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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/books/item_id/1253431-Beetlebung-and-Kettlehole--April-Poems
Rated: 18+ · Book · Drama · #1253431
Poetry in April -- in celebration
Daisies poetry signature

This is my Second Book of poems. I may not have eaten the plums from the icebox, but I am guilty of writing poetry without thinking too much, without laboring over words and lines.

This Is Just to Say

I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox

and which
you were probably
for breakfast

Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold

          by William Carlos Williams

You, too, forgive me for I only love the writing process; the result is secondary...And please never mind that I am also aping William Carlos Williams's false apology. *Wink**Laugh*


From where does the title Beetlebung and Kettlehorn come from?

The name Beetlebung and Kettlehorn has to do with ancient whaling practices and Martha’s Vineyard and Cape Cod.

During the nineteenth century, because of its dense white wood, the tupelo tree was used in whale oil casks made of copper. Beetle was the mallet made from the Tupelo tree and bung was the stopper in the cask hole. In Martha’s vineyard, the Tupelo tree is still known as the Beetlebung tree, and at Chilmark there, is a Beetlebung Corner, with shops at Chilmark Center, from where roads lead to other interesting points.

Kettlehorn, as well as being an ancient surname, refers to a piece of equipment resembling to but much bigger than a shoe-horn, used to stir the hot blubber and separate the fine oil from the denser particles. Whale oil was a popular commodity and, as a fuel, was used for lighting the dark, burning to provide heat and as an aid in cooking. After the whale was hunted, men in a boat cut strips of blubber from the whale's back, tied them together and rowed ashore. There the fat was cut into smaller pieces to be boiled into oil in large copper kettles.

In addition there exists kettle corn in Cape Cod which are corn chips fried in kettles and sometimes mistakenly called kettlehorns.

For some reason, way back when, the words Beetlebung and Kettlehorn were used together and, at one time or another, were given to shops and other things that go together as titles.

I adopted the name for my on-the-spot poetry in reference to the idea of blubber. *Laugh*

"Poetry the shortest distance between two humans"
Lawrence Ferlinghetti

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April 4, 2020 at 10:31am
April 4, 2020 at 10:31am
You went with your eyes open
I closed them
with my tears
when breath left you
I held my breath, too.

And now,
I am a hollowed stump
stuck inside
this shell of a house
where I miss my words
and all words
miss me.
April 30, 2019 at 12:51pm
April 30, 2019 at 12:51pm
I cup my hands to catch
a few drops of water
from the tap or the rain
just to hear
the sound.

Bubbles rise, and I let go
enjoying the whoosh of
of the liquid
and yours
each release a kind of distortion.


April 30--release
April 29, 2019 at 10:39am
April 29, 2019 at 10:39am
Done with waiting,
I take the next lane
still the rush-hour lunges

and my annoyance goes
from driving
to finishing things,
a need to close
bumper to bumper
one spiral to another.

I’m done with life
being done to me


Prompt: April 29--traffic
April 28, 2019 at 11:27am
April 28, 2019 at 11:27am

Do I know where I am
as dimensions eclipse
quicker and quicker
and I can’t hold on?

I think a centrifugal force
must have pulled me
through a flattened grid
into this slivered life

to rush like Alice
without a thought,
to fall down the hole
after a madcap rabbit

and splay onto this world.
Now, from within
a garbled voice asks,
“Just why are you here?”


April 28-- difficulty
April 27, 2019 at 10:45am
April 27, 2019 at 10:45am

when the wind and
branches entwine
as lovers and
birds’ nests
can hold on no more,
maple leaves turn red
in a fit of fury, fearing
the many ways
of falling


Prompt: April 27—tree

April 26, 2019 at 10:08am
April 26, 2019 at 10:08am

that filmy blue
in your eyes
and gentle ripple
of your smile
re-tuning me
after fervent disputes
and all the wrongs
of this world


Prompt: April 26—blue
April 25, 2019 at 12:32pm
April 25, 2019 at 12:32pm
you admire
my purple flowers
their finely powdered seeds
pirouetting over
lenient leaves

then, my non-sequitor sneeze

are you still green
with envy?


April 25—green
April 24, 2019 at 8:57am
April 24, 2019 at 8:57am
now that everything
has become the past,
no chisel will work on
the solidified longing
as it lies heavy
on your heart


April 24—rock
April 23, 2019 at 10:25am
April 23, 2019 at 10:25am
itchy dry eyes, and
ophthalmologist’s drops
leak the irritation away

still, I don’t like weeping
for any reason at all, since
nothing’s permanent to pity

including me, and because
as an investor, I hold
my tears in trust.


Prompt: April 23--weeping
April 22, 2019 at 1:03pm
April 22, 2019 at 1:03pm
her contours vanish now
well, almost,
in her loose-fitting gown
and frail body
for she sleeps constantly
after her vacation
in the Caribbean
where she felt like a whale

it is as if a piranha struck
then, without her noticing
yet no fish is to blame
for the shame of a liquid diet
so I bake bread to take
to her, thinking maybe
it will help, maybe
she won’t stop breathing


April 22--bread
April 21, 2019 at 11:42am
April 21, 2019 at 11:42am
                   (true story)

years have passed
since our leave-taking
from the old property
but here I am still grieving
over the garden I planted
bearing bravely the thorns
of fifty-five rose bushes
as if they were a poem each
talking the language of love

such risky business
on my heart,
the work of a masochist, since
a year after our move,
I recoiled in horror
when I heard from
an old neighbor about the
new backyard pool where
the rose garden stood


Prompt: April 21—flower
April 20, 2019 at 11:06am
April 20, 2019 at 11:06am

its glare dripping away
with weakening will,
the sun peeks through
bandaged eyes
turning the clouds
into faceted crystals


Prompt: April 20—cloud

April 19, 2019 at 10:39am
April 19, 2019 at 10:39am
Some days
I feel like an actor who
stumbled into
the wrong stage-play
for there's nothing
soft or picturesque here

but in distant view,
ascending from dark mountains
with gunmetal-gray smoke
a mythical thing murky
red-hoofed, forked-tongued
out to make our towns
and nations


Prompt: April 19—dark
April 18, 2019 at 12:07pm
April 18, 2019 at 12:07pm
as you stream into
darkened spaces
with all your brilliance
and slickness
watch out where
you enter

since peepholes in lace curtains
will bend your glitzy body
to unlatch your foolishness
and mimic sudden sparks
hurting my eyes


Prompt: April 18--light
April 17, 2019 at 7:43am
April 17, 2019 at 7:43am
what was it that you did
in your life’s cubicle
for the company
or your prospects
counting sand grains
in an hourglass,
propping up ladders
to climb,
wasting tons of paper
thoughts, wishes, deeds
nobody will remember
just to find out
in retrospect
nothing lasts


April 17--work
April 16, 2019 at 8:32am
April 16, 2019 at 8:32am

The heat
in starched tropics
accomplishes it
when the sun scorches
the body
without speaking
straight to the heart

strolling on the parched lawn
I am missing every
incisive icicle
and the ancient whiteness
of snow


April 16--weather
April 15, 2019 at 7:02am
April 15, 2019 at 7:02am
Have you noticed
I season my morning coffee
with cinnamon, milk,
and mild complaints
about the weather,
cold winters, hot summers
solstices, too many supermoons
bestiality of politics
and being placed on
this third planet?

Silly me! After oodles of seasons,
just when I have become myself,
I’m looking for a bright sun,
wishing to begin again.


Prompt: April 15--season
April 14, 2019 at 6:47am
April 14, 2019 at 6:47am
drops slap windowpanes
like grief, in spurts
gray clouds devour the sky
such bad temper!

and this restless wind
playing tricks on my mind
while limbs break off trees
I’m splashing in mud puddles

muttering mock curses
at stand-offish purple iris
and seeing cruelty in tulips
for daring to stay alive


April 14--rain
April 13, 2019 at 8:25am
April 13, 2019 at 8:25am
wings strumming
flickers of light
you, the roly-poly vegan

littering the night
prospecting love
greedy for its gifts

but in a scheme of hours,
a spider’s web will be
your undoing since

you’ve stood out enough!


Prompt: April 13--insect

April 12, 2019 at 11:52am
April 12, 2019 at 11:52am
at the campsite
where shadows wrestled
with trees so old and obese
with bark
he made my heart jump

claws and fangs withdrawn
a predator’s instinct revoked
he lowered his head to grin
in greeting
with sorrowless eyes, keen as gold

a sun god ‘s* coloring
and his stare, my kryptonite,
filling my core
I slipped into his old-world charm
yet playful moments were over

and this tryst without culmination
for he turned his back to walk away
into the woods
fearless and proud, as if dressed
in Armani

* Ancient Greeks associated wolves with the sun god Apollo.


Prompt: April 12--land animal

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