Saturday, December 28, 2013

Asking For Help

In The Lap Of God

Asking For Help

I heard the master
say today that God will comb
me into his hair.
He said violins
sing out the joy of God's mane
flowing free above
the flight of bright time
and that when I tumble down
into God's wide lap
I will see it all
as if I was never small,
never small at all.

I said, oh master
that has already happened
to this pilgrim long
long ago. Have you
the rules for the runes I cast,
ever catching up
to my exalted
best self only to fall short
over and over?

‎December ‎28, ‎2013 3:44 AM

Friday, December 27, 2013

The Turning Point

The Turning Point

I stood bent over,
weighed down with my thoughts of you
at the misty edge,
at the precipice,
leaning against the guard rail,
with the wind billows
opening my coat
while I decided what next
in the scheme of things,
what I should do now.

August 31, 2010 9:48 AM

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Before Sunrise - Three Word Wednesday

A belated contribution to Three Word Wednesday. Oh the shame. I could not do that and Christmas too.

I've been reading about the Large Hadron Collider and the Higgs boson. The LHC smashes very high energy protons together. Protons are synonymous with monatomic and ionized hydrogen nuclei, meaning stripped of their single electron. Monatomic means Hydrogen not joined into the cold form of two Hydrogen atoms bound to each other, each sharing the other's electron to fill the primary double electron energy shell, why they pair up like that. This bond is easy to break at relatively low energies, which is why Hydrogen is flammable in the presence of Oxygen, and it easily makes water in that reaction. That is also why burning Hydrogen is potentially a cheap and very clean fuel. It is so flammable however, that controlling the Hydrogen burn safely has so far proved to be expensive even though as a fuel source it is cheap and basically in unlimited supply.

Thus collections of protons are positive Hydrogen plasma, and can be kept that stripped down way easiest at high speed (which also means, very hot). In this stripped down form, Hydrogen is the main substance of stars in their younger stages, whether small or large and thus is the most plentiful substance (and the simplest) in the universe this side of dark matter (which certainly exists) and dark energy (which it seems must exist unless something basic and crucial is still unknown). By the way, the negative ion of Hydrogen is a single electron and streams of electrons are quite common on the planet, driving all things electrical.

The LHC controls this positive plasma using very high quality vacuum and supercooled and complex surrounding equipment. It is not easy. The proton beams are not radioactive, but you wouldn't want to stick any part of you into the beams (there are two beams going in opposite directions so they can collide) because they are as I have already written very, very hot.

The physicists have high confidence they have found the Higgs field as it manifests in its very rapidly disappearing boson form, which means they have found a sufficient number of the right sorts of after effects of its presence. No one can ever see any of these things. They are smaller than light waves or for that matter electron waves (the smallest usable wave that we control and use in electron microscopes). What can be done, physicists can identify and name with consistency the predicted particle signals left behind in sophisticated counters and detectors of several kinds.

This week's words: Crisp; Exquisite; Magnificent

Before Sunrise

Oh crisp kiss, my love,
you exquisite example,
you magnificent
turn of phase, heavy
on the far Higgs side
of all bosons and leptons
joined in the standard
light on the near side, color
a corruscation
on skintight flimsies,
you display of dreams
inside my brain stem, creature
of my wants and sighs,
I shall walk the bluff,
moving past your fine midriff,
on lookout for dawn.

‎December ‎26, ‎2013 7:02 AM

Written for 3 Word Wednesday

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Life's Hard, Then You Die

An owl could not see the glass and didn't even slow down. The negative is left behind because birds oil themselves.

It is in the nature of bird sight that glass is invisible to them. It is in the nature of bird brains that they cannot learn their way past this invisibility. It is in my nature to be a poet. What is it I cannot see? All of it breaks my heart.

Life's Hard, Then You Die

I can't believe how
tough this thing gets after all
the work's said and done,
like that dumb feather
brain splitting his beak against
the window again,
get it? Again! Like
learn, damn it. Nope. Not any
time soon, broken neck
sooner than that. Some
things just don't compute of you're
a bird or for that
matter a person

‎December ‎23, ‎2013 9:06 PM

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Before We Go - A Magpie Tale

Madonna With the Milk Soup, 1510, Gerard David
Offered by Tess at The Mag: Mag 199

Before We Go

The God not quite made,
too young yet, still fed on milk,
the turned wooden bowl
taken from the cat
for this breaking of His fast -
I need a guide book
or some minty paste
to shine up my new found aims -
I would go to church
with you if you would.

They have shut the doors to keep
the goats out. Donkeys
tethered near the snakes
hatching in their dug up den
see me hide my tithe.
We've been told to sit,
all wrapped up, round with passion,
perfumed with spices,
keeping the faith clean
and fresh faced no matter what
tales fly out the gate.

‎December ‎22, ‎2013 9:06 AM

Saturday, December 21, 2013

The Shortest Day

The Shortest Day

The morning is still,
all mist and slow moving time
and I see your shape
down the slope, under
the stretched out apple branches
with your hand against
the gnarly old trunk.
They claim you're something special
like an old time sage
and I don't argue
though it's against my nature
to paint such big noise
on any of us.
So chances are God Himself
could appear right here
and I would turn, turn
and say, "No, not you! Who else
have you got on deck?"
Even for the likes of
me, this is Winter's Solstice.
It rains on me too,
and my snuffling dog
whether we are just or not.
It's time for a nap.

‎December ‎21, ‎2013 10:00 AM

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Hidden Wealth - Reprise

Emeralds mined and prepared for sale in Afghanistan.

Hidden Wealth

I looked underfoot
Expecting nothing for it
But found something there.

I wanted to stake
My claim but you said, "Nothing
Doing little man."

I don't think it fair.
It's so close to me, easy
For me to pick up.

That is how it seems.
You said, "It's your hidden wealth.
Must remain just like that.

"Won't fire you up otherwise."

Written January 7, 2009 12:26 PM
First Posted May 26, 2009

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The Knot

Alexander deals with the Gordian Knot.

It was said that the king who could solve the Knot of Gordias (left in place by Gordias' son and successor Midas - presumably not the Midas of the gold) binding the Phrygian satrapy of the Persian empire would become the Emperor of Asia. The myth has it that Alexander solved the knot in one version by cutting it apart and in another by creatively thinking outside the box to undo it. That is why these days the Gordian Knot is often used as a metaphor for a problem that appears to have no easy solution.

The Knot

The wind makes a sound,
a blood red draft of the world
I hear in the room
I rent below ground.
Don't be combative, you say.
You represent spin
from both left and right,
both sides now rather sluggish,
fat from the feast held
after the tangle
was undone, knifed, sliced apart
at certain key points
like Alexander
cut the knot of Gordias.
I'm distressed because
I'm forced to horn in
these drab and chill greased up days
to comfort the Gods.

‎December ‎18, ‎2013 9:07 AM

Written for 3 Word Wednesday

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Following The Master

Following The Master

We are all teachers,
homeless no matter our dreams
of home, of the wind
instead and all snags
ready to rip unwary
skin from vagrant bones.
The lessons seem harsh
I guess by design but who
started us slicing
down these slips and blades
is ever unclear. I have
my guesses and you
have yours but no one
admits to the blame. Maybe
no one is to blame.
"I didn't do it."
We all say something like that,
flashing if you ask.
Old owl hoots, directs
me to say thank you for all
your goddam lessons.

December 17, 2013 2:22 AM

I was reminded recently that G. I. Gurdjieff taught us to thank everyone who galls us. We thank them because our original necessity is to struggle with ourselves and only with ourselves. How else are we to do this? That is the sense in which we are all teachers of each other.

Monday, December 16, 2013

My Friend Stopped By Last Night

My Friend Stopped By Last Night

The party did not stop
when you knocked on the front door
but we went downstairs.
There I listened for
some tell tale, some sign of things
to come. You said stuff
and I oiled my legs
as I must these days. They crack
open and fill me with
dread as they bleed out-
just a little bit, two drops
last time. I hear you,
you know. I hear you.
It bruises my heart and scrapes
skin off both my ears.

‎December ‎16, ‎2013 6:05 AM

Butch and Sundance at the last. There is friendship and love but the rain has stopped for good.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Ain't We A Pair - A Magpie Tail & Sunday Whirl

The Ice Cutters Natalia Goncharova, 1911 offered by Tess as this week's Magpie prompt. Go to The Mag-198

Ain't We A Pair

The waves of clay lies
they packed all around the box
they prepared for us
all point to winter
and the ice cutting angel
at least where they say
anything at all.

That's what we get for standing

You snatch stars
in your simple way.
I'm clouds. I cover the moon
as best I can, love.
Sure. The fix is in.

December 15, 2013 3:41 PM

Wordle 140 offered by Brenda for this week's Sunday Whirl. Go to The Sunday Whirl-Wordle 139

Brenda said she chose these words as part of the lyric of the song Family, written by Pierce Pettis and sung by Dar Williams. Dar often covers worthy song writers and is also herself one of my all time favorite young song writers. She is no slouch as a singer either. Go here for a compelling duet of Family by Dar and Francine Wheeler. Francine lost her child to the Sandy Hook shootings yet she is able to stand and sing a solid part with Dar in this performance. Of course the audience is flayed wide open. Chances are you will be too. I was.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

It's A Big, Big Moon

It's A Big, Big Moon

You don't make much sense.
That's how it feels, young moonbeam.
Down, down, down you come
from the high round hall
as the waves rise up to reach
and establish zones
of love and witness
palaver among the threads
of true blue glowing
weavers of the night.
No, you don't make sense.
It's more than my shadowy
way with things, because
yes, she said so too.
Indigo has tuned her strings
and her thrum comes next.

December 13, 2013 9:29 PM

Friday, December 13, 2013

I Woke Up Today - Reprise

To clarify: I posted this one in May of 2010 and this poem was written in May of 2009, shortly after the hospital procedure referenced. So when I introduce the poem that's what I mean.

Sometimes I am just not myself. I may be a little weird. In fact there may be moments when I am full blown batshit. HooHoo…ooahhahhahhah…

I’m all better now. Or not… At this time last year I was still echoing from that three day hospital thing where they put a flexible cage of titanium wire inside my heart’s lower right artery. Holy crap! I’m a bionic gray squirrel, a tree rat, as it were.

I Woke Up Today

How odd to come to
sitting in a seedy tray
wondering, where next?
I have some strange bugs
on me and a curious
hankering to scold
someone, anyone
who dares mess with me today.
Maybe if I place
myself upside down
on that tree with tail twitching
I will feel better soon.

May 17, 2009 12:01 PM

Thursday, December 12, 2013

I'm Already Taken - Reprise

Here’s a poem about commitment. I wonder how many other things it is about.

I'm Already Taken

The wind and earth fought
over me but I belong
to the pale moonlight,
to starry rivers,
to the morning shine of sun,
to your warm rose heart.

April 15, 2009 12:58 PM
First Posted March 2, 2010

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Cross Currents - 3 Word Wednesday

Three Word Wednesday

Highlight; Instruct; Submit.

Cross Currents

I shall hesitate,
shiver and shake, crawl the walls,
highlight the gray hills.
Am I to instruct
the hapless in the old ways,
the stone faced grim wights
frozen in mean time
aching to find the blue heights,
the winged grace, white smoke
among the live oaks?
I shall submit to her thrust,
such a greedy storm.

December 11, 2013 8:48 AM

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Alice Cooper

School's Out Completely

I am many words
into this thing, word after
word after still more
words chopped up by lines
and counting, always counting
as if it meant more
that way, but at least
it's not a whole damn novel.
(This is not a line)

‎December 9, ‎2013 3:26 PM

I took the idea from Alice Cooper. He wrote "Can't think of a word that rhymes" as a centerpiece lyric in School's Out - a classic rock song from 1972. School's Out is just about perfect Rock in my opinion including the sentiment, and including not caring about lost grade points because of lousing up the rhyme. Even students buried in the slog up the degree slope feel just like this. And even better than that in the song is the wide open acceptance of childish rhyme as a legitimate expression. All of it embedded in real musicianship. There you go. Perfect Rock.

Of course in "real life" Alice and the entire early band graduated from the same Phoenix, Arizona high school where they were cross country runners and then Alice (named Vincent at the time) attended some community college. He quit school to pursue success in the music business. Thanks to Frank Zappa, among others, he made it. Vincent was originally a Detroit, Michigan boy.

In the same spirit here I can claim I am missing a last line because I write in triplet lines using Haiku 5-7-5 syllable count. But wait. That is the last line. :D

As Cooper himself stated: "We were into fun, sex, death and money when everybody was into peace and love. We wanted to see what was next. It turned out we were next, and we drove a stake through the heart of the Love Generation" This was in reference to the band's increasing shock rock success circa 1970. Hmmm. As a full blown Hippie I should hate this guy.

Always a consummate marketer, Alice Cooper renamed himself after his band. He was born Vincent Damon Furnier. I wonder if he keeps his name as a backup anonymous identity. I would.

Monday, December 9, 2013

You Dropped Your Pears

I Know What Comes Next

Your conversation
was sweet but then was nothing.
It was not like dogs
who travel so far
just to get back home again,
that sort of intent
to return built in
to the dog heart and dog soul.
No, you said some things
you could not really
promise and we both knew that.
I winced at the sound
of split open pears
smack on the ground before me,
at your wide bright smile.

December 8, 2013 9:23 PM

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Too Damn Old

Wordle 138 offered by Brenda for The Sunday Whirl. She got the words, she says, from last Friday's Jeopardy game show.

Too Damn Old

I sped in pursuit
of Venus, wild and cruel,
beloved by those
who felt just like me.
No cash or prison scrip pays
my way to the lens
I need for my left
eye and my cloak all striped
and marked by fate
got caught in her screen.
I must skirt the goods she put
inside my front door.
What will I become
by next Tuesday at this rate?
Could be I will croak.

‎December ‎8, ‎2013 10:27 AM

My other Sunday prompt, a Magpie Tale: Near Haystack Rock

Near Haystack Rock - A Magpie Tale

Image offered by Tess of The Mag as a Sunday writing prompt.

Near Haystack Rock

You take the bread crust
from my hand as if you care
for me and trust me
though I trapped your mom
not that long ago and took
your dad too. This shaves
the joy off my skin
leaving certain raw places
where my fluids rise
and shine, then turn dark.
My eyes have grown crystalline
and jagged beams flash
even though I still throw
bread in the air to draw you
to me and your friends
to me too. I sit
in my car and think of old
scars and "b" movies.

‎December 8, ‎2013 8:59 AM

Haystack Rock - a dedicated, protected Marine Garden - rises 235 feet out of the sand and the sea at the low tide line in Cannon Beach Oregon. Haystack Rock and the area around it are abundant with sea life. Care must be taken to avoid trampling this delicate life. The Rock is also home to many birds, including tufted puffins, gulls, and cormorants.

My other Sunday prompt, The Sunday Whirl

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Holding My Place

I hold certain things
in my grasp, in my orbit
as they circle you,
as I circle you.

The gravel of my long path,
all this way I've come
to be here with you,
these stones click beneath my feet
as I shift, restless
waiting for notice.

August 31, 2010 9:59 AM

Friday, December 6, 2013

False Colors

A false color view, taken near infra-red.

Just Like I Have

You may have this hole,
not with these brambled edges
but with other shapes
and tangles, other
pains and wailing bad corners
that you hide away
or else show the world
in false colors, tales within
a wash of gray truth.
Perhaps a single
moment, or a lifetime's run
but a cage, a cage.

Written August 31, 2010 9:20 AM
Modified December 5, 2013

Thursday, December 5, 2013



I sit swallowed up,
a slave of my own device
in my dusty lair,
built of lies, of ghosts.

If only, I say, plaintive,
if only this or that,
so many regrets,
the bars across my windows,
the locks on my door -
and most of all these
I hold a lock of your hair,
see you drift away.

August 31, 2010 9:08 AM

Poet's Note:
This poem was written over three years ago. It has not yet been published except perhaps in some comment stream on some other blog. It has been sitting in my to be published queue, the poem it has turned out due up today. I have over three hundred others waiting just like that. The poem was a story line even then. I may have been responding to or reminded by someone else's work I found on that day.

I often write to other people's stuff as a writing prompt. I was in 2010 several years beyond my last lost love and the poem was not about 2010 current personal circumstances. I write poetry like novelists write novels. The poems are true, certainly, of someone somewhere and perhaps of me somewhen, perhaps of you too, maybe even right now. Notice that I mark the poem as written in August of 2010. That is no lie. Neither is the poem a lie even if it is not my current emotional state either then or now.

Here's a regret that I ponder from time to time. I came across a web site just now that reminded me of a young woman named Nan Roman. I have regretted lifelong how a visit to her family in Birmingham, Alabama turned out. That was a visit over the Thanksgiving holiday, I believe it was 1970. She was a keeper (although she was really stupid for caring about me at the time, despite the really frank letters back and forth leading up to the visit) and I missed some cues I should have understood. She missed some cues too, or else she would not have assumed stuff like she did. We had met each other and hung out together in 1968-69 in East Pakistan with her friend Elaine and some others. Elaine came to visit too.

In my defense I could not conceive someone as classy as she was would ever care for me or for that matter anyone else like me. Nan is for me the one that got away. Not only that, I hurt her, big hurt. It was obvious. Ick. Stupid, stupid boy!

There is more to the story and that is even more stupid. When the dust of confusion settled and I understood how I had failed myself, the regret set in. I might have changed everything about my life in that Thanksgiving season, but then again, maybe not. I can console myself with the certainty that while she was a great catch, I was almost certainly a disaster waiting to happen. That disaster came in January of 1972. By killing our relationship before it really even started, perhaps I saved her some real bad grief.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

At Emergency, 3:40 AM - 3 Word Wednesday

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 join this week's 3 Word Wednesday writing group *click here*

This week's words:

Brief; Expose; Insist

At Emergency, 3:40 AM

It's always the same
no matter how damn unique
my path is this time.
I can say it brief
or dance in the dark, expose
myself to shadows
and insist that you
read about the great white whale
as I pound the deck
with my wooden leg.
You of course refuse at will
such dark heaviness
and I at that point
howl it out again,
yes, all over again, same
old watery words.
But this time, I wail,
It's all different this time.
My eyes go all crossed.

‎December ‎4, ‎2013 6:46 AM

Monday, December 2, 2013

The Church Of What's Happening Now

And as years pass by
the enormity fades too.
Sixteen years, divorce
and today's sermon
places current vortices
at heaven's pure gate,
not the old cold pains.

And it's twelve years since she blew
her insides to paste
and crawled her way free
while I shivered and shattered
and they held me close
until I could go
from there to a new posture.

There is nothing left
of the old except
me. That's it. It holds water.
Me and the new cat.
Me and the basement
that I now call home, women
upstairs, my dinner.
I watch my body
come apart on some schedule
kept by mystery.

‎December ‎2, ‎2013 7:07 AM

Sunday, December 1, 2013


Here at the border
of heaven and earth the plight
of angels forces
us into insight.
We've changed the issue, trouncing
all hope of fire, thanks
to crisis, the word
that we must depend on love
to weather. I hold
you, your black feathers,
then you touch my useless stubs.
There is no paved road.

‎December 1, ‎2013 12:22 PM

Offered on two sites:
As a Magpie Tale on The Mag 196
As a Wordle response on The Sunday Whirl

Get Your Own Visitor Map!