Gibley Finds: Poetry

We all go through hard times in our lives. It’s all part of the human experience, it’s all part of the package. However, our attitude towards the situation can lighten the severity. Whilst that’s not necessarily suggesting there’s always a positive outlook, we can alleviate our grief with a shift of perspective.

Guest, our feature today, portrays someone who has met sorrow before. It very much speaks for itself in volume and clarity. What I love about this piece is how it can be interpretated. Of course, it’s no easy task to face sadness again, despite how frequent it may have visited. To soften the blow, taking the kind, welcoming approach is perhaps easier on the mind than refusing the feeling. However, there’s definite humour here, and it’s dark, sarcastic and accomodating. The voice is potent, and the familiarity with sorrow breaks out a little grin.

Sorrow is brilliantly personified as the inveitable guest we’ll all have to stay with at some point, and likely to have the company of again. Reddit user _layman_ kindly let us share this poem with our followers. It’s short, powerful and memorable – poems like these continue to amaze me, how in only thirteen words such history and perspective can be portrayed.

Enjoy!


Guest

Sweet sorrow
hello again

I’ve kept everything
just the way you like it

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Gibley Finds: Poetry

A part of writing is to sample something, perhaps what we all see or experience, and paint it in a unique light. Whether it be the summer glow, the winter chill, or the marching men in business suits on a Monday morning, we all have our own perspectives, and we tackle our thoughts and ideas and thrust them onto paper in poetry and prose.

Brenden Norwood kindly let us share his piece ‘The Unsaid Words of Falling in Love with a Stranger at a Coffee Shop’ and it wonderfully depicts an ordinary moment in a fresh, vitalising light.

The poem starts slowly, showcasing a little of the awkwardness we’ve all experienced when approaching a stranger (especially one we find attractive!); as the writing continues, the poetry takes its form, the thoughts articulate themselves and communicate clearly in rhythmic sweetness and magnitude. The realisation from the narrator, commenting on how on the grand scheme of things in this world and the way they work, demonstrates perfectly why it’s important to seize the moment, especially in the name of romance. The poem finishes, bookended with the little awkwardness that’s undeniably endearing.

This is certainly a poem to read out loud; Brenden writes with clarity, his dialogue’s real and concrete, his character rich, and all with light, liquid poetry weaved throughout. A very satisfying read and a great sense of style.

Enjoy!


The Unsaid Words of Falling in Love with a Stranger at a Coffee Shop

“Hi! So okay, I know I’m a stranger,
and that you don’t know me,
and I don’t know you, but very recently I’ve
come to the realization
that the number of people we meet
in this world isn’t nearly
as infinite as we’d think it to be,
and that our lives or this world,
for that matter, aren’t nearly as infinite
as we’d think them to be,
which is why I think it’s so special that,
upon first laying my eyes on you,
I felt that infinitude:
that boundless untick tock
frozen clock ticking vast vacuums
of savory saturated seconds,
of crossed legs and eyes the color of undug gold;
soft brown irises blinking etched eternities–
what I’m trying to say is you’re very beautiful!
And to be a hundred percent honest with you,
if I didn’t at least ask your name,
why,
I’d be as bitter as this black coffee!
Ha!”

Gibley Finds: Poetry

Sometimes in poetry, all we want is a nice image. The Romantics taught us the beauty of nature, the beauty of the world and often, left it just as that. No metaphors, no complexities, just the simple treasures around us.

That style of writing still exists. Of course it does, but in such a wide variation. There’s beauty in the morning commute, and there’s magnificence in the lunch hour at work; there’s charm and grace in the every day things, if you look hard enough.

Or, alternatively, it can be brought to you in poetry! And that’s exactly what we have here. Gearoid O’Donnell posted this to the /r/ocpoetry subreddit and kindly let us share it with our followers. It’s a simple piece, detailing a simple pleasure, in calm and peaceful poetry. I’m sure we all savour the Sunday morning, but never stopped to realise the little details that make it. There’s nothing to add – the poem speaks for itself, in volumes of luxury, sure to make you hungry for breakfast and comfort. Enjoy!


Sunday Morning, 11 O’Clock

Morning slices through the darkness
Like the opening of some long forgotten tomb.
We lay there, tucked away in silence

Between the sheets; Embalmed in one another.
Turning softly, groaning in contempt of waking,
Our tired limbs stretch out before of us.

The mid-day sun pours through the open window
Of our sitting room like honey; dripping slowly,
Encasing all it touches in its amber glow.

Steps echo on the cobbled street below us.
The city too is only getting to its feet
As I, half dressed, get up to set the table.

In the kitchen you begin to cook; eggs sizzle
In the pan; the kettle grumbles to the boil
And the warm smell of toast, envelopes us.

We sit cross-legged, plates in our laps,
Turn the TV to something simple and
Let the morning come to us.

Gibley Finds: Poetry

It takes a special kind of talent to write humour into poetry. There’s the obvious limerick method, which can still produce a chuckle (even if we have heard most of them!), but we all know when the punchline rolls in. The last line delivers, you see it coming and that’s about it. Humour, arguably, works best when it’s not expected and whilst it seems easy to throw something random into the mix to spice up the writing, it takes skill to make it relevant and clever.

Today’s feature, To Be Opened After My Passing, does humour right. It takes you by surprise: it delivers when you least expect it. Of course, it’s not all about whether you laugh or not but also whether you can relate to the poem. We’ve all doubted ourselves at some point, and most of us have felt insecure about something we’ve done, or something about ourselves. This piece details our everyday concerns we can all understand in a light manner we can all laugh with.

William Godbey kindly let us share his poem with our followers and it’s brilliant. It tells a story in a clear conversational style and tackles the theme of death in a fresh perspective. It’s not over the top nor too subtle in its tone and voice, and the progression, from the doctor declaring the death to being displayed in a glass cabinet for all to see, really cements how this person carried insecurity into the after life.

Enjoy!


To Be Opened After My Passing

To the lead doctor
who will declare me deceased.
Please keep this in mind:
I keep mints in my pocket,
pop one in if my mouth smells.

To the mortician
who has to examine me.
I want you to know
I thought my Chinese tattoo
meant, “brave.” Turns out it meant, “toad.”

To the pallbearers
who must carry my coffin.
Don’t look inside it.
My tie might not match my suit.
I would never live that down.

Archaeologists
when you dig up my body.
I’d just like to say,
if my bones seem heavy, it’s
not me. The grave adds ten pounds.

To the janitor
who will clean my display case.
Some words of advice:
Dying is a big mistake.
Everybody judges you!


For more brilliant poetry we’ve featured, please explore our Gibley Finds page.

Gibley Finds: Poetry

There’s only a few poets who can present five or six lines yet leave you with an epic after thought. While it seems easy, to place 30 particular words in a certain order to provoke thought and feeling, in reality, it’s not. Haiku’s may stir the romantic within, limericks may give you a laugh, but it’s without a doubt a difficult challenge as a writer to utilise every word to it’s fullest.

And The Night Is Enormous is quick to thrust you into a state of awe. Wonderful imagery, wonderful words and the perspective is clear and concise. It’s one of my favourite titles for a poem, too, implying the single stanza that follows is one that has echoed before.

Author, Reddit user bluejay43, very kindly let us share this poem with our followers. bluejay43 said in the /r/ocpoetry subreddit, ‘being economical is always one of my utmost goals with poetry.’ You’ve most definitely met that goal. As Charlie Croker once said, “It’s not the size, mate, it’s how you use it.”

This drew me in and rocked me to my core. I’ll sure to be coming back to in the future, for inspiration and more.

Enjoy!

—–

And The Night Is Enormous

I stood up under a placid star
brimming like a corpse, and I whispered
do something to me, steep universe:
put your hands in my mouth
and break my clenching jaw.

Gilbey Finds: Poetry

Good writing can give you a vision of the writer’s world, of their characters, of their homes and countries, their clothing, their emotions, moods and actions. But great writing can transport you. You can get to the point when you forget you’re sat in your living room chair, or lying in your holiday hammock, or stood in the supermarket queue, and you’re with the characters, in the pages, within the chapters, living the story.

It’s refreshing when this is done with use of dialect. Reddit user Recessive posted this to the poetry_critics subreddit and I think it’s brilliant. Irvine Welsh’s Trainspotting is an example of how immediate the transportation process is and this poem does the same. It only takes one quick phrase or sentence. Of course, sometimes the dialect is quite hard to pick up but when it clicks, it gives you a true taste of character and setting all in one.

Recessive has kindly let us share Old Man Warning – it’s a real gem and we hope you enjoy it!

—–
Old Man Warning

Best fear’a ’em candy cane
Petch tants ‘an ‘locks
Th’ fest’vals Juggl’as
Stripe col’r socks

Word ’round Suzie’s
th’ merry g’ round
Rode up’n down
wit’ th’ carn’val sound

‘Weet lit’l Suzie
B’an missin fa’ years
Kissd ‘tha m ‘gician
Done roped’ up’er tears

Him snuck und’them flo’boards
Tip-toe’ ne’er stop’d
Ma’am I done seen ‘lots
W’ere m ‘rocknchair rocks

Gibley Finds: Poetry

Heaven and Hell are perhaps two of the most featured locations in literature. Depictions can range from Biblical standards, which includes fiery pits and fluffy clouds, to vivid realities that resemble our day to day lives. In the latter, Lucifer and Beelzebub don’t have to be present to parallel a place to the torturous domain – especially in good writing.

On the subject, Josh (Reddit user /u/bubeez) has kindly let us feature his piece. This was an absolute pleasure to read. Brilliant imagery, powerful language and a gripping opening with alliteration that rings; Ginsberg would be proud. It’s gritty, it’s glum and it’s refreshing perspective will stick with you as it did us.

To contact Josh, if need be, please email bubeez@berkeley.edu. We’ll be on the look out for more from him.

Enjoy!

—–
“I Found Hell In A Gas Station In California”–

I found hell in a gas station in the humdrum slums of farmland California;
In the eyes of the wretched gatekeepers living in the neon hope of the gas prices;
The town of twenty trapped by tilled trenches tasked with too much time;
They wash their cracked hands, their laboured faces, their souls for imperfections, but
The dirt never leaves their lungs, their muddy breath forced to cough and croak songs without music.

Under that neon lamplight, mothers bring their children to the flies, like a baptism for the dead;
The children shove their faces into the gas station windows, or else watch the backs of their fathers
Who look onto their land, its illimitable suffering, and roll it up into suicide cigars.