Archive for the ‘FAST Sonnets in Cyberspace’ Category

FAST Sonnets in Cyberspace #8

03/31/2016

Your arrows have pierced me. Scorn has broken
My heart. You’re close to the brokenhearted.
“I will remove your heart of stone” (token
Of fall) “and give you a new heart” (started
Before world was fashioned) — for cold heart’s blight
Is congenital, deceptive, beyond
Cure or hope or might … yet darkness is light
To You. Take dark heart from me — this free bond,
Blown boon, renegade risk, haunted home, torn
Tune, charred star — can’t be done, You say? No way,
Nohow, not now — save Your die-to-be-born
Way. Create in me a clean core — safe clay.
You are greater than my heart, and You know
All … search me, grow true me — old throw, new sow.

© Bruce William Deckert 2016

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NOTES — POETRY 411

• This sonnet employs a number of scriptural statements about the heart and related topics in an attempt to explore the nature of the human condition — namely, the crushing concept of the old nature and the hope of the new nature as espoused by the Christian worldview.

• Since this blog focuses on sports-and-faith issues, each sonnet I’m posting has at least an oblique sports connection. Here the connection comes in the first line, though it may have been elusive: archery, of course!

• In my book, the sonnet is the ideal poem for residents of the time-challenged 21st century — rather than long-winded free verse, the sonnet features 14 concise and power-packed lines.

• This is a Shakespearean (or English) sonnet — a 14-line poem comprised of three four-line stanzas and a closing couplet, with a rhyme scheme of abab cdcd efef gg. In places, though, this poem departs from the classic rhythm of the English sonnet, iambic pentameter. Such a departure is common enough, to my knowledge, but I include the caveat for the sake of any sonnet purists who have ventured to this post.

• Let me know your thoughts, however brief, in the comment section. Thanks for stopping by — I hope you’ve found your time here to be worthwhile.

FAST Sonnets in Cyberspace #7

08/24/2015

“I’m all alone in a rowboat, middle
Of ocean wide — and you’re not there!” you cried.
(Thus my wife grieved like lost child.) Life’s riddle
Old and fears unknown with our hopes collide,
As ship with iceberg — and indeed alone
We’re left, in the perfect storm’s raging sea.
Thus has it always been (this we bemoan).
Yet If you’re in that rowboat, I must be,
Not Coast Guard vessel come to save the day,
Nor knight in shining speedboat, but instead
A simple sailor likewise blown astray,
Joining you on journey to far beachhead…
And I can offer this: I’ll help you row.
Let’s together pull — and our fears forgo.

© Bruce William Deckert 2015

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NOTES — POETRY 411
A number of years ago, my wife used the beautiful and painful metaphor in the first two lines — essentially word for word — to tell me how she felt vis a vis our marriage.

This struck me as a powerful image and got me thinking about our marriage, naturally, along with the human condition, and those musings became this poem.

For my money, the sonnet is the best poem structure for the fast-moving 21st century. No lengthy free verse here — instead, 14 economical lines.

This is another Shakespearean (or English) sonnet — a 14-line poem comprised of three four-line stanzas plus a closing couplet.

A Slow Life in the FAST Lane focuses on sports-and-faith issues, so each sonnet I’m posting on this blog has at least an oblique sports connection. This one? Crew, of course!

P.S. Here’s an alternate closing couplet:
I can’t offer much, but I’ll help you row.
Shall we now, lest our mission we forgo?

In this poll, you can vote for the one you prefer:

FAST Sonnets in Cyberspace #6

04/07/2015

Devoid of breath, in darkest cave enclosed,
I lie here, four days’ journey with alone.
Deceived by Death was I — he slyly posed
As Sickness and then sold me tomb of stone
For resurrection waiting room. To die —
Be silent witness to my sisters’ grief —
I now perceive in Adam’s alibi
The futile folly of a dying thief
Who never can steal back his life. Today,
While worms approach my lifeless flesh, I plum
The depth of human tragedy, my clay
Returning to — oh, hear Him bid me come!
    Though Death shall beckon still, on skull-scarred hill
    Shall Life — through death — triumph. Yes, come I will…

© Bruce William Deckert 2015

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NOTES — POETRY 411
Who is the speaker in this poem? You can vote in the poll below.

Over the years, I’ve written a number of sonnets. Most of them don’t have direct sports themes, but some make references to sports. Naturally, those are the sonnets I’m posting on A Slow Life in the FAST Lane (where FAST = Faith And Sports Talk).

This sonnet, it seems to me, has an even less explicit sports connection. The “journey” reference is one such connection — since some sporting events can be considered journeys (a marathon comes to mind). Another is the mention of a “triumph” in the closing couplet. And there’s “steal” in the third stanza, with its baseball overtone.

Nevertheless, despite the oblique nature of the sports references, the seasonal theme of this sonnet resonates — given the celebration of Easter this week — and thus it finds a place here.

This is another Shakespearean (or English) sonnet — a 14-line poem comprised of three four-line stanzas plus a closing couplet.

FAST Sonnets in Cyberspace #5

11/30/2014

“Shot through the heart” — are You to blame? (Who gives
Love a bad name?) Oh human heart Maker,
When my heart aches, let it be … because lives
In me living Sword, the dark heart-Breaker …
Because Your arrow pierces wounded chest.
But You fired at me? How could you betray
So heartlessly, like sewer-lover? Oh, quest
Of ages, test of sages — and belay
Rope threads (as knee-jerk heart rages) into
Scarred soul-jest heart on harpoon of heaven.
Love-Slayer, help me pull Your sure shaft through.
(When Your heart breaks, “no, it don’t break even.”)
   Rappel, please, down Your arrow-toting rope —
   Tie me and my pain to Your heartache hope.

© Bruce William Deckert 2014

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NOTES — POETRY 411
The first stanza begins with a song lyric from Bon Jovi, and the last stanza ends with a song lyric from The Script. The sonnet addresses — and attempts to reconcile — some song lyrics from the Scriptures:

“Your arrows have pierced me, and your hand has come down on me.” — Psalm 38: 2

“He drew his bow and made me the target for his arrows. He pierced my heart with arrows from his quiver.” — Lamentations 3: 12-13

“The arrows of the Almighty are in me.” — Job 6: 4

This is a Shakespearean (or English) sonnet — a 14-line poem with 10 syllables per line, comprised of three stanzas (of four lines each) plus a closing couplet. The rhyme scheme — the pattern of rhymes at the end of each line — is as follows: abab cdcd efef gg.

For today’s time-challenged reader, the sonnet might be the best poem structure: 14 brief and (ideally) power-packed lines.

FAST Sonnets in Cyberspace #4

04/30/2014

Hear: “All I’ve wanted is to feel wanted.”
Thus spoke NBA player, L.A. left.
So speaks every human heart — undaunted?
Why does life lie and leave us death-bereft,
Abandoned, desolate and forsaken,
Like child at dad-discarded first day’s light?
Like spouse, guilty innocent — awakened
To find acid spilled, mind blinded, heart blight
Of clay — lay pleasure poisoned, emission
Searing soul sans nocturnal permission?
Like corrupt(ed) construction: hope and homes,
Then site unseen, Love Canal — who atones?
   Oh, You who cried on Dad-deserted day
   Called good rescue us please from toxic play.

© Bruce William Deckert 2014

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NOTES — POETRY 411

Yes, the sentiment of this sonnet focuses on the desolation of Good Friday — as in the gospel accounts, Easter must wait — and thus on the desolation humans feel in certain painful circumstances.

The closing couplet observes that Jesus of Nazareth shares our desolation — and makes a desperate request for Him to bring Easter to our broken hearts and lives.

Except for the final stanza, the rhyme scheme follows the structure of a Shakespearean (or English) sonnet, a 14-line poem with 10 syllables per line, comprised of three stanzas (of four lines each) plus a closing couplet.

Given its brevity and power-packed structure, the sonnet is perhaps the best poem for the fast-moving 21st century.

FAST Sonnets in Cyberspace #3

05/31/2013

This tale of old still moves the human soul:
Impatient son for pasture longs where grass
Greener grows, wants wealth of his family’s class
Before appointed time — flees all control
To seek familiar foreign land, his goal
Fulfills. But friends forsake when swine surpass
His famine-ravaged means. In dark morass,
Asks: Can I find the life my folly stole?
See tear-pained eyes horizon-wandering —
And now see tear-washed feet rush to embrace
Our deepest human need: Though our hearts roam,
A Father’s love forgives our squandering.
Oh God of prodigals, help me Your race
Run true — on my heart’s road — to Your heart’s home.

© Bruce William Deckert 2013

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NOTES — POETRY 411

The sonnet might be the best poem structure for the on-the-move 21st century.

No lengthy free verse here — instead, 14 thrifty lines, with 10 syllables per line.

This poem is an Italian (or Petrarchan) sonnet. In this case, the rhyme scheme — the pattern of rhymes at the end of each line — is as follows: abba abba cdecde.

Alternate Last Two Lines
Oh God of prodigals, grant by Your grace
I run the road that leads to Your heart’s home.

POLL — Yes, you can vote for the last two lines you prefer…

FAST Sonnets in Cyberspace #2

12/19/2012

The December posting of this poem is fitting because of its fleeting Christmas reference. Further — and correct me if I’m wrong — its theme and its two sports references make it fitting for a sports-and-faith blog.

By the way, the sonnet might be the best poem for the fast-moving residents of the 21st century. No lengthy free verse here — instead, 14 economical lines.

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“How do you know?” episteme-unstable
Age asks of those who follow Barn-Born, Spike-
Scarred, Tomb-Torn One. “How can you tell fable
From reality, then and now alike?”
But postmods know more than they might admit.
And so I ask: Know you the sum of two
Plus pi? Hank 7-5-5 homers hit?
Your Mom and Dad exist? Know you that blue
Bespeaks a sun-swept sky? That your hometown
Rests where you left it last? Know you the mind
Can lie? Ball tossed up high falls to the ground?
Fourteen lines forever sonnets define?
   Forever … I wonder: How can I know?
   Help me hear You true: Because I said so.

© Bruce William Deckert 2012

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NOTES — Poetry 411
The word episteme is defined as: knowledge — specifically, intellectually certain knowledge (merriam-webster.com). The English pronunciation of episteme: EP – i (short i) – steem.

As you might know or surmise, episteme is the root word for epistemology, which is the study of knowledge. This philosophical discipline is the equivalent of the 5-year-old — or 25- or 45-year-old — who asks: But how do you know?

This poem is a Shakespearean (or English) sonnet, with a rhyme scheme — the pattern of rhymes at the end of each line — as follows: abab cdcd efef gg. Each letter represents a different rhyme, and the gg is called the closing couplet.

Alternate Closing Couplets
1.
Forever … I still ask: How can I know?
Please say true to me: Because I said so.
2.
Of forever, I ask: How can I know?
My Dad (who knows) replies: ’Cause I said so.

POLL — Yes, you can vote for the closing couplet you prefer…

FAST Sonnets in Cyberspace #1

08/27/2012

The sonnet is perhaps the best poem structure for the attention-distracted, on-the-go citizens of the 21st century. No lengthy free verse here — instead, 14 compact lines, 10 syllables per line, accompanied by certain rhyme schemes.

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THE BACKBOARD, though blemished, the years bear well,
Witness to losses, wild wins. But the rim
Droops low, lifeless — will no more fame foretell,
Ground right-angled. From driveway of time, dim
Voices call like playground hymns, bounding ball
Echoes … as cold mist mantles summer park,
A child’s lost memories shroud my heart, hopes maul —
For ere my dreams danced, they screamed in the dark.
Dad-and-son team, signed to play side-by-side,
Torn apart on blacktop of time — facade
Of years won’t chase the pain or keep it hid —
While this father-taught game grieves at the trade.
   Oh, when I teach my son asphalt ballet —
   On forsaken Son’s court — with him I’ll stay.

© Bruce William Deckert 2012

NOTES
Poetry 411 — This is a Shakespearean (or English) sonnet. The rhyme scheme — the pattern of rhymes at the end of each line — is as follows: abab cdcd efef gg. Each letter represents a different rhyme, and the gg rhyme is called the closing couplet.

Alternate closing couplet
I’ll teach my newborn son asphalt ballet —
And like incarnate Son, with him I’ll stay.

Poll — Yes, you can vote for the closing couplet you prefer…