Sunday, July 22, 2012

At where we meet the sea


A Beach Cleanup

Against a backdrop of ships and cruise-liners
and a horizon of grey blue reflecting a cloudy
grey sky as far as the eyes can scan,

we are here to clean this stretch of coast.

We grabbed black trash-bags and disperse,
each finding a spot of beach to pick up
what the tide has washed up.

Start with the big pieces --
the rubber tire took 3 boys
to put on its side, and roll.

Drift wood next, parts of boats --
ropes, a tangle of wires
seed weed entwined.
We freed them after much struggle
and gave up on many.

The aftermath of deck parties
-- paper plates, plastic cups
broken wine and beer bottles,
picked up with care, one by one
deposited into styrofoam boxes
that had floated up to the beach.

And then to the smaller things --

bits of plastic, aluminum cans,
alphabet fridge magnets,
vowels missing except for "U",
not my favorite letter in scrabble too.

Not all parts of the beach are tainted by wastes,
some parts seemed untouched, natural --

        wet sands pock marked with holes
        filled with little crabs, brown and
        red armored spiders with tiny claws
                                           scamper away
        as a giant approaches at the entrance
        where small piles of sand are deposited,
        and stare wondering how deep they go
        -- each a personal sanctuary, away
        from sun and skinny-legged sea birds;

        at her feet, a multitude of spiral shells
        of the belitong and chut-chut, all alive
        and lying placid on this clean spot of beach.
        This intruder suddenly aware of the devastation
        she wrecks
        with each step, quickly and with larger steps,

Day's end approaches and we gather the bags
and close them up with cable ties,
then line ourselves up forming a human-chain
conveyer belt, hand to hand, smile for smile
transporting bags of trash away from the beach
and onto a garbage truck waiting by the highway.

We breathed in the fresh sea air one last time,
said our goodbyes and left the beach to the tides.


Posted for dVerse Poetics, a prompt on process. It's dVerse Pub's 1st Anniversary celebrations week. Check out the link, and also the reading of Friedrich Schiller's The Song of the Bell by dVerse regulars.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

A bunch of drafts


Sometimes I forget
what writing is
or how it is

instead I worry
about how I'm perceived.

Write about what?

Another poem about a bee:

          there is a bee lying dead in my bathroom
                 this morning,
          I think it was the orchids in the shampoo.

And what of bees hold such fascination for me?
I like their gentle buzz but not when they are in my house.

          I didn't want to pick it up
    I did in the end,
          and threw it out the window.

Sitting here in my work(bed)room, I'm feeding
my laptop with power;

what's in this open window?

A poem about rain, a favorite thing,

         how, just before the storms come,
             the sun shines an eerie light, filtered
         through grey too thick for rainbows

             like depression simply is.

Or this:

a half finished poem about kids going to school,

         trudging along with heavy bags carrying
             their future; you can read their ambitions
         brightly highlighted in luminous shades
             in the notes they stare into the whole bus trip,
         memorizing important points to carry with them
             until the school year is out --

         just as well, none of these things matter
             in the end, it's all about timing,
         courage, luck, and the people you get to know.

And so,
back into the folders and drawers these things go.

Someday my thoughts on these will be complete,
by then you will not recognize them, nor me.


I try to avoid writing "me" poems but hopefully this one reads like a lighthearted one.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Linked up Recalling A Shade to dVerse Pub's Meeting at the Bar.

Today, we are looking back through what we have posted to DVerse and picking one for an encore. I can't decide which is the "best", so I just posted the first one that I linked to dVerse. I do think it represents the way I like to write my poems; and it's also one of the earliest poems I posted on this blog.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Plasticine -- Practice Clay


Plasticine Days

Moldable rainbow bands:

cherry red and summer green,
lifesaver orange and earthy brown,
lemon yellow, pool blue,
decolored white and concrete grey.

            Imagination without ritual;
            inspiration inborn.

            Courage overruled reasons --
            not-to, must-not, should-not.


     Rolled out
     on the table.

A train.
A loaf of bread.
A snake.

A plasticine doll posing
a walk
       on knobby feet,
a slow slouch
       caused the figure to bow.


Posted at dVerse Pub: Open Link Night (Anniversary Week).

When I started blogging again, I came across many poetry blogs and communities with their weekly get-togethers and link-ups, but by far dVerse is the best run poetry blogging community site -- there's always something interesting happening on it, a great article to read, forms to try, prompts to play with - something for everyone at anytime. Such an awesome community.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Monsters In Your Pocket


Gotta Catch 'Em All

            too much to do
            and too little time
            for the... who
            and the... what

easy to forget when we are constantly high on
millisecond moment/to/moment minute-rushes

              "gotta to catch them all"
               the young ones say

as they collect monsters
caught off the beaten path
keep them in plastic habitats
until the time comes
to fight other monsters

different monsters
different skills, pick well
while you ponder the worth
of old favorites over new
and untried potentials

                guess you can't have everything

integration comes after much practice
memory evolves to resemble
an excel worksheet --

columns of stats:

personalities and tendencies
trickled down, a pooling
of combinations basically

               scissors. paper. stone.

every new face met on the road,
an opportunity to duel
with monsters you can't refuse

it's all about elemental effectiveness,
counters divided into various degrees
-- variety makes it interesting

             if you faint, you lose.


You have to play it to understand why kids are so crazy about that pocket monster collecting culture known as Pokemon. Then again, you've probably already played this game.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Depicting a monster


Two-headed Awful Horror

Jealousy & Envy- who could quell
the furnace fire that burns in the gut
of this monstrous two-headed beast?

Caught in the glow of their eyes,
hypnotic horror inducing thoughts
magnify every failure to thrive;

arms with poisonous bite strive
to drag willing listeners into its jaws
filled with rows of three sided teeth.

For every one it eats, another arm grows
like a deadly vine, drag another one down.
This beast loves self loathe and misery;

its sinuous veins pump baseless fears
mixed with fury and malice; the beat
pulsating "why not me? why him? why her?"

In the furnace of its boundless dimensions,
it seeks to burn all consumed,
releasing hatred and ill wills;

noxious fumes of rotten affection
form negative halos, through which
all sun rays corrupt but ultraviolet.

This awful thing can destroy all the relationships with the people we hold most dear. Be watchful.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

The littlest things


I do not remember
this button
on this shirt

being this white,
the stitching
being this tight;

it's not the same

as the rest
on this shirt:

all the others hang 
loose, comfortable
where they are hooked;

but this one,
number two
from the bottom,

this one is different:

the stitches are too clean,
too tight,
         over-sewn --

this one is new.


After-dinner chit-chats can sometimes be the cause of indigestion.


One-way conversations for two (or more)

Throat tightens, gut acid stirs;

whose hands strangle the arteries
throbbing cold in my head?

Competitive conversationist disorder --

what you would call who gets to get
the next word in edge-wise;

self-scoring points for making sense,
subtle offensives feinting defense.

Each little cheese wedge,
each sip of dull wine,

serves only to widen the crack.
Knowing glances exchange,

suppressed, replaced
with polite smiles.