National Poetry Month – Day 25 – Sappho of Lesbos

sapphoIf you’ve not read about Sappho, it’s reading well worth your time. She was a Greek poetess, of the island of Lesbos, born sometime around 620 BCE. She was highly regarded both during her lifetime and after. Unfortunately, most of her work has been lost, and only a few fragments remain.

Here are a few links for more on her life:
Wikipedia
Sappho.com

I’ve chosen a few shorter fragments to post today, because I find these verses incredibly poignant.

View all of my National Poetry Month 2015 blog posts!

Although They Are

Although they are
only breath, words
which I command
are immortal

You May Forget But

You may forget but
let me tell you
this: someone in
some future time
will think of us

National Poetry Month – Day 24 – ‘oh’

dfwI’m thrilled that I decided to create posts about poetry for this year’s National Poetry Month. I know that I’ve missed a day now and then over the course of the month, but I’ve been reminded of something I’ve known for many years – I adore poetry. I love reading it; I love hearing it; I especially love writing it. I’ve read through so many poems this month, renewing my relationship with poets I love, and renewing my energy for my own writing. Not a bad way to spend April 2015.

And without further ado, an original poem for the final Friday of National Poetry Month 2015.

If you’re interested in other things I’ve written – posts on this blog can be found here, and my ‘freelance writing’ site here.

View all of my National Poetry Month 2015 blog posts!

oh

i think i’ve figured something out. (he said)
what’s that? (she said)
i’m not a very happy person. (he said)
what do you mean? (she said)
i thought i was miserable because of my job, or my circumstance, or money, blah, blah. but i don’t think so. after the last year, i really think i’m just an unhappy person. (he said)
oh.

© Matthew E. Jackson

National Poetry Month – Day 23 – ‘ghost’

indigoI was introduced to the Indigo Girls sometime near the end of high school, and I’ve been in love with them ever since. The writing is wonderful, the music sublime and perfect, and the voices fit together in a way that draws the listener immediately into the experience of music. This is one of my favorite songs they do. I didn’t see a video I loved, so this one is simply not distracting – you can let yourself be pulled into the music, feel the words, and remember.

View all of my National Poetry Month 2015 blog posts!

Ghost

There’s a letter on the desktop that I dug out of a drawer
The last truce we ever came to
In our adolescent war
And I start to feel the fever
From the warm air through the screen
You come regular like seasons
Shadowing my dreams

And the Mississippi’s mighty
But it starts in Minnesota
At a place that you could walk across
With five steps down
And I guess that’s how you started
Like a pinprick to my heart
But at this point you rush right through me
And I start to drown

And there’s not enough room
In this world for my pain
Signals cross and love gets lost
And time passed makes it plain
Of all my demon spirits
I need you the most
I’m in love with your ghost
I’m in love with your ghost

Dark and dangerous like a secret
That gets whispered in a hush
(don’t tell a soul)
When I wake the things I dreamt about you
Last night make me blush
(don’t tell a soul)
And you kiss me like a lover
Then you sting me like a viper
I go follow to the river
Play your memory like a piper

And I feel it like a sickness
How this love is killing me
I’d walk into the fingers
Of your fire willingly
And dance the edge of sanity
I’ve never been this close
I’m in love with your ghost

Unknowing captor
You never know how much you
Pierce my spirit
But I can’t touch you
Can you hear it
A cry to be free
Oh I’m forever under lock and key
As you pass through me

Now I see your face before me
I would launch a thousand ships
To bring your heart back to my island
As the sand beneath me slips
As I burn up in your presence
And I know now how it feels
To be weakened like Achilles
With you always at my heels

This bitter pill I swallow
Is the silence that I keep
It poisons me I can’t swim free
The river is too deep
Though I’m baptized by your touch
I am no worse than most
In love with your ghost

You are shadowing my dreams
(In love with your ghost)
(In love with your ghost)
(In love with your ghost)

National Poetry Month – Day 17 – ‘risk’

riskKeeping to my decision to post an original poem every Friday of this month…I went ahead and did some revision on this older poem [which I virtually never do], though I think I’m still not 100% satisfied.

View all of my National Poetry Month 2015 blog posts!

If you’re interested in other things I’ve written – posts on this blog can be found here, and my ‘freelance writing’ site here.

risk

flooded by reality my
emotions overflow –
the things I swore would never be,
they are,
and back again.

chased by ghosts of past and present
[future, already dead]
a h[a]unted man
laughs slowly,
turns his head.

our decisions bring:
refinement
resistance
restriction
responsibility
reality

perhaps.

is this necessary?
is this construct right?

perhaps these questions have no answers:
bukowski writes that we have no guts,
no originality,
so we just follow along in the groove life has worn for us.

repetition sans boldness,
conventional,
leads man to madness.
yet status quo leads as surely
to death.

which risk?

written 3 September 2009, edited 17 April 2015
© Matthew E. Jackson

National Poetry Month – Day 16 – ‘great white bear’

dear readerThe band Dear Reader is a wonderful, wonderful band…this is one of my favorite songs that they perform, but many of their songs are brilliant – musically, lyrically, and vocally. This particular video is also quite lovely – I hope you enjoy it!

View all of my National Poetry Month 2015 blog posts!

Great White Bear

He climbed into the belly of the great white bear
It’s very sticky and it smells a little fishy
But no one will look for him there
He took a moment to pick his thoughts and make them clear

Oh, what a day it’s been
Oh, what a terrible state he’s in (x2)

Her eyes are wired, there’s a hat over her thick black hair
They’re racing through the snow
Their sweaty hands keep slipping
But they’re almost there
Her father’s shotgun ringing out now through the cold night air

Oh, what a fix they’re in
Oh, what a terrible sin
Oh, what a fix they’re in
Oh, what a terrible sinister game
The hunter did play
To give them the hope
That they could get away
When biding his time
He did wait down the line
To bring a disaster
On their youthful dreams of escape

Oh what a day it’s been
Oh what a day it’s been

Run, there’s a bullet in your back
Run, run, there’s a bullet in your back
Run, run, run, there’s a bullet in your back
But I wouldn’t take it back, I wouldn’t take it back
Run, run, run, there’s a bullet in your back
But I wouldn’t take it back, I wouldn’t take it back
Run, run, run, there’s a bullet in your back
But I wouldn’t take it back, I wouldn’t take it back
Run, run, run there’s a bullet in your back
And I want to take it back

I want to, want to
I want to, want you
I want you, want you
I want you, want you, want you, want you back

“Great White Bear” as written by Cherilyn Neilson Macneil, Darryl Torr / Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

If you liked that, here are a few others…
Down Under, Mining
Took Them Away