Poems of Life

A local poet shares his writings based on real life.

Lost Soul

August 19th, 2010 at 8:30 pm by Ed Corrigan
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Lost Soul

Another lost soul
on the street today
planted lotus like
on the sidewalk next
to the traffic light
green…yellow…slowdown…
There she is centered
on the walk as if to say
“Here I am and here I’ll stay.”
She has a cigarette, a coke
a profile slightly hunched
or scrunched, hard to say.
Contemplating all that
there is to see on this
urbanal street full of cars
busses and trucks blowing
exhaust fumes in her face while
she’s blowing cigarette smoke
randomly into space as if
to create a personal cloud.
Traffic light yellow…red…stop…
I look over
through the tinted glass
in my cool and air
conditioned space while
taking in her face.
She looks down
and then up at my
face, which is now
looking down – a near miss.
Her hair is bedraggled.
Her mask is jagged, rough
around the edges with
no discernable expression
whatsoever. I think “Hmmm…”
then “Hmmm” some more…
Now smile a wave while
she smiles a wave back.
Her eyes shine for just
a second then revert to
dark pool moon craters –
one hundred thousand miles
away in a nanosecond.
Moving from the traffic
light red…green…go…
Driving on down the road,
heading away or towards?
I cannot say or be sure.
But mostly just leaving
her behind and thinking
about what happens next.

Copyright © Ed Corrigan 2010
All Rights Reserved

Sonnet I

August 12th, 2010 at 7:07 pm by Ed Corrigan
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This is my 1st poem written, a long time ago, when I was 16 years old. My father saved this poem and I found it among his personal papers after his death. It has special meaning for me on a number of levels – thanks dad.

Sonnet I

Something inside me
is affecting my eyes.
I see things in the world
that are not there.
Things men label abstractions
therefore unattainable.
Peace a temporary truce,
beauty a centerfold,
love locked in a bedroom,
with no windows.
Yet I still see them in their perfection
through the darkness of my memory
in some long forgotten room
exiting my mother’s womb.

Copyright © Ed Corrigan 2010
All Rights reserved

Pigeon Mania

August 5th, 2010 at 7:30 pm by Ed Corrigan
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Pigeon Mania

13 pigeons all in a row, perched
upon a silver lamp post.
statuesque still, watching goo
goo eyes as the girls go by.
we are the baker dozen boys
dooya dooya dooya see?
cooya cooya be with me?
we beseech thee so sweetly,
cool and utterly unattached
from the world below our
feet so pigeon toed, on this
lamp post so bowed.
cooya cooya be with me?

pigeon number 14 lands then says
move over fellows, and
give me some elbow room.
I won’t be a bother boys,
no need to swoon.
I won’t swoop down swooshingly
to swipe your girls who
have hearts of clay, anyway.

14 pigeons lined up so neatly
cooing ever so sweetly
looking so very important
all in a row. 13 pigeons
on the curvilinear post
plus one atop the light.
number 14 is ready for flight
bored of the bakers dozen plight,
ready to spread his wings-
jumps eyes closed, into the wind.
flying, floating, soaring
above the rest. those mere mortal
13 pigeons all in a row
fall far behind, seem as dots,
like flat notes on a scale.
while 14 skywrites sonatas,
free falling then riding a
riser of rarified air up to the
mythical kingdom of eagles.

Copyright © Ed Corrigan 2010 All Rights Reserved

Slick Love – The Laughing Gull’s Lament

July 25th, 2010 at 8:38 pm by Ed Corrigan
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Slick Love – The Laughing Gull’s Lament

I have wings but cannot
fly
I have tears but cannot
cry.
Slick has had his way with
me.
Slick love is slippery love
enigmatically clinging to my
feather.
Slick love is love forever or
“Quoth the raven “nevermore.”
“Ghastly grim and ancient
raven
wandering from the nightly
shore.”
It makes no sense to me
pearls of oil clog the sea.
My home, my habitat in oiled
ruins.
My mind consumes only this
moment
Must feed, Must fish, Must
flutter.
Not that life matters anymore
or “Quoth the raven nevermore.”
“This grim, ungainly, ghastly,
gaunt and ominous bird of
yore.”
Pray thee, please enlighten,
cleanse my polluted mind…
I just don’t understand
the tar balls in the sand.
Slick love is mistifying my
eyes.
I have wings but cannot
fly
I have tears but cannot
cry.
Quoth the laughing gull
I “shall be lifted nevermore.”

Copyright © Ed Corrigan 2010
All Rights Reserved
“Italicized” verse “The Raven”
Edgar Allen Poe 1845

The Machine Is the Message

July 8th, 2010 at 9:05 pm by Ed Corrigan
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The Machine Is the Message

Do you remember when words said it all?
Words made of funny little alphas, a thru z,
described the universe as seen through cataractic eyes.
We were alone reading letters disparate all in a row,
while ignoring the sound, fury and taste of it all.
In truth only seeing an out of focus, linear world.
And then came the machine, eventually filled with billions
of bits of this and that and vital information for the ages.
All in; “real time”, living color with Bose sound, intertwined,
electronically, digitally connected to the others.
We were once alone with our self-help improvement books,
newspapers, and nurturing non-threatening nuclear families.
We were safe in self constructed demilitarized comfort zones;
isolated, self-important, independent, suburban drones.
Now, we are thrown into the machine consciousness stream,
drowning in self fragmentations, deeds and instant reaction by
all the world who can see, indeed be part of, the previously unknown.
Where every utterance morphs to a fact which is: immediately,
thoroughly, supposedly fact checked; then discarded like
a day old remnant of rotten fruit; or to be chewed, digested,
regurgitated, then chewed again until the bitterness is stricken;
and then finally spit out when only an arid pulp or seed remains.
The machine stream of consciousness, void of compassion,
empathy, and love will only feed into a river of despair.
As we twitter, blog, and weave a new reality on the net,
the old word is still true that the truth shall set you free.
And love of others will always be the most sacred reality.

Copyright © Ed Corrigan 2010
All Rights Reserved

The Crossing

June 30th, 2010 at 9:07 pm by Ed Corrigan
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The Crossing

Idling at the railroad crossing
watching the fast freight train fly by…
The space between the box cars
blurs at first then sequences – light -dark-
light- dark- etcetera-etcetera in rapid succession.
Upon closer inspection, wide open eyes
can see clear through to the other side,
where I need to go, or want to be, or not really…
Now glimpse beyond the tracks and up the road
where another sits, as do I, looking at the other
with unfocused eyes.
My heart races to the rhythm of the passing train-
boom boom beat beat thump thump.
Breathe deep, let all the world slow down.
Close eyes and listen to the movement of
steel wheels over steel rails as if the music begins
and all things are constant and in balance.
The red crossing lights are blinking but
do not disturb this perfect moment.
The locomotive whistle pierces the air,
while crossing bells chime steady, undeterred.
All sights and sounds crash in harmless collision
then compose in symphonic precision.
I think about trains of the past which came
from nowhere and did not last beyond a brief thought.
They moved on to other places, people and time,
out of sight then out of mind.
Never try to stop a speeding freight train
for it has its own momentum.
I start to think of future but cannot.
Staring hard straight ahead brings a flow into focus,
and empties my mind of broken thoughts.
Breathe deep; take it all in stride in its
beautiful simplicity; clear the mind of endless chattering.
Listen to steel wheels rolling on steel rails.
Just feel the freight train moving forward –
without effort- without thought- without regret.
As the last box car streams by leaving us on the road,
at the side of the tracks, we finally, cautiously drive on
while wondering what it is that just happened.

Copyright © Ed Corrigan 2010
All Rights Reserved

We

June 23rd, 2010 at 7:12 pm by Ed Corrigan
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We

This is a safe place, in this state
called real love. We look into
each other’s eyes and see a hero,
a friend and our one true love.
We sit close next to each other in
accustomed places, and talk about
today and days yet to be. We reach
over and touch hands from time to
time while watching a favorite show.
We love happy endings and don’t like
all things scary. We have visions of
Somewhere over the rainbow…ding
dong the wicked witch is dead… as are,
at last, the demons in our head. We
laugh and trust and look past the fine
porcelain fissures and inner imperfections.
We feel at home together. We built this
safe place together. We are in love forever.

For Nona
Copyright © Ed Corrigan 2010
All Rights Reserved

Go Fly a Kite

June 13th, 2010 at 4:39 pm by Ed Corrigan
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Go Fly a Kite

We learn to fly in a cold March wind on
the still damp fields of the newly melted snow.
We are tethered to earth, attached, grounded
yet still in flight. Tug tug, string string, kite kite.
Let it out all the way. The comic book color kite
with the Batman face and tail of torn cotton shirt,
sails up up away and into the beyond. We squint
then close our eyes until in a dream…Unleashed
floating, flying, soaring left then soaring right.
Through the clouds with arms straight out like
Superman on a good flight. All the people below
seem as modest mice pacing on the still damp fields
of the newly melted snow…Now eyes open wide
shocked to be tethered again, mind, body and soul.
Kite string strung taut. Kite above, tug left, tug right.
Sever string…And away we go! Flying solo, unhinged
through the sunset, into the darkening sky, to the stars
and round the moon. And to places unknown, as we
the grounded ones wander from the still damp fields.
Then follow the street lamps to places we call home.

Copyright © Ed Corrigan 2010
All Rights Reserved

The Distance Between

June 3rd, 2010 at 7:14 pm by Ed Corrigan
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The Distance Between

The young woman coughs gently sideways on
her shoulder. Then hands the paper plastic coffee
cup to a customer, who promptly gives it up,
because it was contaminated by a gentle cough.
All as I stand in line doing what of if I please to
spread my own disease. And where is Father Damien?
Who lost his arms, lips and life. By caring for,
kissing, embracing the lepers who were shunned
and disdained by most. But not by Damien,
who held them close to their requisite end.
The distance between us is a fault, tearing asunder
you and me. Please listen…embrace one another or
surely die of loneliness, thirst and anomie.
The customer receives a brand new sanitized paper
plastic cup. Then says she is sorry and quickly leaves.
Leaving behind the young woman; eyes full of tears,
feeling slightly toxic, alone, demeaned. I remain, in need of
caffeine, and finally ask, Are you okay? Then, explain
that a similar thing happened to me and I hate when
people behave in their antipathetic ways. She says,
Thank you Ed, and gives a strained but beautiful smile.
Small everyday events, simple gestures hold us
together and keep us from falling apart. Keep us
from falling blindfolded, deaf, dumb and head over
heel into the distance between us. And, who put it there?

Copyright © Ed Corrigan 2010
All Rights Reserved

Soldier of the Desert

May 23rd, 2010 at 10:05 pm by Ed Corrigan
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We honor the brave men and women of the U.S. Armed Services. They, and their families, have sacrificed much for fellow citizens and for our great country. Many have made the ultimate sacrifice and all have paid a price. We owe them a debt of gratitude and thank them for their great service.

Soldier of the Desert

I am a soldier of the desert, a child of the desert storm.
I am a daughter of the Desert Fox protected by panzers,
in the Sahara simoom. I am Sir Lawrence of Arabia, son
of Britain, protector of all, sword to Damascus, father to none.
I am a cavalry keshik of the great Genghis Khan – the mystical
killer in the desert who spared no one. I am a sacred crusader of Christ’s
holy church. Only say but the word, and my soul shall be healed.
I am a soldier of the desert, here now, as before, as always.
To protect and defend, to get blown up by I E D’s, to do
your bidding as you please. Here to deflect and pretend:
that bombs do not hurt; that bombs do not kill; that bombs
do not break my heart, scatter my spirit, fragment my mind.
I am a soldier of the desert: walking now in the sand; talking
now in the market; sweating now, always thirsty; afraid now
and watching fearful faces out of fearful eyes. Punching the air now,
or the enemy, or Lieutenant Ray, or my brother, or myself. Just feel
the pain. Think about the pain. Inflict the pain, only numbness remains.
Always so thirsty, so dry. Desert days then desert nights. I see the oasis
in a dream, a mirage of the mind. I turn away back to the endless fighting.
The desert remains a field of dirt, rock and sand spouting blood red,
here and there, then and now and then. A dream, a nightmare, then a
a dream revisited. My brothers and sisters are before me, standing
together and alone, in a giant waste land that endures our efforts
now, before and beyond. We are soldiers of the desert, not marching
but roaming through the ghost dreams of a vastly different empire.
I feel…I feel… not much. I remember…I remember…very little.
I am a soldier of the desert, out here all alone, with my comrades
and all alone. Bright burning itching sordid sun, red blotches in the
sand and on the road and in the market square and on my hands…It
won’t wash off. I rub my fingers frantically through my hair, on
my shirt, and in the sand… a futile effort… a scarlet stain.
I am a soldier of the desert. Will you please love me? Will you please
help me: grab this heart; feel this heart; massage this heart; with these
hands attached, to my arms attached, to my chest attached to this heart?
Am I here? Well, am I?

Copyright © Ed Corrigan 2010
All Rights Reserved

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About Ed Corrigan

I am Ed Corrigan and live in Maple Valley with my wife, Nona. We have two terrific sons - Joe and Tim - and three beautiful daughters - Kate, Sally and Sarah - and one cat named Omega. I've been writing poetry, on and off, since 16 years of age. Early poetic influences were Shakespeare and e. e. cummins. A more recent influence is Walt Whitman whose "Leaves of Grass" is the most amazing thing that I've ever read. Music has been very important in my writing and in life. I am not a musician but early on the singer/song writers Paul Simon, Smokey Robinson and Bob Dylan had a big impact on my poems. More recently, I've been affected by Miles Davis, Green Day, Alanis Morissette, Linkin Park and others. I love to write and its something that I need to do. A poet once said that a poem is not complete until its read or heard by another. Thank you for visiting my blog.

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