Tennessee    1936 -    
William Poppen is retired and spends most of his time writing poems, taking photos, and hiking. Published in New Millennium Writings, 2007-08 and The Creative Writer, 2008. His photos and poems have been published in on-line publications Cat’s Meow for Writers and Readers, The Hiss Quarterly, Chantarelle's Notebook and the True Poet.
William Poppen is retired and spends most of his time writing poems, taking photos, and hiking. Published in New Millennium Writings, 2007-08 and The Creative Writer, 2008. His photos and poems have been published in on-line publications Cat’s Meow for Writers and Readers, The Hiss Quarterly, Chantarelle's Notebook and the True Poet.

He is born amid
dust blown from
burnt and dried plains
powdered grime carried
past the James River
conveyed though arid skies
pelting window panes
penetrating cracks
and crevasses

She dampens
muslim sheets
wraps them
around his crib
catching sand
and falling chaff
like a coffee filter
captures grounds
from boiling liquid
draining into the pot

He survives
exposed to
horrors of the 1930’s
gradually he grasps
a new catastrophe
symbolized by woolen
uniforms embossed
with chevrons
and metals
for bravely killing
and destroying uncles
and cousins
committed to expanding
the Nazi nation

She cries
consols Granny
who frets in vain
repetitively rubbing
her hands across her knees
fearful as her native
beloved homeland
becomes scarred
war torn by
death and torture
beyond imagination.

He recalls crouching
beneath wooden school desks
practicing survival
of an unsurvivable danger
while nations
race to discover
an explosive intended  
to end all war

#war   #life   #dust   #birth   #bombs   #bowl  

Faded stains of spilled bourbon
dot the weathered nightstand’s surface
like stars speckle a clear midnight sky
Each commemorates a prop of courage
swigged to help forge another day

Bras, slips, heels and flats
pepper the soiled carpet
reflections of the many
nightly transgressions now
impediments which fleck her soul

Her frontal lobe
harbors distortions
from her past
forgiven by those who know her
forgotten by others

Rain pelts her window
rat-tat, rat-tats against the panes
compulsively splatters the door
flings open her mind
to let today’s downpour
splash away
any trace of her anguish

Blocked in inspiration I am editing previous posts here.  This work was originally called Drops of Compulsion and listed here in 2015.

Illusions of skydiving in a kimono
are not nightmares that awaken her
in a sweat each night

Fantasies of floating like a drone
creep into morning daydreams

Unprepared for make-believe
no kimono hangs in her closet

Each day she stands in front
of her full-length mirror
stares at perceived imperfections
as they thicken before her eyes

Friends don’t notice
each misplaced mole
or cellulite pleading
to hide from any
audience

Co-workers notice her
post-it-note headline

“Intelligent Perfect Women
Skydives in Kimono”

affixed to the cubicle wall

Today results of
her search for kimonos
of various colors
is carefully placed in
a folder entitled skydiving

My wife wonders where the idea for this poem came from.  My answer - I have no idea.

Today all carp are swimming high
in swirling waters.  Autumn
calls them to flip sideways and glance skyward

Industrious people prepare homes
for the ravages of winter
cocooning foundations with bales of straw

Storm windows prop against scaffolds
like volumes balancing
between bookends on library shelves

Each evening doors close and shut tight
locking out lonely shadows
in search of a bed before sunrise

Skin dark from summer rays fade away
Evenings edge closer to night,
fish form schools in the lake’s warm bottom

Dakota is preparing for winter

Memories from my childhood
#winter   #plans   #dakota  

Morning coffee
spills on the kitchen counter
grains of Christmas Blend
a gift
don’t remember who
was so thoughtful

Never scramble eggs
with a mixture of
eggnog
so sweet

Time for morning
medications
nothings to do
still so much to
remember

Morning pill
respond to e-mail
mid-morning pill
call your mother
forgot
no phones
in paradise

Perhaps
I should
make a list

Where did
I put
my
pencil

Aging, life, memory, forgetful
#life   #memory   #aging   #forgetful  

She feels no confusion
with her lips against his eye.
Eyes blue as a
deep mountain lake.
She senses comfort
resting across her
chest, like the first time
her cheek touched his
bicep when they walked
enmeshed.
Now feels so warm,
soft on her mind
for fear has
fallen to the trail.
Renewal of trust
reborn fills her heart.

Trust, love, warmth,
#love   #trust   #warmth  

I wonder
how our great creator
built a vessel
strong enough
to contain my soul?

Each day my spirit fights
against my skin with violent
jolts as a young bird
seeking exit from a cage.

Unfettered psyche
free from me
bounces among clouds
rolls through deserts,
climbs volcanic ridges
migrates with birds in flight.

Curious instincts guide
my vital force inside and out
like honey bees
scour zinnias in full bloom.

Dare I release my spirit today?

Free spirit, soul,
 
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