Poet Voices

Here you will find poems that articulate the essence of the poet. They will make you realize you are not alone in what sometimes seems like a disconnected and obscure world—that your bliss and suffering are shared even though forever all your own.

 

The intention of the poet is to (in some way) reconcile us to our world; to allow us a measure of tenderness and grace by which we may live. It is not to have us accept the world at its face value or to dwell on the things that are wrong, but to reconcile us in a larger sense, to return us to love, the province of imagination, and to expand the scope of our mortal lives.

 

Poetry, at its core, is an attempt to interpret what is deeply felt and is essentially inescapable, a rhythmical composition of everything beautiful. Its soul is ambitious, intense, and sweeping. It is indeed something divine—the root and blossom of other systems of thought. From poetry, all things spring eternal, and it adorns all the expressions of the imagination. It is conjoined with the origin of man.

 

The poet turns every dark tear of the soul into beads of perception to help us to find the blessing in every curse. Poetic expression is something fine, admirable, and valuable like the words of the poet Emma Lazarus that were inscribed in a tablet at the base of the Statue of Liberty in 1883:

 

“Give me your tired your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.”

 

The poet’s words make us laugh, cry, and wonder what and why—a mirror that makes beautiful that which is distorted. Poetry is an invisible thought giving expressive words new life. It fills the empty basket into which we put our lives and makes something out of it. It answers the question of how to live.

 

 


 

“We’re more alike than not”

 

From the pen and perspective of Carol Wood/ Platoon Nana:

 

in every language lullabies
are hushed and sweet
cause every mother everywhere
knows how to lull her babe to sleep
and every father wants the same
for every boy and girl
the gift of love, a chance to soar
in a safe and peaceful world

we all weep when loved ones die
we smile when babes are born
we celebrate the gift of life
and morn it when it’s gone
we sing we dance, we laugh, we love
like tomorrow never comes
we toil, we play, we leave a mark
then one day our spirit tells us our work on earth is done

the blood we share runs red
we’re not so very different
when all is done and said
we teach our precious children
the very lessons we’ve been taught
when the sun goes down and the moon comes up
we’re more alike than not

victory’s sweet, defeat is hell
in every language we speak
the spoils of war remain scorched ground
the earth’s inherited by the meek
I won’t spill your children’s blood
I pray you won’t spill mine
our differences are better solved
with compromise and time

what good is another piece of land
that’s soaked with tears and blood
it’s no longer sacred ground
it’s just a soggy patch of mud”

 

 


 

“Precious Gifts”

 

From the pen and perspective of Carol Wood/ Platoon Nana:

 

I thought about the most precious gift,
I pondered what it could be,
‘Tis simple, it’s the gift of life
T’was the answer that came to me

 

So what’s the most precious gift of life
Quizzed my searching, wee small voice
‘Tis simpler yet, the answer came,
It’s the awesome gift of choice

 

For all the evil and the good
Is conceived in the heart of man
all joy and grief, all war and peace
Executed by the human hand

 

We may not choose the hand we’re dealt
Or the trials that come our way
But how we handle every test
Is a choice we make every day

 

The choice to smile, the choice to cry
The choice to give or take
The choice to live, the choice to die
All choices we make

 

So make your choices carefully
Give thought because we know
That we will harvest every crop
And reap the seeds we sow

 

© Carol Wood aka Platoon Nana

 

 


 

“The Power of a Word”

 

From the pen and perspective of Carol Wood/ Platoon Nana:

 

my mother always said the pen
is mightier than the sword
that nothing’s quite as powerful
as the written or spoken word

 

if you choose to wield a sword
against your enemy
it won’t take long before you learn
how powerless you’ll be

 

but press a pen into the hand
of an impassioned man
he’ll take a cause beyond his reach
as no confrontation can

 

oh, the power of a word
to destroy or edify
a word can make a child a giant
or make a grown man cry

 

so choose your words with thought and care
and serve them like a treat
so when you have to eat your words
you’ll find that they are sweet

 

© Carol Wood aka Platoon Nana

 


 

“Love From The Start”

 

From the pen and perspective of Darlene Liepke:

 

When I was small, my world how it changed
with just a grandma, I took her name
she kept me with her both night and day
lived in her house, I was there to stay
our house seemed so big, I had my own bed
a beautiful table where she kept me well fed
I didn’t know about a family of three, a mom, a dad, and a little girl… me
But gramma had love for a family of ten
these things I remember from way back then
she let me be spunky, she let me be free
I wrote on the walls, she let me be me
and her friends became family, helped with their hearts
made me one person, from all their parts
I became a grownup way too fast, learned things aren’t fair, learned things don’t lastbut the one thing I take with me day after day is that families are different
in so many ways, it’s a mixture of laughs and tears streaming slow
teaching you things from your greats long ago
when I tuck my children tight in bed, hug them, and kiss them on the top of their head,

 

I will always remember what was placed in my heart,
family is love right from the start

 

– Darlene Liepke

 


 

“Fickle Mirror”

 

From the pen and perspective of Carol Wood/ Platoon Nana:

 

Each morn I greet a brand new day

 

My Mirrors look at me and say

 

“You look the same as yesterday”

 

Can it be my youth won’t slip away?

 

I’ll always walk with a peppy gate

 

And hold my back and shoulders straight

 

Father Time will have to wait

 

For I’ll escape the aged’s fate

 

Awe, fickle mirror what’s that I see…

 

Tiny lines where taunt skin used to be’

 

Silver strands that seem to dance with glee

 

And mock the youth that remains in me

 

“It’s not so bad” these frail bones sigh”

 

“To face the fact one day I’ll die”

 

In the face of death, my heart behaves,

 

It’s’ peaceful balm my spirit craves…

 

To escape the vessel that now enslaves

 


 

“It Was the Laundry that Saved Me”

 

From the pen and perspective of Donna Davis:

Think of it, the dirt cellar with crawl-space

caves beneath the stairs, stuff of bad dreams,

shovels stored there, menacingly poking out

from pockets of fear. The hanging light,

a forked tongue of bulb, swung formlessly,

a life expending itself.

Think of the small child standing there

at the edge of the last step like a bather

awaiting the cold shock of a wave,

desperately afraid of drowning.

But it was the laundry that saved me;

the huge, warm enamel tub in that glacial room

singing deep bass tones of sheets and shirts

slapping against its sides.

And my mother was there

with my sister amid scattered clothes,

explaining the careful process: the separation

of fabrics, the two iron rinse tubs waiting

beyond the first wringer, the clothes pulled through

just the right way over the wooden rollers.

I would watch the foamy suds turned smooth

as cream, rushing down the cellar drain.

I would smell the sweet religion of clean

threads, pure as altar cloths wrung and draped

over the makeshift lines.

Years later, when my mother died, and darkness

threatened, the waters lapped against my ankles.

I walked through sorrow to that place of sound

safe and eternal, to rest my hand

upon its beating, motoric heart.

And we were together once more, like the wise

women of ages past, our white robes drying

on river rocks. With steady exhalation of breath,

we did the work of the soul.