Archive

Tag Archives: free verse poetry

–For Hasan Niyazi (1975-2013)

I promised you that I would write
a little book of poems for your stargazing.
Forgive me.  To keep time
I was using the achingly slow clocks of stars
aware too late that I should have
written through the night and rushed the book
to your hands and let the stars
some being born some dying
look on while you read.
I can only hope the few words I wrote
unframed and wandering
conquered for you
some piece of the sky.

RaphaelHasanBadge

NASA-Apollo8-Dec24-EarthriseNot in the protocol
for you to photograph
anything familiar.

Your job was to be there
and record everything

and by everything
I mean

only the stuff
we don’t know.

Perhaps the protocol was vague
on this point

but

we have enough of home
for now,
thank you.

This little rebellion of yours
punched a crater
in the plan

that was scripted out for you
down to the minute.

I guess you didn’t hear
the pulse
of its demands

(not that it surprises me).

Next time, remember:

look back
at the full colors
of home

without
stopping.

Poem in memory of the astronauts who perished in the Columbia (STS-107) disaster on February 1, 2003.  This is a free verse poem I wrote, disassembled, and stapled tenuously back together.

Poem in memory of the astronauts who perished in the Columbia (STS-107) disaster on February 1, 2003. This is a free verse poem I wrote on an old typewriter.  I disassembled the poem fragments and stapled them tenuously back together.

launch001Staring from the blacktop
at my daughter’s school

at the wrong
section of sky

until over the other
line of trees

an orange light
I didn’t expect

grabs me
and then I can’t

look anywhere else

startled by each flare
of separation

as pieces drop away
and come home

and what remains
drops the last of its hue

and keeps going.

"Bullet Through Apple," by Harold Edgerton.  Photo taken 1964 and printed 1984 by Gus Kayafas.

“Bullet Through Apple,” by Harold Edgerton. Photo taken 1964 and printed 1984 by Gus Kayafas.

This very moment in front of the class
in front of the photo you took of an apple
exploded by a bullet in less time
than it takes to blink

I am thinking about the very moment
a bullet ricocheted up from a knot of wood
in our physics class
and pierced a ceiling tile

just a moment like your photo
too slick for the human eye

slicing awake the air
in front of the closed eyelids of the students

but in the very back row Donny
takes this moment because it is there
hidden between the frames

to hang his arm over the wood chair
and rest his hand on his girl’s thigh.