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.

15 thoughts on “Off the Wall Poetry Carnival

  1. David,
    There’s only one thing wrong with this carnival– I forgot to submit a poem. Oh well, it looks as it you still did great without me and you pulled in a few new contributors too– great job! Thanks.

  2. Pingback: Check Out This Week’s Poetry Carnival « Jo Janoski’s Blog

  3. All of these are so wonderful. Each in their own way.

    You say there’s no theme, but I feel one. The poetry is of itself and all together are deeply inspirational and all seem to call to the reader to listen to the sounds of a heart beating feelings that need to be recognized almost as universal music. Maybe all poetry does that, but these seem to talk to each other almost.

  4. Excellent, excellent. Thank you, all.

    I am going to get to know this Ren Powell. I think we will be hearing more of her! 🙂

  5. Wow! I’m going to make a hot drink and sit down to peruse all these at leisure and with due attention. Thanks for introducing some great talent! x

  6. David,

    Wonderful collection and some familiar names on your poet list.

    I really like your blog. Splendid job in all respects.

    I see you are from Columbus. I live in Cleveland.

    Thanks for stopping by Conscious Living.

    Best wishes and Happy Thanksgiving,


  7. Andy- Yes, some talented poets joined in this carnival. Enjoy.

    Don- Thank you for stopping in. Nice to make a new friend.
    Happy Thanksgiving to you, too.

  8. Thanks again for inviting me to submit, David.
    There’s a lot of interesting voices for me to check out now.

    I’ll be making time for some blog-hopping as soon as I unpack and settle a little.

    all the best,

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