September-November 2019

Included in three by 3 of September-November 2018 was “Calliope’s Conundrum”. The creativity and resourcefulness of the Muse also figures in The Tales of the Arabian Nights. Her name is Scheherzade  and she became the inspiration for “At Long Last the Sultan’s Won Over”.

Scruples #1 appeared in three by 3, December 2013-February 2014. Along with an explanation of intent, an audio clip reading was attached. #16 is the latest entry.

While critiquing my poems recently, I realized that none were written in the first person. “O Me, O My,” hopefully settles the score, once and for all.

At Long Last the Sultan’s Won Over

In this oasis, the king cobra
reigns supreme, his real estate
a lot of palms that can stand the sun,
as well as water rights over
a fountain waiting in the shade.

Trade bound caravans cross the desert
from dawn to dusk, along a silk route
which, if all goes well, finds them
heading steadily for the horizon.

Come nights they’re bound to tent
down among the dunes, pitched
against wind and restless sand.
Far better than out in the open
is an oasis of untold wonders…

Putting it into words takes
heart, imagination, a lullaby.
Among the Sultan’s brides, one spins tales
which please him over and over,
by now numbering a thousand.
How many more before she’s home free?
Woe upon Scheherazade whose chances
for a happy ending are subject
to his bidding, her services rendered.

      Scruples                                               16         

Being born losers ups the odds
to dead set against us.
We game each day until
there’s none in play.

Luck, as it so happens, can run
short or long, change direction,
swing from good to bad.
Our lot takes chances by choice.
Dealing with all kinds at any time
makes us gamblers for life.

 

       O Me, O My

Lyric relates to poetry of limited length expressing
thoughts and especially subjective feelings.*

 

                1

                        i…

                2                                                    i…

                 3

                         I…

                  4

                          I…                                                           

 

Which of these selves can write a sonnet
so versed in rhyme and meter
that when read aloud it rings as true
as the “doodle dos” of a cock at dawn;
whose words, on paper, not only meet
the eye, they make a lasting impression?

May the bard within Michael Bates rise,
body and soul, befitting the occasion.

 

*A Reader’s Guide to Literary Terms
Beckson and Ganz

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