poetry

  • Poetry Teaches Better Writing

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    I’m often shocked by how vehemently some people react to poetry, and I mean in a negative way. It’s like you’ve asked them to eat spider soup, or drink rat gut beer.

    I think poetry is terribly misunderstood by the majority of would-be readers — and also writers, I might add. All writers should write poetry, specifically structured poetry, because it teaches you how to say more with less and how to make word pictures that are more vivid and immediate. That’s a skill that can improve any other type of creative writing.

    Sometimes if I’m having a hard time putting a scene together, I’ll outline it as a poem. That works for me like adding lighter fluid to a fire.

  • Trip Without Destination

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    She calls out his name
    The brown sedan keeps driving
    There shines no brake lights

    She sits, cold concrete
    Does not want to move or talk
    He is gone for good

    Motor sounds, smell of exhaust
    Many shoes crunching endless paths
    A bus pulls up, stops

    She looks, driver smiles
    Doors open and then breathes warm air
    Standing, life goes on

    Leaden feet carry her
    Up three steps, walk down the aisle
    Bus seat is grimy

    Long hours pass the day
    Trip without destination
    She stares out window

    Familiar streets now
    She gets off the bus, walking
    Shock, his car is home

    Running to the door
    He meets her in the doorway
    The love is still there

  • Eternal Summer Dream

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    Creatures of shadow, light and dark,
    Weighing nearly nothing
    Drifting like wind-borne mist
    Past the fitted stone and ancient archways
    The long grass under the tangled branches.

    When the afternoon sun beats down
    With the pressure of a dry August heat
    They rest in a quiet summer dream
    Of past years and childhood games
    Of restless yearnings and the touch of someone fond
    A time spent long ago.

    When the sun drifts down, finally
    They stir in the evening twilight
    And wander aimlessly, sleepwalking
    Dimly aware of who they were
    And what they are now.

    When footsteps quietly come
    To them it drums like thunder
    All still, they watch
    As a young couple wanders
    Arm in arm through the courtyard
    Hardly more than children

    There’s a hush as they pause and kiss
    There’s a rush of life and joy
    Then as the two walk aimlessly along, they follow,
    They follow along, just follow, watching,
    Watching, the night itself watching,
    Just watching

    As the sun brightens the sky
    And as the lovers sleep
    They pause to wistfully touch the life
    So fresh and so warm
    Then drift past the cold archways
    And etched stone
    To the place they lie dreaming
    Just dreaming, holding onto what they’d touched
    Until the sunlight melts it away.

  • May I Take Your Order, Please?

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    Something I wrote to get my head around a scene that I was working on in Eleven Days on Earth.

    A waiter walked up to the table
    Wearing a suit jacket that was far too small—
    There was no way he could button it, and the
    Sleeves came halfway up to his elbows
    He sported a overlarge red bow tie
    Black curly hair with oil in it, and
    A large, obviously fake mustache
    Which curled in waxed spirals at the ends.

    “May I take your order, please?” he asked.

    Before we could answer
    A nude woman holding a pomegranate, with a
    Bayoneted rifle slung over her shoulder
    And flanked by two huge yellow and black tigers
    Complained that she had been stung by a bee
    And wanted her money back.

    We sat for eleven minutes waiting
    Then realized that ants were eating the silverware.

  • Calligraphy

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    She has the most beautifully rounded font
    I have ever beheld
    And I caress every curve
    Of her W
    With my eager gaze
    Her M and her Y
    Give me a capital I
    Even her E and her 3
    Really do it for me
    She has the most beautifully rounded font
    It is my favourite.