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Surprise overcomes
Words seem nonsensical
Fact checks become
Daily headlines
Pure prevarication
Not mere vagueness
Untruths, shams
Two-faced attempts
To cheat to win
In a battle of ideas
Better still, flooding
Air-waves, all media
With bogus pre-text
That fend off
A battle
From ever being fought
Fabricated?
More than merely falsification
Calling truth a lie
Shout-downs over debate
A campaign designed to
Discredit, debunk and divide
* (back in the day we called this **** and bull)
reflections on US politics
Sep 11 · 79
Against the Grain*
Strong the desire to be unique  
To think in ways against the grain  
New, different is what to seek
Strong the desire to be unique
Courage to turn the other cheek
Be distinctive and never plain

Strong the desire to be unique  
To think in ways against the grain
Firm and willing to face critique  
Strong the desire to be unique  
At no time hesitant to speak
Only fly an orbital plane

Strong the desire to be unique  
To think in ways against the grain

* (Triolet Sonnet)
Independence, Strong-willed, unique,
Sep 3 · 63
Vernon was Right
Politics is broken
Something is missing

Politics is polarized
Opinions are divided
Clearly we are at extreme odds

Perhaps Vernon Jordan*
Had his finger on the pulse
Of this confounding
Movement years ago

The panel was distinguished
Vernon Jordan spoke  
“In Washington, there is no longer civility”

Elected officials representing opposing camps
Engage in animus and grudges
Without social civility

Without civility
There is no healing
Nor is there compromise
* Vernon Jordan was a close friend of former president Bill Clinton
Aug 30 · 81
For a Friend*
Disarray surrounds him
In his antiquated
fourth-floor dwelling
Sheets of music, tablature,
Scrolls of data, reports of minimal finance
In stacks upon chairs, teeter
Precariously like arched boulders
Along Cumberland Ridge
Papers shuffle through his hands,
Which long for a keyboard
Where he shuns distractions,
Intent to share
what flows from his passion

I remember
parishioners entering
St. Luke’s enraptured by his piano hymns
As he praised his God

He formed his very own God,
One
of tolerance, love and compassion
He wished for approval
For his playing, his thoughts,
His longings and lusts

So different from those
Lining rows of mahogany pews.

I wonder if he is happy

In his heavenly spot

Where friends adorned
In colored shorts and flowery shirts

Play lyrics on golden strings

And parade their adoration to God.
* for a friend who died of suicide
Aug 28 · 55
Questions
Yes, a baby
Asks questions
By the act of pointing
Or making a quizzical
****** expression

What is this world
What is the world about

It is so easy to Imagine
A baby not knowing
It is easy to imagine
Not knowing because
Who knows

Not the best of us
Not the stargazers
Not the book readers
Nor the book writers

Especially not the politicians
Who never stop
To ask the question
Or to ask any questions

Their nature is to accumulate
While they pretend to lead
While they pretend to guide
Their nature is taking

Some pretend to tilt
toward compassion
Toward caring
Toward altruism

No longer a baby
One grizzled octogenarian
Ask no questions
Merely wonders

Where has all of the wonder gone
He wonders if altruism is real
And if it is, why is
It ******* by greed
To live is not counting each breath
Or even noting the time it takes to breathe
Living is doing, creating, exploring and manufacturing
Living is being in the moment with what you are doing
Living is never knowing when you will die
Never seeing a sure end
Any forty-eight hours can be significant
Moments in one’s life. Moments of proposals
Moments of sacraments, of discovery
Of learning, forgetting, remembering and re-learnig
The last forty-eight hours can be hours of passion
Of love-making, or of making one last attempt to do
the thing you never had the courage to do
The last nanoseconds can be of apathy
Like the many bits of boredom that wasted much of life
To live is not counting each breath
Or even noting the time it takes to breathe
Living is doing, creating, exploring and manufacturing
Living is being in the moment with what you are doing
* Inspired by Reverend Dr. William Barber’s quote in the New Yorker, April 10, 2020
“If you knew you had only forty-eight hours of breath left, what kind of world would you use that breath to fight for? What kind of world, what kind of nation?”
Aug 23 · 89
Cleome
Like a spider
Captures it’s prey
Viewers and bees
Succumb to the magnetism
Of pastel petal clusters
And long, whisker-like stamens
Petals flashing pink
Remenicent of the lips of
The girl who was
A first teenage crush
Delicate yet hardy
Center stage is cleome’s
Captured from black-eyed susans
Blooming hostas and mexican petunias
Perhaps it’s sinful to bask
In your radiance
Know that this
Is not a one season stand
Cleome will return next year
And the next
Loyalty is endless
We’re living in two disasters
Impacts are felt each day and night
One leads some to death
And many to fright

Facing fear and grief
Nearly every livelong day
We quarantine, we distance
Wash our hands and pray

Politics is a disaster too
Grid-lock in congress and nothing gets done
Executive branch takes action in sputters and spurts
News cast tell us which party has won

Problem solving seems somehow forgotten
Bi-partisian actions are seldom and few
Who takes responsibility for these messes
It can’t be me so it must be you.
*Reflections giving everyone the blame — except me of course.
Aug 7 · 119
Congruence
Let me be who I really am with you
My eyes directly train upon what’s true
My realness experiences your realness
Avoiding deceit or pretense
Authenticity unimpeded
Open heart, sharing my opened mind
The real thing unadulterated
My words and feelings unalloyed
Let me be who I really am with you
An undisputed portrait of me
Meaning what is said honestly
Frankness displayed in every word
Candid truth is what you have heard
I’m the legtimate and upfront article
Let me be who I really am with you
“Judge not”

Harsh words

For most of us

Who judge automatically

When each new experience

Brings forth a feeling

Of this is good

Or this is  bad  

Unmuted feelings become

Judgmental thoughts

I judge

So, tell me

How do I “judge not”

Do I cover my emotion

With a shroud

So often that

I become unresponsive

Or do I learn to greet

Each new experience

With openness and compassion

Showing unconditionally

Welcoming acceptance

Ideally, learning such openness

Would come with ease

In reality it seems

To take a lifetime
*One of the three necessary and sufficient condidtions of a helping relationship according to Carl Rogers, author of “On Becoming a Person*. I previously posted a rondeau about another condition, empathy.  The third condition is “unconditional positive regard.”  Irv Yalom an eminent psychotherapist has said, “there’s nothing that’s more empirically validated than Rogers’s assumptions.”
Feb 22 · 189
Mendacious propaganda
When looking for
a perfect phrase
to describe
communication today

Not just in politics
not just in advertising
nor just in social news
or just in entertainment
consider mendacious propaganda

Mendacious the adjective
With many synonyms
For telling lies

Put together with propaganda
One has a shell bomb
A barn-burner of a phrase
For spreading rumors,
Passing on false information
And trying to influence others

Mendacious propaganda is like
A morning misting settling on the grass
Dew blankets everything
Likewise information
Fake is called real
Real is called fake
Newspapers have
A column to check the fakes
To tell you which print
You might trust
Today, Truth, lies, news
Feb 17 · 124
Mind watching
Sitting here seeing
A parade of thoughts
ideas, worries, and preoccupations
Passing by like vehicles
Streaming along a city interstate
Rolling around inside
And me
Without a map or particular direction
Sunday driving through brooding distractions

Mind watching prompts discontent
Something is missing
Seeking inside the breath
As it flows downward then up and out
A new feeling emerges
A feeling of being engulfed
Surrounded by calm
To carry me to a new place
Mindfully lost in thought
To discover moments
Of the peace that passes
All understanding
inspired by moments of meditation
Dec 2019 · 139
The Static of Guilt
William A Poppen Dec 2019
Swivel chair swings side-to-side
like a wind chime twisting in March's gusts.
Thoughts of the past fade in and out
reminiscent of film in a faulty projector.

Much is forgotten.
Denial of certain behaviors
shuns responsibility as whole
pages are wiped from his memory scroll.

Each night images play before him.
******, like a needle on a balloon,
burst thoughts of contentment
and feelings of tranquility.

How does one mute
static from past sins ,
to accept
the salve of forgiveness?
Nov 2019 · 134
Armistice
William A Poppen Nov 2019
Seldom do I hear your three syllables
Ringing along the airwaves
Seldom does anyone fighting
After the war to end all wars
Consider you or think about
A cessation of arms

We even gave you a different name
Armistice, how did you become
So out of favor?

Let the world pause once again
On the eleventh hour
Of the eleventh day
Of the eleventh month
So we may sing, dance and discover
The joys of your three syllables
Ringing along the broadcast’s airwaves
Celebrate Veteran's Day in the USA
Oct 2019 · 121
Re-seeded
William A Poppen Oct 2019
Weathered turf
Fights against the steel
Clean sharp spikes
Penetrating hard packed soil
Struggling to fight off
Dandelions and noxious crabgrass
Growing in greensward despite
A lack of much-needed rain

Renewal begins as
Aeration creates holes
Spaced apart ready to accept
Seed flung across the lawn
By the cranking of a flywheel
Beneath the canvas sack of kernels
Destine to become blades
Of new grown Kentucky bluegrass

Re-seeding, renewal
Essential for lawns
As well as all living beings
Which regenerate
physically, mentally and spiritually
to fight off
Scars and growths
That disfigure and destroy
Reseeded my lawn a couple of weeks ago and it looks like it is off to a good start.
William A Poppen Oct 2019
An exercise in line breaks.  See below

Give me notice (Version One)

Give me notice
For life is short
I might have more to do
Than rest on your doorstep
Hoping you will open the latch
Greet me with a smile
Suggest we spend the day
Viewing the community pond
Feeding the ducks
Cementing our bond

Give me notice
So I will not
Fall in love alone

Give Me Notice (Version Two)

GIVE ME NOTICE

Give me notice
Life
can be short

I might have
more to do

Than rest
on your doorstep

Hoping
you will
open the latch

Greet me
with a smile

Suggest we
spend the day

By the village pond

Feeding
the ducks

Cementing
our bond

Give me
notice

So I
will not
fall in love
alone
Line breaks can change a poem.  Borrowing from an idea of Sandford Lyne in his book Writing Poetry from the Inside Out, I tried changing the line breaks in one of my poems.  Here are the two poems.  The top one was my first write and it was posted here before Nov, 2018.  The second  rendering is unchanged except for line breaks.  I would appreciate any feedback of the poems.  Someone read them and suggested a different title.  What do you think about the title or the versions?  Please let me know.  There is one change in wording, community pond to village pond and an additional and in the original post.
Oct 2019 · 206
Wide-eyed seeing *
William A Poppen Oct 2019
God is comfortable with diversity
God sees straight
As well as crooked
Black as well as blue

God recognizes
And appreciates each of us
Who walk on earth

Think of another world
Where judging others
Rules the day

What does it look like,
Look around you
It looks like today’s world

Might perceptions change
Where people see each others
With total wholeness
Respecting others
While dropping away
The compulsion
To categorize

Might perceptions change
Might people view others
With wide-eyes
Accepting crooked and straight
Black as well as blue
And become comfortable with diversity
*from Richard Rohr, Just This
William A Poppen Sep 2019
Hosta’s blossoms fade
Mexican Petunia spread
Cleome endures
A view out the window
Sep 2019 · 127
The Gravel Pit
William A Poppen Sep 2019
Few recall when the earth was scraped back
Over four score ago
To show the extensive gravel waiting to be abused

Horse pulled wagons consumed bites of earth,
One shovel-full at a time
To spit and ***** their contents
So no mud holes will grow  
Along trails black with mid-west loam

These roads carried us to and from places
To get what we did not need
For we knew how to be sustainable
Long before it became a popular movement
Long before progress discovered the quantity
Beneath the outer bones of the field across the road
A childhood memory
Jul 2019 · 432
Redaction*
William A Poppen Jul 2019
So often he attempts
to change words
he has said.
Words that he says later
do not mean
what they convey

There will never be
enough blotters, or erasers
or black markers to cover all
that he would amend
or alter if possible

A secret disclosed
once redacted
becomes evidence
that he desires his words  
to remain unconfirmed

A secret is a secret
only if concealed,
totally hidden
and never unearthed

Redaction is an action
to revoke or nullify
words and actions that
may or may not be undoable
Another word of the day poem.
Jul 2019 · 699
Indecorous*
William A Poppen Jul 2019
Dear indecorous,
Used only from time to time
The word for our day

You are exacting
Better than unbecoming
******, or ill-bred

Ungentlemanly
Incorrect, inappropriate
Unseemly, or indecent
*An adjective used to describe the behavior of our POTUS of USA
Jul 2019 · 178
My Dream
William A Poppen Jul 2019
I know I had a dream last night

The dream was the first thing I remembered
when I woke up

I know it was about a child
Perhaps a near baby

I was with a male friend
Though I don’t remember who

I’m sure that I was at a baseball game
Which I left before it finished

And I left the child there
With some people I met
Sitting behind me

I do recall being told by someone
Perhaps my wife

To go back and get the child

Which I was doing when I was awakened
By a noise on the street

I hope the child is okay
Do you dream?  Do you remember your dreams?
Jun 2019 · 160
Assiduous *
William A Poppen Jun 2019
Without the label of a teacher
Nonetheless things are pointed out
With care and diligence

Comments meticulously exacting
As though there is a sixth sense
About what is detailed

More than busy, attention is thorough
Rigor seeps from every statement
Oozing inside the listeners skull

How much perseverance can
Be understood while feeling
Crushed beneath a microscope’s slide
*A recent word of the day
Jun 2019 · 509
Quibble*
William A Poppen Jun 2019
One small gripe dropped
On me over our morning meal
Unusual coming from
Across the breakfast plates

Your grimace
Accentuated what was labeled
A slight beef
To begin the day
About last night
When all of our world
Was supposedly sleeping

Most of the covers
Gathered on my side
Of our sleigh bed
Tucked around me

At least this nitpick
Was something tangible
Unlike the night before
When I danced all night
With your sister
In your dreams
While you were
Left sitting
on the sidelines
*Merriam-Webster’s word for the day, June 8, 2019
May 2019 · 1.4k
Asperity*
William A Poppen May 2019
With emotions
Protruding like spikes
On the ball of a flail

Her presence
Consumes the room

Even her voice sounds
Rough, pitted by
Adrenaline surging
Through her veins

Her mood
Is more than stern
As if bitterness
Rests around
Her heart
And all calm
Is hidden somewhere
Within her shadow
* Merriam-Webster word for the day, May 28, 2019
May 2019 · 152
About Life
William A Poppen May 2019
Mentally moving into
Where I will be
In those moments ahead
Brings anxiety and fear

Those minutes  
Of the future
Provoke doubt and unease

Similarly, the past is like
A rug stained with footprints
Of mud and grit and misdeeds
Spots best described as guilt

What peace exists resides
Here and now . . .

And in conceding that
Sadness and dark moments
Contain kernels of truth
Tuesday morning ruminations
May 2019 · 179
Moment by Moment
William A Poppen May 2019
I seldom learn about life
When walking fast along a path,
Exercise becomes the goal
Instead of understanding
Who I am, what the world is about
And why I am here

I seldom learn about myself
By reading the morning paper
instead of hearing the good morning song
Of the wren visiting
Among the feeders

I seldom learn about you
By thinking what I will tell you
Instead of hearing deeply
What you are saying and
What you are feeling while you say it

I seldom become aware
Until I feel my breath
Cascading in and out
Filling my belly and
Leaving my chest

Perhaps life is simple
When we experience it
Moment by moment
Instead of trying
To capture it
And make it ours
Morning reflections
Apr 2019 · 527
Writhe*
William A Poppen Apr 2019
To follow her is to
Twist and turn through life

Attempt to squirm free
And once more
her exotic scent
captivates you

At least your suffering
Is keen and intense

Every physical contortion
Only constricts her hold

Most predict despite
Numerous gyrations
The end will be catastrophic
*Merriam-Webster word for the day, April 24, 2019
Apr 2019 · 100
Entitlements
William A Poppen Apr 2019
To breathe
Is but one of my
Entitlements

To rise
And walk
With the ability
To change direction

To experience
Feel, gather, immerse
Myself in each event of life

So, what are my
Entitlements in life?
To breathe
To rise
To walk
To immerse
To change
If you see something beautiful, don’t just think “oh, my that is beautiful” rather experience it and its beauty.  We are enriched not by our thoughts of beauty but by our experience of being in the moment with something exquisite
Mar 2019 · 177
Beneath the Shroud
William A Poppen Mar 2019
So far away
The shooting
The killing

So close
The anger
The hatred

Viral scenes
Confront us
If we click
If we open our eyes

Who is our fellow traveler
If not you
Both near and far

Produce stuff
Consume it all
For tomorrow
We may die

Some gain
More and more

Others do more
With less

What does
It mean
Essential

Fluff, excess
Surrounds us

The question is
Not who is dying
Rather the question is

What is dying
Is it
The planet

Here we roam
Waiting
Beneath the shroud
Feb 2019 · 207
Unmuffled Fears
William A Poppen Feb 2019
Within
stirs a persistent bane

birthed
while on her Mother’s knee

Now her bones
grate against the chair
amid her rhythmic rocking
that breaks the dim silence

Images reverberate

on the back walls
of her mind

Disquietude prompts alarm

as her obsessions claw
to unearth graves

of fears

she pretends are invalid

Her desire to flee

from reminders of falsehoods

and fake passions

nags her endlessly

like unforgivable sins

haunt a cloistered sister

Neither pleas, nor prayers
quell her ruminations.
A revision, originally written in 2011
Feb 2019 · 659
Phone Ring
William A Poppen Feb 2019
Each time I notice
Small changes in your life
I keep them to myself

You know your smartphone
has a new ring
I don’t need to tell you

Your hair has a different tint
If I mention it
Your will ask me
Do you like it

And I would have to say
How much I love and care
About you and all that you are
Even if I don’t like your
New hair tint
And, by the way
The new phone ring —
Irritating
Why some people say I am quiet
Jan 2019 · 255
My Affair with Mary
William A Poppen Jan 2019
I was seduced
in Barnes & Noble,
lured to the  poetry section
next to coffee and pastries

I touched her Blue Iris,
fondled her Red Bird
and recounted why
she wakes to watch
the early sunrise

She looked better than I remembered
in a brown jacket
with a striking
emblem of a bear
on the front
She took me to her tent
near Truro
and told me of turtles, toads,
hermit *****,
and her fear
of ridding her garden
of a small harmless snake

I spill my passion
on the beach’s sand — our bed for now

Under her cover
she shares phrases,
moles, verbs,
and curves
of sweet new perceptions

We are intimate beyond belief
through her verbal kisses
which bring sweat to my palms

I’m high, hallucinating
on Mary
my drug of choice

I’m having an affair
with Mary Oliver
I am re-posting this in light of the recent death of Mary Oliver.  I miss her
Jan 2019 · 428
Old Age* 3
William A Poppen Jan 2019
Present
Going slowly
A good time to explore
Venture toward the unknown
Gently
*notes — The cinquain is a poem form with a strict syllabic count of 2, 4, 6, 8, 2 in five lines. Usually used to express brief thoughts or moments.
Dec 2018 · 306
Old Age* 2
William A Poppen Dec 2018
Old age *

Growing stillness

Know one day at a time

Pound the piano key’s of life

Softly
*notes — The cinquain is a poem form with a strict syllabic count of 2, 4, 6, 8, 2 in five lines. Usually used to express brief thoughts or moments.
Dec 2018 · 302
Old Age* (1)
William A Poppen Dec 2018
Old Age

What are you for?

Do life at a snail’s pace

Notice the drone of slow breathing

Wither
*notes — The cinquain is a poem form with a strict syllabic count of 2, 4, 6, 8, 2 in five lines. Usually used to express brief thoughts or moments.
Dec 2018 · 403
On Facebook
William A Poppen Dec 2018
I found your face
On Facebook
Hard to believe
I was ever there
The landscape
Is fuzzy
Through the fog
Your profile is
So faded, there are
new wrinkles
Around your mouth
Under your eyes
Wisdom lines
Gathered during our
togetherness

Your eyes still seer with
Every look, yet that look
Seeks not to find my soul
Whatever you saw
One look was enough
What you saw
was too mild, or wild
Or too jagged

Hidden in this box of memories
Are pieces of you
Musty reminders
some invigorating
some good
Mostly gone
Sometimes I write something, look at it a week or so later and then can't seem to remember why I wrote it or even what I was trying to say.  Nonetheless, here it it.
Nov 2018 · 207
Seasons Change
William A Poppen Nov 2018
Stiff west wind blows cold
A testament to winter
See the huddled wren
Shield itself along the gutter
How sudden the seasons change
A tanka, Lines one and three have 5 syllables, the others seven
Inspired by the view out the window.
Nov 2018 · 534
Good Enough
William A Poppen Nov 2018
There is time for thought
During this daily walk
There is no need to achieve
No need to count steps
Or tally blocks or miles or minutes
Leisure is on-deck
Time away from work
Time away from expectations
Time when the only eyes evaluating
The steps, the distance, the pace
Is you

Pressure mounts step by step
Shifting attention from the trees
The falling leaves, the birds,
Returning to self-centered issues
Returning to thoughts that evaluate
Judgments about the past
Become concerns for the future
Has enough been accomplished
Has enough been stored
For what is to come

Current experience happens
Yet passes by
Without appreciation
Without being savored

Being becomes anxiety
Being becomes guilt
Being becomes non-being

The question is repeated
Constantly nagging
“Why is it so hard to become
Aware of the present
And why is it so hard to stay
With the moment?”

Will life be long enough
For one to accept
That this is good-enough
That this moment
Is life and it is good enough
Being here, being now
Just sharing what seems to me to be an "eternal question"
Nov 2018 · 117
Give Me Notice
William A Poppen Nov 2018
Give me notice
For life is short
I might have more to do
Than rest on your doorstep
Hoping you will open the latch
Greet me with a smile
And suggest we spend the day
Viewing the community pond
Feeding the ducks
Cementing our bond

Give me notice
So I will not
Fall in love alone
love,
Oct 2018 · 2.6k
Survival in The Basement
William A Poppen Oct 2018
Storm winds from the west
Send us scurrying down the plank
Steps into the dank basement
Sounds become deafening as the
Skies darken

Whatever is happening
Is only visible through a four-paned
Window no larger than a newspaper

At age seven this is all new
Thunder, lightening, storms
Have come and gone
Usually starting in the west
Among growing and billowing clouds
This time the darkness is heavy
Winds blow straight yet swirl simultaneously

A look of fear unlike any he has seen before
Covers his mother’s face

His father, a man of few words and a placid personality
Forces new wrinkles upon his worried forehead

The hay barn slides across the yard
Walking as though each wall has legs
Slowly collapsing, it crumbles into the granary
Once it lands the storm begins to abate
They will survive
Slowly, step by step his father, then his mother
And finally he ascend to view what damage
Has occurred.  One view and he knows the answer
The devastation is real and substantial
Survival, storms, childhood
Sep 2018 · 217
Freshly Planted Bush
William A Poppen Sep 2018
That freshly planted bush
Dries under the afternoon sun
Filtering through an overgrown pear tree
Loaded with an unpicked harvest

Were he younger
He would climb the tree
Were he younger he would
Enter the house and kiss
The woman
Who says she loves him

That freshly planted bush
Might not make it
Through the Fall
Wilting and dying before Winter

Were he younger
The plant would not die
Were he younger
What would the plant become
Aug 2018 · 387
I Nag Myself
William A Poppen Aug 2018
Among the many things
I have learned to do
In this life
Is to “nag” myself

I nag myself
To take a walk
Because it is good for me

Exercise you know
Is good for me

I nag myself
To avoid wasting time
And I nag myself to
Take some time for myself

I nag myself about the things
I did not do
Like buy a sweet sports car
Like see that popular foreign movie
Like read the writings of the Dalai Lama
Like love others more
Like love myself more

I nag myself
To stop nagging myself
I nagged myself to post this poem.
Aug 2018 · 282
Empathy
William A Poppen Aug 2018
Let me look really intending to see

How soft and graceful your smile can be

Let me gather every furrow’s wrinkle and dip

Each purposeful twist upon your lip

Sensing every fear, anger and envy


Let me escape judgments of thee

And keep all distractions away from me

While I am collecting all of your script

Let me look, really intending to see


Summon each emotion be it sad or happy

Amass all your thoughts, goals and worry

Reflect, rephrase, without a slip

All pain, plight, dilemma, and witty quip

And in the end realize the need to let you be

Let me look, really intending to see
Jun 2018 · 343
Feelings
William A Poppen Jun 2018
Is it harder to let go of
Bad habits and addictions
Or, harder to climb over
That wall where
Feelings hide away

There is so much one can do
With feelings, stuffing them
into some bulging mental drawer
Is generally counterproductive
And learning to befriend them
Is no easy task albeit
Extremely worthwhile

Each engendered feeling
Seems as tough to hide as
A newborn puppy
In a college dormitory

Peaking over the wall
At secreted feelings
Displays piles of anger, fear, envy,
While more pleasant feelings like joy  
Fight to garner attention

Pleasant or unpleasant
Gently pet each emotion
Befriend it and it will
Give you strength
And insight into
Weathering a crisis,
Healing a relationship
Or finding your path in life
Not sure this is even a poem.  I can't seem to make it flow so I'm posting it as a stream of consciousness.
May 2018 · 441
The Way Out
William A Poppen May 2018
Late in the evening we chew over
     how to foil dilemmas and conflicts

Does resolution come from
     defending my ground

Or by being sure I establish
     your guilt

Is life like a court
     of law

Or a platform for
     debate

The answer may be
     far afield

In an arena where shared
     feelings and misperceptions
     trump facts

Where love is honest enough to yield
     a renewed commitment
Mar 2018 · 3.0k
Gathering
William A Poppen Mar 2018
Tonight is a cluster of
Recognitions, remembrances
Mostly reminiscence
Which sift in the breeze
Gusting beneath the temporary
Tarpaulin tent

Backs are slapped
Arms embraced
Smiles predominate
As shiny faces and gleaming  foreheads
Illuminated by flashing cameras
Twinkle like fireflies displaying
In a muggy June meadow

Photos pulled from stained
Billfolds move from hand to hand
Displaying glossies of babies, graduations
Weddings and “The big catch”

Relatives, friends and officials
Find their place on folded metal chairs
For a wedding ceremony

Tonight has become a gathering
Marriage planned for tonight
Mar 2018 · 384
Imprisoned Emotions
William A Poppen Mar 2018
As pen rubs against paper
What is the purpose
To illustrate, with words
All that is within

Emotions imprisoned
Have feasted on my flesh
Now released to you as
Impressions on a page

Let me send them
To you, to others

Let us see if anyone
Has the compassion
To take them in
To live with them
As I have
Embattled, alone
At war with these
Unfulfilled passions
Mar 2018 · 377
Sensing
William A Poppen Mar 2018
Walking on a river’s bank
Looking inward
I pause with fear

Turning over rocks
May not
Soothe my heart

There may be mysteries and
Fears waiting
Amid joyous realizations
Waiting in the warmth
Of the ground

Sensing what is about me
Intaking all that is
Allowed to transform
Like I’m pumping
an accordion’s bellows

Breathing in and out while
Each of my senses
Alerts me to what
Surrounds me

I want to feel those things
That are pieces of me  
But do not define me
Feb 2018 · 266
Renewal
William A Poppen Feb 2018
The sheets are cool
Upon crawling inside
Unlike your continual warmth

A lullaby soothes me
Welcoming my dreamworld
Perhaps infancy is approaching

Over forty years
Beside legs willing
To entangle

Whoever thought our nights
Would become my
Emotional sustenance
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