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Monday, January 24, 2011

Always With Me

You know, being a poet in this digital age means that not only can you disseminate your works to a LOT more people than Longfellow or Frost ever dreamed of in their lifetimes, but you can also be part of the larger poet community with ease.

There are sites for talking about poetry, learning about poetry, poetry forums, poetry workshops, and even sites that provide you with prompts to build poems from. Networking sites like Twitter and Facebook instantly plug you into the larger community of poets at large.

One such site is One Stop Poetry. Now, I love this site, and One Shot Wednesday is something I look forward to all week. I love the chance to read a LOT of new poems in one sitting, and of course, I contribute as much as I can. But on Fridays, they have a cool exercise where they provide a music clip, such as the one above, Joe Satriani's Always with Me, Always With You, and ask that you use it to inspire a piece.

Which, if you are reading this, you know that I have done so, for my third week entry for PoetResolution.

So watch the video, and then read the poem that it inspired.


The wind raises its swift, silent voice
sweeping away my many protestations.
You have left me and left me no other choice
and refused all of my demonstrations.

Stones on the floor of the ocean may sleep
without remorse, or regret, or sorrow,
But I have promises to try to honor and keep
and they will not wait for tomorrow.

You changed my world when you entered my heart
filling in all the chambers of my soul.
Though you have chosen to live far from me, apart
Your gift has made me solid and whole.

I carry you inside me, never to be lost,
knowing that someday you will return.
I will pay any price, suffer any cost
as long as Love’s candle still burns.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Morning Despair

This is my poem for the second week of 2011 -

The dictionary defines despair this way: gloom, disheartenment. Despair, desperation, despondency, discouragement, and hopelessness refer to a state of mind caused by circumstances that seem too much to cope with.

Even optimists suffer the pangs of despair. Despite our best efforts we can be overwhelmed at the trials and tribulations of everyday troubles. The bills, the kids, the ex, the job, the lack of vacations, the lack of romance, too much laundry, or dishes, or chores in general, the sense of being under appreciated, the feeling of being inadequate to the tasks at hand - all of this can add up to a weight that bows even the broadest back.

So shoot me, I'm only human. I get down, just like everyone else. Unlike everyone else I write a poem about it. And here you go.

You know, strength is not conquering nations - true strength is in punching the damnable clock, day after day after day.


With eyes as used as spent bullet casings
he glares at her in unseen and silent reproach
unable to voice his bitter protests
lest her pain overwhelm her once more.
Tenderness for her rides his anger -
a cowpoke busting a maddened bronco
until his rage is spent and tamed.

Anguish coats his throat
holding back barbs and retorts,
damming them, and damning him
to a continued existence he hates -
another day of desperate duty
another night of marital distance -
then he must rise once more
and trudge off through bitter cold
and unfullfilled dreams
until he cracks, or caves, or dies.

He laces his boots tightly
strangling his ankles in silent metaphor
all too aware of the path he has taken,
mistakes he has made, choices unchosen.
The long road behind him from a place
where screams go unheard,
the rocks and potholes ahead
showing both a one-way sign
and a dead end.

Yet more than his weariness,
more than his concerns over material things,
and even more than his distrust of Fate
what guides his actions is the love he feels
every time she looks at him
and the icy grip around his heart
melts away a little bit more.
For this and this alone,
he pushes his way out into the world once more
trusting in Love to bring him home.