Real Poetry

reviews, tips, and personal/local writing

Archive for the tag “Stephen Recker”

Sonnet Challenge – #1 (Finally)

Alright, alright… I’ve blathered on enough about how I find myself incapable of maintaining a challenge I’ve set for myself, and it’s time I finally just place my chips on the table and show my hand. Anyway, I’ve worked for awhile today revising this sonnet up for your viewing pleasure, and I hope you enjoy it.

Not only that, but I ran across a sonnet I wrote a few months ago that I genuinely still love after reading it a few times again. It was intended to be part of a series of sonnets dealing with a common theme. So I’m going to shift gears a little bit in the coming weeks and work to flesh out a collection of sonnets that work with the one I’ve mentioned.

I won’t be sharing all of those, but I will work to show a part of it when I can. For now, here’s the sonnet that the challenge helped to produce that I’ve put off too long on revising and sharing with you all.

Stephen R.

Acoustic Classical Guitar


The strings have fallen flat
while sitting quietly beside my bed,
dust falling between the slats
of my window to collect along its neck.

When I do pull it out, I pluck the strings
the way I remember.  Each finger placed
so finely as to make each note sing
out in pleasure as I play through a scale.

I grow faster with practice, notes bending
to the pull of my fingertips.  Humming along
I move through the familiar, winding
paths, lightly biting my tongue.

I play because I feel I must
or I’d only produce a film of dust.

– Stephen Recker

P.S. One of my favorite bands just released a new single the other day, Mumford & Sons.  I’m sure most of you will have already heard of them or know of the song already, but for those who haven’t I strongly suggest checking them out.


My Poetry – a working draft “Gutter Dam”

This particular draft is very rough, in fact… I already have several ideas on where it’s headed. As an example of how this works, I’m going to post up a later revision of this poem in a week or two to show the progress. I hope you enjoy this for what it is.

Combat Steve

Gutter Dam
by Stephen Recker

When I was younger, and it would rain,
I would go out to the curb,
rain jacket put on with misaligned buttons, and try
to build a dam to stop the water flowing by.
First, the mud would just wash away.
I learned to add sticks and rocks to strengthen it,
but all it would do would be to slow it down
before it rose and went around the side.


My Poetry – a working draft “How it happens”

I’m writing and revising a lot of stuff lately, and since I don’t have anything 100% revised (and really, it’s impossible to have anything that figured out anyway), I thought I’d share a draft of a poem I’ve been working on. This poem is, and I’ll repeat this, a draft. It will be subject to some radical revision. The poem I ultimately wind up with could barely resemble the draft I’m putting up here. Though I do feel it’s heading in a positive direction.

How it happens
by Stephen Recker

Sometimes it’s easy.
Words just pour out like a smooth stream of water from a faucet.

But other times the line is clogged and drips.
You sit in the center of a room with your arms wrapped
around your legs rocking back and forth
just waiting
for something to come, other than the steady
tap, tap
of the dripping faucet, and after hours
when the last ounce of patience is used up
and you can’t take the staccato rhythm,
you walk purposefully towards the faucet,
reach underneath, rip out the plumbing
and write, letting the page soak up
the water bursting from the line.


My Poetry – When no one knows

With a new semester starting up I’m finding a recurrence of the common malady for classroom discussion: that of the teacher asking a question that prompts dead silence from the class.  In the spirit of that, I decided to share this poem I wrote.

Photo courtesy of Cory Hahn

When no one knows
by Stephen Recker

Mr. Wells glanced up
and asked a question.
Everything stopped.
I’d been counting the number of times
Chad tapped the desk with his pen:
One hundred seventy-three.
One hundred seventy-four.
My pen dug a deep furrow through my paper
lightly tearing the page.
One hundred ninety-six.
Silence as we waited for an answer.


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