Poetry Blog by James Roper
There is a problem inherent
in the instruction of the masses,
shoehorned into classes where
questions are standardized.
Answers, too, are standardized,
freethinking’s not encouraged,
but facts are mass-produced
that lack the bliss of discovery;
The emphasis on the answer moves
focus from the journey, and
Tuesday 16th May 2017 12:22 pm
I remember this dream, this nightmare returning.
The wind screams through a bloody plow
In a fallow field, forever burning stalk to ash.
A foul stench rises from furrowed rows—sulfur.
Hunched in the corner, a scarecrow blazes,
Writhing weakly, wailing: Nothing Grows.
Dead trees, bone white, swing crooked limbs
With empty nooses swaying like pendulums.
Tuesday 16th May 2017 12:15 pm
Orichalcum, a thirty-five millimeter disc blazing—
Sun-kissed, playing the light like gold in the mind—
An off-center mint obscures letters that plummet
Off the edge, an escape from the man imbalanced:
I am transfixed by the art, pompous and beautiful;
Roma, lovelier than Venus, is victorious, powerful.
Roman generals, durin...
Tuesday 16th May 2017 12:03 pm
Red clay coats black shoes on a previously dry day.
Fresh ground, disturbed earth, new plots—Petrichor.
It is easy to get lost in this field of dear landmarks;
precisely placed blocks look much like suburbia.
Still the sun shines through brief spring showers.
Laughably relevant to the now, a bitter-sweet sendoff.
Tuesday 16th May 2017 11:15 am
Down a dusty sidewalk I dredge,
Darkness sours my off hour trek,
As low-beams gleam behind my back,
Growing shadows from tree and hedge.
Then so too sprouts my twilight twin,
Who shoots ahead at a furied pace,
His will is strong, he'll run the race,
Must I deny this 'me' the win?
For minutes--hours--we trade the lead,
As the cars pass he falls away,
Only to show it's all in play,
Friday 6th November 2015 4:35 am
Three more rain drops beat
Staccato, full stops, to leave
A promise on the wind:
The storm will soon begin again.
Friday 28th August 2015 5:18 am
When I regard the short and sweet,
That perfect crossroad given life--
And since the two so seldom meet--
I like to stop and stay awhile.
For what observer could protest
To cherishing a fleeting thing,
And wishing it to stop and rest,
To hold it up and hear it sing?
But recognize its fading glow,
The moment one's excitement peaks,
Then turn around and let it...
Friday 21st August 2015 6:37 am
I miss the little things.
My schoolyard friends,
The summer's end,
My childish dreams.
And fear this too
Of tomorrow's day.
When I will say,
Today was full.
If Hope lies ahead
And happiness back,
It can only track
That now is dead.
The present is skiewed,
By what was then,
The future's when,
And how they're viewed.
Thursday 20th August 2015 11:57 am
Today I am the immovable object,
A dented can of who-knows-what
Adorned with a loud sales tag
That screams, “I am less than I was.”
My worth has been discounted,
My status redefined: damaged.
My life has been provisionally shelved.
Thursday 21st May 2015 1:47 am
Maybe the grass will be greener,
The hills smoother,
The well deeper,
If wishing makes it so.
If dreaming births hope—
The world won’t teeter,
The branch won’t bend itself low—
And the soil won’t rise to meet her.
Not for the dreamer
To grab hold of fruit that much quicker.
Nor will that water become liquor
Simply because it was told.
Thursday 21st May 2015 12:49 am
In school I was foolish—graded and grated.
I’d spend my time passing it.
I’d break bones for the cheap
Seats in gym class one day;
I’d breakfast at noon the next.
I’d wage war with witticisms and wisecracks.
I’d say “thank you” by way of thumbtack.
I beat blackboards till they were white
And they beat me till I was black-and-blue.
I was light in the wallet, heavy in the ...
Tuesday 24th February 2015 7:51 am
One thing I am proud of most:
I never believed in ghosts.
Because shadows are shadows,
Or worse, penumbras up close,
And smoke leads to smoldered embers,
Not the fire one might suppose.
Reputations are ruined
By what one may think they know.
When you listen to stories,
Remember, there are no ghosts.
Tuesday 24th February 2015 7:17 am
Take note of me,
Polish your guns,
I’ll tell you how
The West was won:
With a treaty,
Then a treason,
And with a God
What's past is past.
What's done is done.
Friday 20th February 2015 8:16 am
A butterfly flaps its wings,
A fluttering of wild intent,
As a wind stirs softly
Lifting up a fragile thing.
A fluttering of wild intent,
The mantis strikes swiftly
Lifting up a fragile thing,
Now it becomes dinner.
The mantis strikes swiftly
But fails to note the other
Now it becomes dinner
For a hungry forest frog.
It fails to note the othe...
Sunday 15th February 2015 8:01 am
What am I but a piece of meat?
Neat nerve clusters, spread
Through a body comprised
Of smaller willing things,
Brings chemically fired emotions
To mix with meddlesome knowledge
And the aspirations of past
Generations—the hopes that
Procreation will inevitably occur.
Or maybe I am a creature of habit.
Vapid and practiced and nurtured
In the prerogative of a favorite...
Sunday 15th February 2015 7:51 am
A sheet of ice on black pavement gleaming
As frost, settled on shrubs, illuminates
A white powder morning and activates
The sound of grass, underneath feet, crunching.
I with my twin brother wander, beaming
Along the path untouched, to what fascinates
The mind of two children and resonates,
Bridging the gap between awake and dreaming.
For brief moments the world was fr...
Sunday 1st February 2015 7:05 am
Under an old quilted blanket, starbursts of autumn colors,
We sat, listening to unembellished stories of the past
In the light of mismatched candles placed on flat surfaces,
Throwing occasional shadows to dance on the walls
With a cadence that matched the tempo of her voice
And swept us away to a time when water was fetched.
It was winter both inside and ...
Sunday 1st February 2015 6:53 am
Nothing pure, unbroken lasts,
The world changes innocence,
It's best to disregard the past.
We're fated to don the cynic's mask
In spite of life's condolences,
Nothing pure, unbroken lasts,
Despite our ill-reaching grasp,
Or self-preserving countenance,
It's best to disregard the past.
The body decomposes fast,
we lose our precious permanence,
Wednesday 28th January 2015 4:39 am
How can an arch hold
the weight of a boulder,
Bowed over, not groaning?
It was the same with her shoulders.
Wednesday 21st January 2015 7:26 am
The razor cold breeze whipped at the small child.
For the tall pines grew below the cliff—no help--
And offered their apologies in their own way,
Filling the air with their sharp centric scent
And swaying like an ocean of green in the wind.
But, that day, the boy could not tell trees from tears,
And he could not smell aught but what he tasted:
Just copper and sa...
Wednesday 21st January 2015 7:06 am
How prolific your profundity,
To see what others cannot see,
To relate your divine acuity,
To take the time to talk to me,
To advise advice altruistically,
To lower yourself to charity,
To solicit unsolicited graciously,
To presumably pontificate pompuosly
To offer two red cents for free.
Tuesday 16th December 2014 7:26 am
Warm nights behind the orange grove,
We found each other between the rows,
And felt the cool ground in our throes,
Lost ourselves—lost our clothes,
Told secrets only moonlight knows,
Basked in silent afterglows,
Then promised never to let go,
Those nights behind the orange grove.
Tuesday 16th December 2014 6:17 am
Tally one for days past,
At present still remembered.
Nil for today, at last,
For your presence it still lingers.
My dreams are full of you,
And In my waking hour, you echo,
There is naught for me to do,
Save hope you let me let go.
I stay awake at night,
Because when sleep comes it seems,
I must concede my plight.
You are the girl of my dream...
Tuesday 16th December 2014 5:47 am
A really good sandwich,
Has two pieces of bread,
(we all know the club is compensating)
Is void of mayonnaise,
But has in its stead,
(Mayonnaise is for the self-deprecating)
A nice bit of mustard,
And a sharp slice of Ched…dar.
Thursday 18th September 2014 9:30 am
I long to return,
To the land of Ever-was,
So that I can learn,
Why it was we never were.
And if I discern,
What it was you wanted then,
Then I will return,
To when-we’re-not again.
Thursday 18th September 2014 9:02 am
Or watched her go about her day,
In a pleasant kind of way,
And realize that you are happy too,
Just because she laughs with you.
And know that if she were to ask,
You would accept her any task,
And do it with unblinking speed,
If only it was you she’d need.
Have you ever known such despair?
To always have an angel there,
Who gives meaning to each passing d...
Monday 15th September 2014 8:07 am
I saw a girl today.
Her hair was fire.
And like fire, I was drawn to her.
Like fire, I kept my distance.
I was afraid she might burn me,
That my passion would consume me.
So I let the moment pass,
And I watched her leave.
But like staring into a flame,
When she was gone,
And I closed my eyes,
I still saw her.
Thursday 4th September 2014 6:37 am
The day seems a good bit colder now,
Casting blue light through the windows.
And I just don’t seem to have the energy,
To get up—go on—continue.
I know things won’t get better,
I no longer can believe.
Today I found no reason not to leave.
When times were rough in the past,
I had you to keep me strong.
But now my bed seems rather large,
And the nights seem way to...
Monday 1st September 2014 8:38 am
Nope. Not. No, I won't!
I dare not. Do not. I don't!
Shall? Shan't! Shall I, not!
Can? Can't! Can it sot!
Never. Never. Never again!
Okay, sorry. I give, you win.
Tuesday 12th August 2014 7:27 am
I not sure why you did,
What you did,
But it's funny how,
It's not that funny now,
That you have gone,
Now the world will miss,
Since the light has gone,
The night has come,
So we say goodbye,
Farewell funny guy,
With your grieving bow,
You leave us now,
I hope the pain,
Tuesday 12th August 2014 4:35 am
It is dark out there,
Where did the light go?
I can't see a thing,
But can feel the snow.
And the temperature is dropping,
And my sister stopped moving,
And mother is slow.
Father has gone,
To where, I don't know.
And it is dark out there,
And still the wind blows.
Wednesday 30th July 2014 4:31 am
Empty boxes now unpacked,
I pretty sure I left with more.
A new house with new memories,
But an old house with bare floors.
Still there's promise in the air,
And potential in the frame.
Perhaps here I will thrive,
I know it can't be the same.
Sunday 20th July 2014 9:55 am
Yesterday I saw a weed,
proud and tall as a tower,
But it will be cut down soon,
Because it was not made a flower.
You see, a flower is considered pretty;
It pleases the eye with form and color.
But a weed is considered ugly,
And dares to spread, and cover.
So they say it is a choking plant,
And consider it a bother.
But a flower chokes just as well,
It is just has the decency to be...
Sunday 20th July 2014 9:38 am
Keep it short and keep is sweet.
Don't subvert the paradigms,
Just make 'em laugh or make 'em weep,
But don't spout preachy diatribes.
Make it simple and make it clean.
Give the people what they want,
Like on the silver movie screen,
Watch 'em praise and watch 'em fawn.
Now don't be modest and do be vain,
It's what they've come to expect,
From big shot artis...
Sunday 6th July 2014 9:42 am
No, there'll be no poem today.
I have a headache that won't go away.
It could be my blood pressure or tooth decay,
or maybe I just need some nasal spray,
But there'll definitely be no poem today.
Friday 4th July 2014 1:43 am
Put down those salad tongs!
We will take this seriously,
There's no need for salad tongs.
And why is your hat on your foot?
That is not a shoe.
Try to take this more seriously.
That's the one thing you should do.
No. That is absurd.
What does anyone want with a laugh.
You need to take this seriously,
Stop acting like a sap.
You? Of course you.
Do you see anyone e...
Wednesday 2nd July 2014 9:48 am
I think it was a blizzard,
But I can't remember.
It was cold.
I was just seven years old.
And I ran inside.
To hide from the storm.
Thinking maybe I could get warm.
The water felt like ice,
But the sun was nice.
It was March.
I can still hear the dirge.
And I ran inside.
I tried not to care.
Thinking maybe you'd be there.
The warmth was gone,
But I was alone.
It was done.
Wednesday 2nd July 2014 9:20 am
I've heard the world needs ditch diggers too,
Which is good for me and good for you,
Because now we can be important to,
The doctors and the lawyers.
Oh, won't my mother be so proud,
To have raised such an important child,
Who reached the summit in the clouds,
When it comes to holding a shovel.
So, remember not to try too hard,
If you were born substandard,
Monday 30th June 2014 7:38 am
Like an old friend one would rather forget,
It passes by and stops me in my tracks,
Out of respect I do not move,
For the procession in black.
And like a phrase that stirs a memory,
I remember sunny, never rainy, days,
When I bowed my head and cried,
Underneath the willow's shade.
And how I felt I would never be whole again,
And how I gave so many pieces to,
The lush and green grass,
Saturday 28th June 2014 11:28 am
I sat upon a cold creek bank,
I often do this when I think,
Or ponder over the deeper things,
Like, "what does the future bring?"
Now, the water seldom answers back,
So I sit there, listen, and relax,
And let my mind wander off,
To other shores and other thoughts,
But today the water heard my cry,
And decided, though I don't know why,
To take interest in a lost man's plight,
Friday 27th June 2014 10:59 am
I must admit that I usually do a few, short and simple poems a day. There is nothing wrong with this, and I normally do, and will most likely continue, to write in this manner. But when I woke up today, seeing as it was my off day, I thought I might try something outside of my comfort zone. And so I wrote the longest poem that I have ever written (not so long by most standards, but long for me). I...
Friday 27th June 2014 10:49 am
The teachers told him not to dream too big,
That his talents lay somewhere other than Arithmetic,
That English would never be so kind,
As to reveal its secrets to his young mind,
That History was better served,
By someone who could steer its curves,
That Science was a distant star,
So he shouldn't try to reach too far.
Maybe because he was so slow,
He didn't listen to them blow,
Friday 27th June 2014 8:08 am
Wednesday 25th June 2014 7:40 am
Today I found a poisoned well,
Useless as my water pail.
No life it gives that I can tell,
Just an acrid sulfur smell.
Tuesday 24th June 2014 7:42 am
Tuesday 24th June 2014 7:27 am
Like an old friend,
I stare at the clock,
"Should I sleep now or later?"
For I am not sure anymore,
What is expected
Of a single man,
And I stare at this empty bed,
And miss her body,
And her warmth... And her.
Monday 23rd June 2014 10:31 am
A raving, craving, fiending junkie.
Incessantly nodding, affirming yes,
Consistently giving, despite duress. Love turned me into a puppet pauper,
A penniless, lack-luck, begging gawper.
Constantly scrounging, loose change sifter,
Tirelessly searching, dime store drifter. Love turned me into a courtly fool,
A grinning, spinning, ignorant tool.
Monday 23rd June 2014 9:35 am
Monday 23rd June 2014 4:14 am
- 2014 - 2017 (49)
Travis Brow on I Know (Thu, 21 May 2015 06:57 am)
Travis Brow on In School (Fri, 6 Mar 2015 12:25 pm)
Preeti Sinha on Warm Nights Behind the Orange Grove (Wed, 17 Dec 2014 03:12 am)
Preeti Sinha on Advice (Wed, 17 Dec 2014 03:11 am)