A Winter Day on Grape Creek Road   Friday, December 11, 2009


IV.12.2.




This is a shorter than usual post, but I'm worn out by the Christmas mania all around, despite everything I do to avoid it and didn't want to do any more. Short, but still with some pretty good stuff for your literary entertainment.

A word about the photos this week -

I took a drive in the hill country a couple of days ago, a short run up to Fredericksburg for my quarterly ration of Koch Kasse (German cooked cheese), liverwurst, and dried beef sausage.

Found me an interesting road on the way back, Grape Creek Road, to be exact, a winding little thing that follows the creek through the hills to a quarry, paved at first, then caliche, then, toward the end, more holes than road.

I took pictures along the way, stark winter pictures with little color, and decided to fool around with them to enhance the stark wintriness of the images. I also tried for an effect that would remind me, and maybe you, of the hand-tinted photos that were popular early in the last century, black and white pictures with just a hint of color. I can't know if it works on the blog until I get it posted. Some of tho photos worked pretty good on Photobucket and some didn't work at all. Oh well.

Here's what i have this week on the poetry side of the business.


Campbell McGrath
Florida
The Orange
The Key Lime


Gary Blankenship
Road Cherita

Me
my cat looks like Charles Laughton

Annamayya
Temple songs

Gary Blankenship
Write Cherita

Me
boots, no saddle

Gary Blankenship
Cherita Too

Cyra S. Dumitru
Mary's Midwife

Me
hoping we will be true

Gary Blankenship
Cherita: Memorial for the Lakewood Officers

Sapphire
My Father's Silence (or, Last Night He Heard Two Poets -
    One Korean, One African American


Me
astonished by the cold

Charles Bukowski
simple kindness
a good try, all
proper credentials are needed to join


Me
about round

Yang Wan-Li
Drinking at Night
Eating Frost to Sober Up
I Sit Lazily All Day Because My Feet Hurt
In the Gorge: We Encounter Wind


Me
islands









I know several "Here and Now" readers are from Florida, so here's to them, three poems by Campbell McGrath from his book Florida Poems, published in 2002 by HarperCollins.

McGrath's previous collections include Capitalism, American Noise, Spring Comes to Chicago and Road Atlas. Among other awards, he has received the Kingsley Tufts Prize and fellowships from the Guggenheim and MacArthur Foundations. He teaches in the creative writing program at Florida International University in Miami.



Florida

Paradise must resemble this realm of clouds, birds and flowers!

Red woodpecker in the royal palm: so too in that forum shall trees
   uphold the firmament!

Mockingbird in the neighbor's garden, wild green parrot in the
   grapefruit tree:
twisted of years, stretching its scaly neck across the hedge,
strange to know this branch has grown precisely thus to yield its
   shapely fruit unto my hand!

So shall the limbs of that eternal orchard be laden!

Hibiscus, ixora, alamanda, oleander: so shall every flower be given
   voice!

There too, below, the billows of the sea: above, the reefs of dawn and
   sunset,
thunderheads risen like the fists of immortals,
celestial cumulus like the bearers of something immense held dangling.

Perfume of jasmine, egret in moonlight, trade wind through the
   jacaranda: nor night shall mast their glory,

nor darkness still the turmoil of our senses.


The Orange

Gone to swim after walking the boys to school.
Overcast morning, midweek, off-season,
few souls to brave the warm, storm-tossed waves,
not wild but rough for this tranquil coast.

Swimming now. In rhythm, arm over arm,
let the ocean buoy the body and the legs work little,
wave overhead, crash and roll with it, breathe,
stretch and build, windmill, climb the foam. Breathe,

breathe. Traveling downwind I make good time
and spot the marker by which I know to halt
and forge my way ashore. Who am I
to question the current? Surely this is peace abiding.

Walking back along the beach I mark the signs of erosion,
bide the usual flotsam of seagrass and fan coral,
a float from somebody's fishing boat,
crusted with sponge and barnacles, and them I find

the orange. Single irradiant sphere on the sand,
tide-washed, glistening as if new born,
golden orb , miraculous ur-fruit,
in all that sweep of horizon the only point of color.

Cross-legged on my towel I let the juice course
and mingle with the film of salt on my lips
and the sand in my beard as I steadily peel and eat it.
Considering the ancient lineage of this fruit

the long history of its dispersal around the globe
on currents of animal and human migration,
and in light of the importance of the citrus industry
to the state of Florida, I will not claim

it was the best and sweetest orange in the world,
though it was, o great salt water
of eternity,
o strange and bountiful orchard.


The Key Lime

Curiously yellow hand-grenade
of flavor; Molotov cocktail
for a revolution against the bland.








Gary Blankenship, our friend from Washington state, introduced a new poetry form to those of us on the Blueline Forums House of 30. It's called a "Cherita," a Malay word meaning story or tale. The form consists of three stanzas, the first, one line, with a narrative focus, the second, two lines, imagistic, and the third, three lines, suggestive.

Gary has done four so far, included here in this week's post.

Here's the first one.



Road Cherita

the highway ahead disappears

my eyes unable to distinguish
headlight from white line

old age
night vision
tired eyes collide








My old cat is breaking me up again.



my cat looks like Charles Laughton

my old cat
looks like Charles Laughton
in that Witness for the Prosecution

movie, especially
during her dramatic
protestations

when she wakes up
enough
to discover

her food dish
is empty -
same quivering

jowls
same fierce glare
from beneath stormy

brow -
though it is true
that cat has only one

eye
and one eye can glare
much more fiercely

than two,
giving her dramatic advantage
over Laughton,

an advantage
undone by her willingness
to forgive

and forget
all when allowed
to curl up on my lap,

something
which Laughton
would never do -

but
still she
does pretty darn good for a
cat








For a change of pace, here are several temple poems by Annamayya from a collection of his daily homages to god of the hilltop shrine of Tirupati in South India, Venkatesvara-Vishnu. The collection is titled God of the Hill, published by the Oxford University Press in 2005.

Annamayya, who lived in the shrine in the fifteenth century composed a song every day and late in his life, or shortly after his death, thirteen thousand of the poems were inscribed on copper plates and stored in a special vault in the temple. This number is said to be only about half of his total output.

The poems, in Telugu, one of the classical languages of south India, were meant to be sung, although the precise original manner of singing has long fallen into disuse. The poems saved via the copper plates are divided into two types, the metaphysical and, the majority, the erotic, dealing in great detail with the god's love life. These are usually meant to be sung by a female voice. The metaphysical poems, by contrast, are meant to be sung in the poet's voice, first person, and deal with his sense of himself as an agonized, turbulent human being in relation to his god.

The poems were translated into English by Veldcheru Narayana Rao and David Shulman.

The songs are untitled.



~~~~~

I'm so happy I chose to marry you.
You're a big man now.
What can I say?

You're a skilled lover, and you're only
one man. But your affairs
are counted by the million.
If I look at your bed, I see sixteen thousand women.
I can't know your mystery.
What can I say?

If you really want to, you can put a woman on your chest?
or ask her to sit on your head.
If I open your door, there are cow-girls all over.
I can't win.
What can I say?

If you lie down, you're Govindaraja.
If you stand up, you're the god on the hill.
Two women are always at your feet.
Among all of them, you cared for me.
What can I say?

~~~~~

These marks of black musk
on her lips, red as buds,
what are they but letters of love
sent by our friend to her lover?

Her eyes the eyes of a cakora bird,
why are they red in the corners?

Think it over, my friends:
what is it but the blood
still staining the long glances
that pierced her beloved
after she drew them from his body
back to her eyes?

            What are they but letters of love?

How is it that this woman's breasts
show so bright through her sari?

Can't you guess my friends?
It's the rays from the crescents
left by the nails of her lover,
rays luminous as moonlight on a summer night?

            What are they but letters of love?

What are these graces,
these pearls
raining down her cheeks?

Can't you imagine, friends?
What could they be but beads of sweat
left on her gentle face
by the god on the hill
when he pressed too hard,
frantic in love?

            What are they but letters of love?

~~~~~

The loveliness of this woman
can't be measured.
Think abut it, my friends.

Her long black hair flows like night.
Her face is brilliant as the sun.
Night and day have lined up
front to back.

            Think about it.

Her breasts so high,
Her waist as thin as empty space -
hills and sky
are upside down.

            Think about it.

Her hands hold the shoulders
of the god on the hill
and his hands cover her breasts:
branch and vines
intertwined.

            Think about it.

~~~~~

Why learn more? Why read books?
The mind never learns to rest.

An ignoramus reads and reads,
and his greed is compounded with interest.
When a blind dog goes to the market,
what it gets is the stick.

            Why learn more?

If you go around blaming god,
you'll never know his mind.
If you don't give yourself
to the god on the hill,
your mind will never be free.

            Why learn more?








And now, a second cherita by Gary Blankenship.



Write, Cherita

The voice in Levi commercials demands

We party until the sun rises
unable to find notes we wrote with a dry pen

The garbage truck late
leaves recycling bins
for raccoons and stray dogs








Don't wear boots anymore. As a diabetic, I grew concerned about being slipped into the fire two feet shorter than normal.



boots, no saddle

never
was a cowboy
but did wear boots

most of my adult
life,
always owned

two pair of dress boots
one black
and one brown

worn depending
on the color suit
i was wearing that day

one pair of
not-dress-up boots,
that were the dress-up-pair

last replaced
and one pair of
work-outside-in-the-rough

boots,
the-not-dress-up boots
in their final

incarnation -
never paid more than
$100 for a pair of boots,

no fancy stitching,
no alligator or lizard
or emu or boa constrictor,

just your basic plain old cow-wear,
and all were beneficiaries
of multiple visits

to the shoe repair elf
as they made their way
through their various lives

from boardroom
to muddy field -
well-traveled

were my boots
when finally
discarded -

now
i've been to
run-of-the mill

shopping mall
boot stores
with boots on their shelves

with $3,000 to $4,000
price tags
and have never figured

out
why people with that much
money to spend

on basic footwear
would spend it
on ready-made off-the-shelf

boots
when there are so many
master-craftsmen

in the business
of custom boot-making
in South Texas,

cobblers
to presidents and kings
who would custom-create

a one-of-a kind pair of boots
made precisely to the buyer's feet
for half that price -

has to be some kind of
deviant mental or moral condition
is the way i see it

from my perch
in the $100 boot
section








Here's the third cherita from Gary Blankenship.



Cherita Too

The definition of insanity

The dog lunged when she tried to pet him.
Tomorrow, he will lunge like he did the day before.

Cowbirds
invade the robin's nest.
Crows sing out of tune.








The next poem is by Cyra S. Dumitru from her book Listening to Light, an investigation of religious figures in a more modern personal light. Even though not a christian myself, I thought the movie, "Last Temptation of Christ," was a profound and moving evocation of that religion's belief in the dual nature of Christ and the sacrfice he finally chose to make, while many of believers saw it as blasphemy. It makes me wonder how they would view this poem, which, to my mind, brings a strong human element to the event that is the focus of this season.



Mary's Midwife

You might like to think
the birth was spotless as the conception.
It was a baptism of water and blood.

Instead of crowning,
the baby tried to come feet first.
I reached inside Mary

and turned him around.
On that cold night, we had no fire,
just the warmth radiating from cows and sheep.


While outside a great star filled the heavens
we had no windows either,
just cracks in the barn wall where light trickled in.

Gusts of wind blew out our lantern.
Joseph plugged the biggest crack with his own woolen cloak
then returned to rubbing Mary's neck, back.

Her eyes shone like two moons
burning with a sad knowing.
But most of all, I remember,

how cushioned only by clean straw
Mary rode the hours of waves with hardly a moan.
How she reached for that child when he landed

squalling, skin patchy with her blood.
The moment she held him he stopped crying,
looked straight at her, opened his huge hands.








Here's a view contrary to those of many I know.



hoping we will be true

in 1968, flying in
from Peshawar
in a DC-3
that struggled to top
the peaks of the Hindu Kush

i remember
my first sight of Kabul,
a green oasis
in the middle of dirt brown
mountains

traveling through the city
to our temporary AID
residence
was liked we had
jumped ahead

several centuries
during our flight from
Pakistan's
Northwest Frontier,
a mixed jump it was, true,

to a city with poets
and intellectuals and bookstores
downtown and a zoo
and museum, while camels
rested on the roadside

a city center of low-rise,
mostly wooden structures,
except for the Spirazan Hotel,
where westerners could go
to the top floor where

whiskey was served and
Hank Williams was played
by a traveling band
of booted Filipino cowboys -
a gathering place

for Americans, Russians,
UN aid workers and anyone
else with a thirst
and a non-critical love
of cowboy music

on the mountain side
surrounding the city, another
city of terraced mud-brick homes
where the keepers of tradition
lived, where a thousand years

of Afghan history still lived
and was sustained, a benevolent
king governing loosely
through a system of consensus
and widely dispersed power

a pleasant place to be
where foreigners could walk
the streets under tall leafy trees,
eating from round loaves of
sweet nann bought from street

corner vendors, could listen to children
in their uniforms as they walk
too and from their schools,
singing in high sweet voices,
Americans

greeted everywhere by smiles
and friendly, open faces -
these were the good days,
before wars and occupation
by foreign forces, before

the murderous rule of warlords,
before free thought and centuries
of culture were erased by
the religion of fanatics
and evil, twisted minds -

the good days before
hell on earth descended
on people who,
from the time of Alexander's passage,
had outlived their conquerers

I remembered all this
last night
while listening to the President speak,
knowing that twice in the past 30 years
we have deserted these good people,

having first encouraged them to believe in us,
then leaving them behind without a thought
when some misadventure or other
came to obsess us,
hoping,

as i listen,
that this time
we will be true to them
and to our
word








And now our fourth cherita by Gary Blankenship. I expect those of us at the House of 30 will be seeing more cheritas from Gary and have already seen first attempts by other members. I haven't tried one yet, but will after I work up my confidence.



Cherita: Memorial for the Lakewood Officers
      December 8, 2009

The evil that walks earth infects.

A community comes together
brothers and sisters, guardians honor the fallen.

Not a leaf stirs,
not a blade of grass,
the silence of broken hearts echoes.








I have a poem now by Sapphire from her book Black Wings & Blind Angels, published by Knopf in 2000. Her poems are rough and raw, even brutal sometimes. I have not read her fiction, but her novel Push was recently made into a movie, Precious, that I have not seen, but have heard a lot about, mostly rave reviews.

I had decided to use a poem from Sapphire this week because of all the talk about the movie, and I'm glad I did because, in the doing, I found this poem so different from everything else I've read by her, much truer, more personal, it seems to me. What I've read of her in the past, for all its explosive power, seemed, unlike this, about things observed, not lived.

I have respect her poems I have read before, an intellectual, not emotional response. This poem I like very much.



My Father's Silence (or, Last Night He Heard
Two Poets - One Korean, One African American)


The Korean woman reads first
& I hear the torn foot
of war
the bloody footsteps
that connect us
like jewelry around our necks
choking out words, creaking
like my father silent
in his easy chair.
But the photograph talks:
"Korea 1950" written on the back;
black and white, serrated edges
like butterflies. He is tall,
thoughtful, in the blood bleached
green fatigues of war.
A huge tent, the flaps rolled up -
a white man back to the camera
pounds on the typewriter.
Another looks to my father
in deference - up,
like he never has before
in Alabama, Peoria, Mississippi,
San Jose -
like he never will see again.
The tent, the jungle foliage -
which are flowers, shrubs & trees
to the natives -
grow forever in a chair, vinyl -
new kinds of plastic crying sounds
we never her from a silent father
who prides himself on
never talkng about the war, wars,
there were two.
But I hear in the middle of life
in the barb wire poem of a sun
filled porch they used to drink
iced tea upon & look out on their land -
I hear my father talking
& it is the slow sound
of a man who wants to die.

The black woman reads next -
meat, the kitchen, the Saran Wrap
melting dream of garbage floes
like we couldn't know then, in 1950,
what the aggression would cost us.
The true price of napalm
rolling through the aisle of America
on the wings of a war
that didn't make sense,
he said.
No, he said, silent reactionary
man twisting like a big car
on the huge Erector Sets that haul
automobiles to market,
for a moment, a bump in the road,
& the vehicle, in its trek
from assembly line to grave,
rolls off one time unexpectedly
gumming the works
& a lifetime of petticoats,
Goodyear rubber, file cabinets turn channels
& he says, No,
my sons won't go. And they don't.

He sits silent armchair
of a newspaper dreaming blood barb wire,
the torn integument of the soul
mute in Alabama, Peoria, patient in Mississippi,
pass for white in San Jose
speaks like shrapnel
in the retina of a child's eye,
the fence he couldn't climb
he walks around
twenty years later. The dead
years stacked up like Melnac plates
wrapped in plastic & Styrofoam
even though they can't,
like him, beak,
& the gesture is paralyzed
on the fence,
he is blind before he can see
the other side.
In order to die peacefully
he would have had to talk
about things other than
a photograph to his sons.
He would have had to ask
forgiveness,
demand retribution for
the stolen snapshot of his soul.
Somewhere the wings of a butterfly
needed to be rearranged;
as it was
he walked along the fence
the major fold in his brain
dividing his days & the nights
choking on Saran Wrap with
petticoats dark as nuclear winter
frozen on the little legs
of a tricycle.








We are such wusses here in South Texas when it comes to cold weather. We huddle up like eskimos in their igloos in weather that would send other people from other places out to the park in muscle shirts and cutoffs to play softball.



astonished by the cold

those of us
born and raised
in lands were days are hot
and nights are warm
are always
astonished
by the year's first winter cold,
stepping out our front door
into the dark
of an early winter morning,
stepping into a cold
that seems universal,
cold that stretches from the dirt
beneath our feet
to the furthest star
we can see -

a transformed
universe we see,
cold as the
meat locker
at the grocery store
where we earned
our first wages -
it just doesn't seem
reasonable
that the world all around
could ever be as cold
as that locker,
with beef quarters
hanging from hooks
in the ceiling, chicken
frozen in boxes
on icy shelves

growing up
in a world where
cold has a cost per
kilowatt hour, we
can't help wondering,
who's paying the bill
for all this cold








Haven't done any Bukowski lately, so here he is, Charles Bukowski, from his book The Flash of Lightning Behind the Mountain, another in the series of what seems like dozens of books published since his death. A hugely prolific writer during his lifetime, he seems to have left a full library of unpublished work at his death.

Along with all his great poems about the life of a drunk, a philanderer, a brawler, a gambler, he also gave us insight (and a lot of hope for a late-blooming poet like me) into the life of a poet.

Such as this one.



simple kindness

every now and then
towards 3 a.m.
and well into the second
bottle
a poem will arrive
and I'll read it
and immediately attach to it
that dirty word -
immortal.

well, we all know that
in this world now
that
immortality can be a very
brief experience
or
in the long run:
non-existent.

still, it's nice to play with
dreams of
immortality
and I set the poem aside in a
special place
and
go on with the
others

- to find that poem again
in the morning
read it
and
without hesitation

tear it
up.

it was nowhere near
immortal
then
or now

- just a drunken piece
of sentimental
trash.

the best thing about self-
rejection
is that it
saves the obnoxious duty
from being
somebody else's
problem.


And, always, there's the drunk and the unreliable lover as well.


good try, all

did I fail those fragile tulips?
I think back over my checkered past
remembering all the ladies I've known who
at the beginning of the affair
were already discouraged and un-
happy because of their miserable
previous experiences with other
men.

I was considered just another
stop along the way
and maybe I
was and maybe I wasn't.

the ladies had long been used and mis-
used
while undoubtedly adding their share of
abuse to the
mix.

they were always
chary at first
and the affairs were much like reading an
old newspaper over and over
again (the obituary or help-wanted
sections)
or it was like listening to a familiar
song
too often recalled and sung again
until the melody and words became
blurred.

their real needs were obscured by their
fears
and I always arrived too late with too
little.

yet sometimes there were moments
however brief
when kindness and laughter
came breaking
through
only to quickly dissolve into the
same inevitable dark
despair.

did I fail those fragile tulips?
I can't think of any one of those ladies
I'd rather not have known
no matter what stories they tell of me
now
as they edge again into
the lives of new-found
lovers.


proper credentials are needed to join

I keep meeting people, I am introduced to
to them at various gatherings
and
either sooner or later
I am told smugly that
this lady or
that gentleman
(all of them young and fresh of face,
essentially untouched by life)
has given up drinking;
that
they all have
had a very difficult time
of late
but
now
(and
the NOW
is what irritates me)
all of them are pleased and proud
to have finally overcome all that alcoholic
nonsense.

I could puke on their feeble
victory. I started drinking at the age of
eleven
after I discovered a wine cellar
in the basement of a boyhood
friend
and
since then
I have done jail time on 15 or
occasions,
had 4 D.U.I's,
have lost 20 or 30 terrible
jobs,
have been battered and left for
dead in several skid row
alleys, have been twice
hospitalized and
have experienced numberless wild and
suicidal
adventures.

I have been drinking, with
gusto, for 54 years and intend to
continue to
do so.

and now I am introduced
to these young,
blithe, slender, unscathed,
delicate creatures
who
claim to have vanquished the
dreaded evil of
drink!

what is true, of course, is
that they have never really experienced
anything - they have just
dabbled and they have just
dipped in a toe, they have only
pretended to really drink.
with them, it's like saying that
they have escaped hell-fire by blowing out
a candle.

it takes real effort
and many years to get damn good
at anything
even being a drunk,
and once more
I've never met one of these reformed drunks
yet
who was any better for being
sober.








And here's another piece that started with something in the Times Tuesday Science section, though it is not, I think, what they had in mind.



about round

like shadows in the dark,
round is everywhere
though usually

unseen -
circles, regular or
rough,

nature's
perfect form,
a line never ending -

find the place
where the earth
begins,

find the place
where the sun and stars
begin,

the place where
their perfect roundness
ends -

the circle of life
a line
unbroken

never ending,
a circle of circles
intertwining

all other forms
are death,
endings

like the sharp
cornered box
they put you in

the sharp cornered hole
where your soul and heart
are boxed forever

pulled
from the circle
to end in rot








Next, I have several verses by Sung Dynasty poet Yang Wan-Li from a collection of his work, Heaven My Blanket, Earth My Pillow, published in 2004 by White Pine Press.

The Sung Dynasty was a relatively brief period during China's long history, beginning in 1126 and ending when the Mongols overthrew the Sung in 1279 to establish their own Yuan dynasty.

Born in the same year as the Sung Dynasty was established, Yang lived the relatively uneventful life of a scholar-bureaucrat, moving from one post to the other until he retired in 1192, declining several subsequent requests to return to service, finally dying in 1206.

Yang is known as "the colloquial poet," writing in direct and unadorned language about the everyday aspects of life as well as greater themes.

I like the way these poems take me to strange and wonderful places, strange and wonderful, yet so common place and real I feel like I'm returning to a place I've already been.

The poems were translated by Jonathan Chaves.



Drinking at Night

I drink alone in my cold study,
huddled close to the brazier.
The wine is fresh - just strained this evening.
The candle is short - left over from last night.
I chew on a piece of sugar cane as big as a rafter
and eat tangerines sweeter than honey.
When the wine takes effect, a poem comes to me;
I grope for my brush, but I'm too high to write it down.


Eating Frost to Sober Up

Hung over from last night's wine -
my chest is heavy, my stomach upset.
Below the railing on Peony Bank
I break off a ball of frost
      and roll it down my tongue.


I Sit Lazily All Day Because My Feet Hurt

For three or four years
my eyes have been hazy,
      and my hair has turned to snow;
yet I've somehow managed to get along.
But now my feet hurt
      and I can't walk;
I stay home all day, sitting like a Zen monk!

I drop my fan beside the desk,
      but I'm too lazy to pick it up;
I try reading by the window,
      but I can't get anywhere.
People envy the immortals because they can fly;
for me, an immortal is a man who can walk.


Rising From a Nap at Noon

How can you stay awake all day?
At noon I think of taking a nap.
My bamboo bed has been warmed by the sun;
I toss and turn but cannot fall asleep.
So I get up, scratch my white head,
      and walk around the verandah a hundred times.

Just as I'm feeling most depressed
a strange thing happens to me -
a breeze blows through the northern door
and past the southern window,
      past the southern window,
            wafting to me
the fragrance of young orchids.

Cooled by the breeze, this old man feels refreshed,
as if he had returned life.
But in the future, at times like this,
will the breeze come again?


In the Gorge: We Encounter Wind

Our boat is becalmed in the middle of the river -
the mountains are silent and gloomy at sunset.
Suddenly a clap of thunder sounds in the darkening sky
and the trees along the shore begin to sway.
A powerful wind blows in from the southern sea
and sweeps angrily through the gorge.
The sailors cheer;
      the great drum is beaten.
One man flies to the top of the mainmast,
As the sail unfurls I pull my hands into my sleeves
and watch ripples like goose feathers
      swirl by in the water.








We finish up this week with this poem. I'm satisfied with most of what I write, and, if I'm not, I just say "what the hell" and set out to write another one. Every once in a while though, I do something that I really, really like. Like this one.



islands

no man is an
island,
said Stevenson

but that is not true
for we are all islands
mysterious

and remote
and while some
may plumb our shores

none ever sees
the bedrock
of us -

thus it is, alone
on the fearsome
sea

we must abide,
awaiting the the cataclysmic
shift

that set us all apart to come again
to heal
our birth-separation, to bring us back

to the wholeness of all,
to be again the sea
and not an island on it








Two weeks until Christmas. May you all be cheery and bright and stuff. I'll be back next week, but not certain about the week after. Nobody's going to be reading "Here and Now" the week between Christmas and New Year's anyway, any work to put it out seems a waste.

I'm calling a conference of my senior advisors to discuss this. In fact, they're all in a circle around me, ready to begin discussions now, two dogs and three cats. It depends, I guess, on whether or not I get bored and start looking for something to do.

As usual, everything here remains the property of whoever created it. The stuff I created is available to anyone who wants it.

I am allen itz, owner and producer of the blog. If you find anything here you don't like, you can contact me to complain. But you have to find me first.

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