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Winks
November 29th, 2011, 01:55 PM
Hi All,

Coach Rick mentioned that he and others might be interested in learning more about how to read, interpret, respond to poems.
I am very far from being an expert but in the spirit of friendship that drives this community, I would be happy to share
my thoughts and answer questions as I'm able to.

The first thing that I wanted to say is something I learned in an Art Appreciation class at Davis from then professor Wayne Thiebaud (now famous artist). When you look at a piece of art, whatever your reaction to it is, it's valid. Someone may see different things. Perhaps the artist had something completely different in mind. Nevertheless, whatever you see or feel is valid/valuable innately. So you should never feel "less than" or "belittled" because there is no completely right or wrong answer.

Though your response is valid for you, it may not be what the artist had in mind. Personally, I like to understand what the artist meant. But if I felt something different, I don't discount it.

Winks
November 29th, 2011, 02:25 PM
Here is a video of a short love poem by E.E. Cummings called " I Carry Your Heart."
http://youtu.be/gXt1LdgSPGA



Poems use images and metaphors, rather than literal words to evoke a set of feelings (i.e. I carry your heart. I carry it in my heart." They are meant to
speak on a level beyond the brain.......the subconscious.......so the images might never be literally found to exist but to the extent that you feel the result, the image might be very powerful. In this poem ......the root of the root, the bud of the bud ( I read this as where life begins, where bloom is found).

Winks
November 29th, 2011, 02:32 PM
Here is my favorite poem, "Utopia," by Wislawa Szymborska (Winner of the Nobel prize for literature in 1996).

UtopiaIsland where all becomes clear.

Solid ground beneath your feet.

The only roads are those that offer access.

Bushes bend beneath the weight of proofs.

The Tree of Valid Supposition grows here
with branches disentangled since time immemorial.

The Tree of Understanding, dazzlingly straight and simple,
sprouts by the spring called Now I Get It.

The thicker the woods, the vaster the vista:
the Valley of Obviously.

If any doubts arise, the wind dispels them instantly.

Echoes stir unsummoned
and eagerly explain all the secrets of the worlds.

On the right a cave where Meaning lies.

On the left the Lake of Deep Conviction.
Truth breaks from the bottom and bobs to the surface.

Unshakable Confidence towers over the valley.
Its peak offers an excellent view of the Essence of Things.

For all its charms, the island is uninhabited,
and the faint footprints scattered on its beaches
turn without exception to the sea.

As if all you can do here is leave
and plunge, never to return, into the depths.

Into unfathomable life.

Coach Rick
November 29th, 2011, 05:23 PM
When you look at a piece of art, whatever your reaction to it is, it's valid. Someone may see different things. Perhaps the artist had something completely different in mind. Nevertheless, whatever you see or feel is valid/valuable innately. So you should never feel "less than" or "belittled" because there is no completely right or wrong answer.Winks, first, do poets consider their poems art? In other words, do you call poet's work their art, or their poems, or is it interchangeable? I don't want to mess up the terminology. Next, do you suppose what each individual sees in the art/poem is much influenced by their own life experiences and beliefs, reflected back to them in the words of the poet? Which could contribute to the variety of reactions to a single piece of work?
Though your response is valid for you, it may not be what the artist had in mind. Personally, I like to understand what the artist meant. But if I felt something different, I don't discount it.I think I have the same desire to you; to compare my own reactions to the actual message the words were expressing from the psyche of the artist/poet. I think doing that carries the potential to open my eyes to new perspectives, beyond my personal thought tendencies. An opportunity for conceptual growth.

Winks
November 29th, 2011, 06:04 PM
Winks, first, do poets consider their poems art? In other words, do you call poet's work their art, or their poems, or is it interchangeable? I don't want to mess up the terminology. Next, do you suppose what each individual sees in the art/poem is much influenced by their own life experiences and beliefs, reflected back to them in the words of the poet? Which could contribute to the variety of reactions to a single piece of work? I think I have the same desire to you; to compare my own reactions to the actual message the words were expressing from the psyche of the artist/poet. I think doing that carries the potential to open my eyes to new perspectives, beyond my personal thought tendencies. An opportunity for conceptual growth.

Yes, CR, a poet would want to think of their work as "art" as opposed to greeting card material (that's how a creative writing instructor first described my work).
When poets critique other poets, they will refer to the poem, the piece, your write, your words/images/rhythm, flow/use of metaphor, etc.

Yes also to your next question. Poems don't usually come with explanations because they are meant to be interpreted by the reader. The poet presents a series of images that express his/her feelings in some context. The reader may see nothing of what the author was writing about but may have his/her own powerful reaction.
Since a poem comes from the subconscious, it is meant to speak to the reader's subconscious. So, many different reactions are possible and expected.

I read poems by people I look up to. Sometimes I feel I know exactly what they're saying. Sometimes I haven't a clue but I allow myself to have some kind of reaction based on the images (wow - creative, great movement, very vivid images, etc). I think a really great poem leaves a part of itself with you. For me, for example, "What the Dog Perhaps Hears" is brimming full with wonders of the world we miss ("We would like to ask the dog if there is a constant whir
because the child in the house keeps growing." I'll post a video of that poem (another favorite).

Winks
November 29th, 2011, 06:06 PM
Video of a poem by Liesel Mueller, "What the Dog Perhaps Hears"


http://youtu.be/4-3NY_v61gc

SMJ
November 29th, 2011, 06:18 PM
I loved the dog hearing poem. Thanks for sharing that.

Coach Rick
November 29th, 2011, 06:22 PM
Wow, Winks, amazing, and at the same time kind of sad. (what the dog perhaps hears) Disturbing reminder of the prison walls that trap our pathetic human sense of awareness. How limited our comprehension of the totality of the world around us. Stuck in our own isolated little corner of existence. Sign of a very good "piece", I suppose, to foster such strong response, regardless of the nature of it.

Winks
November 29th, 2011, 06:38 PM
Wow, Winks, amazing, and at the same time kind of sad. (what the dog perhaps hears) Disturbing reminder of the prison walls that trap our pathetic human sense of awareness. How limited our comprehension of the totality of the world around us. Stuck in our own isolated little corner of existence. Sign of a very good "piece", I suppose, to foster such strong response, regardless of the nature of it.

Yes, CR, it is powerful, isn't it? Perhaps our senses are far more limited but how wonder-full to glimpse how much might exist if we open ourselves to the possibility.
Then it doesn't sound crazy if a poet talks about the embrace of gravity/falling into the arms of the world.

Winks
November 29th, 2011, 06:42 PM
Now, I'm sneaking one of mine in. Its called "Marathon." I did the Nike Women's Half Marathon (walk) a few years ago ----which, at the time, meant a lot to me (CP was a mentor throughout my training!).


http://youtu.be/qxiynR62XeQ

Winks
November 29th, 2011, 07:38 PM
Here's one by Langston Hughes called "Dreams."
http://youtu.be/EpjFS3CQkKE

Winks
November 29th, 2011, 07:50 PM
Maya Angelou, "Still I Rise"


http://youtu.be/JqOqo50LSZ0

Winks
November 29th, 2011, 08:02 PM
"If" by Rudyard Kipling


http://youtu.be/is1WlBBakUI

Winks
November 29th, 2011, 08:28 PM
"Hope Is The Thing With Feathers," by Emily Dickenson (an interpretation)



http://youtu.be/84AnwYEbjp4

Winks
November 29th, 2011, 08:36 PM
T.S. Eliot, "The Hollow Men"



http://youtu.be/5fu8awT5Jzs

Winks
November 29th, 2011, 08:40 PM
Sylvia Plath, "Daddy"



http://youtu.be/6**jctqSBwM

Winks
November 30th, 2011, 11:11 AM
Sorry, got carried away in my searches. Some of these were new to me, so I was enjoying the search. But will give you all a break and let this settle!

FYI, it's ok to ask questions and I'lll do whatever I can or refer to another source because I'm basically an advanced beginner in this area.

Little Tiger
December 1st, 2011, 02:07 AM
"If" by Rudyard Kipling


http://youtu.be/is1WlBBakUI

I always loved this poem as a kid... and I also loved the Dylan Thomas one about the farm and time

Winks
December 1st, 2011, 09:55 AM
I always loved this poem as a kid... and I also loved the Dylan Thomas one about the farm and time


I think you must mean this one (?)


http://youtu.be/8XG1B_7r4y8

Winks
December 1st, 2011, 09:57 AM
I like this one also:



http://youtu.be/s1fTlIsUGks

Winks
December 1st, 2011, 09:59 AM
"The Raven" by Edgar Allen Poe


http://youtu.be/cLSmhpwLdEQ

Winks
December 1st, 2011, 10:07 AM
I stumbled upon this one and find I LOVE it! Walt Whitman, "Song of the Open Road"



http://youtu.be/xxUTe1lWY6s

Little Tiger
December 1st, 2011, 02:12 PM
I think you must mean this one (?)


http://youtu.be/8XG1B_7r4y8


That is the poem

Little Tiger
December 1st, 2011, 02:16 PM
and the other Dylan Thomas I loved was and death shall have no dominion - similar theme to the one you like

songfta
December 1st, 2011, 03:04 PM
"He's not the same as you and me.
He doesn't dig poetry.
He's so unhip that
When you say 'Dylan,' he thinks you're talkin' about
Dylan Thomas, whoever he was.
The man ain't got no culture!"

- Paul Simon, "A Simple Desultory Philippic (or how I was Lyndon Johnson'd into submission)"

Winks
December 1st, 2011, 05:17 PM
That's some kind of metaphor......."Lyndon Johnson'd into submission."!!!

Winks
December 1st, 2011, 05:18 PM
An exchange between William Buckley and Allen Ginsberg


http://youtu.be/sCWbVl4IKpU

Coach Rick
December 1st, 2011, 09:32 PM
Here's one by Langston Hughes called "Dreams."
http://youtu.be/EpjFS3CQkKE

My reaction >

Holding dreams is not enough. "Wrapping them up, hiding them from harm, hoping they sometime come true", is a folly of fantasy. Only through vibrant pursuit will they ever come to breath life. "Holding" alone only makes you a "dreamer". Dreamers are a dime a dozen. "Doers" pursue their dreams, take risks, have the courage to fail and fall, to get up, dust off, and try again, through dogged determination, until the dream is finally proved real.

Coach Rick
December 1st, 2011, 09:43 PM
Maya Angelou, "Still I Rise"


http://youtu.be/JqOqo50LSZ0

My reaction >

You'll never truly rise until you cast to the wind focus on and concern for the perceptions of you harbored by the outside world. I hear too much of it in this poem. The author of this poem seems still in the midst of a battle to break free. Is on the right road, but hasn't yet arrived.

Lars
December 1st, 2011, 09:53 PM
"And miles to go before I sleep", miles to go before I sleep"

Coach Rick
December 1st, 2011, 09:55 PM
"If" by Rudyard Kipling


http://youtu.be/is1WlBBakUI

My reaction >

Wow. Listening to this brought back vivid memories of special moments with my father when I was young, in times of trial, when he would calmly bestow upon me similar advice. While the ravages of time and disease have taken their toll, I hope at least a small piece of the wise and courageous man he was, and tried to help me become, lives on in me.

Coach Rick
December 1st, 2011, 10:08 PM
I like this one also:



http://youtu.be/s1fTlIsUGks

Hit's very close to home for me. Leaves me torn, between selfishness and compassion.

Coach Rick
December 1st, 2011, 10:09 PM
Enough emotion confrontation for tonight.

Winks
December 1st, 2011, 11:32 PM
My reaction >

Holding dreams is not enough. "Wrapping them up, hiding them from harm, hoping they sometime come true", is a folly of fantasy. Only through vibrant pursuit will they ever come to breath life. "Holding" alone only makes you a "dreamer". Dreamers are a dime a dozen. "Doers" pursue their dreams, take risks, have the courage to fail and fall, to get up, dust off, and try again, through dogged determination, until the dream is finally proved real.


I can't say that I know a lot about Langston Hughes or his poetry. l re-listened to the poem I stumbled on and what occurred to me was that perhaps the poem was aimed at those who wouldn't even dare to dream much less follow up. But that is my interpretation.

One of my "judgements" about poets/poetry is that a poet or poem is not a statement of authority (i.e it states the poets thoughts - hopefully in an interesting, entertaining way. Some will agree/others not. One can say "I love you." or "I carry your heart. I carry it in my heart." The second approach involves painting pictures with words that hopefully speaks directly to the subconscious.

Winks
December 1st, 2011, 11:54 PM
My reaction >

You'll never truly rise until you cast to the wind focus on and concern for the perceptions of you harbored by the outside world. I hear too much of it in this poem. The author of this poem seems still in the midst of a battle to break free. Is on the right road, but hasn't yet arrived.

A very strong reaction, CR. Thanks for your honesty in sharing it. She presents the poem in a way that elicits a strong reaction. The stronger the reaction, whatever it is, the more skilled the poet (usually).

I'm not sure what the term "arrived" means . People may express themselves with a lot of confidence, even arrogance.........and we may think the person is off their rocker. Who among us has actually "arrived?" Arrived where? Perfection? No one I know (least of all me, of that I'm totally certain!)

Winks
December 1st, 2011, 11:59 PM
My reaction >

Wow. Listening to this brought back vivid memories of special moments with my father when I was young, in times of trial, when he would calmly bestow upon me similar advice. While the ravages of time and disease have taken their toll, I hope at least a small piece of the wise and courageous man he was, and tried to help me become, lives on in me.

Yes, this has long been one of my favorites. I think most relate to it. Sounds like it made an impact on you.

Winks
December 2nd, 2011, 09:21 AM
I wanted to share how my feelings about poets and reading poetry has evolved over time. In the beginning, I thought, because the words might be stated so skillfully and perhaps with great intelligence that they must be synonymous with "truth." But that is something we each define for ourselves. Poets are humans with all their strengths and weaknesses. Now, I read or listen to poetry, try to notice/admire the skill involved, let it wash over me and carry away whatever sticks. And if something doesn't fit for me, I mentally agree to disagree.

Whatever your reaction, it is valid and should not be made to seem any other way. If I have done that, please forgive me. Regarding being exposed to things that are new or even uncomfortable, personally I think this is a very good thing. If anyone disagrees, I apologize for discomfort caused!

Winks
December 2nd, 2011, 09:24 AM
Enough emotion confrontation for tonight.

Personally, I find poetry can be emotionally exhausting! I can only take so much of it! I'll give you all another break.

Coach Rick
December 2nd, 2011, 11:26 AM
I'm not sure what the term "arrived" means . People may express themselves with a lot of confidence, even arrogance.........and we may think the person is off their rocker. Who among us has actually "arrived?" Arrived where? Perfection? No one I know (least of all me, of that I'm totally certain!)

There are many definitions of "arrived". It depends on the destination being discussed. Here I was referring to the liberation from the concerns, stresses and influences of social and cultural pressures. The destination being intrinsic peace and a complete internal comfort with self that shadows and makes irrelevant all other external clutters. I don't see the author having arrived at that place yet. I hear a strong desire to be there, a speaking as though already there, but the fact that the poem contains such a pervasive focus on those perceptions of the outside world suggests a battle to escape concern for those perceptions still rages on in the depths of the psyche of the author.

People who have arrived no longer find themselves focused on the extrinsic pressures of the world. They pay them little mind, and even when confronted with them, it raises no reaction. They have no need to exercise their emotions through art, because the emotions over the topic have long ago dissipated into the wind, and the void has been filled with peace.

Coach Rick
December 2nd, 2011, 11:35 AM
Personally, I find poetry can be emotionally exhausting! I can only take so much of it! I'll give you all another break.

I imagine you would gauge the quality of the poetry by the level of the emotional toll it takes? Or probably better stated, the amount of emotional response it generates, whether draining or not?

Not to fear, my battery recharges quickly. I enjoy the exploration of thought. I'm a philosopher at heart. The discoveries I've made through the journeys I've taken are the currents that power and fulfill my life.

Winks
December 2nd, 2011, 01:48 PM
There are many definitions of "arrived". It depends on the destination being discussed. Here I was referring to the liberation from the concerns, stresses and influences of social and cultural pressures. The destination being intrinsic peace and a complete internal comfort with self that shadows and makes irrelevant all other external clutters. I don't see the author having arrived at that place yet. I hear a strong desire to be there, a speaking as though already there, but the fact that the poem contains such a pervasive focus on those perceptions of the outside world suggests a battle to escape concern for those perceptions still rages on in the depths of the psyche of the author.

People who have arrived no longer find themselves focused on the extrinsic pressures of the world. They pay them little mind, and even when confronted with them, it raises no reaction. They have no need to exercise their emotions through art, because the emotions over the topic have long ago dissipated into the wind, and the void has been filled with peace.

It sounds like a great place to be. I am not there and I'm certain of that. Poets have a tendency towards drama perhaps. If they were all completely at peace
there woudn't be much to write about. I wonder if arriving into a state of peace requires that one point to others who aren't there? It could be seen as
maybe "You think you're so cool. But actually you're not. I'm better than you." Personally, I don't think anyone is better than anyone else. Some have learned more along the way. Some are better at expressing themselves and diplomatic to boot (not my strength!).

But everyone has a right to speak their mind! You have my admiration for clearly speaking yours!

Winks
December 2nd, 2011, 01:55 PM
I imagine you would gauge the quality of the poetry by the level of the emotional toll it takes? Or probably better stated, the amount of emotional response it generates, whether draining or not?

Not to fear, my battery recharges quickly. I enjoy the exploration of thought. I'm a philosopher at heart. The discoveries I've made through the journeys I've taken are the currents that power and fulfill my life.


For me, emotional response is a good thing. If I learn something or take away something of value, it's positive for me (even if it's unpleasant).
Your responses seem very honest and straight forward to me. Mine may be different. I think it takes a certain degree of courage to place one's thoughts out there
and that is admirable. No doubt, not everyone agrees with me. That's ok.

Coach Rick
December 2nd, 2011, 02:34 PM
It sounds like a great place to be. I am not there and I'm certain of that. Poets have a tendency towards drama perhaps. If they were all completely at peace
there woudn't be much to write about.

Yeah, that seems a reasonable supposition.

I wonder if arriving into a state of peace requires that one point to others who aren't there? It could be seen as
maybe "You think you're so cool. But actually you're not. I'm better than you." Personally, I don't think anyone is better than anyone else. Some have learned more along the way. Some are better at expressing themselves and diplomatic to boot (not my strength!).

Hmmmm,,,, I don't think so. If one is truly at peace, in the manner I described, there's no "need" to compare, beyond a casual notice, or perhaps concern. The origin of that state of peace is completely intrinsic, not dependent on where one ranks in regards to others. If a person still harbors a need to feel superior, if their sense of self is dependent on that, then they're still an emotional slave to the world around them. They're not fully at peace within their own skin. And on the flipside, a person completely at peace with self is never intimidated by the person who struggles with a need to feel superior.




Winks, thanks for starting this clinic. It's fun to revisit these concepts again. So far, i've listened and reacted to 3 of the poems you've presented, and I've had 3 strong reactions, in 3 completely different ways, that has stimulated my mind to engage itself. Fun stuff.

Winks
December 2nd, 2011, 03:20 PM
Here's another one for you


http://youtu.be/6VrZE8MCnIA

Winks
December 2nd, 2011, 03:25 PM
For Lars


http://youtu.be/hfOxdZfo0gs

Winks
December 2nd, 2011, 03:33 PM
This is one I wrote 9 months ago, not much imagery but it has something to say:


We Choose Our Path


I seek my path with diligence.
Do you also seek yours?
Let us celebrate together then
with smiles of welcome.

If either of us has assigned assumptions
that make one us less than
let us pity the one who blames
and wish well the one who tries.

If no effort is to be made,
let us be grateful for our own efforts
and send wishes of loving kindness
to those in need. (I count myself.)

Winks
December 2nd, 2011, 03:41 PM
Here's another one of mine written approx. 1 month ago:

Changing Times?

In the land of “high five”
there are winning teams
and solo geeks on the bench.

“Coolness” is passed
from one jock to another
as hands slap
in mutual recognition
of belonging.

The score is everything.
It is not measured in points
but in ground occupied
by nodding heads.

If the odd ones are trampled,
burned in ovens,
raped, pillaged, hung from crosses,
for not sitting up straight,
where is the blame?

They are different, after all.

Evolution will always breed strength,

if not mercy.

Winks
December 2nd, 2011, 04:09 PM
Mary Oliver (I love her work):


http://youtu.be/XnaP7ig69go

Coach Rick
December 2nd, 2011, 04:23 PM
Here's another one of mine written approx. 1 month ago:

Changing Times?

In the land of “high five”
there are winning teams
and solo geeks on the bench.

“Coolness” is passed
from one jock to another
as hands slap
in mutual recognition
of belonging.

The score is everything.
It is not measured in points
but in ground occupied
by nodding heads.

If the odd ones are trampled,
burned in ovens,
raped, pillaged, hung from crosses,
for not sitting up straight,
where is the blame?

They are different, after all.

Evolution will always breed strength,

if not mercy.

Excellent, Winks. Powerful. For some reason, it brought this song to mind:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9_X0a8bOifU

The above song just a young root of the thorny bush that eventually sprouts from it, the subject of which I believe you to be writing.

Love how you attribute it to the hardness of evolution. A reality that some of deeper thought will pause to ponder the totality of the virtues of, while others never give it a second.

Winks
December 2nd, 2011, 04:38 PM
Excellent, Winks. Powerful. For some reason, it brought this song to mind:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9_X0a8bOifU

The above song just a young root of the thorny bush that eventually sprouts from it, the subject of which I believe you to be writing.

Love how you attribute it to the hardness of evolution. A reality that some of deeper thought will pause to ponder the totality of the virtues of, while others never give it a second.


Thanks CR. The prompt for the poem was evolution though it was initiated by the sight of two people figuratively high-fiving. It actually has nothing to do with sports and everything to do with separating/isolating people by differences. Every war involves one or more teams fighting against the other - for what?
Land? Status? Acceptance?

Coach Rick
December 2nd, 2011, 04:44 PM
Are sports not just another means of practicing/expressing the same thing? Humans, pack animals we are. It's all about personal survival, which the individual pursues in the comfort of the pack, which too must survive if the individual is to.

Winks
December 2nd, 2011, 05:16 PM
Are sports not just another means of practicing/expressing the same thing? Humans, pack animals we are. It's all about personal survival, which the individual pursues in the comfort of the pack, which too must survive if the individual is to.


Perhaps so. Maybe that's what drives the degree of intensity people can feel about team sports! I'm not much of a team sports follower or participant. I used to play tennis, even team tennis but i could become a killer at the net (our coach actually told me to back off once) and I wasn't crazy about that side of myself.

One of the things I treasure about skiing is that I feel like it's me with the mountain. I can admire people who are better skiers but whatever work I need to do to improve (which makes things more enjoyable) is up to me. I also feel like the mountain is trying to tell me what I need to do and I'm working on expanding my understanding of the language.

Winks
December 3rd, 2011, 09:16 AM
I won't be continuing this thread. Here is one last poem written yesterday by a poet I look up to, Mercedes Webb-Pullman. The word qasida refers to a type of lyrical poem.


Qasida of the Stars

by Mercedes Webb-Pullman



Through kelp and bladderwrack
two silver fish –
one is shadow
the other just echo.

Fellow travellers
show me my home!

In the stars, flows the shadow
echoes in my throat
beached on meniscus
between breaths – out, then in.

Two black gulls
and a cloaked time-keeper
change places
and wait.

Fellow pilots
show me my home!

In the stars flows the shadow
echoes in my throat.
Through seaweed
two black fish
change places
and wait.

Winks
February 12th, 2012, 03:11 AM
Most recent ski poem video, "The Promise of Smile"
http://youtu.be/eQTmPOF6UHw

Coach Rick
February 12th, 2012, 09:21 AM
Winks, excellent! Perhaps one of your best ski poems. Motivating, moving, triumphant. Really conveys the message of how important this sport has been in your life, and of the powerful rewards it carries the potential to deliver to others too. And the video and music is so well done, really puts it over the top and makes the whole message package come together.

Winks
February 12th, 2012, 09:45 AM
Thank you CR! Been working on this one for a while!! It's one of my favorites!

SMJ
February 13th, 2012, 11:20 AM
Winks, I liked it a lot too. Let me ask, do you also have these as just text, or is the multimedia format the one and only way you present your poems?

Winks
February 13th, 2012, 01:59 PM
SMJ, they start out as purely text poems and then I put them into IMovie to create a video. Thanks for commenting. I started out just writing text poems, got a Mac with IMovie and did voice overs and then I saw "What the Dog Perhaps Hears" and started making videos with music -- in part because the music and pictures
add so much to the whole thing.......I'm not exactly e.e. cummings, Robert Frost, etc. etc.......

Winks
March 1st, 2012, 06:52 PM
A poem by me on Parkinson's Disease with skiing as the metaphor.


Facing Into the Fall

I am watching
from the lip
above a steep cornice
visualizing my body
facing straight down the hill,
falling into the turn.

But ahead I see a line
of shabbily dressed neurons.
They are disappearing,
one after another
over a ledge,
dropping into their last
no-fall zone.

I ski after them
But I cannot watch.
My body hugs the mountain,
shivering,
turning away.

Where is the cavalry?
Where is Doug Coombs?

There, among the rocks,
motionless,
they stare at the sky,
smiling.

Little Tiger
March 1st, 2012, 09:14 PM
Very moving Winks

Fights with nasty diseases really suck huh?

Winks
March 1st, 2012, 10:33 PM
Thanks LT. Yes, they do. Lots of challenges you could just as soon pass on!

Winks
March 28th, 2012, 10:45 AM
Today's poem is fairly disturbing though it ends on an upbeat note. It's a momentary reflection, which I hope will change over time. No comments are needed or desired.


Untitled


From the back side of the moon,
I watch the ice crystals fall,
like paratroopers
into a war zone.

The arcs are bloody trails,
full of carnage,
stalked by crusaders
and their emblazoned crosses.

The snow is red now.

I will search for fields of green,
within.

Winks
April 4th, 2012, 11:36 PM
An expanded and revised version of the above poem:


Excavation


From the dark side of the moon,
I watched ice crystals fall,
like paratroopers
into a war zone.

Their arcs drew
borders in blood
across a vast span
of blizzard.

“God wills it”
they called
with each strike
of the sword,
cutting away
the softness
of gentle powder,
leaving behind
clear blue ice.

I searched
for the safety
of Mother Mountain,
the towering spirit
of pines,
the rising wings
of free form flight.

But the snow
had turned red,
melted under
the righteous heat
of the sun.
The Sahara stretched
to infinity.

Where
are the fields of green
.I trusted in,
the spring of still waters?

The call whispered
from a great distance,
the dark side of the moon.

It said, “Turn the light on,
within
and look again.”

LiquidFeet
April 5th, 2012, 05:39 AM
Sad. Scary.

Winks
April 5th, 2012, 06:28 AM
Yes, it is definitely sad....particularly in the level of disconnect replacing what was. It is meant to do an about face at the end when the "adult" (versus a 2 year old voice) says "Look at this again with different eyes." Still looking...........

Thanks for reading and for commenting LF!

Winks
April 10th, 2012, 01:22 AM
A link to a poem wriitten in the past for anyone who may be interested.
http://allpoetry.com/poem/6540099-Lost_Light-by-Mgmc

The light refers to just how precious trust is and the pain involved in the breaking of trust. April is National Poetry month and poets try to produce a poem//day.
Have a great art instructor for current classes and my favorite poetry professor for the literary magazine. Painting up a storm and really enjoying it! Take winter and stuff it in a dark room. May I never experience another winter so full of hard edges breaking into shards of glass! All the best to all of you. Just stopping by.

Winks
April 12th, 2012, 11:48 AM
Today's poem is a more upbeat. The prompt for the poem was "Interviewing for the position of your life."

Learning to Drive


Two year olds may stamp their feet,
frown at people who do not understand,
the unceasing reach
for a hand to hold,
a guide in the dark.

The lights of a small world
go out when MOTHER
is dragged away
without reason,
without explanation.

Knuckles forever knocking
against locked windows
are always bloody.

The child appears to navigate
the passing of years,
9 AM to 7 PM days,
the gathering of larger scale toys.

But the two year old
is always in the driver’s seat;
sometimes veering
into oncoming traffic.

Thee two year old
is always there,
as though alone,

until her memories
find a route to the distance
of long ago.

In that moment,
the 56 year old woman
holds the little girl fast,
promises to never
let go of her hand.

With a husband and dog,
they are four.

In the background
there are also friends smiling
even when the car
is heading straight at them.

I am by far the best candidate
for this position
because, at age 56,
I am finally
enrolled in driving school.

Winks
April 12th, 2012, 01:26 PM
The poem above is one of the best poems I have written (to date).

SMJ
April 12th, 2012, 03:30 PM
Very nice winks. Reminds me of something I wrote many years ago:

Life is Like a Car




My Life is a car. I am the driver.


If it’s running ok, I can ignore the annoying little problems and body rot. I can also try to fix it.


In my quest for self-improvement and self-betterment, I focus on the vehicle. I change things in my life that I hope will make me happy. I even change things about myself - exercising for example.


Even my body is merely a vehicle. A vehicle is something that gets something else from one place or person to another. A musician is a vehicle for a composer’s ideas and feelings.


What am I using the vehicle, my life, to do?


I should focus on the driver, and on the purpose of my trip - not only on the car.


Many happy people drive clunkers, and there are plenty of miserable ones with perfect lives!

Winks
April 12th, 2012, 03:57 PM
Nice poem Smidge! Agree with you re: purpose of the trip.... I think my car is stalled by the side of the road......but I also think its repairable.
Thanks for posting it!