Category: Poetry & Writing

  • Poem in Response

    Poem in Response

    After reading “Forte é…” (Portuguese, meaning “Strong is…”), written by a talented writer, lovely lady and good friend from Lisbon, Carla Milho – wherein she speaks to courage and the importance of perseverance over negative influences – I was inspired to write this poem…

    Writing of challenges
    Encountered everyday
    It’s one win at a time
    Each victory, her way

    Her strength through courage shines
    In wielding sword and shield
    To keep bad folks at bay
    Whereby their fates are sealed

    With black leather jacket
    Wrapped in faded blue jean
    Humble in her beauty
    She’s a warrior and queen

    She is also the star whose light illuminates the landscape of my dreams.

    © 2022 Phil Perkins


    PHOTO CREDIT: modified photo from unsplash.com.

  • Poem in Response

    Poem in Response

    Having read “Let Me Sing You a Lullaby” by the talented and beautiful Californian poetess, Annabel – wherein she recounts an appreciation of kindness, love and guidance, as received through the song of an angel – I was inspired to write this poem…

    Like a message in a bottle
    Sealed with a kiss and set adrift
    Words flow from your heart, so lovely
    – poetic bliss, shared as a gift

    © 2022 Phil Perkins


    PHOTO CREDIT: modified photos from unsplash.com: one, two

  • Poem in Response

    Poem in Response

    After reading “Burn Brightly” by the talented and lovely Arizonian poetess, Michele Lee Sefton – wherein her inspirational poetic prose speaks to self-confidence, aspirations, and to make hay while the sun shines – I wrote this short poem…

    She arose, this desert rose
    As the sun in silhouette
    Bridging space with song, in dance
    Center stage, without regret

    © 2022 Phil Perkins


    PHOTO CREDIT: modified photo from unsplash.com.

    “Listen to the Music” – by The Doobie Brothers (1972) / see lyrics

  • Story: Wave Runners

    Everyone has a story of something they did once upon a time, which, in retrospect, was probably not a good idea. This is one such tale.

    Flashback to the 1990’s. At that time, I was splitting an apartment in Grand Rapids, Michigan, with a friend named Ralph, who also enjoyed outdoor challenges. As such, every now and then, when the weather turned foul, we’d telephone a wave report recording, which detailed conditions present on Lake Michigan.

    One stormy summer day, this report cited waves near Holland, Michigan, as high as 8-12 feet, including a stern recommendation to avoid coastal areas. Well, that was exactly what we were hoping to hear, and so quickly jumped into the car on a road trip to the south pier, demarcating the channel between Lake Michigan and Lake Macatawa. Thirty minutes later, we parked and continued our trek on foot through strong winds and rain, toward the pier.

    This was a big storm, as whitecap waves crashed up and down the beach, surging far inland along the coastline. As we approached, it became apparent that roughly 20% of the pier was engulfed in waves at any given moment. This observation should’ve served as an omen not to proceed…

    However, after an extensive discussion it was decided that, though obviously dangerous, our individual attributes of bravery, keen sense of observation and quick reactions, respectively, were sufficient to undertake the challenge: which was, to see who could traverse farthest along the pier?

    Note: digital cameras didn’t exist on the market at that time, but I’ve included a few photographs taken many years later, which show the coastal landscape and piers:

    Relative to the second image – which is actually an aspect of the other pier, to the north – the storm we faced was significantly stronger and with much larger waves. In point of fact, unlike the common and predictably wind-driven pattern of waves rolling in uniform rows, what we encountered was less organized and wild, with waves crashing from both the front and side directions.

    Painted blue, bollards were positioned along the length of each pier. Were the situation to present itself where either one of us was unable to elude an oncoming wave, my friend suggested that the best course of action was to drop down onto the pier and secure oneself by clutching on to a bollard for safety.

    And so began the challenge.

    This endeavor was as difficult as it was foolish, as waves broke across the pier at essentially random intervals, all the time of which my eyes were glued on the water. Movement entailed both quick footsteps and brief sprints, scrambling on the concrete both forward and backwards in order to safely create space between potentially hazardous waves. It was a major adrenaline rush, to say the least.

    I’d estimate that I was approximately 50-60% of the way out on the pier when it happened. I glanced back to check on my friend, only to see Ralph hunkered down and clinging for dear life to a bollard…as he was swept away by a huge wave, washing him over the other side of the pier toward the channel, down into the rocks.

    I immediately moved back toward where he was, all the while watching over my shoulder to remain cognizant of approaching waves. From a distance of 15-feet away, I spotted Ralph among the rocks with only his head visible above water, and without a stronghold for safety. Glancing back once more, I then saw him suddenly disappear into a trough of shifting waters, sinking an estimated 5-feet among the rocks and vanishing, out of sight. There was nothing I could do to help him.

    Then, only seconds later, the water crested, lifting Ralph up and out of that den of death, tossing him like driftwood on to the rocks, where he latched-on and was able to dash up the incline to the top of the pier.

    We hightailed it back to shore as quickly as possible, never again to challenge such a storm as was experienced on that day.

  • Poem in Response

    Poem in Response

    Having read “Amanhã Talvez” (Portuguese, meaning “Maybe Tomorrow”), written by a talented writer, lovely woman and good friend hailing from Lisbon, Carla Milho – wherein she contemplates meaningful expressions of emotion, aspiring to the present (carpe diem) rather than tomorrow – I was inspired to write this poem…

    It’s what she has
    Inside her heart
    That makes mine skip a beat

    Her good nature
    And precious soul
    Accentuate the sweet

    She’s the one who warms my heart
    And the light by which I see
    What it means to be alive
    Here and now, and yet to be

    Green eyes serene, her pair is nice
    – a golden slice of paradise

    To make it four and evermore
    Two happy hearts, to underscore

    I pen these words
    With hope she’ll read
    This message of the heart

    That if someday
    We ever meet
    In love, we’ll never part

    © 2022 Phil Perkins


    PHOTO CREDIT: modified photo from unsplash.com.

  • Poetry in Motion

    Poetry in Motion

    This photograph highlights Middle Prong Little River, located in the Smoky Mountains near Townsend, Tennessee. You can see more in my galleries at Pixels, Redbubble and ArtPal.

    Poem

    Watching white water wash away
    From the mossy green riverbanks
    An inner peace transcends my day
    Blessed with such beauty, I give thanks

    © 2022 Phil Perkins

    Song for Today

  • Poem in Response

    Poem in Response

    Having read “To the Oak Tree“, penned by the lovely and talented poetess, Annabel, a dear friend and frequent source of my inspiration – wherein she speaks of nature, love and loyalty – I wrote this poem in response…

    Together, through roots and shoots
    Sharing seasons in the sun
    Majestic beauty unfolds
    With each ring, we grow as one

    © 2022 Phil Perkins


    PHOTO CREDIT: modified photo from unsplash.com.

    ↱ You can read the lyrics here

  • Shoutout to a Friend

    Shoutout to a Friend

    Creativity may be expressed in content which is cultivated, or that which is spontaneous, including through conversation…as follows.

    Flashback September 25, 2021

    I had just finished reading “Heart Beats on a City Street“, written by Michele Lee Sefton – a lovely author and poetess hailing from the Sonoran Desert of Arizona – when I saw a picture of her taking a photograph at night in the city.

    Having observed images posted on her site, Michele looks wonderful wearing blue jeans! I alluded to such in my comments responding to her cited writing, above, to which she noted, “Maybe Levi’s will endorse my site.”

    Her remark inspired me to write this storyline for a hypothetical Levi Strauss blue jeans commercial, subsequently pitched to the company:

    Imagine…it’s nighttime on a poorly lit street, with a steady pulse of background sounds from the city and steam wafting from manhole covers. The camera pans left, stopping to focus on the shadowy silhouette of a beautiful blonde woman wearing a cowgirl hat and boots, black top, and, yes, a pair of well-fitting Levi’s. She slowly saunters forward under a dim streetlight, when suddenly – the crashing sound of a metal trash can lid hitting the pavement! She makes a quick quarter-turn, drawing her DSLR camera as if it were a gun from a holster, and snaps a shot of a cat racing away with fish bones clenched in its teeth. The camera zooms in for a close-up scene of her face, as she remarks, “Here’s looking at you, cat”. She raises her camera, winks to the TV camera, and, resembling a gun having been fired, blows the smoke away from her lens. Then, Levi’s runs their slogan on-screen, perhaps in conjunction with the camera maker.

    © 2021 Phil Perkins


    PHOTO CREDIT: modified photos from unsplash.com – jeans & street (Phoenix sidewalk at night).

  • Haiku

    Haiku

    Once more, as before
    Her beauty draws pen to hand
    Déjà vu haiku

    © 2022 Phil Perkins


    PHOTO CREDIT: modified photo from unsplash.com.

  • Poem in Response

    Poem in Response

    There are times I feel I should refrain
    From the sounds that drum as rhyme
    Yet, your beauty shines through poetry
    Like your smile, your words sublime

    Having read “Twilight’s First Blush“, written by a lovely poetess and friend from the Valley of the Sun, Michele Lee Sefton – wherein she conveys a romantic recollection at dawn & shares her welcomed sense of humor – I was inspired to write this poem in response…

    On a late night cruise
    To a rendezvous
    Just seventeen miles or so

    It’s the magic hour
    When night fades to day
    And the cock begins to crow

    In romantic waves
    Rhythm fills the air
    Glances cast amorously

    Soon, a warm embrace
    On the edge of love
    Two hearts sing in rhapsody

    Til the morning draws
    Colors peach to blue
    As faint starlight blinks farewell

    Cheers, to drift once more
    On this desert sea
    Over sand and under spell

    © 2022 Phil Perkins


    PHOTO CREDIT: modified photo from unsplash.com.

  • Poem

    Sands of Time

    Around the lake on winds of change
    The sands of time did rearrange
    To shift terrain along the shore
    Resculpting landscapes to explore

    © 2022 Phil Perkins

    One of the early lessons I learned as a child growing up in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, in the city of Marquette on Lake Superior, was the enormous power of Mother Nature. Though some geographical locations remain relatively unchanged over time, the shorelines of my youth were renewed with each major storm — altering beaches and sandbars, as well as gigantic boulders washing up on to the harbor breakwall.

    This vintage photograph highlights the shores of Gitche Gumee to the northwest of Marquette, near Little Presque Isle. If interested, it’s available on a variety of prints and other items in my galleries at Pixels, Redbubble and ArtPal.

    Enjoy the great outdoors!

  • Poem in Response

    Poem in Response

    After reading “By Chance” (translated: por un acaso), posted by a dear friend and wonderful writer from Portugal, Carla Milho – wherein she shares reasons for changing her nickname, formerly Red Warrior – I was inspired to write this poem in response…

    In a land known as Lisbon
    Across the sea, set apart
    Hails a cute girl named Carla
    – a beautiful work of art

    Her skin, golden tan
    Her eyes, lovely green
    Her smile warms my heart
    …you know what I mean

    Like a school-kid with a crush
    Poems of love that never end
    Yet, I know she’s spoken for
    And extend my hand as friend

    © 2022 Phil Perkins


    PHOTO CREDIT: modified photo from unsplash.com.