Monday, October 31, 2011

I Am Indisposed

The Broken Crown

I Am Indisposed

You asked it of me,
tapping the lucidity
of my aging skin,
feeling the shape of
my familiar, the old bear,
grieving my broken
crown and seat thrown down
by brigands and thieves who came
by sea and by land
too if truth be known,
so beseiged I've been in this
last open season.

You asked it of me
and I have tried to tell you,
but this hound don't hunt.

October 31, 2011 6:54 PM

The Old Bear and Friend

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Thirty Years Ago

Thirty Years Ago

Your words were not friends,
not that time. They slapped me down,
then they ran away.
My words, abashed, turned
despairing from the dim light
of that last day's dawn.

I then sat me down
in front of wheezing cupped keys,
that tinned fount of words
tasting like bad brass.
I held still looking for ways
to say one deep thing
because so many
times my sense appeared right there,
some thread through the night.

October 30, 2011 7:44 AM

This one took a little effort. Most lines changed completely at least once. At the last moment the poem transformed its tense from a current expression to a memory. I am grateful I am as much an editor as a writer, a relationship with words begun the thirty years ago of the title.

The picture is the prompt Tess gave us for Mag 89. Click this link.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Night Visitor

"Fairytales were maps formed of blood and hair and bones; they were the knots of the sub-conscious unwound. Every word in every tale was real and as true as apples and stones. They all led to the story inside the story."
- Alice Hoffman

Alice Hoffman (born March 16, 1952) is an American novelist and young-adult and children's writer, best known for her 1996 novel Practical Magic, which was adapted for a 1998 film of the same name. Many of her works fall into the genre of magic realism and contain elements of magic, irony, and non-standard romances and relationships.

"I feel as if I am an ad
for the sale of a haunted house:
18 rooms
I'm yours
ghosts and all." - Richard Brautigan

Richard Gary Brautigan (January 30, 1935 – ca. September 14, 1984) was an American novelist, poet, and short story writer. His work often employs black comedy, parody, and satire. He is best known for his 1967 novel Trout Fishing in America.

Oh I am particularly fond of this one...

Night Visitor

You look back over
your shoulder at me like I
would at you were I
the one bounding off
in shoulder high moonlit snow.
You say nothing now
though I have heard you
snuff at my ragged edges
and felt your hot breath
in back of my house,
where you searched, but not for me.
Then your tail winks out.

written by me, January 13, 2010 8:26 AM

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Ice Witch

  In the Grip of the Ice Witch  
Silver Falls State Park, near Silverton, Oregon, February, 2011

Photograph by and holder of copyright:
Name: Jason Friesen
Username: DrAchoo
Eugene, OR

Sorry to steal but it was too good to pass up. I of course, having been there more than once, recognized the location instantly. I am trying to do the right thing here...

Realm of the Ice Witch

Since ancient times, Cholizar the ice witch has dwelled in the frozen lands north of the empires of men, held back each year by the warm hand of spring. But now she has let loose demons of cold to invade the warm southern lands and wrap them in her icy grip! Only the most hardy of heroes can venture into her frozen realm to stop her, before all the world is embraced by her winter spell.

On Her Throne

Sorry for the poor quality of this illustration. The Ice Witch is a wily creature and it is very hard to get her cooperation. She abhors the risk of losing her soul in the images. Immediately after I captured this one, she flounced off to run a protection on her entire estate and another ramped up one on herself. I am not sure if the following poem will appease her. If not, then I am in for it, I fear.

The Ice Witch

I gave the ice witch
a ticket to Bermuda.
her eyes flashed. She stroked
my nose with frostbite, showing
me the gratitude
she should, considering.
She's packing her bags right now,
ready to scoot south.

January 7, 2010 2:04 PM

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Arrogance Of Place

Each week, Thom posts three words. You write something using the words. Then you come back and post a link to the contribution with Mr. Linky (but please, link to the exact post, not your blog). As always, there's no hard-and-fast rule that you have to post on Wednesday. Click on the link above to see all the participants and their work. Join us if you like.

Here are the words.
Figment; noun: A thing that someone believes to be real but that exists only in their imagination.
Inclined; verb: Feel willing or favorably disposed toward (an action, belief, or attitude); have a tendency to do something; noun: An inclined surface or plane; a slope, esp. on a road or railway.
Vulnerable; adjective: susceptible to physical or emotional attack or harm.

I once went for a three month review in the company where I began my career. This happened after six years away from them working for a major corporation and standing alone as a designer among other things I did to make my career track a bit remarkable.

I had hired back in to the company who gave me my start and received a substantial raise to do it. I was made a team leader. What the guy said to me during my review, his primary criticism, "You're arrogant!" It crushed me. I had no idea.

It never happened again. I don't mean I stopped being arrogant. What I mean, I have been so overt and clear while working on my arrogance that everyone knows I already know all about it and am trying not to be. It's tricky. I am paid to know stuff or at least how to learn, paid to not make mistakes, paid essentially to show off and have real substance firmly placed beneath the flash. My boss wants to not lie when he claims I am the best machine designer he knows. That is not true, but I am better than average, I think.

Arrogance Of Place

Vulnerable you...
So inclined you are to lean
on a figment, you
forget your low place
in the scheme of things, you toad.

You will lose your head
for this infraction
if you are not real careful.

From here on you'll till
my soul first before
your own. If you wed
(you understand this)
I will get first nights for sure
unless I deign not.

Written October 26, 2011 6:51 PM

I am reading historical fiction by Bernard Cornwell at the breakfast table these days so this sort of thing is uppermost in my thinking practice. I wonder how it is to write extended work in that kind of historical discipline. Cornwell writes so convincingly of another time and place. He really journeys far afield while sitting, I presume, at a computer or a typewriter or at pages and pages of penmanship. Maybe he dictates for himself or someone else to write up later. He is so rich, I presume he researches extensively too. Hours, days, weeks spent building another time and place well enough to enthrall some of us.

  • Arrogance: It helps when the little people understand you are simply better than they are, for example, Dick Cheney.
  • or A strange disease that makes everybody sick except the person actually afflicted with it, for example, Charley Sheen.
  • There are people in my work life who prove that it's only arrogance if you're wrong.
  • When you're better than others it's best to let them know in no uncertain terms so that they don't embarrass themselves by questioning your plans and designs.
  • Those of you who think you know it all annoy those of us who know we do.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Time To Smoke

David Foster Wallace
"We all have our little solipsistic delusions, ghastly intuitions of utter singularity: that we are the only one in the house who ever fills the ice-cube tray, who unloads the clean dishwasher, who occasionally pees in the shower, whose eyelid twitches on first dates; that only we take casualness terribly seriously; that only we fashion supplication into courtesy; that only we hear the whiny pathos in a dog's yawn, the timeless sigh in the opening of the hermetically-sealed jar, the splattered laugh in the frying egg, the minor-D lament in the vacuum's scream; that only we feel the panic at sunset the rookie kindergartner feels at his mother's retreat. That only we love the only-we. That only we need the only-we.

That we feel lonely in a crowd; stop not to dwell on what's brought the crowd into being. That we are, always, faces in a crowd." - David Foster Wallace

Time To Smoke Some Dope

I know I'm not in
Kansas anymore. Black skies,
but just before that
the skies were yellow
with a sick green tinge and my
neck puckered with it
and the sound of it
comes as if searching for me
and the papaya
in the back yard snaps
leaving only the bare trunk
while I've gone back in
to my air controlled
full blast cold inner sanctum
free of the monsoon.

October 24, 2011 6:43 PM

This poem is gratefully received from the muse, a memory from the summer of 1968 in the midst of the seasonal monsoon in East Pakistan. We just had the winds. The tornado touched down south of us and sent the corrugated tin roofs flying edgewise like giant knives. The cuts given at least had a pretty corrugated design to them. These roofs were held down by weights, bricks and other heavy objects, laid on them. The roofs were not fastened. The muse shook me by the neck as I was reading this blog post by Erin Tornado at Whiskey Lake

I smoked a great deal of dope, ganja, that I bought behind the main stores in the New Market from a government licensed ganja shop. I also occasionally smoked (and ate) hashish, illegal because smuggled in from West Pakistan but still easy to get. I sometimes smoked with others, but mostly I smoked alone. I did not usually smoke in my room. Instead, like cigarette smokers today, I would go outside in deference to the other people in the house. I would come back in high and write or draw or practice guitar.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

On The Run

Lee Freidlander, From America By Car
From Tess Kincaid's "Magpie Tales"

On Sundays, Tess posts a photo she intends to be an illustration for a Magpie Tale. *Click Here* to see the other offerings

For reasons best left to mystery I often use the idea of robbing banks as examples of choices left open to me or others. I am not on the edge of anything but my own mortality. I do have a criminal mind. I am actually not nearly brave or foolish enough to actually live like this. I think.

Once, while headed southbound home, I saw a car headed northbound on a local freeway smack the guard rail square enough and hard enough to twist in the air and show me its underside while totally airborne across my path. It landed hard on the hood of the first car just yards in front of me. It bounced and then landed on the hood of a second car, bounced again and landed on the verge, skidding on its side into the berm and staying that way. It was driver's door down. The freeway was at dead stop of course.

It turned out that the driver, a woman had been clipped in the rear by a cop as they are wont to do, after a long run up the freeway from the US Bank in Oregon City where she had been passing bad payroll checks. This chase was the head end of a long investigation into a bogus check cashing ring. Yeah, eff em if they can't take a joke.

The woman was badly bruised is all but she had some other trouble quite soon. This freeway was totally shut down as a crime scene. It was afternoon drive time. We all had some trouble that day.

On The Run

I have to leave town
though I don't know where to go
and the money's spent.
I've asked you for gas
and you've shown me pocket moths.
So with nothing left
to do I'll rob banks
along the way. The cash they
keep now's just for me.
To Hell with them all
if they can't take a damn joke.
That's what I'll say
when they catch me flat
with my rusty gun, with my
shifty hopeless eyes.

written October 23, 2011 10:23 AM

Saturday, October 22, 2011


In 1973 I started working for a Portland engineering group called Timberman's Engineering, a company serving the wood products industry, sawmills and such. I started as a complete trainee. I not only knew nothing, I had no clue how much I didn't know. They trained me.  In two years they created  of my rough cloth a junior drafter who could stand alone.

 Ann and I moved to the Oregon Coast, to Newport in 1975 and while she began her social work career working for the state in child welfare, I found a job as a member of the engineering team at a paper mill eight miles inland in a town called Toledo. There I began to see what life was like in certain segments of corporate America and as well I learned to function without the support of a closely focused project team as a solo supplier of engineering. When I left that position three years later, I was no longer just a drafter. I had become a designer of machines, machine lines, processes and supporting structural features suited to heavy industry.
Everything shown here may also exist
as part of a set of plans drawn by some designer.
Georgia Pacific at Toledo Oregon
Newport, Rhode Island
Newport, Oregon

(Now I have named three cities in Oregon, Portland (Maine), Newport (Rhode Island), and Toledo (Ohio). Each of them are named the same as three other cities elsewhere much further east in the US of A as I have noted. Oregon is nothing if not a land of immigrants. There are certain remote locations where the immigrant trail of the 1800s was so heavily used that the ruts still exist.)
Oregon Trail Rut near Guernsey, Wyoming

Engineering as I am called to practice it as an actual machine designer is a discipline of applied geometry and trigonometry. I use these tools on a daily basis on the macro level all the way down to rather small and precise applications. I once had to design the shape of a cam to operate a switch. That switch worked as a push button that activated in a few thousandths of an inch and I had to translate motion on a much larger scale to that tiny motion. In another job I designed a belt conveyor over a hundred yards long, following changes in topography, starting and ending in precise locations.


I need to hold place,
a geometer, precise,
standing in your shapes
waiting, willing to
draw the new circle, bisect
your new line, create
the triangle we
will determine, hold closer
as we intersect
the wild parallels.

Written January 4, 2010 12:26 PM

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Hoping You Would Notice Me

The Girl With The Clean Scent

What a fantasy.  The real girl with the clean scent, I was a Senior all right and I remember her name.  The thing is, however fresh she was then, she's been rode hard and put up wet just like me probably now.  She like me would be in her mid sixties.  I just remembered this, haven't thought of it in years.  Her clean girl scent was distinctive and among the best smells of my senior year.  I remember her scent now and if I sniffed it again I would hoot and holler for a while.  I really would lay my head down just so I could get close enough to sniff her back.  I never had the courage to speak with her.  The class was advanced algebra and trigonometry.  Unlike Jennifer Aniston above, my classmate was dark and curly haired.  She was a definite looker in her way all right.

The thing is, I use the math taught me in that class in my work life routinely today.  I'm happy I actually passed the course no matter how distracted I was.

Hoping You Would Notice Me

I sat behind you
passed his notes like in third grade
wishing they were mine.
Often I would lean
forward to catch your clean scent
like I did with Jenn
at my desk in math.
That was in my Senior year.
I passed notes to you
like a snake shedding
skin not mine hoping you would
never notice my

October 20, 2011 12:49 PM

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Laurel Wreath

Figure With A Laurel Wreath
Herbert James Draper

Thom writes: "Each week, I post three words. You write something using the words. Then come back and post a link to the contribution with Mr. Linky (but please, link to the exact post, not your blog, by clicking on the exact post title and paste it to Mr. Linky below). As always, there's no hard-and-fast rule that you have to post on Wednesday."

Click on this link *Three Word Wednesday*

This week the three words are: BREACH, EMBER, TENTATIVE.

The Laurel Wreath

My love, my darling
hear me with your truthful heart
not the tentative
uncertain ember
you place in the breach of things
when you think you must.

I shall climb steady
on up the laurel and pick
a wreath, a green crown
to grace your faerie
burst of light - a warm woven
ring to prove my faith.

October 19, 2011 7:39 PM

Wiki says: Herbert James Draper (1863 – 22 September 1920) was an English Classicist painter whose career began in the Victorian era and extended through the first two decades of the 20th century.

Day and the Dawn Star
Herbert James Draper

I have to say I love these exercises for the way they lead me on. This is the first I have known of Draper, found through Google and "Laurel Wreath" Images which brought up his sketch. I love his fantasy and his skill. So, thank you, Thom!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Writing Spells

Indra's Net

"There is an endless net of threads throughout the universe...
At every crossing of the threads there is an individual.
And every individual is a crystal bead.
And every crystal bead reflects
Not only the light from every other crystal in the net
But also every other reflection
Throughout the entire universe."
an adaptation of The Net of Jewels, or Indra's Net, one of the oldest written creations of humanity - Anne Adams

By the way, as is well known by many, while this description given of Indra's net is thousands of years old it is an almost perfect description of a hologram.

Wiki says: Indra or Śakra is the King of the demi-gods or Devas and Lord of Heaven or Svargaloka in Hindu mythology. He is also the God of War, Storms, and Rainfall.
Indra is one of the chief deities in the Rigveda. He is celebrated as a demiurge who pushes up the sky, releases dawn (Ushas) from the Vala cave, and slays Vṛtra; both latter actions are central to the Soma sacrifice. On the other hand, he also commits (like Zeus) many kinds of mischief (kilbiṣa) for which he is sometimes punished. He has many epithets, notably vṛṣan the bull, and vṛtrahan, slayer of Vṛtra and maghavan "the bountiful'. Indra appears as the name of an arch-demon in the Zoroastrian religion, while his epithet Verethragna appears as a god of victory.

In Puranic mythology, Indra is bestowed with a heroic and almost brash and amorous character at times, even as his reputation and role diminished in later Hinduism with the rise of the Trimurti. (The "Trimurti" is the Hindu Trinity of Bhrama, Vishnu, and Shiva, the personification among other things, of Creation, Preservation, and Transformation respectively). Indra is also called Śakra frequently in the Vedas and in Buddhism.

Indra, who pushes up the sky and releases the dawn, who governs war and storms and rain, who is bountiful and who slayed Vritra, the dragon who hoarded the waters of the world until slain, this is the One who has cast the net containing you and me. Cut away a small piece of the whole. You discover you still have the whole faithfully reflected just the same. There is no small piece.

Writing Spells

If not for magic
then these words would gasp, falter,
and fail to reach you
where you are, far gone
from my touch, my holy sight,
from the ground of us.

If not for magic
then only contingency
governs the dim day.

But here, now, a spell
woven behind my small words
has caressed your soul.

January 4, 2010 11:19 AM

Monday, October 17, 2011

Diving In

Cliff Jumping In Broad Daylight
Warming Up For Diving Into Starry Waters

In my youth I was a swimmer and a diver off the meter board (and lower). I had the jack knife, the swan, the flip, the back dive, and the half gainer. I almost had the back flip and the full gainer. I was licensed as a life guard in my Junior year in high school and had a couple jobs, where I revealed that I was not very good at that age at holding jobs or being a life guard either. However, no one died or even came close. It's just that pool maintenance is part of life guarding and so is maintenance of the dressing rooms. I haven't been swimming in decades.

I learned the gainers at the Hotel Intercontinental pool in Dacca, East Pakistan. It was outside the hotel in the portal after swimming with my girlfriend Carmen that she and I became accidental walk ons in a Bengali movie, an escape scene featuring a young man in rags and outlandish makeup. It was clear he had been in places in the script that he had to be to further the plot but no man should have been. It was also clear he thought he was being chased. We hammed it up. A few months later some Bengali friends claimed they saw us on screen so we made it in. That was the only time I have ever knowingly been in a movie, a B-movie made in Bengal.

Diving In

As you dance on by
I shall grab hold and dance too.
Your eyes spark with mine
as I take up your
song, begin to howl like youth,
howl in the pale light
of this moonlit night,
this just before we both dive
in, slick, shiny forms,
into the starry
waters that have spread across
the waiting valley.

January 3, 2010   9:31 AM

Sunday, October 16, 2011

San Francisco

Duck Shop

"All intimacy is rare -- that's what makes it precious. And it involves the revelation of one's self and the loving gaze upon another's true self (no makeup, no fancy car, no defensive charm, no seduction) -- that's what makes it so damn hard. Intimacy requires honesty and kindness in almost equal measure (a little more kindness, I think), trust and trustworthiness, forgiveness and the capacity to be forgiven . . . It's more than worth it -- just don't let them tell you it's bliss." - Amy Bloom

I was raised as a small boy in Berkeley and then came of age in San Jose just a little more than fifty miles down the El Camino Real from San Francisco. I know this distance because in 1963, during John Kennedy's Presidency I joined a small group who went on a fifty mile hike, walking up the El Camino from Santa Clara's Buchser High School where I was a Senior to San Francisco. In our day this was Highway 101, but it is now State Route 82. I went on this hike from a standing start, so to speak, in shape to play sports but not to take this long a walk. I ended up with two sprained ankles just from wearing inadequate shoes. I had no blisters though. We started in the early morning and took a late Greyhound Bus back to Santa Clara. It was a very long day. Folks of my vintage may remember this. It was common to go on the fifty mile hike to show solidarity with Kennedy's call for physical fitness. Go to *this link* for the history.

Here's an alternative history for those who find that one too mundane:

San Francisco

In old Chinatown
I pace myself, following
remembered odors,
butchers and bakers,
the pitched tones and high voices,
the sheen of fabric
and the haze, gamblers
up bright stairs, the smoke under
them, dark stories down
where I spent my time
before you broke me.

The corner duck shop is here.
I would go two doors
beyond the duck shop, two doors
to the opium
seller and his den.

Written October 16,2011 9:36 AM

Hey!  Where's Mom?

This post composed for Magpie Tales Mag 87. Go to *this link* to see all the contributions.

Saturday, October 15, 2011


Is That You, Che?

Compost is organic matter that has been decomposed and recycled as a fertilizer and soil amendment. Compost is a key ingredient in organic farming. At its most essential, the process of composting requires simply piling up waste outdoors and waiting for the materials to break down at least 6 weeks or more. Modern, methodical composting is a multi-step, closely monitored process with measured inputs of water, air and carbon- and nitrogen-rich materials. The decomposition process is aided by shredding the plant matter, adding water and ensuring proper aeration by regularly turning the mixture. Worms and fungi further break up the material. Aerobic bacteria manage the chemical process by converting the inputs into heat, carbon dioxide and ammonium. The ammonium is further converted by bacteria into plant-nourishing nitrites and nitrates through the process of nitrification.

Compost can be rich in nutrients. It is used in gardens, landscaping, horticulture, and agriculture. The compost itself is beneficial for the land in many ways, including as a soil conditioner, a fertilizer, addition of vital humus or humic acids, and as a natural pesticide for soil. In ecosystems, compost is useful for erosion control, land and stream reclamation, wetland construction, and as landfill cover. Organic ingredients intended for composting can alternatively be used to generate biogas through anaerobic digestion. Anaerobic digestion is fast overtaking composting in some parts of the world including central Europe as a primary means of downcycling waste organic matter.


So we will be of some use then.
When we are done steaming off
we shall be spread as cover
for the roots of new growth.
We will be changed.
We will no longer take,
will instead give life.

January 2, 2010 8:09 AM

The Corpse of Che Guevara Before Composting

Friday, October 14, 2011

You've Gone On Errands

"Being heard is so close to being loved that for the average person they are almost indistinguishable." - David Augsburger

Found on Wiki: David W. Augsburger is an American Anabaptist author with a Ph.D. from Claremont School of Theology and a BA and BD from Eastern Mennonite College and Eastern Mennonite Seminary respectively. Augsburger writes on Christian subjects and has been the Professor of Pastoral Care and Counseling at the School of Theology at Fuller's Theological Seminary since 1990. Augsburger is a minister of the Mennonite Church and a diplomate of the American Association of Pastoral Counselors. Although all of Augsburger's works revolve around the subject of Christianity, some also cover dealing with hatred, prejudice, and violence, as well as being a forgiving person.

You've Gone On Errands

You know how I feel
about your hands on my bones,
about your eye light
separating me
from all my party costumes.
I can't hold that still.
I am not so sure
as you but my love, I ache,
miss you. Return soon.

January 2, 2010 7:37 AM

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Stealing Lines

Stealing Lines

Really good poem,
come to me, you come right here
come here now, sit here
with me if you dare.
I want to steal your source, take
it away with me
to some quiet room
where I will compose new work,
write ever more lines,
write myself away
from my gray withered old self,
become new again.

December 29, 2009 6:25 PM

I will not turn away from my responsibility. I promise.

Blame everything on one thing. It simplifies life incredibly, and yet it truly is not simplistic. If we believe from our hearts that all of our misfortunes can be attributed to self-centeredness, this must radically transform our lives.

Do we have reservations? Isn't there some part of the mind that says, "Self-centeredness is not such a bad idea. It got me my job, a good salary, my house and car. How can this be my enemy?" On the surface self-centeredness may seem like an aide who looks after our interests. There is one powerful answer to this: insofar as self-centeredness dominates our lives, it brings us into conflict with virtually everyone else. Because most people are dominated by self-centeredness, their interests are at odds with our own. There is bound to be conflict, and conflict gives rise to suffering.

Imagine what life would be like without self-centeredness. Would we give away all our possessions, waste away from malnutrition, and die prematurely of disease? No. This would be a partial lack of self-centeredness combined with a large part of stupidity. If we are to serve others effectively, we must take care of ourselves. A bodhisattva has no self-centeredness, but there have been people in all stations of life, including kings, who are bodhisattvas. If we free ourselves of self-centeredness and really concern ourselves with the cherishing of others, then our own welfare comes as a kind of echo.(p.67)

--from The Seven-Point Mind Training by B. Alan Wallace, edited by Zara Houshmand, published by Snow Lion Publications

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Self Esteem

This week Thom has offered up these three words: admire, follow, piece...

Go to Three Word Wednesday. Click here -- 3WW-CCLXII. There you will find a whole crew of people who have contributed their work.

Self Esteem

It's not that they fawn
nor do they admire, follow
every strange piece
as behind the lead
dog in harness, whip cracking
overhead with sled
scraping snow behind
and me alongside
panting out my hope.
Especially not my piece,
not this snowbound piece,
they neither admire
nor will they follow.

I admit this hurts my pride.
I think I'm that good

Written October 10, 2011 12:32 PM

As you can see, I was unable this morning to squeeze the muse. She was aloof and unresponsive, but at noon things were fine between us and all it took was a little caress, me of her and then she of me. This poem is a collaboration in that way, definitely. Without her I would never have the courage and my poetry would be filled with falsehood as well as imagination. I don't know about you guys but I know very well the cumbersome and graceless poetry which comes when I lack the essential courage, insight, and grace.

However, even though I could write the poem, I could not post from my work computer because the corporate network is old and obsolete as far as Blogger is concerned. I can read and even comment (though I don't have time for that much at work) but I cannot post. Blogger is kind enough to warn me that some things will not work and Blogger is right.

Along with the canines above, I howl out my distress. :( oooowwwoooo.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Wood Pile

This is not the photo

I just cooked up one...see how that stands alone?

The source of this poem is an actual wood pile belonging to a friend and the photo I saw of it. The source of this poem is how northern winter is different from the temperate climate I live in.

When I moved north from the Bay Area of California to the Portland area of the Willamette Valley in Oregon, I was blessed (how I see it anyway) with much longer summer's days and often at least one good winter storm a year. I was blessed (for me it is blessing) with a great deal more rain throughout the year too. I swore to myself I would find more green. In San Jose you look up at the east hills or else it is all flat and city. Those hills are a beautiful spring green, but the rest of the year they are sere and brown, hay colored, dead lawn colored. That was depressing for me. Only August and September can be like that where I live now, and it is easy for people to water through that if they want. When the land is covered in native flora, those plants stay green too.

The Wood Pile

I just cooked up one
good cup of hot chocolate
and I think of you.
I sip, remember
how I watched as you got wood
from the badly stacked
pile, overloaded
under the blue tarp, coated
with winter's sharp rime
and feel that cold now
all these years I've spent after
you found your way out.

December 29, 2009 5:11 PM

Monday, October 10, 2011

Running For Cover


The Tridevi – the conjoined forms of Lakshmi in Right, Parvati in middle and Saraswati in left- considered Shaktis of the TrimurtiVishnuShivaand Brahma respectively
Weaponweapons of all Hindu gods
ConsortShiva (for Parvati), Vishnu (For Lakshmi), Brahma (for Saraswati)

The tridevi is Sanskrit for "the three divine ones".  There are many triune arrangements of Gods and Goddesses in the Hindu spiritual systems.  Two of them are offered here, the tridevi and the trimurti.  Also here is a marriage of Sanskrit with western evolved forms of Indo-European languages.  Tri in Sanskrit is three or trinity or triangle or....
It is important to see that the tridevi conjoin.  So do the trimurti.  This begins to reveal the depth of the Hindu system in which there are thousands of deity, yet really there is only one - there is only one yet really there are thousands.  Or perhaps there are none; there is only you, only me, only Shakti and wisdom and devotion.  Power, Wisdom, Devotion - here is yet another trinity.
In the Hindu Chakra system, the flow in and through the centers is the flow of Shakti.  There is a yoga called Shakti Yoga which is designed to evoke and enhance the Shakti flow.  Russill Paul has a CD of music that comes from this tradition, part of a trilogy of musical yogas, Shabda, Shakti and Bhava Yoga.  Part of the Shakti circulation  is from the earth into the root chakra, and from the sky into the crown chakra.  This is the reason for sitting, to connect the root with earth while the crown penetrates the sky to complete the circuit.  Here is a poem concerning what happens next when the crown chakra opens by accident in an unprepared guy.  Me.  Oops.

Running For Cover

Now that there's a hole
in the top of my noggin
see what all leaks out
and how it lands, jams
the old reeds into the mud
at the misty lake's
edge while scurrying
for cover, running to duck
the coming day's light.
December 24, 2009   1:59 PM

I hope you notice that the contents that have escaped are the bits running for cover, not me. Me, I am stuck in the mud, prolly.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

The Hangover

The Little King - Sowa

Michael Sowa (born 1945) is a German artist known mainly for his paintings, which are variously whimsical, surreal, or stunning. His paintings often feature animals and are titled in English and German. Sowa studied at the Berlin State School of Fine Arts for seven years and worked briefly as an art teacher before focusing entirely on his career as a painter and illustrator.

The Hangover

This is difficult
how you keep popping into
my life, your red presence
between my coffee
and my old style morning news,
daring me to reach for
one or the other,
forcing me after this to go
all final on you,
all serial, knife
flashing in the naked light
as I cut your coat.

Written October 9, 2011 9:20 PM

The Little King - Otto Soglow

Written for Tess' Magpie Tales. Go to Mag 86 for inspiration. Click here

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Swimming Underwater

Mary Oliver summer 1964
When it's over, it's over, and we don't know
any of us, what happens then.
So I try not to miss anything.
I think, in my whole life, I have never missed
the full moon
Or the slipper of its coming back.
Or, a kiss,
Well, yes, especially a kiss.
- Mary Oliver, Swan

Mary Oliver (born September 10, 1935) is an American poet who has won the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize. The New York Times described her as "far and away, this country's [America's] best-selling poet". Oliver’s first collection of poems, Voyage, and Other Poems, was published in 1963, when she was 28. Oliver's work turns towards nature for its inspiration and describes the sense of wonder it instills in her. “When it’s over", she says, "I want to say: all my life / I was a bride married to amazement. / I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.”

Mary in 2007

If you are interested, wiki her and read the rest.

Swimming Underwater

When I was younger
I would sink to the bottom
and lie still within
the current beside
the grotto that calls me still
all these years later.

I would move slowly
not swimming so much, pulling
myself and gliding
slowly through the cool
water, the quiet blue depths,
holding my warm breath
as long as I could.

December 24, 2009   9:46 AM

Thursday, October 6, 2011

A Wolf Races The Train

I am blessed with internet poet friends. I hope you will give yourself a good gift and visit Erin at her blog "in search of white space". She has outdone herself on this post journal 48, by train and I had to answer her...

A Wolf Races The Train

I shall howl at you,
howl at the first and last cars
and at the power
of the driving wheel.
I shall race you and the moon
through the night erect
and pounding though stones
bruise the pads of my hirsute
feet while I drip from
my lolling red tongue.
I shall stop and raise my throat,
and with my opened
wide gaping gasping
breath I shall demand of you
that you give me life.

October 6, 2011 8:06 PM

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

I Must Hold Back

In Three Word Wednesday Thom offers us

Eject; verb: Force or throw (something) out, typically in a violent or sudden way; cause (something) to drop out or be removed, usually mechanically; compel (someone) to leave a place.

Impact; noun: The action of one object coming forcibly into contact with another; the effect or influence of one person, thing, or action, on another; verb: Come into forcible contact with another object.

Render; verb: Provide or give (a service, help, etc.); cause to be or become; make; represent or depict artistically; melt down (fat).

Eject came to English during the Middle English renditions (rendition means state of being rendered :D) of the Latin heritage, more or less directly from the Latin "ejectus" from "jacere"=to throw, thus "e-jacere"="out-to throw, or to throw out" with a back meaning "with some force".

Impact is a more modern borrowing also from Latin, a conjugation of "impingere". Thus there is a marriage between "impinge" and "impact", where "impinge" carries senses that one imposes while "impact" is more like a blow with the back meaning that all the impositions collapse and are viewed all at once in a single act.

Renderis the oldest word, perhaps, and traces from Middle English through Middle French to a split source, the Vulgate Latin "rendere" and the Latin "prendere" = red + dare. All meaning to give back, in part or parts. This stream of etymology connects with PREHENSILE, DATE, and DO.

I Must Hold Back

Your full impact is
(despite my view of your fine
slick form before me)

my desire as you will, love.

So long as you act
with delicacy,
your touch on my scattered parts
will not eject me
beyond our dreamy
world where gods and goddesses
play at creation.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Spider Bite

This poster taken from a post on a blog called entitled "this is premium writing, no?" The post is entitled "mundane murakami"
"Everybody's born with some different thing at the core of their existence. And that thing, whatever it is, becomes like a heat source that runs each person from the inside. I have one too, of course. Like everybody else. But sometimes it gets out of hand. It swells or shrinks inside me, and it shakes me up. What I'd really like to do is find a way to communicate that feeling to another person." - Haruki Murakami

Haruki Murakami (born January 12, 1949) is a Japanese writer and translator. His works of fiction and non-fiction have garnered him critical acclaim and numerous awards, including the Franz Kafka Prize and Jerusalem Prize among others. He is considered an important figure in postmodern literature. The Guardian praised him as "among the world's greatest living novelists" for his works and achievements.
Haruki Murakami's Signature

"Spider Bite" is the latest in the current cycle happening here and on The Waxing Moon

Spider Bite

So yes, it explodes
and yes, I slap you down or
you do me the same,
a damn big shit storm
and I surely hate how you
keep wrecking my high
but I know you went
back there and I'll go soon too,
you waiting for me
in the web you weave
and me all willing again
because it's weird how
it turns all my fault
after I think about things.
God, I love you so.

‎October ‎4, ‎2011 1:45 PM

By the way, I have another poem entitled "Spider Bite" which I posted some time ago. There was a lively discussion on that one. Go here.

Monday, October 3, 2011

The Best One

A mean streak is running through things. There is a cycle of poems from the street happening. I have a poet partner and friend named Rachel who runs a blog called The Waxing Moon. Go there and read the comments too to catch the whole thing. This is the best part of being a poet on the internet, I think.

Rachel lives up in Whitehorse in the Yukon Territory of Canada. I guess we both have seen the streets. I happen to know that neither of us live like this, not for a long time. No girl has ever knocked me to my knees. One woman drove me down there screaming in pain by saying she was going to leave me behind. That happened in 2000. I saw a man, a screwed up husband knock his wife down one time, she in a leg cast, this after he had knocked me down. I was actually innocent of any bad behavior. I don't know what all has happened in Rachel's life but I have a feeling she's been there. But right now we are both poets and often sympatico. She started something and I have replied and then she replied and I have replied again with this one.

The Best One

Knocked to my damn knees
and scraped along the gravel,
tore my pants big time.
Who would think Junebug
could do that to me again?
You'd think I would learn
even though this is good
goddamn dope from the honest
dealer down the street.
Don't change my mind though.
She's still my best bitch.

Written October 3, 2011 7:30 PM

Sunday, October 2, 2011

The Cost Of It All

The Winged Elephant courtesy Tess at Willow Manor

If you go to Magpie #85 you can link to the others from there and should you choose to accept the assignment, you can play too. Here is your link: Magpie Tales: Mag 85

There is always a price to pay, no matter what you do. When all of the costs, small and large, physical and metaphysical, are gathered together in the center ring of the circus, it may not only be pigs but elephants and people who learn to fly. At the heart of things for me lies a grief that cannot abate. The entertainment value rises, however, at the gatherings of the like minded once their souls align.

The Cost Of It All

When the elephant
last flew many people were
despondent at not
having wings as well
as the exalted vision
assigned to fliers
of the pachyderm

That view felt like
a reduction in
the cost of it all
though the clear stated price was
a wee loss of love.

Written for Magpie Tales No. 85
October 2, 2011 9:36 AM

Saturday, October 1, 2011

It Is Too Soon

This photo found *here* (click on this) at Behance Network

"The truth is you already know what it's like. You already know the difference between the size and speed of everything that flashes through you and the tiny inadequate bit of it all you can ever let anyone know. As though inside you is this enormous room full of what seems like everything in the whole universe at one time or another and yet the only parts that get out have to somehow squeeze out through one of those tiny keyholes you see under the knob in older doors. As if we are all trying to see each other through these tiny keyholes.

"But it does have a knob, the door can open. But not in the way you think. The truth is you've already heard this. That this is what it's like. That it's what makes room for the universes inside you, all the endless inbent fractals of connection and symphonies of different voices, the infinities you can never show another soul. And you think it makes you a fraud, the tiny fraction anyone else ever sees? Of course you're a fraud, of course what people see is never you. And of course you know this, and of course you try to manage what part they see if you know it's only a part. Who wouldn't? It's called free will, Sherlock. But at the same time it's why it feels so good to break down and cry in front of others, or to laugh, or speak in tongues, or chant in Bengali - it's not English anymore, it's not getting squeezed through any hole.

"So cry all you want, I won't tell anybody." - David Foster Wallace, Oblivion

David Foster Wallace (February 21, 1962 – September 12, 2008) was an American author of novels, essays, and short stories, and a professor at Pomona College in Claremont, California. He was widely known for his 1996 novel Infinite Jest, which Time included in its All-Time 100 Greatest Novels list (covering the period 1923–2006). Los Angeles Times book editor David Ulin called Wallace "one of the most influential and innovative writers of the last 20 years". Wallace's unfinished novel, The Pale King, was published in 2011. A biography of Wallace by D. T. Max is projected for publication in 2012.

I don't know why but I have witnessed apocalyptic visions rise in me this week. I have mentioned certain aspects of it already here and there. I think something big is coming in the scientific realm very soon, based on stirrings in the science news this week. Other things are happening, like it appears both Mexico and Guatemala are releasing for publication by certain archeologers material which may build a yet stronger case for alien visitations to the Maya from somewhere. Overt change is afoot, or so it seems to me.

It Is Too Soon

I cannot come back
home to you from this outpost
on the far far edge
of the western lands.
This is my latest exile.

I walk the new shore
God created here,
shook out last Thursday morning,
looking for any
life at all, any
faint hint that it will arise
but it is too soon.

December 23, 2009   8:35 AM

Get Your Own Visitor Map!