Sunday, July 25, 2010

NEW CASTLE LINESMAN: Poetry by Larry Eugene Meredith


Poems of Age  2009 - 2010

End of August



A Pantoum



The cicadas shriek an end to August.
Morning is dark; grown shorter the evening.
Our thoughts turn to autumn, just as they must,
For the heat of our youth is now leaving.

Morning is dark; grows shorter the evening
And with each dusk comes one more nightly storm,
For the heat of our youth is now leaving.
Yet, that’s the progression that is the norm.

And with each dusk comes one more nightly storm,
As if the rain represents our grieving.
Yet, that’s the progression that is the norm.
Giving up our summer’s a hard cleaving.

As if the rain represents our grieving,
All thunder struck and quick lightning flash.
Giving up our summer’s a hard cleaving
The days when lost youth and coming age clash.

All thunder struck and quick lightning flash,
Our thoughts turn to autumn, just as they must.
The days when lost youth and coming age clash.
The cicadas shriek an end to August.

Dog Days



A while ago I went to the shelter.
They were lined in cages, the lost and abused.
Watching people come, people go.
Some wagged tails, some looked confused.

I had my girl who waited for me.
Shadow that was the lady’s name.
She was a Pit Bull with clipped ears,
Once involved in a shameless game.

I threw her tennis balls to chase.
I always took two for this reason.
She’d bring one back but not release.
Pull one from her jaw, you gotta be teasin’!

She had her scars where wounds had healed,
But now she had learned gentleness.
Yet knowing the brutality of her past,
This hurts me much, but I must confess

How can I root for my long favored team
When what I hear makes me so sick?
The most T-shirts sold to Philadelphia kids
Have the number seven and the name of Vick.
















Top photo of a Pit Bull similar to Shadow from southernpridepitbulls.com






Alleged Michael Vick abused Pit Bull from moniquemonicat.wordpress.com

I'm sorry if some people don't see the injustice of the situation or think the photo on the left is just "Southern Culture" as Whoopi Goldberg defended it.  I'm sorry if certain sorry-ass-excuses-for-humankind think the photo on the left is sport and don't see the injustice done.

Would they have considered it real sport if he was stripped naked, smeared with hamburger, tossed in a pen full of Pit Bulls where they could make bet on his survival? Why not? Statistically the next step for people who abuse animals if the abuse of people. 

Here is the axiom that should have been followed: When you scrap out the pond scum from one lake, you don't take it up the road and put it in another lake.

Change of Count


Old timers count on their fingers.
True base is binary.
Turn on, turn off;
It’s true, don’t scoff.
Do not be contrary.

Ask your average actuary.
He’ll give his hat a doff,
Will that master
Calculator
Of counting your days off.

Computers think in on or off,
Like your brain, but faster.
Doubt, which lingers
About fingers
Brands you antiquary.

Counting fingers is so last year,
Not done by the bringers.
Visionary
Is binary.
Not so ten count clingers.

A Succession of Progression in the Sound of O


So here we go. Another Day.  Oh I am
Sure to know that age, my constant foe, is
Gaining. I can feel slowness in my step
From heel to toe. Pain shoots billiards with my
Bones. A glow of arthritis brings
Me woe. I shiver more in winter’s blow
And dread even the lightest snow, fearing I’ll
Slip and go break something below.  But string
Your bow. Fight the flow. And yo, you’ll survive.

Riot




It seemed to come quietly.
Not unexpected you understand,
There is a history of such things,
A cycle, a turning of leaf.

It didn’t come in heat.
No, there’d been a bit of coolness in the land,
We were past the sweating,
Past that grief.

It just dawned one morning.
A shift of time, like hourglass sand.
A sudden breeze that drew up the eye
And then a riot of relief.

All across the horizon
A giant blazing waving rainbow band
The splattered pallet of changing leaves
Colors beyond belief

And as suddenly as they burst upon us,
With a display short and grand,
The colors were all stolen
By Jack Frost, the chilling thief.

Now in the riot aftermath
I rustle across the yard and stand
In the brown and brittle corpses I must rake
To my chagrin and grief. 


Please scroll down and turn off my music player if you choose to watch the video.

video

All photos by the author.

Meditation Upon One Thought in Rabindranath Tagore's "The Gift"

Rabindranath Tagore, 1861-1901


I doubt leisure is the gift given old age.
It seems the river Song runs swifter now.
Still I do seek to fish from the flow
Lyrics that break all barriers.

My body may have turned to an ash heap of pains,
Yet I poke at the smothered ambers
To sometimes stoke a fire again.
My mind is ever warmed by its glow,
This strange simmering of words called poetry.

A Moment In Time with Sandy

Sandy Denny, 1947-1978


An Acrostic


Way beyond purple eves a melody tiptoes by.
Hear it drift dream-like lost in some old slow
English folk scene where long haired Hippies keen and cry
Rare thoughts of passed time.
Even now they sing Sandy’s song.

Death did not ponder long.
Oh, ‘twas at her parents home he set her leaving.
Even then he knew ‘twas time for her to go.
Steps stepped on holiday down the stairway to grieving,

Took with no thoughts of time.
Her fall came so sudden though,
Even now they miss her so.

The singer may now be silent, but not her song.
It twitters in bird tweets of spring after the snow
Musically asking the question that she asked for so long
Each of us of time.

Good songs on breezes blow.
Only God knows where the time goes. 

Most Influential Failure in My Lifetime



Ode to Nick Drake 1948-1974

A breath
One leaf left
Short as a cigarette puff
Time has told me
Day is done
For the poor boy.

Drift away
Like a cloud across
Saturday’s sun.
Life was brief
For the man in a shed.

Parasite
His music is
Why did it play too late?
Struck
As if a chime
On a city clock.

Death
By depression
Is a terrible cure
For a troubled mind.


Scroll down and turn off my music player if you watch the video.




video

Photograph

 Diane Arbus, 1923-1971

I loved the photos by Diane Arbus
All those broken people
Pinned within her lens
Like faded butterflies
And two-headed moths
On a microscopic slide.

The Giants bent and crippled,
The Little People smug and stretched.
Faces creased with age or insanity,
Sometimes tainted by lost humility
Or shamed by shattered humanity.

Naked transvestites
Tucked in mock femininity.

Flagrant female forms
With popping breasts
And pouting lips
And deadness in their stare.

Captured joy in the limited.

Cruelty in the fool.

And distance in the desperate hugs
Of dispirited couples.

Crippled witches in wheelchairs,
Hollow haunts of Halloween and
The somehow sexless exposed bodies
Of nudists unnaturally natural.


And then the last image
The last and lasting one
Of a shaky hand popping pills
And then the slash and glistening
Blood on blade and wrist.

And the blackened shutter.

Thread


There.
You see?
Shall we follow? Shall we go?

Go where?
What do you see?

A stitching of steps across the sand.

You see nothing then.
Footsteps across last summer’s shore
Is another’s reality soon washed away.

It is a thread woven in time;
A peek at the past passed by.
Can’t we follow this history
And reveal its mystery?

History is an illusion of light
As gone as yesterday’s shadow.
A shade, a flicker in a peep show,
Enticing as a striptease.
But when the final thread unravels
And when the last veil is dropped
The screen goes to black
Until another quarter’s in the slot.

And that’s the reveal of history,
You look, you see, and then repeat.

Daily Commute


All roads lead to Rome…
That’s why it fell…none…
None were open to nowhere.
Just sheets and sheets
Of closed down streets.
Just orange pyramids
And barrels without rum.

And Cleopatra’s needle is a staff
Held by a flag woman
Who isn’t bare-breasted,
Doesn’t hold an asp
Or sport a flask of rum.

Just a detour on the detour.
A bypass of one lane
Where there should be four.
If the road to Hell is paved
By this state’s good intentions
We’ll be stalled forever in Purgatory
Dreaming of a dram of rum.

The commuter army is stalled
This side of the Rubicon
By barriers and yellow tape.
And in the gridlock of Delaware,
My Delaware,
Civilization has been driven ape,
Because it can not drive anywhere
Else except to distraction
In the constant obstruction
Of Road construction.




Illustration: DelDOT Photo

Naked on a Swing


A Triolet

When I was a lad of a certain age
I saw pictures of a forbidden thing.

She was an icon, all the rage,
The notorious body of Betty Page,
Beaming near naked on a swing.

When I was a lad of a certain age
I saw pictures of a forbidden thing

Betty Page 1923-2008

Tiger, Tiger (With apologies to William Blake)


Tiger, Tiger, in the night
Fleeing the wrath and fight
Of a woman cruelly spurned
Beyond your bridges now burned.
Now we know along the fairway
All the fair lady you laid.
How many birdies have had it
When you removed the green jacket.

He would putter here and putter there.
Taking his strokes with great care.
Master of his driver most of all
He would par each and every hole.
We thought he was above the gallery
Not knowing his nights of harlotry.
But sometimes when you walk the edge
Your wife’ll bop you with a sand wedge.

Smashed your car that must be tough.
Now you’re buried in the rough.
How must it be to be the joke
Where every comic takes a poke
At slamming you off the tee?
As your sponsors begin to flee;
Tiger, Tiger, Hiding in your house
Once though the man, now a mouse.



Illustration: Photo off the Internet, source unknown

Top Ten List


People die everyday,

Every 12 seconds in the USA.

630,000 hearts go pop.
In 560,000 cancer says stop.

Some blow a vain in the brain.
Others can’t catch a breath so don’t remain.

122,000 in car crashes and fires
And 72,000 diabetics finally expire.

Alzheimers 72,000 will slew.
56,000 drop dead of the flu.

Failing livers make 45,000 say I’ll see ya!
And 34,000 succumb to Septicemia.

Whether you make the top ten or number 95
One thing’s sure, you don’t get out of life alive.

Blue People



Down some country road,
Down the macadam, concrete, dirt, brick, gravel, cobblestone way
Beyond the civilization and the forest primeval
Is a lane between hedges
Whereas the outer edges
Are painted a deep unfavorable blue
A dark and deep hue
As forbidding as the heart of smoke

And down the lane of hedges is broken time
Smashed clocks, torn calendars, shattered sundials, erased chalk ticks
Except destruction cannot hold back the seasons
So you will come upon stubble of harvest
Or the blur of swirling snow
Or the daffodil of spring
Or the dried brown crust of baked hay
On the seventh Sunday of a summer day

But they plant the harvest in the same old way
As did the old in the day of youth
On the same same field with the same same seeds
And when the snows come they light the same fire
To huddle by and make the same complaint
The faces change and never change
Young once and elderly all melded into one
Because it’s not safe to be different or strange.

But there is no life
In the stifling suffocating surreal stagnantmentation of status quo
The pond of time always ripples
And the stones of castle foundations crumble and crack.
How do you find salvation
If you never find suffering?
You do not find life without death.
You do not get to heaven without going through the singe of hell.

January Vision


A Tanka



A morning so cold
It turned me blue, brrrrr-y blue;
Froze me with a dream
Of blue crocus in the snow
Like Spring blueberries in cream.




Illustration: Crocus in snow, source unknown

Harvest


A pod of a poem dropped into the cyber soil
Like a seed it seemed to sprout when exposed to light
And slowly came the sowers of words
Those cunning little cultivators
And the pod became a tree
Bearing a plump plum crop of poets.

Poets of the Blogosphere


A Haiku



Sitting at keyboard
Floating across the Blog Posts
Of fellow poets.

Variation on a Theme from Moondustwriter's "Rain"


The truth of our life
Is we cannot stop the rain,
Just mop up after.

Through a thorough clean,
A cleansing by our conscience,
We bring back some sun.

But we must never
Linger in the undertow’s
Despair or we drown.

Life is not the storm.
It is not the tidal wave
Or the hurricane.

Life is in the calm
Before the storm and then the
Peace of surviving.

Haiti 2010



Death came in big boots.
He stomped through the city,
Waving his scythe haphazardly.
He didn’t look left, he didn’t look right.
He carried no list, had no purpose
But to shake down walls and scatter dust.

Oh, why do we need this woe?
You stomp us down in your big boots,
We who cannot afford shoes.
You break our backs with our own broken homes,
Strip and tear the fabric of our tattered lives,
Lowest of the low left to cry, moan and cuss.

Man snaps big suspenders
And don’s his face of pity,
But all the money in the world
Can’t bridge the barricades of bureaucracy.
Man in his Godless arrogance
Once again is at the feet of nature’s fury
Trapped between his greed and his mercy.

And Haiti is a quake in history.
And Haiti is the shake of this season.
Some will beat chests and cry for the children.
Some will say it puts life in perspective.
Some will assure us they will never forget.
Some will blame God because they are fools.
Soon all will ask, “hey anything good on TV tonight?”

Next year some poet will write, “Somewhere 2011”.




Illustration: News Photo Source unknown

Stored in a Barn


Stored in the Barn
A Comment Poem
By
The Cunning Poets Society
Jim Schmotzer, Kelly Langner Sauer, Erin Kilmer, Val, Lorrie Ransom, Kathleen Overby, Maureen Doallas, Russell Holloway, Larry E., Krist Fornshell, Susan Etole, Glynn Young, Monica Sharman, Linda Schontos, Bradley J. Moore, Laura Boggess, Melo, A. Jay Adler, Fishing Guy, Marcus Goodyear and Nancy Rosback.
Edited by Nancy Rosback

Morning light
 filtering through
 rough 
cockeyed 
slats
I guess at what was 
knowing
I fall short of reality

Another’s dream, labor of love
Voices hammering memory,
Splinters
,
Nails 
into strong shelter.

After all these years

Rough and splintered, empty and useless

Is this all there is of me?
The devastation of time

And splendor of the past

Reveals an opportunity today.

Against my cheek

Batik
 and quantum
 glassy
Veil
 of wonder shrunken,
Dry, broken beauty

The warmth of living

Held in the
 pores of her
 wooden walls

So wide the slant
 of light still

Reflecting and
 illuminating,

Urging me
 to cast my eyes

Up beyond 
the surface

Of my worn 
decaying shell.

I rest in shadow,
Sun inviting, 
waiting.

Someone see me
 venture in;

Unbury my treasures.


I am yet standing
 still.
My hand reaches out

And touches a smooth forehead

Of someone unseen

Standing in shadows between broken patterns of light
,
My feet disturb ancient dust, sending it swirling

Through the stilted sunbeams shimmering through broken slats,

Twirling through my memory the summers on this farm.

And forming within the air long forgotten faded faces,

That when I reach dissolve again in dust and past.

Dark and deep

Memories sleep.

Times long ago:

Frosty mornings
,
Cattle breath,
Clouds,

Grandpa’s mud caked boots
,
Frosting of ice on an old tin roof,
Hauling up hay bales to store for the Winter,
Sweet smells of Fall harvest
,
Muscles aching, mind content.

Bustle of city life now
,
Missing the farm.
Memories don’t rust nor dry rot.
Lumber and slumber
,
Time has its way
.
Hit the hay
Weathered, broken,
Leaning 
on
 another’s arms
 hoping
 for
 more time

There was a barn raising, once;
Horses and cows 
snorted and 
jostled, once;

Hay was baled and lifted, once;

I lay on the floor
 to fix the oil
 leak on the 
John Deere, once;
The we-regret-to
-inform-you
-telegram came to
 me there, once;

I lay dying while
 they stored my
 coffin there, once.
Slat-filter is what I need 
to let through only the pure
 light,
The oldness and pain strained
 away by sieve of wood
 still standing.
Beams of light revealing
 pieces of the past,

Days when all was prosperous
 and we filled the air with laughter.

Slanted,

Leaning,
Waiting and weathered,

This beaten brown
 chicken wired life
;
This Broken down 
body of
 boards,

Planks, subject to
 the elements’
decay.

But
 beautiful 
rest.
Yet-
sun-bleached
 beauty 
tells story
 of 
my heart

Sated with 
life
 holding in
 memories

Laughing in
 the wind.
Hold up 
this old skirt
 one last
 time

And twirl
 in grasses 
swaying at 
my hem
I am
 ready
 to die
 now.

Touched 
lives unseen
Sheltering
 still
,
Shedding skin
,
Tunneling
,
Scuffling.

Fluffing feathers.
Turning
 to sun
 and moon
 murmuring
 softly

Burrowing
 beneath 
each other 
and earth,

Crumbled leaves,
 scattered remains,

Remnants
 transfigured
 another life
.
Sheltering
 still
.
Woven together
 grass

Feather

Paper
Thread
 and fur 
tucked 
between
 mud.
Clinging
 heart singing 
beneath eaves.

Helplessly
 open mouths
 and eyes 
not yet 
seeing

Wait in line,

Lean,

Slope
,
Skew 
to the pitch of a truth I tell.

I once stood strong 
against the wind.

I did not quake
n or did I bend
And now the end 
is drawing near

I face it now
 seeing no fear.
Dust in the air and under
 my boots
Must contain the life
 that passed through their stock.

This space plows my faith
 and memory into neat rows
Waiting for someone to sow.


January 21-22, 2010

Feeding Time Seranade


From beneath the couch,
Sing cats in sudden chorus
At the bag’s downbeat.

Thin Ice September Deception


Under a cold December moon
All pretenses at true science lie exposed.
Is true science dead?

Gaseous politicians
In fervid fever rise
To rattle our bones

And bury us in snow jobs
Of melting ice caps and Polar bears
With doctored photographs.

How dare you, sir,
Frighten children in pursuit of gain
And control of all our freedoms.

Despised creature,
But in your deception, truth.
Horsemen do ready stirrups.

The sun will scorch sinful man,
Darkness will follow.
Angel’s cry, “It is done!”

The Shepherd calls,
The hour of choosing has arrived.
And some are fools.