Blog | Music | RPG Resources | Video Game Reviews | Miscellany

Poetry

This page contains miscellaneous samples of my poems. I'm no great poet, nor do I write poetry very often these days, but it is something I enjoy. Hopefully someone else might, as well.

Most of the poetry I've written over the years is freeform, flow-of-consciousness kind of stuff. But I do enjoy writing in metre as well. It is much more demanding, however, and I rarely seem to have the energy for it these days.

See also:

You might also want to check out blog posts labeled poetry for random pieces of, or thoughts on, poetry.

Five Haiku

(undated)

Swords lie in the dust
Rust is our sworn enemy
But also our friend

Blossom of winter
Silver stars do not tarnish
In a white garden

Rainbow colours shine
In the rising, golden sun
Morning has arrived

Sky is a blue field
It is sown with the dark clouds
Its crop is the rain

Knife wrought in silver
Scream before eternal night
Knife is now dyed red

The Spoons of Reality

(14 March 2000)

The spoons of reality dig deep
in the bowl of the unreal
feeding on the new ideas.
So the unreal becomes real
and the reality becomes a little less real
and the world is a little more perfect.

My Nightly Plight

(11 May 2001)

'Tis midnight as I lie in bed,
A shadow roams within me, free
To stir mem'ries of all we said,
Let loose my memories of thee.

For in the darkness of the night,
As deathlike lies the world, so still,
No thought could mask my lonely plight,
No work could warm my heart, so chill.

The sun awakes me in the morn,
While birds compete to greet that gleam.
I still am empty and forlorn,
For you had been there, in my dream.

They're Still Alive

(26 May 2001)

I met a man from ancient times
Who told me in strange words, and rhymes,
Of places to where no one goes
And treasures of which no man knows.

'It is forgotten,' he doth sigh,
'And no one knows the reason why
That place hath vanished from this Earth,
That frabjous place of joy and mirth,

'Where elfin sang and goblin played
Tricks on innocent folk. Hoorayed
The unicorns who gallant pranced,
While creatures wondrous leapt and danced.

'Yet vanished is that dance today,
That neverending tale, that way
Of yellow bricks. Forever gone
That road which goes e'er on and on!'

But wait! That old man told a lie!
Those ancient things, they did not die!
All from the face of Earth are gone,
But in our hearts they linger on,

And in our minds they still do thrive.
Alive! Ye gods, so much alive!

After a Late Evening Walk, with a Headache

(26 August 2001)

Sweet & Sour nostalgia swept over me tonight
as I walked alone, along the paths
that we once did haunt.
The sweet, peaceful silence
the fragrant late summer air
caressed my heart.
(But never as she.)

Past the old school yard
past those ways I walked
in those golden days
(past those golden days).
In that sweet, forgetful silent darkness
I took a wrong turn, down a path of
nightly beauty, and all I wished for
was to see the stars. But (curse of
urban life,) the street lights blinded me
(and yet protected me from nightly peril).

On the sidewalk I saw a broken rose.

After a Late Evening Walk, with a Headache, Pt 2

(16 August 2002)

A year later, another late summer evening
another headache, another walk
in the dark
darkness disturbed by street lights
(the curse of the modern world).
Through my own neighbourhood
down paths and lanes I've never walked before
mind racing
slowly, aimlessly
pondering many things.
Of her I thought, of course
of shared walks
and other things:
My lovehate of the modern world
the things I hate, I can't live without.
Of the world in general
of darkness, stars, even headaches.
I remembered a broken rose.
I thought of late evening walks with a headache.

This time I saw a pile of rotting apples
by the side of a sandy walking road
excess, discarded, unwanted, useless, decaying.
Like I, and you, and everyone around us?

A Few Old Haiku

(Written between 2001 and 2004)

Love's not like flowers
Though it may flourish, then die
Love's just uncertain

Clouds dyed by the sun
Drift to the sunset, in haste
To join its glory

I've known broken hearts
And lonely even better
Broken wins, easy

That spell of summer
Is in the sun and the moon
But mostly between

It's a mystery
How someone so dear to me
Vanished from my life

The soul of a friend
Given for the innocent
Yet lost forever

(This last one was written as a reaction to the Xena series finale.)

Literature

(24 April 2004)

It sickens me to the heart
this cursed utterance:
literature.
They force it down my throat, a garble
Shakespeare, Emerson, Pound, James, DuBois
(all great men, no doubt)
but not one single word, no fact, no world, no life
the same. Insane
to utter:
literature.
Fact, they say, and fiction, and poetry, and prose,
but all too huge,
all too narrow,
all too obscure,
so they revert, the fools, to utter:
literature.
Never a word so empty passed the lips
of a doomed, decadent, ignorant race.
But what then?
Say story, I might understand, or tale.
Even say biography, essay, study,
I might be bored, but understand.
But never, ever utter,
never tell me the Poet and DuBois are one.

(This poem obviously vented my frustration at having to study non-fiction essays in a literature class, something I've never had much interest in, and in my mind is in no way related to fiction. I'm not sure now which DuBois is referred to here, but obviously someone we'd studied in class. W.E.B. Du Bois, perhaps?)

7 Haiku on the Sudden Arrival of Spring, 2004

(9 May 2004)

Anemones of white
On the first day of summer
Dying in the sun

Birch trees with young leaves
One day, the whole world is changed
But is spring in me?

Fresh winds after night
Figures in the morning sun
The trees again whole

Suddenness of spring
Took all by surprise, and awe
But blossoms will fall

Sunbathing in May
This heat is unnatural
Though loved as a friend

After so much snow
And warm thoughts on bitter nights
Suddenly summer

Coltsfoot came and went
Now dandelions fill our hearts
Neverending suns

Lord at a Glance

(24 May 2004)

lord at a glance
stood in a stance
in a veritable trance

like from a romance
from England or France
and never did he dance

he stood and he stood
as if made of wood
and his last words did not rhyme

Tonight the Moon Is Warm

(undated, found among poems from 2004)

I'm going to take you where the sun don't shine
and moonflowers glimmer in a crystal field
where many facets of that crystal dome
we call the night sky, glimmer
like the diamonds of the frost we walk upon
that under moon, so bright and full, do shine.
Yet we will not shiver
as our bare feet touch that crystal plane
for tonight the moon is warm
in our hearts.

Another Late Walk but No Headache

(8 June 2004)

So long since last I walked late on a summer's night
and then: out of sheer boredom
But what a treat!
That summer night's spell, so still, fresh, cool
quiet
Warm enough in a light jacket
until Wind blew and made Cold
but went away and warm again, I looked
I looked for inspiration, and found
And found some, maybe, maybe not
Midnight ideas seldom stand up to scrutiny
Midnight inspiration fades in morning suns
But maybe, just maybe
I could find that perfect midnight dream

On the stroke of midnight I stepped inside a petrol station
for licorice and soda
(melon can you believe it)
No peculiar sights tonight, no omens on the ground
except maybe me, walking along
bag of licorice in pocket, bottle in other
No reminiscence of golden hair, unless in passing and I forgot

I lost a button.

Island Evening Experience

(Series of haiku written in an old country house on an island not far from Mikkeli, 24 July 2004.)

Islands are havens
All is still for miles around
But eaten alive

I had to give in
To the hostile multitudes
And return inside

Candles in a house
More than a century old
This is truest life

Darkness gathering
Inside, outside still light
Summer's not over

Warmth of an old house
Surprising, magnificient
Comfort (but too much!)

Cork from a bottle
Of good wine, its scent is a
Pleasure in itself

Green tea in a mug
In the dark of an ancient
Kitchen, summer joy

Outside the summer
Night is still, but clouds, grey, loom
A breeze in the trees

The sound of a saw
Nearing midnight, is surreal
The chatter of friends

But does grass at night
Have a colour, or just grey?
And logs are lighter

(Logs are lighter? Your guess is as good as mine.)

Sweet Night, Beneath Thy Spell I Lie

(14 August 2004)

Sweet night, beneath thy spell I lie
And gaze upon the starry sky,
I drift through realms of tinsel shine,
This silent night, this silent cry

That echoes in the birch and pine
And soundless flies by yours and mine.
But hark! I hear its voice, such glee!
It turns my mind like agéd wine.

That soundless voice, it calls to me:
Come run with us, come wild and free!
And deep I breathe beyond the sill
of opened window. Should it be

Another time, I might go still,
And run and breathe for all my fill!
But late the night, and sleepy eyes,
The heart may yearn, but not the will.

Night, hence! I close my eyes,
Oblivious to starlit skies.

Cyborg Nation

(3 July 2005)

cyborg nation
of plugged in
jacked in
(jacking off)
plurality
in this sea of
information.
constant revolution
an ultimate peace
a calm at the center
of a storming centrifuge
of revolving revolution.
information
(by hook or by crook)
ceases to be
is everything
everywhere
ultimately nothing
but constant static
a neverending current
the crash of an ocean
on the rocky shore
of a new individuality
a unity of nothing
at all.

What Is Life But Afterlife?

(7 July 2005)

After all,
what is life but afterlife?
After the cactus has been cut,
drained dry,
its water drunk
(Or made, distilled somehow, into tequila.
I don't know exactly how they make tequila. Do you?)
all that remains is sand,
countless grain after grain after grain after

bedrock.

It does exist,
even here beneath this sea of sand,
somewhere,
this base, and we, we little few, fragile sparks
and tiny grains,
we rest upon it
forever and a day (a very long day indeed),
appreciating, admiring, adhering
that adhesive rock of ages,
grand old mister gravity's closest kin,
for, after all,
what is life but afterlife?
What is life but other sides of a coin,
which has an other side, which has an other side
until it hits bedrock
and other sides no more.

Google

(29 September 2008)

These days of
information highways.
These days of
contact a button away.
These days of
friends never left behind.
These days of
old friends found
(if just for one 'Hi!').
These days of
ties of pixels and bits
that bind and never
never let go.
Yet
in all that
there is one name
I dare not
can not, ever
google.

License Information

The poems on this page are released under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike license. You are granted permission to distribute and modify them, as long as you credit me, Ben B. Bainton, as the original author and distribute the poems or any derivative works under a similar license.