This is a poem I should have posted long ago.

A forest with broad brushstrokes painted. Green
and blue and brown the palette of the day--
but there! within that sunbeam's golden ray
a flash of colour. Movement barely seen,
yet captivating. Breaking from routine
I move towards it, hoping that I may
more clearly see this colour in the grey.
Today with fondness I recall the scene:
The butterfly is dancing on the breeze
itself a world entire, when to the bland
surroundings is compared. Entranced, I freeze,
I hold my breath and gently raise my hand.
This beauty I would crush were I to seize...
My heart nears stops as down she comes to land.
Going through a pile of books for something specific today, I happened upon half a sonnet I'd completely forgotten trying to write. Followed by a sizable bundle of notes and lines and drafts from the summer before. Some quite nice lines, that deserve to be set in a complete poem. Some that were discarded because they weren't going anywhere and doing it awkwardly.

Plenty of ideas and notes that I wrote thinking 'I simply must turn this into a poem' but haven't, yet.

And spread over half a dozen sheets, written around and through a bunch of other poems, one that I did finish. It was the reason most of the other scraps made it to paper. I had an idea I wanted to impress upon someone, and figured putting it in verse would make it more convincing. Kept those pages in my pockets for weeks, agonising over a line at a time.

Except for the ocassional awkward - if earnest - line, I am and was pretty happy with it in the end.

Forty-eightish line poem after the cut. )
Here's another lazy sonnet, written in lectures to vent various frustrations. Not necessarily about a particular lecturer, it describes the incompetence of plenty of 'em.

These bite sized bits of content coupled with
this need for constantly repeating each
and every thing that's said; it seems as if
a lecturer is chosen not to teach,
for if they were these lectures would be worth
attending. Well, for more than just the jokes.
'Tis well that we can have a source of mirth,
for joy should ne'er be shackled by the yokes
of formal education. Nor by slides
from bloody Powerpoint. No surer way
to package things to deaden minds
has yet been found. To seriously convey,
the presentation of material
should rise above the managerial.

Thankfully, I have only a week or so of lectures left.
Wasn't planning on sharing this one, when I wrote it. I was planning, instead, to write a new poem (perhaps a sestina?) on the same theme, but using various references to Doctor Who instead of the references used loosely here. But on re-reading it four months after writing, I'm fairly happy with the way this flows.

A bunch of terza rima once again... )
So according to New Zealand, it's Spring now. I hate spring, more than any other "season". Twelve months ago I tried to say why, in verse:

There must be something in the air
to make me see the world like this.
I tell you that it isn't fair -
There must be something in the air.
Her flashing eyes, her flowing hair,
Those subtle lips that tempt a kiss...
There must be something in the air
to make me see the world like this.
There, new poem for the first time in a couple of months. Since May, I think. Of course, it is a poem I started back in March. But still new.

Back in March I was arguing with someone who was being all Wrong On The Internet. Hours of pointless conversation later, I realised that time would have been better spent putting my thoughts into verse. And promptly started to do so (but less promptly finished.)

I'm not happy with it; there are too many unspecific pronouns, and the verse distorts the argument rather than supporting it. For a start. But it's done, and not complete rubbish, I think. I do like the eighteenth line.

Thirty three lines about an article I read, once. )
Tonight I've been reading up on various things. Mostly Hellenistic mathematics, which I have no poems for. But also partly some discussion on the art of pick-up, which was interesting, and which I can almost relate to the subject of a poem I've written. Almost:

I lie awake on cold and empty nights
and although sleep is yet to come, I dream.
Of how I wish things were. A single theme
pervades these thoughts, the same my pen now writes.
Oh, how I miss relationships! The heights.
The lows. A kiss. Embraces that just seem
to be too short. To talk 'til dawn does gleam.
I even envy other couples' fights -
There's naught that I don't wish that I still had.
and yet what foolish thoughts are these of mine,
For even not alone, I'd still be sad.
Were I together with a girl so fine
the merest sight of her could make men glad,
For sure I'd find some reason still to whine.
While occasionally I do try something a little different like that last one, I do enjoy writing sonnets. They are a nice size for a single idea. Whether or not it is a nice idea.

Here is another poem from a while ago.

A sonnet from some summer or other )
So I just handed in a thousand word paper that I'm pretty much ashamed of. Ashamed of because it was crap, not because it was late - it was that too, but not by much. It was late (in part) because I spent most of the day it was due trying to finish a poem. Which started out nice and vague and non-specific and then got way personal and about me and yeah, also crappy. Another thing to be somewhat ashamed of.

When I did finish it I knew it wasn't one I'd be sharing. And I realised there are a whole lot like that. I've written more than double the poems this year than I've put here. Looking at this little selection it's not even clear that most of the poems I write are terribly angsty and romantically themed (which was maybe a good thing?) and so I decided to fix that. Here is one such poem from about a year and a half ago. A poem that I'm not ashamed of.

Warning: slight chance of angst )

Lecturers.

May. 14th, 2010 10:23 pm
A while back I posted the first draft for an essay. While a sonnet was far less than the required three thousand words, the essay I ended up handing in... well, I didn't end up taking it more seriously than that. Still, I scored 90% somehow for my Frankenstein themed dialogue.

Not all lecturers are cool enough as to provide such marks, alas.

I recently found a sonnet and a half I wrote back in Autumn of last year (2009) complaining about a lecturer or two. Finished the second and here they are.

Well, 'here' being after this cut. )
I've been playing Fallout 3 lately, with a mod that increases the number of period (read: 50s) songs on the in game radio immensely. I shouldn't be surprised to find there are many popular 50s songs I love, including 'Dream a little dream of me'.

And speaking of dreams... )
So I got started on the second draft of my Physical Chemistry assignment today. 700 words written out of 3000. Three thousand words for an assessment item worth 6% of the final mark. Ugh. But I'm having fun with it - my current first line is "It was a dark and stormy night", and my first draft looked like this:

To understand electrochemistry
behaviour of solutions must be known,
not concentration, but activity
is used, because ions are not alone.
A way to model this has been proposed
by Debye and Hückel, who wrote a law
to find activity, where they supposed
it was Coulumbic forces, with a more
appropriate value for epsilon:
the permittivity of the solvent.
First they considered with no forces on
the ions, then with charges on, which meant
the chemical potential changes could
reveal the co-efficient. Which is good.
Oops. Over a month without posting a new poem. Was planning to do better than that. Obviously I'm writing the wrong kinds of poesy. This one was written instead of accepting a facebook request. It's a villanelle!

Nineteen line cut! )
Looking through old poems for something to put up last night made me think about what I was writing then. Which thoughts, I decided, might as well rhyme. This form seems quite suited to rambling on. To rambling on about rambling on, even.

Cut 'cause rambly makes for long. )
I've been loving the triolets lately. They are only little things, sure, but they're fun and I've written half a dozen so far in 2010. Here is probably the most lighthearted of them:

Now that Cupid has a gun
he is out with plans to kill.
So much damage can be done
Now that Cupid has a gun.
The bow and arrow was just fun
it caused a momentary thrill.
Now that Cupid has a gun
he is out with plans to kill.
Sure it's a couple of hours early, but what the hell. This one is for today / tonight.

The clock ticks over once again, another day is here.
And yet another day is gone, gurgled down the drain.
The countdown ends, the fires bloom, we mark it with a cheer:
the clock ticks over once again

As fireworks fade we can still hear that 'Auld Lang Syne' refrain:
This isn't just another day, it is a brand new year.
New decade too, a cleaner slate, and so we make it plain

how we expect to change ourselves, with all of these sincere
things we resolve, or insincere ones that we merely feign
that we will do. But either way there is no need to fear,
the clock ticks over once again.
Lately poems with repetition and refrains have been intriguing me. From Triolets I've moved onto writing Roundels:

Oh, life is good and things are going fine
there isn't much that I'd change if I could.
Perhaps an aspect or two I'd refine
but life is good.

There was a while I misunderstood,
so focused on the negative I'd pine
away quite unaware of where I stood.

The greatest things in life - that's women, wine
and song - are near enough to mine, and should
I seek, so too is company divine.
Oh, life is good!
I love sonnets. This is my first attempt at the Petrarchan rhyming scheme, but the words still flowed as easily as the wine.

I hope that sorrows never learn to swim;
To make their way upriver like a trout.
For if they do then we shall be without
a way to put them down, and at their whim
would cry a flood to cure any drought.
We do need alcohol to bring about
a cure for melancholy with no doubt
it will succeed. No need for feeling grim.
But maybe there are other ways to deal;
perhaps another way to face this grief.
Who knows? It may be drowning doesn't work,
that it merely postpones, and cannot heal.
While drink provides a moment of relief
it might just push the sorrow down to lurk.
So today I found out that I didn't fail any subjects this semester. Given what I was submitting, this comes as almost a surprise. For Physical Chemistry I only just scraped through. I bet I would have failed if it weren't for giving this answer to a question on the exam:

The steady state approximation is
not something which I studied for at all.
So I'll have to give this question a miss
instead of banging my head on the wall.
I guess I could just write down random words
on the subject this question is about,
but that notion is really quite absurd
my ignorance would surely be found out.
And so I must apologise to you -
this is inexcusable on my part -
A silly rhyming answer will not do:
this is a course of Science, not of Art!
But I shall write a sonnet in this test
and hope I got enough marks in the rest.
This semester just gone I took four courses. I, um, submitted poetry as part of my final assessment for three of those.

I spent far longer working on this Sonnet than I did on the essay I put it at the start of.

The faces of the crowd are focused on
her lively racing pen upon the board.
With symbols from that pen a light is shone
into the cluttered mindset of the horde.
And as her hands these arcane patterns trace
a murmur from the crowd begins to rise.
They start to notice what they'll have to face
and anger sparks and flashes in their eyes.
The knowledge that they hold in high esteem -
the formulae and facts explaining all -
once firm and strong as marble, now are steam
compared to what is written on the wall.
But while they should be thankful for this proof,
their hatred shows just how much they love Truth.
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