Thursday, February 23, 2012

Homonym poem

Brenda Hillman wrote a brilliant poem called"Cleave and Cleave" which examines these words that sound and can be spelled the same but have opposite meanings. I'd like you to think of two words that are homonyms but mean different things. , e.g. lie and lie, stone and stone, bear and bear, write and right. Here is a complete list.
Think of an emotional situation in memory that these homonyms might speak to, then imagine yourself "encountering" each of these words separately, in concrete examples- e.g. you are writing your name on a blackboard as a child, over and over; the sun is spilling in the window, fading the slate as you write. you start to think about your "right" to be yourself, and you look at your self, the clothes you are wearing, your hands, etc...Then bring both words together at the poem's conclusion, like Hillman, who dramaticized the words' opposite meanings by ending with two strong sentences: You might say, e.g." I will write my name over and over on the glass." Then, "I will disappear: my right."

This poem is taken from The Practice of Poetry by Behn and Twichell.


  1. Of Thyme and Time

    My mind is whisked
    To a long time back,
    A time that’s been yearned for
    By this old wrinkled hack

    I envision my mother
    On a warm summers day
    Cutting away and cutting
    At the thyme for our supper, while I sit and play

    And it appears in my mind that the thyme is like time
    And the more that we cut away,
    And the more we discard,
    The more we wish for and long for the day
    When life was perfection, and we were at play

    But the more we go toward Judgment Day,
    The more our lives get tossed away,
    And the more we wish to be in that way-
    The innocent, playful, child’s way

    Like Thyme and Time,
    We must protect
    Those memories that
    Fade to gray
    Never let time pass you by
    Or let those moments elude you,
    But live your life in the very best way,
    And never, ever let that time go away.

  2. Troy Golding
    Break and Brake

    I have just pulled out of the Grease Monkey parking lot
    My smooth brakes hiss
    Looking out onto an open road
    Slightly cracked where tar was not laid
    The road scattered with roaming trash and random birds
    I pause at the intersection and glance down the street
    Picture the rush hour traffic in not only an hour
    Sweating in their cars just wanting to make it home

    At the intersection
    Birds fly from left to right, in a
    Romantic pattern trying to find scraps of food
    Suddenly it starts
    People flock from work in a rush to get home
    Cars nearly collide
    Want may be extreme at some times
    This time it was the want to come home

    Suddenly two words of same sound take place
    These words are brake and break
    Cleary opposite meanings, meaning
    A stopping device and to split apart
    When two cars collide
    Some slam on the brakes
    When two cars collide
    One car is on his afternoon break

  3. To Alter or to Altar

    To alter or to altar
    That is the question

    Which are you seeking?
    To change or to absolve

    If you are reeking
    You will alter your clothes

    If you want to be forgiven
    To the altar you go

    Some may try to alter the altar
    But that is not always the case

    Sometimes it is the altar
    Who alters those who try to change it

    So which will it be?
    To alter or to altar?

  4. Duel vs Dual

    Tis confusion!
    To duel with swords or have dual swords?

    To fight is now a matter of speak
    Either to fight for honor or have two things.

    We shall duel for honor!
    To have two for honor is this what you speak?

    No you fool!
    To fight for one's sake!

    Then that with shall,
    With dual swords I might add.

    Of course with duel swords!
    What else to fight with is there?

    No! To have two swords is what I am saying.
    To duel with dual swords will be the event!

    To do what with what?
    This is a riddle indeed......

    Oh, forget this intolerable spelling!
    Let's go for tea and forget this whole thing.

  5. Did you see the sea?

    I could see the magnificant sea
    As it frothed in the dark of night
    Every wave crashed down on golden sand
    Forever a glorious sight

    The sea sits watching
    Almost an open storybook
    There is so much it holds
    Leaving you wanting another look

    I could see the drifting clouds
    Over the deep, dark abyss
    The salty wind whips
    With utter ocean bliss

    The sea so peaceful
    Yet crashing on the shore
    The sun starts to appear
    The night is no more.

  6. The Garden

    Roses and pansies and daises alike

    Grass greener than green

    And trees taller than life

    Yet hidden within

    Are weeds that

    Choke, disrupt, and delight

    In how they made

    Us pull them

    That dreadful summer

    From dawn until night

    We’d pull and we’d pull

    Yet still to no avail

    They’d stick and they’d stay

    Till we couldn’t pull anymore

    But now it is winter

    And the weeds are long gone

    Yet June will soon come

    With the weeds tagging along

  7. Do you see what I see?
    The sea rocking gently
    Back and forth, beckoning you to come and play
    And emerse yourself in its waters

    Do you see what I see?
    People splashing in the waves
    Playing the wicked games of the sea
    Dancing lightly in the water

    Do you see what I see?
    The moon glancing off the sea
    White light skating on the surface
    Reflecting the ended day to the sky

    Do you see what I see?
    The salt thick in the air
    A taste that puckers your mouth
    And a smell that wrinkles your nose

    Do you see what I see?
    The water crisp and clear
    Cold and frigid
    Waves crashing on the shore

    Come to see the sea
    The water whispers...

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  9. I Will Always Be There

    Every day you look and see
    The beautiful, salty ocean breeze
    Feel me with you side by side
    For that is what I want inside
    Today I know that you are sad
    But I will always be your dad
    And to all the places you will go
    I hope that you will always know
    The sea is such a beautiful place
    And that is where you’ll see my face.

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  11. The Sun and The Son

    Take a walk outside and you shall see,
    An inexplicable source of yellow beauty.
    It gives us warmth, and energy for life,
    Yet it stays so far, and leaves us at night.
    What is it that the sun can earn,
    When we have nothing to give in return?

    A new baby boy is born everyday,
    To parents who would give everything else away.
    The boy takes food, and money too,
    Yet it gives them joy, through and through.
    Why do mother and father sacrifice,
    Knowing that one day he will leave their sight?

    The sun and the son,
    The discussion is done.
    One is a giver, the other a taker,
    Yet in the end, they both give us warmth.

  12. Some may say I’m quite odd
    I don’t care, for those who mind don’t matter
    And those who matter don’t mind
    Peers might sometimes be awed
    When they find out that I am flawed
    But they say I am one of a kind
    And I hope to be quite a find
    An interest is held in art
    It is not the kind most would find in their heart
    My taste is very weird
    It’s not always much cheered
    One day they will see
    That the awed are the odd
    Their true selves one day they will be
    When they eventually find their own key

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  15. The Cliques of Annoying

    I catch my breath as I hear them coming down the halls,
    Hoping they will pass me by like I am one of the blank walls.
    But of course they do not.
    It must have been the scent of fear they caught.

    It is the mean girls who think they rule above all.
    Everyone who looks their way feels powerless and small.
    I must be brave I say,
    As they turn and snarl my way.

    As they pass, they look me up and down from head to toe,
    It feels as though I am hosting the biggest loser show!
    They are known as the clique at my school,
    Everyone hear considers them to be cool.

    The only image I envision when they surround me,
    The sound their shoe makes when they address me as the ugly flea,
    "Click, click ,click",
    The sound those six inch shoes compose sounds like a tick.

    Cliques are awful, cruel, and can boast.
    The annoying sound their shoes make is what I hate the most!
    "Click, click, click" repeated a thousand time again.

  16. Do, Doe, Dough, Doh

    Do, re, mi, fa, so, la, ti, do
    Those are how those notes all go
    One do is high, the other low,
    Do, re, mi, fa, so, la, ti, do

    A female deer is also a doe
    Through the meadow to and fro,
    Walking gingerly, though not slow
    A female deer is also a doe

    Money and batter are also dough
    It could be cash for someone to stow
    It's also batter for cookies you know,
    Money and batter are also dough

    Doh is also from a T.V. show
    Spoken by Homer Simpson, yo
    And that is the last doh I know
    Doh is also from a T.V. show

    Do, Doe, Dough, Doh
    Those are all the do's I know
    So this just goes to show
    That there are lots of do's

  17. The effect of aspects
    Affect effects
    Within human aspect
    When effects affect and infect.

  18. My grandmother tried to teach me to sew
    And she strictly told me, “So,
    This is where you start, and this is where you’re going.”
    So I puzzled and contemplated, but found nothing mind blowing

    I did so want to excel at this crazy invention
    With a needle and thread I’d have my own creation
    And I struggled with blood staining the nice white sheet
    To find a way to accomplish said feat

    I never prevailed and feared being booed
    And I eventually changed my attitude
    So I finally came to see
    That the art of sewing is not for me

  19. Once upon a far away time
    There laughed and ran
    The little girl that was me
    She sat out in the grass
    I watched as she blew bubbles
    From the little blue wand
    And I wonder to myself
    Where did she go
    Wind blew through her tangled hair
    Skinned knees black and blue
    I’m afraid that I’ve lost
    The freedom she had
    The wild imagination
    It seems that time blew past
    Now everything is shaded blue
    Whenever I feel lost
    I look back, wishing she was me
    I watch that little girl
    With brown hair and chubby cheeks
    She blew the dandelions
    Watched the world with little blue eyes

  20. Presents of Presence

    When I was a little girl
    Sitting, wishing, waiting, and being free,
    I couldn't help but wonder about
    All the presents beneath the tree.

    Presents gave joy,
    More than any new friendship could.
    When we were all little
    Receiving presents meant more than it should.

    Real presents are in the presence
    Of the person you love.
    They can never be broken or torn or ripped
    And true devotion you can't be freed of.

    The presence of feeling
    And moments and memories
    Is like finding a shoebox of photographs
    Or a warm summer breeze.

    When the day brings new things,
    When life hands you love,
    When the moonlight sings,
    When the sun shines from above.

    Feelings like these
    Don't come from gifts.
    They come from people and life,
    And taking time, not being too swift.

    While presents are nice,
    They'll one day be gone.
    The meaningful presents
    Are found in presence alone.

  21. I'm Awed by Odd Things

    Many are awed by the crashing of the waves
    Or the setting of the sun
    Or the blooming of a flower
    That's only just begun

    I am awed by the odd things

    The creation of bubbles
    The movement of fish
    The makeup in movies
    The placement of food on a dish

    The prints in the sand
    Along the beach side
    The spinning of the teacups
    At an amusement park ride

    The people that can write poems
    The people that can draw
    The hopping of a bunny
    The weaving of straw

    I am awed by all of these odd things

  22. In Sight

    Not long ago it came into sight,
    the site of my troubles, that place of my plight.
    Some problem I had, a moment I passed,
    which has troubled my mind, a time in the past.

    Never forgotten, that period of strife,
    That phase of great trouble, in my mind as a knife.
    It always will burn me, never out of my mind,
    Tormenting my soul, like an unbreakable bind.

    So not long ago it came into sight,
    the site of my troubles, that place of my plight.
    A moment ago, unlike any before,
    a thought that could end it, one worth fighting for.

  23. I can't believe how faux you've are
    You left my heart all torn up
    Covered in scar upon scar.
    I have created a foe
    Will I recover
    I do not know.

  24. Although the baron was wealthy and rich
    His wife was barren from fertility
    For she could not obtain aural sounds
    But she could speak oral words
    She could not climb the butte
    But her husband beaut appearance encouraged her.
    She canvassed her husband’s canvas
    Searching for the battle woulds.

    Wary of her husband’s antics
    She planned a trip on a wherry.
    As she basked in solace
    She attributed her baron as soulless.
    As they rowed on the high seas
    She seized him to the end of the wherry.
    Where she told a story of a rigger
    Who worked with quite rigor.
    And after he rigged with rigor
    He poured out of his pores his reasons for being poor
    And blamed the baron, his employer.
    For being inaudible, she told the story quite well
    For he became soulful and knew
    He would not behold her the same.

  25. The Blue that Blew Me Away

    Running along the blue waters of the beach
    Breathing silently to my own rhythm
    Rushing of waves receding
    Blue sky
    Blue water

    Salt and sand tangled in my hair
    As I blew out a puff of air
    Wind blowing in my face
    Blew out warm air
    Into the cold icy emptiness

    Running in a rhythm in a foreign blue land
    The cold yet inviting wind blew me away
    The blue of the water and sky
    Blew me away

  26. A Piece of Peace

    Whether a piece of pie
    or a piece of land
    The hope of the world lies
    in all of our hands

    The friendships we make
    is what lives in the heart
    The extra step we take
    for connections we start

    Nations make Peace together
    for goodwill will flow
    The Peace in a simple feather
    for alliance to grow

    We are the Pieces to the puzzle
    A million to chart
    The Pieces come together
    That is Peace in the heart

  27. Is whom who is baited,
    Stuck and trapped,

    Forgotten through personal desires,
    Belittled to extremes,

    No one can possibly see,
    How reduced to a speck.

    A human which is baited,
    Completely reduced,

    Diminished and forgotten,
    Ultimately bated.

  28. The Key and Quay

    Standing as if a lighthouse
    Feet stuck fast to the dampened boards,
    I see birds with their sails fly over the water.

    The quay with it’s breeze
    And it’s sun-sharpened waves,
    Is the key to my heart-
    What I love.

    It unlocked my wonder at six years old
    Slipping from the slick quay
    Salt-spray high as I slid through it’s waters.

    Floating in the deep with a mind full of numb
    Sinking as I felt the sharp key
    Felt the sting like coral and I was on fire.

    The cold gentle key of the quay on the water
    Sliding into my heart
    And I loved it.

  29. Of Bear and Bare

    This weight I have to bear
    The world crashing down on my shoulders
    I must stay strong
    I am alone
    And so tired
    So tired of bearing
    This world

    And I am left on my own
    I look around to nothingness
    Empty, lonely
    Used, abandoned
    There is nothing left
    It is simply

  30. The Cord of Chords

    A three part harmony
    such a joyous noise,
    the chord is woven strong and steady-
    a cord of rope, intertwined and ready.

    As it is strung through the melodies
    the chord rings aloud standing on its own,
    molding the piece like the sand in sandstone.

    The cord now wrought tight
    brings in a sound of one voice
    to hold the music together,
    for all ears to rejoice.

  31. SPD

    Tick, tick, tick
    The wretched noise slices through the air
    It hits my ear drum and only continues to persist
    Slips past the others as they obliviously carry on

    I seem to be the only one to hear it
    It sets me on edge
    Forcing me to clench my fists and stay silent
    A catalyst to my anxiety

    My tic is set off
    Hands are now shaking
    Legs spasm, sending me spiraling into a state of panic
    And the ticking keeps going and going, on and on

    Stimuli tauntingly haunts wherever I may go
    Perhaps the press of bodies in overcrowded hallways
    The dizzying illusions shaped in the shadows
    But always the tick, tick, tick

  32. Soar and Sore

    In a dream I was a seagull
    My soul was filled with crystal light
    Lavender ribbons of wind blew
    Giving me strength and taking flight.

    I woke to find I had no wings
    I could not see the graceful shore,
    Left feeling senseless and hollow
    Yearning for the power to soar.

    All day recalling the lovely dream
    Looking down at the ocean floor.
    I will never be a seagull
    Reality hit, my spirit was sore.

    The birds above fly so freely
    Never tied down by obligations.
    I want to carelessly fly with them
    And every day pick a new destination.

    My soul is sore, my patience weak,
    All I want is to soar over the seven seas.

  33. Ail from Ale

    There was a party, no one wanted to go
    The people who ran it were not very old
    The drinks served there were not very safe
    And now all the kids are home sick with throat’s chafe

    It doesn’t seem right that this accident happened
    The parents were cross, the kids whipped in the rear end
    The people who ran it were taken to jail
    And the kids who attended were at home to ail

    Beer and wine and underage drinking
    All left the kids to headaches and weeping
    And all the boys who never did leave
    Lived their lives no longer naive

  34. Fairy vs. Ferry

    One floats and flies,
    The other gives joy rides.

    One tinkles like a bell,
    The other has a funny fishy smell!

    One is very small;
    The other is not small at all!

    One plays and laughs and giggles,
    The other is in water with fishes that wiggles!

    One sparkles like a star,
    The other will take you to places far!

    Fairy vs. Ferry,
    Would you prefer to fly or be carried?

  35. The life I live the acts I’ve made
    Those decisions hang over me like an ax blade
    The choices I’ve made right from wrong
    I write this poem the life I live is not to long

    I've been accused of a crime
    I know I will be put in for quite some time
    I accept the sentence because I know I'm guilty
    I sit here in this cell a 4 by 4 room that's grimy and filthy

    I can't revert on my past life
    I just wish I could have said I love you to my wife
    I will not see her or my son again
    A dreary idea that I cannot accept
    For what I did I do not deserve respect

    This sentence is a dam that I cannot remove
    I'm damned with this curse I will never move
    I wish I could see my children grow old
    But instead I'm here engulfed in a sea
    A sea of despair regret and repentance

    I know I'm facing the inevitable death sentence

  36. Where oh where do I go?
    What do I wear to the show?
    I don't go there, that's not it
    But I not need to throw a fit
    Homophones are very fun
    You can use them in a pun.

  37. Homonym

    one is composed of two, not three or four
    one is a fruit around a core

    one is full of laughter and cheer
    the other has juicy pulp that is clear

    one is full of companionship and friends
    one hangs from a tree by the stem on its end

    if I go somewhere I go in a pair
    if I’m hungry I eat a pear

  38. As I walk down the aisle of the food mart
    I dream of an Isle that I can go to get a fresh new start

    I am surronded by walls of food and clothes
    where I just want to be next to a waterfall that flows

    I grab a few peaches
    I how I wish I could visit some beaches

    I walk out of my local safeway
    when I just want to be on a getaway

    I hope that someday I can walk down the aisle
    On a beutiful Hawaiian Isle.

  39. There’s no such thing as a one-man team
    Otherwise there would be no one to scream
    And push you through the pain or there would be no gain
    So go for it
    Call all your best buds
    And form a pact
    Because there is no such thing as a one man team

    The meet is over
    The meet is won
    Two teams have gone head to head
    But now there’s no time left to go back
    All that’s left is to celebrate and take a one-night break

    There is no such thing as a one-man team
    The meet is over and the meet is won