Poetry Corner of Rhyme 

We make out of the quarrel with others, rhetoric, but of the quarrel with ourselves, poetry.
William Butler Yeats - (1865- 1939)
 
  Lyrical Passion Poetry E-Zine © 2007-2015       P.O. Box 17331    Arlington, VA 22216

MY KINGDOM COME
by Lee Evans

 
A slow, organic growth;
A Poem on every leaf:
As from its Parent Tree
The infant suckling creeps,
And reads aloud its lines
To Stars that grace the skies.

Its branches sway in Peace,
And Nature is its kin;
All manner of wild fowl
And tame may roost therein.
At length its will is worked
In Heaven as on Earth.




HER ATLAS by Lee Evans

Her heart was deformed,
But she risked her life:
Her children were born
To be her delight.

He was her mainstay,
Her anchor and shield.
On his shoulders lay
The world he concealed.

The years slowly paced,
Her name on a list
Of hearts to be placed
In breast after breast.

In time came their chance
For life out of death.
She failed the transplant.
He breathed her last breath.

But one thing I know:
He bore in his will
Enough heart for both--
And bears her heart still.

 

FEBRUARY SECOND  by Lee Evans

The ground hog that lives underneath our shed:
If he’d come out today, would he have seen
His shadow and slipped back to where he’d been
These past few months, snug in his home-made bed,
Digesting all the flora that has fed
His ravenous and constant foraging?
Or was the sun behind a cloud, passing
Just when he wriggled out his sleepy head?
Had we made time to see him, we would know;
But we were as preoccupied as he
When he was nibbling on our garden rows.
Our day was spent desiring shadows cast
Before us in the sunlight, while his sleep
Absorbed his appetite through winter’s fast.



OLD ARGOS (a villanelle) 
by Mel Goldberg

Old Argos looked, then wagged his tail and died.
Penelope was saved.  His task was done,
Knowing Ulysses now was at her side.

He’d snapped at suitors’ heels.  They cursed his hide.
Now after twenty years, through rain and sun,
Old Argos looked, then wagged his tail and died.

He saw the beggar, but knew the man inside.
His reward was, although he could not run, 
Knowing Ulysses now was at his side.

He took a breath, lay down his head, and sighed.
His eyes could close.  Life was complete.  He’d won.
Old Argos looked, then wagged his tail and died.

Telemachus gloried as well, and cried,
“Beware you profligates.  He is the one!”
He knew Ulysses now was at his side.

The Wanderer, united with his bride,
Destroyed the suitors, and embraced his son.
Old Argos looked, then wagged his tail and died,
Knowing Ulysses now was at his side.



TAKE ME BACK TO ARIZONA by Mel Goldberg

Take me back to Arizona
       To the desert and clean air,
Where coyotes chase jack rabbits
       Among the prickly pear.
Where hawks float on an updraft
       Looking for their evening meal
And saguaros shrug their shoulders
       When they hear desert mice squeal.

Where a man can see forever
       And there’s no end of land.
Where the rattlesnakes and lizards
       Leave strange tracks across the sand
And the mighty Colorado
       Carved its way through rock and stone
Where a million stars team up at night
       To make you know alone.

Take me where no buses rumble
       And no smog or high-rise blight
Hides the sun and the horizon
       Turning day into twilight.
Where the ancient Anasazi
       Built cliff homes of clay and stone
And the Navajo and Hopi
       Make a barren land their own.

I want places rich in beauty
       Indian artifacts and lore,
So I can hike the canyons
       And the red rocks I adore;
I will wander through the desert
       And let others wonder why.
Take me home to Arizona
       When I’m old.  And there I’ll die.




FLEETINGS     by Lad Moore


Hankies in my purse for every sneeze,
Teaching him to say ‘thank you, please.’
Rubbing a lump from a fall from a tree,
Blowing iodine to cool a banged-up knee.
Walking to school that first awful day,
Still there at recess to watch him play.
Teaching how love is a measuring cup;
 A double helping from his new pound pup.
Cheers from the bleachers at every game,
Trophy on the mantle to mark his fame.
Helping him remember his words to say,
Applauding his lines at the school stage play.
Tying his tie for the first school dance,
Watching young love become true romance.
Woe a furtive kiss on her porch some night,
She’s stealing him!—Glad I missed that sight.
Suddenly gone one day in a shower of tears,
Off to college for four distant years.
On graduation he bid me shake his hand,
“No hugs Mom!  I’m a grown up man! ”



DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME   
by Lee Evans

Long days long nights long
For the time that never stays
We set back the clocks
And never get that hour back
Though it be but an hour away
 

And you are not here
Wherever else you may be
Yet more present now
Than when you dwelt in the space
Through which I strain to see

 
 
Peeping Tom   by Daniel Klawitter

A lecherous and milky moon
is observing us from the sky—
sneaking a peeking look from beneath
the grey eyebrow of a cloud


like a voyeur’s sickly eye.


Far too late we realize
our nakedness has been laid bare—
as we flash like silver dollars
beneath the moon’s unblinking stare.



An Epistemology Of Flesh 
by Daniel Klawitter


The suffering of the body
is most factual.
As real as a rock;
absolutely actual.


Pain is certain knowledge
on a cellular level.
An epistemology of flesh
as hard and sharp as metal.


But love can loom as large
as what pain can comprehend.
So we turn to metaphysics,
when we break instead of bend.


 
The Roe-Buck     by Claire Everett
 
Along the cawing, bleating path, our breath of the climb
As mist on the air, a tread of synchrony and here
And there a kissing gate – always time
For a kiss as the human world begins to disappear
And then, be still! ..that sense, that delicate inkling,
Tip of the tongue, back of the mind sensation,
Not thought, illusory, a subtle twinkling
On the surface of awareness, preceding explanation.
The searching darkness of those eyes was a soft hand
On my shoulder before I turned to meet the knowing gaze.
A roebuck in the thicket, poised and perfect in his land
Above and beyond the grime and din of human days,
A long moment of knowing and being known
In that goddess hearth of earth and wood and stone.

We were as flames rekindled, made to melt and weld
In a moment that crackled with the magic of illusion,
Held in each other's eyes, almost as lovers meld
One with the other in that ecstasy of visual fusion.
But, oh, so brief was this sweet enchantment,
Transient as a drop of dew in the dawn’s gold glare
And a single leaf in a forest of leaves, a fragment
Of a greater picture, so much spoken in that wordless stare.
His hooves of the earth, his young tines of the trees
He said, come back to Her. And silent, I replied,
I am already here. And our words reached Her on the breeze.
A stirring of the leaves, his work done, She called him to Her side.
He turned to show the blaze of winter and softly went
And so bequeathed to me the ages in that timeless moment.


At the Grave of a Fool        by Susan Sundwall

Here are very old teeth;
here is a piece of bone.
Here lies the man who owned them;
his folly hard etched in stone.

‘Tis many an hour til judgment
he said to himself each day;
laid back in his sinful indolence,
scoffing at those who pray.

His eye on the soaring grain towers
his heart near the brilliant gold;
deep in his black soul hating
those whom he’d bought and sold.

“I have time, I have will, I have treasure!
Oh, how they envy my place.”
In truth, he echoed the longing
of much of the human race.

But— when had he sought out his savior?
Or when had he come to the well?
Perhaps his eyes only opened
at the yawning gates of Hell.

Attune your ears, my children,
for what I tell you is true;
this fool from his Life was parted;
God forbid it should happen to you.

Susan is a freelance writer, children's playwright and sometime poet from upstate New York.



Strings of a Harp    by Michael O’Connor
 
Oh pluck me a string
Sweet resonate sound,
And play to the fancy
Of those gathered round.
Collect up our minds,
From dark wistful knolls,
Awaken our hearts,
Sow peace in our souls.
Caress golden clarsach
And bow to enthuse,
Call forth the heavens
To bring up his muse
From a body at rest
Under the moss,
In green rolling valleys
Of Carrickmacross.



The Shannon In December   by Michael O’Connor
 
Her damp piercing fragrance clings fast,
Pulled like a wounded ox cart ‘round
Obstructions of crumbling stone towers
Choking out the river’s soft gurgling sound.
Where such waters in far darker valleys
Bring forth sustenance for life,
And color tapestries in faded shades
In fields tilled by cataclysmic strife
Here the river runs a different course
Ripping back hope with cold steel
Needling nails and bleeding warmth
From bodies whom before her kneel.
Her symphony of destitute disillusionment
Runs below her shallow flow
Pulling dreams of better days to drown
Beneath its vicious undertow.
But like a killer guilty of callous crime
Prosecuted by it prey,
The mighty Shannon slips her noose,
And silently lurks away.
 





Daybreak  by Michael O’Connor
 
Cassiopeia and the mighty Orion
Extinguished by dawn’s light,
And a pale blue prophetic haze
Pushes swift past the night.
A chorus of gathering songbirds
Taunt the lumbering morn,
As they trample light and play
Amidst waves of golden corn.
Their minuet rises and tangles
In wisps of hanging mist,
Balanced above a glass glazed pond
That heavens angels kissed.
Creeping streams of orange hues
Cast their warming glow,
On softened fields of dew lit grass
On rolling hills below.
Ranks of loyal tulips turn
To mark Apollo’s run,
Bowing their burning petals east
To the arrival of the sun.
 
 

 A Fallen Tree  by Michael O’Connor

In walking into an autumn wood as
Under the rise of dawn, my morning eyes
fell swift upon a slow shadow breaking
Earth’s soft curve, hulking in its demise .
A tree fallen, setting on its greatest branch
In deep sodden tracks of crusted snow,
As an aged man taking rest on a fence
From a midsummer sun’s blistering glow.
Creaking under intensity of the night
And singed all about by bitter cold,
Struggling as a wounded soldier on
A muddled field of battle, less he fold
And expire, becoming as close with
Earth in life as is possible in death.
Yet under the silver mist and lunar
Blush of the night the last breath
Of the mighty tree remains unbroken,
Fixed as Cerberus to guard a world
Below the frozen crust of the earth,
Black shadow in its eyes impearled.
Weather and time will ensure it succumbs 
To the warmth of natural decay,
And the remarkable spirit that holds the
Tree up, will wither with time away.
 



AN EMPTY NEST?   by Peter C. Venable
 
(For Ken Wilber) 
 
This evolution has no rest
for I or We or It;
it's all a nest . . . in nest . . . in nest . . .
and each sifts down its grit.
 
Since when is height the better view
or span the viewer's quest?
I'll take the bottom's residue
and blame the upper nest!
 
What's at the top, the summit's peak?
There sits an empty nest?!
This is the height, the gray hairs seek—
a formless Everest?
 
I dissent from that Ascent
and live my life unblest.
I favor one of sheer Descent,
and nest in Spirit's breast.
 
by Peter C. Venable

 

 GLENDIS’ SPIRIT   by Peter C. Venable
 
I shout with wind that blows out stars.
I shout with wind that bares sandbars.
The wind roars back and grinds down peaks.
The wind roars back and sears my cheeks.
I blow back wind that echoes wide.
I blow back wind that halts the tide.
The wind hums back and strokes my head.
The wind hums back and cools my bed.
I whisper wind that sheathes a knife.
I whisper wind that soothes a life.
The wind breathes back: I’ll raise your soul.
The wind breathes back: I’ll fill you whole.
I breathe Breath in—I breathe wind out.
When breath is gone—I have no doubt
My breath will sing—my spirit shouts.
 
(Inspired by Glenis Redmond.)
 

 

THE SIX WISE MEN AND THE CAMEL  by Peter C. Venable
  
 
These six men, quite logical,
To learning much inclined,
Had come to see a camel
(Though rumored some were blind).
 
The first approached the camel,
(He thought himself profound)
But pondered as he rubbed its side--
"What camel’s thin and round?"
 
The second neared the smoother end,
And reached with probing hand.
"This does not seem like camel's hide,
but rather feels like strands."
 
With scorn the third approached,
And groped with finger stern.
He cried "By Jove!" and yanked it back,
With tip singed black and burned.
 
The fourth had eyes acute,
But muttered as he scanned--
"The smoke's so thick I cannot see--
Has anyone a fan?"
 
The fifth and sixth gave irate stares.
"There is no camel here!
And you who see, you best feign blind,
Or wave to your careers!"
 
The camel watched them buff his hearse,
And hummed the whole day through.
Old Joe and friends enlarge their purse
With smoke, or snuff, or chew.
  


 
Agnostics Make Miserable Boyfriends   by Gretchen E. Tessmer
 
Well, the lights are on in heaven
and we're headed home tonight
but your dreams won't get much sweeter
than they were the other night
 
when you whistled hallelujah
and you prayed for peace of mind
and the god of angels turned his head,
his face ablaze and you too blind,
 
and having nothing more to say
(you questioned all the world away),
you waited for a sign.
 
But nothing came!
 
Sun rose and set the same.
You dressed for work and slept all night.
At times, you told me I was right
then took it back in shame,
preserving self-respect from loss.
 
Goddamn self-respect you said.
 
I paid no never mind to that
but wondered at the time you lost
in thinking all these thoughts you thought.
Around my neck, I hung a cross.
 
You wondered what it meant.



MERGE    by John Grey
 
Feel from the boat, how easier to row,
Two mighty rivers entwined, reconciled
Each flow subservient to the other’s flow,
I came here many times, a curious child,
To witness forces greater than my own
Heel to emulsion, flat, wide watery plain,
For reasons, to the naked eye, unknown,
That experts dispute more than they explain.
 
Two people never merged so peacefully,
Two arguments could never jibe so clear,
Two thoughts inside one head could never be
Synergic as one current to its peer.
Two rivers showed how they could flow as one,
As nothing else in life has ever done.
 
 
 
 
SONNET AT THE EDGE    by John Grey
 
It’s one half step, a ledge, prepare to leap,
As if the sane world pushes from behind,
Or firm hands of humiliated mind
That, with such cruel insistence, can’t help keep
In focus plain,  what smolders hard and deep
Within these ones of that defenseless kind
Who, in the dregs of logic, sadly bind
Untroubled end to potent troubled sleep.
 
Yet here she is,  most buoyant, rested, clear
Of head, and answering the phone, the door,
To give lie to a precipice so near;
She heard sublime impertinence implore
To jump is peace, and yet, she’s well, she’s here,
When she vows she can’t take it any more. 



Daily Stroll               by Melissa Davis

Double trouble and
Bad luck too -
A walk around would
Have been for you.

Too busy with calls
And that phone
At your ear -
In your world alone.

Didn’t you see the workers
Near and the signs
That stated caution here –
For this there must be fines.
 
The trot down the street
And under the ladder
In your shallow life
What does it matter?
Matter it may and matter it must
For bad luck won’t be left in the dust.



Sick      by Melissa Davis

I feel so sick I don’t know what to do.
Every bone in my body aches through and through.
My throat burns a thousand fires
And my eyes droop more than I’ve ever been tired.
A stomach spasm has me doubled over,
Its burning pit has turned me sober.
It takes every ounce of concentration to swallow
All the vomit shooting from my abdominal hollow.
I cannot state exactly what it can be
But there are dots and flashes where I should see.
All through my jaw, mouth, and neck
I feel twinges that make me want to crack.
All my life, all day, I do nothing but lay
Counting the minutes to pass the time away.
No one pays attention or understands this affair.
If they felt as I, they would bother to care.
I am trapped like a prisoner in my bed,
How awful to be sick in the head.



Stories   by Tanvi Yenna

I dream of having a story to give.
I’ve never experienced a drive-by shooting, military recruiting,
bank looting. I smell car engines polluting, watch students computing,
and listen to Justin Timberlake suiting.
 
I dream of having a story to apply.
I’ve never watched a person die, sighing her last goodbye, sitting, wondering why, and cry.
I’ve never seen a beating so defeating, that a treating or support group meeting would only
be depleting an already eaten soul.
 
My struggles are in math class, controlling sass, calculating relative molecular mass.
I dream of having a story to tell.
Because while he dwells in his hell and she rots in that cell, their bruises swell and tears well,
while he watches her demise, I try to improvise for drive-bys, war cries, bad guys.
 
I dream of having a story to share.
Do I dare share my sheltered affairs?
I too have a burden to bear as I bare my “despair” of day care and unfair four square.
My bruises grow and tear-stained face glows as I show my foes that I don’t need the woes.
 
One day I’ll say that it’s okay, and I’ll find the gold among the gray and pray to stray from
spiked punch bowls, military control, and bullet holes.
My tale will entail details of derailing from the encouraged trail.
Inhale,
exhale.
Inhale,
exhale.



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