Irina Ioffe

Not Again!

a bad poem written
time wasted once more
you were not smitten
i was a bore


One More Cat Poem

the fly can’t explain
why the grey cat, in vain
tries to track it around the room

but it knows if consumed
it will surely be doomed
to a state that cannot be reversed

still the cat keeps an eye
on the frightened black fly
and he’s thrilled by the pace of the chase

ancient instincts kick in
there’s a fire within
and the fly bites the cat in the face


Chasing Shadows

i saw shadows on the pavement
hiding silently from light
of the moon that was expanding
her existence through the night

she was high amongst the stars
filtering the autumn air
but the shadows, quite resistant
hid away from her with care

slipping down along the pavement
curving ’round the trunks of trees
lonely moon could never find them
hidden softly in the breeze


On the Prowl

eyes hungrier than heart’s capacity
alertness for the kill
no shame or logic
but pure audacity
her empty cup no one can fill

her soul quickly abandons pureness
emotions set on overdrive
a hungry tiger seems so fearless
as on the prey she quickly dives

flesh torn to feed the raging strain
another victim she has slain
and enveloped in cloak of night
the tiger slips right out of sight



there were two little birds
on a telephone wire
each taking turns
to see who could fly higher

spreading their wings
reaching up to the sun
it was easy to see
that they were having fun

one sneaky cat
climbed the telephone pole
creeped up on the birds
and ate them both whole

now why would i tell
a sad story like that?
because i was there
and that was my cat



where have you been, O’ conscience of mine?
“drugging on pot and, drinking the wine,”

what have you seen, my curious eyes?
“corruption of good, a world filled with lies,”

heard any news, inquisitive ears?
“judgemental remarks throughout the years,”

where have you been, my delicate heart?
“hiding away and falling apart.”


Simeon Novak

grayest gray gets grayer still
darker in the darkest hue
when you took yourself away
all the color went with you


Prisoner in Pink

i don’t care what you know
i don’t care what you think
your use is clear to me
you prisoner in pink

these years of evolution
don’t change my point of view
you’re just a toy- an object
there’s nothing more to you

you question my position
to re-arrange my mind
but can’t you see i’m horny
and i need to unwind

don’t try to write your poetry
don’t waste paper and ink
i don’t care who you are
you prisoner in pink


Strangest Places

i met you in the strangest of all places
where hollow moon evaporates it’s light
where velvet flowers turn their faces
into the blackness of the night

where ancient breezes swept your hair
and left a scent of opious longing
slipping your fingers through the air
it’s there that you felt true belonging

where limestone shone its’ skin through mist
and curved under your soft embrace
it’s there under the stars we kissed
as fantoms fluttered by your face



he’s searching in your eyes
for feelings he can’t find
if ignorance is bliss
then let his love be blind


Even if…

the drama queen changes personalities
while putting on an old hat
touch me
because tonight i feel
the crispness of the autumn’s dusk
touch me
because i sense you
looking through my gaze
but if you don’t catch on
then light my cigarette before you walk away


The Striking Hour

just laying here, looked at the sky
a deepest blue fading from gold
and how i wish that you were there
for when i needed you to hold

the times i stood outside
and let the snow fall on my face
while looking up and wondering why
i’m left alone through painful days,

when the whole world came crashing in
all i could do was spin around
to not be pushed down to the ground
be told that thats where I must lay

so i was left to deal alone
and so i stood, looked at the sky
and wondered when this all would end
when good would come around again
while letting snow fall on my face
(it seemed to be the only grace
the moment would allow)

i felt the whip shred up my back,
i did not break, but just a splinter
reminding me i can be weak…
and now i lay here in the dark
but welcoming the coming winter

because my fire so deep has kindled
no matter where i choose to go
my intuition wont be swindled
there is too much i’ve found to know

and just as much, with so much zest
i wish i could have been for you
that safe, warm, caring place to rest
when pain and trouble hounded you

to take your bent head to my chest
cradle your frame in arms so tight
Wish I could have been there for you
when you had no more strength to fight

it hurts me, though I was not there
to see you broken, bruised and bleeding
so know that I am here for you
in any moment you are needing

our paths have crossed
our hands have touched
we thought each-other cute and clever
but moments echoing through time
make our love live on forever



listen to my tomly fume
crooked branches it consume

peppercorn door handles muck
lady floor mat measly luck

chipper woe and berry dust
laundry mountains eyes distrust

carry swigs to wobbly fields
plastic socks are good for shields



i gave you a flower
a brilliant rose
i’m sorry i called you names,

i gave you a flower
for my guilt to dispose
i’m sorry i caused you shame,

i gave you a flower
with deep scarlet petals
the color of your newly bruised cheek,

i gave you a flower
’cause my heart is cold metal
and there are no words i can speak


In passing

how has the time processed your face?
one gets the one she most deserves or
is it one she’s burdened with?
a curse being not a character trait…

how have the moments turned to years!
and yet your child-like wonder lingers
as people shuffle place to place
true home is what’s held in your fingers

i do not think too hard or deep
i only write the surface tension
true wisdom keeps away the sleep
that peeks through hours of apprehension

and do you wonder of the day
when you no longer will be needed?
care-giver’s role is hard to play
no outside warning may be heeded

a situation all it’s own-
an idiosyncratic flower
one day a bud blooms through the thorns
filled with it’s own excited power

no one can tell it it can’t be,
although the thorns seem quite unnerving!
it’s petals loosely falling free
unscripted fate it takes deserving

good luck, farewell! an awesome flight!
…even if one that’s not note-worthy
to each her own, sweet battered life,
one filled with wonder, lust and learning



it’s not all black and white my friend
it’s not all black and white
sometimes the colors of the day
will reappear at night

sometimes the people close to you
will leave you all alone
sometimes the love that you receive
won’t be the love you’ve shown,

it’s not all black and white my friend
it’s not all black and white
sometimes those kinder at heart
will hurt you out of spite

sometimes a man might lose his soul
while praying to a god
sometimes a very honest girl
will turn into a fraud

it’s not all black and white my friend
it’s not all black and white
sometimes the one who loves you most
forever leaves your sight

sometimes the punishment comes first
and then follows the crime
sometimes eternity will pass
in seconds out of time

it’s not all black and white my friend
it’s not all black and white
sometimes only the blind man
will have the clearest sight

sometimes ill think of you my friend
and hope that you will see
that brooding black and boring white
are not all that can be


We Are Different, We Are the Same

(Written for Sage Ioffe’s Kindergarden Class.)

We are all so different
yet very much the same
We come in different shades of skin
Have very different names

My favorite place is at the park
Your favorite at the zoo
You have so many toys at home
And I have just a few

I have a younger sister
And you might have a brother
Sometimes my sister makes me mad
But I don’t want another

At home he has one parent
And she’s always had two
He may not have a single chore
While she’s got lots to do

She loves to laugh at silly jokes
He’s serious and tough
She won’t eat peanut butter
But he’ll never get enough

Her favorite color is dark blue
And he really loves green
She may love playing in the mud
While he loves staying clean

She loves loud dancy music
Wears costumes for pretend
He loves to build with Legos
And knock them down again

I’m really good at drawing
You’re great at basketball
He rides his bike with just one hand
And doesn’t even fall

They like to play fast chasing games
And they like to sit still
There are so many different ways
We choose our days to fill

We may seem very different
But take a look and see
How many things we have in common
How you are much like me

We all live in Sun Prairie,
Go to the same school
We come here every morning
And must follow the rules

Our teacher Ms. Borcherdt
Takes care of us each day
And when school time is over
We can’t wait to go play

When we all get together
Our differences seem few
We all want to do something fun
And to try something new

All of our thoughts are special
We all get scared and cry
Sometimes our homework seems too hard
And we don’t want to try

Sometimes the monsters seem so real
And we don’t like the dark
Sometimes emotions that we feel
Can bite us like a shark

But when our friends are with us
We feel happy and smile
Because we all need someone nice
To be with us a while

We all need someone who can share
Their toys and secrets too
We all need someone who is there
To tell us what to do

We all need hugs and laughter
And friend-filled, cheerful days
We all need to feel safe and loved…
We all need love always!

We love our special grown ups
We know they love us too
And in these ways I know that I
Am very much like you.


Sleepless — Another Grandpa Poem

moon illuminates the street
sapphire coats the midnight sky
echoing the day’s defeat
to the hours passing by,

summer breezes swirling past
streetlamp dying in the night
calmness will forever last
in the emptiness of sight,

in the distance there’s a car
pushing on through blackest blue
and i sit here hoping that
i could sense a part of you,

everyone has gone to sleep
gently soothed by light’s descent
while i’m searching memories,
with my head in mourning bent,

you’ve deceived me with your smile
made believe that it’s ok
now i’m stuck here in the dark
dreading coming of the day



white lies to help you on your way
eventually hurt
and if you’re begging him to stay
he’ll rub you in the dirt,

a man committed to his ways
will never look back twice
it’s only what is good for him
no matter at what price


To My Teenage Sister

discovering yourself
discovering your mind
never really sure
of what you might find

searching deep inside
reality through dreams
never fully knowing
exactly what it means

trying to stay true
and trying to stay real
trying to express
exactly how you feel

don’t rush yourself too much
too fast you’ll only burn
just know inside your heart
is all you need to learn



i want to give you this
not a flower, or a kiss
not a fancy gift or art
but a portion of my heart



a lover i have had last night
a lover and a friend
i left his house at midnight’s moon
but didn’t want to end

a lover i have felt last night
surrendered all my fears
a lover i will mourn tonight
who left me deep in tears



time is a loop caught in its shadow
circling the corners of these barren walls
time takes its toll on any survivor
even the strongest eventually falls


to a friend

you must know what you mean to me
you make me feel relaxed and free

with you i turn into a goofy child
so playful, curious, and wild

and when you show me adoration
my soul is in complete elation

honest, you tell me what you think
we go for walks, smoke grass, and drink

we go to films and out for food
you always elevate my mood

your intellect is hard to find
you’re also handsome, and you’re kind

of all the things that you have done
to me your friendship’s number one


I Am a Sailor — A Poem/Song for Toddlers

i am a sailor on the sea
i am the captain, look at me
i am as strong and as brave as can be
hooray, hooray, hooray for me!

i catch the wind that fills up my sail
i catch the fish that fill up my pail
i find the stars that guide my trail
away, away, away! i sail,

rocking on my boat is so fun to do,
say you’ll be my friend and i’ll bring you on too,
so come with me, to the great green old sea
there’s so much to do and so much to see
no life but the life of a sailor for me


drama lama

this loneliness creeps up on me
and grips me with it’s claws
now leg to neck, my body aches
and i become my flaws,

all inhibitions melt away
no telling what i’ll do
i’ll use my enemies today
and i will use you too,

the kamikaze always falls
i’ll crash and burn away
at least that’s how this loneliness
makes me feel for today


this magic moment

petulance flicks her cigarette
through the tight crack in the car window
and smirks
because she knows she can do it
better than anyone she has ever met



tart apples melt into season
on eager taste buds

colors bloom their richest sugars
incense of cinnamon and honey
weighs into the lungs,

this cycle’s final festival
this symphony
so perfectly in sync,

a copious chorus will climax
while being missed by a blinking eye



would you think of me, my love
when i’m far from here
would you wrap me in your mind
keep the image clear

would you hold me deep inside
where no soul may tread
would you lie upon my pillow
feeling every thread

would you see me in your eyes
echo my reflection
and pretend i was divine
a complete perfection

and when walking through the door
would you strain to hear
those warm words i said to you
“welcome home, my dear”

so when years follow the days
and i’m far away
would you think of me, my love
wishing i could stay?



there is a place outside of town
i want to take you there
it's got tall oak trees all around
and coolness in the air,

it's right atop a yellow cliff
that bends over a lake
where bird’s wings catch gusty wind
and give the leaves a shake,

there on the untouched prairie grass
and old stump from a tree
will let you rest your tired heart
come sit there, next to me