“Stump Speaking” by George Caleb Bingham‘The Speaker Unaccustomed to Such Oratory Feats’ and Other Poetry by Wendy Bourke The Society January 3, 2017 Beauty, Humor, Poetry, Villanelle 7 Comments The Speaker Unaccustomed to Such Oratory Feats The speaker – unaccustomed to such oratory feats – cleared his throat, a bit too loudly, while he fumbled through his sheets. The crowd sensed, early on, that they were in for a rough ride – when he called the “ladies” “laddies” and knocked the podium off side. It teetered like a clanging gong upon the discombobulated stage; and when he tried to set it right off flew, his last speech page. Soaring high atop the group – a dizzy, darting, dazed white dove – elusively zig-zagging, landing on the light above. But still the speaker moiled on – and on – with his tall task. He had come to speak and speak, he did. What more could people ask? It’s true: he rambled on somewhat and forgot where he was going. But, by then, he had them all on board without his even knowing. They agonized each coming word and prayed that that man knew it. The only thing that mattered now: just let the guy get through it. Every jaw was clenched with dread. Hands gripped in fists that pleaded. Perspiration ran like rivers as they willed the words he needed. And, when at last, he’d “Um’ed” his last – and the speech ground to an ending; they applauded with great gratitude. – And no one was pretending. Blue-on-Blue (a Villanelle) peace is blue-on-blue where sky meets sea firmament to water glints that soar transcendent in the mighty majesty a stirring sight so glorious and free it fills: that which the human heart aches for peace is blue-on-blue where sky meets sea rippling waves shush with serenity my burdens fall away, my soul restored transcendent in the mighty majesty as breaths of ocean breezes waft round me sea foam clouds roll gently to the shore peace is blue-on-blue where sky meets sea every hue of heaven – ecstasy – awestruck, as far as eyes can see and more transcendent in the mighty majesty I am imbued with joy and empathy the spirit earth runs through me to my core peace is blue-on-blue where sky meets sea transcendent in the mighty majesty Pillars of the Earth (a Sonnet) beside the road we walk, stand ancient oaks: gnarled, crusted – stems of pewter gray adorned with versicolored fluttered cloaks – grand wizened sentinels – that awe the day … battle scarred bark over amber heart – having come as far as trees can come: man’s masterpieces pale to nature’s art: such majesty from seedlings, long begun … they mesmerize me in their constancy – cleansing air and holding up the sky – while humankind inflicts inanity on that which nature works to rectify. pillars of the earth, stir us to care – gently – for this planet that we share. Wendy Bourke lives in Vancouver, Canada where she writes, goes on long rambling walks gathering photos and inspiration – and hangs out with her family (especially her two young grandsons). After a life loving words and scribbling poetry lines on pizza boxes and used envelopes, Wendy finally got down to writing “in earnest” and four years ago, began posting poetry on her poetry blog and submitting it for publication. She received first prize in the Ontario Poetry Society’s Sparkle and Shine contest in 2014 and her work has appeared in dozens of anthologies, journals and chapbooks. NOTE TO READERS: If you enjoyed this poem or other content, please consider making a donation to the Society of Classical Poets. The Society of Classical Poets does not endorse any views expressed in individual poems or comments. CODEC News:Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window) 7 Responses James Sale January 3, 2017 Really enjoyed these poems and the Oratory piece made me laugh out loud – yes, as an experienced public speaker, frequently having to endure what has gone before me, that last line says it all! Very well observed and written. Reply Wendy Bourke January 4, 2017 Thank you. I’ve heard it said that – for many speakers – Fear of Public Speaking is second only to Fear of Death. Being a reluctant guess speaker, upon occasion, myself – I related to that particular phobia … and my imagination would conceive of every possible doomsday scenario whenever I was asked to face an audience. But then, someone suggested that the people who came to hear me speak, wanted me to do well – if I believed that, it would become much easier. And thus, this poem was conceived. Reply James Sale January 5, 2017 Yes, Wendy – I have heard fear of public speaking is worse than the fear of death, which seems unbelievable, but you’d be amazed at the number of ‘trainers of public speakers’ who trot out that factoid regularly as they fill their courses! Anyway, the important thing: excellent poem, well done! Amy Foreman January 3, 2017 I really liked the first piece, which I read aloud to my family. My kids laughed, and we all agreed that we have endured similar speeches by those “unaccustomed to such oratory feats.” The applause at the end is always sincere! Thank you for brightening our morning! Reply Dr.M Alrazak January 3, 2017 Lovely poems with nice rhyme Reply Dona Fox January 3, 2017 The first poem started my day with a laugh also then I looked at the accompanying picture and smiled again. I always enjoy and appreciate the chosen art. The second two poems are beautiful. Thank you. Reply Wendy Bourke January 5, 2017 Yes, they’ve done a wonderful job selecting the artwork. Several friends, who’ve visited the site, have commented on it. Reply Leave a Reply to Dona Fox Cancel ReplyYour email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email. Δ This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.