How absurd

The comprehensive volume 
ate the details for a reader’s 
digestion, its stomach aching for
absolution. How absurd is heaven?
Beyond life — an after life like a river
struggling to find its course while
bemused water fowl refuse 
to follow the march to eternity.

The wandering fact
missed the hereafter, forfeiting glory
for eternal restlessness, light
balancing good and evil while
the judge looks bored in black.
What of the crowing girl who murders
a scarecrow? The last straw
dances in fields of gray.


Phillip Knight Scott | © 2019

Written for the dVerse Poets Pub. Linda asks us to explore surrealism in poetry. Real or not, this was fun.


Cracked ice

What monsters creep
on broken ice, cracks
beneath the weight of overlarge
beasts,
frigid footfalls frozen
in the night?

Is it the chill
or fear that has me
clattering,
clamoring
for warmth and home,
hounded by unseen glaciers,
winter’s snowy persistence
tapping my shoulder.


Phillip Knight Scott | © 2019

Submitted to the dVerse Poets Pub Quadrille #92: Take a crack at poeming and the Free Verse Revolution November Writing Prompt #3: monsters.

My first collection of poems is available at Amazon now! Check it out!


Two airplanes

I guess this plane is going down the hard way. 
It’s funny (in its way) — I thought I’d be falling 
into hysterics at the end. Instead I’m startlingly
at peace, an armistice I must have agreed to
or don’t feel like fighting against.

Grandpa was half my age when his plane 
went down over a Germany taken over 
by hysterics and a mad man. Imagine — 
18 years old and a prisoner for 9 months. 
He said he was reborn over there — 
Jesus himself had delivered him 
from angry mobs (recently bombed Christians  
throwing rocks) Into the less murderous hands 
of soldiers with swastikas and rifles. 
He was blessed, he said, saved; and my Dad 
came 8 years later, a blessing certainly 
to my plans for birth. Am I doubly blessed then? 
Or triple? The math of existence is beyond me. 

Grandpa came back without his teeth 
but always wore a smile. In that damn box 
his smile was gone, along with his color. 
His was the first dead body I ever saw. I wonder 
how many people he killed? He never said 
and I never asked. He lived 74 years and every day 
after he got home was a blessing. 
He never got on another damn airplane. 

And this plane? Encountered some turbulence but
I’ll live to squander another day, cynically 
smiling with incredulity as my peace is broken
by another savory rain that refuses to appreciate
the saccharine blessings flying in the face of history.


Phillip Knight Scott | © 2019

Submitted to the dVerse Poets Pub.

I joke a lot, but my Grandfather really was a hero. I am grateful to have inherited his middle name, if nothing else.


Pinching

I am stuck 
at the beginning, 
pinching
at rice like 
the expectant mother
pausing 
out of breath
mid-stair.
The other side is often pregnant. 

Intention grows 
even in 
chilled winds,
germinating while 
we fixate elsewhere,
though 
I don’t always recognize 
its birth.
Tomorrow takes its own word for granted.

Ambition shoves us 
forward, 
though I wish
I could
stop long enough 
to admire
the track, rushing, 
stuck at the
start. 
Light thaws in its own time.


Phillip Knight Scott | © 2019

Written for several prompts:


Just breathe

You look confused, eyes tangled
in bewilderment, unsure what comes 
next. Flustered words slowly swim
upstream, tangled in the waterweeds
and obscuring the direction 
of the current sweeping 
your feet out from underneath.

Breathe. Collect your thoughts — they are
but two-cent pieces taking 
up space in a piggy bank you had
hoped fattened by now, or full enough
at least for the both of us.
I’ll be here when you’re ready.


Phillip Knight Scott | © 2019

Written for the dVerse Poets Pub challenge: Meet the Bar by changing your perspective. This was an interesting exercise in which I imaged giving myself the advice to think it through before speaking. There’s no rush, and speeding through a problem can only cause more problems. Good advice I often forget.


In the black

What mystery lives in the black,
those dark corners where light
fears to enter, abandoning 
sharp edges for the comfort 
of round sides and smooth edges.

The charade may encircle us (eyes
blind the gust of puzzles pointing us
in the wrong direction) binding us
to this place in knots of fear
that only the unrevealed can tie.

I choose to embrace the dark,
the baffling ambivalence that bubbles
when we feel underwater, though
the lake remains half full 
whatever lurks beneath.


Phillip Knight Scott | © 2019

Written for dVerse Poetics: On Shades of Black


Another audacious day

Morning keeps arriving
with a slap of good intentions —
cheeky red reminder
that fortune favors those
bold enough to get out of bed.

Do I merely follow the sun
on Instagram or
dance cheek to cheek
with others audacious enough
to face another day?


Phillip Knight Scott | © 2019

Written for dVerse Poets Pub Quadrille #91 – Keep. We must write a poem of exactly 44 words, including the word keep.


About time

We wink at infinity every time the clock
sounds its alarm, unbending as it howls
as if timelines drive forward between
well-marked lines. 

Hours turn 
but always circle back.

Sometimes we notice the period while
standing in it but in a lifetime shared, 
these eras softly merge, 

blurry in places though 
the color flashes in focus like leaves in Autumntime. 

And the clock shouts, begging for timeliness 
while eternity ticks
its pulsing heartbeat simply
a moment in time.


Phillip Knight Scott | © 2019

Written for the dVerse Poets Pub Meeting the Bar: Polyptoton

This Thursday, Frank is our host, and the challenge is to use a polyptoton somewhere in our poems. A polyptoton is a rhetorical device used for style and persuasiveness; it’s a special kind of repetition where the common base of a word is repeated, but not the whole word exactly.


Cosmic quiver

He chose life because he did
not consider the alternative
viable,
poor man.

He quivered
with the thought of the after –
overwhelmed – life,
a cosmic conviction
that on such scale
(weighing on him still) he is
insignificant but

remains a light in the void.


Phillip Knight Scott | © 2019

Written for the dVerse Poets Pub Quadrille #90 – quiver


Nightmare flower

There’s not enough coffee in the pantry
to poison the nightmare flower
growing inside my mind this Monday morning –
a menacing thought blooms in shadows.

What phantoms creep in darkness,
wakeful vigils watching
through keyholes while moonless skies sway
then give way
to the quiet sun cheering for someone to hear?

The sun is too loud.

She dropped the seeds in my ear while I was sleeping
then evaporated, leaving me
a farmer diluted, hosing my brain with
caffeine while my wetter winks paint sorrow
in neat rows not yet tilled.

What blossom sprouts in dejection,
rotten and unwanted
I sit wishing the sun would retreat or retract
or simply retrace its steps in reverse?


Phillip Knight Scott | © 2019

Submitted for Christine’s Daily Writing Prompt : “Nightmare flower”

Written for Sunday’s Whirligig 235 : keyhole, hear, menace, sleeping, phantoms, swaying, cheer, creep, wetter, quiet, winks

Submitted for dVerse Poets Pub. Lillian asked for treats … though this may be more of a trick?