Tag Archives: words

Bounds

There’s a line words cannot cross
Maybe they haven’t been around long enough
Perhaps they never tried hard enough
Conceivably they’re just lazy

There’s a line words will not cross
Syllables melt, disintegrate
Consonants falter, stumble
Vowels stomp, jar

There’s a line words do not cross
Even when poets hand out passports, storytellers maps
They remain illegal aliens
Exile eternal

Day 7 of #OctPoWriMO. You can find the prompt and the links to other poems here: http://www.octpowrimo.com/2017/10/day-7-and-then-i-went-too-far.html.

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You won’t like it

If you were to scratch my skin, lightly
again and again
anew
you could see rebuke shimmering through

If you were to take a needle
and pierce my hide
just once
a drop of remonstrance would well up

If you were to take a razor blade
and cut me, slowly
you’d encounter a stream of truth
crimson damnation

Please don’t make me bleed words

My mind won’t wrap itself around a clarihew, the prompt for NaPoWriMo day 14. I’m looking forward to reading other people’s clarihews – a four line poem that’s a satire of a famous person. I’m posting something serious instead.

Somehow it reminds me of one of the first poems I wrote, which happened to be for NaPoWriMo to, in 2013. It’s called unfinished business. It features words filling a bath.

Linking to some clarihews in case you’re in need of a smile:
Oscar Wilde, Marie Antoinette and Rasputin
Scarlett O’Hara
Sean Spicer and Jeffrey Dahmer
Sigmund Freud
John Coltrane
Sartre, Becket and Kafka
Darth Vader
King Richard Lionheart
Edgar Allen Poe
Thor, Zeus, Isis and more
Jesus and more

Added note April 16: I just remembered I did try a clerihew once. I ended up with something political instead of satirical: Permission denied

In love with Babylon

Words
do come easy to me.
They’re a flood,
they are hard to stop.

They fill my mind up
with endless observations
interpretations, evaluations
considerations, variations
mutations,
infatuations –

with other people’s words,
who can make them dance,
fence,
prance
hence

conveying images, thoughts, meanings,
insights feelings

translating their brain
to mine
with slight alterations
and hesitations –

Will I catch their drift?
Will I see what they see?
Will I understand how they feel?
Will I get what they mean?

Will I see who they are
and hear what they are saying?
Will I reflect
or reject?

Will I judge
and search for the first stone
because I know what I mean
and what life is like in my shoes?

Lend me your ears

Friends, Romans, countrymen
Lend me your ears
I come to praise words
Not bury them
For the beauty of these words is much needed

But what’s in a name?
The word flabbergasted
In any other language
Looks just as good:
Verbazingwekkend,
Verdattert
Époustouflé
Asombrado
It’s a word you can take out for dinner
With a bowler hat and a bow tie

Oh you darling buds of German language
Who gave us überhaupt and sowieso
Google translate doesn’t do you justice
– at all –
When it claims you can be translated
(anyhow)

Good to see that levenslust
Joie de vivre
And lust for life
Are not designated
To one people
One culture
One nation
But universal

(It’s a draft, but it will stay a draft for I have poetic fatigue.)

Erased words

Going

Oh well I’ll just go
getting nowhere again.
I’ll turn
that direction.
digging up the tramrails
and watch.

Good

straight
stomach
your buttocks
back
relax
and don’t look.

News

Someone
near the Leidseplein.
“Have you heard?
Great isn’t it?”
He casts his eyes
Anyone else?

Matter

Someone’s
young
I’m getting
Dressed
with
aubergine-coloured
tassels.
He’s leafing through
turns a page
sniffles.
Finally he gets stuck
with
“Good-luck charm
marital bliss.”

Terrace

“end,
now”,
at the pavement café.
“plenty of things,”
up her chair.
“Take me,
I’m a real greedy.”
she takes
from her pocket
some whipped cream
in her.

Café 1

chum,
you can rely on
a jovial man talking
honesty
in the café.
You can see
an inch.

Friendship

Friendship,
you shouldn’t mess with
you
a painting finished.

Café 2

“ like taxi doors.”
the man
is incredibly fat.
figuratively
nothing special.
But
how neat they are!

Holland

Half-past
all those people
something happened?
oh no,
I feel.

Reading on the street

reading
you don’t see that often.
sometimes
I’m walking
There’s
music
a new-look dress
brushes past
The book
is
“just out”.

(NaPoWriMo prompt 26 suggests to take a poem and erase words from it, thus turning it into a new poem. I took the English translation of a Dutch poem by Remco Campert for this. You’ll find the original, both in Dutch and in English, here.)