Can We Talk About Poetry?

Ian Fortytwo

I know where my towel is.
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The following poem won a Sestina award.

My Interpretation of a Sestina.

Sitting at a cafe drinking minted tea,
The riverside is cool and refreshing,
The waitress is very blonde and pretty,
A jazz quartet played quietly in background,
Sunlight ripples on the golden river,
Punters parade by casually dressed.

Poetry is formed, then written slowly,
The blank page gradually fills up,
Sipping the minted tea in sections,
The words crumble gaily over the page,
Miraculously making all the right sounds,
Should it be long medium or shorter.

Standing occasionally helps the flow,
Just as the river runs smoothly onwards,
Another waitress brings a refill pot,
A biscuit fills an empty stomach,
Yet the head is still full of many words,
Now the sky begins to fill with clouds.

A crazy idea becomes an ideal situation,
And ties four stanzas together nicely,
The quartet changes tone and rhythm,
Flicking through the dog-eared notebook,
Inspiration soon beckons another course,
Still the sun shines through the clouds.

Next a sudden wailing of a siren screeching out,
An emergency does not phase me one bit,
The finish line is still no nearer, but not too far,
In the silent pause a noisy crow caws,
Followed by magpies, a raven, and a rook,
Like a painting it dryness brings stillness.

The punters have now disappeared,
The cafe is slowly emptying of people,
Having drunk four minted cuppas,
My pages are nearly full of words,
Just a few more lines to complete,
So finishing with a triple stanza.

At the beginning discarded shoes,
For total relaxation and comfort,
So now will end with flourishing full stop.
 

Ian Fortytwo

I know where my towel is.
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Location
Somewhere on this mortal coil.
This poem is going to be published later in the year.

Whispering Trees.

Trees whispering secrets,
Tales of old and crusty days,
When knights were bold,
And dragons terrorised all,
Knowing they would fall.


A dampness caught unaware,
Fungi filled crevices full,
No flames to dry the moisture,
A sword or lance was thrust,
Into a dragon's hide, a weakness.


Today the winds blow cold,
Through the green forest,
And only the Trees could,
Remember the tales of old.
 

Ian Fortytwo

I know where my towel is.
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Location
Somewhere on this mortal coil.
Here is another of my recent created poem.

Walking in the rain.

Walking in the rain,
Captivates thoughts,
And illusions of grandeur,
Tightly packed sentences.

The umbrella protecting,
Useless if winds blow,
Solitary thoughtfulness,
In isolated areas.

I sit on a seat near a river,
Umbrella still above me,
I look at swans and ducks,
Happily swimming around.

Finally the clouds break up,
And the sun lightens my day,
I fold the umbrella and get out,
My notebook and take down my thoughts.

Occasionally drops of water,
Fall from a willow tree,
Into puddles and the river,
My overcoat keeps my pants dry.

Thoughts tumble onto page,
Revealing precious memories,
Of a child splashing in puddles,
Memories of mum and dad.

Then tears add to the wetness,
My restless soul searching,
Suddenly brings me laughter,
Which brings happiness.

I then walk home full of good thoughts,
A full page of reminiscences,
Life is always full of surprises,
While walking in the rain.
 

Saiyali

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Joined
Mar 13, 2021
Messages
52
I love poetry and I have written a bit myself over the years. Well, mainly songs really .. but I have tried to write 'serious' poetry at times. I think the difference between Poetry (as such) and Verse (or Songs) is that Poetry(-ies) have long 'formal' histories with rules and forms etc - while Verse only needs to be a string of (ideally!) meaningful words that rhyme and scan. So a Song can be Poetic, and Poetry can be structured in Verse - but the two things aren't always synonymous.
I'm probably overthinking it .. I tend to.

Anyway this is a sonnet, so absolutely unambiguously a Poem not 'just' a Verse!

* * *

Flor Marina

Moon shining down is the light in your eyes
Hush of the waves is your voice in my ears
Skin is the smooth and the deep of the skies
Sweet meadow breeze blowing your breath appears

Scent of you fills me, the green air of downs
Laughter cascades as a waterfall washes
Trees swaying hair the most beautiful crown
Raindrops fall upon me, kisses are splashes

Round rolling hills are your soft flowing curves
Ground shakes as I walk, making your heartbeat
Lips taste as fine as wild berries and herbs
Hands that caress are like cool water so sweet

Your body holds me as earth that I fall on
Your spirit warms me as bright as summer dawn
 

LeonStevens

Active Member
Joined
Feb 16, 2021
Messages
27
I wrote a series of poems called "Found" for my first book. I imagined a traveler/explorer on a desolate world coming across writings left from a previous civilization. Here is the first one:

Found

I can feel it seep
Through my boots
the heat
My skin, it crawls
My hair,
it falls
The pain, it lingers
Till I can barely feel
my fingers
Vision is weak and fading fast
I do not know how long
it will last
Too tired to move, I take a seat
Nothing left to drink
or eat
So, I leave my body and this note to be found
Beside this shallow grave
in the rocky ground
And if the horror you can face
Please lay me in my final
resting place

(Note: Some of the spacing did not come through properly, the non-capitalized lines are intended to be indented)
 

DrStrangelove

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Jun 19, 2021
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50
Location
Łódź, Poland
A "translation" of sorts (I often write both in Polish and English just to see how they will differ, both in words and overall tone).

A Symposium of Blades

We met to make amends
We met to remains friends
And in the moment’s bliss
And in one painful kiss
We drew the poisoned blades so soon
To spell our doom

And yet the clock keeps ticking,
The tea evaporates
Your body bent to kiss me
With no return be had

I promised you forever,
Eternity of death
I gave

Now I can only hope,
That both our bayonets
Reeked poison of same strength

I promised us forever,
And then withdrew
My way

Now I can only bet,
That both our bayonets
Equaled in blood shed

And there I am, still sitting
Still dreaming of a world
In which we just keep drinking
Keep laughing off regrets

The memories sucked, swallowed
By ocean of my sorrow
That I still hope we share

And I could only swear,
That both our bayonets
Will rust and fade away...
 

Saiyali

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Joined
Mar 13, 2021
Messages
52
I made this "excerpt from an ancient epic poem" to use as a piece of background culture for a fantasy story.
It's a bit cheeky, but this isn't for critique, it's just a pretend piece of old writing to fluff out my worldbuilding .. I hope it's not unwelcome! I was quite pleased with it. Any resemblance to the Rime of the Ancient Mariner is entirely intentional :sneaky:

The Voyages of Hieros, 1.206-301

Anew the sun rose on the few who had survived the night,
Cold they were, and shivering, though day was broad and bright.
Fully thirty had they been but now they saw their plight –
Half a dozen weak, and hurt, lost, hungry, and in fright,
We need a place we can defend! Let's find one while there's light!

Fires are tiny, desp'rate so not to be seen or heard,
They talk in whispers, secretly, and challenge every word.
Most want the Serendipity back, say they'll risk the hurt,
Say they'll risk attack, How can dying quick be worse?
Argument is broken by a noisy little bird.

I mean no harm! They're all amazed that this bird speaks to them
In words in mind they understand, in perfect unison.
Most don't believe, there's shouting till the bird sings out a song
That knocks them down and shuts them up and nearly shocks them dumb –
And then it talks in mind again, and they all understand:

None of you are welcome here! You never will belong!
You burn and kill, consume and waste, you do ev'rything wrong!
You need to leave, or you will die for They just want you gone!
I'll help you out – but for a price,
the bird in mind went on,
I know a ship, you'll sail away and live – so come along!

It flew away and all stood up, some quicker than the rest,
Where did it go? They asked, but first mate Hieros knew the best –
It wants us all to follow, reckon it's some kind of test!
He ran away after the bird, or best way he could guess,
and following the others came, grumbling and vext.

They come in time unto a lake, of many-coloured glows.
The water there is slick and sweet, it shimmers as it flows,
And scattered all around the shore, the darkest, blackest stones
That any of them ever saw, like petrified shadows –
And an old woman standing by, with birdlike, beaky nose.

These rocks you see – or do you not? I want them for myself!
Then take some!
Answered Hieros, Why do you ask us for help?
I cannot touch them here,
She said, I need them somewhere else!
If you will carry them for me, to somewhere I will tell,
I'll give you boats, a harbour and an ancient sea-canal!

We shall be free!
The sailors cried, as she explained the way –
But Hieros raised a hand for silence, frowning and dismayed.
How can we trust you keep this pact, that we may choose to make?
You either trust,
replied the hag, Or else die anyway!
Then off she flew – she was the bird! The crew had to obey.

But just as soon as they began, the rocks to take and hold,
They saw the sky go dark and felt the air go sudden cold.
Everybody looked around but bodies had dissolved –
Shimmering, invisible, they yelled and bawled and called
then every one dropped rocks from hands, and stood as if enthralled.

But Hieros, clever first mate he, kept hold of mind and heart.
He clapped, and yelled some clearing song that broke the spell apart.
Shipmates! Cried he, That witch has tried to trap us from the start!
Let's take the rocks as she demands, pretend to do our part,
But when she shows us to a ship, we'll keep them and depart!


He pickèd up another stone and held it o'er his head;
Below, his body vanished into colours myriad -
But not his voice that called out strong in wonder, awe and dread,
Brothers! Fall not here! Gather stones and run instead!
And every one then gave a cheer, grabbed what they could, and fled.

Invisible, or shimmering clear, they ran around the lake,
Following the woman's words, and path she said to take:
Follow shore then down the falls, then flow with river's snake,
Nobody will see you if with stones the journey make –
Just do not turn around, for that would be a big mistake!


They scaled the falls, but as they fell, a strange thing came to be –
Light from the lake reached out for them, as if to stop their flee.
Faster, faster, on, on! Hieros shouted desp'rately.
They fled the light – but in each heart shame settled with pity;
They knew their taking of the stones was like an injury.

But nothing now could stop their flight, not honour, guilt, nor fear –
Downriver they could smell the sea, knew freedom was so near.
And there were masts, tall silhouettes against a sky so drear,
That made the crew forget the lake of sheening light so clear
And fresh to mind came Serendipity, their wreck so dear.

But woe! These boats were not the sleek things Hieros had in mind,
Nor any of them – these were mouldy hulks with weeds entwined.
Rotten sails and splintered rails, slick with mould and slime –
What is this trick, foul witch? They yelled as she appeared behind,
You told us ships, not wrecks! You've killed us all for sure! You lied!

I did say ships, and here are ships!
She gave them answer back,
So make one sail! Or turn around and suffer more attacks –
Just give me all the stones you brought me, promised as your thanks!

The sailors, stony faced and silent, raised up canvas black,
Mossy rigging creaked as woman shrieked like maniac.

Bring them back! You cannot take the stones away from me!
They must remain! They cannot go away across the sea!
Till the day they come back home then cursèd will you be!
Till the day they find their way, you never shall be free!
No rest, no joy, no sleep, no death – never more for ye!


But on the ship their only thought was, Sail away at speed!
They all heard what she screamed at them but nobody believed
In curses, witches, talking beasts or lakes of light that grieved
For stones! 'Twas madness took us, or some horrifying dream –
But Hieros, he remembered, and in no way felt relieved.

He kept his counsel, said no word of truth to anyone,
He took the curse upon himself as if just he alone
Had done the act, the crime, that left them cursèd and undone.
He steered them all away from death, into their ageless run.
The boat they named Adversity, and better named was none.

No – never in all seas and skies was better named a one.
 

Lawrence Twiddy

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Messages
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Me.

I look into the mirror and I can not be seen,
The person in front I see,
It is not me.
He moves at my will and purposely.
My thoughts are inside the person,
But he is not me.
People see him but do not see me,
Im a prisoner in my mind,
I yearn to be free.
In seeing into others as I wish them do me,
Collectively we realise,
That empathy is key.
The body is not us, but a fallacy,
An extension of our mind,
My mind is me.
 
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Lawrence Twiddy

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The Sinister Lust Of The Succubus

Deathly to debutants my alluring spirit,
a secret whispered,
a heart beat missed.
Seductively secreting parasites of pleasure,
a carnal gape,
a lewd mistake.
Ominously bound; I am all you can see,
a convulsive desire,
a loin on fire.
I’ll define you, break you, undermine you every day.
I’ll confine you, rip your spine from you, be the truth in your decay.
 

Lawrence Twiddy

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Disconnected.

I don't feel human,
I’m self aware that I’m self aware,
I’m aware of the awareness.
I don’t recognise this vessel as me,
I can’t be seen,
I don’t exist,
I is an energy,
I is an idea.
I is an idea of an idea,
An idea of an i’m,
An idea pushing another idea to move another idea.
I is an energy,
Electrons corresponding with ideas to manoeuvre,
Manipulate,
Orchestrate this vessel,
This avatar.
Appearing as a self,
As a thing,
Giving me the idea I am someone,
When I am no one.
Just the idea of a someone.
To be human is to be self aware,
To appear like the idea of a human,
To be aware of yourself,
Your vessel,
As a thing,
As a someone and not just the idea of a someone.
I don’t feel human,
I is self aware that I is self aware,
I is aware of the awareness.
I is the idea of I,
So who is I?
Me?
Or another idea of I?
 

Ian Fortytwo

I know where my towel is.
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Joined
Dec 30, 2018
Messages
970
Location
Somewhere on this mortal coil.
Why am I out so late at night.

Enjoying a few beers with my mates,
Nightfall soon comes upon me,
And I have to hurry down to the
Dark bus station, for the last bus,
However I need to have a pee,
And by the time I have washed my hands,
I come out to see the back of the bus,
Now I walk home, then it rains,
Perhaps I shouldn't have had one more pint,
I get home after two in the morning,
I'm soaked through, cold and lonely,.

One good thing though,
No work tomorrow.
 

Ian Fortytwo

I know where my towel is.
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Joined
Dec 30, 2018
Messages
970
Location
Somewhere on this mortal coil.
Here is a sequel to one I wrote earlier.

Whispering Trees 2.

Dragons set light to the trees,
Until the knights killed them,
So the trees whisper recently,
There history is not distorted,
For trees have been around forever.


Rain and sunshine brings growth,
Trees prosper in shade and light,
Also in dampness and dry times,
Trees speak to each other protecting,
From men who seek annihilation.


Trees even protect mankind,
However not in a thunderstorm.


Leaves fall in autumn after turning brown,
Winter snow covers hidden secrets,
Spring reveals new everlasting life,
And summer leads to the circle of life.
 

Robert Zwilling

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Jun 12, 2018
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853
Gods Walk Amongst Us

People talk, debate, about the rise and fall of the currently occupied civilized world
Carried on the shoulders of personal beliefs that are as solid as wooden nickels
Rome and Caesar, Alexandria and Alexander, old and new to name but a few
Decadent times, immoral escapades, crumbling knowledgeable foundations
In these struggles to respond to daily events, that's not how life will be measured
In these times of sink, swim, or rescued, baked or blown away, a yardstick stands

Timing, quantity and quality, of our rebuilding efforts, will determine if we rise or fall
Leaving damage unrepaired week after week, cities of rubble blossom undisturbed
Six trillion trees once shaded Earth, blocked the burning sun, roots holding onto dirt
Now down to three trillion trees, now half of every roof, covering every building, gone
The unprotected rooms, blasted by the weather, portals to the living gods of weather
Gods once banished as the property of ignorance, now walk the lands with authority
 

Ray Zdybrow

Aging tousle-headed boy wizard
Joined
Jan 7, 2020
Messages
197
Location
Cupboard-Under-Stairs
The following poem won a Sestina award.

My Interpretation of a Sestina.

Sitting at a cafe drinking minted tea,
The riverside is cool and refreshing,
The waitress is very blonde and pretty,
A jazz quartet played quietly in background,
Sunlight ripples on the golden river,
Punters parade by casually dressed.

Poetry is formed, then written slowly,
The blank page gradually fills up,
Sipping the minted tea in sections,
The words crumble gaily over the page,
Miraculously making all the right sounds,
Should it be long medium or shorter.

Standing occasionally helps the flow,
Just as the river runs smoothly onwards,
Another waitress brings a refill pot,
A biscuit fills an empty stomach,
Yet the head is still full of many words,
Now the sky begins to fill with clouds.

A crazy idea becomes an ideal situation,
And ties four stanzas together nicely,
The quartet changes tone and rhythm,
Flicking through the dog-eared notebook,
Inspiration soon beckons another course,
Still the sun shines through the clouds.

Next a sudden wailing of a siren screeching out,
An emergency does not phase me one bit,
The finish line is still no nearer, but not too far,
In the silent pause a noisy crow caws,
Followed by magpies, a raven, and a rook,
Like a painting it dryness brings stillness.

The punters have now disappeared,
The cafe is slowly emptying of people,
Having drunk four minted cuppas,
My pages are nearly full of words,
Just a few more lines to complete,
So finishing with a triple stanza.

At the beginning discarded shoes,
For total relaxation and comfort,
So now will end with flourishing full stop.

I like it. The rhythm is good and you really convey the feeling of time and awareness.
 

Elckerlyc

"Philosophy will clip an angel's wings."
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Aug 27, 2019
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The Netherlands
I like to have a go at poetry every now and than, but unfortunately never have risen above the level of amateurism and doggerel.
Translations don't do them justice either. This one I originally wrote in Dutch:

In the tall grass
crickets softly chirp,
so softly, making you believe
that, but for a single hoot
of an lonely owl,
there is only rustling,
smothered to stillness
in the tall grass
 

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