Poems on pens, style, clouds, a pretty lady, odes and wisdom

9-18-2011 — Drums and Pens

In a magazine
I saw an
Drum kit.
Only two hands and two legs
Yet so many
Cymbals and hi-hat.
What drums, cymbals, kick drums, hi-hat.
Why, how they are used
Depend on
The song, the tempo.
I have
Black, blue, red, purple
Papermate Profits, Silhouette Elites, 300 RTs
And a few Parkers.
Waht, which, how, when, why
Depends on
What’s being written, how, why
And, sometimes,
It’s all up to my mood.

9-21-2011 S.E. Hinton and 60s to 70s style

When S.E. Hinton wrote
That Was Then, This Is Now,
And observed
Greasers combing their hair over their foreheads
And Socs dressing to look poor,
For me,
This 1971 observation
The transition
Of 1960s
To 1970s Style.

9-22-2011 — Dirty Clouds

Dirty billows of cotton
Fill the blue sky
How they must be having fun
As they slowly float by
Not a care in the world
Atop the world
As they look at us and observe
They lack the nerve
To leave their home
And among us roam.

9-25-2011 — The Beautiful, Unhappy Woman

The thin,
Curly blond-haired,
Beautiful woman
Asks for cigarettes
Her once-medium-high voice
Now a little hoarse,
Gravelly, upper range.
She wears a ring
And her eyes
Avoid her smile.
Sometimes I wonder
If smoking
Is the result
Of that piece of metal she wears
Of the eyes that won’t smile.

9-25-2011 — Ode to the Ode

You always work so hard
Paying homage to others.
It’s time
For you to be recognized
I honor you, Ode.

9-25-2011 — Chinese and American Wisdom

In the land called
A wise person once observed:
“Failure is the mother of success.”
Fast forward a millennia or so.
In the land called America
(Or, in 中文, 美国)
A somewhat wise writer said:
“Life is a chess match.
“Always think at least
“Ten moves ahead
“When making important decisions.”

Post comments here or e-mail them to richardzowie@gmail.com.

More poems; mysterious musician, mysterious basketball player

9-13-11 — Apology to an Unknown Musician

My sincereest apologies,

Acclaimed fusion guitarist

54 years old,

Muy Thai association co-founder

I have no idea, had no idea

Who you are, who you were.

9-18-2011 — Ode to Brian Williams/Bison Dele

Bison Dele, a.k.a., Brian Williams, playing for the Chicago Bulls.

You were an enigma

Living for adventure

Bored by this planet.

You entered life as

Brian Williams

And presumably,


Perhaps fittingly

Left life as

Bison Dele.

Nobody knows exactly

How, why, when, where, or even if

but our intuition

And that arrest

And that


Insulin overdose

Of Kevin Williams/Miles Dabord

Tell us

You are resting

In the depths of the



South Pacific Ocean.

Society craves complexicity


Must settle for


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A few more poems…

8-25-11 — Endless White

At the end of the

Seemingly endless

Black blanket of stars

I imagine

Endless white

No shapes, no surface.

Bright, brilliant

A void vacuum.

Perhaps someday

All the blackness grows

The white will shrink.

How much white is there

When it’ll run out

What it is

Only God knows.

8-25-11 — Time to Get Busy

Time to get busy

Off my butt

Idleness…Devil’s workshop.

I was 18 yesterday,

Am 38 now.

Double my life,

And I’ll be 76

If I’m still alive.

Life is a short, brief, wispy vapor.

So much to do

So little time.

No more mourning

Self-pity sucks

I remember that Des’ree song:

You gotta be…

8-27-11 — No, Energetic White Powder!

No, energetic white powder!

I will never, ever try you!

Some say you fill them

With amazing energy

Lots of housework done

Writing accomplished

Weight lost


You create paranoia

You burn the nose.

You create rivers of blood.

Some desperately want to sleep,

But their internal electrical circuits are WIDE awake.

I will never try you

Because I fear

I will like you

Far too much

And will


Want to stop.

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A few poems I’ve written recently

Much of the poetry I’ve written over the past several months has been designed to be cathartic in nature. Those are far too personal and will probably never be published. I may lock them into a safe deposit box someday and place strict orders in my will that upon my death they are to be burned.

Other poems are attempts at poetry: my strange thoughts and observations. While I’m not the world’s worst poet, it’s definitely not my writing “axe” and I can think of one friend in particular who writes publishable poetry.

8-24-11 — Sunset

The sunset


A fascinating contradiction

Bright orange

and Burnt orange


The same.

8-21-11 — The Ancient Woman

The ancient woman

Is still a natural blonde


Her skin is too dark



Tattoos on her shoulders and chest

A faded green

Blurry and nondescript with age

Her nose bulbuous, weathered


Her eyes still a lively blue

What stories could she tell?

7-13-11 — Ode to the Finnish Language

Ode to the Finnish Language

Or, as the Finns call it,

Suomen kieli.

They call their country Suomi.

I do neither speak nor understand you.

But I know,

Neitehr Norwegian nor Swedish

Are your brothers

Or even cousins.

An old encyclopedia says

Estonian is family to you.

Please tell me, Finnish:

Why do you call Finland “Suomi”?

And, while we’re talking about your area,

Why do you call Sweden “Ruotsi”?

I can’t describe you,


…Japanese meets Dutch?

Richard Zowie, honest to goodness, does not speak Finnish. Post comments here or e-mail them to richardzowie@gmail.com.

What are YOUR day jobs, fellow writers?

For 11 years I have been a professional writer. I have one published short story to my credit along with countless news and feature stories and columns. Lots of sports, also. Once I even ghostwrote a column for a brigadier general. And then there are the finished-but-unpublished short stories sleeping on my hard drive, along with two novels I’m working on.

Last, but not least, my blogs.

My dream is to be a full-time fiction writer.

Like many writers out there, I can’t support myself and my kids on what I earn as a writer. So, I have day jobs.

Thirty hours a week I work at a weekly newspaper. Sometimes it feels more like 40, but I love this job immensely. Getting paid to write–how great is that?

Twenty-four hours a week (although, this week it will be 32), I work at a gas station. It also feels like I put more hours there, but whatever my unsaid opinion might be, I really can’t complain: this job pays my electric bill, auto insurance bill, internet bill, cell phone bill, and many other things.

Those are my two day jobs, and I’ve had others: (briefly) a factory worker, a bagel maker, a broadcaster, a telemarketer and a cashier.

I remember one novelist, who worked as a waitress, was asked what motivated her to write: “Because I absolutely hated my day job,” she replied.

So, fellow writers, what are YOUR day jobs?

Richard Zowie has been writing professionally since 2000. Post comments here or e-mail him at richardzowie@gmail.com.