Sunday, June 30, 2013

All The Way - A Magpie Tale

Image supplied by Tess Kincaid, produced by Musin Yohan of Indonesia, who often works with an infrared filter as he did here.

To join with or view the work of The Mag writer's group *click here*

All The Way To The Bottom
Of The Earth

Sometimes I still see
you with such an attitude
as this, stripping red
from view and bloodless
doing work from your backside
as you carry on.
I am sure it is
the right that I do, always
sure no matter what.
I have more photos
of you walking away from me
than any other pose
in my hollow world
framed with wan grain and the hiss
of escaping things.

June 30, 2013 7:33 AM

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Medicating Grief

The poem I offer today was not written to recent experience. However, my recent experience fits very well. I have gone blind, I hope temporarily, in my left eye.

I only have peripheral sight to the far left and below. The rest is a blob of dark gray in light or bright gray in dark with tiny light colored flashes at the edges of the blob. Before the docs injected medicine into the vitreal fluid of my eye my peripheral vision was mostly clear but now there are obstructing filaments.

This event is relatively common, caused by the medicine I take to prevent clotting, an anticoagulant called Warfarin or Coumadin. I was not over medicated according to deliberate planning and now I have to back away from optimum stroke prevention in order to attempt protecting against another subretinal bleed. This is apparently a "blood blister" that has lifted the retina out of its effective position.

The eye specialists claim it has already happened once in this same left eye but caused damage that was not in line of sight, so I didn't know. The broken capillary is apparently mostly a normal event in all of us but in my case, there is not enough clotting to stop the bleeding. Other people not on anticoagulants will have clotting far below any damage level of bleeding. This is one risk in using Warfarin (Coumadin). No one can predict what happens to people in the individual experience but this consequence is among those why a certain blood level is monitored and kept in users, considered a safe low level. If you go too low, then stroke risk increases for people like me with two heart events, constant atrial fibrillation and a past pulmonary embolism. If you get the Warfarin level too high then you have bleeding problems.

Here is what one site offers on this situation:
Submacular hemorrhage is a serious problem that can cause devastating visual loss. It can occur due to choroidal neovascularization (CNV), retinal arterial macroaneurysms, and trauma. It is more common in patients on anticoagulants, particularly those on warfarin and clopidogrel. There is no formal consensus on the management of submacular hemorrhage, as it very difficult to perform clinical trials in this area.

I have no idea as yet what if any treatment beyond medicine injections will be offered me. The medicine seems to be about keeping the damage from getting worse and hoping the normal healing course over a month or so will give me sight back.

Medicating Grief

Your ghost came at me
from the grave, filling my eye
with white grit, powders
designed to blunt me,
to grind my mountains to dust
like the bitter white
chalk you put in me.

All I've done is sit and rock
and hold my broken

August 8, 2010 11:01 AM

I modified this poem today by changing two words. Doing that makes the poem seem a prophetic moment ocurred nearly three years ago. The image that follows is not my eye but is surely typical of what has happened to me.

Friday, June 28, 2013

It's Complicated

A Star Nosed Mole

I'm the sage you spoke
of in yesterday's lecture
before that grand crowd,
that evening's romp
with the source of true magic
lurking below ground,
you standing above
weighing less than half your weight,
near to lifting off
and floating away.

I would say I now agree
though not in the past
when we drew sharp lines
and could again, I suppose.

So I crouch down deep
in the dark of earth
beneath your callused old toes,
digging my way blind
like moles navigate
by nose, by God, by this nose
I have for the work.

June 28, 2013 1:48 PM

Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Flood Tide

Photo of the Shubenacadie River tidal bore on the Bay of Fundy. This is the largest tidal bore in Nova Scotia.

Wiki says:
"A tidal bore (or simply bore in context, or also aegir, eagre, or eygre) is a tidal phenomenon in which the leading edge of the incoming tide forms a wave (or waves) of water that travels up a river or narrow bay against the direction of the river or bay's current.

"Bores occur in relatively few locations worldwide, usually in areas with a large tidal range (typically more than 6 metres (20 ft) between high and low water) and where incoming tides are funneled into a shallow, narrowing river or lake via a broad bay. The funnel-like shape not only increases the tidal range, but it can also decrease the duration of the flood tide, down to a point where the flood appears as a sudden increase in the water level. A tidal bore takes place during the flood tide and never during the ebb tide."
Search yourself for the meanings of ebb and flood tides.

The Flood Tide

seems to be talking these days
of the deep waters,
the immensities,
the tidal bore that washes
away the sandy
edges of my shore.

The shipwreck below contains
salt soaked bags of tools
left behind to rust
and lose their once sharp edges.

Cut by a coral
outcrop, I fear sharks
will come sooner than later
but then you tie up
your hair for my joy
of letting it all back down
and that cools my jets.

June 27, 2013 7:33 PM

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Seeking My Own Level - 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:

Garbage; Imperative; Traction.

Seeking My Own Level

My propensity
is to huddle up among
the core denizens
of the garbage heap.
It's imperative on me,
as if I could not
get traction or else
I would fall into some pit
full of eels and snakes
and the lost boy thirst
near me is better than that,
better than nothing.

June 26, 2013 8:33 AM

The Lost Boys is a 1987 American teen horror film starring Jason Patric, Corey Haim, Kiefer Sutherland, Jami Gertz, Corey Feldman, Dianne Wiest, Edward Herrmann, Alex Winter, Jamison Newlander, and Barnard Hughes.

The film is about two Arizona brothers who move to California and end up fighting a gang of teenage vampires. The title is a reference to the Lost Boys in J. M. Barrie's stories about Peter Pan and Neverland.

The film was followed by two sequels, Lost Boys: The Tribe and Lost Boys: The Thirst.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Clandestine Knowledge - A Magpie Tale

A frat party ca. 1949 at the University of Michigan taken by Stanley Kubrick for Look Magazine - offered to The Mag Writing Group by Tess Kincaid for this Sunday's Magpie Tale writing prompt.

To join The Mag, adding your own story or just enjoying those offered by others, *click here*

Clandestine Knowledge

I've hung in corners
upside down like those bats do
to spy on my girl
when she decides in
this awful moment to flame
out before his long
slick stick and I just
die all wrinkled leathery
wings drooping on down.
I will not let on.
I've promised myself to hold
tight to my secrets.

June 23, 2013 7:15 AM

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Behind The Curtain

God is a great whore
tripping me and then beating
me down to the bed
to receive me there,
instructing me in all forms
of the act of love,
only asking for
my soul, a strumpet's bargain
considering Her
sexual infinitude,
His great compassion.

August 8, 2010 12:54 PM

Thursday, June 20, 2013

One Single Day

Thanks to e.e. cummings for the idea

One Single Day

The rising sun lights
up my scattered frayed poems
giving them places
they can go and live.

As the day goes on I dry
out behind my ears
and my words dry out
too, as if I am wiser
but I am not, not
anything much, a mollusc
clinging to woody
vertical splinters
painted with dim flawed spilled ink
and the setting sun
offers me somewhere
to go as night severs flight
and my poems land
all about my toes.

I do a stylish lilting dance
and span forever.

June 20, 2013 3:24 PM

Edward Estlin "E.E." Cummings (October 14, 1894 — September 3, 1962) was an American poet, painter, essayist, author, and playwright. His body of work encompasses approximately 2,900 poems, two autobiographical novels, four plays and several essays, as well as numerous drawings and paintings. He is remembered as an eminent voice of 20th century poetry.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Making Demands - 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:

Agile; Flaccid; Phantom.

Making Demands

An agile flaccid phantom
has been dogging me
these halcyon days,
whispering in my left ear
mostly that I must
avoid becoming
dust too soon or flaming out
and plunging to earth
in the midst of flight.
This is not easy for me.
I wish a hot shot
berth in pilot lore
and my rain forested life.

June 19, 2013 10:40 AM

Monday, June 17, 2013

The Icy Road

Frost as a young man, left...and a little older, right

Thinking of Robert Frost and the road less taken. Thinking of his Fire and Ice too.

Wiki says: Robert Lee Frost (March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963) was an American poet. He is highly regarded for his realistic depictions of rural life and his command of American colloquial speech. His work frequently employed settings from rural life in New England in the early twentieth century, using them to examine complex social and philosophical themes. One of the most popular and critically respected American poets of his generation, Frost was honored frequently during his lifetime, receiving four Pulitzer Prizes for Poetry.

The Icy Road

I have seen the ghost
that haunts your choice slouching past
the intersection
in the winter woods,
that same ghost who tickled Frost
when he stood there too.

It's a tough old row to hoe,
this writing of a tangled verse.
It goes bad, and then will go
much much strangely worse.

June 17, 2013 10:17 AM

Sunday, June 16, 2013

I Shall Dare To Pray - A Magpie Tale

The Promenade, 1918, by Marc Chagall
Image offered by Tess for this week's writing prompt on Mag 173.

I Shall Dare To Pray

I would pray you to
come back to earth if I thought
it would do any
good - if you ever
listened to me anyhow.

There you are floating
along sideways just
barely touching my outstretched
uncertainty, just
about to depart
forever into lala
voh deeoh doh dum

I'm in the green sea
of my old hesitation
and suggest you doubt
my wide post war grin.

June 16, 2013 10:16 AM

To join this week's The Mag creative writing group *click here*

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Cape Perpetua Giant Spruce Trail

Giant Spruce Trail, Cape Perpetua

Another Life

My toes sprouted roots
Also my soles, callused heels
As I stood between
The stars and on the gravel
Of my arid old home world.

Those roots sank deep, found
The ancient cool ground water,
Drew it up to me.

My arms sprouted feathery
Green fronds waving to far friends
Among the shining stars
Who came and settled on me
Bringing news and hope.

Written October 28, 2008
First Posted January 17, 2009

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Moon Madness - 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:

Chuckle; Evil; Serrated.

Black And White

Moon madness reaping
shocked grain leaving chaff behind
chuckle head evil
calling the dancers
into the pale light, knife blade
serrated top side
breaking the glad beams
that flash from the razor edge
I worked on for hours
as if I could earn
my way through heaven's pearly
gates just so, like that.

June 12, 2013 1:44 PM

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Mouse Hole

There are the big things in my life. Even at this point, I really don't know what to make of them. I know the illusions I followed. I know what I wanted but that was never possible. Three times I tried. Instead I have the life of the possible. That is all right with me. I am all right.

Why Do I Do This?

You tell me to check
so I look in all the back
rooms, in the boxes
I stashed there, looking
for motives, hidden behind
the obvious ones.

Out of the corner
of my eye something scurries
along the wall, dives
into that small hole
and refuses to come out,
not even for you.

That is, you say, the main motive.

February 2, 2009 2:42 PM

Monday, June 10, 2013

Summer's Weeds

I walked back to where
you pointed me and found them
at the place you said,
poking up, new growth,
new blooms, fire jewels, satin,
pictures of yearning,
one for another.
I feel that for you, as if
I am a new bloom
hoping you will touch
me, hoping I will respond,
hoping we can heal.

August 8, 2010 7:18 AM

Sunday, June 9, 2013

How Did We End Up Here? - A Magpie Tale

A door and antique latch found in Charleston, I presume in South Carolina - Image offered by Tess Kincaid as a writing prompt on Mag 172.

How Did We End Up Here?

Whatever you do
do not open that old farm
door, do not go up
to it
not step on that splintered porch.
The dog on guard ran
off after rabid
coons and the cow's got a bloat
as you can very
well hear from the yard.
Where are the chickens, I ask.
There are no chickens.
The moss is killing the trees
down this muddy lane.

Am I ever glad
I just dream this strange shit up.
It's true. My mind is
a terrible thing.

June 9, 2013 9:47 AM

To join this week's The Mag creative writing group *click here*

Saturday, June 8, 2013

In A Spring Fever

It does indeed seem
odd that you would agree with
my take on the sky.
You went all the way,
shot the moon while I stayed home
sure I should avoid
such a thing over
cows and forks and spoons running
while I got out of
the way still to build
some opinion as if I
had something real
to add anyhow.

Your garden is fine,
special this spring and fully
dusted by wee folk.

June 8, 2013 3:03 PM

Friday, June 7, 2013

The Dancing Girl - Reprise

This is a memory. I once had a woman dance for me in my living room in a full costume including a long flowing black-haired wig. What a gift. This moment was one of many with her that changed my life.

The Dancing Girl

You told me secrets
about dancing, it's costume
that makes it real,
that's what you said, then
you twirled your full skirts so high
I saw your full shape,
the shine of your shoes,
and the grace notes in my heart
all from the rhythmic
swirl of your sweet world.

February 25, 2009 7:40 PM

She worked a magic. They say magic cannot happen unless you believe, but I say that's not quite right. We say falling in love. We also say one falls for a thing. This is a heart action. I fell for the dance. I fell for the offer. I fell for the promise. I fell for the girl. This is a movement.

It is also an expression of the duality involved when an artist, actor, musician creates a fan who falls in love. I would not have fallen for the dance had she not been the dancer. I might not have fallen for the dancer had the dance been awkward. And it is true. Even as the dancer fell for me as well, why she danced for me, she retained the power to step away later and I did not have that power. I believe that imbalance can only feel profoundly unfair. "All is fair in love and war." Maybe. But it is the way of the world. That imbalance is nearly always present, is it not? One of the lovers will nearly always retain the power to violate the affair somehow. The other will cry, "Unfair!" while falling to their knees in the pain.

She couldn't be alone. When she left, she left me for another, a lover timed so he could appear in her life openly where we were clandestine, but also he was a brighter, shinier thing. For me one unsuccessful love affair and for her, two failed affairs in succession, and the second much worse because she fell for even less possibility along with the shinier surface. In a way she was in a descent and still descending as she left me.

One reader commented: A private dance (is) more intimate than sex. That dance for me certainly was.

*Post, poem and commentary exerpts from November 10-12, 2009*

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Field Theory - Reprise

I fall in love like this poem expresses it from time to time. It is not only a person. It might be an art form, or a musical piece, or the way the sky looks tonight. When I fall all the way it seems to come out the same way every time. I guess I am okay with that.

Field Theory

I took you from fields,
brought you into my home state,
expected your blooms
and the scent of you
to change my life forever.
That is what happened
but in a surprise
move, you pried my hands free
of their hold on you.
Sailing off on winds
that I could not understand,
you gave me myself.

Written February 27, 2009 2:24 PM
First Posted November 19, 2009

I highly recommend the first posting. There was a pretty good intro essay. Also there was a great discussion of things that took place among friends in the comments after. Just click on the "First Posted" line to go there.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

The Six Dimensions of Time

This is real

Sweeping The Middle - A Magpie Tale and 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 join this week's 3 Word Wednesday writing group *click here*
This week's words:

Damaging; Ego; Legitimate.

From Tess Kincaid's Mag 171, image of Morris Grave's Walking, Walking, Singing In The Next Dimension, a triptych image from 1979. To join the Mag creative writing group *click here*

Sweeping The Middle

I'm not damaging
the rimshot sound of the snare
nor the ego shape
of the middle sweep
when I declare this snooker
a legitimate
marriage - Sunday's
queen to Wednesday's longtime
three word publisher -

Herr Doctor Freud moans
his complaints in the background
mist of this headland.

June 5, 2013 3:03 PM

Monday, June 3, 2013



Berserker force leaves
outside my shaggy garden
hesitate to fall
directly on my path.
The arctic autumn is poised
behind the current
front lines of summer,
the coming campaign building
like storm clouds often

August 7, 2010 7:03 AM

Sunday, June 2, 2013

It Happened Again

He gets to say it
because he wrote his whole thing
down from first to last -
and next, his sunrise
on the highest point diving
down the spire. Always
in the distance new shade
freshly drawn where night
fades in one fine day and he
calls our young to work,
to rise and grow wings,
to reach cruising shape and speed,
to say yes to it
while elders grin, sigh,
blow breathy notes on worn reeds
and then shuffle on.

June 2, 2013 9:49 PM

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