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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/books/item_id/1253431-Beetlebung-and-Kettlehole--April-Poems/sort_by/entry_order DESC, entry_creation_time DESC/page/14
by Joy
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

Previous ... 10 11 12 13 -14- 15 ... Next
April 17, 2010 at 6:14pm
April 17, 2010 at 6:14pm
Silence is an acrobat, leaping
from moment to moment,
one day to next,
dark hours to dark smiles
and soaring black in a smoke
to make me listen to my shadow
and spill secrets in my lines.
Then, it presses on as my craft
when your name enters a room.
April 16, 2010 at 5:54pm
April 16, 2010 at 5:54pm
A random rupture
runs ash prints
all over a continent
leaving stranded passengers
in foreign ports;
raging earth on the move,
its hot breath
making me imagine
--while I pour coffee--
the dust of lost cities,
the Great Depression,
the coming hurricane season.
and how I cannot see
what will bring on miracles
or promising poetry,
but then, even love
has its tragic side.
April 15, 2010 at 6:31pm
April 15, 2010 at 6:31pm
A black discarded ribbon,
the snake on the driveway
stared at me, then to the sky,
his head, a periscope.
He moved not much but put up
with human presence
for a bit of sunlight,
a love so natural and voluntary.
The sweep of the garage broom,
a calling for flight, and he
slithered sideways, flowing
in a dignified dance
under the bushes.
He was so cool, I could have
talked to him.
Then I saw the small salamander
high up on the windowsill
welcoming my existence
like a goddess.


True story. It happened around midday, today, when I was about to take the car out of the garage for food shopping. Here was this three-foot black snake sunning on the driveway. He was, honestly, very cute, but he wouldn't budge. If I'd taken the car out, I'd run him over. So I started sweeping the opposite part of the driveway. The sound of the broom made him flee. Then I saw the salamander on the windowsill of the laundry room. *Laugh*
April 14, 2010 at 7:52pm
April 14, 2010 at 7:52pm
Waiting for the world to end,
the river turns, a long ribbon
anchoring the land to its sides
and I perch on an empty bench,
watching the tall egrets stab
into slate water for tadpoles
with the rhythm of native dancers,
each divinely manifest.
For one extended moment,
my vagrant mind stops wandering
and I sit here belonging while
the dilemmas of the day vanish.
Crystalline magic, these angelic wings
of white flapping at the shoreline…
Their image urges, inside me,
millions of molecules
to a new vision of hope:
The world will not end.

“waiting for the world to end”
Last line from Stanley Kunitz’s Halley’s Comet
Prompt: Take the last line from another poet’s work, and with that line, start a new poem that is totally different than the original poem.

April 13, 2010 at 5:19pm
April 13, 2010 at 5:19pm
Alice, my apologies…
Hiding a mutiny within,
I, a time-altered woman,
want the chase, too.
Dislocated, I sit with
little kids in the sandbox,
and out of habit,
let my eyes search
for a rabbit hole,
to make my story spill,
rise, or fall with
a modicum of control
and find a better world
than this.
Twisted though I am,
this dizzying speed
will let me become
the cat who disappeared
leaving her smile behind.

Write a poem about a character from a favorite story in childhood.
April 12, 2010 at 3:27pm
April 12, 2010 at 3:27pm
Late coffee and bagel,
my chair at the desk, and
the approach of catastrophe,
-memorized word by word-
the letter in the drawer
I don’t know how to respond.
There is no metaphor here,
no poetry, for she says
she lied to find comfort
and to make it heroic,
holy, approved. She says
she can’t take it back
since she has woven this sham
with silken threads. She says,
to the sound of her heart drumming,
her father did not die in Iraq
but killed himself there,
and now, she’s a slave,
crying out to me, clinging
to dignity, despite her wounds.
Her pain rises to echo
inside my ruins, and
her secret surrounds me.
April 11, 2010 at 12:43pm
April 11, 2010 at 12:43pm
Sunday morning…
his image parachutes
against crosswinds,
through the contrails
of his bogus claims
like jets in an air show
flying blind inside
close-formation acrobatics.

A strange spectacle
this go-around, and then,
one huge forced landing.

In zero visibility,
this charade of cruising
at high altitudes was
the last myth I believed.
Yet, I’d rather zoom,
circle, and tailspin
through turbulence
on feigned skyways
than drift, ditch,
and dive to the ground.
Now, who can spell me out?
April 10, 2010 at 11:58am
April 10, 2010 at 11:58am
Intricate, miniature leaves
cupping water drops...
The basil on the windowsill
sprouted overnight.
I soar on surprise.
Who'd have thought
seeds, bought only a week ago,
would be so eager to live
in such a narrow place!
this moment is all there is,
a scent of life, a flash of light,
to brand in memory,
and I clasp my oneness
with these tiny leaves,
even before I drink my tea,
this Saturday morning.
April 9, 2010 at 4:23pm
April 9, 2010 at 4:23pm
She pricks into my vein
with a flimsy excuse:
”Let’s see if your blood
has thinned enough.”

Why explain? Did she think
the strain would be too much?
She couldn’t unhinge me if she tried
since this blood in me has been tested,
to a sickening extent,
for its clogging potential
and snapped out of course
to flag its zigzag flow,
spilling it all over
the tracks I’ve ever tottered.
As to its short-sighted daring,
no vial can hold enough of it.

April 8, 2010 at 7:16pm
April 8, 2010 at 7:16pm
Howard’s Creek opens
its arms wide
and shakes out
fanged alligators like dice.
Past the curve of the land,
past the ibis and frogs,
past the decaying reeds and grass fern,
houses on the right side,
in complete boredom,
embrace one another as
haughty repetitions of themselves.
The left side wraps around
the woods and brush,
partly cleared for a park,
which I observe while strolling
on the bridge and imagining
where the gator got the boy,
and since then,
how a house on the right side
stayed empty, catching the mud
from the water on its cheeks.
And I ask: How can we bargain
with a creek or ever be through
with our goodbyes?

April 7, 2010 at 4:40pm
April 7, 2010 at 4:40pm
Red lentils, carrot, yams, apple,
onion, ginger, cut with care
out of the past, offered to the future,
seasoned with paprika, cumin,
chili powder, and the resilience of
the smallest in hot water.

Then I add broth and pour Canola
in drops as if sacraments
and hope to get the clogs
out of my blood, which careens wildly
and changes the heart, the mind,
and whatever else it rushes into.

My wooden spoon paddles
in the pot to stop carrots
from doing headstands, so I can
drown them to repair my cells.
The way of the world:
destroy something to fix something.

Diverting my attention to the task at hand,
I pinch the salt, the pepper, and me,
sure of how difficult I am.
Never a recipe, for I do not stand
in the shadow of anyone’s kitchen,
and I learned when to fold, how to stir,
and still keep my thoughts
on the ingredients
of the soup.

April 6, 2010 at 1:10pm
April 6, 2010 at 1:10pm
before the kids left for Jacksonville,
we went, for lunch, to Dolphin Bar,
the place the two met fifteen years ago,
each with a different partner then.
Now married, they look at
our I-Phone photos and into
each other’s eyes that twinkle
with laughter.

House salad
cradles us like holly,
green leaves and red berries
under which lovers kiss,
and scallops float in drawn butter,
drawn from light pools,
and a favorite for sweetness
Crème Brulee.

After generations created
a morbid myth of destiny
of in-laws, of nasty children, and
ashes of family scattered about
in terror and vertigo,
what we have is sunrise,
a mirror of miracles,
the cooing of doves,
and maybe I should stick
with emoticons for expression,
but this is the world
I want to live in.

April 5, 2010 at 7:04pm
April 5, 2010 at 7:04pm
Slow feet, bone house
heavy on her back,
surely not able to do aerobics;
yet, wants to cross another road
inch by inch.

When a truck crushes the bone,
maybe she’ll grow wings and fly
to watch from above
her mangled shape,
a roadkill still in her shell.
April 4, 2010 at 11:29pm
April 4, 2010 at 11:29pm
The logo on the plastic
“Barnes & Noble Café”
a figurehead from student days, and
sailing on thin ice inside the cup,
the magenta liquid,
-sparkling pomegranate-
spews from a bottle of IZZE.

The hunter in me marks, in stealth,
the man across with unseen luggage
sipping his coffee and flipping the pages
of a book he won’t buy
for, in his heart,
he is a dancer, waltzing between
the present and the past
and thinking of things
he never did, while I’m projecting…
at what cost, who knows?

The book I hold, a narrow wraith,
a meager myth with no spine.
Time for my caper on scraps
of paper, so the ballpoint pen
can let the dark of the ink dive
and leap up, like an abscess.
Do words hurt or heal the world,
and should I reveal things
I haven’t told myself yet?

April 1, 2010 at 5:12pm
April 1, 2010 at 5:12pm
Did you think I could ever be dejected,
pissed, and thinking someone has my head
on a platter for having lived less than you,
you of I-Pads, I-Phones, and Plasma TVs?
No, not me, not after
Gary Grant, Judy Garland, Marilyn Monroe,
thick-carpeted, wall-sconced theaters,
and Chris the usher’s flickering lead
to our seats during the amateur night,
just before the feature film,
comedy, drama, horror,
not making any difference,
for our public refuge,
as long as the reels rolled,
quite unlike the screens of
cineplexes, T.V., or DVR, because
I wiped my mother’s tears
after Carole Lombard as if
she had stood in good relation to her
and mine after James Dean
whom I had never met.
So, for me, a torch of promise exists
in old movies, and when
the last curtain lifts and lights
go off, you can be sure of this:
I shall not shiver with cold and fright,
I shall not disturb the universe, and
I shall enjoy the last movie I’ll see.

April 29, 2009 at 6:50pm
April 29, 2009 at 6:50pm
                              Mother Combing Child’s Hair by Mary Cassatt

Mother holds her by the neck
like a cat carrying its kitten,
since the little girl must be
shaking her head,
her hair, silk rippling, lustrous yellow.
Mother, a source so complex,
dreaming to linger forever, be it
in pastel colors. Her hand
guides the comb to wipe away
the tangles, both images
glazed by the unique grace
of a clear pond. Yet,
rosy cheeks and belonging
do not reflect; neither
what is so special,
so intimate, yet fleeting.
Such shame, inside that mirror,
the figures have perched backwards,
darker, looking away, slipping
from love to boredom,
and a viewer may think that
a mirror has to be
a devotee of shadows.


April 28, 2009 at 6:18pm
April 28, 2009 at 6:18pm

Fishing for a poem among flowers,
I cast in Renoir’s fashion, as in
Dans le Jardin, but not quite.
Shadowing the passion of that man
for the young girl in a yellow hat,
the thorn-tipped bushes tighten
along my edges, and I blend
into the losing end between herbs
and rhododendrons, without absinthe
or any other similar bait. Still,
following the colors of petals,
I spin from mood to mood and
wait for darkness to wrap around
the tree trunks, so I may face myself
with the tribute of a sigh.

April 27, 2009 at 12:33pm
April 27, 2009 at 12:33pm
In Grandma’s eyes, I am the lone one.
“You’re the apple of my eye,” she says
when out of reach of other ears,
the ears of my eight cousins.
Down, crashes her words since apples
are eaten, their pits spit out.
Still, with wild hope, I drift to love,
her arms my last refuge
in the wild gush of my isolation.

April 22, 2009 at 3:04pm
April 22, 2009 at 3:04pm
earth gif free clipart

This globe looms over
men ruling it at
whip-driven pace,
with I-don’t-care shrugs,
the glint of coins
feverish, pulsing,
turning full face
against our uneven lives.
How patient we are!

When we observe closely
-birds, mammals, mountains,
trees, rivers, oceans-
they look so human.
If they are all gone,
we cannot look at nothing.

April 21, 2009 at 12:09pm
April 21, 2009 at 12:09pm
Nothing is original, I find; still,
the trick is in the twisting, flailing,
failing, authentic pain, and bravery.
I want the scents to find voice and
the touch to taste sweet.
Can you create art like that?
I don’t know, but I watch for signs
like a novice monk for illumination.
I look east and west, and I look past
our hang-ups, across the emptiness,
for new growth. Still I see
traps, body bags, the damage we leave,
false badges in preening shows,
flares in the air pointing to nowhere.
Yet, I want, around me,
hatchlings roaming free
on green grass, floating in dreams,
the fragrance of flowers in solitude,
and bees bringing us honey,
and I want to wrap our world
in pink cotton candy.

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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/books/item_id/1253431-Beetlebung-and-Kettlehole--April-Poems/sort_by/entry_order DESC, entry_creation_time DESC/page/14