Emily Beers Jul 2011

I remember when you first said my name.
It was like any other person saying it.
Except that
Which each passing time
It became more and more like a secret.
Something only you and I shared.
You would look at me,
In the eyes
Blue locked on blue
And say “Emily”.
And with each passing time,
Your mouth turned up more and more.
And then less and less.
I remember the last time you said my name.
It was like any other person saying it.
Except that
I had never wanted to be called anything else
More than I did in that moment.

Bailey B Dec 2009

So I've been thinking lately

What if
he's on a journey out to find himself
reading Hemingway and Emerson (his namesake) and roughing it at Walden Pond
smoking foreign cigars
and staring deep into coffee
to decipher the meaning of the swirls of smoke
that rise from it in the morning?
What if
he's asking ChaCha! the meaning of life
or trying out a new brand of shampoo
or attempting to set a high score on Tetris
or out burning down bridges just to see them ablaze
or doing volunteer work,
reading to disabled children at the local library?
What if
he's decided that this is all too much,
that he'd prefer to live in anonymity
trading his celebrity for secretarial work or carrot-harvesting
or breeding exotic fish
or renting out those inflatable jumping-castles?
What if
he's tired of all those books in Technicolor
all the paparazzi out to get him
and commercialize his favorite beanie
just because he's on vacation because he pulled some strings at the office
thus catapulting him into some movie set halfway across the world?
What if he's sick and tired of them hunting down his girlfriend
his dog
that random wizard mentor guy that's a deadringer for Dumbledore?
What if he would rather sit at home and watch the Game Show Network
and change his name to something boring like John instead of living up to a thinker's expectations?
Or maybe just the opposite, he's just watching Family Feud to pass the time because he WANTS to be a thinker
but doesn't know how?
Or maybe Family Feud just makes him lonely because he doesn't have a real family,
just that evil guy with funny glasses and facial hair and an awful Hamburglar taste in clothes?
What if he's decided he's on the wrong path
and needs to turn his life around?

What if Waldo doesn't want to be found?

Clarice Alvarez Sep 2014

A storm took your name
And wrecked havoc as I slept
And thought about you

A new haiku from me. Just got hit by a storm today, and it happened to be named after somebody.
glassea Jun 2015

did you know that
there's no such thing as
a perfect name?

one day i'm catherine
and in the next breath, esther -
boudica, scathach, chiang;
virginia, sacagawea, rosalind.

i change like the ocean
so don't try to name me.
don't try to limit me.

you cannot keep me
from being great.

"there's no such thing as a perfect name." - jhumpa lahiri, "the namesake"

The bartender
Is surprised at my lexicon
Because I have blonde hair
And fair skin.

He doesn’t know me
Aside from Tuesdays
Separated by counter and glass,
Always another?

And I want to.

I want to walk in for the first time,
Sit down, vodka tonic
Quote Wolterstorff and
The goodwill rhetoric
Of a speaker to the audience,
Showing him
Smart girls can be pretty too.
Smart girls are pretty too.
Pretty girls are smart.
Girls are smart.
Girls are pretty.

But no one likes a smarty pants
So I feign indifference
(Or a drama queen)
Drink my last
And leave a generous tip.

Girls are nice, too.

mary elisabeth 2015
Woody Sep 2016

He walks in the dark by himself
as the wind rose
like the rivers of Ohio
that broke the levees of his heart
and the moon was a blue piano

A daughter stood on the front porch
holding her apron over her eyes
because she didn't want to watch
the witches scatter their straw
over her father's frozen fields

And his wife, who had new snow
in her heart held on to a comforter
speaking to the feathers right low
hoping her words would be heard
by the bible salesman up the road

There were footsteps in the graveyard
and hair being combed by a stranger
as the neighbors sat around stoves
holding their only sons real close
stammering and warm, about to cry.

Sydney Spencer Jan 2015

I've never heard my name sound quite as perfect

As it did when you let it curl off your tongue and slip past your lips last night

I've missed you.

You rarely actually call me by name I'm surprised you remember it most days.
Kara Rose Trojan May 2012

With Body pretzled up, skins converged to form
            branches of rivers, mouth slack and frozen to
            a permanent scowl of delirium and manners-gone,
            as many swears dripped from those dry, cracked lips.

One of my mothers – gumshoed from the alley’s way of family.
“Get gumption, girlie, because everybody is full of shit!”

I remember that lullaby, “A tiny turned-up nose, two lips just like a rose. She sits upon my knee, she means to the world to me.”

I spy the scar on my pinky finger from her cigarette.

Could the King be witness in the Room?
Were those buttons of hollow wood over her eyelids?

Wrung of cries – we didn’t see that coming,
though we heard the flies.
And Age’s stumbling rattle through the hallway.

Do you know who I am?
Do you remember me?
Should the window washer come another day?
This stubborn sovereignty over what is reality – the root beneath the porch, the fog on the windshield.

Loosen the grip on this natural plane,
            Please --

Woman of my Childhood, harvester of my manners.
            Stand until the grown-ups sit.
            Look away and bow your neck.
                        This was called the boxing match between Industry verses Inferiority.

Not child through birth – no –
            but life spawned by those
            strung-high fists.

There’s finality in this phone-call.
I heard it happened an hour ago.
            Treading grievances and grimaces, picking through a flowerbed only to stroke the weeds.
            Lifting boxes of Lead from reality to the Bridge of Dreams.
                        Frankly, I stole the gumption from your knotted mouth and
                        still cannot cry.

In a splinter of reason – I cast out the fundamental jibes of sacred hope.
            That promise held between dog and owner during business hours.
            Except there can be no homecoming.

The sickest liquor on the alleyway fence.

kenny Diamond Jun 2015

I hope as the sun hits my face
The tears burn my skin
I will never be the image you see
I can t walk this path anymore
In the end you will never understand me
I can t keep the hope in my heart with feeling that has been lost deep inside my  soul
My heart breaks with no love
I live for today not for the past
I hold my breath no more
I wear no mask to hide myself
In world full of pain.

Skinny little legs, like the bees
you loved to draw, propelled you
down two flights of old stone stairs.

Banging on your namesake's door,
calling out in a child's Italian:
"Nino, let's go play!"

An enclosed courtyard held us at the center
of modest apartments where our neighbors
hung out laundry, watched us play.

In the early evening light we counted, hid,
and counted again under quiet Roman skies.
It seemed, then, that this was life.

Counting rapidly in that musical language,
searching for a new and better place to hide,
we never imagined that soon, we would
want to hide here, in these memories
that would never leave us.

When an avalanche of tragedy hit us
one year later, we had these soft days
in our father's country to remember.
Hiding, counting,
and hiding again.

For my brother Jas
©Elisa Maria Argiro
Onoma Nov 2014

Peace draws itself out...leaving an
informed emptiness in its wake.
As light leaves room for everything...
what is let be, comes to itself.
Peaces draws itself out...leaving an
informed emptiness in its wake--
a flowering beyond namesake.
As anything can be renamed, any
shape altered...light...in peace,  transfigures.
Dormancy's wayshowing can not be
filled with anything but itself...peace
beyond body and mind.

Aaj ke bacchon mein hi nahin,
Apitu badon mein bhi sanskār,
Naammatr ke bach gaye hain.

Not only in children of the day,
But even the grownups lack it,
Ettiquette is just for namesake.

Andar se wo aadar bhaav gūm,
Aur haan gūm hai satkaar bhi,
Badon ke liye sammān gūm hai.

That feeling of respecting is lost,
And indeed is lost that hospitality,
Elderly are no longer given the place.

Foundation pillar-shaped bilingual concrete poetry.

The Hindi language poetry means the same as translated into the English language in the lines that follow it.

HP Poem #1154
©Atul Kaushal
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