnar pomp
the circumstance breeding
a fait accomp –
listening to others
imagined perfection
with bright shiny colors.

Yet, is it a heaven –
where nothing is gloried,
plain is exalted,
unlike our stories –
seeing a daily prompt and cue
of a simple frontier
for me to fall through?

A version of heaven
cut through with lines –
segments and angles intimate
beyond the blinds
interspersed with a sky.
From my perspective,
what heaven implies.

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Happy New Year to all! May 2019 bring you all that you need and wish for.

Best Wishes,
John