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13 February 2014 @ 12:48 pm
My 2013 Rhysling Eligibles  

I had a slow year in publishing new poetry, although I won the Elgin, so that's okay.  Here are my Rhysling eligible poems for 2013:


If We Are Alone

If we are alone, this galaxy is ours.

We can explore, exploit, destroy, or plunder.

We will find worlds that orbit other stars;

the universe will still be full of wonder.

If we are alone, they will not hear us call;

the rocks of other planets will lie mute.

We need not safeguard creatures huge or small,

nor share the worlds with sapient or brute.

But humans will forever feel alone.

Why, we will ask, is ultimate truth veiled?

Are there no other beings, just cold stone?

And we will wonder if the gods have failed.

From world to world it may be ever thus

unless they, too, are searching, seeking us.

Analog, May  2013



This peach business, J. Alfred --

what's your issue?

Do you need to use a tissue?

Afraid of soiling your formal array?

No doubt the hostess would be aghast

if her fruit bowl were disarrayed by one of your low caste.

Or is your dental bridge too loose?

And you would die of shame if it came away

or if you slobbered the peach juice.

If the latter, J., don't even think of apples.

Of course ladies who talk of Michelangelo

would offer a tangelo

and not mere apples at this time of year.

They'd sneer.

(Champagne and tea and cocktails, never beer.)

No question, they would scorn a man who is afraid

of walking on the beach with a mermaid.

Maybe you're concerned the peach

would give you bad breath, J.

No way.

Onions, peaches --

entirely different creatures.

Or --  you think the peach is poisoned!

Good call, J.

Think of that!

I'd offer a bit to that cat

the one that curled around chimneys.

Best of Ohio Poetry Day 2013

(Ohio Poetry Day does not have a website)


Cats Are Poetry

Cats are poetry, this we know.

Mahasamahtman is working on becoming a Sanskrit epic

with lots of animal gods and worshipful mice

though presently he has settled in a basket

where he eats all the slant rhymes that fall from my laptop.

Azrael (subtitled Le Floof) is a Japanese Noh drama

translated by some stylish flapper-poet

into 1920's slang.  He resents the implication

that his pounces and end rhymes are feminine

because after all, Noh drama doesn't rhyme.

And right now he's scratching the door of my bedroom,

wants to try on my red kimono and steal my katana.

Tyrael?  Tyrael has himself confused with a sonnet

though he has fifteen lines

and loses the meter while licking my head.

He slams like a door, but only when hungry.

And ah Lurker.  Sweet ancient Lurker

once the queen of the whole anthology,

nay, the whole National Library of Felinoetry,

now beset with gaps gnawed by literary critics

in the fabric of her antique manuscript.

She, oh distinguished she, believes in compression

for she was once an Senecan revenge tragedy

and is shrinking herself down

first to a ballad

then a cinquain.

Her fur is gray and terse

soon she will be a haiku

then just an on-gi.

On Velvet Feet, Poet's Haven, Spring 2013


Five Senryu for Isabella


exquisite fur, eyes, and tail

a purring sculpture

a child totters forth

she greets him with dignity

do not toy with me!

she is blind

but walks so softly

she sees you first

a blind cat

a fearsome swordswoman

invisible blades

she lies at his feet

purring worshipfully

but we know who's queen

On Velvet Feet, Poet's Haven, Spring 2013

Current Mood: poetical
Current Music: Bohemian Rhapsody
Marie Lillian Vibbertreasie on February 13th, 2014 05:57 pm (UTC)
More Mary poems in my day is always a good thing. Best of luck. I particularly love the last two, but I know the subjects!