Iambic Magic

Iambic Magic
by Paul Lumsdaine

You first find out just what you need
And then you write with utmost speed.
The flick and flit of your swift pen
will make this sweet magic happen
Make sure to cast your thoughts quite well
so you might speak your final spell
This alchemy is hard to see
with lack of skill for melody.
If untrained ears can not quite hear–
this magic will not reappear.
But hold stead fast to these few words
hold on real tight to what you’ve heard.
Because this type of flowing verse
will be with you until the hearse.

So now before I go to the hearse
I will recite this flowing verse
to which you thought you might have heard
eavesdropping over my few words
that startle you when they reappear.
I amaze myself when I first hear
a sweet and skillful melody
that flows in me so I can see
the whole world entranced in a spell.
A flow of words dipped from the well
of not knowing what will soon happen
when I set down the tip of my pen.
And so I write with utmost speed
cause I find out just what I need.


Sloppy G.I. Joe

Sweet smell of beef and sweat,
strapped in your camo-elegance with
sand paper shoe soles.

Sorry. You won’t be going home as
soon as they told you. But I
Saw you on the news last night, with

sad faces of Shi’ite corpses
strewn in your path. There were
soldiers laughing at the rotten

smell of foreign flesh
still lingering in the air.
Sirens screamed till you were dead
silent. You can’t feel
sorry for those you have
slain because you have
surrendered reason for the
swift judgment of the sword.


Mid-morning leaves soak up the remaining dew,
as a bird flies down and picks a twig or two.
Theres a ground worm shuffling through the silt
who does not know a new nest is being built.

A dog is right there at this time,
digging his way to any place he can find,
barking so loud when he sees the bird,

A voice comes from inside,
forcing the dog to be still,
urging the bird to hide,
while the worm enjoys the till.

The voice rolls down the road
and is ready to take a spill.
The voice is forgetting what it was told
as it crashes into a bed of daffodils.

The daffys dance with the breeze
and easily attract a little bee
who takes the flower by surprise
by slowly opening up the pistil wide.

A snail slowly slimes its way beside
the stalk where the bee sits on top
and theres no word but just a vibe
that makes everything suddenly stop.

Inside the house, the voice feels it too,
and is taken over by the commotion.
As if all creatures played in perfect tune
and a steady rhythm kept it in motion.

Figure of Speech

Figure of Speech
by Paul Lumsdaine

It is here.
You can feel it pulsating
pulling apart the nerves under your skin
with a sensation that there’s a larger
connotation creeping in.

Your eyes can hardly believe
these strange words you see,
as if there were a beast
just within your reach
trying to somehow break
through the bars of the cage
that separate lines on a page.

And believe me when I say
that it was meant to be this way.
To shake and stir and startle your mind
so that as you read it time after time
it will never cease to be as sublime
as the first moment you saw it
with your very own eyes.

It is here.
For you to disbelieve and dissect
with a keen eye and trembling hand.
But it often takes more than that
to completely understand
the flash of images
creatively conjured
by the flick and flit
of a careful pen.

And there are many
who will let imagery fly right by,
who will not attempt to comprehend
the greater meaning that lies
below the surface of a
double a rhyme.

Yes, you will die
and its a chilling fact
that the fire burning within
your heart is but a brief candle
that fights vigoursly with the wind
to maintain its flame to the bitter end.

You can scream, you can bawl,
but you should sigh with relief
for this path that lies before you
is just a figure of speech.

Poets are Insane

Poets are one step away
from being completely insane.

Thats why I stay
as far away
as I can
from any of those
who don’t write standard academic prose.

Those creatures
who huddle over their tomes
and hold their hearts up to expose
themselves to the rest of humanity.

As if we actually cared
what one fuzzy haired
poet had to say
about a life care-free and gay!

Need I say more to prove my self?
A poet is useless off of the shelf!

Just lock up those pages in dust and time,
discard the unnecessary meter and rhyme.
Burn every tangible sign
of a poet and his troubled mind.

Because poets are one step away
from being completely insane.
And no matter how beautiful their words may be,
they have absolutely nothing to do with me.

saw you standing there

this is a poem i wrote one day about a man I saw standing on a street corner.

I saw you standing there
in the dark gloom of a tired stance.

There’s no telling how soon
the gloom of your decisions will fade.

I stare into the azure blue sky
and don’t see any of your gray clouds

The shroud of indecision
has been cut with an incision
through my mind.
I take three steps towards new hope
but away from you.

You fall back on your tired legs
and beg the tax man for some spare change.
Its been too long since you thought about death
and the weight of your breath
and who knows when you’ll decide
to shape up and ship out of this town.

I proceed down the path with five smiles in my pocket
and not one frown.

Cause I’m leaving this town, oh yah I’m leaving this town.
You can have these broken walls, shattered dreams, siren screams
I’m leaving this town,
and not a moment too soon.
I’m leaving this town cause I’m afraid of you.

I’m a rich white suburbanite and you’re Johnny Ghetto,
sleeping in the alleyways of the American Mind.

Only time can tell how long you will live in this hell,
before you leave this town without a frown
and walk away with five smiles in your pocket.

floating in a tin can

Im pretty anxious to start writing. I am doing something that has been done before a thousand times: a concept album. Except this concept is going to be developed into a short story which you will be able to read while listening to the album (depending on how fast you read). Its quite an ambitious project, one that might take me about a year to completely work out. Im hoping I finish by the end of the year. I guess it just takes a bit more gusto. Like working out… who would have thought I would be exercising forty minutes a day? Not I. Tell me that a year ago and I would have laughed heartily at myself. Of course, I miss some days, and others exercise maybe thirty minutes… but the fact is I am turning it into a routine. I mean, eating is a routine that is so common place we dont even ahve to question whether or not we ate at least once in a day. So I dont think it should be that hard to make exercising the same thing.

When I work out, one thing I keep telling myself is that Im already there, but I have so much further to go. I envision myself being more fit, getting better at design, and getting paid MORE to do what I love…. I am there, but I have so much further to go. Remind me of a poem I memorized in junior high, Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening (what a verbose title!) by Robert Frost. “And miles to go before I sleep, and miles to go before I sleep.” Damn, it makes me tired…