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What is Love #1

What is Love #1

What is love?
What kind of joy
I’m searching at
What kindness will
bring me there?

Who is around,
What is within,
The angels they
Cannot say.
A cold fogs in,
settles down
Mists on out.

Sunlight shouts
Through our haze,
beach burns clear
Water sparkles
lapping happy
Skipping free
from side to side.

I’m just a man,
I’m but a boy,
I’d be a friend
I ask your heart:
speak now with me,
Sing for us please
Tell us all please
Where we could stay.

We cry like gulls
Adrift on a draft
Held up aloft
Caught in the sky
Waiting to see
What is right
For you and me.


Needle Down

Needle Down

Needle down
Twist around.
Now you’re talking.

Saw whirring
through the bone.
Keep it rocking.

Wrists tied twice
to the stone
Drop it down,
yank the moan.

We’re monsters on safari
In ill-fitting
pin-stripe suits
In ink-stained
dirty collared
dress shirts.

We’ve mastered every combination
And watched down every lane.
We’re pulling up the rear boys
There’ll be a show tonight boys.
For sure.

A single malted whisky
with scotch to rub it down.
Now gather ’round my pretties
we’ll whoop and spin the town.

I’m berserk for all this
Just crazy for the win.
The answers they’re all falling
like manna safely in.

Poem BW or AMW depending.
But copyright must fall to AMW, for being real as day

Our great escape

Our great escape

We stole a lightning raft
and floated on our way.
Down the slick blue stream
that turns and glints the day.

We snuck beneath an arch
between fields that front a sea.
There a god apportions life
to hopper, fly and bee.

We ran our motors loud
and called the moon beside
to beat the blazing sun
and jump the curving tide.

And so we get away
and I escape the curse
of always wanting more
and being just the worst.

New York – A Worrier’s Requiem

New York – A Worrier’s Requiem

Shiloh – A Requiem – Poem by Herman Melville

Skimming lightly, wheeling still, (7: 1, 3, 5, 7)
The swallows fly low (5: 2, 4)
Over the field in clouded days, (8: 1, 4, 6, 8)
The forest-field of Shiloh — (7: 2, 4, 6)
Over the field where April rain (8: 1, 4, 6, 8)
Solaced the parched one stretched in pain
Through the pause of night (5
That followed the Sunday fight
Around the church of Shiloh–
The church so lone, the log-built one,
That echoed to many a parting groan
And natural prayer
Of dying foemen mingled there —
Foemen at morn, but friends at eve —
Fame or country least their care:
(What like a bullet can undeceive!)
But now they lie low,
While over them the swallows skim,
And all is hushed at Shiloh.


Opening wide, rolling round,
that cloud from jostled frames
–that billowed cauliflower–
blooming now where just before,
sure and pretty, towers tall
as steel as glass as glint
will reach
funneled passion and her minds.

Through the pause of light
that followed the secret fight
’round the folk of New York–
a folk so rich in towns and creeds–
who’d echoed together in good in bad.

Their natural prayer
ignored by cinch-down certainty
that bade the core evaporate
and edges melt to scream.
Oh lie us low, let it go–
the discussions radiate
all through a forgiveful heaven.

AMW’s writing exercise

I know

I know

I elephant eye long looking past
with the twitch-limp in my long-lip smile.
Walking across the lawn in flip-flops,
in nylon bag-around shorts,
in faith and style.

With the sunlight in my eyes.
Early in the mornday sun.

That’s when I know.

I hoot-a-nanny with the bass
thump bumping in the scatter
and the crowd jit jiving
in the move-fast lights

While the fire burns me from
the inside out, whirring my
frolic across the smooth top floor.

And so I know.

Talk to the girl with the itch
in her eye.
Talk to the bird with the hop
in her flutter gait.

Rolled up in sheet leaves
and the look that wraps my own.

So then I know.

Longtime now, playing basketball
in the second grade.
Longtime now, up and down the
squeaking plastic-top floor.

Longtime now, lurking by the creek
looking for another dart
beneath the tilted planes.

Longtime now, knowing all I know.

God who splits the pavement.
God who herds the cattle.
God who crumbles the edging.
God glint my eyes–
the highway rearviewed.

Getting along, unable to stop the flow.
Getting along, unable to stop the plain
clothesman watching signs from the shade.
Getting along, can’t stop the end
from circling ’round,
mixing in my blood,
overtaking the song.

Still I know,
even though
I won’t
outrun the fireplace.

Still I know, so something rests
easy in the place between
the caulking and the Listerine.
Amidst the hurt we didn’t stop.

What should we have done?
Why didn’t we manage?
And what to say now?
The loss coats our hearts.
I cannot believe in anything.

And yet I know.

Hold me when I cross the stage.
Hold me when I burn the temples.
Hold me when I cannot win
and must not fail.
Hold me today when I’m scared.

There’s a place between.

So we know.

But what do we do?

Poem copyrighted by Andy Watson, who takes a walk with Bartleby Willard, the two of them forgetting the themes and losing their shoelaces. I’ve not heard them. I’ve not seen them. I’ve not known the way to fix the boat, to rig the sail or anything.

By the ashes

By the ashes

Here is “So we’ll go no more a roving” by Lord Byron:

So, we’ll go no more a roving (8)
So late into the night, (6)
Though the heart be still as loving, (8)
And the moon be still as bright. (7)

For the sword outwears its sheath,
And the soul wears out the breast,
And the heart must pause to breathe,
And love itself have rest.

Though the night was made for loving,
And the day returns too soon,
Yet we’ll go no more a roving
By the light of the moon.


I’ve lived then in this earthen jar
on the mantle ‘bove the fire
As a cobweb keeps the corner
and a full womb her sire.

For the pace of life has blurred me
and the angels shouted out
that all my fight is silly
in this light cast long about.

Though a life is there for living
and a hero soldiers on
Still I cannot help but give in
to the dragon fall’in down.

A writing exercise by AMW


From Town to Town

From Town to Town

From town to town, my slipshod shoes
would slip the folds, would loose the tiles,
would curl all under–like an autumn leaf.
Would cold collapse ‘neath my peddler load.

These brassy wares;
my green, my burlap shawl.
And how I watch
through gunked dart eyes
the jaunty village fairs.

I’m shabby, if nothing else.
Right wanton, to be sure.
With mud-caked fingers ’round the neck
of long green bottle sloshing red.

The gold northern sun does gently hold
your stone fences, white walls, straw tops,
your men in sleeves and women breathing big.

But who will stand against the rush,
against the falling slaughter;
who will reverse me
and my slipshod ways?

I lurch unsteady and humpbacked,
doggedly overlooked
–in these tattered sacks
rough sliced and twine stitched–.

Without a full thought,
you cover your child’s head in your fat worker’s hand
’til I’m past and on my way.

From town to town I make the tour
and turn my shattered face
toward the people and their place,
a sheep fold in a glen.

From town to town, I scrape the ground
and wait.

Copyright: Andy Watson