Tribute to Walt Whitman / caterpillar poets

Another Walt Whitman poem I wrote can be found here. I’ve read very little of Leaves of Grass but am inspired by Whitman nonetheless! Peace to your !


Tribute to Walt Whitman
who revised Leaves of Grass repeatedly until he died

Sculptors of marble chip and chip away.
Potters knead and shape their lumps of clay.
Poets create, through words alone,
What never cracks, is never set in stone.

caterpillar poets

Oh, to be a Whitman!
   They digest Leaves of Grass.

Living day by daydreams…
   these, too, shall pass.

Eating, dreaming, dying—
   without flying.

Poem title from chapter 58 of poemcrazy by Susan G. Wooldridge.

Strange Birds

Poets are strange birds,
no wings but what they weave
for themselves out of scraps
of their own and others’ lives
or cobble together from twigs,
leaves and mud paste.

Some hobble. Others falter
in the face of an unrelenting wind.
A blessed few take off in flights
almost too beautiful
for words.

Published in Eye Contact, Spring 2017


Peace to your !

Ode to Poetry

Over on The Skeptic’s Kaddish, I learned that it’s National Bad Poetry Day. An appropriate day to post this poem from 2015. Peace to your !


Ode to Poetry

O divine and lofty verse
Whose beauty has no equal,
Let me your many charms rehearse:
You’re lovelier than a pit bull.

nah…let’s see…

O lines that echo endlessly
For days and days and days,
Ear worms I would never flee,
To you I give just praise.

not good…how about this…

O poetry melodious,
You roll smoothly off my tongue,
I’m grateful you’re not odious,
Like my mother’s egg foo yung.

really not good…arghhh…

O poetry melodious,
I cannot seem to think
Of any praise not odious.
All my verses stink.

sigh…one last try…

O poetry, your glories
Mirror the music of the spheres,
So heavenly your harmonies,
Delightful music to my ears.

ahhh…almost makes me want to cry

Life Cycle of a Poem

conception
gestation
creation
(birth)

elation
hesitation
deflation
(no worth)

analyzing
revising
surprising
(not bad)

perfected
directed
rejected
(so sad)

inspected
corrected
redirected
(sigh)

anticipating
still awaiting
speculating
(why?)

validation
jubilation
congratulations
(sold!)

publication
celebration
remuneration
(gold!!)


Peace to your !

[A very sparing young poet named Nick]

A very sparing young poet named Nick,
Having mastered the compact limerick,
Yearned for verse
Even more terse,
So he strove to compose a slimerick.

Nick was not only sparing, but picky,
Which made the slimerick extra tricky.
Nothing he tried
Satisfied—
They were all, in a word, slimericky.


I’m also posting my first response to Monty Vern’s Silver Lining June collaboration. In a silver lining poem (Monty’s invention), the last words of each line in the poem are the key words, in order, of another line of poetry, with appropriate credit given to the original poet. The borrowing poet can forget those pesky little words like a, the, and of and can write about an entirely different subject. Thank you, Monty, for the opportunity to participate! Peace to our s!

[“A molten gold flows away from the sun” from “Evening Sea Wind” by Carl Sandburg]

Self-Sabotage

~after Carl Sandburg

Once the heart becomes molten,
Carefully cup the blistering gold
In your hands and gloat as it flows
Through your fingers. Then put the blowtorch away.
Tomorrow, stare at the sun.

1:23 AM

in the wee hours of the morn
a poem cries out to be born

       turn on the light
       write, write, write

pat your baby on the head
climb back into bed

Middle-of-the-night inspiration isn’t my preference, but I know that if I don’t write things down right away, there’s little likelihood I’ll remember the lines in the morning. Peace to your !

Any Donne’ll Do

Demetrius sat with his nose in the air,
Certain he hadn’t a worry or care.
Directly descended from the great John Donne,
He was sure to ace Poetry 101.

The first assignment was child’s play:
Demetrius received an easy A.
Mid-semester, gone was the ease;
Demetrius struggled for B’s and C’s.

The final project? An Italian sonnet.
Demetrius worked like the devil on it.
But he of the fancy pedigree
Nonetheless got a big fat D.

And so in class Demetrius learned
That artistic pride must be earned.
Those engaging in poetics
Can’t rely on their genetics.


Peace to your !