Poem with an explanation: happy birthday

A store bought cake
with two wax numbers
a rotisserie chicken
with two tubs of sides
a banner on the wall
held with clear tape
a card
with no handwriting
a dog sitting
by the table
a can of corned beef
and a bowl
a parakeet nibbling
on a treat
in a moved cage
a box
wrapped with less reason
from companies
on a phone
a movie reserved
on a service
earlier that day
a walk in the park

sitting down



In this poem, a person is celebrating their birthday.  The person is alone and lonely and tries to compensate.

The person buys themselves a cake, and has two number candles for their age.  From the store they also bought chicken and sides so they could have a special dinner.

The put a banner on a wall that says, “Happy Birthday”.  They held it with clear tape so they could take it down easily.

They bought themselves a card, but wrote nothing in it.  They worry that someone, someday, might find the card, and they don’t want to look like they gave themselves a birthday card.

For friends, the person has a dog and a parakeet.  The dog is by the table and the person got the dog corned beef as food so the dog could celebrate with the person.

They gave their parakeet a treat for the same reason, and moved the parakeet cage by the table they are at so they could feel like there was someone else with them.

The person bought themselves a present and put it in a box.  They wrapped it for the occasion, but not to hide the contents (as they know what it is), a reason wrapping is normally applied.

The only well wishes the person got are from companies they do business with that sent them birthday emails.  They read them on their phone and appreciated some sense of the well wishes.

The person has saved a movie on a streaming service to watch that night for something special on their birthday.  That day, they walked in the park as an outing.  The park was a place the person felt comfortable going alone.

As the person sits down to celebrate their birthday, they think about their life and how they go to this point.

The person feels alone.


This poem is about loneliness.  The idea was expressed by showing a person who had no one to celebrate their birthday with them.  The steps the person takes to have a nice birthday, despite being alone, to some degree make them feel lonelier.

Poem with an explanation: A dark celebration

There are celebrations,
celebrations on the mountain peak,
of the glowing warmth,
and dances in the wildflower fields.

But this is false,
for there behind the mountain peak,
the wings of dread do spread,
and the flight of darkness soars.

But in the fields,
all is joy,
as butterflies fly,
from bloom to bloom.

But the edges darken,
from red to black,
and the swallowing of all,

It all seems joy,
as arms twirl about,
and all the warm,
fills the land.

But tears do fall,
from knowing eyes,
for they do know,
the fire dims.

The cheers of joy,
for what is high,
not seeing that,
today it falls.


This poem is about the summer solstice.  It might depend on where a person lives, but the summer solstice could start late tonight.  Tomorrow, will be the longest day of the year, in terms of sunlight.

The longest day of the year is often celebrated because it has the most light of any day of the year.  This poem takes a different perspective and looks at it as a day of dread.

It is a day of dread, because from this point on, until the winter solstice, every day will get shorter.  Since this is the peak, it is the start of the fall.  This day is the last day when light grows, and because of this, the poem takes the perspective that it is a day to be feared, rather than celebrated.

The poem alternates between celebration and dread.  The first stanza is one of celebration.  It describes the celebration of the longest day (the mountain peak), of all the sunshine (the glowing warmth) and talks of the celebration of nature (dances in the wildflower fields).

The next stanza starts the dread.  It uses a metaphor of a dragon.  It says that the celebrating is for something false.  It says that after the longest day (behind the mountain peak), something ominous is coming (the wings of dread do spread) and this ominous thing is the increasing darkness from this point until the winter solstice (the flight of darkness soars).

In the next stanza, there is an unawareness of this.  It is as if the people celebrating in the field, don’t see the shadow rise behind the mountain.  The stanza talks of joy, butterflies and blooms.

The following stanza goes back to the ominous idea.  It uses the imagery of darkness swallowing all.  Like a cloud of darkness starting at the horizons and covering the land.  It uses the image of “red to black” to play off the idea of a sunset.

In the field though, there is an unawareness.  The celebrations continue as people bask in the sunshine and dance about.

This is contrasted in the next stanza by a sense of sadness by those that know that a peak leads to a fall.  It is as if all are celebrating the fire at its highest, but there are some that know that the highest point means that it gets lower after that.

The last stanza puts the ideas together and says that the peak is celebrated, but that is because it isn’t seen as the start of the fall.

This poem consists of seven stanzas.  Each stanza is four lines long.  The first six stanzas alternate between happiness and dread.  The last stanza has both ideas together.

P. S. Did you enjoy this poem with an explanation? Did you know that M. Sakran has a self-published eBook of poems with explanations?  You can learn more about the book and purchase a copy from here: Understanding: poems with explanations.

Post Series: Poems with Explanations: The celebration ends

The distant look,
the fourteenth time,
the eyes then pause

the flag is waved!

In a moment,
the color’s checked,
the eyes squint tight,

and there it is!

The shouts of joy,
the cheers resound,
banners fill the streets.

Parades begin,
the speech is said,
streamers fill the air.

But something is said,
a questioning thought,
the trumpets blast,
and drums do play.

But something is said,
a questioning thought,
acquiescence occurs,
call in the man.

The man comes in,
and peers on out,
he says it’s this,
and is not that.

Banners fall,
trumpets too,
and drums do have no beat.

But something is said,
a questioning thought,
a check again,
the sight is this.

The empty streets,
the empty square,
a littered scene,
and all are gone.


This poem is about happiness being dashed.  In the poem, a person believes they have found out that something good has happened, but then they find out they were wrong.  Although this idea could pertain to many things, one example might be a person thinking they have won a prize, but then finding out that they didn’t.

In the first stanza, the person is checking the results of something (The distant look).  They are anxious to know the results and have been checking repeatedly (the fourteenth time).  This time is different from the rest though, because the person believes they see a result (the eyes then pause).  The person takes a moment, and in the next stanza, they come to the excited realization that the result is actually there (the flag is waved!).

In the third stanza, the person takes a second (In a moment) to scan and see what the result is (the color’s checked).  They focus on it (the eyes squint tight), and in the next stanza, they see not only the result, but the result they have been wanting (and there it is!).

In the fifth stanza, the person celebrates what has happened (The shouts of joy, the cheers resound, banners fill the streets).

In the sixth stanza, the person continues the celebration and starts to tell other people the good news (Parades begin, the speech is said, streamers fill the air).

In doing this though, in the seventh stanza, someone questions if the person was right in what they saw (But something is said, a questioning thought).  The person though, is overwhelmed with happiness, and ignores this idea (the trumpets blast, and drums do play).

In the eighth stanza, the someone questions the person again (But something is said, a questioning thought).  The person thinks this questioning is nonsense, but they decide to humor the someone (acquiescence occurs) and have someone else check the result (call in the man).

This someone else arrives (The man comes in) and checks the result (and peers on out).  They see what it is and they tell the person that they made a mistake.  They say the person did not get the result they wanted (he says it’s this, and is not that).

In the tenth stanza, the person is dejected (Banners fall, trumpets too, and drums do have no beat).

In the eleventh stanza, the person, with a small hold on hope, asks if the someone else might be wrong (But something is said, a questioning thought).  The someone else checks the results again, and confirms that the person did not get what they wanted (a check again, the sight is this).

In the last stanza, the person is forlorn.  They don’t know what to do, and they are quiet and walk away (The empty streets, the empty square, a littered scene, and all are gone).

This poem has a number of form elements.

The pair of stanzas one and two, has a similar structure to the pair of stanzas three and four.  Stanza one is three lines and stanza two is one line that is an exclamation.  This is the same for stanzas three and four.

Also, looking at the first four stanzas, all of the eight lines have four syllables each.

Stanzas five and six are similar in that both have a syllable count per line of four, four and five.  Also, there is connection between the last lines of each of the stanzas.  In stanza five, banners fill the streets.  In stanza six, streamers fill the air.

In stanzas seven and eight, the first two lines match.

In stanza nine, each of the lines has four syllables.  Additionally, lines one and two end in antonyms.

In stanza eleven, the first two lines from stanzas seven and eight are repeated again.  Stanza eleven has the same syllable count per line pattern as stanza seven.

In stanza twelve, all of the lines have four syllables (like stanza nine).  Additionally, the first two lines both start with the empty, and then a word that starts with s.


Do you like poems with explanations?

M. Sakran’s self-published book of poems with explanations called Understanding: poems with explanations is available for purchase as an eBook for an available price of $0.99. Buy your copy today!

To help celebrate the self-publication of this book, there is a post series of poems with explanations on the blog.  Above is a poem with an explanation for the series.  This poem with an explanation (as well as the rest in the series) is not from the book.  It is a different one that is part of this post series for readers to read and enjoy.

Poem with an explanation: The Flower Shop

The Flower Shop


Colors, with textures and shapes.

Different scents.

Baby’s breath,
fern fronds.

Mixed together,
small and large,
tall and short,
according to rules,
but also sight –

and there,
on the counter,
is something beautiful.

to the case,
with all the cards –

 Congratulations to the graduate!
 It’s a boy!
 It’s a girl!
 For the happy couple!
 Happy anniversary!

Then to the side,

 Get well soon.

Then on the bottom,
in a box,


The florist glances,
at the note,
from her pocket,
which will say,
where she reaches.


This poem is about a flower shop.  It starts with a description of the flowers being made into a bouquet.  Then goes to the possible reasons for the bouquet.  It starts with the happy and moves to the sad.  The poem then ends, with a hidden indication, of which it is.

In the poem, the florist was in some way focusing on the happy things around her, and was willfully ignoring the reason for the bouquet.  She looks at the note, that says what it is for, only at the last moment, because she knows, that while it could be very good, it could also be very bad.

The poem is about the setting of the scene, the idea of why there are flowers, and the fact that sometimes the reason is not good, the florist’s behavior, and the impact of the small note.

The stanzas in the poem help separate the ideas.  The types of cards are indented to set them apart, and there is an extra line space before “Condolences”, to make it even more separate.