Ancient history: More naive poetry: January 2008 – May 2008

A handful of poems written for my poetry class during my senior year at Westminster College. I believe each of these were developed in response to some kind of prompt, although the specifics of each now elude me.

Book 

It sounds both threatening and friendly. It begins like an infant, untested yet with endless potential. Buhh. It ends solidly, but in the back of my throat, as if it has entered me and stuck. Khh. It sounds quiet but wise. It sounds patient and stable. It smells musty, like something untouched for ages. It smells like summer afternoons laying in the sun.

Infantile you seem, so friendly.

Your potential scares and attracts me.

You are quiet, patient, stable,

but with wisdom to impart.

You are musty, avoided, abused,

but I love the smell of time lost.

Your pages fling dust as I flip through.

Light splits your ink into red and blue.

Light from the sun, high in the sky

on a balmy summer afternoon.

We travel to places far away;

Lay on the fiery slopes of

Mt Doom in the depths of despondence,

tramp the brambly woods of

ancient England in luminous hope.

An excursion of emotions with

every anxious turn of the page.

I finish but you stay for a while.

 

Civilized

A vessel barrels through space

at nine hundred thousand times

the speed of sound.

Time can not be bound

with so hasty a pace; the craft is

unbridled by size shape and mass.

None watch the ship pass

stars planets and particles unrestrained

by the invisible forces

Sir Newton maintained.

Hybrid polymers separate its passengers

from a vacuum and the magnetic

forces of wormholes that loom.

 

At fore things are bustling

Captain shouts orders from his chair.

Midshipmen are hustling

From station to concourse to lair.

One man has a mission, an order to deliver

He strikes out on a journey,

the ship spans a mile.

With twisting corridors and anterooms;

a labyrinth of tile.

It’s a jaunt of a week, or a day if he’s lucky.

But his stay will be short; consign and flee.

 

Aft things are secret, and brutalities

commence. Poor men pour lives

into indentures of servitude in the luxury

ship, hoping to get ahead, hoping

for cheap transport hence. Few survive

the journey. The engine rooms spell danger.

Virulent radiation pours out of gray

engine housings onto the

impoverished and needful.

They draw straws for the next

to perish. Attempts at escape are

met with sanguinary vengeance.

The area smells of blood,

of sweat, of foul flesh.

 

Up in the control room the Captain grabs his mic…

The Andromedous Nebula is coming up soon.

All passengers look out to starboard if you like.

He leans back in a plush chair and smiles as he thinks,

Ah, to be civilized…

            Thank god for Science.

 

Dancing Plant

Dancing plant, did

you drink too much?

At the party last

night I watched

you guzzle a beer

and now you droop

and dance lazily

in the wind;

A decadent devourer,

a gregarious green.

Your leaves are tattered;

I think you got in a

fight with a Venus Flytrap.

Silly plant, you were

overmatched.

Yet, you move joyfully;

in daze of the days.

Did you meet a pretty

female and spread your

spores last night?

Did you sow your seeds wildly?

Should I be worried that your

children are already sprouting?

Why do you dance?

I think you have a problem.

 

Fourth Wall

It’s the fourth wall I care about;

not the third, with constant

ramblings about character or

the first, the initial, the self

so often lost.

 

Or the second, beautiful

though it may be, with

crystal lakes and pristine

peaks to match the cracked,

dry desert land and the

smoggy valleys of the

east Midwest.

 

The judge, the high

gavel-tossing pallid persona.

 

The fourth wall.

 

Insomnia

My lids droop and my back

aches with the pain of another

sleepless night split

frequently with starts.

 

Groaning, I turn and flip

my pillow for another

restless journey marked

by artificial loss.

 

Leggers

To spiders, something

with less leggers, and

more leggers than eight leggers. Scary.

 

Living Transparently

They wish for some and nothing and display

Whole thoughts and brain synapses and so

your condition of life is the reality

for Pittsburgh and someone in Peru

always this show

is the me and the you. You have come home.

 

Untitled

Snow caps the mountaintops

Beyond a field I didn’t know.

And I wander aimlessly among

long reeds, stomping into

sulphuric water; my mind

distracted by the quarrel of

two squirrels and a baboon.

Their location doesn’t concern

  1. I only wonder, what would

a squirrel want with a banana?

and how could it win? My thoughts

soon drowned out by fear of

The dragon flying overhead.

Dragonfly, I realize. It is silly

to be scared unless I am allergic.

With a wheeze I press on, finding

the foot of the hillsides, where

a small dark cave hides my

secret journal. It is wet when

I reach for it. Soon my words

will spider and nothing left

but smudges of black, blue,

and never read. It is too harsh.

I use it to express, to think;

to put my thoughts finally into

words, but it abandons me

And now I use words to avoid

My demon. My bane.

 

The Acropolis

Worn marble steps, covered

in dry, tan dirt ascend repeatedly

before me. The steps rise feet

at a time, but each is a platform

carefully placed by the ancients.

They must have been in good

shape, to move all of these stones,

and clamber over such tall plateaus.

Finally, I reach the gate, and walk

through into the deep past, yet

present will not leave. Scaffolding

mars the side of Nike, and I wonder,

Would they have wanted it rebuilt?

I think I would want to know how

long it endured the forces of the

life-giver before returning to dust.

It will not be. They love the past,

will not let it fail. I continue onward.

The famous ionic columns still

stand tall, majestic in unwavering

solidarity, among pollution, unrest.

My heart is suddenly stricken.

Looking down at my belt,

I find my camera is lost. All that I

possess is my sword. And my thin

shoulders are now weighed down by

thick leather. I am a Centurion.

Raising my blade to the clear

blue sky, I look out upon the

city below, and let loose

my lungs with the

thunder of the gods.

 

Trying to catch my breath,

I realize it can not be caught.

The dry air here is acrid. The

vibrant city turns to gray.

Maybe they are right to rebuild.

Maybe it was better before.

 

Unwanted

I want to be with you.

I want to be with you.

I deeply want to be with you.

I’m not sure what stands in the way.

But I know the reasons feel fey.

I know when we are together

it seems as if everything else

dies away. And pains long

untouched fly today. It’s

here we stand to decide

the choices which may let

us confide. In each other!

My God, what a statement.

 

But here we are, decisions latent

and I reluctantly feel impatient.

I don’t want to force any decisions,

just to plan no further incisions

in my Heart, the delicate organ,

stressed too far, cant-contrive

of an option to find a sleep,

a rest without some form of

commitment, a rest from my

head, like a gun.

 

Waterfall

College is the falling torrent

students pass through, drift

and wade through information

flows over their heads

doused with knowledge

though not always wise

some reach the end of the

journey downward but many

slip awkwardly aside

and paint the cliff briefly

before evaporating away

others mingle together in

the fall before the frightening

crash, the moment of truth

when they are churned

into the stagnant depths

or they surge on into

unnumbered directions

some for lakes, others

devoting their lives

to the growth of trees but

all eventually find the starlit

shores of the sea.

 

Ancient history: Naive poetry: Kate

A keyhole

lies in a weathered door.

Faded and splintered, heavy on wrought hinges.

 

The young man

looks through the hole

in misery; he kneels painfully.

 

There she sits

before a shattered mirror

weeping but he doesn’t understand.

 

He looks left

center, right, up, down

tries to see the rest of the room.

 

Door blocks sight

he looks for the key

it was safe in a box but the box is lost.

 

She cries still

he wishes he could

come inside, the only place where she can smile.

 

But now the

paint peeling from yellowed

walls reveals crumbling mortar underneath.

 

Maybe if

he cleared his head

he could find his sachet and open the door.

 

He can’t leave

he sits in a barren hall

with a window six stories from the ground.

 

Behind him

the passage extends

into a cold white fog. He feels damp.

Naive Poetry: January 2006 – July 2007

A handful of probably ill-advised poems on varying topics that I wrote between January 2006 and July 2007. Enjoy?

 

1/18/06 “Five-Leaved Friend/Fiend”

Arising from the deep forest/Hidden in the dark recesses of ancient wilderness

The emerald majestic plant god/The mystic green plant waits for man to unleash him.

Burns for the pleasure of millions./Pandora’s box will not suffer itself to be shut.

 

1/18/06 “Detached”

All hope has long since failed,

Everything right has been derailed.

A train slithers into the dark midnight,

An atrocity devouring all things in sight.

Where this snake goes, no soul can reveal.

This vile journey, my life it will steal.

 

1/18/06 “Perils of Education”

An arduous task to bear this weight on my shoulders,

My mind viciously strained, pushing vast boulders.

Painstakingly taught so information I can recite,

Discussion avoided, no applications in sight.

This system is flawed, to the benefit of none.

True intelligence shunned, no gain when done.

I toil to prepare for an alarming world ahead.

Alas, what should be helpful is useless instead.

 

1/18/06 untitled

Hateful leaders pursue unjust causes in a nefarious manner.

The populace watches on in silence as thousands weep.

The silence is deafening.

 

1/19/06 “What, Am I A Loser?”

So near is the person who calls himself seer.

The peer who will cause so many a fear.

A tear will roll down my cheek as I leer.

At the deer who stares me down as I steer!

On the road I turn and make a quick veer.

To miss a steep cliff, walls are so sheer.

It’s clear to me that my life has been dear.

To all who crowd around and do sneer.

 

1/22/06 “How Do I Fit In?”

I want to say so many hard things,

I only hope for what tomorrow brings.

She looks at me with a frown on her face,

It tells me that I need to find my real place.

More than anything I want her to enjoy

This life and leave sorrow for this boy.

Her smile radiates like the stars of night,

She shows it, I feel like I could take flight.

Please let me know just what I can do,

So I can see that smile and take it from you…

(I’ll try to give it back)

 

1/22/06 “Broken”

There once were good times, I have to admit.

Though what’s happened since obscures it.

I always fell for your gentle charms,

You could never help falling asleep in my arms.

Even our fights, though they were rare

Were moments with you I enjoyed to share.

Those times created the melancholy feeling

My mind held when you left for Darjeeling.

You took my fragile heart and flew far away.

Promised to love me again someday.

I couldn’t bear to see you leave me,

But in the end I knew that it must be.

Still I loved you and could not change,

Tried to move on but felt it so strange.

I wanted you back but you would not submit.

It wrenched my heart but I weathered it.

We thought of days past and it seemed we both sighed

It was only much later I found out that you lied.

You said I was still the only one in your life,

But your lies became clear, to my heart like a knife.

I forgave you so many times for your wrongs

But you tore my heart out and stole my soul’s songs.

The love I once gave away without any fear

Could no longer be reached, was no longer near.

Happy was I, and so little felt wrath,

But now to my heart I can’t find the path.

I’ve given you up; you’re out of my mind.

But the lock and key to my heart I can’t find.

I’ve found someone new, who cares more than you.

So how do I find the closed doors and pry to?

 

1/30/06 “Density…Destiny”

This life is not controlled by fate, or directed by any preconceived destiny. Rather, I walk my own path and no force but my will determines the choices i will make.

 

2/3/06 “Find Me”

Who knows what new search for it finds

With friendship antiquity it often binds.

Innocence makes it easiest to gain,

Loss of it inevitably begets pain.

Lucky children have it ever to savor,

Most blessed of parents can return the favor.

Psychoactives do not in fact increase it.

Precision guides it to bottomless pit.

In weak heads it will never be found.

Nay, the thing is trodden on ground.

Control it and gain most powerful of arts,

It carelessly smites the mightiest of hearts.

Naiveté may cause effort to leave it unused

Without it the psyche is no less abused.

 

2/21/06 “Let Me In”

I look in your eyes and lose all my might.

I could never wish for a lovelier sight.

I guess I can’t promise you anything,

But if you ask, for you I would sing.

I just want to be the one always there;

Through toil and pleasure to see your heart bare.

Where I’m headed, what I’ll be,

I don’t know

I just know I want you with me,

When I go.

 

12/20/06 Civilized

Barreling through space at

nine million times the speed of sound.

Time can not be bound with so hasty a pace;

the craft is unbridled by size shape and mass. None

watch the ship pass stars planets and particles unrestrained

by the invisible forces Sir Newton maintained.

Hybrid polymers separate its passengers

from a vacuum and the magnetic

forces of wormholes of doom

 

At fore things are bustling

Captain shouts orders from his chair.

Midshipmen are hustling

From station to concourse to lair.

 

One man has a mission, an order to deliver

He strikes out on a journey,

the ship spans a mile.

With twisting corridors and anterooms;

a labyrinth of tile.

It’s a jaunt of a week, or a day if he’s lucky.

But his stay will be short; arrive and then flee.

 

At aft things are secret, and brutalities commence. Poor men pour lives into indentures of servitude in the luxury ship, hoping to get ahead, hoping for cheap transport hence. Few survive the journey. The engine rooms spell danger. Virulent radiation pours out of gray engine housings onto the impoverished and needful. They draw straws for the next to perish. Attempts at escape are met with sanguinary vengeance. The area smells of blood, of sweat, of foul flesh.

 

Up in the control room the Captain grabs his mic

“The Andromedous Nebula is coming up soon.

All passengers look out to starboard if you like.”

He leans back and smiles as he thinks,

Ah, to be civilized…

Thank Science, thank Science.

 

1/7/07

The only one who invades my dreams

Not controlled, unfair it seems

That I endure such daily pain

I wonder often if I’m still sane

Now I think you’re of like mind

Now for naught I think I’ve pined

So close to me yet always so far

Friendship that I am afraid to mar

 

2/2/07

I lie here dreaming, me

A wet paper fantasy

Hopes up, hopes down

Heart kicked around

Still I await

Faith is my fate.

 

7/10/07

We’re here in our spaces,

Making our own way.

Trying to find our places,

With future bills to pay.

What leads the quest

Into the great unknown?

Can faith carry us forth

Or love set the tone?

We look ever onward,

Without care for the now.

But here is where we are,

And we avoid it somehow.

So little care for the people

Who mold and shape us

And disdain for the events

That comfort and save us

We overlook the vital

Times we should savor,

And look ever onward

Avoiding present labor.

So doomed are we who look

To the future for reason.

Until we pause and find

That present’s the season.

Liebe Fussball

From my sophomore year of college, an ode to my favorite sport.

1/23/06 “Liebe Fussball”

This game that I love, I play it for fun,

Dave was my first coach, because I am his son.

He told me, “Play hard, and play with your heart.”

And “All perfection with perfect practice will start.”

He said “Keep your head down, shoulders over the ball.”

He taught me to lead and to answer the call.

He encouraged me to try new teams and new coaches,

So I could improve on my skills and approaches.

At first this game was for me just an activity,

But in time I developed for this sport a proclivity.

This sport is for teams and be a team you must,

It requires much diligence, practice, and trust.

Trust is a true basis for friendships to build around,

So friendships with teammates are lastingly bound.

Even now as cruel time works out our fates,

Most of my friends are my old teammates.

Many memories dot the path we wrought and took,

They are difficult to separate to take a good look.

I remember those practices after school at night.

We refused to stop playing until we lost light.

At times denying nature itself was our form,

As we practiced right through a violent storm.

Practice always ended with a small competition,

Game choice determined by executive decision.

World Cup, races, playing without shoes,

Penalty kicks, juggling, and one on ones (or twos).

Not one team member would ever dare slumber,

When Dave said “Line up, and call out your number.”

These practices took place on Tuesday and Thursday,

But the weekends were that which held our hearts sway.

We endured defeats together but happiness we found,

Champions at Edinboro we were destined to be crowned.

We may be split now and fast losing touch,

But those days to me will always matter much.

When I remember the games, my senses can feel,

All of the things that make a memory so real.

With a deep blue sky, zephyrs grace the air,

Springtime sun shines warmth in my hair.

Our warm-up begins, we smell fresh-cut grass.

Twelve growing boys and one beautiful lass.

Out walks a referee who appears very stout,

Beside twenty-two athletes primed for this bout.

He signals he’s ready and we take the field,

Knowing that likely no goals we would yield.

Our well placed passes create patterns on the pitch.

Someone near the goal calls out for a switch.

We score very soon and devoted fans cheer,

Our focus is complete, so we don’t even hear.

The final whistle blows, it’s the end of the match.

We shake hands and leave our green grass patch.

To think of those days gives my heart such aid,

I hope beyond hope that the memories won’t fade.

Our era is even now so long in the past.

Time passed us by and left us so fast.

I’ve played this sport since but it never appealed,

As much as club soccer on a Mars Soccer Field.