Sunday, May 24, 2015

Living With The Artist - A Magpie Tale


Still Life, 1907 by John Frederick Peto

Art provided by Tess as the Magpie Tale Writing Prompt for May 24, 2015.

Poetic disclaimer: this poem is total imagination and does not refer to any living person either here in Oregon or in Ohio lest I be crucified by someone. I don't know about you people but sometimes a poem goes where it will and I just work cleanup.

Living With The Artist

You hung your secret
on the wattled western wall
of our latest hut,
an old drab still life

(I never have taken to
your tastes in fine art)

that evokes the dark
for me and takes me into
the somber salts left
behind after seas
evaporate forever -
the flats where Johns race
rocket raw sand sleds.

Is there nothing more sere in
those treasures you keep?

‎May ‎24, ‎2015 3:12 PM

Saturday, May 23, 2015

I’ll Never Be A Poet



A year ago Irene Toh of Singapore and I traded poems back and forth for a month, an exercise in poetic dialogue.  Poetry is a language.  You can't just say anything in any way.  There are formalisms that must be met, if only distantly.  Even free verse is not that free.  That said, the talent for poetic language is not that difficult to muster at its minimums and most people can write a passable poem or two if only they beleive they can and try.  It is another thing to pump out thirty poems in thirty days.

See Getting Back Together at Orange Is A Fruit

This is why these days there are many poet sites on line.  They gather poet communities, dozens and even hundreds of poets in the largest ones.  The main thing at these sites is a periodic poetry suggestion or prompt of some kind to assist the participants with poem production.

I’ll Never Be A Poet

I can’t even start.

I need more light than I have
and more grit as well
if I am to say
what it is that wakes me up.

You say the trances
take you and I guess
that’s what we should say happens.
It would be better
if unicorns grazed
in our nearby city parks
calling to the bold
in us to approach,
to mount, and then ride after
our retreating dreams.

May 5, 2014 3:11 PM

Friday, May 22, 2015

You Did Not Consent

This poem is an intriguing (to me) mix of history and story. A thread in this poem relates the beginnings of my married love. The rest is some other woman, some other man. The poem is not about my story, nor Ann's.

How I met Ann, I took a live in job at the Hotel Ste. Claire in downtown San Jose where I was to be the night man on the public floors where the bar was and the liquor store. Ann was the front desk clerk on the main day shift. She complained her car wouldn't start one evening and I took a look.

Hotel Ste. Claire, San Jose, CA
I have no skill at cars at all. I opened the hood and wiggled some things. Then I tried to start the car and of course it started right up for me. I was a miracle worker for fun and for free. Later, she had to stay in town rather than go home because of a quick turn around one night. I let her use my room during my shift rather than pay for one. A couple of other times she used my room to change out of day shift attire for whatever reasons.

That was the start of our 25 year long relationship. Not long after that beginning, we had gotten intimate and I moved in with her when my job came to an end. My job ended because the union people demanded my non-union college student presence be removed from their house. The union people felt that the hotel manager was trying to set a precedence for non union labor present at the hotel. I guess he was. I was clueless about that side of things of course and my rejection felt personal though it was not.

Years later, during the troubles near the end of our relationship she did say I was going to be sorry I was treating her this way. There were other people in my life who broke into loud laughter of disbelief when I related the many things Ann had said to me. Ann was wrong to paint me so poorly, but my friends also did not see into the heart of our marriage and saw too much innocence in me.

You Did Not Consent

When I let you up
from the place that I put you
your eyes flashed, you snarled
and cut into me
belaboring obvious
visions of what is
and what now is not.
I should not have taken you
up to that hotel
room and laid you down,
should not have done you that way,
and by God you will
be sure I will pay.

December 18, 2010 7:22 PM

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Continuing Conversation


There you go, release
the words in small flocks, tumbling
light in the near air
and see where they land.

It may turn out as soul balm
and then again not.

Poems have their own
intent as if they are born
beyond you and me.

December 17, 2010 11:25 AM

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Drinking Morning Tea


The heat of the tea
melts my heart and yours. The green
of the fresh green tea,
the dark of the black
breaks the fast of this young day
or some other shape
of things still to come
and I will see with your eyes
how it all begins.

‎December ‎17, ‎2010 5:55 AM

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Subtle Things

Best Subtle Storm: Gregory Alan Isakov

The periwinkle glow of Third Man Records' Blue Room is enough to make anyone feel like they're stuck in a Violet Beauregardian state of consciousness, but Isakov, a South Africa-born, Philadelphia-raised songwriter turned the place into an intimate living room serenade (even with Jack White's beloved taxidermy hanging overhead). Isakov's songs, wistful and often-string chugged, could blend into the landscape if they were a hair less sincere or a hair more weepy, but the balance here is just right. Crowded around a mic with his dynamite band, Isakov's presence was delicately hypnotic, proving folk music can be electric and impassioned without that virulent Mumford strum. —Marissa R. Moss

Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/lists/americana-music-fest-2014-best-performances-20140922/

Everything, all
the marbles from the dime bag
and the hope you bring
to my current digs
feathers my sight, promises
me wings and a new
perch in the crazy
scheme of subtle driven things
that still surround me.

December 17, 2010 3:58 AM

"the subtle driven things that still surround me..." I am on a journey into old age, where the body fails this way and that just like all complicated relationships can. It becomes ever more clear that my body is a society populated by specialists who reveal themselves in their departure for wherever they go when they leave me behind. I am grateful that for me the process is a weakening and slowing down that does not include very much chronic pain. I know many people suffer greatly. That I do not suffer much is why I see my process as a subtle one. I hope it remains so.

If this poem, which does suit my current situation is actually about my current situation, then it is prediction. In 2010 I had no idea what was coming in the main arc of my life. I am not usually able to tell the future. I think therefore what is happening to me must be universal or close to it.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Do I Need A Woman, You Ask

This is an old blind and deaf cat. My old blind cat lay in the sun this way and unfortunately the last time was her undoing.

I wish now that I had some photos of my old cats. I have had several who basically died of being too old and tired through all my years. They aren't much fun when they get so old but of course by then they are so much a part of me that I am destroyed when they actually die.

Right now I live with a calico named Celeste who is napping somewhere in this house at this moment and six feet from me Stella the part Irish Wolfhound is waiting patiently and napping, waiting for whatever comes next. Oh wait... the woman who walks her for me just came so Stella is now out for her evening walk.

Do I Need A Woman, You Ask

That arrow you shot
went past my ear, one feather
cutting just enough
to draw my red blood
in passing.

I did reach out
to push you away.

I had to stanch both
that cut and the other near
my heart, a deeper,
slicing cut you made
because I twisted too late
to get off scott free.

If I lie about
needing a woman then how
is it I lived well,
so well for seven
years, happy to return home
to the old blind cat?

May 5, 2014 2:48 PM

This poem is written in collaboration as a response to a poem by Irene Toh called Dali & I where she stated
"You said you didn’t need a woman.
I think you lie." as the last two lines.

This is one poem to another.
In real life both the challenge and its response are murkier.
Gotta go - can't catch me!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

All Is Not Light - Three Word Wednesday


Ruby Assassinates Oswald

All Is Not Light

I'm coming for you
no doubt and I shall pierce you
in your fleshy parts,
skewer you clean through
the darker regions
of your quivering
heart. I have found out about
the current bitter
state of your bad jokes
and I am not laughing, no -
not laughing at all.

‎May ‎14, ‎2015 4:22 PM

Thom offered the words
Clean
Fleshy
Pierce

and I used them.

Go explore Three Word Wednesday

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Bed Stand Reading




The hotel on Maui in which we stayed during Ann's working sessions on the island is now owned by Marriott. I believe it was an Intercontinental hotel in those days. This poem is a true memory. In the course of Ann's social work career, she finagled three vacations for us. There were social work seminars which qualified as continuing education for her, a professional requirement and also a tax write off. Two were at this hotel on Maui. One was in New Orleans, in a hotel at the very edge of the French Quarter.

The poem refers to the Gideon Bible which is placed in nearly every hotel and motel room in the USA. It also refers to a Japanese Pure Land "Buddhist bible" placed in the rooms at the hotel in Wailea. Pure Land Buddhism is the most popular Japanese Buddhism despite all we hear of Zen, which is another form of Buddhism entirely. The distance between Pure Land and Zen is very large and I have struggled and failed to find a Christian counterpart to try and illustrate it. I presume the Buddhist work was placed in the rooms to please the huge inflow of Japanese tourists who vacation on Maui.

I read that Buddhist book during my visit and thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

Bed Stand Reading

In my hotel room
I looked for you, Gideon.
Instead in that space
I found the Buddha,
Amitabha and Pure Land,
found in Wailea
on Maui - what fun!

Better than tears, my pilgrim,
better still, nothing.

August 8, 2010 1:37 PM
Slightly modified, May 13, 2015

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

And I'm Sixty Five




It's gotten real. I am pushing 70. Back five years ago I threw an age snit.

And I'm Sixty Five

So I looked within
and found the old emptiness
still snarling at me
and I took off out
the friggin door and met me
coming and going.

It just sucks being
this way but there it all is
with the big dark hole
calling to me to
fall in and shatter into
ten thousand pieces.
Maybe growing up
helps but then again maybe
not - hasn't helped yet.

December 15, 2010 5:10 AM

Monday, May 11, 2015

Last Things


Last Things

I've heard you'll lose weight
with your last breath, twenty-one
grams will fly away
going somewhere bright,
I suppose, somewhere rosy
and better than here.

Left behind, a bag
of bones and suet and sinew
largely food for those
who live on last things
but those hazy twenty-one grams
are long gone by then.

December 14, 2010 3:58 PM

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Mother Pray For Me - A Magpie Tale

Image offered by Tess at Magpie Tales, Mag 269
Go there to find links to this week's contributions.

Mother Pray For Me

How can I offer the truth
of the moon and dust
that falls flat back down?
I did not go despite claims
to the contrary.

Instead I tucked me
in behind desert boulders
and threw my air pack
behind some others
nearby where gila monsters
nibbled at the cloth.

They ate holes in things
and the fire ants ate my knees
as they will given
time. I gave them time.

Here your halo shines out loud
well beyond my false
hooded fears as you
pray for all the high flyers
who've left this planet
for the last damn time.

May 10, 2015 2:17 PM

Friday, May 8, 2015

The Long Quest


"Sir Galahad" by Arthur Hughes
[The long quest of Galahad, Lancelot's son, is encouraged by supernatural beings.]

Sir Galahad - 'The Quest for the Holy Grail' by Arthur Hughes (1832-1915). '"[King Arthur’s knights] agreed that all would go on this quest, but…they thought it would be a disgrace...to go forth in a group…so each entered the forest...at a point that he, himself, had chosen, where it was darkest and there was no path.”...If there is a path, it is someone else’s path, and you are not on the adventure.' ~ Joseph Campbell

The Long Quest

A lonely grieving
God has called us these odd days
to take up the task
and spin crazy yarns
as we traverse rocky shores,
take up the long quest,
take the shape required
to continue no matter
what, no matter what.

Perhaps somewhere we
will embrace. Until that day
we will pray and pray.

December 14, 2010 4:41 AM
Changed one word, May 8, 2015

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Joni Sings Both Sides Now



Joni Sings Both Sides Now

Was so long ago
and she sang it as I lived,
no hollow spaces
just the corners turned
and standing right proud in light
of the noonday shift.

I can hardly take
the force of it in my gut.
I will come undone.
Oh sometimes I don't
get how they stand in the front
and take the crowd's roar
or how you are on
time like this, always on time.

I started running
late, always too late
to catch your ever loving
ways, not for years now.

‎April ‎20, ‎2014 10:27 PM

Written in collaboration with Irene Toh of Singapore:
Both Sides Now

To be complete, here is the Wikipedia history site on the song,
Both Sides Now

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

How We Love Again


How We Love Again
(Dancing With Rilke)

Say it again, love.
Tell me the truth as if you
were before the cross
swearing, holiness
at your back. Look at the stones,
the upright curling
whispers of the stones.

Hear them ease out songs, true tales
of the old abyss
in the core of love
and how we love anyway,
again and again
standing as trees stand,
colorful flowers blazing
in the wind of fall
though we know snow comes,
though we know the weight, terror's
weight, moaning dry wind,
and still we lie down
together in sere gardens,

again and again
wedded in love's way,
you and me and all the rest,
again and again,
how we face the sky.

‎December ‎10, ‎2010 6:50 PM

Sunday, March 22, 2015

A Green Dream - A Magpie Tale


Image offered by Tess for this week's Magpie Tales.
Click here to go to Mag 262. There you can browse the list of this week's contributors.

A Green Dream

I've dug my way out
from beneath the roots of oak
and scrub onto green
framed sand paved forking
paths to who knows where they go.

Certainly I don't.

I call it "Follow
The Dog" because one of my
youngest memories
was doing just that,
going somewhere new to me
trailing an Irish
Setter who roamed free -
1949 that was.

Now, here, on my own
I've gone to a dream,
a screen atop the expanse
of my current hope.

‎March ‎22, ‎2015 4:21 PM

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Red Crab


Here I am

I sit in corners,
try invisibility
on for pensive size,
wondering if I
must fight on this day or that,
or if it ever
will work, this sitting
in the world's pensive corners.
I have little grit,
tarnished purity,
and frayed integrity
Lord! I do worry.

Once I ran away,
all the way to Chittagong
where red crabs look past
you and crawl across
your sleeping form on the beach.
The monsoon will come
next June 5th. I will not wait
that long to get up
or whisper my love,
and I will not go to war.
I will not go there.

December 13, 2010 6:58 PM

Friday, March 20, 2015

Dog Dreams

Irish Wolfhound - Stella who lives here is shorter probably by a third and darker.

Dog Dreams In Winter

Canicule dreamer
of the hot days, the dog days
dreams of canorous
moments, dogs and birds
and the lazy river run,
the noonday still life
except for birdsong,
occasional far birdsong
piercing snow's bound dream.

December 5, 2010 3:45 PM

Two words, "canicule, canorous", are very far from my normal speech. The first refers to the dog days, the hottest days of summer, from canis which is Latin for dog. On the other hand in the kind of twist that English (and Latin) gives to sounds and meanings, canorous does not come from canis but from canor and is a rarely used word which means pleasantly melodius.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

My Inert Self


My Inert Self

You shine so brightly
I wish to call you stellar
though you hug the ground
of my inert self,
lay across me, a fallen
leafy limb digging
in to my edges
as if I am fine wet sand.
I so love your light.

‎November ‎30, ‎2010 1:08 PM

I haven't had a lover for so long now I have to make them up. Life is hard. Then you die. Alone.

To be real about things, I live alone in this basement arrangement. The fine lady who lives upstairs and rents me this portion of her basement is my long time friend and former lover of five years. It has been many years since that time but she has seemingly promised to keep me company as I age. She returned from Canada to remodel her house and take care of me while she does that.

I also share with a moody calico cat and I am visited often by one of the kindest dogs in the world who lives upstairs too. She is somewhat large because she is half Irish Wolfhound and looks it. She is stocky and loves bones. There are other people upstairs too, so I can be as social as I wish.

Currently there is a barber who works nearby and three trained young men, singers. They all specialize in opera. They are in town for several months participating in a program to present opera to various groups, mainly children. They travel all over Oregon to do this. They offer scenes from The Barber of Seville and perhaps arias from other works too. They have to hump their own stage sets.

I get out and about as often as I like, but these days I am motionless for long stretches of the day. Oddly this is like I was when I was working - in the same place for weeks on end, doing much the same thing every day, among the same people.

I had a cubicle and all the tools and devices I needed to produce engineering drawings of mechanical equipment and support structures and I sat there most of the time while I puzzled out solutions. I was free to move about the bakery (factory) but I had to have a reason because drawing production was my job and that could only happen at my desk.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

In The Lab


Theoretical Science

I thought I had it
whipped, knocked, made when you came by
and casually
asked me the single
question that tore me apart,
unravelled me to
shreds, to thin tatters
of myself, except of course
you are simply wrong.

‎November ‎29, ‎2010 3:20 PM

Monday, March 16, 2015

Far Apart


Far Apart

They still say the cold
will increase this next winter
and then they suggest
the vultures stock up
carrion for icy days
certain to descend
from the frozen shield,
pushing all the marine air
back out west to sea.

Oh wait, that's true here
while I guess for you winter's
a different deal,
cooler and drier,
but still not frozen, not high
enough latitude -
though your vultures, vain
and otherwise do rise up
into stretchy sky.

‎May ‎29, ‎2014 10:31 PM
Modified March 16, 2015 6:55 PM

changed the title and two words:
the title was "Vultures Soar Above" while
"...vultures, vain" was "...eagles, bald"

Another of the poems that were written as part of last year's collaboration with Ms. Irene Toh. We are indeed far apart. Ms. Toh is resident in Singapore while I hang out in Oregon in the US of A.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

The Mermaid Waves Goodbye

Image by John Chatterly

The Mermaid Waves Goodbye

I looked to you once
and once again to be sure
of my place nearby.
The salt air and sand
and the submerged rocks, high tide
not yet full and still
the taste of this shore
will linger on my palate
beyond this last time.

November 28, 2010 6:38 AM

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Bat Herding - A Magpie Memory

This is the image Tess posted for this week's Magpie Tales. I am going to slide a bit off topic from butterfly to flying critters and focus on another. I have a butterfly experience and story too, but the bat talked to me and said, "Now!"

To see the work of the other contributors to this week's Magpie Tales, go to Tess Kincaid's site here

This is a memory. It is not made up. It was me, my wife and her younger sister, my favorite of all my relatives, ever. We were in our two story condominium apartment. We would enter at ground level on a steep hill. The living area above was one level up in the back. We would go down stairs to the lower floor where the main bath and two bedrooms were. The main bedroom had a glass wall at the back of the condo and a small patio at ground level because the hill had sloped enough to do that. Above that patio was a wood deck outside the living room with its glass wall.

The condo design was common wall to the sides with the next unit so the windows were at the rear while the door was at the front. We would enter into our upper floor living area, into the small hall beside the kitchen on one side and the upper half bath on the other. Next would come the dining area, then the three step down to the sunken living area. Then loop around to the left and the stairs to the lower level going back toward the front of the condo. At the base of the stairs was the main bath while to the left were the two bedrooms. At the front of the house under the kitchen was the smaller bedroom and main bath and at the back under the living area with the same three steps down was the main bedroom.

Why the owner had installed the dark brown, nearly black cork square tile with random pattern sound holes in the living area I do not know. The place was quite dark because of that cork board wall. Bats loved it. It was perfect for them, being the same color they were and having all those holes to latch onto. The ceiling was extra high because the three steps down from the entry level was not matched in the ceiling. That gave that cork wall an extra 21" so the ceiling was nearly 9' above the living area floor. That meant any bat could choose to be well away from humans.

This condo was the last place we rented. We lived there almost four years. In 1981, things changed. The owner wanted to sell. We thought we might buy the condo but before we actually got very far in that process we found a house and bought it instead.


This is about the right size and shape of the bat in my poem but this is a representative picture. I did not catch the bat, just shooed it out.

Bat Herding
(Lake Grove Condos
Spring, 1979 - late evening)

So we're hanging out
in the living room just shootin'
the shit and the fact
that bats live in the trees
nearby comes up and I say
our corkboard south wall
attracts them and I look
high up, then say
"Just like that one."

At that point the women freak
and I start laughing
and I get the broom
and in a comedy of bat herding
I finally get it to fly out
the front door.
The women, who have
meanwhile huddled
out on the back deck scream,
"Shut that goddam door!"

‎January ‎25, ‎2015 11:11 AM

Saturday, January 24, 2015

My Last Award


Entertainment industry awards are commercial ventures. No one from television viewers through the local live audience to the award hopefuls and then the winners and the backstage people and the hosts and then the tv industry itself is exempt from the commercial backdrop and wash that colors the whole thing. Think on that and then wonder what goes through the hearts of the people who recieve such honors which are not really honors.

Here's one guy speaking out after being honored enough that he gets to immortalize his hand and foot prints in concrete at Grauman's Chinese Theater.

I don't mean to imply that Henry thought this way. This is just an illustrative image, one among so many I could have chosen. However, I could not choose a woman's slab. A woman never would have written this poem just this way. At least I don't think so.

My Last Award

It's an old movie
with the old stars attending
while my path takes me
to the fresh concrete
and my hands squish hollowed prints,
stony memory.
I sign with flourish
and accept your pinned corsage
on my flabby chest.

‎November ‎28, ‎2010 6:24 AM

Friday, January 23, 2015

Don't Forget I Love You


Here is a poem about the unfriendly shape reality can take. In a totally different arena I had my illusions slapped across my face again. There are ways in which I radically do not fit in contemporary society. I can go for years and gradually forget all over again that there is cognitive dissonance between me and convention in certain areas.

I am no monster* but there are parts of the world that are seriously alien to my ways - things I would do very differently from others and I really depend on God to keep me out of trouble. It occurs to me once again, for example, that I was ethically set up to be the dope dealer I became, for one - and to leave it behind abruptly under the pressures I found also. I left no one hanging. All accounts were square.

I am a good lover. I have received ample feedback on that score. I am also not so good as a long term husband. I have only been one once but Mama! what a debacle that became.

There are, because I lead a life where I have many people in it, many who believe my capacity for friendship. And I retired from my lifework in good standing but rather poor health. I was personally somewhat ashamed but also assured no one thought ill of me.

And yet, there is still this vagrant hair - a mole exists and out of it comes a strangely colored corkscrew of a hair that grows back even when I pluck it out. I see some stuff very differently from many people and if I act on that stuff I might find big trouble. I just went through an exercise of trading views in an internet setting which makes it clear how differently others see stuff.

That dismays me.

So of course it comes as no surprise that this is the poem to post today.

Don't Forget I Love You

It curls in me like
thin gray leaders of old smoke.
It has the quiet
stench of the ash trays
of that drug house we lived in,
of the dusty floors.

I fear the way you
sometimes look at me. I know
you are recalling
my deflated shape
and I cannot hide from it
so I shiver, shake.

‎November ‎26, ‎2010 8:30 PM

*My mother called me "Monster" or "Monstro" but I never took it that serious. :)

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Falling In Love - 3 Word Wednesday


Three Word Wednesday

These three words:
Amicable; Frivolous; Unrefined.

Falling In Love

It's the waterwheel
that takes my heart all the way
out of my body.
I think I will fall
in love with you pretty much
this time tomorrow.

I'm amicable
no matter the confusion,
the frivolous trips,
the unrefined noise
arising out my innards
after I've eaten.

It's funny how time
wounds all heels - I make bad puns
under this pressure.
Believe me - I will
fall for you for sure not long
from now, my pretty.

January 21, 2015 10:22 AM

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Remains


Remains

I am the fruit loop
hung to dry when you left me
in the calcined rocks
strewn about our front
slope as if you might find me
in their crumbly shapes
and remember what
you have done to this old soul,
this wizened old soul.

‎November ‎26, ‎2010 7:37 AM

I found out that friends of mine who have gone to a life of promise have crashed hard on the rocks of their day. I love these people and my heart is hurt. Now I shall remember that one is to proceed in complicated times like cooking a delicate fish. That observation is one of my lifelong guides, found as a suggestion in an ancient Chinese classic. I have no intention beyond loving them both. That this poem arises from the queue at this point seems a touch spooky.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Before We Left For California - A Magpie Tale


My Step-Dad was the man who raised me, an honorable man who worked hard in his own way all his life. He was not that popular, being too straight laced and not at all religious until the end. I am told at the end, crushed by the pain of his bone cancer he got closer to God.

He was born in Perry, Oklahoma. Not long after he was born the family emigrated to California, chased by the Dust Bowl. They settled in a small farmer's village south of Ventura, a rural wide spot in the road known as Montalvo.

In the fifties, when we visited for holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas, it was still basically rural and not like it is now. For one thing the water was so bad it was undrinkable and we all had bottled water.

My Dad's grandmother Nora owned the house. There were two bedrooms, with his grandmother in one and his mother and husband the other. My Dad and his brother had an add on room at the back that ran the full width of the house. Next door was one of his aunt's and uncle's, and across the street directly was another. Most of the family settled down on this road, being a bit more well to do than the typical picture of the Okies, the desperation migrants of the day.

Here's the house my Dad grew up in until he entered the Marines to fight at the last in World War II. It is the small beige one with the detached garage and the trash bin out front. No one in the family lives there now and it looks as if it is now an industrial site. In the fifties when I knew the house it was grassy in back, an extra deep lot as appears here, and there was vegetable plot and a broke down empty chicken house:


Before We Left For California

The sounds of your hands
on the pots, on the wide pans
tell me supper's near
and that's a good thing
I think, and so does the dog.
The cat's as always
aloof and even
haughty as if she cares not
at all but the bird
count is up lately.
We know she will dine with us.

So I grab your ass,
slide up to the small
of your back with my right hand,
fingers widely spread,
and with my left, take
you to me, whirling as if
we cannot collide
with the rest of it,
all the financials that suck
the life out of us.

‎January ‎18, ‎2015 11:10 AM

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Cartoon Grief


This poem is a memory. I could have been six or a little older, I suppose. I cried so much my Dad lost patience a little. After all, just a cartoon. Actually it was not just a cartoon but also me crying for the painful reality of others on the planet - among the first times I ever did that. So it was a learning moment too. I do not think my Dad recognized it for what it was.

In just this way we can miss what is happening to other people and why so many of us often are alone in those critical moments on the planet.

Cartoon Grief

The cartoon dog lept
and bounced and licked the cartoon
boy as if love was
all there is to know.
The boy held stock still, too sad
to care, to notice,
until the little
dog turned to face us broken,
drooping hangdog drab.

Me at five, I took
that look and cried openly.
My daddy did not.

November 22, 2010 12:22 PM

Thursday, January 15, 2015

What’s At Stake


What’s At Stake

My heart is laced up
with threads drawn from my fat head
and cinched far too tight
for comfort and joy.
To top that, the two get ups
the dog made me do
in the night because
her turgid gut ached and leaked.
The doggie tooted
in the key of F
and I felt distress and worse.
The fat head lacing,
the absence of joy,
the lack of comfort and sleep -
another fine mess
you got me into.
I will expect my wages
to be free of sin.

May 28, 2014 7:52 PM

Written last May in response to Irene's "gold threads"

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