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Michael Shepherd



Joined: 07 Dec 2007
Posts: 1395
Location: London, UK

PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2008 10:52 am    Post subject: haiku Reply with quote

The grasshopper's mind
may make the grasshopper sad --
oh to be human...
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Michael Shepherd



Joined: 07 Dec 2007
Posts: 1395
Location: London, UK

PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2008 11:08 am    Post subject: Welcome to the Poetry Forum Reply with quote

If this Forum thrives -- as in these early days, it appears to -- we should be prepared to be asked at some stage, to explain to those unconvinced of either the necessity or the attraction of poetry, what in relation to current needs, and to eternal philosophy, is poetry ?

Comments on this are welcome, to substantiate the discussion.

My singing teacher pointed out that the tongue is the strongest muscle in the body (how do you test this ?...) But perhaps, guarding speech -- guarding Speech -- is one function of poetry, along with praise and melting the heart.

That goes from guarding one's tongue -- which has its effect on guarding the mind and the heart, I've noticed -- to witnessing every word spoken or resting in a dictionary, as having its absolute connection to universality.
And that makes writing and speaking an act of praise, gratitude, and surrender.

OK, that's enough from me. I'd like to hear from others; in preparation for that ominous casual request, "As representative of the Poetry Forum, perhaps you would care to say a few words...?"

And we could throw in a few observations of understanding poetry in the experience of writing it, to leaven the theory...?

My experience in writing poetry is of something like a continuous discrimination about the next word, carried out with great love...
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David Taylor



Joined: 15 Nov 2007
Posts: 254
Location: Sutton, Surrey, UK

PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2008 12:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I start, or rather am started, by a word, or a phrase, or just music, or observation.
Type it, anything that comes to mind, and words start to flow and I follow them, I have no idea where
they will lead, I let the words use me for a journey of discovery, and am often surprised where they end......


A White Horse Of The Most Magical Kind

She rode a white horse,
rode it for sanity;
galloped and cantered
with rhythmic consistency,
walked for a while
along glistening streams
and trotted through dark woods
with the darkest of dreams.

Bridled with a need to express
she rode east and rode west,
never stopping or ceasing her quest,
until she reached
the most beautiful shore,
of a beach of white sand
with a moon in the sky
that reached with its moonlight
into her heart, that had cried.

She dismounted the horse
and danced on the sands
with stars in her eyes;
pure love in her hands.
She looked at her horse
praised it and said
'a horse such as you
is a magical find
a horse that's named poetry
is the most wonderful kind.'

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Michael Shepherd



Joined: 07 Dec 2007
Posts: 1395
Location: London, UK

PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2008 12:30 pm    Post subject: welcome to the poetry forum Reply with quote

I guess you've provided the answer, David -- don't justify poetry, just read a few to them...
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Michael Shepherd



Joined: 07 Dec 2007
Posts: 1395
Location: London, UK

PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2008 10:45 am    Post subject: welcome to the poetry forum Reply with quote

This Poetry Forum will, I hope, discuss poetry past, present, and future.
And all of us, I expect, have poems which are particularly dear to us.

A new 'topic' thread is now open, 'Much loved poems' where you can share these..
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Raymond Auerbach



Joined: 20 Mar 2008
Posts: 2
Location: Bachs Fen Farm, near Durban, South Africa

PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2008 7:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Since Michael asked for contributions from "that continent which is so much in our minds these days", here is a poem that arrived in September 2002:


Twin Tragedies: 01 & 02

Yesterday, American protesters at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, South Africa, displayed a banner saying
Thank you President Bush, for making America so hated in the world.

01
Pure hate, pure venom.
Death-defying mad inhuman deed.

We weep for you, young men
consumed by hope of heaven
condemned by your hard hearts.

We weep for those you killed
For those whose hearts you broke.

For your teachers we weep,
who taught you God is pleased
when men are devils.

We weep for humanity so noble yet so weak
swayed by narrow greed
inspired by higher hopes
devastated by rigid theories, by wretched dogmatic deeds.

02
Swift and sure, swift and sure
the might of the Just
scorched the helpers of those
Who cast death to the winds.

Clear and strong, clear and strong
came the rallying cry:
ANo more death from the sky!@
But could they right the wrong?

As the whole world is dying
This farmer=s heart is crying
AAmerica, Land of the Free -
What have you done to me?
My seed bewitched by genetic monsters
My soil poisoned by corporate science
My animals imprisoned by greed and cruelty
My continent enslaved by debt and technology.
Where is Walt Whitman, where Jethro Tull?
Where is the Dream, Oh Brave New World
that has such people in it?@

03 Postscript
The summit is passed
the height not attained.
Africa=s future beckons -
our strength is young and vital
Old tired tyrants torment us still.

The New World has grown old and cynical,
The Old World complacent.
The Third World while crying Freedom!
Desperately copies the tragic folly of America -
Land of the Free, Land of Monsanto and Enron
and Bush the Fanatic hating Saddam the Fanatic -
There is more in common than between
Righteousness, business and dollars green.

Yet, also, World Summit of Hope and Courage,
More in common between people of reason,
To unite us against greed, intolerance and small minds.
To make visible our common humanity,
our common destiny on spaceship Earth
our common future within the womb of Gaia our Mother
our common duty to the Love of God the Father.

The young and fertile strength of Africa
rises steaming from my compost heap
to meet this rainy new spring day
in sunny South Africa.

From Africa to America this poem -
may we rise up and heal the scars.

5 September 2002



Bachs Fen Farm
Peacevale
KwaZulu-Natal
South Africa

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Raymond Auerbach
South Africa
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Michael Shepherd



Joined: 07 Dec 2007
Posts: 1395
Location: London, UK

PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2008 9:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Raymond, thanks for that sobering contribution.
Your reputation precedes you -- your name is honoured in this part of the world.

I'm opening a new 'thread/topic' on Africa, to see what it draws from poets; I hope you'll excuse me if I open it with a rather second-hand poem written on behalf of others..

I should have asked Elinor's permission to post her poem here... may I post 'Stillness' sometime soon, Elinor ?
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Ralph Lennard



Joined: 26 Feb 2008
Posts: 14

PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2008 11:19 am    Post subject: 2 New topics Reply with quote

Suggestions for 2 new topics.

1} "Revision or Fantasy on a theme of". We take a poem, famous or otherwise and either re vision it or write a fantasy on a theme of.

2} "One verse at a time". Somebody starts of by writing a verse, someone else then writes the next verse and so on.

A bit of interactivity.

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Michael Shepherd



Joined: 07 Dec 2007
Posts: 1395
Location: London, UK

PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2008 12:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow !

1) In classic SES style "That's an excellent idea. Mr Lennard -- would you like to show us how it's done? "...

Here's my flip side :

I think that I may never see
anything more boring than
ten philosophers discussing
how the nature of wood goes to make
a thing as lovely as a tree..


2) Another good idea to play with.. but I suggest that a formal verse would make it rather artificial -- how about a free but relevant couplet from each contributor ?

And would you like to start us off ? If not, my suggestion would be something on the nature of poetry itself :

Where thought and words pause and draw back --
that's where the poet loves to be..


Michael
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Ralph Lennard



Joined: 26 Feb 2008
Posts: 14

PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2008 5:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

resting in the minds eye
waitomg tp trully "See".

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Peter Blumsom



Joined: 09 Mar 2007
Posts: 1093
Location: Wembley, London, UK

PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2008 3:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

though typing with the lights out
is npt done easily

pd
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Michael Shepherd



Joined: 07 Dec 2007
Posts: 1395
Location: London, UK

PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2008 3:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

and sossage fnigers on the keys
make fircone carp of poets' ease..
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David Taylor



Joined: 15 Nov 2007
Posts: 254
Location: Sutton, Surrey, UK

PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2008 9:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

and so the bangers in the mind
obscure the food that is divine?

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Michael Shepherd



Joined: 07 Dec 2007
Posts: 1395
Location: London, UK

PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2008 10:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

with tempting sausage comes the mash
of mind, and all its grab and smash...
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Michael Shepherd



Joined: 07 Dec 2007
Posts: 1395
Location: London, UK

PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2008 1:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Alas -- how Reason's Wit declines
when Poets mock each others' Lines..
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