NaPoWriMo Poems

Many years ago I liked to dash off a poem every now and again as the mood struck me. The idea is always there, lurking, so now I’m gonna write a wee poem every day in April and post it here as part of National Poetry Writing Month.

Thanks to Jamie Gaughran-Perez at Threespot for the blog about NaPoWriMo and his interview with founder Maureen Thompson.

“This Is Ridiculous”

You are trying too hard.
A cat walks in, yawns.
Look at my river of gold!
Decide to go, or not.
Blowing down the fences.
Local is too far away.
Ninety-seven green marbles.
This is your (my) brain on molasses.
I wanted to say …
Sunspots showing on your tiny face.
Has it been a whole year?
More than cavities.
More than THIS.
A big red rock falls open.
Testament to thy temperament.
A door opens backward,
a window closes in reverse order.
Expect that he will arrive later,
or not, but bearing flowers.
The lode stone shakes then vibrates.
A bug scuttles across my big ugly toe.
“It’s wonderful!” you exclaimed, “so wonderful!”
That’s why I thought we might go somewhere,
cross a river,
study a cat,
try it again.

– Fred Dews, 4/22/14


“The Cleanout”

Sorting through boxes stacked
in the closet is a trip through
memories long forgotten and packed
away in piles of stuff that grew
unnoticed in corners and tight
spaces away from all light
and any places where we might
want to show something new.

– Fred Dews, 4/7/14


“The Consequence of Eloquence”

Oh, words! Hath thou no longer carriage in voice?
I speak aloud yet no one listens, no one hears.
And, lo! I chirp, a bird’s brief song,
A hash I make of language; seeming twit I am.
And you: you sing my song, your friends they sing this song, we altogether chirp and echo this same tune.
One hundred forty small, distinct notes, over and over this trend enduring.
You, me, a bird, a tweet, a twit, a song.
On and on.

– Fred Dews, 4/6/14


“Boomcrack Jalopy Man”

Boomcrack Jalopy man got an evil eye pointin’ at me.
He know the time the place the manner of all what I’m gonna do.
Foul odor peel off him like liquid air gone rank.
You’d think he’d let me alone after all I done for him.

– Fred Dews, 4/4/14


spring blooms emerge and
offer color and scent to
laud winter’s exit.

– Fred Dews, 4/3/14


“piscibus ego sum”

Stipulate this frame of reference:
   assume I understand human terms.
Believe that I exercise a preference,
   for fish food or dried worms.

You know I like to swim,
   and hide behind my castle.
I wish you’d clean my tank more often,
   though I know it’s quite a hassle.

My gills breathe in the water,
   Your lungs breathe in the air.
My scales pertain to motion,
   But what function serves your hair?

I sometimes float, suspended,
   and rub my fins against this plant.
Do you ever want to scratch your back,
   But discover that you can’t?

If I could speak I’d tell you,
  how each day is my best.
Though unlike you it’s just a fact
  that I’ve forgot the rest.

I may have a tiny brain.
   I may be cold, and finned, and wet.
But I hope you think and do agree,
   that I’m a fairly decent pet.

– Fred Dews, 4/2/14


“The Commute”

Homeward’s stride beats morning’s,
but is slowed by the crush.

I can get there ten seconds later so: “Please, after you.”
And there are more of you than me.

A beggar’s sign reads “At least throw pennies.”
Softly, I should think.
I did toss my coins into your cardboard box, gently.
And I will never know–though I wonder–what you spent them on.
Drugs, a cheeseburger, diapers?
It’s none of my business.

This is not a race.
There will be another train just as space-free as the last.

Shoulder-to-shoulder, do I also look defeated by the day?
Vacant eyes staring into the darkness of a subway tunnel or at the tiny screen in my hands or for an uncomfortable second I stare at you staring at me.

Like bits of decontextualized talk heard along the route: detached fragments that I might string together in sentences and paragraphs and then study for some meaning though the words are not meant for me.

But all of it is nothing, and none of my business and it wasn’t very interesting anyway.

This is my stop.

— Fred Dews, 4/1/14


— Fred Dews

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