Monday, May 8, 2017

Poems of the Week: Men's Voices

It is time to hear from the men in our community, my friends. Today, we are pleased to showcase wonderful poems by Martin Kloess of Poetry and Viral Videos, Marcoantonio of Life Whispers,  Matthew Henningsen, of Matthew Henningsen's The Literary Doc, and Hank, (Kayakuala),  who writes at Rainbow. Each one speaking with heart to the human condition. Enjoy!

Sherry: Martin, I always enjoy your posts, the poems you write, as well as the commentary that follows. Thank you for agreeing to share a poem with us this week.

Tale Of Lovers True 

How did it start he didn’t know
But what this was won’t let him go
He prays for death so this will end
What was the wound which he must sew

He just had coffee with a friend
A quaint old shop just down the bend
They shared a cup of troubled brew
So troubled heart could freely rend

He heard a tale of lovers true
A tale which sadly now is through
Friend’s wife was having an affair
A fact that he already knew

What his poor friend was unaware
Was he who held her favored stare
Seeing friend’s pain brought thoughts profound
And as friend left he just sat there

Then from outside came awful sound
A screeching car had target found
He dropped regrets to rush outside
And found his friend there on the ground

And there amid the blood’s red tide
He fell to deed with anguish cried
And there began the endless flow
As one man lived another died

Sherry: Oh, my goodness, that ending! The man's guilt would be even worse from then on. You tell a powerful story here, Martin.

Martin: Here is sample of a round, a poem with no beginning or end. Each third line is the lead in for the following stanza. The last third line leads back to the first stanza. The poem is about a person who is listening to his “friend” telling about his wife seeing another man. The person is the one the wife is seeing. Distraught, the friend goes out into the street, where he is hit by a car. As the poem comes to a head, we have the person holding the blood-soaked body of his “friend”. On the line “As one man lived another died”, we realize that this poem is a round. The whole nightmare begins again and again and… Who lived and who died?

Sherry: The round and the open ending  give one much food for thought. Thank you, Martin, for sharing this round with us. It is an intriguing form, which I haven't tried yet.

Marco recently penned a poem that really pinged my heart, especially in its beautiful closing lines. Let's read:

in a cavern of my mind where roots of wisdom are born
gathers a surfeit of memories of when youth held
my hand tightly and my glass of juice was immortality
every moment was deplete of life’s trepidations
and there was joy in the freedom of the wind that
filled my lungs as i would run like a deer in its meadow
and the angst of life had not yet laid its heavy arm upon
my shoulders

in this journey walking a step in step with me, t’was
a void in absence of a father's love, an anguishing was
awaiting to touch my soul as my life was assembling
and that emptiness of unrequited love lay dormant
in a chamber of my heart, later to evince like a shadow
cast by the lonely pearl of night but, for now, little was
known of this, for it was never known

the most i ask and least of life, 

as Diogenes asked of Alexander:
not to stand in the way of the sun

Sherry: I feel the emotion in those closing lines. They went straight to my heart, Marco. What were your thoughts while writing this poem?

Marco: i was observing a young father playing with his young toddler and was wondering how or who i might have become if i would have had a father figure in my life: the male love, the physical play and presence, the mentorship and inspiration. then in reflection i realized that i'm who i am because 'mi mamasita' took on both role models. and so, not having is not knowing, thus, my reference to Diogenes asking of Alexander: ... not to stand in the way of the Sun ... for if my heart and soul never witnessed or knew then don't let my heart or soul anguish about its absence.

Sherry: I so admire your Mamasita. Her story has always touched my heart. Thank you for sharing this poem with us, Marco.

Matthew's poem is about poetry itself, always a topic we enjoy! Let's dive in!

Matthew in the Blue Mountains National Park
in Australia

Written at the Start of a New Year
It refreshes me this odd
Art of putting words-to-
Words. It is a
Sense of peace in places
That seem all
Wrong. It is
Soft sound I think in
A cruel well that swallows up
Most things you throw
Down. But, this
Small sweetness remains and
Sustains if,
Only for a little while. It
Refreshes me this odd
Art of putting
Sherry: "This odd art of putting words-to-words" seems to have us all in its grasp. Smiles. 

Matthew: This poem was written at the beginning of this year, as the title says. I was first inspired by the hope of something new, and how this hope, for me at least, seems to take the form of a poem. That there is a peace to poetry somehow, and that there is an order to it, the piecing together of lines-with-lines.

But I also try to reveal, in the structure of the poem, how fragile all of this is. A poem can hold, but it can so easily collapse and tumble down, much like our life and reality. It is all a poem somehow, all of it.......and the best we can do is hold it together for as long as we can.

Sherry: I love these thoughts of yours about poetry just as much as the poem, Matthew. Thank you for sharing your work and thoughts with us.

Hank wrote a beautiful poem recently about refugees, who are much on our minds in these troubled times. Let's take a look.

The kindness of strangers
Never to underestimate the
hallmark of human goodness
where one least expected it

Blessed were the angels that
recognized such distressed souls
to direct help to the displaced
caught in taut situations

Volunteers, strangers to the scene
were the first to be led by Providence
to areas of conflicts to extend those
caught in a harrowing cross-fire
with some semblance of hope

It was expected that their vigorous
experiences were made more bearable

Sherry: This poem speaks to my heart, Hank, in these times where so many millions are suffering and displaced. What inspired it your poem?

Hank: It is more than just an inspiration. It is a cry-out, a feeling of despair upon seeing so much deprivation and suffering, and anger at oneself for being so helpless. We are so exposed to the stark consequence of human failing, not as a result of a natural disaster, but rather from the planned and devious actions of the commercially strong against the weak consumers.

This is akin to the sharing of a big piece of cake among the people, each having a slice, but all have a taste of its goodness. Instead, it was wrested away by a big fella blessed with economic strength, but in the process part of it was destroyed. The big fella enjoyed a large portion, while only a small portion was left to be shared by the remaining many. Obviously the relatively stronger among the remaining many would still be fed, but the weakest of the weak were left hungry.

We have seen this enacted throughout history, where the imperfection was the same but the players were different. Or, at the local front, at school where the rich kid gets the privilege of flaunting his daddy's wealth, while the kids of ordinary folks can just look but saying nothing.

We are the grown kids of ordinary folks, still able to see through the majestic communication channels afforded us at real time of sad events around the globe, (gritting our teeth at not being able to do much about it). But fortunately there is a small number, a band of concerned individuals, who take it upon themselves to be the Angels who extend their love and affection as strangers of kindness, unsung in their brilliance.

Sherry: Thank you, Hank. This is so well said, and heartfelt. Bless those human angels who go into the hard places and try to help.

Thank you, fine gentlemen, for sharing your voices with us today. And for being faithful participants at Poets United. We enjoy your work so much, and are appreciative of your presence.

Wasn't this fine, my friends? Do come back and see who we talk to next. Who knows? It might be you!


  1. Thank you for featuring my poem.

    1. Thank you, Martin, for taking part in this feature. It is my pleasure. This is a good way to get to know each other better, as a community, and I thank you for saying yes.

  2. How lovely to have these poetic voices featured here today Sherry ~

    I have enjoyed all of their words ~ Cheers Martin, Marco, Mathew and Hank ~

    1. It is so nice to see you, Grace. Thanks for stopping by.

    2. Thank you Grace, Ma'am! You are always an inspiration. Your writings have been an education in propping up my poetry. Learnt a lot reading yours!


  3. Many thanks, Sherry, or highlighting these poets, whose work adds to our lives each week. And thanks to the poets too, for the added insights into these poems. They touch our hearts in different ways – and I particularly relate to your words on the socio-economic situation behind your poem, Hank; couldn't have put it better.

    1. It is always wonderful to hear from the men, with their good hearts, and astute perspective on world events.

    2. Thank you Rosemary Ma'am. You are a concerned citizen even in most of your writings! Appreciate very much your weekly company!


  4. I love how the hearts of these fine and wise men are featured here today through their poems. I enjoyed reading each of them and my day feels so much better for having read them.

    1. I feel the same way, Myrna. So lovely to see you.

  5. Thank you guys for contributing this week to our reading enjoyment and thank you Sherry too for always compiling this most interesting and observant offering. I so loved Martin's poem as it is in a style I try to write too. Marco's work is always a joy to read full of emotion and honesty. Matthew's piece touches on our strange desire to express ourselves in a way that other creatures on Earth have no time to do. It is a art that only we have developed to record our individual feeling of our life in Earth. Hank's work touches our consciences so well, being able to see the real world. What a feast it all was.

    1. I am so happy you enjoyed it, Robin. Your work, too, speaks to our hearts, week after week. We so appreciate your life wisdom - and the beautiful love stories you share with us.

    2. Thank you Robin, sir! I always feel so young when reading your postings!


  6. Thank you for another lovely poetic interlude, Sherry. Enjoyed all these pieces - each so distinctive - almost as if they have their own personality. Thank you for this!

  7. Thank you so much Sherry Ma'am for making it happen! Hank finds himself in distinguished company!


  8. You are welcome, Hank....and you are equally Distinguished!

  9. So good to hear your voices - they are a valuable part of our community for sure

  10. I have tears in my eyes from this feature. I am moved, Sherry! The third poem--by Matthew--seemed a commentary on the first two which reach into the pain of a human heart. And Hank--you seem a prophet today, with your words of explanation coming across as powerfully as your poem. I thank you all four for continuing to write, for putting your insights and joy into poetic form, and--of course--for so often reacting to my poetry and leaving your comments. I'm happy that you blog here!

  11. Thank you Sherry, and gentlemen. As a female, I am always curious about my own response to male voices. Today, I had no problem understanding, or deeply feeling what fueled these pieces. And because I often write about writing, I especially enjoyed Matthew's poem about the fragility of this art that we create, and how vulnerable we must make ourselves to do it well. Hats off to all of you, and thank you again,


    1. Your comment made me go back and read again, observing my response to men's voices. Thanks for making me aware of that. After a bumpy road with the male of the species, your words made me realize how blessed I am to know and interact with the wonderful men - of such great heart - in our poetry community. It is wonderful to see into men's hearts and realize they care as deeply and sensitively as women do. Nice to remember that.

  12. Thanks Sherry and all the distinguished poets featured here!! Voice is what naturally takes over when the poem begins to speak.... it was such a joy to be in your poeming presence, gentlemen, truly! 🙂
    Thank you !!

  13. Thanks to everyone for your lovely words here. On such days I am especially happy to be a poet among poets.


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