Footsteps Away. A poem.

I walk through the dark,
The sound of my feet echoing
Through the empty streets.
The dog stops and sniffs,
A victim of instinct,
circumstantial scents
and sense.

In the distance,
The thump of a kick drum—
Faster than my heart beat,
But just as reassuringly present.
Occasional passers by
Nod their heads or not,
Their shadows passing
Like uncommitted storm fronts.

Past restaurants where diners
Make faces in pantomime;
Charades played between lovers,
Long time friends
And new acquaintances.

This walk and sidewalk
Has seen better days,
The patterns laid down
For all to miss and misplace
In the quiet solitude,
As ostentatious fervour plays out
Just footsteps away.

poetry books - stevestillstanding

For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available in print or e-book formats.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

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Poets Loved: ‘Beat! Beat! Drums!’ by Walt Whitman

Beat! Beat! Drums!
Walt Whitman

Beat! beat! drums!—blow! bugles! blow!
Through the windows—through doors—burst like a ruthless force,
Into the solemn church, and scatter the congregation,
Into the school where the scholar is studying,
Leave not the bridegroom quiet—no happiness must he have now with his bride,
Nor the peaceful farmer any peace, ploughing his field or gathering his grain,
So fierce you whirr and pound you drums—so shrill you bugles blow.

Beat! beat! drums!—blow! bugles! blow!
Over the traffic of cities—over the rumble of wheels in the streets;
Are beds prepared for sleepers at night in the houses? no sleepers must sleep in those beds,
No bargainers’ bargains by day—no brokers or speculators—would they continue?
Would the talkers be talking? would the singer attempt to sing?
Would the lawyer rise in the court to state his case before the judge?
Then rattle quicker, heavier drums—you bugles wilder blow.

Beat! beat! drums!—blow! bugles! blow!
Make no parley—stop for no expostulation,
Mind not the timid—mind not the weeper or prayer,
Mind not the old man beseeching the young man,
Let not the child’s voice be heard, nor the mother’s entreaties,
Make even the trestles to shake the dead where they lie awaiting the hearses,
So strong you thump O terrible drums—so loud you bugles blow.

Walt Whitman was an amazing poet. To find out more about him, click here.

Book Sale! ‘The All or the Nothing’ at 20% off for a limited time

Hi all

My first print poetry book, The All or the Nothing, is currently on sale for 20% off for a limited time. It’s normally $10.00 Australian but is now $8.00, which is approximately $5.60 American or 4.30 British pounds (my keyboard doesn’t have a pound symbol – DOH!).

Inside, you’ll find 62 poems about love, depression, madness, insecurity, anxiety, fear, heartbreak and dating. It’s enough to turn you to drink. But in a dignified, semi-happy way. Oh, there are poems about that, too.

To get your copy, click on this link: http://www.lulu.com/shop/stephen-thompson/the-all-or-the-nothing/paperback/product-23811868.html

Cheers

Steve 🙂

PS – My second book, Poetry for the Sad, Lost Lonely and Endangered is available as well (but not on sale – Double-DOH!). Click here for information about that one

poetry book - the all or the nothing - stevestillstanding

 

 

Influence. A poem.

I have read your words
And seen my influence

My mind is contours of constancy
Of riotous colour and ascendancy
My words spill across the canvas
Every emotion eagerly revealed
A zeitgeist for you to watch
And absorb and capture
Like a winsome butterfly

You take these pieces of me
And make them yours

But I am not bitter
I am a proud father
For a little part of me
Like strands of encoded DNA
And mental prevarication
Is birthed and lives on
In everything
You write

poetry books - stevestillstanding

For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available in print or e-book formats.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Leash. A poem.

A vague and secondary feeling
Unkempt and untrusting
Creeping through my head
Like an uninvited stranger
And yet so familiar

Just as I’m feeling good
about myself and my world
The black dog bites me
A subtle reminder
Of his taut, choking leash

poetry books - stevestillstanding

For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available in print or e-book formats.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Bad Memories. A poem.

You still haunt
An incorrigible spirit
Infecting like
a wasting disease
And reducing us
To a mockery
of ourselves.

Here you sit
Having grown
Complacent
Upon our shoulders
A ghostly monkey
Upon our backs
Rearing your ugly head
In constant remembrance
And bitter scorn.

poetry books - stevestillstanding

For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available in print or e-book formats.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

The Creator’s Call. A poem.

The call of creation
Echoes in my mind,
Oscillates in my ears,
Reverberates in my soul.

This call cannot go unanswered;
It is the call of wild and reckless abandon,
The puissant grace of the cheetah
And the wind rustling the reeds.
Every word and image
Cast upon the page
and melded with my very heart,
Pumping lifeblood and illuminating
Each and every star above,
Pouring into every single
Excruciatingly luxurious ink stroke.

The overwhelming grace
That You have given me
Is clarity beyond simple hope,
And a new day
Every day.

poetry books - stevestillstanding

For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available in print or e-book formats.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Trapped. A poem.

Isolated
Alone
Weary
Waiting

Life without meaning
Contemptible in reproach
Self flagellation
And inimitable doubt

Tired
Empty
Sad
Succinct

Selfish and self-absorbed
Mired and wallowing
The constant reprobate
Entwined and enshrined

Endless
Pitiful
Artless
Vacuous

Circling down the drain
Longing for escape
Dead thoughts and dead time
Grasping for hope

Longing for an end
In a world without end

poetry books - stevestillstanding

For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available in print or e-book formats.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Upstart Photographer – Rosella

I like to think I’m a bit of a photographer (that’s just the upstart in me). I also like to think I’m a bit of a poet (also the upstart). Let’s put them both together, shall we?

Cheers

Steve 🙂

Rosella. A poem.

At rest, before play,
Amongst a forest of chair trees
And table islands where
The highlights play upon
Your brilliant rainbow sheen.
Timidity gone, consumed
By time and overtures,
A domesticated flood
Of wary travellers
And after dinner mints.
“I’ll just rest here awhile,”
You think, before the
Busy tread of holidaying feet;
The rush hour cacophony
Of the morning tourist trade
And breakfast at the bar
.

poetry books - stevestillstanding

For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available in print or e-book formats.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Recollection. A poem.

I have a recollection
Of the man I used to be
Whilst I don’t want him back
There are aspects that I see
Parts and pieces that I miss
A heady mix, a potpourri
But I’m glad he’s in the past
So I can be a better me

poetry books - stevestillstanding

For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available in print or e-book formats.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Poets Loved: Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? By William Shakespeare

Sonnet 18: Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?

By William Shakespeare

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer’s lease hath all too short a date;
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimm’d;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance or nature’s changing course untrimm’d;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st;
Nor shall death brag thou wander’st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou grow’st:
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

Bill is the MAN! To find out more about him, click here.

Due Date. A poem.

The bell rings
(or tolls, or so it goes)
and I’m under fire again
rushing into no man’s land
without a weapon or a plan.

A last minute dash,
as if it were all she wrote
(and perhaps it is and was).
A lucid trance to carry me
through torrential rain and home.

And then, I wait,
with and without regret,
until fortune or misanthropic fate
deals me a winning hand.

I could strategise,
as a manager in prior life,
to sooth the way, somewhat,
to marry my goodwill
with happenstance.

Until it’s time to dance
this merry dance
untold times again,
and leave as I arrived:
to subtle refrains
and shotgun chicanes.

poetry books - stevestillstanding

For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available in print or e-book formats.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Upstart Photographer – Nightwalk

Photos and poems. I never tire of them.

Cheers

Steve 🙂

Nightwalk. A poem.

Stone beneath toes,
wrinkled, yet timeless.
Glistening darkness,
an envelope for thoughts
sublime or unkind.
Theseus’ lifeline
into the distance:
a path to follow
until the real maze begins.

poetry books - stevestillstanding

For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available in print or e-book formats.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Alike. A poem.

Does she sit and cry?
Does she pray at night, as I?
Does she feel the patina
of a life less inspired?
Does she mirror my repose
and ask the question: why?
Perhaps we are, more or less,
Alike.

poetry books - stevestillstanding

For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available in print or e-book formats.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Elixir. A poem.

The elixir that drowns
is a draught without measure,
a flood like no other,
an unstoppable well.

‘Tis the sweetest lifeblood,
and an undying treasure
brings me all the more closer
to the place where He dwells.

poetry books - stevestillstanding

For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available in print or e-book formats.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Poets Loved: Epith. By Carol Muske-Dukes.

Epith. By Carol Muske-Dukes.

Here’s the little dressmaker
on her knees at your feet,
mouth full of pins:
fixing you in the dummy’s image.

Your belled satin shivers like
a goblet of fizzled brut–
You wanted it late in life,
happiness, wanted little family

but after the kids grew up.
Like a saint on her death pallet,
you longed for an erotic God
but a refined deity–

not some oversexed Zeus
in a see-through raincoat,
spritzing gold coins,
rattling the canopy. No,

at last you’ve found a groom
born to forget the ring,
the bride’s name–
a regular holy ghost.

You forget yourself
with each glittering pin,
each chip off the old rock,
each sip of the long toast

to your famous independence,
negotiated at such cost–
and still refusing to fit.

A poem by Carol Muske-Dukes. I really enjoy her poetry.

Don’t know her? She’s a brilliant poet. You can find out more about her by clicking here.

The Crowd. A poem.

From there, upon his pedestal,
he lingered longingly
on the crowd surrounding him.
Dialogue and dialectic,
commentary and whimsical surprise,
his cult of personality
awake and on the rise.

But fate is fickle, as is the crowd
and it passed subsequently;
a brief rejoinder as it exited,
a momentary lapse and then return
to unregarded reason
and art lost in the daily churn.

poetry books - stevestillstanding

For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available in print or e-book formats.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Poets Loved: Fame is a fickle food. By Emily Dickinson

Fame is a fickle food. By Emily Dickinson

Fame is a fickle food
Upon a shifting plate
Whose table once a
Guest but not
The second time is set
Whose crumbs the crows inspect
And with ironic caw
Flap past it to the
Farmer’s corn
Men eat of it and die

A poem by Emily Dickinson. I really like her poetry.

Don’t know her? She’s pretty famous. And she’s a brilliant poet. You can find out more about her by clicking here.

Poets Loved: Fire and Ice. A poem by Robert Frost.

Fire and Ice. By Robert Frost.

Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.

A poem by Robert Frost. I really like his poetry.

Don’t know him? He’s pretty famous. And he’s a brilliant poet. You can find out more about him by clicking here.

Preludes. A Poem by the Master.

Preludes
By T. S. Eliot

I
The winter evening settles down
With smell of steaks in passageways.
Six o’clock.
The burnt-out ends of smoky days.
And now a gusty shower wraps
The grimy scraps
Of withered leaves about your feet
And newspapers from vacant lots;
The showers beat
On broken blinds and chimney-pots,
And at the corner of the street
A lonely cab-horse steams and stamps.
 
And then the lighting of the lamps.
 
II
The morning comes to consciousness
Of faint stale smells of beer
From the sawdust-trampled street
With all its muddy feet that press
To early coffee-stands.
With the other masquerades
That time resumes,
One thinks of all the hands
That are raising dingy shades
In a thousand furnished rooms.
 
III
You tossed a blanket from the bed,
You lay upon your back, and waited;
You dozed, and watched the night revealing
The thousand sordid images
Of which your soul was constituted;
They flickered against the ceiling.
And when all the world came back
And the light crept up between the shutters
And you heard the sparrows in the gutters,
You had such a vision of the street
As the street hardly understands;
Sitting along the bed’s edge, where
You curled the papers from your hair,
Or clasped the yellow soles of feet
In the palms of both soiled hands.
 
IV
His soul stretched tight across the skies
That fade behind a city block,
Or trampled by insistent feet
At four and five and six o’clock;
And short square fingers stuffing pipes,
And evening newspapers, and eyes
Assured of certain certainties,
The conscience of a blackened street
Impatient to assume the world.
 
I am moved by fancies that are curled
Around these images, and cling:
The notion of some infinitely gentle
Infinitely suffering thing.
 
Wipe your hand across your mouth, and laugh;
The worlds revolve like ancient women
Gathering fuel in vacant lots.

Following is a (very) brief analysis I did of this poem for a course:

This is a pretty cool poem by a master of the form. As you can see, I’m full of insightful analysis this morning. But ‘pretty cool’ is about all I can muster today, even with the benefit of my morning coffee (ahhhhhhh, coffee…).

Oh, all right, if I must. I do want some marks, after all.

Eliot uses figurative imagery extensively in this poem. The street is personified, a living thing people inhabit, a world that reflects and impacts them. Time and motion is distinct in every facet of this poem, each of the preludes a different part of the day.

The first stanza is almost exclusively literal: day’s end, when all the day’s concrete acts and ‘grimy scraps’ are washed clean by the downpour. The second stanza is the morning, with people rising to recommence the ‘masquerades’ of their lives. The third stanza flips to second person view point, with the protagonist dreaming and waking into his dark and sordid existence (oh, how I identify with this poem). The street is personified again here, like an animal with little understanding of what it sees each day (perhaps the way the street’s inhabitants perceive their world). The fourth stanza is evening; the street is an ‘infinitely gentle, infinitely suffering thing’, a living and breathing extension of the people existing there, ever the same and yet ever-changing, reflecting old and new, the passage of time and the mundanity of life.

Well, that’s how I see it, anyway. Maybe you see it differently?

Cheers

Steve 😊

Every Word. A poem and a thank you.

Every laboured keystroke,
every considered verb and noun.
Every gritted mental blank,
every meaning so profound.
Every silken metaphor,
every glorious turn of phrase.
Every underlying message,
every edit, every change.
Every keystroke, every line,
ever thankful every day.
Every joy I write that lies within,
that flowers on every page.

Thank you.
.

This poem is a thank you to all of my readers. Everything I do is for you.

Cheers

Steve 🙂

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