Posts tagged ‘Online Writing’

I Listened to a Book Today – poem

Cover of "A Wind in the Door"

Cover of A Wind in the Door

I want to tell you that this poem is a true testimony to perseverance and friendship. I rewrote the poem 11 times with the help of generous and constructive feedback – not just on this poem, but my writing in general – from my forum friends at Poetry Here And Now As may be already apparent, I write much of my poetry under the pseudonym Callisse J. DeTerre. Besides, those special friends I’ve mentioned above, I’d like to dedicate this poem to all the people who helped instill in me a love of reading and those like my good friend and youth services regional librarian, Krista Rakers of Saint Louis Public Libraries, who aim to do the same with the young of today. Reading redefines reality! Read, read, read and use your library to save a few trees!

I Listened to a Book Today

From a volume my mother
bought for me, More Tell Me Why,
I learned, at eight, my cat
could be frozen by a centipede.
By ten, The Narnia collection complete,
I traveled through A Wind In the Door
to lose myself in the Tao Te Ching.
Then Again Maybe I Won’t
unlocked the mysteries of men
but it was just the seed.

Filled with my search for connection –
Scripture, Jung and Chemistry –
my prep school book bag weighed in at
thirty pounds, with texts alone.
At twenty, reality struck –
people kill trees to answer me!
Now, at forty, I can hardly breathe.
So, today, as if to atone,
I listened to a book,
but it didn’t speak to me.

~Callisse J. Land, copyright 25 April 2011, revised 27 June 2011


No Reason, Brave Cravens – poem

Vietnam War Memorial

Image by TTVo via Flickr

As my brother readies to deploy for a 3rd time to Iraq, war has been on my mind. I saw a movie about the Vietnam War in a small private cinema at a writers’ conference when I was 16 years old. It deeply impacted me; I couldn’t speak, so I wrote. Someday, someday when my brother is safely here on US soil to stay, the horrid photos he shared with us from his first tour will likely become a poem just as this scene from the movie did. Below is the original version written when I was 16, as well as version created following comments made by fellow poets at the poetry forum, Poetry Here And Now. I would love readers to share which they like best or any other comments.

Original version:

Brave Cravens

Gathering scattered bits of brain
some red with intensity
some milk white with no meaning
some blue with the night

Crusted brown blood
on his shattered skull
maps their traveled terrain
his matted hair, their losses

His eye – fixed in a dusty stare –
gazes on a blazing wall,
one eye will not open
the other will not close

Brave craven wipe
muddied hands on thighs
staring here
then blankly there

They turn one by one
a few glancing back
as they tramp away
for no reason
no reason

~Callisse J. DeTerre, copyright October 1987

Fifth version:

No Reason

Crusted brown blood on the scalp
of their buddy’s shattered skull
maps their traveled terrain
his matted hair, their losses

They gather scattered bits of brain
some bloody intense red,
some white with no meaning,
some endless night mosquito blue

His eye – fixed in a dusty stare
gazes on the wall set ablaze,
his other will not open
this one will not close

Done, the brave cravens wipe
blood-muddied hands on thighs
staring here then blankly there
past the dead, enemies still

And now turning one by one,
as they tramp away,
a few glance back for no
reason, no reason at all

~Callisse J. DeTerre, copyright October 1987, last revised 5/02/11

Read more poetry or get feedback on your own by joining at:Poetry Here And Now

I Care – poem for internet friends

I Care
*Dedicated to my very special friends on the web…*

Sometimes the hustle of life holds me hostage.
Other times timidity ties me in knots.
Explanations and excuses that stretch on extinguish
the light of love meant to hold you, but it matters not
when or ever we last stood face-to-face
or how long or how little we are acquainted,
here in this place, our cyber-connection,
sometime when I needed it most, kept me going.
So -whether it’s with illness, inner pain, or confusion
that your struggle calls out to me – I want you to know,
even when you do not hear or see my words,
even when my conscious has no thought of you,
I am with you. For my heart shares its abundance of love and
my soul answers your cries with the tenderest of embraces.
Be assured I haven’t forgotten you. You are unforgettable.
And don’t ever think no one cares because I do.

(This poem was previously published  on a site called DailyStrength. I’ve since revised it.)