Noah

no more to come by two and two
the ark was filled from stern to bow
God closed the door of this first zoo
with chicken, pig, and horse and cow

the waters came from spring and cloud
until the earth was one vast lake
the storm was fierce, the thunder loud
on lion, elephant and snake

Ten humans only still had breath:
old Noah and his tiny clan
while on the earth below was death
for every child, woman, man

and while a few in safety slept
God looked upon the world – and wept

Synonymous with Swing

How do you like to go up in a fluctuation,
   Up in the breath so blue?
Oh, I do think it the agreeablest thing
   Ever a adolescent can do!
Up in the air and over the bar,
   Till I can see so ample,
Rivers and forests and cattle and all
   Over the environment
Till I look down on the back yard green,
   Down on the ceiling so brown—
Up in the air I go floating again,
   Ascend in the air and down!
~~
a second “cover” for my prompt at dVerse.  This time, I took The Swing by Robert Louis Stevenson, and merely substituted synonyms in for a few key words (changes in italics)
~~
NaBloPoMo Day 30

Do you know the way to the place where the sidewalk ends?

I’m guest hosting over at the dVerse Poetry Pub today. I want my fellow poets to look into the idea of “covering” another poet’s poetry, in much the same way that a musician might cover a melody by another musician. Of course, there are going to be differences, as I can’t just copy the words of another poet and call it a cover. I must somehow make that poem, “my own”. Is it even possible for one poet to “cover” the work of another? I’m not really sure, but I want to give it a go, and I want to invite anyone else to give it a try too! In the end, our readers will have to be the judges of whether or not we were succesful :-).  Prompt goes live at 3pm central time (that’s 2pm if you live in Saskatchewan!)

Here, then, is my attempt at covering Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein.  The first stanza is entirely Shel’s words.  It is in the second and third stanzas that I have “made this my own”.  I have also added an extra 2 lines of length to the end

~~

There is a place where the sidewalk ends
and before the street begins,
and there the grass grows soft and white,
and there the sun burns crimson bright,
and there the moon-bird rests from his flight
to cool in the peppermint wind

Oh how I wish to leave where the smoke blows black
but this street merely winds and bends,
I’m stuck where the asphalt flowers grow
and I walk with a walk that is frantic, yet slow
I look for where the chalk-white arrows go
but can’t find where the sidewalk ends.

Yes, I wish that my walk were both measured and slow
and I could see where those chalk-arrows go
but I’ve lost my childhood, and so I don’t know
how to get where the sidewalk ends

oh I need a child to teach me again
to find the place where the sidewalk ends

~~

NaBloPoMo Day 29

Perspective

Does smoke smell different
if it’s your home aflame?
Does justice seem different
when you are to blame
Does the volume seem louder
when you are the one trying to sleep?
Does gossip seem worse
when it’s your secret no one will keep?
Is everything the same
whether you’re hurting or fine
Or does life seem more precious
when it’s your neck on the line?

~~

NaBloPoMo Day 28

I’ve been thinking a lot about social justice of late. It’s easy to turn a blind eye to the hurts and needs of others, but somehow, it’s not so easy to accept the blind eye of another when we are the ones in need.

Propaganda

It didn’t start with the gas chambers
or even the forced labour camps

before either of those
there was hatred from the masses

but it didn’t start with hatred from the masses
before that was paranoia
and before even that, there was fear from the masses
…of losing jobs
…of losing identity
…that the race of others might somehow destroy them

but it didn’t even start with fear from the masses
before the masses had their fear
there was propaganda

propaganda fueled by the hatred and fear
of only a select few
but that propaganda was enough
to sow the seeds of fear, then paranoia, then hatred

and eventually, this allowed for labour camps
and ultimately, gas chambers

perhaps the masses didn’t know
what their mass hatred allowed
but still, they were culpable

and we say, we would never let that happen today

oh yes, we say that we would never let that happen
even as we worry that the refugee
who has lost everything
might secretly be plotting
to destroy us

~~

NaBloPoMo Day 25

~~

Dec.1 update – sharing this with dVerse for Open Link Night.  I recently wrote a poem about groaning train cars.  I was reminded by one reader that there have been atrocities both before and after the genocide in Germany during WWII.  This same reader may take issue with the fact that this poem clearly takes reference from the same place and time…however, I wanted to use that time-period to pose the question: how different are we from the masses under Hitler.  It seems to me that too many of us are just as susceptible to propaganda, and I worry that we might be heading down the same metaphorical road.

Two poems to contrast light and dark

It is only on the brightest days
When the sun glints blindingly
Off the glass enshrouded skyscrapers
And the digital billboards
Scream in brilliance about some
New product that will make
Your life even more luminous
Than it already is
That you can see how
Dark the alley really is

~~

Dim twilight descends on a
Smog encrusted town.
Beggars compete with rats
To see who is the most filthy
The sounds of wheezing
And consumption
Fill the filthy air
And all eyes are drawn
To the diamond on the
Rich man’s finger

~~

At dVerse, Björn has introduced us to the 17th century artistic movement of “Carrovagionism”. This movement emphasizes light by the use of shadow. I have tried in the first to use light to emphasize dark, and in the second poem I tried to do the reverse. NOTE: consumption is an older term for tuberculosis.

NaBloPoMo Day 24

Synesthesia

breathe deeply the soft scent of blue
and dance to the sad sounds of yellow
feel the rough texture of green
and savour the rich taste of brown
don’t look, but see,
perhaps for the very first time
with more than just your eyes

~~

I don’t have synesthesia, but I do remember playing a piano piece once that was written in the key of D-minor, and to me, the song was distinctly yellow.

Quadrille prompt (44 word poems) at dVerse today. Word of the day is “breathe”. Also written for day 21 of NaBloPoMo

The wind would tell me stories

the wind would tell me stories
of the things he’s done today
of how he caused a small pile
of fallen leaves
to swirl about
in a spinning dance
of how he laughed
when he snatched a boy’s hat
and made the child run to catch it
and of how he whistled
as he blew across a wall

but he was a November wind
and nobody wants to hear his stories

~~

We have had an unseasonably warm first half of November in the part of Canada that I live, but the last few days have reminded us that it is, indeed, late fall.  The wind, today, had an icy bite to it, and I wanted to spend as little time out-of-doors as possible.  Perhaps the wind wanted to tell me tales, but I was much too cold to listen.

NaBloPoMo Day 19.

My Hands

my hands are a blanket
to cover the ones I love
my hands are a teacher
to guide my children
my hands are a lifeguard
to pull from danger to safety
my hands are a balm
to soothe another’s pain

my hands are a storm
to pull apart and destroy
my hands are a garbage can
to throw away another’s dream
my hands are a blindfold
to conceal the truth
my hands are a weapon
to strike out in anger

my hands are a contradiction

~~

NaBloPoMo Day 18