Fraiku: Sweeney Todd

Ruby words drip from the pen
Restored to my hand by his masterpiece
At last my arm is complete

(Words mostly stolen from Sweeney Todd to honor Stephen Sondheim. So it goes.)

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I’m thankful

I’m thankful

that the porcelain moon glides through her phases
that the planets march in a line across the sky
that Polaris won’t be our North Star forever

that spring rains carve new beds with their floods
that summer sparked wildfires unmap forests
that autumn hurricanes spawn surprise tornadoes

that angry protesters march in the streets
that my noisy neighbors are happy drunks
that all my ex-wives have remarried

that I’m putting on weight for winter
that my beard is graying but not my hair
that I’ll die someday

but I’m not dead yet

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Grateful for Blueberries

Grateful for Blueberries

Blueberry pie may be purple
but it tastes like the blue
summer sky reflecting
off a cold mirror lake
in New England.

I brace for the shock
as flavor soaks my tongue
and drown in a sweet

(Another prompt combo: blue and gratitude.)

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Lunar Eclipse Fraiku

Do not come between
the Sun and his daughter Moon
lest there be blood

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“For now we see through a glass, darkly…”

“For now we see through a glass, darkly…”

Paul wrote that to the Corinthians in Koine Greek,
a language I don’t know, so I can’t comment
on whether it should be translated as “mirror” or “glass”.

But as a poet, I object to adverbs.
English is such a greedy language,
there’s always a more precise verb

ready for work like a day laborer.
Why wait anxiously for a job
when you can fret or fuss?

Why knock loudly
when I can pound
on your door?

Why pester mercilessly
when you can badger
someone until they break?

I don’t agree with most of Paul
but that chapter has some good poetry—
worthy of weddings.

He just needed to bring it to a workshop
so we could get rid of that adverb,

(For a mirror prompt and a glass, pound, badger prompt.)

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Fraiku: Archaic

Autumn nights grow longer
Sullen clouds extinguish the moon
We write by candlelight

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Pushcart Prize Nominations

Wow. Prolific Pulse Press has nominated me for the Pushcart Prize! I’m humbled to be so honored.

Photo by Pixabay on

The Pushcart Prize Nominations have been submitted by Prolific Pulse Press LLC

As I read through all the poetry from this year to select just the right ones, it was a difficult job, but when you find that poem that is just what you know to be the one, you have to pick it.

It is with great pleasure that Prolific Pulse Press LLC has chosen the following nominees for the Pushcart Prize:

Bartholomew Barker – Poem:Limitless, Published inHeart Beats Anthology of Poetry2021

Chyrel J. Jackson – Poem:Love Unspoken, Published inHeart Beats Anthology of Poetry2021

Jill Sharon Kimmelman – Poem:Double Shift, Published inYou Are the Poem, 2021

Sita Gaia- Poem:I’ll Have a Seizure with My Coffee on the Side, Published inKnocking on the Body’s Door, 2021

Richard O Ogunmodede…

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Posted in Ephemera | 26 Comments

Agent of Empire

Agent of Empire

I tried to change the system
from within. I failed.

Our Empire is not easily turned.
We’re not a kayak on a lake
where dipping a paddle
brings new direction.

We’re an ocean container ship
that doesn’t notice heavy seas
and plows heedless through all
but the strongest storms.

Instead of changing, I was changed.
If you want to make a difference,
do not grab the helm—
be the storm.

(Combing two prompts, Agent and Empire.)

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untitled Fraiku

Discarded oak leaf
drills through the crystalline air
a cold moon rises

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Looking Back

Looking Back
for the James Webb Space Telescope

Far past the dark side of the moon
Never again to feel the warmth
Of human breath or touch

I need absolute cold for my work
To stare for days unblinking
Sift light into colors

Note the birth of galaxies
And the death of stars
Ancient light rusted red

High above your chaotic atmosphere
Safe and proud— but oh so alone

Last night my Rotary Club hosted Ray Lucas, a graduate of Orange High School, who’s now a scientist with the Space Telescope Science Institute and he told us all about the James Webb Space Telescope.

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