Thursday, December 5, 2013

Alone w/ Hope

Alone w/ Hope
(image by rmp, that's me)

Inspiration for this piece:  Lately I've been pondering hope.  And while it seems wrong, it does quite feel as though it is burning me from the inside out - an all consuming fire that rages, suffocating me.  I know there is a poem hidden somewhere in this feeling, but it has yet to surface.  In the meantime, I dug up this picture, which was used as inspiration for a previous piece (totally unrelated to hope).  I took what little words I had and crafted this. 
Behind the image:  I couldn't help myself...I had to take this picture of a way-to-busy-&-gaudy casino carpet...most people I've asked see an owl.  I see a face burning in hellish flames clawing to escape.   

Wednesday, November 27, 2013


wary fingers move  
~ curious ... uncertain ~ 
seeking a form of closure 
"life's inevitable repose." 

Inspiration for this piece:  Three Word Wednesday (3WW) offers up a selection of words every week.  My fingers itching to compose again sought out the word for this week in the hopes of finding some form of peace.  The words offered up this week were curious, inevitable, and wary
A note on form:  There really wasn't much choice in the matter.  I have a tendency to lean toward this form when the last Wednesday of the week crosses paths with 3WW.  This is a clarity pyramid.  Typically the syllable constraints (1,2,3 // 5,6,7 // 8) lend themselves toward a triangular structure (thus pyramid), but as is the case with some crazy multi-syllable words this effect is not always fully achieved.  This piece would be an example of that departure. 
Exposing word choice:  I initially settled on a 'word' to write my second stanza with after composing the first line of the second stanza.  I proceeded to finish the stanza before turning to the first stanza and the 'word' I had selected, "DEATH."  After quite some back-and-forth trying to uncover the next two lines, I looked at the word "closure" (stanza 2, line 3) and that in conjunction with "quietus" which was one of my choices for the initial 3-syllable line for "DEATH," caused me to change course and settle instead on "PEACE."  There is something about "PEACE" that just speaks to the overall verse in a variety of ways; I just couldn't help but steal its essence. 

Monday, October 14, 2013

on following

An aside:  You'd think by now I'd be over it, but every time I even think to press/click/tap that "follow," I can't help but hold my breath, clench my teeth, furrow my brow, and -- inevitably -- chicken out  (or should I say goose out).  *sigh* ...Maybe tomorrow...

Saturday, October 12, 2013

More Than

More Than

Behind the image:  Monday started "Week of Respect."  There were an assortment of activities going on all week.  On my way out of work on Thursday night I found the stairs decorated in honor of this week.  I couldn't help snapping a picture of it.  Go figure, shortly afterwards I unearthed some words of my own to compliment those adhered to the stairs.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Sharp Tongue

Sharp Tongue
(image by rmp, that's me)

Behind the image:  This summer I went to the aquarium and took a crazy number of pictures.  One of which was this little guy who blended so well into the background that if not for his sharp point teeth you would have thought him a log.  I took a complimentary photo of him beneath the water (see below). 

On poetics:  This is my eighth post utilizing an app called Poetics.  There are definitely some quirks with the app, but it is the first version and the bugs are minimal.  What I have enjoyed the most in these creations is the strategic placement of tiles, plus deciding when to join words in one tile and when to separate a word into multiple tiles.  It provides for some interesting visual placements to emphasize an entity of the verse. 

About this poetics:  Yes, I covered up the teeth with tiles...the intent was to make them a bit like teeth.  Along with the "teeth," I altered my original composition from using "knotty" to "k(naught)ty."  I'm not 100% sold on the final creation. 

Double vision?
(image by rmp, that's me)

Tuesday, October 1, 2013


It has been quite awhile since I've written...not that my recent posts of what I've tagged as poetics (due to the app used to create them) with short little numbers typeset upon an image aren't writing, but....

The last time I (really) wrote was almost exactly two months ago.  I know I've spoken of my unmotivated self for even longer than that.  I'm beginning to think it might be more than just lack of motivation.  It's not writer's block; though little has escaped me as of late, writing is not an issue.  I feel like I don't have anything really meaningful to say....not that everything I've ever written in the past has been meaningful...  Maybe inspired it a better word. Or maybe, I really don't care....which is a horrible thought really.  I don't know. 

So in an attempt to break myself out of this trance, I'm going to do something I have not done in quite sometime.  I'm going to compose something right here right now on the spot with little to no thought; forgive me ahead of time for how poorly this will turn out.


I took a flower
captured it
still-life in my phone
stealing its beauty
(and imperfections)
to relive over and over
as time steals its beauty
forever from this world

I took a flower
captured it
in my minds eye
searching for a new beauty
(redesigned imperfection)
to give it new life
outside of the one stolen
by me
by the world

I took a flower
captured it
forever making it my own
so its beauty
(and imperfections)
could belong to me

#1 - At the Center
(photo by rmp, that's me)

#2 - At the Heart
(image by rmp, that's me)

#3 - A Delicate Beauty
(image by rmp, that's me)

Tuesday, September 24, 2013



An aside (or rambling depending on how you look at it): I thought with the passing of summer I'd find my way back, but I still cannot seem to get a firm grasp on my creative flow.  Even my reading as been horribly spotty.  It makes me a bit sad knowing there is all this amazing poetry going on out there and I am just lost to it -- or it's just lost to me -- I don't know...maybe it's a bit of both.  I'm not giving up, but at the same time I'm not quite fighting it. 

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Golden (though Orange Duct Tape will Do)

Golden (though Orange Duct Tape will Do)

An aside:  I was reading over the poem and I could help but feel as though my choice in keeping certain words together in a strip altered the way I wanted it to be heard.  So I went back in and changed the version you see below to the one above.  I realize it seems like such a subtle change, but still....  The only thing left lingering in my head is whether or not "it" should be replaced with "she."  hmm...

Golden (though Orange Duct Tape will Do)
[original version]

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Poetics: Oddly Perfect

Oddly Perfect

Behind the image:  I've mentioned the sketch pad I rediscovered.  In it was a page of mathematics exploring Perfect Numbers (more specifically Odd Perfect numbers).  On the back of that page was a horrid drawing of an angel.  Upon taking a picture of the math, I found the angel lightly in the background; with a little assistance from a photo editor, I managed to draw out the angel.

original image before editing

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Poetics: a journey's start

About this poetics:  With the assistance of an app called Poetics, I took my last poem and reinvented it.  I've been trying to spark my creative flow and am hoping that this might assist.  I suppose only time will tell....

Saturday, August 10, 2013

a journey's start

each lap of the waves
vibrates out
calling hatchlings home

A note on form:  I thought to ease my way back into the whole poetry thing with a short verse.  My initial thought was a haiku, but what hatched out was a Kelly lune; although I suppose I didn't deviate too much considering the lune is known as the American haiku.

Behind the images:  This would be what one might call happenstance.  First night of vacation landed us on the beach as the sun was on its downward trip (early evening) and there before us was a crowd of people lined from shoreline up to land dune.  We made it just in time to see the last dozen or so make their way into the oceans waves.  So tiny & cute.  It seems crazy when you think about it; those tiny little creators have to travel the beach (what might be all of 2 dozen steps for me—but miles to them) just after struggling free of their eggs.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Just Me

"Give me something, give me some
      give me something to remember you
          before you fade away
              I'll be calling out your name, hey."
                                                -Give Me Something
                                                  O.A.R. (of a revolution)

I turn the music up
allowing it to wash over me;
the vibrating tendrils
wrap themselves around me,
but it's not enough
to dull the hum.
I'm stuck searching through memories --
calling out for something more,
anything to lessen the numb;
give me something, give me some.

Time seems to blaze by
scorching the edges of my mind,
burning pictures
I long to cling to;
all I'm left with are embers
of what I once knew.
now I'm stuck combing through memories --
calling out for something more,
anything to keep me from coming unglued;
give me something to remember you.

Once I could conjure up
your soothing embrace,
the only one that could ever
wash away the pain.
But now, even your phantom arms
are beginning to fray
and I'm stuck scanning through memories --
calling out for something more,
anything I can replay - replay -
before you fade away.

The candles flicker still;
though yours are only seen
reflected in my eyes.
Deep breath, I hold it in;
but I'm running out of air
for a wish I can't betray.
So I'm stuck here, all alone
just living out your name.
With every breath I give away,
I'll be calling out (y)our name, hey.

I will always share two things with my mom, a name and a birthday.  I never thought much of this day, at least not where I was's just another day.  But this is number four where I'm still waiting for it feel again like it is just another day...

The first year, I was no less lost than I am today.  But all I could do then was gather the words to me and let them pour alongside my tears in an attempt to feel (or not feel).

With year two came Treading Tears; written in blank verse which employs both meter and rhyme (two things I don't much care for), but in adhering to form I could diverge the emotional onslaught this day now brings.

When year three rolled around, I found myself Unarmed; this piece too was written in a form that typically is not so daunting, but I chose to add meter to the rondeau form.  The frustration of fitting form did as before, allowing me to make it through.  

Interestingly enough, all three (make that four) have one thing in common.  Something I still long for even today, yet will never again feel.  

Treading Tears
written in blank verse

written in rondeau form

Behind the images:  Sometimes I wonder how I ever created so many poems directly on the computer - no prewriting involved.  These two are prime examples of the craziness that comes with the creative process, especially when form is involved.  My lovely scribbles, side-ways writing and stress-notation seen here are why I wonder how I spent a good number of years composing digitally.  It also seems sad to me that when typing (and deleting) you loose the footprints of the verse; yes, it is true that occasionally I erase instead of crossing out, but still there are hints of what once was hidden there on the page. 

A note on form:  This is my second attempt at a glosa.  Oddly enough, I selected the same artist for inspiration.  Though I suppose it is not so surprising; since first discovering them I have found their music soothes when I feel out of sync with everything around me--they give me something I can sync to.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Windows to the Soul

Windows to the Soul

You can hide behind the mask  
        of your smile  
But should someone look into  
        your eyes  
All the smile, all the laughs  
        would be seen as lies.  
For that though, someone would have  
        to take the time to look.

An aside:  As I was doing a bit of cleaning, I found a sketchbook that I've had for ages.  I don't draw, not really.  I can copy (free hand) cartoon type images relatively well, but I don't really have talent to draw of my own imagination--assuming you want to recognize the drawing.  I have a couple things I can manage in isolation (like roses and eyes).  Anyway, while flipping through this, I noticed that apparently at some point I picked up the sketch pad and decided to pen some poetry (and random words/thoughts).  Among them I found the one pictured above and thought I'd share.

An (aside) aside:  Catching up on my reading is taking quite a bit of time...of course it doesn't help that for every five or so I read another piece is posted.  I'm definitely beginning to feel the poetic juices flowing, kicking my unmotivated backside into gear.  Hopefully by tomorrow, I'll have a new piece to join yesterday's post.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Echos of Silence

Silver Pearls
(photo by rmp, that's me)
[check out original unedited version @ rmpInFocus]

one day
             my silence
                             will echo

it will start as a whisper
of something forgotten
as you walk into a room
and look about
for what?
you can't remember
it will nag at you
until you shake off the whisper
it will eventually come back to you

it will grow to a soft hum
of a once heard song
that lingers at the edge
of your mind
you can feel the notes clash
refusing to take form
it will tickle your senses
until you push away the hum
into the recesses of your mind

one day
             my silence 
                             will echo

it will build within you to a shout
that whisper
that hum
will finally take shape
into words long ago read
and you'll be drawn
to rediscover them
as you begin to search for me
the nagging whisper will return
as you find my lost words
the tickling hum will resurface
it is then
that my silence will be so profound
it will echo deep within your mind

one day
             my silence 
                             will echo

of this i have no doubt
for there is no room 
for doubt
it is not something i can afford
my words have power
these are things i cannot afford to loose
they are at my very core
without them i am nothing
and so i cling to the idea 

one day
             my silence 
                             will echo

A bit of rambling:  I dug up this poem from just shy of two years ago (July 4, 2011).  While I don't my silence has been long enough to echo for most, these still fingers and dormant words are quite profoundly echoing in my head.  At first life just too crazy, but now that things have settled down I find myself completely unmotivated.  Sure I could blame the elusive muse that most artistic types speak of, but I'm not the artistic type--I suffer from a left-brain logical dominance (at least most of the time).  So really it is lack of motivation, hopefully my right-brain will decide to come out and play soon.  In the meantime, I'm going to catch up on my reading (my reading list currently sits waiting for me with 63 unread posts all full of what I'm sure is amazing poetry).  Hopefully a little light (or not so light in some cases) reading will help jump start me.

On a side note:  When I dug up this poem, I had to smile at the original note on the bottom, "a One Stop Poetry--One Shot Wednesday offering."  This was my second to last contribution to OSP's One Shot Wednesday and my fourth to last offering to OSP before they closed their doors.  While the link to no longer works, I got another brief smile today by adding in "blogspot," which brings up the original blog with its last post (though not the final post for OSP) dated Friday, January 28 2011 -- Friday Poetically with Brian Miller; unfortunately it last for only about 11 second (yes, I did actually time it) before the automatic redirect tries to link to the non-blogstop blog and I get "Oops! Google Chrome could not find"  Sad, but I know I can always console myself with a tasty pint of poetry now served by Brian Miller and Claudia Schoenfeld or any number of talented pub tenders at dVerse Poets Pub. I'm getting a tad thirsty just thinking about it...

The Recording:  Creating this had me missing Aviary's editor--it was much more user-friendly to someone who knows nothing about editing sound tracks; I found it much easier to toy with the sound compared to Audacity, but unfortunately they felt the need to close down all of their free products to focus on their photo editing...which I also use so I can't complain too much.

Behind the image (title):  I realize I probably could have come up with a better title for my image, but there is just something about those silver pearls (which were not originally silver) that just draws me in.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Courting Song

Beady-Eyed Cicada
(image by rmp, that's me) 

Cicada sing,
birthed seventeen years past.  Arise  
cicada.  Sing!  
Perpetuate the cycle, ring  
out your mating call, harmonize  
until the ladies heed your cries;  
cicada sing.  

A note on form:  This past Thursday dVerse FormForAll introduced the rondelet.  While this was not the first time I've come across the form, it had me exploring it once again.  It is a tight little verse containing only seven lines, of which three are identical (or at least supposed to be).  I've always had a thing for repetition.  Still, prior to this reacquainting, I had only written one rondelet....or so I thought.  Upon review of the poem, I realized I messed up the syllable count on one of the lines, but after a some thought I was able to remedy that.  Thus far, it is may favorite of the three rondelets I've written thus far.  I have included it below, as well as the one I wrote on Friday.  (Friday's speaks to my absent as of late from here.)  
Inspiration for this piece:  If only you could hear the way the woods cry out endlessly, you would understand.  I have never seen a cicada prior to this year.  I found the one pictured above on a hibiscus plant on my father's deck.  They are quite freaky looking things.


walks with me like a faithful friend.
speaks in tongues of profanity
pouring (from my lips) without end.
I walk on with hope to transcend

Un-Spun Crazy

Life's been crazy—
each breath a luxury of late.
Life's been crazy—
no time to write or be lazy.
I long to once again create—
spin words in hopes I might abate
all this crazy.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

They Say Write What You Know

one day, someone will step back
look at my words as a whole
& see the contradiction
in me
and who I appear to be.
I spin a mixture of truths
& falsehoods -- an intricate
pattern so tightly woven
of dreams
and hopes wrapped in silent screams.
one day, I will be called out.
but with the record set straight,
shall I be deemed a sham or
be praised
for how real my lies are phrased?

Sunday, June 2, 2013

In the Air

He nods at my notebook,
"You write?"
I feel my brows furrow
"Since I was in kindergarten.
started with the alphabet
then put 'em together
  to make words.
then sentences

eventually came paragraphs
  those were tough, but
I think I managed to mastered them."
He doesn't balk at the subtle
a small smirk buds at the corner
  of his lips, "I meant,
do you write poetry?"
"Poetry?"  I shake my head
raise a brow at  his audacity to think
  I write poetry.

             No...I    *sigh*
                           I breathe
I hear, taste, smell, see,
         touch poetry.
but write poetry?
I would never be so presumptuous."
"Well then," he pulls out a chair,
     settles in, "you've peaked my interest,
what does poetry sound, taste,
                    smell,  look and feel like?"

I sized him up for a moment
   deemed him worthy

"it sounds
    like the musical serenade of the cicadas;
 it tastes
    like copper from a bloody lip;

 it smells
    like salty ocean waves lapping at the shore line;
 it looks
    like the wrinkled old eyes of a lover's gaze;
 it feels
    like distressed furniture -- smooth in spots -- rough
                     in others."
"Hmm..."  he sat back -- thought-filled eyes
         staring into nothing;
As the cloud passed he looked up at me,
"The cicadas
                    really do
quite beautiful
"Yes; yes they do."  and we sit
          silently breathing in the poetry
                                        surrounding us.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013


being poor's only  
a liability  
if she lets it define her  
"rising above the hand you're dealt."  

A note on form:  This little number is called a clarity pyramid.  It is meant to start with a single syllable word (all in caps that doubles as the title).  The two lines that follow are to be synonyms or some how clarify the definition of the word; these are two and three syllable lines (respectively).  The second stanza, also composed of three lines (5, 6, 7 syllables respectively) pose a scenario or real-life application of the original word.  The final stanza is a single 8-syllable line (written in quotes) that defines the first word.  
When beginning this explanation of the form, I said,"It is meant to start with a single syllable word."  The reason for this is that sometimes (as with any poem) inspiration does not always follow order.  In this case, the second stanza founds its way to me, followed by the last line.  The tricky part was finding the word that matched my definition.  
Inspiration for this piece:  3WW (Three Word Wednesday) post a challenge every week of three words to be used in one piece (be it a poem or prose); this week's words were badge, darken, and liability.  My intent as is the case on the last Wednesday of the month is to use all three words in a clarity pyramid.  I'm still working on that.  But in the mean time, this happened along; and rather than throw it out because it didn't hit each word, I ran with it.

Exposing word choice:  After coming up with the final line, I had a general idea of a word.  After my brain puzzled it through, "overcome," sunk in.  The trouble was identifying corresponding one and two syllable words.  "Prevail" came naturally.  But in working to find just the right opening word, the idea of using "best" with its less common use just spoke to me.  There was something in the idea that if she was able to best the hardships that lay in her way, then she would become the best her she could be.  It seemed all the more poetic.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Talk to Me, My Dear

The storm has passed, but still I fear
the charge that lingers might just steer
our hearts to diff'rent hemispheres.
Please stay right here! Please stay right here!

I've never know a love like this
where time stood still with every kiss;
oh how my heart just can't dismiss
this taste of bliss -- this taste of bliss.

So talk to me, don't shut me out;
dispel my fears and budding doubts
with gentle words that heal and shout
our love still sprouts -- our love still sprouts.

The storm has passed, but still no cheer;
the way we wade through this frontier
forecasts our future life, my dear.
Allay my fears!  Allay my fears!

A note on form:  The above verse is a monotetra.  I've spoken to this form before in two separate pieces here on LFA.  In actuality, I started this piece just after posting my first, (Smush) Like a Bug.  I made it through a stanza and a half before I meandered away.  I found my way back today (and yesterday).  And as I said in previously, while it has a fun sound to it (making it fun to read/listen to), writing to this form can be rather frustrating.  Of course that probably has more to do with my aversion to rhyming.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Our Dance (is Finally Over)

"Then the rain came knocked me sideways
   Hope the wind will catch my fall
      I know we all deserve a couple scars
         It's just getting old."
                                     Almost Easy
                                       O.A.R. (of a revolution)

It's too easy  far too easy
to walk down this path again.
Then, drinking you in had me disappearing;
fading into me, into you, into us,
way more than I could handle.
But you were like a beautiful song that plays
entrancing me out of myself
your fingers strummed the very core of me
consuming my nights  stealing my days.
Then the rain came knocked me sideways.

You couldn't see the storm rage inside me
though you felt it I'm sure.
Now here we stand again and it seems so easy
to fall back in  let it take control – 
spin us around like an old record
whose perfectly worn grooves touch and enthrall
familiar waves (intoxicating) strive to take hold
and it's oh so easy to get lost in the music of us,
but when the storm returns, throws me against the wall,
(I) hope the wind will catch my fall.

Every time I think it won't happen
your hand stretches out before me
inviting me to dance.  I should know better
than getting caught in this whirlwind
where the only thing I'm left with is a bruised heart.
How many times will you play its strings like a guitar,
breaking them one by one  though really
it's my own damn fault thinking I was stronger
the past serving as a lesson  a guiding star;
I know we all deserve a couple of scars.

I said it before, I'll say it again
hurt is all I have to offer you, me, us
I'll always be undecided  torn up inside;
longing to feel our harmonies sync
knowing I'm to scarred to match your tune.
Still it's way too easy letting this feeling take hold,
finding everything I need in you, but not
what I need of me.  I have to let go;
this song of ours has been oversold.
(and) it's just getting old.

A note on form:  Yesterday, over at dVerse, they introduced the glosa.  It's an interesting form meant to pay tribute to a poet by incorporating/quoting four lines from a piece of their work.  It then is followed by four stanza of 10 lines where the tenth sequentially comes from the original quote.  For more detail, check out the Pub's FormForAll:  Paying Tribute, Page and the Glosa.

A side note on the form:  So I didn't technically (depending on how you look at it) choose a poet.  I chose a musical group that has a way of calming the storm that tends to rear it's ugly head.  Still, song is a poetic form; it just typically incorporates some musical instruments.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Bubble Letter Conjecture -- Negative Space Contradiction

"There's no 'I' in team."
"Yes, there is!"  she flits in her  
humming bird air.  
an "A" in bubble style is produced  
on the whiteboard.  
"See here...and that's the dot."
low & behold a lowercase i.
"Wow, using negative space,
I'm impressed!"
not that she knows what
negative space is, but...
Doesn't an i found in negative
space only reinforce my
original statement?
Plus, a lowercase i never
stands alone
               supported always
by other letters - friends - peers.

Except for when it doesn't,
but then it's a complex mathematical
enigma expanding the world of #s
where real meets imaginary.

That's right it's imaginary.
Seriously, i = square root of
negative (go figure - negative)
So there you have it an
imaginary i living in negative  
space and I
There is no "I" in team!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013


Blushed Hues
(image by rmp, that's me)

Hidden in the whispering wind  
lies a secret only trees hear;  
a message so sweet and touching,  
they dust the earth with their pink tears  
blushed hues of love, joy and rebirth.  

Behind the image:  My favorite part of spring is the blossoms that adorn the winter bare limbs of trees.  While in general, I do appreciate a lovely flower, there is something about their presence on trees that instills an odd sense of peace.  So, I have been finding myself, when the occasion arises, photographing these blooms.  Afterwards, I have some extra fun tweaking them with an photo editing app.  Just for the fun of it and because it is easier to show and view the images, I have begun posting them (original next to recreation) on a blog.  As the blooms slowly disappear, I'm sure I'll find other things to transform.  For now, I'll stick with the delicate hues of spring dusted trees.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Sevenling (It's the law)

It's the law!  Buckle UP!
Hang UP!  Speed UP!  No
wait, forget that last one.

Tell the truth!  Cross your heart --
hope to die -- cross your fingers;
don't let them catch that last one.

Perfectly timed tears still ticketing pen.

A note on form: The Sevenling was one of the early forms I explored and to be quite honest it still puzzles me a bit. The poem has an seven lines (go figure) and each of the first two stanzas has an element of three (what exactly that means is for the experts to understand and me never to figure out). The final stanza is a single line that "should act as a narrative summary or punchline or as an unusual juxtaposition."

I think what I like most about the form is that it should be "mysterious, offbeat or disturbing, giving a feeling that only part of the story is being told." Oh, and some of my are definitely odd. Just for the fun of it, I have included all of my previous sevenlings.  Some more odd than others....

Powerless to Help
She stood there in the corner--her back to me
tears ran like wild fire from her eyes
with trembling lips she refused to turn to me
Fear bubbled up within me--holding me still
the desire to calm overwhelmed
with trembling arms I reached out to her with love
I curse the stupid chair and kiss her finger

Sevenling (I came across)
I came across a receipt in the hamper,
change rattling about in the washing machine,
and a twenty dollar bill in the lint trap.

I turned myself around searching
for my lost marbles, my misplaced lip balm,
and my elusive car keys. "Where else can I look?"

Aside from the keys in the fridge, I really should check my pockets.

Sevenling (I remember)
I remember the smell of fresh popped popcorn,
frogs flipping onto lily pads but mostly into water,
and the evil looking clowns drinking from water guns.
I wish to forget the sound of the organ grinder,
the sound of coins clinking against metal, and
the feel of being shot. But not the lesson learned.
Never trust a monkey wearing a top hat carrying a pocketbook.

Sevenling (Your laugh sounds like)
Your laugh sounds like nails
scratching on a chalkboard, tires
screeching, and jackhammers on a busy street.

I grew up on country music and reading
Stephen King. Have you ever heard of
Carrie, Misery, or how about Firestarter?

You have way more to worry about than your car being keyed.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

As Spring Buds

Inspiration for this piece:  I was sitting outside this afternoon -- notebook open -- searching for some form of inspiration.  The first found me in the form of bees, big giant buzzing bees.  I posted that piece via twitter (@rmpWritings).  Just as the unnerving insects spurred my retreat indoors (safely behind the screen door leading to the deck I'd just vacated), music began to drift through the air from some neighboring home -- a tad loud, I must say.  But still, the tunes were recognizably welcomed, though they made me think of summer more so than the recently budding spring that has finally decided to grace us with her presence.  So I stole some images from two of the songs that played and well you can see above what it yielded.

A note on form:  At first, having just written an haiku, I stared at the first line of this piece thinking that is were I might again go.  Unfortunately, it did not feel complete.  So I expanded the piece into a choka, also known as "long poem,"  although I kept this one rather short.  It follows the 5 - 7 - 5 pattern until the end where it ends with a couplet of 7 - 7.

Behind the image:  Maybe it is because I've been too lazy to type up my poems (who knows), but I have been using my phone to take snapshots of my notebook.  I did the same with my previous post.  Of course what fun is it to just post an image of a page with my scribble on it.  In order to spice it up a bit, I have been toying with the image -- adding effects, borders, and whatnot.  

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Loss & Rebirth

A note on form:  This piece follows the form of a monotetra.  Mono = each stanza ends with a single set of rhyming words.  Tetra = I like to think of the two ways:  (1) it is written in tetra meter; (2) tetra means four and there are four lines to each stanza.  You'll also notice the last line of each stanza has a special structure; the first four syllables are repeated as the last four syllable.  Even though I chose not to write this piece in iambic tetra meter, I still like the sound of the form with its final repetition in each stanza.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

When the Last # is Laid to Rest

When she was young (but not too young)
they came -- took her and her family away.

"You there."  (her finger mimics pointing
left)  "You there."  (she points to the right)
"You there."  on and on they're sorted


"We asked when we'd see our family.
'On Sunday,' they said."

come Sunday

"They walked us past the crematorium.
'There is your family,' they gestured."

she mentioned the showers --
they didn't know more than water
could escape those heads.

"My cousins were brought to the same
camp.  Four sisters, the only family I had

she was determined to live
"day by day."

her goal -- to drink a glass of milk
again.  Seems silly, but to hear her talk of it
was like the Holy Grail.

"Did you ever try to escape?"
an eighth grader asks.

"No.  They were going to move us.
There were these girls I worked with;
they had a plan.  They wanted me to go too.
I said 'no.'"

the importance of family
rang in her "no."

"I wanted to stay with my cousins.
I could not leave them."

"When did you know you were free?"
another child asks.

"We lined up like always -- to be counted
before we were allowed to eat.  The guards
didn't come.  We waited.  Some of the kitchen
staff came out, said not to eat; it was poison.
We waited still, no one came.  Eventually,
someone tried the gates.  They were open.
Then we knew.

she got her milk -- a trade for cigarettes
(the soldiers said would kill the germs in them)
the milk tasted better.

Eventually, she found her way to the states --
sponsored by family -- on a student visa.

"I met my husband in night school.
I used to have long gorgeous ringlets." her
hand brushes her bare shoulder.  "he sat behind me
and would stick his pencil through them."

she speaks now to students;
not travelling too far from home.

"I used to visit with my cousin, she's here too.
But she can't drive anymore and I can't sit in a car
for more than 20 minutes -- pain radiates in my back
and down through my hip and leg.  I was struck
on the back while in the camp.  It wasn't so bad then,
but age seems to have aggravated it."

age she's lucky to feel.

her message is to love all regardless,
to cherish family.  she talks so her message
will live on in the young.

"It's important they know.  Eventually,
there 'ill be no one left to tell our story.
We need to do so now."

her words are haunting, you can see it in the eyes
of the young, but her point is clear
when all are gone it is the young who must
remember so such evils cannot rise again.

Inspiration for this piece:  Earlier this week, I had the honor of listening to two Holocaust survivors talk about their experience to a group of eighth grade students.  They had two very different experiences, but still they survived a time when most of their faith did not.  The quotes are paraphrased, but nonetheless hold close to the words spoken.  I barely touched on the experience conveyed, simply pulled bits and pieces.  It pales in comparison, I know.  Maybe I'll come back to it and fit in some of the other details (the bombing, the singing run, the feet wrapped in newspaper for shoes...).

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Persephone (Mother Nature's Call)

winds whisper in secret tongues
tickling the ears of dormant trees;
at last expelling remnants of sleep
buds burst -- blooms blossom
dusting bare limbs in pastel hues;
stunning "welcome home" festoons
for a daughter's long awaited return.

Inspiration for this piece:  I'd think it obvious, but the brilliant pastels of pink, purple, and yellow decorating the limbs of trees as spring begins to awaken all around.  I also happen to be a fan of the myth behind the season; an interesting story of how Persephone, the daughter of Demeter and Zeus was kidnapped by Hades and eventually set (semi-)free.

Monday, April 15, 2013


my heart opens in a breathless sigh
with the first magnolia bloom;
memories of you seep through my veins
like the lush floral fragrance wafting through the air;
before the smile fully flourishes on my lips
the first petals fall like tears pooling at my feet;
sweet memories tainted by loss suffered far too soon
blow away in the wind as the last petal drops.

Blossoming Pink
(image by rmp, that's me)

Inspiration for this piece:  Today, I stared at the beautiful blooms blossoming on the magnolia trees all around here and felt the ting in my chest - the memories longing to break free.  I'm still searching for the words to express the current emotions rolling round, but I decided to dig up this piece, which was written just over a year ago.  My mother enjoyed watching the magnolia tree in the front yard bloom.  This is the fourth spring where I watch them open without her and I'm still waiting for it to get easier.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Blue Light (Special): WaterColor (Spectrum)

Hidden beneath the broad strokes
lies the expressionless face
a self-portrait
of / by a four year-old
whose world  in blue hues
spins in eternal disconnect
eye contact extinct while
verbal skill live in habitual hibernation

Darkness overlays in broad strokes
the internal aura
a self-portrait
of / by a three year-old
whose mind absorbs all  in brilliant blues
while shut off from the world
patterns held tightly within
words encased like diamonds in coal

Hidden beneath overlays of darkness
lies an autistic child.

Inspiration for this piece:  First came the blue bulb on my desk meant to be lit for Autism Awareness (see image below for more information).  This object sparked me to reflect on a recent piece I wrote.  When writing Crystal Clear Clarity (on the Non-Verbal Spectrum and Worth Every Word), I had wanted to post a picture of a watercolor done by the little girl who inspired the piece.  Unfortunately, I did not have access to the picture at the time and so posted it without.  With these two things hovering, I decided to snap some pictures of the two framed pictures I have in my office to include with a poem still to be written.

While taking the second image, I saw something with my "poetic eye" (see Tumor Vision for more on this --"I so long for the artist's hand / to outline what only my eyes seem to see").  I saw a face that started me off on the adventure that is this poem.  )I do wish I had the ability to sketch out the face for others to appreciate what I see.)

Hidden Beneath
(image by rmp, that's me)
(painted by unidentified preschool autistic child)

Darkness Overlays
(image by rmp, that's me)
(painted by unidentified preschool autistic child)

On unearthing titles:  Oddly the last time I talked about unearthing the title was for the poem stated above.  This particular title falls within the very rare 1%.  I had the title well before the poem.  I have definitely gotten a bit more creative over the past year or so with my titles.  The first half obviously came from the blue light on my desk.  I added "special" for two reasons; I'd explain them both, but I think the double meaning is obvious and if not, oh well.  The second half came from the student's artwork which is watercolor.  I added "spectrum" for two reasons; I'd explain them both, but I think the double meaning is obvious and if not, oh well.

Monday, April 8, 2013

(Smush) Like a Bug

you stole my heart before I knew
the truth behind the lies you spewed;  
no longer will I be subdued!  
be gone with you! be gone with you!  
I thought our love was free to fly,  
but I was wrong - you can't deny;  
you tied me down with every lie!  
I will not cry!  I will not cry!  
though every part of me's in pain,  
I won't allow the tears to rain  
to satisfy your heart - so vain!  
I shall restrain!  I shall restrain!  
now go before my wrath takes flight
and squishes you with all its might;
it has a healthy appetite!
die parasite! die parasite!

A note on form:  I find the monotetra to be quite a fun form to read--not necessarily one to write, though it does have its moments.  (Though not fond of writing in rhyme, it does give off a nice ring.)  While I'm not 100% sure whether the intent for the form was to be written in iambic tetrameter, I decided to give it a whirl (to the best of my ability).    

Friday, April 5, 2013

Crystal Clear Clarity (on the Non-Verbal Spectrum and Worth Every Carat)

She's a diamond mine
full of precious gems
hidden beneath a thin
fragile surface tun-
neling next to impos-
sible, constantly col-
lapsing in on its-
self — [(/ trapping within
all \)] she longs to get out.

words escape — glistening
pink diamonds so rare
you cannot help but
gather them to you
string them together
dangle them from your ears
letting them linger there
so fine and perfect.

Unsure of when next
a jewel will grace
her sweet lips, you hold tight
every priceless note
and each delicate sound
of exquisite beauty.

Inspiration for this piece:  In searching for something to write on, it dawned on me that along with it being National Poetry Month, it is also National Autism Awareness Month.  (Note:  I am certain that if I dig further I would unearth several other celebrated entities for this month, but these two are — at least for me — the most noted of April.)  This year, I have had the opportunity to experience a new program in my school district.  On days where I need a break or am looking for a smile, I stroll into the preschool autistic classroom.  It is not always the most calming of environments, but still I find peace in sitting down with them and interacting (as best they can) with these little marvels.  They span the spectrum in abilities, each so unique and precious.  Of the original five (there are now eight in the program), there was only one little girl (who I'm lucky if I heard say two words this entire school year).  The amount to which she and the others have grown while in this program is amazing, but recently when I sat down next to her and she was unhindered to sing along to the music and even respond to my prompts was ... I'm not really sure there are words for it.

On unearthing titles:  I would say that 95% of the time a title will not arise until a poem is completed (4.9%  I may stumble upon it while writing and 0.1% of the time if is the first thing that comes to mind).  Of the 95%, I'd wager that I struggle with the majority of that percent.  This piece was no different.  Since nowhere in the poem do I make reference to autism, I felt like it needed to find its way into the title...the first thought that came to mind (given the content) was Autism Speaks.  But given its current use I was hesitant, plus other things were lingering, like the need to included the idea of diamonds and for some reason the word spectrum was stuck in my head.  And so, somehow, the crazy title above was born.

A note on form and structure:  While technically this piece is written in free verse. I did for some crazy reason feel the need to stick to a pattern of sorts; the lines range from 5 to 6 syllables in length, which I think ended up working quite nicely by inspiring the breaking effect within the first stanza.

Also in the first stanza,
[(/ trapping within
all \)] 
the use of these extra symbols is hard to explain. They were not in the original write, but added upon typing the piece here.  The poem works without them; the lines flow nicely.  But the idea of trapping them, making them an entity in an of themselves seemed right as well; those three words could easily come out and the lines would still flow.  I guess by putting them in I allow for three versions of the poem really: one reading straight through, one reading them as an aside and one without them at all.  I don't know...I don't really think it matters much what is behind it, just that it works.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Changing of Seasons' Sonata

as the sun sets on snow laden limbs
birds wait on their cue;
the maestro taps the edge of the horizon.
their voices lift into the air,
a winter nocturne floats gracefully
like a lullaby intent on laying winter to rest.

as the maestros last rays slowly descend,
the tempo shifts to a new movement--
a new chorus of birds enter
their sorrowful sound a requiem
ushering the cold darkness of winter
peacefully into its impending grave.

in the whispers of goodbye,
just before the maestro rises up,
a capriccio stirs in the feathered breasts
rejoicing in the beauty of winter's life
and celebrating the new life about to spring;
their voices ride along the sun's rays

unbound by the maestros baton
until he peaks once again over the horizon.
the vivance of the final movement
stirs a cool breeze through newly budding limbs
as the sun rises on spring's brilliant hues.

Disclaimer:  I know nothing about music; so if by chance I used one of the musical terms (that are strewn throughout this piece) incorrectly, please forgive me.

Inspiration for this piece: I was Flip(board)ing again through some photos. I came across a stunning photo of the sun setting through the branches of a snow covered tree. One of my favorite things about winter and snow is the beauty of freshly fallen (untouched) snow as it grazes the branches of bare tree limbs. Mostly during winter, my toes and fingers itch to be free to the warmth of the sun's heat. With the changing of season's, I felt like maybe it was time to actually believe that spring has arrived. I'm not sure of the origins of the picture, save that was posted on facebook as Winter Sunset, Lauttasaari, Finland.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Not Ready

my time with you is almost over
I know I should be moving on
instead I sit here clinging to us
memories that have come and gone

I'm not ready to let go
I'm not ready to be free
I'm afraid of what's not out there
that without you there's no me
so hold me a little longer
wipe away my tears
whisper you'll always love me
and steel away my fears

one day I'll look back on this moment
I'll dust it off to see the truth
you and I were just two lovers
holding tight to what we knew

(I'm not ready to let go
I'm not ready to be free
I'm afraid of what's not out there
that without you there's no me
so hold me a little longer
wipe away my tears
whisper you'll always love me
and steel away my fears) x2

A note on form:  I don't know whether the technical classification of this form would be "song" or "lyrics," but either way I don't think it matters much.  Typically, I would expect such form to be accompanied by instrumentals, but I'm not that talent...not that vocals are either.

When lyrics find their voice:  Often as I climb the stairs late at night from the basement/tv room to the kitchen), I find myself singing.  Every once in awhile, the words are my own.  Usually they don't amount to more than a phrase or two that eventually fade away into none existence.  There are those rare cases though when they stick with me.  This piece began with "my time with you is almost over / I know I should be moving on."

The recording:  First beware, I love to sing...that doesn't mean I can.  I tried to stay true in this recording to the original sound of the first two lines when they popped into my head.  There is another version in my head; I'm not sure the best way to describe it except that the two verses have a bit more of a kick to them similar to the the refrain.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Quinzaine: Truth in Fairy Tales

Fairy tales are based in truths.
Is yours such a tale?
What's your truth?

Adults need fairy tales, too.
Can only children
see the truth?

Fairy tale magic exists.
Is not magic true?
What's your tale?

Fairy tales hold truth within.
Do you believe in
fairy tales?

A note on form:  I came across the quinzaine approximately two and half years ago.  It's a short form consisting of only fifteen syllables.  As with any short poem, such confinement can be quite tricky.  The first line (7 syllables) is a statement; the next two lines (5 and 3 syllables) are a question related to the first line.  Upon first coming across this form, there seemed to be no definite on whether the two lines together made the question or if they had to be two separate questions.

Thoughts on writing in form:  So, without any definitive, I have always written in pairs (or an even grouping); one poem containing a single question and one poem containing two separate questions.  Writing two questions, when one is limited to three syllables is hard.  So when I wrote the first two for this grouping, I ended up with a pair containing only one question a piece.  That was about five months ago.  I tucked them away knowing I'd eventually come back to them (because with out their counterparts I could not allow them to exist--crazy, I know).  And so I did find my way back.  In the process,  I ended up altered the first line of one of them (#2), but still used it with one of the new ones (#3).

Unearthing themes:  Since I've always written these in pairs (or even groupings), having a theme to tie them together seems only natural.  In many cases the theme becomes the Title of the series.  As I reviewed the original two, which were written to "fairy tales" as the theme, I noticed that there was another thread linking the two together.  So while constructing the additional poems, I tried to incorporate "truth" in as well.  This of course meant both themes would somehow stand together for the title.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Faded Memories (Ribbon-Bound Letters)

mem'ries unravel
in a tattered—threadbare—mind
stealing away precious words

love unfolds within
tissue thin—tear stained—pages
holding safe those precious words

A note on form: This little number is an attempt at a sedōka. There is very little on the form outside of the fact that it is Japanese and predates the haiku. It is formed by two katauta (5-7-7). While there may be different takes on the form, I have always composed it as two separate (yet conjoined) poems focused on looking at the same entity from different perspectives. My initial introduction to this form was from the website Shadow Poetry.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Volcanic Eruption

Evil spawns new life in light'ning's wake,
rising up from molten death  earth quakes.
Writhing forth, as slumbers hold abates,
demon wings unfurl and stretch.
                                          (the fates
deem the time has come  prepare to snip
threads of helpless lives as red tears drip;
spreading fear sets in.)
                               Each crack of bone
rolls like thunder  dormant joints now moan,
stolen from their sleep.  The creature throws
off its ashen blanket; darkness grows
drawing clouds around its giant form.
Raised arms, clenched fists, puffed chest, call the storm.
Brazen fractals light the pluming cloud
looming 'round the monster like a shroud.
Few can see his head tilt back and laugh
(evilly) he carves out epitaphs.

A note on form:  The above construction is a twist on a form; I had this inkling to toy with Framed Couplets.  The form was introduced to me by Gay Reiser Cannon (aka beachanny) during one of her lovely post for dVerse Poets Pub's FormforAll.  While I am not really one for writing in strict meter or rhyme (of which this form has both), something about this form speaks to me.  As I mentioned this is a twist on the form; it may be more aptly named "Chained Couplets."  While I maintained the meter of the form, I altered the rhyme pattern slightly.  The original form uses pairs of line where the first words and last syllables of the pair rhyme--thus the idea of "framed" couplets.  I maintained the end rhyme (first with second, third with fourth, and so on), but I shifted the initial rhyme (second with third, fourth with fifth, and so on).  In addition, I used the same initial sound as the the start of the first and last line to act as sort of a clasp in the chain.

Thoughts on writing in form:  I once tweeted, "it's amazing how one can loose sight of somethings true purpose when trying to conform."  This piece is an example of how I felt as the form took over the writing.  I'm not sure how "the fates" made their way into this piece.  I was also quite stuck on how they would lead me back to the original image that lay behind this poem.  Even now, after suffering their appearance, I'm not 100% sold on them.  Yet, they do make an excellent link to the last maybe their unexpected arrival was not so bad.  Sometimes I do wonder what a poem might have actually turned out to be if I had neglected to adhere to a specific form.

Inspiration for this piece:  I was Flip(board)ing through some photos looking for something that might spark a bit of inspiration.  In doing so, I came across some amazing photos of lightening over the Sakurajima in Japan.  There, in the ashen clouds adorning this monster, I could see shapes take form--in a fashion similar to looking at the clouds to discover rabbits, flowers, or dragons.  What I saw in the billowing masses was a figure rising from the volcano.  Below I have included the original image, along with one I tweaked slightly (altering its brightness, contrast and tint) to allow for the form to shine through a bit more clearly for others who do not have my crazy vision.

photo taken by Martin Rietze

Thursday, March 21, 2013


I figured to get things started off, I would begin with a poem that helped inspire the title of this blog.

Weapon of Choice
a writer of prose
gathers his words around him like an arsenal
strategically placing all about
surrounded you with intense imagery
striking the senses from the outside in
intent on bringing you into the scene of events
like an opponent who works to anticipate offenses
making meaning in order to walk away from the battle
better for being a part of it
a writer of poetry
chooses his words like the feathers of an arrow
strategically creating the perfect balance
allowing it to pierce the air with ease
striking you straight through the heart
                                        the mind
                                         the soul
the poisoned tip assaulting you from the inside out
like an enemy coursing through your blood stream
penetrating your defenses before you know what hit you
no matter the weapon the writer chooses
should his aim be true
he'll bring you to your knees
with the beauty he ignites
the darkness he inflicts

© rmp - September 2011