Can We Talk About Poetry?

Ian Fortytwo

A Poet, Writer and eclectic Reader.
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Here I hope we can talk about poetry. I've written quite a few over the last twenty years or so. I have had nearly thirty published (made no money from them) just the glory of seeing them in print. I have had two haiku printed in a leading haiku publication (still no money). I enjoy writing them, and now that I am semi retired I want to publish some of my recent ones and this time make some money as well.

Also here we can talk about poetry written by others here. I'm sure there are many budding Poets hiding here.

One rule I'm insisting on is no pinching of poems copyright belongs to writer.

Once going I'm sure this will become popular.

Here is one that I have recently written.

The Waterfall.

Splishing, splashing, sploshing,
Cascading water downwards,
A thundering cacophony of noise,
Little rainbows of colour everywhere,
Rocks below the surface tormented.

Watching from a distance safely,
Although even there a misting occurs,
With some courage and fortitude,
A photograph is taken at a crucial point,
So that the moment is never lost.

Trees on farthest shore make up,
A perfect background of green,
Yet your memory serves us better,
Remembered long after photo fades.
 
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Good idea. I do enjoy haiku, but I prefer 'senryu' which are more humorous or cynical than serious, and more about humans than nature.

My favourite poetry is quite diverse. I love the nonsense rhymes of Lewis Carroll, but also the work of the war poets (especially Sassoon) The more cynical the better, rather than that which promotes the glory of war.

It's great that you've had poetry published, well done indeed! And from the example you've given you are obviously an accomplished writer. My own tends to be restricted to that inflicted on others members in the monthly Challenges on this forum.
 
Here is one of mine to help kickstart the project :

For Lorca

From your seventh year
you knew they were coming for you
Young Princeling of the light,
young bringer of parental hope
new walker upon the earth
new speaker of words
new see’er of the world
Is this the price of your birth?
To be shown your grave?

Ride like the damned wind from hell to horizon.
The skies behind you full, those dark forms,
that fly by night to Lisbon or Madrid.
They pursue relentless, eating year upon year.
The dark well closer

So you run, chasing that exquisite leaf
that will blow onward, past autumn
Through snows and into a new spring
While others work stone and oils for elusive permanence.
And smile thin thinking their end somehow surpassed.

Brief and extinguished spark. That fleck of carbon dust
Its black ink upon the page all that remains
of scent and colour, sound and love.

Oh how beautiful would be ignorance,
To live not knowing of impending mortality
The care lessness of the bird or the butterfly
Which, even as they fall from the sky, expect continuation

And yet on you ride, thrashing that horse,
As if, by riding fast enough, you could escape
Grasp eternity and cry for joy
“Here I am and will always be”

But your steed balks and falters
Rearing and throwing you to the ground
The beat of leathery wings now closing in
Ahead, only the cliff, and the moonlit ocean
For life, was an island.
 
This is my attempt at a nihilist's elegy. It was originally conceived to accompany a scene in my first novel where the two main villains are burying one of their fallen comrades.

With each passing day,
the snowdrift grows
smaller,

grows
to nothing.

With every touch of the sun,
the drift sloughs off another scale
and, inch by inch,

slips free
of its skin.

Stretched out in sleep beside its friend,
the earth breathes in the last remnants of winter,
then rolls over and sends out green fingers
in search of something more.

But the snow has gone
to where mud and dust
cannot follow

and the earth must linger
and wait for the passing
of summer’s heat

and the welcome return
of cool and quiet sleep.
 
I like to fill the page up, and also create an occasional new word.

Rocks, The Cradles Of Creation

Four score and four billion years ago, our solar system, just a dream
Born from a swirling cosmic dust storm, five trillion miles across
From dust, on to planet size balls of rock, a few with liquid cores
Some have radioactive cores that heat the entire planet, an internal sun
Others not so lucky, plain old metals and rock, cooling down to frozen
But the magic ones, hot forever, start out life, boiling molten rock

Oceans of volcanoes, rising out of screaming clouds of meteors, and comets
The dust filled comets pounding, cooling the surface, frozen water rocks
Oceans of water, packed inside life giving rocks, slowly squeezes out
The grinding starts, massive conveyor belts, reblending the rocky crust
Surfaces sucked below, the underground rises up, sunlight hidden by dust
Grinding rocks, bumping, elbowing for room, making cool cosmic dust

Cosmic dust, the stuff dreams of life are made of, thicken like a good gravy
From comets and meteors, sediments and clay, picking up cosmic lint
The chemicals of life, creating single cell creatures that churn out mud
Filling the cracks in the hard rock lands, dirt, the first pollutant appears

The oceans cradled in rock beds, peacefully snoring, oxygen all tied up
Bound up inside rocks and water, the oxygen waits, the great trickster
At the two billion year mark, one microbial family starts exhaling oxygen
The second great pollutant, now underway, the rest is history
 
I have a few poems in a folder on my laptop and I have never shared them so this seems like a good place to do so.
I only ever get inspiration for poetry when I'm down so they are usually a little melancholy.

Pererration.

My memories are eroding like the Cornwall coast,
Year by year they disappear and I forget the times that people remember most.

My futures bleak and what I seek is lost,
Only in the past it can be found,
at an unknown cost.

So I dwell in the past and neglect the present,
Further more my future is not what I want,
I have not learnt my lesson.

A wandering mind confused in thought,
For each life is different and cannot be taught.

As to where I find sanctum,
No invented gods will know,
In death which is infinite fulfilment may grow.

For what I find or learn to you will not be true,
You have your own path which you must walk through.

In order to be happy you have to be sad,
Because how can you measure good without the bad.
 
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Thank you for taking time to contribute to this thread. I am very keen on poetry, and write many different forms.

Simply Crossing the Road.

I held her hand very tightly,
As we crossed the road,
It was her first time ever.

At eight years of age,
I adored my daughter very much,
And wanted to do the right thing.

Earlier in the week was different,
She wouldn't cross by herself,
And screamed horribly.

Then I had a light bulb moment,
I bought her some sweets,
Took her home and comforted her.

So that was why now I crossed the road,
With her hand held tightly,
Now I had done my duty as her dad.

(By the way I'm not a father. I learned this lesson from a very good friend.)
 
Depending on what you might call poetry would you consider this:


After the funeral,
the procession arrived
and perched at the pub

where the usual din
and cacophony of voices
nearly drown out

the celebration of a life
now washed out
in the wake of too much ale

and abundant memories
that through the remainder of the night
rested a soul

beneath the detritus
of unbridled good intention,
until all that remained,

near the break of dawn,
was an uncertain ghost
and the sobering sorrow of his lads.
 
One of mine from a Challenge I posted a few years back. It was a challenge in the style of Kipling, although the inspiration for the story came more from Sassoon's The General.

The Hungry General

'E readies us for battle
'E's made us fit an' lean
So we can raise the standard 'igh
For Country, God an' Queen

'E marches us to battle
'E says we're like 'is sons
But when the shells begin to fly
'E's nowhere near the guns

'E sends us into battle
'E's yet to 'ave 'is fill
So we must go on dying 'til
We've paid 'is butcher's bill
 
The first cut of Spring.

The caress of the wind as it tickles the leaves,
Leaves of yellow brown and occasionally green,
An Autumn feel to the air even though its early Spring,
I'm just about to mow the lawn for the first time,
And capture this picture just before raking the Leaves,
Checking carefully for dormant creatures hibernating,
Afterwards the fresh scent of cut grass fills the air,
Also seeing the stripes that everyone loves so much.
 
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Just occasionally a poem like this one will struggle to come, yet when it is written down a calmness sets in.

One Stormy Night.

On the window pane, the sound of a gentle rain,
The storm was only beginning now time would tell,
As the fury grew an evil edge tormenting the mind,
There would be no sleep this night, no dreaming,
Quiet whisperings forgotten, animals afraid of darkness,
This storm will be relentless releasing pressure,
Threading fear throughout, no gentleness now,
Window panes being battered, cracks appearing,
Soil becoming a quagmire, leaves stripped from trees,
Then trees stripped from the ground, hatred grows,
Dawn is still hours away, tiles crash outside,
Will buildings survive this night or even mountains,
A long shrieking scream terrifies the soul.

The suddenly quietness descends upon us,
And then calm, all fears and tears forgotten for now,
On the window pane, the sound of a gentle rain,
Its effects more consoling, and as you look outside,
The sun is rising and you brace yourself for a new day,
As you step out and let the gentle rain fall upon your face,
A freshness creeps into your body, nightmares flee.

Around you, surrounding you, is devastation,
And a rebuilding of a world can begin,
Slowly at first, but as you progress,
You can change things for the better,
And new future beckons for all mankind,
Bringing better times, peaceful times.

However on the window pane, the sound of a gentle rain,
Will remind you not to forget that fateful stormy night.

(8/4/21---3am)
 
Old Tom and Me



As I sit and dwell in the past
Lost dreams, fleeting glances
No more second chances
Old Tom sits on me
And purrs contentedly


Not for him the bitter regrets
Of the days of his youth
For Old Tom in truth
With a clutch of his claws and twirl of his tail
Dreams only of what the new day may avail


Why shouldn't I be like Old Tom
Live for the present, never the past
Cherish the pleasure and hold on fast
Old Tom and me
In perfect harmony
 
Ambiguous Gift

She gave me the gift of infinite love,
The moon, sun and stars; the world from above.
Her shine a galaxy of endless beauty,
My heart immersed but my mind at mutiny.
She said the gift was not one to have, nor hold,
But one too admire, one to watch unfold.
 
The Jaunty Rhythm.

Originally I liked classical music,
Yet as I got older my taste changed,
And the rhythm of jazz hooked me,
As the background of a snare drum,
And the mellow husky voice calmed.

The rhythm and rhyme intrigued,
My foot tapped in harmony,
And my memory triggered something,
"and the Devil’s playing all the jaunty tunes."
But I'm sure that's all a lie.

The rhythm of the river is life,
The rhythm of life is a river.
Tappity tap tap tappity tap tap,
Dum de da dum dum da de...
 
Occasionally I write some quirky poems.

A crazy world. Pt.1&2.

The bell chimed as the door creaked ajar,
The clock ticked, yet it didn't tock,
The tiger slept next to the unicorn,
And the rhinoceros turned into a hippo.

So many peculiar things happening,
Even a cow jumped over a moon,
And a dish ran away with a spoon,
Which world am I'm living on now.

Where does a zebra wear pyjamas,
And a penguin wears a red suit,
Craziness is all around me, help,
I know what I'll do, climb a rainbow.

_______________________________

After climbing to the top of the rainbow,
The flame on the candle flickered twice,
So I quickly chased some mice on ice,
Filling my boots with loads of gold.

I jumped onto the silver and diamond throne,
Hoping that the Queen wasn't present,
I didn't have to worry at all, for she
Was making tarts with the knave.

They tasted of honey and strawberry jam,
So I sat on a toadstool with the gnome,
Who happened to be fishing in a pond,
The flame on the candle flickered twice more.
 
This is my first attempt at a thousand words story.

Not all Heroes are normal.

Last Day of Holiday.

It had been such a nice holiday, and today would be our last full day. Me, my wife of nine years and our lovely eight year old daughter had planned a walk to the top of the cliffs.

As we started out, I lifted my daughter onto my shoulders, where she giggled with delight. She was pretending to be a princess riding a white horse. She was so cute and we loved her so much.

The walk was very scenic and we passed an old barge on a flat top loader. It was in quite a bad condition and needed repair.

We got talking to two elderly people, and apparently they were selling the old barge, to pay towards a retirement bungalow in this area. They had a bit luck recently and had won quite a bit on the lottery, so it was a perfect time to retire.

We shared a couple of cans of soft drink with them that I we packed in a backpack. And they were generous with some chocolate biscuits. They adored our daughter's manners, she was being shy as usual.

We left them and soon came to the top of the cliff, there was a bench and a flagpole with a flag flying from the top. There were plenty of daisies and buttercups surrounding the bench.

I sat on bench, while my wife started playing with our daughter. I got out my binoculars and concentrated on a boat out at sea, gulls were circling the boat overhead. On the deck a man was sitting mending one of the nets. A young woman was watching closely at his progress.

The sea was quite choppy, yet none of the crew seemed very concerned. I looked up at the clouds, they were white and puffy, no sign of rain.

I looked to see what my wife and daughter were doing, they were making a daisy and buttercup chain. How sweet and cute was that.

I turned my attention back to the boat at sea, only to discover that the young woman had fallen overboard. She was struggling with the undercurrent. I was too far away to be of any help. But through my binoculars I could see that one of the crew was on a radio, presumably calling for a lifeboat.

My wife had noticed the incident, but was keeping our daughter occupied. Especially as the gulls were screeching very loudly, which was quite scary.

Soon a lifeboat was on the scene and were rescuing the young woman. As she was being pulled out I could see she was wearing a life jacket.

Suddenly a scream shattered the scene, our daughter was watching two gulls pecking a seal's eyes. I got up and chased the birds away, while my wife comforted our daughter.

Luckily two men pushing a barrow came by, and between us we put the seal in the barrow. I then noticed I was covered in blood. So I removed my coat and rolled it up.

My daughter came up and put the daisy/buttercup chain around my neck. Then declared that I was her hero. All tears forgotten, with three hearty smiles.


First Day After Holiday.

After the holiday I used public transport to get to my workplace in the city. I got on my usual station on the underground which happened to overground to start with.

The carriage soon filled up as we soon went underground, however I was one of the lucky one's, I had a seat. Most people were relaxed as they read up on the current news, or scanned social media on their phones.

Suddenly the train lurched to a stop, and then an explosion was heard from somewhere ahead. Soon smoke was filling the carriage, and then panic ensued. The situation would soon be out of control and I tried to remain calm.

A second and then third explosion, started to unsettle even me. Invariably as we were underground the signals on phones would be almost nonexistent. I looked at mine and there was two bars.

I dialled 999 and as carefully as I could explained the situation. I was to keep the line open and keep up a running commentary of what was happening.

Two men were trying to open the doors, however I was to tell them to remain on the train if the doors opened. Quite sensible I thought as the line could be still live.

Somehow my calming influence kept them inside the train. All the while the person at the other end of the line reassured me help was on the way. They also advised us to use scarves or handkerchiefs dampened with water around our nose and mouth.

At first the smoke worsened, however as more doors were forced open, the smoke soon lessened.

It seemed like hours before any rescue came, but apparently it was only ninety minutes.

The fire crew evacuated us one carriage at a time, and as we the sixth and last carriage, we had to wait quite a while.

Afterwards.

Unbeknown to me in each carriage one person had kept calm in a crisis and managed to avert any danger from the passengers. The six of us became heroes overnight and the papers were full of our stories. Of course I mentioned my holiday and our last day.

Several weeks later the six of us were awarded bravery medals from Prince William and his wife Kate.

Kate had special talk with me afterwards, because I had mentioned my daughter's daisy/buttercup chain, and that I was her special hero.

When I got home my wife and daughter were all smiles, and my daughter Amanda hugged me.
 
My best friend is this incredible artist, and she wanted to incorporate literacy into her portraits (like adding in words in the background/clothes of her sketches) so she asked me to write a few short poems for an identity/individuality piece. Hope you enjoy them:

For her, dark alleyways became the norm
Since the day they had sealed her lips shut tight.
A fire lily born in a black sea forced to conform
With what loved ones and the mirror had told her was right.
Crouched against a wall, tears fall down her face.
The fear of what they could do crushed her shoulders.
She peered into a puddle in the dark, cramped space
And a newborn hope in her chest began to smoulder
The hope burst into a phoenix, soaring high
Away from the city and towards the hills.
I am the phoenix. My voice is now mine.
I dare you to watch me. I can and I will.
--------------------------------------------------------------------
Taught to be ashamed, to be nobody
Locked up in a cage, they threw away the key
Forged my own key, rose out of the debris
Embrace your flaws, shun their expectations
I refuse to be another imitation
------------------------------------------------------
They gave me two choices: hide or be fixed.
They fixed me into nothing, I didn’t resist.
But I have found light after being eclipsed.
I don’t have to hide or be repaired.
I am who I am and I. Am. Not. Scared.
---------------------------------------------------
They drowned me in the darkness, still I rise
They hid me in the shadows, still I rise
And in spite of the pain still I will rise
Until I fly high above all their lies
And I can finally shed my disguise
---------------------------------------------------
It’s simple: don’t try to be someone else
If you do, who you are begins to melt
And everything you do will be unfelt
Their opinions do not define who you are
All they are trying to do is snuff out the stars
---------------------------------------------------
Why was I afraid to speak up, stand out?
Why was I ashamed of who I had been?
Why did I think I was trash, destined for a bin?
Why didn’t I realise I was building a wall?
Why? Why had I been so afraid to fall?
------------------------------------------------------
They turned her into nothing. She thanked them.
They drowned her identity. She thanked them.
They forced her into silence. She thanked them.
If it weren’t for them, she wouldn’t have changed.
If it weren’t for them, she wouldn’t be saved.

Congrats if you made it to the end ✌️
 
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I have just realised I have written over 30+ poems in the last 24 days. I must be flowing freely at this time.

Walking in the Woods.

Each step I take is heavenly,
The trees are gloriously evergreen,
And the scent of pine, magnificent.

I have a camera with me,
With a close up lens attached,
Insects and creepy crawlies.

Leaving no stone unturned,
Searching methodically,
For that perfect picture.

At the end of the day I have,
Taken well over one hundred pictures,
Now to head home to sort through them.

A week later I pick up first prize,
For a photograph of a magnificent,
Spider on a red and yellow toadstool.
 

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