Poem: fever confusion

the fever waxes
trees grow legs and pull roses
nighttime confusion

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Bilingual Poem: the flames dance

If you are ill,
you need to see,
something new,
with your eyes.

In the night,
the fire dances,
and in the night,
your eyes see flames.

 

Si usted está infermo,
usted necesita mirar,
algo nuevo,
con su ojos.

En el noche,
el fuego balina,
y en el noche,
su ojos miran llamas.

Artwork to inspire poetry: faded iris

faded iris

Above is an artwork of a faded iris.  It can inspire poetry.  A poet could be inspired to write about:

  • Life fading. The iris is fading and a poet could relate this to a person who is dying.
  •  

  • Rebirth. After the flower fades, there will be seeds (although an iris might more normally be grown from bulbs).  These seeds could be new plants.  This idea could be translated to rebirth and applied to other situations.
  •  

  • Time. A flower fading shows the progression of time.  A poet could apply this idea to other things.  An example might be a building that deteriorates over time.
  •  

  • Tired. A flower fading could be related to the idea of being tired or spent.  A poet could apply this idea to other situations.
  •  

  • Losing vision. An iris, in addition to being a flower, is also a word that describes a part of the eye.  A poet could write about someone losing their vision.

Here is a poem inspired by the artwork:

her breathing slowed

Experimental Poetry Form: pennies, nickels, and a dime

Today’s experimental poetry form is called pennies, nickels, and a dime.

Five pennies are equivalent to one nickel and two nickels are equivalent to one dime.  This idea is the basis of the form.

The form has four stanzas.

The first stanza is the penny stanza.  It has five lines.  Each line has one syllable.

The second stanza is the nickel stanza.  It has one line.  That one line has five syllables.

The third stanza is the two nickel stanza.  It has two lines.  Each line has five syllables.

The fourth stanza is the dime stanza.  It has one line.  That one line has ten syllables.

The idea is that the stanzas are related the same way the coins are related.

Here is an example poem:

Some
nights
it’s
so
still.

Sitting by the bed,

in the hospital,
watching the lights glow.

They might look pretty but for the reason.

Poem: tears of regret

There’s a moment,
where you think someone may die,
and as you sit by their bed,
holding their hand,
you are filled with regret.

You regret the time,
you didn’t spend with them.

You regret the anger,
that you showed them.

You regret all the meaningless things,
that you put before them.

In that moment,
as you watch them breathe,
and pray that it will not stop,
the days and years pass by in your mind,
and all those moments that should not have been,
are reminded to you.

You say kind words,
and express your love,
and say from within your depth,
that you are sorry.

In this moment,
whatever happens,
learn from this.

Learn from the regret,
learn from the sorrow,
learn from all that you believe you lost.

In time,
either good or bad,
the time will pass,
and when it does,
do not forget.

Do not forget,
the feelings you had.

Do not forget,
the sorrow you felt.

Do not forget,
your regret.

Do not,
let things,
become normal again.

Do not,
let things,
be as they were.

Although the effort may strain,
and the logic may strain,
and the petty things may strain,
do not forget.

The day will come,
again,
when you sit by a bed,
and hold a hand,
and all those words,
and all those logics,
of why you should not have changed,
will shatter like glass.

Don’t let that happen.

Don’t be in that place.

Learn from the tears,
and go a new path,
so that by the bed,
in the future,
while there may be tears of sorrow,
there will not be,
tears of regret.

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.

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