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Old 07-06-2017, 05:10 PM
Roger Slater Roger Slater is offline
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: New York
Posts: 14,120


We're born.
We die.
we cry.

We starve.
We thirst.
We pray.
We're cursed.

We think.
We feel.
We are
not real.

We shout.
We rail.
We strive.
We fail.
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Old 07-06-2017, 06:15 PM
RCL's Avatar
RCL RCL is offline
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 5,131

Gotta hand it to Roger-Bob
I'm so depressed I have to Sobbbb

Born crying
Live sighing
Welcome dying

Last edited by RCL; 07-06-2017 at 06:18 PM.
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Old 07-06-2017, 07:00 PM
Jim Moonan Jim Moonan is offline
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 1,616

The Sea

I went down to the tumultuous sea
To watch it dance in liquid fury
And found it locked in monotony
And felt it retch in agony
And saw it heave in captivity.

The sea, the sea
and you and me.
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Old 07-06-2017, 07:53 PM
Max Goodman Max Goodman is offline
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Sunnyvale, CA
Posts: 1,327

It's hard to imagine any poem more depressing--or, by looking so squarely at death and making art of it, more uplifiting--than Larkin's "Aubade."

But since the thread asks us to write our own:

The winter of our discontent
It's far too late to circumvent
For we have managed to cement
A reputation we'll repent.
Donald Trump is President.
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Old 07-06-2017, 08:31 PM
Douglas G. Brown's Avatar
Douglas G. Brown Douglas G. Brown is offline
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Belfast, Maine
Posts: 1,230
Default To an Old Hippie, On his 60th Birthday

After age 60, what is the use
Of trying to quit the drugs of abuse?

Booze is a lifelong need, I fancy;
And swearing off weed is even more chancy.

And as for tobacco, and here I'm not joking;
Science has proven that cancer cures smoking.

I wrote this for my brother in law 7 years ago. Ironically, he lives on.

E. A. Robinson spent a lifetime writing depressing poetry; Richard Corey is probably his best known effort

Last edited by Douglas G. Brown; 07-06-2017 at 09:23 PM.
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Old 07-06-2017, 08:57 PM
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RCL RCL is offline
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 5,131

Thanks, Douglas. I licked a stamp!

Last edited by RCL; 08-02-2017 at 04:45 PM. Reason: submitted
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Old 07-06-2017, 09:15 PM
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Douglas G. Brown Douglas G. Brown is offline
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Belfast, Maine
Posts: 1,230

Great Robinson parody, Ralph. And, you wrote it in record time. Try submitting it to Light.

My Grandmother and her sister Ruth worked as servants for the Johnson family (the richest family in town) before World War I. When the Influenza epidemic came, it killed off many of the nurses in the local hospital, so there was a crash program to train replacements.

Aunt Ruth signed up, and stayed on as a nurse there for 54 years. Eventually Admiral William Veazie Pratt, a heartthrob of my grandmother and Aunt Ruth (he had married one of the Johnson girls) went into a slow steady decline, and spent the last couple years of his life in the hospital.

My grandmother and Aunt Ruth would discuss how sad it was to see their girlhood hero go downhill. After he died, Aunt Ruth said I was a "wicked boy" for writing this obituary for my classmates;

Admiral William Veazie Pratt
Did not expire just like that;
At eighty seven, he went blind,
And then he slowly lost his mind.

Last edited by Douglas G. Brown; 07-06-2017 at 09:19 PM.
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Old 07-07-2017, 07:40 AM
Graham King Graham King is offline
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Fife
Posts: 618

[I entered an earlier version of this acrostic in Spectator competition 2990, A to P]

As Air Force One banks, what he sees is ash
Below, across the States. And still there billow
Clouds miles high; so scarcely have skies cleared,
Day upon day. The millions doomed to die
Exposed to toxic air, as lava-bombs explode,
Flee futilely. The President may fly,
Give speeches (bold assurance!), declaim grief:
How, though, can he hold out a solid hope?
If U.S. heartland’s now a pit of ire,
Just who still trusts in Trump? - A barren jest.
Killing winds choke countryfolk and kine.
Long-known, Yellowstone’s strained lava-dome -
Made open sore now - gushes; roaring, masks
News radioed to President in flight: more noise
Of spreading riots. “Call the Army off!
Police too. Useless... Land! Mexico, please.”
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Old 07-07-2017, 07:53 AM
Graham King Graham King is offline
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Fife
Posts: 618
Default Since Rupture

These days of darkness linger -
Too, the glow:
The orange, brooding glow, that bodes no dawn
Nor end to days of darkness,
That alone
Defines now a horizon –
Weeks unseen –
And fitful upward gouts, a yellow boil.

He staggers, careful, by his well-felt path
To fetch the new day’s water from the barn –
Impractical, but then they did not know
How days would darken, and prolong, and so
They’d filled that irrigation-tank quite full
Before the mains failed - and the stream, as well -

Yet somehow never towed it nearer home.
That trailer with its plastic cube, man-high,
Seems like an Ark of Covenant of God:
It almost as an idol holds his heart
Match-calibrated by the volume left.

The torch he turns, dynamo whining high,
Breathes shrill and plaintive light in puffs too faint
To blow away the gloom - or colour show.
He’s glad of that, in passing;
Uncle now
Lies still, since dogs departed. Long their snarls
And howls have been heard only in his dreams;

But whether dreams of day or mares by night,
Who knows? He cannot tell; there is no light…
Save sullen glow - and lightning braiding cloud.
The growl of it, he guesses, must be loud
But now is mated in him with his pulse;
And whether ash or dullness weave his shroud,
He reckons he’s near-deaf from that first blast.

The air stays breathable; he checked, of course,
By sniffing at the cracked door ere he struck
Out on his daily errand (call them days;
He’s dropped the hours now water is his clock)
But vagrant winds, foul downpours, may erase
The air of life, and poison bring instead,
Capricious as a goat-demon’s sly breath:
This Hallowe’en of weather tricks-or-treats.

He fills the gallon canister again,
Each drop a sacrament,
None to despise:
He turns the tap; doffs, re-attaches, cap;
In childlike, rapt attention, late grown wise.

He treads retracing, listening with ears
That yearn for and yet dread a motor’s drone
Upon the highway; locks and double-bolts the door,
Climbs stairs, and locks another door again;
And only then feels partway safe at home.
It's weeks since gunshots punctuated night.

He has a little lantern, turned down low.
He ekes its oil (like Noah in the Ark,
He guesses);
Distant-yet-near kinship feels
With all enclosed perforce in long distresses.

He sees again their radio, and shudders.
They’d scanned the wavelengths, early in this dark,
But found news brought more fear than solace then.
The worst was when they chanced upon those screams;
Quickly Uncle’s fingers turned them off...

Then, hours on, to wash that sound away
(And guessing dearly 'Maybe just a play')
They'd tried again, but found the cries again:
And what was worse, it was the selfsame voice.

By silent
Joint decision – now, his own –
The radio has been established mute
(Hope trickling like batteries’ charge away)
Yet still enshrined in place;
Perhaps a day
Of light may yet dawn, heralding some change
And toxic memories be salved
And healed, along with life and land.

A tapping echoes; rattles!
Not… The door?
His heart jolts -
Then assumes a rapid beat.
The tempo is erratic, grows around;
The roof-tiles and the window-panes vibrate.

He fears a further danger, and so dares
Not venture out, but winds his torch instead
(Extempore, accompanying sound!)
And probes it, cryptic key, into the black
That door-like looms beyond the screening glass.
He sees
What first he thinks is hail, but not as white;
Not ice, but something pebbly and dull,
Here pulverized, there aggregate in clumps.

Time passes, and it ceases.
He risks to raise one sash a cautious crack;
A whiff of brimstone sends his head fast back,
But it’s not overwhelming, and he delves
With one deft kerchief-covered hand
Before he seals himself again inside.

He brings his lantern – turns that up a notch –
And finds his mind tries various ways to grasp
The mottled granule – tan and primrose blotch -
He holds within his hand.
Light, yellow… stone?

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Old 07-07-2017, 10:10 AM
Roger Slater Roger Slater is offline
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: New York
Posts: 14,120


Pain and heartache,
woe, despair,
all at once
you lose your hair,

friends desert you,
others die,
love, it seems,
is just a lie.

You tell yourself,
"I will be strong!
Hope awaits!"
But you are wrong.

Find a bridge.
It's time to jump.
The president
is Donald Trump.
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