Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Visiting Viet Nam

In July of 2014, my wife Linda and I visited our son who lives in Ho Chi Mihn City, Viet Nam.  Among the many new experiences and surprises was the heavy traffic of motor scooters which is the main way people travel.  Cars are scarce as are traffic lights and the people on the scooters drive pretty much as they wish.  Traffic laws and sign are mere suggestions for most.  So, this poem describes what happens when the daily downpour appears. 

Ho Chi Mihn City Rain

Flocks of motor scooters
Piloted by
Many colored helmeted drivers
Dance a buzz saw sounding ballet
Weaving through the streets
Around people and taxies
And trucks and buses

A fire hose of rain
Which had been held distantly
In dark clouds
By hot humid afternoon air
Soaks the riders
Who now scurry to the shelter
Of trees and buildings' eaves
From under scooter seats
A rainbow of ponchos fly and
Billow in the sideways moving rain

The riders remount and
Wiping water from their eyes
Set forth slowly into
The flooded streets
Their speed is now
Swan like paddling
Their swallow darting movements
Are paralyzed

They will be late
Picking up sons and daughters 

From school
Signing final papers
For a first home
Learning from the doctor
If the spot on the X-Ray is cancer
Meeting a lover for
An afternoon's betrayal

Thursday, June 9, 2016

For Dennis

As  I mentioned in my first post, I wrote a poem for my friend Dennis after he died unexpectedly in May of 2014.  His death reminded me of life's unpredictable events and sudden surprises.

For Dennis -

The Walk Not Taken

You called and invited me
Let’s walk by the Lake.
What time did you have in mind?
Whatever time your business allows.
Let’s go in the morning while
The air is still young and the sky is bright
I thought we would talk
About books and dreams and
The waning years of our lives
I never imagined our time would be so brief
Like dancers who embrace
At the center of the dance
Twirl, pirouette and flutter
To the edge of the stage
Where darkness beckons
Before seducing us from the light
On the beach where we would walk
The waves break

Without you

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

The Reason for This Blog

Atelier means a workshop or studio, especially one used by an artist or designer. The term originated in the late 17th century from the French, from Old French astelle ‘splinter of wood,’ from Latin astula. I have chosen the name Atelier Poetry because I view writing poetry as a craft that arranges words in new and unique ways to reflect my world experience.  Occasionally, there will undoubtedly be a “splinter of wood” or two and so I ask for your understanding and patience.

I was inspired to create this blog and begin sharing my poetry by my close friend Judy Newton.  When Judy’s husband Dennis died unexpectedly two years ago, I wrote a poem about him and shared it with her.  She wanted to know if Dennis knew that I wrote poetry.  I had not shared that part of myself with him.  Judy told me he would have been angry at me for this.  I thank Judy for her candor and push to do this.  I am a writer who is a private person but has slowly realized that I should share my poetry with more people.  So my blog will be my medium for doing this.  I welcome dialogue with you and will try to respond to your comments and questions as best I can.

My first posted poem is “Writing” and I hope it will provide some insight about me as a poet.


So someone asked,
“What do you write about?”
The sounds of a dog napping
My wife’s footsteps on the stairs
My son starting his car
Snow falling against a street light at night
The silent epiphanies and pains

Everyday things.