More of the Same...Even Better Than Before   Wednesday, January 16, 2013





This week I have an anthology of poems selected by Naomi Shihab Nye, from San Antonio and one of my favorite poets. The book is What Have You Lost? - published by HarperCollins in 1999.

I also have, as usual, some of my own poems,  new and old. The old poems, written in 2011, are from my next book to be titled, New Days, New Ways. The book is done except for a little more prettying up and should be published sometime between now and next summer.

I have the usual old photos. I drove to the coast last weekend to try to take some new ones,  but the weather was so bad I'd didn't even take  the camera out of my car.

HOlY COW!

I fogot to do my contents list before posting.


Me
chill  out
 
 
Chris Mahon
This Isn't Fair
 
Me
a mid-winter  poem
 
Lalla
Meditations
 
Me
an instruction in the grander scheme of things
 
Phillip Appleman
Last Minute Message for a Time Capsule
 
Me
all l brothers of all brothers
 
Stephen Dunn
This Far Out in the Country
 
Me
Sam
 
Lllleonard Nathan
Kind
 
Tec Kooser
Year's End
 
Me
crystal city
 
Weslawa Szymborska
In Praise of Dreams
 
Me
getting done with it
 
Robert Hill Long
How Forgetting Works in Late Winter
 
Me
the Great Oz  will reward me  appropriately
 
Lucille Clifton
breaklight
 
Me
exactly as cold as it looks
 
Wanda Coleman
Stephen1980
Variations on a Blue Motif"
Mediocre  Madonna
 
Me
fun at the PTA
fat lady wsith a parasol passes
 
Chitra Banejee Divakaruni
My Mother Tells Me a Story
The Room
 
Me
Pope G and the cowboys
 
Me
pumpkins a little  frosty today
 
 
 
 
 







Finally the rain stopped, but still a chill.


 
chill out
 
chill
outside
more than expected
from inside
 
dark sky
moon in abeyance,
stars
like diamonds
cold and distant
 
white clouds soft
on the hard black sky,
lit from blow
by city lights, puff and fluff
passing low
 
the night smells
of three days of soaking rain,
earth saturated, creek
bubbling over
rocks glistening in
diamond sharp
light
 
cat
stays home,
doesn't join our morning walk
 
too cold,
too damn wet
for little cat feet









Here's my first poem from this week's anthology, What Have You Lost?.

The poem is by Chris Mahon. At the time of publication he worked as an editor  for a high-tech information company in San Francisco.



This Isn't Fair

I love you as my mother loves the orchid
my brother Rick  brought her  five years ago
that finally bloomed. Two beautiful flowers.
I  love you as my brother Rick and  I used to love

the robin eggs we collected in our childhood
that never hatched. Today when I asked you,
"Do you love me?" you got up from the chair
you were sitting in and walked out of the room.

I called you back, frantic, and when you returned
I gave you a poem that I had been writing
for you since December. You read it slowly

and said  something I didn't  hear ,then sat back down
in your wooden rocking chair, and smiled at me
strangely,as if I were a camera, or something.









This poem from the new book is from winter 2011. It is the kind of thoughts that comes to mind in the dark and dreary days of mid-winter.




a mid-winter poem

I have the feel
of a string running out,
a slackness in my lifetime,
all I am reduced to 

loose ends

I've done many things in my life
good and worthwhile things,
though none lasted  longer than
it took for my shadow

to  fade around the corner

my proudest legacies
remembered only by me -
like clouds blown apart
by the wind,  so much more fragile

than I had imagined

and now the line that anchored me
to the future
has gone slack and I feel just another
of the world's many forgettable

loose ends










Next, I  have some passages from 14th century mystic from Kashmir, Lalla. Born in 1320, she died in 1392. The passages were translated by Coleman Barks.

Little is known of Lalla except what comes through her poetry. There are no official references until four hundred years after her death, and no contemporary manuscripts. The legends of her life say that she was a wanderer, dancing naked as she sang her songs. The songs themselves initially preserved only in an oral tradition. The word "Lalla" means "darling" and she continues to be beloved in Kashmir.

The passages are from the book Naked Song, published in 1992 by Maypop Books.



-----

Wear just enough clothes to keep warm.
Eat only enough to stop the hunger-pang.

And as for your mind, let it work
to recognize who you are,
and the Absolute, and that
this body will become food
for the forest crows.

-----

Meditation and self-discipline
are not all that's  needed, nor even
a deep  longing to go through
the door of freedom.

You may dissolve in contemplation,
as salt does in water,
but there's something more
that must happen

-----

Enlighten your desires.
Meditate on who you are.
Quit imagining.

What you want is profoundly expensive,
and difficult to find,
yet close by

Don't search for it. It is nothing,
and a nothing within nothing.

-----

Awareness is the ocean of existence.
Let it loose and your words will rage
and cause wounds like fishing spears.,

But if you tend it like a fire
to discover the truth,
you'll find how much of that
there is in what you say. None.

-----

Fame is water
carried in a basket.

Hold the wind in your fist,
or tie up an elephant
with one hair.

These are accomplishments
that will make you famous.

-----

It  is God who yawns and sneezes
and coughs, and now laughs.

Look, it's God doing ablutions!
God deciding to fast, God  going naked
from one New Year's Eve to the next

Will you ever understand
how near God is
to  you?








Just to keep the important things straight.



an instruction in the grander scheme of things
 
in the grander
scheme
of things
the world is
wet
today
or
at  least
my part of the world
is wet
which is wet enough
for me
since non-wets
in other parts of the
world
don't affect
me
here
where
wet is
the grander
scheme
of me and mine
and
your not-wet
has entirely
no effect
on my wet
which is the
grander
scheme of my thing
today
which
you may have guessed
is wet
and it is cold too
which is another part
or my grander
scheme of things today
and if you're hot
and dry
in the Gobi Desert
well
big fricking deal
 
since I can't see
how that has anything
to do with
me
since
cold and wet
is my grander  scheme
of things
today
and searing desert
sands
have no part in
it
 
any questions?
 









Here's another poems from this week's anthology.

The poem is by Philip Appleman. Living on Long Island when the anthology was published, Appleman had previously been director of the creative writing program at Indiana University for many years.



Last Minute Message for a Time Capsule

I have to tell  you this, whoever you are:
that  on one summer morning here, the ocean
pounded in on tumbledown breakers,
a south wind, bustling along the shore,
whipped the froth into little rainbows,

and a reckless gull swept down the beach
as if to fly where everything it needed.
I though of your hovering saucers,
looking for clues, and I wanted to write this down,
so it wouldn't be lost forever -
that once  upon a time we had
meadows here, and astonishing things,
swans and frogs and lunar moths
and blue skies that could stagger your heart.
We could have had them still,
and welcomed you to earth, but we also had righteous ones
who worshipped the True Faith, and Holy War.
When you go home to your shining galaxy,
say that what you learned
from this dead and barren place  is
to beware the righteous ones.









Here's another from the new book, available sometime before summer this year.



all brothers of all brothers

yes,
it's true,
I talk to my animals...

even Reba
who can't hear me,
but she can see my lips move

and know
she's on my mind,like the blind cat
knows  she is not  alone in the dark

when I stroke her head  as I pass,
like the friendly nod
I exchange with people

I  pass on the street
because we all need  to know we are not
alone in the dark -

balm to  repair the primordial weld that  has bound us all
since creation, the weld that is separating now
as all become more remote from the others...

if you believe in a god, remember he created  us all
as part of his plan and it is not our place
to redraw the blueprints of his creation;

if you do not believe in gods,
remember instead
that we  are all creatures at base

of common offspring, basic elements
that give us
as our relatives,

the snake, the bird, the fish in  the ocean,
the lion in the field, our neighbor
across the fence, the daffodil growing

wild as any creature on the meadow,
the earth beneath our feet
and the stars that shine overhead,

all brothers of all brothers
in our most basic
construction












Here's a poem by Stephen Dunn, from his book Loosestrife, published by W.W. Norton in 1996.

At the time of publication, Dunn taught at Richard Stockton College in New Jersey, had been a National Book Critic Circle nominee and was recipient of a 1995 Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.



This Far Out in the Country

         New Hampshire

Something's wrong for these deer to trust us.
    It's murderous
almost  everywhere, and their herd

is too large and, besides, someone always
    has a reason.
At  least  the yellow-tinged green snake

I saw near the pond  where the bullfrogs
    were croaking
knew enough to slither away.

Even the woodchuck on his hind legs
    was brilliantly nervous,
never more than a wobbly dash from his hole.

I remember when outrage came easily,
    and evil's banality
was an insight, not yet a fact.

I remember when white hats beat the black hats
    and got the girls.
I woke this morning from a  dream

in which my grandparents were holding hands
    in uneventful moonlight,
city people in a field so large

they appeared lost, though they didn't
    seem to care.
And now these deer, just standing nearby,

not  backing off. Perhaps this far out
    in the country
there's a precinct of the charmed.

Wildflowers, sun-touched,
    sway in the wind.
There's a sweet plenitude of air.

Oh, if we didn't know who we  are
    and what we've become
we could believe in paradise

like this, quiescent, inhabited by us...









A bit of fond memory.



Sam

reminded
this morning
of a dog I named "Sam"...

a female fox  terrier,
she was born on my bed
in a cabin on the Blanco River,
my companion, living
and traveling with me the rest of her long life

fields and woods and an island
in the middle  of the river  where we would spend
sunny afternoons sleeping  under
the trees

muscular
and low to the ground,
she ran like a Japanese bullet train,
streamlined and intense
in her  pursuit of speed, her ears blown back
by the wind as she ran...

chasing rabbits
though the woods and fields  of high grass,
leaping above the high grass
to  keep  track of her prey, making all the zig and zags
of a rabbit in flight, turns like pivoting on a dime,
this way and that across the field
into the woods...

she never tired of the game, just as she never tired
of the low hum and pulsing
of the back  roads and the interstates
as we traveled, just
as she never tired of sleeping
at my side at
night

until the cancer
took root in her skull,
growing,
pressing the deteriorating bone
against her brain,
until she lost her mind,
shambling like the movie undead into the woods
and forgetting her  way back,  forgetting
rabbits, forgetting the chase,
forgetting the road,
forgetting
me...

my first lesson
in the necessities
of life and
death
as I put her down










Next, here are two poems from the anthology, What Have You Lost?



The first of the poems is by Leonard Nathan.

Nathan lived most of his adult life in northern California. but his childhood was spent in southern California, where he began writing poetry.


Kind

I hadn't noticed
till a death took me outside
and left me there
that grass lifts so quietly
to catch everything
we drop and we drop
everything.


The second poet from the anthology is Ted Kooser.

At the time of publication, Kooser lived on an acreage near Garland, Nebraska.


Year's End

Now the seasons are closing their files
on each of us, the heavy drawers
full of certificates roll in back
into the tree trunks, a few old papers
flocking away. Someone we loved
has fallen from out thoughts,
making a little, glittering splash
like a bicycle pushed by a breeze.
Otherwise, not much has happened;
we fell in love again, finding
that one red feather on the wind.








Here are a couple of shorter poems from the next book.



beacon

tall girl
with very white teeth
comes in

and, on this sun-shining
blue-sky day,
her smile is a beacon

of reflected light,
like crystals tossed into the air,
like diamonds

against
a cloudless, winter
sky...

like
the sun
rising high and bright


crystal city

snow
in San Antonio last night...

sunshine this morning
through the prism of crystal ice

brightens the  day
with cold  intensity of light...

across the way
three  deer cross a meadow,

the morning so  quiet
I imagine

I can hear he crunch
of their hooves

breaking
virgin snow









Next, Polish poet and winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1996, Wislawa Szymborska, with a poem from her book View With a Grain of Sand, published in 1995 as a Harvest Original by Harcourt-Brace and Company.

The poet died last year.



In Praise of Dreams

In my dreams
I paint like Vermeer van Delft.

I speak fluent Greek
and not just with the living.

I drive a car
that does what I want it to.

I am gifted
and write mighty epics.

I hear voices
as clearly as any venerable saint.

My brilliance as a pianist
would stun you.

I fly the way we ought to,
i.e., on my own.

Falling from the roof
I tumble gently to the grass.

I've got no problem
breathing under water.

I can't complain:
I've been able to locate Atlantis.

It's gratifying that I can always
wake up before dying.

As soon as war breaks out,
I roll over on my other side.

I'm a child of my age,
but I don't have to be.

A few years ago
I saw two suns.

And the night before last a penguin,
clear  as day.





 



Dealing, always, with the feeling that it'll be over before I'm done. I guess it always is, for everyone.




getting done  with it
 
yesterday,
cold and wet,
a fine day to  sleep through
 
and I  wanted to
 
but, stripped down
to my essentials
in my favorite recliner
 
fifteen minutes
of doing  nothing but thinking
about all the things
I  wasn't doing
 
life 
is short,
getting shorter
every day
 
things to do
 
this poem
and the next
and the
next and the next after
that
 
never get done
but can't
stop
the doing
 
still
I am alive
and alive
is
about doing
until the doing is done
and so am
I
 
 
 








This poem from the week's anthology is by Robert Hill Long.

At  the time of publication, Long lived in western Oregon and taught writing at the University of Oregon. But, he says, he "was raised on the  hurricane coast of North Carolina, and acquainted at an early age with alligators, water moccasins, sting  rays, and sharks."



How Forgetting Works in Late Winter

Fog thrown over house and pines, flimsy comforter.
Under the pines, mounds of snow exhaling.There
is my son who kicks the rotting cold,  punches holes
in the snow's breath. Over his head the sun is a white hole,

and he scares a pine dove into it. Night-frost spines
my window. In the fire-grate, ash swirls, a flock
of gray wings. The air near  me is so still

it's childless: a room where fever  finishes its work
under the sheet. I finger the ache between my eye and ear -
I run a hand through greying hair, like the boy runs out there.

My father was stationed at a window cold as this. behind
his father's house, a hill of frost and brier: doves hunched
on iron spears fencing the family graves. I ran at  them
waving hard. I made small clouds of  breathlessness.








Another from  2011,  for the next  book.



the Great  Oz will notice and reward me appropriately

it
was supposed
to rain this morning

but it didn't

I
was supposed
to wake up this morning
young
handsome
virile
and immensely wealthy,
the material reward
for my work
as a world-famous
poet...

that
didn't work our
either

so
I end up  here,
on another dry day
writing  another  poem
that will no make me rich
nor make the list
of great
twenty-first century literature,
this day
following a long line of  days when
it
did not rain
and I did not writ5e a poem
destined  to place me among
the immortals

but

it will rain someday,
bringing
nourishment to all
as spring approaches,some trees
already ahead of the curve, budding
out little  green shoots,
waiting
for their wet reward
as another year
passes,
seasons cold and dry,
wet and  warm,
passing in obedience to the
great planner
for who all passes,according
to  design
and predestination

and
though I do not expect a day to  come
when a great poem
emerges from my fading bowl
of cranial mush,
there is  ahead,sometime, I'm sure,
the Gold Watch Award for
poetical
persistence
and perhaps a certificate
as well
which will hang, proudly,from my
grandchildren's
refrigerator
door







Here's something from Lucille Clifton. It's from the collection  Good Woman: Poems and a Memoir 1969-1980, published by BOA Editions,  Ltd. in 1987.

The way this is presented in the book, with one title and two texts on two pages with what appears like it might be a break between them, I'm not sure if this is one piece  or two pieces, one titled, one not.



breaklight

light keeps on breaking.
i keep knowing
the language of other nations.
i keep hearing
tree talk
water words
and i keep knowing what they mean.
and light just keeps on breaking.
last night
the fears of my mother came
knocking and when i
opened the door
they tried to explain themselves
and i understood
everything they said.


      *


some dreams hang in the air
like smoke. some dreams
get all in your clothes and
be wearing them more than you do and
you be half the time trying to
hold them and half the time
trying to wave them away.
their smell be all over you and
they get to your eyes and
you cry. the fire be gone
and the wood but some dreams
hang in the air like smoke
touching everything


      *







I wrote this next  poem last week and really thought I  used it in my last post. But it looks likes I didn't,  so here it is.



exactly as cold as  it  looks

today
it is exactly as cold
as it looks

this is an important
thing
to know
as I dress for my
early morning  walk  with my dog
who doesn't care
how cold  it is or
isn't

yesterday
it  was  much colder  than it looked
so I under-dressed
and was cold for for the entire trek

the day before
it was not  nearly as cold
as it looked
so I overdressed,  finishing the walk
almost in a sweat

this need for daily
calibration
is one of the things that keeps life
interesting
for old  folks who don't have much else
on their mind

---

Momma Cat,
so named because when she
joined us she brought along two fresh kittens,
usually follows us on our morning walk
only as far as the end of the block
where she sits and waits
until we complete the circuit,
then rejoins us...

this morning
she followed us all the way around
the circuit...

to the end of the block,
the over the foot-bridge
that crosses Apache Creek,
then down West  Rolling Ridge
until  it dead-ends at Evers, then
back  across the creek on the Evers road bridge,
then north on  East Rolling Ridge
to the end of  the block on our street,  Clearview,
then home...

I don't know why she does it,  doesn't participate
in the walk in any way but by following
along - but what  strange shadows we cast under streetlights,
dog shadow, man shadow, and, several paces back,
cat shadow...

I  can't  help but feel
there are some hints her
to a solution to some kind of universal mystery

I'll  think about it  again
tomorrow
morning
as we walk

---

I have a sense
when we walk in the morning
that  some shadowy
presence
that is  not the cat
is following
us

the dog senses it too,
constantly turning her head back
to scan the darkness
alongside the
road

---

I don't have a lot of shoes

just some boots I don't  wear
anymore

the brown shoes
I wear every day and some black shoes
I keep  shinned for dress-up
purposes - weddings, funerals,
and the like

and a pair of slogging-in-the-cold-and-wet shoes
for walking the dog

it was cold and wet yesterday moring
so  when we set out to walk
I put on my slogging-in-the-cold-and-wet shoes
but then forgot to change into my
regular shoes
when we came home

so I walked around all day in my cold and wet
shoes, feeling sometimes like a lumberjack
or a lobster fisherman
but most  often
like just a guy  with cold wet  feet...

occasionally exciting and reaffirming
to my masculinity,
but mostly sloppily miserably

---

in a life of few certainties,
one  thing is certainly known...

I  will be  up at 4:30 tomorrow morning,
making a determination as to the relative
relationship of cold and cold-looking
as I prepare to select  the proper
clothing
and  shoes
for my morning walk with my dog, Bella

the moral  contract
I have with her  and, lately, Momma  Cat
require it, as does my poetry,
the dark of uncomplicated early day,
no matter the relative  cold to cold-looking
relationship,
being the best time  for thoughts,
both meaningful and futilely meaningless,
which will in their  own  good  time
slip, elegantly or otherwise,
into a poem for the day










Next, I have three short poems by Wanda Coleman, taken from her book, Heavy Daughter Blues. The book was published Black Sparrow  Press in 1991.

Born in Watts,  Coleman was a struggling welfare  mother determined to  become a writer, despite the odds. After a period of success as screenwriter of a teleplay that was nominated for the NAACP Image Awards, she became only the eighth minority member of the writers' Guild of America.

But continuing projects in Hollywood came to naught, so, when the book was published she was continuing to write and publish even as she worked as a medical secretary/transcriber and served as co-hosts of an interview program on Southern California's Pacifica radio station.



Stephen 1980

i  surprised him breaking into the crib
trying to rip  me off for whatever he could find
i jumped steady kill in my eyes
he dropped the ladder
i couldn't  get at him through  the chicken wire fence
ran to cut him off on the other side of the house
he break-necked across the street zig-zagging
thru the campus parking lot
me hot in the track  of  his  dirty sneakers
he darted into the bungalows and i lost him
dizzy with disgust and the chase
i turned back to cross the street
my neighbors were at their doors and windows
making with applause


Variations on a Blue Motif

he brought noting
took everything i had
destroyed me when  he left

he brought too much, took too much
destroyed me when he stayed too log

he brought nothing
blossomed into my heart
left roses

the one i never got enuff of
he  left ghosts

he brought hope - days of it
and leaving, left love


Mediocre Madonna

when god passed out the baby fat
she was first in line
she wasn't pretty enuff to be a j.a.p.
lost her  virginity in the back seat
of a cadillac
her shrink diagnosed her as
manic repressive

anorexia as goddess
words so thin you're hungry again
an hour after you eat them











Here's a couple more short ones from the next book.


 
fun at the PTA
 
watching
young  people
with their babies
 
tattoos
studs
and a baby...
 
thinking
what will a baby think,
growing up with, like, you know,
 
circus freaks...
 
in the
meantime,
kuchikoo-kuchikoo
 
it'll be fun at the PTA
mommies and daddies
comparing tats
 
 
fat lady with a parasol  passes
 
ambulance
then firetruck
then another ambulance
 
morning rush
becomes morning  parking lot
four lanes across
 
crash on the interstate
going west
 
fat lady
with a parasol
passes
on a bicycle
fat feet pumping
on the pedals
 
singing
 
so I guess it's over
for someone











The next poem is from Black Candle, a book by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni. The  book,  subtitled "Poems  About Women from India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh," was published by CALYX Books in 2000.

Born in India, the poet has moved around the world and, at the time of publication, lived in the San Francisco Bay area. She has a Ph.D. in English from the University of California at Berkeley and an M.A. from Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio. She was one of the founders of Maitri, a hotline for South Asian women in the San Francisco area and has served on the board of  directors of Daya, a South Asian women's hotline in Houston.



My Mother Tells Me  a Story

First you were
big as a mustard seed,
sputtering light,
then a star apple, tart-shining,
a persimmon
with the blood's own  glow,
a pomelo, green and growing
as breath.

Then large  as a muskmelons
behind elder cousin's   house,
you pushed against my heartbeat,
girlchild,
the invisible frost mark of your sex
already on you.

It was Diwali night in my father's house,
everywhere firecrackers,
lamps and demons.
I felt the water explode
in me like a fear.
I screamed for your grandmother,
all  the lights went blue.
The ayah was  waiting with the knife.
The women chanted loud
to keep the demons away.

The hours flowed out of me,
they were bright and sharp as glass.
They drained out of me,
pale and  flickering.
When they were all gone,
someone put you on my breast.
They covered us with a yellow quilt
for luck,
they called the men.

My father came to see,
and three brothers  came,
they tucked coins into your fists,
they said you had my eyes.

No  one  could find your father.

For  days afterward the house
would smell of  blood
like the birthrags burning.


The Room

I have walked this corridor so many times
I no longer notice
the gouged floorboards,  the brown light
washing the peeling walls, the stale
childhood  smell  of curried cabbage.

I am looking for the door,
the one who's striated knob
matches perfectly the lines of my palm,
which opens without sound
into a room with milk-blue walls.

On the sill, a brass bowl
of  gardenias in water,  Peacocks
spread silk  feathers against cushions.
The white cockatoo on its  stand
knows  my name. Sun filters
through the sari of a woman
who rises toward  me.I am caught
by the lines of her bones,  the fine
lighted hairs on her  held-out arm,
your eyes,mother, in her  mouthless face.








And this one,  last for the week from the book to come, New Days, New Ways.



Pope G and the cowboys

Good Friday,
so  designated by those
who believe the stories, which
I do not, so for  me it's just another Friday
left on its own to be good or bad,
this one April 22 in the  year of our Lord,  2011,
as  so designated by
Pope  Gregory, back in the day
when popes were pretty much
the boss of everyone except in places like
China and Mexico and Peru and
Oklahoma and India and certain islands
where giant heads  were carved from stone
and set to serve  as  sentinels  to the sea, but in all places
not overrun by going-to-hell pagans, like Italy
and France,  popes were big  deal,
the big enchiladas,
so  to  speak,
running the show, setting the rules
and the boundaries of fact and fiction
and old Greg was especially
that way
and liked to make up  stuff
like calling houseflies dragons
so everyone with a fly-swatter could
be a dragon-slayer
to the glory of Christ...

but wait,
four cowboys just walked in,
real cowboys
with jeans  and boots and
knife scabbards and cellphones
stuck on their wide embossed belts
and great  big hats,  like mobile tents for your head,
real, by gosh, cowboys, like I used to see when we lived
further south and don't see  so much here
except during rodeo weeks

and they're having a real  interesting conversation
about hummingbirds flying thousands of miles
and whooping cranes
flying back and forth to the Texas and where ever they spend their summers
and how the upcoming  drought
which limits the flow of fresh water into the bays
along the Texas coast kills the food
they eat when they're here in the winter, it's like knowing
how to get home and nowhere else, one cowboy, and when
you finally get  home, the fridge is empty
and you have nothing to eat
until  summer comes and you go  back to you other home
in Canada or wherever,
and what a lousy fucking deal it is for the birds
that are screwed when there's not enough rain
and equally screwed when there's  too  much rain
and too much fresh water flow  into the salt water bays,
instead of too  little,
which also  kills the  blue crabs and whatnot,
leaving the fridge
just as empty for the cranes

and you have to wonder how these creatures
have survived
as long  as  they have,
a  living planet we used to  call it,
but the truth is there's always been as much dying
as  living  going on and somehow,
being  optimistic creatures  ourselves
who make  a big deal
about the first baby born at the beginning
of each new year
but never talk about the first person dying,
and so, all this dying going on  and
we just haven't
noticed

and old Pope G
died
just  like the birds and the crabs
and, prospectively,
you and me,
and he couldn't do a damn thing  about it,
one of the things that makes
the cowboys
a whole lot  more interesting
than him
in all his  papal glory
and intrigue
and calendar making.











Last for the week, more about my dog and my cat and our morning  walks together.




pumpkins a little frosty today

pumpkins a little frosty
this morning
and the footbridge
across Apache Creek
a little slippery
with a light rime
sheet, dog pulls,
I slide along
behind...

it will be 60  degrees
within two hours
of the sun's rising...

colder tonight,
warmer again tomorrow
morning

no wonder
we're confused

---

cat scurries,
no more a friend of the cold
than me...

dog thinks it's all
just mighty
fine

i take her
off the leash
down by the creek
and she runs
and runs and runs,
wide circles
in the low cut grass,
then stops to jump
up to my chest
for a scratch behind
her ears

then runs again
and again and again
in wide circles
in the grass...

wet paw prints
on my coat
where she jumps

---

a bird on a bush
right outside my window

not sure what kind

maybe a mocking bird,
but feathers so fluffed against the cold
it's hard to say

a ball of gray fluff,
like the soft lint
you pull  off the filter
in your clothes
dryer

sharp little beak,
tiny, coal-dust eyes,
looking in
at the warm people
on the other side of the glass,
especially at me since I am nearest,
a black stare before it flexes
its fluffed chest
and flies

---

Sunday
morning it is, a time to prepare
for a slow day
to wind
and
ravel










As usual, everything here belongs to  it's  creators. That includes my stuff, but I have no ownership hangups - if  you like what I do, please use it. Just credit "Here and Now" and me if you do.

You might notice an addition to the list below. I received an email from  Bookbaby yesterday, informing me that they had added eSentral to their list of ebook retailer partners. According to the email, eSentral is the largest distributor of ebooks in Southeast Asia. The company has stores in Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia and are expanding. Since I have  "Here and  Now" readers from that part of the world, I'm thinking I might sell a  couple of books there.

It will probably take a couple of weeks for my books to get  processed into their system and available.


Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iBookstore, Sony eBookstore, Kobo, Copia, Garner's, Baker & Taylor, eSentral, and eBookPie

highly reputable places all

Poetry


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


Salvador - The Dreamer








 

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