Sunday, June 27, 2021

poetry lesson #7

Technology do the heavy lifting, but has it dull our curiosity?

pencil sketch by dsnake1

poetry lesson #7

once upon a time i have to
hammer out the words on
an old olivetti, changing
the ribbons every couple of months
or so
staining my fingers black and red

writing poetry

poetry is lonely, poetry is love, poetry can be brutal
-the poet goes to war, and is needlessly
  killed the day before Armistice
-the poet asks for water rather than
  disturb the morning glory at the well
-the poet sits in a chopper and cries
  for his buddy who had stepped on a mine.

i did not grow wings and rescue souls
i am just an old guy writing his life story

but i miss my cigarettes
i would like a cold beer
and the traffic in the night is reassuring
the world is breathing

do not put an extra demand
on the brain to corral the exact words

i go for a walk
i switch on the game machine
i sleep
i watch a youtube video (again)
the lady guitarist
she plucks the strings
she plucks
the air out of my lungs
the guitar cries
i cries
the life story waits


Band-Maid - Anemone

Shared at Writers' Pantry #76

© cheong lee san ( dsnake1 ) 2021

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Blogger Gillena Cox said...

Luv the natural flow of contemplation in this poem. Thanks for dropping by my blog today


27 June, 2021 21:38  
Blogger dsnake1 said...

Thank you, Gillena. :)

27 June, 2021 22:08  
Blogger rallentanda said...

Well the old guy writes beautiful poetry...sad though it may be. If you want to catch the canary you must have a very nice cage..if you do all your chores you can have a cold beer as a treat)

27 June, 2021 22:46  
Blogger dsnake1 said...

this old guy loves a cold beer anytime!
Thank you, Rall!

27 June, 2021 22:55  
Blogger Rosemary Nissen-Wade said...

I started on an old Remington (when I was nine – left to me by my Grandfather in his will, because I was already a poet) and graduated later to an Olivetti.

I very much respond to the tone of this piece.

(Wondered if you were referring to Wilfrid Owen, but looked him up and found he died a week before Armistice.)

27 June, 2021 22:59  
Blogger dsnake1 said...

Remington, that's a very established brand. i used the olivetti to type out my poems in sheets & then file them up in a folder like a book. sometimes during night shifts, if i have the time i would use the office typewriter to type. it was electric and quite good to use.

yes, i was actually referring to Wilfred Owen. I mistakenly thought that he died a day just before the War ended, my mistake here. Yes, he was killed exactly a week before Armistice. Now i am wondering whether to edit the poem on this part.
the second poet is the Japanese poetess Fukuda Chiyo-ni.
the 3rd one is of no particular person, but there are no shortage of writers about the Vietnam war.

27 June, 2021 23:28  
Blogger Magaly Guerrero said...

I never wrote poetry on a typewriter, but I can relate to the nostalgia of doing so in other ways. I miss being able to fill an entire notebook with my words, my fingers tired and black with lead (I like writing in pencil). Technology has changed a lot about the process, but the results--as your poem shows--continue to be amazing.

Also, I was wondering the same thing as Rosemary Wilfrid Owen's "Dulce et Decorum est" is one of my favorite poems. Even if it breaks my heart every time.

27 June, 2021 23:30  
Blogger colleen said...

Love the storytelling flow, description of poets and the universal cries. Now I'm thinking about white-out and the way it smells.

27 June, 2021 23:30  
Blogger indybev said...

Waiting for the life story .....

27 June, 2021 23:42  
Blogger dsnake1 said...


we oldtimers are 'lucky' to have used a typewriter. :)
i like writing in pencil too, perhaps it feels more personal, more connected.
yes, i was referring to Owen, my mistake, haha. (shall i edit the poem?)
"Dulce et Decorum est" is also one of my favourite poems. old politicians send young men to die in wars.


Thinking about Wite-out? i remember the old correction fluids come in two bottles, the white fluid and a thinner. and yes, a particular, nice smell.
now the tape is so easy.

27 June, 2021 23:50  
Blogger dsnake1 said...


ooh, that may take some time. i am a lazy writer. :)

27 June, 2021 23:56  
Blogger Old Egg said...

My first job at 17 was as a draftsman in a Architects office. As the junior employee I also became the typist for a year or so. It did me no harm whatsoever...thr reverse in fact!

28 June, 2021 09:39  
Blogger dsnake1 said...

Good for you, Robin. i am still a one-finger typist (ok, two-finger) today
more good than harm, as you said. My first job, if i remember correctly, is giving private English tuition to another school kid.

28 June, 2021 19:35  
Blogger Rosemary Nissen-Wade said...

Ha ha, I am still a two-finger typist also. At age nine I acquired some speed with my bad habits and when I tried to learn touch-typing later (several times) I became too impatient with it to continue. We have the last laugh now. Touch typists have to get keyboards to attach to their tablets, whereas an onscreen keyboard is fine for the likes of you and me.

I don't miss typewriters though. All that laborious retyping every time I wanted to change a word or even insert a new comma!

28 June, 2021 20:13  
Blogger Rommy said...

It's the really good stuff that pulls out the feelings that made homes on our spirit. And whether we use old school cool typewriters or computers, the richest poetry is seasoned with the richness of our lives.

28 June, 2021 21:09  
Blogger Rajani Rehana said...

Lovely post

28 June, 2021 22:14  
Blogger dsnake1 said...


Haha, you too? i did try touch typing, but yes, i get impatient too. and like you said, we can't afford to make too many mistakes, so yes, technology has been a boon, how easy it is to correct a mistake (or mistakes), and let's not get into cut and paste.
but the typewriter is still a very wonderful invention. i will remember them fondly. :)


i really love your comment, that whatever tool we use to do the writing, "the richest poetry is seasoned with the richness of our lives."
Thank you! :)


Thank you! :)

28 June, 2021 22:48  
Blogger Debi Swim said...

the poet asks for water rather than
disturb the morning glory at the well.......... love that!

29 June, 2021 02:30  
Blogger magiceye said...

This is beautiful!

29 June, 2021 08:47  
Blogger dsnake1 said...


thank you!
that was from a Japanese poet.


thank you! :)

29 June, 2021 16:55  
Blogger jim said...

Love the poem. I had a portable mini Remi, nightmare of a thing. Terrific poem.

30 June, 2021 13:27  
Blogger dsnake1 said...

Thank you, Jim.
you doesn't seem to be too fond of the thing. :D

30 June, 2021 14:51  
Blogger Rajani Rehana said...

Your blog is amazing

01 July, 2021 23:41  
Blogger dsnake1 said...

Thank you, Rajani. :)

02 July, 2021 13:01  
Anonymous KAT said...

The sketch!!!

08 October, 2021 14:23  
Anonymous dsnake1 said...

Thank you anyway. :)

08 October, 2021 22:16  

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