The Dazzle-Days of October   Wednesday, October 22, 2014





My photos from the Riverwalk, October, 2011. Looking at the time for something different from my usual approach to the Riverwalk, more people, some different places, and different processing. It being three years ago, I don't remember what I did, but I do remember I was trying for the kind of color you used to see on old movie poster, garish and soft around edges. Oh well about that.

Here's an idea for a  book, insane poems by insane poets. That's my anthology for the week, A Mind Apart, subtitled "Poems of  Melancholy, Madness, and Addiction," a collection of such poems and poets from over several centuries. Mark S. Bauer,  Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and Director of the Harvard South Shore Psychiatry Residency Train  Program collected the poems and edited the book.

The book was published by Oxford University Press in 2009.

All the rest, regular stuff.


Me
anticipatory rant

Edward Ware
The Extravagant Drunkard's Wish  

Me
compromise

Charles Simic
Slaughterhouse Flies

Me
watching real in my rearview mirror

Anonymous
A Recipe to Cure a Love Fit

Me
friends
happy shadow
invasion

Lily Brown
To Left from Right

Me
a consideration of gas prices

Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Grief

Me
no papers

Charles Harper Webb
Once  Bitten

Me
the aliens on our streets  

Emily Dickinson
#435

Me
no day for  poetry  

Piotr Sommer  
Liberation, in Language 

Me
almighty cosmos of  stars

Siegfried Sassoon
Repression of War Experience

Me
nuts in the neighborhood not all hoarded  by the squirrels  

Yosano Akiko
Tanka from River of Stars

Me
will talk about the weather again

Jeff  Holt
The Patient

Me
planting trees on Apache Creek

Vicente Aleixandre
Instant

Me
slow Sunday

Me
lunch with a friend after a successful  forage         







                                                                                                                          




First this week from last week, a tiny, tiny rant.










anticipatory rant

baubles of sunlight through the wide  widow
beside me...

more like summer
than fall this past week,
but acorns have begun to fall
from the tall oak tree by the driveway,
the nuts not as  big as last year because
of the limited rain,, but large enough
to cause a loud clunk when the hit the roof
of my car

next, in the normal order of things,
the tree's wide leaves will  fall,
blanketing  the ground around the tree
with crisp brown piles of autumn
foliage fallen...

out neighbors bag such leaves,
we mulch them, natural,  non-toxic fertilizer,
growing grass when it rains, fed by the natural world
around it, not by a poison factory on the dark side of the moon

~~~

more summer
than fall,
and I'm already pissed about all the leaf blowers
that will soon invade the neighborhood..

anticipatory rant, I can feel it
coming on







  
 
First this week from the anthology A Mind Apart, this poem by Edward Ward. Born, it is thought, in Leicestershire in 1667, he died in 1731. Though it is suspected he had little formal education, by 1691 he was publishing pamphlets in London and after traveling in Jamaica in 1697, found an appreciative audience for his travel poems, political satire and irreverent commentaries on tavern life and the uselessness of marriage.











The Extravagant Drunkard's Wish

Had I my Wish I  would  distend my Guts
   As wide  as  from the North to the Southern Skies,
And have,  at  once, as many Mouths and Throats,
   As old Briarius Arms, or Argos Eyes.
The raging Sea's unpalatable Brine,
   That drowns so  many Thousands in a Year,
I'd turn into an Ocean of good Wine,
   And for my cup  would chose the Hemisphere:
Would then  perform the Wager Xanthus laid,
   In spight of all the Rivers  flowing Streams,
Swill, till I piss'd a Deluge, then to Bed,
   And please my thirsty Soul with Small-Beer Dreams.
Thus Drink and Sleep, and waking Swill again,
   Till I had dunk the Sear-Gods Cellars dry,
Then rob the Niggard Neptune and his Train
   Of Tritons, of that Wealth they now enjoy.
Kiss he whole Nerides, and make the Jades
   Sing all their charming  Songs to pleas my Ear,
And whether Flesh or fish, Thornbacks of Maids,
   I'd make the Gypsies kind  thro' Love  or Fear.
And when thus Wicked and thus Wealthy grown
   for nothing good, I'd turn Rebellious Whig,
Pull e'ery Monarch headlong from his Throne,
   And with the Prince of Darkness make a League,
That he and I, and all the Whigs aside,
   Might rend down  the Churches, Crowns in pieces tare,
Exert our Malice,  gratify our Pride,
   And settle Satan's Kingdom e'erywhere.







                                                                                                                         
Getting old is better than not, but there is a price to pay. As explained in this poem from 2008.

And, as to the photo on the left. It is me in 1966 at Indiana University where I studied Russian for most of the first year of my military service. It was taken by fellow student and still friend, Bob Anderson, now  happily ensconced in New Mexico for many years between desert and the Rio Grande River.









compromise

ate
a pancake
for breakfast yesterday

and not with that watery
sugar
free
syrup  either -
the real stuff, thick
and sweet

not supposed to do that
so
i only ate half

enough to quell
the cravings

this  afternoon
i'm going out to the I-10 expressway
and go 100 miles an hour

since i'm not supposed to do that
i'll only go 50

and tonight
i'm going to a wild
loud
honky-tonk
full of promiscuous
cigar-smoking
women
and drink a case of beer

but
since i'm not supposed to do that
i'll probably go to the library
and have a cup of free coffee
with Gladys, the 80-year-old
 night shift librarian

compromise

it's a way of life
when you reach a certain stage
of life

all well
and good
but my oh my how i miss
the days when i could have the whole
pancake







                                                                                                          

From  my library, here's a short poem by Charles Simic, appointed 15th Poet Laureate of the United States and winner of the Pulitzer Prize for poetry in 1990. He was born in Serbia in 1938, suffering greatly during World War II and as a displace person afterward. The poem is from his book, Sixty Poems,  published by Harcourt in 2007.









Slaughterhouse Flies

Evenings they ran their bloody feet
Over the pages of my schoolbooks.
With eyes closed, I can still hear
the trees on our street
Saying their moody farewell to summer,

And someone at home recalling
The weary old cows,  hesitating,
At long last growing suspicious
Just as the blade drops down on them.







                                                                                                                                  



Got to feeling a  little left behind by the real world a couple of years ago, decided I didn't miss it.










watching real in my rearview  mirror

I sometimes think
about going back to real
but having been real so long back when
I'm not sure what I'd find that I didn't find way back then

I'm thinking poetry is a better choice...

not much chance the world is better for it,
but I  notice the world didn't quit
turning
when I left real for poetical
desperation

so I guess it's a wash...

if real don't miss me, no reason
for me to miss
real...







                                                                                                                       




Here is an anonymous poem from this week's anthology. It was published (the book doesn't say where) in 1733.













A Recipe to Cure a Love Fit

Tie one end of a rope fast  over a beam,
And make a slip-noose at the other extreme;
Then just underneath let a cricket be set,
On  which let the lover most  manfully get;
Then over his head let the snecket to got,
And under one ear be well settled the knot.
The cricket kicked down, let him take a fair swing;
And leave all the rest of the work to the string.







                                                                                                                                




Three short observationals from six years ago.












friends

chipmunk-cheeked
from the
chemo

she
lunches
with friends
on a hamburger
and rings

laughter
and loud talk
interrupting
each other
to finish sentences
as friends often to

there
is a relish
to  every moment
every laugh
every interruption

friends
for now

friends
forever

no matter
what happens...

friends



happy shadow

i
saw a woman
yesterday
that i knew some
years ago

a very large
woman
then
but
now just
a
shadow
of her former self

and
what a
very
vibrant and
happy shadow
she
seems


invasion

leaning forward,
she
was writing something,
a list
i think,
and the neck of her dress
scooped open
and i could see
her small brown beasts
beneath
the thin cotton
and i quickly looked away
embarrassed
by my inadvertent
invasion
of her body

through
she seemed
to never
notice
it







                                                                                                                   

From my library, a poem by Lily Brown, from her book Rust or Go Missing, published by the Cleveland State University Poetry Center in 2011. Brown lives in Georgia where she is a Ph.D. student  at the University of Georgia. This is her first book.

I can't say I understand these little pieces, but I do like them.








To Left from Right

Lift  up and enter the body
from above. Be the window

that lowers to wall,
in houses on bays,

where glasses are ships. Sink

by sleight of water
and not by wreck.

     *

Conversation's cobbled
from  complaint. When none remain

I am a case complete.The difference between people
and drakes is we paint ourselves.

     *

Waves are greyhounds
that out-shoulder one another.
The seal's not stopped. Surface

breaching is more than we manage.

    *

I  found the secret -

Don't tell
him what he sees. We can't see

from his mammalian eyes.

There's one question.
The name we'll give

it's an apparition.

     *

The seal's  whiskers sense something

above and to  the side.

     *

When I say I don't  mean
we're the same, I mean

we fall on each other







                                                                                                                                  

From last week.

Okay, I know my science sucks, but it's at  least as good the creationist myth the religious fundamentalists keep trying to sneak into  high school science text books.









a consideration of gas  prices

gas  prices
been falling for several weeks  now,
this morning,
filled my tank at two ninety nine point nine,
making me think of  the  day
back in the nineteen seventies,
living in a dusty little South Texas city on the northwest corner of the King Ranch,
buying  gasoline,  a tank full at a dollar point nine the first time, ever,
at over a dollar,  the back when  days,  like the way, way back when days,
the pre-petroleum days when the crude-to-be
left footprints in Government Canyon right down the road, dinosaur prints,
thought to be a couple at first, dozens  instead, it turns out,
a real beach-front hang-out of the giants on the edge of  the great sea
that covered most of the American  Southwest,  which reminds me,
where did all that water go, the earth mostly covered by water now, even
more water back then, great salty seas that went  somewhere, leaving the giants
high and dry amid the brush and cactus and mesquite that came to be,
leaving their great  bodies and forests and jungles to become
the fuel that  powers our life and my morning...

what a strange thing it is to imagine the giants walking, the giants falling,
the giants dissolving into my two ninety nine point nine
miracle I pumped into my car this morning
and meantime the seas disappeared
and that's what puzzles me because I know where the giants and their forests and jungles went,
but where went the seas and  now that they are coming back, where are they
coming back
from

is this a theological mystery, is  there  a divine being who at  some point
became bored with the giants and wanted to be done with them
and said, in his mighty voice,let there be no water, let  there be no  giants,
let there be  no jungles and forests, and now, bored with us,
descendants of the  giants, says, let there be  water again,
let the earth be covered again,  he says as his thumb
presses, again,the reset button...

or is this something easier,  something I could check on Wikipedia,
the sacred text of  our day...







                                                                                                                            
The next poem from the anthology is by Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1861).

Suffering from intense pain from the age of 15, the poet took laudanum regularly which, it is speculated, led to her frail physical condition and a lifetime addiction.







Grief

  I tell you, hopeless  grief is passionless
That only men incredulous of despair
Half-taught in anguish, though the midnight air
Beat upward to God's throne in loud  access
Of shrieking and reproach. Full desertness,
In souls as countries, lieth silent-bare
Under the blanching, vertical eye-glare
Of the absolute Heavens. Deep-hearted man, express
Grief  for thy Dead in silence like to death -
Most like a monumental statue set
In everlasting watch and move-less woe
Till itself crumble to he dust beneath.
Touch it; the marble eyelids are not wet:
If it could weep,  it could arise and go.







                                                                                                                              

This, from six years ago, came from a coffeehouse downtown on the river. This homeless woman was there in the parking lot when I came most mornings, usually early. In another poem I called her the Autumn Lady because she dressed in self-made multi-fold autumn colored fabric that flowed around her like leaves  blowing in an October wind. She was a black woman, possibly beautiful beneath the grime and obviously deeply disturbed.









no papers

the autumn
lady
street person
was
dancing
in the parking lot
this morning

dressed
in her normal
brows
& reds
& golds

slow-moving
arms
and hips
and shoulders
and head to a kind of
calypso beat

not in a world
of her own
as you might think
but
in the music

she
stops
when i drive up,
walks to the stone  rail
and pretends to look down
at the river

i've said hello
to her  several times
early in the morning,
like now,
but she never  responds,
because she is black
and i am white
because she is woman
and i am man
because she is homeless
and i am homed
because she is the queen
of this street
of this parking lot  above the river
of the water
as it flows in her river

and of  this and every morning

and
i
am just a trespasser
a passer-through
a migrant
with no
papers

meaning
no
good morning
hellos
are required
or to be  acknowledged







                                                                                                                           




From  my library now, Charles Harper Webb, with a poem from his book, winner of the 1997 Morse  Poetry Prize, Reading the Water. The book was published by Northeastern University Press.











Once Bitten

It appeared later - he thought - a  good night's  sleep:
Faint tickling between pale arm hairs,
Redness moving in like headlights: twin
Spots, because what bit him had two fangs,,

Though, he didn't know this yet, he thought
He'd brushed some  poison ivy,  developed
An allergy. He never dreamed there'd been
A killer in his bed, even when the red

Turned gray, the skin collapsed like two sinkholes
Above the river of his blood. The doctor
Gave him cortisone, then ampicillin..
The tickling swelled to a bass throb.

Fire gnawed his wrist. thee specialists
Shook their heads until one old G.P.
Said "spider," and a Latin name. Everything
Blurred: the tests, the shots, the operating

Room, "strictly routine." When doctors pressed
A dive-mask to his face,  he thought of Malibu,
Renting a surfboard,humming Beach Boy tunes,
Paddling out to where surfers bobbed

Like spiders on elastic bands. The waves
Seemed huge, but he thought he could ride
Until a big one tore the board out of his hands
And wrapped him, struggling like a fly in cold

Green silk. "My God," he thought, "I'm going to die
on my vacation." The idea made his mouth
Gape in amazement. Bitter as strychnine,
The whole ocean rushed in.







                                                                                                                  
This next piece from last week started as an observational, led into a rant.

Though no automatic supporter of law enforcement no matter what they do, I have strong feelings on the subject of this poem and went overboard in my first introduction, which I've just deleted. I'll just limit myself to saying that I am extremely tired of ideologues on both sides preferring ideological constructs to human reality, behaving like eight-year-old brats and, in the process, controlling the agenda of  grownups.






the aliens on our streets

five foot  two,  maybe three
on her tiptoes, stern, got-business-to-do face,
sharp nose, sharp chin, blond hair
pulled back tight, giving the appearance
of a profile on an ancient
Roman coin

sits straight backed in her chair,
the uniform tight,
her broad belt and attached accessories
remind me of my son when he was about three,
a toy tool belt  with toy tools cinched around his middle
covering about a third of his  body...

she and her partner don't talk  much, I see,
both with  their professionally unreadable, got-business face,
business, despite all the television stories,,  known only to them
and their fellows,a life both inside and outside
the life the rest of us laze through,
so comfortable and smug...

her face softened, broken with a smile
as I pass and say hello, a human face flashing
behind the cop-on-the-beat face
she wears most of the day, and, if she's lucky,
is able to leave at work when she goes home at night
to her husband and maybe children,
somebody's  wife, somebody's mother,
living inside, outside, the face she carries like a shield
all  day...

~~~

I am reminded of  the  "pigs"  of my younger days, the appellation
rising again among  many, referring always to "cops" as if were a dirty word
and I wonder if they've ever known one,
if they've ever seen one
behind the
mask...

I  think now

I think most people live a life  so safe and secure
they have no way to ever understand
what lives beneath the surface, organizing their lives
around myths instead, never understanding what commitment
it  takes to keep  that underlife
away from their door and the tidy life
they live behind
it








                                                                                                                           

Another from the anthology, Emily Dickinson, a contemporary of Browning though not nearly as well  known at the time.

Though chronological contemporaries, reading Dickinson right after reading  Browning is like jumping a chasm of poetic time.









#435

Much Madness is divinest Sense -
to a discerning Eye -
Much Sense - the starkest Madness -
'Tis the Majority
In this, as  All, prevail -
Assent - and you  are  sane -
Demur - you're straightway dangerous -
And handled with a Chain -








About fifteen years ago we bought a small mobile  home in the country on about two thirds of an acre for our son to use while in college. When he no longer needed it, we rented it out, which worked well for a while. After it  quit working well, we ended up with a vacant trailer we were trying to sell. In the end we finally did sell it, after six or eight months of repairing all the damage our last tenant did, plus regular maintenance. It was about a 140 mile round trip from home to take care of all this, so many days were spent doing not what I wanted to do.

This was written in the midst of the mess in 2008.







no day for poetry

no
laying back
in a dark and friendly
coffee shop
today

no
leisurely
contemplation
of my versifying cohorts'
carefully limed lines
over lattes
and
blueberry muffins

no,
today
the discouraging truth
that weeds grow
even in drought orders
my day
and i'm off to the trailer
to gas up the tractor and
level out the grassy tufts that
bring disorder to the still-not-sold
country estate

no
way
around it






                                     
                                                                           





Next from my library, this  short poem by Polish poet, essayist and translator, Piotr Sommer, from the collection of his work, Continued, published by Wesleyan University Press in 2005.










 Liberation, in Language

These  heart-stirring errors of craft -
uncertainty how a nation
should respond to violence,
made up for by an urgent
sense of mission
(words big  as beans
that are hard to swallow)
and that  almost obsessive
lack of  detail -

yes, one  can speak this way
from the stage of language
is not  beautiful but all
abruptly draw out their hands
and clap, and so, perforce,
it  must be correct.







                                                                                                                                





From last  week, a short examination of  my own thinking.









almighty cosmos of stars

I don't believe
in any god or collection of gods,
instead
I believe in a universe
that is a constantly boiling kettle
of everything that is
and ever was
and might someday be,
grand
in its vast majesty
as any of the interchangeable gods
created by man's
primeval  fear of the dark...

the all...

forever constant;
forever changing like the stars that move
across the sky day and night...

day and night

all the same to stars
near and far,
for they make their own days and nights
as satisfies their own
convenience...

 ~~~

perhaps every star
is the god so  many seek,
ruling, reigning
in an unbelievably cosmic congregation
of fellow divines,
forever rulers
in the deep and forever dark...

I acknowledge them all,
bow to none
because to do so would be an  exercise  in ego,
an unholy rite of self-worship,
for unlike the homemade gods of man,
they are not  above me,
but a part of me
as I am a part of them...

come with me
some night under a clear sky
and see the glory of true rulers of the universe,
you and me and the almighty cosmos of stars







                                                                                                                                     


This is a timely piece from the anthology by Siegfried Sassoon, one of the WWI war  poets, a survivor.

Today we call it PTSD, or as the military prefers, PTS, Post Traumatic Stress, arguing that such responses to the stresses of war, are normal and should not be called a "disorder," a categorization that, for some sufferers, discourages them from seeking help.









Repression of War Experience

Now light the candles; one; two; there's a moth;
What silly beggars  they are to blunder in
And  scorch their wings with  glory, liquid flame -
No, no, not that, - it's ad to think of war,
When thoughts you've gagged all day come  back to scare  you;
And it's been  proved that soldiers don't go mad
Unless they lose control of ugly thoughts
That drive them out to jabber among the trees.

Now light your  pipe; look, what a steady hand.
Draw a deep breath; stop thinking; count fifteen,
And you're as right as rain...
Why won't it rain?
I wish there'd be a thunder-storm tonight,
With bucketful of water to sluice the dark,
And make the roses hang their dripping heads.
Books; what a jolly company they are,
Standing so  quiet and  patient on their shelves,
Dressed in dim brown, and black, and white, and  green,
And every kind of colour. Which will you read?
Come on; O do read something; they're so wise.
I  tell you all the wisdom of the world
Is waiting for you on these  shelves; and yet
You sit and gnaw on your nails, and let your  pipe  out,
And listen to the silence; on the ceiling
There's one big, dizzy moth that bumps and flutters;
and in the breathless air outside the house
The garden waits for  something that delays.
There must be crowds of ghosts among the trees, -
Not people killed in battle, - they're in France, -
But horrible shapes in shrouds -  old men who died
Slow, natural deaths, - old men with  ugly souls
Who wore their bodies out with nasty sins.
You're quiet and peaceful, summering  safe at home;
You'd never think there was a bloody war on!...
O  yes, you would...why, you can hear the guns,
Hark! Thud,thud, thud, - quite soft...they never cease
Those whispering guns - O Christ, I want to go out
And screech at them to stop - I'm  going crazy;
I'm going stark, staring mad because of the guns.












More from the 2008 presidential election.











 nuts in the neighborhood not all hoarded by the squirrels

received
mail yesterday
addressed to
"my neighbor"

the letter inside
two pages
of elaborate obscenities
carefully

written
in large block print
almost impossibly neat
and precise

response
to the two
Obama-Biden
campaign  signs

in my front yard

but here's the curious thing

despite the obscene letter
the campaign signs
are untouched

does this mean
we have a fruitcake
in the neighborhood
who respects

the first amendment
and my right to exercise
my political
opinion

truly a positive attestation
to  his patriotism and respect
for American political traditions
or does it just mean

that the fruitcake
hasn't taken the signs
because he's afraid
i'll catch him in the act

and kick his fruitcake ass







                                                                                                                         


Next from library, the hugely prolific and most celebrate Japanese poet of the twentieth century, Yosano Akiko. My random selection of poems is from the collection of some of her work, River of Stars,  published by Shambhala in 1996. The poems in the book were translated by Sam Hamill and Keiko Matsui Gibson. Born in 1878, Akiko, known for her feminism and erotic poetry, published more than seventy-five books, including  twenty volumes of poetry before her death in 1942.








I whisper,"Good night,"
slipping silently from  his room
in the spring evening,
and pause at his  kimono,
and try it on for size.

___

The handsome boatman
singing, floating the river,
fills me with longing -
he's thrilled just remembering
last night's port-of-call girl.

___

His hand on my neck,
he whispers softly of love.
Dawn. Wisteria.
No way I can detain him,
my one-night-only lover!

___

Testing, tempting me
forever, those youthful lips
barely touching the
frosty cold drops of dew
on a white lotus blossom.

___

O my beloved god
of eh long night,you say,
"I must go. Farewell."
And your hem brushes by me.
And tears dampen my long hair.







                                                                                                                                 



Yes, it's true, after a miserable summer, we have had a week of beautiful days.










will talk about the weather again

will  talk about the weather
again,
not because it's hot awful miserable inhuman torture
by the Weather Mighties in the sky

but because it's so damn beautiful
I want to sing and dance
holy holy Weather Mighties what beneficence
you bestow on us with this lovely  wonderful magnificent superb
 breathtaking amazing astonishing fantastic brilliant
pretty damn good for the ages
morning

holy holy fifty one degrees
and bright vivid intense dazzling
sunshine light
and a soft breeze saying coochie coo
kissing my ears like a song
from heavenly choirs of kissy-face angels cherubs seraphim
from on high,  soaring  through sun-dimpled speckled freckled stippled
air O My what a wonderful day

a challenge to thesauri ubiquitously far-reaching all  over the place
everywhere and
beyond...

~~~

what a really really really nice day
it is
this morning







                                                                                                                                          





Last for the week from the anthology, A Mind Apart, a poem by Jeff  Holt. The poet is a licensed  professional counselor from Plano, Texas.












The Patient

The doctors know I dream when I'm awake.
I've  smoked until my fingertips  are brown.
Watching he door,  I sit alone and shake.

My sister  and her kids, Kelly and Jake,
Played games with me when I'd sink this far down
Until they knew I dream when I'm awake.

When Beth comes now, her smile is bright and fake.
She doesn't want to bring the kids downtown.
She leaves too soon. I sit alone and shake.

The voice is back.  It whispers till I ache.
I'm soaked in sweat and tangled in my gown
When they catch me dreaming while still awake.

They've brought more pills that they must watch me take.
They're  lifeguard staring at me as I drown.
They  leave again. I sit alone and shake.

I'm stuck in a glass bubble I can't break.
The others stand outside and watch the clown.
I wish I didn't  dream when I'm awake.
The room grows dark. I sit  alone and shake.







                                                                                                                                 



The poem was  six years ago and the tree-planting several years before that. I'm pleased to say that, whatever the poem. the trees are going great.











planting trees on Apache Creek

several years
ago
a group of us
from the neighborhood
got together
and planted trees
along the two streets
bordering Apache Creek
on either side -
about 30 trees,
7 different kinds of oak,
trees provided by the city,
our labor in the planting,
trying
a little piece at a time
to rebuild the forests
we pushed aside,
plowed under,
and paved over
many years ago,
for good reasons, no doubt,
for our reasons,
just as, today,  hills are  stripped
down to their  caliche base,
for good  reasons, no doubt,
for our own reasons,
just as asphalt ribbons
snake through the hills today
where squirrel and deer and raccoon
still live and birds still  sing
for trees  still standing
and wild flowers still cover  pastures
with color in  spring,
and we know what that means,
asphalt parking lots follow asphalt roads
and gray roofs and commuter stench
follows asphalt roads and plastic grocery bags
and 32 ounce Big Gulp cups and shit-filled
diapers and all the trash of our life
follows  asphalt  roads and soon the the trees
are covered and the squirrels and deer and raccoons
and birds are covered and dry caliche blows in the wind,
all for good reason, no doubt,
for our own reasons and our own reasons
are all the reasons that count
no matter
what...

but our trees -
our partial  repayment, 
our minuscule repayment -
our trees do well
and on some sunny day
perhaps a day in July or August
not too far from today as the time of forests is measured
there will be shade from a tree I planted,
providing a resting place for  me,
nest space  for birds,
and high branches for squirrels to play
their squirrelish games

~~~

I'm too old to think  I can save the world
but old enough,
desperate enough,
to believe we can each save our own little part of it







                                                                                                                          
My last  poem from my library this week is by Spanish poet, Vicente Aleixandre, from the collection A bird of paper. It was published by Ohio University Press in 1982. The poems in the book were translated from Spanish by Willis Barnstone and David  Garrison.

Aleixandre, born in Seville in 1898, won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1977. He died in 1984, two years after the book was published.











Instant

Look in my eyes. They conquer sound.
Listen to my grief like a moon.
So silver swirling on your throat
is sleeping or  aching.
                                    Or unknown.
                                                          Or dissolves.

Form. Clamor. O, hush. That's what I am.
I am thought or night  held in.

Under your skin a dream doesn't advance,
a suspended landscape of fallow  deer.







                                                                                                                                        




 My last old  poem for the week.











slow Sunday

on
my own

Dee in a crafts class
and i'm in  a
funk
of
don''t know what
to do

not that i don't
have anything to  do
just can't  decide

could write a poem

could  work
on the next issue
of the blog

could  take a nap

could go  to  a movie

spent
ten minutes this morning
watching
the neighbor cat
stalk
the black bird
with the dog food nugget
it stole
form the bowl  i put out
on the patio
this morning
for the dogs - sitting
in my car
in the driveway
motor running
watching
the black bird
trying to break the dry dog food
and the cat
belly to the ground
tail twitching
poised to leap
then looking at me
grimacing
at the futility of it all
and turning away
back to its nap by the
front door

not
worth the trouble

i'm
at La Taza
watching
with one eye
some food  program
on the making
of candies i can't  eat  anymore
the other eye
watching my laptop screen
as my fingers push word after word
into this little construct
of cat
stalking bird
stealing dog food

thinking
i should go
lay down with the neighbor
cat
by the front door
and go to  sleep before
i cause more
trouble

the soft wrath
of world
indifference
watches
my every move







                                                                                                                       



Finishing the week with dog notes. Bella, a really wonderful (and smart) friend  she  is.










lunch with a friend after a successful  forage

I  had a bowl
of cream of celery soup
for lunch
and since celery is tasteless
and brings nothing to a meal
but a satisfying crunch
I wasn't expect much from the experience
of eating and my expectations
were not exceeded.

but the surprise in the soup was  that Bella,
my dog, loved it
which I found very hard to believe
since I had no idea she likes celery or even soup
made from same, but she lapped it up
like it was prime rib

~~~

I believe she must have been in a celebratory mood
because we had just returned  home
from the bank where I made a deposit
at the drive-in banking facility and one of the things
they do at my bank at the drive-in banking
facility is, if they see a customer has a dog in the car,
they include a couple of  small dog biscuits
in the envelope with the customer's
receipt

and Bella knows this
and whenever go to the drive-in banking facility
she  makes sure to sit up on the front seat,
putting her face right up  against the windshield
so that the drive-in banking facility teller can see her
and include a couple of  dog  biscuits
with the receipt

usually just two biscuits,
but since Bella is pretty well known at the drive-in banking
facility,  they sent three out to her which she got out of the plastic
vacuum tube carrier almost before I could
open it and left the bank a very happy puppy
and me too because I'm always happy when my pal's happy,
it being part of  our relationship to share our happiness
whenever it overtakes us...

she's sleeping beside me at this very moment, smiling
as only dogs can smile and human best friend
can recognize,
dreaming probably of three dog biscuits
and a left-over bowl  of
cream of celery
soup








As usual, everything belongs to who made it. You're welcome to use my stuff, just, if you do, give appropriate credit to "Here and Now" and to me




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´╗┐Poetry
New Days & New Ways


Places and Spaces
 



Always to the Light






Goes Around Comes Around




Pushing Clouds Against the Wind





And, for those print-bent, available at Amazon and select coffeehouses in San Antonio




Seven Beats a Second






Short Stories


Sonyador - The Dreamer



5 Comments:
at 5:09 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

1st and, i think 6th photograph- poem by ward good- why not just publish the best?

pleez get a better capcha- it';s too difficult

if i can 't read it- FUDK ITR

at 4:37 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

i already left a comment- why doesn't it show? i complimented several photos
the poetry - ehn
now on to yr ridiculous capcaha
do u wrk for homeland security?

at 4:38 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

0- after blog supervisor approves- what a bunch of bs- who is needing of approval on this site?
HELLO

at 5:31 PM Blogger Here and Now said...

never disapproved anything david, but you have to wait for me to get to it. this not the only thing i do.

at 7:06 PM Blogger Here and Now said...

ooh, i take it back. i have disapproved a couple Nigerian princes and other spamers.

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