Old Poem-O'-the-<Insert-Time-Period-Here>-Archive

Oldest ------------------> most recent:

* Ode to Rubik
* Vendor's Booths
* To One I Never Knew
* Afternoon News
* The Watcher
* Dawn Harvest
* Morning
* On his Mindness
* Untitled ("You have always been a very protective mother")
* Thea's Full Moon
* If
* Draconic Duo ("A Dragon Birthday Poem" and "On Dragons")
* Ode to a Citrus Fruit
* Traveller
* When I left the volcano
* Cycle
* Bird of Prey
* Lurking on soc.real-life
* it's no fun to angst about the big things

And you can also use this link to see the current poem.

Ode To Rubik (4/25 - 5/30, 1996)

Six simple solid-colored faces --
red orange white blue yellow green --
A simple twist, and without them
moving from their places,
the thing gets mean.

With perseverance, perhaps, you get
one side of six; then, knowing
if you undo it -- death! -- like some
obscenely growing game of six-chamber
Russian Roulette;

A few long hours and colors dance
before your eyes, the world dissolving.
Who needs to study anyway? Not
while these six sides remain revolving!
You're soon involving
mind and soul and tired fingers.
All the while your disgrace lingers.
Succumbing to the vice one day,
you beg your local gamestore
for a panacea.

And, lo and behold, when you twist and turn,
it responds at last to your call!
(Nose firmly planted in book,) you somehow
make the right corrections
-- And then one mistwist on the
Final Sequence does it in --

...And it's dissection.

Tad Ramspott

Vendor's booths (5/31 - 6/27, 1996)

"He's a huckster, but he's got a product,"
Gary said, as we walked away
from Meyer's Smoked Meats, with a handful
of priceless-tasting teriyaki beef nuggets
($24 a pound and worth every cent).

By and large, we ignored the booths;
he, because beads and jewelry and
three-foot dreamcatchers hold
no fascination for those who make them;
me, because I was secure in the knowledge
that there was nothing there that I needed.
(I ended up buying a pelt
for a wrist-rest for my keyboard.)

Later on, Gary said, in the car:
"Something that is sacred, you give
or you trade. You do not sell."
I nodded and offered him a piece
from my bag of beef jerky.

Tad Ramspott

To One I Never Knew (6/28 - 8/18, 1996)

Thank you, Love, for the times I've stared
at darkened walls, and seen your eyes.
For the times I've sobbed on tabletops,
and found your shoulder absorbed my cries.
Thank you, Love, for the times we've talked,
and my mind would tell me your replies;
For the lonely, dreamless nights we shared,
When the sheets sang me your lullabies.

Tad Ramspott

Afternoon News (8/19 - 11/9, 1996)

Three-Headed Yeti Dragon Dies at Age of Twenty-Two!
King Tutankhamen's Martian Friends Have Landed at the Zoo!
Pet Hamster Flies and Speaks When Dropped in Radiated Goo!
...Incredible but true.

We know it happened 'cause the Tabloids say that it was so,
Like O.J.'s secret love affair with Michaelangelo!
(Well, even if the dates are off, it's been confirmed by Bo,
Their agent-on-the-go.)

He travels 'round through far-off lands to give us all the dope,
Like Barbara Striesand's steamy-hot relations with the Pope,
And cures to help fight aging. (Try inhaling powdered soap.)
And do we doubt him? ... Nope.

They let us know where Elvis is, and then, for our protection,
They tell us 'bout the outbreaks of strange alien infections,
And people spend to buy each issue from the tabloid section!

...You think there's a connection?

Tad Ramspott

The Watcher (11/10, 1996 - 1/5, 1997)

Brown leather lightened almost to white
In the dust and the crumbled granite;
The steps resound through the yard again
As shoes fall soft from force of habit.

He makes the rounds of the moonlit grounds,
Battered flashlight firmly in hand;
Gun at his belt, ears under a cap, and
Sixth sense born from years at the plant.

Once again, the dark at the industrial park
Conceals no intruder, as expected;
The shoes scuff the mat at the guardshack's door,
And outside, it is again deserted.

He's got half an hour before his next tour;
The grizzled eyes sweep a patrol, and then turn
To his laid-aside novel, a tent on the desk.
He grabs the paperback with a soft murmur.

Every few months, there's excitement. Why, once
He (as his boss put it) "apprehended" a thief.
But most nights, he just chases spirits away --
And John Grisham keeps him from sleep.

Tad Ramspott
(written 11-20-95; in the style of Kingsley Amis' "Late Venture")

Dawn Harvest (1/6 - 2/23, 1997)

Winter fields
sprouting early
morning mist -- a
widespread, tufted
grass -- The only crop
I've ever seen that
melts with the sun

Tad Ramspott

Morning (2/24 - 3/31, 1997)

Pre-poem technical notes: This poem is very atypical of what I write. In fact, I was specifically challenged to write a poem dealing with issues of the sensuous. This is what came out. I may do it again someday.

Sunrise in the Eastern window.
Sunlight pours in, spreading warmly;
Rolling over, facing sunshine,
Facing you, I breathe in deeply.
Savor every fleeting odor:
Morning scent flush through my nostrils,
Run my nose along your shoulders --
Something strange and wild and primal.
Motion wakes you, stirs your senses.
Knowing this, I take your shoulders;
Soothe your now-exhausted muscles,
Draw you slowly, softly closer.
Hold you, with my arms afire
From the heat of morning dawning,
Hold you, with my heart afire
From the heat of bodies pressing.
Gaze into your eyes -- Now turning,
Staring straight into the sunrise,
Feel the sunlight gaze back at me.
Close my eyes, and savor passion
As we move in our conjunction,
Casting shadows on the doorway.
They fall smoothly through the morning.

Tad Ramspott

On His Mindness (4/01 - 6/02, 1997)

Technical Notes: I'm proud of this sonnet. The judges at a relatively renowned Bay Area-wide poetry contest saw fit to give it first place in the junior division.

To many folks, my mental state is plain:
They call me "Loony", "Psycho", "Freak" or "Nut",
And all that proves is that their minds are shut,
And that their feeble heads can't entertain
A single thought which does not fit their vain,
Conceited notions of exactly what
Reality entails. They're in a rut.
Yet, as things go, one truly can't complain
About their mental health -- it's up to tool;
Their heads are not consumed by lunacy.
Their sin's their prejudice, it seems to me.
But bigots, with calm reason, make the rules,
So I, in grip of madness, do complain
That sanity is wasted on the sane.

Tad Ramspott

(Untitled) (6/02 - 11/13, 1997)

You have always been a very protective mother
and many of your sons never grew to see beyond that.
But a few, a passionate few
of us wished to know you better
... and, loving us like you did, you consented.
Your seductive call lured us
away from our beds and nightclubs,
     not that we minded,
for ours is the fascination
of knowing your hills
and lying down among your forests.

Tad Ramspott

Full Moon (11/14, 1997 - 04/11, 1998)

The shadow cliffs
 over dun sand
  past fractal beachwater
   under satin-sheen Pacific
    under torn-paper-edge cloudline
     cut by black chasm branches
      of shadow trees
       on shadow cliffs

let you watch
  from afar
   the yin of foam
   and yang of moondark water
  continually Join

But on the freckled, 
dunpeppered beach
   spattered yin with shells
         and yang with rocks
and bisected by the paws
 of a fox from the shadow cliffs

 you can walk out,
dance at the limit point
 of the advancing
        retreating fractal

touch the foam with your shoes
      the ocean with your soul
and watch

  the full moon
 dance with you
on the kowtowing water,
 and fishscale-ripple
  the moonblacked veil
   on the beach
    past your feet.


(Yes, I know, I didn't write this poem. But sometimes you just need to showcase the work of one you love.) ]B=8)

If (04/12 - 07/13, 1998)

If arms were legs and feet were wings,
Clouds hung above from silver strings,
And stars below just dust like chalk;

If air were ground and Earth were sky,
We'd all too soon learn how to fly
But yearn to take a walk.

Tad Ramspott
Jan. 24, 1995

On Dragons / A Dragon Birthday Poem (07/14 - 10/11, 1998)

I included two poems during this time period in recognition of my 21st birthday. Woo hoo!

On Dragons

To those who say that dragons are all cruel,
And by their nature beasts fit to despise:
I say to them, "Happy is he who tries
To think himself and listen not to fools."
To those who say that dragons must be good,
And by their virtue past all men they rise:
I say to them, "Much thanks, your thinking's wise,
But 'must' is much too strong -- try using 'should.'"
To those who say that dragons cannot be,
Who say that fantasy leads to delusion:
... To those who through their eyelids cannot see,
Who use their faith to mask up their confusion:
I've no reply -- They'd listen not to me --
For by their logic, I am an illusion.
Tad Ramspott
Feb. 26, 1995

A Dragon Birthday Poem (written for my 17th)

Seventeen years from the day of my birth!
Old age is close at hand
For packaged with my dragon mind
Came humankind's lifespan.
Seventeen years, I hope, is not
Too late for me to act
I want a tail, some bright green scales,
And claws in my contract.
And how 'bout some wings? Big leathery things,
They'd really help me fly,
Do you think that I'm asking too much as a gift?
Ah well ... Happy birthday to I.

Tad Ramspott
July 16, 1994

Ode to a Citrus Fruit (10/12, 1998 - 6/16, 1999)

(Yow. Eight months. My apologies to you, faithful readers.)

O greenish, ovate, slightly sour lime!
That puckers up my lips with every bite.
Yet thou art still a sweeter fruit: I might
Find thee, unlike thy sister orange, a rhyme;
O citrus fruit!  That grows in balmy climes.
Fluorescent pastel colors!  What a sight
That thou can still glow under black of night!
(... When coated with Chernobyl fallout slime.)
And if in someone's mouth I put a lemon in,
Or orange, or lime, or grapefruit fleshy red,
That taste of peeled fruit with boundless power
Will pucker up their mouth (rather unfeminine)
... An overdose will cause imploded heads.
O citrus fruit! why art thou so darn SOUR?
Tad Ramspott
March 24, 1994

Traveller (6/17 - 10/23, 1999)

A shadow, a fight in a backyard toolshed
he stands and watches
Beyond his sight, one won and one lost
I don't remember who.

A glide to the beach, talons depressing sand
she watches the change
Two sets of footprints at an ocean's edge
I still haven't visited.

A tension of skin, a press of bodies
she celebrates our release
Later, when we again brought out our passion
I found her new.

Another morning: more fading memories of forgettable worlds
draining when I sit

-- Sometimes I think
I spend such time in others' dreams, there's
little time for mine.

Tad "Baxil" Ramspott

When I left the volcano (10/23 - 12/31, 1999)

I brought fire to the water city,
danced among the stones;
I released the cloud-god's daughter,
ate for weeks a feast of bones.

I was welcomed by the city,
for I did its folk no harm;
Know indifference will trump pity
if the prize is smothering arms.

Tad "Baxil" Ramspott

Cycle (1/1 - 6/20, 2K)

  odd ambivalence of          self-appointed odometrists
    fearing death                    of civilization   
   seeking closure                  of the centuries

          *            we watch            *

  the apple turn to                mankind's descent
        light                        into darkness

          *            becoming            *

     the future                         reborn
  our quantum age                 of ones and zeroes
angels  devils  and                 digital saviors
 nothing in between                the battle lines
Tad "Baxil" Ramspott

Bird of Prey (6/20 - 9/9, 2K)

I wrote this poem for a coworker of mine when I was temping at a bank -- a kindred soul, perhaps, that I never really got time to know. I hope life is treating you well, Eleanor.

She swoops
through the
14th-floor office
like a bird of prey,
snaring old belongings
and hurried goodbyes.

Left behind:
Bottled water,
box of mints,
desktop calendar
... unfinished work;

the hunter catches only enough for survival.

steam vents into space
   from around the corner
a seagull wheels
   ten feet below
the sun sets.

I wonder why she left --
she thought to test her wings
in greater skies,
mother pushed her from
our treetop nest.

Tad "Baxil" Ramspott

Lurking on soc.real-life (9/10, 2000 - 6/5, 2002)

Another "temping at the bank"-inspired work.

another day
earning pay
another week of work routine

another year
in twisting paths through this machine

sitting, typing
never griping
I'm sealed in my building's shell

outside the window
life looks in
shrugs hopelessly, and runs like hell.
Tad "Baxil" Ramspott

it's no fun to angst about the big things (6/6, 2002 - 9/5, 2007)

world, hear my soul-torn cry --
my chocolate bar has broke in two.
in my lap, now, crumbs and goo.
outside, i can hear birds sing,
but here such joy cannot apply;
with dirty clothes i'm suffering.

curse the heavens and lament --
two batteries are d o a.
i swapped them out, and consequent-
ly faced two minutes of delay
to hear the tunes of pink floyd play.
i'm telling you, this ain't my day.

woe is me, o woe indeed --
for i can't think of a song
with "thursday" in the title.
it's not a thing i really need,
so why's it seem something inside'll
burst? damn it, this is just wrong.

(insert phrase expressing sorrow) --
every six lines this gets verse.
see? look! i'm reduced to puns
and rhymes that seem at times coerced.
my angst is wasted, and i'm done --
until fresh pain strikes me tomorrow.

Tad "Baxil" Ramspott

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