Painting with Words – Mesa Verde

Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado
I am a dreamer to my core; it is just who I am.
That is simultaneously a curse and a blessing.
I recognize how things are but imagine them to be better.
There is no place better to do that than Mesa Verde

My first visit there seemed almost spiritual.
I could almost see my ancestors living their daily lives.
How they got there no one really knows.
Why they left is pretty much the same.

The stone and adobe walls they built are still there.
I touched them and dreamed I was among them.
In their isolation they lived in peaceful harmony with nature.
But that is kinda the Native American way, isn't it?

I would go back several more times and it always felt the same.
I absorbed their world into mine if only for a few minutes.

God willing, I will go back again before I leave this earth.
My idealism and dreams needs a refill from time to time.

For me there is no place in the world quite like it.

A place where I can escape the dreadfulness of our times.
Where I can immerse myself in an imagined Utopian world.
We all need a place like that and Mesa Verde is that place for me.

A Morning On The St. Lawrence Seaway.

It's been eleven years since the Canada trip.
How could time have flown by so fast?
It was a month long adventure that I won't forget.
Especially that sunrise along the St. Lawrence Seaway.

We were traveling in the hinterland between cities.
We were determined to follow the Seaway to its source.
It was getting dark so our attention was for a place to sleep.
We feared we might have to sleep in the car.

Then there suddenly a small sign on the side of the road.
We were desperate so we took a chance.
The person in the small shack labeled "Office" only spoke French.
But his wife knew English.

She told us she would give us her best room.
"You can't drink the water but it's good for a shower."
The price was absurdly cheap.
I was skeptical but what was the alternative?

The "Best" room looked like it was once a chicken coop.
There was a small bed with a hundred year old mattress
along with a chair and a small lamp on a night stand,
and "Do Not Drink The Water" sign on the bathroom door.

We ate a snack and then turned in for the night.
The bed spring poking into my back annoyed me for hours!
I finally gave up any hope of sleep and spent the night in the chair .
It seemed like hours before the first glimmer of daylight.

I made my way to the shoreline in anticipation of sunrise.
In the predawn light I saw the silhouette of a lone fisherman.
He sat on a plastic bucket holding a long pole.
That sight became the primary remembrance for the entire trip.

Poetry at RJsCorner??

I have always been fascinated by poetry. But in my early years I was taught that poetry was for sissies and no young boy wants to be a sissy. As typical with many young people, I was introduced to poetry by Edger Allan Poe and particularly “The Raven”. The words of that poem certainly painted a vivid picture. Most of Poe’s works were dark in nature, but as I learned that is not what poetry is necessarily all about.

It’s hard to put a definition on poetry. It seems there are about as many definitions as there are poets. Some want to put strict rules for writing, and some say you make your own rules. There are also a myriad of types of poems. Some rely on cadence, some on rhyme, some by just content.

If you want to give me your idea of what a poem is I will certainly welcome it. But to me “The rules of poetry are in the eye of the beholder”. So, here are my general rules:

A Poem

  • Is painting a picture with words.
  • Focuses on one primary emotion
  • Has an identifiable cadence
  • Has more than 15 words on a line
  • Has 4 lines to a stanza.
  • Has around seven stanzas.

At least getting started, I am trying to live by my rules. The type of poetry I will primarily be attempting is called “free verse”. That means it doesn’t necessarily rhyme.  

My first, and only poem so far here on RJsCorner brought on some concerns about my level of depression. That was exactly the picture I wanted to paint, so I guess I was successful. The poem was meant to be depressing, but not necessarily at my current my depth.

What I mainly like about writing poetry is that it demands a greater level of thought. At least starting out, I am going to use a photo from my portfolio as the focus. The poem will paint in words what I give you in that corresponding picture.

I don’t know how successful I will be but I am going to give it a serious try. Of course, you will be the judge of my accomplishments in the new endeavor.


Poetry is painting a picture in words

Painting with Words – I Am Tired Of Being Tired

This is my first attempt at writing a post in free verse. Please forgive me if it is not up to your standards.  I will try harder the next time.


Here I am in my 73rd year. 
How did that ever happen?
If my genes determine things, I have a handful left.
These times aren't what I dreamed them to be.
 
Hateful rhetoric is everywhere.
The spiteful rants stink beyond imagine.
How can people breath all this tainted air?
Trust has gone, truth is dead.
 
All the world is now a Mad Max movie.
The White House has turned into the Thunder Dome.
The spite coming from it  stinks beyond imagine.
Everyone who does not jump on command is the enemy.
 
The tipping point of climate change is likely past?
Why didn't we do something when we could?
Tribal mentality has swept over us like a tsunami.
 Future generations will have to clean up the mess.
If they even can?
 
I want to be a good citizen and stay involved.
But what does it really matter?
I won't be around to see the ugly aftermath.
Why do I allow myself to feel so distressed?
 
I seem to be consumed by the times.
At this point my time is precariously precious.
Why am I using it so badly?
Maybe I should find something else completely?
 
I am tired of being tired of these times.
Why don't I just say "Why bother?"
Just check out NOW!
But that is not who I am.
I don't give up that easily.