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July 15, 2024

The Best Poems You Never Saw

By Piker Press Staff

Some of the finest poetry generated by the Piker community never makes it to The Piker Press. The forums have a section devoted to writing games, some of which are specifically for poetry. Also, when April rolls around, many of the contributers celebrate Poetry Month by posting in rhyme throughout the forum, not just in the poetry section.

The poetry selections below are just an example of some of the poems that forum readers have enjoyed over the past years. Enjoy.

Cheryl Haimann, Poetry Editor


In Haiku War, the last line of your haiku becomes the first line of the next haiku. The poems are sometimes silly, sometimes thoughtful, and often addictive. After all, each stanza is already one-third written before you start.

Alarm clocks, rules, toil --
the substrate of industry.
Stars still shine at night.

stars still shine at night
though they will never be mine
the sky is still black

the sky is still black
my daughter creeps to my side
"Mom, go to park now?"

Mom go to park now
Mom iron my dress shirt now
Mom is she the one?

Mom, is she the one?
Bright eyes, long tail, white toes - yes
New kitten comes home

New kitten comes home
surveys surroundings like a
furry electron

"Furry electron?"
How cruel is that challenge?
Negative charges!

Negative charges
shudder o'er my skin as I
watch "The Simple Life"

Watch the simple life
totally evaporate
if you are famous

if you are famous
are you automatic'ly
fortunate, also?

Fortunate also
the lowly snail who eats all
fragrant marigolds.

fragrant marigolds
are a distant memory
when blizzard winds blow

When blizzard winds blow
I wrap my arms around you.
No shivering there.

no shivering - there
are unseen dragons to slay
before morning comes

Before morning comes,
awake in a dark cold house
I rebuild our fire.

I rebuild our fire
free flecks of flame rise above
last dying ember

last dying ember
leaves a cold I will not fear --
Faith trusts Spring's return

faith trusts spring return
like the earth trusts coming rain
changing seasons game

Changing season's game:
First, Freezing-Off-Your-Ass-Cold,
then Thaw-And-Reheat

then Thaw-and-Reheat
frozen dinners, candle light --
works with food and love

works with food and love
liberal worchestershire sauce
don't forget your bib --js

Don't forget your bib
or your nutcracker and fork
Lobsters are messy


Renga Party alternates 5/7/5 haiku stanzas with 7/7 stanzas. Each stanza should have some reference to the one before it, but not the earlier stanzas.

fifty years later
the appeal of Milton Berle
can still mystify

Who knows what she saw in him?
A mystery, or a laugh?

Who knows what she sees
In these sick and aging men,
She's an x-ray tech

She looks at the shadowed bones
searching for reasons to hope

I watched Bones, searching
for reason to hope - but found
the series a waste

Houston melted, White Sox soared
revelry on Lakeshore Drive

Black socks never get
soil'd, the longer you wear them
the stronger they get

Seeking, scenting, catching whiffs
Hunt, find, rejoice, lift trophy

What a strange talent
One tasty treat hunts the next
Truffle-seeking pig

Chicken-fried juicy lean pork
Mashed potatoes and gravy

My blue jeans don't fit.
I struggle, burst seams, split seats
head to mumu store

Picking bright floral dresses
I am a field of poppies

obedience trials
worth it for romping youngsters --
a field of puppies

dog hair ev'rywhere I look
and in ev'rything I cook

more than candles, wine
to make dining truly fine
good grooming's a must

prepare to light a candle
when ice knocks out the power

In the darkness, us
with one blanket and just one
pizza -- will you share?

pepperoni, pineapple,
onion, italian sausage

You make my heart burn.
Pardon me! I'm mistaken!
You GIVE me heartburn!

tear drop glistens on your nose
"True love!" I thought -- but it's not.

You may think it's "rap"
You may call it an art form
But it's not, it's not

I'm stayin alive, I will
survive, I gotta boogie

Boogie while you can
Winter strengthens while we dance
Slowing our rhythms

winter grows and ebbs - just like
my ex-husband's beer belly

Adorn a belly
With ropes of gold and rubies
Oh yes, now we dance

the way kids dance now - like they
were shot with one thousand volts

[Contributors to the Haiku War and Renga Party excepts were Alex Queen, Sand Pilarski, Cheryl Haimann, Autumn Morris, and Jerry Seeger.]


In Egregiously Erroneous Information, one person poses a question, and another person writes an answer that seems like it could be plausible, but is patently false. In April, some brave souls take BS to new levels by composing their answers as poems.

In answer to the question, "How did the announcement of the election of a new Pope come to be signaled via white smoke?", Sand Pilarski provided this history lesson:

There was a time when Cuba was just a Spanish doodah
and as such was a Catholic venue.
The snooty Spanish bishes pushed their issues and their wishes
with cigars of Cuba and gave their peers a cue.

In the Nineteenth Century when the cardinals met to see
Who would be the next to bear the Papal Stick,
When the vote was in the choke, they would sit around and smoke
Cuban cigars, and the air was thick

With the black tobacco scent, so they constructed a tin vent
from which their smelly indecision rose.
And so people knew their puffing meant they had decided nothing
In spite of what Spain's cardinals proposed.

Sequestered in their rooms, which were sparse and spare as tombs,
cardinals puffed away their allowance of cigars.
They grew irritable and tense and wearied of incense
and cursing Cuba, longed to leave in cars

For wide tobacco markets, where each truly hoped that he gets
slick and tasty and distracting Cuban smoke.
So they elected someone who wouldn't be too much fun
and they burned his undies as a cleric's joke.

The drawers were of cotton and the legend was begotten
that the pure white smoke meant that a Pope was new.
Black smoke was still from puffing while the dudes agreed on nothing
this spring, but tell me, with the white smoke
who pantsed who?

Jerry Seeger answered the question, "Who invented the Sestina, and why?", with his own (egregiously erroneous) interpretation of that particular poetic form:

Arnoud something, Frenchman, poet, masochist
Invented the bloody thing
thought that 6 by six plus troi
would make a bitchin' poem
perhaps there are other rules
I shall ignore them

Arnoud something, Frenchman, poet, masochist
possibly liked the cadence
A play in six brief acts
A story told in slices
Of defined form
While the band plays on.

Arnoud something, Frenchman, poet, masochist
was fond of numbers
and the mystical power they hold
The most powerful number is three
The most powerful number is three
The most powerful number is three

Arnoud something, Frenchman, poet, masochist
using the most powerful number
the way a child uses LEGO
built a new structure
not with white and yellow plastic
but with a rhythm he heard from the stars

Arnoud something, Frenchman, poet, masochist
Spent his days casting about the house
Counting things without reason and without hope
Muttering, rambling, talking to himself
The way poets do when they're close
But haven't got there yet

Arnoud something, Frenchman, poet, masochist
A serious individual
As masochists are
never knew the fun I would have
with a form I never knew
And if he did, he wouldn't like it.

Arnoud something, Frenchman, poet, masochist
inventor of the sestina
is dead now

Article © Piker Press Staff. All rights reserved.
Published on 2006-04-24
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