Fishing With Friends At First Light   Monday, August 28, 2006

"Here and Now" number I.xii nibbling on the line.

Introducing guest blogger Jack Hill

Asked to introduce himself, Jack wrote this.

"I began writing poetry in 1999 right after my wife died, leaving eleven kids and myself. We were married for 48 storybook years, this very much reflects in most of what I write."

I saw Jack's poem, "Philosophical Soup," on one of the poetry forums he and I both frequent. Sharply written, with a twist, it's my favorite kind of poem.

Philosophical soup

Today I was going
to write something
I set poised...
nothing happened;
so I made a pot of

It takes four or
five hours
in a crock-pot,
that gives me time
to think-

of how good
that soup's going to be.

One of mine from the book

A reminder that the special pricing on the book and CD will continue through September. The book is $12, the CD $7 and both together, $17, shipping within the U.S. paid. To take advantage of this offer, email me at

where things went wrong

gets more screwy every day

and I don't like it

I liked it better
when I didn't have to play dodge'em
on the highway
with all the beam-me-up-scotties
with cell phones in their ears

I liked it better
when the crazy person on the sidewalk
talking to the air
really was a crazy person talking to the air
and not a dweeb yuppie
talking to his dweebette girlfriend
on some kind of phone thing too small
for me to even see

I liked it better when men were hard
and women were soft and cars had fins
and the president was smarter than the
average dumbass drunk at the corner bar

I liked it better
when Desi loved Lucy
and Gorgeous George was the meanest guy
in TV wrestling

I liked it better
when a microwave
was what your girlfriend did
when she was across the room with her

I liked it better
when I was young

a real up-and-comer

and the pretty girl on the park bench
was waiting for me

Hebrew and Arab poets from the turn of the first millennium

Arab conquests in the mid to late years of the first millennium, particularly in Spain and parts of southern Europe, ignited an early Eastern Renaissance and a golden age for poets in the Hebrew and Arabic languages. A benign period of coexistence, which did not last, created a unique opportunity for Jewish, Arab, and Christian cross-cultural fertilization.

These poets lived during this relatively short period of peace.

Samuel Ha-Nagid

One of the leading Jewish notables of Moslem Spain. he began life as Samuel Ha Levi, a storekeeper, and became Chief Minister in the Court of Granada. This position made him political head of the Jews in Granada, leading to his title "Nagid."

One Who Works and Buys Himself Books

One who works
    and buys himself books
while his heart inside them
    is vain or corrupt

resembles a cripple
    who draws on the wall
a hundred legs
    then can't get up.

(translated by Peter Cole)

Solomon ibn Gabirol

The earliest account of Gabirol's life is found in a book by an Arab contemporary. Gabirol is described as a student of philosophy and logic. More than 400 poems appear in the published editions of his work, and new ones are still being discovered.

My Heart Thinks As The Sun Comes Up

My heart thinks as the sun comes up
    that what it does is wise
    as earth borrows its light,
        as pledge it takes the stars.

(Translated by Peter Cole)

Ibn Hazm Al-Andalusi

Ibn Hazm was opposed by many scholars of his time in Cordoba and Valencia, with some of his books publicly burned as a mark of punishment.

During the time he spend in Almeira he engaged in active debates with Jews and Christians, and was very much involved in the study of other religions.

Twice Time Then Is Now

You ask how old am I
bleached by the sun
my teeth all gone.
How old am I?

I have no guide
no calendar inside
except a smile
and little kiss
she gave me
by surprise
upon my brow

And now,
that little while
is all my life
and all reality,
how long or brief
it seems to be.

(Translated by Omar S. Pound)

Muhammad ibn Ghali al-Rusafi

A bit of a cypher, he is included in a number of anthologies, but there is little information about him as a person that I could find on the internet. He seems to have been an important poet of the period and, apparently, lived in, or had some significance to, Valencia.

Blue River

The river of diaphanous waters
murmuring between its banks
would have you believe
it is a stream of pearls.

At midday tall trees
cover it with shadows
turning it the color of metal.

So now you see it, blue,
wrapped in brocade,
like a warrior in armor
resting in the shade of his banner

(Translated by Cola Franzen)

Introducing our Guest Explainer

Recently, a poetry forum was having difficulty with disappearing posts. Luckily, our Guest Explainer, Alan Addotto (AKA Splinter/Splinter Group), was nearby and available to offer his expert opinion.

After reading his explanation, it struck me that the bulk of it could apply to almost any problem in our glitch-prone world and could possibly replace chaos theory as the explanation of all variations of the universal tides.

As to introduction promised above, this is part of what he gave me.

"Physical: Simple -- Italian-Cajun (Louisiana French) , Buddha or perhaps a Santa Claus sized man with the look of a Harley biker. Ponytail, (black) little longer than shoulder length. Beard, gray, medium length. Height: 5'11". Eyes deep brown and soulful. Hairline doing the Baby Boomer glacial retreat boogie.

Birth date: same year as the dropping of the Hiroshima atomic bomb.

Education: Two degrees, first English- Liberal Arts, second English, Creative Writing. Two others - Technical school and various odd miscellaneous educational activities : two marriages , two divorces (thank God- no children), various job experiences from truck driving to teaching in college during master's degree work. Presently a semi-retired substitute teacher (lower elementary).

Personality: curious, creative and a bit pompous. A slightly exaggerated opinion of self worth. Slightly arrogant, a born storyteller and a bit of a liar in a pinch. A gadfly at times and a recluse most others.

Overall: a harmless person, fairly creative, sociable and an observer and recorder of humanity. A lover of philosophy and women.

Life Philosophy: "This too shall pass" told to King Ashoka when he asked for a statement from his cook that both humbled and elevated his mind..

Heroes: Christ, Buddha, and teacher/writers generally (especially Joseph Campbell).

As far as Splinter/Splinter group--------------->

An explanation of Splinter......"

Well, I'm going to have to come back to that particular explanation at some later time. In the meantime, here is Splinter the Explainer on the subject of the disappearing posts.


I am the official apologist for the unfortunate turn of events that may have effected your posted pieces of prose and verse.

We're sorry but the screw-up was unavoidable and due to circumstances beyond our control.

What happened was that the ramaframitz that normally proambulates the intoravesions of the camalarasis of the inflow valve became over-kibbulated. This led the corresponding jigglegaz programs to slide from the brobatushi into the overlapping cooling engine of the trappeli. this normally would not have been a problem as the rengoli automatically fibbles this out and ameliorates the razzit and sends the corrected input back to the auxiliary ramaframitz which in turn transcombulates it to the main ramafamitz and the subsidiary willplomer slant herbicolls. This did not happen because the kickout circuits detected to much overflow from the censor programs. In short the censor programs burned out and the completed corrective measures did not take place.

The reason for the the burnout of the censor programs and the corresponding cascade of uncompleted crabinations was directly due to too many of the posters using forbidden and out and out "naughty and nasty" words. In effect the server servicing the site had a huge version of a conniption fit and started flinging feces all over the place. We are sorry if the innocent and proper writers that respect the Queen's English were inconvenienced but as your teacher in elementary school told you "when nobody speaks up and takes the blame everybody, even the innocent, will have to suffer." Please keep this in mind when you post to Wild as all this foul language must stop.

Remember carefully if you will----- The "Propriety Police" will be closely watching you all in hopes of preventing this sort of meaningless and degrading sort of language from ruining things for others.


Colonel Addotto of the Propriety Police,,,,naughty words section

Yard art.

Is it art,

or do some poeple just have too darn much time on their hands?

A poem of mine having to do with neither the book nor the weather

my theory of relativity

my second
Social Security Check
came in the mail yesterday

a friend from my youth says
admitting this
is like standing on a street corner
yelling to all who pass, "look at me,
I'm old, used up, ready to kiss
this wasting, burdensome life good-bye"

remembering he is as old as me
causes me to think maybe
he has a personal stake in this whole
getting wrinkled up and old issue

but, not to fear

age is a relative thing, depending,
on your scale of reference

if you're thinking
well, then we're both
curdling sour old

but if you're thinking
we're both young pebbles
in the overall scheme of things

best of all,
this sliding scale of reference
can slide whenever you feel the need

leaving you to feel
strong as hill country granite
when rock-strength is needed
or fresh as a glass of ice-cold milk
on a South Texas summer day
when a little pleasure
in the moment
can make all the years recede

A poem from Langston Hughes

A Negro Speaks of Rivers

I've known rivers:
I've known rivers ancient as the world and older than the
    flow of human blood in human veins.

My soul has grown deep like the rivers.

I bathed in the Euphrates when dawns were young.
I built my hut near the Congo and it lulled me to sleep.
I looked upon the Nile and raised the pyramids above it.
I heard the singing of the Mississippi when Abe Lincoln
    went down to New Orleans, and I've seen its muddy
    bosom turn all golden in the sunset.

I've known rivers;
Ancient , dusky rivers.

My soul has grown deep like the rivers.

Cafe Chiapas

OK, last week I made a big deal about how well Jim's Restaurants do breakfast. Although every word was true, I didn't properly qualify my praise.

While Jim's makes great American style breakfasts, when it comes to Mexican style breakfasts, they are, at best, mid-range. For a good Mexican breakfast you have to go elsewhere.

The elsewhere for me right now is Chiapas Cafe on South Alamo, a block from the intersection of South Alamo and South St. Mary's.

Chiapas Cafe just opened (taking over the space of the defunct Espuma, formerly my favorite coffee shop) and, so far, I've only had two of their breakfast specialties, chiliquiles and huavos a la Mexicana. Both come with a bowl of boracho beans and either corn or flour tortillas. The food is great and the coffee is just as good.

There are still a lot of choices on the menu and I'm looking forward to trying all of them. Tomorrow I think it will be the chorizo and cheese omelet.

Cafe Chiapas has WiFi so you can bring your laptop and do whatever you do with your laptop while your eating breakfast or having coffee.

Walt Whitman at his most Whitmanesque

Spontaneous Me

Spontaneous me, Nature
The loving day, the mounting sun, the friend I am
    happy with,
The arm of my friend hanging idly over my shoulder,
The hillside whitten'd with the blossoms of the mountain
The same late in autumn, the hues of red, yellow,
    drab, purple, and light and dark green,
The rich coverlet of the grass, animals and birds, the
    private untrimm'd bank, the primitive apples the
    pebble stones,
Beautiful dripping fragments, the negligent list of one
    after another as I happen to call them to me or
    think of them,
The real poems, (what we call poems being merely
The poems of the privacy of the night, and of men
    like me,
This poem drooping shy and unseen that I always
    carry, and that all men carry.
(Know once for all, avow'd on purpose, wherever are
    men like me, are our lust lurking masculine
Love-thoughts, love-juice, love-odor, love-yielding,
    love-climbers and the climbing sap,
Arms and hands of love, lips of love, phallic thumb of
    love, breasts of love, bellies press'd and glued
    together with love,
Earth of chaste love, life that is only life after love,
The body of my love, the body of the woman I love,
    the body of the man, the body of the earth,
Soft forenoon airs that blow from the south-west,
The hairy wild-bee that murmurs and hankers up and
    down, that gripes the full-grown lady-flower, curves
    upon her with amorous firm legs, takes his will of
    her, and holds himself tremulous and tight till he is
The wet of woods, through the early hours,
Two sleepers at night lying close together as they sleep,
    one with arm slanting down and below
    the waist of the other,
The smell of apples, aromas from crush'd sage plant,
    mint, birch-bark,
The boy's longing, the glow and pressure as he
    confides to me what he was dreaming
The dead leaf whirling its spiral whirl and falling still
    and content to the ground,
The no-form'd stings that sights, people, objects, sting
    me with,
The hubb'd sting of myself, sting me as much as it
    ever can anyone,
The sensitive, orbic, underlapp'd brothers, that only
    intimate feelers may be intimate where they are,
The curious roamer and hand roaming all over the
    body, the bashful withdrawing of flesh where the
    fingers soothingly pause and edge themselves,
The limpid liquid within the young man,
The vex'd corrosion so pensive and so painful,
The torment, the irritable tide that will not be at rest,
The like of the same I feel, the like of the same in
The young man that flushes and flushes, and the young
    woman that flushes and flushes,
The young man that wakes deep at night, the hot hand
    seeking to repress what would master him,
The mystic amorous night, the strange half-welcome
    pangs, visions, sweats,
The pulse pounding through palms and trembling
    encircling fingers, the young man all color'd, red,
    ashamed, angry;
The souse upon me of my lover the sea, as I lie
    willing and naked,
The merriment of the twin babes that crawl over the
    grass in the sun, the mother never turning her
    vigilant eye from them,
The walnut-trunk, the walnut-husks, and the ripening
    or ripen'd long-round walnuts,
The continence of vegetables, birds, animals,
The consequent meanness of me should I skulk or find
    myself indecent, while birds and animals never once
     skulk or find themselves indecent,
The great chastity of paternity, to match the great
    chastity of maternity,
The oath of procreation I have sworn, my Adamic and
    fresh daughters,
The greed that eats me day and night with hungry
    gnaw, till I saturate what shall produce boys to fill
    my place when I am through,
The wholesome relief, repose, content,
And this bunch pluck'd at random from myself,
It has done its work - I toss it carelessly to fall where
    it may.

And now, a last little poem from me - this one wishful thinking

home fires

full moon bright
on black winter sky

   wisp of cloud
   like chimney smoke

drawing me home

Until next week.

Photos by Allen Itz

at 11:40 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Allen- I am not good at clever remarks. I am good at knowing when something is GOOD. This is good. I am happy for you. Can these pictures actually be of Texas landscape?

Thanks for posting this on Pennies- I would not have known about it otherwise. I look forward to reading and enjoying more of this site.


Post a Comment

May 2006
June 2006
July 2006
August 2006
September 2006
October 2006
November 2006
December 2006
January 2007
February 2007
March 2007
April 2007
May 2007
June 2007
July 2007
August 2007
September 2007
October 2007
November 2007
December 2007
January 2008
February 2008
March 2008
April 2008
May 2008
June 2008
July 2008
August 2008
September 2008
October 2008
November 2008
December 2008
January 2009
February 2009
March 2009
April 2009
May 2009
June 2009
July 2009
August 2009
September 2009
October 2009
November 2009
December 2009
January 2010
February 2010
March 2010
April 2010
May 2010
June 2010
July 2010
August 2010
September 2010
October 2010
November 2010
December 2010
January 2011
February 2011
March 2011
April 2011
May 2011
June 2011
July 2011
August 2011
September 2011
October 2011
November 2011
December 2011
January 2012
February 2012
March 2012
April 2012
May 2012
June 2012
July 2012
August 2012
September 2012
October 2012
November 2012
December 2012
January 2013
February 2013
March 2013
April 2013
May 2013
June 2013
July 2013
August 2013
September 2013
October 2013
November 2013
December 2013
January 2014
February 2014
March 2014
April 2014
May 2014
June 2014
July 2014
August 2014
September 2014
October 2014
November 2014
December 2014
January 2015
February 2015
March 2015
April 2015
May 2015
June 2015
July 2015
August 2015
September 2015
October 2015
November 2015
December 2015
January 2016
February 2016
March 2016
April 2016
May 2016
June 2016
July 2016
August 2016
September 2016
October 2016
November 2016
December 2016
January 2017
February 2017
March 2017
April 2017
May 2017
June 2017
July 2017
August 2017
September 2017
October 2017
November 2017
December 2017
January 2018
February 2018
March 2018
April 2018
May 2018
June 2018
July 2018
August 2018
September 2018
October 2018
November 2018
December 2018
January 2019
February 2019
March 2019
April 2019
May 2019
June 2019
July 2019
August 2019
September 2019
October 2019
November 2019
December 2019
January 2020
February 2020
March 2020
April 2020
May 2020
June 2020
July 2020
August 2020
September 2020
October 2020
November 2020
Loch Raven Review
Mindfire Renewed
Holy Groove Records
Poems Niederngasse
Michaela Gabriel's In.Visible.Ink
The Blogging Poet
Wild Poetry Forum
Blueline Poetry Forum
The Writer's Block Poetry Forum
The Word Distillery Poetry Forum
Gary Blankenship
The Hiss Quarterly
Thunder In Winter, Snow In Summer
Lawrence Trujillo Artsite
Arlene Ang
The Comstock Review
Thane Zander
Pitching Pennies
The Rain In My Purse
Dave Ruslander
S. Thomas Summers
Clif Keller's Music
Vienna's Gallery
Shawn Nacona Stroud
Beau Blue
Downside up
Dan Cuddy
Christine Kiefer
David Anthony
Layman Lyric
Scott Acheson
Christopher George
James Lineberger
Joanna M. Weston
Desert Moon Review
Octopus Beak Inc.
Wrong Planet...Right Universe
Poetry and Poets in Rags
Teresa White
Camroc Press Review
The Angry Poet