Composing: A visual poem

Take a word. Toss it into this Williams Words generator. Out comes a visual poem. Of sorts. Here is mine, using the word “composing” as the generator text. I am even going to say, this is one of my 30Poems 30Days poems, as a way to honor the non-traditional poet.

Peace (in the visual),

Day 11: 30Poems 30Days

(Poet’s Note: I have three boys. My mom passed away as the second one was nearing birth, so she knew our first, knew of the second but never of the third. I wonder what she would have thought about them and think about how she would have loved to be with them. A poem of memory, loss and celebration.)

How much life we have lived without my mother to see it;
she who died before the second one was born
and never even knew that a third one was destined
and only held onto the first one with such fierce love
that her echoes still reverberate around us.

Listen to the podcast poem.

Peace (in the 30 days),

Day 10: A Double Dose of Poetry for 30Poems 30Days

(Poet’s note: Today, I have two poems on tap for my 30Poems 30 Days adventure. The first is inspired by my older boys playing baseball. They’ve been playing since spring and they continue to play in a large pick-up game three times a week — although now, with the time change, it is down to just Saturday mornings. The poem came as I watched dusk descend on them one night. The second is a request from Gail D. to make a poem with my comic, Boolean Squared, and so what came out was a little rant about kids being locked into standardized education.)

The boys are playing baseball with the Sun again;
the daylight sits, glove ready, on the horizon
as the kids all spill out onto the field after school,
whistling some summer tune
even as the leaves tumble to the ground
as a mattress for winter.
Still, they smack the ball around and shout at the sun
to stay up and be ready and to not give in to the shadows
which creep into the game like a grumpy umpire shouting:
“You’re out!”

Listen to the podcast poem.

And now, Boolean Squared poetry.

Peace (in the poems),


Day Nine: 30Poems 30Days

(Poet’s Note: I wrote this the other day, when the switching of the clocks wreaked some havoc on me.)

I’ll just put this extra hour in my pocket
for some day when I really need it —
when I am on the run with time flying by
as the list of things-to-do grows longer
than the clock itself

I’ll fold up this the hour and tuck it inside my wallet
next to the expired credit cards and unintelligible phone numbers,
knowing that it is there for me like some golden drachma
to be slipped inside the Time Machine

You’d know what I’ll do with this hour?
I’ll kick back with it, relax and try not to think of next year’s Spring
when the world takes back its loan
and pushes me behind once again.

Listen to the podcast of the poem.

Peace (in the time),

Day Seven: 30Poems 30Days

(Poet’s note: This is a love poem to my wife.)

I could listen to your tea kettle for hours,
just to hear the way your day will begin
with hot liquids in a cup and thoughts moving through you
as you stand before the steamed up mirror,
brushing your hair in rhythm to my heartbeat.

Listen to the poem as a podcast

Peace (in the love),

Day Six: 30poems 30days

(Poet’s note: I was touching the pad of my iTouch the other day and suddenly had this wave of memories of buying vinyl as a kid. Thus, this poem)

Remember when:
you’d sit around on the floor
with the album cover open on your outstretched legs,
reading everything from liner notes to lyrics
and experiencing the music, visually;
or when the songs on the eight track player would spill over
into the next one like some unexpected
mash-up with overlapping beats and voices
creeping around like dust in the attic;
or how you had to carve up your mother’s scotch tape
in order to sticky-fix the cassette that came un-spooled in your lap
while the cat played with it from down below?
Now, you tap your fingers on the screen
in order to access the music from some far-away database
in such a way that no effort is required
other than the listening,
and the cat is nowhere to be found but in the past.

Listen to the podcast poem

Peace (in the past),


Day Five 2: 30poems 30days

Poet’s note: one thing about this challenge is that I can create poems at any time and get them into the mix. A friend asked if I would write an elegy for the Yankees when they lost to his beloved Phillies. Well, we know how that turned out. So here is my elegy to the Phillies (a worthy team but not good enough this year).

Elegy for the Phillies

I’m sorry to say
you have to go home
and ride the wave of defeat for a year

We’ll sing your praises anyway
as the worthy opponent who swung for the fence
but missed by an inch

We’ll swallow up the cheers of the crowd
and dance among the littered
hot dog wrappers and confetti

and channel our days on the field
in fake pinstripes
when the world stood still to watch

every last swing …

Listen to the podcast poem

Peace (in baseballville),

Day Five: 30Poems30Days

Poet’s note: There are days when I wake up with music in my head and I know some sort of symphony was working out in my brain all night. Does that happen to you?

Words won’t do this justice:
I’m stumbling about this place
in search of a melody that runs through me
each morning in those moments when I awake
to near-silence.
Just beyond the dreams, though, a violin plays softly
in harmony with the ghosts of thoughts
still descending from the night.
When I open my eyes to the dancing notes of the song,
the melody is gone and I’m left even more bewildered
than I was before.

Listen to the podcast poem

Peace (in the muse),

Day Four: 30Poems in 30 Days

Poet’s Note: I looked up as a flock of geese were flying by, loud in their honking. Then, silence. Then, a few minutes later, that one lone goose tries to catch up. It had me thinking ..

I wonder about that one lone goose
in search of the flock:
how did he spring loose
and why does he seem so lost?
I’m reminded of that student of mine who sings a solitary tune
as others mill about, moving on
and leaving him standing alone, oblivious,
until the last second
when it dawns on him that everyone else is gone.
I suppose that even daydreamers
have to fly.

Listen to the podcast poem

Peace (in and out of the flock),

Day Three: 30Poems30Days

Poet’s note: Today’s poem is inspired by construction going on at our house.

If you were to construct me,
would material would you use
that would allow me to bend and shift
with the turbulence?
Would you sign off on me
as the inspector
looking for cracks in the facade
or would you just turn the other way
and hope for the best?

Listen to the podcast

Peace (in the walls),