Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Prince's Terror

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.

To link up with this week's Three Word Wednesday *Click Here*

This week's words:

False; Illustrate; Sallow

The Prince's Terror

One false stepping stork
will illustrate my shudder
at finding your face
a mask, a sallow
cast of light as your blood turns
its twisted liver
shade and you then fall
into your sick sleep after
eating that apple.

October 31, 2012 4:49 AM

During World War I and into the twenties of the last century there was an epidemic in tandem with influenza and polio called encephalitis lethargica or sleeping sickness. It killed a third of its victims and horribly maimed another third. Only one third of those who fell ill eventually recovered. Others might experience a brief recovery only to fall to a kind of Parkinson's and require lifelong institutionalization. Victims would often sleep round the clock for months. This was not coma but a genuine sleep apparently related to inflammation of certain portions of the brain. Doctors never found a disease vector or a cure. There is nothing preventing the resurgence of this dread disease. It attacked children and adults alike.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Now What

Now What

That's the last damn time
I will ever trust that elf.
Look what has happened.
Not much of me left
and let me tell you how bad
I feel, not to say
how mucked up the drain
has gotten. The melt away
of me's just bad cess.
They've posted big signs
of quarantine on my ass
but the laugh's on them -
I have no ass left.
Want some ice cream little girl?
I got no candy.

October 30, 2012 6:10 PM

Monday, October 29, 2012

A Rainy Day With Sandy - A Magpie Tale

Photo courtesy Tess Kincaid

Go See Mag 141

A Rainy Day With Sandy

I remember you,
how it felt to kiss your lips
and hold the rain damp
shape of you, the warmth
of you beaming through your coat
just as if your skin
were bare beneath me
as if not hurricane force
but gentle sweet spring.

October 29, 2012 6:33 PM

Written in honor of Hurricane Sandy (now post tropical storm Sandy) who came ashore to love us all quite intimately on this special full moon day.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

My Latest Stress Point

My Latest Stress Point

How did I become
such a man that I could shift
my skin whenever?
My fascination
with the four footed lifestyle
is legendary
among my fast friends.
But lately strange things happen
and I am not sure
what I am to do.
I tried zebra on for size
and here's where I am.
This mountaintop's wrong
for me. I am sure of that.
Where's the way back down?

October 28, 2012 10:12 AM

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Edison's Lament

Edison's Lament

I keep on trying
to invent stuff, to light up
the darkness for you.
I look all over
creation for ways
that work once and more than once
that you could turn on
and off at your will.
I don't think this way will work.
Pears are too thick skinned.
Besides, I was starved.

Friday, October 26, 2012

The Abandoned Lighthouse - Reprise

The Abandoned Lighthouse

The end of all things
Consists of one long shallow
Stair to a closed door
In the abandoned lighthouse
On the rocky crag above
A frozen dead sea,
The wind at my back as I
Stare resigned to fate.

Written November 18, 2008
First Posted February 13, 2009

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Just Do It

Sinking the Ch'i is Chinese and the Indians have a similar set of concepts. The Asian energy sciences (they insist that this is science verified by experience in inner space of the Self, that you too can verify if you accept a trainer (guru), a lifestyle under his guidance, and join however loosely in a fellowship of practice). Sinking the Ch'i is basically an "inhale" from beyond into bgvvvvvvvvvvvb (I am leaving that because my cat thinks it belongs here) so, again, sinking the Ch'i is a kind of "inhale" of energy from beyond into us, but it is principally experienced as a lowering of blockage.

Here is what one website writes:
The Energy at the Top of the Head Should Be Light and Sensitive.
Hold the head erect and with ease in order for the spirit to rise. If force is used, the back of the neck will be stiff, and the circulation of blood and chi will be impeded. There should be a natural, light and sensitive feeling. If not, the spirit will be unable to rise up. In order to achieve the above, it is important that the neck is held straight, but very relaxed and alive. Keep your mouth natural with the tongue touching the upper palate. Avoid clenching your teeth or gazing out with an angry look. Keep your sacrum straight and slightly tucked under. If not, your spine will be affected, and your spirit will not be able to rise.

Sink the Chest and Raise the Back
There should be a slight drawing in of the chest which allows the chi to sink to the "Dan-Tien". Avoid protruding the chest as this will cause the chi to rise which will lead to top heaviness, and the soles of the feet to float. Raising the back means that the chi adheres to the back. If you can sink your chest, your back will naturally rise. If you can raise your back, your power will come from your spine enabling you to overcome any opponent. Thus the Chi can sink to the Dan-Tien, and also raise in the back. If this principle is not understood correct, it will not be possible to obtain Geng (rootedness) in the feet, and the whole body will be unstable. Sink the chest and raise the back are similar to when a cat is in readiness to launch an attack on its prey.

Just Do It

Before I go there,
Before I do sink the ch'i,
It's impossible.

After I go there,
After I let the ch'i sink,
It's so easy. Lord!

Exactly. Lord help me now.
Help. Do what my heart cannot.

December 31, 2008 7:59 PM
First Posted May 12, 2009

Reprised with verbiage on Tai Chi and photo illustration added tonight.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Spiritual Warfare

This poem is a little tough to take. I have no idea what brought it out. It was written over two years ago and never posted before.

Spiritual Warfare

I've returned from wars
I had to fight, called in by
the old bloody songs.
We lost the battles
day after day, held to false
lines drawn down the land
of our familiars,
but the tunnel rats survived
their holes and I learned
to sense the worst traps
set near the dark trails we trod
as we searched for God.
My amputated
hand's ghost moves on its own path
as I write to you.

May 30, 2010 9:12 AM

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Big Bang - Point Of View

Double Click on these pictures to see them in larger scale. Panoramic view of the entire near-infrared sky reveals the distribution of galaxies beyond the Milky Way. The image is derived from the 2MASS Extended Source Catalog (XSC)—more than 1.5 million galaxies, and the Point Source Catalog (PSC)--nearly 0.5 billion Milky Way stars.

The stars are color coded with the nearer galaxies in the violet and blue end of the spectrum and the farthest galaxies shifted to the red end. Because space and time are linked inextricably, the newest light from the galaxies is in the violet and blue end, while the oldest light is from the red end. In other words, we look back in time literally to look far away.

Point Of View

I am so large now.
I tread on stars as if stones
in the garden path
and my gaze reaches
to the end of things, the end
of all we can know.
Even now I can't
see beyond the first hinge point,
that dust mote before
the flash that started
everything expanding
faster than new light.

May 29, 2010 11:13 PM

Looking Into The Bang - artist's conception.

The Expansion Of The Universe - side view with the expression of time as the X-axis and the increase of area as the Y-axis. We cannot see beyond a certain point because the universe was so hot that it was an opaque plasma of primordial stuff and light cannot penetrate beyond the boundary. That was true for quite a long time, about 400 million years,though short on the scale of the universe itself. To the left of that mark is the Dark Ages. We can only theorize beyond that boundary, and yet the theory cannot be other than what we hold it to be or else what we see cannot be true as it is either. The exception, for which cosmologists are very grateful, is that radio astronomy can map the distribution of matter in the afterglow of the explosion, at about the 300,000 year mark, before the universe went opaque. The blue and green area at the far left is the time of the background radiation as we know it today.

In other words, if the big bang were a successful experiment we ran according to our theory it would display results indistinguishable if not identical to the universal display that we do see. This of course includes the fact that we are here to see it, but not necessarily.  It is also necessarily totally circular and self referential.  Oh well.  At least it is consistent.  At this level there is no other way to operate.  Say stuff like this or tell the old myths or say nothing at all.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Today It's Just My Job

Today It's Just My Job

You have told me so.
Whispering in my ear You
have said I must add
color to my life
and hide the veins that stripe my
mossy gray edges
hewn from older worlds
than this one is.

I say sure,
let me get the flesh
tone paint and shatter
me as I must to do Your will.
Then I go at it.

October 22, 2012 7:36 AM

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Cooking Breakfast - A Magpie Tale

Detail Of The All Seeing Eye And Pyramid, The Great Seal Of The United States Of America
from Tess Kincaid's *The Mag*

Cooking Breakfast

Skittering in dark
corners, snuffling the old way,
polishing antiques,
the new world order
struggles with cobwebbed back lit
implacable streams,
inertial powers
pinned to how things always were.
They whisper warnings
and they dance red jigs
as they fry our fat rashers
and scramble our eggs.

October 21, 2012 7:15 AM

There are some misinterpretations here but the sense of direction presented leads toward the classic conspiracy theories concerning the beginnings of The United States.

Annuit Coeptis = He Approves The Undertakings
Novus Ordo Seclorum = New Order Of The Age
E Pluribus Unum = Out Of Many, One
Lucifer = Bearer Of Light (does not mean Evil One)

Saturday, October 20, 2012

What Summons What Is Not

What Summons What Is Not

But the answer is really simple...
the sigh of the hairshirted ogre
is what summons what is not,
his sigh as he casts his gaze
over the crescent moon,
where it falls in the next kingdom
as dry burnt leaves.*

*It mystifies me
how you can
stroke my heart.

October 20, 2012 9:00 AM

Friday, October 19, 2012

Tiny Seeds

The 1868 passport photo of Bahá'u'lláh,
Persian inscription reads Mírzá Ḥusayn-`Alí Núrí

Wiki states:  Bahá'u'lláh (English pronunciation: /bɑːhɑːˈʊlə/; Arabic: بهاء الله‎, "Glory of God"; 12 November 1817 – 29 May 1892), born Mírzá Ḥusayn-`Alí Núrí (Persian: میرزا حسینعلی نوری‎), was the founder of the Bahá'í Faith. He claimed to be the prophetic fulfillment of Bábism, a 19th-century outgrowth of Shí‘ism, but in a broader sense claimed to be a messenger from God referring to the fulfillment of the eschatological expectations of Islam, Christianity, and other major religions.

Bahá'u'lláh taught that humanity is one single race and that the age has come for its unification in a global society. His claim to divine revelation resulted in persecution and imprisonment by the Persian and Ottoman authorities, and his eventual 24-year confinement in the prison city of `Akka, Palestine (present day Israel), where he died.

He authored many religious works, most notably the Kitáb-i-Aqdas and the Kitáb-i-Íqán.

There are two known photographs of Bahá'u'lláh. Outside of pilgrimage, Bahá'ís prefer not to view his photo in public, or even to display it in their private homes. To honor that,
only his passport photo is displayed here.

An official Bahá'í statement concerning his photos reads:
"For Bahá'ís, the photograph of Bahá'u'lláh is very precious and it should not only be viewed but also handled with due reverence and respect, which is not the case here [on a non-Bahá'í web site]. Thus, it is indeed disturbing to Bahá'ís to have the image of Bahá'u'lláh treated in such a disrespectful way. However, as the creator of the site is not a Bahá'í, there is little, if anything, that can be done to address this matter. We hope these comments have been of assistance."
—Office for Public Information, 4 September 1999, Photo of Bahá'u'lláh on Web Site

Tiny Seeds Of The Living God

We are, Oh God,
but tiny seeds which You have sown
in the soil of Your Love,
seeds which You have caused to sprout
in the hand of Your Bounty.

We are living seeds who crave
in our deepest places
the vibrant waters of Your Mercy,
the vital fountain of Your Grace.

Rain upon us,
that rain of Your Compassion,
and permit us to flourish in Your Light.
We are planted near the borders of Your Court.

You are The One. You wash all
who yearn to be cleansed.
Wash us and give us drink,
give us Your Living Water.

Praise be to You Oh God,
You are the Lord of all the worlds.

October 19, 2012 3:47 AM
A Baha'i prayer first composed by Bahá'u'lláh,
now paraphrased and rewritten by me,
from a translation found on

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Memory Of The Garden - Reprise

Here's a mythological piece. It's been a while since all that trouble concerning a piece of fruit, but that time is definitely not forgotten...

Memory Of The Garden

I have just eaten.
I hear your voice calling me
And I want to hide.

I thought I got over this
Way back, but hearing your call
Sends shivers through me.

You call, "Where are you, my love?"
I answer, "Absent."

First Posted January 22, 2009

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


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.

To link up with this week's Three Word Wednesday *Click Here*

This week's words:

Calm; Know; Rattle

Wonderful. All three words are ancient, coming to us from an English that was mostly unwritten. If we heard the language spoken, it would sound so unlike English as to give one pause. One of the words is so ancient that it can be associated with a word in Sanskrit as well as several other languages quite distant from English. That means it holds its basic form (though with broad variation) all the way from the root language that gave birth to our Indo-European language family. In other words, we know as we have known for a very long time, literally five thousand years and longer. All three words are old enough that they did not enter English in the broad streams of Latin and French which are the sources of so much of our language. Ancestors of these three words were already in use on the Celtic Island of Britain when the Romans first appeared there.


I stand in the calm
before it all happened here,
happened as I know,
happened, and I'll be
soon entombed by the distant
rattle of sorrowing spears
banging tribal shields
in thirst for the blood
of old enemies.
The ancient conflicts
persist in my bones.
I have painted my face blue.

October 17, 2012 5:58 AM

Note: Tattoo is not only skin painting. It is also military music, and can refer to the sound of bugles and drums, especially as a warning for the approach of day's end, a music sounded prior to taps.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Have We Met Before?

Siddhartha said someone who brushes
against you in the street has
shared an experience
with you for five
- Mary Ruefle
from Talking to Strangers
found on Whiskey River

A reincarnation poem...

Have We Met Before?

Here again, just like
last time, over my head in
these complications
and just like last time
you have touched me rather wild
and I have tumbled
into thinking this
has happened so many times
flash life after life
across the inner
screen of my old shredded threads
wanting you to stay.

October 16, 2012 2:17 PM

Monday, October 15, 2012



A complexity
of presence, your lips whisper
little puffs of breath
in my molten ear
as you try to say to me
how common you are
while I shiver at
the force of you so closely
wedded to my heart.

May 21, 2010 9:32 PM

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Curtis Wilson Cost - A Magpie Tale

Midnight Snack - Curtis Wilson Cost, 1984
This image is available as a Miniature Print. Matted Minis are $25. Matted Minis signed by the artist are $49. Matted Minis framed in fine Hawaiian Koa (8 x10) are $85.

Curtis Wilson Cost: "I am a night person. I paint late into the night, just like my father. Either of us can call at 1:00 in the morning and know that the other is probably involved in some captivating project. It might be a gene pool thing.

"It's very serene in the early morning. Those quiet late-night hours are very conducive for getting focused and going with it. Paintings like Midnight Snack are one of the more obvious rewards of such a life style."

"My work is about place and timelessness. I've been living and painting on Maui most of my life. Rural Hawaii is my subject matter. My work has become an archive of the island over the decades as Maui has grown. These paintings are my way of preserving the old Maui through a rendering of the way it once was, and the way it remains underneath the surface of change."

Curis Wilson Cost

Works for a living
in soft color and yearning,
a money machine
island up country
near the steep volcanic slopes
in the rainy light.

When I visited
Maui I wanted to stay
like Jim Nabors did,
so many others,
and I went there twice, smitten,
a true double take.

October 14, 2012 10:12 AM

9:40 PM - I am not that happy with my poem. Here's another inspired by Tin and Rust found on Writing Without Paper:

Waiting For The Dawn

At the outskirts
a shack roofed with rusted tin
(Of course ferrous, not
really tin there but
we say tin don't we)and in
the window I see
your shift taking place
from my love to black raven
waiting for the dawn.

October 14, 2012 8:49 PM

Produced for participation on The Mag, the creative writing site established and managed by my colleague, Tess Kincaid

Saturday, October 13, 2012

At Year's End - Reprise

Nearly four years now since I started blogging. November 8, coming up in less than a month now, is my anniversary date. Here is one place that I came to early on that journey.

At Year's End

This year's journey west
Was a windy path high up
In the mountain air.

I have reached the edge
Of things, sit still here and look
Back the way I came.

I feel your tug soft
In my hair, in the essence
Of fading perfume.

December 30, 2008 9:17 AM
First Published April 28, 2009

Friday, October 12, 2012

At Saturn's Rings - Reprise

Approaching Saturn

At Saturn's Rings

I look back at you
In this far cold empty place,
Can see only dust.

I know you're there still, at home
Perhaps, or in the city.

From here all is one.
All of you are found in one
Tiny pale blue dot.

December 30, 2008 5:10 PM
First published May 1, 2009

From behind Saturn looking sunward.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

I Can Do This

Image found as posted by Robin Starfish, Motel Zero

I Can Do This

You will never be
up to climbing the rainbow
without stopping here
first and brushing off
all the flakes of yesterday.
That's what my brother
told me that last time.
Then I shook him off, began
to climb. Here I am.

October 9, 2012 10:49 AM

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Childhood Memory - 3WW

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.

To link up with this week's Three Word Wednesday *Click Here*

This week's words:

Brisk; Detached; Miserable

Childhood Memory

You called me brisk tea
like an ad from the forties.
Oh I was young then,
stealing the neighbor's
mail, hoping but so detached
about it all. No
matter. Was her hair
bleach and mom miserable
having to give it

October 10, 2012 6:32 AM

Image found on the internet, is not me :D

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Still Life

Still Life

Your contemplation
is intense, aromatic
and feeds me, fills me
with the hot vision
that echoes across the miles
between us, a land
filled with wilderness
and with the cities of night,
the clatter of days.

May 21, 2010 9:10 PM

Monday, October 8, 2012

Entangled Living

This manipulated image demonstrates entanglement, hunh.

Entangled Living

Shall I spend my days
trying to break free of you,
wiping off your web
only to have it
stick to some other angle
of my bound up life?
If I rest easy
I shall hear you humming tunes
while you heat the pot.
Making noise at least
drowns out your steamy intent
while you get the soup.

May 15, 2010 4:39 AM

I guess I am in part thinking about a metaphorically cannibal witch as was the witch in Hansel and Gretel. But then all that is happening at the moment, the soup's a-cookin'. I don't think I'm the only one who has felt the threat of entrapment approach, at least that. More than once I have performed a rapid withdrawal. More than once I have felt the sting of sharp needle teeth in my flesh. Entanglement is a lower level and may actually be a good thing sometimes except for how it can turn on you.

To be fair, there is another deeper feel for this thing. Suppose you have a relationship with God that is nourishing but also contains a responsibility clause. Suppose the manna or in this case the soup comes with a demand for being about the spiritual task. Suppose the entanglement means that it is now difficult to fathom where God begins and you end. Suppose then God begins to have a really high opinion of your capacity to carry burdens.

Oh God, I know you will
never ever lay on me a burden
so large that We cannot carry it.
Oh God, I wish you would stop
having so high an opinion
of my ability to carry my end
of the fucking piano.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Home Visit - A Magpie Tale

Detail of Jan Steen's Sick Woman, ca. 1665
from Tess Kincaid's The Mag *click here* for Mag 138

In Jan's short life, he developed relationships with actors and others involved in the theater. Many art historians agree that his paintings were often not so much of contemporary life as of portrayals of contemporary life as found on stage or as if staged to tell stories or offer opinions. In at least one of his paintings of sick women, the doctor is in costume appearing as a doctor of at least one hundred years earlier. Jan is well known for his extremely crowded and messy (some use the word chaotic) family and group scenes, though people generally doubt he lived like that. I noticed as well that certain details are common, such as lutes hanging face in on the wall and cuckoo clocks shown at an angle and in perspective on the painting's right hand wall. He liked to use messy floors as a still life tableau, adding detail to his paintings in that way. Jan never earned large money from his art and near the end of his life he opened a tavern in his home to make ends meet. Jan died aged 52, maybe 53.

Home Visit

As usual, smells
are the first thing I notice
coming into you
as you half lie on
your sick chair, seated and dressed
protecting virtue
yet asking for me.

I have traveled all this way,
more than one hundred
years on this journey
to appear before you here,
an apparition
of your need and hope
in this dim time, this drab space,
me here all in black.

October 7, 2012 12:09 PM

Saturday, October 6, 2012

The Accusation

I'm of two minds...

I have my marching orders, that I accept these feelings as they are and do not flinch. The life I have is both beautiful and terrible, sometimes more one, or the other but never pure this or that. In my life I long ago accepted the Chinese image of the swirl of things, always a little bit left of the last that fades as another collage takes shape, and the flow in it the flow of God. There is a story, a deep and far back story that makes a kind of sense, the edges of it far beyond human ken, far beyond the wisdom of the wisest of us. Even the buddhas among us cannot speak to the rest of us of it, only silently point beyond themselves.

The Accusation

Rabbits scream dying
and dying fade from this life
as if they accuse
me of trickery
even though I was not there.
This is my conscience,
my wizened attachment
to the good skinning me down
to dead rabbit size.
I hear them scream still as if
I was their mother.

May 13, 2010 12:54 PM

Friday, October 5, 2012

A Bad Face Day

A Bad Face Day

It started, a flap
of skin that held together
as I pulled it down.
Then I took the blade
and did the razor thingy
straight down the middle
and when I lifted
me away, that's when I saw
the absence behind
what I thought was sound.
Don't you just hate it when that
stuff happens to you?

October 5, 2012 2:14 PM

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Coloring The World

Coloring The World

Was just yesterday
I caught you painting roses
red and snapdragons
barked while you painted
them carefully with colors
only we could see
and now today I find
you painting the ocean blue
while offstage the fish
gabble nervously
fearing the splinters you leave
beneath the surface.

October 4, 2012 9:20 AM

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Taking The Risk - 3WW

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.

To link up with this week's Three Word Wednesday *click here*

This week's words:

Dignity; Lacerate; Ripe

Taking The Risk With The Lion
(on finding him at my door offering me a bag of cookies)

Yes, you are my big
cat, yes you are! Look at you!
Gonna give you some
good scritching behind
your ears. Let go the cookies
now, let go. I will
keep your dignity
for you and give it back as
you need it. And you!
You won't lacerate
my face. I know you promise
this. The time is ripe
for that, probably,
and for the relationship
we'll make between us.

October 3, 2012 9:22 AM

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

A Life In Waiting

A Life In Waiting

I wish life would stay
in the borders I set down,
like nice rectangles
my camera makes.
Instead it crawls out willy
nilly seeking my
eyes as if telling
me to look back home or else
to the listed ports
I have applied for
hoping my island passage
happens some damn time.

October 2, 2012 10:46 PM

Here I go again...I'll add an oh by the way. Am I going on a cruise? Actually I have pulled back. The first version had me booking passage on a starship. I thought then that having the hand reaching past the frame might be odd enough without adding outer space into the mix. Tell me if you think "hoping my island passage" works better as "starship passage".

Monday, October 1, 2012

Trying To Get Along

Trying To Get Along

I have attitudes
that are extreme according
to some of you guys
but I don't get just
what else I could do about
the shape of my time.

It always comes out
the same as it looks right here
broken, all punched up.

October 1, 2012 10:09 AM

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