¡ POETRY ! discussion

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message 1: by Amy (new)

Amy (AmyKing) | 535 comments Mod
Want your words to reach nearly 4 million people?

Goodreads and the ¡Poetry! group have partnered to create a contest in order to select a new poem each month for our newsletter.

1. Post your best poem here (*one poem per person*) in this folder (below as a "comment").

2. Goodreads and our three judges, Wendy Babiak, Andrew Haley, and Ruth Bavetta, will select six poems as finalists to be voted on by the Goodreads community.

3. ¡Poetry! group members will vote for the poem they like best (one vote per member). The poem with the most votes will be published in the Goodreads’ newsletter – distributed each month to more than 2.5 million people!

** If you have been a finalist more than three times in a year, you may not enter a poem for one year.

Good luck & please post your best work!


Amy King
¡Poetry! Moderator

message 2: by Rob (new)

Rob Gardner (robertgardner) | 3 comments Aw, man! There’s nothing like that smell.
The hazy heat radiating off the blacktop, tarry
air filling my nostrils. Green explosions of life in
full-bloom sweep me away to my childhood. Treading
across mulberry-stained sidewalks, I make my way through
East Falls. House after house, the drone on window units
offer promise after promise of cooler climates within.
I want none of that!
Content am I to catch a whiff of A/C exhaust and continue
on my course. Perhaps I’ll head up the Wissahickon, jump
from rocks and bridges into the chilly creek. Or maybe
I’ll grab a waffle ball and bat and see if anyone’s playing over
Mifflin schoolyard.
I like to go and sit by myself on the wall by the Schuylkill
Just watching the river rush past, chucking the occasional bottle
or stone and pondering the ripples.
So many opportunities for this neighborhood boy; boredom
never one.
There is no such thing as excessive heat.
It’s like saying “excessive freedom.”
Summer is liberty, my time to grow, to explore, to think, to wander.

A thick air calls to me, “Run, Robert! Run! Be open and wild and free and happy!

message 3: by Terri (last edited Nov 07, 2011 05:34PM) (new)

Terri Armstrong (TArmstrong) | 9 comments Sometimes

Sometimes life breaks you down,
Your bones become kindling for fate,
And your will turns to ashes.
Suddenly, someone brings breath to you.

A mind’s picture of their smile transforms you,
Changing your future from hopeless to hopeful.
The race you’re running doesn’t seem so long,
And you find your way toward the finish line.

Love’s hand is outstretched for you to grasp,
Giving you the belief that anything is possible.
Touching more than your skin, it finds your soul,
And you are freed to dream once again.

This is what you have done for me.
Thank you, my love.

message 4: by Chanelle (new)

Chanelle Lonie (ImANinjaOnTheDancefloor) | 7 comments Smoke
its deep
its gray
its like a haze.

it comes and it goes
breathe it in then you blow
it comes out
as i shout
but i automaticaly shut my mouth.

it comes every day
it comes in a haze
it risses and goes down
without a sound

its colors
are wonders
to your eyes
Blues,purples and grays
just so divine
it withers away
like cold winter days
only thing i say is
ill see you again
one day

message 5: by Virginia (new)

Virginia Llorca (virginiallorca) | 79 comments It never really happened.

message 6: by Raaya79 (new)

Raaya79 | 5 comments Victor Jara Chilian revolutionary

They beat you
Broke your hands

Then your ribs

Beaten broken and brutalized

You still sang

That popular hymn


We will win


Mocked you


With your



Dumped you
on the side
of the road

To rot in open

Them they

They them

Who woke that
to follow orders

Like then
And after

Who came from

With sisters
And brothers

Like Then
And after

The inexplicable

They say

the human mind
Is full of neural

Imagine the terror.......

message 7: by Laurie (new)

Laurie Cain | 19 comments Rebirth

Hinging on a transformation
Recognizing the beauty in all
as a snowflake
one of a kind

So this year has been

Most snowflakes are imperfect. They may have grown unevenly, broken, melted and refrozen.

So we have been

Snowflakes have contact with other crystals…..thus reforming, changing their shape and structure, re-emerging new.

I hope we will be

lec 11/11

message 8: by [deleted user] (new)

My Future Looks Like This....

Is there
is there
is there
room for me
time for me
need for me

to grow up
to show up

when I please
when I'm ready
when my art
gets hot, hot cheers

when my writing
helps a sister fix a problem
warms a brother's heart
opens doors to new ideas

which cause an illness
to depart, or open up
a pizza shop
keep our muscles strong
with food and workouts
we can do at home.

To grow up
to show up

my ever ready future's
waiting to be found.

message 9: by Elaine (last edited Nov 07, 2011 05:56PM) (new)

Elaine Campbell (goodreadscomnickthegreek11) Blood and Bones

When the day is too tired for me
and I am as young as the wind
and solace is a myth…peace
a fragmented dream,

I cry, but no tears come.
I laugh, yet blood
is the color of the year.

We must inherit life
from those who've lost their own.
Live up to a promise of dearth
without measure. Trust

a wild chimera as much as
our savior stone. And
be able to endure
the only road
back home. A fetid swamp
or a Nebraska plain. Does it matter
if they're your sister or your brother?

Famine or spring.
Blood still flows
while bones retreat.
Evidence gets lost
in the chimney crush:
the woman wails
but no one hears.
The bride is late for the groom
and the groom gets drunk.

Then a child
with soft, pudgy hands
offers a half-grin.
Young as blue time,
will the child live?

message 10: by Tanika (new)

Tanika Smith (journey29) | 6 comments Just a thought:
by Tanika Smith

The last breath that I take, will no longer be for you

That dark hollow place where you've taken me, made me bitter

If my heart could speak, it would say I'm threw!

Weep no more, for my eyes are all dried up

My hands; You will never again feel my soft touch

no apology accepted, not this time, you fucked up!

No regrets, it was fun while it lasted

I'll smile at the moments we shared

moving forward, getting passed it.

message 11: by Stella (new)

Stella (stellam) | 3 comments Unrequieted
At first glance no sparks did fly
At second a friendly smile
At third a momentary slip
At fourth misleading words
Sent my mind adrift with wanton dreams
Fantasies fraying the borders of my thoughts
Springing dew-like tears forth from my eyes
A crackle unearths itself from my heart
Your unknowing endearing qualities
Spring forth feelings of remorse
When my true feelings became known
I tried to convince myself of your love
Unrequieted they would say
Friendship is all that you ask
For I wanted so much more
So I hang on your every word
Though the weight of them is heavy on my heart
I hang on for dear life thinking that
One day you will return
Your unrequieted love.
By Stella G

message 12: by Paul (new)

Paul Pellicci | 34 comments Squeamish at the thought of living forever

I’m so bored now
What would I do forever?
I’ve typed the poems
I’ve writ my prose
I’ve splashed my paintings
I’m so bored....
Living in a house, built
On a mountain of cards
Not knowing when or if
The hand of fortune
Will wave her hand
I’m so bored that
I really don’t care...
Being ignorant is supposed
A blessing
I think it’s a curse
Of those longing to live
Like waiting in a Russian jail
Waiting every minute for the window to open
And one shot ends it all

message 13: by Michele (new)

Michele Harvey We Bid Farewell

Estate sellers help us unload silver
Wares blotted and tainted now retired
Fluted goblets ring in hands that quiver
Engraved candlesticks shed light without fire

Keepsakes wait baited for strangers to view
Red cases open as bidders march past
Spoons hang sullen like a yellowing moon
Stopwatches mark time from shelves behind glass

A blue-haired man bids on pop’s nickel plate
Rust and neglect reflect absent luster
Dark blemishes show time humiliates
Our family’s past, sold by slick conductors

Random hands rise like initial scratches
Bids spur high stakes, legacy dispatches

message 14: by Ray (new)

Ray (dizzy1) | 7 comments THE STEW CUTTER

Over years,
and with the loss of seven fingers,

he has learned to swing the cleaver
in the first and third fingers
of his right hand.

His left palm (whitish nubs and a
muscled thumb) is used to situate and
feed the slabs of bleeding meat.

I am waiting for an order,
flinching at the blade,
as time and time again it sinks
beside the cutter’s last thumb.

He glances up,
and reading my expression, chuckles.

“Only thing I know, “he says,
“besides a cleaver and a lean stew,
is how to play guitar.

And that’s no way to
make a living.”

-- Ray DiZazzo

message 15: by Cornelia (new)

Cornelia DeDona (Connied) | 27 comments Letters to a Prisoner

Make Me Hot!

I want to sizzle
like an egg sunny side up
with my edges crisp
lightly browned
no humdrum lines
or snot
diminishing a
first impression.
I want them
to inhale
my scent
like hungry dogs
hot on the trail
of a
drop dead sinew
and pearly white

message 16: by Shannpalmer (new)

Shannpalmer | 2 comments in the parking lot at the new brewery

waiting for you, I open the sunroof
to let autumn bring its shallow chill
on a day when the sky is so blue
it showboats the depth it implies.

You fuss over growlers and such,
carry swag and business cards
to give away, as if a mote matters,
as if our actions are significant.

Humming “Tiny Bubbles” I mimic
interest while you tell me everything
you know concerning craft, creation,
about ”aspiration”. I say (without irony)

this fermenting poem reiterates
the process, your novel-in-progress,
even the golden leaf on the dash.
I stop, you are no longer listening.

When you were put in my arms, son,
I was swaddled in sensation, attuned
to your slightest need, unaware of time
though immersed in constant change.

Now, we are together running diverse
errands on the cusp of fall: the bank,
the brewery, then home for dinner
in different rooms, same menu.

message 17: by Tricia (new)

Tricia McCallum | 102 comments Thirst.

The sun was hotter.
You can tell.
Look at us squinting against it in photos then.
Everything washed out by the glare,
cheekbones, jawlines,
all detail surrendered.
we could be anybody.

The gardens, look, they’re parched.
It hurt to walk on the grass.
We lay in scorched backyards
slathering butter on our chests,
chain-smoking, eating fluorescent cheesies,
swilling scarlet soda,
everyone burned red raw.

we felt nothing could go wrong.
Our lives lay ahead of us.
Men were above us,
landing on the moon.

message 18: by Erica (new)

Erica Minton Reid (redrabbit) | 9 comments BREAKFASTING

It is Sunday and I’ve forgotten I’m wearing
your shirt. The dishes are clean
within their machine; water still drips
from the lips of upturned saucers.

I hear you scrubbing the shower from within
the shower; even your cleaning is planned
and effective. I take the hint, lower the drawbridge
door of the dishwasher and inventory our lives
through spatulas, glasses, knives.

We could get by without a dishwasher
if it weren’t for teacups, which we are constantly
rinsing by hand anyway to keep up with demand.
They must be tired. There are three white plates,
meaning you ate a meal without me, meaning
there was a night I spent wishing I were
eating with you.

The rest is mostly spoons, which dance
with the teacups, and a glass apple juice jar
I refuse to throw away, occasionally washing it
as it grows dusty.

You are finished showering and I can hear the towels
being returned to where towels go. The soap
is where the soap goes, of that I have no doubt.
The faintest clean-white smell ambles
from the bathroom-- I start the teapot
and choose your spoon delicately, with the same care
you would choose mine.

message 19: by Kiki (new)

Kiki | 4 comments Expecting

When the peonies burst into bloom
by my home's black wrought-iron gate,
my baby girl, continents and oceans away,
will leave her orphanage walls
to come home, and I will kiss her
in her bright yellow crib.

But rain pelts the peonies
until the flowers fall apart
leaving the burnt buds
closed tight as prisons.

Only one white letter
bangs against my door
final as a judge's verdict:
Vietnam has slammed shut adoptions.

For weeks I can't even bring myself to open
a moth-ball scented closet and cram her crib in―
the little legs pulled back, twisted up
into a tight, rectangular stack.

How many nights will I be confined
to longing for her?
How many days will I remind myself
I can't break free?

How many hours till I stop expecting
to see her eyes looking back at mine
through the narrow bars of her crib?

message 20: by Dan (new)

Dan Birker (Fancypantsster) envelop

i practice Your words
on the sipping sly end of my jaw
trying to embody Your thin air
but only corroded carnage escapes
from these bent breathe pipes.

Your thoughts never weighed on Your words
so heavily.
swallowing their syllabic drops
makes me practice falling on that weight.

Your words inspire pinned dancers
toes to memorize choreographed architecture;
send signals past hymnals
so martyrs can immolate unconditionally,
spreading their flames built from stitched chakra.

i want to hold the
hiss of every salavic coil
Your throat contains,
taste Your vernacular that
bruises the colors of Your cavern,
glistening paint weaving
the suffering You made.
i could never clasp Your starlit laughter
with my hollowed hands shivering
wonderstruck like
the retinas of a dying soldier.

closer, please come closer,
grip Your sleeves as though expression
is the shivering pain of release, that loathing
Your past doesn’t deserve a payment of guilty penny tears
and howling through your splintered bowels
into the backwards night
is not gonna make me
stop hungering for Your voice.

message 21: by Tahirah (new)

Tahirah | 1 comments The Healing Game

Oh, it is sad how life can change in the blink of an eye.
At the beat of the drum we must move forward
…so, why haven’t we?
Still stuck in the past. Yesterday’s problems still on our path.
How can we move on when we have fallen? How did we sway from our promised tomorrows?
Gone with yesterday I say. On with tomorrow, for a new day.
Say goodbye to sweet sorrow, though our pain never goes away.
Moving on to tomorrow. Yes, there will be a better day.

Healing is hard, when you want to feel pain.
Pain is a kind of sick game.
It clings to you, night and day.
It makes you feel special. As if you’ve got something important to say.
But really, it’s there just trying to melt you away!
It doesn’t really care that you want to move on.
It’s simply there to bring you down.
I say, Scram! Be damned Pain! Don’t come around here any day!
I want the moon and the stars!
Not to shudder with the pains from mars!
Go away you ruthless thing.
And leave me here,
where I can regain,
All that I have lost,
with you in my way.

message 22: by Jerine (new)

Jerine Watson | 6 comments ALCINA

The old woman
sorts through sepia photographs
staring at the frozen smiles
on faces long-since gone
from the living.

She sighs
narrows her eyes
wondering how she survives
after so many years
hauling river water in earthen jars
balanced on her youthful head
rendering suet from a wild pig
the smoke from the wood cookstove
squeezing out tears.
Making soap from ashes and lye
washing clothes on a rock in the river
tending babies
grinding corn
hoeing weeds
planting seeds
never stopping
never resting.

Now the house is grand.
A maid cleans, a machine launders
a gas stove cooks
electricity glows at night
water flows from pipes
freshly-made coffee
warms a china cup
and a bony hand.
A daily shower
with lilac-scented soap
after a nap
in an air-conditioned room.
A sewing machine hums
the television squawks
louder than the parrots used to
down by the river.
Her crochet hook dances
sure-footed and fast
endless stitches
keeping the mind off
the fading memories
the grown-up babies
the distant river.
Morning, night, rain, wind.
Many things are the same
but too many are not.
Teeth are false
bones are hollow
the love-man is gone.
Relatives crowd in with care
and affection.
There is plenty to eat.
All is easier now.

But the life by the river
was better.

Soon, the old woman knows,
she won’t remember any of it.

message 23: by Brittney (new)

Brittney Fear and Trembling
by B.L. Weber

I have missed you.

Each box on my calendar,
One day stacked 'gainst another.
Shaped into a Penrose staircase,
Winding through an uncharted beginning.

For twenty-two years,
I have walked these same patterns.
Their shapes are ingrained,
In the soil-beds of my feet.

Footprints cemented into the aesthetic realm,
Chiseled away to make room for the ethical.
Still, the key ingredient of transcendence,
Overlooked, e'en on barren shelves.

Now I am treading love,
Flailing through fear of its unfamiliarity.
My cup runneth over,
With the irony of your appearance.

A horizon is observed,
The backdrop of a clean existence.
The pallor of your message,
Etched into my skin.

I have missed you.

message 24: by Bucky (new)

Bucky (BuckyB) A Simple Request

I want to ride with you
in your mother's car
through a countryside that rolls like smoke
past your teeth, your lips.

I want to find a red wine
that tastes like sex.
I want to fall asleep in a stranger's bed
and wake up in a comfortable place.

I want you to read me
casual like a magazine.
I want you to build me a fire
that blossoms like flesh.

I want to find sanity
in an unfamiliar scent.
I want to feel love
in more than a wound.

message 25: by Danielle (new)

Danielle Mcintyre | 1 comments Sky Locked
Forced to slip into the light that has escaped your magificant eyes.
My soul glances for just a moment of a wistful fantasy with you.
Scenes of ice blue satin sheets sail eternally with our spirits on wings between the innocence of love.
Your heart beats in slow motion with the pace of your breath; that is laced in a red mist.
Blades of endearment slice the passion you have given away so fiercely that I can hear your lips quiver with beauty and grace.
My pursuit for you is undeniable and the velocity of absorbed poetry is seeping through my blood unstoppably.
Kindred trust is displayed like ancient literature in the endless sky.
An ending like no other, smoothered in destiny, locked away in my mind and written on my heart.
I shine my unbreakable obience from the lyrics of your voice that is now silent to my ears;
Yet screaming to my existance, "Seek and you shall find!"
Now I take with me the crown of beauty, to be displayed in absolute slendor till we are sky locked again.
Only next time for forever!

message 26: by Teresa (new)

Teresa (bvblove13) | 1 comments defy the hate
defy the doubt
we will learn to live with out

on the run
on the move
we have nothing else to prove

we are young
we are bold
we will live with your cold

the iciness of your stare
tje disapproval you declare

we will fight
we are right
to be who we are!

message 27: by Guy (new)

Guy (egajd) | 420 comments The Walk
       by Guy Duperreault

In the dream I walked a great distance.
And I felt a clear sense of purpose
that lacked direction.
I was not confused.

I realized that the walk was important.
Suddenly I saw, from a great distance,
a structure that knew not whether to be
a house, a mausoleum or a monastery.
Somehow that provided me comfort.

Then I found myself inside the cross hatch of beams
and joists and partially exposed studs.
I felt the wind, now cool, racing
through the glassless windows.
As it moved to fill the empty rooms
it moaned that it was God and the end of God.
Without fear I understood its meaning.

It was then that the glassless windows closed.
I was no longer able to see outside
and began to feel a rising panic running against my racing heart,
a race to find the door, a door, any door that would release me from the wind.
Somehow I knew that what I'd thought I was
had come undone.

message 28: by Kitty (new)

Kitty | 84 comments Falling

I want to remember the things
my mother loved –
give her a singing kettle
for something better than instant Yuban.

Only a vague idea remains of her two double basses
bowing out of cases,
belting and buzzing as they burst into song.
But they too have fallen out of sight,
gone now,
along with the clutter of shells
(painstakingly mounted fifty years ago)
her old books collected in Boston
(bookshelved in Michigan
boxed to Atlanta
blighted by moth, mold in Florida)
and her tennis raquet tossed out along with her days of coaching,
and her ode, Owed to Tennis.

It all gallops by past a fragrance of pine
scenting the air seen through the frame of cocked ears
the rhythm of galloping, galloping,
softly galloping
as she rides towards her end,
sliding now—
I reach for the mane,
but can only clutch the sound of echoes.

message 29: by Jess (new)

Jess (jessicaclarence) Red room, Red room,
I'll enter you soon,
Hide in your shadows,
Curl up in your womb.

Red room, Red room,
How clever your doom!
You slick up my fingers
and claw up my youth.

Red room, Red room,
Like poppies in bloom,
My bastard best friend
Until I'm in my tomb.

message 30: by Veronica (new)

Veronica Noechel (EVeronicaNoechel) | 20 comments Cats, Remember

Remember the drowning,
young rough edged hands and drawstring bags,
the burn of summer evening sunlight on burlap, thrashing
elbows and knees of eight siblings and a mother, growling,
angrier than a hiss.

Remember the stomach drop plunge into
cold still water and the frantic swish
of claw cutting faces, ears, paws,
and the cool feeling of blood
drawing away.

Remember the first to go down
sudden stillness, an involuntary twitch.
Remember when it was the one above you,
her weight like a fist, pushing pushing.

Pushing weight without movement, just the bearing
down, the still heart and heavy ribs above you like the collapse
of a tired house under the dark green weight of kudzu vine.
Just one kitten lump and then another, smaller,
more compact. There is no sound, only the silent dis-
solve of another lifetime disposed.

Remember this, when they feed you.
Remember this, when the collar clicks on,
when they stroke your kitten ears and pretend
to love your slick satin coat and
the white iron bones beneath.

Remember this, when it is time
for warm baths or revolution.

message 31: by Jackie (new)

Jackie | 28 comments .
My Son

October 7 - October 8, 1974

I never knew my son

His name was Geoffrey Charles
He was born thirty-seven years ago this afternoon
He died thirty-seven years ago tomorrow morning
A lifetime in less than a day

I don't cry for him any more

My sadness has been transformed
Into a weight that I carry in my heart
With the same love that I felt
When I carried the weight of him in my body

I know him after all

Jackie Robinson
October 7, 2011

message 32: by Angela (new)

Angela | 18 comments Ode to the Eight Million Dollar Man

You cup the mug,
breathe in the rich aroma
of coffee beans from Ecuador
in a remote town you’ve never heard of.

The scent lingers long after you have left
the café to loiter on the streets
beneath the twinkling white lights
strung from tree to tree, a festive night

Where you hope to meet another woman
who will captivate you the way I once did.
The city open and empties through doors
of restaurants, shops, clubs, and theaters.

You duck beneath the awning of a pawn
store where you bought the ring you wore,
the black onyx, a square eye, daring strangers
to ask who you are, where you’ve come from.

No one knows what you don’t tell them.
No one reads the paper anymore.
If they did, they would discover only this:
Your photo above the caption:

Eight million dollar man loses all for love.
I knew you before then, before you left me
to chase after a woman of sophistication
wearing a Chanel suit who talked about Shakespeare,

Quoted stock prices from the Wallstreet Journal
like verses from the Bible. She said she graduated
magnum cum laude from Brown. That’s all
you needed to marry her, that’s all you needed

To destroy you. Her greed, an empty cup
That never filled, only drained as quickly as
the sales appeared every Wednesday afternoon
while you toiled and toiled away, believing

Love is forever; love lasts. But it didn’t.
She left when the money ran out. Left you
with less than enough money for a sandwich.
If you had met me then, would I have recognized you?

Now you glance at your watch, a cheap replica of what
you once owned and wonder if you will ever know again
someone who is real, as real as I was, holding your hand,
cradling your heart, not caring about money, only your devotion.

The night, once full of possibilities, slowly ends
as morning rises up to kiss the blush of sky.
The lights in the trees extinguish against the backdrop
of day, and you slowly fade into who you once were.

I cross the street and peer into the empty café
fifteen minutes before it opens. I spy the upside down
chairs stacked on upright tables and wonder is that really
you reflected in the glass before I turn and know – it is.

message 33: by Saumya (new)


Music fills my ears,
As I wait for you,
Playlist comes to an end
But my wait doesn't.
A teardrop rolls down,
Then a few more,
Another day,
Another day of wait.
It isn't the first,
And I know not the last,
As I leave another message,
For no reply,
It decreases my hope.
I look up into those smiling eyes,
Then it disappears,
Like all the illusions of my mind.
Darkness has come down,
Lifting light of the ground.
My eyes slowly closing,
I surrender to sleep.
Only one thought in mind,
"Daddy,please come home"
I fall into darkness,
Yet another day.

message 34: by Christina (new)

Christina  (ChristinaWoDonnelly) | 262 comments Love Song

Come, love, be biddable. Do.
Woo again, as once you did,
without this heavy load of sighs.
Rest your restlessness, dear,
between my thighs. Be languid now
upon the bolster. It means you no harm.
Content you in content again. Love,
leave off that thought of hunt or sport.
Leave it there upon the lintel.
Her buttermilk shoulder,
her slender ankle will keep, love.
My gaze has never wavered.

Won’t you come, love? Be biddable, pray.
This day, this night in our sateen tent
content you once again with me.

~ Christina Woś Donnelly

message 35: by Nora (new)

Nora Black (nora_black) | 29 comments Cornelia wrote: "Letters to a Prisoner

Make Me Hot!

I want to sizzle
like an egg sunny side up
with my edges crisp
lightly browned
no humdrum lines
or snot
diminishing a
first impression.
I want ..."


message 36: by Brad (new)

Brad (judekyle) | 6 comments all is now . horsemen. vital light
by Brad Simkulet

misty wraith of end times, overdetermined destructor,
met us, hovering over a rising hillock of asphalt
manifested in haze the like of which we’d never seen.
an impossibly serendipitous diffusion of fog
smoke and curvature and light and unseen dark matter.
hyperion’s disk, a golden capped mallow beyond,
smoking its way out of the embers on a stick.

violence, the red one, met us with joy
on a web in the sun, dew flecked and tenuous,
when a day moth fluttered to its sticky end.
pregnant, death slipped along her strands
to sheath her prey in silk. spinning spinner.
a meal for her unborn in a time of need.

she tugged and pulled and dragged her meal,
it came to the verge of her dank hole,
an under-roof cave, ventilated with breeze,
hidden enough to tuck away and pounce
upon the tremors of her invisible weaving.

gagged and bilious vomitous, in the sinuses, on the tongue,
a reflection that skews our synapses into abuse,
calories of non-nutrition, flavours of toxicity,
distended bellies of glutinous, intestinal corrosion.
our senescence is everywhen, our conception’s twin rider,
pale, putrescent, gangrenous, mortified, rotting our flesh
cleaning our bones, dusting us to nothing. without fail.

now our pillow begs for our repose,
as the world continues to fall apart around us.

the world died large and small for us, and will again.

message 37: by Nia (new)

Nia | 1 comments My Dancing Fingers

Oo... this joy of writing
It is like giving vitamins to your soul
It is like Red Bull to a sleepy eyes
It is like dancing in the rain

Oo... this joy of writing
Let me embrace the sensation
Of feeling my fingers dancing gracefully
Carving some beautiful memories into words

Oo... this joy of writing
Let me dance the night away
Along with my dancing fingers

message 38: by Mark (last edited Nov 07, 2011 09:26PM) (new)

Mark Young (poetinabox) | 25 comments Heaven

by Mark Young

The streetlamp burns yellow at day's end,
reaches with light fingers into shadows,
past moths and insects flitting
against the filament in spastic rhythms.
They hum around the glow like cherubim
singing "glory, glory to you, oh bulb."

You've been taught about this intersection -
the corner of Flaxen & Goldbrick.
Past the buzz and hum you think
you hear whispers and laughter.
One voice sounds like your grandmother.

And you expect it to be. And you expect
to see your cat Fred, your first pet,
who died on the back porch in December
snow and your mom picked him up
with a shovel and placed him in a Converse
shoe box and then in the basement freezer.

In the spring, when the ground thawed
you and your brother buried Fred
under the cedar tree in your back yard.
You went back late one night after everyone
was in bed and sat under the tree, away
from the porch light. You asked questions.

Fred didn't answer. Neither did grandma.
And the preacher didn't seem to know,
not exactly, although there were promises.

message 39: by Sudhir (new)

Sudhir Kalyanikar (kalyanikar) | 2 comments Should Have Known Better and Taken The Taxi Home

I was in office having a regular day
And things went just the usual way
The quantum of work was a little more
The stress and strain left me sore

A long weekend was coming up
Three days to relax and put my feet up
What could be better, I thought
If only such bliss could often be bought

Hey, said a colleague, as I shut my laptop
How about a drink at the corner shop
A drink to celebrate today's highs
Or a drink to drown today's sighs

Don't mind, I said, but not too far
And not too much drink, I've to drive my car
We caught a friend of a similar mind
And off to the bar we went to unwind

But you know how it often is, don't you
When you go with friends for a drink or two
The drinks started coming straight from the drum
And I lost count after the fifth Beer and Rum

It was late by the time we did leave
Escorted out by the bouncer's hand on my sleeve
In a dangerous state when your thoughts wildly roam
I should have known better and taken the taxi home

But I said to myself, even if I stink
I'm not drunk, I can handle my drink
I could handle a car with my usual funk
Whether I was sober or was drunk

God, that was fun, I thought during the drive
Liquor is the elixir that makes you feel alive
And alive I felt as if I had unburdened a load
When I turned into the colony road

A distinct thump, my ear caught
A rock probably hit the car, I thought
I parked the car and I thanked HIM
For not being caught at a policeman's whim

I weaved along and climbed the stairs
Loudly muttering incomprehensible prayers
I entered my house and into my bed I curled
As I went to sleep, lost to the world

I woke to a sound, eyes bleary and blurred
Puked my guts and went to see what occurred
As I supported myself on the balcony railing
I could make out a distinct wailing

From the neighbor's house, the sound came
It's a real tragedy, I heard them exclaim
Such a young boy, he did not deserve this
Too young to die, to get death's kiss

Hit by a car, I heard someone say
Poor boy, in the bushes he lay
Weakly calling out to everybody
As both blood and life seeped out of his body

I answered the doorbell, thinking what the heck
A couple of policemen quickly grabbed my neck
And dragged me out telling everyone
He owns the car that struck your son

As I realized, my blood froze and everything chilled
As I looked at the small boy I had killed
Drunk drivers should be hung, I heard someone foam
He should have known better and taken the taxi home

By Sudhir Kalyanikar

This is not a true occurrence. This did not happen, but it very easily might happen to anyone – if one drinks and drives. Nothing may happen to the one drinking and driving, but something really bad may happen to someone totally innocent.
This is just my personal contribution against drinking and driving. I love driving and I love the occasional drink. But I urge everyone to be responsible and never mix the two.
Drink responsibly and drive responsibly, but never together.

message 40: by Donna (new)

Donna (Donnawannaread) A Winter Farewell (Winter in Alaska)

I shall miss the winds that blow
Across the silent evening snow
The lonely swaying of the pine
And the birch that move together in line.

And I shall miss the looming moon
And it's silent moody little tune
That carries the whistle of the wind
And the dry leaves that tumble in.

I will remember the nights I walked
And my little inward thoughtful talks
Whenever my conscience bothered be
The moon was there to counsel me.

And I could not forget the stars
That seemed to play a little farce
As they danced across the moonlit sky
And cast their light back in my eyes.

But tonight there was a different chill
And the air was very warm and still
I knew that spring was on her way
And the gray quickly fading to day

As I slowly began to roam
Back again towards my home
The birds began to sweetly sing
For, they could feel the coming of spring.

So long to you my gentle friend
After all we will meet again
After the last gray goose does call
And the show of snow warms us all.

message 41: by Cody (new)

Cody Kes | 7 comments EMO
I hurt someone
I care about
and that makes me
care less about myself
because I hurt a part of me
when I had no right to
so who am I to do so
what gives me that power
I hate me
for doing what I never wanted to
I hate me
so I take my emotional pain
and cut
physical pain
to remind me
to hate me
for what I did

you may be able to forgive me
but I can’t
it’s too much
so I take my thoughts
and etch them
to remind me
to think them
because I hurt you
I deserve to be hurt, don’t I
I do
and nothing anyone can say
can convince me otherwise
Emotional pain
Makes me hurt me
Only to remember I hurt you
Every cut
Makes me feel
Only what you felt
Enticing pains
More I meed to remember
Only to never forget
Excruciating monotony
My feelings stay the same
Only to keep me different

I don’t care about the pain
I don’t care about the trauma
I don’t care about the future
I don’t care about the past
I don’t care about the present
I don’t care about myself
I only care about
Every moment we had
Made me so happy
Only to make the ending sad
Every time I saw you
My heart would fly
Only so it could fall and die
Every kiss and hug we shared
My mind would soar
Only to be no more
Every talk we had
Most of the words we shared
Only to break so it can’t be repaired
Every moment spent with you
Moment I treasure
Only to make me hate me beyond measure

I miss those times
I miss those kisses
I miss those hugs
I miss your eyes
I miss your smile
I miss you laugh
I miss your voice
I miss what we shared
I miss how much you cared
I miss that love
I miss those talks
I miss your words
Every Moment On my mind
May have happened
Only to never happen never again


message 42: by Fuimaono (new)

Fuimaono Tuiasau | 3 comments oh our beloved Fiji

oh land, oh people of Isa Lei,
whose reputation was dear throughout the world
where happy men were bred, this Eden on golden seas,
where strong trade winds whisper over noble borders
timed by ceremony, harvest and the smell of the sea
bloomed the brave purpose for
orderly men under south sea skies.
But now, now, oh land, oh people your royal sails
are ripped from primeval sacred masts,
torn by the arrogant befuddled bayonet,
tethered to a deformed goat’s hind leg
Oh land, oh dear people under shadowy lights
sages circle to chant mystic dreams
To raise up the pearly whale from Tagaloa
we wait, we wait for them, they chant,
they chant, we wait, wait
they often spoke proudly of old journeys de rigueur
charged with strong winds on their backs
an ancient perfect reason for courage.
But alas now no sail makers here,
no stargazers, none among them now,
memory’s purpose squandered and Homer is locked up
deep in a cave near Kadavu, begging for a sign
oh land, oh people the new Wesley shuffle
a village jig perfect for the military dirge
this cannot be the promise of heaven on this once proud earth,
oh we have no vision, no visionaries, no future, for this or any journey.
Is there no one like the man from Assisi?
Alabama’s man of god? or Robben Island’s prison gardener?
A Mara like to make the fearless sacrifice?
I thought I saw a tabua being smashed by the army rifle,
a cross etched on the butt. Young hands did this
and the crowd dispersed, like at Calvary
Oh wake me from these perverse and complicated nightmares.
Oh land oh people hungry minds fed no more from
sweet harvests but from stones of
declarations, pronouncements, decrees falling
from the sky, like screeching locusts
gorging on the cheerful faces of men. They empty bitter froths
onto eyes of hopeful children who know no more or less
oh land, oh dear people, now who will launch the new stately preserve?
Fired by a thousand dreams, to take us on the journey
under titanium sails and a gps?
And to raise our brave voices to Tangimoucea’s mountain tops,
to gentle blue skies, release again the dove”

Fuimaono Tuiasau, Auckland

message 43: by William (new)

William Robertson (goodreadscombillro) | 81 comments DUSK

Skeletal oaks rattle their arm bone branches.
Winter crows squawk of the cold
& a pale sun emits anemic light.
A grave yawns at the end of the lane.
Dusk devours the evening with frosty jaws.

William P. Robertson

message 44: by Vickie (new)

Vickie (vixiejj) | 18 comments THE FOX AND THE MOLE

Let’s rob a bank
Said the fox to the mole
I’ve got mouths to feed
And I’m feeling the need

Ok, said the mole
But you know I can’t see
I can burrow real deep
But I might fall asleep

Well, said the fox
I can offer my cunning
I will find a way inside
And to you I’ll confide

Wake me up said the mole
When you discover this
As I’ve got a hunch
We’re in a credit crunch

So the fox went off thinking
How to rob the bank
And came up with a plan
While eating a cherry flan

Well then, asked the mole
What do you suggest we do
To steal all the money
But not do anything funny?

Aha, said the fox grinning
I’ll tell you what to do
Just burrow under the bank
While I drive up in a tank

Oh, said the mole frowning
I never thought of that
I didn’t know foxes could drive
Have you told this to your wife?

No, we have to keep this secret
Said the fox to the mole
As she’ll have my guts for garters
And that’s just for starters

So off went the fox and mole
To begin their bank robber life –
They rivalled Bonny and Clyde
Living it up, the law they defied

message 45: by Katie (last edited Nov 08, 2011 04:14AM) (new)

Katie Krupin (kkrupin) THE DANCE

I’m taking a stance.

It’s not all chance,
but rather
a coincidance.

Yes, a dance of coincidence,
lending a charm
to existence;
a little more meaning
to every incidence;
giving life a certain
flowing persistence;
and a mysterious air of romance.

A coincidance.
Which gives feeling to every movement,
and reminds us why we emphasize
the motion in emotion.
Yes, emotion.
Validating, no?
Be it the resolve in the tensing of muscles,
The determination, in a jaw-tightening resistance;
or the release
of an acquiescence,
the relief of relaxation
and of acceptance.

Both feelings—
and all those between them
on the spectrum—
leave you reeling,
but only momentarily,
as you’re swirled
around and onward
feet stepping forward
towards the all-encompassing infinity
and the equally encompassing abyss.
Either way,
it’s relatively pointless to reminisce

on steps that may have been right,
may have been left;
notes heard as harmonies soaring in flight
or accidentals tripping in discord.
Since all are swiftly left behind—
or maybe left forward?—
and recorded on no score
but the one you choose to compose
in your own mind.

The cosmic music just keeps playing;
the needle of the present
gently placed on a record
with the circumference of the universe
and the diameter of eternity.
And time keeps passing
with a cool, quiet,
but definitely perceptible

Snapping to a beat:
a beat driven by neurons,
or by a power too great for me to grapple with.

But I’d be hard put to keep my toes from tapping.

By Katie Krupin

message 46: by Jane (new)

Jane Eamon (janeeamon) | 1 comments HOLES IN THE NIGHT SKY - Jane Eamon 2011

What a terrible night
a night for religion
believing that
there is something
out there
in the night sky

From this madhouse
window, I can see
the only remaining
bastion of earthly
a cyrpress
rough needles
thrusting conically
to the sky

Lines warped
as of old wood
shaped like swirling
by mere mortals

What light
what sound
these ears cannot
bear the sound
of silences
too strident
to not be heard

I pray
for that silence
wishing with this mortal
paint and brush
I can draw its
away from my mind

Colour, or no colour
it's all colours
and whirling
madness twining
with the voices
in my head

I shut the blinds
and eyes
from cursed moonlight
Come take away
these eyes
and leave them as but
for the holes
in the night sky

message 47: by Harvey (last edited Nov 08, 2011 07:13AM) (new)

Harvey | 26 comments Loose-Leaf Sherpa

A seasonally clad constructor;
crisp wool slack, thick
rumple sock’d fireside,
the neutered pessimist
hunkers down

Hands deft wrung
numb roll, smoke
oval spec’s ponder
run/rise of, luminescent
gable-ended pharmacist’s

At the perimeter…
amid multiple tight
grain miter’d joints
of 100 yr old fir,
bland socio-economic
constraints point, and
from wicked shadow

message 48: by India (new)

India | 9 comments Mrs. Paisley's Second Letter

When Mrs. Paisley makes her list:
she grasps the pen, rotates her wrist,
takes a sip of something warm,
checks her watch - all in good form.
It's time. She gives her pen a click,
begins her letter: "Dear St. Nick"
(she strives to strike a tone that's normal,
but "Santa" she has judged informal).
She tells him she's behaved her best
and that she has but one request
this year (the first year that she's written
since the year she got a kitten).

Mrs. Paisley's imagined gift
represents a paradigm shift.
She frowns. Somewhere fluorescent hums.
She writes: "I'd like a set of drums".
Adding "please," to her brief plea,
she signs it, thinking crazy me.
Yet as the letter's mailed she dares
to dream of sugar plums, and snares.

* * *

When Mrs. Paisley plays her drums,
no one says she is all thumbs
(as they might have said had she
taken up bee husbandry).
When she plays that jive back beat,
no one stays within their seat
(unless something prevents their moving),
they all feel the beat's behooving
them to shed that chair and dance,
get out there and take a chance,
in Mrs. Paisley's basement den,
where old couches live again,
and miracles happen, now and then.


message 49: by Radha (new)

Radha Bharadwaj | 1 comments THE COBRA'S SONG

Curled within you, tail upon head; the mere dream of an egg
This is what I have been to you all these years.
Yet, in truth, more real than “reality.” Waiting, for the match to my keg
to burst into flames and burn away your tears.

And yet your strongest steps have been at my call.
The lure of the arts. All tossed in a roll
of dice. Leaving familiar shores, kith and kin, forsaking all
in one bold move you gambled away the whole

package! All that the rest crave: safety, belonging, roots and nest.
You set sail on faith—not hope, for hope is too frail
to have held aloft your wings, made you deaf to the rest:
the naysayers, the doubters, the practical fanatical touters who stick to the trail

worn smooth with use. But no! You heard my hiss, my cuss, my hell-fire
louder than the “real” voices of flesh and blood
incarnations of mediocrity. Hearing me, you saw them. You faced their ire
and spread your wings; shook free the mud

of tradition. And expectation. And other people’s wish-lists for your particular cage.
Their prescriptions to entrap you, de-claw you, cut your wings, prise your fangs.
Make you a mockery, a travesty, of all you could’ve, would’ve, should’ve been—on the page,
were a painter to have drawn you. But he will not, because I was more real. And on the swift move you made at my prompting hangs

all that is good—nay, great!—glorious and full of grace about you!
All that is splendid to behold—the awe one feels for things that have reached their full might:
the height of a mountain, the rush of a river, the rare diamond’s rarer hue.
Grandeur without apology. For grandeur is their birth-right

as much as it has always been yours--this I have seen.
This was your first conscious thought. Admit it!
Even before you had the words to think or say, you have been
aware of your greatness. You heard it from me, my voice in the pit

between your eyes. And when you hear me, you become a fighting sword,
blazing and lethal. Poised to strike, to win great wars.
And when you put me in the snake-box, you become a grounded bird.
A great, sorry sight you are. Too vast and extraordinary for the bars

you think are before you. They are not. Ahead is the sky. Feel the twitch of your wings,
for only they are real. Spread them, and shoot for the heavens, the vast expanse.
In flight, you will learn very many important things,
like who you really are; the steel in those who surround you, those who enhance

you. And those who weaken your wings, and are to be avoided
like the deadliest plague. Know these imposters by one simple fact:
that they will not fly beside you, but rather, will ride your back, weigh down your wings, sit astride your head.
By this, and this alone, know them. Rise above them. Shake them free. Act

for your Self—me. For the best in you—me. For all you were meant to be—me.
I am all that that painter would’ve drawn, but now there is no need for such a painting, because you are no artists’s fancy
of potential greatness. You are great. You are me. The cobra is finally free.

message 50: by Hillhouse810 (new)

Hillhouse810 | 7 comments The Burn Pile
by Patricia A. Hare

Can I hear red?
I can see the red leaves in autumn.
I can feel the red chill in the wind.
I hear red as a crisp, fierce roar of fire.

The burn pile started slowly, timidly,
licking at the edges of thick wood blocks
without hurting them, consuming
slender sticks and slats of wood.

Then the red and yellow flames began a dance
in the center of the pile. It was a fandango
of flashing flames for our entertainment.
We alternated feeding the pile of scrap lumber,
dodging flames leaping out at us
unexpectedly, as the wind changed.

Soon there was a low rumbling force of
red hot coals consuming scraps of wood
at an increasing pace.
The flaming beast was ravenous now,
like a giant animal who was tasting
raw meat for the first time.

The red flames outnumbered the yellow
stretching out even further to whisk each
piece of wood from our gloved hands.
The heat became so intense, we could only
throw the wood from a distance, feeling
the skin burn on our faces.

The red flames outnumbered the yellow,
stretching out even further to whisk each
piece of wood from our gloved hands.
The heat became so intense, we could only
throw the wood from a distance, feeling
the skin burn on our faces.

The red hot fire was a living thing now
and we were its keepers. It lapped up
patches of green grass just outside the
burning ring. Charred embers tumbled out.
At its height, we had fed it the last scrap.

We watched in wonder as the fire leapt
and danced with the wind, raging, smoldering
and very, very slowly dying from the outside in.
I heard red that day. I saw it. I felt it.
I smelled it and I tasted it. I saw it live and die.

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Books mentioned in this topic

Letters to a Prisoner (other topics)
A Better Kind of Madness: Vivid Poetic Images (other topics)
Lawman (other topics)
Sacred Sin (other topics)