The Noise Of Failure

Wednesday, 20 May 2009, 13:05 | Category : Poetry
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I had never heard of Bill Holm until I ran across this poem the other day. It’s entitled “August in Waterton, Alberta”::

Above me, wind does its best
to blow leaves off
the aspen tree a month too soon.
No use wind. All you succeed
in doing is making music, the noise
of failure growing beautiful.

I really like this poem, and wanted to find more by Bill Holm, so I was saddened to discover that he died recently. I did find this, written after the death of Senator Paul Wellstone in 2003:

On a gray sleety October day
The plane goes down in the north woods
With the large-hearted senator
Whose decency and respect for old ideals
Made half the citizens almost happy
To be Americans in a dark time.
Down went his wife and daughter too,
Three campaign workers, two pilots,
Eight in all, the radio says
Neglecting the ninth seat where Death
Dressed in an ordinary suit
Sat watching for his chance
To do a morning’s harvesting.
Do you think he wasn’t there
Hitching a ride, invisible, just as
He sat in the box at Ford’s Theatre,
Held open the convertible door in Dallas?
He sits in the front seat of your car too,
Or waits feigning sleep with his head
Resting on the next pillow in your bed.
So we go on to write the same poem,
Sing the same sad song yet once more
Not for the dead who have gone
Over to the insensible kingdom
But for us who must now carry on
Without them. This time, as so often
Before, Death snatched a big one
Just when we could not stand to lose
His voice, that spoke, not just alone,
But for us millions who longed
For a world green, alive, about to bloom.


Wednesday, 13 December 2006, 21:06 | Category : Poetry
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if my mind was in a creative mode
i’d write a poem about a thing
perhaps of leaves of red and gold
(though we don’t have so much red)
or winter sunsets that fade to black
so quickly that the stars are caught off guard
but on this night I’m not so sharp
as to write of things so profound
it’s easier to write about monkeys
except there’s none around

The Lesson Count

Thursday, 16 March 2006, 21:28 | Category : Poetry
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What is it
about us?
That we never learn
what we learn?

Wear your seat belt
Don’t do drugs
The count
goes higher

What we know
we tell
to those who
will one day tell.

Don’t play
with sharp things
Stay away
from strangers.

The count
goes higher.
What is it
about us?

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Spring Haiku

Tuesday, 7 March 2006, 19:57 | Category : Gardening, Poetry
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Warm sun, gentle breeze
Azalea blossoms watching
Two swans on water

Seed into flower
Like one thing to another
Flower into seed


Friday, 13 January 2006, 21:23 | Category : Poetry
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I found your words where you left them
Floating disconnected near the path you walked
Where you tossed them carelessly
Once you were done,
Once you had wielded their edge
I think somewhere you might want them back
They expose a part of you that should stay hidden.
Words released are words unbound
And owned by those who find them
For better. For worse. Forever.

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