Piece of the Puzzle

random musings on whatever…

Category: Poem (Page 1 of 5)

Ghazal for America, 2018

Ghazal for America, 2018

Tell another tale: build a wall high and thick, brick by brick.
Kill the sick, grab the chick. That’ll make us great again.

Parched of reason, we’re Jonesing for more Kool-Aid.
Guzzle it down, quick now. We’ll never be sated again.

Men with power suffer blood drain from the brain, get too
keen on their peen, can’t they just stay home and masturbate again?

Editors drop fly attracting dung bombs defining reality in six words
or less. Fire all the headline writers and tell it straight again.

Send Sherman to march on Congress, leave no regulation unturned,
un-spurned, burn it all down faster than dems can create again.

Elected hoods robbin’ from the poor muse: sure would be nice
to tax ‘em and leave ‘em, to the rich we can donate again.

Politicos drain from swamp, leave billionaire snakes,
racist rats and nationalist alligators to alienate again.

Jesus must have said love your guns and your money as yourself.
How else would the Christians fall for the bait again?

Sticks and stones might break our bones but AR-15’s are harmless –
just ignore the dead children – can we ever close the flood gate again?

Not my fault says the bitter twitter assault. So bad, so sad
our prez eloquently opines. Will the abhorrent torrent ever abate again?

Go grand with your claim, never accept the blame: surely it must be
the black guy or that nasty woman. See how easy it is to hate again?

From seeds of integrity we harvest trees of fake news,
putting truth beyond our ken – and so we obfuscate again.

©2018 Kenneth W. Arthur

Growing Up

A poem of mine, Growing Up, has been published over at the Skinny Poetry Journal.

They published the first of a set of three which I had written under that title. Here are parts 2 and 3 of the poem:


A youth disdainfully grasps
futility
within
soapy
spheres.
Futility
bursts
fragile
bubbles.
Futility
grasps a youth disdainfully.


A man respects the wildness,
watches
beautiful
rainbow
refractions,
watches
fleeting
delicate
orbs.
Watches.
The wildness respects a man.

©2017 Kenneth W. Arthur

Take As Long As You Need

Take As Long As You Need

Apparition of my dreams: forget your temptations of glory.
Give up on me! Do not entice me to ascend this mountain
when I cannot perceive the peak covered in cloud.
Courage melts under scrutiny of daylight, a dusting of snow,
while your seduction beckons and frightens, leaves
my soul cowering, that outstretched hand might strike.

Yet in my heart a numinous chime does strike,
sends me fishing for deep reds and lush yellows of glory
in proud display, a poem peacock of autumn leaves.
Stunning sunset, prismatic waterfall, majestic mountain –
fool’s gold, hopeful beginnings buried under the snow
of cliché. What radiance can break through this cloud?

Always, swells of inadequacy surge forth to cloud
the tango of words. Adjectives and adverbs threaten to strike,
afraid to blemish paper with ink as exhaust grimes fresh snow.
Take as long as you need to collect the implements of glory,
my vision. Endless is the gravel-strewn passage up the mountain.
Barefoot, we must tread warily lest a scar the trek leaves.

Expand the table for the coming feast: add leaves
of synonym and simile, metaphor and imagination, a word cloud
to rain down possibility before the looming mountain.
For a moment, words turn bold and strike
out in search of perfect pitch, promised glory.
Despite ill forecasts, uncertainty has not yet begun to snow.

When it does, shovel and fine brush shape a carapace of snow,
a fortress that protects heart, defends against the obtuse, leaves
room for artful breaks, gives words freedom to glory
in veiled meanings, crafts a holy sanctuary no umbrage may cloud.
To placate the poetry gods, oh muse, title thrusts from shell to strike
the beholder, provoking a private pilgrimage up the mountain.

Chilled as a winter eve, I huddle in the shadow of mountain,
appraise the guidance of my foot prints in snow,
secretly hope none attend my trail but instead strike
off on a new course, not to accept the inheritance my word leaves
but to amble into mystery, for the peak will ever be in cloud.
Only the strenuous slog toward justification grants a florid glory.

Is the face of God to be found on this mountain? Is there glory
in the gathering snow storm? In forming molecules into a poem cloud?
For hope of the odd elegant phrase, I strike this bargain: doubt never leaves.

©2017 Kenneth W. Arthur

Under-stars

Under-stars

Off the two-track
to nowhere important
sun retreats into forest,
the day kilned and left to cool,
no longer malleable.

Yet light dominates
veil of night:
embellished by myth and meaning
bulls and bears roam
herded and hunted
on overhead canvas
painted with pin
dipped in glimmer.

Father, son converge
under dappled dome,
dissolve, droplets of dust
in an ocean of star-wonder,
anchored by occasional trailing beacons – 
planes, satellites – 
whispers of self-significance.

In the thinning spring eve,
they stare, mesmerized
by yellow-orange tongues
that flicker, crackle,
reach out, lick at the darkness,
taste the flavors
of a precious life.

Do they talk?
	of the Tigers,
	where fish strike,
	where black flies bite?
Do they dream?
	of a past fallen away,
	present unclaimed,
	future unframed?
Do they wonder
under canopy of stars
what star lies under?

©2017 Kenneth W. Arthur

Two Who Dare

My only attempt (so far) at a prose poem… had to change the line breaks to make it fit properly on the blog…

Two Who Dare

We greeted with the choreography of two hesitant mutts
sniffing each other out, surrendering an awkward quick pat
on the back and pull away of men embarrassed by intimacy,
an almost-waltz at arms length, over before the music
began to play. Later we would come to know each other.
First with the tango of predator and prey, more interested
in a quick roll in the hay than any real affection.
Then came the perfunctory contra dance of sun and moon
executing steps called out before time began as we came
to move in each other’s orbit. Finally, we danced the close
waltz of two comfortable friends no longer fearful of a lingering
gaze or the spine-tingling graze of fingers that stray.

But tonight? Tonight we embrace the idea of each other,
relaxing with willful abandon into our authentic selves.
Curled on my side next to his supine form with legs intertwined,
my arm drapes over his naked chest as we drift
between sleep and wakefulness, cloistered under the protective
quilt pieced together by his grandmother. The pulse of his heart
yokes with the contented beat of my own. Thought flees our stilled
bodies as the silky heat of his flesh steals into my soul.
I relish the profound perfect imperfections of his anatomy,
the bond formed from skin caressing skin. This is the slow dance
of two lovers transformed, lost in gentle music, cheek to cheek,
floating in empty space as if nothing else existed,
having forgotten the necessity of any proscribed movements.
We waft through no-time, hearts open and exposed to the elements,
heedless of future frosts or withering desert suns.
He turns his head and our lips meet, two who dare.

©2017 Kenneth W. Arthur

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