Content (Senryu)

Pleased to be alive
Gardening in the hot sun
Grieving not its end.

6/6/17

This senryu (aka a “human haiku”) is my response to Colleen’s Weekly #Poetry Challenge # 36 – HAPPY & SAD. I subsituted the synonyms “Pleased” and “Grieving” for “Happy” and “Sad”

Survival Skills

In the chasm between dreams and reality
Falls pain and disappointment,
Bridged by madness and hope,
Holding off the suffocating
Black blanket of eternal night.

5/29-6/3/17

Reoccurring Dreams

The dreams return,
Can’t stop them from coming,
Dreams of the past,
Relived like a robot,
Unable to deviate from programming.

Dreams of things that never happened
–that never could–
But I that know to be true:
On stage alone,
Ukulele-playing Tangled Up In Blue,
Rock-Band-Playing
Won’t Get Fooled Again,
Sharing a backstage drink with
Early ’80s Pete Townshend,
Toasting a fallen friend,
Fidgeting for a fix.

Dreams of the future,
Not flying-car Flash Gordon future,
No Starships or monoliths.
The real future, my future:
The coming darkness,
Depression and death.
Standing on the beach
Feeling old and tired,
Isolated; alone,
Ready for the end.
But I’m wrong.

5/29/17

Adapted from Chapter II of Summer of a Doormouse.

Thermodynamics (a Tanka)

Entropy grows
Past the point of no return
Time’s arrow flies on
Toward the heat-death future
A fate sealed by mathematics.

5/24/17

This is my second response to Colleen’s Weekly #Poetry Challenge # 35 – PAST & FUTURE.

Very observant readers will note that this Tanka doesn’t hold strictly to the 5/7/5/7/7 syllable count. I opted for what I felt was best for the poem. There is actually some disagreement regarding syllable counting when writing Japanese forms(Haiku, Senryu, Tanka, et cetera) in English, since the Japanese “on” and the English “syllable” are not synonymous.

Hunter and Prey (a Tanka)

Eyes glow in the dark
Dead twigs crack under footfall
The prey hears nothing
The circle of life must close
Sharp clean claws will finish it.

5/9/17

My response to Colleen’s Weekly #Poetry Challenge # 33 – CLEAN & SHARP

The Coming War (Tanka)

Armadas set sail
Missiles locked on target
Egos go to war
Everyone else pays the price
In blood and innocent lives

4/25/17

Poem #30 for National Poetry Writing Month (aka #NaPoWriMo).

Old Man

Ancient and alone,
Last of your kind.
No one like you anymore,
If there ever truly was.

Hair thins, grays,
Skin sags, flabs,
Nothing works like it used to.
More scars than you remember,
Wounds take longer to heal:
Some never close.

The longer you live
The more friends you’ll bury,
A trail of corpses behind you.
No one left to talk to,
Nobody understands,
No one sees the world the same,
Even the loss of an old enemy
Brings a tear to the eye.

4/17/17

Poem #19 for National Poetry Writing Month (aka #NaPoWriMo)

Life (a double tetractys)

Life
begins
in darkness,
grows in the light:
developing, evolving, flourishing.
aging, decaying; systems breaking down.
Life always ends
in darkness
and in
death.

4/15/17

Poem #17 for National Poetry Writing Month (aka #NaPoWriMo)

This is my second attempt at at tetractys and my first double-tetractys.

So Tired of the War

Sopping wet cotton towel
Laid across broad shoulders,
Heavy, cold; pressing down
Like two one ton granite boulders.

Frosty goose skinned arms
Shivering in the back of the night
Blurred vision, runny nose,
No energy left to fight.

Enemy within, enemy without
This war just needs to end.
Losses heavy, steaks so high,
The home-front can’t comprehend.

The end’s in sight, the pain will stop,
No longer be afraid:
This old soldier’s mission ends
When in the ground he’s laid.

4/12/17

Poem #13 for National Poetry Writing Month (aka #NaPoWriMo)

Its Hard (a Tanka)

Harder and harder
To breath, climbing up the hill
Harder and harder
To not cry out in pain and
Pray to rest in the soft dirt.

4/11/17

Poem #12 for National Poetry Writing Month (aka #NaPoWriMo)

This Tanka is my first response to Colleen’s Weekly #Poetry Challenge # 28 – HARD & SOFT. I am honored to say that Colleen named me this week’s “Poet of the Week,” based on my tanka The Mask, which was a response to last week’s challenge.