Tag Archives: poetry

The Magna What?

Two years ago, I entered my first poetry contest. I’m not much of a poet, and I know it, but I’m interested in poetry and I do have a tendency to wade into deep water and get in over my head. Well, these waters were deep indeed, and the current was strong. In fact, it carried me 800 years into the past, and, figuratively speaking, across the Atlantic Ocean. That’s because the contest was part of a London festival celebrating the signing of the Magna Carta in 1215. The highlight of the event would be the reading of the winning poem (by the poet). I had never been to England. Game on.

The last time I remember anybody even mentioning the Magna Carta was maybe in my very dry high school World History class. I say maybe because I really don’t remember much about that class. I got B’s only because I knew how to study and cram for tests. I didn’t really start to appreciate history until much later. I had a lot of Googling to do if I was going to write any kind of a poem about the Magna Carta.

Well, Google I did. I didn’t win a prize, but the effort was worth it anyway. I learned something new, and I had fun doing it. If you want to learn more about the Magna Carta … well, it’s 2017. You know what to do.

And now for my poem.

At Runnymede

At Runnymede we made our stand
eight hundred years ago;
the rolling hills and River Thames
bore witness to it all.

We gathered in the meadow
with rebellion on our minds
and told King John he had no right
to act above the law.

“We’re nobles with a noble cause,
And free men, by the way!
Your taxes are exorbitant,
your punishments arcane.

The Archbishop has drafted
a more modern set of rules,
and what’s more, it’s in Latin
so it’s legal as can be!”

“I can’t accept your terms, you fools,”
said haughty old King John.
“The Pope’s in my back pocket,
so you haven’t got a prayer.”

Then he dismissed us with a wave,
but we would not be cowed
Instead, we grew more resolute
than ever, and declared,

“We’re mad as hell, you tyrant, you!
Divine rights are passé!
No longer will we acquiesce
to your outlandish schemes!

Our liberty is sacred,
but you are not, King John,
and if you dare to cross us
we will seize your lands at once!”

Reluctantly, the king accepted
our demands that day
with no intent to honor them —
but they survived his reign.

At Runnymede the River Thames
and rolling hills abide;
eight centuries have come and gone —
and Magna Carta stands!

© Lori Bonati, 2017

Badge 2017


If Time Can Bend

If time can bend
then you are still here
and we are together
we live on a star
on Orion’s belt
or maybe we sit
on the edge of his sword
we gaze at the heavens
and watch falling stars
and say look! there!
let’s make a wish!
and you whisper I wish
that we never will die

If time can bend
then there are no lines
from point A to point B
and the constellations
are mobiles in motion
spinning in time
over make-believe cradles
stellar examples
of human design
only existing
in linear minds
and maybe the truth is
we’ve already died

If time can bend
then we are all dancing
the dance of a lifetime
caught in a cobweb
of cosmic proportions
with strings made of atoms
and light beams and laughter
and you are my partner
and we’ll go on dancing
just as we have been,
and are now, and will be,
brilliantly bending
refusing to die

© Lori Bonati, 2017

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So Many Questions

Dear Cheer Peppers,

What’s all this talk about Nano Poblano?

Why am I hearing about it just now?

Who are these peppers so chatty and cheerful?

Where do I upload my writing, and how?

One post a day for a month – are you crazy?

How can I manage to fit all that in?

What if I’m stranded on some desert island

Or dressing a turkey, or driving? What then?

Do I sound anxious? A bit apprehensive?

Am I afraid I’m not up to the task?

Yes, yes, and yes are my own honest answers

(To say otherwise would be too much to ask.)

Don’t get me wrong, I admire your focus

Your writing commitment is stunning and brave

But me, I’ll admit that I’m often quite scattered

Besides, I don’t think I have that much to say.

But hey, what the heck. I’m a sucker for challenge

Just dare me to do it and do it I’ll try

So I’m dipping my toe in the great Nano River

I’ll sink or I’ll swim but I won’t come out dry.

The water’s refreshing! I feel so much better!

Is that my reflection? And is that a smile?

I’m wading in now on the first of November

Please throw me a pencil; I’ll be here a while.

Badge 2017