View Full Version : Poetry Times

09-10-2011, 11:09 PM
Post a poem you wrote. Or post a poem you love. This is a thread for poems. Here's my favorite:

You may talk o' gin and beer
When you're quartered safe out 'ere,
An' you're sent to penny-fights an' Aldershot it;
But when it comes to slaughter
You will do your work on water,
An' you'll lick the bloomin' boots of 'im that's got it.
Now in Injia's sunny clime,
Where I used to spend my time
A-servin' of 'Er Majesty the Queen,
Of all them blackfaced crew
The finest man I knew
Was our regimental bhisti, Gunga Din.
He was "Din! Din! Din!
"You limpin' lump o' brick-dust, Gunga Din!
"Hi! Slippy hitherao!
"Water, get it! Panee lao
"You squidgy-nosed old idol, Gunga Din."

The uniform 'e wore
Was nothin' much before,
An' rather less than 'arf o' that be'ind,
For a piece o' twisty rag
An' a goatskin water-bag
Was all the field-equipment 'e could find.
When the sweatin' troop-train lay
In a sidin' through the day,
Where the 'eat would make your bloomin' eyebrows crawl,
We shouted " Harry By!"
Till our throats were bricky-dry,
Then we wopped 'im 'cause 'e couldn't serve us all.
It was "Din! Din! Din!
"You 'eathen, where the mischief 'ave you been?
"You put some juldee in it
"Or I'll marrow you this minute
"If you don't fill up my helmet, Gunga Din!"

'E would dot an' carry one
Till the longest day was done;
An' 'e didn't seem to know the use o' fear.
If we charged or broke or cut,
You could bet your bloomin' nut,
'E'd be waitin' fifty paces right flank rear.
With 'is mussick' on 'is back,
'E would skip with our attack,
An' watch us till the bugles made "Retire,"
An' for all 'is dirty 'ide
'E was white, clear white, inside
When 'e went to tend the wounded under fire!
It was "Din! Din! Din!"
With the bullets kickin' dust-spots on the green
When the cartridges ran out,
You could hear the front-ranks shout,
"Hi! ammunition-mules an' Gunga Din!"

I sha'n't forgit the night
When I dropped be'ind the fight
With a bullet where my belt-plate should 'a' been.
I was chokin' mad with thirst,
An' the man that spied me first
Was our good old grinnin', gruntin' Gunga Din.
'E lifted up my 'ead,
An' he plugged me where I bled, An' 'e guv me 'arf-a-pint o' water green.
It was crawlin' and it stunk,
But of all the drinks I've drunk,
I'm gratefullest to one from Gunga Din.
It was "Din! Din! Din!
"'Ere's a beggar with a bullet through 'is spleen"
"'E's chawin' up the ground,
"An' 'e's kickin' all around:
"For Gawd's sake git the water, Gunga Din!

'E carried me away
To where a dooli lay,
An' a bullet come an' drilled the beggar clean.
'E put me safe inside,
An' just before 'e died,
"I 'ope you liked your drink" sez Gunga Din.
So I'll meet 'im later on
At the place where 'e is gone
Where it's always double drill and no canteen.
'E'll be squattin' on the coals
Givin' drink to poor damned souls,
An' I'll get a swig in hell from Gunga Din!
Yes, Din! Din! Din!
You Lazarushian-leather Gunga Din!
Though I've belted you and flayed you,
By the livin' Gawd that made you,
You're a better man than I am, Gunga Din!

I may post a poem I wrote at some point, when I get one polished up.

Evil Dead Junkie
09-11-2011, 08:53 AM
This is my favorite poem. Though occasionally it ties for first with Bukowski's Great Escape


We were riding through frozen fields in a wagon at dawn.
A red wing rose in the darkness.

And suddenly a hare ran across the road.
One of us pointed to it with his hand.

That was long ago. Today neither of them is alive,
Not the hare, nor the man who made the gesture.

O my love, where are they, where are they going-
The flash of a hand, streak of movement, rustle of pebbles.
I ask not out of sorrow, but in wonder.

Czelaw Milosz

09-11-2011, 02:51 PM
Jabberwocky by Lewis Carroll

'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe

"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!"

He took his vorpal sword in hand:
Long time the manxome foe he sought -
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
And stood awhile in thought

And, as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! And through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.

"And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!
He chortled in his joy.

'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
Amd the mome raths outgrabe.

My favourite things about this poem are: the extremely evocative made-up words; how many of those words are now everyday words; the minimal but effective storytelling; and the random instances of internal rhyme (if you ever want me to like a poem or song, through in some random internal rhyme. I love it.)

09-11-2011, 04:28 PM
We already have a poetry thread for favorite poems by other people, so maybe we should make this about things we wrote ourselves?

09-11-2011, 05:38 PM
That's true and a good point.

03-27-2012, 04:29 PM
Here are a couple poems I wrote a while back, both with pretty strict rhyming patterns, both about videogames. I'd like to point out that I wrote the sonnet while at least two and a half sheets to the wind, so... well, keep that in mind.

On Spelunky

Who ventured deep in caves that creep
With spiders and undead?
Who rescued fair young maidens there
When lesser men had fled?

Who sought the gloom of mummies' tombs
And unearthed secrets old?
Who, armed with whip, gun at his hip,
Found the City of Gold?

'Twas Spelunker! 'Twas Spelunker!
The ancient legends tell;
'Twas Spelunker! 'Twas Spelunker!
Your game is hard as hell.

But darkness calls inside us all -
He felt his resolve falter.
Should helpless maid be saved, or laid
Upon an ebon altar?

She can't escape her grisly fate;
He mocks her mortal folly
And takes her soul in bloodied bowl -
A gift for Mother Kali.

'Tis Spelunker! 'Tis Spelunker!
His exploits made him rich.
'Tis Spelunker! 'Tis Spelunker!
A real son of a bitch.

Facing Worlds

Two fortresses: one red, and one azure
United by a twisted bridge of land;
Each has a team, with orders to procure
The other's flag, and transmit it by hand
To their own base, although through sniper fire
And eightball blast each man must surely tread
If, as is certain, he at heart aspires
To win the match, and not just end up dead
From ripper blade or shock combo or, worst,
To drop right off the asteroid and fall
Through endless space, with lungs near fit to burst
And, screaming, die, and lose the game withal.
With sincere reverence I praise this pearl
Of Unreal CTF maps, Facing Worlds.

02-04-2015, 08:26 AM
Here's what we came up with by passing 5 papers around and folding back the previous line, writing each new line with only the prior one to go off.


02-06-2015, 11:58 PM
Wow. This is such a barren thread! I'm sad.

Here are a few of poems I like.

Black Maps, by Mark Strand

Not the attendance of stones,
nor the applauding wind,
shall let you know
you have arrived,

nor the sea that celebrates
only departures,
nor the mountains,
nor the dying cities.

Nothing will tell you
where you are.
Each moment is a place
you’ve never been.

You can walk
believing you cast
a light around you.
But how will you know?

The present is always dark.
Its maps are black,
rising from nothing,

in their slow ascent
into themselves,
their own voyage,
its emptiness,
the bleak temperate
necessity of its completion.
As they rise into being
they are like breath.

And if they are studied at all
it is only to find,
too late, what you thought
were concerns of yours

do not exist.
Your house is not marked
on any of them,
nor are your friends,

waiting for you to appear,
nor are your enemies,
listing your faults.
Only you are there,

saying hello
to what you will be,
and the black grass
is holding up the black stars.

Barn Gothic, by William Wright

Red as a cardinal in winter, it leans ruined
in the gray field, form falling against a sycamore,
its older, wiser wife.

Closer in, a fox den
in the hay tunnel light where green eyes haunt
the nearby woods and stars cast silver

glyphs on the rotting floor:
Rain has felled the structure’s roof.
Here horses pitched and leaned

into chaff, awaiting work,
this room still alive in smells of oil, dung,
and cedar-heart. Swallows twig

warped boards, black widows
float, wait
in corners to wrap and gore what passes.

Wasps caulk the loft’s cracked seams,
and mice hide from owls, eyes,
their lives the barn’s heart

beating behind the walls.

What to name it but beauty
this world craves, but will never allow,
not wholly,

the horsemint scent that finds
the barn’s chinks. Moonflower
gripping, twining

the rusted scythe and the burled
yawn of the caved-in door. Or the beauty earth
sculpts of us without consent,

remnants hallowed, restored.
Autumns, when the air shucks
summer rain to hollow starriness,

the moon strikes the barn just right:
White moths hoard here where hanging
lanterns have long been snuffed,

where the only fires are the moths themselves,
their flock come to love this place and perhaps
the stars, too, all pure, radiant, dying.

One Evening, by William Stafford

On a frozen pond a mile north of Liberal
almost sixty years ago I skated wild circles
while a strange pale sun went down.

A scattering of dry brown reeds cluttered
the ice at one end of the pond, and a fitful
breeze ghosted little surface eddies of snow.

No house was in sight, no tree, only
the arched wide surface of the earth
holding the pond and me under the sky.

I would go home, confront all my years, the tangled
events to come, and never know more than I did
that evening waving my arms in the lemon-colored light.

My Own heart, by Gerard Manley Hopkins

My own heart let me have more have pity on; let
Me live to my sad self hereafter kind,
Charitable; not live this tormented mind
With this tormented mind tormenting yet.
I cast for comfort I can no more get
By groping round my comfortless, than blind
Eyes in their dark can day or thirst can find
Thirst ’s all-in-all in all a world of wet.

Soul, self; come, poor Jackself, I do advise
You, jaded, let be; call off thoughts awhile
Elsewhere; leave comfort root-room; let joy size
At God knows when to God knows what; whose smile
’s not wrung, see you; unforeseen times rather—as skies
Betweenpie mountains—lights a lovely mile.

02-16-2015, 03:41 PM
here's one I wrote:

The hot wet night pursed it's lips
slobbering sickly saliva across
the jet black horizon.
And medieval devices whirred like magic
into life in the palms of her
sweaty stinky hands as
she turned to face the moon
in all it's wonder and fury,
and she was glad.

Underneath the city the tunnels,
undulating and festering,
lay empty for eons.
The sick dark sky expelled a
song of frost and oil
from it's mechanical mouth
as the men gathered, stupid,
kneeling before the old
marble effigy.

The planets affixed to a cosmic
carousel, inside still burning
with joyous abandon.
And she lay down on the dirt of
her suitor's sweet promise,
his milk funnelled from one twisting
brain-head to the other as
they kissed and spoke
gorgeous words to one another.

03-04-2015, 07:53 AM
In the Year 2108

We walk up to the box
Insert our right hands
A disk of diamond shards
Slices off our hands

A needle to cauterize
While deserts of vast eternity pass;
Our minds synchronizing with the foundation program.

Now inside the box pool rooms form and our consciousnesses
Are enveloped by our former appendages
So that we can inhabit them for the Game

Being your hand takes practice!

Our hands fight and dance within the pools, scoring points for various maneuvers;
In its heyday Football was pretty weird:
They didn't even cut their hands free for battle.