Off the Wall Poetry Carnival

Since I didn’t officially theme it, I thought I’d borrow the title of the first poem to name this carnival.

Off The Wall was sent by Pat Paulk of Laughing Ghosts. He offers tight, vivid poems regularly to a rather large fan club. I had not known of him before this. I’m glad I do now.

A shadow on the wall
talked to a curious dog on the sidewalk,
what they said was without sound,
what was understood not known.
The dog eventually moved on, the wall
waited for the next shadow.

My dear friend Liz Strauss of Letting ME Be sent me a few choices, of which I picked The View, because it’s off the wall for Liz. Liz has a way of turning sadness into a bright lesson. Thank you, Liz.

my eyes
with my response
a path
of two drops
that wash
away fearful feelings
to place a smile
on my

your eyes
in my head
change the view

Ron Russo of Wondering Soul sent this next poem, Remember. Ron’s spirit is always pointed toward healing and love. This poem, a gift for “Travis”, makes that clear.

Remember who you really are and be that!
Remember the vast, radiant emptiness
from which you came
and from which all things arise.
Remember, you are that.
Not that you are one with all…
you are all.
Remember the sun that shines from
your eyes.
You are that.
(continue reading…)

David Patton of Uncle David sent this new poem, “Silent As Snow Falling To The Ground” for the carnival. David’s poetry has raw, mythic power and rustic freshness. He told me he has written a poem a day for over a year on his blog. And these are not 10 line poems, either. This poem offers a soft, light touch.

Silent as snow falling to the ground
The speckled air abounds
As whiteness covers all.
First snow of the season;
An inch or two or so.
Tracks of the white tailed rabbit
A squirrel climbs up an old sycamore
The rusted links of a chain-link fence
Are barely visible as the cold wintry winds do blow.
Quietness sits by the door, piling deep in the cold.
A poet’s pen to paper marks this singular passing.
In the scheme of things it is its own doing,
In one day of many and many more to come.
The snow is here, blowing slanted in a northern wind.
It tells not who but the way that they go.
Snow is cold but melts in the warmth of the palm of the hand,
the hand must be cold to hold.
Walking alone in Forest Park
The wind blown snow is a song
Without words or instrument;
A song for the eyes and soul,
And I twirl around and flair my arms
To sing alone.

Kelley Bell sent me this little story poem, Godless Child, from her blog For Whom the Bell Tolls. Her words cut to the heart of sexist injustice.

Once Upon A Time…

There was a little girl, born in the Land of The Free,
and the Home of The Brave.

She was taught that she could become anything, even President,
though no girl had ever done THAT before.

She was taught the importance of education,
and read many books by Great Men.

She was told to get a job,
But to expect less pay then her male peers.

She was told to climb the Career ladder,
and bumped into a glass ceiling on the way.
(continue reading…)

If a haiku could convey a philosophy of life, MB’s poem The World as my Oyster is the poem. Most of us are familiar with MB’s poems from Find me a Bluebird. How does she create so much sublime space with so few words?

a pearl grows slowly
around the grain of sand that
is lodged in my heart

Here is another of MB’s haikus, Darkenss.

the edge of ice cuts
against the last of the green
darkness settling in

Ozymandiaz of Toadstool Diaries, who has apparently hosted a number of these carnivals, was thankful I was hosting this one. He sent this poem, simply called Entry. Though written as a Christian poem, it carries a universal spiritual message to submit to the wisdom and forgiveness of our higher selves.

I burn myself in effigy
Mourning my life as should be
Wherever ears may be bent
I strain them without relent
Displayed in Jesus Christ pose
I am revealed without repose
Clearly you can see the pain within me
I cannot be free until you all see
How I let me be
(continue reading…)

Ren Powell of Sidestepping Real sent this unpublished dream-like poem to me. When asked what the theme of this carnival was, I suggested “dreams of poems”, which I had listed among other ideas for sumissions. One can see why she is a published poet. Images are layered with meaning, scenes within syllables. The last line can be either a question or a statement. Both are true.

Elder Moon

The girl behind the counter
of the Dairy Queen (sees

the tree branching from his mouth)

everything)—his voice fragile,
dry bark

snagging on the velvet esophagus
wet with ice-milk:

That Neil Armstrong never stepped on the moon!
‘Goddamned government ruse.

The old man makes
craters with a plastic spoon.

On her cigarette break she sits with him
(digging into the Depression, and

pale moments
of his supple years)

Don’t you believe anything

anyone tells you.

Jo Janoski
sent a poem called The Poet. It’s a series of Haiku’s. How did she know what’s going on in my head when I try to write poetry?

Head bent, thoughts flying.
Playing touch football mid air.
A poem is born.

Poets express love
While warriors declare hate.
They meet at depth’s door.

Words elude poets
like water avoids deserts
until monsoon time.

Rhymes make cozy friends.
Meters have minds of their own
But married, they rock.

I wrote a poem called The Room to convey a dark November night of waking dreams.

Black November air
oozes across the pine board floor,
cold molasses being poured.
Shadows of craggy oak twigs
gnaw the walls for flaws.
The moon cannot escape,
so peers helplessly
from her thin blue ark.
(continue reading…)

This final poem is most appropriate to my after thought theme of a dream about a poem. Bill Piety of Peter in search of Pan posted
not very far from 4th yesterday. It’s a dream of dreaming poetry, dreaming life, lost dreams, and living dreams.

dreams make a hard death
old brown shoes that keep no shine
pants that keep no clean
i frighten women from the church
sunday feigns a bitter cheer

but i’ve a corner not far from 4th
i can hear some whisperings
from my local catholic saint
telling secrets without relief
jagged little words unclear
(continue reading…)

Well that’s all folks. Thanks for stopping by.


Longing Alone

Glum fingers
fondle fish foils
(yesterday’s crusty hours)
feeling for the door, knobless with forget
knowing there must be a (w)hole somewhere

ice age shadows cool the burning soul
to a dull red glow, while
moldy moments and minute ears
fill with reverb
but no new song,
just longing…


Foxglove Fairys

We sat outside after dark
sipping mint juleps
tasting the relief of a gentle breeze
to soothe the long, hot breath of day

The light of several torches
brought them out,
the foxglove fairies.
From between flickers they flitted, translucent,
from under the bells’ pink florescences.
Looking closely,
little purple footprints could be seen,
evidence of romping at
sparkling parties
amongst the underbrush.

One flower
leaning close by our chairs,
peered at us with eyes
of nocturnal lilliputian romance
musing in the moonlight’s slippery rays
catching our thoughts
in platinum jars.


Airmail Love


Sometimes before sleep late at night, I lie in bed
listening to my cats purr as they lick themselves clean
before curling up in a furball as close as possible to me.
I hear the distant roar of the highway, thousands
of cars swishing in a hurry to get somewhere,
perhaps the moon. Maybe they are lonely,
and sad love follows them as fast as they can drive.
Or maybe they’re rushing for an emergency,
a serious accident, or worse. Or maybe they were
working late, and long to get home
to a warm bed, and peace, if nothing else.
I think of my friends all over the world,
living lives with direction, going forward, or not,
friends past, whom I’ve lost touch with,
friends present but distant, thousands of miles away.
I think of all the sad or happy or tragic people
spinning around the planet as it spins across time,
laughing, crying, or lonely, dying,
or perhaps wondering and grateful, as I am.
And I think of you, with your quiet burning
of life with it’s myriad questions.
And I send you a little message. I open my heart
and give you my nurturing thoughts, my hope, my love.
I wish you well, I wish you peace.
By sending an airmail full of good wishes,
I feel lighter as I prepare for sleep under
a fluffy down comforter and two warm furballs.

Digiart by Veach. I think they’re pretty cool. I hope you do too. If you want to see the original piece, click on the image and there you are.