Category Archives: poem

In the Outhouse

In the Outhouse (a poem by a terrible poet)

So, here I sit for a while to ponder,

While I’m taking care of needs down yonder.

I read the paper’s news-less ruses.

And think that here, at least, the thing has uses.

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The Reds and the Blues (revisited due to Covid)

Lord, grant me peace

In times of great violence

Grant me wisdom

As everything around me burns in ignorance

Let the cold blues

Be tempered with warm reds

Let me juggle life’s fortunes and misfortunes alike

Red balls over blue balls

Yellow, purple, and green

Over and under

The spiraling path

I’ll keep written records

In journals with pictures

And share my discoveries

With any who’ll listen

And I’ll always keep close in my heart

The people and places and memories

That mattered and shattered

The whole color wheel

Because Shakespeare once showed us the whole color wheel

Is necessary for magic to form on the page

And though yellow is also a primary too

It’s the reds that warm life as the color of blood

And the blues let us chill as the deeper color of ice

But let there no period be

To stop the color progression

Of this warm/cold blank verse

Nor rhythm or rhyme sully

The Reds and the Blues

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66 Life is Awesome… but Painful 99

A Dance Troop from TIk Tok

Life is a dance that you keep dancing while you live.

The steps are difficult and hold your attention ransom.

So, often, you do not see the beauty of its pattern and flow,

Until you are so old and slow that you can barely take the next timely step.

Life is an exercise of making meaning and value of all that you are given.

The factory in which you make that life is only rarely comfortable.

Loud and grouchy managers provide the materials unfairly and with austerity,

And they constantly interfere with your work and make your hammers dull.

Yet, at the end of the job, you will marvel at what you have made.

Life is an operatic performance, full of color, flashy swirls of movement, and arias hard to sing.

And you will strut and fret your hour upon the stage, terrified you’ll miss the high note,

And fear of your inevitable solo will freeze the butterflies in your guts into sharp and painful fears.

And some fat lady in a Viking helmet and chainmail flits about trying to sing the notes that bring the opera to its end.

And when you belt out the song at center stage that is meant to bring the house down, and the audience applauds,

You will fall back exhausted, confident that it was your best possible performance, and worth your life to perform it.

Life is awesome… but painful.

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Ta-Da-Ra!

On the mantel

Of our home hearth

Sit the objects

That give life worth

A candle lighting

The dark of earth

A cup once painted

With paint and mirth

A Snoopy plaque

Announcing birth

And ceramic doll

Smiling o’er the hearth.

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Re-Minders

Lately I have been having memory troubles. You know what I mean, when you walk through a doorway with a definite purpose in mind.and then, on reaching the other room, you have no earthly idea what that purpose was. It happens to me regularly. In fact, I can even start writing a sentences, and then I… What was I talking about? Oh, yes. I need to practice writing some more spectacularly bad poetry, before I forget how to do it.

Why did I use this picture? I don’t know. I have forgotten.

Re-minders

Sometimes…

My mind slips out of my left ear…

And I can’t remember things.

So, I have to search under the table…

To find my mind…

And then I remember that that’s not how a mind works.

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Forgetfulness

Tell me now, before I forget…

What was I supposed to remember?

Was it something religious, important, and good…

That comes towards the end of December?

Was I supposed to buy something for somebody then?

I wrote a note to myself in September…

Oh, gosh! How could I ever forget that?

Now the fire is nothing but embers.

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Finding Fairies in my Hair

Why do I have elflocks all snarled up in my hair?

Surely some fairies have been twisting it up there.’

But if I can catch one and make him confess,

He claims I don’t comb it, and that’s why it’s a mess.

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Doofy Me

If I forget everything I ever knew,

Would it be possible that I am still smarter than you?

Old Socrates said he knew nothing at all.

And so he asked questions from Winter through Fall.

I hope I retain enough brain to remember

That everyone needs to wear clothes in December.

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Yep, I still obviously remember how to write spectacularly bad poetry. It is my contribution to literature. Virtually all poets will be able to say, “At the very least, I am a better poet than Beyer.”

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Filed under autobiography, goofy thoughts, humor, Paffooney, poem, poetry

The World Does Not See Me

The world does not see me. I am invisible. I could invade your planet and the world would never know it… or care.

I have told my stories, sung my songs, and raised my family in the shadows while the world was unaware.

I’ve shaped lives from other cultures, and made myself a home in the quiet places there.

My imagination has been soaring, and I create things in mid-air.

And I’ve not forgotten heartland dreams, and the good lands all so fair.

And the world just does not see me, though my eyes, they are upon it as it’s around me everywhere.

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Found Poetry

by Sergio Aragon├ęs

Found poetry begins with three found things

Picked up at random

Like three pictures from my internet gallery

Plagiarized from somebody’s fandom

oil painting by Maxfield Parrish

And then you have to sit and have a thought

About how it fits together

To make a stupid poem you’ve wrought

That’s not about the weather

Movie image by Woody Allen featuring Woody Allen

You must pretend the very best you can

There’s sense in what you’ve found

And it fits together as if you had a plan

That was always quite profound.

———————————————————————————————–wow!-a-weird-divider————————-

Writing a found poem

Okay, this is the essay part. That first part is a terrible poem written by me to illustrate how to make your own found poem. Of course, you should know that I was not a natural-born poet. I am among the lower percentages of America’s worst-possible poets. Right there somewhere between the poetry books of Farley Bumbletongue and the Collected Musings of Hans Poopferbrains of Snarkytown, Wisconsin.

But I take great pride in my abilities as a terrible poet. You see, what I mainly was, truly was, was an English teacher of middle school and high school kids. And found poems were an activity in the classroom intended to teach writing skills, creativity, and an appreciation of what a poem actually is.

I needed a large usable picture file cut out of Christmas catalogs, Walmart advertisements, newspapers, magazines (“What are those?” is the most common comment you would get out of today’s classrooms,) grocery-store bargain flyers, outdated calendars, and any other non-pornographic picture sources available.

I would hand out three random images pulled out of the picture file without looking at them to each student (or small groups of students) and then require them to create a poem of at least twelve lines with an optional rhyme scheme and rhythm.

I would have to remind them not to eat the pictures, even if they were pictures of food. And with middle school students I would have to have extra pictures for the next class to replace the ones they ate anyway.

I would tell them there was a time-limit, specified to be much shorter than the actual time I planned to give them, and then let them create horrible poetry. Near Vogon quality in its horribleness.

When all of this was done, we would have a good long laugh by sharing the pictures and poems, and find out who the truly wacky and perverted poets were.

Now, don’t go telling parents that we teachers are wasting their children’s precious learning time this way, but it is not I lesson I created. Simply a lesson I used at least once every year.

But the real question on my mind is, “Given three random pictures, what kind of poem would you write?” Feel free to share.

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The Philosophy of Bad Poetry

I do write poetry. But I must admit, I am not a serious poet.  I am a humorist at heart, so I tend to write only goofy non-serious poems like this one;

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So here is a poem that rhymes but has too much “but-but-but” in it.  A poem about pants should not have too many “buts” in it.  One butt per pair, please.  So this is an example of spectacularly bad poetry.  Why do we need bad poetry?  Because it’s funny.  And it serves as a contrast to the best that poetry has to offer.

As a teacher I remember requiring students to memorize and recite Robert Frost’s poem, “The Road Not Taken”.  Now this sort of assignment is a rich source of humorous stories for another day.  Kids struggle to memorize things.  Kids hate to get up in front of the class and speak with everybody looking at them.  You get a sort of ant-under-a- magnifying-glass-in-the-sun sort of effect.  But in order to truly get the assignment right and get the A+,  you have to make that poem your own.  You have to live it, understand it, and when you reach that fork in the road in your own personal yellow wood, you have to understand what Frost was saying in that moment.  That is the life experience poetry has a responsibility to give you.

roads-diverging

Hopefully I gave that experience to at least a few of my students.

Bad poetry makes you more willing to twirl your fingers of understanding in the fine strands of good poetry’s hair.  (Please excuse that horrible metaphor.  I do write bad poetry, after all.)

But all poetry is the same thing.  Poetry is “the shortest, clearest, best way to see and touch the honest bones of the universe through the use of words.”  And I know that definition is really bad.  But it wasn’t written on this planet.  (Danged old Space Goons!)  Still, knowing that poetry comes from such a fundamental place in your heart, you realize that even bad poetry has value.  So, I will continue writing seriously bad poetry in the funniest way possible.  And all of you real poets who happen to read this, take heart, I am making your poetry look better by comparison.

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Filed under humor, insight, irony, philosophy, poem, poetry, Uncategorized

Every Day

Every day has its own badness.

Enough to sour the milk.

But if you put your rollerskates on,

Wool sweaters start to feel like silk.

And the rolling life goes up and down,

And you’ll probably have some spills,

But do not take the rollerskates off…

It’s worth it for the thrills.

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When the Old Mind Wanders…

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When the old mind wanders…

They tell you you’re just too slow.

But thoughts like mine drift everywhere,

And the edges of the universe… are a place to go.

 

Maybe I should write in red.

And argue with the voices

That rhyme inside my head.

And break the rhyme scheme 

Here and there

Because of what they said.

Eden

Or maybe I should write in blue

Because I’ve been thinking in the nude

And laying all my secrets bare

Which really might be rude.

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But the old mind wanders…

In the form of a poem,

And breaks and squanders

Tallest waves in mere foam.

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