Writing For The New York Times Isn’t Rocket Science »« National Poetry Month–Guest Poet 1: Kate Jones

April Is (US) National Poetry Month

… and I know that I have many poets among my readers (and many who appreciate poets). I don’t have a really big soapbox here, or a really loud megaphone, but it’s bigger than it used to be, and bigger than a lot of personal blogs where people are writing amazing and beautiful things that only a very small number of folk get to read.

I’d like to promote some of those people, if I could–if they want me to. Some of you, I am very well aware of your writing, but I would never shine a spotlight on you without knowing you are ok with that. So… what are your favorite (especially modern, living, even unknown or little-known) poets? What are your favorite poems (I especially ask this of the poets themselves)? Send me your favorites, and with permission, I will happily feature them and link to your site.

I am a big believer in poetry, and in verse–constrained writing is thoughtful writing; creativity and novelty arise and flourish in these conditions.

And since it is Poetry Month, not just Atheist Poetry Month (or Science Poetry Month, or any such animal), there are no limitations on what sorts of poetry you can submit. Heh… as if I could stop you.

Comments

  1. says

    Dear Cuttlefish,

    Assuming that your invitation was not an April Fools’ joke, I hereby present two of my poems most appropriate to an atheist/poetry or science/poetry theme. While I am not a full-time professional poet, I tend to slip into poem mode at every opportunity that calls for a concise, deep-thought observation. A few have been published. You may have seen a couple of the limericks I’ve thrown in your direction. Poems have been my hobby for half a century. You and Taylor Mali are my two favorite living poets.

    The two appended pieces were originally created for the bi-annual Gathering for Gardner (honoring Martin Gardner) in 2010 and 2012, the 9th and 10th such congresses of writers, thinkers, mathematicians, magicians, scientists and philosophers (and occasional rabble like me). I have presented these two pieces in various modified forms at other venues. The current embodiments have stripped all illustrations, leaving the essential text. Should you be curious to see the decorated editions, they are here:

    http://www.gamepuzzles.com/9finelines.htm

    http://www.gamepuzzles.com/g4g10pres.htm

    ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

    A collection of my haikus accompanies the flower photographs in Flashes of Life, by Bob Steinberger. Here’s a little description: http://www.gamepuzzles.com/flashes.htm

    ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

    Appreciatively yours,

    – Kate Jones

    ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

    Nine Fine Lines of Thought
    by Kate Jones

    From the Big Bang to the present, haikus summarize nine stages of this evolving process in a mere 153 syllables. The reader is asked to be aware simultaneously of two interlinking strands of thought: the evolution of the Cosmos and the development of an individual human consciousness.

    ______

    The Big Bang
    From core flung outward,
    A pang of future promise –
    And a child is born.

    ______

    From Chaos to Order
    Out of the chaos,
    Clumps and patterns coalesce—
    Ideas build rules.

    ______

    Change and Replication
    Orbits wheel and spin;
    Change forges our spirit.
    The template remains.

    ______

    Life evolves
    From waves emerged land,
    And onto the land crawled life.
    And from life came mind.

    ______

    Change and Equilibrium
    Transform – evolve – flow…
    Dance in dynamic balance:
    Knowledge yields wisdom.

    ______

    Harmony of Opposites
    Empathy mirrors
    Images of “I” and “You”—
    Duality sings.

    ______

    Unification
    Fusion finds its kind…
    Minds meld cosmic truth to plan—
    The birth of science.

    ______

    Language and intelligence emerge
    Thoughts and words: Time tools
    Forge a world fit for the gods.
    There are no limits.

    ______

    Inspiration
    We are the ladder.
    All that is from that which was
    Fulfills the promise.

    ……………………………………………………………………………………………..

    From Singularity to Infinity,
    A roundtrip through epistemology—
    Ten rungs of progress to mark out the scale,
    Ten verses to invigorate the tale…

    by Kate Jones

    ______

    1. Being—the interface to understanding
    I am; what is it; and what does it do;
    And what should I do with it, and with you?

    ______

    2. Understanding—encoded through mathematics
    Well, let us say that one and one is two.
    That seems to fit, and so it must be true.

    ______

    3. Mathematics—the matrix of language
    There’s more—there’s deca-, hecto-, mega-, giga,
    And peta-zetta-yotta, even bigga…

    ______

    4. Language—the carrier wave of thought
    So words are handy to give things a name
    That others recognize to mean the same.

    ______

    5. Thought—the vehicle of Reason
    The wetware chortles in its galloping growth
    And makes some rules to sort out what it knoweth.

    ______

    6. Reason—the guardian of truth and reality
    Debunk the junk, each fallacy and fad,
    Though magicians show, illusions aren’t all bad.

    ______

    7. Reality—that which is, in every form and structure
    If it exists, it’s energy or matter
    And other stuff, like cosmic background chatter.

    ______

    8. Structure—the template of evolution
    Life’s blueprint builds ‘em, weird or elegant,
    Genes make both dust mites and the elephant.

    ______

    9. Evolution—the ascent toward infinity
    New combinations play with what makes sense,
    Like fractals bounded by the longest fence.

    ______

    10. Infinity—the birth place of being
    160 billion light years through,
    The Universe kept on till it made you.

    And you, and you, each life just once appears,
    To carve its meaning from its earthly years.

    So fill each unforgiving minute’s span
    With all the verve and gusto that you can.

    The Universe, the world, and humankind:
    Their priceless heritage—the sovereign mind.

    …………………………………………………………………………………………………..

  2. Cuttlefish says

    sorry for the delay in approving this comment, Kate–I wanted to wait until I could post your actual post…

  3. says

    Just to show you why April is:

    I’m more of an essayist, but I once (possibly) invented the Hairimeraku.
    There are essays explaining the structure and the necessity of them fulfilling “both the exacting requirements of the Japanese haiku, and the even more exacting requirements of the Irish limerick… the best of them having both seasonal and salacious aspects as befits their combined ancestry” here and here, but I’ll add the verse here to save you the disappointment of visiting my site.
     

    Fairly young wench
    The winds make blench.
    Tattered dress,
    Her own mess,
    Cold rains drench
     

    A young lady,
    Name of Sadie,
    Cherry pit
    Wants to spit
    Somewhere shady.
     

    See that girl there
    Climbing the stair.
    She should know,
    Crowd below…
    Underwear.
     

    Old man with beard
    Thought he was feared
    By those near
    And quite far.
    He was weird.
     

    ——————-

    The Poet Foresees His Death in a Drop of Rain

    Autumn rain drips,
    Walking girl slips.
    Yobs cry “Ha!
    “Boo!” and “Ya!”
    —Foolish quips.
     

    The Poet is Perplexed by Love

    Spring in Khartoum,
    Evening room.
    Who does what,
    And with what,
    And to whom?
     

    The Poet Revisits Certain Topics of the Admirable Rabbie Burns Involving Small Animals and a Certain Amount of Hypermetricality

    Spring brings the mole
    From out his hole.
    Farmer Dick
    Has a stick…
    Sad moles’ bell tolls.
     

    The Poet Contemplates the Transitory Nature of this Sublunary Sphere as Made Manifest by the Agency of Grammatical Change

    What I would give
    Were it to live
    Unbludgeon’d—
    Moribund
    Subjunctive.
     

    Aenigma

    Young man from Kent
    Why are you bent,
    With your foot
    Like a root
    In cement?
     
     
    Yukky aren’t they? :-)

  4. says

    Hi Cuttle,
    thanks for posting the poems. I hope more people post.

    Here’s a little limerick for you:

    There’s no fish like the cuttle
    Its behaviour is so subtle.
    I’d think it a god,
    If it weren’t so odd
    That its brain is so close to its butt’le

    (Sorry for that, but you try to find words that rhyme with ‘cuttle’)

  5. permanentwiltingpoint says

    Dear Cuttlefish,

    I intended to say something including the word “honored” too, but I’ll obey and shush. Here is something short and crisp. I hope you and the others here like it.

    Church History

    No God

    God

    “By God”

    Bigot

    PS: I don’t know how to do it here, but just like richardelguru I use to write my titles in italics. Oh Captain, please, make it so!

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