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  • Why do you avoid writing poems that are in some recognizable form, like, say, the sonnet?

    I'm sure you 'want to be free,' and all that, but, really, are the common forms such heavy shackles?

    I find them more like 'scaffolding,' that gives me a place to stand while I build. If the form isn't a perfect fit, I just 'have the sleeve lengthened to my arm's length,' so to speak. (My tailor suggested the metaphor, and he does good work, so I'll indulge him).

    4 AnswersPoetry3 years ago
  • Cutting criticism would be appreciated here. I know it's not great; HOW is it failing?

    I saw the cat that ate the wretched mouse

    and watched it disembowel the sorry beast;

    the festive trophies decorate the house.

    Of mouse all memory is tummy lump,

    an history that ended with a squeak,

    a bit of tail remains, an oozing stump.

    The tabby licks her paws removing grease

    and other indication of her feast

    ’til satisfied she’s cleaned enough to cease.

    This nothing does to elevate my mood.

    The scattered offal bleeds, an ugly leak

    that I, with mop in hand, must soon conclude.

    4 AnswersPoetry3 years ago
  • It's fire season again in Southern California. So I'm reposting this one, that presages the threat now being realized in other backyards?


    In my backyard the olive tree among

    the other trees that shade a failing lawn

    fends off the searing blaze of summer dawn

    much better that it did when it was young.

    Its leaves, back then, were few and far between

    on branches barely qualified as twigs

    that clawed the sky in subtle zags and zigs.

    The kind of grab at life so often seen.

    The garden, taken whole, has come to grief:

    the patch of lawn once green has gone to brown,

    the flowers don t look up, but only down,

    the plum tree and the peach have lost their leaf,

    small beetles gorge on wood of withered oaks,

    the needles fall from branch of stressed-out pine,

    my avocado tree is in decline.

    (Is global warming still seen as a hoax?)

    Yet other trees, acacias and mesquite

    and doing very well despite the drought.

    About that olive, though, I still have doubt:

    it s watered less, so suffers in this heat.

    Should it survive, then maybe so will I.

    We live with what we have, or else we die.

    9 AnswersPoetry3 years ago
  • Obscure enough for you?

    Analine, the fourth Fate

    . . in dying

    . . I always

    . . assure

    . . that the color

    . . stays fast:

    . . cold water

    . . follows hot

    3 AnswersPoetry3 years ago
  • Will you take up a challenge?

    pick a rhyme scheme to guide the tongue and a familiar theme to guide the semantic flow. E.g., you might go with

    Four stanzas of three lines, with the general form xyx, iambic pentameter. (E.g.,

    I saw the cat that ate the wretched mouse

    and watched it disembowel the sorry beast

    the festive trophies decorate the house

    Couple the stanzas in some way, like this, maybe

    aba (mouse, beast, house)

    cdc (lump, squeak, stump)

    ebe (grease, feast, cease)

    fdf (mood, leak, conclude)

    Now you got a monkey puzzle that is solved when you fill in the blanks with a poem about cats eating mice and making a mess, and how that relates to the increasing polarization seen lately in American politics.

    Now you do it.

    2 AnswersPoetry3 years ago
  • Take a shot at it, Critic?

    This horrid beast has commandeered my lap

    and made of me a merely handy bed

    sufficient for the time it takes to nap.

    I doubt sometimes she'd mind if I were dead.

    But maybe not! At least alive I'm warm,

    and warm and soft is most of what she seeks.

    A purring cat on lap is standard form,

    but who can say exactly what it speaks?

    I think my cat is pleased that I am here

    and ready with a hand to stroke her fur.

    With me she never has a need for fear

    and when our eyes are meet, she shows me . . . her.

    . . But I am just a man, and she's a cat.

    . . Affection there, but hardly more than that.

    4 AnswersPoetry3 years ago
  • A small rant about being an older poet with a preference for more formal work. Can I get a comment from a young rebellious poet?

    You bastards mutter lyric, formless, free,

    and delve the vastly richer vein of ore

    within yourselves---that's hardly fair to me!

    My bland existence, too, has human core.

    Vanilla songs alone can I compose

    unless I fabricate, concoct the lie

    that makes of me a hero, wear the clothes

    that scream 'A POET!', sacrifice this eye---

    the classic cost of wisdom, by the way,

    an eye pitched down into the Well of Souls.

    The standard price the wise god has to pay.

    A metaphor that's really full of holes.

    ---Excuse digression! I'll get to my point!

    The gritty-pretty poet's view of things,

    those observations that are out of joint

    with six-pack life will put no useful wings

    on six-pack thought, nor move complacent minds

    toward those wants your poet's vision finds.

    4 AnswersPoetry3 years ago
  • Hey, ain't you grateful it's not the Easter Bunny poem again?

    Hawks aloft

    Those bigger birds with tail of red,

    All appetite and attitude,

    Are soaring slowly overhead

    Alert for chance of sex or food.

    At this time, two, more often one,

    On rising air from heated ground,

    Conceal themselves inside the sun

    To take their prey without a sound.

    What poet can resist their stare?

    These noble souls are wingéd kings.

    The wicked beak, the fiery glare--

    But let's consider other things:

    Above this dog poo freshly piled

    You see another flying beast

    Not one bit less the creature wild

    In flight above its next big feast.

    And there above the jasmine bush

    A ball of pheromone and flies

    Their flight is acrobatic rush

    Victorious sex! The winner dies!

    But s.hit hawks do not move your pen.

    The feathered fliers get the play;

    Of eagles write, revere the wren.

    I think it wrong. I've had my say.

    (Those bees, of course, are nectar hawks.

    I've said so much in other talks.)

    1 AnswerPoetry3 years ago
  • It's a poem, sorta. Take a shot at it.?

    Heuristic method; stepwise refinements

    In hot pursuit of Yankee dollars

    we don’t chop logic with the scholars

    but from experience some standard seize

    as typical bird or typical cheese.

    The next thing goes with that it matches,

    indifferent baskets hold the batches.

    Alike enough, alike indeed,

    a single label fills the need.

    Choose and sort and mark the bin.

    Dump the lot and start again.

    Keep the present task in mind,

    let some things go ill-defined.

    The oddities, ignore for now;

    group the rest as I told you how.

    4 AnswersPoetry3 years ago
  • Take it apart, won't you?

    The poem is rather long, so I'm burying it among the answers, if any come in.

    5 AnswersPoetry3 years ago
  • Hey, how about that art/science dichotomy?

    A billion leaves have danced before my eyes,

    their shapes and colors make recall a joy,

    yet out of that I haven’t one surmise

    whereon to build an intellectual’s toy.

    The touch, the smell, the taste, the sight, the sound

    —that I can sense what is a fact, indeed—

    you’d think ‘twould lead to theory profound.

    But it does not, because a prior need

    exists: You have to have some kind of thought

    to mark apart the merely pretty weed

    from wheat, to tell what is . . and what is not.

    . . The rustle of the leaves doth give soul ease,

    . . but doesn’t tell you much about the trees.

    2 AnswersPoetry3 years ago
  • Crit me one time, then crit me again?

    I shall defer judgment now

    Certified psychics?

    O gimme a break.

    The Tarot, the tea leaves, I Ching?

    What kinds of sign

    might the Great One stick up

    to foretell what your future will bring?

    Omens abound:

    see the owl flying west?

    That must portend something awesome.

    We'll have great fortune soon:

    I've five spots on my vest

    from reading the guts of a possum.

    Feel the vibrations,

    the light on the crystal,

    the cool emanation of mana.

    I'm channeling now

    and I worship that cow.

    I eat only rice and banana.

    Read the statistics.

    Interpolate data.

    Extrapolate twenty years hence.

    Commit your resources,

    invest where you gotta.

    I think I'll just stay on this fence.

    8 AnswersPoetry3 years ago
  • Let's put some fresh eyes on this one. Write a clever review. Take out your critic's kit and DISSECT this?

    To a friend in the sciences

    On "Hydrostatics of a tree":

    O, Botanist! You clumsy jerk,

    You show too well how flowers work

    And kill the romance of the bee.

    I know, I know, you have to seek,

    To wield your scientific knife

    To carve a truth from verdant life.

    Just so must I some sadness speak:

    My shattered myths conceal the floor

    So weep with me for metaphor

    That knowledge weakened 'til it failed.

    You know some truths live only veiled.

    And now you look upon tall wood . . .

    Four hundred feet; the math is good.

    You did the math, with thoughty frown,

    And then you brought the ceiling down.

    You show me truth. I ache to choose

    A sweeter world in lying hues.

    A little sigh, Ygdrassil shrinks.

    Perhaps I should be pouring drinks.

    by Skumpf Sklub

    2 AnswersPoetry3 years ago
  • Would you suppose this describes a genuine incident. 'The Battle of Squeamish Hill'?

    From where I sat, the scene was rather bland:

    two portly men maneuvered wooden blocks

    between recesses spent in friendly talks,

    deciding how the rulebook should be scanned.

    Agreements easy---reached in calm debate

    to give the Quisling spots a meaning plain---

    insinuated flaw for private gain

    that showed up in the play as dismal fate

    as dice rebelled,

    by plodding to the sums

    the two agreed were needed for effects

    according with the truth the rule reflects.

    They mashed the nasty cubes against their thumbs

    and rolled again, and shoved their painted wood.

    "My grenadiers will scramble up those cliffs.

    (The tokens took their place among the glyphs

    to face opposing tokens where they stood).

    ---"A few will die. The rest should run away.

    ---My line right there is really very strong.

    ---But do go on and try. I could be wrong,

    ---and if I am, the battle goes your way."

    "I must," the cool reply

    "It's now . . . or nought."

    He rolled the dice.

    "I managed only eight.

    Again your plucky lads have dodged their fate.

    So take your luck, and let’s see what we got."

    The fall of dice implied a grim defeat.

    "Debacle!" came the cry. "La Garde recule!"

    (Exactly one full inch, as per the rule).

    “I've lost this battle. Bugler, sound retreat."

    The struggle in the parlor stayed in hand,

    though close to detonation once or twice---

    And loud was cursing of Bellona’s dice!

    The mixed results were far from what was planned.

    1 AnswerPoetry3 years ago
  • When the day lasts as long as the night, who wins?

    I'm suggesting that the equinoces are under-represented in poety. Can you remedy that?

    3 AnswersPoetry3 years ago
  • If you know of Acquire and of Monopoly, why would you prefer one to the other?

    I won't play Monopoly anymore. I would rather lose---even badly---at Acquire, than win at Monopoly.

    But, it seems that many here still find Monopoly not merely playable, but worth a little further skull sweat to improve skill at Monopoly.

    (Skill at Monopoly? I typed that phrase? Is the madness contagious?)

    1 AnswerBoard Games3 years ago
  • Got one of them there 'write a poem using these words' assignments?

    How to write a ‘spelling list sonnet'

    The words you list aren't anything to sweat,

    As any line of iambs can be nudged:

    The native rhythm can be slightly fudged.

    Manipulate the words before the feet

    That make the mess, or stick another in:

    It's anybody's guess if that's a patch.

    If critic by bad luck your sin should catch

    Confess, and do the penance for the sin.

    Like wooden tiles in Scrabble's sacred rack

    The poet gaily shuffles round his words

    To make of sense and thought coherent stack.

    Why make of form a bar, a kind of flak

    Through which you fly in fear? That's just absurd!

    Relax, you bards, and cut yourself some slack.

    6 AnswersPoetry3 years ago
  • Will you take a moment to comment on the relationship between the title and the poem [ R(title, poem) ]?

    Possibly a sour grapes poem

    I see your face, my blood begins to boil

    while icy tingle navigates my spine

    I know that you are his and won't be mine

    because I have to spend my time in toil.

    The facts of class impede affection's run;

    the man you favor never has to count

    his coins to reach the requisite amount;

    your time is spent in leisure in the sun

    and, yes, the end result is fine to see,

    a smooth gold skin upon a trophy wife.

    I wonder, did you really choose this life,

    are you a slave to want or really free?

    . . Ah, well, I sigh and now must move along

    . . You're living well, but living . . . maybe wrong

    3 AnswersPoetry3 years ago
  • Could I have been a little . . . grumpy when I wrote this?

    I'm just not in the frcking mood

    to put my thoughts out in the light

    And, yeah, I know that must sound rude,

    But number stuff would only bore you, right?

    I'm not in love; and no one died.

    No Evil looms at hand right now.

    I do not plan to suicide;

    I shall not ponder on the how.

    The stuff that puts my mind in gear

    Has never been le chose de mode.

    (I'll speak not of some things I fear,

    Such matters best addressed in code).

    Who cares for logic's strengths and lacks?

    Who wants to hear of lesser gods?

    You'd sooner read of income tax

    And easy ways one might do fraud.

    So this is it, just empty verse

    Now at its end; it could be worse.

    2 AnswersPoetry3 years ago