Author Archives: sdtp33

Poem: Tar Macadam (following the sound)

 

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Tar Macadam (following the sound)

tar macadam
John Macadam
Hussein Saddam
Gomorrah Sodom
Hillary Rodham
Jason Bonham
Glocca Morra
Rooney Mara
how are things?
Connemara
hound of the sea.

I got the idea for this little sound poem while reading Eilene Lyon’s excellent post “The National Road” where I discovered that tar macadam was invented by a Scot, John Macadam. Like all of Eilene’s posts, it is very well written and researched and packed with interesting information. Unfortunately, she is taking a break from blogging for a while, so head over to her blog and enjoy it while you can.
Other Notes:

According to Wikipedia: “’How Are Things in Glocca Morra?’ is a popular song about a fictional village in Ireland, with themes of nostalgia and homesickness. It was introduced by Ella Logan in the original Broadway production of Finian’s Rainbow”.
My mom used to sing it. I always thought it was based on the Gaelic phrase “glaoch na mara” meaning “call of the sea” but it’s probably just a made up Irish sounding name. The Gaelic translation of Connemara is “hound of the sea”.

….also participating in Open Link night over at dVerse.

 

Between (Everyone’s got something to bring..)..Poem.

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Between

Between the caucus and the carcass
between the chaos and the calm
between the fracas and the ruckus
between the righteous and the damned

Between the priest and the sermon
between the singer and the song
no one can determine
why we all can’t get along

Between the question and the answer
there is a life time of space
between the dance and the dancer
there is beauty and there is grace

Everyone’s
got something to bring
affect one thing
affect one thing

Everyone’s
got something to bring
affect one thing
affect one thing

Between the caucus and the chaos
between the crack house and the calm
between the raucous and the ruckus
between the righteous and the damned

Between the priest and the sermon
between the lawyer and the law
no one can determine
what is right and what is wrong

Between the question and the answer
there is a life time of space
between the dance and the dancer
there is beauty and there is grace

Everyone’s
got something to bring
affect one thing
affect one thing

 

In response to the dverse prompt to write a poem using repetition (thanks Jilly). I had the first 3 verses for a while..the prompt spurred me to finish the poem!

 

Early Bird Special (quadrille with bonus haiku)

Early Bird Special

unlike the midnight special
there are no songs
to celebrate the early bird special
no IHOPian bard,
no poet laureate of the blue plate
no bargain basement Dylan
no cut price Cohen
to extol the digestive
and economic benefits
of getting an early start.

Inspired by the dVerse prompt to write a quadrille using the word “early”. Thanks to Kim for the prompt.

sunrise-3-5

Bonus Haiku

dawn breaks, early shift
at the haiku factory
counting syllables.

Photo: Sunrise on Planet Cistern 2

 

The Chester Beatty Library (Poem)

A slightly different version of this poem was published a while back in The Galway Review .  I am posting this edited version as part of dVerse’s open link Thursday.

The Chester Beatty Library                                   

In the Chester Beatty Library
Four elderly ladies
Permed, perfumed and powdered
Stroll past the ancient texts
The papyrus and the parchment
Seemingly unimpressed
By the evidence before them
That ever since we could stand upright
We have tried to leave foot prints
In the wet cement of time.
What intrigues the ladies,
Is how these fragile treasures
These artefacts and amulets
Were safely transported
From their exotic homelands
To the airless glass cases
In which they now reside.
They explore this theme together
In intertwining solos
Like a modern jazz quartet
Like mythical creatures
Compelled to talk forever
Because they believe
That to stop
Would be to die.

 

If you are ever in Dublin, the Chester Beatty Library is well worth a visit. The photo below is not the Chester Beatty Library, but it was taken in Dublin in September. I am including it here to show that the sun shines in Dublin but the clouds are always on the move.

 

Radisson

An Open Letter to Anderson Cooper, Jake Tapper, Don Lemon

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An Open Letter to Anderson Cooper, Jake Tapper, Don Lemon

Dear Anderson, Jake and Don
full disclosure, I’ve always been a fan
but lately I find (maybe it’s a phase, a stage)
I’m getting tired of outrage
could we just agree that some truths are self-evident
that yes, Donald Trump is a disastrous president
that yes, he’s a congenital liar
that yes, his pants are on fire
yes, he’s a fascist
yes, he’s a racist
yes, he “grabs pussy”, cheats on his wife
but, here’s the thing, he’s having the time of his life
he’s hosting the biggest reality show of all time
and you are playing your part, falling in line
it’s not that you are dupes, puppets, complicit
but do you have to analyse every tweet, every snippet
do you have to report every rally
every blundering sally
into global politics
every outburst of fustian rhetoric
why not talk about detention of children, the environment
deregulation, the threat to national monuments
why not talk about hope, democracy, activists, action
and ignore this preening prat, this abominable distraction.

Home (from Oscar Wilde to Bono, haiku’s)

Oscar (3)

Conversation (hibernoku)

a low Dublin sky
a sentence hangs suspended
cut off in its prime

interrupt or die.

‘Hibernia’ is the classical Latin name for Ireland. A hibernoku is a haiku (seventeen syllables, 5-7-5) with an additional 5 or 7 syllable line, because for the Irish, seventeen syllables is a cruel limitation. The poem must contain an Irish reference and must allude to the weather in some way. In most parts of Ireland, ‘hibernoku’ is pronounced ‘hi-bern-o-koo’, except in West Cork where it is pronounced ‘hiber-nok-oo’.

Photo: Statue of the eternally quotable Oscar Wilde in Merrion Square, Dublin.

 

Sandy Cove

 

Weather (abandoned haiku)

an easterly wind
clouds move in convoy ‘cross the blue dome of the sky.

This started off as a haiku, but I felt like letting the second line run.

Photo: A sunny mid September day in Sandy Cove, Dublin.

 

Vico

Family (haiku)

yep, had a few drinks
with my brother, my sisters
sibling ribaldry.

Photo: View looking south along the coast, from Vico Road. Dalkey, Co. Dublin. Bono owns a house nearby ……where all the streets have names….I checked.

 

Yuck (a quadrille)

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Yuck (quadrille)

I have never been to Yucatan
but I’ve been to Playa del Carmen

I’ve never been to the Yukon
but I’ve camped in Uclulet

I have never played the ukulele
but I have strummed a guitar

as for the Ukraine
haven’t been there either.

 
In response to the dVerse prompt to write a quadrille using the word “Yuck” which I haven’t used but the sound is there. Thanks to the people at dVerse for making things interesting.

The Food on Air Canada Rouge

The Food on Air Canada Rouge

What’s worse than a summer deluge?
What’s worse than Christmas with Ebeneezer Scrooge?
What’s worse than a ride on a runaway luge?
the food on Air Canada Rouge.

What’s worse than a sequel to “In Bruges”?
What’s worse than a night in a crowded refuge?
(the air, loud with snores, toxic with flatulence)
What’s worse than another night in the same refuge?
the food on Air Canada Rouge.

Air Canada Rouge is a no frills version of a no frills airline. I just travelled with them from Barcelona to Toronto and it was a long nine hours – the on board entertainment system (download an app, sign on to on board Wi-Fi) didn’t work, legroom was minimal, service was begrudging, and as for the food, see above.

The Toddler King (parts 1,2 and 3)

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The Toddler King

1

5 am. in America

the toddler king
checks his Twitter feed

a five hundred pound ball
of carbohydrate and grease
rolls across the parking lot
of a big box store

assault rifles take stock

the second amendment
thinks about making amends

the founding fathers
find themselves wanting.

2

5 am. in America

the toddler king
checks his Twitter feed

in the empty parking lot
of a big box store
a plastic bag pirouettes
on the halitotic breeze

national monuments
fear for their lives

the adjectives – good, bad, great-
drop in value again

the toddler king
picks a fight with himself.

3

5 am. in America

the toddler king
checks his Twitter feed

an empty shopping cart
rolls across the parking lot
of a big box store
and wishes it was
a metaphor for something

rivers say goodbye
to their banks

the ocean
eyes the shore

the toddler king pardons
those great American dioxides
sulphur, nitric, carbon
they are quickly released.

 

Parts 1&2 appeared previously on this blog, participating in dverse Open Link Night

Butcher

 

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Butcher

7: 30 in the morning, at the corner of Main and King Edward, a butcher in a white coat stands looking out from behind the empty meat trays in the window of the Windsor Packing Company. Back in the fridge, somnolent sausages, blood red sirloin, and thick pink pork chops (each with a trim icing of fat) wait patiently for their return to the public eye…

January wind
Order your Christmas turkey!
Now! The sign urges.

…in response to the dVerse prompt to write a  morning-related halibun.

End of Summer double septo

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End of Summer double septo 

like a wasp in late August
circling a bin of regrets.

This poem is a double septo also known as a quatorze, it consists of two seven syllable lines. Sometimes, I find that the five syllable lines in a haiku create a flatness, a po-faced solemnity…wasp in late August…too much oracle not enough bounce. A seven syllable line allows room for rhythm.

Obviously, I made up the double septo bit. Recently I wrote a quadrille as part of a dVerse prompt and it got me thinking about arbitrary verse forms. A quadrille is a poem of exactly 44 words, it doesn’t get more arbitrary than that.

Down and Out in Idabel

Pigments (2)

 

Down and Out in Idabel

How Myron found himself in the parking lot
of the Holiday Inn in Idabel, Oklahoma
looking out at the road
on a Saturday morning in April
– after a breakfast of brittle bacon,
sausages slick with grease,
dry fluorescent scrambled eggs –
is not important.

The road pauses, a skittish dog roams.
Myron’s eyes are drawn to a dead armadillo
upside down on the hard shoulder
an empty beer can in its claws
Old Milwaukee, prehistoric drunk,
someone’s joke.

A pick up truck passes
a pick up truck passes
a pick up truck passes
over the fence a cow chews grass
and makes a meal of it.
Dogwoods bloom.
The cow moos like a reluctant foghorn.
Myron’s mood turns
he thinks about the cow,
Manifest Destiny,
the plight of the bison
our lust for red meat
while greenhouse gas
shimmies upwards
ice caps melt
glaciers retreat
and looking down
the road to Shreveport
buoyed by the prospect
of seeing Idabel
in his rear-view mirror
he quietly resolves
to recover what he was
before sadness lodged
like a wet sack
in the back
of his head.

This poem originally appeared in issue 38 of The SHOp poetry magazine (print) which was a fine magazine, unfortunately they closed up shop a few years ago.

 

 

 

Earth (quadrille)

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This poem is in response to the dVerse challenge to write a quadrille (44 word poem) about “earth”.

Earth (quadrille)

wind and fire
earthling, earthenware
is buried in
hearth, dearth, breath
can also be found in
don’t fear the reaper
clear the room
Neanderthal
the Lord’s Prayer;
David Bowie
was the man who fell to earth
Major Tom observed
that planet earth is blue.

A Scarecrow looks back on his Life

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A Scarecrow looks back on his Life

Before Oz
I had control of my life
I had a purpose
a reason for existence

a modus operandi:
stand in a field
and scare crows
that’s it, that’s all.

It was lonely at times
I admit, particularly
at night, but occasionally
a farmer returning

drunk across the fields
would stop and tell me his life story
then fall asleep, snoring
and farting at my feet

and yes, oh yes
I listened in on
acts of intimacy
on hot summer nights

and heard sounds
that made my straw curl;
then Oz occurred
and it was no longer

about presence
it was about absence
the absence of a brain;
children would circle me

and sing that stupid song
suddenly I was pathetic, forlorn;
what got me most was the
sheer illogicality of it all –

to yearn for a brain, one must
have a brain to begin with,
sometimes, I think the sole function
of a brain is to yearn…..

(…hang on a second, I’m sure I saw that same crow yesterday. The little bugger won’t come within twenty feet of me. I’ve still got it….)

This poem was inspired by a dVerse prompt to write a poem from the point of view of a character from The Wizard of Oz..a scarecrow, a Tin Man, a lion. I played with that a bit.

 

Yosemite (the poem)

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Yosemite

The sun is slowly leaving
the party that is the day,
things will not be the same.

When he finally tumbles into his room
at the Mariposa Lodge outside of Yosemite
which the Miwok Indians call Ahwahnee
meaning Large Mouth,
Myron turns on the television
to find Patrick Stewart
shouting into the camera in blank verse
and even though Kenneth Branagh is nowhere in sight
he quickly deduces that this is Shakespeare,
Macbeth, in fact, but a strange one,
there are soldiers in Soviet uniforms and a fridge
and of course bad things are happening, off stage.
Then the bottle of Salmon Creek Pinot Grigio
which he had at the Butterfly Café,
starts to take its toll
(‘butterfly’ is the English word for Mariposa),
and lulled by the convolutions of the language
Myron falls asleep and in his dream
Patrick Stewart is staring at him.

“ Brush thy teeth”, Patrick yells,
spittle spraying the inside of the screen.
“Brush thy teeth
lest thou rise
foul of breath
In the sulphurous morn.”

 

This poem appeared a little while back in The Galway Review 

(It’s open link night at dVerse, so thought I’d give this one a bit of exposure)