POETRY--Provocative Poems

POETRY--Provocative Poems

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Poems:
Berlin Wall
America Lives--post 9/11
Dreams
Screen Door--lost youth
Thank You, Mary Quant--all about miniskirts
Sweater Girl--back to the past
Spaghetti Straps--watch out
The Olympians--a tribute to Olympians and to the Olympic Games
Ray Bradbury--a tribute
Ode to Dr. Seuss--a tribute
Ode to a Baseball Card Collector--my son
Old Codger


BERLIN WALL (1961-1989)
by Alan Cook

Watch and listen to a Berlin Wall graffiti animated version by Reallusion on
YouTube

Over and under and through the Wall they came,
parched with a thirst they couldn't quench.
Tunneling, flying, leaping, crawling, hidden
in car seats and carts, determined to wrench
themselves free from tyranny's stench.

Oppressed, tortured, imprisoned, shot--
still the thirsty would not could not be denied.
The spring of freedom beckoned, so close, so far;
yards, feet, nay inches away they died--
and friends and loved ones cried.

Some made it! a baby hidden in a bag in a cart;
desperate men who leapt on a moving train;
a hollow car seat, tunnels, boats,
a makeshift glider, balloon and plane;
putting an end to the thirst and pain.

And then one day, one wonderful day,
they hammered and shattered and tore down the Wall!
Thirsting, singing, shouting, laughing, hugging,
chunk by chunk they watched it fall--
and the terrible thirst was quenched for all.


AMERICA LIVES
by Alan Cook

I had feared for America.
Had we lost the inner fire
that brought ancestors to these shores?
Had we lost the hot desire,
each to choose a fulfilling path
and set our aspirations higher?

I had feared for liberty.
The fragile dream must be protected.
When everyone's a victim, then
responsibility's rejected.
When we suck the common teat
the dream grows dim and sits neglected.

Others saw the softness here
and sought to decimate a foe.
Tyrants cannot stand the thought
that some are free to come and go.
So on a dark September day
the wings of death delivered their blow.

But then a phenomenon occurred.
Heroic tales from the ruins were told.
The people spoke with one clear voice:
"We will never be controlled."
And I saw with thankful heart
the fire within had not grown cold.

I no longer fear for America.
I no longer fear for liberty.
We have awakened, but the dream
is bright for all the world to see.
When we unite to keep it so
it's a path we choose because we're free.


DREAMS
by Alan Cook

I met a girl, her face aflame with youth,
who came skipping down the street, her rope atwirl.
She said she'd like to skip the whole world over
and meet its people young and old. This girl
had diamonds in her eyes. I asked her when
she'd start; she was so vibrantly alive.
But then she looked at me and heaved a sigh.
"My mother said I must be home by five."

I met a boy who was in tune with all
the animals and plants, from bee to tree.
He said he could commune with them and learn
the secrets of a life of harmony.
"I'd love to live among my friends; I know
I could discover nature's Golden Rule."
"And so you should," I said. "Alas, I have
to study law, and now I'm late for school."

I met a woman with a baby in
her arms, a book of verses by her side.
She said at heart she was a poet who
must explode from her cocoon. "I cannot hide
it anymore. My metaphors need warmth
and light to flourish or they'll soon be dead."
"Right on! Here is a pen," said I. We heard
a cry. "Not now. The baby must be fed."

I met a man, designer-clad, with car
of proper vintage, monogrammed his case,
who said he'd like to live on a mountainside
by a singing brook, give up the silly chase.
"I'd run with deer, instead, and then at dawn
I'd rope the sun and ride across the sky."
I said, "Why not?" His Rolex shook its hands
at him. He blanched. "The time! I've got to fly!"

And then I knew what I should do--go forth
to seek all people trapped and set them free.
And go I shall, but I cannot tonight
because my favorite sitcom's on TV.


SCREEN DOOR
by Alan Cook

"Don't slam the screen door!"
Bang! Too late for that green door.
Outside, the hot summer evening's calling,
promising eternal youth.
Baseball, tag, hide-and-go-seek.
Racing, jumping, wrestling, falling,
running away from growing up.
Perpetual motion. Our bodies reek
of sweat and joy so pure, a cup
would keep us young forever.
Never gonna go to bed!
Never gonna grow up!
Parents, teachers, too soon will try to sever
the thread to innocence and youth.
Don't look back 'cause they're gaining on us,
waving their brand of universal truth.
Where, when we need him, is Peter Pan?
Growing up is more odoriferous
than we are now. Ugh! Woman! Man!
Don't think. Just sprint across the grass
barefoot; feel it tickle tender feet.
Is that a parent's call? Alas!
But keep on running till exhaustion
fells us, red-faced, in the heat.
"IT'S TIME FOR YOU TO GO TO BED."
"Ten more minutes. Please! Just ten minutes more."
"Get your hide in here!
And don't slam the screen door!"
Bang! Too late for that green door--
and for youth.


THANK YOU, MARY QUANT
by Alan Cook

Let's give three cheers for Mary Quant
who knows just what the people want.
What's that? You don't remember her?
Well, she created quite a stir
and controversy--yes, a binful,
with fashions that some thought were sinful.
'Twas nineteen-hundred-sixty-eight;
her minis stormed the Golden Gate.
For she designed the miniskirt,
with which each coed soon was girt.
It took America by storm
and made us all feel really warm.
It brought elation to the eye
of every woman-loving guy,
and was the swinging, swaying pal
of every freedom-loving gal.
For garterbelts and crinolines,
sometimes held up by safety pins,
had been replaced by pantyhose,
or just a suntan, heaven knows.
For guys the mini left revealed
the wonders skirts had long concealed.
For gals the mini marked the hour
of breaking out and taking power.
It helped to foster new relations
between the sexes in all nations.
It brought world peace; it was a star!
What's that? You think I've gone too far?
Well, anyway, it doesn't hurt,
so lets enjoy the miniskirt.


SWEATER GIRL
by Alan Cook

I long for the days of the sweater girl,
Those innocent days.
In dreams she would haunt us,
She'd tease us and taunt us
In reds, whites and grays.

Some say that today's is a better girl,
A girl you can touch.
She's strong and aggressive
Or sweet and caressive;
She's sometimes too much.

For instance, when she is a wetter girl,
Aswim at the beach
In G-string bikini,
So tiny, so teeny;
It's all within reach.

And then there's the case of the letter girl,
A feminine jock.
She'll kick, hit and chase balls
Like soccer and baseballs;
Watch out for her sock!

I long for the days of the sweater girl,
With figure supreme.
She'd make us delirious
But still be mysterious,
And leave us our dream.


SPAGHETTI STRAPS
by Alan Cook

She wears a summer dress, spaghetti straps
to hold it up, or is this so? Perhaps
it's gravity, the gravity of con-
sequences should it fall. If she should don
her dress one day but then forget to pull
them up, those flimsy wisps of hope so full
of her ripe beauty, do you think the weight
of promises within, or hand of fate,
would slide it down, revealing priceless treasures?
If so, would she invoke heroic measures
to hide the truth, for fear this modest lapse
would air the secret of spaghetti straps?


THE OLYMPIANS
by Alan Cook

They are the gods and goddesses of today,
Descended from the Olympians of Greece.
From every land on Earth they come to play;
Though there be wars and strife they come in peace.

They meet to test their skills in many a sport;
Their bodies, tuned pianos, are perfection.
With poise and graceful rhythm they cavort;
To all the struggling world they give direction.

Through years of training, physical and mental,
They work with love and hope and discipline.
Though strong as lions, with children they are gentle;
Their smiles when they compete are genuine.

They jump and vault and shoot and swim and throw;
They somersault and run and skate and ski.
They give their all to win and yet they know
It is the game that counts, not victory.

Our souls cry out for heroes, let us follow;
From chains of hate the imprisoned seek release.
Each deity, Athena or Apollo,
Will lead us to a world of love and peace.


RAY BRADBURY
by Alan Cook

From a wandering planet of a faroff star
a Santa with a bubbling sack of ideas
came, dropping them near, hurling them far,
armed with prolific typewriter and pencil,
telling the universal stories,
prodding and pushing us up to the heavens,
exploding with passion and allegories,
a meteor streaking, racing, flashing,
lighting up the infinite skies,
preaching that the lantern of wisdom
isn't reserved for only the "wise,"
setting the stakes with his Toynbee Convector,
designing the future, drawing the chart,
challenging us to believe in ourselves,
doing it all from the depths of his heart.


ODE TO DR. SEUSS
by Alan Cook

In the whimsical world of beloved Dr. Seuss
Live an elephant (faithful), a big-hearted moose,
And creatures, the wildest that you ever saw,
A grinch with a heart that's three sizes too small,
A bustard, a lorax (he speaks for the trees),
And prejudiced sneetches, with stars, if you please;
There are five hundred hats and a cat who wears one,
A circus and zoo that are oodles of fun,
And oobleck (be careful for what things you wish),
Green eggs (you will like them) and colorful fish,
And wonderful places like Solla Sollew,
All dreamt by the Doctor for dreamers like you.


ODE TO A BASEBALL CARD COLLECTOR
by Alan Cook

There's Williams and Mantle and Maris and Mays;
There's Hornsby and Hodges, oh, those were the days!
There's Aaron and Berra and Gehrig and Cobb;
There's Speaker and Wagner; this sure beats a job.
Dimaggio, Musial, the brothers Alou;
There's Boggs, Ott and Snider, and also Carew.
There's Killebrew, Keeler and Kiner and Ruth;
Mathewson, Johnson, Satch, Koufax and truth.
How great to be Young like Cy, or the Deans.
The Niekros and Bretts are for kids, dads and teens.
Don't let me forget the Rose, Foxx and Ford;
And Tinker and Evers and Chance, all adored;
And Campy and Robby and Stargell and Mize;
We gaze at them all with worshipful eyes.

Andy's Vintage Baseball Card Website


OLD CODGER
by Alan Cook

Disgraceful!
Every morning you're out jogging,
whether sun or rain or fogging,
greeting neighbors while you're logging
another panting mile.
By now you should be dogging
it because you are senile.

Outragious!
At carnivals you're riding
on roller coasters, siding
with the kids while gaily chiding
the ones who act their age,
when you should be abiding
at home not center-stage.

Disgusting!
You are obviously delighted
when a pretty girl is sighted;
your passions are ignited
like an adolescent boy.
You should be roundly smited
for this indecent joy.

Delightful!
At parties you are poking
fun and always joking,
laughing loud, no thought of croaking,
which is what you will do soon,
for the gun of life is smoking
and you'll sing a different tune.

Poems on this page Copyright 2005-2010 Alan L. Cook