Poem with an explanation: ideas

walking in the heat
the dog can go no further
the train of thought stops

the train of thought stops
all the passengers get off
the shipwrecked ferry

the shipwrecked ferry
was broken up by the storm
she can’t leave the house

she can’t leave the house
and sits looking through the glass
dialysis time

dialysis time
is miles in the cold rain
home has run away

home has run away
as dark pesticide is sprayed
on the blue bird’s nest

on the blue bird’s nest
a lost chain glistens brightly
the half heart is lost

the half heart is lost
standing by the grave marker
shivering in heat

shivering in heat
lost in the one short hallway
things are so different

things are so different
standing in the empty room
the watch ticks loudly

The poem above is comprised of ten haiku, which are each one stanza of the poem.  Except for the last stanza, the last line of each stanza, is the first line of the next stanza.  The idea was to have a flow that still had a broken up feel to it.

A number of ideas were touched on in this poem.

The first stanza starts with someone walking their dog.  Because of the heat, the dog can’t walk anymore, and stops.  This literal imagery is then transitioned to metaphorical imagery by relating that idea to a train of thought stopping.

The next stanza starts with the metaphorical idea of the train of thought stopping and then transitions back to a literal idea.  The next two lines have a literal image.  In addition though, those lines also touch on the metaphorical idea that is expressed in the first line.

The third stanza starts with the same imagery of the shipwrecked ferry.  At first, the first two lines may sound literal.  The last line however, gives those lines a metaphorical meaning.  Those lines are describing a situation where a woman can’t leave her house.

In the fourth stanza, the reason the woman can’t leave her house is given: she is having dialysis done.  The mention of the dialysis was done in just two words which gives an impactful effect.

In the fifth stanza, the second two lines try to describe what dialysis might be like.  It is expressed as a situation of walking miles in cold rain where home has fled away.  The idea was to express the lengthy severity of the situation.

The sixth stanza takes the idea of home running away, and applies a new imagery to it.  In this case, a bird’s home is ruined with pesticide.

In the seventh stanza, the nest is related to, but then the imagery is changed.  This stanza isn’t about the nest, but about the object in it.

The eighth stanza starts off with the imagery of the seventh stanza of a physical object being lost, but then makes that a metaphor for sorrow over death.

The ninth stanza starts with a contrasting image of shivering in heat.  This type of contrasting image is continued in the next two lines.  The lines are describing someone with dementia.

The last stanza starts with the idea of things feeling different and then gives a reason for it – a person is alone in a room.

Because of the structure of the poem, many ideas could be put together that might not normally have a relationship to each other.


P.S.  The bookmark giveaway is still ongoing.  Please see the bookmark giveaway post for information.

Post Series: The Poems with Explanations Series: Empty


being pulled down,
a feeling in a tube,
a feeling in a bag,
a nondescript emptiness,
a sound,
soldiers marching,
empty bags,
metal scaffolding,
and an empty room.


This poem is about hunger.  It tries to describe it through abstract imagery.  Here are what the lines mean:

Metallic – this describes a metallic taste in the mouth that a hungry person can feel

being pulled down – this is about the hungry person swallowing their saliva

a feeling in a tube – the hungry person feels an emptiness in their throat

a feeling in a bag – and they feel an emptiness in their stomach

a nondescript emptiness – inside of themselves the hungry person feels empty, but it’s hard to get a hold of and describe

a sound – their stomach rumbles

soldiers marching – the hungry person feels a strange ache in their shoulders and arms

empty bags – with the ache, they feel empty

metal scaffolding – for some reason, they have a feeling that they can feel the teeth in their mouth

and an empty room – the hungry person feels empty inside

Poem with an explanation: a stop

A door unlocked,
steps taken,
ropes already tied,
and a click.

Steps on grass,
steps on stone,
steps on tar.

Through trees,
through monuments,
the drum plays,
with the sound,
of the brush.

The compass spins,
fires burn,
and then …

a stop.

The statue collapses,
cannons are fired,
the wall crumbles.

A descendant,
not of coyotes,
without a sense that some would understand,

The horse gallops,
wood is torn,
alarms sound,
a question is asked.


a stop.

calling to the air,


The above poem tells a story.  It is meant to be metaphorical and have imagery.  The poem is about someone walking their dog and having a heart attack.  The dog then runs back to the house, gets help, and the person is helped.

The first stanza describes the person walking outside and putting the harness on the dog.

The second stanza follows the person and the dog from the backyard, to the drive way, to the street.

The third stanza describes them walking.  They pass trees and houses (monuments).  The sound of their walking is like a drum beat and the sound their steps make in the gravel is like the sound of a brush on a drum.

In the fourth stanza, they change direction (the compass spins), cars drive by (fires burn – as in internal combustion engines) and that leads to the fifth stanza, where the person has a heart attack (a stop).

The sixth stanza describes the heart attack.  The person falls like a collapsing statue, they feel like they are being shot with a cannon, and they crumble like a wall.

In the seventh stanza the dog (a descendant not of coyotes – in other words, a descendant of wolves), understands that something is wrong.

In the eighth stanza the dug runs home (the horse gallops), scratches at the front door (wood is torn), and barks (alarms sound).  The person inside, opens the door to see what is wrong (a question is asked).

In the ninth stanza, the person follows the dog.  First they walk, then they walk faster, then, as their thoughts of concern grow, they run.

In the tenth stanza, the person sees the other person who had a heart attack.

In the last stanza, the helping person expresses concern, they ask questions and they call for help on their phone (calling to the air).  Then they are amazed that the dog came home and got them.  Finally, they feel hope that the person who had the heart attack will be alright.

Post Series: The Orange Series: Poem with an explanation: The orange wing

The orange wing

The lake is deep and filled up high,
with liquid that does slowly flow,
and makes small waves as wind does blow,
and seems to hold onto the shore,
as it does move without a strain.
The liquid is so bright and thick,
and seems as if the sun was put,
within the lake as it did set,
as if it did so fill the lake,
and turn the blue to orange light.
Above the lake a bird does fly,
and tips its shape as it does sail,
through the clear air and toward the plane,
of the bright lake that is below.
And as it sails its wing does dip,
into the lake that is below,
and with a peace it lifts the light,
onto its wing as it does sail,
and flies into the light blue sky.
The orange wing does move about,
upon an arc that’s in the air,
and then above the soft white snow,
it sails again as it does dip.
And when the wing does touch the snow,
the orange light does fill it all,
and makes the snow glow in the day.


This is a metaphorical poem based on imagery.  It is written in iambic tetrameter, with no intentional rhyming.  The metaphor is based upon an inkwell filled with orange paint, that an artist dips a brush into and then paints on a canvas.  The lake represents the inkwell, the liquid in the lake represents the paint, the bird’s wing represents the brush, and the snow represents the canvas.

Poem with an explanation: The pedals turned

The pedals turned

The pedals turned.  The creak began.  The rhythm was like background percussion to a song.  Around the turn, the shade disappeared, and the sun shown bright.  Another turn, and the pedals turned, but with a sense, that they were bound, by rubber bands.  Past the place where the opossum died, past the place where the dog runs out, past the place where the grass is high, and whips what gets too close.  Out of the cave, and into the open, at some point a sense of relief.  The creak is still there, warmed up and even more consistent, but the rubber bands have been loosened.  The road is long, and cars drive by, and thankfully seem to want avoidance.  At the end, another road.  Long too.  Shorter, but seems longer.  Then at the red sign, a stop and a check of the number – only four.  Only four.  The pedals turn.  Difficult after the stop.  And a place at five where shade and quiet are is sought.  The moment of pause, in the shade, where no cars are.  The shirt gets adjusted, the shorts get adjusted, the legs stand, and then relax.  The pedals turn.  Over the bridge, past the water with the green lilies, and back to the road.  It’s longer now, in the other direction.  Six.  Another red sign.  Only six and a half.  Lawn mowers hum.  They block the creak and make a cocoon.  Around a turn.  Looking for eight.  Only seven.  Up the hill.  Going down is fun.  Up the hill.  Pedal.  Pedal.  Pedal.  At the top, around the turn.  Creak.  The rubber bands are back.  Then a turn.  Down a small hill – not as fun as the large.  Then a turn. Eight point five.  Near the end.  Where is ten?  Near the end.  Nine.  But only a half.  Up the road.  Checking the number.  At a point, spin around.  Back around.  Almost done.  Finally the pedals stop.


This poem follows a bicycle ride.  It is in part based on reality and in part based on imagination.  The reality comes from a combination of times.  In some ways the poem is a train of thought poem.  The thoughts flow along with the imagined ride.  The poem was written in a style to stress the imagery and to have a certain ambiguous quality so that different levels could be read into the poem.  Like many poems, the lines have a literal meaning, but they also could be interpreted by a reader to have metaphorical meanings.