April snow, bittersweet like wedding tears,
Catches me every time.
Winter, a grizzled gray monkey,
Is a pest in the bananas;
Everyone’s glad to see him killed off.
But an April snow is that last monkey
We finally discover after a long
Day of exterminating
Clinging to the highest branch,
Staring at the knife with wide eyes,
A question on his forehead,
And we hesitate.
The snow floats fat and wet, like popcorn,
Or little white kittens,
Chasing the juicy gray fish to the ground.
Each feather tries to win the sidewalk,
But is washed away by warm minnows of spring.
Each drop washes off a bit of the man,
Exposing the wide-open monkey eyes.
“April Sleet and Monkey Eyes” by Kenn Amdahl. All rights reserved.
The recent events in Libya reminded me of a poem I wrote years ago, so I dug it out. I think I wrote it when the ayatollahs came to power in Iran and they captured some Americans and paraded them through the streets blindfolded. But I’m not sure. It could have been about other leaders in other places and times. It may have been published first in a literary journal, in which case I should give credit to them, but I had a lot of poems published during this period (I submitted three a day, every day, for a long time) and I didn’t keep careful track. That’s one reason I haven’t released a book of my poems– it would require some work to give proper credit, and I’m not a big fan of work. Continue reading →
If I could google Facebook
And you tubed out on youtube
Yahoo! I’d twitter, tweet or twirp
Lose weight for free, make money cheap
Free the prisoner, free speech, free porn, free kittens
Obama trumps Romney but not free videos
Download sex from Iran
Deficits from Israel
A torrent of bits from Gingrich
God, the Bible and conservatives
Fill the shadows of the Internet
Like a super bowl. Keywords searched
And optimized for engines
Flow together like some
Bizarre sort of poetry.
This street has forgotten me
Invisible, I haunt it
January wind displaces leaves
But my thin hair does not move
My skin feels no chill
A strange window protects
Us from each other
This street and I
A windshield of words
The church of sadness and magic
Looms like a thunder cloud
Haunted– but not by me.
It doesn’t happen often-
Intent on strings and frets and fingers,
Repeating an awkward movement like a prayer
Until it becomes smooth and natural,
The room blurs to insignificance; Continue reading →
For generations, scholars have argued that the unschooled actor named William Shakespeare could not have been the guy who actually wrote the words. The movie “Anonymous” imagines the world of one of the most persuasive theories, that Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford, was the creative genius behind the scenes.
Continue reading →
What lies beneath this stillness
A hush of crickets, sunlit clouds
And falling leaves
The plants, not growing
Urgent geese the only traffic
In the sky
The yellow woods now dream
Of summer vows once dark
Of promises they could
I know I wrote this, because it’s in my handwriting, but don’t remember when or why. Continue reading →
by Kenn Amdahl
The Dying Buffalo
The tired old head of the dying buffalo
Lay in pooled moonlight near the corner of the zoo pen.
His cheek-bone hard against the dirt, like an Indian, listening,
Each ragged breath blew clouds of dust
From red, infected nostrils;
Pus and blood oozed from his open mouth
And flies attacked his eyes.
The ancient gods gave one small gift:
The night-guard had a girl with him,
And wine, and plans; the office lights were dim…
The old one would have peace enough to die. Continue reading →
by Kenn Amdahl
A pride of mountains, restless, rolling sure,
Quenching flatness, as the blind man’s flute
Satisfies the silence, or day obscures
Dawn’s subtle shades; their brawn transmutes
The small to nothing, the huge to little more.
Shudder – as creatures near a lion must,
Their life or death a whim, their will ignored–
At granite-fisted rage and craggy thrust,
Made small by mountains, shrunk and awed by stone,
As God or Truth would do, as they are known.
Most of you have seen this poem of mine, it was published years ago in a literary journal. I recently had a conversation about poetry and rhyme schemes and it made me think of this poem. I couldn’t recall if it was a sonnet, so I pulled it out. It’s not– I ran out of juice a few lines early. It’s technically a “decastich” or ten line poem, which is a form that has gotten some notoriety recently, but that story would be completely boring to just about everyone. There are other names for this form– one would probably call it a “Sonnetina tre” or “miniature sonnet” if you wanted to impress an English Lit professor. But then, why would you? Continue reading →