Tom Stock

Poet, Essayist, Photographer, Naturalist

Category: Poetry (Page 1 of 5)

Screaming Woman – the poem

If she’s scared
A good scream may help
Don’t hold back
Let it out
Press with the diaphragm
And force with as much power
As you can manage
A good scream can
Scare the crap out of
Whatever you’re afraid of
A blood-curdling high alert
For a mouse, axe murderer,
Spider in the shower stall

Husband says “I got goose bumps
And hair standing straight up
On the back of my neck.
You’ve scared the shit out of me.”

“It’s a defense mechanism” she says
“Honey, if it were an intruder
In the house, then scream your lungs out
Don’t cry wolf over a tiny spider.”

Hot

You never know when hot shows up

Like, for me, making copies at Staples

She walks across my vision

High heels, nice coat, hair groomed

She stands at the machine next to me

I catch a glimpse of her ankles, high heels

Hot

I have not seen her face…to dangerous

When I sneeze, she says faintly, “God bless you”

Her face will confirm, which I can’t see

She has her back to me

All I have is imagination

Is this a hot moment?

I have to confirm

She shuffles papers

A sound that under ordinary circumstances

Doesn’t mean anything.

But her shuffel…hot

I’m dying here

She’s killing me

She’s hot and she knows it

She’s teasing me

And it’s making me crazy

How could she not have a beautiful face?

Finally she exits

She’s have to pass me so I can see her

I see her face – only two seconds

Serious, glasses, austere,

Hot on a scale of one to ten = 6

Ankles – 10

High heels – 10

The way she walks – 10

She’s gone

“What if she had turned to me

When she said god bless you?”

 

Three New Poems

Big And Fast

Me and my little Civic Idle at an intersection To make a left turn
A leviathan Ram 1500 Pulls up along side
Dwarfs me
I look up, see his tattoos Me, Mr. stick shift
Him all automatic
His rumble to my purr His exhaust pipe
Size of a sewer cover His boom box thumps
His monster flag snaps His decal “TRUMP”
Mine “ Trees are Good” Light green- he lurches
Off the starting line
Like a 100 meter track star I shift into first gear
He’s gone,
I wait for passing traffic To make a left turn
Behind me an impatient honk By another big ass
Oversize battleship
My 25 mpg to his 12

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Poetry In Babylon Village

Jack Jack’s Coffee House owner Mike Sparacino has graciously offered his charming  Café for a monthly poetry reading and open mike. A featured, experienced poet will present their poems for 25 minutes every FIRST THURSDAY of the month from 7:30 – 9:30 PM.

After a short break, guests may read two poems during the open mike. One poem should be their writing, and the second poem by a well-known poet like Emily Dickinson. the cafe is located at 223 Deer Park Avenue, close to the LIRR Train Station.

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Give Me A Blank Notebook

Nor sheets of paper

I have done all that

Lost myself in words

Filled journals

Written letters

Sketched

Collected tear outs

Taped them on pages

Pages that keep on coming

Since the 60’s

Daily notes –

What I did

What I cooked

Whom I met

Why?

Don’t give me scrap paper

Don’t supply me

With pen or pencil

I can’t stop and

Why should I?

After more than fifty years

I’m approaching the starting line

Browsed dozens of journals

Looking for November, 2002

I need some details

Or do I?

 

Spume

A polar vortex ripped down from Canada

And tore lace off cresting breakers

Just west of the Shinnecock Canal

 

A string of bridal vales that head toward the sea

Only last a second, but the thrill…

I stand with wind at my back and watch

 

The biggest breakers have the finest embroidery

Conditions have to be just right for spume

the direct contact of wind on wave takes some of their energy away

 

Huge heavy, cold air masses head south from Canada

Meteorologists also call them arctic clippers

The prevailing westerlies carry them to us

 

They clip right along cold and strong

Tearing off the edges of a cupped breaker

Sending it flying like confetti

 

 

Lawn

A proper lawn requires an army

this is war

to look like artificial turf

mow them down

with machine gun rat ta tat

merciless fury

give them brush cuts

all the same height

to be soldiers in turf

a large swath of pure, refreshing green

this is the army

every blade in its proper place

right face right, attention

always at attention, you’re army soldiers

be proud, be strong, stand up and be counted

do your job

make the owner proud

he wants to look wealthy

wants to have the perfect lawn

landscapers are here to help create his image

total control,  in charge

just like the neighbors

keep up with the Jones’s

the work doesn’t take long

quick, in and out

we have other landscapes to trim

we scape the land, scrape the land

we rape the land

mow it, mow  mow it, mowt

blow away stray leaves

Suck up grass clippings

in large white canvas bags

tossed into the big truck

a landscapers stock in trade

which drags a big aluminum trailer

loaded with mowers, trimmers, blowers

shovels, rakes, extra gas

all customized to make noise

eardrum shattering, decibel breaking

music of power mowers, grinding, growling

blowing, sweeping without brooms

it’s drill time

up and at ‘em, fall in

each blade a private in a suburban army

to stand at attention,

no slouching

we will cut you down to size

landscapers are the generals, five star

men with colorful bars on chests

boasting their great lawn battles they’ve won

tiny, thin blades of green

humbled, unnoticed, following their leader

the owner man shops at Home Depot

in the gardening isle

big bags of fertilizer, pesticides, herbicides

to feed his lawn, he cares about his lawn

he feels a sense of accomplishment

a satisfaction that he has applied his will

my lawn will be the best lawn

this is his slice of nature

he’s out to kick the face of ecology

his war against diversity, against bald spots

no dandelions – those little yellow spots

dotting his green empire

dig them out, spot spray with poison

finally, his little paradise

looks like a sod farm

look neighbors

look how much I care

this is my castle

i have bent each blade

trained them all to make me proud

this is just about the only thing

I can control. I won the war

Niagara Falls On His Chin

White whiskered words

Long strands, on and on

Leaves and lawns

Farms rolling to the horizon

A beard full of crumbs

Lyrical crumbs. Musical crumbs

Poetry sea to sea

Ocean to Ocean

Fresh, seaming, artisanal breat

The gravity of falling water

The rumble, the mist

 

Whitman’s cascade of phrases, stanzas

I am multitudes. Take my photo

One image of me is an image of us all

Read me

Every whisker of my poetry

Are your whiskers as well

My songs of praise, of love

My songs of history, or working people

Visit my birthplace

Visit Camden

Come and see me

 

Peek inside my bedroom

We are all horn here

Splayed across his chest

The wide scope of his beard

A white tumble of chants and lists

Whisker upon whisker

“Whoever you are, come forth.”

His chin hairs grew as his verse

He pleads, he instructs, he howls

His barbaric yalp

Don’t every shave, Walt

Your beard covers our nation

Let is grow, it is our forests, our grasslands,

Our lakes and creeks

Stroke your beard alt, release those crumbs

Your beard is out bible

Literature falls from your chin

Your hair crosses on Brooklyn Ferry

Across the Delaware

Into print shops in Brooklyn, school houses on Long Island

Into hospital hallways in Washington

Into a loft in Huntington

Where you print The Long Islander

Out of your Niagara Falls, Leaves of Grass

My Boulder

A BIG, GRAY GRANITE ROCK

A MID-SIZED STATION WAGON

HALF BURIED IN PINE BARRENS SOIL

 

ONE DAY, I SPLAYED MY BODY

ACROSS ITS BROAD BACK

RIDING THIS ELEPHANT

OVER 10,000 YEARS

WEATHERED TO THE PATINA

OF A GRAVESTONE

 

I LAY FACE DOWN

TO STARE AT TWO SQUARE INCHES

A SMALL CITY OF LICHEN, ALGAE, TINY MOSSES

 

MY TOUCHSTONE

MY KEYSTONE

MY OASIS

IN A BROWN/GREEN FOREST

CLOSETED IN ISOLATION

 

A MAN WITH A CAN OF BLUE SPRAY PAINT

DECIDED ON A MAKE OVER FOR MY BOULDER

HE SQUIGGLED CIRCLES

HIS INITIALS

HIS BEARDED FACE

HE STOLE MY GEM

MY ISLAND RESPITE

MY JEWEL IN THE CORE

Regularity – the poem

Right on time

Like it was yesterday

Dependable

Necessary

No wait time

You call, we answer

No voice mail for you

Heartbeat, yes

Breath, yes

It’s all there,

The rhythm

The rhyme

It’s going to happen for sure

On time

Every time

24/7

The moon

The sun

The tides

It’s all clock work

Regular

You know it will happen

Before it happens

I like it that way

It does what’s it’s supposed to

I know you’ll be there

When we agreed

It is what it is

One bodily function

Needs a tune up

Needs regularity

Fiber, more fiber

 

To Dr Jeffrey Ashkin

 

Tom Stock

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