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
filled
with my response
following
a path
of two drops
that wash
away fearful feelings
to place a smile
on my
self-image

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
Insecurity
(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)
(believes

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
deeper

hair-like
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.

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Sacrificial Tree

Here are two poems about Christmas Trees. I’ve always been torn about having cut trees. I’ve reconciled my guilt by thanking the tree for giving me the soulful pleasure of its wonderful smell and living presence in my life.

I keep my trees as long as possible, usually until my birthday in mid January. This year I haven’t yet gotten a tree. I’ve just been too dissipated physically and emotionally, plus winter came on early, hard and strong. Who knows, maybe I’ll still get inspired.

lightening christmas tree

Sacrificial Tree

Darkness descends upon afternoon’s glow
And pulls day’s light to down below.
As fickle air courts heavy chill
Feeble warmth flees up,
Conceding defeat
To weighty still.

I then illuminate the sacrificial tree
To lift the void which leadens me.
Her scintillating glitter
Enshrouds my fears
Enveloping my heart in glamorous sight.

This starry gift is infinitely old
yet ripe with richness
as time’s birth of soul.
Such sweet ritual!
Such mundane skill!
Giving root to such lofty thrill!

We need only open our hearts,
Our senses, our doubts, our souls to Her allure.
The myth of the season is born again.

Our Christmas Tree

Our Christmas tree stands before me,
evergreen through the seasons,
glowing with light
through darkness and freezing.
My soul is warmed by its
shimmering spirit,
all crystal and glimmering,
giving life to love needed.

I’m able to hope
by such burning glory
for peace where there’s strife
and love for those, lonely.
My heart aches with sadness
that you can’t be here near me
but life must go on, then
for Beauty’s Eternity.

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Inspire Beauty

I’m off to visit Platinum Glamor (my mother) out east. See you in the New Year! Garnet

I love the word inspire, whish literally means to breathe in. May you breathe in beauty, love, peace and joy.

May the light in your heart burn clear and long.

Thank you for the rich tapestry of your comments this first nine months. I look forward to longer days, more yang energy. May the heat in your heart warm you in the cold times.

Garnet

Chicago, cold sky

Beauty calls and yearns for your attention,
it gives rise and demension to your soul,
a reflection of your truest goals.

Lest we forget, our hearts are fueled
by a love enduring beyond our lives.
And beauty is its chaperone,
a spark through the dark nights
on the long walk
to the light of the mountain top.

All we have is each other.

May the comfort of love be with you.

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Caramel Pain

The silent pains of the body
never prepare their menus
but serve raw meat uncharted.
Caramel burned points of grief
get stuck between bones,
sticky sweet sickening drones.
Chants of discus plates chip fresh
green grass, leaving bare
earth bleeding.

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