Poems: In Print, Thick Paper Teachers, Turbulent Path, Sculpted History, and A Crumbling Pedestal

Discussion in 'Creative Traditional' started by Medora, May 28, 2013.

  1. Medora

    Medora
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    Since last posting poems, here are a few I was brave enough to share with others. The first three were printed in the literary magazine of the community college I go to. The fourth one did not make it in, and the fifth one was written well after submissions were closed.

    In Print

    Living again in print:
    A couple, middle aged,
    Faces caked with soil, stern.
    They seem aware of me
    As I gaze upon them.
    Their footpaths are weathered,
    And the bright sun is thin.
    Their rich field has poppies,
    Cowslip and cornflowers,
    Spread out from balustrade
    To the lustrous, cool lake.
    The husband is seated.
    The wife feels his arm snug
    Round her waist, and she stands
    Clutching a fat satchel
    Filled to the brim with seed:
    The cash crop, labor fruit –
    And record of their strength.
    The footpaths are restored.​
    The sun thickens with warmth,​
    Inhales the lustrous lake,​
    The field of wildflowers,​
    The wife’s waist, husband’s arm,​
    Before coolness returns,
    And I put the print down.




    Thick Paper Teachers

    An enclosure of sandstone walls
    Border triple hung mahogany windows.
    Trembling saplings, bowing and yielding to breeze,
    Are but silhouettes through the glass,
    And early light like white rivulets
    Stream onto girls in delicate Victorian dresses
    As they confiscate Dickens, Shelley, and Gaskell
    From fretwork shelves, rummage them,
    And so too the Brontë sisters, whose rough leather
    Bindings they cling to like angel statues in embrace.
    A devoted father gazes worryingly
    As the thick paper teachers whisper into
    Once maidenly ears, and his smile curdles.




    Turbulent Path

    Islanded by life’s narrow vale, the blind youth
    still follow the asphalt path; oh, resigned youth.

    Stop, smell the zinnias, scrape the knee and bleed,
    and by a turbulent path be defined, youth.

    Freely seek the learning of Yeats’ “starry men,”
    but not only do well, do good: be kind, youth.

    Unaccustomed pilgrims meekly drag their chains –
    split them; loose the tragedy of confined youth!

    Without heart, nothing warm is in the flowers,
    and truths sit in empty vessels. Stay, pined youth!

    Unexplored joys: Trying wolfish cadenzas
    on faded ivories, fate is unkind, youth.

    Even elders fear a dreamy earth, renewed;
    inner churches mature in maligned youth.

    Lifelong trained slaves to mechanic value, die
    pure as blank paper: lost, undefined youth.

    Beneath shade where peaches fall, a butterfly;
    future, frailty, fuss is forgotten. Unwind, youth.




    Sculpted History

    Statues tall with not-quite-truth paper over
    Fragmented pasts with a sculpted history;
    Too-pristine stone figures as visual script
    An amnesiac public chooses to toe.
    And richly textured people volunteer to
    Sink into matting like matching canvases.




    A Crumbling Pedestal

    Plump birds sit upon a crumbling pedestal,
    Contentedly ruffle their feathers, and briefly
    Ruminate on the pretention of their fellows,
    Perched as high and proudly guarding flax
    And amaranth seeds (an admirable catch!)
    Before taking, with sport and zest, to the
    Blue vista vast as their pride, unobstructed
    By anything round them, whether the well
    Manicured lawns or the trucks carrying
    Tree trunks from forgettable lands where
    Lean birds, through no fault within, are
    Denied sight of Demeter nestling in full
    Flush, though they would trade the heavens
    For a glimpse beyond sated, passive avian
    Eyes cast any which way from green aeries.
     
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  2. Wow these poems are amazing! No wonder you got published. :) keep up the good work. Also since you've been publishe I would love your input on my poetry.. :LOL: :thanks:

    :peace: :hello1: :rightthere: :omg:
     
  3. MsJacquiiC

    MsJacquiiC
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    Hey Jason - There is something absolutely charming about this set of 5 poems. An impressive showcase no doubt! I can see how these first three would be published. I really like the feeling of reticence I get when reading the In Print. You are obviously paying homage, but homage to whom?

    This is superb writing, such visuals present here. It is a collage of back-in-the-day. Had I to hazard a guess - I'd say you were writing of my Grandmother and her love, the Grandfather I never got to meet in person, but this one picture managed to survive...

    Then Thick Paper Teachers. I giggled at these last 3 lines:

    You could actually see the smile - the lips turned down in a sourpuss way LOL. Such is the way...The want to protect his girls from the ways of the world...? Ah - if only joy of naivete could last a lifetime.

    My favorite, however, has to be Turbulent Path. Such a delicately crafted piece, I almost missed the rhyme scheme on first read. You're structured this piece in such a way that the rhyme is so natural and quite delicately executed. Is there a particular poetic form here? I'm not sure if I recognize it as a formal poetry form - but it sure could be!

    I hate to again quote the last lines - but these lines right here just really brought the poem home to me:

    Here you have the broken (a broken wing even), an undefined youth metamorphosing, literally shedding the fuss that had been undefined life and simply going with the flow, blowing into a sigh, unwinding (as it were) oneself upon the turbulent path as to simply BE. This to me is optimism as time has healed existential wounds.

    I may be off in my 'interpretation' but well-written poems have the power to be many things to many people.

    Much appreciation for this share. Some wonderful wonderful writing here. Thanks so much.

    J.
     
  4. Medora

    Medora
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    Hi, Miss Cooke! Really appreciate the feedback, and kind words.

    For In Print I was actually encouraged by the observations of the photographer Ansel Adams, who spoke about his photographs as if they took on a life of their own, or rather brought back to life the people who have left us. Initially, I wrote the poem intending to give the impression that what the narrator is observing may not necessarily reflect on what is actually happening, but in the end I focused on being more ambiguous. As for the simple style of six syllable lines high on concrete imagery and the suggestion of something "spiritual" about it was inspired by one of my favorite poets, Elizabeth Bishop, specifically her poem "The Fish." http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/22238

    For Thick Paper Teachers I was a bit worried about the wide use of adverbs, and also because
    might be problematic in the sense that the reader might wonder (or maybe it is just me), does "so too" mean the girls are confiscating the Brontë sisters' works, or are the Brontë sisters confiscating the works of Dickens, Shelley, and Gaskell?

    I am still not confident in the wording and arrangement, but here is my latest take on the same poem:

    Work in progress.

    As for Turbulent Path, that is a ghazal, though I excluded the customary "signature" couplet (where the author mentions himself), as I felt it would actually be inappropriate here.

    Also, glad you characterized it as optimistic, as I was worried that a lot of my efforts at poetry seems pessimistic, or at least melancholic, the latter of which sometimes people seem to view as necessarily synonymous with depression.

    I have been working on a few poems since the ones above of course, but the two so far I am confident in trying to publish are as follows: "Ironic Tradition," which is about how Irish American men are celebrating their heritage, and "A Quaint Namesake," which talks about a certain American Indian tribe and what their namesake stands for.
     
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