Posts Tagged ‘poetry’

Temple Mound Cre

Once long ago, barren was the Earth,

Shafa, the Moon, leapt into the sky,

Did frighten Tso, Goddess of the Sun,

She bled, two drops plunging to the Earth.

These two drops became man and woman,

Though they were cold and lacked life,

Gyatha’, The One who is Breath, beheld their plight,

Took pity, breathed into them, gave them life.

This pair became the very first Yuchi,

Called themselves Tsoyaha, Children of the Sun.

Ever since, Yuchi climb the Temple Mound,

Give eternal thanks to Tso and Gyatha’.

Yuchi myth inspired this tribute to Temple Mound culture.

Charles Suddeth July 9, 2022

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Coffee Blues

Charles Suddeth

Follow me down to the coffee house!

Choose you a brew—dark roast even,

Kona, Central America, and south,

But dump that sugar and cream in the floor.

Drink, drink, drink that coffee down!

They ran out of java? Say goodbye,

March away to the next coffee house!

They have drip, espresso and more,

Don’t say decaff, this is a coffee crew!

Drink, drink, drink that coffee down!

They ran out of beans? Time to scoot!

Next coffee house is just down the street!

Tell them to fill your mug to the brim,

Anyone caught sipping tea is outa here!

Drink, drink, drink that coffee down!

They’re turning the lights off, locking the doors,

Seems that dawn is trying to break through,

Gotta get home before the sun burns my eyes,

I’ll slip into bed, never tell where I’ve been.

What’s that aroma? Someone’s got coffee going!

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Limerick #2

Today (May 12) is National Limerick Day

I’m no poet but I like to have fun.


The sign read, do you need a shave,

I thought it read, be sure and wave,

I went into a spin,

Never saw light again,

I just ran over my own grave.

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Oldest love poem

My version of the Akkadian: Assyrian farmer’s daughter to her shepherd lover 4,000 years ago

The shepherd,

Look for me until you find me,

I’m in the desert,

I’m cutting thorns down,

Now, I’m planting grape seeds.

Farmer’s daughter,

Water has put out the flames in my heart,

I love you and want to take care of you,

Take care of me as you do your flock of sheep,

Look for me until you find me.

I like to think they married, and their descendants live in Iraq.

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Barn dance

1909 barn dance, Pea Ridge, KY. Sam Short tuned the banjos. Annie and Walter Short frailed them. Little Ovie Short jigged.

1976: Sam tuned the 80-year-old banjo. Annie played “Mule skinner blues.” 1956 photo of Walter and Annie.


Charles Suddeth

She strummed the strings and laughed,

Sang Mule Skinner Blues,

The melody bubbling over,

Rambling around our ears,

Down hidden hollers and hills.

Her banjo knew her songs,

Swishing paddlewheel steamboats,

mean-eyed gamblers with moonshine,

Dazzling cancan dancers,

Blushing, white-veiled brides.

Alas, Annie is no more,

Her banjo vanished in the mists,

Their stories forgotten and lost,

Gone downstream forevermore.

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National Poetry Month 6

On Bull Creek

Charles Suddeth

Lived on a Bull Creek farm when I was small. The Ohio lay at the far end. Oh, those days.

Listen, here, my melon colic baby,

Told you not to gobble all them melons,

Remember what you did this past spring?

You hogged up those green persimmons,

Now you done busted your belly again,

I can hear your guts gurgling from here.

Last April, me and Sam plowed the garden,

Him braying and kicking for all get out,

Planted melon seeds, sunburned my neck,

Twisted my back, weeded all summer,

Picked melons as you tossed stones at squirrels.

I drove grandpappy’s Studebaker pickup,

One headlight shining on the moon,

The other scaring nightcrawlers,

Ran it into a holler, got stuck in the mud,

A farmer’s team, dapple-gray Percherons,

Hauled me out, took my last five bucks,

Ran out of gas, hiked ten miles to town,

Wrenched my ankle, blistered my feet.

I was fixing to tote the melons to town,

Sell them, buy you a shiny red firetruck,

Not tin junk, real cast iron—ladders and all.

Buy your mama a green gingham gown.

I’ll slop the pigs with what’s left of them.

Don’t you puke in the house, even on the porch,

I don’t need to wash you or your britches,

Quit your bawling and stay out of my way,

And keep out of the river until you can swim.

Play in Bull Creek so I can keep an eye on you,

Go scrounge up crawdads for catfish bait,

Careful they don’t nibble your toes,

Give you something to really wail about.

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National Poetry Month 5

I offer this prayer

I light this fire in a sacred and holy way,

I see in a sacred and holy way,

I hear in a sacred and holy way,

I love in a sacred and holy way.

I think sacred and holy thoughts,

I dream sacred and holy dreams,

I commit sacred and holy acts,

I live a sacred and holy life.

I dance in a sacred and holy manner,

I sing in a sacred and holy manner,

I offer incense in a sacred and holy manner,

I become a sacred and holy being.

Charles Suddeth 041422

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Aztec life and death

Frangipani Bloom at Night

Charles Suddeth

The priest marches in Tenochtitlan’s parade,

Villagers shower his head with frangipani,

Pink blossoms clinging to his hair,

Their fragrance fondles his nostrils.

When he reaches the pyramid’s base,

The crowd chants and claps and shouts,

While he climbs fifty-two steps,

Each strewn with orange marigolds.

Tied to the altar, a maiden awaits,

Her eyes glassy, her lips blistered,

painful reminders of his young daughter,

His lips reciting prayers to the sun.

He raises his blade above his head,

Its gleaming black obsidian ready.

The knife plunges straight down,

The scent of frangipani mingles with blood.

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National Poetry Month 4

Won the battle, lose the war

I cheated death, it doesn’t care.

Death is patient, but never kind.

It watches me, stares at night.

I could be a ghost, or just a spirit,

On loan from death, never far away.

I seldom sleep for fear of visitation.

Death is hovering, how about God?

Who wants and needs my scarred soul?

Full of stains that will never bleach,

Full of stories and everlasting madness.

Now I live from day to day,

Worries behind me, my fate is sealed.

The stars might find me, take my soul.

But stars will die and turn to stardust,

Perhaps the universe is my resting place.

Charles Suddeth 041022

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Who was Old King Cole? During a discussion of British kings named Cole, someone pointed out: ceol in Gaelic means music. Ceilidh is used for music gatherings. Pipes refers to bagpipes while bowl is a drinking vessel. I hoped to have a King Arthur connection.

Old King Cole was a merry old soul,
And a merry old soul was he;
He called for his pipe, and he called for his bowl,
And he called for his fiddlers three.
Every fiddler he had a fiddle,
And a very fine fiddle had he;
Oh there’s none so rare, as can compare,
With King Cole and his fiddlers three.

Original 1708  version:

Good King Cole,
And he call’d for his Bowle,
And he call’d for Fidler’s three;
And there was Fiddle, Fiddle,
And twice Fiddle, Fiddle,
For ’twas my Lady’s Birth-day,
Therefore we keep Holy-day
And come to be merry.

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