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POETRY SWAP MEET: Poetry we don't usually know about, or?

jade tiger
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Taurendil said:J.R.R. Tolkien

Tolkien is world-wide reknown as the creator of Middle-Earth, but it is seldom said that he was a master of poetry. One could even say, that all the stories of Middle-Earth are just one single poem of incredible length.

[i]This poem is not one of the Professor's most famous pieces, but still, it has an incredible beauty and dramatic energy.

Thank you for the contribution, Taurendil.  Is there a title to this piece that you could edit into the post so other members visiting this forum might better connect?

And welcome to the Deep.

Strange Creature
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Thank you I just added the title

jade tiger
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Rayon Lennon


You take off, a helicopter
Grinding through hilly
Cali fog, like intricate NBA
Playoff defenses, the pilot god
Losing control as you coach
Your daughter’s fear away,
Knowing your world
Can’t possibly crash now,
But lost, lost in white,
Thinking of surviving
Like the ending
Of a game, where
You, immortal, Mamba,
Pour in one free throw
And maybe miss another,
The ball booming back
To you, the last resort
To win after willing
Your team back from double
Digits and you fly
In for the hammer dunk
But the shot clock dies,
The way the copter
Kisses the rim of a dumb hill,
Flames, your life
Flowering a valley.


Rayon Lennon: “Kobe, his daughter and others perished in a helicopter accident this week. I needed to process such a tragic ending while connecting it to Kobe’s competitiveness. Kobe was a superhero on the basketball court. He worked hard to master the game. He believed in himself and in turn made us believe in ourselves and the power of the human spirit. I think Kobe believed he would make it out of the fog, because his life was so much about winning. It was tough to see images of flames; so I changed those flames to flowers.”

jade tiger
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Michael T. Young


I like action movies for the same reason
I like Brahms, or undiluted scotch,
the constant flux of the sea,
or the sun’s light and heat stripped down
to raw fire, to the burning sine qua non,
like the first time I fired a gun and felt
deliriously naked and in that denuded moment,
remembered what I was chasing after when
as a teenager, without telling anyone,
I hopped on a bus for Philadelphia
and checked into the first hotel,
struggling to dodge those who knew me
to find if I wasn’t something more
than they expected, or could become
something other than they could know,
thrilled by the risk and uncertainty, the same
as when I hiked a mountain without water
on a humid summer afternoon,
trudging deeper into heat exhaustion,
the nausea stopping me every twenty feet
to gather strength from the pleasure
of wondering if I would make it home.


Michael T. Young: “Writing poetry is the slow process of thinking clearly, of connecting seemingly disparate elements in the progress toward meaning. This poem, ‘The Risk of Listening to Brahms,’ was born of trying to understand the connection I felt between my pleasure in listening to Brahms and my enjoyment of action movies. Every day is filled with vertiginous moments about to break into such odd but true realizations; taking time to realize those insights and articulate them in a poem is not only a pleasure but a necessity.”

Michael lives with his wife and children in Jersey City, New Jersey.

jade tiger
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Joyce Kilmer
( 1886 ~ 1918 )


I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in Summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.


Journalist and poet (Alfred) Joyce Kilmer was born in New Brunswick, New Jersey in 1886. Known for poetry that celebrated the common beauty of the natural world as well as his religious faith, he was killed after enlisting in the United States Army during World War I. Kilmer was awarded by the French the prestigious Croix de Guerre (War Cross) for his bravery, and a section of National Forest in North Carolina is named after him.

poet Anonymous

I loved that one!!!

jade tiger
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Sky_dancer said:I loved that one!!!

Thank you, ma fille, I softly weep whenever I hear this poem sung.

I’ve been saving it for special so I finally posted it.  

poet Anonymous

Thank you for this beautiful thread, Tiger Goddess 📿🙏💐

jade tiger
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jade tiger
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Jeanmarie Evelly


He wants to know what it’s like to be a woman
so I say, we all got touched in ways we didn’t want.
The first for me at fifteen, drunk
and asleep on a friend’s living room floor.
I’d only kissed one boy so far, but it isn’t this boy,
the one who’s climbed on top of me to slip his hands
under the elastic of my pajama bottoms,
this stranger who says he loves me.

Later, the one at the bar who reaches up my skirt.
But didn’t you know it was a compliment?
Don’t you know he thinks you’re cute?
Then grown and on my way to work, the older man
on the loaded subway car whose hand finds my crotch
with every lurch and sway through the tunnel.
I think I must be mistaken until he turns to me
with a wink and asks, Crowded today, isn’t it?

He wants to know what it’s like to be a woman
so I say, it’s two parts shame and three parts rage.
Trying hard to separate your worth from your weight.
Each trip to the mailbox, the bus stop, the store
interrupted with smile, with sexy, with
give me a view of that fat ass, sweetheart!
Someday I’d like to get to know myself
outside of this body.

My whole life I’ve been a pretty little thing.
Now I’m not so little, and maybe not
as pretty anymore. What’s it like to be a woman?
I don’t tell him this part
but sometimes I worry that I’ll miss it later—
maybe my only power being siphoned away
each year like so many drops of water
in a hose that’s just turned off.


Jeanmarie Evelly: “I’ve been working on some version of this poem, in different forms, for the last fifteen years or so. Which is a good summation of my relationship to poetry: I write it to help me hash things out, to examine the feelings and experiences I can’t shake until I put them down somewhere. There’s a line in the Ray Carver short, ‘Why Don’t You Dance?’ where the main character keeps telling people the same story over and over again: ‘There was more to it, and she was trying to get it talked out.’ I think of that often in relation to my own writing: I am trying to get it—whatever it is—talked out. I’m grateful to have a place to do that.”

jade tiger
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Raquel Vasquez Gilliland


There is an earth inside you
and he howls until his feet
pierce the space
between your hips.

You scream.
It sounds

Three pushes and he’s out,
face-down, slippery
as though covered
in huckleberry jam.

Put him to your breast,
lean back against the tree.
Introduce little Earth
to ancient Earth.

Tell them both how
they have oceans
and moons. Tell them both
how they’re held with stars.


Raquel Vasquez Gilliland: “Nearly two years after having a nervous breakdown after the birth of my son, I started to examine this experience with poetry. Mental illness runs on my mother’s side of the family—with the Vasquez women, specifically—and in searching for the reasons why, I found stories. Some of these are from the lips of my grandmother and mother, some are ones I unearthed inexplicably, from the fertile dirt where poems grow.”

jade tiger
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Lisa Lewis


Last year, the year before—hard times. I leave my two mares on pasture
               while I think things through.
I pay the board, the horses graze, they stand in the sun, flicking flies away
               with their long tails.
They saunter to the water trough and swallow long draughts, their lips
               almost closed beneath the surface.
Sometimes I imagine the end of the world, and the horses and I are destroyed
               together, under deep water,
the mares’ strong legs pumping towards distant shore that melts where our
               graves might lie side by side, if only the rains would dry.
I don’t talk about my disagreement with the ideas I’ve read about horses and
               why they let us ride them.
So today when I walk into the autumn hayfield to check Jeanie’s shoes, I
               know when she follows me back to the barn
there’s no use telling anybody. Some of the wealthy young women from the
               college have driven out for the afternoon, as usual.
They can’t be expected to understand why I’ve stayed away through months
               of warm weather.
They ride under the dome of sky that purples like flagstone until the clouds
               blow curved upstream.
They have nothing to say to me either. I tie Jeanie and fetch my saddle and
She turns her face toward me as far as the rope allows. I think I know what
               she means, but maybe she only wants hay.
I lead her outside and crawl up clumsy in my tight pants. It’s late afternoon
               so I watch our shadow
pacing circles comical as balloons in all seriousness. I reject science for
               informing me the mare can’t reach through her spine
and clasp me to her solid as a planet that spins in place. When I lead her back
               to the barn I know she is lonely without me.
She eats her grain and watches me from one white-ringed eye. She means to
               remind me of the beauties of multiple moons.
She says I should take my best guess about the music of the spheres.
I drive home worrying she’s too tired and will become ill. All evening I look
               up horse diseases in veterinary books.
I think of the the other mare, still neglected, and how everyone I know is
               afraid of her. I try to remember how it feels to ride her
and how she breathes on my hand through the wire when I visit her pen to
               say good night and promise to return.
The fear of the mares’ death is the fear of my own death except worse. If the
               horses die, my negligence
bearing down on them like a blizzard, their own will impervious to my
               wishes and yearning,
same as their hooves rush through heaps of dry clay as they gallop for mock
               terror at the glint of some window or hay rake,
they will be nothing but runaways and I a skeleton in skin. It will be almost
               as if I could cling with my fists
to their knotted manes and ride into the nether world. Don’t they love me?
               Don’t they feed from the bucket of my hands?
Doesn’t the smell of their hair matted thicker for the winter we may not
               survive bind to my blood so after we have stood together
like the profiles of leafless trees we have more in common than leather and
I am at home, and they are where they are, sleeping standing up or lying
They bend at the knee, and the hooves curl beneath. I imagine them as if they
               were apples in an orchard,
russet darkened to the modest shade of reflected light. When I was a girl I
               wanted to make my room in a stable,
bedded in confetti of shavings or the crunch of straw. I knew I would protect
               the horses from night fears
as they protected me from the future life I couldn’t guess. I could hear their
               placid noises, resting as animals rest,
their dreams stealing hours from the present, poised above roofs and cupolas
               like weathervanes.
The difference between us now is the way I feel time passing, ripe enough to
               fill the nights of two years
with its odor like glass, which has no material odor, which I only claim to
               turn the question away from the horses
and how they couldn’t save me as I once believed but instead could be turned
               against me by humans made clever by cruelty and loss.
For whatever peace is had in abstraction, the peace of gods, I turn the
               question to the impossible
again, science transparency, ice vibrating inside its solid form like the chest of
               a mare
warm from a winter ride when you stroke it with the back of your hand.


( 2012 ) Born in Roanoke,, Virginia in 1956, Lewis grew up in North Carolina and now lives in Stillwater, Oklahoma, where she directs the creative writing program at Oklahoma State University and serves as poetry editor for the Cimarron Review.

Education: University of Houston
Awards: National Poetry Series

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Poem by Stevie Smith (1902-1971)

B.B.C. Feature Programme on Prostitution

How hypocritical this dear old fellow is
Mr Something who runs the Nude Theatre,
He tells us it lifts the mind and is artistic
And does no harm in fact it does good
(And makes money. Beg pardon no that he did not say.)

And then he said, My girls don’t do so much
Harm as those stunted spinsters who write poison letters
And a good many other of your goody people who fancy themselves
Et cetera. Et cetera. And how artistic it is.

In the end you’d hardly have got this fine old creature to admit
Some girls off the streets are just as good as those on it.

After that in this interesting radio feature
The prostitutes spoke with an interviewing clergyman.
What do you think sin is? he asked ‘Judy’,
Judy said it was doing something for nothing,
No, she said, prostitution wasn’t wrong

It didn’t nearly do so much harm as
Stunted spinsters writing poison letters et cetera
But she wouldn’t go to church all the same
As long as she was doing it.

And all of them said it was dangerous
And not really very enjoyable
As often they got carved up or beaten or killed
But there you are, it was twenty pounds a week untaxed
(and a good deal more)
Compared with five in a job, subject to taxation

So they all admitted money was the thing
(Being plainer than Mr Something, or stupider)
And money, money, not with the old alternative
of nothing at all, but with not enough for the telly,
And not getting up to catch a bus to the office,

And having pink lampshades, and ultimately
Getting out of it with the money you had invested
And buying a place of your own and being respected.

So you see it’s money all the time and how to get it
And not caring about money is what is wicked
And idiots who think like this are always generous
When it comes to paying the price for money. Only
The wise look twice at that price and are parsimonious. Only
The clergyman in this radio programme seemed not stupid, not half an idiot.

Adeshina Lawal
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Welcome brother

jade tiger
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Danusha Laméris


Sixty-two years since the last sighting,
ornithologists say they’ve spotted one
somewhere along the lip of the White River,
its pale beak, red crest, black and white featured tuxedo,
the last of the ivory-billed woodpeckers.
Could it be, they wonder
that the birds have gone deeper,
nested in the southern bottomland?
People kept killing them
to show in museums
nailing their bodies to planks.
Now the town is buzzing with tourists
armed with binoculars.
Isn’t this how it is? We want back
what we’ve taken, the way a child tries
to set the head back on a doll.
Jesus risen in white robes,
standing outside the door to his grave,
Houdini underwater, escaping the chained suitcase.
We want to know there is something
more powerful than destruction
so we destroy what we desire:
the lithe and fearsome tiger,
humans adorned in feathers and the skins of bison,
entire forests, quiet as cathedrals.
And then we want it back,
that thin strip of green, lush again,
the Lord God bird, as it was known
set back on its branch,
scaling bald patches into the rough bark.


Danusha Laméris: I was introduced to the world of poets on Dover Beach in Barbados by her grandfather, writer Gordon Bell. I remember walking alongside him and his friends as they recited aloud, talked and laughed, their feet skimming the white sand. What other life?” (2009)

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