Red Skies at Night—Free Verse

After a sunset walk under

Flame of extinguishing sky

Through the field of cut grass,


I sit the stairs in the dark

Scraping my shoe with a stick

Trying not to smell the dog shit.


I read an article this morning on Poetry Foundation that almost complains about the lack of poems about shit in western poetry. Then, it goes on to explore the tradition of shit haiku. The argument seems to be that only haiku can make shit beautiful. I am not sure that they are right. I don’t think that even haiku makes shit into beauty, but more than that, I don’t believe that the job of poetry is to illuminate beauty. Poetry can illuminate beauty, but it doesn’t have to. In fact, there is a long tradition of protest poetry that is intended to illuminate the terrible things in order to bring attention to them. I hope that my small shit poem helps to prove the article wrong showing that haiku are not the only poems that can be full of shit.

If you want to read more about shit poems, you can check out the article at Poetry Foundation:

Sunset–Bob and Wheel


The horizon brightens

Blushing in its regret

Before the sun begins

To hide out and forget.


Typically, I don’t like to write rhyming poetry because I don’t feel comfortable with rhyme, and I end up sacrificing rhythm and meaning to get a good (easy) rhyme. But I made an exception for this poem because of how short a bob and wheel is. I am glad I did. I think I created a fine poem without cringy rhymes. I may end up doing more short rhymed poems like this to try to get my rhyming legs under me.

Maintaining Enough Shades of Green to Keep

The clouds drift slowly lit by the falling

Light of the evening sun. The green of

The trees fading toward silhouette while

Maintaining enough shades of green to keep

The eye working like a painter blending

In the cool part of day when bugs come out,

And children come in. At least when children

Were still allowed to go outside to play

Before times of mass-communication

When we didn’t know what we didn’t know.

When we didn’t have a constant window

Showing the red-faced people with their signs

And their people behind the podiums

Baiting us with the words they want to say.

October Poem 8: Discarding the Purple Prose of Metaphor

Not true. The sky was not a deep purple

Cloud of wonder. It was just blue slightly

Dimmer. The tops of the trees were not the

Olympic torch handed from one man to

The next. The sun had just dipped behind the

Trees. Or the Earth had rotated on its

Axis denying you the direct path

Of the sun’s light. The purity of the

Sun’s life giving strength was not denied the

Beautiful roses of eternity.

The vegetation (mostly weeds) in that

Exact section of the Earth would simply

Stop photosynthesizing until the

Light of the sun returned the next morning.