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POEMS ABOUT THE ART OF POETRY

Welcome to my little on-line Poetry Chapbook. Each poem is about the Art of Poetry - the heart of the poet and the heart of the poem.

Browse the TWITTER listings to the right to find the lastest poems on my main blog. Just click on. You do not have to be a TWITTER member to use the links.

Enjoy.

Truth in a Few Lines

April 29, 2011

Truth in a Few Lines

Can you write so clearly,
so simply and directly
that the truth can be told
in just a few lines?

Ray Brown

Your Poetry Gives Me Eyes

April 28, 2011

Your Poetry Gives Me Eyes 

He labored at Open Mic poetry readings.
Long ago learned that these internalized feelings
now his public words
would basically evaporate upon his death,
only momentarily hold wisdom
then be dissipated over the earth,
like a morning dew. 

When younger he aspired to grandeur.
Thought his poems
would be plucked from the tree of knowledge
like pieces of ripe fruit
consumed in adulation, by a hungry audience. 

Today he understood, wisdom accrued through age,
how he wrote mostly for himself. 

The words which escaped from his hand,
flowed from his soul,
then gripped the paper tightly –
mesmerized him –
as he proofread, tinkered, sculptured. 

Thereafter most stood like unsold paintings
fastened to the wall of a gallery
visited infrequently
passed over again and again,
by eyes drawn to the pastels of others’ work. 

So after this evening’s reading
he was touched, as a listener related:
“Your poetry gave me eyes.
I could visualize the scenes,
feel the emotions swell in me.
I fought back tears.
Thank you.” 

This listener could not have envisioned
how his words would touch the poet’s heart,
resonate in the canyons of the car ride home,
bring the tears which would quench the poet’s longing.
give him comfort to write another day.

Ray Brown

Consider purchasing my book of poems, “I Have His Letters Still” – Poetry of Everyday Life ($11.95).  Available on Amazon at http://tinyurl.com/RayBrownAmazon or purchase an autographed copy at http://poet-ray-brown.com

Life’s Punctuation

April 27, 2011

Life’s Punctuation

 (click: hear the voice behind the words)

Each life has its own point to it.
An ending. 

Each day has its own ending.
A chapter completed with a flourish,
or a simple stroke. 

Each moment in time
punctuated on the page of a journal:
a period.
a question mark?
a dash of anticipation – 

When death called
it was said of him
that he finished each day –
accentuated each moment –
completed his life’s statement –
with an exclamation point!

Ray Brown

Consider purchasing my book, “I Have Your Letters Still” – Poetry of Everyday Life ($11.95) Order on Amazon, http://tinyurl.com/RayBrownAmazon or at http://poet-ray-brown.com

Take 2 Poems and call me in the morning

April 26, 2011

Take 2 Poems and call me in the morning

 

My girlfriend spent the afternoon on Facebook
relating her problems to the world, and me.
Her boss (as if he doesn’t read Facebook) –
Her girlfriend in the cubicle next to her –
Her hairstylist who did not do her do – correctly
– a few streaks out of place.

I read about them over again,
retweeted later that afternoon on Twitter
in a late edition
with some new information about me
(as if I don’t read Tweet).

That night, the snow storm kept me captive.
By text message I received the Warner Wolfe highlight film.
She – headed for a migraine.

I telephoned her,
(an ancient application on my IPhone)
She answered, she was busy,
why was I calling, an emergency?
Just wanted to talk….
You could have just texted me –
stressed out,
I don’t have time.

She needed to chill.

I checked
to see if music could produce some soothing release—
She though,
well beyond the boundary that music could aleve.

I could only lament:
“take two poems and call me in the morning.”

Ray Brown

Consider purchasing my book of poems, “I Have His Letters Still” – Poetry of Everyday Life ($11.95).  Available on Amazon at http://tinyurl.com/RayBrownAmazon or purchase an autographed copy at http://poet-ray-brown.com

Conjurer

April 25, 2011

 Conjurer

He left them,
mesmerized by the roadside.

Wordsmithe.

Weaver of songs,
images conjured from the stars
minds whisked away, dreamy stares –

Itinerant troubadour.
Word juggler.

Illusionist extraordinaire.

Trivial falsehoods
crafted out of whole cloth –
Sleight of hand, slight of mind.

Legerdemain.

Poetaster.

Lost art.

Ray Brown

Consider purchasing my book of poems, “I Have His Letters Still” – Poetry of Everyday Life ($11.95).  Available on Amazon at http://tinyurl.com/RayBrownAmazon or purchase an autographed copy at http://poet-ray-brown.com

When You are a Poet, the Words Will Find You

April 23, 2011

 When You are a Poet, the Words Will Find You

“Writer’s Block”

Poetry springs from the heart
the soul’s longing, emotion’s journey,
an observation –
pictures painted with words
with the brush strokes of a pen.

A poet can be taught the art form,
techniques, grammar, analogies, styles.
These things can be learned and mastered.
But the well-spring from which the words flow
is not regulated by a spigot
nor found in the bucket at the end of the rope
always responding to a poet’s tug.

When you are a poet, the words will find you.

When your heart aches,
when the soul longs in the night,
when you need to seek or hide,
when you see the feelings in the land,
The words appear like a haunting dream.
No need to seek them out.

Poets who search are anxious.
Words avoid anxious poets.

Rest.
When you are a poet, the words will find you.

Ray Brown

Consider purchasing my book of poems, “I Have His Letters Still” – Poetry of Everyday Life ($11.95).  Available on Amazon at http://tinyurl.com/RayBrownAmazon or purchase an autographed copy at http://poet-ray-brown.com

Pain Makes Better Poets

April 21, 2011

 

Pain Makes Better Poets

The Poet Laureate, now an old curmudgeon,
had once advised,
“Pain makes better poems”.

This was disturbing.
My younger instincts
sought to wax of love and beauty
the evening sunset,
the starlit sky
a full moon
the yellow flowers in the springtime
their crimson prodigy in the fall
a lover’s touch
a child’s smile,
the warmth of a fleece blanket
while reading a comforting book.

I studied his early works
to determine from what place he spoke.
His advice from experience?
Or with old age did there develop
a certain harshness which imbued his work?
A brittle edge to a thicker skin
a mind’s eye dulled to the beauty of the world around.

Research often surprising,
dispels preconceived notions.
I found his works from years ago,
serious – yet light and gay
philosophical – yet romantic
a wide-ranging discourse on people –
the path of lives and human emotions.

When appraising his current works
time had produced no philosophical change
which could be ascertained by naked eye,
though his pen disclosed
how a master crafts his words –
as an experience carpenter
rounds the edges of the scroll
on a walnut hutch
to be ensconced in the dining rooms of memory.

What then of his advice?

I found myself – lost in his reflection
as, at times, I am lost in a good poem.

On a park bench under a stately elm
at the campus of Princeton University
in the fall
– although the winter of his life –
when colors provide so much choice
I hesitated lest the ghosts of this quad
think me unworthy.

I crafted my inquiry.
His eyes betrayed the answer
watery,
distinctive trailing of red lines,
in his gaze, pain –
of emotion, of life and death,
of physical ailment and heartache
of everything that grips a man,
integrates his life’s experience.

Now,
I understood without a passing word
how the intellect responds
to what old age imparts to a man,
who writes not about pain
but from it.

Ray Brown

Consider purchasing my book of poems, “I Have His Letters Still” – Poetry of Everyday Life ($11.95).  Available on Amazon at http://tinyurl.com/RayBrownAmazon or purchase an autographed copy at http://poet-ray-brown.com