Please, Vote Now! for your favourite poem in the SDMB Poetry Sweatshop Anthology of March 2010

Welcome to the Anthology Thread for the March 2010 SDMB Poetry Sweatshop. I will begin posting the poems already submitted in the next few replies, and at 6 PM PDT, I will establish a poll to determine the readers’ favourite poem.

I just want to emphasize the importance of voting - the poets are depending for an outside opinion of their work. The poll is by secret ballot, so no one need ever know how you voted. Please note that the poll is seeking your favourite poem - no deep arcane knowledge of poetry’s inner workings is required. Whichever poem strikes a chord with you, please give it your vote. And, though the choice will be difficult, please take the time to choose one poem.

I also want to mention that because of our current working method, all of the following poems will be posted under my user name, which may lead people to think that I am trying to claim authorship. Only one of the following poems is mine - the authors’ names may be found in the spoiler boxes at the bottom of each reply.

ETA: The three words this month are:** Inexorable, Good, Ado**

And so, I present our poets’ work for this month…

i don’t know
how to live here
yet everything
around me
commands me
be alive!

the scents of forest
and ocean

the colours
grey, green and brown

the sound
an eternal
two part invention
endlessly varied
the ocean plays

bbbbbBBBAAAAssss dddrrruumbmbmbmbmb
mbmbmbmbbbbrrusssssshhhesesese on ssssssnare

in an inexorable groove
that i can never
get the hang of
while the wind howls
in an unknowable scale
blurred flurries
which land and hold
the one note
you never guessed
could sound so good
it’s Bach
it’s Rock ‘n’ Roll
it’s Shock ‘n’ Awe
It’s Howl ‘n’ Roar

i stand beneath
the cedar

i watch the waves
you can’t see
what’s beyond the
yet the waves prove there’s nothing there
but ocean
for thousands of miles
‘We wouldn’t be this big
if there’d been something
to crash against, now, would we?’

i contemplate
the horizon
and the horizon’s

and i’m naked
though i’m fully
i’m stripped of
modern life
of the vapid
ado of human

to even utter
‘cell phone’ here
seems sacrilegious
and this dizzying place
compels me
to grow a soul
whether I believe in one
or not

Le Ministre de l’au-delà

Seven o’clock in the morning the alarm went,
lights of dawning breaking upon a curtained pane.
Inexorable sleepiness tugged at me,
dragging to a dreamland of silver grey.

After a whirlwind tour of misty landscapes,
I sprang awake with doom and dread.
Eight in the morning the clock face read.
“I had an exam at seven thirty!”

Without pause I dressed myself.
With a fifty I took a cab.
Quick, quick, I screamed at myself.
That paper is worth many credits!

The school was devoid of noise and sight.
Rushing to the hall of trials I yank at the door.
It yield not and I pound at it.
“Let me in!” I frantically protested.

Someone came down behind me,
drawn by all the ado in the morn.
The security guard glared at me and say,
“Good grief, young man, it’s a Sunday!”

Crowbar of Irony +3

Her heart is vast
But it leaks.
She has invited many men
To dwell in it:
Some have died there,
Some still fight,
Some are resigned
To see her at her urge.

Inexorable, she is moving
With no ado at all
To the next confusion,
To take from him twice
What she cannot repay.
When she kisses goodbye
The hollow has gone.
Then it comes back.

Neon eclipses
Her good hair day,
Her heels and skinny jeans,
Her careful mascara,
Her just enough flesh.
In this cab she is tiny,
Rattling in its heart.


n the summer lake, apartheid comes,
Inexorable bow to physics.
Water segregates in layers of like
Temperature, neither cooler nor warmer
Is our kind, dear.

The photons rain and do not trickle down
Or rather are more nimbly caught
Topside. The warm gets warmer
While the cool gets less.
The wind, a soft percussion, pulls the surface Tension into seiche, a rocking wave,
And drives the far banks water into sinking,
But not far. Remember our thermal inclination, dear
It’s good to know your kind.

And so a surface cell evolves, and wheels
Across the top, then down (but not too far)
then back the way it came, then up and out again, The next below is dragged in counterspin, and maybe
More cells underneath:

A Calder’s cup of movement, all unseen to those
Without thermometer and string, nor pencil
To jot down the notes. And so it goes all summer, Water keeping unto water, oxygen rampant at the top,
At the bottom: nutrient in cool sludge.

Limnologists wait with probes to see the moment
When Autumn’s cloud and cool socializes the lake.
Heat redistribution? No. The photic zone just loses
Warmth, can no longer stay aloof from the bottom. And then comes overturn.

Now the blow of winds is felt from through the water’s Undivided body. Such ado! Such transfer! Oxygen down To the very depths. Nitrogen and phosphorus released
To rise. All but the deepest sludge is replenished
For one more year.


The pagent continues
with much ado
as Time Marches On
in an exorable manner

“Good,” think I
knowing that while it does
you fuss, you bother, you delay
realizing that while it does
you relentlessly argue, determined

to fill my life
with your concerns
and your complaints
whining, bitching, nagging, so that

My life continues
with this ado you manufacture
and marches on
in an exorable manner

It’ll all soon be over and I’ll wonder

In Winnipeg

We sit on the beach in our jeans -
It’s too cold to swim or even wade –
Watching him run back and forth,
Playing tag with the inexorable water
And winning more often than not.

It’s not enough to say the heart swells.
It’s not enough to say the heart fills.
His future is a wide and wild ocean,
And in my imagination he flies out over it
In good directions I can’t even guess.

But an ocean is not boundless.
It’s sunrise here but night somewhere else,
And I can’t escape the thought that
Blowing an ember into life also
Ignited a spark of mortality.

Five will someday become twenty-five,
And then fifty and perhaps beyond,
And then reach and end with little ado.
Even though the horizon is so far off,
It’s always visible, a cold line in the sea.

He runs to us and I swing him high -
His legs are still chubby, but growing strong –
And he pulls us closer together after I put him down.
With a last hug we turn our backs on the sea,
And then we make our way toward home.


The Hundred Years’ War, I was taught
Was so much ado about naught.
It dragged on, inex-
Orable. Its effects,
Though, were good in what Will the Quill wrought.


And now, without further ado
The incredible Thumbelina
Will become much bigger than you

She of the smallest yin,
The bit lip, an apology
Curbing her every whim

You whooped when you found her
Tucked in a nutshell,
You crowed as you marched her

Down the aisle,
A mute doll in your pocket,
But all the while,
She had a divorce on the docket.

Her inexorable gift for shrinking
Gave her a name-true.
And her tiny way of thinking
Held her perhaps past her due,
Kept her panicked fast
To you.

But rest assured, my
Fat little wood rat-
There is a growing going through me.

I’m stretching my legs now,
Hungry as a jungle cat,
No longer small enough for she,

I am growing
Hair in rude places and
Bleeding out loud
And betting on aces

You have a pumpkin shell?
I’ll show you shrapnel.

You have a secret name,
And dibs on my first born?

I have the end of every fairy tale,
And the power of a woman’s scorn.

I will not kiss
Your beastliness away.
I will not awaken
My kingdom to your sway.

I’m getting good and goddamned big,
And then I’m gonna
Set your stories straight,


I scrub the walls
of this empty
room, not because I want
to, but because I can’t stop
myself from doing it.
I strip the walls, red
with iron, again
and again.

My husband
is in the other room.
He knows how much I hate
this. He knows
how I long to fill
this room, to not scour
the walls each month.
He thinks he’s no good
for me while I cry
through this cyclic
event. He wants to help;
he wants this room
to fulfill its purpose.
But its not his fault.

For some reason,
this room remains inexorable,
obstinate in its vacancy.
it could be celebrated,
its occupants
the subject of much ado.

Perhaps this room will never
be used, perhaps I will grow old
and cease my scouring.
Maybe someday, I will use
this room. Until then,
I scrub.


Every time I taste marmalade on the crunch of toast
I smile at the morning I rolled over for a sleepy kiss,
accidentally smelling her armpit stinking a little.
Watching her sleep that moment there was no good or bad,
only the inexorable peace of love without opposite.

There are moments,even years, where I for(get)(got).
Swearing at the goddamn mother fucker who just cut me off
carrying with me the giving of all those moments away.
That’s why there’s much ado about my morning marmalade.
Tasting it, I taste it, and then I forget less.


And, with the establishment of the poll, the creative portion of this month’s SDMB Poetry Sweatshop is brought to a close. Please, read, enjoy and vote on these remarkable creations.

I also wanted to mention, for those interested in such things, how the obligatory words were derived. I’m on the road at the moment, so I don’t have access to my OED, Roget’s Thesaurus nor any of my other English reference books. I could have used the Random Word Generator again, but I don’t particularly like its division into categories of common, uncommon, rare, etc. So I went to a random number generator, selected three integers between 1 and 467 and then, using those three numbers as page numbers, took the last word on each of those pages in Seamus Heaney’s “Opened Ground”. I found it interesting to have a more poetic source for the original words this time around…

All wonderful poems! Each month I’m amazed at the quality of poetry us Dopers put out. I’m honored to be in the company of each poet here. Another month of great work.

Holy crap. I thought it was hard to pick my favorite *last *month… Amazing work, everyone!

I had a thought last night about the voting on the sweatshop poems. What do you think about making the voting multiple choice? This way, if one reader thinks poem 1 and 5 are awesome, they can vote for both. Perhaps the next one will think poems 3 and 4 are great, etc. I think it’s a lot like going to a poetry slam that’s judged by applause and clapping for two really great poems. I wouldn’t increase the voter turn out, but it could, quite possibly increase the margin by which someone wins. Lets say that poem 2 is within the top 3 for every voter. Then poem 3 would end up winning, instead of having two votes and losing to the poem that only three people liked, but they really liked it.

Kinda rambling and I’m sorry for that. But I think it could really be a good idea.

Another very tough choice – y’all are some very talented poets!

I’ve thought about the same thing. Of course, then we might run into problems with people voting for *every *poem, and I’m not sure we could impose a limit on how many checkboxes people could select. But I agree that it will probably give a more accurate depiction of which poems are enjoyed the most by the most people.

I guess if they vote for all the poems, it’s just sort of even out in the end, right?

'Struth. TBQH, I’d really like to be able to give recognition to *all *the poems I’m particularly taken by.

This is another month of great poems. I completely agree with the idea of multiple choice voting…every month has been full of difficult choices.