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Poetry Magnum Opus

Hard Rain


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Hard Rain


The past is another country, its ancient

buildings still standing, the old ruins

still speaking to us now. We feel a shiver,

a hush, in the cloisters of great cathedrals,

in the remains of the ancient Roman Forum.


And yet we have no feel for the people, not unlike us,

who lived and loved and made money and died;

they are so distant from us, as the buildings are not.

We contemplate the buildings, but not the people,

for somehow we always fail to imagine them.


Technology, it seems, draws us away completely

whereas the Seven Deadly Sins do not. I would

think we, all mankind, have not changed very much:

wrath is still with us, and so is greed, sloth, and pride,

nor have we overcome lust, envy, and gluttony.


Yes, love belongs to lovers, those who love,

and lust belongs to everyone else! But wrath?

Have you never been angry? Greed goes without saying,

amass more money and gold and jewels, for all

the good it will do you in your cold and silent grave.


I like sloth, I must admit, because I was never one

to do trivial tasks for ridiculous people and rarely,

if ever, got my essays and homework in on time.

Pride, or so I was taught, was not such a bad thing,

I belong to a culture of overblown ancient claims!


Envy is the green-eyed god and hardly signifies,

unless the girl you love walks off with another man.

Gluttony is what you do when you are old and sad and sick

because you can’t do any of the others above, I have

no problem, pal, if you choose to eat yourself to death.


We try to be oh-so-nice but we rarely succeed,

smiling ever so politely in social situations, masking

a maelstrom of personal hopes and ambitions.

When you go for a shit you go for a shit alone,

and this is what goes on in our minds as well.

Drown your sorrows in drink, by all means, but the real sorrows can swim

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I love reading your form of poetry--if it has a form, by definition. To me, rhyming is dangerous and not worth the effort, because it can so easily make the poem seem frivolous. This Hard Rain hit me like a downpour--pun intended. It could be the core of a History thesis. Of course, you would have to keep a roll of toilet paper handy.


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We measure every thing by the span of our own lifetime and most of us rarely find time to consider much outside of it. I find it difficult to believe that human nature has altered much with evolution or that man has evolved from apes in such a short known geological space of time .I'm not a religious person but I think it's good to raise the periscope or stick your neck above the parapet occasionally and squawk-- though personally I believe we are all ultimately alone .

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I like "squawk" - my form of poetry, by definition.

Drown your sorrows in drink, by all means, but the real sorrows can swim

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  • 5 weeks later...

Hi Brendan, A 7 Deadly Sins Poem, well done. I love the introduction through ruins and monuments. And being somewhat of a "keeper of poetic form" here, I would have to disagree with the name "squawck". Your work is always musical, it has to be your Irish lilt... fluidity and rhythm are the defining features of your work along with your gift for clarity of image. You gotta come up with a better name than squawk.



~~ © ~~ Poems by Judi Van Gorder ~~

For permission to use this work you can write to Tinker1111@icloud.com

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