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.
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An Eclectic Collage
By Tom Hodges
Trafford PublishingCopyright © 2015 Tom Hodges
All rights reserved.
into your life
one who makes
with a tenacious
no longer play
lifted many times
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.
for her thoughts
among quiet stones
her doubts --
a sheer tantrum
inside her ears ---
as thunder ---
gazing inside ourselves
to feel life
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
by the awe
of those who watch
Higher and higher they go
in your dreams
limited by imagination.
it holds you
in its grip ...
suspended in light
just when it feels
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
was a cameo
of alluring beauty.
that took me
with youthful bloom
A sculpture carved
in a lustrous
her presence –
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.
BIRDS OF A FEATHER
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
burning inside out,
going all the way to hell;
the house is burned,
but land remains.
Meaning is changed
and live in the moment;
all sand falls
to the bottom of an hourglass.
Follow the clouds
they never stay; nothing does.
sought to repel
from which the sun
was like a saint
under glass ...
is so private
it does not
in her nakedness
was a gift
she would abuse ---
in helpless nectar
as she dipped
of her breasts
into the light.
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.
the sensuous ---
Burn the Candle
in a passionless
was contagious ...
a crazy game ---
in a perfumed
with wild fragrance
as the candle
from both ends.
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,
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 –
What? You placed me here
to be safe?
I'm the endangered species!
Rage builds and I lose control.
I am consumed with revenge.
I reach behind
and fill my hand
And throw it at
the self-righteous hominids
in front of my cage.
Ha! They ran. They screamed!
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.
but they knew.
Moral stupidity is terrifying,
for there is slaughter
against my kind.
Violence is my only
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.
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
old songs – old faces
A certain Spartan simplicity
a vision burned in the brain
with faces creased
by toil and want.
on center stage,
three acts we have to give.
The curtain goes up,
the drama begins
presenting a trilogy in revue.
to be conceived,
a seed, a blossom, a masterpiece.
on a maiden voyage,
thrust into the world to walk, to explore.
will ripen as adults,
creating a hormonal balance.
and fall in love;
a beauty for all seasons.
leaves turn brown,
the sun sinks beyond the shadow.
on closing night,
passing laurels to a new beginning.
like a melody
with her pulse.
is my bond
My body turns
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.
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?
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.
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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