Saturday, April 20, 2013 -
The Old Chinese Poet II
Be an old Chinese poet or talk to or about one. Go
anywhere you want with this.  The old Chinese
poets were engaged with an immense
wilderness. Theirs was a calm spirituality of
They had Buddhist and/or Taoist acceptance of
“everything burgeoning from the emptiness
through transformations and back into
emptiness.” (Hinton)


Goldfish are born silent
emerging from the depths of a pond
without color or form,
they float to the top of water
breathing in the Sun
while embracing its golden hue.

Each morning
at the break of dawn
their Alchemy is renewed -
but never look for their magic
in moonlight –
at that hour
in the Alembic of nature
the Gold meets Silver
and the true Hermetic child
is reborn…

Sunday, April 21, 2013 -  
A Simple Form with Candor
Write a poem in the simple form of the poem. The
trick is to make it meaningful, not merely
simplistic. The form has four-syllable lines and
four-line stanzas.  Try one with only four stanzas.


Walking in line
Slowly with rhythm
in Zen fashion.

Mindfully watching
Breathe - In and Out
Being present.
Each step in time.

Feeling Centered
Aware of my feet
Communing with
The earth below.

Mind calmly opens
To many levels
Of awareness
But remains Quiet

Sunday, April 22, 2013 -
More Starting Places
Bounce off these, incorporate several, use one as
an epigraph, work from them any way you choose
to arrive at your poem.

I hear I’ve been made the match vendor
of the great dark night of the soul.
                                    Charles Simic


we need to get fired up --
to strike out,
and burn away what is not needed.

The only dark night of the Sole
I’ve experienced
was during a blackout -
I saw nothing
and felt kind of fishy.
I had to tap out Morse code
with my foot -
a jazzy dance for help.

How can one find that Light?
says the Sufi fool –
who looks for the light
under an illuminated streetlight -
when he lost it
in the past in the
pocket of his heart.

Moral: Seek a key in
in the locks
of your Here.

Night comes so people can sleep like fish
in black water.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013 -
The Moon on Center Stage
Write a poem in which the moon sings on center
stage and is not merely part of the backdrop.


Who watches us at night
when sunlight is sleeping?

Mother Moon lives in the shadows
mellowing in the mysterious evening sky,
she turns and returns in cycles and tides.

She beckons to us in dreams,
a High Priestess of
consciousness and the unconscious -
she sits upon her watery throne
in the planetary hierarchy of stars.

She nurtures, she protects
she is the Mother Matrix of all-
keeping abreast
of her children
playing with forms
on the Earthly realm below

April 12, 2013 - Little Fruity Poems
Write a small poem in which a fruit is central.  The fruit may
also be merely the metaphor, with someone or some thing
compared to a fruit.


Indigo/purple giants
hunks of huckleberries
are posed and pumped up plump
ready to go an extra mile
to please --
they dangle, hangle and huddle
in clumped bunches
like juiced up reservoirs
of sweet/tart blueness.

I love the way they dance
off their short stems
into my rubbing fingers -
the mature ones waltz
with ripeness and experience
letting my fingers
take the lead
as we dance
hand in hand
and take our
first steps together
around the bowl room floor.
Then pop awake
into my waiting mouth.

Saturday, April 13, 2013 -  
What Berryman Said to Merwin
Write a poem that messes with the expected word order in
your lines to the effect that sense is not totally obscured but
that the poem’s mystery is enhanced. You might write your
poem first in a more conventional linear language and then
experiment with minor jumbling and omissions.  Work with
one of your earlier April poems, if you wish, to create a
tangled twin


Some days are bassoon days, some are flute-like days

I, flute-like
soar and feel the floating winds  
alive with dancing
trilling travels
music, the clay in-between
sound creations.

Other days
deep and heavy
Bassoon-like sounding
divine is deep deep  –
others just are
ass-like sounds
words of one’s middle hanging out.

Together we live
with mixed sounds
life-like and on play

Sunday, April 14, 2013 -
Exercise in Conversing with Trees
Go ahead, talk to the trees in your poem


Trees hold the wisdom of grandfather’s
in the family of nature -
some standing tall
other’s hunched over
with experience and bark,
wrinkles and wear.

When I was small and
filled with summer,
I use to climb up
to it’s crown
and surveyor
the inhabitants below –

in winter, it’s head became bare
then covered with snowy white time,
showing it’s bountiful
but barren age.

Monday, April 15, 2013 - Somehow like Brautigan
Write a short poem or several poems with a warm, earnest
absurdity — an absurdity that isn’t random but dances with
the shadow of whatever truth you see.


Walking with my shoulders
turned backwards
smelling sounds of life from all sides
I scribble on paper without lines
happily holding a hydrangea,
while searching for a laughing hyena
to help rake the clouds out of the sky.


The days of the week are all scrambled
Thursday now comes before Monday
Saturday shows up twice on the weekly calendar.
Time is running backward.
We walk on the sky beneath our feet
to get to places
which ended sadly an hour ago…
Time is numbered
but who is counting?

All poems on page © charlie elkind  April 2013
Tuesday, April 16, 2013 - Darkness
Write a poem about darkness, within or without —
physical darkness or the dark night of the soul.


Darkness comes in different forms

Some darkness is like compost
rich and deep
filled with seeds of transformation -
shaded in duality -
we ride it like a horse
a real night-mare at times
a personal darkness that can
creeps into our emotions and bones
and cloud our minds –
activating our ego’s
with melodies of depression and gloom.

Then there is an Esoteric Eternal Darkness
from which all life
Arises -
the birthplace of
the whitest white disk
with it’s sacred black point - . -
it has no name
but contains all words
but only pronounced as One.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013 -
Prompted into Happiness
Write a happiness poem rich in image.  If happiness
is elusive, not quite imaginable for you right now,
write about its very elusiveness.


Happiness can seemingly
be from objects -
from people, places and passions,
from one’s mentality or mood.
It springs forth inherent in some
animated in bursts of creation
alive in some by dabbling with paints
through music, movement
or playing with words.

But True Happiness
is an affiliation of the Heart
aligning to the essence of spirit
within one’s being -
it needs nothing to invoke it
but the interior bond
of compassionate connections
and care.

Thursday, April 18, 2013 - The Trimeric
The trimeric is a form that I understand was
invented by Dr. Charles A. Stone. They are fun to
write. A trimeric has four stanzas.
1- The first stanza is four lines. The second, third
and fourth stanzas are each three lines long.
2 - The second line of the first stanza becomes the
first line of the second stanza
3 - The third line of the first stanza becomes the
first line of the third stanza.
4 - The fourth line of the first stanza becomes the
first line of the fourth stanza.


I woke up today
eased into meditation
listened to my cat’s meowing reveille
then joined the day.

Eased into meditation
still asleep somewhat
but my inner eyes open, but shut.

Listened to my cat’s meowing reveille
impatiently outside my bedroom door
giving me a sounding nudge.

Then joined the day
doing what needs to be done
to be Awake.

Friday, April 19, 2013 - Just Beyond Words
In a poem, talk about the attempt to put into words
that which is essentially ineffable.  Fill your poem
with image.


It’s like a Zen Koan
without words.
how can One tune into
an Absolute Song
played without music
without any instruments.

It is framed on a blank canvas
gesso-ed with consciousness
in the turpentine of our blood.

It is a bloomed Rose
without petals, leaves or thorns
a sweet scent
intoxicating but dripping with freedom.

A staircase, without stairs
a mountain, without climbers
a journey without destination
it is hidden from view
but is always watching Itself.
Charlie's Poetry - Page 9 - A Poem a  Day - Page 2