Song of Us

Face to face, polite and careful,
Tentative we were, and prayerful,
Neither one of us would dare pull
More from this than met the eye.
. . . Yet
Side by side we worked together,
Hands of flesh with hands of leather,
And we slowly pondered whether
We should give this love a try.
. . . Then
Arm in arm before the altar,
Stood there steady as Gibraltar,
Promised that we’d never falter
From those vows until we die.
. . . Yes,
Hand in hand, we made a good life,
Husband, children, livelihood, wife,
Couldn’t see from where we stood, strife.
Clouds could never mar our sky.
. . . But
One by one, things came unraveled,
On the worn-out road we traveled,
Neither one of us could have held
Hope for rescue in our cry.
. . . . Still,
On our knees, before our Maker,
Battered, bruised beneath the breaker,
Gave it up to our Caretaker,
Never understanding why.
. . . And
Bit by bit, He poured out blessing,
In our troubles, so distressing,
Every enemy suppressing,
Mercy always in supply.
. . . Now
Grace on grace, we look up higher,
Trusting in the great Supplier,
Who has brought us through the fire
And Who hears us when we cry.
. . . So
Heart to heart, dear, now I’m saying,
After wounds and scars and praying,
That I’m glad we’ll both be staying:
You’re the apple of my eye.

 

Homophony-baloney: The Ballad of Julius and Inge

Can you find all the homophones?

“Inge Stotter, oh so lovely,
Couldn’t, in your young soul, love Lee.
Spurned the warm proposal of Lee.
Oh, well,” says I, “Play along.

“Use my mallet, red as cherry, it
Hits that ball fast as a chariot.
Surely you don’t need a chair, yet.
You just joined our happy throng.

“Did you hear that blackbird croak, eh?
Call it ‘raven’ or just ‘crow,’ -kay?
But don’t let it stop your croquet,
For one minute with its song.

“Blast,” I says, “This mallet’s broken,
‘Twas that thief, last night, who broke in,
Hope my sister or my bro can
Find the culprit before long.

“Bet it was that infiltrator,
Julius, that sinful traitor,
With his shocking nymphile trait, or
Brother Buddy; both are strong,

“Both have won some relay races
With their hens: free layer aces.
And their smell real air erases
When they’ve run a good furlong.

“Did you hear that big commotion
When Jules made that Inca motion
Where the lake can become ocean
If you wave a trident prong?

“Well, young Jules is now deep-ending;
No parole for Buddy pending.
Both on charity depending
For the cash to get along.

“Yep, they’re jailed for their infraction,
Though young Jules is in for action,
Not in dec’mal nor in fraction,
But in love’s sweet tender song.

(For the warden’s youngest daughter,
In she walks, Miss Inge Stotter.
Jules, he knows this young guest oughter
Bid him more than just “so long.”)

So he mannerly “adieus” her,
And then asks, “Have you a juicer?”
“No sir,” says she, “I’m a Jew, sir.
“Ah,” he says, “That’s where you’re wrong.”

“You’re a lovely, gen’rous girl,” he
Softly says, ” . . . and leaving early,
Won’t you take me with you, girlie?”
“Never!” yells she, loud and long.

 

Amy Foreman hails from the southern Arizona desert, where she homesteads with her husband and seven children.  She has enjoyed teaching both English and Music at the college level, but is now focused on home-schooling her children, gardening, farming, and writing. Her blog is theoccasionalcaesura.wordpress.com

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25 Responses

  1. Joe Tessitore

    for Amy,

    see the poetry princess wield her pen
    she wounds my poor soul again and again
    with words that I’ve heard innum’rable times
    transformed by her into exquisite rhymes
    that cut to the deep with skill and with speed
    and touch my cold heart – how warm does it bleed!

    Reply
    • Amy Foreman

      What an honor to receive an original poem from you, Joe! Thank you, thank you, for those kind and distinct lines of recognition. Bless you!

      Reply
  2. Fr. Richard Libby

    What wonderfully clever poems . . . and “Song of Us” is truly moving! Bravo, Mrs. Foreman!

    Reply
  3. David Watt

    Both are very clever poems Amy, as I have come to expect from you.
    ‘Song of Us’ follows a distinctive structure in conveying an inspirational message.

    Reply
  4. Ron Hodges

    I especially like “Song of Us.” It is the kind of poem young people need to read so they understand what a real relationship is. They need a counter to the popular culture’s soul-mate propaganda, and your fine poem does it quite effectively!

    Reply
  5. Amy Foreman

    Definitely, Ron. So many bail out when things get tough, instead of sticking to the promises they’ve made, and reaping the blessings that only commitment can bring. Thank you for your comments!

    Reply
  6. James A. Tweedie

    Explained Omani PC tech Mark Able:
    “Take care, computers crash if you mar cable.”
    “And Amy’s poems?” asked Sheik Omar K’abel.
    “More graceful than a handsome Orca bull,”
    he said. “Her words? Engrave them–mark a bell:
    “Rhyming, Rhythmic . . . and Re-markable!”

    Amy, your inspired, creative, ingenuity never fails to amaze me! Well done, indeed!

    Reply
    • Amy Foreman

      James, I just read your delightful homophony-baloney to my husband, and we both got a great chuckle out of it! Thanks for the morning smiles . . . “markable,” for sure!! 🙂

      Reply
  7. Leo Yankevich

    I enjoyed these both, though I found the highly regular sing-song trochaic metre a little cloying and over-the-top. That said, these both would make great songs and could garner a small penny if submitted to a local newspaper.

    Reply
    • Amy Foreman

      Thank you, Leo, for your honest appraisal. Actually, I submitted these separately, and sort of forgot that they both were the same meter. Yes, I can see how you might have felt ambivalent about the rhythm after that many lines of it. 🙂 The next few poems I’ve submitted to SCP are iambic pentameter and trochaic heptameter, so, hopefully, they will be more enjoyable for you. Appreciate your thoughts.

      Reply
  8. Monty

    Ya’v done it again, Amy.

    Let me first tell ya that I literally marvelled at your two earlier poems: ‘Fear’ and ‘Loving my Neighbor’; the first for it’s sheer complexity of discipline (inner rhymes; end rhymes; syllabic equality; none of which is ever detrimental to the overall rhythm) . . . and the second for not only similar disciplines, but also for the globally-powerful sentiment it held; with the potential to make a reader henceforth think twice before judging a neighbour (or judging anyone, for that matter).

    And now ‘Song of Us’. Another pure masterpiece (for all the above reasons). I’m genuinely in awe of your (obviously natural) ability and imagination to combine multiple disciplines in such a neatly-fitting way; all the time maintaining the general flow . . and (most importantly) in a way that the reader can effortlessly grasp the overall sentiment conveyed. To you I bow.

    p.s. I must stress that I never use the word ‘masterpiece’ loosely; in your case, the word is highly congruous.

    Reply
    • Amy Foreman

      Monty, your generous affirmation made my day! What a lovely and gracious compliment: “masterpiece” is high praise indeed! Thank you, with all my heart!

      Reply
  9. Jenni Wyn Hyatt

    I like the rhyme, the rhythm and the sentiments in ‘Song of Us’, Amy, and the homophones in your second poem are very clever!

    Reply
  10. Wic E. Ruse Blade

    Ms. Foreman, as well as others, must realize how hard it is to keep up with all the tasks of life; such keep me from well-thought-out analyses; for those are on the tail-end of my to-do lists. Still… “Song of Us” is an American answer to Tennyson’s “Lady of Shalott”. If Ms. Foreman’s poem does not reach Tennyson’s brilliance there, still, who else in American literature has come anywhere near? I think of Auden, but then he’s not American. Perhaps someone whose literary depths run deep could inform us of others.

    The verbal pyrotechniques continue in “The Ballad of Julius and Inge”, one of the best examples of poetry word-play I have ever read. In a final printing, I would drop the the first part of the title, and tag it rather with something like “an homophonium”. What an hodgepodge of diction—19th though 21st century colloquial vocab. It is a wonderful foray into dramatic humour. I feel like I have landed right smack in the middle of a McGuffey Reader for adults as well as children. “The Ballad of Julius and Inge” proves, if one needed any proof, of the fertility of SCP, Mr. Mantyk spotting Ms. Foreman’s poems, and himself the promoter of such riddles and rhymes.

    Reply
    • Amy Foreman

      Mark Twain is credited with saying, “I can live for two months on a good compliment.”
      Well, Mr. Blade, I will be living on the above praise for at least that long! Thank you for the glowing endorsement! I am so tickled that you enjoyed “The Ballad of Julius and Inge,” and that you should mention it in the same sentence with the incomparable McGuffey Reader (which we actually use in our home school) made my day. Thank you, man-of-many-names!

      Reply
  11. Leonard Dabydeen

    Enjoy “Song of Us”, Amy. With a sigh;
    Such a lovely poem, rich teasing rhyme scheme.
    Interesting, if I simply follow your theme;
    So creative, but not much a poet I thought
    Give it a shot. Why not?
    So much in life is worth a try.

    Reply
    • Amy Foreman

      Thank you, Leonard, for your kind words written in symmetrical rhyme! 🙂

      Reply

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