Iron Poet #15
Meter / Style: Free verse
Theme / keyword: madness
No more than 36 lines (including blank lines)
The word “madness” itself does not have to be used. Any form of the word, synonyms, concepts, etc. may be used. The Iron Poet allows thematic reference as opposed to the use of the actual keyword.
An Autumn Madness – Matt Henderson
Four times, you will fall into a certain kind of madness
this is as constant as the moon and sun
the four seasons and four directions will lead you there
if you ignore it, you will miss the beauty of its lesson
but it may be easier for some avoid it
than to hold a course and face it full on like a gaze inside the sun.
Midsummer glinted an early autumn madness, moving westward
carrying me along
I longed for it, the crystalline wildness, a sound carries, a space expands
the geomancy of the axis mundi in the space
behind her heart, electric impulses
beating under the buzzing current of surface flow
She thinks it is her– ah, it is her– it just isn’t of her doing
I look at her from here and back, three decades down
stretched like lengths of shining fiber shimmers
I see her suspended in the present, rising
from the pluperfect subjunctive, straight lines of bending time
smelling like berries and flowers and sweet herb dust
her eyes, her nose, her perfect lips, the mercurial ways
she carries herself, a lighter floating, a higher glide, crossing rooms
ahead of every angle’s focal point, she lives from her center
two inches below her navel, as she moves the earth’s own umbilicus
she reels herself in and lets herself out as she is compelled
spinning smooth and silky dreams of sight and sound
My sweet saving madness is reflected in the symbol that she holds
in every part of her, from every angle, and any hour.
all things beautiful, all things good, all familiar comforts,
hidden in the unfamiliar.
the sound of the heater coming on when I was a baby.
the glint of sun on the lake I tried to catch in my hand as a toddler.
the smile of every pretty girl who ever turned sidelong to face me
music, art, a delicate meal, a light rain, a bird’s song, a baby’s tiny laughter
a fireplace, a cool breeze, a promise kept, the ocean the first time I saw it,
the great expanses of desert and the majestic blue-grey mountains
My sweetest madness, all there, hidden safely under her sundress, so I won’t see it all at once.
That Mile Below – Wes Choc
Helmet snug, pants tight … looming over the metal edge …
… my stance tugged by rolling eyes and scrambling guts as roads and trees swished by …
… a mile below.
Hurricane hands scrubbed my face …
while collars and cords flapped my chin,
snapping my ears … slapping my smile.
Cheeks reddened as a readying stomach read my mind …
… choosing a fall …
… to that mile below.
Knees bent … shaking, making those trembles tickle …
… leaning fore, meaning to squeeze that …
… madness … that moment’s recklessness … that flashing unfolding folly
of deciding … justifying risks clutched for just a second more … before …
… falling into that mile below.
Then, parachuting shooting stars sparked, whizzing by my head …
… daring me …
… and then fingers opened … soles arched … letting go …
… waist lunging … body plunging
with arms spread wide as an empty cliff of fate was tested
and life itself abandoned in another trice.
And this soul got sucked, plummeting down, whooshing through that mile …
… toward that mile below.
B Y Rogers
My mother taught me
To kneel before her god.
I was young, hoping her hope
I obeyed, unknowing, faithless.
When I was eight,
I heard a warning voice.
I disobeyed, causing pain,
A sin my father paid in my stead.
I prayed, not daily, for years.
The voice never returned,
I lived alone in silence.
I prayed sometimes, in fear.
An infant girl, heart torn in two,
A vision came, to heal us both.
She lives today, a mother now.
Growing old, cynical, confused,
Consumed by theodicy and insanity.
My prayers waned in doubt.
Unheard, unknown, unloved.
No longer kneeling,
My Mother died.
My Father followed.
I watched them leave this life
In blessed peace.
I search for that path,
To leave this world like them.
It hurts here,
It makes no sense
This madding orb
That binds me tight
There is no peace, nor love
Only hate and sadness.
I knelt this morning, crying,
My simple broken heart.
Decades from my mother
Desperosis – Johnna Murphy
Listening to the voice, it’s talking about trains
or is that just a dream,
just a perfect living in memory, a lifetime while sleeping?
Hearing the darkness and waiting for the beast.
The sky is melting and it tastes like sour cream.
But where are the chives? and why aren’t there potatoes?
I think there was a needle, but actually it was a pill,
and I thought I saw the doctor, but I wasn’t feeling ill.
Running on a treadmill that is slowly speeding up
But I’m told it is walking pace, so why do I run ever faster? ever faster.
and where is the beautiful? Did it join those avoiding me?
I am in the corner, too big and too small, to loud and too soft.
There’s an SEP field around me. Somebody Else’s Problem.
There go people, walking over, under, around, and through me.
Some even talk to me, but am I really there? who cares. SEP.
The voice is saying good night. The voice has a true love.
My true love is fading to darkness and I wonder if I will follow.
While the moon smells of cheese and the air tastes of gray.
I sit in the quiet, Listening to the voice now talking of traffic.
The silence is screaming, as it awaits the beast. Or is this just a dream?
This is the way to Madness – Maureen Larter
Tinkling of ideas down the cracks of my mind
Finding reason in irrationality
Always feeling outside of every sphere
To see the space warp here to grind
the seeds of impossibility
Forever touching pointless thoughts
of my own mortality.
Future images of every kind
shall feed my immaturity
Eternally groping towards a fragility
that’s my finality.