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Mar 2017 · 678
a letter to Syria
J Penpla Mar 2017
you okay Syria?
Heard you were unwell,
according to Wikipedia.
Set out searching
for something uplifting.
Started cruising the news,
then started drifting.
You were looking pretty fit,
On your wiki-profile,
10 millennia of Mediterranean:
temperate and fertile.
Boasting a motely religious crew:
Sunnis, Shiites,
Christians, Druze and Jews
So ethnically diverse,
with your Arabs, Kurds and Turks.

And as complex historically,
in terms of genealogy.
Just take a look at your etymology:
“the Levant”, meaning:
‘where the sun rises’
And like the sun’s rising,
there is no denying
your history of reprising
war of blood and fire.
Lest we begin at the beginning:
the Ottoman Empire,
which was succeeded by Babylonia,
then conquered by the Persians.
From Macedonia,
through countless imperialist conversions.
And the mosh-pit persisted
Full of havoc and haters,
Jews, Muslims, and Christian crusaders.
Through multiple millennia
to the twenty-first century,
you hardly gained independence
As a republic, parliamentary
Then on loop, military coup after coup…
Still looking more cliquey
Than an American penitentiary.

Not that conditions
Were too civil before
but from the Arab Springs,
sprung yet another civil war.
Claiming nearly half a million casualties
And ten times that in refugees.
Syria, are you begging, are you bawling,
are you crawling on your knees?

Mesopotamia, the market’s hot.
Leading natural resource: petroleum.
Coincidence? Of course…not
So Syria who’s in charge?
Who’s assigned to officiate?
Let’s get this straight:
You’ve got your head of State-
That is mister president.
And mister prime-minister,
well he’s official head of government.
May I ask where is Mrssssss….
No, no. Not much room for her in parliament.

Pardon me, my political perspective
might be a bit bourgeois
but might there be connection
between your strife and sharia law?
Again, pardon my impudence
but Allah’s jurisprudence
hardly seems prudent.
So, Muhammad, the prophet
left behind a prophecy,
spelled out in religious text
on which you base your polity
From which are governed
all matters of legality,
like, for instance say: the death penalty,
which seems to be the official decree
on any member of  the L, G, B or the T.
A strict hetero-only-policy.
Nothing is guaranteed in life though,
except for death and tax.
Thankfully, on these matters
Muhammad was a little more lax.
The *****, the infidel,
the unbeliever, the abomination
has a bit of say regarding
Death or taxation.
For those who do not believe
reprieve is a matter of yes or no:
Yes – conversion and enslavement
Otherwise, refusal means death row?
And even less leniency is granted,
to the lady adulterer
caught in twisted **** laws
punishment must not evade her
Wait, nope: Allah’s sharia clause –
lest he, the victim, opts to marry her.
And should she deviate
Muhammad left a legal loop-hole
For the gentleman may repudiate
any respective young mate
Should she have already
begun to… *******?

(C’mon, really? I mean
I genuinely don’t get it)

I confess though, I’m a bit ethnocentric
It’s just that to me,
sharia methods seem too eccentric,
nay, morally questionable.
Kafirs, gays, women,
basically anyone vulnerable,
well their disenfranchisement,
seems culturally commendable  
if legally permissible.

It may not be my place, so again
I apologize for the tangent.
Does this Muhammad though,
not seems unfit for management?
To govern your soil
as drenched in blood as it is in oil,
land, so godly-blessed,
Syria, why is it that your name is so
synonymous with civil unrest?

Back to where I started, though
Syria, tell me: how are you?
But answer only if that query
is not too risky to respond to.
With arbitrary censorship,
detention and torture so widespread,
journalists must be etching cell walls
with “blog when you’re dead”
while offshore expeditions
on the Mediterranean Sea-floor
in the six years since
you declared civil war
leave you reliant on foreign credit
more than ever before.

So, how are you, Syria?
Just curious to hear from ya.
Jul 2013 · 742
An encounter
J Penpla Jul 2013
A hermit I did find
A hermit with a hermit’s plan
Of hermit notions and hermit mind
I will recall for you what I can
Your attention is repayment in-kind
Let me introduce, this hermit hearted man

This jester void of rhythm and rhyme
This hallowed-out hermit friend
Bespoke like a rigid and reclusive mime
Who knew not how to pretend
That he did not fear the time
To him allotted, with only himself to tend

A peculiar host was he
And what I found peculiar most
Was his strange anxiety
That he wore like a scar, almost
A scathing scar, I could see
The sort you burry, not boast

It wasn’t a visible scar
On this hermit’s healthy cheek
That one could see from near or afar
But it wounded and rendered him weak
A scar on his soul, untended, ajar
That left this hermit too strained to speak
Apr 2013 · 650
The Sand man
J Penpla Apr 2013
Am I more than just bones and blood and skin?
A device of wires and cell-ements?
A jester’s motley plucked from some King’s bin?
Or bolts and gears, a cluster of junk
Divinely tossed together
From what? The dump’s tickle-trunk?
Nay, better yet: pearls for eyes
And a mass of sinew’ed sand
Torn-roots for legs, Venus fly-traps for hands?
All oversimplifications for this, my assigned vehicle
Assembled in such a way, inexplicably strategical
This drawn by these dextrous digits
Deftly delegated by this complex cerebral contraption
Which egotistically instigated this imaginative introspection
Mostly rhetorical
Apr 2013 · 547
On insomnia (triolet x2)
J Penpla Apr 2013
A dream from which you cannot wake
Is not a dream at all
It’s but a delusion, a dreary fake
A dream from which you cannot wake
Caught within a breath you cannot take
A pitless, thus listless fall
A dream from which you cannot wake
Is not a dream at all

This nightmare of vacant reflection
Carved from calloused eyes
Peering and leering in insomnious inspection
This nightmare of vacant reflection
Is but hollowed slumber, yet an insidious infection
Neither resting nor rousing this wakeful guise
This nightmare of vacant reflection
Carved from calloused eyes
J Penpla Mar 2013
At random
A riddle wrecks  
The rituals of my day
But, I know what’s next
It regresses; fate must have its way
A tease that taunts and haunts me
For it won’t bestow me
Wisdom without first
Revealing ruefully
Simple solutions
In reverse
Work break here. Decided not to let this idea go without a little 'form' restricitons.
Mar 2013 · 1.1k
The drunkard
J Penpla Mar 2013
On a night like any other
What a sham it was to think,
As if my belly had changed address
That I’d settle for just one drink.
The bottle’s neck was all I did need
But my neck I did not heed.
Before the taste had left my lip
The bottle it did tip, surely just one more sip.

Since that very first compromise
A fog has thickened in my eyes.
I’m now mad at the wall and ready to brawl
With any fella I so choose to despise.
I’m a rooster tonight, with every cause to fight,
And every last hen in town is a ten.
So I’ll swoon every one, won’t stop till I’m done
Wake up drunk enough to do it again

But first, a trip to the loo
Hell bound for the toilette
So, on the no-one-near I don’t spew
Clearing this foul gullet.
Mar 2013 · 1.7k
Cheap Talk
J Penpla Mar 2013
Nothing calls for morals, like lovers’ quarrels
Though all is fair in love and war
I have one law, for all clenched jaws
Don’t fight in metaphor

“You’re always the martyr” one may brand the other
In passive aggressive verse
Mere iteration, through metaphorical filtration
That truly reveals the reverse

Here’s one I despise, that utters love’s demise
“Honey, the door swings both ways”
It’s an image projected, of love infected
Spat in pseudo poetic haze

It’s a double edged blade that ought to be stayed
Though a wonderful figure of speech
It does not pay, to duel this way
Nay it is to love, but a leech
Mar 2013 · 740
On vice (Triolet)
J Penpla Mar 2013
A trickle drips down and spins me ‘round
To swindle my withering will
Promise of rapture to be found
A trickle drips down and spins me ‘round
I don’t want to hear a sound
A sliver of silence, then a shriek so shrill
A trickle drips down and spins me ‘round
To swindle my withering will
Inspired by Hello Poets, I decided to turn a poem (fated for a random rhyming scheme) into my first triolet
Mar 2013 · 668
Bursted buttons
J Penpla Mar 2013
My belly’s got this radiant reel - A projection through its button - Awed eyes make the connection real
It’s iridescent luster - Splashes on the wall - Causing quite a clatter - I stumble and I fall
Gazing at its glow - Transfixed a chagrin’less grin - Bemused, though I do not know
Whence came this beam of brilliance - Bursting through my belly
The bees-knees of recipes - To the royal'est of jelly
Put forth in panoramic views - Ephemeral equations, yet eternal patience
To whatever riddles I so choose
When I can I stand, and stumble to the door - Framed now in gleaming seems
That were not there before
It’s **** a burning bulb - That shatters when I turn it
Has me tear away my hand -To be sure I have not burned it
Still, the door opens on its own - Thus I continue on my way
Into the plush and overgrown
Kaleidoscope's array
Inspired by a short film about a dreary robot on an assembly line, who finds a light-bulb inside, but looses its glow after marketing it. Wish I could find it again so I could cite it!
Feb 2013 · 1.3k
The prodigal son
J Penpla Feb 2013
Oh the weary wanderings
of that silly son
Who can’t reconcile his retreat
but continues on the run
That crafty, that capricious conscience
On who’s whimsical watch
finds no time for penance
A transitory fellow
seeking only care-free condition
Disposing without a care
or notion of contrition
His God-given gifts
and unmade choices
And thus made, though not
by ignoring those voices
That appeal to his younger
more righteous reason
Heeding instead the voices
that better suit the season
Leaving vocation to thirst
unquenched and dry
Impervious to it all
because the end is never nigh
All his truths and convictions
ephemeral in nature
This wandering son
this prodigal creature
These biblical proportions are a bit of a stretch but strangely, whenever I go broke, I feel a little like a prodigal *****
Feb 2013 · 516
A Hollow Home
J Penpla Feb 2013
Wake up tense,
Then enmity has commenced
His agonizing screech,
Her pleading moan.
Back and forth,
A pitiful drone.
Hostile, but to each it’s home.
Both together, both alone.
One reviles the other’s lament.
Another breakfast’s
Brazen treatment
She needs a companion.
He, who knows.
Of this, be certain,
In this house,
no love grows
Feb 2013 · 524
The power of the pen
J Penpla Feb 2013
-Quell your qualm with a quill
Ease your uneasiness with ink
Ponder with a pen, if you will
That’s what I do to think
-Think, think again and think it over
And still some thought will be missed
So then, put pen to paper
And think as thoroughly as you make a list
-You’ll agree I’m sure; nothing’s as trusty
As the black on white of a sheet and quality pen
Even the stickiest of mental ‘post-it’s
Fall away again, again and again
-Case and petty point here
This thought would have been left for dead
If it weren’t for this puny pencil
And what little was left of its lead.
-When your mind is bogged, ‘cause your thoughts are clogged
Know you have an outlet in your hand
Find your pace, it’s not a race
Just trust your flow and know your brand
-Someone coined it, not sure who
Idle hands are the devil’s play thing
So let them dance, in a cursive trance
Spelling a song you’re proud to sing
I often pick up a pen just to unwind- Writing this was such a case with a little purpose. Couldn't help it from getting a little cheesy, but I didn't want to scrap it.
Feb 2013 · 1.9k
Pinocchio the Pompous
J Penpla Feb 2013
Some say your greatest enemy is yourself
That lesser you inside, that little puppet, that elf
Strings to your fingers, strings to your toes
One to your spine and one to your nose
   You can tumble and crash and he’ll be unbroke
Witty and gritty, as elusive as smoke
Post tumble’s when he’s most likely to speak
His strings are strung tightest, whenever you’re weak
   Not to wait then, until you are broken
Give him the stage and he’ll have already spoken
He feeds best on virtue, this gritty little elf
So feed him his share, as you would your belly’s self
   Virtues is the sort, that means then not vices
His tastes may seem bland so be weary of spices
Heed not this advice, and we’ve a puppet…
Left to his own devices
   Not worth getting clever, don’t saw at those strings
You’ll soon find out they’re sinewy things
Introduce yourselves; it could help if you’ve met
The you inside you,
                                  that mischievous marionette
Feb 2013 · 743
A glimpse goodnight
J Penpla Feb 2013
What was that, on your lips, just before you licked them wet?
Floating on their tips and not quite swallowed yet
Quick, do reveal what you mean to conceal, your very first instinct
That one there, within your glare, just before you blinked
It passed I see. As you glanced away, it fleeted from your face
Though it left, I must confess, not without a trace
Now out without stutter; no ifs or buts, don’t mutter
Excuses in mediation. I’m tired, expired
Enough with such trepidation
Again then,
This time please do mean it
Don’t hide inside, leaving me to glean
Oh dear, I’ve have already seen it
A goodnight effort on a glare I'm glad I didn't get!
Feb 2013 · 1.3k
The Abandoned Alley
J Penpla Feb 2013
Up and over the barbed wire gate
Crept a dreadful Mr. Despair
To meet a horrible Mr. Hate
Who was impatiently waiting there
The dark alley that they had chosen
Was well off the beaten path
But it wasn’t long they heard approaching
A reckless Mr. Wrath
He greeted them with a grunt
A courtesy, for they’d never met
Then up from a steamy sewer
Rose a rueful Mr. Regret
He hardly nodded his heavy head
On his face a grumpy grimace
And so there they festered
Awaiting their last accomplice
Then out from a ***** dumpster
Creeping quite quietly
Fell the gang’s last felon
An awkward Mr. Anxiety
So there they plotted to pillage
In that abandoned alley
That lovely little town
Then called Vulnerable Valley
There they consorted, concocting
To bring the town nothing but gloom
They snickered, spat and sneered
Oh, the impending doom
Suddenly all peered upward
As a light shone through a window above
Their riotous rebellion had roused
A light-hearted Mr. Love
“Top of the mornin’ down there
Dandy weather wouldn’t ye say?”
To which there was no rebuttal
To sewers and shadows
The creeps had crept
To fraternize another day
Inspired by a Tim Burton exhibit. I shall call it a tribute.
Feb 2013 · 396
10w x3 (first go)
J Penpla Feb 2013
Had I?
Itches my heart
I will never know

Will I?
Won’t scratch it
The answer is no

Can I?
Is still pending
I do not grow
Took my first shot at a few 10 word poems just before bed, and for now I'm satisfied. Inspired by the ***** inside, ha
Feb 2013 · 552
Ms. Mystery
J Penpla Feb 2013
Set down, collected, keen to compose
I picked pen, swore pretense aside
What’s to be spelled; only she knows
Later though, she says she’ll confide
Puckered a bit and flexed my brow
Crinkled my nose, ready now
With no room for give, she set me here
She and her vast vocation
She whispered a secret and whispered clear
Clear yet cryptic, thus my frustration
What she showed me, I may not have seen
But I peered and penned at it
And what a peery penning it’s been
But she up and vanished
Fleeted too fast
Left only her signature,
Mrs. Present and Past
Feb 2013 · 1.6k
J Penpla Feb 2013
If I were to write a life-long poem
A line every day, so to put on display
The simple happenings of life
To weave verses together, an enduring tether
Of all life’s joys and strife
Would it have rhythm and beat? Skip and repeat?
Or would it just flow easy and free?
Would it charm or would it harm, this rhythmic yarn
That weaves the fabric of me?
Would this rhyme be a bildungsroman?
Charting progress, growth and learning?
Or would it compel, by whom it was written
To not publish but set it to burning?
Lumps and bumps, and dreary spells
Momentary lameness and drought
Every epic has its lows, as any writer knows
‘Tis what life is all about
Would it conclude with pride and nothing to hide
Confident and self-esteemed?
Would it spell to its reader, whoever at all
The tale of life lived and not dreamed?
hello Hello Poetry poets

— The End —