Category Archives: Daily grind

poem: On the Precipice

On the Precipice                   by Joel Howard

 

Living where

worry wrestles with pain and

chaos rules the hours,

I mightily stretch myself tall, yet

my soul never quite touches earth

now nor never did,

with no belief in tales of wine and water

or bushes afire, I’ve no harbor

anywhere here

 

Better a children’s book of talking

trees and smiling meadows

flush with bunnies in flight for me,

parables never to stifle a dream

but to launch them far into orbits

beyond our given realms

 

Leave the tamping menace of guilt

of any kind or measure

in a corner dark and impenetrable,

let wishes periscope to the sky

and find counsel there among

countless stars and moons

 

All might then rejoice in the breadth

of fantastical creations

and bathe ooh and aah

in knowledge of a

river flush with yet dreamt joys.

 

 

Man Is Gray

Man Is Gray

By Joel Howard

 

The worker passes in still grayness along sun-anointed days,

a laboring dot on the shared map of ordered progress;

his routine’s ‘ever rutted in familiar hours and ways,

a bit-player who seldom from the straight path dares digress;

 

xxxxxxMuch as the imprisoned marks his x ‘cross his long-scripted day,

so goes man’s existence: up fast at job’s clamorous call,

his time ceded anew to toil and tiredness with no say.

March on! March on! Work winter – spring – summer – and, at last fall;

 

xxxxxxOn days with promising overtures, yet was the worker seen

a sand-speck traversing that oft-journeyed ancestral trail,

now to collective eyes he stands mere, a broken once-been,

his star-crossed dreams mottled and odorous, faded and frail;

 

xxxxxxNow as midnight settles itself about, where can be our man?

Look there! his fellow hourlies wending obedient this way

pallbearing in weary lockstep, stooped on the well-worn plan,

the worker’s life-coffin carried tired and so sombrous gray;

 

xxxxxxand on the world spins,

unchanged,

unsorted;

man’s worth ill-measured –

if measured it is –  our

planned next days, next weeks, and far years

lie already mocked and forsaken, as we

simply forfeit that spirit which ever speaks of life

rich and joyous

Divided We Stand-off

This post is a poem written as a villanelle. Perhaps the most famous example of such a poem is Dylan Thomas’ “Do not go gentle into that good night”.  I posted the Thomas poem recently, allowing that it is one of my favorites. My villanelle, while nowhere near the quality of his (understatement), was written with thoughts of our current struggles as a nation. The era of Trump has been fraught with division. And while a true villanelle is nineteen lines with two rhymes throughout, I made a slight change in the last line, adding “oh sweet angels”. Anyway, here is my little poem…

Divided We Stand-off

by Joel Howard

 

Friendships bloodied amidst a fury blind,

on freedom’s meaning we rage and foment,

to chaos and regret we’re now resigned

 

only yesterday one could easy find

comfort born of closeness which now’s misspent,

friendships bloodied amidst a fury blind

 

loss upon loss leaves prized kindness behind

untold victims of rotting resentment,

to chaos and regret we’re now resigned

 

on ob’lisk to heaven we’ve grief-signed

echoing our long recurring lament,

friendships bloodied amidst a fury blind

 

fistful words, vengeful cries, quick to remind

we’ve drowned this land with relationships bent,

to chaos and regret we’re now resigned

 

oh Camelot! How once we dined,

as all about us the future shined!

friendships bloodied amidst a fury blind,

oh sweet angels, to chaos and regret we’re now resigned