Saturday, December 31, 2011

Classic Poetry - "A Song for New Year's Eve" by William Cullen Bryant

Happy New Year, Poet-Friends!
Here's a post to inspire and delight... a traditional New Year's Eve piece.



A Song for New Year's Eve
 
by William Cullen Bryant

Stay yet, my friends, a moment stay—
     Stay till the good old year,
So long companion of our way,
     Shakes hands, and leaves us here.
          Oh stay, oh stay,
One little hour, and then away.

The year, whose hopes were high and strong,
     Has now no hopes to wake;
Yet one hour more of jest and song
     For his familiar sake.
          Oh stay, oh stay,
One mirthful hour, and then away.

The kindly year, his liberal hands
     Have lavished all his store.
And shall we turn from where he stands,
     Because he gives no more?
          Oh stay, oh stay,
One grateful hour, and then away.

Days brightly came and calmly went,
     While yet he was our guest;
How cheerfully the week was spent!
     How sweet the seventh day's rest!
          Oh stay, oh stay,
One golden hour, and then away.

Dear friends were with us, some who sleep
     Beneath the coffin-lid:
What pleasant memories we keep
     Of all they said and did!
          Oh stay, oh stay,
One tender hour, and then away.

Even while we sing, he smiles his last,
     And leaves our sphere behind.
The good old year is with the past;
     Oh be the new as kind!
          Oh stay, oh stay,
One parting strain, and then away.

Want to know more about William Cullen Bryant?
Click here
for information provided by Northern California's College of The Siskiyous.

Monday, December 26, 2011

The Poetry Pantry Is Now Open! - # 81



The Poets United Community would like to wish you happy New Year.  Whatever and wherever you celebrate or even if you do not celebrate we hope the upcoming year is a great one for all our our poets, friends and their families.  Please keep safe and we look forward to the next year here with all of you at Poets United.

So that there are no deadlines or time crunches for our contributors Poets United will only be posting the Poetry Pantry on Sundays.  Everything else will be on hold.  Consider it a small break from 18 December through 3 January.  Please feel free to post as many poems as you would like under our tree since it will be up all week.

Happy New Year to you all!


The Poetry Pantry
2nd Chance Poems or 1st time shares

Anything goes!! All Poems, all Poets, All Week!!

Do you have a poem you would like to share? Something that you just felt inspired to write and want others to read. Perhaps it’s a poem that didn’t get as much exposure on your blog as you would have liked. Maybe it’s a poem that you wrote a long time ago that you would like people to revisit. That’s what this section of Poets United is for.

Each Sunday we start a new post with a New Mr. Linky for you. This is so that you can post a link to anything you want us to read, anything at all related to poetry or prose found on your own poetry blogs. It will remain open all week so that you can show us your writings and thoughts. You can post links weekly should you chose to do so. What poetry you put here is up to you so don't be afraid to share with us!!


There 3 simple rules:

1. Don’t link to more than 3 poems per week.
(This one is on hold due to the holidays so please post away)

2. Please visit some of the other poems linked here when you link to yours.

3. Leave a comment after you have posted
your link.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Poetry Pantry Is Now Open! - # 80



The Poets United Community would like to wish you happy holidays.  Whatever and wherever you celebrate or even if you do not celebrate we hope the next few weeks are amazing ones for all our poets, friends and their families.  Please keep safe and we look forward to the next year here with all of you at Poets United.

So that there are no deadlines or time crunches for our contributors Poets United will only be posting the Poetry Pantry on Sundays.  Everything else will be on hold.  Consider it a small break from 18 December through 3 January.  Please feel free to post as many poems as you would like under our tree since it will be up all week.

Happy Holidays to you all!


The Poetry Pantry
2nd Chance Poems or 1st time shares

Anything goes!! All Poems, all Poets, All Week!!

Do you have a poem you would like to share? Something that you just felt inspired to write and want others to read. Perhaps it’s a poem that didn’t get as much exposure on your blog as you would have liked. Maybe it’s a poem that you wrote a long time ago that you would like people to revisit. That’s what this section of Poets United is for.

Each Sunday we start a new post with a New Mr. Linky for you. This is so that you can post a link to anything you want us to read, anything at all related to poetry or prose found on your own poetry blogs. It will remain open all week so that you can show us your writings and thoughts. You can post links weekly should you chose to do so. What poetry you put here is up to you so don't be afraid to share with us!!


There 3 simple rules:

1. Don’t link to more than 3 poems per week.
(This one is on hold due to the holidays so please post away)

2. Please visit some of the other poems linked here when you link to yours.

3. Leave a comment after you have posted
your link.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Classic Poetry - "In The Desert" by Stephen Crane



In the Desert

by Stephen Crane

In the desert
I saw a creature, naked, bestial,
Who, squatting upon the ground,
Held his heart in his hands,
And ate of it.
I said, “Is it good, friend?”
“It is bitter—bitter,” he answered;

“But I like it
“Because it is bitter,
“And because it is my heart.”

A contemporary and friend of Joseph Conrad, H. G. Wells, and Henry James, Stephen Crane is best known for his internationally acclaimed novel, The Red Badge of Courage. HIs poetry follows the same vein. Realistic, direct and unsentimental, it was quite different from the day's norm. A unique soul, Stephen Crane died when he was only 28.

Friday, December 16, 2011

I Wish I'd Written This

Three Poems for Carmen
by Lyndon Walker

1. APOLLO BAY – 5am 7th August
The ocean was with us all night
Thunderous and heavy
Rolling over in its sleep
And further out, deep
Full of whales and coldness.

Your tiny sounds as you slept
My creeping through the house so as not to wake you
To write this.
Outside
Barely breathing
The dark, unwoken, world.

2. HER SOCKS
I knew they were her socks when I picked them up
And put them with other things
Into my bag. Two small socks without dislike or suspicion.

She had thrown them off, quickly
To race out across the road
To tell the man
Whose hat had blown off
Where he could find it.
She’s like that.

And when she came back
Leaping at me
Like a silver fish from a stream of pure joy
I lifted the camera I had been playing with
And gave thanks.

3. BECAUSE YOU ARE MUSIC
Because you are music
I drive carefully
Up the mountain road through forest
And patches of light
Into your absence.


When I asked Lyndon’s permission to include him in this series, he kindly supplied a bio:

LYNDON WALKER was educated in Psychology at La Trobe University, the University of Melbourne and Deakin University. Lyndon practices as a Family and Individual Therapist. He undertook a world reading tour in 1994 and in 1996 was awarded the Pablo Neruda Prize for Poetry. He lives in Carnegie in Melbourne.

(Expanding that a little, from his facebook profile:) He writes poetry, short stories, novels, screenplays and academic works on Psychology and Psychoanalysis. He is a father of one adult daughter.

I first got to know him in the early eighties, when we were both on the Committee of the Melbourne Branch of the Poets Union of Australia, and both had books published by Pariah Press. Pariah was a Cooperative venture requiring meetings and discussions, so in both capacities I learned to value his intellect, wit and generous spirit.

As a performance poet, he could be wonderfully over the top — good lungs for shouting, when required! We no longer live in the same city so I haven’t heard him in recent years, but I imagine it’s still the case. His poems on the page reveal a similar daring, in his willingness to experiment. A free versifier like most of us, he also handles form very well. And as you can see, he is capable of the most tender nuances. Because the above poem mentions music, I’ll round out this little sketch by telling you that he sings in a concert choir called Soulsong.

Details of Lyndon’s books and some individual poems can be found at his website.



Poems and photos used in ‘I Wish I’d Written This’ remain the property of the copyright holders (usually their authors).

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Thursday Think Tank # 78 - Off The Cuff


You have come here today possibly looking for inspiration and we are going to turn it around on you.  Today, right now, stop what you are doing and write.  If you have taken the time to visit and read this post then you can take another moment or two to write something, anything.  Throw caution to the wind and see what this very moment inspires in your pen.

Do not be lame and post something you wrote earlier this week. That’s what the poetry pantry is for.  We are calling out your current creativity not your past writings.  We will know if you wrote it before because it will be time stamped on your blog.  We may even post a Tsk Tsk if we see that is what you did.  Challenge yourself to write for the moment.  It doesn’t have to be perfect.  It doesn’t need to be revised a dozen times.  It just needs to be written now.

We look forward to reading your off the cuff poetic exploration.  It will be fun to see what inspires you instantaneously.



If you have a prompt idea (even a Music or Film inspired one) that you would like to suggest or share with us please send it to poetsunited@ymail.com . We keep a folder set aside with all your suggestions and just might use it one day.


There 3 simple rules:

1. Don’t link to more than 3 poems per week.

2. Please visit some of the other poems linked here when you link to yours.

3. Leave a comment after you have posted your link.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Life of a Poet ~ Abin Chakraborty

by Sherry Blue Sky

Kids, this week we are hopping on a magic carpet, which will whisk us away to the Land of Aladdin. We are flying to INDIA, to visit the very talented Abin Chakraborty, of Abin's Literary World, whose work you will often find posted at both Poets United and Imaginary Garden With Real Toads. We have just touched down,   have been ushered into a large stone building, and shown to a room full of books. The chai tea is coming to just under the boil, and the scent of cloves and cinnamon are in the air. Draw nearer to the fire with me, and let's meet the lovely poet, waiting for us in his book-lined den.



Poets United: Abin, thank you for allowing us to visit! I live vicariously, (if indeed I live at all), and India has long been one of the countries of my dreams. Tell us, what was your childhood like?  It must be wonderful to live in a part of the world  so brimming with a rich cultural heritage, landmark architecture and statues, the stuff of myth and history. A feast for the eyes, everywhere you look.


Abin and friend :)

Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Poetry Pantry Is Now Open! - #79



The Poetry Pantry
2nd Chance Poems or 1st time shares

Anything goes!! All Poems, all Poets, All Week!!

Do you have a poem you would like to share? Something that you just felt inspired to write and want others to read. Perhaps it’s a poem that didn’t get as much exposure on your blog as you would have liked. Maybe it’s a poem that you wrote a long time ago that you would like people to revisit. That’s what this section of Poets United is for.

Each Sunday we start a new post with a New Mr. Linky for you. This is so that you can post a link to anything you want us to read, anything at all related to poetry or prose found on your own poetry blogs. It will remain open all week so that you can show us your writings and thoughts. You can post links weekly should you chose to do so. What poetry you put here is up to you so don't be afraid to share with us!!


There 3 simple rules:

1. Don’t link to more than 3 poems per week.

2. Please visit some of the other poems linked here when you link to yours.

3. Leave a comment after you have posted
your link.

Friday, December 9, 2011

I Wish I'd Written This

Do Not Grieve
by Wendy Poussard

Do not grieve
the Buddha said.
The love of living things
is like the clouds
that meet and drift apart.
Desire is sorrow.
Nothing to keep
nothing to own
dwells in the heart.

Do not mourn
the Buddha said.
The love of living things
is like the leaves
that fall in Autumn’s cold.
The wheel is turning.
Nothing we take
nothing we give
is ours to hold.

Yet when he heard death come,
they say he turned
and took the road
that led towards his home.

From Ground Truth (Melb., Pariah Press, 1987)

Wendy Poussard was one of the founders of the International Women’s Development Agency. Much of her poetry reflects her commitment to human rights and environmental issues — and very fine poetry it is. Her work is deliberately spare, almost minimalist, which leads some people to assume that it’s simple, uncrafted stuff. The apparent simplicity has been worked hard for, and contains subtleties and profundities.

‘Do Not Grieve’ is one of my favourite poems of all time. I never tire of it! I think it is perfectly judged. It needs every word, and not one word more. It is very quiet, yet its message resonates … I want say, forever. I can’t think of a poem I would more wish to have written than this (though Dylan Thomas’s ‘In My Craft or Sullen Art’ would push it close) which perhaps says as much about me as about the poem. Still, I can’t fault it.

Wendy has published two collections of poetry: Ground Truth and Outbreak of Peace. Her ‘A Song for “Water Buffalo”‘, written to accompany a musical performance of a piece by Yuji Takahshi, shows something of how versatile she is.



Poems and photos used in ‘I Wish I’d Written This’ remain the property of the copyright holders (usually their authors).

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Thursday Think Tank # 77 - The City


A lot of poetry comes from the environment around poets.  One such environment is the great and grey cities.  Many people write of the country with lush green fields and open air but today we want you to write about the city.  A city with sky scrapers standing majestic or ominous, the lights and shadows it casts at night, the lonely walk amongst the throngs of people, the love you experienced and link memories to.  The city tells a great many stories and through your poetry we hope to read and experience some of those stories no matter true or imagined.

We look forward to be a t9ourist and visiting your city today.  

If you have a prompt idea (even a Music or Film inspired one) that you would like to suggest or share with us please send it to poetsunited@ymail.com . We keep a folder set aside with all your suggestions and just might use it one day.


There 3 simple rules:

1. Don’t link to more than 3 poems per week.

2. Please visit some of the other poems linked here when you link to yours.

3. Leave a comment after you have posted your link.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Life of a Poet ~ Viv Blake

by Sherry Blue Sky
Kids, today we're traveling to France, to stop by  Bistrot Viviennne, meet the famous Viv, enjoy some of her cappucino and chocolat, and ask her what life is like for a poet in France. (Can you think of a more romantic place to be a poet?) You will find Viv, on any given day, at Vivinfrance's Blog, whipping up a new batch of poems.



Poets United: Viv, it is so romantic that you live in France!!! Can you tell us a little bit about  your life and family?

Sunday, December 4, 2011

The Poetry Pantry Is Now Open! - #78



The Poetry Pantry
2nd Chance Poems or 1st time shares

Anything goes!! All Poems, all Poets, All Week!!

Do you have a poem you would like to share? Something that you just felt inspired to write and want others to read. Perhaps it’s a poem that didn’t get as much exposure on your blog as you would have liked. Maybe it’s a poem that you wrote a long time ago that you would like people to revisit. That’s what this section of Poets United is for.

Each Sunday we start a new post with a New Mr. Linky for you. This is so that you can post a link to anything you want us to read, anything at all related to poetry or prose found on your own poetry blogs. It will remain open all week so that you can show us your writings and thoughts. You can post links weekly should you chose to do so. What poetry you put here is up to you so don't be afraid to share with us!!


There 3 simple rules:

1. Don’t link to more than 3 poems per week.

2. Please visit some of the other poems linked here when you link to yours.

3. Leave a comment after you have posted
your link.


Saturday, December 3, 2011

Classic Poetry - "She Walks in Beauty" by Lord Byron (George Gordon)




She Walks in Beauty
by Lord Byron

She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that’s best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes;
Thus mellowed to that tender light
Which heaven to gaudy day denies.

One shade the more, one ray the less,
Had half impaired the nameless grace
Which waves in every raven tress,
Or softly lightens o’er her face;
Where thoughts serenely sweet express,
How pure, how dear their dwelling-place.

And on that cheek, and o’er that brow,
So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,
The smiles that win, the tints that glow,
But tell of days in goodness spent,
A mind at peace with all below,
A heart whose love is innocent!


Lord Byron left a legacy of brilliant writing as well as a trail of debts, myriad affairs, an incestuous relationship with his half-sister, and a reputation as a war hero. Described by Lady Caroline Lamb as "mad, bad and dangerous to know", he packed all that living into only 36 years, when he died from a fever contracted while in Missolonghi in Greece.

Wild man he was, George Gordon!

Friday, December 2, 2011

I Wish I'd Written This

War Dance
1
In our love    a slow dance
round the kitchen
blood plums bubbling   the
smell of gas and bread
surround our waltz
slow turning on the lino
your hand glides down
my back
time hangs washing
on an airless day

2
In our love    every day
could be the last
life on the endangered list
each kiss the first kiss
each touch the first caress
we have grown an arsenal of love
we have studied each other
become privately fluid
armed with steps and ritual
we battle thru.

3.
Our secret weapon
the slow waltz.

From Real Face, Melbourne, AbalonePress, 1987.

I first encountered Melbourne poet Ken Smeaton when he was with the Street Poets, who gave it away for free — handing out sheets of poetry on city streets — and I was with the Poets Union, whose members demanded payment — insisting on, and getting a fee for publication and performance. Nevertheless our aims overlapped. Both groups were keen to take poetry ‘off the page’ and present it orally, to show the public its relevance in the here and now. So we were always bumping into each other at festivals, concerts and performance venues, where we appreciated each other’s work. Ken and I ended up working together in the theatre poetry group Word of Mouth, collaborating with two other poets, Anita Sinclair, who was also our director, and Malcolm Brodie (who is immortalised here by another poet).

When I approached Ken about his inclusion in this series, he said, ‘Just take any poem out of Real Face.’ That was a treat! A long time since I’d read it, and I fell in love with his writing all over again. It’s so earthy, honest, original, and indeed real. But it was almost impossible to find a poem suitable for this purpose. He is the most Australian of poets in his idiom and allusions; for most of his pieces I would need to provide explanatory notes for international readers! For instance, his poem, ‘Rain. No Work’, which you can read at his blog, can be understood at face value by any reader, but I think you have to be an Aussie for the place names to conjure up pictures in your head, and for the gold nuggets and the flood to have deep historical associations. It’s my very favourite piece in the whole book; I’m mad about it — but if I’d chosen it for this post, it might have fallen a bit flat for most of you.

Luckily, I could wish to have written pretty much everything in the book, including this sweet reflection on love in domesticity, which does translate into the universal.


Ken behind the mic, then and now. (Photo with daughter Bella by Pamela Sidney, unofficial chronicler of the Melbourne poetry scene in the 80s - 90s, from her Melbourne Poetry Gig Guide blog.) :








Poems and photos used in ‘I Wish I’d Written This’ remain the property of the copyright holders (usually their authors).



Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Thursday Think Tank # 76 - Soul's Whisper

Does turning the calendar to December fill you will mixed emotions?  For some of us, winter will make her debut. This means our moods will be up n' down like the barometer.  Many of us will celebrate holidays, near the month's end. I find this time of year comes with mixed feelings. I see people struggling, people with excess, and people who still see the magic in the ordinary, and believe in miracles. I am going to try to be more generous, pay it forward, and smile more.  I think a generous spirit can live in our hearts, year round.  My photo is called Soul's Whisper. I would love you to pen a poem, that represents a whisper from your soul.


Our Monthly "Reflection" photo prompt is provided to us by Ella Wilson . We would like to thank Ella for her inspiring photos and for helping us out here at Poets United. If you would like to know more about Ella, see her other photos or read her poetry please visit the blog below:

If you have a prompt idea (even a Music or Film inspired one) that you would like to suggest or share with us please send it to poetsunited@ymail.com . We keep a folder set aside with all your suggestions and just might use it one day.


There 3 simple rules:

1. Don’t link to more than 3 poems per week.

2. Please visit some of the other poems linked here when you link to yours.

3. Leave a comment after you have posted your link.




Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Life of a Poet ~ PattiKen and the Muses

by Sherry Blue Sky

Hi kids. I hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving and are all refreshed and ready to plunge back into the world of poetry again. This week’s poet claims she isn’t one, but I beg to differ, as I have been enjoying her poetry for a long time now. We are sitting down today with Patti, of PattiKen and the Muses.  For Patti,  I envision, (as it turns out, accurately),  a table at Starbucks,  some foamy lattes, and frequent ka-ching noises from the busy cash registers. Let’s gather ‘round.
Patti and friend

Poets United: Patti, thank you so much for sitting down with us.
Patti: Thanks again for asking me to participate.  The title threw me a bit. I have never seen myself as a poet. I sit down to write and sometimes a poem-like piece emerges, which always surprises me. Any poetry I manage to produce is an accident. Yes, that feels more like it:  The Life of an Accidental Poet.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Poem of the Week - Worrywart (29 November, 2011)

It seems that in today's world there is always something to worry about!  Today Poets United's Poem of the Week addresses just that.  It is called Worrywart, and it can be found in the blog Poetry and Persistence written by Kate who indicated in her blog that she was born in the US but now lives in the UK.



Here's the poem:

positive ‘n upbeat I may try to be
but sometimes things just get to me
thus in the midst of my workaday scurry
I’m sometimes plagued by insistent worry

I worry about the tiny bump on my bottom gum
what does it mean – where’d it come from?
I worry about the swelling in my knees
‘n agonize over my allergy to stingin’ bees

I worry that spiders will make their home beneath my bed
which adds to the grey hairs that’re sproutin’ on my head
what do I do with this hair anyway: go natural, or wear a wig?
‘n I’m sure these skinny jeans make my butt look too big!

then there’s the times I worry ‘bout what other people think
‘n whether or not I should have that second drink
I worry ‘bout my temper when life throws me a curve
‘s hard fo’ me to be nice when folks get on my last nerve!

nuclear war, racism, famine, the state of my eternal soul
I worry ‘bout all kinds a things over which I’ve no control
‘n I worry endlessly about the loved ones in my life
prayin’ that they’re safe ‘n healthy’ ‘n free from any strife

but somehow I get over it – I never worry for too long
soon enough my smile returns ‘n I burst into song
I believe in God, ‘n I believe in me
in the end I always triumph over adversity

Thanks, Kate, for being part of our Poets United Community.  I enjoyed this poem (worrying is universal, I think) and hope that others will enjoy it too.

Posted by Mary for Poets United.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Blog of the Week - Paula Wanken (28 November, 2011)

Today Poets United would like to recognize Paula Wanken's blog Echoes from the Silence as the Blog of the Week.  We are all about community, and Paula definitely has been active in our community.  She has often taken part in Thursday Think Tank, has usually been a supporter of Sunday's Poetry Potluck.


To get a sense of her poetry, here are a few for you to check out:

Gathering Thoughts - Perhaps many of us have family members we missed at the Thanksgiving meal last week. Pauls writes about a family member she missed.

Advancements - Here Paula writes about how things change as time goes on.

Corralled  - I really liked the story of the stallion's quest for freedom.

But don't stop there, friends.  Paula's blog is filled with a variety of interesting reads.  Hope you will enjoy taking a look.  Paula, thank you for being such an active member of our community.

It is always a thrill to have the opportunity to feature the blogs of some of the talented people who are active in our community.

Written for Poets United by Mary who can be found at In the Corner of My Eye.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Poetry Pantry Is Now Open! - #77



The Poetry Pantry
2nd Chance Poems or 1st time shares

Anything goes!! All Poems, all Poets, All Week!!

Do you have a poem you would like to share? Something that you just felt inspired to write and want others to read. Perhaps it’s a poem that didn’t get as much exposure on your blog as you would have liked. Maybe it’s a poem that you wrote a long time ago that you would like people to revisit. That’s what this section of Poets United is for.

Each Sunday we start a new post with a New Mr. Linky for you. This is so that you can post a link to anything you want us to read, anything at all related to poetry or prose found on your own poetry blogs. It will remain open all week so that you can show us your writings and thoughts. You can post links weekly should you chose to do so. What poetry you put here is up to you so don't be afraid to share with us!!


There 3 simple rules:

1. Don’t link to more than 3 poems per week.

2. Please visit some of the other poems linked here when you link to yours.

3. Leave a comment after you have posted
your link.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Poetry Pantry Is Now Open! - #76



Poets United will only have the pantry through out the holiday week so that all the folks behind the scenes here can have a great time with their families.    

The Poetry Pantry
2nd Chance Poems or 1st time shares

Anything goes!! All Poems, all Poets, All Week!!

Do you have a poem you would like to share? Something that you just felt inspired to write and want others to read. Perhaps it’s a poem that didn’t get as much exposure on your blog as you would have liked. Maybe it’s a poem that you wrote a long time ago that you would like people to revisit. That’s what this section of Poets United is for.

Each Sunday we start a new post with a New Mr. Linky for you. This is so that you can post a link to anything you want us to read, anything at all related to poetry or prose found on your own poetry blogs. It will remain open all week so that you can show us your writings and thoughts. You can post links weekly should you chose to do so. What poetry you put here is up to you so don't be afraid to share with us!!


There 3 simple rules:

1. Don’t link to more than 3 poems per week.

2. Please visit some of the other poems linked here when you link to yours.

3. Leave a comment after you have posted
your link.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Classic Poetry - “'kitty'. sixteen,5'1",white,prostitute” by E.E. Cummings



Chimneys XII: “'kitty'. sixteen,5'1",white,prostitute”
BY E. E. CUMMINGS

ducking always the touch of must and shall,
whose slippery body is Death's littlest pal,

skilled in quick softness. Unspontaneous. cute.

the signal perfume of whose unrepute
focusses in the sweet slow animal
bottomless eyes importantly banal,

Kitty. a whore. Sixteen
you corking brute
amused from time to time by clever drolls
fearsomely who do keep their sunday flower.
The babybreasted broad "kitty" twice eight

—beer nothing,the lady'll have a whiskey-sour—

whose least amazing smile is the most great
common divisor of unequal souls.

Want to know more about the man touted as the most innovative of 20th century poets? Click on over to The Poetry Foundation for a fascinating brief biography of E. E. Cummings.

Friday, November 18, 2011

I Wish I'd Written This

Fireworks and champagne

I pass among you disguised, you’ll scarcely see me
in this slack envelope, unremarkable,

heavy with the dull purviews of age,
warmth, the next meal, the next step.

Ah, if you knew, I am in my second childhood,
each flower incandescent, the sky bluer and bluer.

Spring is a star-burst, the trees whizz up like rockets,
the children are jumping-jacks, girls are fountains.

Such colour and sound, I shall shatter with joy,
leach into rivers, blow on the wind.

You can sweep me up, walk through me,
I am winning, I am becoming invisible.



Barbara Giles at the launch of the La Mama Poetica anthology 1998. Photo Pamela Sidney ('unofficial' photographer of the Melbourne poetry scene in the eighties and nineties) from her blog, Melbourne Poetry Gig Guide.

Poet, author and children’s novelist Barbara Giles was already elderly when I met her, but full of vitality and sharp intelligence. She seemed to burst into prominence suddenly in the late seventies, as a loved and respected poet, an authoritative figure in Australian poetry. She was chief editor of Luna, a poetry magazine run by women, known for both its cutting edge and its high standards. She was one of the founders of Pariah Press Cooperative (the members of which were kind enough to invite me to join so as to publish my first book) and she was prominent in the Melbourne Branch of the Poets Union of Australia, later Melbourne Poets Union. An indefatigable promoter of good poetry wherever she found it, and a mentor to many including me, Barbara was also my good friend. I’ll never forget her great kindness in a time of need. Sadly, she developed Alzheimer’s Disease when she was very old, and died in care at the age of 94 — but as you can see from the wonderful piece on ageing above, for most of her life her mind was rich.

Her books are listed here (the home improvement volumes co-authored with Carl Giles are by a different Barbara) but I can’t find her poems online except for some humorous stuff for children, so I’ll treat you to a couple more of my favourites:

In the park, looking

I’m not too old to like the shape of a man,
his walk, the set of his head on his shoulders,
the strong legs, well fleshed and that bright
black-browed glance. There’s a nose that I like,
admiring blank-faced. If you saw me at all,
you’d think I’m reminded of someone,
husband, son, grandson, not that I look at you
as a woman looks at a man who stirs her.

The heart lifts, it’s good to see a fine man,
to think, there goes a man I could love.
I’m looking at you, not remembering.
But as I well know, you don’t see me,
old women are almost invisible. If I do catch your eye,
likely enough you’ll be thinking, ‘She has a look of my mother.’


And, on a rather different note, an earlier piece:


Eve rejects apple

In serene sixties strolling in the Louvre
I am accosted, and being old enough
I answer, to have him take my arm.
‘Voulez-vous promener? I am Michel.
I come from the South. Are you alone in Paris?
Now you have a friend.’ Stating a preference for pictures,
like an old player I elude his grasp.
The swarthy hunter is hot after the quarry, renewing
his clutch on my arm, dangling the ultimate bait.
‘I want to sleep with you, I much prefer
an older woman. The young are acid, raw.
You are alone. No-one will know what you do.
Here is your chance to live!’ My unkind laughter
releases me to enquire of a ripened lady, who kindly
points me the way to the Dürer, and I go,
happy in that I have repelled seduction
entirely in French.



Poems and photos used in ‘I Wish I’d Written This’ remain the property of the copyright holders (usually their authors).

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Thursday Think Tank # 75 - You and Yourself (I...)


We always write about what is around us, the world in verbal color so to speak.  Our poems are about our family, our friends, even nature but we have yet to focus on ourselves.  I figure before the holidays absorb us and pull us in every direction why not take a moment to enjoy who we are (or criticize).  This week start a poem with I.  I am here, I live, I breathe, I whatever. 

Take a deep breath and think about yourself. What is the first thing that comes to mind?  Tell us about you in poetry.  We can’t wait to learn a bit about you and what makes you tick.

We can’t wait to read about you and who you are today, tomorrow or yesterday.

If you have a prompt idea (even a Music or Film inspired one) that you would like to suggest or share with us please send it to poetsunited@ymail.com . We keep a folder set aside with all your suggestions and just might use it one day.


There 3 simple rules:

1. Don’t link to more than 3 poems per week.

2. Please visit some of the other poems linked here when you link to yours.

3. Leave a comment after you have posted your link.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Holiday Schedule and an Anthology Reminder!



A few folks here at Poets United have taken a day off here or there this week to relax and refresh. This means it leaves me at the controls to wreak havoc once again.  Insert maniacal laughter here if you’d like.  But of course nothing bad will come of my ramblings I just figure I would say hey and give a few updates.  So here they are:



The Second Poets United Anthology (yet to be titled) has over 40 submissions currently with only roughly 60 days till the deadline.  If you have not submitted your poetry or are pondering what to submit you better hop to it because deadlines like these can sneak up on you really fast.  With last year’s we published over 50 authors and poems and this year we hope to have 75 to 100.  So hurry and submit your poetry today.  You can find the rules on the top left of page.





Holiday Schedule Time!  With the seasons of Gobble Gobble and Ho Ho Ho upon us many folks will be traveling and visiting friends and family.  We will have a bit of down time the week of thanksgiving and then two weeks during the Christmas/New Years time frame.  The only things that will be posted is the Poetry Pantry and it will be up all week.  Don’t be alarmed we are not closing just taking a much needed break.




Thank each and every one of you for being such great supporters of the Poets United Community and don't forget to tell your friends about us.  


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Poem of the Week - Marauding Hordes (8 November, 2011)




Mary stepped away for a bit this week and left me with the fun of finding the poem of the week.  It didn't take me very long to stumble upon this little gem.  



I called you friend
For so long~
Best often
Fronted the word.

We had an understanding
That no matter what~
No matter who~
We would stand
Back to back
And take on the
Marauding Hordes.

There was little truth
To our arrangement.
You wanted.
You needed.
You took.
I gave.
I did.
I gave.
I did.
I said “no more”
One day.
You said to
Fuck off.
I did,
Wondering
What I did
To
Lose
Your
Friendship.

My need for closeness
Outweighed my sense
Of self preservation.

You ran the well dry
Then moved the pump.

Another source to
Feed
Your Needs.

I stood alone
Against the
Marauding Hordes,
Of which you were one.



I found this to be a truthfully elegant read.  We all have experienced what the poem above describes at one point or another in our lives, a friend who is not so much a friend.  I love the word flow and particularly the two stanzas prior to the last one.  Short but very powerful if you ask me. 

You ran the well dry
Then moved the pump.

Another source to
Feed
Your Needs.

If you liked this poem as much as I did you may want to run over to U Keep Walking Foward's self titled site where I am sure you will find a whole slew of wonderful poems and posts.