There is a lot of bad poetry in the world. Here are a few of my contributions to the collection.
Minuet Sing to me softly and play on your mandolin. Sweet summertime is over and winter is rushing in. Tell me a story and don't ever shut the door. I hear the darkness calling; I'm coming once more.
Gravity In some near barn a pitchfork lurks and tugs at me, though miles away. And at the center of the celestial murk a somewhat subtler tug holds sway.
Mortar and Pestle Where once your fingers spices ground I found some dust and clove and cardamom. Your garam masala fingerprint; now dwindled to the dearest pinch. And how should I consume it hence? Savor each speck in straight sequence? Or favor my curry in one fall? Swoop, a lofted waft into my soup. But then... spare years of machine-made mixtures will grind, blind, against my tumblers.
Inertia The world on whose shore I tumble released by towers of water which vaporize to steam ships and cloud the vaulted ceiling where radiant air veils novas which answer distant beacons signaling the center from which the spreading masses return to homogeneity is spinning. And I who conned the frigate which clove the tumbling ocean which hid a thousand chasms of mysteries and wonder from ultraviolet fingers of gamma radiation which ravish the dry lakebed and petrify the forest cannot stop it.
Flatland Concave Polly and Convex Frank Have a floating mortgage at Flatland Bank. Their assets safe behind a line, Accruing interest, a point at a time. When Concave Polly was just a little crescent Her concave mommy gave her a present. A crocheted shawl woven on her loom. A gilted quilt to line her womb. But Convex Frank's convex daddy is dead. A convex bullet clove his convex head. And thus Frank's path has been set free. Or at least as free as a wedge can be.
Diary Man When Diary Man inscribes his annals, he dots every I, and checks every dot. Describing in perfect, exhaustive detail, the life that a faithful diarist has not. For a perfect description can not be rushed. It is painfully writ and stakingly read. Leaving barely enough teeth for a brush, a peck on the check. And then off to bed.
What I'm Not If I were a frog I'd jump. But I'm not, so I'll lump. If I were a lizard I'd leap. But I'm not, so I'll sleep. If I were an eagle I'd fly. But I'm not, so I'll sigh. If I were a tuber I'd lay. And I am. Here I stay.
Fulcrum Swing your knees. Feel the wire connecting your gut to the earth below. Contract and pull the ground up bridging the span like an easy chair. It's plain the plain roof your perch, cracked, black and peopled with steel mushrooms and paper copters holds the history of your planet whose clouds attract the buzz of jets, whose capitols are distant tumors. Swing your knees on the edge of your culmination your fulcrum being your ability to fly or perhaps to choose to fly tomorrow, or tuesday.
Friendly Ghosts In Caspar's lair, 'tis sometimes said, A child will meet a floating head. A friendly boy with woman's voice. Be not afraid, you have no choice. Immortal toddlers find no offense at goblin games which make no sense. And gentle boys who love the zoo befriend the gnu, kudzu and you. At what age did you surmise, your unpredictable but sure demise? And when you go will you remain, To haunt the hills, the dell, the plain? to free the lion, to ring the bell, to rollerskate on ice. To dwell in laughter, lonliness or pain? To flit and hover, round the flame? Gang aft agley. Our plans afoul. Our passions twixt the twisted trowl, And o'er the plain, the wasted view, you'll leave me, or I'll leave you. Eventually we'll all be there. All friendly ghosts. No hide nor hair. The zoo is empty, the doors a-creak. The earth inherited by the meek.
Clap At five or six I knew Peter Pan was an old lady on TV, but still I clapped my hands. Tink flew again Like the umbrella in my Shirley Temple bits of balsa and a coiled roll of chinese newspaper but still I held it above my head in the rain. It made me laugh and why not? Now Steve says the bit of paper in his ear is a radio transmitter. He's been hearing transmissions since the pediatrician implanted it there. Just now it amuses me to believe. I still have a splinter in my palm from sixty five. Look through the wrong end of the binoculars you can pull the elephant out (or the stick up your ass that's been there all this time). All these years I had my own stick on it's own station: Delightful diversions of fibonacci flowers and fractals and... Clap. Now my brother and I in our sanity bubble share secret transmissions on radio paper and the rest of you, and your sticks, can go on speaking incomprehensible chinese if it amuses you.
Adventures of the Flying Babysitter When Jill kicked the bucket the cool water fell down the grassy slope bathing the bare feet of Billy, Boy Babysitter and conferring the power of flight. Although acrophobia limited his altitude to 3 or 4 feet, he flew, nonetheless. The inventors of Hermes understood: feet, properly attired, are organs of flight.
All poems copyright © 2001 Jim Bumgardner