Free Verse & Prose Poetry 

Page 7.

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 © 2007-2020
GRASSLANDS        by John Grey

Grass, grass and more grass -
with trees, it's the lungs of flatland,
yellow grass, brown grass, green grass,
fluttering sun like insect wing -
we've been four days driving through Nebraska.
farmland, siloes, wheat, cattle - the usual -
but also stopped off at the Santee Indian Reservation,
bought souvenirs in an attempt to assuage inherent guilt,
cruised in tempo with the slow-rolling Niobrara,
hiked the forested hills of Pine Ridge,
crossed miles of prairie sandreed,
blue grama, little bluestem, needlegrass,
meadows of purple lupin,
down to the Agate Fossil Beds,
the home port of so many Miocene mammals.

For hours on end, we've been hypnotized
by vast sight-lines, endless sky,
and now, we tread ancient footsteps
of Miohippus, the Adam and Eve of the modern horse.
Menoceras, a pint-sized rhino,
Daeodon, the giant pig-like ungulate
and so many other remnants of our human-less history.

All these species wiped from the earth,
the site might stand for death,
but we prefer the euphemistic place of rest,
which we do, on a comfy motel bed
or parked, and staring out at
nothing for miles but grass, grass and more grass -
north, south, all the way to the horizon,
indifferent to who we are
and how weary we may be.

This prairie is a cathedral that needs no congregation.
From blue-dome
to the willing soil beneath,
breeze grips the stalks like strings,
tolls the whispering bells.

SATURDAY MORNING         by Lee Evans


Hand in hand,

Barefoot along the edge of the tide,

Walking along between the ebb and flow,

Going with no particular place to go:

Sea and sky, infinite horizon,

Tracks in the sand following behind.

Forty years do not separate us,

Clasped between our fingers.

Silence accompanied by incessant whispers

Hissing in our conch-like ears,

Soothing, alluring, awakening us.

Sand and tide,

Tracks and memories,

Expectations in mist on the horizon.

Memoranda      by Joel Schueler 

In fifty years hence
this old tree will be gone but forgotten
not by Earth's tomb.
You and I, the living, the inanimate
will one day too be of buried matter,
but never can a soul be cloaked by
leaves enough in all the sky.

IVY          by John Grey

this ivy could cover

entire east coast colleges  -

here it wraps around maple and hemlock^

and rotting fences,

an abandoned cottage in the woods,

hangs from boughs '.

like streamers,

tickles the stream

that cuts through

steep stone ledges,

then tumbles down

into a foamy pool

of turtles and trout

where water skateboards

up the side of itself

and sprays

inquisitive insects -

Countenance of Ferns
              by Meg Smith 

Away from the band and applause,
folding chairs on the trustees' field, 
wedge shoes and flapping gowns, 
I'm standing on the boardwalk. 
A woodland emerges and immerses me. 
I have no time for contemplation, 
but I will pass my hand through these fronds.
We have a place to keep. I can give them
every silence. I can confess them 
to every heart's darkness, even as the lights fade. 

Vanishing Dance
           by Meg Smith 

Have you seen her --
a star of stars,
in the blue-black lot,
a missing shoe.
Circle  around the water,
circle around the fallen trees.
So go the limping girls,
as steps appear and recede.

A SONG FOR HER LAMP       by Mark J. Mitchell
Beauty is too often an obscure lamp…
                                                   —Paul Eluard
                                                    For JJ
                        When you sing beauty to beauty you waste
                        unskilled notes. Praise drops sharp as rain on rock.
                        So her cool eyes mistake your open face
                        for some stone-fixed door with a hidden lock
                        no key signature can open. Your bass
                        clef keeps your song distant—the quiet knock
                        on her last door or note from a stuck clock
                        she didn’t set, closing her perfect face
                        when you sing. Her beauty’s her beauty. Waste
                        your skill on falling praise. Carve notes on rock.

Mustache Man       by Yash Seyedbagheri

Mustache man comes to me at night, voice transmitted through nightmare, revealing reality. Too honest. Use women, life is a jungle. You’re too artistic. His mustache bristles. Identical to my own. I wish I could shave it off, but it’s an omnipotent, genetic fungus. Same words are uttered daily, like Groundhog Day, except without Bill Murray’s fun. I take solace in kindness, try to give, Episcopal altar boy seeking spiritual patience, reading friends great tomes, offering feedback. Bidding strangers fleeting smile. How empty it feels. I hope his cynicism hasn’t drained kindness. I can hope, hope a fortress easily destructible.

No Comment    by Don Thompson

This far out, this late,
the night wind’s nonstop complaining
gets on your nerves.

Every excuse wears thin
as foliage on half-dead mesquite trees—
shrubs, really.

You want to hear something upbeat,
but even crickets
have cloistered themselves,
taking a vow of silence.

And the disenchanted moon
has no comment.

It’s that kind of world now.



Tomato Field     by Don Thompson

Only a few weeks up, the plants
keep their interpersonal distance—
uniquely identical.

Each has its secret green intent.

Come summer, though, you’ll see
an inseparable snarl
of tough little thick-skinned tomatoes
for the paste market, their vines
invading each other’s space.

Nocturne No. 200       by J.T. Whitehead

At sun-down the far off birds all moved through the sky,
like pepper to an empty porcelain plate, or like us into each other,
all sharing a ravenous hunger for something beyond this...

HOME BODIES.       by Lee Evans


Small countries have less people to command.

Although they have machines to get things done,

They choose to do all of their work by hand.

These people study death and stay at home;

Their boats and carriages rust in their yards;

Their weapons gather dust on armories’ shelves.

Their body language speaks instead of words.

Content to be no more than what they are,

They don’t compare their neighbors to themselves.

They don’t believe the news that they have heard.

Though dogs may bark and cocks may strut and crow,

They don’t complain or seek to peek and pry.

How can they know what others seem to know?

How can they see with someone else’s eyes?


           Based very loosely upon Tao Te Ching #80

                    by Dr.Piku Chowdhury

The way ahead is obscure
The wind piercing and wailing loud,
Your dishevelled tresses fly in shivering sighs
The sky hangs heavy with darkened clouds.
Go you must but your pace is slow
Still trees appalled in silent shroud.
The wistful gaze of offspring clings
To your hesitant steps tonight,
The coiling roots of verdant love
Arrest the restive swallow’s flight.
Leave you must and dimming lights
Of the parting weary day, opens to
Vistas new and long, sonorous chanting loud resound;
Honeyed heavy drowsy air
Beckon you to the realms beyond.
Chants the priest as fiery flames
caress the shunned still mortal cage,
“Om madhu bata writayate, madhu ksharanti sindhawa”
May the air be honeyed and pure for your pristine journey ahead.
Yet faltering steps are hugged by yarns
Of blood and yearnings, lovelorn bonds;
Yarns of myriad memories strong.
Your head hangs low in helpless wish
Of touching every mourning tear\
Kiss them, love them tender anew
And ease away the pain and fear.
The moon is late to rise tonight
The sandhyamoni takes time to bloom
Clock hand frozen in dull dead sloth
Of wilful prolonged inertia.
Yet the call of a new sojourn,
The wailing terns for a voyage beckon.
Farewell sister, the ship will leave
The earthly port for a new abode,
Sighing swelling ocean froth
Would caress the journey’s bleeding course.
Stars would perhaps die tonight
The winds in sails will blow so soft,
As dawn breaks here, then may you know
Roots will writhe and stretch far strong,
Every blossom in future sun
Would breathe your dreams and sing your song.

NOTE: “Om madhu bata writayate, madhu ksharanti sindhawa” is a sacred hymn from the Rig Veda.

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