Poem with an explanation: the unseen grew within the walls

The wire circled,
and earth removed,
thorns did grow,
beneath solid sand,
cool iron flowed,
across the trees,
while sentries stood,
with trumpet horns,
and there within,
the unseen grew,
and all collapsed,
within the walls.

 

This poem looks at the idea of preparing for one thing, but encountering another.  It looks at the idea of taking precautions for one concern, while another goes unseen.

In the poem, there is a person with a home.  The person is fearful of a home break in.  Because of this, the person takes precautions to protect their home.  The idea, is that the person wants to protect themselves from a potential harm.

At the same time, the person gets ill.  They get an unexpected disease and their physical condition suffers.  While the person took many steps to protect themselves against a perceived threat, an unperceived threat ended up causing them harm.  In the poem, the person’s efforts to protect themselves from harm turned out to be futile.

Although the poem examines the idea of futile efforts, it doesn’t imply that the efforts were inherently futile.  The efforts were directed in a wise way, however, another wise way was ignored.  An analogy might be a knight in battle wearing chest armor, but having no helmet.  The chest armor is good and was a good thing to prepare.  The helmet was important too, but just not considered.

In terms of form, all lines of the poem are three words long.  The poem is one stanza of twelve lines.

In the first line, The wire circled, the person has a chain link fence put up around their property.

In the second line, and earth removed, the person has ditches dug along the front of their property to make it so vehicles can only come down their driveway.

In the third line, thorns did grow, the person plants thorny plants.

The fourth line, beneath solid sand, relates to the third line and says that the plants were planted beneath windows.  The windows are solid in that they are the type that are difficult to break.

The fifth and sixth lines say, cool iron flowed, across the trees.  The cool iron are locks and the trees are the person’s doors.

The seventh and eighth lines say, while sentries stood, with trumpet horns.  The sentries are various sensors, such as motion sensors.  These sensors are connected to an alarm system which are the trumpet horns.

The ninth through eleventh lines talk about the disease the person has.  The disease was within the person, and not like the threat the person perceived from the outside.  The disease was unseen in that the person did not feel it growing and it was not something they thought to protect themselves against.  The disease takes a physical toll on the person (and all collapsed).

The twelfth line relates the irony of the situation.  The person built walls to protect themselves from the outside, and yet they are damaged from the inside.  The walls were ineffective at protecting them from the threat that occurred.

As related above, this poem relates to the idea of preventing negative things.  It looks at the notion that a person can go to great lengths to protect themselves from one type of negative thing, while something they did not consider can cause them harm.  The poem does not say that the protective measures were bad, just that they were not the right kind for what the person encountered.

Although this poem looks at home protection and illness, the same sort of idea could be applied to other situations.  For example, a person might go to great lengths to protect their home from fire, only to have their house flood.  Or, a person might spend a lot of time learning how to repair their car, only to have something in their home break.  The same idea can be applied to many situations where efforts are directed to one place but they turn out to have been needed in another.

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Poem with an explanation: drifting after the storm

in darkness the storm
the leviathan thunders
drifting out to sea

 

This poem is a haiku.  It is written in the 5-7-5 format.

This poem about the first signs of a serious illness.  In the poem, a person wakes up in bed, covered in sweat.  At this point, the person feels that something is physically wrong, but is not aware of the seriousness of it.

The poem uses idea of the sea as a metaphor.

The first line says, “in the darkness the storm”.  This alludes to a few things.  “the darkness” refers to the night as well as to the idea of the negativity of the illness.  It also refers to the idea that the person is “in the dark” in regards to the condition they have.  “the storm” refers to the person sweating, and again to the negativity of their condition.

The second line says, “the leviathan thunders”.  A leviathan is a mythical sea monster.  It is representative of the illness the person has.  The thunder the person metaphorically hears is not natural thunder, as a storm might suggest, rather it is the sound of the leviathan.  The idea here is that the person thinks what is happening is normal, like thunder during a storm would be, but what is happening is not normal.  The person is seriously ill but thinks they are just having a temporary condition.

The third line says, “drifting out to sea”.  This line changes the tone of the first two.  The first line had a storm and the second line had something thundering.  This line has something that sounds calm – the idea of a person in a boat drifting out to sea.

The idea is to reflect that the person is going on an unknown journey where they lack control.  The person is about to be faced with an illness they know nothing about and over which they have no ability to control.  Something is happening to them.

While this may be something that could be described as abrupt, for example with the line “over waterfalls”, in this situation that is not what is happening.

The person is about to go on the journey of their illness.  This journey has not really started though.  The person has not had the moment of diagnosis.  They have not had the “waterfall moment” of finding out they have a disease.  At this point, the person is in the dark and in some way slowly moving toward their journey.

As the person lays in bed, they have the abrupt moment of waking up covered in sweat, but this moment subsides as the person thinks they are just not feeling right.  They believe that the feeling will pass and they will return to normal soon.  They do not know what is really happening to them.

Poem with an explanation: the day monster

Within the night of the day dream,
where things are lie but do not seem,
the monster’s teeth both shine and gleam,
and in the dark the mind does scream.

The flames do roar at strike of match,
and chains do bind and locks do latch,
the monster’s close and soon will catch,
its claws do reach to grab and snatch.

And in the world there seems a fight,
within the dream of day not night,
the struggle moves both left and right,
and all is fought without the sight.

And then the time when dams do break,
does come and with the quickness make,
a soul to fall and form to shake,
and in the world a soul to wake.

The eyes do gleam but with a start,
and in the form there is a heart,
that seems pierced through like with a dart,
as from the dream the soul does part.

The lights do shine and fogs do clear,
the monster’s roar is far not near,
and though the heart does feel the fear,
the sound of it it does not hear.

And in the world the mind does know,
that flames that roar do seem to sow,
the dreams of day all filled with woe,
where monster teeth both shine and glow.

 

This poem is about a dream a person has during the day when they are ill and have a fever.  When a person is ill and has a fever, sometimes they can have dreams that feel very bad but are incoherent.  When they awake, they can have a realization of what was happening.

In the poem, the person is sleeping during the day.  This is because they are ill.  They are also having a bad dream.  This is described in the first line of the first stanza.

The first line says, “Within the night of the day dream”.  The person is asleep, and they are dreaming.  It is day time, but they are not having a daydream.  It is metaphorically night because the person is having a bad dream.

The person feels that what they are dreaming is real.  This is shown in the second line which says, “where things are lie but do not seem”.

The third line describes the badness of the dream as a monster with teeth that “shine and gleam”.

The fourth line shows the person’s fear (and in the dark the mind does scream).

The second stanza starts off by describing the fever the person has.  Because of the dream and their illness the person feels like they can’t move (and chains do bind and locks do latch).  The next two lines describe the feeling of the bad dream.

The third stanza moves from the dream world to reality.  As the person sleeps, they move and seem to struggle.  This is because of their illness and their bad dream.  The physical struggle of the person is described in this stanza.

In the fourth stanza, the person’s fever breaks and they start to sweat.  This is described in the first line, “And then the time when dams do break”.  This causes the person to wake up and in that process they feel like they are falling and shaking (a soul to fall and form to shake).  At the end of the sensation, the person wakes up (and in the world a soul to wake).

As the person wakes up they do so with a start (The eyes do gleam but with a start).  Their heart is beating fast (and in the form there is a heart, that seems pierced through like with a dart).  In the process the person leaves the dream world they were in (as from the dream the soul does part).

The person becomes more aware of reality in the next stanza (The lights do shine and fogs do clear).  They start to feel removed from the bad dream (the monster’s roar is far not near).  They still feel afraid (and though the heart does feel the fear), though they are more removed from its source (the sound of it it does not hear).

In the last stanza, the person realizes what happened (And in the world the mind does know).  They understand that the fever caused the bad dream.

In terms of form, each stanza follows the same format.  All stanzas are four lines written in iambic tetrameter.  All lines in a stanza rhyme.  Incorrect grammar was used in some places for sound and to fit the form.

Bilingual Poem: it’s cold

It’s cold
the fires inside grow low
while the stoker fights the war
beyond the villagers rush
the fires grow high with light
and covered the man does sleep
it’s cold

 

Hace frío
los fuegos dentro de se ponen bajo
mientras el fogonero pelea el guerra
más allá los pueblerinos se apresuran
los fuegos se ponon alto con luz
y cubrió el hombre está duerme
hace frío

Post Series: Poems with Explanations: lights, fairies, and fireflies

city lights sparkle
emerald fairies dance in rows
the fireflies die

This poem is a scene.  In the scene, there are two people in a hospital room.  One is in a bed, and is a patient.  The other is someone close to the patient.  It is night and the patient is sleeping in their hospital bed.  The someone close is awake, sitting in a chair and looking out through a window.  They are on an upper floor of the hospital in a city.

As the someone close looks out the window, they see the lights of the city sparkle (city lights sparkle).  This is stated directly in the poem.  As they look, they move their eyes from looking out the window to the person in the hospital bed.  They see the IVs connected to the person.  The IVs have little green lights that indicate how much medication (or other substance) is in the bags above them.  As the person watches, the numbers change as the amount of medication left decreases (emerald fairies dance in rows).  This is described metaphorically.

As the someone close reflects on what is happening to the patient, they feel a sense of defeat and loss.  The situation seems bad to them (the fireflies die).  This also is described metaphorically.

The poem has a flow from realism to metaphorical fantasy to metaphorical realism (realism in the last part in the sense that it is realistic, but not realism in the sense that they are really seeing it).  This reflects the emotions of the someone close as their still mind moves from the city, to the IVs, to the whole situation.  Without a sense of consciousness, the someone close’s emotions build as they take in the lights they see.  It is almost like a stillness before crying.

This poem is a haiku.  It is written with five syllables in the first line, seven in the second and five in the third.  The first two lines can be seen as being grouped together and the third line is a step away.

Although different things motivated this poem, part of the motivation is related to Freya Pickard of Pure Haiku and Dragonscale Clippings.  As readers will know, Freya was the one wrote the foreword to M. Sakran’s collection of poems with explanations, Understanding: poems with explanations.

Freya has a poetry collection.  It is called Insides.  The book relates to Freya’s ordeal of cancer.  It is officially being launched today.  You can read about it on her blog here: Dragonscale Clippings, and you can buy a copy of the book here: Insides.

As noted above, the haiku above relates to a medical scene.  Although the illness or injury of the patient in the hospital bed is not mentioned, it is severe enough that they are in a hospital, need multiple IVs, someone close to them feels the need to stay with them and their condition is causing the someone close some amount of distress.  Although it isn’t said, the condition of the patient could very well be cancer.  Freya’s book is about an illness from the patient’s point of view.  That idea, helped motive this poem, which is about an illness (or some other condition) from someone close to a patient’s point of view.  The idea was a change in perspective.

Additionally, readers of Freya’s blog, Dragonscale Clippings will notice at times fantasy elements.  This notion of fantasy, helped motivate the idea of the fairies in the second line of the poem above.

Lastly, readers of Freya’s blog, Pure Haiku, will know that it focuses on haiku written in the 5, 7, 5 format.  This motivated the idea to make the poem above a 5,7,5 haiku.

*****

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.

Post Series: Poems with Explanations: There

There

Sitting there,
as a storm falls,
feeling it all hit.

Laying there,
in the incoherence,
but 4 and 2 aren’t 7.

Covered there,
as the earth shakes,
hoping snow falls.

Walking there,
with a stumble,
it is miles.

Listening there,
hearing the calls,
mist and stone.

Being there,
in disguise,
wondering of return.

 

This poem is about a person with a cold with a fever.  The poem is divided into six stanzas, that cover six moments the person has.

The first stanza starts with the person in the shower.  The person is sick, and so, rather than stand in the shower, as would be normal, the person sits (Sitting there).  They sit on the shower floor, as the hot water falls upon them (as a storm falls) and they take some bit of comfort in the heat (feeling it all hit).

In the next stanza, the person is in bed (Laying there).  It is in the middle of the night and the person has a fever.  They wake up.  Because of their tiredness and their fever they are incoherent (in the incoherence).  Their mind starts to move as they are half awake and half asleep and they can’t make sense of what they are thinking about (but 4 and 2 aren’t 7).

In the third stanza, the person is sitting on a sofa, covered completely with a blanket (Covered there).  The person starts to feel cold and they shiver (as the earth shakes).  As they do, they hope someone helps them and covers them with more blankets (hoping snow falls).

In the fourth stanza, the person is walking outside to get the mail (Walking there).  Because of their cold, they stumble as they walk (with a stumble).  At first they have some thought that the feet they are walking feels like miles, but as they stumble along, they decide that it is in fact miles (it is miles).  The distance they feel, has transcended in some sense, the idea of feeling.

In the following stanza, the person is sitting inside, and they hear their dog outside bark (Listening there).  They realize that their dog wants to go for a walk (hearing the calls).  In their mind, they want to walk their dog (mist).  Their body though is just too tired (stone).

In the last stanza, the person is in their house (Being there).  They don’t look like themselves.  Because of their cold they are dressed differently and just look different (in disguise).  As they are there, they wonder when they will be well again and be themselves (wondering of return).

In terms of form, this poem is six stanzas long.  Each stanza is three lines long.  Each stanza starts with a word followed by there.  This makes each first line of each stanza, two words long.

*****

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.

Post Series: Poems with Explanations: Alone

Alone

Was it a cigarette?
Was it a campfire?
Was it lightening?

There was the spark,
unseen,
in the trees,
far away.

  No one was there.

The shingles caught,
at first a smolder,
then the flame.

  No one was there.

Smoke in the attic,
rafters buckle,
and with some time,
the ceiling caves.

  An alarm sounds,
  no one hears.

The smoke in the living room,
windows shatter,
furniture burns,
and all crumbles.

  There are eyes,
  looking,
  but looking away.

Four walls,
three walls,
two and one,
the pile is there,
and all is gone.

  No one was there.

 

This poem is about a person becoming progressively more ill.  The person is alone and has no one to help them.  It uses a house fire as a metaphor.  This poem examines the idea of an isolated person encountering something where they need help.

The first stanza examines the cause of the illness.  It basically questions whether it started from something small (a cigarette), something medium (a campfire) or something large (lightening).  The questions are not answered in the poem.

The next stanza describes the start of the illness.  It starts small (spark) and unnoticed (unseen) (far away).  As a note, the fact that the illness started small is not meant to imply that it started from something small.  The idea is that even something big (such as a fire caused by lightening) still in essence starts with one point.

The third stanza (No one was there) is the first mention that the person is alone.

The next stanza uses a house as a metaphor for the person.  The stanza says, The shingles caught, at first a smolder, then the flame.  This describes the person first feeling the illness.  At first it is subtle (a smolder), but then it is more (the flame).  This stanza could be looked at as describing a person feeling the start of a fever (shingles representing the person’s head and a smolder and flame representing the heat of the fever).

The fifth stanza is a repeat of the third.  It shows that as the person got more ill, they were still alone.

The sixth stanza continues the progression of the illness.  The fire spreading in the attic could be looked at as representing the symptoms of the illness spreading in the person’s head.  By the end of the stanza, they feel it in their throat.  This is one way of describing the spread of the illness (which continues the way of description from stanza four) but other similar notions of the symptoms of an illness spreading could be applied.

The seventh stanza is like the third and the fifth, in that it shows that no one is with the person.  This stanza uses a somewhat different expression though.  It uses the metaphor of an unheard fire alarm to describe the person calling for help, but getting no response.

The eighth stanza continues the progression of illness symptoms.  One way to look at it, would be to say that the person started feeling something in their lungs (The smoke in the living room), their eyes began to hurt (windows shatter), they felt pain at different parts of their body (furniture burns) and they were overwhelmed by the symptoms (and all crumbles)

The next stanza is like the previous indented ones, in that it expresses the idea that the person is alone.  The stanza expresses the idea that there are people (There are eyes) and these people are observant and aware (looking) but they are just not aware of the person that is ill (but looking away).

One important point about this poem, is that people are not actively ignoring the ill person in the poem.  The person in the poem is isolated either by circumstance or by their own doing.  It is not though, a matter of neglect.  People are not willfully not helping the person, they are simply unaware the person needs help.

The tenth stanza describes the person getting severely more ill (as described by the walls of the house collapsing).  The person is very weak (the pile is there) and eventually, the person dies (and all is gone).

The last stanza is a repeat of the third and fifth.  It say, that the person died alone.

In terms of form, this poem is free verse in the sense that there was not a predefined from applied to it, nor a strict structure applied while it was written.  Despite this though, the poem is not entirely free of structure and still has form elements in it.

The first stanza consists entirely of questions.  Each question starts with Was it.  Additionally, the first two stanzas, start with Was it a, and then a word that starts with the letter c.

The second stanza starts with a line that is relatively longer in appearance than the other three lines in the stanza.  The first line says something, and the next three describe it.  The three short lines are meant to be choppy in a sense so that each point about the spark is made.

The third stanza, is repeated in the fifth stanza, and again repeated in the last stanza.  These stanzas are all indented to show a separation from the other ideas of the poem.

In the tenth stanza, the first two lines are similar.  They show the progression of the house falling in.  The third line breaks the form pattern (it does not continue two walls, one wall).  The idea of the break was to speed up the collapse of the house (and therefore the deterioration of the person).

*****

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: Normalcy

How does this happen,
sitting here,
checking a list,
going through tasks,

none of this is important,
none of it.

There was yesterday,
and that moment,
and those words,
and those eyes.

Now things are normal?
Shouldn’t something happen?
Shouldn’t every second,
every half second,
every division of a second that can be thought of,
be focused?
Shouldn’t it?

There’s guilt,
but what to do,
sit still every moment,
with tears in eyes,
but still,
as the counter ticks,
how can this be,
how can every moment,
not be held,
and gripped,
and never let go?

But what happens,
how does life move,
what if places were switched?

But still,
and then,
there’s a sense of normal,
feeling wrong,
of normal,
feeling like betrayal.

Somehow,
this isn’t it.

 

This poem is about having someone that is loved be diagnosed with an illness.  The poem is written from the perspective of the person that loves them.  The poem examines the feelings that come with figuring out how time is spent – it contrasts the ideas of spending every moment with the ill loved one and spending time in a normal way.

 

In the first stanza, the person will the ill loved one finds themselves going about their daily tasks and something hits them, that with the significance of the illness, none of what they are doing has any real meaning or importance.

 

As they sit, in the second stanza, they remember the diagnosis.  They remember the moment it was said and how they heard the words and looked into the eyes of their ill loved one.

 

In the third stanza, it’s at the same time as the first stanza, the day after the diagnosis.  The person has a feeling: after yesterday, how are they to just go on with their daily business?  They question the idea of things being normal.  The diagnosis happened, and though everything changed, at the moment things look the same.  They feel like they should do something.  They feel that all of their energy should be focused on this one important thing.

 

In the fourth stanza, they feel guilty about going on with normal life, but they wonder about the alternative.  Should they just sit there with their love one feeling sad?  At first this seems like a wrong idea, but then they wonder, that as time ticks away, if this illness might lead to death, shouldn’t they aggressively hold on to every second with their loved one?

 

In the fifth stanza, they examine what may happen though, that people in their situation can go about their days and do normal things.  As they think about this, they imagine their loved one looking sad at the thought and silently asking “What if places were switched?”

 

In the sixth stanza, as the person examines their thoughts, they feel confused and then feel like going about things feels wrong with their loved one being ill.  They feel like doing the normal things of their life is a betrayal of their loved one.

 

In the seventh stanza, the person is sitting there going through their thoughts and they feel like this expression isn’t adequate.

Poem: Sitting here

Sitting here,
wondering,
at 8:51 am,
what will happen,
at 10:00 am,
in the office,
when the name is called,
the weight is taken,
and with a smile,
someone asks,
“So what’s the matter?”

 

Sitting here,
partially knowing,
at 4:05 pm,
what has happened,
at 10:00 am,
in the office,
when the name was called,
the weight was taken,
and with a smile,
someone asked,
“So what’s the matter?”

 

Sitting here,
thinking,
at 4:06 pm,
and wondering about,
this post.