PoetryPause Blog – Matthew Ashbrook

Fingers

by on Sep.15, 2017, under Uncategorized

Three frolicking fingers serrated
By strings that musically muse;
Resulting in calloused contusion
From hours of six-string abuse.

Well known that the artist must suffer,
Tormented producing his craft;
But the artist’s suspicion would never
Suspect he’d need fingers to graft.

His anguish should stem from the ether,
By a soul and a spirit that ache
Not waylaid by cavernous fingers
Left in the suffering’s wake.

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Down the Line

by on Sep.13, 2017, under Poetry

They’re folding up tents now,
The show is leaving town;
A show that brought a smile,
Leaving nothing but a frown.

A parking lot that’s empty,
No lights ignite the night;
No revelers in chorus
Laughing in delight.

The trapeze been dismantled,
The circus rings are packed;
The big top hits the highway,
Along with every act.

New faces will be waiting
For the circus lights that shine;
When the old show reassembles
Somewhere down the line.

Nothing ever changes,
The new replace the old
To follow every footstep
In every story told.

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Now and Then

by on Aug.30, 2017, under Poetry

You’ve got to put your feet up
Every now and then
To reconcile footsteps,
Take note of where you’ve been.

Contemplate the baggage
You’ve gathered on the way;
The good, the bad, the humdrum
That brought you to this day.

Gaze across the landscape,
Survey the open skies
And ponder on the meaning,
The hows and whats and whys.

Reorganize the closet
Of thoughts within your mind
To calm a restless spirit
When thoughts have misaligned.

To reconcile footsteps,
Take note of where you’ve been,
You’ve got to put your feet up
Every now and then.

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Sanctuary Concerts

by on Aug.29, 2017, under Poetry

They’re closing down the venue,
Age will take its toll,
The Sanctuary Concerts
No longer will extol
The virtue of the poets
Who bring to life a song
And share the bigger picture
Of where we all belong.

A little Jersey Chapel,
A Chatham setting quaint,
An intimate arrangement
Where art and soul acquaint,
Concludes its running showcase
Of artists few will know
By name but know their songbooks,
Through others were bestowed.

McGuinn and Janice Ian,
Tom Paxton and Nick Lowe;
Suzanne Vega and Josh Ritter,
And Winchester’s last show
Where power was disrupted
And candles lit the stage
While pews of patrons gathered
‘Round Jesse to engage.

The man behind the project,
Undone by time that passed,
Unable to continue
Leaves memories that were cast –
Self-conscious teardrops forming
That fell without restraint,
Moved within the canvas
Of pictures they would paint.

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Antler Bar

by on Aug.13, 2017, under Poetry

The Antler Bar in Lewiston
A cozy atmosphere
To share a conversation ‘neath
A pewter chandelier.

Grab a couple corner stools
And sidle up astride;
A pair of potent potables,
Begin the evening’s ride.

Proximity insinuates
An intimate affair,
Like teeth rotating on a gear
Their legs engage in pair.

Between the appetizers and
The slipping out the door,
They’ll cover matters of the heart,
The past and what’s in store.

Beyond the tweeting Twitter scene
And FaceBook’s public posts,
The Antler Bar in Lewiston
Is hosting hidden ghosts.

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Currents

by on Aug.08, 2017, under Uncategorized

She’s falling in love and I fear
Very soon she’ll then disappear;
In pursuit of the passion
Biologically fashioned,
For genetically she’s engineered.

Unexpected her company’s been.
Unsolicited we’ve become friends.
But decades apart,
In both mind and heart,
From beginning an unlikely blend.

From the banks of the river that serve
As an outpost from which I observe
As the current she rides
Carries her from my side,
Forever in memory’s preserve.

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Ghosts

by on Jul.13, 2017, under Poetry

The poor little fellow
He’s stressed or depressed
By a board that was placed
Where he’d usually rest.

Forty minutes he rode
With his head to the door –
Face down, not respond
To his name anymore.

His ears were both curled
Like celery gone limp –
His joyful demeanor
And style were crimped.

It’s hard to imagine
What caused his distress;
But he saw something other
Than wood, I would guess.

The burdens we bear
Are secret to most;
And our closet kept locked
To harbor the ghosts.

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Everything

by on May.31, 2017, under Poetry

Hoagie Shotgun

Travelin’ dusty byways,
Ridin’ shotgun in a car
Cruisin’ passed the farmland
Stretching near and far,
Blue sky frames the vistas
As far as you can see;
There’s no place in the world
A fella rather be.

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It Should Be Easy

by on May.16, 2017, under Poetry, Uncategorized

Two months ago
A schoolhouse burned down
Where the Amish kids go,
Learn syntax and nouns.

Now it’s rebuilt
And ready to go –
The kids will return,
Their lunchbox in tow.

If the same thing occurred
In the public domain,
Years would go by
And budgets would strain.

Surveyors and lawyers
And ten engineers –
Architect planners
And twelve financiers.

Taxes would rise
And meetings convene;
Decades might pass
‘Til a building was seen.

While the Amish just gather
And the work is begun –
Collectively factor
To get the job done.

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Goose Down

by on Nov.20, 2016, under Poetry

A wounded bird
Left behind
The winter just ahead;
His flock flew off
To warmer climes
To seek their daily bread.

A goose that’s found
A place to hide
Each day beside a pond;
I see him scramble
As I pass
To walk the woods beyond.

He floats to safety
On the tarn
But something is amiss;
His wing is twisted,
Out of place,
And he can’t fly like this.

Unlikely that
He’ll live ‘til spring,
Not built for winter’s ways;
Not something I
Look forward to,
Beholding his last days.

We play the game,
The hand we’re dealt,
Abiding nature’s rule;
And to the weak
Discarded ones,
The world can be so cruel.

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