Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Tuesday Poem: Tears

The lines drawn
on flesh
in treacherous codes reveal

The cliffs behind
and the precipiece

The bones stacked,
on high
and bleached yellow-blond
in the sun
and the rain

The tears shed
as long
as you crunch through bones
brittle as numbers
but never see

A.J. Ponder

A cheerful little off-the-cuff ditty this week, just to keep the ball rolling as it were.  I hope you enjoyed it, and if sanity prevails and you found it a little bleak, why not go and cleanse the pallette by visiting some of the fantastic poets on the Tuesday Poetry Hub

All the best and have a fantastic week.
A.J. Ponder

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Tuesday Poem: Upon a Spider Catching a Fly by Edward Taylor (1642-1729)

Continuing the spider theme this week and harking back to ye olde poets.  As a Puritan, many of Edward Taylor's poems have more than the religious overtones in this one, but I like this for its keen observation, and strong sense of rhyme, rhythmn, and of course the curious use of English back in ye olden tymes. ;)
Have a fantastic week, and don't forget, as always, there are many awesome poems up on the Tuesday Poem Blog.

A.J. Ponder
and with no more ado enjoy - 

Upon a Spider Catching a Fly by Edward Taylor (1642-1729)

Thou sorrow, venom Elfe:
      Is this thy play,
To spin a web out of thyselfe
      To Catch a Fly?
            For Why?

I saw a pettish wasp
      Fall foule therein:
Whom yet thy Whorle pins did not clasp
      Lest he should fling
            His sting.

But as affraid, remote
      Didst stand hereat,
And with thy little fingers stroke
      And gently tap
            His back.

Thus gently him didst treate
      Lest he should pet,
And in a froppish, aspish heate
      Should greatly fret
            Thy net.

Whereas the silly Fly,
      Caught by its leg
Thou by the throate tookst hastily
      And 'hinde the head
            Bite Dead.

This goes to pot, that not
      Nature doth call.
Strive not above what strength hath got,
      Lest in the brawle
            Thou fall.

This Frey seems thus to us.
      Hells Spider gets
His intrails spun to whip Cords thus
      And wove to nets
            And sets.

To tangle Adams race
      In's stratigems
To their Destructions, spoil'd, made base
      By venom things,
            Damn'd Sins.

But mighty, Gracious Lord
Thy Grace to breake the Cord, afford
      Us Glorys Gate
            And State.

We'l Nightingaile sing like
      When pearcht on high
In Glories Cage, thy glory, bright,
      And thankfully,
            For joy.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Tuesday Poem: Ahi Kā by A.J. Ponder and Eileen Mueller

Ahi Kā
(Prose and interwoven sonnet, Truth Lies in Fire and Dies in Flame)
Winning entry (first equal) in NZSA NorthWrite 2013 Collaboration Contest
By Eileen Mueller and Alicia Ponder

Howls pierced the fog of my dreams. I clutched Ahi, shaking her awake. “Are they real?” Yowling wound through my ear canals, ricocheting inside my head. “The dogs, Ahi, can you hear them?”
She woke, startled. “Hurry, Manaaki. They’re coming.”
We scrambled out of our bush-clad hideout, dashing up the hillside, sliding in the damp earth, ponga fronds whipping our faces.
Frenzied yelps closed in on us. The creatures’ vicious snarling drowned our laboured breathing.
Blue eyes pursued us, hot gas flames in the dark.
Were they real?
I yanked my meds from my pocket. Pills scattered in the dirt. I scrabbled for them. One stuck in my throat before sliding down.
Cry havoc and let us unloose the dogs
the dogs, let slip those hellish brutes of war
for tonight Manaaki will have to choose
to run—
“Hellhounds,” Ahi yelled, bounding up the mud and crumbling rock.
Menacing growls raced through the underbrush. Ahi yanked a nail from her fingertip. It flared to light, illuminating the black-hackled beast leaping towards us.
“Ahi?” In all our time together, her fingernails had never exploded into fireballs. I stared at her and swallowed another pill, tasting dirt.
The hound, with pain-stricken yelps, was devoured by flame. Wild baying echoed in the valley below. More hellhounds.
Ahi stood, fingertip bleeding. Her hand, with only four nails, reached out. Warm blood sticky in my palm, she yanked me uphill.
Had my medication stopped working?
To be sure, I gulped another down.
Laugh in the shade of the slavering beast
let fire light his eyes and make death tame
the boy is mad
 The hellhounds thundered behind us. Racing through the darkness, we tripped, smashing our knees on jutting rocks.
I gagged on the stench of the hounds’ hot breath. They snapped at our heelsand bit deep. I screamed.
Ahi ripped off another nail, flinging it over her shoulder. The beast yelped and fled, trailing flames.
Fingers spraying glistening blood in the flame-light, Ahi aimed nail after nail at the perilous beasts, until only two nails remained.
The boy is mad to thwart this hunter’s feast
the dirt he tastes will never bear his name
and yet he stops and turns—
Ahi flung her penultimate nail through snarling fangs.
The beast combusted. Singed fur and burning flesh. A pale demon loomed behind the hellhound’s flaming carcass. Worse than hellhounds. Worse than my lover-turned-stranger beside me, oozing blood from her torn fingertips. Worse than hallucinations.
I screamed.
Ahi smiled through her blood and tears. She tore the final fingernail from her hand and pressed it into mine. “Swallow this,” she whispered.

Truth Lies in Fire and Dies in Flame

Cry havoc and let us unloose the dogs
the dogs, let slip those hellish brutes of war
for tonight Manaaki will have to choose
to run through fire and flame or face the maw

Laugh in the shade of the slavering beast
Let fire light his eyes and make death tame
The boy is mad to thwart this hunter’s feast
The dirt he tastes will never bear his name

And yet he stops and turns, his wild fear tame
Ahi Kā, Manaaki keep the home fires burning
In blood and fire—with life he stakes his claim
Ahi Kā, let us stand where he is standing

Not hew him as a carcass fit for hounds;
But burn those who chase Manaaki out of bounds

Story and sonnet A.J. Ponder and Eileen Mueller

I hope you enjoyed this foray into literary fantasy,

A.J. Ponder
For more poems check out the Tuesday Hub at tuesdaypoem.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Tuesday Poem: Windy Nights by Robert Louis Stevenson

Whenever the moon and stars are set,
Whenever the wind is high,
All night long in the dark and wet,
A man goes riding by.
Late in the night when the fires are out,
Why does he gallop and gallop about?
Whenever the trees are crying aloud,
And ships are tossed at sea,
By, on the highway, low and loud,
By at the gallop goes he.
By at the gallop he goes, and then
By he comes back at the gallop again.