No Means To Measure

I rise up in slate – what care I of time?

Shades reflective of my soul – my heart wonders in hues felt,

Charcoal through silver – yellows through purples.

Dawn or dusk does not matter – the seconds, minutes, the hours

In the colors of mourning – are no means to measure joy.

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At dVerse, Frank Tassone, our pubtender for today’s Meeting the Bar, challenges us to delve into aesthetics of Imagism, where less verbiage is employed to produce more imagery. We’re also encouraged to use Japanese or Sappho Greek lyric to accomplish such.

I chose an ancient form of Japanese poetry called Tanka and used it as a Super Tanka.

Tanka are 31-syllable poems. In Japan, it is usually written as a straight line of characters, but in English and other Western languages, it is usually divided into five lines, with a syllable count of 5-7-5-7-7.

The key to the Super Tanka form is that it is two Tanka side-by-side. Each can be read independently, yet must also work together as a whole, in effect creating three poems in one.

dVerse Poets Pub Meeting the Bar: Imagism Revisited

dVerse Poets Pub - OpenLinkNight Mic

At Act I

Yes, all of the world is a stage my friends
At least it is told what the people say
From when we begin until our time ends
Our too brief ride held in Sol’s sweet sway
And it matters not what part we will play
For as prince or pawn is roll of the die
At Act I, Scene I: curtains rise: we all cry

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Tonight at dVerse Frank challenges us to “is to write a poem with seven lines.” For those who want to go a further we are challenged to make it like a Chaucerian stanza/Rime Royal – is a seven-line poem in iambic pentameter with a rhyme scheme of ABABBCC.

dVerse Poets Pub: Meeting The Bar

dVerse Poets Pub graphic

For Chester

You took your life, this summer day
Swept it away
And so we sigh
And so we cry

You took your life, our hearts makes due
But they’re not you
Gritty taunting
Beauty haunting

You took your life, left us no choice
Only your voice
Just an echo
We can’t let go

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Today at dVerse Frank Hubeny asks us to take a minute and write a poem using the Minute Poem form:

A Minute Poem has exactly 60 syllables which we assume match the 60 seconds in a minute. The form also requires three stanzas of 20 syllables each. Each stanza has four lines. The first line has 8 syllables and the next three lines have 4 syllables each. If that is not enough constraints, the poem is expected to have end rhymes for the three stanzas that go aabb ccdd eeff.

I am still stunned by the suicide of Linkin Park Lead singer Chester Bennington, earlier today.

In a post from April I wrote about my love for Linkin Park and the very first time I heard them:

Chester Bennington, lead vocalist for Linkin Park, was unforgiving as he growled his way into my id, fucking trashed it like a drugged out rocker’s hotel room and by God I wanted more! When the video ended I immediately turned off the television hyperventilating, not knowing what the fuck hit me, but I remember I finally fell asleep and felt so much better upon waking.

A minute poem is about all I can do right now, so perfect.

dVerse Poets Pub – Meeting the Bar:The Minute Poem

 

Nobody Knew

Nobody knew
Those curtains so dark
Hid dirty deeds so stark
The silence is broken

Nobody knew
That which made me strong
Was learned from all your wrong
For no words are spoken

Nobody knew
The sins in midnights past
Have come to roost at last
The silence is broken

Nobody knew
The depth of the danger
Was from kin not stranger
For no words are spoken

Nobody knew
The truths that were shun
Until the cock of the gun
The silence is broken

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At dVerse Victoria prompts us to say it again with the use of repetition.

dVerse ~ Poet Pub | Meeting the Bar – I’ll Say It Again (and Again and Again)

Real Toads: The Tuesday Platform

When the Reaper Calls

It’s a call to depravity, I know it for such
He’s put the voices there and I want it so much
With an angelic façade it’s only me I deceive
He offers a gift, have I the guts to receive?
His susurrus guides me down sacred halls
Can the grim not heed when the Reaper calls?

Unlike the moth I know I’m playing with fire
Letting him taunt the release of my desire
Knowing once set free there’s no re-containing this
And like Judas my fate is sealed with a kiss
Only in Death can I live – no, I do not stall
Can the grim not heed when the Reaper calls?

Releasing all that society has my soul caging
I’m wanton in the hold of my disengaging
And the dark shadows rise from deep in my core
As I take the mantle and Thanatos takes score
My back arcs in the throes of sinful enthrall
Can the grim not heed when the Reaper calls?

His susurrus guides me down sacred halls
Only in Death am I living – no, I do not stall
My back arcs in the throes of sins enthrall
He smiles knowing at last, I realize it all
I the new Keres moan in murderous gall
The grim to his kind Reaper – I heed the call

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Lesser known among the gods of the mythology, Keres a daughter of Nyx, is a sister of the widely known Thanatos. In spite of being colloquially known at the Grim Reaper, Thanatos is actually the god of peaceful death. On the other hand, Keres’ forte is violent death, primarily over a battlefield in search for dying and wounded soldiers.

And Nyx (Night) bare hateful Moros (Doom) and black Ker (Violent Death) and Thanatos (Death)…
— Hesiod, Theogony 211, translated by Hugh G. Evelyn-White

Today at dVerse Victoria prompts us to say it again with the use of repetition.

dVerse ~ Poet Pub | Meeting the Bar – I’ll Say It Again (and Again and Again)

Hunter

the hunter, alone
silent in the snowy copse
his heartbeat heard strong
a loud thumping from within
as his prey is spied

this day the elusive doe
in his sights stands still
graceful neck arched to the sun
breath misting the air

In a swiftness, eyes meet eyes
before frantic bolt

His shots in the air ring loud
rumbling the earth
setting all fauna in fear
of much more than him

his tale to be told come spring
sole consolation
as snow in numbers gather
too close for him to outrun
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dVerse has us Meeting the Bar by trying our hands at writing Choka, an unrhymed poem alternating five and seven syllables that end with an extra seven-syllable line. You can use the 17 or 19 onji (syllable) style.  It can be any number of lines that you choose.

dVerse ~ Poets Pub | Meeting the Bar~ the Choka

In Step

1! 2! 3! 4! 5! 6! 7! 8!
1! 2! 3! 4! 5! 6! 7! 8!

Her booted stilettoes are a forte staccato on the polished wood
Counter point to the allegro of the snapping castanets in her hands

1-2-3-4,
1-2-3-4,

Kitten heeled pumps are andante, in the diminuendo chords
Arms ebb and flow evoking waves, foliage that caters to a wind’s bend

1, 2, 3,

1, 2, 3

While soft soled flats give a dolce presence to the calando of the tune
Her fingers doloroso wiping imagined tears in the final longa before applause

1 and 2 and

Bare toes touch floor at last

Finite

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At Real Toads I am given inspiration to write a poem on shoes for Susi.

While at dVerse I Meet the Bar by giving some elements of music for Victoria.

Yesterday Haunts

like water in desert

the beauty of you quenches

my lips part – breath gasps

for the feel of your strong arms

that have yet to hold me close

><——><

a bloom of scarlet

stark against a white canvas

then sheets – now snow drifts

both give note to the battles

of my birth and of my death

><——><

where there is no sound

one hears how your voice  trembles

its timbre thrills – pains

gripped in memory’s cruel grasp

yesterday haunts tomorrow

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Today at dVerse Toni has us exploring the Tanka in its more traditional use. Having written non-traditional and super tanka before, I challenged my self to string a few together for something of a little narrative. The first tanka above are lovers at first sight, the middle – a soldier’s poem on his birth at his death and the last tanka – the lover left behind who remembers.

Tanka have a 5-7-5-7-7 syllable count, per line.  The first two lines of the tanka are known as the kami-no-ku – upper poem, the last two lines are the shimo-no-ku – lower poem.  The third line. middle line, is the kireji or, cutting line or pivot denoting the difference between the two parts.  This is important to remember when writing tanka.  There are also no uppercase letters, no punctuation (except for the short dash, like an aspirated breath) or title. Tanka are subjective and can be emotional, opinionated, sensual, and lyrical.  They move back and forth through time and use elegant phrases or euphamisms, simile and metaphor.

dVerse ~ Poets Pub | Meeting the Bar – Form: Tanka

Meter Down

Oh, I’m lousy at meter
Unless it’s Demeter
Of she I can speak night and day
Iambic pentameter
Just doesn’t matterer
To my muse any way

Saw what I did there, eh?

And “da-DUM da-DUM”
Just makes me feel dumb
Strike that mouse in the clock I begs
For I will give the boot
To all who mention “foot”
When lyrics ain’t got any legs,

But will run for some green ham and eggs. Dregs!

Whether di-, pent- or Hexes
Oh how meter vexes
The voice when unnaturally dropped
On meter spanned then
With lines enjambed when
Ow! I think my poor brain has popped!

And now my watch is end-stopped

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popped
In a play against how cell phones now seem to take up so much of our time, Izy at Real Toads takes us “Out of Standard” and challenges us to pick up our cell phones for some “inspiredo”  by taking the last text received and use it in a poem. Luckily, my last text had no emojis.

real-toads-buton

Real Toads | Out of Standard – From the Black Mirror 

Meanwhile at dVerse, Victoria challenges us to pick a subject and write in meter to set its mood. Can you say ‘Ugh!”? I have never been one for formal meter.  If a word or phrasing comes naturally to my write, an errant “foot”, sticking out like a sore thumb, will happen. The message is more important. Thus,  I could not resist delightfully mocking it here as my subject, throwing in some poetic terminology,  Hickory Dickory, Dr. Seuss and a touch of Game of Thrones to boot.

dverse

dVerse ~ Poets Pub | Meter-Made Mood–dVerse Meeting the Bar

Such A Little Word

I know he can hear me
I see it in his eyes
I feel the depth of his frustrations
With every tear he cries
I know he’s trying to rail,
Trying to scream, trying to shout
But try as he might, true words
That we all know, just can’t come out
A four-year-old mind trapped
In a fourteen year old frame
Each day holds very little difference
But they’re never quite just the same
Searching for the rare moments
Of complete cognizance
For that miracle of his smile
His soundless laugh with a little dance
Autism is such a little word
For the mighty struggle that goes on within
That my six year colloquially describes as
“Missing a part of what ought to be in him”
For a childish blanket statement
It sort of holds pat
But even at her young age she realizes
It’s a lot more than that
As cruel as only kids can be
They take stabs at her young soul
When teased about her big brother
Who has about as much control
On how some days he’s happy active
Willing to play, pretending to help sweep
Versus the several days at a time
When he’ll do little more than sleep
And I don’t know what is harder on us all
The bad days when he withdraws from all we meet
Or the really good days when we can spend hours
Without a sudden episode in the middle of the street
Those times give a false sense of hope
A hint of the child that he could have been
We endure instead, the echoes of silence
He’s forever trapped within

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Today at dVerse Victoria challenges us to write a poem in the first person. An extra challenge to write from a perspective not your own. My muse takes me to the heart of a parent of a challenged child.

dverse

dVerse Poets Pub | Meeting the Bar: Me, Myself and I