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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/4
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 ... 3 -4- 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 ... Next
April 3, 2018 at 8:48am
April 3, 2018 at 8:48am
I took a walk alone to meet myself today
but didn’t ask if I had enough courage
to look behind the curtains

didn’t ask why I could not figure out
the way this world works or how deep
the wounds can go

did I think of me as a martyr on display?


Prompt: Questions I should have asked
April 2, 2018 at 10:51am
April 2, 2018 at 10:51am
from memory’s landscape
afterlives creep
underneath the edges
reeking of rot and mold
as if savage stinkweed
in synchronized clusters,
nebulous fury,
and spellbound disgust
things you’d rather forget

woe, the massive slaps
received at age eleven
for the mouse you saved
from the trap, but so worth it…
or was it an adult’s
predatory hand beating
below your blues
or her dying wish
you ignored?

worse, the day you walked
with a tear in your pants
into glass doors
and still, you talked
in idled intellect
and ghostly gothic
--your default mode--
to a monstrous audience
from a shrouded podium

the worst, a futile dignity
gnawing on your skin
when you fled barefoot
dripping blood
on groundless gossip
you, the washrag
wrung out wrong,
rejecting the pain
in his defenseless eyes


prompt: something (things) you might rather forget
April 1, 2018 at 6:51pm
April 1, 2018 at 6:51pm
right and left his footprints so small
ten toes on wet sand, blest be all

he looks back to see me behind
just for this moment’s ease of mind

with feisty motion like the wind
his tracks ripple, the knees are skinned

he gets up and shrugs with laughter
for hugs’n kisses to come after

then, of far-away times I dream
when he’ll aim for a life supreme

he’ll search his way on many trails
either like eagles or like snails

spiky slopes, gravel between toes
he’ll love the world wherever he goes


Prompt: April 1 a pair of anything, or things in pairs

March 23, 2018 at 3:58pm
March 23, 2018 at 3:58pm

Silly Love Song

his heart should stand still
yet he mustn’t croak
wild desire, yes, but no kill
let the lips lock but don't poke

                   love on the fence, pearls on your neck
                   just a magnet for a crazy old guy
                   he calls you a sublime plum
                   then sky falls and you cry

no longer a fervent flame
lost like a candle in sunshine
can he still play the game
your heart swells out of line

                   love on the fence, pearls on your neck
                   just a magnet for a crazy old guy
                   he calls you a sublime plum
                   then sky falls and you cry


Write a poem that relates somehow to a movie or movie title. (Here, the prompt itself relates to a wacky comedy from 1966.) Put the movie title and IMDB link, if possible, after the poem!!

Not a Conquest, Reviewer!

you who act like my favored Columbus
cannot praise my joyful songs
in drunken delight

when, after a long trip, you mutilated
the remnants of my tribe
and inferior verse

do you wonder why
while you hide your many sins
of florid prose

my paradise ignores you
polluted though it is and driven
to madness by my gassy poem?

1492: Conquest of Paradise


If you want an early challenge, write a poem in any form or in free verse about how March came in where you are, as lion or lamb or some other creature...?!

March in Florida

I can forgo the fizz power
and your flimsy whimsy
if you could only stick to it

but then you prowled around
my yawning windows
and roared, showing your fangs

the worst part of you, your claws of ice
scratched and sank into my home
with no rhythm or verse

alas, you’ve embarrassed me
March, as my month of birth
worse than my widening girth


April 30, 2017 at 10:20am
April 30, 2017 at 10:20am
Wishing to do something
worthwhile, concrete
assorted structures you studied,
neighborhoods you explored
sorrows you reshaped as joys
and vice versa,
and you waited
changing, though not changing,
but living in purgatory.

You thought, at the end
you’d figure out all the answers
filling in the blanks perfectly
frolicking, craving
in a world of lost brain cells
collapsing unto itself.

How patient you were!

And what came off
your wish?
An empty rhetoric
and your huge shock!


Prompt: getting there, a destination, an outcome
April 29, 2017 at 10:14am
April 29, 2017 at 10:14am
Is this a cosmic joke
or a sign of our
penultimate days
with no escape
to a floating space
while we watch
the theatrical spectacle
of fissile demolition
on this maddened planet
going down within
its finite, closed system?
Salvageable or not,
recycled or not,
can anyone tell
how fast?
Are we all insentient and blind?


Prompt: the penultimate
April 28, 2017 at 10:24am
April 28, 2017 at 10:24am
Under the apple trees
I stare at the limbs
with new shoots
hearing their composition
built on last season’s memory
while the wind rustles leaves
as chorus.

Perched on a branch, a blue jay calls
in arpeggios, lonely plaintive pleas
sending out a sequenced tune,
then pauses to hear a seductive chirp;
yet, without a reply, it lets out
a wailing cry,
then takes off in a flurry of wings.

After it, I open my eyes to the sky
where something circles
a little too long without a song.
Was it a reverie? It could be,
but no surprise since
when I squint,
through the sun’s light,
dust columns arise and play
dizzying tricks,

and unsteady on legs,
in the garden’s solitude,
I spread myself on the grass
like fallen fruit.
Does the earth want me back?


Prompt: a favorite specific tree (in honor of Arbor day)
April 27, 2017 at 11:36am
April 27, 2017 at 11:36am
where the ocean’s affection
is with the winds, you tiptoe,
shoes in hand, at water’s edge
on glittering sand stretching out
for miles, and you relish
the waves’ gift to your toes,
akin to white-winged lions
of foam sailing from Atlantis
or your botched up past
with failed dreams,
still, the memory is sweet

where the sea breaks at shore line
as far as eyes can reach
and time turns liquid
in translucent blues
to define indistinct edifices,
where you played catch
among periwinkles and whelks,
now you feel abruptly aware
of mythical days when
you clipped your own wings
with random apathy,
no matter that you wanted more
but was scared to say.


Prompt: an outdoor setting, anywhere in the open

April 26, 2017 at 8:05am
April 26, 2017 at 8:05am
In the afterlife of a workplace
I wake up at night and recall
what once felt larger than me,
and I sneak peek at the papers
that blanketed my days
composting, meaningless now,
within the barriers of the walls,

walls slate gray,
as they change colors
according to who toils inside,
a cubicle,
mine had festered
into a shiner’s purple where
I crafted dreams
amid griefs and longings
amid talking-tos and clocks ticking
amid my futile attempts
to forget the world.


prompt: an office setting, or office politics
April 25, 2017 at 8:57am
April 25, 2017 at 8:57am
It feels like someone else’s life, now,
the day grandpa took me to the fair
when the house was full of guests
celebrating in hairdo helmets
and pinching my cheeks in fakery.
Happily, I was Grandpa’s cover story
and alibi in flight from playing nice,
the same old pretense
repeating without sense at each holiday.

And I, affixed on the swing
with nose full of snot and drowsy,
felt, at arm’s length, his pain
excruciating, his world winding down,
as he, with tightened brows,
weighed the universe
he wanted to save me from,
I, the rebel with cotton candy
and full of tantrums, stunned by
mindless faith recitals.

We were a team, resilient yet in a tizzy,
as grandpa shot at the elephants
in the rooms and I sensed them as if
they were of white-washed plastic
in a deviant kind of carnival,
and as the swing rose high,
I set off a radioactive snort at
the kid near me, with red-pepper face,
taking up too much space.

It feels like someone else’s life, now.


Prompt: a remembered holiday
April 24, 2017 at 12:25pm
April 24, 2017 at 12:25pm
You start writing that e-mail
thinking your heart should open
when broken, and you gather
your guts and enough words
in your mind, words soft as
cornsilk, words he can wear
like a lambskin coat,
words as lucky breaks,
words to bring him back.

But in your swift recall
the raised eyebrows,
remarks marking rifts,
lips without smiles,
the sight of the back,
all this, his
as he left in
the opposite direction.

Unhinged, your resolve sinks,
you delete and start over,
despite your fermented pitch,
disconcerted rhythm,
and agitated insight.
But your river of tongues
have run dry, and
your lines shift choppy,
no more than trifles
carved out of shadows.

Not good, this crunched voice
rising inside like lava
on postwar ruins
and scorched bones.

Thus, your new resolve,
there is no starting over
and you’d better
shut down the screen,
opting now for that brackish silence,
delicate yet brutal.


prompt: starting all over again
April 23, 2017 at 10:18am
April 23, 2017 at 10:18am
She’s not a maniac, blue blood, nor cur,
To dash and dart, she yips and brays in play;
The moon’s pale light gliding against her fur,
A blur on gray asphalt has made her bay.

She’s pulling on the leash through keener sense,
Delinquent? No. Yet, her growling jeers,
in grudging wit, an alien offense;
The rascal’s in my charge, pricking her ears,

And now, she howls to mourn a dead old rat
Lying in dark shadows behind a shrub;
I romp along, but fear she’ll spot a cat.
Wagging her tail, she eyes me with a snub

And sniffs around to find a cozy tree
To hear me cheer “Good girl!” lauding her pee.

Note: Coco, a lab-hound mix, is my daughter-in-law’s dog, now watching me write this sonnet for her, while her real owners “daddy and mommy” are off to a concert.


Prompt: a sonnet (traditional or a contemporary variation)
April 22, 2017 at 4:47am
April 22, 2017 at 4:47am
He has a double mouth
on active duty, bilingual,
swearing and singing,
eating and drinking,
kissing and spitting
all at the same time.

His shadow doubles, too,
his words, verdicts,
and when he talks
slow and choosy,
curses or endearment
no matter the angle,
spectators tremble

for he is the wound and the cure
and an incomparable dancer
alit with outlandish magic
bearing byzantine moves
in doubled pleasure
hissing and whispering “Fun!”

since he is in politics, for the long run


Prompt: two of something, doubleness
April 21, 2017 at 10:44am
April 21, 2017 at 10:44am

She thought she could cope with that
growing up in a multitone town
in the swell of knowing and unknowing
winter eyes taking in raving battles
in faraway places and she heard of
things on fire, passions, words, shrill sounds…
Yet the sun always came up and the sand
danced with the water where she played
as she watched her mother weep, bittersweet,
and for running out of words, she thought to invent
a new life, new words, logic without logic.
It was a war after all.

She thought she could cope with that
the cool breeze on her face
the autumn shadows in a hazy dream
a yellow leaf floating down, a memory of
Mama’s song fragile as the air, music clotting
inside her silenced grief and learned stuff,
voice tones, changing moods, interruptions,
hiding behind what she couldn’t see,
keeping herself in check, grinning to be living
but then, words gushed out of her, blue and gray,
the day she got on a plane and left,
growing up quick in a big splash and coping.
It was a war after all.

Prompt: a coming of age poem

April 20, 2017 at 11:01am
April 20, 2017 at 11:01am
Why did I let
the stained earth heave and groan
foaming at the mouth
and yesterday’s roses to dry out,
their thorns piercing my skin?

Although I’ve escaped on broken paths
and posed questions to no answers,
this flight became my only life
and I mourned a lost full moon
as clouds never left.


Prompt: a lingering fear or regret
April 19, 2017 at 6:04am
April 19, 2017 at 6:04am
I am only a passerby
inside a boat
cast off the beach
to the tideline
amid ebb and flow,
sniffing the briny scent,
the ocean’s self-blessing.

I am only a passerby
and my reflections,
akin to satin dolphins
leaping over ruffled waves,
splash on my cheeks
warning me not to come
crashing down on myself.


Prompt: in the middle of something or somewhere
April 18, 2017 at 4:16am
April 18, 2017 at 4:16am

Dear Son,

The good news is
all fall leaves
are on the ground,
whirling, swirling
changing partners
dancing triumphant
rusty, musty, testy
spreading all around
in a quickening pace.

Tantalizing, though,
my approach may be,
please, don’t take my scrawl
as an ancient’s bad memory
fortified by a full moon
because there’s no mistake
as with certainty I recall
your promise to rake

and I have to convey a safe bet
that bad news has hit, and
last autumn is now
a flash from the past,
and soon will be here
- for certain, I must say -
the month of May.


Prompt: good news or bad news, maybe in letter form
April 17, 2017 at 7:19am
April 17, 2017 at 7:19am
What a Monday, exposing me, the wilted one with petals falling out! To live through this surge-after-surge day, one needs a conquistador’s sword and mapmaking abilities. This should be the twenty-four hours that never existed or a day with nothing brutish, nothing with a jagged rhythm, nothing that makes me run on jet fuel, want to harpoon a whale, or bare my scorpion stinger. On this hectic day, I’m everywhere I have known well, but that everywhere is somewhere I’ve never been to, and I am wrapped in awkward drafts, hurrying, timorous and meek. Contradictory to the alleged notion, the meek inherit nothing, but the rushed muddle up everything, and how I undulate in my swirling, creased outfits--with hair askew and expletives escaping from my animated lips--does not necessarily point to a kinky Aphrodite revealing herself. And the point of my calefaction is, now, at the end hours, I rather need a gift, a gift of the infinite as a prize for my plight, empowering me to gather words without thorns.


Prompt: a blue Monday or a manic Monday
April 16, 2017 at 2:47am
April 16, 2017 at 2:47am
The color of delight is amber
like the perky forsythia bush
waking up the backyard
into spring
for daffodils to bloom
rapt in awe,
butterflies to float
on wings of yellow dust,
pollen shaking free
to push for life
such as baby chicks
dipping beaks in ground corn
and canaries crooning arias
with lyrics blurred.

And as you search to find me
when I am lost in the wind,
amber sparkles in your eyes
to lift me up high
to catch the sun.


Prompt: explore the color of an abstraction
April 15, 2017 at 4:54am
April 15, 2017 at 4:54am

she fidgets at the desk
writing checks
locked inside herself
guarding the money
the task her karmic gift

but the balance
can be scandalous
since she patrols
on the same lame feet
blaming the beat

hold back or yield,
yet she knows
time is not what she owns
as the cash she has amassed
sifts away between
the pen and her fingers


Prompt: money

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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/4