Breaking Words Episode 2


Episode 2 is out and ready for you to listen to. There are three poems on episode 2, A House, Nine Pelicans, and She.
I like old houses. The architecture is amazing, and maybe it’s because of my childhood but I think old houses have a more homey feel to them. Here are the words. Also, if you haven’t heard it, the new Minnesota song and video is really great. Alex Frecon got tired of the misconceptions about our great sate and decided to do a video, clearing some of them up:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H31bBU4EL44

A House:

At the end of a dirt road with corn fields on each side and woods behind, sits a house.
Shingles are missing, windows are broken and the gate hangs by one hinge.
It’s been like that for some time now. Empty. Alone.

The house was built 100 years ago by a young man and his bride. With trees cut
from the property, love and care, a home was raised. There were 10 children. And
happiness and sorrow, laughter and tears, Christmas’s and birthdays and funerals.

And many years later, times grew hard and a Great Grandchild lost the house to the bank.
It sat empty for a time and then a young couple came along. There is a picture of them
in a broken frame on the floor. Two women and a young girl, their daughter.

And they made this house a home. There was happiness and sorrow, laughter and tears,
Christmas’s and birthdays and funerals. The daughter grew up and went across the country
to college. The couple moved to be closer to her. And the house has been empty since.

Until just this very day. A car was seen driving up to the old house. A man got out with a
SOLD sign in his hand. And also out of the car came a women, three children and a dog.
And there will be Happiness and sorrow, laughter and tears, once again.

Nine Pelicans.

I take Sophie, my Husky, Malamute cross dog for a walk every day. We walk along trails along the river. There is lots of wildlife there like, pelicans, geese, ducks, deer, beaver, eagles, etc. We see them all the time and I have a habit of anthropomorphizing them because they sometimes really look like they’re thinking certain things that humans would think. If only they could talk to me!

Nine Pelicans:

Standing along the river bank,
dignified in their ungainly grace,
nine pelicans stand or sit and watch
like some prehistoric judges
as the river parades slowly past.

A little further along the bank
geese, flapping, fluttering, and
stomping in the mud, voice
their discontent, loudly, as if
the river is wholly unacceptable
in its proceeding and stance.

A deer, on the opposite bank,
lifts its head and observes
both groups, with measured
indifference, as it chews something
it found among the weeds.

One pelican raises its orange
bill in the direction of the deer
and then away, as if to say he’s
bored and determines this river
to be insufficient for his needs.

But he cannot align himself with the
unruly, peasant-like geese, he
being, after all, a pelican of
some standing, among his peers.

And of course, there’s “She.” I wrote this one because of the sadness of losing my wife Ann, to cancer. I have a 4 episode podcast about that called, “A New Life.” (anewlife.libsyn.com)

She:

And now I sit alone,
with reminders of her everywhere;
rocks and pictures and paintings.

And now I sit alone,
not lonely, but sad.
Sad at the loss of her,

who shared my life
and sang with me in the car.

She who shared my bed,
and my most intimate moments,
is gone now, forever.

She, who’s laugh made me laugh,
who’s tears made me cry,
is gone now, forever.
I don’t sing in the car, anymore.

Advertisements

Mirrored


She was a contradiction in terms.
A lack of confidence gave her doubt

but she would pound you to dust
if she thought you were wrong,

needed you desperately
but didn’t need you at all.

Having no trust in love,
she loved fiercely.

Who was she who gripped my soul,
and gave her’s to me so freely?

Who was she who is reflected
in those she left behind?

Know us, and we’ll show you.

Breaking Words


Episode One of Breaking Words is finished! When I have three episodes, I’ll release them. This is going to be a weekly poetry podcast. I’ve been writing poetry seriously for about six years and now you’ll be able to hear me read them all on this podcast. I have found that I really like doing this, and I’ve got enough material for about a years worth of podcasts. So that means I better get writing if I want to keep up. I haven’t been writing much since Ann (my wife) died. Not sure why other than her passing has occupied my mind completely since then. I’m coming around now, slowly, so it’s time to get going. As always, I’ll post everything I write here. Each post for the podcast episodes will include some photos and the words to the poems on that podcast! Enjoy!

A House

At the end of a dirt road with corn fields on each side and woods behind, sits a house.
Shingles are missing, windows are broken and the gate hangs by one hinge.
It’s been like that for some time now. Empty. Alone.

The house was built 100 years ago by a young man and his bride. With trees cut
from the property, love and care, a home was raised. There were 10 children. And
happiness and sorrow, laughter and tears, Christmas’s and birthdays and funerals.

And many years later, times grew hard and a Great Grandchild lost the house to the bank.
It sat empty for a time and then a young couple came along. There is a picture of them
in a broken frame on the floor. Two women and a young girl, their daughter.

And they made this house a home. There was happiness and sorrow, laughter and tears,
Christmas’s and birthdays and funerals. The daughter grew up and went across the country
to college. The couple moved to be closer to her. And the house has been empty since.

Until just this very day. A car was seen driving up to the old house. A man got out with a
SOLD sign in his hand. And also out of the car came a women, three children and a dog.
And there will be Happiness and sorrow, laughter and tears, once again.

The Trees And The Sky

The bare trees of Winter like ancient hands
with gnarled fingers, reach up out of the earth,
reaching for what they cannot grasp,
and observe the Sky above.

The bright blue sky taunts the trees, saying,
“Look at me! Look at my clouds and wind.
They can go anywhere! While you,
rooted to the ground cannot move.”

And the trees reply, “Our roots
grow deep and we are a part of this world.
Children play in our branches and leaves.
And you, can only observe.”

“Alas, it is so,” said the sky. “But without my light
and warmth in spring, you would not grow leaves and
would wither and die. What then?” said the sky.
“Where would the children play?”

“It seems We need each other” said the trees
and sky together. “So I shall go on,” said the sky,
“providing you with warmth and rain so you
will live, and children will play and grow.”

“And we shall grow and live,” said the trees,
“giving leaves and life and shade so people
will thrive, and you sky, will have
many things to see and care for.”

And so the sky and trees work together,
making sure that the world goes on.
But they need our help to succeed.
And these things we must teach our children.

1:00 a.m.

At 1a.m. because he couldn’t sleep
he sits at his piano
cigarette in the ash tray
smoke curling up
trying to decide what he wants to write
what he wants to say, what he wants to play.

At 2a.m. the ash tray half full
his elbow rests on middle C
chin in his hand he tinkers with the keys
an F a C back to F
it’s not coming.

At 3a.m. he naps on the couch
the ash tray is full the room in a haze
eighth notes dance in his mind
like a playground full of children.

At 4a.m. he is hammering on the keyboard
the ash tray emptied the windows open
his mind is clear but he’s not there yet.

At 5a.m. a cigarette in the ash tray
smoke curling up, the notes are coming now.

At 6a.m. it’s done, he has it, and he sleeps.

She


And now I sit alone,
with reminders of her everywhere;
rocks and pictures and paintings.

And now I sit alone,
not lonely, but sad.
Sad at the loss of her,

who shared my life
and sang with me in the car.

She who shared my bed,
and my most intimate moments,
is gone now, forever.

She, who’s laugh made me laugh,
who’s tears made me cry,
is gone now, forever.
I don’t sing in the car, anymore.

The First Time

There has never been anything
quite like a boy’s first slow dance
with a girl. The feeling of her breasts,
pressed against your chest.
The warmth of her body, held close.
Her breath, tickling the hairs on your neck.
And the lovely smell of her freshly washed hair
filling your teenaged senses
with indescribable feelings.
The song you danced to didn’t matter,
and it was over way too soon.
And the only thing you could
think at that moment was that
you wanted to do that again.
And again, and again.
No, there has never been a feeling
quite like that.
And there never will.

Nine Pelicans

Standing along the river bank,
dignified in their ungainly grace,
nine pelicans stand or sit and watch
like some prehistoric judges
as the river parades slowly past.

A little further along the bank
geese, flapping, fluttering, and
stomping in the mud, voice
their discontent, loudly, as if
the river is wholly unacceptable
in its proceeding and stance.

A deer, on the opposite bank,
lifts its head and observes
both groups, with measured
indifference, as it chews something
it found among the weeds.

One pelican raises its orange
bill in the direction of the deer
and then away, as if to say he’s
bored and determines this river
to be insufficient for his needs.

But he cannot align himself with the
unruly, peasant-like geese, he
being, after all, a pelican of
some standing, among his group.

The Fiddle Player And The Dancer

This poem was originally written two years ago. I have re-written it but I’m not sure if I like it this way or not.

As he packed up to leave, an old women approached.
“Can you play that thing?” she asked,
motioning toward the fiddle.
“I can, but I can’t make any money here,”
he said, showing her the empty cup.
“Put that fiddle under your chin, boy.
Play somethin’ gypsy, somethin’ that moves.
And as he played, she began to dance.
Bells appeared on her fingers
tinkling in the breeze.
Swaying and swirling to his rhythm
her ragged clothes suddenly seemed new.
Sequins and colors flashed brilliant in the sun.
The people came, and fell in love with her
that day. She twirled, and the sound flowed,
entwining together to become one thing.
Finally the music faltered, as if nothing
could compete with her beauty.
As she twirled her last,
he offered her the money from the cup, now full.
“You keep it boy,” she said with a smile.
“I only wanted to dance.”

Blue Moon

After sending her 2.3 children to play
with the neighbors down the street, the
housewife, in her new, crisp, pink pastel
dress, serves her husband ice tea on a
sunny, suburban, Sunday afternoon.

When yellow foam mixed with blood
ejects from his mouth, wetting his
gray trousers, and he falls from his
lawn chair in agony gasping for air,
she kneels beside him, grass staining
her new dress and asks him if his tea
is as spicy as his new secretary.

As her husband dies on the freshly mown
lawn, she calls her mother, to pick
up the children and then calls the police.
The children of course, will not
understand, for they are to young
to know that the blue moon, is not blue.

A Tip O’ The Hat

Madman on the street, recounting
His days with the queen.
“She was just a wee lass ye know.
Won’t ye give us a kiss on the cheek?”

“The dogs, they howl so mournfully
In the garden, for they have
but a scrap to eat.”

Chewing at his fingernail, he bends
His head to the cobblestones.
Music wafts from the pub,
The tune of his life.

“Oh, I do remember the time
She said, ‘Barnaby,’ ‘Barnaby
She said, won’t ye come in here
And talk wit me? Won’t ye now?’”

“An’ I said, Aye, I will. An’ she
gave me sweets ta eat,
an’ life was good.
She gave me sweets.”

And he went about his way,
a tip of the hat to some and
to others he paid no mind.

I Will See You In My Dreams

My days are longer now,
because you’re not there.

They are lonelier now,
without you to talk to.

My hands are more idle,
without yours to hold.

My thoughts have less meaning,
without you to tell them to.

I have no direction now,
without you to come home to.

But I will see you again.
I will see you in my dreams.

There we will laugh,
and dance, and love.

There we will hold hands.
There, we will be together.

I will go on,
I will make life worth living.

But it will not be the same.
Not without you.

And I will see you again.
I will see you in my dreams.

I Am

I am the son of a man
with calloused hands,
who had dirt and grease
permanently pressed
into the lines of
his knuckles.

I am the son of a women
who worked hard all
her life, raising me
and my brother. She
worked a switchboard
and helped college
students find their way.

I am the father of
of three great kids
who I helped find
their way.

I am many things
but these, I am
most proud of.

Watching Life

I cut my finger on the
dulled and stained
edge on the blade of my
pocket knife.
The blood runs quickly,
bright red as gravity
pulls it to the white sheet
of paper that lies on the
table, dark, almost black
as it is absorbed into
the carpet beneath my feet.

Thickly flowing from my
finger, I stand mesmerized
as drops splatter on my shoe,
the carpet, and the kitchen
floor as I finally move to
the sink to let the blood
drops mix with water on
the bottom of the sink fresh
from the tap that I ran
moments before cutting myself.

The blood joins water droplets
and begins to flow toward
the drain mimicking a river
who’s water finds the easiest
path. I stand and watch as
my life seeps out through
the hole I created at the end
of my finger. Platelets rush
through my blood stream and
work to stop the flow, keep
the life inside.

And I do nothing but watch.

Today

Today
the day
THE day
like any other, you suppose.
It should be memorable
it should be…

You stand in line at
the grocery store
waiting.

In front of you, a person
whose card won’t work.
The manager is called.
Behind you, impatient people.

Your car had ice
on the windows.
You scraped until your fingers
were frozen, and waited
in the house thinking,
someone could steal my car
running in the driveway.

The store was warm,
fogging your glasses.
Someone said hello.

The beat of your heart
in your temple as you
wonder if your card will work
as you watch the
frustration of those
in line,

with you,

My Dog, Insomnia

A large orange moon hangs
above the horizon,
like nothing else does.
At 1 o’clock in the morning
I walk my dog, insomnia.

Thoughts swirl, ebb and flow
as if my mind is a
great ocean and I
on a small raft, float
upon the surface
at it’s discretion.

My dog sees something
behind us and as I turn
I see a cat following.
Dead cat walking, I think,
if it gets too close.

Geese on the water make
small disturbed noises
as we move along the path.
No people walking at this hour,
only the occasional car.

The ocean’s depths are
filled with thoughts,
memories.
I can’t remember where
I put my keys but a hot
summer day when I was
six years old fills me
me with nostalgia.

Ghosts of memory jitter
and jump like little maniacs
in a bouncy castle and I,
at 2 o’clock in the morning
write these words.

On this first day of
September the air is cool,
summer having gone
without my noticing.

Changes have come, fast
and furious like a
high speed train, each
car bringing a life changing
event. I’m getting left behind.

So I walk my dog, Insomnia.
She sniffs everything,
enjoying this new experience
in the dark while I
stumble behind her, wondering
what the hell I’m doing here.