IMMATERIAL SOULS?

Kenia, in her Wednesday Challenge for Imaginary Garden with Real Toads, http://withrealtoads.blogspot.com/2011/11/kenias-wednesday-challenge_30.html, challenges us to write a metaphysical poem from one of the metaphysical questions linked in her posting. I chose question #48: Do humans involve immaterial souls?

IMMATERIAL SOULS?
by Mike Patrick

Do humans involve immaterial souls?
You do. You still speak to me.
You still touch my cheek after I shave.
I hear you inhale,
smelling my aftershave.
Some things haven’t changed.

I almost see you in the mirror
or picking up the mail.
You are almost here
all the time.

Sometimes I feel your kiss.
It still surprises me while I’m reading.
It’s lighter than it used to be,
but it is.

You still sing along with the radio
when I go to talk to you.
There is laughter in your voice.
I know you’re happy
where we’ll be happy—in time.

Posted in Death, Free Verse, Love, Poetry, Real Toads, Un-rhyming | Tagged , , , , , | 13 Comments

WHILE WAITING

The words for The Sunday Whirl’s http://sundaywhirl.wordpress.com/2011/11/27/wordle-32/ Wordle #32 are: rush, mellow, gullible, rustle, smug, shudder, fulcrum, sunshine, ruddy, untidy, subliminal, and spinning. They proved to be very difficult for me with the words ‘fulcrum, subliminal’ and ‘ruddy’ driving me crazy. I wrote two complete failures before the first line of While Waiting came to me. It’s another of those poems that will receive a makeover sometime in the future because there is a lot of room for improvement.

WHILE WAITING
by Mike Patrick

Image from The Sunday Wordle

While waiting for another love,
how shall I spend my time?
Shall I rush forth,
gullibly searching for another you?

Shall I wait within my room,
smug in my belief
that pain mellows with age
and love can’t die?

Do I hide in the dark
of my now untidy life and shudder?
How should one face a life
without sunshine,
without ruddy sunsets,
without hope?

You were my fulcrum,
the point that kept my life
from spinning out of control.

Perhaps my time is better spent
within our bedroom’s warmth,
waiting for the subliminal message
of your skirt
rustling as you undress
in my dreams?

Posted in A Wording Whirl of Sundays, Depression, Free Verse, Lost Love, Poetry, Un-rhyming | Tagged , , , , , | 11 Comments

THIS OLD HOUSE

Viv in France wrote a poem yesterday, http://vivinfrance.wordpress.com/2011/11/20/changes-for-dverse-poets/, that haunted me from the moment I read it. I tried to ignore it. I tried to work on my novel, but it refused to go away. To truly understand the poem, it is necessary to understand the additional background found in this posting: http://vivinfrance.wordpress.com/2011/06/26/the-house-that-jock-built/. Viv, this one is for you.

THIS OLD HOUSE
by Mike Patrick

The House that Jock Built, image by Viv Blake

My new house has . . . atmosphere:
warm and comfortable, the early light
brings cheer to a kitchen steeped in
the smell of fresh-baked bread.

The church bells sound, calling me,
reminding me of the passing time.
I find myself counting a blessing for each tone,
and I wonder if this is holy ground.

Outside the open kitchen window,
a lovely garden grows.
The scent of roses stirs memories
belonging to someone else.

I find nothing sinister.
The memories are of the joy
of nurturing that rose in its first year;
children laugh in the background.

The previous owner must have outgrown
this place. How else could they leave?
I won’t. This old house once held everything I need,
and I shall fill it again;
let it be the home it’s always been.

Posted in Family, Free Verse, Life, Love, Narrative Poem, Poetry, Un-rhyming, Unprompted | 8 Comments

REFLECTIVE FIRE

Again, the Sunday Whirl, http://sundaywhirl.wordpress.com/, came up with a wonderful set of words for Wordle #31. The words are: diamond, mindless, spark, fires, ice, smolder, oblivious, sky, silence, planet, trapped and drowned.

It was pleasant to write on a lighter subject and a different passion. For a model, I had Sandy’s stories of her son in his youth.

REFLECTIVE FIRE
by Mike Patrick

To cheers he walked across the diamond,
mindless of the adoring crowd,
oblivious to the darkening sky,
trapped in a planet of silence.

For the next two hours he stayed submerged,
drowned in concentration.

Only beneath the ice in his eyes
could a single spark be found:
a reflection of the competitive fires
smoldering just below
as he pitched his first no-hitter.

Posted in A Wording Whirl of Sundays, Childhood, Free Verse, Narrative Poem, Poetry, Sports, Un-rhyming | Tagged , , , , , , | 17 Comments

FÜR ELISE

Margo Roby gives us a musical challenge for her Tuesday Tryouts, http://margoroby.wordpress.com/2011/11/15/tympani-tambourines-and-toots-tuesday-tryouts/. She asks for whatever comes off the quill while listening to music, and as a courtesy, she provided four potential music samples—and for those not familiar with classical music, what samples they are.

Vienna Horns

Fur Elise — Beethoven

Vivaldi Four Seasons — Winter

Brandenburg Concertos — Bach 

Roughly one half of my soul is made of music. It goes with me everywhere. Anytime I hear music, that musical side of my soul inserts lyrics. It is something beyond my ability to control. Sometimes, the lyrics make sense—other times, not so much—often those lyrics change each time I hear a specific piece of music. I thought this would be pretty easy, especially since Für Elise is one of my favorite pieces of all time. Unfortunately, what came out didn’t come out much like lyrics or a poem. Standing alone, it looks pretty silly, but it fits fairly well with the music. I encourage you to read it while listening to the music (a click on the link by pressing down on the center wheel on my mouse opens the music in another tab so it can be heard while reading along). I did not finish the whole thing. I simply can’t type fast enough to keep up with the music and replaying it over and over, as enjoyable as I find it, is keeping me from working on my novel. So here it is. Not a poem generated by the music, but the lyrics the music speaks to me. If news comes out of Ludwig Von Beethoven spinning in his grave, it’s my fault.

FÜR ELISE

O—– how I feel,
I feel
all the love,
O—– how I feel,
I feel
all the love.

O—– how I need,
I need
all those times,
O—– how I need,
I need
all those times,

when you are here,
when you are here,
I can breathe.
I can live.

O——- But now I find,
I find,
you are gone
O—– But now I find,
I find
you are gone

And when you’re gone
my world ends
my heart cries
my heart dies.

O—– what can I do?
Oh no
oh my God,
O—– what can I do?
How can
I call you back?

But here you are
here forever
right beside me
holding me so tightly
What did you do
to ever need
me like this?

My heart,
it flies so lightly.

Posted in Uncategorized | 8 Comments

PROUDLY HE WALKED

The Sunday Whirl, for wordle #30, http://sundaywhirl.wordpress.com/2011/11/13/wordle-30/, proved to be difficult until the words ‘bees’ and ‘coral’ jumped out at me. Then my muse took over and I realized I would have to make this a belated Veterans’ Day tribute.

Wordle 30

The words are: bees, balance, cleaning, coral, finger, motionless, eloquent, safety, rapidly, point, strength, swivel.

PROUDLY HE WALKED
by Mike Patrick

Proudly he walked the length of the concourse,
head high and moving rapidly for a man of his age.
His wife and son struggled to keep up.
His grandson, his warrior, was returning home.

His own days of war had been in World War II.
He was in one of the first Construction Battalions.
Construction Battalions—shortened to CBs,
then to Cee Bees, and finally to Seabees.

He still remembered the strength of youth
and running across the coral,
cleaning off the beach obstructions:
swiveling from one to another
planting explosive charges.

There was no thought of safety.
Life was a balancing act:
standing motionless,
then running like Hell,
so scared he couldn’t talk—
but he made it.

He went on to build piers, airstrips and hospitals,
on a dozen dirty little disease infested islands.
He kept building after he got out.
Now that he owned a construction company,
all he had to do was point a finger
and others rushed to do his bidding.

But not this one.
Not the one coming home today.
His grandson’s time in the service
was spent building schools and hospitals
in Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

As his grandson proudly walked from the plane,
head held high, resplendent in his uniform,
he tried to think of an eloquent welcome speech,
but all he could do was cry.

Posted in A Wording Whirl of Sundays, Aging, Family, Free Verse, Grandchildren, Narrative Poem, Poetry, Un-rhyming, War, Warriors | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

I PLAY NO MORE

I’ve been so busy trying to write an impossible novel, I almost missed one of the Welsh poetry forms from Imaginary Garden with real Toads, http://withrealtoads.blogspot.com/2011/11/i-gymryd-anadl.html.

This week they want a toddaid. A toddaid is a stanza comprising a ten-syllable line alternating with a nine-syllable line. A syllable towards the end of the first line rhymes with one in the middle of the second line. Similarly lines three and four. Lines two and four rhyme with each other. Here’s what the rhyme scheme looks like. The rhyme can fall in any of the underlined syllables:

x x x x x x x A x x
x x x x A x x x B
x x x x x x x C x x
x x x x C x x x B

It looks pretty easy, and I need a break from the novel, so I can’t pass it up. Do to time constraints, I did keep it to one stanza.

I PLAY NO MORE
by Mike Patrick

We played at love in days of youth now gone;
ignored the truth in the rush to score.
But now I find that love is not a game.
Life gives one shot; I play no more.

Posted in Aging, Love, Poetry, Real Toads, Rhyming, Toddaid | Tagged , , , , | 10 Comments

THE DRAWER

Imaginary Garden with Real Toads, http://withrealtoads.blogspot.com/2011/11/memory-bowl.html, challenges us to place a few items in a memory bowl, make a poem out of it and perhaps include a photograph of the bowl. I don’t have much of an artist’s eye for composition, and I’m positive the camera’s batteries are dead; however, ‘memory bowl’ reminds me of an old poem—the first list poem I ever wrote. I looked it up and did a major rewrite; the original was in rhyming verse. I hope this version will fulfill the spirit of the Real Toads challenge.

THE DRAWER
By Mike Patrick

Your business card, a locket,
half a broken heart,
a note, all your letters
and your secret diary’s key:
add them all together,
they’re a fraction of the things
one can find within my drawer of memories.

The Deadwood wanted poster
showing you with that enormous gun.
And here’s that tangled ball of beads
from Mardi Gras,
your gift from laughing kids.

The handkerchief
you cried in on the day we wed.
Your Bible, still pressing blossoms
you picked from dogwood trees.
They are all here together
in my drawer of memories.

I only kept the good things
‘cause now you’re not with me.
They’ll always be safe—with you,
in the drawer of my mind’s memory.

Posted in Free Verse, Love, Poetry, Real Toads | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments

UNBLEMISHED

Poets United http://poetryblogroll.blogspot.com/2011/11/thursday-think-tank-74-winter.html, for Thursday Think Tank #74, asks for a winter poem.

UNBLEMISHED
by Mike Patrick

Pure white snow
reflecting a noonday sun.
All flaws are covered,
blemishes hidden.

Here, away from the crowds,
no laughing children mar its surface.
For a while—a few hours—
even the wildlife hold to their dens.

The dark bark of oak and elm
are encrusted with white crystals.
Rejoicing while dead leaves
are interred in white splendor,
they become towering gems.

Tomorrow, when tracks appear,
the spell will be broken.
Sins will again be exposed
and the world will be normal.
Purity will be gone
and I shall dream of yesterday.

Posted in Dreams, Free Verse, Nature, Poetry, Poets United, Un-rhyming, Weather | Tagged , , , , , , | 17 Comments

THE GOLDEN YEAR

Margo Roby, in her Tuesday Tryouts, gave us a visual prompt, a painting of Edward Hopper’s Cape Cod (see below). All we need to do is write a character sketch about what we see in the painting. Oddly enough, the couple in the painting could have been modeled by my mother and father. That made this one a little easier and a lot harder.

THE GOLDEN YEAR
by Mike Patrick

Edward Hopper’s Cape Cod--click to enlarge

I watch him playing with the dog;
something all three of us enjoy.

Forty-eight years with the same company
made retirement comfortable—financially.
He worked hard for it, deserves it.

The house is paid for,
our kids have graduated from college;
now we’re able to help the grandkids.

Forty-six years of marriage:
so rare these days.
We’re from a generation that married for life,
and it’s a good marriage.
He’s a good man.

We traveled a little last year
after his retirement party.
Not so much this year.
Travel is a hassle.

Lassie is tired now. So is my man.
She will only play about thirty minutes,
and that’s about how long he can throw a ball.
Time for me to help him up and get him inside.
This damp air is aggravating his cough.
He’s a good man.

Posted in Aging, Family, Free Verse, Life, Love, Narrative Poem, Poetry, Tuesday Tryouts, Un-rhyming | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments