An Eclectic Collage

An Eclectic Collage

by Tom Hodges


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An Eclectic Collage by Tom Hodges

An Eclectic Collage is a collection of poems that studies not only the vicissitudes of the natural world but that of humanity, as well. His most challenging subjects are men and women and the interactions between the two, although there is something equally mesmerizing about the changing foliage of fall from green to oranges and reds.
Some poems are abstract, while others speak with clear intent. There is lightheartedness and levity but also serious depth and the occasionally tragic. The words sometimes inspire readers to make their own conclusions, but every word is an impression left behind, meant to be discovered and, if not understood, then at least admired.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781490765341
Publisher: Trafford Publishing
Publication date: 10/28/2015
Pages: 234
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.53(d)

Read an Excerpt

An Eclectic Collage


By Tom Hodges

Trafford Publishing

Copyright © 2015 Tom Hodges
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4907-6534-1


    The Actor

    Actors walk
     on stage
      into your life
     a healing
      escape ---

    one who makes
     stone statues
    with a tenacious
      on reality

    after playing
    he can
     no longer play
      himself ---

    a collection
     of false
      faces ---
    lifted many times
      a mask.


    Part of you craves the unknown,
     yearning for the open road,
     an exploit that drives you there,
     searching for freedom's thrill.

    A long way without a map
     to a place unexplored,
     just to walk upon the edge
     for the love of adventure.


    I reached
     for her thoughts
      among quiet stones
    using silence
     to wrestle
      her doubts --

    fever –
     a sheer tantrum
      of desire

    my words
      inside her ears ---

    a dance
      tricky pirouettes

    as strong
     and untouchable
      as thunder ---

    we surprised
     each other
      with reflections

    gazing      inside ourselves
      to feel life

     to bottle
      passion forever.

    Annual Parade

    Little girls carry baskets
     tiptoeing through fields of wildflowers.
    The springtime of youth blends with color and play
     as they giggle in laughter.
    Baby Blue Eyes, Pussy Toes, and Sundews

    Life comes alive;
     teenagers on the cusp explore, feeling immortal.
    An awkward age when breasts bud
     and puberty unfolds into flower.
    Crazy Weed, Chatterbox Orchids, and Wild Oats

    The beauty of womanhood presages
     fecundity, desire, and a settled place in nature.
    Femininity is in full bloom,
     pregnant with the next generation.
    Passion Flowers, Stork's Bill, and Eve's Necklace

    Maturity and grace
     hold forth, vibrant and wise.
    Voluptuous forms spread their knowledge
     and grow strong in changing winds.
    Sunflowers, Calla Lilies, and Amaryllis

    Visible stalks skeletal and pale,
     display crystal flakes upon their heads.
    Bonnets and hats bow in prayer
     as dried petals kiss the ground.
    Gray Golden Asters, Silver Puffs, and Widow's Tears.

    Apple of My Eye

    You are a beauty, my baby in pink;
    the apple of my eye. Give me a wink.

     I'm a teenager; shake a break.
     I'm not a baby, for goodness sake.

    Dance on your tippy-toes, twirl around.
    Papa's little girl in a white nightgown.

     Papa, this is Johnny, and I love him so.
     Isn't he cute in his Mossimo?

    I love you, Alex, and Mama does, too.
    The leader of the band is waltzing with you.

     Look at his Reeboks; aren't they cool?
     We're going downtown to shoot some pool.

    Your green eyes sparkle; you're my delight,
    swaying in the spotlight with you tonight.

     Papa, I'm in full bloom.
     Chill out, man. Give me some room.

    Stand on my shoes and glide across the floor.
    Your smile and laughter; it's you I adore.

     Please let me go, Papa. Set me free.
     I love you, too, don't you see?


    We live in a Golden Age
     that goes on and on; a veil impossible to penetrate.
    It's a time of no shame;
     when the past is gone, it's gone forever.

    Terror crashing on the shore.
     For every problem there is a solution.
    Our nation is a work of art.
     Why blend in when you can stand out?

    Should we maintain a distance from our origins?
     Hard times may rob the skin of its glow.
    The thrill of trespassing ... let us not
     forget from where we came.

    An Autumn Symphony

    One never forgets
     the magnificent show
      of hot-air balloons
    heartened, perhaps,
     by the awe
    of those who watch
      in wonder.
    Higher and higher they go
     reaching skyward
      in your dreams
    a subtle
     heathered mix
      limited by imagination.
    The ghost
     of autumn
      capturing beautiful
    a spectacle
     so electrifying
      it holds you
       in its grip ...
     geometric mosaics
      suspended in light
    just when it feels
     like summer
      might never end.


    I lie awake at night thinking of you.
    Jasmine fills the air,
     a sweet perfume.
    Angels hover and sing our song.

    Lovers holding hands
     while strolling down the lane.
    Fireflies shine the way to happiness
    We kissed and embraced – promised forever.


    A ceramic pot
     is the home of radiant beauty,
     delicate, and pleasing to the eye.

    Sparkling and glistening,
     bathed in dew,
     a geranium cluster too proud to cry.

    An explosion of
     bright red flowers
     bursting toward the sky.

    The Beauty of a Jewel

    Her face
     was a cameo
      of alluring beauty.
    A pleasure
     that took me
      by surprise.

    She was
     a patrician
      with youthful bloom
    A sculpture carved
     in a lustrous
      façade –

      her presence –
    an untouchable
      of herself.

    Beyond the Sensible

    An idea solidifies in the creative mind.
     An inspiration to think:
    To dare indulge in bold fantasies
     That give rein to imagination ... a vision,
    A mental image, a state in which one
     Builds castles in the air.

    Touch undiscovered realms ---
     For it is there that empires are built.
    Journey beyond the conscious
     And probe a deeper level of your soul.
    Be a director; be a star ... feel free
     Of inhibitions and fear of judgment.

    Venture outside the human domain
     And perceive the inconceivable.
    Dream thoughts are original thoughts
     That produce great works of literature,
    Music, art --- walk upon the envelope
     And brainstorm the impossible.


    I saw a bird with a broken wing
     Searching for food in a parking lot
    Other birds could not grasp her difference
     They flew over cars and shopping carts
    Racing to get morsels for themselves
     Meantime she ran in a frantic search
    Looking for just one piece of pop corn
     Her feet were bloody-red from exhaustion
    And yet, hunger was the driving force
     Behind the search of panicked survival
    Her friends began to peck her feathers –
     Very tired, she sought protection from fear
    Against a pole of radiant light
     I drove away, caring about her fate
    Next day I returned and parked near the pole
     She was stone dead with barely a feather
    Nearby was a lovely black grackle
     Who had deposited food all around her
    With his huge body he spread his feathers
     Over her as if to keep the body warm
    Suddenly he leaped into the cool air
     And flew to the top of the light pole
    Stretching his wings, he let out a cry
     That could be heard throughout the city mall
    His heart was broken; it was easy to see
     He circled the pole for the last time
    And flew southwest toward an endless sky.

    Black Lights and Blue Circles

    Worry is a test
     of certainty
    like wildfire
     burning inside out,
    a hole
     going all the way to hell;
    the house is burned,
     but land remains.

    Meaning is changed
     through perception.

    Drop time
     and live in the moment;
    all sand falls
     to the bottom of an hourglass.

    Follow the clouds
     they never stay; nothing does.

    Botticelli's Delight

    A fever
     of confusion
      sought to repel
       her beauty

    closing in
     like flowers
      from which the sun
       has withdrawn

    her face
     was like a saint
      under glass ...

    no art
     is so private
      it does not
       seek applause

     was drenched
      in her nakedness

    and beauty
     was a gift
      she would abuse ---

     were soaked
      in helpless nectar

    as she dipped
     the tops
      of her breasts
       into the light.

    The Box

    Inside this BOX are many dreams
     Put there by visions of grandeur and schemes

    You are a beauty, Natasha Faun
     A challenge to your father – the eternal bond

    Your eyes sparkle with misty blue
     Diamonds and sapphires will give you a clue

    Black hair and roses of brilliant red
     Onyx and rubies cover your head

    Angels with halos walk within view
     Emeralds and pearls look pretty on you

    Keep your jewels in the box, a quiet, secret space
     Use them to accent the beauty of your grace.

    Bryce Canyon

    Dawn cast
     a Martian
    a useless

    a landscape
     by wind
      and water

    the earth
      the sensuous ---
     grandest work
      in progress.

    Burn the Candle

    Lips met
     in a passionless

     that happiness
      was contagious ...

    crazy actors
      a crazy game ---

     in a perfumed
      embrace ---

    the air
     was sweet
      with wild fragrance

    as the candle
      from both ends.

    Burning Scarlet

    Facing reality with eyes open,
    a sense of failure and shame persisted.

    My gut, a knot impossible to untie.

    Adrenaline flooded my body with liquid flames.

    Demoralized by a rush of confused emotions,
    fear won out as her eyes bared into my soul.

    She made no notice of me; to her, I was invisible.

    The young are more resilient and can stand
    more insult. My hold on life is no more firm
    than a blown thistle seed.

    I am not cut out for this kind of drama.

    Buzzards are Circling

    Not for sentimental reasons,
     but for its monetary gain
    to obtain a bountiful gift,
     or wealth craved through solicitous efforts
     and devious entitlement.

    Envious, voracious, devouring,
     deserving, and competing,
    Rivals jockeying into position
     to make sure they receive that old clock,
     the painting or a set of dishes.

    Antiques are of wondrous value
     and wanton avarice divides siblings.
    Jealousy, mistrust, envy and greed
     tear families apart.

    The breathing stops ...


    A caged environment
     separates my family
     from the indigenous norm.
    We are imprisoned behind fenced enclosures
     gazing upon an endless
     parade of mankind.

    Day after day
     people come, viewing,
     judging and comparing us
    with humanity. Pausing. Leaving.
     Man cannot stand
     too much reality.

    An opposable thumb,
     an anthropoid.
    We do not have to talk
     to express our anger
     and disgust behind these walls.

    Yes, I view you
     as you view me
     in front of these prison bars.
    We are capable of love,
     and we want freedom
     to return to our habitat.

    Each day my disgust
     grows stronger. Hatred
     builds within my soul
    as I think about my children
     and their only future –
     the zoo.

    What? You placed me here
     to be safe?
     From myself?
    I'm the endangered species!
     Rage builds and I lose control.
     I am consumed with revenge.

    I reach behind
     and fill my hand
     with feces,
    And throw it at
     the self-righteous hominids
     in front of my cage.

    Ha! They ran. They screamed!
     They cursed
     as excrement splattered
    through the wire.
     and I felt good
     watching them run.

    Suddenly, they stopped
     and looked back. The discharge was
     in their hair, their mouths and ears.
    They stood,
     but they knew.

    Moral stupidity is terrifying,
     for there is slaughter
     against my kind.
    Violence is my only
     recourse when
     the other side will not listen.


    The north wind sings to the trees
     while geese fly in a perfect vee.
    A breeze whispers through the leaves,
     and the temperature drops to freeze.

    Coyotes howl in the boundless distance.
     Prairie dogs run for their den.
    A snowstorm barrels in by chance,
     stranding both animals and men.

    Crystals fall out of the clouds
     covering the ground in white.
    Silence wraps its frosty shroud;
     all tucked in for the night.

    Life comes alive at the break of dawn
     when morning touches day.
    Tracks appear as if they were drawn
     on a canvas of light and gray.

    A magnificent scene of snowfall,
     with drifts so pure and clean.
    Nature erased this space;
     man is small and unseen.

    Chasing Shadows

    You had the sky
     all to yourself
    bathing in the light of morning
     attuned to the warmth
    of the sun.

    People love success; to most
     it means happiness
    The fire of passion
     and the spark of genius
    An illness of the spirit
     more than the flesh

    They feel that wonder
     will never cease
    from which there is no escape
     Forgotten memories
    old songs – old faces

    A certain Spartan simplicity
     a vision burned in the brain
    with faces creased
     by toil and want.

    The Circle

    Life unfolds
     on center stage,
    three acts we have to give.

    The curtain goes up,
     the drama begins
    presenting a trilogy in revue.

    Motherhood, fatherhood,
     to be conceived,
    a seed, a blossom, a masterpiece.

    Unveiling babies
     on a maiden voyage,
    thrust into the world to walk, to explore.

    The young
     will ripen as adults,
    creating a hormonal balance.

    Couples unite
     and fall in love;
    a beauty for all seasons.

    Autumn comes,
     leaves turn brown,
    the sun sinks beyond the shadow.

    Mortality bows
     on closing night,
    passing laurels to a new beginning.


    The need
     to indulge
      in passion
     to celebrate
      its delights.

     are spoken
      like a melody
      with her pulse.

      is my bond
    while feeling
     a sense
      of vertigo.

    My body turns
     to smoldering
     like a burned-out

    Close to Infidelity

    He had the energy of a young man,
     and he admired her beauty.
     Who, but a monster of ego,
     would take hold of the night?

    One never gets free of himself. Impulsive
     attempts to live in the moment, to go
     higher, faster, and further,
     riding emotion's wave.

    A lightning bolt flashed,
     exposing his guilt. He
     screamed loudly in silence,
     for he saw her reflection.


    White clouds racing in front of a breeze,
     rolling, tumbling, forming a bear, a
    state, a rocket flying in space with
     a ballet dancer en pointe,
    vapor trails, streaming above the
     horizon, cascading as a waterfall,
    dispersing gulls diving into a blue
     sea of scattered cumulus, congregating,
    converging, becoming volatile as they
     billow upward, exploding like
    an atomic bomb, bursting mushroom on
     top of mushrooms and slowly dissipating
    to the west, a calming,
     into an atmospheric haze, reforming
    as a clown riding a bicycle
     juggles snowballs and misses when
    they break up; drifting apart to
     become galloping horses on ski slopes
    of avalanches that separate and
     vanish into blue.

    Cold Front

    Viewing clouds from my window pane
     dark skies moved in to stay.
    The pitter-patter of continuous rain
     will end this gloomy day.

    Rain is pouring; I can hear the sound,
     a constant drone that drips and falls.
    Drops strike the roof, gutter, and ground,
     lulling me to sleep behind these walls.

    Wind chimes intone with the breeze;
     a blue norther acts out its sting.
    When will it stop, this dreadful freeze?
     Is this the price we pay for spring?

    Collecting Thoughts

    Modesty is a charm well worth preserving.
     The glories of youth; a beautiful thing
      to be free;
      giving in to feelings.

    It's like a cleansing flame to be aroused,
     ignoring the sensation.

    That vein of intimacy,
     knowing her secret desire.
      Fire flares, touched by

    You can't go back.
     Time moves in one direction.
      The greater the love,
      the greater the love taken.

    Colorado Spring

    Crocuses bloom through the snow,
     and bluebirds are returning.
    Wild iris covers the valley below,
     where bear and cubs are foraging.

    Daffodils take a definite chance
     by showing their colors early.
    A yellow haze glows with arrogance,
     when the wind blows severely.

    Geese fly north in formation;
     a blizzard collides with the ground.
    Tulips dance with anticipation
     of a Chinook––southern bound.

    Aspen bud in quivering grey,
     mallards land on an icy pond.
    Crab apples bloom in full array,
     for bees know it's time and respond.

    Magpies build their nests,
     and the passion vine is climbing.
    Lark bunting mate under duress,
     doubtful that spring is coming.


Excerpted from An Eclectic Collage by Tom Hodges. Copyright © 2015 Tom Hodges. Excerpted by permission of Trafford Publishing.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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