Submit your work, meet writers and drop the ads. Become a member
wes parham Feb 25
If I wanted to take a little time,
If I wanted to share my inner mind,
If someone said it had to rhyme,
I got no time for that ****…

Paint for me, in your chosen words,
The lines are branches; the letters, birds.
Sing to me songs sublime; absurd,
Just don’t tell me it has to rhyme…

Settle the bitter, ancient scores,
Make the audience seek for more,
Make the shoes I stand in yours,
Do not make me repeat myself…

Write me a letter, I long to hear,
Your poet’s voice in my mental ear,
Till the world does shed a collective tear,

I think I’ve made myself perfectly-  uh…

Do it!  It’s fun.  Come on, everybody else is writing poems, you know you wanna, how about just one stanza, it could be free verse, rules? there aren’t any, that’s what’s so liberating, so democratizing about poetry, bring it, bring it, bring it, show me what you got…!
wes parham Feb 11
Krista said it well and then left me to tell the tale,
But the point was more elusive than these birds,
That swoop from out the sky of mind
to fall down some deep well.
The truth is hard to catch just right in words.

If I had half a twenty for all the times,
My words weren’t what I meant,
Or even less…?
Then all the meaning buried,
Beneath defaced US bills,
Would break my heart,
It’d be a ******* mess.

So, heads up poets, final warning,
The reader needs you now.
Best not **** it up, my friends,
And make to them this vow,

Please don’t preach,
And break no hearts,
Try not to show your ***.

Use plain speech,
Put away the thesaurus,
Let’s have a little class.

‘Cause out there words are spoken in vain,
In the smoky air they are forced to fill.
Talking heads make truth seem insane,
Finding meaning takes all of your will.

It’s hard to find the truth these days,
And even harder still…

When dangerous lies are sold as truth,
Common sense can sound absurd.
When empathy and integrity,
Are ranked in second and third…
Then the poet is needed more than ever.
The truth is hard to catch just right in words.
Here’s a clever poem about poetry-making…

If there’s one thing that I cannot abide, it’s clever ******* poems about poetry-making.  
They always feel like masturbatory exercises when we should be writing to capture the hearts and minds of people who don’t even like poetry.  Okay, rant off.
I do kind of like how the meter lends itself to some kind of rambling, Dylan-esque folksy, talking-blues format.

Hello Poetry poet Krista Dellefemine commented on one of my poems, “Loyal Hearts”, saying “The truth is hard to get just right in words”, which became a kind of a suggestion to be a poem in its own right.  I joked that I would do it and, hey, presto!  It only took five years to get around to it.  My inertia knows no bounds.
wes parham Feb 4
When the hate  she expressed
Was in honesty’s name,
When she doubled down on lies,
Her excuse was the same.
I was there with my finger,
On the pulse and the blame,
But I am not cruel,
And she is not your shame.

That night you tried more,
Smoking, late, on the bed,
And the things you had done,
Were just as she’d said,
When the ashtray came down,
It was inches from your head.
When Fall came and went,
You two were still wed.

You were not promised wealth,
Not one measure of fame,
You said life wasn’t fair,
Because you see it as a game.
Now, the last time we’d speak,
You’d be cursing my name,
I am not cruel.
You will never be the same.
Free associative word story, speaker is peripheral to a relationship that is fiery and also overtly abusive but would rather not be involved, take sides or tender advice one way or another.
wes parham Jan 14
Condescending to humor my intimate muse,
You sought out her words in my writing.
I couldn't have guessed that you'd actually choose,
To tell her what you think is the source that I'm citing.

Get over yourselves, the drama and strife,
I can tell you’ve found something you wanted to see.
And, of course, held it up to the shape of your life,
And think you see secrets you once shared with me.

Forgive my intrusion throughout that December,
If that friendship seemed somehow untrue,
I won't try to persuade you, but you ought to remember,
Sometimes, unbelievably, it's not about you.

My task is obsessive, compulsion, expression,
I write the universal, the aggregate whole.
Never to betray or teach some grand lesson,
I’d rather enrich than to harm a good soul.

Emotions exposed and stories delivered may wound or dignify,
My job is to make it have life and clarity;
Give it weight enough to signify.

And, as then, when we meet,
Sour or sweet, 
Speaking our truth,
Silent secrets,
and feel…
The words that can wound,
Heal or conceal...
All of them wind to what our actions reveal.
I have had a few occasions where people close to me were certain that I was writing about them.
I was certain, each time, that they were mistaken.
I was broken, each time, that they’d missed the whole plot.

This piece actually came about over decades and an uncharacteristic snarkiness was added at the urging of a friend to give it more “attitude”.  Ha.
wes parham Jan 10
There has to be something to show the way,
In the fumbling flash of thoughts and just how,
As night draws us closer to each dawning day,
Where we plan for a future that grows out of now.

There has to be something to do or to say,
In a stumbling dash to prevent or allow,
The night that approaches to soothe a bright day,
Where the words resonate and the sound is just…
Grown from free associating, and probably about the feelings when reading another person’s verse.  The best ones come falling out, imperfect but fully formed anyway, right?  I feel like my best poetic writing are ones whose origin I couldn’t clearly tell you; whose meaning isn’t completely clear.
wes parham Jan 1
You wrote a letter, it had to be,
Your merest whim and dearest thought.
I found it clever, you have to see, going
Out on a limb where the true battle’s fought.

We sorely wished and ached to know,
You shared a life, I shared one, too.
The seeds we sow and hope to grow,
‘Till vines cross the boundaries of me,
(And you…)

Forging a future in distant foundries,
Life and love make a space for you.
Our lives, as such, the liminal boundaries,
Our love, of course, the glue.
A riff on some concepts about getting acquainted through writing and the attempts to make real human connections.  The third stanza came first, created spontaneously (and perhaps a little abstractly…!) as a comment on a fellow poet’s work here on HP.  They suggested I extrapolate.  Here’s a hastily constructed extrapolation for Kim.
wes parham Jun 2022
"Wise as a serpent but gentle as a dove",
Was scripture you'd quote to me many a time,
And though your Faith would sustain you,
Through many dark storms,
You refused to insist
     That it should be mine.

You see, I had every chance to fall out of line,
A multitude of options, to shy or to shine,
And even though I may not have said it a lot-
I remembered your words,
             And made some of them mine.

So, when I reached the age,
That you were back then,
When you felt like you'd failed me,
And said so again,

I'm taking your hand now,
To place it in mine.
I'm smiling but, sighing,
I'm drawing the line.
No one's written the book yet, Mom,
You did just fine.
My mother passed away this past week and I'm still processing the impact.   As recently as this year, she sometimes expressed concern that she wasn't a good enough mother.    I would remind her of how much she accomplished to raise me on her own and hope that she would take it to heart; to truly know that, like I write here, she did a fine job and that I'm grateful to have had such a fighter for a mother.

We didn't speak frequently, but a good and real bond was still there and I find myself shaken in the magnitude, now, the full spectrum of surprisingly monolithic emotions that arise and present themselves as if they hadn't been there all along.
Next page