You’re not my sunshine, or: You’re just a raincloud

The other night, jerk, as I stood thinking,
I knew you could not be my better half;
And as I fell asleep, I felt sure I was right;
I dreamed of freedom from you as I laughed

You’re just a raincloud, one ugly raincloud;
Your snivels upset when skies are blue;
You'll always feel, jerk, my deepest disdain;
Those useless teardrops know that it’s true

I'll always scorn you, and I’ll reject you,
Regardless of what you might think to say.
And if you float ‘round me, ‘stead of another,
You will have wasted all those tears away

You’re just a raincloud, one ugly raincloud;
Your snivels upset when skies are blue;
You'll always feel, jerk, my deepest disdain;
Those useless teardrops know that it’s true

You’ve always thought, jerk, we’d be together,
that nothing and no one could come between.
You follow me ev‘rywhere ~ go find another;
I see that I must rain all over your dreams

You’re just a raincloud, one ugly raincloud;
Your snivels upset when skies are blue;
You'll always feel, jerk, my deepest disdain;
Those useless teardrops know that it’s true

When I’m awake, jerk, you’re always whining;
When I can’t hear you, my mind is soothed.
When you are about, you just upset me;
You’re so damned clingy; I’ll always shun you.

You’re just a raincloud, one ugly raincloud;
Your snivels upset when skies are blue;
You'll always feel, jerk, my deepest disdain;
Those useless teardrops know that it’s true

dVerse — Poetics — Flipping Meanings

At d’Verse, we were prompted to pick one of these three pathways to use to write our poems:

  1. Choose one of your favorite poems by another poet and flip the meaning on it as shown in the video (see video below). Please include both the original poem and poet’s attribution along with your flipped poem;
  2. Choose one of your OWN favorite poems and flip it. Please include your original poem along with your flipped poem;
  3. Write a diamante poem

To be honest, I played a lot with flipping various different poems and songs, but all of my attempts felt very awkward to me, and I ultimately did not follow the prompt to the letter because I did not manage to flip every word of the original song, as we were instructed to do… I merely reversed the meaning of the song in its entirety.


You are my Sunshine

by Jimmie Davis (1899-2000)

The other night dear, as I lay sleeping
I dreamed I held you in my arms
But when I awoke, dear, I was mistaken
So I hung my head and I cried.

You are my sunshine, my only sunshine
You make me happy when skies are gray
You'll never know dear, how much I love you
Please don't take my sunshine away

I'll always love you and make you happy,
If you will only say the same.
But if you leave me and love another,
You'll regret it all some day:

You are my sunshine, my only sunshine
You make me happy when skies are gray
You'll never know dear, how much I love you
Please don't take my sunshine away

You told me once, dear, you really loved me
And no one else could come between.
But now you've left me and love another;
You have shattered all of my dreams:

You are my sunshine, my only sunshine
You make me happy when skies are gray
You'll never know dear, how much I love you
Please don't take my sunshine away

Clean, or: Dirty

A clean limerick

She goes through loads of laundry every night,
Stuffing beckoning front loader tight,
Presoaking downy delicates fine,
And of soft dryer fuzz not a sign!
Oh, her fluffing & folding fast delight!

d’Verse

Poetics: Put your Words on Spin Cycle

For this d’Verse poetry prompt, we were instructed to write laundry poems. This could mean anything we want it to: 

  • Write about a tryst that starts at the laundromat;
  • Tell us what happens to all those missing socks;
  • Air some ‘dirty laundry’;
  • Write a tiny poem that might have been found crumpled in a pocket when sorting the laundry;
  • Write a poem full of laundry instructions. How would you wash the moon? A broken heart? Hang a daisy out to dry? 

OR: If we were still feeling a little stiff and starched, we could throw 3 (or more) of these words or phrases into our poem dryers and see what tumbled out: fluff & fold; spin cycle; permanent press; wash & wear; cycle; dryer fuzz; machine wash warm; tumble dry; dry flat; presoak; wrinkled; front load; rinse; fine delicates; clothes pins; downy; tide.


My inspiration

The world’s dirtiest song

Gerard, or: Me

My first ekphrastic poem

Inspired by Gerard Richter’s ‘Abstract iii’

My fingers brush across the keys
Clickety clack, clickety clack
Symbols appear upon the screen
Clackety click, clickety 
I've nothing else but what I mean
Clackety

Through
The middle

What changes most is color scheme
Two in one, two in one
Black cloud travels to the right
One in two, one
Explodes in red like ruptured heart
Two, one, BLAM!

A d’Verse poetics prompt:

‘The Poet as Painter’

As instructed by Laura at d’Verse, the first half of my ekphrastic poem was written before I had seen the painting itself, but only with the title of the painting in mind.

After seeing Gerard Richter’s painting, I wrote ‘Through the middle’ and then went on to write the second half of my poem.

What you do, or: Don’t do

‘The Art of Being Human’

a d’Verse poetics prompt

EPIGRAPH:

What a piece of work is a man! How noble in reason, how infinite in faculty! In form and moving how express and admirable! In action how like an angel, in apprehension how like a god! The beauty of the world. The paragon of animals. And yet, to me, what is this quintessence of dust?

William Shakespeare (1564 – 1616), ‘Hamlet’
This being human is poetry ~
 
              No.

This being, human, is defined, defied ~ by lines imaginary;
knowing he doesn't know his worth ~ knowing leaves him weary;

This, being human, is, primarily ~ his greatest aspiration;
aspiring, perhaps, to believe he is ~ some greater being's creation;

This, being, Human, is merely what ~ has been bestowed upon you;
You're born, you die, and in between ~ being human's what we all do

The prompt

The above poem is my take on d’Verse’s ‘The Art of Being Human’ prompt.

The challenge is to write a metaphor poem that starts with the words ‘This being human is’, which comes to us from Rumi’s poem ‘The Guest House’, which you may read below.

In truth, my poem is not a metaphor, but this is what came to me. At first, I was thinking of writing something like ‘being human is a poem’ and then exploring the similarities between the two, but that’s simply not where my heart and mind wanted to go this morning.


‘The guest house’ by Rumi

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.​ 

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor. 

​Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

​Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

Jagged, or: Tender

‘Edges and Fringes’ – a d’Verse poetics prompt

(best viewed on a horizontal screen)

Papa,
can you
visit us
from the unknowable beyond
to hearten us, for we miss
you
so
and grief’s jagged edges cut us
even as the edges of mortal life are
clear
to us
remaining, as we do, on this side
living; broken; aching
Boy,
hear me
in dreams
I call
you
every night, all night
tenderly, I watch over you
With love
glowing
and reaching out to inspire you
from beyond the very fringes
of life
to believe…

The prompt

The above poem is my take on d’Verse’s ‘Edges and Fringes’ prompt.

Our mission was to spark on one of these paths, and I primarily found my way along the 1st and 3rd paths:

  1. Write a poem using the word edge;
  2. Write a poem that keeps Millikin’s question in mind:
    • What is the word, the line, that cuts, that can show that edge?
  3. Write a poem using the word fringe;
  4. Write a poem from the fringe, however you define it.

I am Jerusalem, or: Nothing

‘Beyond Meaning or The Resolution of Opposites’

– a d’Verse poetics prompt

Epigraph:

For the listener, who listens in the snow,
And, nothing himself, beholds
Nothing that is not there and the nothing that is.

-Wallace Stevens, ‘The Snow Man’
Harkened through the snows of New Jersey,
Heeded through the storms of Cleveland,
Purest nothing, on nothing, absorbed me,

Sheerest nothing, on nothing, I am
Upon nothing, nothing I, one/dering
About nothing, not touched much by snow,

Where nothings, together, not nothing,
Where something within ached to go,
Nothing, listened, through blustery blizzards,

Whispering, nothing, nothing, here I am
Through cold nothing, I heard, I shivered,
Something, mine, called [from] Jerusalem.

The prompt

The above poem is my take on d’Verse’s ‘Beyond Meaning or The Resolution of Opposites’ prompt.

The writing challenge: We were to focus on the theme of ‘paradox’ and select one of the following to build poems around, of which I selected #2:

1. Here are some lines from Paul Dunbar’s The Paradox:  – select ONE and build your poem around it.

  • I am thy fool in the morning, thou art my slave in the night.
  • I am the mother of sorrows; I am the ender of grief;
  • I am the bud and the blossom, I am the late-falling leaf

OR

2. Take the last lines of Wallace Stevens’ The Snow Man and write a poem that is imbued with the existential paradox implied there. [the meaning of which is the ridding of our usual human observation and viewing winter as a ‘man of snow’ not a snowman! (more HERE)]

  • For the listener, who listens in the snow, And, nothing himself, beholds nothing that is not there and the nothing that is.

Still here, or: ‘Brown’

steady, solid, here
I am always here 
always here
for you here
for your arms 
for your backside 
for your back to rest
rest upon me now
rest your weary legs
rest against me; the
rest are flashy, true, still
true I am always
true inside, always
true outdoors, always
true, I am dull, but still
still, unmoving, reliable
still your beating heart
still your breath, your mind
still here, still
I am still here
I am still
I am dull
I am still

The above poem is my take on d’Verse’s ‘True Colours’ prompt.

The writing challenge: To take the perspective of a color in our poems: maybe the vibe and personality of each color is just as we have perceived it. Maybe not. So… let’s leave reality for awhile, slip out of our human bodies and become nothing but a color.

I have always had a fondness for dark, dull colors, and my poem above was written from the perspective of the color brown.