Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The Next To Last Line

Temperate Deciduous Forest World Distribution in green

The Next To Last Line

The shadows my words
may cast streaming quickly through
your tropical heart:
Oh, I'm temperate
and seasonal. Here spring comes
after ice and snow
and leads toward dry
heat, not monsoon, dust not mold,
nor humidity.
Spring itself rains down
on me and my short hair queen
while in the next block
a guy keeps chickens,
not me. See? Almost done now.

‎April ‎10, ‎2014 12:10 AM

Tropical Forest World Distribution in green

Note: A female cat is called a queen or a molly unless she is pedigreed in which case she is called a dam. Apparently there is no distinction between a fertile queen and a neutered one. Not so with males, who are toms if fertile and gibs if neutered according to one source. Gib is said with a hard gee.

Written in collaboration. See Irene's No Harm Done

Another note: Chickens are going away as images in my collaboration poems. Presumably, there will be one more chicken poem, with the chickens appearing in the last line.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

In A Pickle

I keep turning metaphorical circles,
my left foot nailed to the floor
of our terrible consequence,
my head full of television snow
as I yearn for the sky
and real clouds above me.
Here is our paradise of false love,
here the refrigerator we bought,
here the six-pack you asked for.

September 17, 2010 7:37 AM

In remembrance of the 1990's. Life was a tad difficult most years of that decade.

Monday, May 26, 2014

I See Your Bruised Knees

I'm done chasing them.
The chicken flock has dropped off
our low limbs and pecked
all the way up past
their free range knoll, out of sight
and whole truth be told,
out of my long hair -
farm fowl brushed and combed on out.

I look for that hole
for you claim there's one
sadly your own in the tall
park grass, all while I'm
sending you scansion,
free verse, stanzas, dreams
and illumined tales, edges
and shoals in deep sea.

‎April ‎9, ‎2014 2:09 PM
Modified May 26, 2014

See Irene's blogpost "falling"

Sunday, May 25, 2014

The Thrift Shop

Image provided by Tess Kincaid as a writing prompt
for this week's Magpie Tales

Wordle 162 words provided by Brenda Warren and Pamela Kaler Sayers as a writing prompt for this week's The Sunday Whirl

I should add, when you get there click on the green "You're next" to get to the Mr. Linky list of contributors.

The Thrift Shop

I'm stuck in the squeak
of the old rocking chair's rail.
I fear the weight stress
I will add thrusting
to rise and as well the laugh
the crash will earn me.

I survey my need.
Now I want a treat - berry
ice my lips' best mate
meeting my drooping

Oh, I should chase them off,
all those fat pigeons
from the store's north door.
They will flutter disdain for
my broom and coo in
the key of C#
but flat a bit. My report
will show these birds can't
really sing a note.

At this thought my ragged smile
reaches my gnarled hands
on the chair's scratched arms.
It's hard to keep this damn store
open at my age.

May 25, 2014 3:23 PM

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Saved By Ravens

I take one more step.
The cracks radiate from me,
The wierdest high whine
Tells me I'm all done with this.

This ice will not hold my world.
I am too burdened
With illusion, too heavy,
But I'll freeze naked.

I look up. Ravens
Have gathered. I have become
A spectator sport.

They descend, gently grab me,
So many hold me, lift me
And dump me in snow
At the edge of this thin ice.
Then they fly away.

Written December 24, 2008 8:44 AM
First Posted April 8, 2009

Karen commented on this poem's first posting and called this the best poem I had posted to date back in my early days. As noted, this was written the day before Christmas in 2008. I was living alone and I had no reason to specially observe the Christmas season. In my original post, much closer to the day of writing, I claimed I was snowbound that year. That happens maybe once or twice a winter in the Portland area of Oregon.

In that post I claimed I had no real idea what the poem signified except in the obvious general ways, since I write of illusions and my certainty that I will die without them. The ravens save my ass so I presume I get to keep my illusions, so long as they include ravens who save my ass.

Then they fly away. I suspect illusions do too, so I may have to create new ones. I may have to because the basic issue is I will freeze without them. Hmmm. I "know" I won't freeze without them. The wise people tell me so. The brave folk say I will live better.

This might be why it is so freaking hard to get people to live free of illusions. They "know" they can live without them but remain certain they will freeze nevertheless. Possibly they fear being naked and ashamed. Possibly I fear being naked and ashamed. Possibly.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

How Coyotes See It

You say, pas de deux
and I had to look it up
because I didn’t
want to seem stupid
though I have heard this French stuff
all my livelong days.

Something much larger
than those crazy moon eyed souls
gnaws on our lines
of sight. The souls stay
in the pale shadows while we
step forth, open ground
beneath fine furred feet,
no chickens, not even bones,
and we howl, oh yes,
how we harmonize
shaking the stars til one falls.
It’s dust makes me sneeze.

‎April ‎7, ‎2014 2:30 PM

Written in collaboration with my friend Irene. See Adagio

Sunday, May 18, 2014

First The Twenties, Then The Thirties

Art: Edward Hopper's New York Restaurant, 1922
Image provided by Tess for this week's Magpie Tale, Mag 220

Wordle provided by Brenda for this week's Sunday Whirl, Wordle 161

First The Twenties
Then The Thirties

I've set fine silver
on the alabaster table
draped with white linen
and put down the bread
the garlic oil, my altitude,
all there plain as day -
the haughty pose, mine
as it should be, my plastic
force all chaos bound
before the graphic
of the street people severed
from society.

Asphalt disaster
lurking outside paradise
soon will debride us.

‎May ‎18, ‎2014 3:20 PM

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Twelve Points - A Reprise

Originally posted in 2010 for Big Tent, a defunct poetry site. This was written to a twelve word wordle. I have changed it some here but the words are still all there.

Twelve Points

Your half-eaten swarm,
your answer will light us up
in frames of debris,
piles a child might build
on a temporary dock
of echoes called up
from the smoke, your skirt
swirled to embellish inner

What's evidence
to me? A long chant,
proof of your sturdy backbone
in the scheme of things.

September 16, 2010 6:23 AM

For the original blog and poem, go to the blog post for September 16, 2010, also titled Twelve Points.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Not Enough Fiber

I only write when
I see no way out, only
ways in - ways to find
your heart nested in
last year's fallen intentions.

How can I tell you
the shape of summer
fading in the forest verge,
alongside the road
I would rather take
than the one we did, crazy
with small twists of hope?

September 16, 2010 5:37 AM
edited today, changed three words.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Trying It Again

Today I researched. If you put "corn and asparagus planted" and search, here is one image you get. Here is proof. Here is corn, asparagus, then tobacco planted right next to each other in Andalusia, Spain. When I wrote of corn and asparagus originally I had no idea anyone ever planted them together like this.

Tawnya at Red Wolf Poems suggested for this week's posting that poets gather older work from somewhen and do the edit and rewrite we once promised ourselves we would do. She seemed sure that we would all have some. I write poems quickly. I put them away. I have twenty or so recently created in collaboration with Irene. I have several hundred others to pick from but I mostly post the ones I write in response to current prompts. When I bring up the older poems to possibly post, I might decide at that point the poem is crap. That's when it goes into the "Not Posted" folder.

I had two poems in my "Not Posted" folder, put there for rework several years ago. The one contrasted corn with asparagus. The other spoke of a border. I picked them at random, mostly because both titles started with "A" (for the one Asparagus, and the other At). There are many other poems in that folder ranging across the alphabet. I deleted those two poems and kept the images for this one.

Trying It Again

This is the border,
asparagus on that side,
the tall corn on this,
with a ditch between
that I have fallen into
for no particular
reason I've thought of
to this point.

I would prefer
you come to this line,
even give me a hug,
give me a kiss on my cheek.
You'll tell me the lies
you need to tell me.
I'll gather all the wood and get
the pot for our tea.

‎May ‎15, ‎2014 1:55 PM

Written for Red Wolf Poems

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

The Lover Overhears Things

Three Word Wednesday
Words this week: Absurd; Groan; Weak

The Lover Overhears Things

You like the flowers
more than you like me. I heard
you say so to him
while I eased my way
out of the green density
of his successful
half acre garden.
I never heard him deny
you the whole way out.

It's absurd. It's worth
a groan or more but I guess
his garden will win
every time, dear.
You are both too weak to find
any effective change.

‎May ‎14, ‎2014 4:35 PM

Written in response to Irene's Coloring The Lines
Also for Three Word Wednesday

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Secret Business

I slip down the hill
from my hovel. The bedding
is bunched up to look
like I am still there.
If I told you what I'm doing
I'd have to kill you
goes the by now old
joke in these parts but I'm half
serious about
all that. If you have
checked on me before you've not
said anything, so
don't this time either.
I'm nearly done with this thing
and never you mind.

‎May ‎13, ‎2014 3:55 PM

Written in response to Irene's The Sword

Her poem was a response to a poem I left as a comment to her previous post. We are in collaboration like this.

I recommend collaborations. I use them several times a week.

Question: How to avoid writing the same poem over and over?
Answer: Let someone else guide your process, and for a real challenge, let them choose the words as well as some of the images.

If you are really adept, then get more than one source to guide your process at the same time. I guarantee you will end up with poems that are not the same as others you write.

As ever, do not care all that much what other people think of what you do.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Waiting Tonight

I think how it is.
You put me in the kennel
for the night, full moon
and clouds passing by
to obscure the last issue
before the discharge
of all my duties.

How I can settle all this
is the big question.

I hitch up my belt
which of course makes my sword clank
a little against
the chain link fencing
and then I get still to wait
for your grinning face.

‎May ‎12, ‎2014 3:33 PM

Written in collaboration with Irene's A Doggone Day

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Hard Times

Photo image by Martin Stranka, award winnning professional from the Czech Republic. Martin is young, just 30 this last April.
Image provided by Tess for this week's Magpie Tale, Mag 219

Wordle provided by Brenda for this week's Sunday Whirl, Wordle 160

Hard Times

It's all dreams again.
You said marijuana smoke
is all I can have
clumsy as I am.
I look at you in the glass,
see you vanish from
the prone position
you take low in the drab sky,
leaf blown and cut down.

Times are axe blade hard.

Your name is a pepper rub
in my cracked open
life, shattering land
that once held our trust planted
in those yard long rows.
Listen: we must now
for once and all just settle
this damn argument.

‎May ‎11, ‎2014 10:52 AM

Friday, May 9, 2014

My Shadow Fading

Somewhere In San Francisco

“Enlightenment weekends” and gurus and seminars and sitar music and Birkenstocks and biodegradable toilet paper are nothing more than the postmodern masks of humanity and its progressive front. Nothing more. Social networking, constant, unending blather, quoting the Tao Te Ching, saying twenty affirmations before noon–all are utterly meaningless if you are driving to your corporate job later in your SUV. And yet, this is what almost everybody around you does.
-shawnmichel, Blog Comment contributed by: Chrysalis

"Only those who have awakened know that they were sleeping."
-Source: "As is Where is" - by Jim Paredes

"Some go to sleep in an organization and never wake up, and those who do wake up put them selves to sleep again by joining another. This acquisitive movement is called expansion of thought, progress."
-Jiddu Krishnamurti, Commentaries on Living, Vol. I

"The trouble is, I can easily remain asleep and claim I am fully awake. I suspect this dishonesty is my normal condition. How shall I know otherwise? It is probably not the capacity to change I lack. Where can I find sufficient courage to change?"
-Christopher Hileman in a recent musing.

Farewell Message

You said, "Don't wake me."
I've tiptoed around all day
spreading the silence
of my stray visions
and I think I've done fair to
middling at keeping
peace for you, but now
I have other paths to cross,
my mission from God.
When you wake, you'll find
my note on the oak table,
my shadow fading
on the bedroom wall.

September 14, 2010 3:02 PM

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Looking For Signs

Looking For Signs

The boggy bloodstones -
wipe them free, give them pleasure
in the mists and muck,
then trumpet like dolls
bend, ink forsaking the cage,
home of the limpid

I find some
droplets and mallards, magic
oars printed on cards,
symbols of my tides.
Currents camouflage the dance.

Textures yield up stripes
across the cosmos
and veil a faithless
fissure in impermanence
as willows droop down
greenly and dual
in the rich river of scent
you have left behind.

Fire and melody
eat my brains like worms often
chew through this old earth.
A torrent of tines
clog the old time gramophone,
mar the scenery,
and leave me longing
for the shades you used to leave
in the raw cascade.

‎May ‎7, ‎2014 9:49 PM
Written for Red Wolf Poems

We Wordle #17

The Devil's Broom - 3 Word Wednesday

Wiki says: The Great Fire of 1910 (also commonly referred to as the Big Blowup, the Big Burn, or the Devil's Broom fire) was a wildfire that burned about three million acres (1,214,057 ha), approximately the size of Connecticut) in northeast Washington, northern Idaho (the panhandle), and western Montana. The area burned included parts of the Bitterroot, Cabinet, Clearwater, Coeur d'Alene, Flathead, Kaniksu, Kootenai, Lewis and Clark, Lolo, and St. Joe national forests. The firestorm burned over two days (August 20–21, 1910), and killed 87 people, mostly firefighters. It is believed to be the largest, although not the deadliest, fire in recorded U.S. history. It was also the deadliest event for firefighters in the United States until the September 11 attacks.

Burn; Hue; Moral.

The Devil's Broom

Travel through the scrub
to the site of the last burn,
mask your face against
the black dust flying
around, look for sign of life,
it's hue here among
all the gray and black.
Pray for the moral return
of peace and plenty,
the breakout of green
in the localized heat death,
perhaps a flower.

May 7, 2014 7:31 AM

Written for Three Word Wednesday

Monday, May 5, 2014

Someone Left The Door Open

I looked behind us
using the brass periscope,
saw the barrier spin
toward atmosphere
and the burn up on descent.
We sit in tandem
in this junk clunker
with its glass wool peeking out
the seams and the squeaks
and groans a constant.
I wonder will we make it,
or go to pieces
on the way back home?
Got to shut the chickens in.
Prolly much too late.

‎April ‎6, ‎2014 10:49 PM

In response to Irene's "Being Together"

Sunday, May 4, 2014

New Art - A Magpie Tale

Salvador Dali's Chair With The Wings Of A Vulture, 1960
Chosen by Tess Kincaid as a prompt for Magpie Tales - Mag 218

New Art
Musing on Dali's 1960
"Chair With Wings"

Too many wooden
spoons laying around the house
and a bunch of straight
wire too, and I had
a cross left over from art
I did yesterday.
The rest was easy,
except for the vulture's wings.
That guy took it hard.

‎May ‎4, ‎2014 1:14 PM

Saturday, May 3, 2014

On The Eve Of War

Brenda Warren chose these words from the classic Beatles song on the White Album:

On The Eve Of War

The blackbird sat still,
her eyes upon the moment,
the very one where
I got my light wings
and the guns to go with them.
I slumped down broken
in spirit thinking
how night chases day away,
how free can just mean
dead, how I still heard
through an owl's ears at high noon.
Oh I was naked
then and chilled bone white
despite gaining strength of arms.
She would soon arise,
see her life take flight.
I was rooted like a weed
awaiting orders.

‎May ‎3, ‎2014 3:22 PM

Written for Brenda Warren's Sunday Whirl, Wordle 159
Go to the site and click on "You're Next" after "Mister Linky", all in green to find the list of contributors.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

I'm A Running Man - A Red Wolf Poem

Running For My Life

A faithless king
dogs me, snuffling my sorrow
like rivers crashing
past rocks and I hide
my house below the cataract
in the darker mists
I found in your eyes.

That faithless king promised me
my own river shore.
Then he pulled the sun
down from my gathering sky.
Oh I've been so lost
without you, my love,
without your sweet blue cascade.

I'm a running man,
running for my life.
That faithless king has lost me
and in time will fade.

‎May ‎1, ‎2014 10:19 PM

Written for Red Wolf Poems, Prompt #211

The Question

Dropped a double hit
of Acid and dowsed a well -
over two hundred
feet down in the rock,
found it the first time, baby.
My old friend said that
to his new girlfriend.
We sat on his wood plank porch
and I dreamed of you
years and years before
we could meet. I’ve known this man
since we roomed at school.
I asked, how’s your wife?

April 5, 2014 2:56 PM

Written in collaboration with Irene, see The Well on her blog, Orange Is A Fruit

The rest of this poem is fiction, but the double hit of LSD and dowsing while really high is something told to me by that same friend I went to Creswell to see in yesterday's post. This took place on steep hillside land he bought east of the Eugene/Springfield urban area, well out of town. The well was essential to the house he proposed at the upper end of his land, well away from the road.

The house was partially built when I visited him and heard the story of dowsing on acid. He also said the well digger claimed he hit ground water about half the time and usually between 200-250 feet, drilling through rock. The rock in the area is hard and tough on drills, so the price per foot is quite high. You can spend fairly large money on a dry hole. Both my friend and I trust the psychic things that happen on LSD and so we were not surprised that the dowsing worked.

His wife was at work that day. I know of no girlfriend at that time, or ever, for that matter except before he was married. Can you guess how he got the money to purchase his land?

Oh by the way, dowsing does work. All you need is coat hanger wire bent in an ell shape and grasping the short end lightly go looking for water in underground piping. The long end will twist to align with the pipe when you are directly over the underground run. Many piping contractors who need to find the underground pipes will find them by dowsing. I was a supervisor on one job and the piper handed me his dowsing rod. It twisted for me too, and me with absolutely no training in dowsing. I was not high at the time.

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