Category Archives: Poetry Slam Sunday

Poetry Slam Sunday: Ken Books

Okay, Poetrycats, it’s time to don your black berets, turtlenecks and pretend like a pencil is a cigarette because we are getting ultra cool with words at this week’s poetry slam.  Play some jazz, turn down the lights and trip with me down Lyrical Lane with the deliciously cynical and bluntly truthful, Ken Books.  Feel free to leave your own poems in the comments.

FIL21Ken Books was born in Hershey, Pa., in 1949, and moved to Florida in 1997 to escape the hideous northern weather. He has been editor of two daily and four weekly newspapers, won 24 state and two national awards and retired Dec. 31, 2012.

He has written two books: an informational 96-page book about the Okaloosa County vocational school and “These are a few of the things that I hate,” a satirically cynical calendar-format book of essays sure to offend everyone at one time or another.

He is anxiously awaiting word from several agents that they will represent him and get the book published.  And now, sit back, relax and laugh with his poem.  I think Edgar would have loved it.

The Loser
With apologies to Edgar Allan Poe

Once as I sat ideas fighting, while I pondered what I’m writing,
Trying to rehash an idea expounded oh so long ago,
While I blathered, my prose shining, suddenly there came a whining,
As of someone raptly mining, mining guilt ’til he’s a bore.
“’Tis some never was,” I muttered, “whining at my office door.
Only this and nothing more.”

Ah, so clearly his face appears, wrinkled, frenzied, coated with tears,
As each dripping salt-filled droplet ate away the lacquered floor.
Eagerly I wished he’d go home, vainly I let my poor mind roam,
From my writing due that morning, fading out as last night’s foam.
Thoughts of bankruptcy beckoned, sweat broke out upon my dome.
I lost my idea du jour.

“What, pray tell, brings you here crying, as my feeble thoughts are dying,
Bringing craven raving to me as I loathe you to your core?
Why are you still here complaining, as laments you keep on raining,
Raining with a fearful paining, like a student of Al Gore?
Why don’t you go get a life now, stop your oinking like an old sow,”
Said I to this scab so sore.

“I’m a victim and I suffer, playing golf I’m just a duffer,
My work week keeps getting rougher, and I’m only 24,”
Thus explained the lousy loser, wailing like he was a boozer,
“Give me money without toiling, labor’s lethal lashes foiling;
Give me lawsuits for my failings, ’cause I tripped in Godsey’s store.”
Wailed the loser, “Give me more.”

“I once had a job,” he simpered, “but they wanted work,” he whimpered,
“So I had to say goodbye to that unfeeling duty’s tour.
“Now I need some cash–big bills, please–while I’m living my life of ease,
Do this daily, I’m insisting, and my future is secure.
Just remember–give me more.”

“Sir,” said I, “you make me sicken. As I ponder you I quicken,
To the head to lean on porcelain, and my gut’s contents disgorge.
The stench reeking from your sentiment reminds me of manure.
Maybe you should get a life now, get out into the field and plow,
Think of something–not yourself; don’t be such a wretched boor.
Disdain and hatred follow you, of that you can be sure.”
Cried the loser, “Give me more.”

“Can’t you see that I’m a victim, liberals say so, it’s their dictum,
That my pain is shared by them and they know what’s the score.
Give me cash, give me largesse, send me to Hawaii on barges,
There to languish languidly, doing naught upon the shore.”
Scrunched I my face into anger, searched I madly for a banger,
To smash the loser into coma, there where he can loudly snore.
Moaned the loser, “Give me more.”

Cowered he as I came rushing, vehemence and hatred gushing,
Toward him with tire iron poised and ready, aimed to score.
Crunching him just made me happy; understand this, I implore.
Gleefully, I smote his person, verbally I cast aspersions,
Happily I broke his skull, filled to brim with emptiness.
I enjoyed it, I confess.

As he lay there bleeding badly, his voice raised he almost sadly,
Pierced me with an eye so piteous that I almost felt remorse.
A bloodied, broken hand he lifted, his mouth from the floor he shifted,
Still he had no concept of work or of money or its source.
“National health care,” he moaned. “See that a free clinic’s phoned,
Make me whole, don’t make me work. This I need you to assure.”
Sobbed the loser, “Give me more.”

A.F. Stewart on Poetry Slam Sunday

118It’s THAT Sunday where we dip into the lyrical world of poetry, and today’s offering comes from one of my favorite authors, A.F. Stewart.  Her prose often sounds like poetry with her descriptive phrasing and attention to detail and her work is always comfortingly dark.

These poems are shared from her book, Reflections of Poetry, available on Amazon and Smashwords.  You can view more about this wonderful author, and her many books, on her Amazon profile.  Don’t forget to add your own poems in the comments section or view past Slams.Reflections

And now, please welcome the wonderfully woeful, delightfully dark and ever wealthy with words… A.F. Stewart!

Soldier Boy

Play me a tune for Death;

he has passed this way.

A sad lament, for those

who shed their final blood

on this forlorn battlefield.

Play a song of sorrow

for your fallen friends.

Each and every soul

who shall never grace

again, this vibrant earth.

Captured Beauty on the Rhone

Luminescent stars above those who sleep,

flickering canopy across the sky, to stare,

reflect, within the river, so wide and deep.

Such beauty inspires art to make us weep

that radiant glow laughing in the night air,

luminescent stars above those who sleep.

Shining vines of ethereal reach and creep

and strut along the water, to cavort there,

reflect within the river, so wide and deep.

Light catches river’s embrace, to sweep

away along its course, lacking any care.

Luminescent stars above those who sleep.

Soft, in the murmuring river it will keep

the light of dreams, wishes and prayer.

Reflect within the river, so wide and deep.

Forever, the spectacle to make hearts leap

in joy, in awe, at a glorious sight laid bare.

Luminescent stars above those who sleep,

reflect within the river, so wide and deep.

Inspired by the painting Starry Night Over the Rhone by Vincent van Gogh


Driving across country, wheels spit gravel;

horizon ahead and the day spins to night.

Hands grip the wheel, music blasts, you travel.

Always forward, next job, headlights on bright,

running away, the unending, unbroken flight.

Constant chase of phantoms down open road,

next town in reach, but still far out of sight,

on your journey to pay back what is owed

Against the dark, forlorn, yet you will fight

as wheels roll on toward sunset tonight.

Special edition 9/11 Poetry Slam

NHSEagleI wanted to do something patriotic to remember 9/11 today, but something positive and meaningful.  I didn’t know what… until I received this poem in my inbox.  I’d like to welcome Angela Winfield to Dandilyon Fluff and a special, Wednesday edition Poetry Slam.

I’d like to invite everyone to share their own remembrances of 9/11 and patriotic poetry in the comments section.  I’ve included Angela’s bio after the poem.  Please welcome Angela Winfield, and enjoy her inspired offering.

You can also visit past Slams…


By Angela Winfield

You forced our hand, this battle against man

When you gave the child a gun,

Too heavy to hold, he could barely stand

With the weight of the world strapped to his shoulders

And a grenade in hand, his only solace

Are the brainwashed dreams of a Promised Land

He gives his life, in this grown mans fight

The pain he causes, the pain he’ll feel

When he pulls the pin, when he pulls the trigger

This is the last choice he’ll make; the decision is forever

With a small prayer he completes the plan

The mind of a child does not comprehend

Now a page of history, a moment in time

The torturous hell we all felt

Forever images burned in our mind

What choice do we have with innocent involved?

As children we watched the towers fall

Filled with adrenalin and soaring high

An explosion shatters the silent night

He gave his life and there he lies

Waiting to be identified

With eyes forever open, the darkness sets in

The easy part is over, now it begins

Smoke and genocide choke the air

The please for help, the wails of despair

The screams that no one can here

Consumed in darkness, consumed in fear

But now a page of history, a moment in time

The torturous hell we all felt

Forever images burned in our mind

What choice do we have with innocent involved?

We watched the towers fall

But this fight is a grown mans war!

Your warriors are the sheep you swore

To protect their minds, from the rest of us and yet

You rein upon the people a religion of death

A people with out a choice, with out a voice

With out a thought like a robotic moth

They flee to the flame, and burn in the name of faith

Suffering the leadership of a man

Born without reasoning, born with a plan

Bent on hate in the name of faith

Against the weak you dominate

Through lightening wars, you discriminate

We’ve seen you before, we know your face

The same soul a different shape

The story repeats itself, and in the end

Good will rise again and again

‘For we will not fear you or bow in hesitation

We a free people a free nation!

Now a page of history, a moment in time

The torturous hell we all felt

Forever images burned in our mind

What choice do we have with innocent involved?

As children we watched the towers fall.

About the author: 

I was born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska and lived there until my early thirties. In November of 2011 the Air Force moved my husband and three children to Niceville, Florida.

From the moment we stepped on the plane and for the past two years everything has gone wrong. Many of my fears came to reality and it was then that I realized, that it’s in my weakness, I am strong.

I am afraid of everything, but what makes me strong, is that I face my fears everyday. I will overcome every time and over and over again if need be. Here I was faced with: new cultures, a boggy environment, bugs that look like a cross between a large cockroach and Satan, loss of family income, a potential divorce and death and my past. I have never felt closer to my potential.

For me, Niceville has become the beauty and the beast metaphor that is my life. It was here in that I rediscovered my love of writing and my passion to become an influential, published author. I have written two children’s books and am in the process of publishing them both. I have written poetry and submitted song lyrics to the International Song Writers Competition and have other projects on the burners.

Poetry Slam: The Highwayman

118It’s another Poetry Slam Sunday and my original plan was to do a video recap of the Say the Word Poetry Slam that kicks off in my town every first Wednesday of the month… but, if you read last Wednesday’s post, my car broke down so I missed it.  Instead, I’m going to post one of my favorite poems of all time, The Highwayman by Alfred Noyes.


©2012-2013 ~Maryanneleslie

The Highwayman” is a narrative poem written by Alfred Noyes, first published in the August 1906 issue of Blackwoods Magazine, based in Edinburgh, Scotland. The following year it was included in Noyes’ collection, Forty Singing Seamen and Other Poems, becoming an immediate success. In 1995 it was voted 15th in the BBC’s poll for “The Nation’s Favorite Poems.”

It has remained one of mine since the first time I read about the gallant bandit meeting his lovely Bess in the dark of the night… and probably the reason I tend to fall for the rogues ;p  Art courtesy of Maryanneleslie.

Next week the lovely, dark poetry of A. F. Stewart will be shared.  But for now;

The Highwayman

Alfred Noyes (1880-1958)



THE wind was a torrent of darkness among the gusty trees,
The moon was a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas,
The road was a ribbon of moonlight over the purple moor,
And the highwayman came riding—
The highwayman came riding, up to the old inn-door.


He’d a French cocked-hat on his forehead, a bunch of lace at his chin,
A coat of the claret velvet, and breeches of brown doe-skin;
They fitted with never a wrinkle: his boots were up to the thigh!
And he rode with a jewelled twinkle,
His pistol butts a-twinkle,
His rapier hilt a-twinkle, under the jewelled sky.


Over the cobbles he clattered and clashed in the dark inn-yard,
And he tapped with his whip on the shutters, but all was locked and barred;
He whistled a tune to the window, and who should be waiting there
But the landlord’s black-eyed daughter,
Bess, the landlord’s daughter,
Plaiting a dark red love-knot into her long black hair.


And dark in the dark old inn-yard a stable-wicket creaked
Where Tim the ostler listened; his face was white and peaked;
His eyes were hollows of madness, his hair like mouldy hay,
But he loved the landlord’s daughter,
The landlord’s red-lipped daughter,
Dumb as a dog he listened, and he heard the robber say—


“One kiss, my bonny sweetheart, I’m after a prize to-night,
But I shall be back with the yellow gold before the morning light;
Yet, if they press me sharply, and harry me through the day,
Then look for me by moonlight,
Watch for me by moonlight,
I’ll come to thee by moonlight, though hell should bar the way.”


He rose upright in the stirrups; he scarce could reach her hand,
But she loosened her hair i’ the casement! His face burnt like a brand
As the black cascade of perfume came tumbling over his breast;
And he kissed its waves in the moonlight,
(Oh, sweet, black waves in the moonlight!)
Then he tugged at his rein in the moonliglt, and galloped away to the West.



He did not come in the dawning; he did not come at noon;
And out o’ the tawny sunset, before the rise o’ the moon,
When the road was a gypsy’s ribbon, looping the purple moor,
A red-coat troop came marching—
King George’s men came matching, up to the old inn-door.


They said no word to the landlord, they drank his ale instead,
But they gagged his daughter and bound her to the foot of her narrow bed;
Two of them knelt at her casement, with muskets at their side!
There was death at every window;
And hell at one dark window;
For Bess could see, through her casement, the road that he would ride.


They had tied her up to attention, with many a sniggering jest;
They had bound a musket beside her, with the barrel beneath her breast!
“Now, keep good watch!” and they kissed her.
She heard the dead man say—
Look for me by moonlight;
Watch for me by moonlight;
I’ll come to thee by moonlight, though hell should bar the way!


She twisted her hands behind her; but all the knots held good!
She writhed her hands till her fingers were wet with sweat or blood!
They stretched and strained in the darkness, and the hours crawled by like years,
Till, now, on the stroke of midnight,
Cold, on the stroke of midnight,
The tip of one finger touched it! The trigger at least was hers!


The tip of one finger touched it; she strove no more for the rest!
Up, she stood up to attention, with the barrel beneath her breast,
She would not risk their hearing; she would not strive again;
For the road lay bare in the moonlight;
Blank and bare in the moonlight;
And the blood of her veins in the moonlight throbbed to her love’s refrain .


Tlot-tlot; tlot-tlot! Had they heard it? The horse-hoofs ringing clear;
Tlot-tlot, tlot-tlot, in the distance? Were they deaf that they did not hear?
Down the ribbon of moonlight, over the brow of the hill,
The highwayman came riding,
Riding, riding!
The red-coats looked to their priming! She stood up, straight and still!


Tlot-tlot, in the frosty silence! Tlot-tlot, in the echoing night!
Nearer he came and nearer! Her face was like a light!
Her eyes grew wide for a moment; she drew one last deep breath,
Then her finger moved in the moonlight,
Her musket shattered the moonlight,
Shattered her breast in the moonlight and warned him—with her death.


He turned; he spurred to the West; he did not know who stood
Bowed, with her head o’er the musket, drenched with her own red blood!
Not till the dawn he heard it, his face grew grey to hear
How Bess, the landlord’s daughter,
The landlord’s black-eyed daughter,
Had watched for her love in the moonlight, and died in the darkness there.


Back, he spurred like a madman, shrieking a curse to the sky,
With the white road smoking behind him and his rapier brandished high!
Blood-red were his spurs i’ the golden noon; wine-red was his velvet coat,
When they shot him down on the highway,
Down like a dog on the highway,
And he lay in his blood on the highway, with the bunch of lace at his throat.

* * * * * *


And still of a winter’s night, they say, when the wind is in the trees,
When the moon is a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas,
When the road is a ribbon of moonlight over the purple moor,
A highwayman comes riding—
A highwayman comes riding, up to the old inn-door.


Over the cobbles he clatters and clangs in the dark inn-yard;
He taps with his whip on the shutters, but all is locked and barred;
He whistles a tune to the window, and who should be waiting there
But the landlord’s black-eyed daughter,
Bess, the landlord’s daughter,
Plaiting a dark red love-knot into her long black hair.

Poetry Slam Sunday: Jonathan Gunger

Gunger BookPoetry Slam Sunday has been taking off!  Tonight’s poet is Jonathon Gunger, author of 34/4 and this coming Tuesday’s interview on Journal Jabber.

Poetry Slam is for everyone so feel free to share your own poems in the comments section.  Check the schedule to see who’s coming up next! Want to be a featured poet?  Email me:

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And now for tonight’s

poetical offering – Jonathon Gunger!

A Beginning

It is the end of I

And the beginning of we

A change made willingly

A change made lovingly

Patiently embrace your life

Patiently embrace your love

Act with consideration

Act with cooperation

When times fill with strife

(They will,, that’s life)

Remember back upon this day

And the reasons for choosing this way

Remember the words, the oath and the


Can you see her eyes?

Can you feel his embrace?

To find real love is rare

So, say thank you and handle with care.

Today is for us

Thank you for your love,

Thank you for your life.

Together our hearts are one,

Together we are strong.

Thank you for your warmth,

Thank you for your passion.

Together we stay whole.

Today is for love and laughter,

Tomorrow is for life’s challenges.

Today is for joy and dancing,

Tomorrow is for sacrificing.

Today is for wonder and dreaming,

Tomorrow is for patience.

Today is for us.

A Child’s Joy

My eyes water

And, my skin burns

My lips crack,

And, my feet freeze.

See the Bundled child

Hear her Laughter,

And see her joy

Her hood pulled tight

Her snowman lives tonight.

My fingers are frigid with pain

My feet are wet, and oh so cold.

My feet slip while I walk

And, my ears feel ready to break

Little boys on top of the hill

With sleds so sleek and fast

They race to the bottom,

With screams of shear delight.

Winter brings their joy to flight.

Poems by Jonathon Gunger

Poetry Slam Sunday: Frank W. Smith

118Last week I officially requested poems for a new regular feature here on Dandilyon Fluff – Poetry Slam Sunday.  The meter and verse blew up my inbox!  Who knew I had so many poetically inclined friends?  Slam your own poems down in the comments and share!


Tonight’s poet is Frank W. Smith, author of Wolf Song and the just released Night Song.

From Frank W Smith:

Beneath the white cliffs

I speak the names of the dead.

Amidst the howling wind,

The thundering wind,

I speak your name,

And your shadow falls across

My soul.


Deafened I sit

Where the deep green leaves rustle.

I sit in the cathedral

Of nature undying.

And extract confessions

From the ghost

Of my love.


I stare into the sun then,

Until nothing else is left.

Melting my eyes,

Searing my eyes,

I am blind

As it’s white flame, consumes

Your dark umbra.


Crawling through the desert

Of your soul, leaves me withered.

Empty and burnt out.

A husk now

A hollow shell

That bakes upon

The cracked red clay.

Poetry Slam Sunday?

stain glass angelLast week I had so much fun sharing an old poem I wrote I thought about trying to do a regular poetry night here on my blog.  There’s all sorts of interesting things to do with poetry – my mind is teeming with the possibilities.  Share with me and I’ll be glad to post yours as well.  Leave a poem of yours in the comments or send  it to me here:

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Until I get some poems to share, I’ll share another of mine.  This was written a few years ago during an emotionally devastating time in my life.  When I read over it now it brings back sad memories and a sense of gratitude that all that is in the past.

Disclaimer: I have been criticized in poetry groups before because I like to rhyme my poetry.  I still like it like that.

Fallen Angel

Fallen angel looking to the sky

Every star wilts her soul helping her to die.

Tasting heaven once enough to know what she’s denied

Crying…laughing…swallowing and accepting all the lies.

Falling through a sunset – grasping at the air

Wandering through a life that was never really there.

Embracing all things dark but can’t quite snuff the light

Meandering in circles between what is wrong and what is right.

Dwelling in dark places to taste a bit of moon

Stretch her heart with pain to create a little room

To drink in all the sorrow of the lost souls that she meets.

With eyes full of blank shadow she accepts that life’s a cheat.

Fool her once and she’ll come running

Fool her twice and she’ll be back

Denying all who care for her

Embracing all the lack.

Fallen Angel, darkened angel

Once dwelling in the light

Has turned her back on heaven

To fade into the night.

Speaking of angels... I couldn't resist sharing this photoshopped picture of one of my angels :D

Speaking of angels… I couldn’t resist sharing this photoshopped picture of one of my angels 😀


A rare poetic moment

Our area has started doing poetry jams here once a month and I’m planning 118on participating in the next one.  I don’t write a lot of poems, but I thought I’d share one tonight.  I wrote this years ago for a writer’s critique and challenge site called Themestream. Anyone remember that great site?

Anyhow, here’s my poetic offering ;p

A Writer’s Wish

If I could pen a scribble here

To a buyer that would pay me dear

I’d slide up quick off my soft rear

And gallop to my computer where

My bony cat in basket sits

And eyes my work thru narrow slits

He eats not fish but old prune pits

For small I’m paid for written wits.

But say perchance, I could succeed

To lure the president to lead

Me thru his tale of slippery greed

And naughty things we want to read

I’d see success at my feet laid

My cat now fat and me well paid.

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