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.

Post Series: Advent: Poem with an explanation: and waiting alone

making the list
ordering online
receiving the boxes
wrapping them
putting the tags
leaving part blank
putting them under the tree
and waiting alone

 

In this poem a lonely person buys themselves Christmas gifts.  The person goes through steps.  They make a list of what they want, they order the gifts online, they receive the boxes, and they wrap them.  When the person puts name tags on the gifts they leave the “From” blank.  They are afraid that if someone does happen come by that they will see that they bought gifts for themselves.  They don’t want this to happen, so they leave the “From” blank so it will look like they received the gifts.  They then put the gifts under their Christmas tree and they wait alone until Christmas to unwrap them.

This poem shows a lonely person trying to have some feeling of the holiday.  They could have bought themselves things and just had them, but they decided to wrap the items to feel like they got gifts.

The person is self-conscious of their behavior though and hides what they are doing to a degree by leaving the “From” spaces blank on the tags.  This is for the reason mentioned above, but also because the person just feels lonelier when they acknowledge what they are doing.  Not having the “From” helps them to ignore their reality some.

As an aside, if any readers know anyone who might be spending Christmas alone this year, do something for them.  Send them an email.  Send a note on social media.  Send a card.  Send a gift.  If possible, see if the person wants to visit you on Christmas if that is possible.  Help the person not have the circumstances in the poem.

Poem with an explanation: arranged

Olives, peppers, mixed,

roasted pepper plate,

sliced tomato tray,

marinated things,

arranged for a late meal,

lonely, eaten here

 

The poem above uses the experimental poetry form: thorns with a flower bud from the January 7, 2016 post on M. Sakran’s blog of and about poetry and poetry related things.

In keeping with the form, the poem was written so that it would seem slightly off.  The first four lines describe food that might be seen as tasting good.  The meter though, is intended to make the lines not seem quite right.

The fifth line, with its iambic tetrameter meter is intended to sound more natural.  Additionally, it explains the first four lines.  At this point, the poem should change in tone from seeming somewhat off, to somewhat positive.

The last line though, goes back to the previous form, and because it reveals that this meal is being eaten by someone who is lonely, and presumably alone, it goes back to the poem not sounding as positive as it could.