Poem with an explanation: under the red sky

under the red sky
upon the sand
the waves stopped crashing
but for a moment

In this poem, a person was sleeping on a sofa.  The person was covered with a red blanket (under the red sky) and was sleeping on a brown sofa (upon the sand).  The person had a stressful day, but in their sleep they found peace (the waves stopped crashing).  The peace lasted while the person slept (but for a moment).

Poem with an explanation: soup

chicken
legs and thighs
nine pieces
turned to eighteen

soup
broth

rice
frozen mixed vegetables
water
salt

enough
for a week

doing the math
figuring the dollars per day
doing the math
hoping it lasts

 

In this poem a person has little money and little income.  They are planning how they will eat.  They are planning to make chicken soup with rice and vegetables and have that for every meal.

The person buys chicken.  The cheapest per pound they found was a large bag of legs and thighs.  It contained nine pieces of legs and thighs together that they cut into eighteen pieces.

The person uses the chicken to make soup.  Their soup has chicken, water, rice, mixed vegetables that they bought frozen, and salt.  With what they bought, they figure that it will feed them for a week.

The person then tries to plan out the month.  They do some math and figure out how much the food cost them and how much it would cost them per day.  They do more math and hope their money lasts them for the month.

In the poem the person has little money.  To deal with this they eat the same thing for every meal and make their food in large quantities.  The person though still wanted food they thought met a minimum standard for themselves.

Poem with an explanation: standing outside

standing outside
checking the time again
waiting two more minutes
and then a call
there’s probably a reason

 

In this poem, a person thinks they may have been stood up for a date.

The person in the poem is standing outside the place where the date is to take place (standing outside).  Their date is late and they have checked the time multiple times while they have waited (checking the time again).  They set a threshold time to wait for before calling to see why their date isn’t there.  That time is two minutes away (waiting two more minutes).  They want to believe their date is not there for a reason other than they have been stood up (there’s probably a reason).

 

P. S. This blog post is the one thousand five hundred and sixty second blog post on the blog. As was noted in the post for the six year anniversary for the blog, the blog will be ending soon.

A decision has been made that the last new blog post on the blog will be number one thousand six hundred.  That means that there are thirty eight new blog posts to post.  Although it may change, the last new blog post should be posted on August 20, 2020.  Thank you to everyone who has read something on the blog.

Poem with an explanation: walking nowhere

walking miles
but getting nowhere

 

This poem is specifically about a person trying to lose weight by walking on a treadmill.  Over time, the person walks many miles but loses no weight.  The “getting nowhere” part refers to the person not achieving what they desired, but also to the idea that they are in the same place while walking on the machine.  The idea was to use the phrase symbolically and literally.

More generally, the poem is about effort without result and could be symbolic of many experiences.

Poem with an explanation: what’s the hurry?

walking outside
with someone
what’s the hurry?

In this poem, two people are walking outside.  They are walking quickly until one realizes that they have nowhere in particular to be.  They are walking simply for the sake of walking and have no destination other than to return to the place that they started from.  They have nothing in particular to do at that place, and so when they arrive is inconsequential.  When one of them realizes this they question why they are walking so fast.  The poem reflects on the idea of appreciating the moment rather than focusing on the next one.

Poem with an explanation: he stopped barking

the dog’s ears itched
no one was there to clean them
he stopped barking

 

In this poem, on one level, there is a dog with itchy ears.  The dog’s ears itch because they are dirty.  The dog is alone, and for a while he barked hoping someone would help him and clean his ears.  Once he realized though that no one would come, he stopped barking.  He became resigned to the idea that he would get no help and his ears would itch.

On another level this poem is about the plight of an elderly person.  In the poem the elderly person has some physical condition that is causing them discomfort.  They need someone’s help to alleviate their condition.  They call out for help for a while, but when no one comes, they stop calling.  They become resigned to the fact that they are alone and that no one will help them.

The idea of the poem was to express a condition of helplessness.  It was expressed overtly through the plight of an animal, but that was a metaphor for the plight of a person.  In each case help is needed, it isn’t received, and sadly the circumstances are accepted.

An underlying idea of the poem is to encourage help for those that are neglected.

Poem with an explanation: on the island

Twenty days
on the island
since the boat
ran aground.

Coconuts
bananas
shellfish
roots

Water
in puddles
carried around
by buckets.

On a stone
the days are marked
and some semblance of time
is kept.

No boats.
No planes.
A message in the sand.

A routine.
The little things.
Counting.
Planning.

Running on the beach.
Swimming in the cove.
Never too far,
from hut or shore.

Evenings seem long.
What time to wake up?
Days blend.
Marking the stone.

One day
a boat will come by.

 

This poem is about a person staying home during the coronavirus situation.  The person isn’t ill, but is staying home so they won’t get ill nor infect others.  The idea is expressed by describing a person’s situation on a deserted island.

In the first stanza, it is noted that the person has been at home for twenty days.  They started staying home before they were officially told to and have continued to stay home.  They haven’t gone to the store or anywhere since before the first day.

In the second stanza, the person’s food is noted.  It is limited to what they have on the island, which is symbolic of the limitation of what they have in the house.

In the third stanza, the difficulty of basic necessities is noted.  In the poem, the person struggles to find and use water.  In the person’s house they struggle to find and use supplies as they don’t leave.

In the fourth stanza, the person records the days they have been in isolation.  Although there isn’t a real point to noting the number, the person wants to keep a sense of time.

In the fifth stanza, the person is waiting for the situation to end.  In the poem they want to be rescued.  In the reality of the poem, the person wants the virus to end.

In the sixth stanza, the person tries to form a routine.  They note the little things they do.  They count things they have and they plan for how they will use things.

In the seventh stanza, the person tries to get exercise.  They do this though without leaving their area.  In the reality of the poem, the person does not leave their property.

In the eighth stanza, the person notes that evenings are long.  This is because they are alone and can’t go anywhere.  They also note a sense that time has lost some value as they are home all the time.  They question what time they should wake up.  They note the days are blending, but they still mark them to keep track.

In the ninth stanza, hope is expressed that the situation will end.  In the poem, a boat will come by.  In the reality of the poem, the virus will end.

Poem with an explanation: The Plight of the Orange Spheres

behind the glass
nothing felt safe
the lion roared

 

This poem has three layers.

The first layer is just the poem itself and what it literally says.  In the poem, someone or some group is behind glass and they don’t feel safe from a lion.

The second layer, describes the literal situation more fully.  In the poem there are goldfish (orange spheres) that are in an aquarium.  They are afraid of a cat (lion) that is outside and wants to get them.

The third layer, relates to the coronavirus.  People are in their homes (behind glass), but don’t feel safe (nothing felt safe), from the virus (the lion).

The idea of the poem was to present three ideas with the same concept.

Poem with an explanation: one day they drove away

One day
they drove away
and someone said
how the future would be.

And despite the rationality
and even the equity
a harsh word was spoken
that there was no understanding.

And there in the back
as they drove away
the injustice held
a weight of bitterness.

And there in the front
as they drove away
they rationalized
and hoped that it would not be.

 

In this poem a family takes an older family member to a nursing home to live.  In the situation, a child in the car is upset that this has happened.

In the first stanza, the family is driving away from the nursing home after dropping the older family member off.  The child in the car thinks this is wrong and says to their parents that if taking grandma/grandpa to a nursing home is right, then one day they will take their parents to one.  They make the statement that what their parents have done will be done to them.  They do this to motivate their parents not to leave the older family member at the nursing home.

In the second stanza, the parents feel a sense of rationality and even equity in what their child was saying.  It does seem just to them that what they have done, should be done to them, at least on an intellectual level.

In a practical sense though, they don’t feel this should be.  They don’t see a connection between their treatment of the older family member and how they should be treated someday.  They get upset with their child, and speak harshly to them, and they say the child does not understand the situation.

In the third stanza, the child is bitter.  They feel that what their parents are doing is unjust.  They become bitter, and resolve that someday they will put their parents in a nursing home, as a means, in their rationality, to teach them a lesson.

In the fourth stanza, the parents rationalize their decision to take the older family member to the nursing home.  They run through reasons why “it is the best thing”.  As they do though, they hope the future the child promises will not take place.  They hope that they themselves will not be put in a nursing home someday.

This poem looks at the idea of justice in the sense of examining the idea of “what you have done to another, will be done to you”.  It looks at this from the perspective of the people who are doing the thing, and from the perspective of the person who will one day be in their place.  The poem in some sense looks at questioning current behavior under the thought of this idea coming to pass.

Poem with an explanation: Maybe it’s broken?

Checking the email
for the fourteenth time

nothing’s bold.

Maybe it’s broken?

 

This poem is about a person waiting for a message.  They are checking their email repeatedly (so far, fourteen times in one day), but have not received a message they are waiting for.  More than this, the person hasn’t received any messages (nothing’s bold – new messages are bold in their email).

The person is anxious to get this message and the fact that they haven’t received it causes them to wonder if something’s wrong.  They question if their email is broken.

The person is worried and anxious and tries to find an explanation for the situation, which actually causes them more worry.