Archive for February, 2008

Frances gave me permission to post this little ode that her muse gave to her when she was cleaning out the black stuff in her refrigerator last week.

Philosophy in a Refrigerator

Wouldn’t it be something if everything
You could own had to be kept
In a refrigerator lest it spoil.
Not that you would have to cool
Your sneakers or watch or portrait in oil,
Or bedstead or beaded lamp or shiny new car,
But what if you couldn’t own those and all
That you could own would have to be shared
And eaten within a week, to avoid
Food poisoning, which would benefit no one.
And wouldn’t it be something if everyone
Understood that life was to be shared
And enjoyed within its time, or goodness
Knows, it will expire, and benefit no one.

                                                                               —-fwp 2/4/08

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Joy Burki-Watson left us another gift recently. But it is buried in the comments of our first post entitled We Begin which was written almost…almost…one year ago. Joy’s efforts certainly deserve more prominence than that. Joy asks for comments…feel free to leave your thoughts below or go to Joy’s Web site

Here is Joy’s post:

I  wanted to leave my poetical tribute for Robert Frost with you to comment on:

A Poet’s Poet (Robert Frost)

Whose words employ keen sense for wait,
Condense clear thought, embody fate?
Then pausing find the mind to share
Adventure’s ride through God’s estate.

With stylish class and natural flair
Keen eye observes and then lays bare
A sense that sates in finer wine,
Compassion’s grace save blinding glare.

A promise made then shared in rhyme
Each milestone laid still marking time.
From woods of snow to climax height
With ceaseless care for upward climb.

‘Tis Frost that warms stark still of night,
Lends wind to wings for lofty flight,
Who takes my days and paints them bright
And all because he paused to write …

© 2008 Joy A. Burki-Watson

Author notes:
My thoughts on a poet’s poet and how their dedication to sharing those silent moments can arouse one’s silent self to walk along.

A contest entry:
“In Honor of Frost” by Jim Berkheiser. 1560 points, ends February 5, 6 entries


Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

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Those of you who attended our January meeting may have noticed an omission in my last post.  When we met, we read a poem entitled Emotional Nudity that is attributed to a Bahamian-born poet named Geanti Lightbourne. When I began searching for the poem to include on this post, I came up with a hit on the poetryamerica.com Web site. But the poem appears to have been removed from the site. 

Dogged as I am,  I was able to find the poem that we read on someone’s MySpace page with the attribution to Geanti. BUT I also found another poem entitled True Love-No Regrets copyrighted in 2006 apparently by published poet Linda Ann Rigotty. The two poems are nearly identical. Will the real poet please stand up?

In any case, the poems use clothing as a metaphor for the emotions that can act as barriers in relationships.  It is a sensual plea for a lover to remove these emotional garments in a moment of intimacy.

Since finding the poem(s) was so obscure and since I think it’s interesting to compare the two, I’m going to break from my habit of not reproducing poems on this page. However, I have included links to my sources.

If anyone can shed light on the mysterious origins of this poem and the true poet, please leave a comment.

Emotional Nudity
by Geanti Lightbourne?

Take your soft and loving hands and
Remove the mantle of mistrust from my shoulders.
Softly unbutton the silken gown
Of regret from my skin.
Come my love and remove the veil
Of heartache from my face and
Kiss these lips that were ordained only for you.
Confiscate the jewels of deception from
My arms neck and ears-discard my fears.
Feel the fabric of the chemise
Of my misgivings and set me free from it.
Kiss my naked shoulders honeyed with newfound faith
Liberated from doubt and the threat of neglect and obscurity.
My darling go further south and
Remove the thongs of this world’s
Hatred and prejudice from my hips and slide
Them slowly down to the floor where they can be no more.
Undress me until I am stripped bare of
The world’s evil and tainted essence until like
The day of my birth, I emerge beautiful untouched- unpoisoned.
Let this nude daughter of Eve stand
Before you liberated from the negative-
Pure and positive and free to melt into your loving embrace.

True Love-No Regrets
by Linda Ann Rigotty

Take your soft and loving hands and
Remove this distrust from your heart.
Softly unbutton the silken gown
Of regret from my skin.

Come my love and remove the bad dreams
Of heartache and feel my face of kindness.
Kiss these lips that were ordained only for you.
Confiscate the jewels of deception from my life.

Feel the fabric of the chemise.
Of my misgivings and set me free.
Kiss my naked shoulders for the faith.
Liberated from doubt and the threat of losing you.

My darling go further south and embrace my treasures.
Remove the distrust from your universe.
Have your way but sharing your love.

Them slowly down to the floor where there can be no more.
Undress me until I am stripped bare of my innocents.
The world’s too small for feeling emptyness and tainted essence.
This beauty, I emerge untouched unpoisoned.

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On January 20 we gathered at Jan’s to share our poems about clothing. As Jan says,

Poetry has always been drawn to the subject of dress and undress…

Thus it’s the topic I’ve chosen
be it tunics or robes
or blouses of silk
pantaloons, trousers or lieder hosen.

Poets, it seems, have indeed had a lot to say about what we wear. If it weren’t so, our meeting would not have run so long. We almost didn’t have enough time to give each contribution its due.

Honor Moore (1945- ) – bioessay by Meghan Cleary about shoe poems

New Shoes

Red Shoes

Charles Simic (1938- ), current Poet Laureate – bio from the Library of Congress

My Shoes

Anonymous – Although this poem, which criticizes Black people for buying clothing from racist companies, has been attributed to Maya Angelou, her Web site claims she has no affiliation with it.


Marge Piercy (1936- ) – bio

My Mother’s Body – We read section 3.

Donall Dempseybio – haiku entitled “Divesting Oneself of One’s Clothing”

Tree does a striptease
the dance of the thousand leaves
naked in sunset.

Pablo Neruda – (1904-1973) – bio

Ode to Clothing

Anne Sexton – (1928-1974) – bio

Woman with Girdle

The Red Shoes (scroll about halfway down the page)

Robert Herrick (1591-1674) – bio

Upon Julia’s Clothes

Judith Viorst (1931- ) – bio

Sad Underwear

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882) – bio

The Sicilian’s Tale; King Robert of Sicily

 William Shakespeare (1564-1616) – bio

Act I. Scene III
Polonius to Laertes
Costly thy habit as thy purse can buy,
But not express’d in fancy; rich, not gaudy;
For the apparel oft proclaims the man,
And they in France of the best rank and station
Are of a most select and generous chief in that.

Shel Silverstein (1930-1999)

Tryin’ On Clothes

Robert Pinsky (1940- ) –bio


Anne Waldman (1945- ) –bio

Makeup on Empty Space

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