Friday, January 31, 2014

Lyrical Musings

On the train, I sometimes spend my time playing word games and composing poetry to myself. Often, I just let the words flow and build the stanzas entirely mentally - letting the work evaporate when I'm done as a kind of Zen practice. Other times, I try to capture what I've wrought by catching it on my phone or wrapping it in a scrap of paper.

I don't claim to be a poet - and I rarely, if ever, revisit the poetic work I produce so nearly everything remains a first draft that may have sounded good at the time, but perhaps ages somewhat quickly. All of these are largely unedited, except for a bit of tweaking with meter here and there. All are direct output, not intellectual pieces - that is to say, they will tend to reflect a moment that moved me, either as a result of a personal experience or something I saw on the train. You may note an occupation with loneliness and relationships - that's probably because on Tokyo trains, most passengers are thoroughly boring grey salarymen - generally my attention gets caught when I see couples and people who seem inordinately sad. And, of course, the urban experience following a long, stressful day at work has a tendency to leave me feeling a bit isolated and at times those moments of loneliness manifest themselves in a moment of poetry.

The work is raw, unpolished. 

Nevertheless, I thought I'd share some of my recent work here: a mix of haiku and more traditional western poetry.  It's not meant to be work for publication in a literary magazine, but (I may be biased) when I look back on these pieces I think they reflect some interesting facets of the way in which I personally approach poetry. 

Offered without comment of my own, but comments welcome of course.


When the water falls
The ripples race and scatter
Circles on the dark.


Forbidden Fruit (sonnet abbreviated)

Her hand in mine,
Our fingers twine
And palms press tight.

As soft as night,
Her eyes so bright
That smile in mine.

Her lips on mine
As sweet as wine,
I slowly drink.

Dare I think she might be mine?


In an empty home
The echoes of their silence
Keeping me awake.



I can't forget
Your hand in mine
So warm, sublime
Your fingers twined.

I can't forget
That heady wine
Your hip on mine
Your eyes that shined.

I can't forget
Your wine-drenched lips
I wish I'd kissed,
This chance I missed.

I can't forget.



Hooks in my heart,
She pulls -
Long lines that dangle,
Threads that tangle,
Golden shackles
To airy thinness beat.

Hooks in my heart,
She binds -
Strong coils that mold me,
Knots that hold me,
Those winding ties
That hold me when we meet.

Hooks in my heart,
She chains -
Adamantine rings,
Such petty things,
Ev'ry day things:
This golden cage complete.


We're reaching for ghosts:
Electron ether phantoms
Whisper in the dark.

Whisper in the dark
Shudder at the fleeting touch
Of imagined fears.


Sitting in the dark
A bottle on the table
And a silent phone.

No comments: