Poetry Blog by Clyde McCulley

Tags from last 12 months

woods (4) boy (3) country (2) sleep (2) night (2) kids (2) dreams (2) Costa Rica (2) church (2) old woman (2) fear (2) christmas (2) lonely (2) love (2)

Recent Comments

keith jeffries on the old woman in the upstairs window (Wed, 21 Apr 2021 10:10 pm)

clyde McCulley on old men and the bamboo house (Fri, 16 Apr 2021 10:23 pm)

keith jeffries on old men and the bamboo house (Fri, 16 Apr 2021 07:50 pm)

clyde McCulley on black clouds a'comin (Fri, 16 Apr 2021 03:41 pm)

M.C. Newberry on black clouds a'comin (Fri, 16 Apr 2021 02:34 pm)

clyde McCulley on the old kitchen tin box (Sat, 13 Mar 2021 06:54 pm)

Brian Hodgkinson on the old kitchen tin box (Sat, 13 Mar 2021 03:04 am)

keith jeffries on the old kitchen tin box (Fri, 12 Mar 2021 11:58 pm)

clyde McCulley on four room house (Wed, 10 Mar 2021 12:20 am)

Stephen Gospage on four room house (Tue, 9 Mar 2021 04:40 pm)

woman in starbuck's window

woman in a starbuck’s window

 

 

woman sits in a starbuck’s window

looking, searching, waiting, watching

 

is it the thing that watchers

in an  Edward Hopper painting

wait, search, look, watch for

 

does she know

who she is looking for

who she is searching for

who she is waiting for

who she is watching for

 

I wonder if the subjects in

Hopper’s pa...

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lonelysearchingwaiting

the old woman in the upstairs window

the old woman  in the upstairs window

 

the old woman’s cottage

out in the woods

on a small dirt road

was a mystical place

for the boy and his friends

 

they were told by

other boys that a

ghost lived with her

 

they got a glimpse

of her once when she

went to the well

to draw a bucket

 

she wore a long black dress

and white hair down to her wai...

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ghostsold womanscarryupstairs window

old men and the bamboo house

the old men and the bamboo house

 

I happened upon two old men

walking down a dirt road

while I was photographing

in the mountains in Costa Rica

 

I asked if they lived nearby

yes, they said

I asked them if I might see

their home they said they

would be honored

 

as we neared I could see

it was very humble

built of Bamboo poles

that had been split do...

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black clouds a'comin

black cloud a’comin

 

when I was a boy

I saw a cloud coming

towards our house

racing across the fields

black as my mama’s bible

 

would it become a twister

or simply bring rain and wind

 

I called mama and daddy

we rushed to the storm cellar

daddy brought his flashlight

mama brought her black bible

 

the storm did not become a

twister only rain an...

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biblecellarfearstorm clouds

the crazy old woman on Bloody Creek Road

 

The crazy old woman on Bloody Creek Road

 

the boys were told

that the old lady who lived

at the end of Bloody Creek Road

was either evil or insane.

 

some of the boys said that she

stole children and cooked them in her

oven for her supper

others said she ate snakes

while they were still alive

 

one day they decided to

find out for themselves

they ...

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boyschildhood fearscrowsimaginationsold woman

a Hopper in the making

a Hopper in the making

 

I photographed

three lonely men drinking coffee

in  a coffee shop

 

how did I know they were lonely

they were straight out of an

Edward Hopper painting

like the people in “Night Hawks”

 

the light coming in the windows

reminded me of several of his paintings

of women looking out to bright light

that flowed in but brought no relief

...

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cafeHopper. nighhawkslonely

our log cabin

 

Our log cabin

 

you always loved to hear the rain

on the tin roof of our log cabin

in the foothills of the Adirondacks

morning light would come

we would awake

listen to the rain

lying in each other's arms

listening to the loons on the lake

welcome the new morning

another log added to the old fireplace

we would welcome the morning

in our own special way

...

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adirondacksfireplacelog cabinloonsloverain on tin roof

born in mama's bed 1941

the day he was born was

a windy day in march

 

mama told daddy to go

to town to get the doctor

the cottage had no telephone

no running water

 

fronny was a neighbor

who lived over the hill

she told daddy she

would stay with mama

 

daddy did not have a car

had to walk to Congo road

to hitch a ride to town

 

when the doctor and daddy

arrived at t...

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circumcisioncountry doctorcountry lifenew born

the old kitchen tin box

the old kitchen tin box

 

the old kitchen tin box

of matches

brings back fond memories

 

it hung on the wall

above mama’s stove

 

the matches were used

for many things

 

to light the stove to cook

the family meals

 

to ignite the oil lamps

at night to light the house

 

to break and splinter

to make a toothpick

 

to light the wood burni...

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hutskidsmatchesoil lampstrash burner

poet's dilemma

poet's dilemma

 

staring at a white sheet of paper

can be frightening to a writer

or it can bring joy

that is if the words start to flow

 

okay, I am staring

 

where are the words

fingers long to write

come on words

materialize

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drypoemspoet's problemswriters

four room house

little four room house

 

 

little four room house

had an old tin roof

 

when it stormed

rain made wonderful sounds

for the boy

lying in bed listening

 

daddy said it sounded like

a cow peeing

 

daddy resented

the rain on

the tin roof because roof leaked

 

daddy and boy would have

to climb ladder to attic to

empty the coffee cans spaced

...

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countrylittle houseraintin roof

four walls

 

four walls

 

lying

thinking in the dark

 

four walls do not

make a room

 

a room needs a floor

and ceiling

 

four walls

a ceiling

and a floor

 

four walls with no door

can keep others out

but keep you in

 

a door

an invitation in

or

an exit out

 

try to decide

which is best

 

door or

no door

 

or roll ov...

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dreamsroomsleep

someone's forgotten cottage

someone’s forgotten cottage

 

 

walking in the woods

I discovered

an old deserted cottage

 

weeds and thicket grew all around

the windows were gone

old curtains blew in the

breeze seeming to enjoy their

almost freedom

 

old chairs sitting in front

of the cottage wasting away

in the rain sun and snow

 

if I look hard enough might

I get a glimpse...

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abandonedcottageforgottenwoods

woods filled with snow

woods filled with snow

 

 

I walked through woods

as they filled with snow

a winters walk to fill my lungs

with cold december chill

 

I came to a small rise

one that I did not know

where did this hill come from

how was I unaware

 

I looked for familiar sightings

but found none

nothing seemed identifiable

 

I walked to the edge of the hill

and p...

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churchdreamsmysterypoemsnow

windmills

windmills

 

 

the old windmills

in Spain, slowly turning

large cloth blades

turning and grinding

ancient grains of the past

 

lined up in a row on a hillside

waiting for Don Quixote

to mistake them for giants

 

with his sidekick Pancho

he attacked them

only to get his lance

caught in the canvas blades

 

thought he had been tricked

by an evil...

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paranoidpoliticsQuixotewindmills

a pair of old cowboy boots

a pair of old cowboy boots (1950s)

 

 

Kenny and I always wanted

a pair of cowboy boots

 

there was no money for such

a childish wish

 

one day walking

in the woods

we stumbled upon a trash dump

 

someone richer than us

had discarded what

we considered treasures

 

we found old comic books

an old alarm clock

that worked, once we banged

it ...

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cowboy bootsimaginationkidstreasureswoods

eyelids and earlids

eyelids and earlids

 

 

beauty from color

shapes

scenery

glimmer from a lake

 

all lost with eyelids closed

 

birds songs in the forest,

symphony of city car horns

beeping to a crescendo

cooing of a morning dove

breathing of a lover

 

all lost with ear lids shut

 

is one better

to loose than the other

 

one would have to ask Helen Kell...

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beautyearlidseyelidsHelen Kellerloversightssounds

Howler Monkeys in Costa Rica

howler monkeys

 

 

our Costa Rica hosts took

us to their ranch in the

jungle for a weekend

 

a ranch house on a small island

a river running around each side

a swinging wooden bridge

crossed the river to the house

 

we walked, swaying across the bridge

carrying our things from the car

 

suddenly we heard a loud screaming

sound which sounded like an e...

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costa ricagonadshowler monkeysjungle

little NYC hotel on 23rd street (1980s)

 

little NYC hotel on 23rd street (1980s)

 

our little

leo house hotel

on 23rd street

was operated by Sisters of St. Agnes

 

an old time hotel

an elevator with

brass  scissor gates

operated by a nun

 

separate hot

and cold faucets

a bath/ shower/bath

clad in white subway tile

 

a crucifix over our bed

spied on our lovemaking

blessing our ...

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23rd streetartcity soundsloversNYCold hotel

scary night sounds

scary night sounds

 

 

he hears the night woods

soft sounds as well as scary

 

different from day woods

 

he lies in his cold bed

in cold room

hears frozen trees

grinding against each other

in the cold night wind

a hard unpleasant sound

 

hears distant sounds

far away in the hills

is it the sound of a wolf

or a coyote seeking a mate

 

owl...

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boynightscarysleepwolveswoods

the tattered old man on Christmas Eve

the tattered old man on Christmas Eve

 

snow was falling hard

as the old man struggled

through the deep drifts

on the country road

 

light shone from a

a farmhouse window

the old man smiled seeing the glow

 

it was a candle

the widowed mother had placed there

nightly since last Christmas Eve

 

a year ago

a man was found

frozen along this same road

...

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christmascountry roadgood deedsloveold manwidowed mother

summer nights 1950s

summer nights 1950s

 

curtains hang lifeless

awaiting breeze that does not come

whippoorwill sings 

hot and sweaty song 

it doesn’t feel like singing

 

boy hears whistle’s blast 

of a night train 

slowly crawling its way

through the country side

breaking the silence at each crossing

 

ambulance sirens scream

through hot night air

transporting wounded

...

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boycountryhot nightsimpotentsouth

mystifying rain forest

                                                                     

mystifying rain forest

 

years ago we discovered

a small hotel

at the edge of the rain forest

in Monte Verde Costa Rica

 

we arrived late afternoon,

bought cheese, bread

and a bottle of wine

we sat in front of a large window

in our room overlooking

the forest

 

the owner told us to do...

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Costa Ricafograin forestromance

six word poem

six word poem

how do you know

I don't

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factsself-knowledgesix words

thinking of robert frost

 

thinking of a poet

 

 

in a new england village

an old man wandered

the road towards me

thick crop of frosted hair

 

snowflakes started to fall

 

he shuffled along

looking here

looking there

 

a flight of geese

flew in a perfect V pattern

south

 

he watched them disappear

then walked

towards me slowly

a bit confused

 

hello ...

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new englandpoetryrobert frostsnoewoods

Selling Christmas Trees and Roman Candles, 1950

 

 

 

 

Selling Christmas Trees and Roman Candles, 1950

 

My older married brother, Willy, asked Kenny and me if we would like to help him sell Christmas trees. We said, “Sure we would love to help.”

Willy had gone into the woods and cut a number of cedar trees. We were going to sell them out of the back of his old Plymouth station wagon and an old trailer. The NAPA auto store...

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christmaschurchpastorroman candlessales

christmas bubble lights, 1948

 

christmas bubble lights 1948

 

aunt madline and uncle marvin

were rich, they lived in Memphis

had running water, indoor toilet

and a big black car

 

they visited us each year

on their way to hot springs

to soak in hot water mineral baths

for their aches and pains

 

one year they brought us their old

string of electric bubble lights

ones that bubbled u...

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christmas past, 1947

christmas past 1947

 

when I was young

christmas was special

for a boy in a small home

that  could not afford

a big christmas

 

my brother and I walked

through the woods

looking for an evergreen

to cut for our tree

 

we finally found one

but it was spindly

few branches flowing from

its skinny trunk

 

we cut it and dragged

it home through the...

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christmas childrengiftssanta

ain't ain't a word

 

ain’t ain’t a word

 

boy told daddy

teacher said

there ain’t no such word

as ain’t

 

daddy just

looked at him

told him to

tell the teacher

the word was used

by this family

a long time before

the teacher was born and

will be used long after

she has gone.

 

             boy thought to himself

 I ain’t going to tell her

                ...

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daddyteacherwords

Boy and Kite

kite and boy

 

a paper kite

flutters in the wind

making wonderful sounds

back to the boy holding

the end of the string

 

kite dips and smiles

at boy and dances

little jigs as its string

is held taut

boy smiles back

 

a strong wind begins to blow

kite string breaks with a snap

startled boy looks up

and sees kite start to

fly in erratic patterns ...

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emotionsescapefantasyhopefulkites

shadow our cat

Shadow our  cat

communicates with us

 

he realizes that we cannot

speak cat so he watches

our human behavior

and uses it to communicate

with my wife and me

 

if his food bowl

is empty he does not meow

he just goes and stands

by his bowl and stares at us

 

if he is ready for bed

he goes to the bottom

of the stairway and stares at us

until we join h...

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behaviorcatscontrol

afraid of the dark

 

afraid of the dark

 

afraid of the dark

but only at night

 

brave during

the light of day

 

very brave

 

afraid of nothing

except a nest of

ground hornets

or poison ivy

 

at night he would

 

run in the dark

 

always afraid of

what was following

 

never thinking

about what might

be ahead

 

he did not want

anyone t...

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boydarkfearnightunknown

the sound of the sun

the sound of the sun

 

lying in bed

he hears the sun rise

 

forest full of trees

trees full of birds

birds full of song

 

he rises, feels for his cane

shuffles his way outside 

to the warmth of the sun

and orchestra of birds

turns towards the rays

that he cannot see

opens his ear lids and 

smiles at the morning

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blindhearingsun

a gull or an angle

a gull or an angel

 

watching a gull

catch an up current of air


higher and higher
until it was so small 
I could not see it

maybe it was an
angel returning home

or a gull who was
seeking freedom

wonder if gull knows

kris kristofferson’s

poem line

“freedoms just another

word for nothing left to lose”

or knows jonathan l. seagul

who loved to fly

was a ...

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flyingfreedomgull

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