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WC Wrights Nov 13
The other day I was ricocheting slowly
off the blue walls of this room,
moving as if underwater from typewriter to piano,
from bookshelf to an envelope lying on the floor,
when I found myself in the L section of the dictionary
where my eyes fell upon the word lanyard.

No cookie nibbled by a French novelist
could send one into the past more suddenly-
a past where I sat at a workbench at a camp
by a deep Adirondack lake
learning how to braid long thin plastic strips
into a lanyard, a gift for my mother.

I had never seen anyone use a lanyard
or wear one, if that’s what you did with them,
but that did not keep me from crossing
strand over strand again and again
until I had made a boxy
red and white lanyard for my mother.

She gave me life and milk from her *******,
and I gave her a lanyard.
She nursed me in many a sick room,
lifted spoons of medicine to my lips,
laid cold face-clothes on my forehead,
and then led me out into the air light

and taught me to walk and swim,
and I, in turn, presented her with a lanyard.
Here are thousands of meals, she said,
and here is clothing and a good education.
And here is your lanyard, I replied,
which I made with a little help from a counselor.

Here is a breathing body and a beating heart,
strong legs, bones and teeth,
and two clear eyes to read the world, she whispered,
and here, I said, is the lanyard I made at camp.
And here, I wish to say to her now,
is a smaller gift – not the worn truth

that you can never repay your mother,
but the rueful admission that when she took
the two-toned lanyard from my hand,
I was as sure as a boy could be
that this useless, worthless thing I wove
out of boredom would be enough to make us even.
This poem is from someone who I've adopted as my personal, digital and written poetic mentor. I also highly recommend you hear him read this poem. It's very moving to hear people read their own poems.
Mary-Eliz Jul 2018
it may have been a parody
may have been in jest
written to be awful
certainly not his best

but in and of itself
it doesn't come across
as parody or humor
more as a gaping dross

but I challenge anyone
to follow rules precise
to form the proper stanzas
make them turn out concise

an attempted joke by Billy
has been turned upon its ear
it can be done "correctly"
and won't just disappear
Jason Harris Oct 2016
Shakespeare, gazing into a waning sky,
said that her eyes were nothing like the sun.
Collins, picking fruit from trees, said that she
is not the purple wind in the orchard.

To follow this long trend of un-blazoned
poetry, I want to share with the world
that you are not the Charlie Parker jazz
jumping from the mouth of a black Phillips

radio, nor are you the paper that I
am writing this first draft on, nor
the morning coordinate geometry
that puzzled me today (or maybe you

are). Even more so, you are not the moon-
light staining trees, the stack of 18th
century British literature in the study,
your grandmother’s painting in the dining

room. Nonetheless, you are you: masterful,
opinionated, understanding; a
beloved whose beauty is better left
unmentioned in some new age poetry.
Rachel Julia Oct 2015
Billy Collins said "high school is the place poetry goes to die."
I would have to disagree.
High school is monotonous and horrible
and awful and wonderful.
Some do not understand poetry and they may hate to read and write it
and poetry may not be written.
but does it have to be?
We are living high school poetry.
Poetry is exploding onto life's pages.
When else do we have the emotions that we have now?
every teenage love affair,
every essay,
every night of studying until we cannot stay awake,
every audition,
trying to find yourself over and over again,
the practices,
the tears,
and the accomplishments.
That is poetry.
We're busy, and may not write it,
but poetry is lived by us.
Poetry is feeling,
something that matters,
jumping in the lake,
a late night meeting of friends,
staying home alone on Friday,
wondering if we are needed.
We're living our poems.
To let everybody else know all one needs to do is pick up a pen.
Thank you. x

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