Slave Bread


slave bread

slave grown grain ground fine
kneaded with bold bloody hands
for thankful children

– by Sabio Lantz 12/2014


Prompt: by Grace at d’Verse Poets: Our challenge is to write about bread, either as a subject (making or sharing the bread or the lack of bread) or as a metaphor (peace, forgiveness, love, etc).

Form:  Haiku 5-7-5

Background: I’ve heard speculation that the agricultural revolution (10,000 BCE) allowed dense populations and division of labor and then slavery. The ability to store grain to make breads, was part of that innovative move “forward”.  The myth of progress, like many myths, is deceptive & pervasive.

The Failed Mantra

The Failed Mantra

Oh Kamala, whose mouth is like a freshly cracked fig,
How did you woo the mighty Siddhartha
whose austerities tamed all temptations?

I conjure thee, lovely Kamala, out of Hesse’s book
to bring your courtesan skills and jaguar physique
to unlock secrets beyond my tapas’ reach.

Oh thee of tender, supple hands and
celebratory lips for schooling in the cult of lust,
become more than fiction.

As I utter this sacred mantra, appear here today.
Cry not for your rare singing bird
but release him from his golden cage.

Om Hrim Hum, leap from your pages to me:
But wait, what is this golden cage?
Why do I sing like a bird?

Oh Kamala, I now live in your world, and you in mine
I, alone in a cage of uncompromising gold
And you, a teacher without a pupil.

by Sabio Lantz, 12/2014



Claudia, at d’Verse Poets, challenges us to “write a poem where…

  • something or someone that/who is not real suddenly comes alive
  • a character from a book shows up in your poem
  • someone suddenly disappears and finds themselves in a whole new place….”

For my poem, I have chosen the book “Siddhartha” (1922) by Herman Hesse. I apologize that without knowing the story, and a bit about India, the poem is bit abstruse.

The descriptions of Kamala are taken right from Hesse’s book.  The bird is a key symbol in Hesse’s story.  Here is a quote from the last paragraph in the chapter called “Samsara”:

When she [Kamala] received the first news of Siddhartha’s disappearance, she went to the window, where she held a rare singing bird captive in a golden cage. She opened the door of the cage, took the bird out and let it fly. For a long time, she gazed after it, the flying bird.

The picture (credit) is of Simi Garawal who starred as Kamala in the movie rendition of Hesse’s book. I loved the book back in the 70s when I first read it, and again now this month as I read it again with different eyes.

The Page of Cups

Page of Cups
The Page of Cups

The usual cup is lifted
but the page’s mouth is gifted
by a wizard’s hidden surprise
in wine which has not been sifted.

Impatient flames flare from her eyes
as the gekko mocks the dour skies
releasing deep intuitions
unfolding hungry butterflies.

And the temple’s rent partition
lets zombies escape perdition
to swim on the lizard’s red tongue
and blush at past repetitions.

New youth inflates the Page’s lungs
and his cup is gratefully flung
for renewal has gleefully sprung
and connections are loudly sung.

– by Sabio Lantz  11/25/14


Prompt: Anthony at d’Verse Poets Pub, challenges us to “create a fantasy world, and try to stay away from the familiar; be outlandish in your writing, …”

Form: My poem uses the Persian form called the (interlocking) ruba’i which uses 4 quatrains (Persian:ruba’i), each line with 8 syllables per line and the following rhyme pattern: aaba, bbcb, ccdc, dddd.

Process: This autumn, my 14 year-old son & I couchsurfed in Massachusetts. One of our stops was in Salem where we learned a bit about Tarot cards. Then weeks later, walking down a street, I saw this discarded Tarot card on the street [my pic]. I loved its bizarre image and so today, I honored these connections with this poem.

Hints: (1) knowledge of the card helps, (2) Matt 27: 50-53

See my other experiments with form here.


Trinita for a Returning Flight

The artist’s mind craves the setting moon
as south-bound geese chase an amber red
and the returning jet consumes the sky.

Broad trees cooled in the earthen sky
grab for last minute light from the moon
while the passengers are soaked in red

memories – a plump heart, joyously red,
in a land not its own but under a shared sky
like the incomplete beauty of the crescent moon.

And the cupped moon petitions the vibrant red sky.

– by Sabio Lantz, 11/24/2014



This is a trinita, a formal poetic form recently created by Marie Ponsot (b.1921).  A trinita is composed of three tercets and a one-line envoy using repeating last words in the form of: A,B,C/C,A,B/B,C,A/ABC.  In my poem, I use: A = moon, B = red, C = sky.


Tonight while out jogging, I stopped and took this picture of the evening sky.  The moment inspired poetic feelings, but words would not come. I wanted to write words for my image and feelings, but did not know where to begin.

Two years ago, I learned the benefit of using “form” in such moments.  “Form” can offer a framework on which to slowly sketch out ones fuzzy feelings and impressions. However, one can not be too attached to their original impressions because the form can be demanding;  it may run away with your mind, yielding something you never imagined would spring forth. This is just some of the beauty of using form as a method to write poetry.

See my other experiments with form here.




Björn Rudberg, @ d’Verse Poets Pub, challenges us to “describe a familiar object or situation using techniques so we as reader are forced to see them in a new way, And remember it does not matter if it is cryptic or hard to understand. You are the magicians to make us — the readers — react.”

I am not a fan of cryptic poetry, but heck, I will try anything ten times.

The Enthralled Wastebasket

Some waste baskets are more littered than others
and you’d imagine they’d be bitter.
But this gal was enthralled!

Enthralled watching that which people threw away
amazed at their varieties of carelessness
and she enjoyed the fragrance of refuse.

She was a watcher
of the fashion of legs walking by
and of the emotions dancing around her.

–by Sabio Lantz, 11/19/14

I have found abstractions to be one of the largest obstructions to insight, and certainly the most common vehicle for propaganda and deception (of self and others). See my index post here.

For that reason, I enjoyed Marina Sofia’s challenge today at d’Verse Poets.

Talking to Inanimate Objects

To the parking meter:
“Thank you”,
as she grants me hours of shopping.

To the subway turnstile:
“Good Morning”,
as I slip in my pass to ride on her rails.

To the chickens:
“Wake up, girls”,
as I open their pen and collect their eggs.

To my colleague:
“Beautiful weather”,
as we go through another mechanical moment.

–by Sabio Lantz, 11/15/14


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