dispersing & reflecting light through poetry

Archive for the ‘Poetry’ Category

What do you mean I can’t…?

I actually did though–couldn’t get to sleep because I couldn’t get it out of my head.

You Can’t Just Write a Poem

You cannot just write a poem.
You cannot just
write a poem.
You
can not
just write
a poem

about your feelings,
about your thoughts,
about your visions–
of the day or in the night;
you cannot just fit these things
in a form and be done with it.

They have to be crushed
by mortar & pestle,
sifted and sorted,
strained and filtered;
they need to be smashed
into mash,
cooked at high temperatures,
fermented and distilled;
they should be crumpled
scraps of trash,
recycled, then burned
and the ashes scattered.

Chew them up.
Digest them.
Vomit them.
Return to the vomit.
Repeat as often as necessary.
Spit and wipe your chin.

And then,
if the God of heaven & earth
deems it necessary,
then,
and only then,
may you write a poem.

 

Copyright © 2016 Scott Daniel Massey

Help an Artist

image

Used with permission from the artist, Kevin Rockwell. I hope I did it justice.

Homeless on Homeless Art

Tryin’ to catch some z’s
in the after winter sun
here at the edge of America;
keepin’ it tight,
tryin’ to avoid exposure.
Crumpled up here
like a wadded up napkin
lyin’ on the side of the road,
tossed from a car window
like nobody’s business.
I’ll jus’ stay right here
on the side of the road…
don’t mind me.
Me, I’m keepin’ my head down,
just tryin’ to rest.
Hell…
it’s a thin line,
lotsa thin lines
don’t nobody want to connect–
it ain’t all black and white.
Just like the brother
sittin’ over there, scribblin’
on his pad of paper…
we’re all sketchy.
Some of us
just more out in the open.

I originally posted this ekphrastic poem as part of the NaPoWriMo challenge in April of this year. The artist, Kevin Rockell, recently contacted me to ask if I would share his needs. You see, he is currently homeless and needing funds to get a place to stay and paint out of the heat. He travels with his trusty and gentle doberman, Tammi.

His forte is pet and animal portraits. He has painted many commissioned works of various furry companions.

Check out his work on facebook: Kevin Rockwell.

Copyright © 2016 Scott Daniel Massey
Images Copyright © Kevin Rockwell

​To the person reading this poem

​To the person reading this poem

It’s not you.
But I don’t trust you.

It’s not you.
It’s the cloud of witnesses 
that have gone before you:
the ’70s child of divorce;
the virgin teen prize
of a girlfriend wager/race 
for the trophied ring finger 
and the conceived ramifications;
the infatuated young man
whose string of love interests’
ears were not atuned
to his babble and verse;
the newlywed groom
and a vacuous first marriage
honeymoon bedtime prophecy
“Let’s get this over with”
fulfilled four months later;
the brothers in holy arms 
with unsheathed daggers dripping
fresh blood on local network tv;
the pastor, confidante, & friend
airing confessionals in front of God
and everyone as nasty parables;
the husband & father who failed
to clearly express his thoughts and intents;
the beggar deaf mute
repeat prodigal supplicant
somebody wannabe…

It’s not you,

as I stand here naked
in the shower writing this poem–
scented soap in my right hand,
washcloth in my left;
I’m just not sure I want you to read this.

Copyright © 2016 Scott Daniel Massey

More untitled blah

Like lemon juice
bathing a paper cut:
the tart citrus scent
accentuates
the sweet focused pain
through the narrowest
of lacerations–
and nothing else matters.

image

Copyright © 2016 Scott Daniel Massey

Still Funky & Not the Good Kind

Thursday, June 30, 2016, 7:03 a.m. EST

They are not metaphors,
the wrens and cardinals and jays
that flit and fly through my backyard
nesting, feeding, calling out
across the fence line
as the sun crawls too quickly
through the pine,
and the mosquitoes quicken
to the scent of sedentary middle-age blood.
They are living beings
being only what they were created for–
to flit and fly, to nest and feed,
singing out across the fences
as the sun opens over the treeline.

I swat another mosquito,
peer into my empty cup of coffee,
and peel myself from the patio chair
to go shower for work.

Copyright © 2016 Scott Daniel Massey

Why Poetry?

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At a recent meeting of our church hospitality team, we were challenged to ask ourselves why we do what we do. Over the past few years I’ve been trying to apply that question to why I write poetry.

I even asked the Lord, why the gift of poetry in the 21st century (as opposed to other forms of writing more relevant in this era)? He told me, “Because poets see things.”

I wrote this back in November and originally posted it on facebook.

Why I Write Poetry: A Confession

I wouldn’t say that I’m an emotional individual, but I do have them. Sometimes intensely. And in our culture it is not always socially exceptable to express them as I might like. And other times I’m not sure how to explain them. So I have to let it out.

I am not a person who has it totally all together. I don’t always use sound judgement or follow my own advice. But once in a while I gain a bit of understanding or knowledge, a touch of wisdom, an experience. And I want to share it.

I do not claim to be a good Christian. I am by no means perfect. I am a sinner saved by grace in the present tense. But for reasons known only to God, I am allowed on occasion to hear whispers from heaven, to see specks of eternity. I must record them.

And sometimes I’m just trying to fit all the chaotic little pieces together to see what the big picture might be, to arrange the multitude of garbled sound bites into a melodic arrangement.

Or maybe I just like the sound of my own voice in my head and want you to hear it, too.

Copyright © 2016 Scott Daniel Massey

untitled internal blah

I plaster my wall
with children’s verse versions
of deep theological treatises
using purple crayon
and unevenly cut pictures
from magazines and prayer books
and a half used glue stick
thinking myself wise all the while
my socks are wet
from the leaking pipes
and overflowing toilet

Copyright © 2016 Scott Daniel Massey

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