Be Drunk by Charles Baudelaire (A Poem & A Picture)

Be Drunk A Poem & A Picture

Just FYI: If you pass out around me I will take your picture and show it to the world.

Charles Baudelaire was born in Paris on April 9, 1821 and died August 31, 1867 at the age of forty-six, reportedly of syphilis. Another tidbit;  When Charles Baudelaire’s Les Fleurs du mal (The Flowers of Evil) was published in June of 1857, thirteen of its 100 poems were arraigned for inappropriate content. On August 20, 1857, French lawyer Ernest Pinard, who had also famously prosecuted French author Gustave Flaubert, prosecuted Baudelaire for the collection…. Baudelaire was charged with a fine of 300 francs (later reduced to 50), and Les Fleurs du mal suffered from the controversy, becoming known only as a depraved, pornographic work. Now onto the main attraction.

Be Drunk

You have to be always drunk. That’s all there is to it—it’s the only way. So as not to feel the horrible burden of time that breaks your back and bends you to the earth, you have to be continually drunk.

But on what? Wine, poetry or virtue, as you wish. But be drunk.

And if sometimes, on the steps of a palace or the green grass of a ditch, in the mournful solitude of your room, you wake again, drunkenness already diminishing or gone, ask the wind, the wave, the star, the bird, the clock, everything that is flying, everything that is groaning, everything that is rolling, everything that is singing, everything that is speaking. . .ask what time it is and wind, wave, star, bird, clock will answer you: “It is time to be drunk! So as not to be the martyred slaves of time, be drunk, be continually drunk! On wine, on poetry or on virtue as you wish.”

  ♠ ♣

Well we made it through week one of NPM. Yay! Let’s all get drunk and get skip the syphilis.

Here comes ‘tha plug’ : I’ve been drunk a time or two, I’ve also published a few hundred poems but I must confess I have never had a STD. And guess what? My dysfunctional disease-free [possibly controversial] book Getting Me Back (The Voices Within) released this month and is now available in digital or paperback. Yeah, I will be saying it again, and again… and again.

Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard by Thomas Gray (A Poem & A Picture)

A Poem & A Picture Graveyard Poets

Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard is pretty lengthy so I am posting only the last of it titled The Epitaph. Check out The Poetry Foundation if you would like to read the poem in its’ entirety and read more about the Graveyard poet known as Thomas Gray. What is a Graveyard poet? Well it is not that red rooster in the photo, as far as I could tell he can’t even speak. It’s possible he was just ignoring me; roosters are like that. Anyway… a Graveyard poet is one who writes about such morbid things relating to – oh, you already guessed it, graveyards.


Here rests his head upon the lap of Earth

A youth to Fortune and to Fame unknown.

Fair Science frown’d not on his humble birth,

And Melancholy mark’d him for her own.


Large was his bounty, and his soul sincere,

Heav’n did a recompense as largely send:

He gave to Mis’ry all he had, a tear,

He gain’d from Heav’n (’twas all he wish’d) a friend.


No farther seek his merits to disclose,

Or draw his frailties from their dread abode,

(There they alike in trembling hope repose)

The bosom of his Father and his God.


 I (by the way) have a poem titled My Epitaph. Yes, really!  Getting Me Back (The Voices Within) released this month and is now available in digital or paperback.


Cloud- by Sandra Cisneros (A Poem & A Picture)

Poem n Picture CLOUD


“If you are a poet, you will see clearly that there is a cloud floating in this sheet of paper.”—Thich Nhat Hanh


Before you became a cloud, you were an ocean, roiled and

murmuring like a mouth. You were the shadow of a cloud

crossing over a field of tulips. You were the tears of a

man who cried into a plaid handkerchief. You were a sky

without a hat. Your heart puffed and flowered like sheets

drying on a line.


And when you were a tree, you listened to trees and the tree

things trees told you. You were the wind in the wheels of a

red bicycle. You were the spidery Maria tattooed on the

hairless arm of a boy in downtown Houston. You were the

rain rolling off the waxy leaves of a magnolia tree. A lock

of straw-colored hair wedged between the mottled pages of a

Victor Hugo novel. A crescent of soap. A spider the color

of a finger nail. The black nets beneath the sea of olive

trees. A skein of blue wool. A tea saucer wrapped in

newspaper. An empty cracker tin. A bowl of blueberries in

heavy cream. White wine in a green-stemmed glass.


And when you opened your wings to wind, across the

punched-tin sky above a prison courtyard, those condemned to

death and those condemned to life watched how smooth and

sweet a white cloud glides.

*Sandra Cisneros (born December 20, 1954) is an American writer best known for her acclaimed first novel The House on Mango Street (1984) and her subsequent short story collection Woman Hollering Creek and Other Stories (1991). She is the recipient of numerous awards including a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, and is regarded as a key figure in Chicana literature.

Oh my goodness, those final lines left me a little misty eyed. I do not recall reading Sandra Cisneros before but I certainly enjoyed Cloud and in case I haven’t told you 1000 times  Getting Me Back (The Voices Within) released this month and is now available in digital or paperback. I will be saying it again, and again… and again in case you missed it. As a matter of fact I am going to paste it on every NPM post.

P.S. If you have a recommendation for a poem (even your own) Get in Touch

We Got Goals – It’s National Poetry Month Baby!

Is that a lame title? I can’t help help it, it made me laugh. If you could hear the fella in my head you’d laugh too — or not.


It was a lovely long weekend but now I am back. You wanna see some pictures? Okay.

Starting tomorrow I will be posting A Poem & Picture. I can’t guarantee you that I will post daily throughout April but I will earnestly try for two or three a week. There, I’ve set a goal.

The goals of National Poetry Month are to:

  • highlight the extraordinary legacy and ongoing achievement of American poets
  • encourage the reading of poems
  • assist teachers in bringing poetry into their classrooms
  • increase the attention paid to poetry by national and local media
  • encourage increased publication and distribution of poetry books, and
  • encourage support for poets and poetry.

It is NPM, that stands for National Poetry Month baby! Ahhh, I crack me up.

And in case I haven’t told you 1000 times  Getting Me Back (The Voices Within) released this month and is now available in digital or paperback. I will be saying it again, and again… and again in case you missed it. 😉

A Poem & A Picture (Hemingway’s Beloved)

Hemingway’s Beloved

by Janna Hill

shotgun shells (1024x430)

Did you shake his hand – the hand of a man’s man?

Did you see how his eyes searched the space around him as the world grew smaller?

Did you learn the secrets of Africa or discuss his tomes over drinks?

Of course not.

You could not for we were mere children – our wedding day marking the twenty second anniversary of his exodus… his rise to immortality.

He won the Nobel Prize for Literature the year you were born – did you know that?

I was but two months in the womb when he placed the beloved twelve gauge inside his mouth and obliterated the ciphering pheasants once and for all.

Did you see how he caressed her? How her cold, soft metal against his finger was as pacifying as the perfect daiquiri… how she (his beloved) alas cured him of the demons.

In a flash she rooted them loose one by one from their hiding place – a place liquor nor currents could mole; a cavern so deep no joule or watt could grasp. Ahh but she did.

She exorcised them, set them to flight riding on soft grey tissue laden with hemochromatosis and fragments of bone.

Christ might have offered the fiends a swine but not her or better yet not him…

A sacrifice for the Bay of Pigs?

It was all such folly — such unholy madness for a simple man and a literary saint.


* Hemingway’s Beloved appeared in HWA Poetry Showcase Volume 1

A Poem & A Picture (Getting Me Back)

Getting Me Back

by Janna Hill

Web of Time

Tissue thin transparent bits and pieces by the millions I gave to you…

To be received, to be tended or to be rendered useless,

as you deemed fit old inhabitants of terra firma.

Slivers of my soul….


What did you do with these pieces of me?

Where are the misplaced microscopic stars of my spirit, where are they laid?

Did they dissolve beneath a soft autumn rain? Or burn in the heat of a cruel summer day?

Were they consumed by the dust mites of fate?

Giving me away was easy…

getting me back seems nearly impossible.


I saw a fleck of glitter this morning, caught in an abandoned web of time.

I retrieved it ever so carefully, pulling away the tiny choking strands;

polishing it in the palm of my hand till it shone bright like a minuscule star…


and I recognized it as the twinkle I once saw in a smiling photo of me.

A Poem & A Picture (Madre’s Mexican Blackbird)

Madre’s Mexican Blackbird

by Janna Hill

Mexican Blackbird

She reins me in

Her strong swollen hands tangled inside an unruly mane

Uno  ! Dos! Isilencio!  Tres!

Three dull thumps convince me to hush

and settle between beefy thighs


Gnarled fingers of assurance tug at my scalp

She plaits my hair with promises

Wisdom weaved among coarse strands of unnumbered mañanas

My head is left tender and spinning

with knitted rows of old wives tales.


**For the final week of NPM I will be posting my own poetry, a mix of published and unpublished. Is that selfish? Yes. Yes, it is. It is also easier — and right now I need easy.

I am grateful to everyone who submitted or suggested a poem. Hopefully we will do it again next year.

A Poem & A Picture (Till Justice Comes)

April is National Poetry Month; it is also Sexual Assault and Awareness Month. I was reminded of the latter while reading a post by fellow blogger Kurt Brindley.

I wrote this poem (some years ago) after hearing one too many gut wrenching stories of sexual assault, rape and molestation. It has happened to women [and men] I know personally and you know what — One is one too many!

Feathers and Flames (1024x683)

 Till Justice Comes

by Janna Hill


I cut the stained satin, the sheets where you laid

The mattress beneath them, I sliced & engraved

But despite all my cutting you won’t go away


I stabbed at the pillows till fine downy flew

I stabbed and I jabbed – each aim meant for you

While white lifeless feathers fell without clue


At the semen and slobber – I stabbed all the more

I sliced at the blood and prayed it would pour

Pour from your body wherever you are


When I was done, had cut them to shreds

It wasn’t enough, you didn’t feel dead

So I sat them on fire and burned every thread


I raked up the ashes and ground them with stone

To a fine wispy powder I thought were your bones

Each minute grain- evil seeds you had sown


Then I placed the damned ashes deep in a hole

Inside a corked bottle I hoped held your soul

And just for today I had control


I’ve nothing but anger to ward off the numb

To a million vile deaths I watch you succumb

My imagined revenge… till justice comes