Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Cold Bitter News

Voting is open at Write Stuff and remains open through Jan 15. Hop on over there to read other entries and vote for your favorite.

Poetry Contest at Write Stuff

The old year departs, like an embittered
civil servant leaving office under a new
administration. His desk is littered
with crumpled papers that refuse to unfold:
the past is past. The sound of his shoe
dies away into the dark and the cold.

Where does a year go? Out in the cold,
down to the bar for a swallow of bitters,
a place he can rest, kick off his shoes
settle back and listen to the TV news.
Years are like sheep, they aren’t born in litters.
There’s only one at a time in the fold

like a single sheet in a manila folder
on a desk in an office that’s growing colder
and colder. Once important, now just litter.
Is it any wonder the old year is bitter
feeling as useful as an unmatched shoe
like any old thing replaced by a new?

The desk calendar says it’s a new
year now: December has to fold
or be torn off. January steps into his shoe,
as months go, lighter but just as cold.
Perhaps he’s too worn out to be bitter
scuffing slowly through dead leaf litter.

The city will give you a fine for littering
but it’s not a crime to make room for the new
by throwing out the old. Embittering
to be disposable, isn’t it? Fold
your coat tighter to keep out the cold
stay warm by dancing the soft-shoe

shuffle, if those tattered shoes
can stand the abrasion from street litter.
Why does the year have to change when it’s cold?
Ah, but this is all old, old news:
last year slouching off under a trifold
umbrella in a wind that bites bitter.

The folds in his face are deep and bitter.
The sidewalk is littered with yesterday’s news
and his worn shoes can’t keep out the cold.

13 comments:

tumblewords said...

Nice poetry! Old, cold, worn. Not so fun. Bitter dregs. Love this one!

Chris said...

Very, very nice, I love the imagery. This is a very masterful piece.

sister AE said...

cool words, cool piece. i never thought of a rhyming sestina, but now i'll have to add it to my list of things to try.

Devil Mood said...

I like it! And you made me laugh saying the year is only one at a time :)

Sassy Lucy said...

I love the blend of the multiple themes to create this awesome poem.
My first week doing SS:http://wannabeawritersomeday.blogspot.com/2008/01/sunday-scribbles-edition-1.htmlings

thetonguetiedmuse said...

I think this is a wonderful poem. I was truly immersed in all of the imagery.

LittleWing said...

i just feel plain bitter...and my shoe is missing...beautiful

Crafty Green Poet said...

beautifully well crafted and engaging too

Granny Smith said...

Wow! I love good poetry written in complex forms, although I usually stick to something simple like a sonnet or rondeau. This is beautifully written and inspired me to get up from the computer and put on a sweater!

Sis Zabrina said...

Salaam and peace,

Beautifully written!

Sis Zabrina

Ruth said...

This really is wonderful.

mariacristina said...

Very well done!

Captain Cat said...

I've been reading few your last few posts. Everyone's said it, but the imagery you use is magical, and your words fit together perfectly.