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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/5
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 ... 1 2 3 4 -5- 6 7 8 9 10 ... Next
April 14, 2017 at 3:05am
April 14, 2017 at 3:05am

Did you see our streets
daisies blotted out
at storm-tortured riverbanks,
and wild weeds that forgot to sprout
inside cracks?

And why do we give
ourselves away
in a reckless lunge
by flinging missiles,
bullets, ferocious words,
practicing no thrift
with venom?

What a gift it would be
to gain atomic vision
to spot the bond
between atoms,
so we, too, could blend
and cherish

--my atoms, your atoms,
our atoms, everyone’s atoms
clinging together
border to border
in artistry--
to let the daisies grow
where our children play!


Prompt: a superpower
April 13, 2017 at 1:54am
April 13, 2017 at 1:54am
I sing old songs when alone
lyrics in broken parts
my mouth a gate
to this secret
combining words
bending them
along the way
in hieroglyphic code
but the heart is what matters

or so I surmise

and though I’m winded on cue
deep breath, I continue

backwards and forwards, croaking
in glottal fits,
cappella jangles
the pitch cracks
scales jam
tune blunders,
note after note,
the solo dies

my jolly pulse beating double
with no trouble
I still
feel the music in me


Prompt: A Secret Joy

April 12, 2017 at 10:54am
April 12, 2017 at 10:54am
First, let’s get this straight
no way you are pets nor do I wish
to hold you on my lap
so hide your blighted brambles
and better scour your faith
off the shambles of my nerves.

Crotchety if I am
cantankerous and dour,
sarcastic I won’t be
even at billionaire novels
with loose-shirt covers
endlessly cycling about
or the games my memory plays
windows 10, Comcast’s fakes
my joints that creak
and stuff with a leak.

You, as peeves, better believe
anything that bugs me
I hold to be your fault.
and your constant persistence
always charging back at me,
historical though may be
I, respectfully, boycott.


Prompt: a pet peeve (or several of them)
April 11, 2017 at 10:47am
April 11, 2017 at 10:47am
the common harvest
the blood in my veins
locked up in chains
of chromosomes
twisting in gilded silence
and no equal

on the throne,
with infinite passion for life
the gatherer of crops mourns
with lordly pain, since
in predicted conceit, I
hand down
my goods
to my sons


Prompt: genetics, the gene, or a mutation
April 10, 2017 at 11:06am
April 10, 2017 at 11:06am
A new wrinkle in the clouds
wind roars, trees shiver
on the shadowed streets
and torrents like regrets
accost the pavements
and the eddies of the rabid river
rock the untethered boats
while you explain to me,
your voice revolving tirelessly
in grief and pain
as if a hurricane,
you came to go away,
your words more murderous
than the tempest.


Prompt: extreme weather
April 9, 2017 at 9:59am
April 9, 2017 at 9:59am
In the bed and breakfast, at Monticello,
where they say folks without forms
glide down into guests’ rooms
on the orders of great Duke Costello
where things tune out of time,
and the earth is but a stone
with clouds electrified and
lights go out at the faintest intercept,
and present entangles with the past.

While my room is still and armoire lifeless,
night-table holds coins, keys, pearl earrings
and window’s open, and an abalone moon
casts glances at hazy kudzu on oak branches.

Not to last but for a few brief seconds,
love comes to me
from an unexplored territory
with Duke Costello, his long hair in curls,
a high-waisted silhouette in breeches
who scoops up my icy depths with a bow
then vanishes shimmering into a universe
boundless and multiform.

Such grandeur, such nobility,
only without a body or limbs.
He is not my ephemeral invention
for his essence is free from
the defective clock of time,
which goes berserk with a secret or two,
and I, too, with a tangled verse
wish to slip, longing, into his solitude.

Now, you tell me, how else
could I interpret this vision
when the soft mattress under me creaked
in the bed and breakfast, at Monticello,
where they say folks without forms
glide down into guests’ rooms?

Note: My husband and I stayed for two weeks in 2009 in a haunted bed and breakfast in Monticello, Florida, not to mix up with Monticello, Virginia. Although I didn’t see or hear anything, I always felt the seclusion and the stillness of the place. I thought about that place, John Denham House, while having fun with this prompt.


Prompt: ghost, ghostly
April 8, 2017 at 11:06am
April 8, 2017 at 11:06am
I refuse to use a knife
in Arizona
in case, I point it
by mistake
to a prickly cactus
with long thorns
and sharp jabs
under the demented sun.

As I’m clumsy
and imperfect
and blur reality,
I may veer off
to illegality
and cut down a cactus
of green innocence.

And the cops in
the City of Surprise
would hop to read my rights
in minutes of reckoning
with iron bars beckoning,
That is why, in Arizona,
I may hold on to a gun
but refuse to use
a knife.

Note: It’s illegal to cut down a cactus in Arizona, and the City of Surprise: Police Department does exist.
Prompt: Something illegal

April 7, 2017 at 9:09am
April 7, 2017 at 9:09am
tiny globe,
with radius, a millimeter long
sitting on a metal thorn
to keep it from
getting out of hand

angels since middle ages*
spinning magic
under our skins
have danced on it
say scarlet gospels **
in sepia print

yet, powerful, supernatural
two-souled hellraiser, ***
an iconic who pricks
and whispers mantras
for mental control

then coming to a standstill
it helps me secure
heaped up silk
for my niece’s gown
urging me to see
the angels’ mystery

* A religion question: How many angels can fit on the head of a pin?

** Scarlet Gospels: Clive Barker’s book, also a horror movie

*** Hellraiser or Pinhead: horror movie character based on Clive Barker’s The Hellbound Heart

Prompt: poem based on a tiny object
April 6, 2017 at 8:46am
April 6, 2017 at 8:46am
alone though I never feel it
for people I know
stay safe in their cabins

ocean curls around the hull
while I lurk on deck
holding my Kindle
wood planks under my feet
complicit in decline
are rising and falling
a treacherous predicament

alone though I never feel it
for people I know
stay safe in their cabins

in this maze dream of the wrong sort
port side opens to a paradoxical lounge
a labyrinth alit sits in the middle
with crystal doors in Swarovski colors
I get lost since I’ve dared to enter
to find the art no one sees

alone though I never feel it
for people I know
sleep safe in their cabins


Prompt: poem based on a dream
April 5, 2017 at 9:13am
April 5, 2017 at 9:13am
We run into each other
at the town center,
in front of Haberdashery and Hallmark.

My breath draws clouds in the air
as I stand on stilettos,
lost in my shock and sorrow.

Limp words, like drifting fall leaves,
float down from your lips,
cynically trying to resurrect
our long-ago link
in hesitant nostalgia
capturing the vibes
in my mood ring,
now out of fashion.

Yet, I know full well
our only reference
lives in photo albums
of a failed past,
perfectly incomplete.

May I ask why
you’ve now let
your mangled phrases
swoon over
once-upon-a-time toxins,
afflicting us both
with grief?


Prompt:something unfinished
April 4, 2017 at 9:43am
April 4, 2017 at 9:43am
everything fits on a dot
in microcode
on the motherboard
where ROM rams the cards
distorted by a hack
or a virus, Heaven forbid,
like the Ouroboros
in binary infinity
biting itself

imaginary distances
lines and colors, ghostlike
mirage gnaws at my face

no wonder I am spooked
into a nightmare
of crooning screens
freezing in mid-notes
as I strut through
this strange land of illusions

“Just why do I linger so much here,
inside this machine?”


Prompt: any aspect or object of technology
April 3, 2017 at 10:17am
April 3, 2017 at 10:17am
my unfolding story in tomes
cycles and recycles
in trails of scrolls, proofs,
signature, right hand raised,
papers in order, classified,
with no historical gap,
yet, not set in stone

for there exists so much more
you don’t know about me
like the harmonic pulsing
of smooth surfaces,
shadow garments,
my soul wrapped in
various silences,
acts ritual or sacrificial

or the skulls I’ve strung
across my cross-grained landscape


Prompt: Documentation
April 2, 2017 at 11:13am
April 2, 2017 at 11:13am

in front of you, Uncle,
by a stream in my old world,
the common carp danced
urging you to lift the rod
toward the gray sky

wary of the Ides of March,
the fish shuddered when held
and stared, accusatory,
while you took your time
to unhook and toss
into the torrent
that carp, surviving
luminous but useless

and you turned to me
with your eloquent smile
as you showed
without saying anything at all
to throw away the unfeasible
or the unforeseen, sudden pain,
petty hurts, petty griefs
thrashing like that fish.

Note—My uncle used to take me fishing during my childhood.

Prompt: carp or any kind of fish, fishing
April 1, 2017 at 7:31am
April 1, 2017 at 7:31am
Corrosion finds me easy
reddish at the hinges
blushing, humiliation,
not that I am of iron
nor am I full of pride, but
why thoughts oxidize
why word pipes freeze
I cannot tell because
cobwebs over unused doors
block my view.

Still, I admit
for some slanted reason
my devotion’s intact
to my obstinate spine
fractured yet mended strong,
urging my hands
to scrub away this rust
as self-service
before burning out
and turning to dust.

Prompt: rust, or the color rust
April 30, 2016 at 7:28pm
April 30, 2016 at 7:28pm
At the corner of Orchard and Pulaski
time struggles into its galoshes
to splash in the rain, to hurry us along,
and you, aping Gene Kelly, greet me
gesturing wildly, arms legs akimbo,
and sing as if all life were a musical
while someone claps, pretend applause
for the way you throw your head back
and open your mouth wide to show your fillings
testing the utter heroism of my decorum.

Squirming, I flash you a soggy smile
and, stepping in a puddle, reach for your hand,
for I can only relate to what I know,
how you once huddled and cried in your sleep
to erase ancient scars from your dreams
as nothing slips by when our fingers connect,
and though we might boil over at different degrees,
where I touch you, I am also touched.


Prompt: an assignation/lovers’ tryst
April 29, 2016 at 11:47am
April 29, 2016 at 11:47am
You, the contrite one,
dwell as a rock of refusal;
yet, the requisite enterprise
eventually consumes each business.

On the counter, for your butchery,
a stiffened mackerel with accusing eyes
and your repulse for all things domestic,
but you begin the boning
cutting through your idiocracy.

Was your fantasy cycle just a passing force?
How did ancestral kitchen goddesses,
craving sacrifices on their altar, triumph
and why did you concede, wielding the knife?

What purpose to your resolve, then?


prompt: an assignment or obligatory chore
April 28, 2016 at 7:53pm
April 28, 2016 at 7:53pm
With a hasty desire,
yet frazzled, palms itching,
you transplant your trickster boxes
into trash in repeated dashes,
boxes of wounds or peripheral magic
flashing from edges of the past
now bound with ruffled spirits.

Silencing the rat that packed your clutter,
you hold many a scream inside
but, in disguise, let a smile stretch
as goodbyes to your demons
neatly in those boxes
while the undertone of the mind whispers:
“A slapdash life must tidy itself before its end.”


Prompt: a cardboard box or boxes
April 27, 2016 at 1:07pm
April 27, 2016 at 1:07pm
you sift through letters
as if perfumes
some delicately scented
others with ugly odors
hold-your-nose ugly
making you rush away
into sunlight
to scrub and polish
your alphabet

such a tiny scrap of victory
your luminous letters
but you stretch and rise
in their afterglow
and the one on the cross
holds open arms
wanting to hug you
with that T in thanks
for your wits
when you soar to someone’s smile


Prompt: a letter
April 26, 2016 at 2:11pm
April 26, 2016 at 2:11pm
Around and around on the outdoor carpet
cacophony flows off the vac
while I, spooked by fatigue and dirt,
lose gait of reason,
all cogs whirling wild, loose
hazardous, in the unhinged mind.

Then, when I sink into a chaise lounge
to catch the sun drooping fast
flooding indigo with gold and rose,
deepened clouds wrinkle and wink
to remind me of gratitude
that no one can hear my thoughts.


Prompt: the mundane and/or the sublime
April 25, 2016 at 12:48pm
April 25, 2016 at 12:48pm
no one makes knives better
than the Japanese
each perfectly balanced
for a specific task

like the nine-inch Yo-Deba,
hidden in the knife kit in your closet
bulky, top-heavy, bone-cutter
to split joints, chop off heads

grotesque, when you dissect
our give-and-take
to find my deformities
severing the reason behind them


Prompt: prove a claim or support an argument

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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/5