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message 1: by Amy (last edited Feb 06, 2009 02:48PM) (new)

Amy (AmyKing) | 567 comments Mod
Want your words to reach nearly two 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 (one poem per person) in this folder/under this topic (below under "comment").

2. Goodreads and I will select five poems each month 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 nearly 2 million people!

Good luck & please post your best work!


Amy King
¡Poetry! Moderator

message 2: by Aaron (new)

Aaron Hoopes | 3 comments Too Busy to Relax

Too busy to relax they say
Complaints, excuses everyday
They sound so weak, so stressed, so tired
A mundane world in which they’re mired
No time to sit and just be quiet
Their mind’s a rush of thoughts, a riot
No chance they have to hear the sound
Of nature’s wonder all around
Of birds and trees and clouds and air
Too much work, it’s just not fair
This really seems quite sad to me
So much to do, no time to be

Breathe I say and move a bit
Then after that we can just sit
And watch the world at its own pace
There is no rush, it’s not a race
And if it were, what is the goal?
Where are you going mind, body, soul?

Too busy to relax I hear
These words seem like they’re based in fear
Tired, weak and too much stress
How did our lives turn such a mess?
We don’t need to look above
To find a place that’s based in love
Turn instead and look within
Find your self, it is no sin
Forgive, let go, open your heart
It is the only place to start
Think on that and you might find
Throughout your life you have been blind

Breathe I say and move some more
Run, walk, jump, stretch on the floor
Move your body, get up and go
Feel the energy, let it flow
Don’t get caught in negative
Habits that won’t let you live

Too busy to relax? Not true!
This hoax must end, it starts with you
If all you do is just the same
You never will escape this game
Do something new, do something Zen
Begin right now, not ‘if’ or ‘when’
Do one thing different, or two, or five
Change how you live, become alive
Do or do not, there is no try
Step off the cliff and start to fly
Begin with this, you won’t go wrong
Remember to breathe, deep and long.

Aaron Hoopes

message 3: by Jason (new)

Jason (OneeyedconivinIvan) | 2 comments November 1ST 2006

Did you visit my grave this day of halloween
And did you shed a tear dedicated just to me
And did you light a candle and laugh at some
small scandal Perpetrated when we were young

Did you visit my grave this day of halloween
Did you hear the clergy sing
smell the incence and wax burning

Did you visit my grave this day of halloween
Did you see the lights of people just like me

Did you visit my grave this day of halloween
And did you say a prayer
To remind not to dispair
And did you remember me
All through out the year
In your escipaides as
Dearly departed gone but not forgotten

Did you visit my grave this day of halloween

message 4: by Stephen (new)

Stephen (boozer) | 138 comments my poem for March: as usual, I hope the tabs hold.

Hate Mail

I had been mad enough to study reason; I was reasonable enough to study madness.
Michel Foucault

same guy:

i see him

on my side of the street,
i'm reminded of my father--

those eyes:
indefinite, cold & blue

they hone in
what do they want from me?

i could ask
i keep walking


at the methadone clinic
they make you piss
into tiny plastic cups

eventually, the world becomes this giant bladder


i don’t need a woman
i don’t need a gun
i want a bullet's simple calm
i want the kind of death that growls


at the deli
across the street,
an elderly, Korean man
pitches me another stare,
enough to make a hired assassin giggle like a girl

on CNN
i saw a parade of coffins
draped by flags blue, red, & white--

the next time a soldier salutes,
i'll know which arm to amputate


he's dependable:

he's become a landmark,
a footnote, a history too private to record.

where he should have an arm
there's an empty sleeve.
something hangs from his neck,
a medallion he wears like a crucifix void of Christ,
must have got it in 'Nam,
this medal, blue & gold, with the dispassionate eagle perched on top
of an American flag.

Valor, a jungle sniper aiming for the heart.

When the next helicopter lands,
he'll be lifted off,
at home among the wounded.

Bmckay22optonline.net | 2 comments CREATION/Barbara

Golden curls reflect the brightness inside her head
Her neck, smelling like love, is casually bent
Relaxed and determined sturdy shoulders
Engage adroit arms on a mission

Her little hands busily direct the brilliant blue pencil
Transforming the blank page into an arching expansive sky
Giddy with the God-like power of creation
She tilts in a benevolent sun eager to drizzle its honey
On the figures soon to appear below

Images of herself and her big brother
Done with yellow and purple sidewalk chalk
Bouncing on beds, walking in space
Her figure always casting the longest shadow

Ogres are tempered by runny lavender poster paint
Manipulating her red, yellow, and green crayons
She commands the waxy sticks to capture her friends,
Backyardigans frolicking on the jungle gym

These challenges to the Old Masters
Are done in the dining room cum-art-studio
A bountiful buffet of paper, pencils and paints
On the picnic table amid orange and banana peels
At the kitchen table with skabetti sauce on chin
By a Hello Kitty night light after the last drink of water

Clare’s self-portrait, down-cast eyes, a “U” turned up-side-daisy mouth
Reflect her lonesome countenance when Mom and Dad leave for the evening

She giggles when Grandpa kisses her cheek, the blonde and grey heads plotting
Then on tip-toe they secret the drawing, now the surprise under Mommy’s pillow

Clare treasures her creations like the Madonna does her child
Should you happen to covet one, be prepared:
Before you can be awarded custody a pledge of perpetual adoration is required

message 6: by Tara (new)

Tara (tara_m_mcdaniel) | 96 comments Admittedly, I posted this poem for last month, but in the wrong place!! So I'll try to actually post correctly this month, try a new poem next month. Thanks for reading.

Sunday Café

At the little outdoor Parisian Bistro
on the corner of Cincinnati and Elm
a man wearing a nylon raincoat
touched the knee of a woman in black.

Long after the thin copper disk
of the sun had burned through the clouds,
and the smart young waiter
placed the bowls of cream and lemon grass

at their elbows, his thumb remained there,
turning in circles, turning and turning.
As if her body were crafted by Stradivari,
and he the world’s poorest

violin player. As if her rounded bone
were made of tulipwood, or the skin
underneath her stocking was as fine
as the sheets of an heirloom

Bible. It looked as if they’d been
to a funeral, his thin satin tie
reaching to his waist, and the black around her eye
smeared from lash to temple. But he

stroked her and stroked her like the mouth
of the silk moth knitting his web
into a fine gauze dress, or otherwise
unknitting it, parting delicately the fibers

to split the cloth down to the skin, the sweet
fatness of it. We all, every one of us, watched them,
stopped in our constant gestures by that tension
which seemed to hang in the air – the girlfriend

reaching over her coffee to seize the attention
of the chattering blonde, the mothers cajoling pacifiers
into the mouths of babies, the old men parceling out
large bills, and the manager standing in the doorway

with his hand resting quietly against the white painted
wood. We could practically see
her defenses falling away as also her skirt
fell back towards her hip and his hand

finally moved from her knee to pinch then pull
the strap of her garter. We could feel the tight
snap of the studded satin bow against our own
thighs, and the blood heightened in the bones

of our cheeks. But the best part was his profile
as he bent over, the long tie swinging pendulously
between his legs, and the muscles of his jaw
clenched as if he were standing on the edge of a cliff,

his body ready to contract and thrust him forward,
like you must have felt in that crazy heat
of your budding adolescence, or holding the gold
ring in your hand the night before your wedding,

no matter what happened later –
if there were cruel ruptures inside of your body
or infidelities and lies smothered over
your faithful heart – you once stood there

on the precipice of the unknown,
looking over the face of the beloved like a chasm
waiting to swallow you or unloose
your wings, or both. The whole patio

of the café suspended, holding
their breath, each of us waiting for that moment
of acceptance and release, for the sad woman
to lean forward and uncross her legs.
after Ellen Bass

message 7: by Diana (new)

Diana | 18 comments Puppet

Her clothing comes from beyond.
Meaning I don’t know where or how

only that sewing can be
extra-terrestrial at times.

Stitches are both random
and pattern, like perfume

or illusion's shoes, silver bead
slippers. Due to her fear of nature

birds bring grapes, fish, hairy
balls of mesh. Love occurs,

under stale star light
my marionette freckles.

message 8: by Alexander (new)

Alexander | 2 comments When leaned I then just bare the rim above
you’re drinking waters and the waters
that I’m poured, and see the crisp refreshment
vanished somewhere your ravine inside.
Devour you’re the apple which I’m toss
in after with a fish, and bread, and
blessing as I’m watch at disappeared them
one another at a time, and think
of how I’m possible have listen sounds
of splash which echo faintly walls against,
unless imagination plays with tricks
for me. I try on lower buckets,
but I’m either reach my rope an end
without your bottom, or you’re bitten off
the bucket and the rope will swallow
with it. Once I’m finally cast like coins
my every appetite in yours, perhaps
I’ll threw the towel down and in my luck
along it too, and wonder where
the bottom hit will they before I do,
were I decide to follow them beneath.

message 9: by Margaret (new)

Margaret (margsayers) | 2 comments TCFW

try as I might
I cannot find words
for the bond
you and I share
is true and proper
but so colorless
for a tie so live
you in whom I see
a leader of men
yet who walks the earth
with shoulders rounded
boy of mine
taut with such intensity
that I have to bite back
so many lighten ups
my brown boy
who must force me
out of my white comfort
if I am to mother you well
I nurture you
who nurtures
creatures real and not
and loves unabashedly
while waiting
to be let down
and to let down
those you could not possibly
the page grows fuller
but still the bond
remains uncaptured
try as I might
to find words
I must reach into your generation
and borrow lingo unbefitting
this bond more wondrous
than the way it was fashioned
when all is said and done is
too complicated for words

message 10: by Jazz (new)

Jazz (Allthatjazz1901) | 6 comments I am the Innocent

Does it really matter?
What I do,
And what I think?
The feelings I go through each day?

Do you care if I jump off a cliff,
Or if I run in the middle of the street
Awaiting certain death,
Will you come save me?

Will you be the hero?
Waiting for a chance to redeem yourself,
To prove that I am wrong,
My cruel assumptions, untrue?

Or will you dare to be the villan?
The one that puts me in these situations,
Not caring if I win or lose this immortal fight,
Of you and your inner self.

Will I be stuck alone,
Waiting for a saviour?
Or do I dare find my own way,
To stop my own demize?

And if your plans do not go as you wish them to,
What will that make of me?
Will I be by your side, saying "It's ok."?
Or will I be the villan,
And laugh at your own mistakes?

message 11: by Jeni (new)

Jeni Waters (jeniwaters) | 1 comments And now you have entered
The world of my dreams,
Take caution dear sir,
They're not what they seem.

They'll give you a pedestal,
Even a crown,
They'll build you up,
And then tear you down.

For now they seem light,
But you'll soon hear the screams.
You'll see what's inside of
Those beautiful dreams.

Now babe, please don't worry.
It's not me you should fear.
It's my hopes and my dreams
That'll bring you to tears.

Do you dare to walk further?
Do you dare sacrifice?
Do you dare let my dreams
Make you their vice?

Take the challenge then
Sir, if you will.
They'll be happy to have you,
But they're happy to kill.

message 12: by Rhiannon (new)

Rhiannon D'Averc (Nocturnalpancake) These Words

If I am nothing more than what I feel
Then I know not what I am.
Inside me is a silence that bursts to get out.
It batters against the walls, but the others
Force it back.
I am burning under their noise.
Here there is no freedom to breathe or
To enjoy a moment of myself.
I am a fluid being trapped inside a dusty shell.
I am tired now of the constant pull and struggle,
The fighting in the streets.
Words are not always my friends.
My friends ask for words; I give them
But I do not feel them.
These words are the only words I will keep.
Hide them away somewhere secret
From the crashing noise that consumes even thought.
It will not consume me
If even these words are mine.

message 13: by Andrew (new)

Andrew (AndrewDemcak) | 1 comments Handhold (for a Zygote)

Welcome. You’ll be good. A jaw infused
with appointed energy, and a brain

the diameter of a crown. You will
not have paradise — not yet, right angles

and endless repairs of etceteras.
The world will be a lover’s apple to

fuss about, your heart an adding machine
with zero to solve. What it is to be

made of feelings. Somewhere ceiling tiles
fall out and break. See how it will happen —

you’ll lose your lovely coloring, and your
tiny spine will have to bend, bend, and bend.

-Andrew Demcak
Copyright © 2007

message 14: by James (last edited Feb 08, 2009 04:23PM) (new)

James (jayday) | 8 comments To Homosexuality

It's so much fun to have you around, homosexuality.
Twelve-year-olds laugh at you for a reason:
You're funny! And who knows funny
better than twelve-year-olds?
I've heard so much about you lately!
Judging by the headlines,
you're just as noteworthy as Michael Jackson
and only slightly less so than Janet.
But isn't she just
fabulous? Fabulous!
Fabulicious! Vicious! Fierce!
An entire vocabulary of your own!
I'd be proud if I were you,
but am I not? Or am I just another
smiling vessel of your goodwill?
You raise so many interesting questions.
You're not so much a "sexuality" anymore
as you are a tasty little mystery,
like that Da Vinci Code book
or those Magic Eye posters.
Folks just want to
figure you out.
But you're not nearly as easy
as a crossword, no, not at all,
and sometimes folks get upset
when things get hard.
Sometimes they just give up.

But I'll never give up on you, homosexuality.
It's you and me baby, through thick and thin,
through all the tight squeezes,
all the sticky situations.
Remember that time there was only
one set of footprints in the sand?
I never left you.
I was always there,
clinging to you, wrapped,
ever so tightly,
around your back.

message 15: by P (new)

P (Petergoodreadscom) | 17 comments GoodReads Newsletter Contest


There is something about you,
that makes my lips go dry with the very thought
about the way you toss your hair
and glance a smile.
There is something in the message in your eyes
and the words unsaid
that keeps me wondering at the countless possibilities of something.

message 16: by Julia (last edited Feb 11, 2009 04:47AM) (new)

Julia Yard (juliayard) frown for the camera

smilling's overated.
what's wrong with just a frown?
you know that i'm unhappy,
in fact, i'm pretty down.

why don't you take a picture,
of reality instead?
it's better for the audiance,
if simple tears are shed.

message 17: by Craig (last edited Feb 09, 2009 06:52AM) (new)

Craig | 1 comments Amtrak

Work Ethic and I are at a crowded Penn Station
standing in front of the Big Board,
waiting for our track to flash.

A few move up - Boston, Trenton -
but the crowd doesn’t move.
They are all waiting for our train and it’s late.

W.E. kills the time
by pretending he’s an alien
taking reconnaissance notes.

They are upright with pink epidermis, one head, and two legs.
Left appendages pull fairly large black box-like tails on wheels
and the right pushes small black boxes to the side of the head.
Only a very few have had these tails removed and almost all talk to themselves.

Finally – Washington: track 15 –
and the bustle starts to the escalator.
We rush a bit to stand and wait,
but now we are focused,
we all know where we’re going.
I lose W.E. in the crowd and think
about his surveillant scribble.

All seem motivated by some God-like force to flee at the same time,
but move poorly as a unit like a funnel full of

I’m not worried, he gets lost quite often
but always resurfaces.
He’s fun to hang with and doesn’t drink much.
He travels light and takes good notes.

message 18: by David (new)

David | 32 comments A girl named Scuba

We named our daughter Scuba. I am not sure how it happened, some say we should have named her after a famous literary friend in a career advancing homage, others that it should be a family name, or, if we wanted to stay within the water element, to invoke the powerful like Poseidon, the great turtle underneath us or re-invigorate a failure like Aquaman or The Prince of Tides. You don’t know what it’s like, you who named your kids before meeting them, you who didn’t spend a week in intensive care waiting for word about an aqueous angel, you who never held water.

message 19: by Colie! (new)

Colie! | 3 comments Ashes


They are the last vestiges of you.
Soot that shows an embraceable man
I called Dad once existed. They do not speak.

This remainder cannot fill my empty arms.


As though we thought if planted you might spring back to life,
we decided to bury half and sow the rest for good measure.

So we carried it to the point you loved,
hoping to find a solemn peace as we let you free.
Over the river you’d soar.

Instead, it
being far more plentiful than we had thought,
stuck like Coffeemate to the sides of the urn,
and only after beating the bottom like a ketchup bottle
did the resistant ashes fall listless,
with chunks of bone appearing in sudden frights.

(We came to understand why they call them remains.)

In the windless summer day
the chalky mix fell flat.
Collecting near the rocks
four feet below,
malt powder in the stagnant water.

Your foot. Your ear.
Five right ribs, two left.

My cell phone rings while I am trying to cry.


Visiting your grave
I grasp for something,
a presence, a memory.

But it is just your name engraved in stone
and that fraction of you, cigar-boxed
in a miniature coffin beneath the lawn.

I sit on the grass, try
to imagine you resurrected,
the remaining pieces rising through soil.

Ashes fill
into unfinished limbs,
femur, partial torso, brow.
In the gaps, the rest returns,
milky water summoned from the Hudson
reuniting an amorphous jigsaw man:
an eyeless face that smiles,
a skull-less head that somehow
still supports a cowboy hat.

The watery half-arms reach.

You are not here,
below the quiet earth,
between the maple leaves
in the hush of autumn.

I leave
knowing only:
this blank dust
will never bring you back.

I must not seek you out.

Paula Marie (P. Mari) Deubel  (wwwgravestardeviantartcom) | 5 comments Stephen wrote: "my poem for March: as usual, I hope the tabs hold.

Hate Mail

I had been mad enough to study reason; I was reasonable enough to study madness.

Hello, I'm new here and hope I'm posting this in the correct place (I don't even know how to post my own poems yet, but believe I am replying to Sephen - or at least that's my intention) - loved your last two posted poems, what a wondrously bold message with the perfect pick of words (like dispassionate eagle) ... P. Mari

Paula Marie (P. Mari) Deubel  (wwwgravestardeviantartcom) | 5 comments I don't know why my post came up under hate mail, because I mean to say I love your poetry!

message 22: by James (new)

James | 8 comments Life Time
By James Macklem

Something has changed
Empathy is a broken commodity
The search has not ended
The urgency is just no longer there
There is nothing to placate
All fates and destinies
They have all been accepted
Has been replaced
With emptiness
Dreams replaced
With darkness
Profound knowledge
Has melted into vain ignorance
and Stoic solitude
Something has lifted
Its weight no longer unbearable
It now serves as a blanket
A tether
A comfort
That sooths into complacency
A warm hug
That was never released
The clouds in the sky
Moving faster
This lack of color
Blending down
Consuming the frame
Onto the wall
Where this idea was hung
To meld with all the others
In a kaleidescope
What Want Was
Something has commutated
The fact
We may never meet
In this life time

message 23: by Alison (new)

Alison (Zephaerie) Consequence

The door was cracked open
Curiousity got the best of me and
I had to see
Glance inside and I would leave
Looking was thrill enough for my heart
Fear enough for my mind
Snagging on every corner
My tattered emotions

Two eyes gazed back at me
Irrationally I ran away from my home
Away from the fire
Repercussions were few and the echoes only sounded like
Still the drums pounded in my ears
Thumped in my chest
Beating down every hope
For reconciliation

Two hearts shattered in a single word
Sharp shards littered the ground
Fell on stone
Stepping lightly still seemed to make me
Pouring out my soul onto the pavement
Dreams evaporated into the night air
Trying to forget it all
Left me empty

Images pass like pictures on a wall
Reminding me of some lost
Palisades pried apart and burned expose
Revealing my sorrow to the adversary
Tears flooding the moat in hope of some defense
Only to realize
I was the assailant.

message 24: by J (new)

J (keeponestepahead) | 138 comments When the Pox

When the Pox comes from China,
I want to be on board the flight
And be the first to catch the sneeze.

Slowly dying, I’ll be a medical mystery;
The first to catch the flu in centuries,
Doctors prodding me endlessly.

Outside the red asphalt is covered
With men in voodoo suits,
Scouring the streets for survivors.

I’m coughing like Sylvia Plath,
Like Anne Sexton, I’ve got
No room in my lungs for life.

I have no last rites to be read;
No Buddhist belief that I’ll come back,
No cross, no lecherous preacher.

Seven million and rising;
The tally is on CNN as I lay,
Bruised and pissing in my bed.

The woman in the bed over
Clutches this cross to her chest
And snorts like a coke fiend.

I want to smother the last breath
Out of her frail body; she’s just old,
She doesn’t have the flu, she’s just old.

In my last dream, I see a tarantula
Crawling on the hospital ceiling.
It bounces from corner to corner.

I ask the nurse if she can see it;
If she sees the spider waltzing,
And she asks for my bedpan.

-J. Templin

message 25: by Kaylynn (new)

Kaylynn | 6 comments How could you?
You lying there still as stone, coffin open, dead
Dread and shock are my expression, then sorrow and pain
That you would leave them so, no example,
No thought to what they will feel, what they will see
Tempered by knowing how much you missed her
Knowing she was your rudder to your ship
And knowing on the other side she would yell at you,
But love you still
My heart hurts for you, for her, for them you left behind
Hoping you’ve found peace
But knowing sanctity of life I cannot, no, will not follow you
I choose life, and all its pain, horrors, and delights.

message 26: by Brian (new)

Brian My favorite communist (For Toby Cole (1916-2008)

The Wall may have come down
But she wasn’t fooled
As long as Capitalism ruled
She was both vanquished and vindicated
Her cause still just
The impossibility of joy
Until that ultimate loss of chains
“C’est la lutte finale”
Sung with well tempered disbelief
As if to suck the silver lining
Out of each and every cloud
Leaving us immersed
In unabating, undeniable rain.

Still, you wanted to believe her
You wanted to link arms
And march with her
If only to see that world weary grimace
Melt for just a moment
Into an authentic comrade’s grin.

She was my favorite communist
Old Red with a late in life career move:
Anti-Zionist Jewish Scholar
Documenting the original Ghetto
Giving personal tours in Venezia
Interspersed with stories of actors and playwrights
She had championed during the Cold War
New York City agent for those hunted by McCarthy
Ever faithful to a 1930s Party Line
With a keen, Brechtian sense of the stage.

Recalling now her look
After our Ghetto tour
Seated in her Guidecca flat
Her mouth worn down
By the force of constant disdain
And disappointment with the world
The deep brown eyes
Full of lost hope
And historical tragedy
Truly Beat, but refusing popular culture’s
Soviet-bating appellation
A smoky voice, Bacall-like,
Without the knowledge of how to whistle
Always intoning for a stage lit by alienation
Eyes flashing the fire
Of the good fight
Simultaneously full of profound defeat
Never happier than when embracing
The well-earned complaint
For which you only need look as far
As the newspaper’s front page
The clarity of where we should be
Heightened by the depressing grimness of where we were
But that’s where she was happiest—
Surrounded by sadness—
Showing us the purpose
Of the exquisite Murano glass
To collect the tears
Of some long-suffering Veneziana
The burden of the worker artisans
Who produced the collecting vessel
Also producing the tears.

Brian K. Lynch

message 27: by Christineporeba (new)

Christineporeba | 6 comments First Garden

Bending over soil in the spring
with my new mother-in-law,
planting two rows of sunflowers
and three of corn, it comes to me—
that the words wedding and weeding
are only a letter apart,

that I’ve never been in charge
of a garden, or even been good
at remembering to water
plants inside, to keep them
where they’d get the light
they needed.

I think of my mother, mornings
in a new country setting,
so content to be nestled among rows
of blossoming asparagus,
her blue starchy gloves tearing up
each slender green invader by its roots.

She liked to say she was
cleaning what she could;
unlike my father’s mounds
of newspapers, office chairs
found on sidewalks, this was
a mess she could control.

When my mother-in-law and I
step back from the faceless garden,
and she says, ‘Ok, now grow!’
her palms in giddy fists, I feel
the charge of this, the hand I’ll need
to give to tidy this little patch of
things that might be about to happen.

by Christine Poreba

message 28: by Robert (new)

Robert (rgbatduke) | 72 comments Snowflakes

Stars dot the darkness of infinite space,
swirl at my feet, land on my face.

Ah! Snowflakes!


message 29: by Brandon (new)

Brandon (brandonmj) | 13 comments Season of Youth

Out of a darkened day
The years beginning, starts anew
Pure, simple and glorious youth
In an ideal season of beauty
Dawn the growth of life
Such dreams blossom in an hour of strife
No thought for the future
No reflection of the past
Rain cleans the air of the present
And one thinks that it shall last
However tis not so
For time is not stopped by hopes
Neither life for wishes
In each good day comes the night
And sun on the morrow.

message 30: by Mari (last edited Feb 10, 2009 04:51PM) (new)

Mari Hidame | 11 comments Heart is Burned

Crushes and love are all a burden.
They mean nothing to my emptiness.
They crush the soul to light dust and sand.
They beat and batter all hopes and dreams of the future.
When hearts are burned the soul cracks and eventually breaks into tearful peices.
My heart is burned... Badly burned, there is nothing left of it...

message 31: by Mari (last edited Feb 10, 2009 05:04PM) (new)

Mari Hidame | 11 comments Sadness and Sorrow

Wimpers and tears are all I hear and see in this dark world.
I am lifeless and am like a zombie in plain daylight.
I never smile, because I never think happy thoughts or see joyous things.
I never play, I am to busy crying sorry tears .
I never jump and act crazily with friends, I have none....
I never sing songs that fill the golden heart, mine is as black as midnight.
I have no hope in the future for myself.
I am full of only two things... Sadness and sorrow...

message 32: by Mari (new)

Mari Hidame | 11 comments ((Yah, I only made these poems up because it was all I could think of. I'm actually a pretty happy person.;D))

message 33: by Sam (new)

Sam | 3 comments To change, to change not like a stone but like/Flashing, fire-red opal/Or fire that contains all it consumes/That is the stuff/That life is made from/The swirling turbulence, constantly talking to you through mystic roars as it/Changes inside powerfully/To break through walls to new realms, to explore/To wander the grass, each time seeing a different blade/Yeah, that must the stuff/That life is made from/That is the essence of happy, of spiritual-togetherness/Of being a natural, waterswelling part of the universe, don't stand back as it rushes around you/But move, swim, learn different strokes

message 34: by Sam (new)

Sam | 3 comments *must be the stuff

message 35: by Sam (new)

Sam | 3 comments When they don't expect anything of me, I am free, completely free.
Then maybe I am nothing with out them, maybe
Maybe I can be anyone, it depends on the clouds in the sky or my own state of mind
Or on the nervous heightened awareness I get
Maybe, maybe the only results come from painful, hard work and that
I must force myself to work, I need you to force my work

message 36: by Will (new)

Will (WillNixon) My Late Mother as a Ruffed Grouse
-- Ashokan High Point, Catskills

Never before had a grouse failed to explode
from the underbrush with a wing-beating panic,
a feathered cannonball fanning a leaf-ripping tail.
But this bird didn't budge. It kept pecking
at leaf litter as methodically as a maid
checking under cushions for coins.
For several minutes, I focused my binoculars
on its lady-bug eyes, its black-banded tail,
but didn't want to spoil the magic by staying too long.

Bushwhacking through acres of mountain laurel,
I navigated tangled stalks like woody barbed wire.
Finally, a boulder ramp led me down to a clearing.
But which direction to the reservoir lookout,
rumored to lie east of the blueberry bald,
I couldn't sense any better than from above.
Behind me, I spotted the grouse half-sliding,
half-hopping on clownish chicken feet to catch up.
It stopped on the rock, cocked its head sideways,
then eye-balled me with an orange intensity.
Oh, yes, I remembered that look,
unblinking, undeterred, unashamed
of being in charge, yet being in love.

Could this bird really be my late mother?
At her burial last winter I scattered grouse feathers
to honor her passion as an Audubon birder.
Did I unwittingly plant the seed for her return?
Crippled by strokes, she lived so long in a nursing home
she had no idea I lived in a cabin, not Hoboken
or Manhattan. To her, I was always 23 and married,
for some unfathomable reason, to my cousin, Muggsie.

This grouse clearly knew what she wanted.
Softly she cooed and finally winked.
I murmured my best grouse impersonation,
eager to talk no matter what we happened to say.
I sat on the grass, an invitation she accepted
to prance close to my boots, cocky as a city pigeon.
For her country outing, she'd dressed
in subdued browns and whites, but make no mistake:
her feathered crest sharpened her head.
When her blinking turned almost flirtatious,
I lowered my eyes, apparently a fresh invitation,
for she paraded alongside my leg, pausing
every few steps to nip at a blueberry flower.
With my hands I could have cradled her like a dove,
cooing, content. Was that what she wanted?
Behind my back, she pecked at my daypack zipper.

How could I explain my bachelor's cabin,
the dirty socks from last week's hike still hanging
on the upstairs railing, the dirty dishes forever
crowding the sink? Did she think
she'd be satisfied eating seeds from a bowl
made of plastic and sharing my cold wooden floor
with the mice? Didn't she know
I could be arrested for bringing a grouse home
under the Wildlife Protection Act?
Did she know how rarely I swept?

No, I needed to end this strange encounter.
I stood and shouldered my pack, nodded good-bye.
But giant steps up the rock didn't do any good.
She hopped up her own crooked ladder
of laurel stalks, then paused at the next dirt patch
for me to catch up. How could I shake her?
Whenever I plunged in a new direction,
climbing and tripping through bushes,
she scampered nearby, easily low-hurdling
trunk tangles and roots. I barged like an oaf,
but she didn't act disappointed in me as a grouse.
She waited and cooed with encouragement.
Not until I broke loose on the blueberry bald
did she stop at the edge of her laurel protectorate.
Yet no matter how long I rested on the only boulder,
pretending to admire the quixotic flight
of black butterflies sampling blueberry nectar,
I knew she waited with unbending love and devotion
in the bushes I couldn't avoid to hike home.

message 37: by Atlas (new)

Atlas (boxofpearls) | 2 comments Everything Is Killing Me (Prose)

The shape of history came as a flood
of the dead. People milling about in the
streets, dirty clouds filled the sky.
I always wondered what it would be like
to wash it off, all that gasoline and smokers
coughing to their favorite songs, a kind of
spontaneous human combustion of punctuated
exploits and errors.
In a way that’s the personality of the city;
all narcotics, no heaven, and caffeine induced
coma for the restless.

Upon my shoulder at a coffee shop I imagined
an angel sitting right beside me;
it would go a little something like this

I would be wiping away the blood on the
window from where a fight was last, the
last warrior to stand up to a defiant coworker,
"what now miss, the coffee is how much!?!"
Then suddenly like the way a baby first smells,
everything would go still. The sky would decay,
and I would think well god must have answered
my prayers, he sent me an angel, this time in the
form of a cute European man.

I watched him ride off into the fiery sunset,
the stuff where dreams and gods are made from.
I couldn't help myself but to paint a picture of
an advertisement that sells the ruins of the
baby boomers--inhale--exhale thoughts of

message 38: by Michael (new)

Michael | 7 comments A Dream, Post Surgery

I'm climbing
to a hill's top.
The sun has set
behind me, casting
a hue that in turn
makes everything
appear as if
it wears
an illuminating


I sauntered
fully undettered
to a lone tree,
stoic yet dead -
the type to grace
a dramatic scene
of an important film -
and it steals

a breath.

I shifted about
its wide berth and
came face to legs
with the hanging

shell of a man.

Standing in
the open door-
way (I feel expected
here) in this

It's eyes
(because the home
whether mine or
whether yours
has the gift of
eyes and the gift
of presence)

these eyes
have lost much
sight in the growing
old, in their weakening
now, holding memories
of too many hard

I faced
the caretaker
the aged
woman, unknown
to me, bedraggled,
sitting on her

The cane
wood bore in
to her soft
legs leaving
marks -

I mark in
this another
symbol of
presence -

and the old
canvas covering
the bed smelled of
old events - yellow
fever, the secret
visitations of the
monthly full
moon, the letting
of fresh blood, the
sweat from her
true love's fervid
love-making, and
the bearing of her
strong boys, long

No memories known.

She is hunched over
arthritic feet, her
tattered sandals

her hands and fingers
work the air like a
magicians broken
stroke -

she moves
the left-foot sandal
to the right foot,
and vice versa over and

She never figures there exists
differences between

She never slides the sandals on
to her worn

I knew the boy standing
in the Vietnamese street market
as an orphan

it was the way he knew his place
how his eyes told his story
that his father was shot escaping the rice fields
and that his mother was lost to the sex trade

he stood by a merchant selling parts of a whole boar

from my point of view

if I shifted left I saw the face of a scared boy

if I shifted right, this boy was the butchered
hog with black empty eyes

message 39: by Michael (new)

Michael (mikerol) ah so you knew toby! i did too, as an editor back in my new york days! liked her fine and her politics too. xx michael roloff MICHAEL ROLOFF

Member Seattle Psychoanalytic Institute and Society
this LYNX will LEAP you to all my HANDKE project sites and BLOGS:

Brian wrote: "My favorite communist (For Toby Cole (1916-2008)

The Wall may have come down
But she wasn’t fooled
As long as Capitalism ruled
She was both vanquished and vindicated
Her cause still just
The impos..."

message 40: by Ayu (last edited Feb 11, 2009 10:17AM) (new)

Ayu (ayugeorge) | 2 comments Once Time Before

Once time before, I loved him
when night come with the rain
and the thunder followed
he with warmness calm me down

Once time before, he said I was the angel
what ever happened, it was the delightful moment
always be there whenever I need someone
never scrupled or even lied

Once time before, I betrayed him
I scratched then put him on top and let him fall
too deep even the angel can not reach the sadness
but still, he loved me for drowned him

Once time before, he hold me like there is no tomorrow
I sang him a lullaby as he asked me when he miss me
trying to understand each time we had a fight
was me who love him so much and didn't know how to let him go

so Once time after
I just realize when the heaven put we us apart
is not because I'm the angel
he was the miracle

nothing to do now
it's all about me
and it's all about him
once time before

message 41: by Michael (new)

Michael (mikerol) HERE'S MINE FOR THIS MONTH:

Señor Heron

Still still
There on two stilts
Reed thin in the reeds
He stands

Posing for Mr. Audubon's
Fine line pen
His light blue grey eminence
Nearly indiscernible
Grey blue
Water green
Sleek reeds
His magic cap.

"You can't see me, Senor Darwin,
as little as you can see cousin Robin,
I have adapted beyond all recognition
I am part sky part water."

Then he flies off, creaking in the wind,
Scrapes his way hoarsely across the sky...
grey… elegant metal file...
turning into just one disappearing line.

A niche bird,
[A specialist
Nay, a super-specialist:]
A solitary aristocrat
Or pair
With beaks to be picky with
To probe into the slimmest of cavities
[in the nichiest places...:]

The finest meshed nets
Nearly a foot in length
The thinnest of funnels

And another baby salmon
Another frog
Wriggles down his elongated gullet

Everything about him is elongated…
But when he start to fly and slowly begins to spread,
and slowly starts, to wave his heavy-seeming, mournful wings,
like rain curtains in the wind, oh what a leaden rhythm that is of his waving of
astonishingly wide, substantial width of wings… wide enough it seems
to lift much heavier loads than his spindly being...

No fluttering ever…
Occasionally he glides…
Just above the water
The perfect submarine hunter
A glider...

There, he perches on top of the huge spruce tree...

There, he lowers his substantial spread, cushioning,
Segueing into Mr. Audobon's preferred profile,
On the crown of the huge spread of the weeping willow and cries his heart out…

message 42: by Cleveland (new)



I've never known another friend like you who

has walked with me at dawn. Through fields so often

soaked with dew and, in the morning glory,

the shining green heads of corn.


No other person can ever take your place,

my mum and dad agree, for you deserve

and I'll fight to keep you near to me.


Sometimes when we are tired,

you talk about the will, to soldier on,

to find a way, my God, you always thrill.

I've heard it said among the stars your name


is written on high and I know, as a friend to me,

you shine pure gold, there lies the reason why.

Folks talk a lot of adventure,


often a childhood dream but to me you are

the first true-blue and are what you always seem.

I see you walk into a room, my heart beats oh so fast,

I watch, I look, I smile at you, I love you oh so much.


My faint guitar plays a memory, we both can hear the tune,

nostalgia is sweet thing, like Paris alive in June.

When we stand at the crossroads of Life my lips,

my heart and skin all know, when you smile


the sky lights up with colour like a rainbow-glow.

You are simply my best friend with a name plucked

from the stars, not only that, you are my spouse ,

so let me gently take your hand, and Tango you to Mars.

message 43: by Amaryllis (new)

Amaryllis Faye (amaryllisfaye) | 1 comments The Only One

I can still smell you on my skin
and breathe you in on my pillows
I can still feel your heat with my sheets
as I pull them back to keep your warmth
I am reluctant to get up
I want to linger in these messy tangles
Wait for you to walk through the door
It can't come too soon
You can't come too soon

You were so still as I watched you sleep
so unguarded, and so open
yet I knew the moment that you wake
you'll close off and renew your walls
and I would smile and tease you for it
at the most you'll call out my name
in that way of yours
that's never failed to bring me down
to my knees

and I know you don't see in my eyes
what you were so sure would be there
you don't see in my gaze
what you've convinced yourself to see
when will you ever realize
that I'm not the one
I won't be the one
who shuns you away even when you're hurting the most
and don't just don't want to be alone
I know you don't really want to be alone

so when will you give in, when will you take it for real
I am not leaving
You can push me away
and I'll just run back, come after you
because you're the only one
who gets me
you're the only one
who sees me as I am
and you know that I'm
the only one
who sees you this close
the only one who you let see you this close.

message 44: by Andrea (new)

Andrea Kulman (AndreaKulman) | 6 comments No more

My insides empty.
My heart so cold.
No emotion.
A single tear in my eye.
Starts to trickle... slowly it dies

No more reason to sit and cry.
Inside of me is just so dry.
Heartache came and slowly took me.
Crushed me in half and left me guilty.
Of a passion that burned... like embers in a fire.
Caught my heart, then my soul.
Left me with nothing but the cold.

Soft words bruised my mind.
Hard hands my body did claim.
Shaking with lifeless emotion.
I spit on you, with no shame.

My spirit lifts and fades away.
The sun sets and dawns this very day.
Moon harvests reaping those who pass.
When did life become so drone?

Lips part to find that tender moment.
The passion that is so deep in me.
Locked away under ice fire.
Never to surface.
Analyze... dare I say.
Figure- No more!

message 45: by Samantha (new)

Samantha (samanthamillion) Today I taped my thesaurus

My engineer boyfriend has a paperback
thesaurus that he taped around neatly -
front and back covers stiff
under shiny layers of clear sealing tape.
So I teased him -
"Do you ever use that?"
thinking of the yellow, worn thesaurus
sitting on my desk at home.
Neatness must be an engineer's language -
every detail covered
every corner enforced
a solid wall of flawless clear adhesive.
Last week I was impatient with him
for not appreciating words
the way I do.
He said putting
in a poem would not be realistic
but I love the sound
of the back of my tongue
smacking against my throat, then
the feel of air frictioning
through my front teeth.
I turned over his thesaurus, flipped open
the back cover.
- between "zap" and "zenith" -
was strictly preserved
under the taped cover on the last inked page.
So I took it with me
- "fanaticism, extremism, fervor, obsession" -
and pasted it in the back
of my (now taped) thesaurus, on page 516.

message 46: by Donald (new)

Donald | 13 comments Far

Far enough is nose
to nose with a star.
Far is a verb and noun
separated by war.
Far takes you to par
if your club's deadly,
you know how to spar.
If you're far you might
go too far. Wherever
you are you're far from
someone in a car who
comes to play guitar.
The music's a far cry
from the bar you've set.
If I'm far from your life
place my photo in a jar.
Burn it, I'll be where
you are, though I'm far.
You start fires in me
that continue to char.

message 47: by Danielle (new)

Danielle Her

A year later that ghost
has slowed her footsteps through
thoughts and ceased chasing
my every shadow I attempted to leave behind
the dreams still tangle
the only things left
so tangible
I can nearly taste you
(as I did once)
That kind voice
rages against me as I try
to explain:
anything can be spun right.

Night I can sense
your warm body pressed up against mine
(which does not make sense.)
I know exactly how soft, kittenish, you feel.

I am reduced to bones without you.
I didn’t tolerate
the self-destruction
can you slit your wrists tonight?
(I needed you)

I hallucinate you
in a stranger and I
pause to tap them on their
shoulders so lightly
but they are not you,
blue-haired poetry.

I see the letters "ET"
on license plates and I
find myself laughing next to you
Extra-terrestial peanuts, yes
you would have understood glow-in-the dark tractors.

Who would cry at your funeral?
I could count them on my hand.
They sat among the stony faces.

message 48: by Alaric (new)

Alaric | 2 comments The Beast as Dharma Bum

Alaric Smith

If she believed in reincarnation
(which she doesn't, in the traditional sense)
she would be Jack Kerouac

drifting the continent via parallel steel armed
with fountain pen, stopping for wine
parties and ink supply refills.

I ask, If you would be Kerouac, then who
would I be? Considering, chewing
the butt end of a Papermate

she replies, Crowley. In theory
and practice, this seems ludicrous
to me: Holing up

at Boleskine, undermining the Victorian
mores of the centuries' nineteenth click.
I imagine the Dharma bum and the Antichrist

hiding with migrant workers
in a yurt under the oppression
of Fresno Valley air sludge,

The Beat burrowing into the belly
of the Beast. Crowley, an avid climber,
might have discovered his mantra

at the weather observation station
atop Desolation Peak and stood on his head
(or on Jack's) shouting Blah! at the top

of his lungs. Would have flourished
in that Berkeley shack, playing
rounds of Yabyum fueled by cabernet

sauvignon and fifties homogeneity.
You may be right, I say. She winks,
a perfect avatar, tracing a heptagram into my palm.

message 49: by Mike (new)

Mike Haiku by M. Schlesinger

To a nymphmaniac
Boy, am I tired

message 50: by Tim (new)

Tim Going Back

My mother is the gap in the windbreak
the fallen macrocarpa
the flooded river and the flooded plain.

The radio, not tuned to any station
the rails removed from a siding
the gash in the mountain's side.

My mother is the doorway
and the grip of my father's hand
and the stubble of his cheek on mine.

The missing face in the kitchen
the absent chair at the table
the silence under all we say.

Remembering, unforgetting,
on the edge of sleep in the darkness
my mother is each toss and turn.

The need to leave in the morning
the long goodbye to my father
the driveway and the car I drive.

My mother is the corner
the anxious overtaking
the yellow lines that double in my eyes.

The last lap of the journey
the final tick of the engine
my mother is the road I travel home.

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