National Poetry Month 2012 Open Thread

It’s National Poetry Month. This is your time, people/poets.

Contribute your poetry, or a friend’s poetry who gave you permission, or a dead person’s copyright-free poetry, or a link to a page of poetry, below in the comments.

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  • identitytheory

    Here’s one from T.S. Eliot. I like the line about the accidental stars.

    “Hysteria”

    As she laughed I was aware of becoming involved in her
    laughter and being part of it, until her teeth were
    only accidental stars with a talent for squad-drill. I
    was drawn in by short gasps, inhaled at each momentary
    recovery, lost finally in the dark caverns of her
    throat, bruised by the ripple of unseen muscles. An
    elderly waiter with trembling hands was hurriedly
    spreading a pink and white checked cloth over the rusty
    green iron table, saying: “If the lady and gentleman
    wish to take their tea in the garden, if the lady and
    gentleman wish to take their tea in the garden …” I
    decided that if the shaking of her breasts could be
    stopped, some of the fragments of the afternoon might
    be collected, and I concentrated my attention with
    careful subtlety to this end.

  • identitytheory

    They pass before me one by one riding on animals

    “What are you waiting for,” they want to know

    Z—, young as he is (& mad into the bargain) tells me

    “Some day you’ll drop everything & become a rishi, you know.”

    I know

    The forest is there, I’ve lived in it

        More certainly than this town? Irrelevant—

        What am I waiting for?

    A change in customs that will take 1000 years to come about?

    Who’s to make the change but me?

    -From “A Vision of the Bodhisattvas” by Philip Whalen, the complete text of which can be found here: http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/180973

  • Atursi

    Correspondances
    La Nature est un temple où de vivants piliersLaissent parfois sortir de confuses paroles;L’homme y passe à travers des forêts de symbolesQui l’observent avec des regards familiers.
    Comme de longs échos qui de loin se confondentDans une ténébreuse et profonde unité,Vaste comme la nuit et comme la clarté,Les parfums, les couleurs et les sons se répondent.
    II est des parfums frais comme des chairs d’enfants,Doux comme les hautbois, verts comme les prairies,— Et d’autres, corrompus, riches et triomphants,
    Ayant l’expansion des choses infinies,Comme l’ambre, le musc, le benjoin et l’encens,Qui chantent les transports de l’esprit et des sens.
    — Charles Baudelaire
    http://fleursdumal.org/poem/103

  • Cmclaughlin214

    IF THEN
     
    if i am the night
    then you are the moon
    if i am the flower
    then you are the bloom
    if i am the philosopher
    then you are the quote
    if i am the lyric
    then you are the note
    if i am the glass
    then you are the wine
    if i am the root
    then you are the vine
    if i am the clay
    then you are the potter
    if i am the fountain
    then you are the water
    if i am the book
    then you are the page
    if i am the wisdom
    then you are the sage
    if i am
    then you are
     http://www.facebook.com/notes/poetsings-muse/if-then/190709467622860

  • Mangoes

    I will come bearing mangoes,
     
    wearing the war-paint of a whoreand the anklets of a thief,
     
    a sunburst, spilling nectar,
     
    summer-kissed by the yellowblossom that fell from a tree and into my braid.
     
    Sharpen your knifeand hold out your tongue,for life is sweetest in small pieces
     
    and I could feed it to you in thewhite wicker-plaited shadowsof your sun-flooded veranda
     
    while we drink to beauty and wait for the fire flowers of the year’s first rain.

    http://english.louisiana.edu/rougarou/currentIssue/p-Manivannan_IWillCome.html 

  • we left a thousand machines on in this tired old highrise
         a throbbing structure a sixty-cycle hum

    laugh and joke about all the potential meaning behind each and every door
         all existential so exit then this still holds

    prying open little chambers hidden thoughts and flyers
         on the walls a little reminder to be reminded

    collapse tomorrow there is no tomorrow
          we’ll have no tomorrow until never finally comes

    then its time to pack up things best left behind
         and kill a part of ourselves and hand it back in to the machine

    this is destiny this is object this product consumer
          consumed and destiny describes fate as a constant death wish

    we unplugged a thousand machines a high-rise concept
          top of their game buildings fall

    out of the dust up a trash heap a garbage bag
          cellular telephone history calls up and no one’s there

    escape.
     
    (posted originally on everything2.org 25 April 2005 – but not there anymore)

  • Isaac.

    Bittersweet

    Like morning coffee
    Am I…awake?
    luckily

    To meet Eye to Eye
    with such sweetness
    Face to Face
    wondering what bitters her.

    Why, carefully
    outside
    defend her loneliness
    when fragrant inside
    sweet nectar escapes

    Waiting
    Will she open up
    Fill her her heart’s cup.

    Where bitter connects
    sweet
    Complete Together.

  • Gemmie1064
  • NAPOWRIMO DAY 23: Penelopeaid

    As you leave,
    it’s not so much the desire to kiss as much as
    put mouth on, or
    around; that
    first and most direct desire to receive via
    – to nurse –
    that it might sustain
    in your absence.

    Perhaps one might
    take between lips
    a fingertip, as though
    it could stay behind;
    a reminder, like
    a marble or a small piece
    of ice, leaving
    my tongue recalling
    you as it reads this
    cool roundness, or
    crevice, respectively.

    There’s comfort in knowing how
    a stone or piece of weathered wood
    in the hand
    can be the same – a surface to
    trace and retrace, erased
    of scalar dependencies:
    a shoulderblade, a hip,
    the hollow of your chest
    when you exhale.

    and all at once I was there
    at its origin; the first
    to know and speak a word –
    “touchstone” –
    a small solace
    to hold as you journey, to
    locate in an instant
    your star
    in the sky.

  • Donniebegood

    madly backwardssirens singjunkies to sleepon the stairwayof the sunset hotelold hopes fade& dance awaymadly backwardsrain reclaimsworn tire tracksof piss-yellow cabspointed cross townby gypsy hacksinsomniacsfrom new yorknew jerseynew delhichasing american dreamsdown empty streetsred—white & blue illusionsslippinginto the darknessof rearview mirrorslost in the shadowsof sacred skyscrapersthat sigh & bendin the windold myths fade& dance awaymadly backwardssirens sing
    junkies to sleep
    on the stairway
    of the sunset hotel
    old hopes fade
    & dance away
    madly backwards
    rain reclaims
    worn tire tracks
    of piss-yellow cabs
    pointed cross town
    by gypsy hacks
    insomniacs
    from new york
    new jersey
    new delhi
    chasing american dreams
    down empty streets
    red—white & blue illusions
    slipping
    into the darkness
    of rearview mirrors
    lost in the shadows
    of sacred skyscrapers
    that sigh & bend
    in the wind
    old myths fade
    & dance away
    madly backwards

    • DB Cox

      Sorry. Somehow the formatting was lost in this poem. I’ll try one more time:

      “madly backwards”

      sirens singjunkies to sleepon the stairwayof the sunset hotelold hopes fade& dance awaymadly backwardsrain reclaimsworn tire tracksof piss-yellow cabspointed cross townby gypsy hacksinsomniacsfrom new yorknew jerseynew delhichasing american dreamsdown empty streetsred—white & blue illusionsslippinginto the darknessof rearview mirrorslost in the shadowsof sacred skyscrapersthat sigh & bendin the windold myths fade& dance awaymadly backwards
      junkies to sleep
      on the stairway
      of the sunset hotel
      old hopes fade
      & dance away
      madly backwards
      rain reclaims
      worn tire tracks
      of piss-yellow cabs
      pointed cross town
      by gypsy hacks
      insomniacs
      from new york
      new jersey
      new delhi
      chasing american dreams
      down empty streets
      red—white & blue illusions
      slipping
      into the darkness
      of rearview mirrors
      lost in the shadows
      of sacred skyscrapers
      that sigh & bend
      in the wind
      old myths fade
      & dance away
      madly backwards

      • DB Cox

        i give up

      • Andyrew

        dont give up mate, sounds good, ignore formatting just get it out

  • (Introduction)

    The odor of blood drops in drapes,
    figures half-lit form false shapes;
    the bed on which I lay and the windows
    welcome what the delicate line knows:
    the open imagination’s well-kept trade
    that many shrug off
    with a stilted stare or cough,
    throwing discredit on what honest hands have made.

    All that dreamlike inspiration
    becomes a beautiful conflagration:
    the smell of emblematic men and women slain,
    and flickering lights from where thought’s shadows came,
    issue out of the creative heart’s desire
    that’s uncontrollable,
    requiring an artistic toll,
    like the worn fingers of the bard that plays the lyre.

    But that’s what poetry’s about,
    a deep and draining silent shout;
    the hand is left cramped and consumed,
    the heart’s violet blossoms begin to bloom:
    sedative perfumes slide over your wearied frame –
    half-memories abate,
    the odorous dead dissipate –
    you’re deserted, yet the halcyon heart flares aflame.

    Symbols come and symbols go:
    the disfigured trees obscured by snow,
    or simply standing against the wind
    or windless heat; a cherished friend
    and loved ones who’ve passed; a lost lyricist;
    the Muses that elude;
    the damp room in which I brood;
    a horseman, his blade; a stony tower’s twist.

    Find here, dear reader and friend,
    a testimony sung over again.
    I write this text to release me from
    broken thoughts and anger’s sum:
    everything that childhood and adolescence approved.
    The unvoiced thoughts
    of a boy caught by cast lots
    inked to find something beyond evanescent truths.

  • My brother left
        
    before I knew he had.
    His flight trailed off into a Utah
    sunrise. He left behind a little strand
    of thought, and, in a cramped, amber room that saw
    long talks of topics that soon thinned grey,
    a set of dog-eared books has been put down.
    Books that brought nearer to my thought his own,
    while somewhere Interstate-5 grates ‘cross the ground.

    I sleep there still, although I left for good.
    That house to this day asks me where he was.
    Their smiles, the little comfort that they could
    give, were emptier than their words. Often
    I feel the vague pulse of their ragged stares –
    torn, threadbare they unravel in the air
    to mask their faces: that inner decree
    which shades the truth. Where and how’d they ever grow wrong?

    He must have, as the plane touched the runway,
    felt the dawn’s shudder fracture his young bones,
    his thoughts turning to those dog-earing days.
    The seemingly endless months full of groans,
    as they should have been, being spent alone.
    And that set of books, at least it would seem,
    ignited the wick on which our passions gleam –
    slate-grey regards.

    These six years past since they took him away
    held minutes like a needle in plied dust.
    There’s something in the spring that brings decay
    here. The outward beauty of the world just
    clouds the mind’s loss within the spinning gust
    that all the blooming flowers usher in.
    Then the rain comes – in spitters and spats it spins
    the spire. When gone the white-wick’s still on fire.

    As the 5’s scratch cracks up the drying earth,
    I recall Nietzsche, Guevara, Burgess.
    Famed men who’d not anticipated births
    inside my brother and I like cypress
    trees, evergreen and coniferous we
    drop seeds year-round. The setting Utah sun,
    barely audible, gasps in the copse.
    He’s with me now. What’s done is done.

  • The Memory of Malani Sathyadev, Preserved on an Answering Machine

    She vanished in the shadows
    of a mid-March Sunday’s moon
    that quickly slipped below
    streetlights and ran to the shore.
    When I first heard the news
    an orange leapt from its bough.
    There were bees in the flowerbed.
    Grass shattered under my feet;
    the smell of soot and ash
    clung lightly to the breeze;
    her smile fell
    from a Hong Kong orchid
    off Market Street.

    The news first came
    dead-ended and one-way.
    Eight years’ reflection on that day
    have hoped it was a turn in life:
    the harrowing left onto Texas
    from Mulberry Drive –
    the high-branch’s snap
    in the old, ragged pine –
    when I was lost
    in an Irish poet’s mind.

    Hearing her voice, years since passed,
    among this phone’s old messages,
    I hear myself the day I heard the news –
    Christianity’s eternity
    became eternally confused.

    Her long, black-curtain-hair,
    the books piled at her feet,
    the way philosophy
    rolled off of her physique…

    All I hear now when I think of that day
    is the frail rattle of a noose’s
    sway, like pebbles
    beneath the midnight train.

    April 2012

  • Heather Stevick

    Desert Rain
    illusion…nature’s effort to cause confusion.
    baked soil drinking in with thirsty fear… it will never come again.
    swollen river washes remembrance away.
    and prepares us…for the painful emergence of the sun it’s blistering renewal…
    but with it the energy of forgiveness and refusal…
    which in the end…is victorious.

  • Heather Stevick

    Desert Rain
    illusion…nature’s effort to cause confusion.
    baked soil drinking in with thirsty fear… it will never come again.
    swollen river washes remembrance away.
    and prepares us…for the painful emergence of the sun it’s blistering renewal…
    but with it the energy of forgiveness and refusal…
    which in the end…is victorious.

  • Heather Stevick

    The beauty of the moon always makes me wonder…
    Does the magic inside rise you up or hold you under?…
    Lost by the morning light and the promise of a new day…
    But still hoping the moon loved you in some small way…
    The mighty rhthym pushes forth and causes me to speak…
    rolling forth until I realize the freedom that’s inside of me and reminds me…
    of where I came from…
    the moon…it’s inside of me…
    teaches me and gives wisdom to remember i am where i am supposed to be…
    beauty of the moon…heals me.