My Poetry Poems

A New Original Poem | “Will We Dance Again?”

A New Poem: “Will We Dance Again?”

The dream is the state of being
I’m so out of sync with what my soul’s truly feeling.
It’s like a dolphin dying off the Tel-Aviv coast,
Circling her only friend, the one she loved the most.
My true soul purpose is to fly,
To go back in time,
To talk with her over a glass of wine,
To climb the Capitol and jump
from it’s Christmas lighted banners,
To swim the seven seas
And to come up to swallow the sunset breeze.
A shower over mass
The vestibule is swollen with people who pass
A shimmering paten and ciborium captures their soul’s eyes.
Once inside the star in their hearts is brighter than the sky’s.
A grand night with a dinner over roast
To the arch angel of the East China sea I’ll toast.
The bread lines extend from the Dukes ashes to the Prussian square.
Hot dogs and steaks and the golden calf are served there.
We can’t wait to go in
And sing for the promenade to begin.
It’s dancers and spritzers and lemonade pie
It’s where the soul comes to be born
And the armies of the night to die.
God bless him under the sea
who with a vodka on ice holds up
All of eternity.
I’ll look in the glass glazed with Christmas breath
She’ll turn away, but God will only know why.
We’ve exchanged gifts.
The consummation is done.
The wood of desire burns crisply
a burgundy glow of the ash of our first blush.
What’s left defies gravity, floating to the sky.
At first it was all sex and white, Cakebread wine.
Now the deacan has turned
No Latin mass is served.
The towers of ice return,
Flattening mountains into prairies and only leaving traces
of our bones’ outstretched, unfulfilled reach
for the diamond lit sky inside the Sorcerer’s chamber.
He who lasts forever is dark in our soul’s
Buried mine.
He’s stolen the chalice filled with our saviour’s wine.
So we clutch the top of the Andes afraid to fall;
Unaware that since the glaciers of the soul have collided
The the distance between what was and what’s now
Is infinite and yet, if only
we would let go,
Not very far at all.


©2009 Stephen K. Pickering

Culture Philosophy Poems

How to Write a Poem

I’ve been thinking and working on blogging, the techy geeky stuff, which interests me to a point, but finally the headache begins. And the over saturation. Then I move back to what I really love which is creativity. Blogging and the techno stuff is just the new medium, the new publishing as it were, and with all its advantages, one wonders why it can be so difficult at times. Why can’t one say, I want to put this here, and that there, and have this line up over here on one’s web site without this insane lingo known as programming? It’s the revenge of the nerds on us all. No, actually, it’s a bit of the pleasure of finding things out. It does feel good when you finally figure it out. You feel a little self important. Maybe that’s what its about, feeling important. At any rate Squarespace seems to be advertising what someone like me is wanting. So maybe I’ll move in that direction. It’s just that still, all the squarespace sites I’ve see, seem to look the same. Oh well, who knows. As Loren Feldman says, “It doesn’t madda.

”Wait, wasn’t this about how to write a poem? Oh yes, a poem. I get on and off streaks of writing poems like I do getting into tech, but you can guess which is more fun and more gratifying. Hands down a poem, or anything creative.

A poem is not something you sit down and intend to write. It’s an adventure. A line pops up out of no where, when your totally doing something else, or not doing anything at all, and what it does is not describe how you feel, because like Paddy McAloon wrote, “Words are trains for moving past what really has no name,” but rather the sounds of the words, the arrangement, how they’re put together, their “music” as it were, express how you feel at that particular moment in a way that is transcendent of that moment. It’s an expression of eternity in the field of time. Blake said, “Eternity is in love with the productions of time.”

The soul is like energy. It’s eternal and of the moment at the same time, but you can’t see it or feel it or touch it. “Oh,” you say, “but I’ve been shocked before!” Yes, but that shock wasn’t energy hurting you. It was the atoms energy was moving that hurt you. Energy has never been seen, heard, felt, touched,  or tasted. It’s like the invisible man who can only be sensed by throwing a blanket over him. Energy is to an ocean wave as the soul is to art. Art is the expression, the outline in matter, of that which felt outwardly, only inwardly.

Dance is a metaphor for effortless movement. Singing is a metaphor for the exuberance of being. Painting is a metaphor for the picture of the soul and for capturing in time, that which is timeless. Music is a metaphor for adventure as represented by the melody, and the magical helpers who appear from no where as represented by the harmony. Sculpting is a metaphor for finding the secret treasure that’s inside by working with the “hands” those magical coming from no where helpers again. Fiction is a metaphor for existing simultaneously in two worlds and “dancing” and “singing” between them. Drama is a metaphor for knowing, not that everything is connected, but that everything is the same thing when outside, “bigger” forces, pull the hero or heroine out of there everyday existence, and also a metaphor for the Self behind the self, both participating and observing, there and not there at the same time. Poetry is a metaphor for spontaneity and quantum leaps, where something is nothing and nothing is something. “For poems say nothing,” said Auden. But that nothing is precisely the treasure chest buried in your own back yard, which again is a metaphor for the dark parts of the psyche, that we ignore, disregard, or tell to sit down and shut up if they make too big of a rouse. Anger comes from attachment, taking sides with a system over a soul.

Art is a metaphor, not for “living” as we so often hear spoken, but for the knowingness that eternity is right here right now, that this IS it, that you ARE it, right here right now, and that no only does magic exist but that it is the only thing that exists.

So, here’s how you write a poem:

  1. You must have something to write on every second of every day for the rest of your life, which is forever. The thing about the adventure is that it never ends.
  2. A small pocket notebook will work just fine, but I’ve found the iPhone very useful because if you are at a social gathering and a poem seizes you, you look weird writing in a notebook. They don’t notice you typing in your iPhone. They think you’re emailing or texting. So it makes you look cool too.
  3. Write down every line that comes to you that sounds good, that feels good, that feels like its spontaneous, coming from some other place than your mind, that you’re not writing it, but its writing you.
  4. If you’re lucky these lines will come most often just one at a time and not interfere with your life, and then when you’ve got enough of them, you can gather them together into one poem.
  5. If three different lines come to you on three different days, don’t worry about whether they “match” or sound right together, you can put them together in the same poem or not. “It doesn’t madda.” Look at it this way. either your three lines into a poem, or you got three different poems going on. Either way you win. But in all seriousness, you can decide later and I mean much later on things like this. There will be drafts and more drafts before the editorial process comes in. So you can save those kinds of decisions for the editorial process.
  6. On a really bad night, the lines won’t quit coming and you have to leave the bar or party early. You have to chase down every spontaneous line like a fly ball. If they keep coming you keep running, no matter WHERE it leads you.
  7. And that’s a KEY point: You cannot editorialize or make judgement on ANY spontaneous line that comes to you out of the blue. No matter what it is you write it down. You are not a writer. You are a secretary. And if the lines keep coming, you keep following them, like a doe that catches your eye in a forest that you follow without thinking about if you’re going to make it back.
  8. You’ll know when the rough draft of a poem is complete when a really beautiful, perfect ending comes walking in, like the girl of your dreams sitting down next to you, when you thought the night was over.
  9. If you write that draft into a any kind of word document to save on your hard drive, you’ll never see the poem again, or think of it again, and your subconscious mind will get angry, go away, and you’ll probably never write poems again, which is too bad, because they are lovely entertainment, but at least you’ll have a life again.
  10. Publish the finished first draft on your blog. You’ll be so embarrassed that you’ll work on drafts all night and day, until it at least doesn’t embarrass you anymore. Then you’ll forget her for a while, but you’ll meet up again someday in Casablanca, and she’ll never stop loving you.
  11. 5 years later when you do meet up either she’ll be married with children which won’t be bad, because in some ways those children will have been influenced by you, or you’ll fall in love again, and this time you’ll take the ball all the way to the hole or end zone
  12. The whole thing will be just perfect for a while, and then you’ll find yourself back in the Kingstown bar again. But that’s okay, because that’s where it all began. And it gets more beautiful with every draft.
  13. Oh, I should have put this first. My writing juices get flowing when I read. Get one of the volumes of The Best American Poetry Series and start there. Just read it for enjoyment without intending to write a poem. When I read those volumes, or poems out of the journals like the Paris Review, I find myself almost jumping to the computer to write. It’s almost an unstoppable force. I WANT TO. It’s FUN.
  14. Don’t read or write poems for meaning. Read and write them for fun. Don’t worry whether you understand them (whether yours or others’) Art that you can understand isn’t art. Worry about whether your having fun doing it. If you don’t, find out what you have fun doing. Follow that. It’ll lead you to the same dance. “Many roads, one destination.”
My Poetry Poems

A Poem: “Where the Ring Comes Together”

Mountain goats are often seen at the top of Ha...
Image via Wikipedia

I miss driving up that street
The last in the land
With winds singing up Harney Peak.
A blue diamond cross
And a sailor’s sunburnt hand
Are all that’s left
Spreading across the dry land.

The night is thirsty for the juice
Of speech.
Woodmills chill the cherry bark;
The pond of the mind has drained dry,
And all night long little crackleberry roosters
Pray their way into the candles of the sky.
It’s blue. But what isn’t?
The candle burns the cathedral
Headed skulls through the mud, and what’s left of a town
Run by the rocky mountain weeds
Covering their faces at dawn.
(Oh teacher! Teacher! You taught me, but now its no fun!)

Who knew. Who knew? “Zu” knew. That’s who!
That’s it, we are climbing into the big Benz nude, only moonlight for a guide.
But what, pray you, have we got to hide?
Shills whispering sermons up ribbon covered hills?
For that we’ll take a dollar and climb it ourself.
Too bad for the Presidents. They didn’t see us live.
But we could have seeded candy for them,
And the green in our forest and the maple of our blanched cheeks
Could have penetrated their fossil tongues.

On climber! You’re goodwill has been left out to rot.
Better to make it before sun down when the heap in you
Gripes out you’re lost.
Come home closer, or better yet, stand still, and forget everything,
Except lusting the inside of this rock,
Has been wrong.

They will claim me back from the marble hill
For referring back to the never ending stream,
The one that runs uphill; to whispers that have no lips
Hunting inside the heart’s canyon’s rim.
Off with their heads! I’ll say it again, and I’ll say it last:
Supper grows growling like a hood wrinkled owl
From the depths of the mind.
Of-quoted sister ant curls her arms around the wind.
It’s cold up here.
We’ve been freezing for years.
But is that the past or the future?
Past present, past future
Pass me the presents!
Still we’ll go down quietly back to our dove like
Whipper-will past. Let’s hope for a time at least (present, future?)
The further in the vein we scamper,
We’ll be able to hold her still.

Still I’m confused. Who knew a climber could get so hungry?
Especially when the higher he gets the lower he feeds.

The bathing quilt whom the Sun with his rays impregnated,
Her sons said to the spider woman,
“The lover of a lifetime.”

And then she held the roots still,
Until they became wicked and flew over mountains
Through the balance of the circle from which they came.

©2009 Stephen Pickering
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My Poetry Poems

A New Poem: “Street Car, Sweet Heart, Sweat Hard”

I love your Spanish talk.
The soft ground around you
Hovers as you walk.
Chinese flowers grow out of me
like dreams lifted under a bed
of yellow Lantana and grapewood rosevine.
Midnight and a sleep walking Sun
dip its claws into the milky Moon.

She blows a serenade and makes a note in her diary: March 14th;
Or was it the other day when we played through the woods in the synagogue’s court?
I kept my diary clear
with liquor? hidden there.

All those cars have resisted, and those children inside us have died,
but the moist oil still grasps at the roots of the darkened cells.
(It’s old, and the unmarried couple inside still snuggle closely to the foot of her screaming limb.)

Once a bold, minted Moon?struck the head like a bell and turned us red,
And the merry men of the next town whistled “Dixie” all the way down
to the smoothed River’s bed.

A maestro, that dark little secret, always dancing and standing still.
(She, seh, was the dear. May we call you dear? Take our collective blue beard hand.)

Governor rubs the chocolate chip lips of white faces that read: “never washed hair.”
Steers calling sisters for dates and the narrow alley was our field with its
one chilling little blade.

All the sorcerers were baked
Inside a street lit with humiliating desire.
That moment never turned or backed up when the future,
blinded, uncaring, unknowingly,
decided to run us over.

Someday they will tell me she still lives there,
every soaked board still crying, trying to pull out the rusty nails
of the last conversation made,
and yet, still, even with all the talk,
That she is never at home.

My Poetry Poems Sonnets

Sonnet #1

"Untitled" by Ruza Bagaric
"Untitled" by Ruza Bagaric

(*I figured if Shakespeare can write a hundred than I can too.)

Sonnet #1

I loved the girl who lived next door to me.
Her eyes were blue and clear and sang with joy.
She was the sun, the grass, the trees, and stream.
Her hair was blond and bobbed just like a boy.
Then something happened or was it just fate?
The summer ended and the snow began to fall.
The Garden froze and ice locked up her gate.
Kid’s icy jeers piled up the labyrinth’s wall.
The schools and churches crammed our time of play.
We boys formed clubs; girls spoke in secret codes.
The flowers froze; exuberant dancing went away,
And natural feelings morphed to vaudeville shows.

The dragon stole the treasures of our life.
Until you lift her veil, her love will die.

© 2008 Stephen Pickering

My Poetry Poems

Little Night Poem

I don’t care what the foam sea squalls say:
The mountains are made of mint.
Green I spend gliding upon the emotion-
Less ramp besieged by the creepy Count de Bourgie
Of my psyche. The orphaned Queen of my heart will jump
Straight down into her moat and drown
If the adventurer of my soul forgets
To stay on his horse.
A jacketed smoke walk down to the Bourbon wall.
It stretches a few quarters, but the one
Inside, it tunnels inward Universe upon Universe.
A bleek streak.Beaker Street. Jazz blue smokes Bitches Brew
To whites of eyes carved out of stone
Demi-Gods staring back double fisted.
They can take it even pinned to a mountain for centuries.
We (the children still inside me) roll in the dough, little sprinkled whites,
As pigeons of possibility sip cappucino on the departing square.
Someone shuffles down a back alley
Of my heart. A glance, and two dark, soft eyes
Surrender the Yucatan night as the beach waves
Dive in from the hole the Dinosaur asteroid made.
We shriek down to drink the Greek god’s salty blood.
I buy trinkets for her and two dresses embroidered with firebirds,
One for Mum. They will fly us to the shore. The rest, well…we must save some words.
The phone call goes through but I don’t hear her voice.
(Who could in this situation?)
Someone else (the sloucher) whispers a void
That sucks away the beach sunrise sunset dream.
The cats blur in the fiber
Glass behind locked chained links for winter, but the matted Tabby
Of my bewilderment is stuck in the roof of my ego
And moans for food, for a way out.
Oh, how I reach!
Sound gets through, light gets through, all the forces of nature get through
But there is still something else we are waiting for. What is it?
I never forget the freaky blizzard where even the flowing
Fountain turned into block. Don’t tell me life isn’t quantum.
(Even after wave after wave almost drowns me)
Someone, no, not just anyone,
She turns to me laughing gingerly in the cold,
Dark back alley of the warehouse district,
But I let the flashy city’s neon outlines carry me away,
Building upon building seeking the sacred pyramidal top.
Soon enough, though, I’ll be alone in the Pontiac,
Bristling at the bones,
Nestling into the concrete, filling another Weller
With spring water, looking at the gate still not crumble,
Even as the giant hundred year oaks howl at the city’s brick tablets.
My one hand left snakes, and an eye opens the Sun curtain.
One tree and a bounding suspicion race
God knows where but the car’s breath
Roars in the hope that at least it’s somewhere,
Home to someone,
Who might finally have that expression on her face
We’ve been waiting for
Our whole life.