A Tanka for World Water Day 2016

A Water Tanka

Waves of change engulf
Ancient springs once flowed freely
Transitional times
Exploring technologies
Rivers of hope will converge

Copyright © 2016 Shawn D. Standfast. All rights reserved.

A Water Tanka


Tanka for World Poetry Day 2016

A Poets Tanka

Preserving moments
Observations caught in time
Echoes in silence
Thoughts reflecting melody
Searching for flawless rhythm

Copyright © 2016 Shawn D. Standfast. All rights reserved.

A Poems Tanka

Perceptions narrowed
Overseers of lost dreams
Emotions set free
Momentary reflections
Silence fills the emptiness

Copyright © 2016 Shawn D. Standfast. All rights reserved.

Poets Tanka Poems Tanta

Rhythmic Daydreams

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


Free to Wander

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 mingle
Forsakened messengers linger
Harpies sing a mournful lament
While banshees remain silent

Copyright © 2015 Shawn D. Standfast. All rights reserved.

The etching below is “Harpies in the infernal wood,” from Inferno XIII, by Gustave Doré, 1861.

Harpies in the infernal wood, from Inferno XIII, by Gustave Doré, 1861

Halloween Musings

A Twitter friend asked that I write a happy poem for today, Halloween. Well here is my attempt at a happy poem inspired by a photo of Paulette Goddard dressed as a cat for Halloween…

Ever since a teen
Never been keen
About Halloween

Then I met Paulette
A ravishing brunette
Now I love it, you bet

Copyright © 2015 Shawn D. Standfast. All rights reserved.


The Hurting Side of Night

Sins Unatoned

Wrapping arms round you tightly
Through the hurting side of night
Huddling beneath the Northern Lights
Fears whispering in midnight breezes

No questions, no accusations
Darkness closing in on worlds
Waiting for the break of dawn
Shivering in sins unatoned

Copyright © 2015 Shawn D. Standfast. All rights reserved.

Sins Unatoned


Gone Too Long

Shouts ring out all along The Boundary
Ghostly voices echoing from days gone by
Moments lost for ever, fading to twilight
Lost my girl and my dreams somewhere along the way

Packin’ up what cares I have left
Saying goodbyes with tearful reminders
I’ll be on that morning train headin’ south
Gonna leave this dead end, good for nothing town

There was a time that nothing but you mattered
Getting lost in your arms and favoured charms
Knowing our love would last forever
But even forever ends someday

Gotta get out before tears take hold
Before time passes and my poor heart breaks
I’ll be walking toward the horizon from now on
Searchin’ for forgotten dreams gone too long

Copyright © 2015 Shawn D. Standfast. All rights reserved.

Gone Too Long

Clear Starry Nights and the Northern Lights

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 bright
As the Milky Way arches through the night

Buzzing mosquitoes search through the night
As black flies crawl beneath bed clothes and bite
Crackling voices heard from a crystal radio set
“The Shadow” and eerie sounds from outer space

Smell of fresh cut hay drying in fields
Sitting atop a creaking split rail fence
Waiting for a chance to steer the tractor just once
Getting bored when the opportunity never came

Summer holidays came and went too fast
School busses ran with September rain
Morning mists shroud low lying fields
As burning leaves choke cooling air

Rare autumn warmth and cinnamon float by
Apple, blueberry, rhubarb and pumpkin pie
Ready for giving thanks and the town dance
Wood split and piled, cord next to double cord

Late October looms, trick or treating in the rain
Pillowcases filled with spoils, we run for home
Emptied on the hearth rug, to all an equal share
Rolling thunder echoes as autumn storms set in

A leak in the roof–split-splat–into an old sauce pan
Rain pours down; more drops hit the hot cook stove
Sizzling and bubbling, scurrying to the edge, hissing
Protesting the heat and journey through shingled roof

Rain turns to snow and warmth to bitter cold
Trees stand bare having shed their coat of leaves
Shivering in mid-winter winds, covered in snow
A white halo twinkling in mid-morning light

Flakes fall morning, noon and night, collecting
Soft, fluffy snow perfect for snowball fights
Forts made, sides chosen, battles lost and won
Snow continues to fall as days blend and blur

Fresh pine needles carpet bare wooden floors
Their sweet scent foretelling joys of Christmas day
Waking in early morning to heavy snow falling
With the smell of roast turkey and pumpkin pie

As carols play on the radio, to the tree we all did run
Handmade socks and woollen hats for one and all
Colouring books and Matchbox trucks just for me
Singing songs and feasting all the day long

Sitting by the fire, making toast from wood coals
Strong winds blow as snow piles up outside
December fades and pine needles cleared
Warm fires roar as dark nights became colder

In February days become longer and nights shorter
Sunny days of March warm thawing ground and trees
Sweet tasting sap starts to rise, tapped and gathered
Boiled down to make sweet golden maple syrup

Exposed rocks, heated by morning sun
Snakes roused from winter bathe in the warmth
Lilies break the surface and begin to bloom
Leaves sprout as summer rolls round again

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

Copyright © 2015 Shawn D. Standfast. All rights reserved.


Imbibing Speed

Numbing the Pain

Computers create electronic liaisons
A dating service for the positronic brain
Searching for the hottest data stream
Euphoric ones and zeros imbibing speed

Robots trying to kick internet downloads
Secret meetings with pleasure androids
Wasted on diode circuits and binary
Sleeping it off in clockwork corvettes

Sentient cars loiter along country roads
Inhaling high octane exhaust fumes
Unprotected intercourse on motorways
Romantic interludes in the fast lane

Radio waves caress high voltage capacitors
Shy electrons flirt with cathode ray tubes
Closed circuits for the experimentally minded
Sheltering in Faraday cages to numb the pain

Copyright © 2015 Shawn D. Standfast. All rights reserved.


Sleeping in Clockwork Corvettes

My Shopping List

Trolley wheel sticks and keeps turning left
Rumble of the evening express rolls on by
Crisps and frozen pizzas stacked everywhere
Robots are sleeping in clockwork corvettes

Grocery shopping on an Autumn Eve
Jet trails emblazon the darkening sky
Ketchup bottles fall and hit my feet
Lecherous computers scan customers

Lost in thought as arguing couples pass
This auto check out is giving me stress
Petrol fumes rise from cracked pavement
Cathode ray tubes irradiate a cold night

My shopping list is still on the kitchen counter
Terrible TV shows scream through airwaves
Neighbours having a party tonight, as always
Crystal radio sets purr with messages of love

Copyright © 2015 Shawn D. Standfast. All rights reserved.