Two poems for the last day of April and the end of National Poetry Month

A Last Poem

 

This journal isn’t full,

but it is finished.

 

When Writing in a New Journal

 

I wonder, will a larger canvas make

a difference? Will this larger surface take

the words and images the same or will

the poems change? be better? turn to swill?

The subject matter is proportional.

You try to capture a processional

and if the canvas isn’t big enough

you’ll find it is impossible. You’ll stuff

the page. The images will overwhelm

the overall design. An image caught on film

demands a size appropriate to what

is captured. Print it wrong, you cut

the impact that the image could have had.

It may not be the end result is bad

exactly just that it’s a little off.

And so I wonder will this journal work?

The Benefit of Meditation

It isn’t that I’m just a lazy bum.

I’m meditating, thinking deep, deep thoughts.

I’m focusing on what’s important. Ooooommmmm.

I think that’s right. It doesn’t sound quite right.

Should I add more or fewer Os and Ms?

Or more or fewer Os or Ms? The oars,

I would be up a creek without the oars.

I’ve always wondered, why does corn have ears?

And what is it a corn stalk hears or fears?

I’ve never really liked the taste of beer.

It’s weird, at night the train from miles away

comes roaring through the window. Just at night,

and just on Summer nights. I wonder if

I’ve meditated long enough. How long

should meditation last? Am I supposed

to concentrate on toes? Imagine they

go wee, wee, wee? Or do I have it wrong?

My belly button. I remember now.

I focus on my belly button. Right.

It’s that and ohms and I’m electrified.

I’m meditated, medicated, done.

A Total Waste

The Canterbury Tales? You know, I do

remember even after twenty years.

“Whan that April with his shoures soote

The drought of March hath percèd to the roote

And bathèd every vein in swich liquor

Of which virtue engendered is the flour.”

We had to get the Middle English right.

It wasn’t good enough to learn the words.

We had to say the words correctly too.

The jerk was never satisfied until

we said it perfectly. I don’t know why

I still remember it. A total waste

of time. I’ve never used a single thing

we studied in that class. A single thing!

I still don’t understand the reason we

were forced to memorize those stupid lines,

to learn those idiotic eighteen lines.

Buy yeah, I can recite them even now.

Shakespeare Can Keep Them

I wrote a Shakespearean sonnet once

with fourteen lines and rhymes and everything.

I don’t remember what it was about.

I just remember that I wrote one once.

I didn’t check it off my bucket list.

My list’s reserved for the impossible

like riding in the Tour de France. It’s not

for sonnets, not for ordinary things

or bragging rights. I wrote it just because

I guess, or maybe, I don’t really know.

I just remember that I wrote one once

with fourteen lines and rhymes and everything

a sonnet is supposed to have. I’m sure

the meter creaked. I’m sure the rhymes were forced

and probably the subject matter sucked.

Someday I’ll have write another one,

and it’s ok if someday never comes.

A sonnet isn’t on my bucket list.

A Conundrum

I might as well get started anyway.

I mean, I might as well. I’m sitting here.

There’s nothing else to do. There’s nothing else

I want to do or really ought to do.

I am just sitting here. I might as well

get started. After all, it’s better than

just sitting here and later, when it’s done

I can go back to sitting here again.

There will be time to sit here when I’m done.

But then I won’t have anything to do.

Who Wouldn’t Kill a Fly?

My mother told the story. As a girl

some older kids convinced her she should make

a shoo-fly pie. So all day long she went

and swatted flies and gathered them to eat.

 

The camera caught Obama in the act.

He killed him. You could see him lying there.

A murdered innocent. The killer caught.

And all the world reacted. Headlines screamed!

Obligatory outrage everywhere.

The head of PETA, interviewed, condemned

the Presidential act as senseless, cruel.

 

And I reacted too. Of course my soul’s

depraved and twisted and condemned to hell.

I thought, good riddance. I would kill them all.

And while I’m at it all mosquitoes too.

Imagine if you will, my evil laugh,

and death, destruction, murder everywhere.

 

The Great John L. was fast enough to snatch

a fly out of the air then let it go.

Of course he was the world champion

and so for him allowance must be made.

An Explanation from an Old Wood Carver

Japanese wood carver

My favorite wood for carving? Pear.

As far as I’m concerned, it is the best.

Like all the other fruit wood it is hard,

but more than that, it wants to grip the gouge

which helps me carve the lines I want to carve.

Now maple is about as hard as pear.

And it too can be carved against the grain

and won’t tear out like many other woods.

I’ve only carved a couple blocks with it, but

the wood is slippery. It’s harder to

control the gouge and keep it in the line.

Mahogany is a hard wood, but too soft

to let me get the detail that I want

my prints to have. And walnut’s beautiful,

but unlike pear it has an open grain

and if I carved a walnut block those holes

would show up ruining my finished prints.

So pear, like partridge in a pear tree pear,

is what I use for making wood bock prints.