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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

National Poetry Month

Poem for the Day  April 15

(My apologies to Edgar Allen Poe)

Once upon a midnight dreary as I struggled weak and weary
Over a changed Form 1040 I had never seen before.

Back and forth I did the sums, looking for deduction crumbs
Hoping, ever hoping that I’d find a way to score.

But alas twas not my lot to escape an awful blot
Upon my worldly fortune, Uncle Sam keeps wanting more.

My mind grows dim with sorrow, the due date is tomorrow,
And I must find the answer else I’ll end up very poor.

Can I deduct  those gambling debts resulting from my stupid bets?
Should I try to itemize my bar bill from the club?
What about my one contribution, will that not bring absolution?
Surely I can claim deduction for the new pants that I tore.

Alas ‘tis midnight past, and the time is flying fast, and I must find the answer
To the question: How much more?

You may think my answer funny; I'll just send them all my money,
And request that they return to me all that not spent before.

It is now six months gone by, and as yet there’s no reply,
Could it be that Uncle Sam will grant me no succor?

Then the raven came rapping, rapping
The Raven came rapping, tapping at my window door.
Oh! To be so doubly blessed, a messenger from the IRS!
Surely he has come to tell me that my problems are no more.

And I said “Oh bird austere, do you bring me news of cheer?
If you brought to me a refund then together we will soar.

I am down to bread and beans, for I do not have the means
To buy a decent meal.  Tell me Raven,
 Am I affluent as I was in days of yore?

Quoth the Raven, “Never more!”

Thursday, April 9, 2015

National Poetry Month

Poem for the day

Sweet pine
Black ink sketch on
Bright night sky.
Paint brush
Full of night breeze
And soft spring green.
As it sweeps the air
The night sighs.
Thought flies.
Sound is hushed.
Dream and sleep
Mate now
And wake as one.

Moon glows gold.
Bird sings skat
 And plays jazz song
Bits of phrases found
Tween twigs and grass of nests.
Bird flies and dives
And smiles
And mocks earth’s sounds.
Black eyes laugh
Hearts pounds.
All ‘round.

Leela Ellis

Monday, April 6, 2015

National Poetry Month

Poem for the day.

Squirrel Mountain Zen

Full moon
Silent, serene, eloquent.
Swirling mother-of-pearl clouds.
Winter black tree branches
Brushing sweeping inky fingers
On the luminous night sky.
Wood stove sparking, crackling,
Whispering soft snatches of forgotten melody.
A small figure of a Buddha
Flickers in the candle light.
Vibrant silence
Sentient silence
Abundant, eloquent silence
Prescient silence.
Full moon silence, pregnant with all words ….

Leela Ellis

Sunday, April 5, 2015

National Poetry Month

Poem for the day.

A Self Sustaining Endothermic Reaction
Which Temporarily Suspends Molecular Motion

We took the long way ‘round to the river, we avoided the rapids
            Too late

The blue sparkling salvation had gone, the keel dragged muddy sand
            Too late

Brown mud, black mud, churning red clay, the keel dragged
            Too late

Slower now, dragging mud in the darkening night, dragging clay, not dragging at all now
            Stillness  Waiting

Hardening mud, turning to clay, cracks forming, turning to stone
            Waiting Waiting

Dark brown earth turns gray as the color recedes from the sky, night falling now, dark
            Waiting Waiting

Gray waves, once blue stand still, hard as diamonds, rigid and poised
            Waiting Waiting

Clouds stop dead in the sky, once a rainbow at dusk and dawn, now colorless
            Quiet now, too quiet The wind waits too

Stars shine somewhere beyond the sky of glass and ice, above the frozen sea
            Watching, looking down, Waiting

The keel is held fast, the clock turns no more, the very breath of life suspended
            Waiting, Waiting

The glass clouds wait for the stuff that moves them, the thirsty mud waits for the river
            Cold and patient

The blue river, lit from the sky above, can’t sparkle yet, can’t flow as it pleases
            Gray light, Waiting

The atoms have stopped their dance, they wait for the music, the stuff that moves them
            Too long, waiting

The night is gray, not black, but no eyes see.  The light waits.  The eyes wait
            Deep night, cold.  Waiting
                        Deep night, cold.  Waiting

Paul Joseph

Saturday, April 4, 2015

National Poetry Month

Poem for the day.


This could be a poem about windowed dens
that face the sea, or closets with doors
that dull midnight typewriter racket.

This could be a poem about a camper
parked at Shakori* or the public library
every Wednesday afternoon.

The first word written where and how:
on a cave wall with a fireblackened stick
or carved with a sharp instrument into a tree,

On scrolls of parchment with quilled ink,
recipes for India dye hazardous when
swallowed or pricked into the skin,

With thumb-tapping a virtual keyboard
on glass that looks just like a yellow pad
lined blue, the first few pages torn away.

Like turning away from a closing casket
this poem will be left behind, for the reader
slouched in a hammock or favorite chair.

Mary L. Barnard