Poem 3 – Survivor

This was my 3rd poem and probably my favorite. Too many women in my life have been sexually assaulted. I can’t even begin to imagine what someone feels when they go through this. It should never happen, let me just say that from the get go. I hate that it happens and I will die defending someone in this situation. I tied to put it into words as best I could. Much of this comes from input from a number of different women. As always, please, please, please give me feedback.

Raindrops splattering my face

like tears,

but my eyes are dry;

nothing more for me to give.

The storm clouds rage above,

lightning flashes,

thunder crashes.

I’m all alone,

adrift in shame.

Blood runs down my leg,

a trickle.

I shift my dress to cover

my guilt.

This was my fault,

at least that’s what I was taught.

I’m angry, hurt,

why can’t I just die?

But I must go on,

dust off my clothes,

look in a different direction,

while locking my secret away.

A lump gathers

in my throat, blocks the airway

cutting off my breath.

I collapse.

The soft grass caresses me, the sun’s

welcoming embrace pulls me

from the ground, guides me forward

casting the storm aside, brightening

the otherwise gloomy day.

Life suddenly blossoms, birds

chirping, insects buzzing,

breathing new life into my soul.

A burbling stream gathers

my attention. Wading in

the biting, cold water attacks

my legs and feet,

but it isn’t all bad.

A ribbon of dirt, sweat, and blood

floats

downstream, away from me like

the river is cleansing my soul.

I’ll remember this day

forever,

the day a man assaulted me,

and tore away my innocence.

Poem 2 – The Dirt

So, here is the second poem I chose to edit for my class. If you don’t know what I am talking about, read my previous post, lol. I am always looking for feedback, so please give me some.

Impractical people,
permeating Earth,
hoarding wealth
and possessions,
like they can take
them to the afterlife.
Money doesn’t travel with
them, nor will their assets,
or other accumulations.
So why so much effort
to hoard these in life?
When life snuffs out,
each person the same.
Status won’t matter
nor the wealth they
made during their life.

I will reclaim them
because they are mine.
No place to escape,
nowhere they can hide.
Their fate always the same.
From the Earth they come,
part of the Earth I am.
Their corpse planted in me,
or burned, tossed in the wind.
One with me they become.

Poem 1 – Of Love

People who follow me know I am pursuing my Master’s in Professional Fiction Writing. I had to take some elective courses and just completed a course in poetry. I’ve posted a couple of poems recently, but I just received feedback on my final versions. I made changes based on feedback from my fellow classmates, as well as my professor. In all, I wrote 10 poems for the class. 5 of them we had to submit for final grading, as well as a rather long reflection paper. There were guidelines each week. I wrote some in a more traditional format, but my professor suggested they would be better if I broke tradition. So my efforts to conform, resulted in me breaking all the rules, lol. This was the first of my poems. I would appreciate any and all feedback as I know this is only the beginning in regards to poetry.

Of Love

Nervous hands, dancing feet.
Infatuation filling the hole in
my heart, I didn’t know was there:
empty, gaping, cataclysmic.
Love radiates outward, like
the warmth of the sun, tugging,
entwining our souls ever further:
one body, inseparable.
Even in love there’ll be arguments
and anger, veering us off course,
all building to a precipice:
rocky, unbalanced, broken.
She is the love of my life,
yet, she pushes my buttons.
Discontinue our love now, or
jump into the deep abyss together?

Life After Death

Those who follow me know I am working on my Masters in Professional Fiction Writing through the University of Denver (Go DU!). Anyway, I have never been into poetry, but I had to take three electives and decided to take a class on poetry. I figured I should push myself, and that is what I am trying to do.

In week 2, we had to take and idea that was near and dear to our heart and transform it into a poem. I have had too many women in my life affected by rape,  I just knew this was what I had to put on my canvas. So I wrote a poem, which you will see below. I had a meeting with my professor the following week and he suggested that I get feedback from women. Before posting it, I had already run it by my wife, but next week is week 10, and I need to turn in revised versions of all my poems.

So, I need women to comment and offer feedback. I know I am a man and can never truly understand the pain that is associated with such an act.  But I do feel for those who have been victimized and would like to make it a life goal to stop such things from happening. This can be tough, and I can respect those who wish to remain silent, but for those who have gone through these heinous acts, I am with you and would like to draw attention to the shit hole that this truly is. So if you are comfortable with it, I can use any and ALL feedback you can offer. It will be completely anonymous. I need the feedback and am only looking for comments. I appreciate the support.

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Raindrops splattering my face like tears,

only my eyes are dry;

I can’t give any more.

The storm clouds above rage,

as lightning flashes, mimicking

my internal thoughts and feelings.

I brought this on myself, or so I was taught.

At least that’s what my granny would say.

Smoothing my dress to cover the bloodstains on my panties,

I try to climb to my feet, but can’t.

It hurts. I hurt. But I know I must go on,

it’s what we’re told,

dust off your clothes,

and look in a different direction,

all the while keeping a little secret.

With conviction, I make it to my feet,

pressing forward, as I will in life.

This won’t be the end of me.

I will not allow this situation,

define who I am, for I am strong.

A lump gathers in my throat,

blocking my airway,

cutting off my breath, and I collapse.

The soft pillow of grass caresses me,

and the warm embrace

of the Sun’s welcoming yellow arms,

pulls my head from the ground,

guiding me forward with resolve.

The reemergence of the sun

brings out the birds and insects.

My cheerleaders whispering this isn’t my fault,

The man is a predator, nothing but scum gathering beneath my feet.

I yearn for a warm tidepool,

to wash this filth away,

but water won’t help,

only the bite of cold steel will.

The Jungle

I’m in a poetry class and we needed to write the same poem but in two different formats: metric and cadence. I’m still early in the revision process, but which do you prefer and do you have any suggestions?

The Jungle (metric)

Tall masts, a beacon flowing in a sea

of green, stretching to the heavens, reaching

arms pleading with the Gods, a chance maybe,

to put this in the rearview, beseeching

the higher power to remove the pain,

for every one felled, I now must feign.

 

There is no more, only incompetence.

Bleats surrounding, lessening our breath,

methane filling the air, no bottomless

source. Each fallen brethren, another death.

We do not mourn, you’ve done this to yourself,

You never cared for the shrinking ice shelves.

 

The Jungle (cadence)

You see a tall mast, maybe a beacon, flowing in a

sea of green,

arms outstretched, reaching toward the almighty heavens,

pleading with the Gods for a chance

to put an end to this nonsense, and the encroaching

herd, a nuisance

eating their way through the life force, encouraging

a beseeching to the all mighty, anyone, to answer the call,

to make things right, and return to the Earth

a moment without blight, where you mourn the dead,

and cherish what has been returned to continue your life.

 

Your call goes unanswered, you’re fighting for your life,

not for lack of meat, but because livestock is your greed,

but the lack of trees,

is lessening the oxygen from the air you breathe,

giving you the replacement of methane,

which you do know is fatal, but as long as your stomach is full,

who are you to judge?

So cut down the trees, forget what they mean.

Burn them in your fires and fill the air with hydrocarbons,

for humans will live long after the rest of the Earth expires.

Poem: The Sound of Death

This week in school we had to write poetry. I’ve never been a big poet. It feels too short and I’m long-winded (haha, at least I own it). This week was tough. Not only because I was in the hospital, but also because there was a school shooting right down the street. I moved to Highlands Ranch with my family in 1991. I met my wife at Highlands Ranch High School. I graduated from Highlands Ranch High School. And while the shooting wasn’t at my High School, it was right down the street. My wife and I moved to Parker in 2004, but it’s still in the same county (Douglas County). My kids go to school in this county. My wife is a teacher in this county. It all hit too close to home and I’m not happy about it. I had to write three poems this week. Given my ER trip and the school shooting, they all were in the theme of death. I had an idea for my third poem and approached my son. I asked him what he was feeling about the shooting and we chatted for a few minutes. He is very lyrical (creates his own rap music) and I asked him if he’d collaborate with me. We sat down for a couple hours and created the below poem. I haven’t really edited it, but I wanted to share it. Please feel free to give us feedback.

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The Sound of Death

We all don’t want to cry for help,

But sometimes we fear for our health,

Try to run and protect ourselves,

Try to avoid the pain we felt.

 

It used to be we went to school

We learned, we had fun, we lived life,

Empty minds, we followed the rules,

Not knowing the impending strife,

The thought had never crossed our minds,

This moment, a cut in our time,

It has to change, now is the time,

What will you do, government minds?

 

We all don’t want to cry for help,

But sometimes we fear for our health,

Try to run and protect ourselves,

Try to avoid the pain we felt.

 

A normal day, sitting in class,

Listen to our teacher ramble,

Biggest thought was letting time pass,

Alarm sounds, nothing flammable,

So many sounds, screaming abound,

Bullets whiz by, fear for my life,

Loud crashes, bodies hit the ground,

Now I won’t live to ninety-five.

 

We all don’t want to cry for help,

But sometimes we fear for our health,

Try to run and protect ourselves,

Try to avoid the pain we felt.

 

I feared for myself, my friends gone,

A battle ensued, yet I stand,

I’m still stuck here, but they moved on,

Too many fell due to one man,

As I remain, I recollect,

They’re on the ground, their souls have left,

Another mind that’s left unchecked,

So many lives we all bereft.

 

We missed our chance to cry for help,

Without a thought for our own health,

We didn’t run, thought we had stealth,

As bullets fly, their sound is death.

A Poem Read at my Grandpa’s Funeral

Over the weekend I packed up the family and we made the 850 mile drive to Mankato, MN to attend the funeral of my Grandpa. He passed away last Wednesday. As I sat down at the computer Wednesday night to write the next chapter in my serialized Sci-Fi story, The Saukarian Children, my mind was stuck on my Grandpa’s passing and I decided to write a poem. It turned into more of a poem about life than of my Grandpa directly, but I was still happy with it and I read it at hisfuneral on Sunday.

I’m not a poet (man is poetry much more difficult than fiction) and I know it isn’t perfect (I repeated everything will be fine three times) but I wanted to share it with everyone anyway.

Grandpa, you will never be forgotten and I just want to let you know how much I loved you and what you meant to me.

Grandpa

Our journey begins on the day of our birth,
We’re graced with the blessing of wandering this earth,
Every moment spent growing and learning from above,
Until we find solace, nurture and love.
We come to this world as nothing more than a child,
With ideas and dreams as our minds run wild,
Every day a new challenge, a lesson, a risk,
Until we find a true love, someone to share a kiss.
We come before God to confess both our hearts,
Agreeing to be together, forever, till us do part,
We lay the bricks, the foundation, and build a home,
Filled with laughter and love from which we’ll never roam.
One day comes a child, or maybe even more,
Never knowing each day what God has in store,
But then they grow older and start a life of their own,
And we watch in disbelief can’t believing they’re grown.
We look to our parents to teach us the way,
And cling to their hands, as their hair turns gray,
They tell us how they got through it and finally found their way,
And we keep going, and moving each and every new day.
Before long, they too are gone and a new pain arrives,
Each moment grows harder, something else we must survive,
So we look to our love to fill the emptiness we’ve found,
And realize all around us that treasures do abound.
Then comes the time when our love one must leave us,
Left with more pain, and sorrow always missing so much,
We remember what we built and the good times we had,
Before life comes to an end, when we look back and we feel glad.
We hope the legacy we leave will always be remembered,
For all that we gave, for everything we endeavored,
Life is a story we write one day at a time,
Assuming the next day will come and everything will be fine.
For most, that’s the case and we continue each day,
For others, time’s come and there’s not much left to say,
What we leave behind is what matters the most,
That we’re remembered for our love, something everyone will toast.
For our love one’s it’s tough to deal with the sorrow,
But we do our best and know we’ll get out of bed tomorrow,
For life must go on, as difficult as it may be,
And we hope it grows easier, that we can finally see.
What was built was more than one, and will last throughout time,
That we’ll continue on, knowing everything will be fine,
For you’ll blossom in heaven and watch over our lives,
As hard as it may be, we will survive.
Although we will miss you, and feel the emptiness you’ve left,
You’ve finally found peace, you can finally rest.

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