Beautiful, Broken Creatures (new poem)

There are too many truths here not to reblog.

Broken People

“Some days, some hours, we soar.
Hawks, eagles, miles above sea level, worshiping the splendor below.
The wind lashing around us, we are boundless…complete…

Other times we bleed – dreadful children,
scraping our way through a field of shattered glass and dreams.

Yet we carry on, feigning normalcy;
actors, playing the part assigned to us by the others,

All the while perishing.

All the while feeling as if we’re unique to desperation.

Can no one feel the tears?
Can no one see our heartbreak?
Has no one the same perception of hopelessness we possess?

Hanging in the eternal balance,
somewhere between life and death,

We watch the years tick-tick-tick by,
soul gradually unburdening itself from skeleton,
ever so gently, as mortality snakes in.

Frantic, we grasp the nearest olive branch,
be it friend or foe,
cleaving to any veneer of chance.

As water sashays through our fingers, though,
we frightfully…

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Who is my Neighbour?

Picture is Connecticut 10th grader Sarah Harrison’s Doodle, “A Peaceful Future”

Who is my neighbour, do they live next door?
What if they’re ugly, or drunk or a whore?
What if they really are just not like us?
Quiet, refined, not making a fuss.

Who is my neighbour? Not just in my street,
Surely my neighbour is all whom I meet.
They’re black, they are white, they are straight, they are gay
They’re the every day folk, that I meet every day.

I shall not judge them and they’ll not judge me.
They’re my brothers, my sisters, and all should be free.
My neighbours, they cover the face of this earth,
So I’ll love and respect them for all they are worth.

But one day there will be a reckoning for all,
Black, white and ugly, the big and the small.
On that day, a sorting, the wheat from the chaff,
And then the down trodden will have the last laugh.
The wheat go to heaven, the chaff down to hell,
You’d best love your neighbour or you’ll go down as well.

Penned for Eugenie’s weekly prompt. https://amanpan.com/2020/07/20/eugis-weekly-prompt-neighbors-july-20-2020/

DailyVerses.net

A Poet’s Story: The End

This is not one of my poems, I have reblogged this because it is so beautiful. Please read slowly and aloud listening to each phrase, it may move you to tears, or it may not. Look up the poet and follow her work. She’s has some really fantastic pieces.

MarianaDynasty

Ever thought?
How sin caused by pleasure,
Can cause so much pain after.
And that pain my mind could not contain
And my heart bled with loss
It’s because my king added to it
Because he left me..
With no sun and without a son
I had no love, no consolation

Photo obtained from Google

So I discovered another pen
Bleeding with ink, not indelible one this time
And a paper to bleed on
I adopted poetry as my daughter
She was free, yet came at a cost
So cheap, yet carrying a value unmatched
And here we are, talking to you, sharing us.
We hope you hold on, as we sail with you
On this journey that never ends

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A Modern Psalm

Joseph R. Mason

Psalm_tatoo

Did the elders not seek your face?
Did they not pray out loud to you?
Did they not wait upon you
And seek your guidance?

Did we not fast and pray
To do your good pleasure?
Late into the night
To seek your true guidance?

Did we not take your precepts to the people?
Did we not tell them the word from the Lord?
Then why oh Lord have they not heard?
Why Oh Lord do they not listen to your truths?

Are we like prophets of old?
Despised in our own house.
For You will withdraw Your blessing,
From a house divided against itself.

When they say, oh Lord,
We do not like the style of worship,
Did they ask you?
Did they really seek your face?

When they say Lord,
We do not like the drums
We do not like the cymbals
Do they argue with your Psalms?

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Too young to have ID

I’ve unpublished this poem twice now, basically because I think it’s not to my usual standard. But I’ve republished, yet again, despite my misgivings.

blur lights photography during night

Me and me mates are on the town,

And in the corner shop

We want illicit booze to buy,

but the cashier, he shouts “STOP!”

“Before you purchase this or that,

there’s something I must see.

you look too young, not shaving still,

let’s see some good ID.”

“The reason I’m not shaving sir,”

(my head is in a whirl)

“The reason I’m not shaving sir,

is because I am a girl?”

“Don’t lie to me, I know your dad,

the local vicar is he.

I can’t serve you, you’re much too young,

and his God, he might strike me.”

“You need not worry about our God,

He’s loving and kind as well.

But my dad could have a word with him,

and make sure you go to hell.”

“Get out! Get out! You horrid child,

and don’t come back again.

I’ll have you know, God is not like that,

he want’s to save all men.”

“But He could make an exception,

an exception just for you.

Roasting in the fires of hell

up to your neck in poo.”

“Get out I said, I said be gone,

and don’t come back as well,

it wont be me in the roasting pot

but you and your mates as well.”

“Oh no I won’t, I know I won’t,

if you want I’ll tell you why.

Because Jesus is my saviour,

so I’ll never truly die.”

©joseph r mason 2020

Photo by Andreea Ch on Pexels.com

Rising to the challenge https://amanpan.com/2020/07/13/eugis-weekly-prompt-identity-july-13-2020/

Just for observation

Sorry dear, I have this pain,

Right across here, and here the same.

It’s probably nothing, don’t make a fuss.

I can see the doctor, I’ll go on the bus.

I’ll be all right in the morning.

Blue lights flash, and sirens wail,

The patient looks bad and very pail.

Race against time, race against time

Bet it’s a bloke who’ll say he’s just fine,

That he’ll be all right in the morning.

No, I’m really quite well, it’s just this pain

That’s giving me hell, makes my energy drain,

Im fine, Im fine, I’ll be all right.

It’s just my chest, it’s rather tight.

I’ll be just fine in the morning.

Attaching leads, legs arms and chest

Taking a reading, it’s all for the best

Irregular beats in troughs and peaks

We really should take you before it’s too late.

Or you’ll not be fine in the morning.

I’m sure it’s not as bad as you say,

It’s just a pain, I’ve had it all day

I’m really tired and I can’t stop yawning,

But I’ll be all right in the morning.

Yes, I’ll be all right in the morning.

We’re taking you in, there’s no more to say,

It’s the NHS, so there’s nothing to pay.

It’s one of the marvels of our wonderful nation,

We’ll just take you in for some observation.

Or you’ll not be all right in the morning.

Your wasting your time, and the doctors as well,

There’s really no problem, I just fainted and fell.

Observe all you want, there is nothing amiss

Though my breathings not good, comes out in a hiss.

And I’ll be all right in the morning.

The sirens are on and the blue lights are flashing

Through wide roads and lanes the ambulance dashing.

Call in to resus, to alert of our coming

Keep him alive, though the odds are quite baffling

No, he won’t be all right in the morning.

There now, we’ve made it, there was no need to fuss,

Though the pain is much worse, like I’ve been hit by a bus.

I told you I’m fine, all the doctors they lied,

Now the room’s growing darker, I think I just ……..

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© joseph r mason 2020

In response to Eugi’s weekly prompt “Observation” July 6th 2020. https://amanpan.com/2020/07/06/eugis-weekly-prompt-observation-july-6-2020/

Rupert – A short story.

.

Written for The Hailsham Festival 2020.

At thirteen, Rupert thought he was the unhappiest boy in the world. He had no friends, his parents were far too busy being busy to even remember they had a son. Materially, he wanted for nothing. He had nice clothes, designer brands only. He had the latest technology, and the biggest television ever.
What he really wanted, however, was a little attention. He wished for a different, better life, not one filled with possessions, but one filled with love. But it wasn’t going to happen. Dad was a filthy rich stockbroker, and his mother, a stuck up socialite, flitting from one fundraiser, charity event or cocktail party to another.
One morning, after his shower, he was just about to get dressed when he caught sight of his back in a mirror. It seemed very lumpy as if the bones were sticking out a little, and his spine seemed to protrude out at the base, almost like a small tail. He thought nothing of it, perhaps his recent growth spurt had extenuated his bones, though, it wasn’t evident around his ribcage, where he had what looked like a scaly rash. He wouldn’t bother telling anyone, no one would be interested.
A week later, it was worse, and his shoulder blades seemed to be more prevalent than usual. He shrugged, said nothing and just carried on as usual.
Another week passed and mother was hosting a party of her own, marquees were erected in their two-acre garden which stood inside their seven-acre wood.
“You boy, what’s your name again?”
“Rupert, I’m your son.”
“Yes,” she said, “I knew that, make yourself scarce, the guests arrive soon.”
Rupert didn’t argue, he just slinked off indifferently towards the woods. Unlike the manicured lawns which made up the garden, the woods were unmanaged, truly wild and almost impenetrable.
He waded through the thick bracken and jumped over a fallen tree, as he leapt, he caught his shin on a broken branch.
“Oomph!” he exclaimed, as he did so, a little puff of smoke blew out of his mouth. He looked down at his torn brand new Versace jeans and let out a howl of disgust. A long column of flame came from his lips, scorching all around him. He closed his mouth and put his hand over it as if to stop the flow. His hand, it was green and scaly like a lizard, his jacket began to rip as wings unfurled behind him, he was turning into a…
“Dragon!” he exclaimed.
He launched upwards and circled round the crowds below, now he would show them. He swooped, belching fire onto the canvas marquees, setting ladies hats on fire and burning the Daimlers and the new Maseratis parked in the drive. He carried on torching everything he despised so much, house and all.
He rolled over and opened his eyes, his smiling mother stood by his bed.
“Bad dream love?” she said, stroking his hair, smiling.
“No mum, it was the funniest.”

©joseph r mason 2020.

Picture of Green Dragon ©Green Dragon Comics 2020.

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The shipping forecast – A Poem.

© BBC 2019

This poem is quintessentially British and my followers from the Americas or other far flung lands may not appreciate the institution which is The Shipping Forecast. Broadcast on the BBC  four times a day from very early each morning until late evening.

The Shipping Forecast began after a powerful storm off the coast of Anglesey in 1859 led to the deaths of 800 people and the loss of 133 ships. Following this tragedy, the captain of HMS Beagle and founder of the Met Office, Robert FitzRoy, started maritime storm warnings, which evolved into the Shipping Forecast and weather forecasts as we know them today.

Here is a link to a video put out by the BBC in 2019 to celebrate 150 years of the shipping forecast.  https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p04l37bp © BBC 2019.


The Shipping Forecast – A Poem.


Sunday.

Dinner is served at five to six.

Radio 4 plays in the background.

We bow our heads for grace;

Competing with the shipping forecast.

“And now the Shipping Forecast, issued by the Met Office on behalf of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency at noon today.”

Oh Lord, we thank you for this food before us now,

“Humber, Thames. Southeast veering southwest 4 or 5, occasionally 6 later. Thundery showers. Moderate or good, occasionally poor.”

And ask you to bless it to our bodies.

“Tyne, Dogger. Northeast 3 or 4. Occasional rain. Moderate or poor.”

We thank you for our friends and for their fellowship.

“Rockall, Malin, Hebrides. Southwest gale 8 to storm 10, veering west, severe gale 9 to violent storm 11. Rain, then squally showers. Poor, becoming moderate.”

And ask you to bless those who are in our hearts but not at our table.

“Southeast Iceland. North 7 to severe gale 9. Heavy snow showers. Good, becoming poor in showers. Moderate icing.”

We ask all these things in Jesus’ name.

And that ends the shipping forecast for today.

Amen.

©joseph r mason 2020

A Letter To Yemen.

mishaps

My dear Yemen,
I hope that you too can one day grow from every rock that you’ve been diminished to.

Dear Yemen,

I have always known you as the only country whose name I could take if y landed on me during a game of atlas. I have always known you as the country who causes the game to end if its name has already been said. But today as I have grown and read up on who you really are, I worry about your own end. You see, when I search up your name and the only images I see are of destroyed buildings that used to be historical landmarks, malnourished children being carried away by volunteers from NGOs, tall men in kurtas carrying rifles larger than the graves of new born babies, and not even one woman outside her house, I cannot help but wonder, what really happened…

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The difference between poetry and prose.

I saw this interesting article and thought I would share….. ©Grant P. Hudson. CLARENDON HOUSE PUBLICATIONS

Classically, prose is defined as a form of language based on grammatical structure and the natural flow of speech. It is normally contrasted with poetry or verse which is said to depend on a rhythmic structure, using meter or rhyme. Spoken dialogue, factual discourse, and a whole range of forms of writing normally use prose: literature, journalism, history, philosophy, encyclopedias, film and law rely upon it for the bulk of what they have to say.

The word ‘prose’ first appears in English in the 14th century and comes from the Old French prose. This originates in the Latin expression prosa oratio, which means literally, ‘straightforward or direct speech’. Prose tends to comprise of full grammatical sentences, building to paragraphs; poetry typically contains a metrical scheme and often some element of rhyme.

In fact, though, observation reveals that, rather than separate entities, they are part of a spectrum of communication using words.

At one end of the spectrum, we have a highly precise, usually much shorter and concentrated focus not only on the choice of particular words, their meanings and their sounds, but also upon the gaps between them. The gaps, holes, absences or vacuums both in sound and in meaning create the pulse of attention which we call rhythm. At the other end, we have an often imprecise, usually much longer and less concentrated pattern of words in which meanings and sounds are looser, and the gaps between them less significant. Rhythm plays a less important role.

As Samuel Taylor Coleridge defined the two, prose is ‘words in their best order; poetry – the best words in their best order.’ If one requires less attention from a reader to achieve what one has to say, one can safely use prose; if, however, one is keen to transmit an exact and intense experience, one tends to move towards the poetic end of the spectrum.

A good example of this is the poem ‘Where I Come From’ by Canadian poet Elizabeth Brewster. Written in free verse, the poem does not have any rhyme scheme. In fact, it reads almost like prose:

People are made of places. They carry with them

hints of jungles or mountains, a tropic grace

or the cool eyes of sea gazers. Atmosphere of cities

how different drops from them, like the smell of smog

or the almost-not-smell of tulips in the spring,

nature tidily plotted with a guidebook;

or the smell of work, glue factories maybe,

chromium-plated offices; smell of subways

crowded at rush hours.

Where I come from, people

carry woods in their minds, acres of pine woods;

blueberry patches in the burned-out bush;

wooden farmhouses, old, in need of paint,

with yards where hens and chickens circle about,

clucking aimlessly; battered schoolhouses

behind which violets grow. Spring and winter

are the mind’s chief seasons: ice and the breaking of ice.

A door in the mind blows open, and there blows

a frosty wind from fields of snow.

If prose is the better medium for conveying philosophical ideas, then the opening of ‘Where I Come From’ opens with a simple enough proposition: ‘People are made of places. They carry with them/hints of jungles or mountains, a tropic grace/or the cool eyes of sea gazers.’ However, there are already clear signs that this is not simple prose: the juxtaposition of images is not something prose generally uses in this way: ‘hints of jungles or mountains’, for example, would be said differently were one to extract any ‘poetry’ from it. The grace is ‘tropic’; the eyes of the sea gazers are ‘cool’. These aesthetic injections immediately differentiate this from a commonplace statement.

The next sign that what we are reading is not prose comes in the following lines:

Atmosphere of cities

how different drops from them, like the smell of smog

or the almost-not-smell of tulips in the spring

in which prose syntax has been subtly altered: ‘how different’ doesn’t fit in there in prose terms; the ‘almost-not-smell of tulips’ shows a more careful playing with words than a piece of prose writing. It is precisely these differences, these variations from an expected prose line, which create the tiny vacuums or gaps which draw in our attention more fully than had the writer said something like ‘the atmosphere of cities drops from them in a different fashion’ or ‘the very faint smell of tulips clings to them’. The word ‘drops’ and the sound at the end of ‘tulips’ indicate scrupuo engineering.

A little further down, the lines

the smell of work, glue factories maybe,

chromium-plated offices; smell of subways

crowded at rush hours

slip toward prose. Our olfactory sense is engaged, has it has been since ‘Atmosphere’ was mentioned, but otherwise the appeal is to the well-recognised. Here, Brewster draws on the common experiences of most of her readers, who will know the scent of ‘chromium-plated offices’, if not of ‘glue factories’. The universally-experienced (for the city dweller) ‘smell of subways/crowded at rush hour’ has the effect of evoking that experience while also suggesting that it is indeed universal.

And that is the point. Brewster’s first stanza is aimed at opening up the familiar hollowness of modern existence; her second stanza, like the sestet of a sonnet, then fills that hollowness with the vibrancy of a different kind of life:

Where I come from, people

carry woods in their minds, acres of pine woods;

The repetition of ‘woods’ and the expansion of the image to ‘acres of pine woods’ transforms the emptiness created by the first stanza into a space richly filled. Using the poetic tools of alliteration and assonance, the poet evokes a visual scene:

blueberry patches in the burned-out bush;

wooden farmhouses, old, in need of paint,

with yards where hens and chickens circle about,

clucking aimlessly; battered schoolhouses

behind which violets grow

‘Blueberry’ and ‘violet’ splash colour; the age of the farmhouses, their ‘need of paint’ and the circling about of chickens ‘clucking aimlessly’, the ‘battered schoolhouses’ are in subtle opposition to the ‘chromium-plated’ offices and the tightly-controlled subway.

We are further away from prose, despite the lack of rhyme or distinct rhythm: more care has been chosen in selecting words that have shrewd differences in meaning. The fertility of these images, the depth of significance plumbed – even the choice of ‘violets’ as the flower often symbolising death – indicate a move toward a more meticulous word-choreography than a prose writer would normally utilise.

Of course, the same point that she makes – her longing for a simpler and more natural life, orientated to the ‘Spring and winter’ of ‘the mind’s chief seasons’ – ‘ice and the breaking of ice’ in the rural Canada of her youth – could be made with prose too. A significance-heavy ‘literary’ prose could capture almost exactly the same longing that this poem elicits, expressed most succinctly in its last lines, with its repetition of ‘blows’ and the almost-rhyming ‘snow’:

A door in the mind blows open, and there blows

a frosty wind from fields of snow.

But poetry is more ‘glue-like’: a prose passage could transmit ideas, even images, perhaps even the subtle beauty of the poem, but the poet wants to stick readers to her own experience. And the way to do that is through the vacuums more evident at the poetic end of the spectrum

©Grant P. Hudson. CLARENDON HOUSE PUBLICATIONS