Zumwalt Poems Online

Posts tagged ‘Creative Writing’

she started to stop ironing

she started to stop ironing

creases and wrinkles
pouts and interpretations
a phone number from Port Said
left in a pocket

Oh, how the gin fizzes stir
and music concurs
as veils drip like honey

Ah,
how the cover
stays low
so the currency flows
like foot traffic at
the dusty bazaar

“I’ll show you Egypt” has been her most memorable reply
but I doubt her intentions and so plan another solo excursion
hoping that
once I return
that crumpled, rumpled look
will be comfortably cool at work

— Zumwalt (1998)

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Journal For Poetry Challenge #8

Journal for Poetry Challenge #8

WEEK 1: Jan, 1, 2012

Ladder by Ethel Mortenson Davis

The persona of this poem, innocent and trusting, wonders if the Tarantula, a symbol of entrapment can provide the means necessary to leave our earthly prison.

The poet here as chosen a tarantula, more or less the biggest of spiders, appropriate for the biggest trap of all — the physical universe.  If one can work with this tarantula, one can find an exit from the deepest of holes; however, the tarantula is not only non-cooperative, but is threatening — not a hopeful sign.

The casual tone of the persona contrasts with the implied reality embedded in the poem — there is no means of escape from the endless cycle that keeps us bound to the physical universe.

WEEK 2: Jan, 9, 2012

Squatters by saffronsound

One creates their own reality and here memories start to overtake the objects in view.  This is not a psychotic break but the every day feelings we have when alone with objects that have built up associations to past events that we have been a part of. The author gives us just enough (but not more than we need) to be able to follow and ultimately identify with the persona recounting what is an everyday experience in a way the bring us into the room and sharing these associations.

The Sassoon Collection: x. Particle Show

The Sassoon Collection

x. Particle Show

AND still they come and go: and this is all I know—
That from the mind I watch an endless particle-show,
Where wild and listless forces flicker on their way,
With charged and uncharged parts from small stringy strands
Because all spin so fast, and they’ve no place to stay
Beyond the frozen image of imagined lands.

And still, between the shadow and the image made,
The first desire of all of us flings onward, ever betrayed
As in those stimulant years that weight them, and have passed:
All minds must grasp these particles dancing much too fast.

– Zumwalt (2011)

Copyright © 2011

Example Response For Poetry Challenge #8

Response to Poetry Challenge #8.

This can be done as a page or a post.  Doing this as a post.

Journal for Poetry Challenge #8

WEEK 1: Jan, 2, 2012

Pretty Little Scars by Vampire Weather

I like a strong message but am especially pleased when the mastery of handling words is directed at supporting that message.  This poem does this particularly well!  In addition, this poem allows for enough interpretation to remain interesting and worth re-reading and mixes and contrasts the wanted with the unwanted and rejoices at the result.

WEEK 2: Jan, 11, 2012

Flies by Ben Naga

We all wander about in life somewhat myopically, but some people’s short-sightedness is often at its worst in a relationship: squeezing out promises of freedom from the imprisonment of others.  Ben Naga doesn’t hit us over the head with this message but captures it simply and effectively like a black and white photograph of two flies on opposite sides of a glass pane.

WEEK 3: Jan, 17, 2012

Jacaranda by Poetry & Icecream

Unlike a short story, a poem can exist quite nicely, thank-you, without conflict — relying on beauty alone — just like a flower in bloom — it’s great to see that flower all by itself, I don’t need to see a deer eating away the leaves for the scene to be of interest.

But beauty in poetry is not necessarily effortless.  Often times there is very controlled use of components within a form.

In this case the meter and rhyme work perfectly together.  The meter supports the meaning.  The first two lines are iambs but the third breaks away with “bright” being strong  and foreshadows the next deviation in the third line of the second stanza — “fantasies drifting away”.  Yes, this would still be a nice poem if each line was iambic, but it becomes special as the meter is harnessed to highlight the highlights and emphasize the meaning. The last line is iambic and musical (“upon a sprinkled spread”) which puts the previous line in context against the prevailing iambic rhythm. 

This craftsmanship is not haphazard. Even when a poet is so talented that they do this as second nature, just as a jazz musician improvises great melodic lines that align and contrast with the foundational harmonies, this ability and skill is based on reading lots of poetry and writing lots of poetry. There are no shortcuts to excellence!

On an afternoon

On an afternoon

On a breezy summer afternoon
two universes, once far apart,
approached each other
and drawn by forces
not easily understood,
collided
and created the beginnings
of a universe
with different rules and circumstances
than the previous two.

Dense and hot,
close and furious,
with energy beyond any expectation
this new universe started,
expanded,
establishing first an identity
and then a history.

Heat gave way to growth
and sometimes we gave way to each other.

Attraction resulted in collisions
and each left their own marks on the other.

I once knew another universe
so different
but not so long ago.
Now there is only this one
with its own rules
and strange little quarks.

I once grew in another universe
with not such clear boundaries.
It was less predictable
and less complicated
without any out-of-equilibrium decay scenarios
or unexpected violations of time inversion symmetry.

This universe
gave us the nursery:
each star more important
than the universe itself
but adding to and altering its very fabric.

Yet, how could I not notice
that each star had its very own universe
and paid little attention to the grander scheme.
Envious, I was, like the biker who sold his Harley
and had to watch it be driven off the lot.

This universe gave us grandchildren:
each one more precious than any law of physics.

Yet, how could I not note that this
was the measurement of time.

I cannot escape this universe,
I cannot go back to the one I had.
I do not know the difference between you and I
or the underlying nature of this universe itself.

I do not know where your universe went
or what part it played in the one we share.
I cannot see how this universe ends
or if it still depends on you and I.

On a breathtaking, brilliant summer afternoon
two independent universes, each with its own part,
appropriated each other
and created new forces
not easily withstood,
coincided,
and then guided the beginnings
of a universe
with different composition and consequences
than the previously predominate two.

— Zumwalt (2011)

when winning is not enough

when winning is not enough

he like a stunned animal
holds the fragrant unclothed stranger
this remnant of the victory of last night.

she is half asleep
tenderly young
sweet
and so totally a stranger.

he feels like another empty episode has escaped into the ozone layer.
There is not even anything to gnaw on.

he wonders how to wake her up
half asleep
himself.

— Zumwalt (June 1991)

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