Thursday, December 31, 2015

Ulysses Bound

John William Waterhouse, Ulysses and the Sirens, 1891, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne

In the original Greek, Ulysses is named Odysseus, and hence Homer's work about him is named The Odyssey

Ulysses Bound

Passing the siren
rocks in the fog of present
circumstance and strapped
to the white white spar
replacing the mast broken
by last spring's torrent,
I call out, respond
to your naked misty shape,
take the leather stripes.

May 9, 2011 7:35 AM

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

After The War-Three Word Wednesday

American forces advance toward a fortified enemy on Okinawa.

This week Thom has chosen the following words:


Go to 3 Word Wednesday for connections to other contributors.

I buried myself these last few days in Tom Hank's The Pacific. Ten hours immersed in the war with Japan on specks of land in the ocean named Peaceful.

After The War

You dared to call me
resolute. You saw as well
as I how my will
flopped right down mushy
on the steely shards of fate.
At least flowers grow
all fresh scent and new
pastel blooms, three per each bush
right across our graves.

December 30, 2015 5:01 PM

My father was a co-pilot in the Pacific campaigns of World War II. He was a war hero who though wounded, brought his badly shot up plane and two wounded crew members back home after the pilot was killed. He never flew in peace time that I knew of but he did favor English sports cars in the early fifties. I remember going for drives.

My step-father was a younger man. He got in the last of the war and was in the First Marines on Okinawa (and later in China after the war). I am fortunate that both these men survived, though their marriages to my mother did not. I believe my father and mother conceived me while he was on leave, but I believe he was home after his wounds and did not go back. My mother divorced him in 1947. My step-father married my mother in 1951. They did not divorce until 1969.

I don't know if my step-father was in the heavy fighting on Okinawa or not. He never talked about his war. I understand that many vets didn't talk about the war. I think they saw things better left unsaid.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Taking My Final

In baseball, a double play (denoted on statistics sheets by DP) for a team or a fielder is the act of making two outs during the same continuous playing action. In baseball slang, making a double play is referred to as "turning two" or a "twin killing".

Taking My Final

I broke my pencil
testing my mettle, sassing
the teacher with shards
of yellow hex wood
flipped his way underhand like
a shortstop cutting
off the runner on
second, looking for that last
one out double play.

‎May ‎7, ‎2011 11:00 PM
Edited December 28, 2015

Sunday, December 27, 2015

The Roundabout

Again I have passed
you by, keeping solitude
instead of dropping
off the roundabout,
the posted route to spring and thaw,
merging left instead.

April 30, 2011 5:31 AM

Friday, December 25, 2015

What Happens When A Word Gets Old

Strike is an old Germanic word as a verb, why it is we strike, we struck, we were stricken. Not striked. That is what this poem is about. And the poem only takes a few of the meanings you can find for strike. Strike is one of the words that spread its meaning far and wide because there has been enough time for that kind of variety. We like coming to blows as a culture, I guess.

What Happens When A Word Gets Old
(And this just strikes the surface)

I shall strike my path
or shall I strike out, strike off,
make a bruise and more?
I am struck with thought,
stricken with the old dismay,
or shall I strike with
for the freedom of us all?

This spear, this hammer
is an ancient thrust
from the German ancestral
spirit, great value -
I shall strike your coin
and strike my new dreams like trout
in the mountain stream.

The clock strikes the hours
as I strike the brassy notes,
while we strike for pay
and then strike the set.

April 30, 2011 10:54 AM

A Streetcar Named Desire set strike from Alex White on Vimeo.

Thursday, December 24, 2015


To stand with you here
On the holy shore of time
Look what we have done.

Years of work fall away now.

Hear the loons in flight.
See the glint of light on waves.
Feel the wind fold us.
October 29, 2008 7:22 AM
Edited ‎April ‎29, ‎2011

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Dust Bunnies - Three Word Wednesday

Christopher loses track of the deeper questions.

This week Thom has chosen these three words


Now I am to write something using these words and link to the Three Word Wednesday site for week No. 459.

Dust Bunnies

Now who will wander
with me along my life's edge,
kicking astonished
rocks and scuffing sand
with one grimey rough sandaled

I guess complete
fabrications have
been recently slipped under
my hard scrubbed shag rug
with the dust bunnies
that began whining vacant
strains per my half mast

December 23, 2015 4:48 PM

Sunday, December 20, 2015

If I Had A Daughter - A Magpie Tale

Image supplied by Tess Kincaid for the Sunday, Dec. 20, 2015 posting of Magpie Tales, Mag 299.

If I Had A Daughter

So I let her go
and she went to Luxembourg
by way of Gabon.
She hooked up with him
there and is now no longer
my sweet little girl
even though she comes
home sometimes, a flash of joy
in green, blue and gray.
Her darkened hair flows
in her recent style. She speaks
in European
and African French
though she still gets all her mail
near the kitchen sink
right here on High Street.

December 20, 2015 2:27 PM

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Take Me To The Field Beyond

Take Me To The Field Beyond

Take me to the field
Beyond this strange place I made
By choosing to fence
The wildlife away from crops
I thought so in need of me,

Of my protection.

Exhausted today,
Worn away with tidy work.
I need to stop this,
Let the wind find me.

October 29, 2008 7:00 AM
Rewritten April 29, 2011

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

True Love - Three Word Wednesday

Thom, in sitting with the three words you chose this week for a while, I got more and more vicious. You chose


Here's the result:

True Love

Your savage eyes rip
my skin off and blister what's
left of my sinew
no matter how I
try to settle you back down
after this latest
conflict between us.
Small wonder I'm like swollen
gas bubbles about
to erupt from volcanic
patches of boiled mud.

I get all tense just
thinking of how vengeful I'll
feel for the next week,
and how carefully
I will have to behave not to
create the trouble
I can deny I meant to,
whistling all the while.

‎December ‎16, ‎2015 4:34 PM

Has to be true love. No other state could produce such volcanism. Go to Three Word Wednesday to link to the offerings of the other contributors.

Monday, December 14, 2015


Herbie Hancock


Hanging in E flat,
doing as you've asked me to,
rising blood red tides
lifting me to you -
it's all in the brand new tunes,
all in this fine ink,
all in the quavers
that bind the world's melodies:
you have strung me out.

March 2, 2011 3:36 PM
Edited April 23, 2011

Sunday, December 13, 2015

In The Luft - A Magpie Tale

In The Luft

The war's not here yet.
They still let us out to play
though we now hear things
in the far distance
and see flashes of white light -
even occasional
actinic colors -
you know, colors that sicken
and make you shiver.
I try to keep staff
thinking I'm happy enough
to go on waiting
but I stopped writing
you seven weeks last Thursday
and would probably
scream if you showed up
today or ever again.
So while kids all pile
on, I stand aside
coated but ever so chilled
as I watch them swing.

‎December ‎13, ‎2015 3:52 PM

Written for Tess' Magpie Tales: Mag 298

My relation to this word "luft" comes from the German as in Luftwaffe. Luft means air or space in the way air is space. Waffe is waffen is force of arms. Thus Luftwaffe simply means Air Force in the German.

In English, Luft is also a term from chess: The luft is the space made for a castled king to give it a flight square to prevent a back-rank mate. Not said quite right perhaps. The point of castling is to put the rook forward in defense of the king and as well to provide one (king side) or two (queen side) squares for retreat of the king behind the rook. King side castling is slightly favored because the queen side is harder to defend. Also, in a developing game, each player can anticipate and set up to prevent castling before the fact as part of strategy. This can be desirable because in the early or mid game the king forced out of the back rank in mid-board is highly vulnerable.

Luft is so strong a German word that it spread as is into Danish, Faroese, Middle English (that old), two Norwegian dialects, Old Frisian, Serbo-Croatian, and Swedish. In all cases it means air, as in way high up air or the space there, where it is hard to breathe. Luft is a word in English but it is rarely used in modern English as is. However, luft's offspring is lift. Lift is as I am sure you will all agree a very common word. Also loft can have a sense of high up, as in lofty or aloft. So there you go. Language is slippery like this.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Lake Placid-Three Word Wednesday

Lake Placid, in the Adirondacks, New York.

I am behind due to being under the weather. This may account for my bloody turn of mind as well. I have alligators chasing my ass, as they say. On Three Word Wednesday Thom offered us these three words


The first two seem an obvious reference to the Lake Placid movie franchise. Oddly, the lake in the movie is not Lake Placid but instead is called Black Lake, Maine. Black Lake is not far from the village called Fort Kent, the home of the University of Maine at Fort Kent.

Lake Placid

The old newspaper
is brittle and open to
the page you last scanned
as I remember:
Obituary lower
right - weddings lower
left - and property
for sale - north shore, Lake Placid.
That alligator
screwed up the estate
sales up there and took quavers
and tones, lost semi's
hanging out with me
alone and all left dangling.

We were resonant
once, not yet broken,
but then you split your fresh peas
from my red kidneys
with acerbity
and rode off into the cloud
of my unknowing.

‎December ‎11, ‎2015 11:54 AM

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Road Rash - A Magpie Tale

Photo by Tess Kincaid

Utilize the contributor list to find this week's creative work.

Road Rash

My road worn spatial
turn of heart, my gears grinding
on the rising grade
lined with dull white stripes
and I worry will the brakes
hold on the descent?

I am pneumatic
and awash in old flood tides
so that I float high
though I bounce and roll
and then come to rest battered
on your city street
in drunken relief
beside the nativities
you offer my shade.

‎December ‎6, ‎2015 1:37 PM

Saturday, December 5, 2015

The Bottom Line

The image is of plant cells containing chloroplasts, where chlorophyll is found.

This post is about the chemistry of life, particularly plant life. It is about how come plants are green leafed. It is about plant ichor and the fact that most plants utilize chlorophyll (type a) the same as most vertebrate animals utilize hemoglobin.

Chlorophyll is a term used for several closely related green pigments found in cyanobacteria and the chloroplasts of algae and plants. Its name is derived from the Greek words χλωρός, chloros ("green") and φύλλον, phyllon ("leaf"). Chlorophyll is an extremely important biomolecule, critical in photosynthesis, which allows plants to absorb energy from light. Chlorophyll absorbs light most strongly in the blue portion of the electromagnetic spectrum, followed by the red portion. Conversely, it is a poor absorber of green and near-green portions of the spectrum which it reflects, hence the green color of chlorophyll-containing tissues. Chlorophyll was first isolated and named by Joseph Bienaimé Caventou and Pierre Joseph Pelletier in 1817.

A similar story can be told for hemoglobin except that it reflects red the same as chlorophyll reflects green. The reason for the red reflection is basically the iron in the center of hemoglobin while at the heart of chlorophyll is magnesium. Probably the green of chlorophyll is caused by the magnesium at its heart. Both hemoglobin and chlorophyll serve similar critical functions in the bodies of animals and plants - the creation and distribution of essentials to life at the most basic level of complex organisms.

Interestingly, phthalocyanine is a manufactured popular bright blue pigment with a copper ion at its center. The copper ion is precisely where iron is present in red hemoglobin and magnesium is present in green chlorophyll.

Finally, when damaged the heme part of hemoglobin can transform into bilverdin (green) and bilrubin (yellow), which is seen in the color of bruises.

School's out for now.

The Bottom Line

Plants conform to life,
therefore eat the sun not raw
but filtered through life
and the rest of us
feed on plants or those who feed
on the bright green blood,
the magnesium
holding sun, or iron red
holding air the same.

April 18, 2011 4:15 AM

Friday, December 4, 2015

Fly Story

The housefly (also house fly, house-fly or common housefly), Musca domestica, is a fly of the suborder Cyclorrhapha. It is the most common of all domestic flies, accounting for about 91% of all flies in human habitations, and indeed one of the most widely distributed insects, found all over the world. It is considered a pest that can carry serious diseases.

The adults live from two weeks to a month in the wild, or longer in benign laboratory conditions. Having emerged from the pupae, the flies cease to grow; small flies are not necessarily young flies, but are instead the result of getting insufficient food during the larval stage.

Some 36 hours after having emerged from the pupa, the female is receptive for mating.

Even though the order of flies (Diptera) is much older, true houseflies are believed to have evolved in the beginning of the Cenozoic era. They are thought to have originated in the southern Palearctic region, particularly the Middle East. Because of their close, commensal relationship with humans, they probably owe their worldwide dispersal to co-migration with humans.

House flies are capable of carrying over 100 pathogens, such as those causing typhoid, cholera, salmonellosis, bacillary dysentery (dysentery caused by bacteria), tuberculosis, anthrax, ophthalmia (eye disease), and parasitic worms. Some strains have become immune to most common insecticides.

That the list of ills is this long is testimony to the long duration in which flies have been preying on human habitations. The diseases are spread through mechanical transmission of parasites, bacteria and viruses on its hairs, mouthparts, vomitus and feces.

House flies feed on liquid or semiliquid substances beside solid material which has been softened by saliva or vomit. Because of their large intake of food, they deposit feces constantly, one of the factors that makes the insect a dangerous carrier of pathogens.

The Cenozoic Era is the most recent of the three major subdivisions of animal history. The other two are the Mesozoic and Paleozoic Eras. The Cenozoic spans only about 65 million years, from the end of the Cretaceous Period and the extinction of non-avian dinosaurs to the present. The Cenozoic is sometimes called the Age of Mammals.

Fly Story

I've caught you napping,
the way your eyes work, compound
and deep shiny black,
and you fly backwards
as easily as forwards,
and sideways to dodge
the descending hand,
but I've caught you in a jar,
feel you cuss me out.

March 31, 2011 3:48 PM

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

In My Hut - Three Word Wednesday

The Muir Hut

Muir Pass is a mountain pass in the Sierra Nevada of California, United States, in Kings Canyon National Park. It is named for John Muir.

The pass is near the midway point of the John Muir Trail, which traverses the pass. It crosses the Goddard Divide between Mount Solomons and Mount Warlow, at an elevation of 11,955 feet (3,644 m). The Muir Hut, built by the Sierra Club, is at the summit of the pass.

This week Thom has chosen these three words


Now I am to write something using these words and link to the Three Word Wednesday site for week No. 456.

In My Makeshift Hut

In my makeshift hut
you will find no mirrored wall
and I walk around
in the nude as if
there are no splinters and no
passers-by the hole
I use for entry.
I am lackadaisical
about this fine fix
I am in but still...
in one corner I've hung drapes
to hide my rotund
form as I lie down
and try to find some good dream
about what we once had.

December 2, 2015 6:49 PM

It's doggerel but it does include the three words. It also keeps the syllabic form I use. It's also a match to my actual condition, sort of as I live now in a basement with rough cut floor beams close above my head. Oh well. I was just fired by a key medical clinic too. I have to sort this out with my doctor.

The Muir Hut Interior

Monday, November 30, 2015

Time Travel - A Magpie Tale

"The Kitchen Scene with Jesus, Martha and Mary in the Background."
This painting was chosen by Tess for this week's Magpie Tales: Mag 296. Go there to find the contributor list.

Joachim Bueckelaer (ca. 1534-1575), was a Flemish painter. In this kitchen scene he followed the earlier tradition of higher and smaller for further away. For clarity and ease of painting, the distance also had to be to one or the other side of the main figure. He had much religious symbolism in his earlier works and less in his later works. That this work has religious symbolism indicates it probably is earlier.

Time Travel

(In those days no one
knew perspective, put distance
higher than the front,
smaller and fuzzy,
puzzling perhaps why stuff won't
show quite right.)

Poor girl
has broken her arm.

As for me, I take my ale
in local pewter,
a tankard given
in affection by the Duke
of Antwerp. I will
soon see if the girl
is as delicious as all
the produce she tends.

‎November ‎30, ‎2015 6:26 AM

Take a course in art history if you haven't. You will see I am quite right about draughting before perspective. It is also why we still sometimes have slanted stages, high in back and lower in front when we try to match the earlier European dramatic traditions. The idea of vanishing points placed somewhere in the background of a drawing is a convention known and understood by some but seldom used before 1400 AD or so, and then not widely.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

When The Earth Quakes

It is often said that Buddha wished for companions and shunned disciples as much as peacefully possible. He felt little elevation above the herd though a herd formed around him quite naturally. This is one form of the distinction between masters and their disciples. I am sure this companion and disciple contrast was a tension between Jesus and his followers as well.

It is clear that a master sees himself one set of ways while the master's followers see the master in other ways. The master grieves in this. The records of those grievances are among the truest bits of the masters' biographies, these records of a master's worry for his disciples as they persist in error concerning the intent of the master. This is a remarkably faithful record of error probably written by those who persist in that error. As such these records are perhaps the deepest validation of that master, that his teaching survives despite severe confusions among those closest to him.

I write "he and him" only because the main records of masters are those of men - Siddhartha Gautama, Kung Fu Tse, Yeshua Bar Yoseph (Buddha, Confucius, Jesus Christ). And by no means least but perhaps lesser known in the West, Laozi (Lao Tzu).

When The Earth Quakes

Time to duck, cover
my ass and hunker down right
here in the safe zone
beside your regard.

They say don't crawl in under
things but lay beside
them. This makes me think.
Buddha's companion is safe.
Buddha's disciple
could be crushed under
tons of peace, drowned in wisdom
floods not meant that way.

April 3, 2011 5:11 PM

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

I Have Needs

Men have needs, have needs!

I have to reach toward God
and climb on up His
Holy robes as if
I could reach the Holy Ghost,
catch the Holy Goose
and attend the Feast
of Saint Albumen the White.

That's when she said, Stop!
You are fucking nuts!
That's when I said, Men have needs!
and she turned me down.

March 24, 2011 8:55 PM

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Trolls' Work

Image found here:

My trolls live in caves.
I have employed three of them
to reform my mind,
change Father, Son, Dove,
to another kind of stone,
not earthen basalt
but ocean's sandy
stone formed at the sea's edges
so long long ago.

March 20, 2011 1:07 PM

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Spousal Remarks

Rossetti, his sister Christina, their mother and his brother William who kept an eye on them all. The photographer was apparently fascinated by Rossetti’s wombat and put it into one of his own books as a dormouse. He was Charles Dodgson (Lewis Carroll, of course), a talented photographer as well as a writer.

Dante Gabriel Rossetti was an English poet, illustrator, painter and translator. He founded the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood in 1848
Born: May 12, 1828, London, United Kingdom
Died: April 9, 1882, Birchington-on-Sea, United Kingdom
Spouse: Elizabeth Siddal (m. 1860–1862)
Colleagues: John Everett Millais, Elizabeth Siddal
Siblings: Christina Rossetti, William Michael Rossetti, Maria Francesca Rossetti

Christina Georgina Rossetti was an Italian-English poet who wrote a variety of romantic, devotional, and children's poems. She is famous for writing Goblin Market and Remember, and the words of the Christmas carol In the Bleak Midwinter.
Born: December 5, 1830, London, United Kingdom
Died: December 29, 1894, Torrington Square, London, United Kingdom
Siblings: Dante Gabriel Rossetti, William Michael Rossetti, Maria Francesca Rossetti
Parents: Gabriele Rossetti, Frances Polidori

"Goblin Market" is a narrative poem by Christina Rossetti. In a letter to her publisher, Rossetti claimed that the poem, which is interpreted frequently as having features of remarkably sexual imagery, was not meant for children.

My wife's teeth wore out
chewing my shoes and leather
shirt, how it should be,
I guess, certainly
how it is.

We won't tell you
our true goblin names,
not for all the tea
you grow in Chinese
gardens, not for all the gold
in your dragon's hoard.

February 14, 2011 12:23 PM

Sunset Maple

The Sunset Maple holds its color for much of the year, because it buds out in spring with red buds and while green in summer, the leaves turn fire red in fall. I had three of these planted in the sidewalk planter with large evergreen bushes in between them in the last house I owned. Sunset Maples grow just about anywhere in the US, because they tolerate the cold, the cool and the warm, but not the subtropical heat. This means only the southernmost areas of the US are too hot for them.

Scraping my story
across the stormy gray sky
of early springtime
with gnarly fingers
just now beginning to show
red buds of new life,
this is how I give
you my willingness to live
with you one more year.

February 27, 2011 4:08 AM

Sunday, November 15, 2015

State Of The Union - A Magpie Tale

I turned seventy
and you gave me a giraffe,
and the cat gave me
nothing as is her
usual daily practice.
She did deign to sleep
beside me down by
my left knee when I
took my morning nap.

You've started the tea and our
next meal with the stray
from the bluff behind
our house looking on, rating
her prospects with us.

I can't tell you how
satisfied I am with things
as they are right now
my love, me with you,
knowing how it could have turned
that November day.

‎November ‎15, ‎2015 1:58 PM

Once again, that curious mix of the almost true with pure fiction. The boundaries I place around the real do slip and slide. I admit this could be irritating to some but, frankly, I do not care.

Written for Tess' Magpie Tales: Mag 294. Go there to see the fine work the gang produced this week.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Change Of Season

The 2011 earthquake off the Pacific coast of Tōhoku (東北地方太平洋沖地震 Tōhoku-chihō Taiheiyō Oki Jishin) was a magnitude 9.0 (Mw) undersea megathrust earthquake off the coast of Japan that occurred at 14:46 JST (05:46 UTC) on Friday 11 March 2011, with the epicentre approximately 70 kilometres (43 mi) east of the Oshika Peninsula of Tōhoku and the hypocenter at an underwater depth of approximately 30 km (19 mi). The earthquake is also often referred to in Japan as the Great East Japan earthquake (東日本大震災 Higashi nihon daishinsai)

So I wrote this poem just twelve days before the quake. Stuff crashed down in Japan. Am I a prophet? I am quite certain I did not make this connection back in 2011.

Today is my 70th birthday. I have spent it as I spend most days... quietly. I have spent some time remembering different parts of my life. It is certainly a change of season for me, but I doubt that spring is on the way. This poem is about entering March four years ago.

Change Of Season

It is time for spring
or for the last of winter
to crash down on me
as if to wipe me
off the mountain's frost bit face.
Put up or shut up
is what I say now
that you are nearing the shore
on this side of things.

February 27, 2011 4:30 AM

I am going up to birthday dinner now.

Friday, November 13, 2015


Today. Nov. 13, 2015, someone attacked Paris - a restaurant, a concert hall and two sites outside a soccer stadium, possibly more. There are over 120 dead. My birthday is tomorrow. They couldn't wait, I guess.

The Bomb

Walking down the street
and the shop windows blow out
just beyond my stride
knocking me down flat
and peppering my moon face
so I bleed, dozens
of cuts - tiny, but shit!
Not my idea of good times.
I get to my feet
coughing from the smoke
and dust and notice the blood
on me and the smell,
the angry damn smell,
all metallic and choking,
and the others too,
some still, some rising,
and there's others just moaning
like broken dolls do.

God damn you all to
a special black empty Hell!
you and all your kind.
Little terrorist
prick - this is not the terror
you wanted from me,

it's blind fucking rage!

‎November ‎13, ‎2015 6:32 PM

Thursday, November 12, 2015

The Pelican

From Pronunciation Coach: ESL pronunciation for learners of American English. Get tips and advice, or submit questions to help you learn to pronounce English better.

There is a small group of words, such as “business” and “different”, that have a missing vowel in the middle. The word “business” looks like it has 3 syllables, but when spoken, the “I” in the middle gets skipped, the "U" in the first syllable is replaced with "I" and it is pronounced with just 2 syllables: "bisness"- not "busness". (I added some stuff here because I am justifying using "business" as a two-syllable word.)

In all of these words, the 2nd vowel is skipped, or at least minimized: aspirin, average, business, camera, chocolate, conference, corporal, desperate, different, evening (from “eve”, but from not “even”), every, general, family, favorite, federal, finally, history, interest, margarine, memory, mineral, opera, separate, several, generally, interesting, miserable, operator, vegetable, laboratory.

Is it necessary to skip syllables?
YES, only for “business” “Wednesday” “evening” & “vegetable”. These words sound strange without a skipped syllable.

NO, not necessarily, for the other words. Even though native speakers tend to skip a syllable, these words can be said without skipping a syllable. If you say all of the syllables, it makes them sound less smooth, but you would still be understood. However, you should be aware of them, to help you listen and understand English more easily.

I add: "Wednesday" is especially strange, pronounced by dropping the "d" as well as the second "e" - "Wensday". May I opine that English is a real pain?

The Pelican

I will stand my post
in fog and light, munching on
the fishy story
you have told my mates.

There are brittle bones in there
by the fifty-nines;
not thousands-I don't
exaggerate, conflate or lie.

I have my eye well
peeled and still twinkling
all yellow and bright birdlike,
my feathers all fluffed,
my oil glands seeping.

It's none of your business but
I've stuff coming up.

‎November ‎12, ‎2015 6:43 PM

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

The Sidewinder - Three Word Wednesday

Crotalus Cerastes, the American Sidewinder in her better days.

Wiki says Sidewinder may refer to:

Crotalus cerastes, a venomous pit-viper species found in the southwestern United States

Bitis peringueyi, a venomous adder species found in Namibia and southern Angola

Dodge Sidewinder, a 1997 concept car
Kia Sidewinder, a 2006 concept car

Microsoft SideWinder, a family of digital game controllers
Secure Computing's Sidewinder firewall, which has since been re-branded McAfee Firewall Enterprise, after its acquisition by McAfee

Sidewinder (comics), a fictional supervillain in comic books published by Marvel Comics
Code name for Budd (Kill Bill), a character in the Kill Bill films
Sidewinder, a Thunderbirds machine in the British TV series
Sidewinder, a racing team in Initial D

Today Thom has offered

on his Three Word Wednesday blog.

Go there to find the rules and join in and also enjoy the work of the other participants.

On Losing Her Mate

The sidewinder has
lost all hope. She's distracted
by the cold of night,
the sliver of moon.
Her drained venom sacs, throbbing
from their emptiness
tell her to stay still
under desert rocks, shadowed
and frozen with rage
so profound that grief
rightly earned has turned to stone
as well, no wiggle
left in all the world.

‎November ‎11, ‎2015 9:41 AM

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Looked Better

I don't know how many people have this experience but I know the essence of it happens at least once in every life. This is the experience where you thought you had a good plan and then everything went south, as they say. You are left holding a smelly damn bag and there is nothing for it but to cut and run or face really rotten music.

That's the basic plot of a whole bunch of stories and movies for a very good reason.

Looked Better
In The Planning

I'm on the river
with you in the other boat,
me in the canoe
we kept at the barn.

Not too sure what will come next
from up the far bend
but certain it's no
good news for us on this day.
Should not have robbed no
Goddamned bank and should
have planned more better
the getaway, like
using the river's worse than
stealing a damn train.

Think about that, Bro.
The train goes one of two ways,
but we can go just
one - down the river.

Their blood hounds won't let us hide,
not anywhere near.

‎November ‎10, ‎2015 12:49 PM

Monday, November 9, 2015

In The Morning

Passing you at dawn,
me in the dim light, fading
in, Venus hung low.
Would you rise from snow
like the hare, darting, sudden?
Or more like the bear
grumping out of sleep,
weeks long den dozing slumber?

Wearing red snow boots
is enough for me
sometimes, is a grand signal
of my place in things.

March 5, 2011 4:47 AM

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Remembrance Day - A Magpie Tale

Image chosen by Tess for today's Magpie Tale.

Remembrance of the martial dead... Red poppies are that flower, especially as planted on the field of battle. Remembrance Day is November 11. In 1918 the combatants ended hostilities in World War I on that date.

Wiki says: Poppies have long been used as a symbol of sleep, peace, and death: Sleep because the opium extracted from them is a sedative, and death because of the common blood-red color of the red poppy in particular. In Greek and Roman myths, poppies were used as offerings to the dead. Poppies used as emblems on tombstones symbolize eternal sleep. This symbolism was evoked in the children's novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, in which a magical poppy field threatened to make the protagonists sleep forever.

Wild poppies are confined to the coastal areas of the Western Mediterranean. It is suggested that the wild poppy was domesticated by the indigenous people of Western and Central Europe between 6000 and 3500 BC.

The red remembrance poppy has become a familiar emblem of Remembrance Day due to the poem "In Flanders Fields". Red remembrance poppies bloomed across some of the worst battlefields of Flanders in World War I.

Guard Duty

Flower power comes
from the army of martial
elvenkind who camp
at the base of stems
and work out their guard duty
for the next decade,
appearing in full
dress but with all their medals
absent without leave.
They are split among
several arcane battle
groups and proud of it.
Elves are specially
fond of yellow centered red
poppies, commonly
called Icelandic Reds.
Do not trample their special
beds if you value
your soul beyond life.

‎November ‎8, ‎2015 3:13 PM

Saturday, November 7, 2015

The Short Cut

As if the path up
the mountain can be passed on
from one to the next
like bus tokens can.

The price is merely all of
my soul, my hope, love
and my death as well.

If you are as willing as
all that, come ahead.

March 6, 2011 12:57 PM

Kelly Clarkson and Reba McIntyre sing about Martin Luther King in this music video.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Following The Call

The Willamette Valley - Photo by Don Hankins (cropped)

This poem tells what happened to me. In the flat land at the south end of San Francisco Bay where I lived before my two years in Bangladesh there is a continuous urban area broken in governance by the original cities. Of them all, San Jose is basically the southeast pivot and the Bay Area cities proceed in their layout in a northing direction from there. (Northing is a surveying term of obvious meaning - here, as an example, a northing line.)

The east end of San Jose includes what we would call the east hills. They are high enough and San Jose had back in those days so few truly tall buildings that the hills were always on the eastern horizon and so could be used as directional locators pretty much no matter where you were. And in those days there were few buildings up there, the country being very dry and cleared of most wildlife, privately owned land.

In winter and spring the rains are present, and so these hills would display living grasslands. In summer and fall rain is rare. The grasslands would dry up and turn yellow. Living in San Jose, I would see the dead looking hills from everywhere and they weighed on my heart. In the transition from the green of spring to the yellow of summer I would grieve the seasonal death of the color green.

I returned from Bangladesh to San Jose in 1069. That seasonal sadness was a big part of the impulse that brought me to Oregon in the summer of 1973. I chose to stay with my friend Ann and eventually marry her because we went to Oregon. I knew the Willamette Valley stayed mostly green all year long without man's insistence and would have been largely forest had man left it alone. This because there is so much more rain in this land. For me, the rain has always been totally worth it.

I have claimed green as my favorite color my whole life.

Following The Call

Whenever I'm asked
how I came to this valley
I say the east hills
called to me from hot
summer, called from spring,
from green grassy spring,
and said, go find rain.

March 6, 2011 12:50 PM

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

A Hot Mess - Three Word Wednesday

Today Thom has offered

on his Three Word Wednesday blog.

Go there, young aspiring writer, to find the rules and join in or else enjoy the work of the other participants.

A Hot Mess

Once again I have
wandered ragged all night long
when I should have slept.
No use threatening
me with the consequences
you usually
throw at me, lover.
I am already beating
myself down, turning
me less than human
and more like a damn hot mess -
an unsightly show
of bad decisions
on top of bad decisions.
I am not worthy!

‎November ‎4, ‎2015 7:08 AM

Get Your Own Visitor Map!