My Daily Nut   Tuesday, April 09, 2013





I  have some more photos this week using the Photobucket "photo splash" process. This week the photos are  from the Riverwalk.

I also have poem from an excellent anthology I bought at the Half-Priced Bookstore last week. The book  is Twentieth Century Latin American  Poetry, published by the University of Texas in 1996. It's a huge book,  full  of poets and poetry.

Also, of course, I  have poets  from my library and my own  stuff, new and old.

Here's the whole shebang (what a great old word that is).
 
 
Me
the season
 
Rienzi Crusz
Don't Ask Me What's Happening
Let Us Know
 
Me
not my fault
 
Juanna de Ibarbourou
The Hour
 
Me
the best way
 
Li Qi
My Old Grandfather
 
Luo Xiaoge
Lantern-Carrying Fireflies
 
Me
through a break in the clouds
 
Jorge de Lima
Words of Departure
 
Me
the desert approaches
 
Lorna Dee Cervantes
From the Bus to E.L.  at Atascadero  State Hospital
 
Me
a mountain man considers  the dismal plain
 
Gonzalo Rojas
Chapter and Verse
 
Me
rain yesterday
 
Devreaux Baker
Sweeping the Brushes
Flamenco Moon
 
Me
the secret your dog  knows  better than you
 
Jose Santos Chocano
The Dream of the Caiman
The Dream of the Condor
 
Me
stories to  tell
 
Gary Snyder
from the series Brief Years
 
Me
among the black  helicopter brigade
 
Carlos Pellicer
To  Poetry
 
Me
got my nut again today
 
Me
lying in the sun with susan
what's better than cold chocolate milk
 
Me
looking for an audience









I start this  week with this poem, which must be my Easter poem since that's  when I wrote it.



the season

it is the most
holy time
for those  of the Christian faith,
the culmination of the birth,the pay-off
for all the pain of his life and theirs,
resurrection  and eternal life
on God's right hand....

for a pagan like me,
who  finds his faith in trees
and small creeks running clear
and stars and the moon
and the sun
benevolent over all,
it is just another weekend
when all  my favorite places
close and I am deprived of the natural
order of my life

---

Chihuahua,Sonora, Coahuila,Durango, Oaxaca,
Tamaulipas, Jalisco,Zacatecas, Chiapas,Veracruz,
Nuevo Leon, San  Luis Potosi, Campeche,
Hidalgo,Guanajuato,Tabasco,
Aguascalientes,
Colima,
and
all the other 31states of  Mexico,
their license  plates lined up
on  late-model cars at shopping
malls and hotels and parking
garages, for it is the time for  well-
off Mexicans to come to
San Antonio to
shop
& shop
& shop  some more

well and modishly dressed
women who talk too loud on their
cell phones and, without their
nannies to intercede,
spoil their
children

tourists, in other words,
and aren't we
all

---

the time
when dandelions
awake from their warm winter beds
for their annual assault
on my front
yard

little do they know
I like dandelions and will  concede
their victory
without a
fight

---

and the trees
explode
their green
in the varied hues
of  their different species

and along my back fence
winter-bared limbs are laden again
with the growth  that
provides
privacy
for  the joys of  bare-skinned
moon-gazing at
midnight

---

and the river runs

and the river runs

past the tourist umbrellas
and the hikers  and the bikers
and past the six missions
brought  to the
river
to convert the heathen
who
for all their years before
had found  the river  sufficient
for  themselves
and the
guiding spirits
of their gods  and
ancestors

but the river still runs,
timeless and
serene

waiting
for the  return
of its near-forgotten
people and their
adoration








My first library poems this week is by Rienzi Crusz,  a Sri Lankan born Canadian educated at the Universities of Ceylon, London, Toronto and Waterloo. He now lives  in Waterloo after  many years working there as a reference librarian. The  poem is from his tenth collection, Gambolling  With the Divine, published by TSAR Publications in 20003.



Don't Ask  Me What's Happening

Don't  ask me
what's happening.

Ask  me
what  happened,
had happened
and I'll teach you
how to conjugate life
in the perfect tense.
For I have loved,
forgiven, for gotten,
hated

with a white fire in my brain;
blessed,  cursed,
laughed and wept
with these four walls.

Seen
the chambers of the heart,
heaven and hell,
here,  here,
on  this  street,
this room, old church
tottering on incense
and candlelight.

I have  known my God
adored
when the world was candy and marbles,
questioned, beseeched,
when the dark clouds circled
like vultures.

So, only now am I ready
to let in
the happening thing,
that slice of time
that would dare to balance
on some gypsy's crystal ball,
dance for  ever
in the camera's zooming eye.

My past,
those moments of time
I now hold
like a sacrament,
my tempered arguments o living,
epaulets,
my bloody sword and shield.


Let Us Now

"Let us now
in the embracing love o the Father,
wish each other
the Peace of Christ" so says Pastor Malone of St  Michael's.

So,  my brown hand stretches
to  greet the old lady standing beside me.

She turns, glares, extends
a  thin pale index  finger.

I accept this one-fifth brotherhood,
still believing, still refusing to snuff out

the last  candle to our darkness










This is a poem from April last year.



not my fault

off  to  a bad start,
late,
and I just want to make it clear
it's not my fault,
this  declaration is important to  as to aggregate
suitable  sacks of
sympathy
for I am the victim here
and not the perpetrator
(or perp,  as Lenny used to say on "Law and Order"
and thinking of that makes me sad
cause I miss Lenny)

but that's not my fault either

and the only good thing so far
is that the interstate is closed west of me
because of a major acid spill
on the highway - not my fault, either -
and traffic is backed up for miles going west
and looking out from my large window here
I can see the cars and trucks all lined  in a row
and frustrated drivers -  and I want  to  assure them
it's not my fault - even  though I'm going  east  from here
and will not be required to participate in their
west-not-going traffic nowhere-going extravaganza
cause I'm going east (ha ha) - and though that  sounds
malicious it's the best thing  that's happened to me so far today
since I'm almost never on the right side of the road
in situations such as this, usually among the fumed fuming
and it's not  even my fault

and though the day started for me  late and
bad
it will bet even better I know because I"m assured by the sight
of all the misfortune of all the stranded drivers
fuming right outside
my window
and none of them are me
and though that might sound so  very malicious
and mean-spirited
it's 
not my fault
being so entirely human
as I am,
finding so often my fortune
in the misfortune
of  others

it's just what we humans
do 
and it's not even a little bit
my
fault












Here's the first poem from this week's bilingual anthology, Twentieth-Century Latin American Poetry. The poem is by Juanna de Ibarbourou. Born in Uruguay in 1895, the poet died in 1979. A poet  of  great influence in her home country and immensely popular at the height of her career, she spent her last years in Montevideo in solitude, neglect, and ill health.

The poem was translated by Sophie Cabot Black.



The Hour

      Take me now while it's still early
And new  dahlias fill my hands.

      Take me later while it's still dark,
This  silent  long hair of mine.

      Now, while my flesh is fragrant
and my eyes are clear, my skin pink.

      Now while my light foot  traces
The bright sandal  of  springtime.

      Now while on my lips laughter rings
Like a bell  shaken quickly.

      Afterwards....I know
That later I'll have nothing of this.

      And then your desire will be as useless
As a gift left in a  tomb.

      Take me now while it's still early
And my hands are rich with tuberoses.

      Today, not later. Before it grows  dark
And the fresh corolla  fades.

      Today, not tomorrow. Love, don't you see
The climbing plant grows into cypress.













Here's another one from last week.
 
 
 
the best way

death,
at least in this dimension,
is the inevitable end
of all of us,
it  is  the central fact of life
for  all living things, everywhere
and for all time
to now
 
some obsess on this fact of nature
and live their lives
in a dark world
among others empty as themselves,
temporarily mobile
corpses
 
there are other fact
of  life though,
bluebonnets in spring,
the chill of a north wind after the oppression
of summer heat,
the kiss of a loved one,
the laughter of a child, the thrill
of mountains climbed, rivers crossed,
hard-fought contests won,
poems
read or written - all these things,
though not certain,
can be as much a part of life
as its inevitable  end
 
the question
for whose who finally face that end
is, in the final moments,
those  last flashing seconds
before the you that has been becomes
the you that was,
what are the memories you want
to see you out the door,
the final poem you take with you into
the void of all that is unknown,
would you have the bluebonnets
under spring sunshine
coloring sloping hills and waving meadows,
would you have lovers' kisses,  children's laughter,
all the  good things that life brings to those
who seek them out,
or would it be the long life of dread,
the night sweats, and dark fears
of the death oppressed
 
it's not just a question
of which is the best way to live,
but also a question
of which is the best way to die








Next, I have two poems from another anthology. This one,  Women  of the Red Plain, is an anthology of contemporary Chinese women's  poetry. It's a Penguin book, published in 1992.

The poems in the book, including the two  below, were translated by Julia C. Lin.



The first poem is by Li Qi.

Born in 1956 in the province of Heilongjian. Li became a Chinese  instructor in the Athletic College of Harbin after completing  college.  She began to write  poetry when she was fourteen. Her poems began to appear in journals in 1978 and in 1985 she published her first volume of poetry, Sail, Mast, and Oars.


Old Grandfather

snowflakes swirl and dance
suddenly I see again my old grandfather
So clear
Yet so blurred...

Alive he was just and ordinary person,
Misshapenly bent
Like a leaf bare old tree.
Whenever  it snowed, he would go out
And in silence  sweep  clear  a path,
He would watch the foot falls,
Their  comings and goings along the path...

Today he is gone,
Quietly asleep in the dusky depth of earth
As the snow swirls and swirls, perhaps
His spirit feels anxious
About the sacred task?
So following his footsteps
I step outside
To sweep clear a path.



The second of the two poets is Luo Xiaoge, a native of Wuhan, Hubei Province. Born in 1952, worked on agricultural farms after her graduation from middle school and also did factory work. After passing the entrance  exam, she enrolled in 1977 in the Chinese Department of the Hunan
Teachers' College. She began publishing her poems a year before. Her first book of poems is called
The Village Wind.


Lantern-Carrying Fireflies

Evening  fog,like a huge crow's  wings flapping
     up and down,
Obscures treetops, chimneys, and water-tower
     tops
The slowly gathers, erecting walls
That  not a hole  can  be poked through.

But the lantern-carrying fireflies  dartinghere
     and there
Poke  tiny holes  through the fog to leak out their
     light.
Ah, they must have arranged to embark from
     their little openings
To fly upward toward that vast starry void.







And another from last year.



through a break in the clouds

through a break in the clouds
this morning,
a little sliver
of crescent moon

much
diminished
since last sighted,
a week ago
full and plump
and orange in rising...

before the clouds...

late-night
early-morning
sky-watching, nights
devoid of stars, or any light
but the hazy glow of the city
reflected
on the soft underbellies of unmoving clouds...

I think again
of the ancient people
and their worship of the night sky,
the stars and moon their only light, the stars
their map of kind and tribe, a storybook
of the past and
the future and the gods
who opened and closed each day;
who made the winds blow or stop  blowing;
who made wet life fall from the sky
and who pushed it away to make the damp earth
crumble from the dry and their displeasure...

the night sky, the back story of all days, all the lights
for them to read, learning in the lights
their own place in creation, and
how they must have trembled on nights
like the ones we've had here for the past week,
no moon, no stars, no story, no  map,
no sign in the dark of any place for them...

alone, heads bowed
in a darkest dark unknown to us now,
when our own light shines into space, making us
a luminous marker of the universal face
of the cosmic night, how we push ourselves to the edges
now, how different from the humble those from whom
we came,
how much more unknown to us our proper  place
then those who trembled in the dark
of an unlit night...

through a break in the clouds
this morning,
a little sliver
of crescent moon,  even so diminished,
still the mistress of our dreams,
still the tie that binds us to our oldest hopes
and fears










This is another poem from the anthology Twentieth-Century Latin American Poetry. It  is by Jorge de Lima. Born in Brazil in 1895, de Lima practiced medicine for much of his adult life, while also pursuing careers as a writer, a professor of literature, a sculptor, a photographer, and a politician, serving a term as president of the city council of Rio de Janeiro in 1945.

He died in 1953.

The poem was translated by Luiz Fernandez Garcia.



Words of Departure

And you will hear in every passing century
a sound lost in time;
and the last comet that passed by only yesterday;
and the oceans renewing their waters over and over.
You will see some constellations sending you their rays
     and then dying.
You will compare your childhood with that of the children
     of the Sun/
You will recognize stars that threw their rocks at you
when you were an ordinary man on life's paths.
You will count as Abraham did the celestial bodies, so that
     you can count.
You will contemplate the premature death of moons
and the mysterious life of the stars.
You will piece together the game of creation and the
     throne of the first woman.
You will watch hundreds of millions of eclipses happening
     all at once.
And hundreds of millions of flames in a spiral rising to the
     throne of the Master.
You will remember you were a poor Eskimo caught
     between the ice of the earth and the final night that
     freed you form the world.










Rain a big concern here, drought going on third year, third-stage rationing (for the first time ever) certain before the end of this month. I'll be  following that  concern through several poems this week.


 
the desert approaches
 
dim, dreary,
dismal
days,
three in a row
 
but
no rain
 
aquifer
at its lowest
level
in sixty years
 
a week
from
third stage
rationing
 
river city
built around
local springs
bubbling
form the limestone
caverns
beneath us
 
they will continue
to flow
the experts say,
the  river will
continue
to  run
and the tourists
will continue
to gather
under umbrellas
along its banks
like the
koi
in the Japanese
Tea Garden who
will  continue their
wet life  of
ease
but all around
those flowing
waters
desert times
approach
 
we will know
dust
blowing
above the rocky
base
of this city
and we  will know
dry
to  the bone
 
and brown
will become
this year's
black








The next poem from my library is by Lorna Dee Cervantes. It is from her book Drive, the First Quartet. The book was published by Wings Press of  San Antonio in 2006. The book includes five compete and distinct collections, the product of 15 years work by the poet.

Cervantes is a native  Californian of Mexican and Chumash heritage born in San Jose. At the time of  publication,  she was an associate professor at the University of Colorado in Boulder.



From the Bus to E.L. at Atascadero  State Hospital
                             for Juan Cuellar


Fall.  Peppercorns
rouge into the salmon roe.
The finished hills, blond
in Califas, get crew cuts
as cattle butch the hip grass
into flat-tops. Five o'clock
shadows  singe and vanquish
without felling the scrub oaks
and manzanita snarls. dusted
summer squash laze on the gone
lawns, ready pumpkins in the fields,
bright as plastic and faceless, their time
up, evident as flaring matches in The Hole.
There's a town coming on. It shows
in the Greyhound windows, the mooned
mounds,  instantly green - fence
and civilize.
                              They sat you
here, where you stuck
like a poisoned dart
between the Idler Bar
ad the Mud Hole Mini Mart.
Small wonder, vato, you
envisioned your Jupiterscapes
here in these Martian landings. What
messages they blew to this world, the seeds
of something generative.
Someday, you said, they would
blow us both away.
                                          There  was a code
to be read in the nothing of an empty page.
There was a plan in the shambles
of sage on the rocks or the bumbling
kooks on the blocked streets,
the nothing of a stranger
who refuses to give, the nothing
of a television mouthing
nothing to the nothing house full
of nothing, like on the morning they locked
you up for good.
                                          You were here, Ed,
and there is nothing here. Moonscapes,
desert wastes. As it is, in this light,
the eyes read but register nothing: cables
and telephone trees, white fences, the immovable
air vanishing on the nude hips of comatose women.
Is this what you saw? Nothing
in the hedges, the chopped  ends, the  panicking
roads where nothing is distanced
between ourselves  and an abundance
of nowhere.
                              The institution of our lives
embed themselves in the shallows like the clumped
row houses of  Camp Roberts, the wooden graves
of the suicidal dead or the wars where
they laid you to rest, resisting.
You could have gone on
to King City or the Temple
                                                    of Angels. Instead,
you were here where the wounded
blackbirds warble jazz to a crazed wind,
where the dusk is as pure and inimical
as law, devious as treaties, a substance
fills the night, the absence of light,
with whatever we imagine.
Think of it, spacetrips, vato
loco of the stars, this is what you get
in this life, the lockdown
of nothing








From last  year, considering possibilities and consequences.




a mountain man considers the dismal plain

i don't do so much driving
about
like I used to, dog and me,
both, getting too old for all those
hours
on the road

thinking about
a trip to Mount Rushmore
in October,
but I'm also thinking
do I really want to park
my butt in a car seat through
the Texas Panhandle,
Oklahoma,
Kansas,
and, finally,
Nebraska
just to get to
South Dakota
to see some big-headed presidents
on a mountain top...

I've never been to the
Texas Panhandle,
Oklahoma,
Kansas,
or  Nebraska
and, having never heard
any real good reason
to go there, I'm  wondering
if, lacking any other reason, never
having been some place is a good enough
reason to go there...

(that is the reason I give myself
for being happy to have spent a year
in the Northwest Frontier of Pakistan,
having never been there before
I went there and there being no reason
to  ever go back it must have been
a really good deal that
I got to go - so good am I at  finding
good in inevitable experience)

and thinking now of  days in a car
passing through the dismal
- that's
the way I think of them -
plains of the Texas Panhandle,
etc.
etc.
when just
 a smudge of the map
to the west
lie the mountains of
New Mexico
and Colorado, mountains
I  love and may not ever see again
and thinking that makes me
think that maybe the experience
of experiencing the inexperienced
might be overblown;
but I'm thinking that way
a lot more now that I'm getting
older,
seeking new experience,
I've come to believe,
is what people do who are dissatisfied
with the old  experiences
that made them who they are
and that their  constant
that made them who they are
and that their constant
search
for the new is mostly
about trying to find a new
more interesting self
and since I find my old self
quite interesting and
engaging
a search for new experience
is not something I do much of
anymore...

I'm writing this today
at the same booth
in the same restaurant
where I have written my daily poem
for several years now,
it's worked out so far
- except maybe for today -
so why would  I want to
change

and why in the world
am I thinking
about driving across
the Texas Panhandle,
Oklahoma,
Kansas,
and Nebraska
when Colorado is right next
door

see
how we are  seduced by the new
and unknown; see how we must
for our happiness
resist








Born in Chile in 1917, Gonzalo Rojas, is my next poet from this week's anthology.

His poem was translated by Christopher Maurer.



Chapter and Verse

It was for this that man came into the world, to fight
the serpent that advances in the whistle
of things, in the  glow
and the frenzy, like a glittering dust, to kiss
the bone of madness from within, to put
more and more love n the sheet
of the hurricane, to write on his love act
the lightning of continued being, to play
this game of breathing in danger.

It was for this that man came into the world, for this
     the woman
from his rib;  to pay the interest on this suit,
this skin of lust, to eat this clawing perfume
for short days that fit inside a few decades
in the nebula of the millennia, to put on
the mask again and again, to inscribe himself among
     the ust
in keeping with the laws of history or the ark
of  salvation for this, man came.

Till he is cut and thrown away, he came for this, till they
     clean him
with the  knife like  a fish, till
he is un-born and without bursting returns to his atom
humble as stone,
                            then he falls,
keeps falling for nine months, rises
suddenly, passing from the worm
of old age into another butterfly,
a different one.








It's great when a good thing happens, even if it wasn't enough to make a practical difference.



rain yesterday

rain
yesterday

not enough to do any good...

but  life is a process
of getting what
you can
and making what
you can
out of what you got

so
when I think of yesterday
I will not think
of the rain
that was not enough,
but of the rain
as it  fell,
and the sounds of it on the roof
and the creek rising
and, for a moment, roaring,
and the cold taste
and feel  of it
as  I stood under my patio cover
where blown spray
could hit my face,
the sight of trees swaying
in a storm-hurried rush to pass
and he sodden smell left after it passed
and even this morning
walking my dog,
still the musty smell of brown grass
like a hay stack wet in the field after an overnight
rain, and the puddles still by the curbs, my
dog pulling me toward the center
of the street because she doesn't like
the feel of damp between
her toes

young dog, so seldom seeing rain,
she doesn't know  if she should
hide from the thunder
or dance in the
pouring
wet...

she and me,
similarly
struck by contrary
passions









Next from my library,  I have two poems by Devreaux Baker from  her  book, Red Willow People, published in 2010 by Wild Ocean Press of San Francisco.

The poet's bio  included in the book is minimal, including only that she has published two previous collections of poetry and was recipient of a MacDowell Fellowship, a Hawthornden Castle International Fellowship, three California Arts Council Grants, and the Helene Wurlitzer Writing Fellowship.



Sweeping the Bushes

Every morning when I walk  into town
I pass the homeless man sweeping the
pyracantha bushes.

He shakes all the leaves that have fallen
in the night from the limbs of cottonwoods

behind Beverly's Jewelry Store.

"this side is Native American jewelers,
and the other side is ,over here, is all the others",

She likes to point this out
to all the tourists who stumble in
high on morning lattes.

The man works hard with his fingers
pulling gout all the dead yellow leaves,
but gently, so he looks  like he could be

smoothing the hair of someone he  loves.
I have come to count on him being there,
combing out all that shy gold.

At first  I thought he must be crazy,
one of the ones the State set free
in the month of Horses Standing

With Their Tails To The  Wind.
But one day I saw  shop owners paying him,
and I  realized he made  a living
combing cottonwood leaves out of bushes.

He probably likes watching all that gold
gathering under his feet,
forming a blanket  the color of mustard,

or fever, spreading out like yellow water
into a dance he does with hands and leaves,

and only he knows the music of.


Flamenco Moon

Last night a full moon, magnetic,  pulled
to a perfect roundness.

Tonight one thin slip of silver is gone,
missing where night too a love-bite
from out of her shoulder.

We drive the Taos Plaza in circles, trapped
in some alchemical spell
of  searching for the just right restaurant.

Inside the Adobe Bar, flamenco music
flames sex into being.

Straw in hair, I  wander through the dusty cowboys,
feel metallic breath from the moon trail behind.

On the mountain, fox is working her spindle  prayer,
braiding gray and white into black air.

Fragments of moon get heated up with stars
and flamenco dancers, heels tapping echoes out,

steaming up  all that cold air.












From last  year -  seeing beneath  the surface not always a happy thing.



the secret your dog knows better than you
 
I  like to  see the bones
of things,
the structure
of  it all
hidden behind the false beauty
of  color
 
that's why  I prefer
my black and white photos -
color, a lie, an imaginary thing
that conceals more truth
than it ever reveals...
 
the tree outside the window
has a single trunk that branches
into  two about a yard above
the ground and above the basic
"V"  the two ascending trunks
other "V's" on each trunk,
the initial  separation
at the base producing a series
of smaller and smaller
"V's" ...
 
the tree is green,
but it is  the structure
beneath the green that defines
the tree, "V's" upon "V's" - an
arrow symmetry, arrows of tree
falling from the sky to the ground,
the tree becoming, not a thing
rising from the earth, but instead, a thing
falling toward it, burying its largest
arrowhead at its tip into the
ground...
 
this is the tree the color
of its leaves hides
from us, denying
that which makes it
special...
 
dogs are not color-blind
as often claimed, but
their colors are
basic
and muted -a few pale
shadows of color while their most
acute visions are black and
white...
 
there are many days,
when in search of the occasional
truth of things, I long to see
the visions of my
dog -
 
these visions,
a secret your dog
knows better than
you - the reality
of  things all
around...
it's  what sometimes
makes them so
sad





 




Also from this week's anthology,  I have two  short  poems  by Jose  Santos Chocano. Born in Peru in 1875, Chocano celebrates in his poetry his mestizo Spanish and Indian heritage.

He died in 1934.

His poems were translated by Andrew Rosing.



The Dream of the Caiman

     Enormous tree-trunk crawling on the waves,
the alligator wallows up  the river's  wall"
spine like a sudden mountain-range,
jaws an abyss, and formidable tail.

     The sunlight wraps him in an aureole
like shining armor and a plumed cuirass:
glaring in the light, a monster of metal
that echoes the sun's iridescence.

     Motionless as  a sacred idol,
adrift in the water, ecstatic
and  sleepy, wrapped in strong  steel mail

     like a prince who lives in an enchantment,
held a prisoner forever
in the crystal palace of a river...


The Dream of the Condor

     As the choir of stars begins,
he perches  on a snowy peak;
the last of daylight envelops him;
at his feet the thunder breaks.

     His white throat, like a king's medallion,
beak ferocious as a war-sword's hilt;
eternally sharp for  wealth, his talons
curve like daggers of ivory and gold.

     Solitary there, he settles on the heights
blending with pallid fogs; his aureole
dwindles, its  splendid light


     gone shadowy, and slowly he goes
down into the dark,  as the soul goes
down in meditation when alone...









Out at night again,  my favorite time.



stories to tell
 
the moon
slips from behind
passing clouds
like a virgin bride
shyly peeking
from behind her veil
 
so much seen
in her
continual circling,
like Scheherazade,
so many stories to tell




 




 
The next  library poem is by Gary Snyder. It's  from his book , danger on peaks, published in 2004 by Shoemaker Hoard, an imprint of Avalon Publishing Group.

Since 1970, Snyder has lived in the watershed of the South Yuba River in the foothills  of the Sierra Nevada. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize in 1975 and a two-time National Book Award finalist, he has been  the recipient of  the Bollingen Poetry Prize and the Robert Kirsch Lifetime Achievement Award.

I have several very short poems from a series in the book titled Brief Years.



Hanging Out by Putah Creek  with Younger Poets

sitting on the dusty
dry-leaf crackly ground,
freeway rumble south,
black walnut shade,
crosslegged, hot,
               exchanging little poems


Yet Older Matter

a rain of black rocks        out of space
onto deep blue ice        in antarctica
nine thousand feet up       scattered for miles.

Crunched inside        yet older matter
from times before our very sun


Flowers in the Night Sky

I thought,  forest fires burning to the north!
yellow nomex jacket thrown in the cab, hard-hat, boots,
I gunned the truck up the  dirt-road scrambling,
and came on a flat stretch with a view:
shimmering blue-green streamers and a red glow down the sky -
Stop.Storms on the sun. Solar winds going by

     (The night of the red aurora borealis:
     seen as far south as northern California,  April, 2001)


A Dent in a Bucket

Hammering a dent out of a bucket
           a woodpecker
                        answers from the woods


Baby Jackrabbit

Baby jackrabbit on the ground
thick furry brindled  coat
little black tailtip
back of the neck ate out,
life for an owl.

Asian Pear

the slender  tender Asian pear
unpruned, skinny, by the zendo
never watered, ragged,
still puts out fruit
            fence broken,
trunk scored with curls of  bark,
bent-off branches, high-up scratches -
pears for a bear


Cool Clay

In a swarm of yellojackets
a  squirrel drinks  water
feet in the cool clay,  head way down


Give Up

Walking back from the Dharma-Talk
summer  dry madrone
leaves rattle  down

"Give up! give up!
Oh, sure!" they say


How

small birds        flit
from bough
to bough to bough

to bough to bough to bough


Brighter Yellow

An  "Ozark Trucking" bigrig pulls up
by me on the freeway, such a vivid yellow!
a brighter  yellow than bulldozers.
This morning  James  Lee Jobe was talking
        of the wild  blue bonnets
and the dark red Indian paintbrush down in Texas.
Said, "from a distance - them growing all together
          makes a field off  solid purple."
Hey - keep on the right side
of that yellow line









Facebook, what a marvelous nest of crazy-snakes writhing and hissing it is. This is  from last year.



among the black helicopter brigade

he's running
about a half a lap
in front of the crazy wagon
these days
and losing ground all the time

and that's too bad
because
before he joined the black helicopter
brigade he was
an interesting fella and a good poet,
a little raw, some might think, young-
Bukowsky double-prime,
but the honest aspiration for true vision
shone through
occasional posturing
and the result  was a life-brimming read...

but somewhere along the  line
he must have fallen in with some
nutty
political  types,
although you always have to wonder
if the nutty political  types
were the cause of his decline
into apocalyptic raving
or was the sour craziness there all the time,
just waiting for the needed jolt
of  obsessive
fixation,
does the chicken find the egg
or does the egg drift dormant
in the shadow world
until the right chicken  finds the right nest
and the dream-egg becomes
the shin-shelled ovoid
it was always meant to be...

this is an important question
to me...

I know so  many people now,
falling like nuts
from the lunacy tree
that I wonder,
could it be as was sometimes claimed,
something
slipped into the water supply
in the dead
of paranoid night?










Next from this week's anthology, Twentieth Century Latin American Poetry,  I have this piece by Mexican poet, Carlos Pellicer. Born in 1899, Pellicer  died in 1977. After having been imprisoned for political reasons during the 1930s, the poet traveled, both as an individual and as a cultural attache for much of his adult life.

His poem was translated by Alexandra Migoya.



To Poetry

The taste of October on your shoulders.
Your hands give off a scent of April.
Like a hundred mirrors, I reflect
     your body.
Night-time in the flutes of my voice.

Your footsteps were paths
of music. It danced
tangled up in leaves: the helix
     of hours.
Naked liberation.

The measure of your height,
of the wave that  raised
your weight of time, untouched.
     My arm
softly circled it.

Among the after growths
and your summery gaze
I sharpened the sickle that conjoined
     the day
with the heavenly harvest.

From the blue depths the willow wheat
falls to the brilliance of the sickle.
From the black depths a grain of gold
     a pitchfork
with a cosmic shiver.

To plant in the breezy countryside -
to grow, swellingly, a delicate flower:
the earth sweated, and the path
     toward the red
sunset fields to grey.

He lifted his narrow stroke,
his hands above the wheat  field.
All the grains identical:  One!
     Naked.
The free  voice begins to sing.

The taste of October on your shoulders.
You hands give off the scent of April.
A mirror  of a hundred mirrors,
     my body
will sleep darkly in your voice.









Us poem-a-day poets - sometimes  a fight until the final bell.



got my nut again today

I waste
way too much time
these days

doing nothing
that amounts to anything
but passing time,
the one thing I have  too little of
to  be passing without
purpose or
passion

like this poem
which I know is waste
multiplied,  a waste of my time
and of yours as well,
if somehow I've sucked you
into reading it

I feel like I'm trying
to  pry a pecan
out of a squirrel's clinched jaws,
not sure if it's even a good
pecan, just knowing the squirrel
has it and I'm supposed
to want it so I squeeze on
as the rodent thrashes its fuzzy tail
and I curse, damn
squirrel, damn squirrel,
greedy damn squirrel has my nut

there are days
in this poem-a-day business
when I feel I should be off picking nits
at a knitting factory instead
of here

or maybe saving souls
in the Amazon, though I wouldn't know
what  to do with souls
after I saved them

(is there a bank for that sort of thing, First
Federal Bank of Souls where you can
set your soul aside for a rainy
day,  soul food checking,  James Brown banks  here,
the advertisements say)

again more time wasted on silly
conjecture, but it paid off
I suppose,since I've  got  my nut for the day

the squirrel's pretty pissed
though,
but I don't care, being not my squirrel's
keeper










I'm stuck. This space  was intended by another library  poem.  But I didn't bring enough books  from  my home library. However, I'm  at my coffeehouse (IAMA, corner of Broadway and Pearl) where I'm  selling my own book, Seven Beats a  Second, and since the book is here and since, technically, it's part of my library, I'm going to go there for  my last couple of  library poems.



lying in the sun with susan

quiet bay

no sound but the light rustle
of marsh grass in the gulf breeze

she
lies on the deck, legs  spread,
as if to  thrust herself
at  the  summer sun

sweat glistens
on the inside of her  thigh
and my tongue aches
for the taste of her


what's better than cold chocolate milk

what could be better than a big  glass
of ice cold chocolate milk
on a warm summer day

might be you
naked
up to your neck in a great big vat
of cold chocolate  milk

could be you
naked
floating on your back in an immense  bowl
of cherry jello

even you
naked
splashing like a puppy in a gigantic pot
of split-pea soup

or, hell,  maybe just you
naked

waiting for me








Here's my last  new piece for this week.



looking for an audience

dark morning,
low  clouds cleared
by last  night's storm
so the city's lights
do not  reflect back
upon itself,  instead, open
skies, freeing
the lights of our  lives
to carry the message of us
to the far galaxies, our  light
shining,  joining the glitter
of starlight, charting the path
of us for the red dust of Mars
and beyond to see

the life of us...

how all living things
grasp  at life,
last night,
thunder and lightning
and a spit of  rain,
but even that spit enough
to bring new green to the trees,
to  make new grass reach higher for the coming
sun,  to make  buttercups by the creek
to  spring up  from the laden earth, to open
their  petals to  this clear sky,
this new day,
this life...

how all living things
grasp at life,eager  at the  smallest opportunity
to grab at it. how some living  things
love  to  broadcast their  living to the universe...

that  is  us, that
last is us,
grasping at life,
gasping  at  an  audience  to witness  it










That's it for the week.

All the usual cautions apply. All material included in the post remains the property of those who created it. My stuff, though mine, is available for your use if you want it. My only stipulation, please give proper credit to me and to Here and Now.

My next book, New Days and New Ways, is being edited and proofed with an expected publication date of mid-summer. Thinking about an audiobook after that.

In the meantime, I still have these books to sell.

And here's where I sell them:



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






´╗┐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




Sonyador - The Dreamer




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