As an exercise.
An experimental poem.
Distilling raw content into this tightly honed form.
Fooling around, so playful, with the bubbling growth of syllables, a clover-clothed hog,
Immersed in creative flow, set free from all concern by attention to kind convention’s straight-jacket details,
oinking out line
But then again, I thought, it might be better in some ways to be a hound than a swine.
For mutts don’t get lost in internal mud-wallowing.
Nor are they made into bacon.
And stimulating as art is.
The dectet's a doughty little ditty,
Ten lines that scan fine and are pretty;
Feet get hacked off bit-by-bitty;
It holds its shape: quite gritty;
Melting now: still pithy;
Freeze, if you will;
Read on still;
Some man spoke to me thus one day,
Of fine thoughts, he claimed he well knew:
"I for no time hold in mind's view
What's said, once it's crossed my brain fey!"
This was his firm, fixed slant, no doubt
Of great worth, glib – but not sought out!
And I said back to him –
Poke out the wax that blocks your ears,
This slight plea I cry plain and bold:
Hear those of odd ilk, do not sneer:
Heed what their words, and yours, both hold:
Bad tastes these can waft to your gills,
To stoke your loins' fires, they may fail;
Zeal leaps not to the skies by will,
Yet rare gems may still wink in the shale:
And each gleans fresh sparks from sharp new quills.
If this be false, we sure must stew
In dank jail cells, our tools of inked bliss
Skew turned in own hands, to spew
Black bile on white sheets, once love kissed!
Martyr protesting am I for poetry's noble cause:
Each fresh day I cast myself into its seething jaws;
And although never set upon by packs of hellish hounds,
Neither have I rhyming ducked, beat spurned, aversely played around;
Hot Holy Writ! Language is my praying death, my stifled life,
Amigo, scolding mater, beloved rug-rats, troubled strife;
Six macchiato cups, at least, marmite-beslathered toast,
Creative muse demands, or else unseemly weekday turkey roast;
Dog-haired slippers, tired gas-coals, lift fake April tundral chill,
Deathless Wagner ringing Rhine-infuses my sand-encrusted skill;
Promised Thai green curry, spiced up with kinky kingly prawns;
Lush thought-crammed book-paper loves my groaning walls.
Harsh-vowelled phony-grammar master scourges me to write:
Consonantal Mata-Hari fancy-tickles my words' flight.
With soft, cool regard
The implacable moon
Sentinel over silent sand
Creates a howling eye-path,
Etched solubly on the surface
Of pristine saline womb below,
And leading nowhere known.
Here, churning whispers
Of wistful ocean spray,
Record through seasons’ cycles,
Rhythmic in cell-soup,
Turning and returning,
A litany of deaths, of births,
Always never the same.
I saw the hoarding, and acted according;
Got ink and quill, my guts to spill;
Within the hour, my brains I'd scoured;
Flighty ideas whizzed 'twixt my ears!
So here’s a poem: it’s no Jeroboam;
A simple, bright, uplifting sight;
Thoughts fleck the air without a care;
Go on, delight, stare! Share with flair!
Bees soon un-carve winter's critic bite:
Bitter holly, botched hedge;
Winding back black wind’s wound-bleak grin.
Splattered on walls, scarlet burst:
Exploding pods' fiery pips;
Growth machine, thorough melting green.
In stellar beds, exuberant shoots
Rough caress soft once-cold roots;
Throbbing creepers, purple pebbles drop.
From whistling sea, gulls spite-wreck
Intimate sacks: litter again, spent love;
Heat-blasting tears' now long-tired heart-bliss.
Sometimes I dream I'll submerge death
Headlong in a bath of red-hot basalt.
Mardy sunspots stone-tan my stupid tongue.
To the river I go,
I love its silken face;
Sailing over fields
Through a sea of pearly dew;
Around me it – folds –
As in comfort I lie:
My striving has all ceased.
In the darkness below
My soul I shed – see it there:
So finely scaled, in
Every part precise.
And I swim into the light,
Trace a path to the source,
Where the deepest currents mourn.
With one final thinking pulse,
Sparks of selfishness expire,
When at last I dissolve
In the underwater world;
Borne no longer by the wind,
I'm a stranger to myself:
Reborn by this death.
Now. I. Am. Not. Any. More.
Fine thoughts without strong rhyme just lack that chime
To heaven's heights such verses fail to climb
No doubt they hail from quite a different clime
Forgiving of vile lingualistic crime
That boils fresh words’ worth down to but a dime
Which lies deep-mired in journalistic grime
About to drop of scurvy save for lime
Doled out by slack-mouthed artists who then mime
The saving rites, although well past their time
All lathered up with speech-encumbered slime
That stinks of garlic, rosemary, and thyme
Proclaiming blank verse, now, has reached its prime!
I’m dastardly good-looking
— Because I lack a face;
Why does he sack and ashes wear?
— One’s à-la-mode’s now lace;
Our hypno-screens spawn pseudo-stars
— Ain’t simulacra ace?
Each useless loser's your best mate
— Although you shed no trace;
Scapegoats they bang in prison
— Even while they bring no case;
I, no wrong can ever do
— While you, my son, are base;
The self-destruct we’ll pump with glee
— Your arms-race to outpace;
They’ll greenhouse-fry this dirt-ball Earth
— Then fly to outer space.
She’s splintered every genie-jug
— Yet can’t pluck one last choice;
Howled pleas you hurl at angel-thugs
— But — proud feathers choke your voice!
“This week, sweet flowing sonnet shall you make,
Whose ease with log off-falling is compared;
Great flights of wit this happy work might take,
You’d better gird your loins and be prepared.”
Another week; and yet another task,
How many more, forsooth I cannot say;
“Will it be over soon?”, pleading, I ask,
Too mindful of the course-fees I did pay.
I sit and scribble, pencil grinding down,
But words escape me, I begin to frown;
I want to finish – then off into town;
But in poetic treacle, I do drown!
Oh, damn this writing lark; no more care I,
But sit, insights awaiting, from on high.
From heaven's firm flesh –
Bloodied, or carrying
Chlorophyll's fresh blush –
Life you give, and
Death bring, with
What ... are ... you?
A five-iamb opus bold is sonnet’s form,
Lines fourteen acrid fly on silver wings,
From bulb of words, not woman-womb, whole-born,
As orange sun at dawn’s beige window sings;
Its glamour discombobulates dunce kings,
And in creative marathon prevails;
Leniti first did gouge these dang’rous things
That angel-wit replenish angst-filled tales.
This music shuns false prose’s purple trails,
Each month copes rhythms sweet in film of gold;
And then ninth heaven’s gulf proud author sails,
To circle Hippokrēnē’s depth-springs cold.
But wasp-keen wolf-filth chaos mars our joys:
Both breadth and width of pint-sized ode, destroys.
Amidst brittle autumn mesh,
From decaying summer fragments,
A long-leeched leaf is born:
As tattered veins die and
Young withered life-shades depart.
A worn brown hand,
This crinkled child ebbs out
To blasted bruise-baby,
Whose parchment tears make
Tears at the cheap, fragile edge –
Which explodes in filigree curls.
So is this language: just those thoughts we speak,
Made up of words with pauses in between?
Its lub-dub rhythms through our heart-beats sneak;
Perhaps sleek sorcery lurks here unseen?
For symphonies lack diction, yet wield force,
Propelling some to heights sublime of bliss;
Or, mortified by requiem's dread course
We quiver, sensing hungry tomb's cold kiss.
And tender gurgles mother shares with child,
So recent pushed to life-strife, from her womb,
Are less about linguistic grammar-styles:
They rather weave communication's loom.
Then unrepentant rapture preach wild beasts,
While demagogic xenophobes spread hate;
Brave poets, maybe, lay before us feasts,
With love and beauty, finer urges sate?
With tongue in cheek, therefore, I give my every breath,
To saying (mostly) right – before I'm gagged – by death!