Poetry Blog by Douglas MacGowan

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lynn hahn on Miraculous (Wed, 5 Dec 2018 05:20 am)

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lynn hahn on Pop Quiz (Wed, 5 Dec 2018 05:10 am)

on Miraculous (Wed, 14 Nov 2018 01:32 pm)

Douglas MacGowan on Sketches (Fri, 9 Nov 2018 11:27 pm)

Ankita Srivastava on Sketches (Fri, 9 Nov 2018 09:53 pm)

keith jeffries on Sketches (Fri, 9 Nov 2018 07:57 pm)

raypool on Spyglass (Fri, 9 Nov 2018 07:46 pm)

Taylor Crowshaw on Sketches (Fri, 9 Nov 2018 07:46 pm)

Douglas MacGowan on Spyglass (Fri, 9 Nov 2018 05:42 pm)

Deist

You’ve left me no other choice.

I have searched for you for years, clawing my way through faith after faith.

But it seems like you pushed the button on The Big Bang and then wandered off, our universe not shiny enough to keep your attention.

But you left fingerprints: the hummingbird and the Andromeda Galaxy.

You left no message to follow, but billions have claimed to have followed the...

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bipolar mania paranoia

They are out to get me.

They stare, sizing me up.

They think I don't notice, but I see them. I don't stare back. I don't want to incite them.

I must give off a "crazy vibe" or a "crazy odor" that they can sense I am not doing well at all.

They want to capture me, take me away, hospital.

against my will.

I don't know how to fight them.

I only know that my protective womb shell ...

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Pop Quiz

Eyes on me, everybody.

Pay attention.

I am going to have a breakdown right in front of you.

So you might want to take notes,

because this will be on the test.

Pencils up!

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Sketches

If I could draw,

I would try to capture the shapes of your face

in shadows and charcoal. 

I would trace the birthmark on your cheek 

and the freckles (moth kisses) over your nose.

And the fires that are your eyes when I disappoint you. 

 

But I am hopeless with pen and ink. 

I only have words,

and words will never capture the trances you inspire 

when you shine like t...

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Spyglass

Some other God

watched my birth

oversaw my childhood

and my clumsy growth

 

in adulthood

It saw me struggle

trying to fit in

on some crazy path

 

now It seems quiet

happy to let me slide

into my "dark night of the soul"

clawing towards my former contentment

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FireIce

I swing between extremes 

try to catch me

where you see me I have already left

I don’t know what I am afraid will happen if I am caught

but I fear something bad

I’ve been caught before only to have it crash

so I try to fall into the pit

where I will be covered by shadows

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Going

death is not marketable - except to florists and stonemasons

you would think that after centuries of leavings that society might have figured it out

but it remains as precarious and unspeakable as ever

it’s not something to rush into

it waits at the gate, silent but almost conversing 

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Miraculous

I want a vision

just a small appearance, no healing spring

 

I reach back and see when You and I were in touch

 

Now I wonder if You were ever there

 

So I’d like for You to show Yourself in some small way

 

Just to give me something to steer with

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A Greek Limerick

There once was a boy name of Sophocles 

who all of the school boys would often tease

he wrote up some plays

that went on for days

and all of his shirts had blue cotton sleeves

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More Colors

Putting ribbons in your hair reveals your inner moods:

bright colors for joy

pastels for calm

dark strands for the void

 

When you come to me with reds and blues

you challenge my bleak thoughts and you always win

 

Soft greens and pinks cause my fire inside to lie spent on the floor

 

Blacks and purples tell me to be careful

One never knows when despair will raise ...

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Seasons

Spring will not find The Gray Boy

trees hide and shadows conceal

 

Summer blossoms render his color unnoticeable

 

Autumn begins his reveal

 

But search for him in Winter

when his steps leave snowy prints

and his face ceases blending with the tree branches

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April

As I was drowning,

gasping and grasping,

you fluttered a hand in the water

for me to grab hold of

 

There's us...

 

you: a rock near the chasm, the last place to hold

 

me: always on Theater Time, arriving just as the lights dim

 

Who could have guessed our pairing?

back when I was shy and you were new

 

but the gatherings fell into place and the bells ran...

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Late Summer Day

Water finds form

a child with a hose

spraying the landscape for enemies

 

Summer I could draw

if it would stand still --

instead it crawls along my eyesight

 

the sun is hot,

the breeze is not

 

the convertibles pass by the front proch of my house

boastfully claiming their air that is denied to other cars

 

the long day draws to a close

 

Tomorrow wi...

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KDM

Whisper me darkly,

I no longer know where you end

and my ownings begin.

 

I've fostered hate against you for so long that it's a suburn that fades slowly -

never quite matching the color that surrounds.

 

I hope to win me back -

there are pieces of me that ache by their void.

 

I suppose I could step around you,

but that would be a dance step I never mastered.

 

...

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Sister

Miles and an ocean between us

Your voice, your face -- missing

 

Do you remember, as a little girl, dancing to the TV?

I don't remember, but I have seen it in home movies

Deep glimpses from the past that never change or age

 

You walk a little slower now

You can reveal or keep your own ways

Happy to happier you forge your path

Until the wind tangles your graying hair

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Meeting

i come to you in purple

you meet me in blue

 

The colors are close but don’t quite match

 

in the house, the doors are slightly ajar

somebody could be listening, but I trust we’re alone

 

This scent of sandalwood makes me remember you previously

in so many places

 

but here it is our farewell that brings us together

 

it’s messy

 

there are no tears

...

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Haikus 2

where do I fall now?

I’ve left so many craters

find me by the holes

=======

where Birds congregate 

and people move too quickly -

there you will find me

========

you hypnotize me

I call for your secret lies

you never said no

=======

I have now begun:

claw my way up from the void.

no slim light - not yet

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Haikus 1

Fair objects - all trees

leaves combining frost and fire

bird homes hidden ‘neath

=====

Fiercer than pinecones

no breadcrumbs to follow there

a walk in the woods

=====

A loss of epic

in the space where stars are killed

a little less light

=====

I am glad you failed

I take pleasure in your fall

no guilt - just light heart

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Dancing and Shadows

Fairy lights in the bushes

cast no shadows:

weak, weak

 

And you can't see well enough to read

 

But you can see to dance

feet separate from floor

Twirl in the half-cast light

until the sky takes up its own glimmer

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Notes

If I saw you at the Faire,

I wouldn’t take things so seriously.

The crowds would part,

so I could see only you.

Only then could I heal the wounds

that someone else discarded.

I am fragile.

But you can sense that.

And you approach me slowly,

like a silkworm.

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Anxiety

If tomorrow never came,

I would invent it.

 

I cannot stay here,

stuck with the needles and racing thoughts.

 

I don’t know why I am so nervous.

I have done these things hundred of times before.

 

 

But every time I stare down these guns

I collapse.

 

Some day all this should become old hat.

 

A hat with a brim that hides my eyes.

 

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MENTOR

Your words were gold

I sat at your feet

 

and then time passed

 

Your words were silver

 

and then time passed

 

Your words were copper

 

and then time passed

 

Your words are lead

you’ve taken my own words into hiding

with your pipe and matches

but I will find you:

because smoke makes noise.

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Haiku 2

Anger has claws

snagged across bone

pierced along gut

= = = =

Sadness has a depth

flooding the pathway

swamping the roots

= = = =

His pace knows no footsteps

shows no sign in snow

he is immobile

= = = =

After autumn

winter easily discovers his hiding

trees are bare — nowhere to vanish

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Echo

You’ll know me when you see me

I am often spoken of in small groups:

the man with the gray hat

the man who sinned and then sinned again

 

When I am first seen, it is a trick of the light

further glimpses bring into focus

shadows crush into my silhouette

“how can someone wear a heavy coat on such a warm day?”

 

I bet you won’t notice my shoes

heavy thump, thump

 

...

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4 haiku

Coldest night of winter

shooting star

an upturned hand

= = =

under umbrellas

splash puddles

rain-walking dog

= = =

Follow me in autumn boats

wherever you harbor

I will be the sea

= = =

Stillness of the clock

her hand on the car keys

after his confession

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1980

A kite escaped from boys today

and fell behind the town -

and made sure that she was free

and circled the sky around

 

She taunted towards the little boys

and beckoned me to try -

and so I also cut my string

and joined her in the sky

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Grave

We buried you today — flowers, hymnals

dirt clods, shovels

 

Your death was unexpected, unapproved

What were you thinking?

 

There on the stone

name engraved, haughty dates on obscene display

surely dignity requires a quieter memorial

 

For you were small and little made of

your voice could barely pierce the ether

that wove itself about your huge soul

 

Bu...

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Magic

Under the silks

inside the wardrobe

lies the magic:

a key without an answer

a bell without a caution

a home without a door.

 

All together

the spells are cast.

 

Just believe.

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DNA Test

Genetically entwined.

Your ancestor = my forefather.

(some number) cousin

(some number) removed

 

Well, there ya go.

 

Are your hands small, too?

Are you afraid of fireworks?

Will we know each other at the airport?

 

We will.

 

Because blood glows.

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Legacy

I dare you to breathe

standing in front of me

weak apologies and sloppy explanations

 

You give me road maps of journeys you never took

 

What do you think of me?

That I can be cast as stones

and fortunes to overcome?

 

Cast aside indeed

pale markers at the side of the road

impossible to follow you though the screens you scattered in your wake

 

Flowers ma...

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a (hopefully) funny poem for Edward Gorey

A pile of dirt

to hide the bones

or in dark streams:

weight with stones

 

The clothes are easy

burn them up

poison washed

from plate and cup

 

Tell callers that

they ne’er arrived

they’ll never spot

the lie contrived

 

policemen come

with tired query

with no hints or clues

and not one theory

 

Though one detective

stays and grates

h...

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Happiness

a lizard on a hot, smooth stone

my cats recreating sphinxes until the postman comes

the first hummingbird finally noticing my feeder

an old toy found under a new tree

a woman on the sidewalk ahead just turning a corner

rubbing of tombstones in the abandoned graveyard

finally tall enough for the rollercoaster

a balloon with wings, maybe

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Mea culpa

Cold acts I have done

decades ago

linger:

a ruined wedding

a drowned pet

a neglected mother

 

These I could draw for you

if I only had the time —

current cruelties take all my notice

 

while future meanness

starts to dawn

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TRAVERSE

Nobody sees him in his fine clothes

near the rope

beneath the stream

 

If he could have said something

he would have

 

But his petitions were met with stones

 

They will be shocked that he slipped away

 

And those same stones will take his place at table

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FOUR

She falls away from me

shadows and height

into her paradise

 

We must live walled apart

else she destroy me

and I rake the shards of her past sins over her aging bones

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The Grey Boy

Summer will not find the grey boy

under the trees

hidden from sky

 

His pace knows no footfalls

his traveling shows no sign

He is unshaken

 

Mood deep as slumber

eye slits against the light

weighing his next terrible move

 

After autumn

Winter easily discovers his hiding

trees are bare

nowhere to hide

 

And the cold splinters the hollows to his so...

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The Beautiful Men

He is bound

creatively captured

he ain't going nowhere, folks!

 

Ah!

most handsome face

the eyes

the chin

the mouth

 

oh, the Beautiful Men

the beautiful men

 

Razor

sharply connecting

the corner of his eye

to

the corner of his mouth

 

digging

 

Then another and another

 

Oh, the Beautiful Men

the beautiful men

 

Set fre...

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FIVE

The garden is full

crazy roses, not in a line

 

Wounds of earth fold to scar over their bounty:

a flag

a ring

a bone

 

Leaf clusters crowd a path that led somewhere long ago, now ending at the stone wall, ungated.

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