Fallow Lands

Hands

Hands. (Photo credit: Mrs Logic)

Behold the salted land of plenty,

raped and pillaged by its own devoted grace

now stalked by storied banshee

no lines by which to draw a brace.

 

What bounty once divined,

what passion might have lain

now blinded and maligned

before the dusty plow could feign.

 

We are cracked

callow and divinely sallow—

yes, youth has lived to see the fated act:

these writers’ hands grown fallow.

(And for an update on why this crazy writer’s life has been crazy this past week, and the blogging sporadic, see my lively life update–complete with a new review of The Hollow March!)

Sitting

Sitting on his stool

the old man strains notes

convoluted and convalescent

in the grey-grey dawn,

the pitter-pattering pour of

earthly power, reverberating

like the subway’s urbane roar.

 

Blinded in years,

He is the maestro resurrect

On the days when the long rain fell.

Youth and Age

“You are as young as your faith, as old as your doubt; as young as your self-confidence, as old as your fear; as young as your hope, as old as your despair.”
~Douglas MacArthur

Excuse me while I step out for the day…I’ve got a birthday afoot you know. It seems silly, I think, to still see such celebration past the 21st…but c’est la vie. A birthday, after all, is often more for those around one than for the person himself.  I will go where the flow carries me. But in the meanwhile, I leave you all with a question…

What’s your own fondest birthday memory?

No More

“No more”

the old man cries,

spares the young men to die

forcing wrinkled face to greet life–

a lie.

* My latest contribution to the wonderful One Shot Poetry Wednesdays! If you get the chance, be sure to check out all the other talented One Stop poets posting there – and what about yourself? If you haven’t signed up yet, and you’re among the creative…what are you waiting for?

Just thoughts

Photo by (and copywrite) Greg Laychak.

It is a long hall we walk,

Reflections of decisions

Hung in windows,

Rain-spattered and sun struck

The stains of time rolling down

Like tears, never wept

In the dawning

When other voices rang

Rhythm, rhyme, reduced

Where they set us yet to roam.

Everything is painted now—

Just thoughts.

World Poetry Day

In case you didn’t know, today is World Poetry Day, an international day founded in 1999 by UNESCO – the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. What’s the point? Poetry of course! World Poetry Day exists to celebrate and promote the publishing, reading, writing and teaching of poetry across the globe.

If you’d like to know more, and see a few of the poetry community’s favorite pieces, pop on over to One Stop Poetry for a look. If you get a chance, share some of your own favorites as well – the more the merrier, as they say.

To that same end, for the next five days, I’ll be celebrating World Poetry Day by stretching it out over a week, each day sharing one of my favorite poems from different poets. Hope you like my choices – want to share your own? Comment back! I’d love to hear them.

To kick things off today, I open with William Butler Yeats’s “Sailing to Byzantium:”

William Butler Yeats, care of Wikimedia Commons

That is no country for old men. The young
In one another’s arms, birds in the trees
—Those dying generations—at their song,
The salmon-falls, the mackerel-crowded seas,
Fish, flesh, or fowl, commend all summer long
Whatever is begotten, born, and dies.
Caught in that sensual music all neglect
Monuments of unaging intellect.

An aged man is but a paltry thing,
A tattered coat upon a stick, unless
Soul clap its hands and sing, and louder sing
For every tatter in its mortal dress,
Nor is there singing school but studying
Monuments of its own magnificence;
And therefore I have sailed the seas and come
To the holy city of Byzantium.

O sages standing in God’s holy fire
As in the gold mosaic of a wall,
Come from the holy fire, perne in a gyre,
And be the singing-masters of my soul.
Consume my heart away; sick with desire
And fastened to a dying animal
It knows not what it is; and gather me
Into the artifice of eternity.

Once out of nature I shall never take
My bodily form from any natural thing,
But such a form as Grecian goldsmiths make
Of hammered gold and gold enamelling
To keep a drowsy Emperor awake;
Or set upon a golden bough to sing
To lords and ladies of Byzantium
Of what is past, or passing, or to come.

~William Butler Yeats, 1926

Gold and Brown

This is,

notwithstanding,

the twilight fading hour–

all gold things brown with age and light;

no more.

* My latest contribution to the wonderful One Shot Poetry Wednesdays! The style used here is known as Cinquain, a five-line stanza form containing twenty-two syllables, in the sequence: 2, 4, 6, 8, 2. The form was invented by Adelaide Crapsey (1878-1914), an American poet.

Visions of Yester-Year

Photo by: Sean McCormick.

 

We laid the foundation of our hearts

And spread beneath an open sky

Where neither walls nor whims

Knew limitation to licentious surrealism;

The clouds, like little rabbits framed

Running through the soul,

Stood as libation

In silent spring.

 

Weeds rack the roots,

No resurgence in the recalcitrant puberty,

Midst rustled horses and wrangled roses,

What saw us raise our heads to dream;

The foundation remains, regal rock

Walking beneath the sunlight

Where crumbled walls cracked

To visions of yester-year.

* My submission to part two of a special edition the One Shoot Sunday Photo Prompt, with that breathtaking frame shot provided by one Sean McCormick, a Canadian Photographer that is the focus of my latest interviews for One Stop. Great guy, with some truly stunning nature photography…it absolutely breathes with life, history, and all the shadows of memories gone before. Have a look when you get the chance, and check out all the other poets inspired by the prompt!

A father’s love

Staring out the window

the old man sees the picture:

laughter and smiles, these bodies still they

tackle and break and the ball

it floats between, less a joy than a symbol

of a father’s love–

he young, to full of life and love

for dearest son–

he still the younger, laughing, adoration still

he sees this game, a day, a week

and weeps upon the broken knees,

this weary flesh–oh time, time

has rotted;

there is no game for he, this is

Life, life he shall not have, nor give,

but still he looks to the growing faces

of the life beside,

and to this image can but smile–

in that child’s eyes

a word, a look are all he needs

to know the love, the deed–

he cannot do, but love can show

in other ways–

sometimes he just needs the reminder.

Oh these regrets, such bitter things–

thank God, thank God, that child

still smiles at me.

My latest contribution to the wonderful One Shot Poetry Wednesdays! Once you’ve had a look, check out some of the other One Shot Poets as well– they’re a skilled bunch of poets, looking to form a community and support one another.  Enjoy!

Birthday Thoughts

“The great challenge of adulthood is holding on to your idealism after you lose your innocence.” ~Bruce Springsteen

Well, well, the day has come. According to society, I’m a man now.

Twenty one years have come and gone, and while I’ve been able to go off and die now for the past three years, I am now apparently old enough to legally have at the alcohol. Michigan, true to form, however, seems to have little interest in embracing summer just for such a silly little occasion, though. Clouds encompass everything in swirls of gray and black, threatening rain without ever working up the energy to do so. Lovely–I just hope it’s not a sign of things to come.

Regardless, I take this to be a time of reflection. Nearly a quarter of a century has come and gone–and the real world looms so near. College is nearly at its end, and I suppose I’m to be all grown up now. Will I be ready when the time comes?

I suppose many people ask themselves the same question. I wonder how many have the answer.