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These poems are written for the (Inter)NationalPoemWritingMonth 2012.
For the month of April there is one poem per day, sometimes following a prompt, sometimes free.

All poems are (cc) JaePix.de

 


 

I remember

I remember - when I was too little.
I remember - when I tried none the less.
I remember - back when they told me
      that all a poem needs is a rhyme.
I remember - every time I was failing.
I remember - when it was still a success.
      Even second best was no surrender.
      Even making it through was as good as a win.
I remember - when times are changing
      that change is a good thing for me.
I remember - that one day I'll tell someone
      that what he is doing is great.
I remember - that when that time comes
      I'll make sure he knows that I mean it.
I remember - the future.

 

Finale April 2012

 


 

Cheated

Harrison, carpenter,
made a good clock
It made a great meter
to measure ad hoc

the longitude if you
were sailing at sea,
but what was his due
he would never see.

 

30. April 2012

 


 

Space

There was a monastery set in Eltville
The monks lived in poverty, they had but nil.
Yet many came joining the convent each year
escaping the hunger that chased them here.
The abbey was crowned by a church ornate,
with high-vaulting ceilings and walls sedate.
The cloister had arches of great baroque craft
but sadly lacked windows - which caused quite a draught.
The monks had one meal per day, straw for a rest.
They prayed and made wine which was what they did best,
but came a cold winter had ice on their face,
but bad as it was though at least they had space.

 

29. April 2012

 


 

Clapping Rhyme

There's a burglar
in the house
scares the mouse
scares the mouse
Do not meet him
save your hide
Run and hide
run and hide
Scare the burglar
let the dog out
chase him out
chase him out

 

28. April 2012

 


 

Death of an Elegy - "De mortuis nil nisi bene"

They say, you speak no bad of them -
de mortuis nil nisi!
Throw out the coal and keep the gem;
as if that were so easy.

The people dead before my time,
the people I don't know,
seem glorious with golden shine,
no dark stains ever show.

How would I know what saints they were;
I really can't believe
that not a single fault they bear,
from sins relieved by grief.

How glorious must be that death
when of bad deeds it frees us?
Why don't we greet with dying breath
the reaper when he sees us?

I hope when I once bite the dust
that people will be loyal.
For those I love and those I trust
would never call me royal.

I have my faults, so name them here:
my pride, my jibe, my anger,
sarcastic humor some endear,
and others will estranger.

So at my grave what will you say -
the diamonds and the charcoal?
I hope you find a decent way
to laugh about my dark soul.

Remember me as I have been,
remember every facet.
For I am all that you have seen,
aggressively and placid.

A diamond cannot shine with half
the facets left unpolished.
A human can not solely laugh
without his tears acknowledged.

 

27. April 2012

 


 

LXXX endings

So what is left of writers when they write,
If there is nothing published in their name,
And all that any writer's writing might,
Is lending him some late posthumous fame?
When all he writes seems perfect as it is,
The critique's ignorance is hard to bear.
The only judgment relevant is his,
No matter how inexpert they appear.
Then on a cloud the artist stands afloat,
Enjoying his perilous, blissful ride,
And doesn't see he's on a sinking boat,
He holds his work aloft with utter pride:
And no one ever can take that away,
Until his work and paper all decay.

 

26. April 2012

 


 

Lipogram without Jae

I sit still in my room to think
of words within limits so tight.
Still, I find it in my soul to continu' -
huh, is this my own norm sold short? So, "to go on" it is.
My limits in British words show up brightly now.
It is trying - British words do hush up too much,
pronouncing things wrong.
Lightning struck - I will look up words, strung up to form... books!
This is it! Books. Short of books nothing is but words.
Not in British minus my nick.
I try not to kibitz, though - so I won't spoil my fun.
I'm diving into this wild soup of words spilt out.
Oh, old British is glorious!
I'm thinking: Could I do this in lyrics?
Such funny thoughts. I don't think so!

 

25. April 2012

 


 

Poor Poet

Sitting on a bed so shabby,
Feeling rather more than crabby,
Words come not to him who seeks!
Poetry is done by geeks.

Clothes that look just roughly woven
Hang to dry above the oven
That is fired by old paper
Poems going up in vapour.

An umbrella seals the rafter
Leaking sadly fore and after
Onto poet's shabby bed,
Books in green, and brown, and red

Still, the poetry eludes him
When his own words will preclude him.
Muses laugh and mock his pain;
Never any fame he'll gain.

Yet his image drawn in oil
By a painter's endless toil
Is at least a joyous sigh
That delights this poet's eye.

 

24. April 2012

 


 

Earth day

There was a cherry tree
Its trunk was tall
I used to climb that tree
When I was small

In our yard it stood
With leaves so green
With branches high it stood
And fruits of sheen

It yielded cherries black
When July came
So sweet and big and black
Each fruit the same

At times its branches touched
Down to the earth
The cherries almost touched
My tongue with mirth

The cherry skin exploded
On my tongue
The taste so sweet explodes
Like ancient song

My grandpa felled that tree
one day in March
But sweet will always be
Those cherry hearts

 

23. April 2012

 


 

hay(na)ku: Liar!

I
will not
listen to you.

Whatever
you say
I don't care.

You
proved yourself
unworthy of me.

So
move away
and don't return.

I
have no
time for liars.

 

22. April 2012

 


 

The longest way

I got on the bus the other day
I thought I was making it home that way
Feeling so small in a city so big
My mind was wand'ring through syrup thick.

I started out small, all frayed and scared
An ugly child with her soul laid bare
I made my handicap into a shield
I grew up stronger, I did not yield.

I travelled on and found a man
It turned out lucky I yielded then.
If I'm to live with him to some age
My long life's travel will fit one page.

So I was thinking on the omnibus
And missed the stop - you heard me cuz -
And had to walk home the longest way
But that's ok - I made it home that day.

 

21. April 2012

 


 

Opposite Haiku

Dem, der dich brach schenk-
test du dennoch deinen Duft
Pflaumenblütenzweig

Obwohl er dich goss
verdorrtest du ihm am Baum
leerer, toter Zweig.

 

20. April 2012

 


 

Larper's Lullaby

Hush, little darling, rest your legs
Your mama's gonna buy you some dragon eggs.

And if those dragon eggs don't hatch
Mama's gonna give you a black eye patch.

And if that makes you screw your eyes
Why don't you try for a tournament prize?

And if that prize you cannot win
You still get a prince in armour tin.

And if that prince is a nasty guy
An assassin is the last thing that mama will buy.

Now, hush little darling, close your eyes
And wake up tomorrow much more wise.

 

19. April 2012

 


 

Epistolary to a grandfather clock

You keep
looking down on me
from your high place
on the wall,
with your cherry wood coat
and your face looking at me.
Your hands reach out for me
but never touch me.

Through all the time
that I have known you
you've measured us.
Since the old sword
that hangs next to you
has been buried by a soldier
in the the earth beneath
my grandfather's house.

A warrior
in the war
that lasted thirty years
threw it away
so's to better
use the time
remaining
without fighting.

You've rung the hour
while I was
a million miles away
in another land
and back again.
And you've moved with us
from Landwehr
to Dragonrock.

One day you'll move with me.
Just like the sword.
Forever measuring.
Forever ticking.

 

18. April 2012

 


 

Picturesque Haiku

Pink cherry blossoms
covered in icy needles
wishing for spring yet.

 

Under autumn leaves
the shadow of a rainbow
speaks of brighter days.

 

17. April 2012

 


 

Parody of "Bingen on the Rhine" by Caroline E. Norton which starts:

A soldier of the legion lay dying in Algiers,
There was lack of woman's nursing, there was dearth of woman's tears;
But a comrade stood beside him, while his life-blood ebbed away,
And bent, with pitying glances, to hear what he might say.
The dying soldier faltered, as he took that comrade's hand,
And he said, "I never more shall see my own, my native land:
Take a message and a token to some distant friends of mine;
For I was born at Bingen, --- at Bingen on the Rhine.

A Tourist from Bingen

A tourist of the cheap kind lay dying in Algiers.
There was lots of awful cursing; he was full of local beer.
But a comrade stood beside him while he puked his life away,
And the comrade’s eyes where rolling as he bent to hear him say:
"I am doomed! I should have known, I am not made to drink this beer.
It’s the water they are using to which I’m not accustomed here.
I was raised back on a vineyard. I should really have drunk wine.
For I was born at Bingen, -- at Bingen on the Rhine."

 

16. April 2012

 


 

The Fourteen Steps of a Sonnet

Fourteen steps rise up the garden,
Fourteen steps, a steep climb, a hill,
Every step adorned by flowers,
Lilly, iris, parrot-bill.
Every step carved with axe and sweat,
Every step I sweat a little more.
In the middle, I halt and turn:
Splendid view over hills and vale.
The dais above beckons with a promise
Of shadow and a peaceful rest.
And on the fourteenth step a plateau,
Chairs, refreshments, lemonade.
From here the river glitters down below
And the climb seemed worth the shade.

 

15. April 2012

 


 

Persian Ghazal

Under my Persian sun I walk, under a sky so blue.
Strange are the eyes of this woman, strange and blue.

How did I come by a stranger like her?
I look out over the ocean with her, so blue.

She's not of my country, her god is not my god
Yet I feel friendship for her, and the sky so blue.

She has come here to help us, she says.
My chador is black and her helmet is blue.

Maybe tomorrow my chador will be lighter,
Matching this Amazon's helmet's blue.

 

14. April 2012

 


 

Rude!

Friendliness is a skill acquired,
Kindness is so much admired.
In a local Hessian bar
Neither could be found so far.

 

13. April 2012

 


 

Not a morning person

Birds that sing will almost wake me,
Then the cats will howl for food.
Getting up my feet remind me
that the floor is still so cold.

Water running hot around me,
Toothpaste chases off the clove.
Finally the cats will find me.
Coffee's brewing on the stove.

Waking with my cup of coffee
Down I go the cats to feed.
Morning finds me rather sleepy
Wordless, tending to their need.

 

12. April 2012

 


 

April

April is the cruellest month
with its promises of spring,
sending sun-rays down just once
while the lands to winter cling.

April charms the flowers out
promising them colours bright,
every green and hopeful sprout,
freezing them in wintry night.

Nature fights with April cold.
Every petal, every leaf
strains towards the sun so bold
until May brings warm relief.

 

11. April 2012

 


 

A Philosopher

Ach, they call me wise man
when all I did was hush.
I learned from my wife
that silence is oft better
than argument
at least when up against her.
Ach, one thing I once said
all twisted now called wise.
Philosophy they call it
but it is just that silence, that stare
that I give my students for stupidity
and wisdom alike.
Would Xantippe hushed just once
so I could think of wise
things to say.
To fit their claim. To prove my worth.
To be a philosopher.

 

10. April 2012

 


 

Outside

Finally
the spring has come.
I've longed for it
all winter long.
The hills are dotted
with lightest green
where the early trees
in their dresses preen.
Forsythia blooms
and crocuses shoot
and all of a sudden
my thick coat is moot.
With bellflowers
daffodils compete
and violets
scent their blossoms sweet.
Drunk from the colours
around I veer.
Finally -
my season is here!

 

9. April 2012

 


 

Africa

I slowly walk the golden land,
Lazily stroking an woman's hand,
Awakening men and cattle too,
Golden lion, and bird that flew.
I let my gaze fall on golden veldt,
I spot a cheetah's golden pelt.
This is my land, where I roam free
Over golden desert, bush and tree.
And now to the zenith I shall rise
And glaring down from the cloudless skies
I see it rest, my golden bride,
As all that lives from my beams will hide.
So I seek my rest in the western sea
And my golden shine goes to rest with me.
Tomorrow I shall rise again
To meet my love and to warm it when
The two of us will again be one:
Africa - and the golden sun.

 

8. April 2012

 


 

Being the cat

Black fur,
green eyes
slip past out of sight.

Soft paws,
long tail
in the corner of my eyes.

Ears twitch,
claws fast,
catch a mouse or ball of moss.

How I wish for ears like that
hearing every bird in flight.
How I wish for eyes that green
seeing in the dead of night.

And then at night to settle for
a bowl of milk and what is more
a lap, a gentle hand, a purr.

 

7. April 2012

 


 

Sports

Soccer's on again
TV playing day and night
I wish I could flee.

 

6. April 2012

 


 

The Blues

There's rain out the window as far as I see
There's rain out the window and it's watching me
The clouds cry their rain as I cry for thee
The clouds cry their rain on sad old me

There's fog out the front door, no moon is in sight
There's fog out the front door, no stars and no light
Without thee, my loved one, no beacon shines bright
Without thee, my love, it's the darkest night

I miss thee, my loved one, I miss thy smile
I miss thee, my loved one, alone I rile
Without thee, my loved one, the world is vile
Without thee, my love, all is bitter bile

Another has claimed thee, so strong, so old
Another has claimed thee, her hand so cold
I can't claim thee back from that mistress' hold
I can't claim thee back from death, so bold

 

5. April 2012

 


 

The brightest day

"The bride is radiant" her sister says.
"Look at her hair", she says, "the dress she has".
This is her day today, her brilliant time
She'll wed her love today, she will be mine.

Her mother cries a while, we don't know why.
The father comforts her, a passerby
Has found a handkerchief of virgin white
He hands it down to her. "She'll be alright"

They've brought bright flowers in and birds that sing
What nature offers yet in early spring.
Green branches from the trees that stand outside
To flatter and to charm the bride in white.

I stand before the judge. I take her hand.
My smile is nervous now, hers radiant.
My heart beats in my chest as if to say
"I'll fail you, certainly, on this bright day"

Then all the room will hush as on we go
How I deserve that girl I'll never know.
"And will you love her" then will ask the judge.
"Forever more," I say, "that's what I pledge."^

 

4. April 2012

 


 

No.1 hit the day I was born: Albatross

I look at your kind
And all I can see
Is a clumsy bird
Near the open sea

Will you ever fly high
Where your wings sore free?
Will you ever rise
Over shore and sea?

Then you make a run
And you take a leap
With you wings spread out
And an open beak

And you sail above,
So effortless
An elegant dancer
In weightlessness.

My head tilts back
My neck will hurt
But I watch the track
Of the soaring bird.

Oh, may freedom of flight
Be forever yours
May the earth not claim
You back to its shores.

May you sail on the wind
Your cry sound wide
The sun on your head
And the air your bride.

 

3. April 2012

 


 

A Triolet: The Autumn

The autumn leaves have turned to red
The wind is driving them along
The fog has made the softest bed
And autumn leaves have turned to red
While rain is dripping through my shed
The blue-jay sings the saddest song
The autumn leaves have turned to red
And wind is driving them along

 

2. April 2012

 


 

Carpe Diem

Time runs slowly when we're young,
Going quicker having fun.
But the older we may grow
Fun or no
We will see that time is fast,
Years unmentioned, ages pass,
Hair goes gray and bones grow weak,
Sense in life is what we seek.

I had once a kingdom fair,
Handsome lover, jewels rare.
Gambled all of it away
In a day.
Now I travel on this road
And my heart bears heavy load.
Wasted years will not return
When you learn

That what seems the easy way
May yet lead to deep dismay.
What remains of my own life
Will be strife.
I will take the stony path
Finding happiness at last.
Hush! I must be on my way.
Carpe diem - seize the day!

 

1. April 2012