the robber is at the door…

we have locked
the doors
and
windows
pulled down
the shades
and
dimmed the lights
the madmen of yore
have returned
and
move freely
in the darkness of fear
calling out like peddlers
selling century old scapegoats
door-to-door
they promise to give back
what you never had
but always desired
if you would only
but sacrifice
the lives
and
freedoms of others
a small price
to pay
until
judgment day

don’t let the door…

copyright cwmartin 2011

after you’ve finished
ranting and raving
about how unfair
life has treated you
and
you’ve
told the last person
who will listen
all your misfortunes
perhaps
on your way out
you could take
a moment
to explain
to the child
in north korea
why they’re
always hungry
and to the ones
in angola
what happened
to their mothers
and fathers
you could even
take a second
out of your miserable day
to tell
the little hmong child
why they’re surrounded
by razor wire
of course
that is
if you
have
time

options…

so
it ‘s
outside
your door
waiting for you
to
open wide
and let
the new year in
but
you hesitate
what if
the new year
shackles you
to your old fears
and
your old
despairs
what if
if you don’t
open the door
will you die
or flow into
the abyss
or maybe
purgatory
where you’ll
get out for
good behavior
maybe
just maybe
it really
doesn’t
matter
what
you
do

a chalice of faith…

River Urke and I have entered into a duel poetry challenge and this is the resulting poem.  Duel Poetry:  a prearranged poetry writing challenge  between two people to evolve a new poem where each writer must respond to the other writer’s lines  (4 -5 ) until both parties agree that the poem is complete.

i don’t want to grow up…

no need to stand
outside my door
i will not come out
into your reality
i’m much safer here
inside my dreams
wrapped warm and comfy
in my delusions of the world
the ones i read about
where love is the rule
and hope soars
higher than the sky
so please
 stop knocking on my door
i need no bulletins
or promises of salvation
for that i have
without your help
so be on your way
to someone
who refuses
to dream
and
believes
that all
is
lost

 

deimos inn…

Final Challenge Image from Jade

  

with the lights on
there is nothing to fear
this is just another hotel room
a place for
an itinerate soul to visit
everything seems in place
but
when the lights are off
this place becomes a prison
nothing is where it’s supposed to be
the floor
is quicksand beneath my feet
the door has bars of anger
holding back my freedom
my thoughts rattle
around the room
seeking a familiar corner
the air is foul
and
stale with formality
my misery
has no place to hide
it cannot find
a warm spot to rest
so it paces
back and forth
in my mind
refusing to rest
until the dawn
when i release it outside
where it can run away from me
and swing in the trees
with childish expectations
but it is hours
before dawn
so i sit alone
with the lights
on

This poem represents my last response to  the second challenge series between Jade and I.  As you may recall, each poet provides the other with a series of photos, visual prompts,  from which the poet is to write a poem.  Jade has written her response which can be found here

from my window…

from my window
i see a world
you do not see
i see madmen
in the street
selling candy-coated nightmares
on corporate auction blocks
for the mere price of your soul
and hear the sounds
streaming from city streets
that go unheard
when children cry
in the night
with parental fright
praying for morning’s light
to embrace the sight
of an unlocked door
into a world most fear
you did not hear
the shallow breaths of fear
throughout the night
reverberating
like waves of tears
an unwanted
endowment
nor did you feel
the touch of love
that a poet knows
sometimes in dreams
sometimes savored
on passion’s bed
in a candle lit room
a love
you
have always
sought
and
have not
found

 

My friend Toni Cross has presented another challenge photograph for me, but his one is very special since it is a photograph of her…how does one poet begin to capture even a fragment of another poet’s spirit within the lines of a poem?  Not sure that I have an answer…but here is my attempt to convey a some small portion of the spirit that I have seen in her writing.  I hope that she will approve of what I have attempted.

not a single word…

i am not gonna say
a single word
i am going to sit here
and keep my mouth shut
you couldn’t pry
one little word from me
about basketball being more important
than medicare extension
or putting unemployed Kentuckians back to work
no honey
i ain’t gonna say a thing
about
washington senators
i’m gonna sit here
and watch wheel of fortune
cuz that’s the only way
i’m getting out of this neighborhood
like i said
not
one
single
word
about how a short-termed white man
is making my life miserable
no honey
not a word will leave these lips
i’m content with the thought
that soon guns will be everywhere
in my neighborhood
cuz you know how us old folks need guns
to keep away teenaged vandals from our door
and honey
with my eye sight
they’ll be lucky
if i can find the damn gun
like i said
not
one
not a single
word
will
leave
these
lips
bout
fools who need
to be
schooled
not
a
single
word

initial crime scene report…

date
thursday 2/25/10
weather
clear warm temp at 70 f
arrived on scene at home office
location
somewhere short of sanity
a short frame structure with white trim
2 windows to the world situated
west side country miles from nowhere
summons
phone call from location by editor
witnesses
no eyewitness known.
body discovered at approx. 1445 hours by email carrier
victim
poet
dob
somewhat questionable
found lying face down at his computer
southwest or northeast orientation
appearance of heavy life wounds inflicted to top and left side of head area
evidence of numerous broken hearts
      world peace
      protection of the environment
      caring for others
extensive wounds to ego
the body is still warm to the touch.
victim appears to have been dead for a short time before discovery
victim is wearing white button down shirt with sleeves rolled to elbow
dried tears in eye area
top three buttons torn away
childlike
denim work pants
brown steel tipped work boots
boot soles and heels appear to be dirt encrusted
likely from the garden.
pants pockets are found turned out with no contents
likely from previous relationships
black cycling gloves
well worn and dirt encrusted
are found near the victim 
the victim appears to have been working on a poem.
measurements
see crime scene sketches
poet is found lying at computer near a bottle of wine and baguette
with a blank sheet of paper gripped in hand.
evidence collected
word shards scattered around room
split infinitives on table
half bottle of frene barbier mediterranean white wine
some leftover cheese
and a baguette
search of house
door to heart unlocked.
faith in progress screened in with door latched.
search of house shows evidence of robbery or vandalism
unorderly appearance
torn poems on the floor
shells of belief in various arrangements
a lingering smell of mothballed dreams
from living room bookshelf
a family photo album is taken into evidence
containing photographs labeled through some period of insanity
no additional evidence removed from house