Word Poetry

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Sample Poems by Judith R. Robinson


Love Story

What did it take
To make Alex smile?

History, Mystery,
Biscotti, and Fries.

But potatoes, soup, and jazz-
Those translated to love.

When did the tale begin?
Many decades of Saturdays ago.

How did it sound?
Eager and sweet as Fats on the Hill

How did it look?
Dips into blue: rivers, irises, skies.

How did it taste?
Easy to say, just imagine: ripe bananas, very rich cheese.

How did it work?
Hard to say: but imagine Alex: Handsome, Uncertain, Unto Himself.

How did it end?
Cannot say, but imagine: inarticulate grief.

What did I learn?
Nothing. Something. A lot.



Much Can Be Missed

White for stately homes
in London and Charleston.
The flag of surrender.

Pink for dimpled cheeks
and other soft items
that harden then disappear.

Glaucous purple blossoms
wounds of the elderly
that never heal.

Gray the steady march
from presence to absence
the going until gone.

Love is sought in every season;
desperate, the pull of its scarlet patina;
for this much can be missed;

Mauve, ecru, lemon, beige,
the subtle blushes,
washes, blends and hues.


Father's Day Poem

My father smoked Camels, two packs a day.
He wore a fedora, worked like crazy,
and believed he was lucky,
that his life was better than his father's.
They're not as hard on the Jews now-
I heard him tell my Uncle Dave, many times.
Actually, they discussed how good or bad things
were for the Jews for forty years.
And who the enemies were, which
ones were worse than the others,
and the Pirates, the poor Pirates,
always in the cellar, year after year.


Questions

What do I know of hunger?
They say the starving dream of food.
I heard Depression era stories
My mother's painful account: days with nothing to eat.
I confused her with Cinderella.

What do I know of hunger?
They say the starving dream of food.
There were childhood commandments
My father's admonition: please finish everything on the plate.
There were children in Europe with nothing.

What do I know of hunger?
In dreams I see old lovers, old cities,
I fall from trees and mountains,
Forget exams, speeches, names of others.
They say the starving dream of food.

What is the difference between hunger
And starvation?
A few days, a week or so?
A difference in dreams, perhaps?



April

They weep,
the sweet unsprung buds.
They cringe
and hide, perilously
bent beneath
skies restless and dark
as widow's weeds
as rivers rise
in western Pennsylvania.
Does this gloom
portend a raging death
or will it yield to
something tender?
Shall we weep with them
or wait? When I was young
and clear and wise
I knew the answer:
Hold fast, I'd say, tomorrow
comes in green and gold
and you and I will lust
and live forever.