Archive for February, 2014

Perhaps

February 22, 2014

Love enemies

Those people loved their children too?
Afghanistan and Viet Nam
Pardon me; I never knew

Now they’re just a mass of goo
Or cinders left from firebombs
Those people loved their children too?

Lives destroyed and bodies strewn
Interrupting morning calm
Pardon me; I never knew

They’re savages, what can you do
But kill them all with robots bombs?
Those people love their children too?

Are they just like me and you?
Earnest dads and doting moms?
Pardon me; I never knew

I’ve been told; it must be true
They’d kill us all without a qualm
Those people love their children too?

Perhaps someday we’ll have a clue
Perhaps we’ll send them love and alms
Perhaps we’ll love their children too
Pardon me; I never knew

by Richard W. Bray

Compassion

February 17, 2014

roses-abstract

Being mean
Don’t make a man
So love your neighbor
As you can

Compassion
Don’t grow on trees
It lives or dies
In you and me

I’ll never know
What you been through
But I can try
And comfort you

Compassion
Don’t grow on trees
It lives or dies
In you and me

Don’t hate folks
For being frail
A hardened heart
Is like a jail

Compassion
Don’t grow on trees
It lives or dies
In you and me

Try to have
A humble heart
Be thankful if
You’re strong and smart

Compassion
Don’t grow on trees
It lives or dies
In you and me

It don’t make
Much sense to live
If we can’t
Comfort and forgive

Compassion
Don’t grow on trees
It lives or dies
In you and me

by Richard W. Bray

Are Three-Syllable Words the Coolest Words, or What?

February 13, 2014

woven baskets

Why are handwoven baskets so lovely? Because human beings have an inborn hunger for beauty. And just as it is impossible to separate the utilitarian function of handicraft from its artistic function, the inherent beauty of the sounds and rhythms of words cannot be severed from the practical application of language.

That’s why everyone who speaks is a poet.

Just as a canary cannot read music, speakers of English needn’t study linguistics in order to employ rhyme, rhythm, assonance, and alliteration in their everyday speech.

The sportscaster is a poet when he says:

THAT BALL is OUTta here.

Instead of saying:

Chris Davis just hit another homerun.

And the adman is a poet when he writes:

BURGers are BETter at BURGer TOWN.

Instead of saying:

The chefs at Burger Town cook delicious burgers.

And the schoolteacher is a poet when she says in singsong:

PUT your PAPErs in the PACKet.

Instead of saying:

The assignment should be placed inside your homework folder.

And W.H. Auden is a poet when he tells us that the lover is

UNDer an ARCH of the RAILway

Instead of saying that the love smitten fellow is located

Underneath the elevated train tracks

Three-Syllable Words

We create poetry by collocating different types of words. And many of my favorite words have three syllables. (I have an unprovable theory that three-syllable words are the coolest words in the English language.)

There are three types of three-syllable words: Dactyls, Amphibrachs, and Anapests. Here are some examples:

Dactyl (The first syllable is stressed.)

Wonderful
Beautiful
Happily
Musical
Satisfy
Halibut
Excellent
Matterhorn
Saturday
Popular

Amphibrach (The second syllable is stressed.)

Accepted
Regardless
Terrific
Amazement
Exhaustion
Persistent
Reunion
Electric
Horizon


Anapest
(The third syllable is stressed.)

Incomplete
Misinformed
Unemployed
Understand
Interrupt
Comprehend
Unafraid
Absolute
Kangaroo

by Richard W. Bray

Broken

February 8, 2014

broken country

we got people to the moon
atop a big ole rocket
we got a thousand songs
to fit inside your pocket

we got politicians
with perfect teeth and hair
we got flying robots
that can kill you anywhere

we got favors for the rich folks
and prison for the poor
we got rampant unemployment
and never-ending war

we got a bunch of cameras
watching everything we do
we got a Constitution
but it don’t cover you

by Richard W. Bray

Madhouse Nuts

February 3, 2014

crazy love

Me and my man
We had a date
Would you believe
That he was late, late, late?
—Next day late

And when I finally
Saw that punk
Would you believe
That he was drunk, drunk, drunk?
—Smelly drunk

That loser is
My baby’s dad
Would you believe
That I am mad, mad, mad?
–Murder mad

This man is
More than I can take
Woul you believe
That he’s a snake, snake, snake?
–Walking snake

But I just love
The way he struts
Would you believe
That I am nuts, nuts, nuts?
–Madhouse nuts

by Richard W. Bray