Clear Starry Nights and the Northern Lights

A Blog Less Traveled

The following poem (with some minor re-writing) was one of my poems chosen for last years (2014) National Poetry Day competition at Bedfordshire Libraries. The theme was “Remember”. These are “memories” from growing up in Northern Ontario, Canada.

Stars and Fireflies

No matter how far I go I’ll always remember
Long summer days and dark autumn nights
Cold winter snow and wood burning stoves
Clear starry nights and the Northern Lights

Memories flow through child eyes of days long ago
Those lazy days and clear blue skies
Sound of crickets through the window screen
As stars and fireflies light cool dark nights

Wild strawberries, raspberries and blueberries
Stained fingers and lips, the tell tale signs of joy
Leaving just enough for winter preserves
While waiting for apples to ripen and fall

Lying on soft grass staring into starry skies
Northern Lights shifting in midnight breezes
With the Northern Star shining…

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Free to Wander

A Blog Less Traveled

A number of weeks ago Jane Dougherty and I did what I like to call “dueling poetry” on Twitter. Where one person starts with a micro-poem or Haiku and another (or more) write follow up pieces. Loosely linked micro-poems (or Haiku) that can develop in ways one never imagined – each feeding off the words of the other. I have take a few bits of what I wrote, developed and with some rearranging and re-writing have come up with the following short dark poem. Do also take a look at Jane’s WordPress Blog for poetry and books.

Distorted Dreams

Despair walks alone in pouring rain
Guided by distorted dreams and pain
Searching evermore in shadows
Thirsting for the blood of those lost

Spirits free to wander in twilight
Bodies shed in a forgotten blight
Husks ploughed deep into furrows
Cast aside to feed the dark abyss

At Death’s door souls…

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Rhythmic Daydreams

A Blog Less Traveled

An affair of sea and air
Tidal ebb and flow
Caressing, enveloping
Always waiting patiently

Twinkling in starlight
Emblazoned in sunlight
Waves gently touch shore
Receding with a sigh

Driftwood deposited
Gifts washed ashore
A heartfelt thank you
For when you are there

An affair of sea and air
On an empty beach
Rhythmic daydreams
Awaiting your return

Copyright © 2016 Shawn D. Standfast. All rights reserved

Rhythmic Daydreams

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the sacred road

waves crashed in unmitigated fury
upon the broken shore.
it was a surge of power
so violent
it would quell the staunchest of hearts
and yet,
she could no longer dismiss
its savage allure.
the storm swelled along the horizon
and her heart wrenched
as her rooted feet refused
to give purchase to the quaking ground.
the time
– that inevitable time –
of choice
and consequence were upon her.
she could no longer grace
this fragile divide,
dipping uncertain toes
in either space of time.
marks the beginning of her forevers
and the moment
she must firmly
and completely decide.
the sea beckoned
as the earth clung
but the true beat of her heart
would not be denied.
on failing legs,
she fled
once more desperate
to feel the pulling tide around her feet.
braches tore
and rocks abraded,
until her bruised and battered skin
stung in the…

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Poesy plus Polemics


the rowboat
bumps gently
in moorage
asleep in her
dreams of
voyages cross
silver ponds
along banks of
svelte streams
iron oarlocks
intoning the
stout chants
of hardwood
in swivel and
swim through
deep pools of
cool fisheries
halting above
rower’s secret
most spot for
new mornings
of lazy delight
where the low
rising sun skims
and glances off
sparkling surfaces

all of a unit
the wood and
the rower
the water and
all of their
sprung from
the dreamstuff
of one grieving
widow boat
left to her
paint crumbled
reverie missing
her untethered
days pulled with
pride and an
effortless glide
through the life
of the two arms
and hands that so
lovingly built her

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Understated Love

Poesy plus Polemics

Photo from Photo from

he loved to love
placed the gifts
of his heart
on her pillow
gentle words
at spontaneous
tender touches
between passing
workaday hours
soft songs made
of evenings his
light serenades
chair by chair
side by side
on the porch
partner witnesses
taking in uprise
of firefly summers
and downfall of
lake effect winters
shared breathing
mutual tacit

he needed no
more in return
than her smile
it contained
all his reasons
for living and
with that he
found his own
peace with the
idea of dying

she loved
to be loved
even if only
by touch of
his memory

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Music of Scars

Poesy plus Polemics

your voice is like whiskey
poured through gravel
and hardship
it teaches us something
that song without stones
of an age can’t deliver

your music of scars
moves on chords
built from pain
long suffering sounds
we’d give our last heartbeat
to sing even once

your implausible poise
plays a plaintive arpeggio
climbing the sequence
of notes that express
the best senses of
wounded humanity

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Great Leap Forward

Poesy plus Polemics

"Writers Block" Drawing by Clif Haley From “Writers Block”
Drawing by Clif Haley

fifty millennia ago
something somewhere
back there in the mists
somehow gave
homo sapien brain
a good knock
and its wiring got
jostled and crossed
revving up its innate
creativity quite with
astonishing speed

perhaps then
the poet
who suffers
the dread
writer’s block
merely needs
bang his head
on a good
sturdy wall

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