Archive for category National Poetry Month

April Is National Poetry Month: Personal Favorites Of Mine & My Wife

I Carry Your Heart With Me
by E. E. Cummings

i carry your heart with me (i carry it in
my heart) i am never without it (anywhere
i go you go, my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing, my darling)
i fear
no fate (for you are my fate, my sweet) i want
no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)

Quiet Girl
by Langston Hughes

I would liken you
To a night without stars
Were it not for your eyes.
I would liken you
To a sleep without dreams
Were it not for your songs

All The World’s A Stage
by William Shakespeare

All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players:
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages. At first the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms.
And then the whining school-boy, with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,
Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
Made to his mistress’ eyebrow. Then a soldier,
Full of strange oaths and bearded like the pard,
Jealous in honour, sudden and quick in quarrel,
Seeking the bubble reputation
Even in the cannon’s mouth. And then the justice,
In fair round belly with good capon lined,
With eyes severe and beard of formal cut,
Full of wise saws and modern instances;
And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts
Into the lean and slipper’d pantaloon,
With spectacles on nose and pouch on side,
His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide
For his shrunk shank; and his big manly voice,
Turning again toward childish treble, pipes
And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness and mere oblivion,
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.

Men
by Maya Angelou

When I was young, I used to
Watch behind the curtains
As men walked up and down the street. Wino men, old men.
Young men sharp as mustard.
See them. Men are always
Going somewhere.
They knew I was there. Fifteen
Years old and starving for them.
Under my window, they would pauses,
Their shoulders high like the
Breasts of a young girl,
Jacket tails slapping over
Those behinds,
Men.

One day they hold you in the
Palms of their hands, gentle, as if you
Were the last raw egg in the world. Then
They tighten up. Just a little. The
First squeeze is nice. A quick hug.
Soft into your defenselessness. A little
More. The hurt begins. Wrench out a
Smile that slides around the fear. When the
Air disappears,
Your mind pops, exploding fiercely, briefly,
Like the head of a kitchen match. Shattered.
It is your juice
That runs down their legs. Staining their shoes.
When the earth rights itself again,
And taste tries to return to the tongue,
Your body has slammed shut. Forever.
No keys exist.

Then the window draws full upon
Your mind. There, just beyond
The sway of curtains, men walk.
Knowing something.
Going someplace.
But this time, I will simply
Stand and watch.

Maybe.

How Do I Love Thee
by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of every day’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candlelight.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love with a passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints, — I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life! — and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

I Wandered Lonely As A Cloud
by William Wordsworth

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed—and gazed—but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

The Road Not Taken
by Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear,
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I marked the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Crowded Tub
by Sheldon Alan Silverstein

There are too many kids in this tub
There are too many elbows to scrub
I just washed a behind that I’m sure wasn’t mine
There are too many kids in this tub.

The Great Lover
by Rupert Brooke

I have been so great a lover: filled my days
So proudly with the splendour of Love’s praise,
The pain, the calm, and the astonishment,
Desire illimitable, and silent content,
And all dear names men use, to cheat despair,
For the perplexed and viewless streams that bear
Our hearts at random down the dark of life.
Now, ere the unthinking silence on that strife
Steals down, I would cheat drowsy Death so far,
My night shall be remembered for a star
That outshone all the suns of all men’s days.
Shall I not crown them with immortal praise
Whom I have loved, who have given me, dared with me
High secrets, and in darkness knelt to see
The inenarrable godhead of delight?
Love is a flame; we have beaconed the world’s night.
A city: and we have built it, these and I.
An emperor: we have taught the world to die.
So, for their sakes I loved, ere I go hence,
And the high cause of Love’s magnificence,
And to keep loyalties young, I’ll write those names
Golden for ever, eagles, crying flames,
And set them as a banner, that men may know,
To dare the generations, burn, and blow
Out on the wind of Time, shining and streaming…
These I have loved:
White plates and cups, clean-gleaming,
Ringed with blue lines; and feathery, faery dust;
Wet roofs, beneath the lamp-light; the strong crust
Of friendly bread; and many-tasting food;
Rainbows; and the blue bitter smoke of wood;
And radiant raindrops couching in cool flowers;
And flowers themselves, that sway through sunny hours,
Dreaming of moths that drink them under the moon;
Then, the cool kindliness of sheets, that soon
Smooth away trouble; and the rough male kiss
Of blankets; grainy wood; live hair that is
Shining and free; blue-massing clouds; the keen
Unpassioned beauty of a great machine;
The benison of hot water; furs to touch;
The good smell of old clothes; and other such
The comfortable smell of friendly fingers,
Hair’s fragrance, and the musty reek that lingers
About dead leaves and last year’s ferns…
Dear names,
And thousand other throng to me! Royal flames;
Sweet water’s dimpling laugh from tap or spring;
Holes in the groud; and voices that do sing;
Voices in laughter, too; and body’s pain,
Soon turned to peace; and the deep-panting train;
Firm sands; the little dulling edge of foam
That browns and dwindles as the wave goes home;
And washen stones, gay for an hour; the cold
Graveness of iron; moist black earthen mould;
Sleep; and high places; footprints in the dew;
And oaks; and brown horse-chestnuts, glossy-new;
And new-peeled sticks; and shining pools on grass;
All these have been my loves. And these shall pass,
Whatever passes not, in the great hour,
Nor all my passion, all my prayers, have power
To hold them with me through the gate of Death.
They’ll play deserter, turn with the traitor breath,
Break the high bond we made, and sell Love’s trust
And sacramented covenant to the dust.
– Oh, never a doubt but, somewhere, I shall wake,
And give what’s left of love again, and make
New friends, now strangers…
But the best I’ve known
Stays here, and changes, breaks, grows old, is blown
About the winds of the world, and fades from brains
Of living men, and dies.
Nothing remains.

O dear my loves, O faithless, once again
This one last gift I give: that after men
Shall know, and later lovers, far-removed,
Praise you, “All these were lovely”; say “He loved”.

Because I Could Not Stop For Death
by Emily Dickinson

Because I could not stop for Death
He kindly stopped for me
The Carriage held but just Ourselves
And Immortality.

We slowly drove, he knew no haste
And I had put away
My labor and my leisure too,
For his civility.

We passed the School, where Children strove
At recess in the ring
We passed the fields of gazing grain
We passed the setting sun.

Or rather, he passed us
The dews drew quivering and chill
For only Gossamer, my gown
My tippet only tulle.

We paused before a house that seemed
A swelling of the GROUND
The roof was scarcely visible
The cornice in the ground.

Since then ’tis centuries and yet
Feels shorter than the DAY
I first surmised the horses’ heads
Were toward eternity.

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National Poetry Month, Part Three

I offered my readers the opportunity to have their favorite poems featured here. Their poem of choice could either be written by them or one of their favorite authors in the public domain. Here are the poems.

Granted
by Rochelle Royal

“Time is of an essence!”
He disregards as nonsense
fading away into colorful fantasy.
Why hasn’t he noticed that sky before?
Did birds always sing this good?
Interrupted by the harsh reality of police sirens –
reminding the people the prison they already live in.

“Time is of an essence!”
Gallantly charge through and dominate
Oh, knight in rusting armor.
All we ever wanted was control
but we and control are an impossibility.
So we created prisons.
So we created careers.
So we created anti-depressants.
Tools of control in this system….but time is of an essence!
He disregards as nonsense
fading away into the colorful fantasy.

Baby Queen
by Chick Under Construction

She sleeps in lip gloss and earrings
So she can dream pretty dreams
Shuns the simple things, opts for the extreme
Has goals smaller than the lumps on a pre-teen
Craves the attention to be seen
Those of you with daughters know what I mean
It’s time for some of us to intervene
Pull the societal pacifier – wean
…she has to be taught to be a Queen!

Invisible
by Stacey

Don’t  you see me? I’m standing right here.
Your lack of acknowledgment causes my eyes to tear.
I say hi, I wave, I scream, I cry.
Thinking you will at least give me your eye.
Yet you turn around and walk away
Not giving me the time of day.
Where did you go, why can’t you see
I’m still here, I’m still me.
Despite my faults and flaws,
I still care
Wanting my life and yours
to be shared.
What happened to us
How did we get to this place?
Let’s wave our white flags
Of forgiveness and grace.

The Last In The Monarchy Of Lions
by Blaga Todorova

In the time of silence, when dimness is all I see,
you can make me believe the world is maybe royal.
Across the bed with silk and mirrors, where lies my pride,
you may convince me I’m the last in the monarchy of lions.

If the edges of my ivory gown touch the ballroom floor,
you can turn into ashes my crystal crown, let my hair flow down.
And when the neon in your eyes set in flames my naive heart,
I can even let you call me a Queen, I can accept your endearment.

But in mornings with coffee, when the sound of traffic is all I hear,
don’t say a word, don’t send me orchid petals in envelopes.
When your voice is just an echo in the distance, I tremble under
the spell of my own world, for I can only be a lady, but never royal.

Chamomile & Lavender
by Jacque

She seduces me with her eyes
without even knowing it
and takes me from a crowded room
into our own private world

Her kisses are
slow
sweet
honey
Her life energy travels through me
with each breath of hers
I breathe in

I am the Earth
to her Northwest rain
taking in every drop
of her wetness

She is my morning meditation

My afternoon Reiki

My Chamomile and Lavender

Late into the night

Less To More
by Dean

I suppose it would be easier
To love a hundred women
I could divide my loyalties,
Give way less to more
…I could xerox Christmas cards
And even with the extra work
The extra cost of gas, the mileage on my smile…
Still it might be  advantageous
To love a lot of women a little
To give each one just enough voice
So that I could hear them if they called
And wouldn’t miss them if they didn’t
Sure… I wouldn’t climb the walls as often
Neither would I fear the falling
Neither would I smack so cruelly on the concrete
Yeah…even with the added pressure
Of remembering all those names and birthdays
Even at the risk of lapsing into mediocrity
Even with the wear and tear
On all my vital organs
…I think it may be easier
To love a lot of women a little
Than to love just one woman a lot

The Model
by Ina

So I sit here completely naked and cold
In front of this art class of men young and old
Trying hard not to feel awkward at all
I shiver a bit on the stool that’s too small
Hearing the pencils  drawing my curves
I am smiling away what is left of my nerves
Someone is coughing, but no body speaks
A chair’s loudly moved and the door slightly shreeks
Alone with twenty four eyes watching me
From nine till eleven in my nudity
And then thank heaven it is time for their break
I  secretly look what it is that they make
Twelve sheets of paper all showing my figure of speech:
Three cubics, two circles and a triangle each…

Banishment
by Cherlyn Cochrane

Once before, I could fly – I could soar
into the clouds.  There was joy before
lightning struck. Forever on the ground,
still alive – but I feel like I’ve drowned
in a pool of my own wretched tears;
I have succumbed to all of my fears.
And as I begin to use my feet,
I feel myself collapse in defeat,
crying out “Why?” to my maker.  Crying
for what’s lost, wishing I was flying,
wishing I was living like the kings –
forever mourning my broken wings.
And life moves on, with or without me,
no matter how much I beg or plea.
I stagger on, keep moving along
without my wings.  And I don’t belong
in a world without the wind – no clouds
to protect me with their silver shroud.
I look up to the sky, see the blue
fantastic world, the places I knew.
And I can almost reach, almost feel
the only heaven I knew was real.

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National Poetry Month, Part Two

I offered my readers the opportunity to have their favorite poems featured here. Their poem of choice could either be written by them or one of their favorite authors in the public domain. Here are the poems.

If You Ever Feel Naked In Front Of Me…
by Dizzyalchemist

when I think of you,
when I remember your body,
your bare skin,
you’re never really naked,
to me,
you’re never really exposed,

because I can feel you,
I can sense you,
I understand you,
your personality,
your emotions,
you,

I love everything about you,
and I’ll always keep learning,
exploring each layer,
from your core,
every subtlety,
every nuance

if you ever feel naked,
know that I do too sometimes,
but when we’re like that together,
it feels so natural,
like we were meant to be,
since that first ever memory

On Growing Old
by Colleen Elizabeth

In an old house with floorboards
That creak and groan in the summer heat
Lives an old aging woman with dry and cracked
Hands from years of honest labor.
Her face, with deep creases that run
Every which way, like rivers on a map,
But rather than distant, unfamiliar, and impersonal,
Each crease is part of a story, her story,
Each crease affiliated with a worry or fear
That stemmed from loving a son,
A husband, a granddaughter,
The struggle, she found, was allowing them to
Leave her side, her home, one by one.
And I loved her fiercely, even when I
Eventually moved away and took a job
In a confusing and chaotic city.
Now as my childhood friends reminisce,
About their grandparents
And groan about a new gray hair
Or a surfacing wrinkle on their own
Tired faces, I laugh,
And a smile emerges knowing that when
That first monumental wrinkle grazes my face,
I will be on my way to becoming
The woman I always wanted to be.

Life
by Assaad

Life is too short,
Grudges are a waste of perfect happiness.
Laugh when you can
Apologize when you should
And let go of what you can’t change.
Love deeply and forgive quickly.
Take chances. Give everything
And have no regrets.
Life is too short to be unhappy.
You have to take the good with the bad
Smile when you’re sad
Love what you got
And always remember what you had.
Always forgive but never forget.
Learn from your mistakes
But never regret.
People change and things go wrong
But always remember
Life goes on!!

Uncensored
by R. MonaLeza

do you see these changes
that burrow under my skin
burrow under my skin
like parasites
and I hang on tight
cause you know
I know
it’s gonna be a crazy ride
and there’s no tunnel of love
love me tender
love me sweet
my feet are going somewhere
so I have to follow
follow me to that hollow place
trace me into existence
so I don’t disappear
disappear into smoke drifting across
oceans and lakes like a moonlit story
with no real beginning or end
or what happened in the middle
you know the juicy stuff
that seeps out onto the cold ground
and vanishes into cracks
tracks from shoes stepping where I lay
weeping weeping and putting my knees on pews
the news is not a front page story
but the filler between an ad
and the margin on the page
rage is a killer
kill her
kill her
use the methodical means of disposal
the dream chained around my throat
devote myself to breathing in and out of
truth that I am here
here we are
this mottled collection of spirits
pushing truth through poetry
and rhyme and time is running out
I doubt you’ll ever hear the full story
because it travels through every day
day in
day out
there’s no real meaning to struggle
struggle up the hill
struggle the bitter pill
to push love through poetry
what me
talking about love
love them tender
love them sweet
because I didn’t know any better
better make that admission before
doubt sets in
and I own that shit too
I’m wealthy
my bag is full of treasures
like memories
and bruises
like memories
and excuses
like memories
and memories
and memories

Morning Ritual
by Sorasea

when i woke up this morning
the door was slightly ajar
something moved
and all of a sudden
through the window blinds
came a chorus of sun
as if a cell had lysed
or a man had gone blind

that’s when i thought
i saw someone
just standing there
a hundred smiles gracing
its crisp burnt arms
it was gravely thin
and desperately glad
with fondness it stroked
the body of its gun
and its gun was named
love

i said aloud
what do you want from me
it laughed in reply
you have nothing
to give

but on second glance
it was simply a black dress
i had hung up before
bless my heart
still unmoved
immaculately
collecting wrinkles

so i said aloud
don’t scare me like that
it laughed in reply
then stop
being so scared

The Space Between
by Bernadine

In the space between a heartbeat and a breath
in the time, midway between a sigh
and the teardrop’s fall
In the empty space between
the fissures of life,
stands, I.

The essence of my inner being …
in this moment of nonexistent time
disrobes myself of the fabric of
this worldly flesh
Until I am,
a single
soul’s
breath

A minute speckle of the essence of infinite life
swimming in this sea of radiant light
streams that carry me through
water, air, earth, and land
dropping me gently to rest
upon the bed of
life’s hands

I awaken,
born anew, a seedling
nestled within the warmth of
nature’s blanketed earth
In the span of ethereal time
I sprout, grow, reaching
earth’s sky

My spirit strengthens as I grow
in this existence
a seedling, roots,
then arms reaching wide
a single leaf now,
in this garden of life

The seasons pass to the song of this infinite tempo
the breath of life releases me once again
as I fall to the ground
the winds whisper
an omnipotent breeze
gently,
they carry me across
this vast universe

Where …
Once again ….

The essence of my inner being …
in this moment of nonexistent time
disrobes myself of the fabric of
this worldly flesh
Until I am,
a single
soul’s
breath

And …

In the space between a heartbeat and a breath
in the time, midway between a sigh
and the teardrop’s fall
In the empty space between
the fissures of life,
stands, I.

Hazaribagh House
by Mihir Vatsa

Let us journey back a little,
Wave goodbye to Mrs. Gandhi,
Say adieu to Chacha Nehru, and
Land in a pre- independent India.

Come, see the year, when
Discovered was this place, Hazaribagh,
By some English explorer, lost
In these famous dense woods.

The region, under Ramgarh Raj
Inhibited wilds- Animals, Beasts, plants.
Tribals, the original people dwelt,
In a society unconventional, matriarchal.

Land where each mark on mud,
Reminded of a hungry tiger, searching
For some clue, footprints, scent,
Of a fearless wandering Sambhar.

The man, amazed, cleared a part
Of this true Mother Nature,
Erected thus, the very first human
Dwelling, the Hazaribagh House.

Soon came along his wife,
Two little fairies, his daughters.
Unaware of what happened
Politically there, in New Delhi.

The living room echoed with joys,
Study, lit with damp flicker of a lantern.
Kitchen, now prepared cuisines
While the first family lived in Hazaribagh House.

Moments passed, time swept,
People came, People went.
The family lived and stayed, while
Lantern never forgot to light.

Something happened since then.
More land got cleared, some offices built,
A little township started, but stayed
With pride and perk, the Hazaribagh House.

A good time further sailed,
The daughters now married, moved
Out unwillingly with their husbands,
To some big town of luxury.

Old man, still left in the study
Accompanied by the same lantern
Looked back in past, remembered how
A black buck once slept at the door.

Independence came, died his wife.
First and only wound to the man,
Who now rested his head on the table,
Beside the lantern of Hazaribagh House.

A bus now runs across the forest,
Crossing a haunted brown manor,
A broken red villa, an empty yellow shelter.
Looking through the window, one wonders,

Is it among these, the Hazaribagh House?

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