Poetry Section: Polished Poems

You won’t find a literary magazine on the Internet that has as many promising poems as the poems you will find below. These poets truly do have a knack for sound and the English language. If you appreciate poetry and you appreciate the English language, you will be pleased with what poets Peter Grieco, Desmond Kon Zhicheng-Mingdé, and Alex Coleman have submitted for Write from Wrong’s fourth issue.

In the words of T.S. Eliot, “Genuine poetry can communicate before it is understood.” These polished poems do just that!

Peter J Grieco
The author, who has published over 70 poems over the past five year, is a writing teacher and former school bus driver living in Buffalo, NY. He enjoys studying French and composing songs for the guitar. You can find some of his music at: http://www.youtube.com/user/pjgrieco and can contact him there as well.

SELF PORTRAIT
Alan E. Cober, 1997

Wind whistles through centuries waking devils—
the wind rattles through walls
shaking down a turbulence of images.
This ruddy, bulbous nose
my ears, senses, eyes, hands—
the flesh of me feels deceptively moored & stable
but I spin in a vortex.
You spin in one, too. Though I show the same face
as the moon, I belong only to the vanishing
instant. I am already my own cadaver.
The calm behind these supple brows is alert
to that certain prophesy.
The wind has bleached the light
spits rain, creates floods, unearths bones—
slits open the brown valley.
How soon these pigments perish. They fade
as does your own seeing.

THE CASBAH GATE
Matisse, 1912

The ghost, again—there, just now—
in the corner—Ayse, do you see her?
Nay—it’s a trick of the sun.
Come back to your needle work.
Every stitch is a credit
towards heaven. So the women
flash their needles, white
in the blue shadows of the harem.
The door beyond the door
is open for traders to call—all the
riffraff of the dusty city, Tangier
& the sharp morning strikes
at the sides of the passage
& a crimson stain spreads
through the tall keyhole
of the Casbah Gate.

CELEBRATIONS OF LIGHT
various painters, 2002

Watercolorists try harder.
But the titles that they give
can sometimes seem amateurish
for fauve cows & photo realism.
“Moonstruck” stretches its rigging
across a silent sea groaning to the pull
of taught forces. Scenes of Venice abound
in “Reflections” & one more “Evening’s Last Glow.”
These conventional ambitions respond well
to alla prima, wet on wet, masking,
& stretching, beguiling us with “negative
painting.” “A Roma” is a pun on perfume
pinned to a study of shimmering decanters
of nickle & glass. “Face to Face” brings us
nose-to-nose with a grand-fatherly bull,
presumably toothless. Goodbye to summer
& unkept promises. Pears & stripes forever.
“Innocence Lost” shows us the cat that
ate the canary. “Make Mine Peppermint”
is the one the drew me in, to sit under
one of its red umbrellas, to wait, but nothing
happens. She doesn’t come. “Time
Stands Still” arrests a guttering candle.
“School’s Out” seems blind to irony:
these fish will never escape.

Desmond Kon Zhicheng-Mingdé
Desmond Kon Zhicheng-Mingdé has edited more than 10 books and co-produced 3 audio books, several pro bono for non-profit organizations. Trained in book publishing at Stanford, with a theology masters in world religions from Harvard and fine arts masters in creative writing from Notre Dame, Desmond is a recipient of the Singapore Internationale Grant and Dr Hiew Siew Nam Academic Award. He has recent or forthcoming work in Cricket Online Review, Dark Sky, Folly, Grey Sparrow, Presence, Nano Fiction, Notes from the Gean, Spilling Ink Review, Sugar Mule, and Walnut Literary Review. Also working in clay, Desmond sculpts commemorative ceramic pieces for his Potter Poetics Collection. These works are housed in museums and private collections in India, the Netherlands, the UK and the US.

social realism is a table napkin of haiku

slip on pinewood squares
feldspar, talc, red clay, plaster –
chrome stains on loveseat

la vie en rose, this –
where’s the orange-eyed sparrow?
stage life, force, beeswax

long grain like moonstone
poured into brown porcelain –
lank, terraced, lowlands

four ideas installed –
for more conceptual art, this
moment like whale song

empathy is a lunar haiku

ladybugs a sprawl
over tray of almond tarts
deep red rays

hands over head
crouched on attic stairs
ragdoll without shoes

in bed with horace –
tonight’s simple shape
halfway poems in a pile

single sushi
in gravy bowls
the way things line up

a haiku and auden’s unknown citizen

john updike died
this week when I moved my bedroom
to the balcony

struggling to fly
past the sun
the poets fell their good wings

picked up my clothes
walked naked
to the lawn and stayed and slept

Alexander Cole
My pen-name is Alexander Cole, and over the past year or so, I have been engaging (some might call it ‘indulging’) my mind in the art of Poetry. With each evanescent moment, I am learning more and more about the importance of having a critical eye in relation to my own work, and reading as many poems by other poets as possible. Poets like Elizabeth Bishop and John Keats have had a large impact in my way of processing, composing and shaping poems. I am a student of Ancient History in Trinity College, Dublin – but right now, Poetry is my true calling.

Delightful Day

Sound is sweet.
Sound sounds sweet.
Words give meaning.
Meaning give words.
Noise is precious.
Life
is precious.

Wherever you may wander,
Whatever language you speak –
Sound never softens.
Noise has a distinctive voice;
Voice utters tone –
Which betrays emotion.

Oh! What a delightful day!
To leave home and arrive home.
The same soul / A new life!
Where noise stems from sound.
Sound makes sense.
Sense fills the Void.

Everyday:
Children play in the playground;
Birds clamour ‘Hallelujah’ to the skies;
Couples engage in the act of Love;
Their noise is ever present.
Sound is sweet.

Visiting Hours

I

Star-gazing!
For untold beauty,
Or simply
To pass the time?
A worthy pursuit,
Either way.
I’ve seen them all:
Our so-called neighbours.
No. We can never understand their true power
Or the true extent of their knowledge.
Who is to say there aren’t another eight races
In our Solar System alone
All as strange and sophisticated as ours?
Imagine, if you will,
An entire Universe of ‘overburdened’ lives.
How does one manage that?
Who,
I ask you, watches them?
Only the archives of Heaven record them all:
The weird and the wonderful –
And the downright weird!
Multi-cultured,
Multi-talented,
Multi-flawed,
Like ours.

II

Only gravity restrains our itchy feet.
We draw our hoods over in shame
For thinking so deeply,
Fearing what the mirror might say …
Probably just the usual:
Wake up to reality!

Or do what I do –
Dream on –
On a world of my own.

III

We don’t get much traffic down our way.
A rare asteroidOr stray shooting star;
Nothing revolutionary.
The cold, black Void
Keeps us in the dark
(From God knows what
Or perhaps for the better).
Still … my soul mate could be out there!
Only fifty million light years away!
The Void holds the answers
To questions we have yet to conceive!

IV

But who am I to complain?
Tomorrow is another day.
Business as usual
For Mankind.
Who knows now, what
We might know then.

From A Word

Growing up
(Just like the rest)
On the street;
In school;
At home.
Where is not the matter!

Those first years …
There is nothing …
No sight or sound
Or memory.
Nothing

It is just bliss.

The ears pop.
Or are they pricked?
And with that,
We hear it.
They can talk too!
Oh! So knowingly!

Language is beautiful –
Until usurped.
From a word –
We learn the truth
About Man and his Death:
The universal certainty.

We are one of ‘them’ now,
Mimicking their ‘knowledge’
All too soon,
Before we even get the chance
To pass a remark like:
“My, my! Didn’t that go fast!”

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Comments
4 Responses to “Poetry Section: Polished Poems”
  1. Peter Grieco says:

    Thanks to the editors & creators for such a great layout & flattering comments! Alexander Cole, I think you can add Rumi to your list of influences. Great stuff!

    Best,
    Peter

  2. Alexander Cole says:

    Wholeheartedly agree with your sentiments about WriteFromWrong’s flattering comments, Mr. Grieco. They have done us poets a great service with the title of ‘Polished Poems’ alone! And thank you for your compliment too – when I start writing a poem/reflection, by the time I have the finished product, it has often transcended far deeper than ever I imagined it would go!

    Thanks again … hopefully be seeing more of your work around here someday too!!
    Alexander

  3. Desmond Kon Zhicheng-Mingdé says:

    Yes, thanks for giving a home to these pieces. Lovely texts being made here.

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