Category: Poetry

Ode to Lamentation

Ode to Lamentation

 

What is it makes us yearn?

Lonely in peculiar ways?

Is it only hearts of Romantics

That connect to life’s gauzy haze?

 

What of a past we must give up?

Nights in love’s joyous cloud?

Is it so simple to pass and merely

Become one with the crowd?

 

What mocks us most in life?

The mistakes we made in our pace?

The glory that might have been?

Or the wrinkles upon our face?

 

Does dimension lie beyond this orb?

Does Heaven or Hell Await?

Tis written, ‘ours not to know’?

Doth then we yield to fate?

*

©Billy Ray Chitwood – April 6, 2019

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Insomnia

Insomnia

 

Night Comes

With Its Demons,

Stays Late Into My

Hapless Toss And Turn…

Brings Its Jabbing Thoughts

Of All My Yesterdays,

Leaves Me Tangled

In The Wet Sheets

Of Memories…

With Dawn,

The Weary Self Of

Bone And Flesh

Seeks Cessation

In the hopeful

Sunlight

Of Day.

 

©Billy Ray Chitwood – March 22, 2019

 

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How Can We?

How Can We?

How can we breed patriots

When we don’t teach our history?

From ‘Pilgrim Rock’ through

The great presidents of our time?

Valley Forge, the wars we’ve fought

For a country now harassed with hate?

How can we deplore so easily

With easy disdain and anger?

How can we be so blind of eye

As not to see the great rupture

In our land of milk and honey?

How can we not with haste defeat

This pestilence that so infects

Our hearts, our minds, our souls?

How can we be so hardened of heart

As not to feel compassion and joy?

How can we not feel pride in a

Nation that has so much to give?

How can we not stem the bigotry

That runs rancid in our streets?

How can we turn a Democracy

Into a totalitarian state of chaos?

What feeds this disease that now

Plagues our halls of government?

Please, tell me how can we revive

A country rich in history and glory?

How can we breed patriots

When we don’t teach our history?

 

Billy Ray Chitwood – March, 2019

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Lazy Moments in Time

Lazy Moments in Time

What folly this

That binds me,

Betrays me,

Leaves me here,

In this strange

Subtle land?

Glory must

Surely shed

Its light

On yonder

Brows,

Not mine!

Here,

Dreams live,

Greatness appears,

And, so soon

Expires…

What fool am I

To stand among

These great

Images of

Proud history?

Tis Folly here!

Must be folly

For I see not

My Image

Smiling back

At me!

Billy Ray Chitwood – January 31, 2019

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Sought and Fought for Naught

Sought and Fought for Naught

-Nine Haikus All in a Row, with a Theme-

*

It was never clear

That dream-set inside of me

Along each new day…

 

The abstract nature

Of my humble beginnings

Ever in my way…

 

On the lonely trek

Were stark ugly mementos

To echo my past…

 

Then, into Twilight

Doubts and fears were soon to pass

As my mind could fast…

 

At last it did seem

That olden days meant little

To a now dull mind…

 

Ahead comes darkness

Morphing to eternal light

Perhaps, to happily dream.

 

But, if not to dream,

Then, perchance, darkness alone,

Shakespeare did foretell.

 

Demons come and go

Through dark eternal passages

Shadowed walls of Hell.

 

Doth Fate have in store

This horror scene, prithee tell,

What is heaven for?

*

-Nine Haikus with which to explain a Life-

By Billy Ray Chitwood – 01/26/19

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Winter’s Lassitude

Winter’s Lassitude

Perhaps it’s the winter days that has me in this patch of lassitude, here in the pale used-up corn stalks of boredom, where words won’t form and thoughts come in slow motion and without any great desire to be fulfilled. The sunny day falls on a layer of snow and cannot alter the artic bite in the air, yet without the glowing essence of a clear day, I might very well give way to purposeless stagnation.

I want to write, to create a marvelous ‘flash fiction’ piece, a poem of praise for the deity that claims my being, yet, the torpidity seems all-consuming and bids me crank up the leg-rest of my Lazy boy and wile away the day with patches of slumber. But I fight the off-kilter feelings and press on with words that might or might not warrant any qualitative analysis. So, I cling to the notion that out of the lazy meandering the Gods on Mt. Olympus might bring life to my fingers as they tap onward the laptop keys.

Wouldst I write about the political nonsense that is frightfully ambiguous and bordering on insanity? God, forbid! My takeaway from the blabber would be of no import and would only show my informed but unpolished political leanings that would please some and anger others. No politics, thank you very much…

What, then, Lazybones?

I shall try a poem for my good followers and then put the day away marked as ‘non-essential’ and ‘lethargic’!

Here, then, is the poem…ah, what name shall I give it? Ah, yes…

Wasted Day

How does one forfeit a day?

Wasted but adorned beautifully

By Sunshine and snow?

Tis a mindless pity to waste

So much energy and time

To say, ‘I don’t know’!

The blog and book must wait

Until tomorrow comes

For an intellectual glow!

After all, words are cheap

And book sales are small

So much for my folio!

One day, surely, I can miss.

My brain can use the rest

Tis no huge fiasco.

Tomorrow, then, I shall

Write a #1 bestseller

And all the world will crow.

*

And so be it this Tuesday morning in January.

Billy Ray Chitwood – January 22, 2019

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There is Room

There is Room

  Along the lonely road I met an old man who sang a soft melodic song that spoke to me in so many ways, his gnarled fingers chording an old guitar that seemed to know so exactly, so enchantingly, and so beautifully where his sad and lonely words were going.

  I stood and listened until his song ended, mesmerized by the sounds and the words. My tears were his tears, his tears mine, and his song was my song, words, music, and all.

  When I awoke the tears still flowed down my cheeks, the words and music of the song would lay upon me in the twilight of my days.

*

There is Room

There is room for you here – it’s not so crowded, now that night is over and the demon sleeps in his coffin of forgetfulness…

There is room beside me, though the heat in my body has dwelled for a while in the dampness of the past heroic epic of chance…

There is room for you here by this still infernal longing of my soul that speaks to me of a thousand things I could have done…

There is room beside the silent tempest that yet rages within the bounds my mind can reach in too much absurdity…

There is room here in the twilight of a life spent recklessly and with oft a hope some willing star would enter its pitiable tenderness…

There is room here near the weariness from joys sought, found, and lost through carelessness of one final salute to Bacchus…

There is room here among the decay of confusion and doubt, among the abandoned hearts of love’s labor lost, sought and found…

Come join me – read my tales, hear my soul’s somber chorus, hear a fool awaking to a yawning maw of darkness and despair…

There is room…

*

Billy Ray Chitwood – November 12, 2018

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Portrait in Time

Portrait In Time

Young man, do you not see me as once I might have been?

Is it the wrinkle, the sagging skin Time laid upon me that you see?

Once I stood, perhaps like you, with noble thoughts and dreams

A new bright morning might bring.

Time wore me down with its ceaseless ubiquitous ways and subtle promises.

Time taunted and tempted me with its guile and deceptions,

With its beauty beads of love.

Time gave me its reins to run wild with the wind toward sunrise and sunset.

Time now leaves me here along the sea, better to have had its moments of joy;

Sad to have you see the frail and broken parts of me.

Young man, can you not see me as once I might have been?

(An ending poem in a book by Billy Ray Chitwood, “The Cracked Mirror – Reflections Of An Appalachian Son”)

Billy Ray Chitwood – October 12, 2018

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The Restless Spirit

The Restless Spirit

(Written in 2012 while on The Sea of Cortez – TN & KY Since!)

Under a pale blue morning sky a long plume of white misty cloud softly touches the Sea of Cortez, and I ponder the spirit of the restless.

In fact, it is my own restless spirit that dictates this post, given energy by the ghosts from an Appalachian youth of mobility and uncertainty, by my own selfish need to describe the nature of my beast. This restless spirit is not something that embarrasses me or shames me in my eyes. It is a constant companion which I have nourished all my life with impulsive, spontaneous acts. It is something I accept as I do the color of my hair, my skin, the whole DNA networking inside my body walls. It is likely not so distinctive as one might expect. This restless spirit, this wanderlust component, must reside in legions of us.

This post began with a description of the beautiful sea that displays its gaudy deep green beauty outside my windows. This sea, this constant sun, this life style is the stuff of dreams. How could anyone be restless watching the sail boats, the ski jets, the parasailers high above the crystalline water, the people frolicking along the long stretch of sandy beach? Grab a Corona, a Tequila Sunrise, and live your dream, right? Well, that great big sea reaches out to a far horizon, and, after a few Coronas and Tequila Sunrises, the restless spirit can start its gnawing litany of thought… What’s beyond that horizon? Where have I not yet been? What have I not yet done? I’ve been here for a few years now. Is it not time to go? Even Paradise has its limits!

Okay, here’s the deal! I buy a new car. In a year I tire of the car and want another make and model. The same with living quarters! After a few years I want new quarters. It does not matter to the restless spirit that it is contemplating giving up ‘heaven’, its life style of which other people can only dream. In this case, it is a stunning, luxurious two-level penthouse where the host of the restless spirit has come to retire, where the only really pressing decisions to make daily are food selections, social media caretaking, and the book-writing periods. There are people who live in the same house in the same town in the same state all their lives. Not me! In the past thirty years, I’ve lived in twelve different places. You do the math! I’ve probably lost count.

Yes, I’ve still got a lovely wife who is a polar opposite. She is calm, patient, puts up with me, would have been happy to live our lives out in that first place thirty years back. Guess she loves me to keep uprooting her the way I do. Is this crazy, or, what?!

So, anyone interested in a 3600 square foot penthouse? I’ll buy yours. You buy mine. I’ll be fair, even leave all the furniture, utensils, everything, totally turnkey — just bring your clothes and a toothbrush. You will have constant sun, constant sea, constant beauty. The only catch is, you need to have something equally as nice, something that turns on my restless spirit, and your place has to be free and clear like my place. Any takers?

Worried about Mexico and all the media hype? Been coming here from Arizona for over forty years. I’ve felt safer here than any place I’ve ever lived. The people of Mexico are friendly, helpful, kind, and appreciative of our US dollars. Crime, drug cartels? I’m sure they’re around somewhere in the country, killing off themselves, mostly. One could be reminded that my great country, the US, has its share of drug cartels and crime…

But back to this restless spirit thing… Do I wish that it was not there? ‘Yes’ is the honest answer, but there is an honest qualifier. The books I’ve written, the poems, the songs, the posts, all the penning? Are they worthy? Of course, I think so, but the true judges are the readers and the lovers of poetry and song. But ‘worthy’ is not the point I’m making here. The point is, maybe all my words would not have been out there in print and Cyberspace had I not had the restless spirit — not that one cannot write without it. But, me, could I have ‘done all that’ in ‘my way’ without that restless spirit.

I’m just saying…

Billy Ray Chitwood – October 8, 2018

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The Jest

©The Jest

 When skin sags with age,

And liver spots engage,

As joints scream in pain,

The skies fill with rain.

The mirrors now convey

Whiskers ugly gray,

 Peaked orbs set deep,

 Ever more to weep.

Puddles turn to streams,

The mind yet dreams

Fancy plots and schemes

On a myriad of themes!

What, then, is this clatter?

This Circling mass of matter?

But a simple and silly jest

Of a Planetary Guest?

 A poem by: BR Chitwood – August 23, 2018

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