A Few of my Favorite Poems

•June 30, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Here are some of my favorite poems, by some of my favorite authors:

Poem

by Langston Hughes

I loved my friend
He went away from me
There’s nothing more to say
The poem ends soft as it began -
I loved my friend.

Where the Sidewalk Ends
by Shel Silverstein

There is a place where the sidewalk ends
And before the street begins,
And there the grass grows soft and white,
And there the sun burns crimson bright,
And there the moon-bird rests from his flight
To cool in the peppermint wind.

Let us leave this place where the smoke blows black
And the dark street winds and bends.
Past the pits where the asphalt flowers grow
We shall walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And watch where the chalk-white arrows go
To the place where the sidewalk ends.

Yes we’ll walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And we’ll go where the chalk-white arrows go,
For the children, they mark, and the children, they know
The place where the sidewalk ends.

The Raven
by Edgar Allan Poe

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
“‘Tis some visitor,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door -
Only this, and nothing more.”

Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December,
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
Eagerly I wished the morrow; – vainly I had sought to borrow
From my books surcease of sorrow – sorrow for the lost Lenore -
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore -
Nameless here for evermore.

And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
Thrilled me – filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating,
“‘Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door -
Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door; -
This it is, and nothing more.”

Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
“Sir,” said I, “or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;
But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,
And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door,
That I scarce was sure I heard you”- here I opened wide the door; -
Darkness there, and nothing more.

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortals ever dared to dream before;
But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token,
And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, “Lenore?”
This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, “Lenore!” -
Merely this, and nothing more.

Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,
Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before.
“Surely,” said I, “surely that is something at my window lattice:
Let me see, then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore -
Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore; -
‘Tis the wind and nothing more.”

Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,
In there stepped a stately raven of the saintly days of yore;
Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he;
But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door -
Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door -
Perched, and sat, and nothing more.

Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore.
“Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou,” I said, “art sure no craven,
Ghastly grim and ancient raven wandering from the Nightly shore -
Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night’s Plutonian shore!”
Quoth the Raven, “Nevermore.”

Much I marvelled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly,
Though its answer little meaning- little relevancy bore;
For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being
Ever yet was blest with seeing bird above his chamber door -
Bird or beast upon the sculptured bust above his chamber door,
With such name as “Nevermore.”

But the raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only
That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.
Nothing further then he uttered- not a feather then he fluttered -
Till I scarcely more than muttered, “other friends have flown before -
On the morrow he will leave me, as my hopes have flown before.”
Then the bird said, “Nevermore.”

Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,
“Doubtless,” said I, “what it utters is its only stock and store,
Caught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful Disaster
Followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden bore -
Till the dirges of his Hope that melancholy burden bore
Of ‘Never – nevermore’.”

But the Raven still beguiling all my fancy into smiling,
Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird, and bust and door;
Then upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking
Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore -
What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt and ominous bird of yore
Meant in croaking “Nevermore.”

This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing
To the fowl whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom’s core;
This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining
On the cushion’s velvet lining that the lamplight gloated o’er,
But whose velvet violet lining with the lamplight gloating o’er,
She shall press, ah, nevermore!

Then methought the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer
Swung by Seraphim whose footfalls tinkled on the tufted floor.
“Wretch,” I cried, “thy God hath lent thee – by these angels he hath sent thee
Respite – respite and nepenthe, from thy memories of Lenore:
Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe and forget this lost Lenore!”
Quoth the Raven, “Nevermore.”

“Prophet!” said I, “thing of evil! – prophet still, if bird or devil! -
Whether Tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore,
Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted -
On this home by horror haunted- tell me truly, I implore -
Is there – is there balm in Gilead? – tell me – tell me, I implore!”
Quoth the Raven, “Nevermore.”

“Prophet!” said I, “thing of evil – prophet still, if bird or devil!
By that Heaven that bends above us – by that God we both adore -
Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn,
It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels name Lenore -
Clasp a rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore.”
Quoth the Raven, “Nevermore.”

“Be that word our sign in parting, bird or fiend,” I shrieked, upstarting -
“Get thee back into the tempest and the Night’s Plutonian shore!
Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!
Leave my loneliness unbroken!- quit the bust above my door!
Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!”
Quoth the Raven, “Nevermore.”

And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon’s that is dreaming,
And the lamplight o’er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
Shall be lifted – nevermore!

The Road Not Taken
by Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

The Panther
by Rainer Maria Rilke

His vision, from the constantly passing bars,
has grown so weary that it cannot hold
anything else. It seems to him there are
a thousand bars; and behind the bars, no world.

As he paces in cramped circles, over and over,
the movement of his powerful soft strides
is like a ritual dance around a center
in which a mighty will stands paralyzed.

Only at times, the curtain of the pupils
lifts, quietly–. An image enters in,
rushes down through the tensed, arrested muscles,
plunges into the heart and is gone.

Sole Survivor (from “the Book of Counted Sorrows“)
by Dean Koontz

The sky is deep, the sky is dark,
The light of stars is so damn stark.
When I look up, I fill with fear.
If all we have is what lies here,
this lonely world, this troubled place,
then cold dead stars and empty space…
Well, I see no reason to persevere,
no reason to laugh or shed a tear,
no reason to sleep or ever to wake,
no promises to keep, and none to make.
And so at night I still raise my eyes
to study the clear but mysterious skies–
that arch above us, as cold as stone.
Are you there, God? Are we alone?

The Gashlycrumb Tinies
By Edward Gorey

A is for Amy who fell down the stairs.
B is for Basil assaulted by bears.
C is for Clara who wasted away.
D is for Desmond thrown out of a sleigh.
E is for Ernest who choked on a peach.
F is for Fanny sucked dry by a leech.
G is for George smothered under a rug.
H is for Hector done in by a thug.
I is for Ida who drowned in a lake.
J is for James who took lye by mistake.
K is for Kate who was struck with an axe.
L is for Leo who swallowed some tacks.
M is for Maud who was swept out to sea.
N is for Neville who died of ennui.
O is for Olive run through with an awl.
P is for Prue trampled flat in a brawl.
Q is for Quentin who sank in a mire.
R is for Rhoda consumed by a fire.
S is for Sue who perished of fits.
T is for Titus who flew into bits.
U is for Uma who slipped down a drain.
V is for Victor squised under a train.
W is for Winnie imbedded in ice.
X is for Xerxes devoured by mice.
Y is for Yorick whose head was knocked in.
And Z is for Zillah who drank too much gin.

What are your favorites? Leave a comment and let me know what you think!

They Might be Giants!

•March 9, 2010 • 1 Comment

I went to a They Might be Giants concert this past year.  It wasn’t the first of their concerts I’ve been to. I went to several in the past. They are one of my all-time favorite groups. Right up at number 1 actually. Right beneath them would be Weird Al and Danny Elfman (Oingo Boingo).

They Might Be Giants is made up of John Linnell and John Flansburg. They also team up with various musicians, including the Band of Dans (all named Dan I presume). If you must classify them, they’ve been called alternative/pop artists. They’ve been around quite a long time, and they are always trying new things; for example, they recently started doing children’s albums, including “Here come the 123s”, which are really just as entertaining for adults.

Many people know songs by They Might Be Giants, and don’t realize it. For example, they did the theme to Malcolm in the Middle (“You’re not the boss of me now…”) and the Daily Show instrumental theme.

I became a fan of TMBG in the 1980s. I was just starting to like rock and pop music. Before that I was very eclectic as far as music and enjoyed really all types of music, particularly oldies (50s and 60s tunes, like “In the Still of the Night” and “Unchained Melody”.)

I also pretty much always liked parodies and funny music, particularly things that Dr. Demento would play on his syndicated radio show. It was on the Loop late at night on Saturday or Sunday (it varied). He would play things like “They’re Coming to Take me Away” and “The Cockroach that Ate Cincinnati” , and Tom Lehrer songs like “Be Prepared” and “New Math.”

The Giants are definitely an unusual and quirky group, and in the early 90s, they had a hit song in “Birdhouse in your Soul” (“Make a little birdhouse in your soul…”), one of my favorites. It is not their weirdest song, musically or lyrically. That honor would have to go to “Dead” (“I returned a bag of groceries accidently taken off the shelf before the date stamped on my side…”) or “Exquisite Dead Guy” (“Exquisite dead guy/ rotating in his display case/exquisite dead guy/swear he moved his face”) (Is there a theme here?)

The best thing about all three of those songs is that they have a pretty, mellow, pop sound to them. If you don’t listen to the lyrics, you might just think they’re catchy, upbeat songs that you can dance and sing along to easily. They play songs that stick in your head (“Istanbul (Not Constantinople)”), songs just for fun (“They Might be Giants”), educational songs (“Why Does the Sun Shine?”) and songs that may have deep meaning (“Ana Ng”), and they can rock out with high energy, danceable songs like “Cyclops Rock” and “Bangs”.

The concert I went to was their Flood concert, in which they play the entire album, “Flood” (their “breakthrough” album, the first one with a major label and a hit single with “Birdhouse in your Soul”). Before starting and in between songs from Flood, they also played songs from their other albums, including Here Comes Science (the latest one).

It was an excellent concert. I tend to reminisce and my mind makes connections and wanders, so I had to tell myself to stay in the moment and just enjoy the music and shenanigans.

Speaking of shenanigans, they paused during the concert to bring out some sock puppets who call themselves “Avatar”.  (This brought to mind an old TMBG song, “Put your Hand inside the Puppet Head”, which is one of the really weird ones, musically and lyrically). It was a funny little skit they did and the voices were obviously done by John and John.

In addition to the Flood songs, they did “Why Does the Sun Shine?” and the sequel from Here Comes Science, “Why does the Sun Really Shine?” (which basically contradicts the first song—apparently many people said there were inaccuracies in the first song, which tells all about the sun, i.e., “The Sun is a mass of incandescent gas…”, which apparently is not quite right. Want more info on the original song? Check out this link). Both of these songs are on their latest album, Here Comes Science, and they played several other songs from that album.

They also played “They Might be Giants”, which is another weird favorite of mine. “They might be fake/they might be big/they might be big big fake fake lies…”

They’re good enough, they’re funny enough, and goshdarnit, I like ‘em! (with apologies to Al Franken and SNL.) I hope John and John (and their bandmates) will be back in the neighborhood soon so I can go to another concert.

Octomom

•February 26, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Presenting a song parody written by me.

Sung to the tune of I Kissed a Girl by Katy Perry:

I’m Octomom, and I like it…

This was never the way I planned
Not my intention
I got so brave, fetus in hand
Lost my discretion
It’s not what I’m used to
Just wanna try you on
I’m curious for you
Need more attention

I’m octomom, and I like it
The giant hideous stomach
I had 8 kids, and I want more
I hope my guy friend don’t mind it
It felt so wrong
It felt so right
That means I’m on ET tonight
I had 8 kids and I liked it
I liked it

No, I don’t even know their names
It doesn’t matter,
They’re my experimental game
Just human nature,
It’s not what
Good girls do
Not how they should behave
My head gets so confused
Hard to be sane

I’m octomom and I like it
Now I have 14 kids (I need more)
I had 8 more just to try it
I hope my guy friend don’t mind it
It felt so wrong
It felt so right
Don’t mean I have enough, but I might
I had 8 kids and I liked it
I liked it…

You kids you are so magical
Soft skin, tiny, so kissable
Hard to resist so lovable
Too good to deny it
Ain’t no big deal, I’m innocent

I’m octomom and I like it

I had 8 more just to try it
I hope my guy friend don’t mind it
It felt so wrong
It felt so right
Don’t mean I’m getting fixed tonight
I had 8 more and I liked it…
And I’m pregnant!

by Lazykerri

It’s my Blog!

•October 23, 2009 • 1 Comment

I’d like to start a blog, but don’t know where to start

I suppose I should do what’s in my heart

Should I have a separate blog for everything I do?

Should I separate things like writing what’s true…

Versus writing poems, fiction and such?

Even though I don’t do that lately so much

Should I have a separate blog for my cat?

Would anyone really be interested in that?

I’d like to hear what you think, but when all is through,

It’s my blog and I’ll do what I want to

Do what I want to, do what I want to

You’d do it too if it belonged to you!

 
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