Poems

Ought to be

It would be folly to consider myself 
where I ought to be, as if ‘ought’ 
could glow in your hand 
like half-eaten candy thawing 
memories under open clouds.

What hubris man to divine 
import from earth-bound particles 
bouncing among people walking 
heads down, the center of it all.  

Heavenly bodies revolve 
around some other lantern 
the same as me, sticky fingers 
sweeter from the journey.


© 2020 Phillip Knight Scott

Written for today’s dVerse prompt “folly” and the Go Dog Go Cafe prompt “in your hands

Poems

Discolored past

Photo by Sue Vincent

The rocks mark the ground
between prospering weeds enriched
by the warmth of a sun surging overhead,
encircling those of us interred
on a planet whose
percussive heartbeat rocks me to sleep.

I sense the presence of wildflowers,
of ants scurrying together in the dirt,
of life — too bountiful to count or name — 
thriving in the darkness or 
at least out of sight — 
I dare not note a difference in perspective.

Photos remain after we pass on
a gentle breeze that thoughtlessly turns
blacks to sepia, discoloring too many memories
otherwise cruelly lost
in darkness 
though the sun shines tomorrow.


Phillip Knight Scott | © 2020

My first poem of the new year! Submitted to dVerse Poets Pub Open Mic Night #257

Written for:

Poems

Chill

Photo by Sue Vincent

As I leap into middle age 
                    (knuckles white)
I wonder if the greatest adventure 
is merely to breathe 
                    (snow meets altruistic land)

In a world spinning its wheels, 
                    (frigid morning scrubs icy)
the eager sound can’t whine for change,
stale taste of winter
                    (skin burning with the chill)

The calendar will jump to Spring
                    (teeth rattle loose)
anticipation blooming every dewy night
I snore away
                    (gray hair wind-blown)


Phillip Knight Scott | © 2019

Written for Sue Vincent’s Thursday photo prompt: Chill #writephoto as well as Free Verse Revolution’s December Writing Prompt #2: to breathe.

Submitted for the dVerse Poetics Pub Thursday OpenLinkNight #256.

Poems

Who will?

Who will hear our prayer,
echoing through the empty air
that divides us, an appeal
to something unseen and unseeable,
our invocation lost among nothing?

Who will hear our psalm,
the choir humbly beseeched 
by a chorus reverberating with thanks
in its every deliverance before
the entreating congregation?

Who will answer our pleas,
voices searching for seraphic blessing 
while some celestial body
of spiritual vitality circles —
words bouncing in the void?


Phillip Knight Scott |© 2019

Written for dVerse Poetics : “echo … echo … echo”

Poems

My memory (to come)

My murky memory extrapolates the smoke, 
pixelated recollections somewhere in the cache 
that clears itself (a grasp slackens)
as I hasten to replace lost echoes 
with reminiscences to come,
not forgotten among the ash,
rising breathless if we dare stretch.

The future — always fuzzy like sleep 
that won’t rub out of our eyes — changes 
every time we look at it, as we push forward 
carrying the momentum of those better angels 
urging us to grow our own wings 
and launch ourselves to join those 
refusing to leave progress to others. 

Time will tell what tales we create, 
proceeding weightless where we dare.


Phillip Knight Scott | © 2019

Written for Go Dog Go Cafe’s Tuesday Writing Prompt Challenge (leaving) and Free Verse Revolution’s December Writing Prompt #1 (time will tell) and dVerse Poetics “Less is more, more or less

Poems

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.

Poems

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!

Poems

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.