P O E T I C --- P A I N T I N G S

"Painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt, and poetry is painting that is felt rather than seen" -- da Vinci

To write poetry, you must read and, read some more -- Me

Jan 29, 2008

This Is a Photograph of Me by Margaret Atwood

Margaret Atwood

It was taken sometime ago.

At first it seems to be

a smeared

print: blurred lines and grey flecks

blended with the paper;

then, as you scan

it, you see in the left-hand corner

a thing that is like a branch: part of a tree

(balsam or spruce) emerging

and, to the right, halfway up

what ought to be a gentle

slope, a small frame house.

In the background there is a lake,

and beyond that, some low hills.

(The photograph was taken

the day after I drowned.

I am in the lake, in the center

of the picture, just under the surface.

It is difficult to say where

precisely, or to say

how large or small I am:

the effect of water

on light is a distortion

but if you look long enough,


you will be able to see me)

From the Circle Game by Margaret Atwood.

I discovered this poet on my usual jaunt along the internet. I was amazed by her writing and poetic eye. This poem is my favorite.

Margaret Atwood is from Ottawa, Ontario. She has a B.A. from Victoria College, University of Toronto, and an M.A. from Harvard. She's the author of over fifteen books . Read More...

Ms. Atwood ranks as my second favorite poet under Billy Collins.

When you're browsing in Barnes and Noble, or sitting in Borders Books, sipping a cup of green tea, invite Margaret to join you, you'll read a masterpiece in verse.

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Jan 26, 2008


Taken off
from life's see-saw

he's hitched a ride
on the tail of cumulus

up, up he goes, beyond

and stratosphere,

leaving exosphere
with the click of his heels.

I see him smiling
he's looking back at me

I speak to him
but nobody's home;

he's laughing,
his eyes blank
as a blown-out t.v.

There he is
swinging from
Saturn's rings --

"catch me if you can"
he mumbles

but I can't
he's gone --

catapulted himself
to orbit

Pluto's cold, cold ball.

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Jan 22, 2008


this afternoon
a lemon-faced drunk


into a daily stupor

no doubt

from continuous


he ignored the two
pie-faced girls
whose braided antennae
and jean clad spindles



and tumbled cartwheels
under his inebriation

so incoherent
was he

no notice
was given
to the poor
scorched crab-grass

who fought
with the seared dandelion
for shade

he continued
to stagger
his evening slump


so slowly

his convergent lover

who patiently waited

over the moss-green

sweeps of the west.

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Jan 19, 2008

Persephone, Falling --by Rita Dove

--Rita Dove is one of America's top Black poets. She once was the U.S. Poet Laureate from 1993-1995 and won the honor of all honors, the Pulitzer Prize in poetry. Her poetry delves deep into the psyche and makes you think.--

One narcissus among the ordinary beautiful

flowers, one unlike all the others! She pulled,

stooped to pull harder—

when, sprung out of the earth

on his glittering terrible

carriage, he claimed his due.

It is finished. No one heard her.

No one! She had strayed from the herd.

(Remember: go straight to school.

This is important, stop fooling around!

Don't answer to strangers. Stick

with your playmates. Keep your eyes down.)

This is how easily the pit

opens. This is how one foot sinks into the ground.

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Jan 17, 2008


storm clouds--

homeless man shivers under

a newspaper coat

Most haiku in English consist of three unrhymed lines of seventeen or
fewer syllables, with the middle line longest, though today's poets use
a variety of line lengths and arrangements. In Japanese a typical haiku
has seventeen "sounds" (on) arranged five, seven, and five. (Some
translators of Japanese poetry have noted that about twelve syllables
in English approximates the duration of seventeen Japanese on.)
Traditional Japanese haiku include a "season word" (kigo), a word or
phrase that helps identify the season of the experience recorded in the
poem, and a "cutting word" (kireji), a sort of spoken punctuation that
marks a pause or gives emphasis to one part of the poem. In English,
season words are sometimes omitted, but the original focus on
experience captured in clear images continues

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Jan 7, 2008

You, Reader -- By Billy Collins

Billy Collins

I wonder how you are going to feel

when you find out

that I wrote this instead of you.

that it was I who got up early

to sit in the kitchen

and mention with a pen

the rain-soaked windows,

the ivy wallpaper,

and the goldfish circling in its bowl

Go ahead and turn aside,

bite your lip and tear out the page,

but, listen -- it was just a matter of time

before one of us happened

to notice the unlit candles

and the clock humming on the wall.

Plus, nothing happened that morning--

a song on the radio,

a car whistling along the road outside--

and I was only thinking

about the shakers of salt and pepper

that were standing side by side on a place mat.

I wondered if they had become friends

after all these years

or if they were still strangers to one another

like you and I

who manage to be known and unknown

to each other at the same time --

me at this table with a bowl of pears,

you leaning in a doorway somewhere

near some blue hydrangeas, reading this.

--What I love about Billy Collins' poems are that they always seem to be a dialog with us, his readers. I love the way his mind works. His poems always make me want to go get a cup of tea -- English TeaTime, then, sit a my computer and stare out the window to watch a poem form on a cloud passing by--

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Jan 3, 2008

Burnt Offerings

You've lost me
within myself,
to levitate
within acidic clouds.

They're pungent
as old worn socks;
oh, bitter bride at the alter,
euphoric as
death's calm.

A need whirls, swirls
in desperation
and I float
within this coma
of burnt offerings.

Jan 2, 2008


I saw you slip past

the curtain of my eyes,
and stoop

in the garden
among the collards, black-eyed peas
and corn.

Your back shunned the sun,
as your gnarled hands picked
their tender leaves, stocks
and buds,

I heard your voice murmured
a prophetic eulogy:

"peace be still,
peace be still"

as if you knew
soon, to soon.

that I'd miss
the oldness of you;

wiseness that weaved through
your hair, shrewdness
that moistened your lips


your ears are deaf,
your eyes are blind

and your whisper
has gone mute

eternally cold.

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Jan 1, 2008

intrusive vagabond

if only you were
just an illusion,
pretentious pain,

intrusive vagrant
who leaves braille-etched
taunts on my skin.

opportunistic hobo,
who hitch-hikes
and implodes every nuclei
and cytoplasm
up and down the tracks
of my being.

and here I lay,
in wait, trapped with you
inside me, a limp-dick lover
who insatiably, pounds
my malleable bones
with a sledge hammer.