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
emails
from companies
on a phone
a movie reserved
on a service
earlier that day
a walk in the park

sitting down
thinking

alone

 

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: Two women

sitting on the chair,
in the silence of the room,
back to the story

sitting on the chair,
in the music of the room,
back to the story

 

This poem contrasts the experiences of two women.  Before the poem begins, both women are in similar circumstances.  Both women are invited to the same party.  Both women are introverts and don’t do well in social situations.  They have a hard time talking to strangers, they are not knowledgeable of popular culture, and they don’t communicate well in large groups.

Under these circumstances, the first woman (the one in the first stanza) decides not to go to the party.  She feels that if she goes, she won’t be able to talk to others or interact with a large group, and that she will feel uncomfortable or lonely.

The second woman (the one in the second stanza) decides to go to the party.  She feels lonely at home and thinks that she might meet people and make friends at the party.  She believes that she will feel part of a group if she goes and that she will feel less lonely going than if she stayed at home.

In the poem, it turns out that the first woman made the better decision.

When the poem starts, it is an hour into the party.  The first woman, as described in the first stanza, is sitting at home in a chair.  She is reading a novel.  There is a point where she realizes she is alone, when she notices the silence in the room.  For a moment this makes her feel lonely, but then she escapes into the story of her novel.

The second woman, as described in the second stanza, is sitting alone in a chair at the party.  She is a wallflower.  Although she had wanted to interact with others, her shyness and lack of social skills prevents her.  Also, no one at the party initiates interaction with her.

The second woman is sitting by herself, and she notices the music of the room.  There is talking and dancing and music and a party going on around her.  She isn’t part of it though, and sitting there makes her feel awkward.  She feels self-conscious and thinks that people are noticing her by herself.  She doesn’t know where to look or what to do so that she doesn’t look like she is doing nothing.  As a means of escape, she daydreams.  When she daydreams, she has moments where she feels like she is no longer in the room, and it provides her comfort.

In the poem, the first woman is able to be more comfortable and feel less lonely, ironically, because she is alone.  Unlike the second woman, who has her aloneness accentuated by people around her who seem to be a group she is not part of, the first woman is better able to ignore the fact that she is alone because there is no one there to remind her of it.

In terms of form, this poem is made up of two poems.  Each stanza is a 5/7/5 haiku.

Both stanzas are almost identical.  There is only one word of difference between the two.  The first stanza has “silence” and the second has “music”.  In a twist from how the poem might at first be read, the silence of the first stanza turns out to be less lonely causing than the music of the second.

 

P. S.  M. Sakran was wondering if anyone would be interested in participating in a poem with an explanation collaboration. The basic idea would be that a person would write a poem, and M. Sakran would write an explanation of it.  The details would have to be worked out, but it might be something that could be interesting.  If anyone is interested in this idea, please contact M. Sakran using the form on the Contact Page.  Thank you.

Poem Series: Experimental Poetry Forms: Eight: The dog outside

A plate of food with knife and fork,
  the dog outside does make a sound,
a feeling of some right and wrong,
and though inertia adds a weight,
the thought of justice fills the mind,
and so the chair is pushed on out,
and steps go to the nearby door,
and food goes in the bowl with sound.

The work is done, a glass is filled,
  the dog outside pants in the heat,
though rationality does speak,
and though it sounds most clearly sure,
a sense the words it says are false,
does cause the legs to move away,
the handle then is slowly turned,
and water flows for the poor hound.

The lightning strikes and thunder cracks,
  the dog outside whimpers in fear,
the logic says that all is fine,
that what is feared is far away,
that there outside all is alright,
but then the thought of being there,
does cause the hand to turn the knob,
and have the dog feel like it’s found.

An ache is felt within the back,
  the dog outside takes time to stand,
and though it seems to be excess,
as the small pills fall in the hand,
those words come back and fill the ears,
and as the pain does the twinge again,
a note is made on the short list,
and the next day new pills abound.

Alone without a voice nearby,
  the dog outside is still and stares,
and though the sense is felt inside,
it takes some time to realize,
that there outside it is felt too,
and so a thought does then occur,
and the small ball is carried out,
and the dog jumps with a large bound.

The dog next door did run away,
  the dog outside sits by the fence,
and though a search is made for days,
the importance of it is low,
until the eyes of the dog stare,
and ask for help without loud words,
and then again the search goes on,
as cars do drive and search around.

The vet was called, the time was set,
  the dog outside did hesitate,
the words were said that this was good,
and words were said of benefit,
but in the car the dog did shake,
and as it went some tears did fall,
and then the sense of this from past,
had empathy grow in a mound.

The man outside did fall and cringe,
  the dog outside did understand,
and the dog barked at the near fence,
and the dog barked with a loud sound,
and men did come in uniforms,
to make the dog have silence then,
but they did see the man who fell,
and then the dog did bark unbound.

 

(38/40) Experimental Poetry Form: Eight