Breath

by Lyn Crain

A breath

A tree crashes shatters the window.

the ground shudders with its weight.

The storm rages… rips every fragile

fragment of nature to shreds.

A  life is born, fighting to live

in a desperate struggle for air.

An old life shudders  a frenzied surrender

death claims his last gasp.

A breath

What once was …

Author Connection 4

“Poetry is an echo, asking a shadow to dance.” ~Carl Sandburg

What is free verse poetry?  The Poet’s Cookbook says free verse does not use consistent meter patterns, rhyme, or any other musical pattern.[i] In fact, most slam or spoken word poetry from the past thirty or more years is free verse. Many poems composed in free verse tend to follow the rhythm of natural speech. Although free verse requires no meter, rhyme, or other traditional poetic techniques, a poet can still use them to create some sense of structure. A poet knows when to use certain phrases and comma to create rhythm and structure. The exact definition is written by the poet although T. S. Eliot wrote, “No verse is free for the man who wants to do a good job”

Free verse poetry has become the favored form for new and experienced poets alike. Free verse may be written as very beautiful prose; prose may be written as very beautiful free verse. If you consider the Bible, there are passages written that flow naturally with a poetic cadence and no visible sign of structure which indicates to me that free verse has existed longer than we’ve realized.

I feel free verse provides me a sense of freedom to create without the confines found in traditional poetry. I frequently write free verse although my goal this year is to master sonnets and villanelles because every artist needs to continually improve their skill set. Robert Frost remarked that writing free verse was like “playing tennis without a net.” The thrill of no net appeals to most free spirits. Whereas William Carlos Williams states “poetry is art form, and therefore verse cannot be free in the sense of having no limitations or guiding principles” I think poets like Charles Bukowski, Walt Whitman, and Ezra Pound, who were masters at free verse poetry and would disagree with Mr. Williams. Many poets today still disagree on the value of having structure versus having no structure. Although we can all agree with Maya Angelou statement “Words mean more than what is set down on paper. It takes a human voice to infuse them with deeper meaning.”

I’ve chosen four selections of free verse that I enjoy and one of my own so you can see how the different poets approached free verse.

Finish and Cause and Effect are written by Charles Bukowski [ii]

Finish

We are like roses that have never bothered to

bloom when we should have bloomed and

it is as if

the sun has become disgusted with

waiting

Cause And Effect

the best often die by their own hand

just to get away,

and those left behind

can never quite understand

why anybody

would ever want to

get away

from

them

O Captain My Captain by Walt Whitman [iii]

O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done, The ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won, The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting, While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring; But O heart! heart! heart! O the bleeding drops of red, Where on the deck my Captain lies, Fallen cold and dead.

O the bleeding drops of red, Where on the deck my Captain lies, Fallen cold and dead.

O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells; Rise up- for you the flag is flung- for

you the bugle trills,

For you bouquets and ribbon’d wreaths- for you the shores

a-crowding,

For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning;

Here Captain! dear father!

This arm beneath your head!

It is some dream that on the deck,

You’ve fallen cold and dead.
My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still,

My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will,

The ship is anchor’d safe and sound, its voyage closed and done,

From fearful trip the victor ship comes in with object won;

Exult O shores, and ring O bells!

But I with mournful tread,

Walk the deck my Captain lies,

Fallen cold and dead.

Tame Cat by Ezra Pound [iv]

It rests me to be among beautiful women

Why should one always lie about such matters?

I repeat:

It rests me to converse with beautiful women

Even though we talk nothing but nonsense,

The purring of the invisible antennaeIs

both stimulating and delightful.

Our Eyes Meet by Lyn Crain [i]
The warm, afternoon sun trickles through the tree branches.
As I amble along the worn trodden path
our eyes meet, when I look her way.
I ask if I may join her, she nods yes.
Taken off guard as a rush of heat rises to my face
by this beautiful, enchanting woman before me.
Her short shiny blonde hair against her golden skin-
sparkling blue eyes with an irresistible smile.
Her curvaceous body dressed provocatively-
a blithe smile slowly widens as we converse.
I am curious what made her cheeks suddenly flush,
and her azure eyes darken and smolder.
The minx suggestively teases me as
her tongue slowly slips across her pink lips.
I sense there is a passionate woman hiding within.
Her beautiful blue eyes twinkle with mischief reveal
a more intimate side in her nature.
Her mysterious aura enthralls and seduces me
breaking down every barrier, melting my soul.
Her lascivious laughter lifts my troubled spirit and
captivates my heart with her bubbly carefree nature.
I smile as I gaze once more into her sparkling eyes.
My breath suddenly ragged with desire.
Her gentle touch setting my blood aflame.
As we stroll along the now dew covered path
fingers intertwined, not a word spoken.
The sensual magic of a new love unfolding
as our eyes lock once more…

[i] The Poet’s Cookbook by Dan Gilbert

[ii] https://www.poetrysoup.com/famous/poems/short/charles_bukowski

[iii] https://www.poetrysoup.com/famous/poem/o_captain_my_captain_198

[iv] https://www.poetrysoup.com/famous/poem/tame_cat_14985

[v]  Our Eyes Meet was written for Victor Crain, my best friend, my husband.

Writing Prompt

writers-digest

Worst Memoir Openings By: Brian A. Klems

“You’ve been tasked with ghostwriting a memoir for an extremely unusual person. You come up with many opening lines to the book, but one of them you write as a joke just to amuse yourself at how absurd the person’s story is. But now that person wants you to use that line. Share it…”

Discovered this on Writers Digest and thought I could have fun with this, while I’m working on my opening lines, what would be yours?

A Stranger Spoke©Lyn Crain

Your Mother asked me

to spread her ashes in a garden.

Remember how happy she was

puttering amongst the roses?

 The wind sweeps

her beloved blooms before

 what ifs and might haves

begin again.

Silence echoes, and awkward shifts

as the ashes float away.

A gentle flutter to

tease the blooms and

a  smudge of gray

are left behind.

 

 

 

Betrayed©Lyn Crain

 
So many brightly, illuminated
cumulus clouds surround you
on this October evening.
Mr. Moon. Or should I address

you as the Hunter, this fine evening?

I stand before you seeking answers
to those nagging adult questions.

Where do we go from here?

Please, tell me
Mr. Moon.
I need to know.

Why is it,
when I was a child
staring at you
the answers I sought
were right there?

Now that I’m an adult Mr. Moon,
the answers never appear.
Did you abandon me to those
lullaby moments?

I’m so scared.

Being an adult is not what

I thought.

Damn you. Why is it
your beguiling glow now
leaves me chilled
to the bone?

Sigh…

Sadly,  a new
dawning realization
echoes across
my aged soul even

my childhood friends’
glimmering magic
is gone.

Damn you Mr. Moon!

I never expected to be
betrayed by you,
my last childhood friend.