Category Archives: poem

Dallas, Texas

Dallas…

The city of evil wizards

Think T. Boone Pickens

Think H. Ross Perot

A Red Neon Pegasus

Flies among the high-rise tops

Downtown

The Medieval Times Castle

Holds jousting tournaments

Alongside Interstate 35E

The Once and Future King

Was slain in Dealy Plaza

And Camelot was no more

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Filed under autobiography, poem, poetry

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

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.

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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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Filed under education, humor, kids, poem, poetry, teaching

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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Filed under artwork, clowns, goofy thoughts, humor, nudes, Paffooney, poem, poetry, strange and wonderful ideas about life

The Reds and the Blues

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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Filed under artwork, Paffooney, poem, poetry

Drawing Girls for Art Day

As a boy, drawing girls was always important to me. I didn’t understand them. I couldn’t control them other than to make them dislike me. I couldn’t get away from them… but I could draw them. I could completely control what the picture looked like. And I could make them be whatever I wanted.

Lines and shapes and contours… a smirk on the lips… a twinkle in the eye.

Mysterious… inscrutable… attractive… weird….

Infuriating… beautiful… sassy… and rude.

Sugar and spice, they say…

With everything nice, they say…

Yet still with the power to kill and to eat me.

Cute girls and sweet girls…

The proper and neat girls….

Girls with no clothes on…

And girls I’m afraid of.

I have to draw girls just to understand me.

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Filed under artwork, drawing, Paffooney, poem, poetry

That Spirit of Adventure (in pictures by Mickey)

There is a life of Adventure out there, beyond the castle gate.

And you must seek and find it, my young, impatient son.

And you must seek to find it, in order to be great.

And maybe slay some dragons, to prove just what you’ve done.

Or maybe take a fatal risk, to shine light upon your fate.

And travel down life’s highways, to prove the honors that you’ve won.

But show some caution, and patience, don’t be late,

For the Spirit of Adventure is not a ghost, my son.

But, it may be a mummy when you meet upon that date,

So take some good advice, my boy, and speedy you must run!

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The Iris of the Eye

Maxfield Parrish = the Girl with the Watering Can

Blue eyes, brown eyes… see differently,

Bur the eyes still see,

Immune to bright sun

Or comfortable with the blue-black shadow.

Whatever the color of the eye… the seeing is the important thing.

Have you ever noticed, that all the best artists,

The ones who see and record what they see the best,

Are now dead and gone?

And all we have left of them

Are the artifacts,

What their eyes beheld,

What their hand captured and interpreted,

In paint

Or picture

In book

Or song.

Or is it only that… the new eyes remain yet to be discovered?

Whatever color your eye is now,

The iris of the eye,

Won’t you look with me?

To see?

What yet we may uncover?

Not as good as Georgia O’Keefe, but still sexy and beautiful… even if it is by Mickey.

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Filed under artwork, commentary, empathy, insight, inspiration, poem, poetry

From the Darkness Comes the Light

It is a rule, I think,

From the Start of Everything.

Darkness always must come first

Before the Stars can Sing.

No matter how Black

The bad thing really feels,

It cannot go from bad to Worse

Without Goodness on its heels.

And from our many foibles

And Monumental Blunders,

We must learn valid lessons

To discover Any Wonders.

But Dark the road ahead now seems,

And the Light We See is far away.

But steadily we trek towards the dawn,

And Bright Lights of another Day.

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***** I really had in mind another long and laborious complaining post today. But somehow it only morphed into doggerel verse. Sorry about that. Bad poets can’t help but inflict the stupid thoughts in their poet-guts on the unsuspecting sometimes. While I’m at it, I haven’t yet shared with you the FREE BOOK PROMOTION for March. This book, celebrating its first birthday, is free from this moment until midnight tomorrow night, 3/23/21.

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Filed under feeling sorry for myself, 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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Filed under artwork, autobiography, Paffooney, poem