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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.

*****************

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

Best Wishes,
John

A poem at Defuncted

I’ve got a poem up at Defuncted, a journal dedicated to reprinting pieces from defunct publications.

I’m grateful to editor Roo Black for providing a place where this poem can continue on. We live in an age of rapid advancement, and with that comes quick obsolescence. Writing has always transcended the technology/medium of its communication.

A Winter Song (A Cento)

In silence, they dissolve before dawn-
the words my heart was calling.
They are not in the sun,

I can hear the noiseless sound raining down.
Nothing but the white vowels of the wind,
a perfect song is loveless.
The snow is beautiful on the ground.

For still the night through will they come and go,
unerringly toward the same trysting-place,
making beauty
with iced and darkened flow
on every road I wandered by.

Music, I’ll call it music,
she must have a song at any cost
again and again out of the world’s cold deafness.

*****
This Cento is comprised of lines from the following poets:
Mo H Saidi, Sara Teasdale, Avot Yeshurun, AE Stallings, Miguel Hernandez, Kenneth Patchen, DH Lawrence, Tony Hoagland, Thom Gunn, Philip Levine, Margaret Julia Marks, Graham Foust, Carolyn Wells, AE Houseman, Dabney Stuart

Echoing

I’ve got no poem today, but it must be okay,
I’ve thought about monkeys, how walruses play.
how the color blue is my favoritest hue,
and wishes are best when they really come true.

I’ve got no poem today, and really do wish
the words on the tip of my brain would assist-
sounding out songs or echoing tales
of beauty transcendent, like the sea from a shell.

I’ve got no poem today, and no thoughts transcend
my own disappointment I fail to contend-
Yet here in the darkness, I draft and forestall.
I guess that I’ll gather more words, lest I pall.

I’ve got no poem today, but I venture to guess
Tomorrow will happen, and words may address
some loftier thought, some grander design-
while playing with words that I thought to combine.