Better Days   Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Only two days  into the week and my new poems are looking pretty okay, so maybe I won't have to hide them like last week. We'll see, still lots to go.

For my old poems this week,  I'll be  looking mostly at 2008 and 2009, with maybe another  dip into  2007. Those were good years.

My library poems will be, as usual, whatever comes next from the shelves of my library.

The anthology this  week  is Earth Songs, subtitled "A resurgence anthology of contemporary Eco-poetry." The book was published in 2002 by Green Books in association with Resurgence magazine.

Photos  this week are from the original downtown section of the San Antonio's Riverwalk. Since these photos were taken a northern expansion of the Riverwalk has extended more than a mile north, past the San Antonio Art Museum and the Pearl Brewery redevelopment to the Witte Museum and the San Antonio Zoo and another extension eight miles south to Mission Espada, the southernmost of San Antonio's five Spanish-era missions. I have photographed the northern extension but not yet the southern Mission Reach section because it just opened.

These pictures are several years old, last used here in their present iteration in 2010, long enough ago  so that everyone can pretend they're brand new.

Here's the list of  this week's poets

medical bulletin

Peter Abbs
Ars Poetica

David Whyte
Loaves and Fishes

Gary Snyder
For the Children

watching the window at the drift of morning

Lorna Dee Cervantes
For Edward  Long

the simplicity of rain

Hilary Llewellyn-Williams

on reading "Cow" by Federico Garcia Lorca

Carol Ann Duffy
Mrs Darwin
Mrs Sisyphus


George Szirtes

Robert Minhinnick


Gary Snyder
All in the Family
Strategic Air Command

the way of the world

Dana Gioia
The End of the World  

a man of faith

Sylvia Plath


John Haines
Little Cosmic Dust  Poem

Joan Poulson

 this is why

Francis X. Alarcon
from De Amor Oscuro/Of Dark Love

law and order

       up early           



My first new poem this week concerns an issue of particular interest to old men, a rank for which I, unfortunately, eminently qualify.

Medical Bulletin

I heard it on
National Public Radio,
which knows a lot of really important stuff
about a lot of really important things...

contrary to the long-held medical
and scientific
assumption that older  men often suffer
from a testosterone deficiency
that shrinks the muscles, fogs the memory
and makes them unnaturally unresponsive to shapely blonds
in skimpy bikinis and that a daily testosterone
supplement will fix that, regenerate muscles,
refresh memories, and place shapely blonds in skimpy bikinis
back in their natural place on the menu of manly

but wait,
the doctors and scientists say,
testosterone is not the whole story, older men often also suffer
from a deficiency of estrogen...

which means that at my next quarterly
doctor visit
I can expect a dose of estrogen
to be added to my daily application of testosterone

I don't know what Clint's going to think of that...

but I can assure him that, just as my daily testosterone fix
has not inspired me to any overt action
as regards shapely blonds in,
bikinis, except that I have become unnaturally interested
in watching beach volleyball
on ESPN,
I am sure that a daily dose of estrogen supplement
will not encourage me to shave my legs
so that I might look better
in that frilly frock I saw at that Max place
that they advertise on TV
where watchers are encouraged to become
Maximistas, which I  surely will not

I guarantee

though  that frilly dress might look stunning
on me
if I could just lose
a little weight

First from this weeks Earth Songs, have three poets. Both are from a section of the book titled "The Search for Enlightenment.

The first poet is Peter Abbs. An English poet and academic, Abbs, the son of a shop assistant and a bus driver, is the author of ten books of poetry and numerous works on the philosophy of education and creative writing.

Ars Poetica

It will listen to the arias of whales.
It will wake to the dawn yelp of the gull.
It will affirm the blue canticle of the skylark, the black croak of the frog.
It will be schooled by the sibilance of water, be attuned to the hard
consonance of rock.
It will gut  dictionaries.
It  will eat etymologies.
It will eavesdrop on the spontaneous ramblings of children.
It will tour fairgrounds with a microphone.
It will tremble before the glance of Beauty.
It will taste the white vinegar of death.
It will  honor silence.
It will be a crucible open to  stars and dust.
It will expound the laws of Quantum Mechanics and recite the Proverbs of
It will aspire to the levity of the butterfly crossing  nuclear zones.
It will burn in blood, rise in estrangement, climax in breath.
It will remain in quest.

The second of the  poets in this section is David Whyte.

Born in 1955. Whyte is another English poet. He holds a degree in Zoology and has published seven books of poetry and three of prose. Widely traveled, the  poet currently lives in the United States.

Loaves and Fishes

This is not
the age of information.

This is not
the age of information.

Forget the news,
and the radio,
and the blurred screen.

This  is the time
of  loaves
and fishes.

People are hungry,
and one good word is bread
for a thousand.

Last from this section of  the book and  last in the book is American poet, Gary Snyder. I'm going to use a poem from  one Snyder's own books later in this issue and will  say more about him then.

For the Children

The rising hills, the slopes,
of statistics
lie before us.
the steep climb
of  everything, going up,
up, as we  all
go down.

In the next century
or the one beyond that,
they say,
are valleys, pastures,
we can meet there in peace
if we make it.

To climb these coming crests
one word to you, to
you and your children:

stay together
learn the flowers
go light

I wrote this poem very late in the year, 2009. We have not had mornings like this here so  far this year. I wait impatiently.

watching through the window at the drift of morning

through the window
at the drift of morning  fog
of days twenty-five
years ago, driving to
early meetings at the university,
slowly, carefully,
on the narrow road that separates
Corpus Christi Bay on one side

and Oso  Bay on the other,
a swirling, shifting
gray cocoon of gulf coast fog
hiding everything
but the patch of
yellow light
i cast ahead of me as i drive

near  isolation
from the world of the new day,
nothing to see,
the only sounds breaking
through the gray mist, the faint call
of a gull, the slap of jumping fish
breaking water on either side,
the lights of the university
like small lace curtains
show alongside the road,
so  close, unseen until
i'm nearly passed...

i see  little lights passing
on the interstate,  like lightning bugs
flickering in the gray -
if i was outside
i could probably hear  a dove
from a tree
i could not see

like this,
each day brings
memories of days
long ago
and not to return, only remembered
on new days
that will pass as well,
leaving us,
eventually, with only memories
of memories remembered

The first poet  from my library this week is Lorna Dee Cervantes, with a poem from her book Emplumada. The book was published in 1981 by the University of Pittsburgh Press.

Born in 1954 in San Francisco, Cervantes is an award-winning Chicana, Native American (Chumash), feminist, activist poet considered to be one of the major Chicana poets of the past 40. Winner of numerous awards and honors, she appears frequently in journals and anthologies as well as in her own books.

For Edward Long
                         There are some who are not of this world.
                         Take what you need. Covet.
                         This child is one. They will  comfort her soon.
                                          E.L. (in a letter to my mother
                                          from the Atascandero State Hospital. 
                                          (Fall, 1965)

Pardner, you called me
that first morning my grandmother
found you drunk, homeless, and you stayed
long  enough to give me my voice.

You taught me to read all those wind songs
in the verse of Stevenson.
You'd pay me a quarter to sing on your lap
beneath the dust storm of your scruff chin.
In those still nights your wine breath
sweetened the air for me.

You were father, grandfather, the man
who dug ditches for the county
and knew a code so secret
they locked it away.

Pardner, Doctor, crazy
mathematician and sometimes
wizard to the child I still am,
I still believe you.
I still gaze  at the fall winds
you once taught me to describe.
I will shadow you. I know
wherever you are
you'll be reading poems
and this is how
I'll find you.

 Here's another pretty okay poem. new for the week.

I was really hoping for a solid week of rain. Instead,  sunshine today, as if we haven't already had enough of that.

the simplicity of rain

after several days
of promising skies,
this one begins in sun
and purposeful people
emerging from their unused umbrellas
going "huh?"
to be still dry

clear and sunny skies

back to
and the  regular stuff
of our oh-so
regular life, bosses calling,
where the hell
are you
don't you know
back to the  business
of the business
of business

the permanently hunched back
of digital  world

the clickety-clack
off typewriters of the old days,
when you could tell
by ear
who was  busy
earning their bread
and SUV and concrete landing strip
and 4-bedroom,low  profile (keep  your head down, it says)
 ranch style,
and, alternatively, who was just
faking  it,
fence jumpers,
making the show
but without the go
entirely absent
from the business of the business
of business,
the old days,,
when busy was making your daily bread
clickety clacking
with an  occasional
on the side,
by humming electronic  widgets
with  their emissions
of gamma bamma  slamma whatever
rays  that will, over time,
meld the internals  to-dos
of our hazmat

and we  don't understand
any of it...

for me, this bright and  burning sky
is another promise  broken,
thing,every damn thing
in  a haze of what the hell
does any of this mean...


I prefer the  simplicity
of  rain

The next poem from Earth Songs, from the first section of the book titled "Naming Gaia." The poem is by English poet Hilary Llewellyn-Williams. Born in Kent, she is widely published and has read her work in a variety of venues and has taught in schools, workshops, and seminars.


The sun must move, if it is a fire, because Fire is the most
mobile of the elements. When we prevent flames from rising,
when we imprison them in the bowels of the furnace, they
twist impatiently about themselves. (La Cena dei Ceneri)

Hot yellow moon rose
last night, transformed
into sun, deep gold
over intense black rustling
leaves breathing stored
green scent of long days;
so all night the sky
shone, there was no night:
the triumph of light

renewed, Summer most  fiercely
hoped-for, called up
out of strength in the cold
months, with force,
with images of lions.
Sun in glory, at
zenith, convulsed with fire;
astronomers predict
magnetic surges, solar storms,
electrical disruption, flares
leaping millions of miles.

When the transformation
comes, it will be sudden
gold forming in the crucible.

Here's another old poem from late in the year - in this case the year is 2008.

on reading "Cow" by Federico Garcia Lorca

i am reminded
of how often i worry about the meat i eat,
not because i'm a vegetarian
or because i think it is necessarily
immoral to eat other creatures
but because of the way these other  creatures
come to become an entree on my plate

if you've ever been to a slaughter house,
you know what
i mean

no respect
for the life being taken
in the end
no respect
for the life being eaten

if i continue to eat meat
i almost  certainly will continue to do
i will endeavor to remind myself
of the creature whose living essence
sustains me

no more hamburgers for me

from no  on
when i go to McDonald's
it'll be ground cow on a bun to go

no more BLT

lettuce and tomato
on toast
with mayo
and crispy slices of

never got enough respect
for us to disrespect them
so we  eat our chicken breast
without thinking much about it

i  haven't decided yet
how to deal with that


breast of feathered fowl
or maybe
of feathered fowl
with secret spices
and fried

will have to think
a bit more
about chickens
i think

 From my library, two  pieces by Carol Ann Duffy from her book, The World's Wife, where she assumes the  persona of various wives of various famous and infamous men of history.

The book  was published Faber and Faber in 1999. Duffy, born in 1955 is a Scottish poet, playwright and Professor of Contemporary Poetry at Manchester Metropolitan University.  She was appointed Britain's Poet Laureate in 2009.

Mrs Darwin

7 April 1852

Went to  the Zoo.
I  said to him -
Something about that Chimpanzee over there reminds me of

Mrs Sisyphus

That's him pushing that stone up the hill, the jerk.
I call it  a stone - it's nearer the size of a kirk.
When he first started out, it just used to irk,
but now it incenses me, and him, the absolute berk.
I could do something vicious to him with a dirk.

Think of the perks, he says.
What use is a perk, I shriek,
when you haven't the time to pop open a cork
or go for so much as a walk in the park?
He's a dork.
Folk flock from  miles around just to gawk.
They think it's a quirk,
a bit of a lark.
A load of  old bollocks is nearer the mark.
He might s well bark
at the moon -'
that feckin' stone's no sooner up
than it's rolling back
all the way down.
And what does he say?
Mustn't shirk -
keen as a hawk,
lean as a  shark
Mustn't shirk!

But I lie alone in the  dark,
feeling like Noah's wife did
when he hammered away at the ark;
like Frau Johann Sebastian Bach.
My voice reduced to a squawk,
my smile to a twisted smirk;
while, up  on the deepening murk of the hill,
he is giving one  hundred per cent and more to his work.

Here's another new  poem, the third in this not-so-bad week of poetry.

The rains finally came and look to hang around through the weekend. Thank you hurricane season.


asphalt mirror
reflects the morning rain
in little splashes as each large drop falls

and the lights of cars
like miners in a deep earth crevasse,
their reflected lights exploring the wet ahead,
and the cars themselves like creatures
at a waterhole deep in the savanna, pushing
on tiptoes through the sodden morning,
and a truck,
a very large moving-van
cresting the hill like a great black rhinoceros
returned from extinction
to reclaim it's share of life among the living...

but it's only cars
on wet roads in the reality of a rainy morning,
and a very large moving
van moving moving
to or from, it makes no difference,
we are all moving somewhere, knowing where
or why is as unlikely as a return
of an extinct rhino


always moving,
a species driven to always move,
sometimes for  fear
or threat to the hear and where
we are,  but more often
moved by wonder,
to see what is behind
the next hill, and then behind that hill
and the hill and the river and the ocean
that are behind that

well-fed by our familiar pastures,
still craving the greener,
pastures somewhere

Next, I have two poets from the third section of this week's  anthology, "The Living World."

 The first  of the two poet is George Szirtes, a Hungarian born British poet writing in English and translating Hungarian texts into English.


It was an act of  daring then to fling one at the girls,
a kind of modest proposal like requesting the pleasure
of a dance, and their  cries, we understood, were pleasure.

Purring and rattling in the palms then out upon the world -
flop-flop across benches and the grass, these maddened ghosts
had their  legs broken or pulled off, silent in their pain.

Little brown handkerchiefs animated by bluff currents,
blowing against windows  where  a veil of condensation
held back the damp larders of grass, bark, potato-leaf.

Those days were shorter. Our legs froze although properly speaking
it was hardly autumn. The television lay muzzled in
the front room. Tap  and splay. They hung there, vegetal.

God save the daddies and all their young babies -
repulsive fry greasing the cellar, leathery nuisance.
Put salt on them like slugs, their curling slime.

The lilt against the light-bulb, our of control: in hell
they will be gorged with our blood,now  they are brittle
girls proffering leaves and hands,  ragged, memorial.

And second of  the two poets from this section of the anthology is Robert Mihinnick, a Welsh poet, essayist, novelist and translator.


Bullet of stained  glass glancing out of traffic.
Some trembling cellophane I  find at my feet.
Hand-span of colors; daubs from the palette of  light.
Black honeycomb  pattern embroidered on wings.
Carnage in October;  blue scalds of the dusk.
Somnolent.Extinguished. Jewel of the pus on dragonfly snout.
I hold in my hand a crucifix on the Cribwer road.

Here's another old poem from  late 2007. It's December  on the Riverwalk, with all the trees along the river lit up in multicolored splendor and the water taxis and tour boats all bedecked in Christmas finery. It's a fun time in the city.


I'm on the
Starbucks balcony
the Hard Rock Cafe
looking down
on the river
and the Riverwalk
hoping for a  poem
to leap up
from the crowd
grab me by the
and say,
write me, fool
before I get  away

but that didn't
so I'm stuck
with telling you
about the river
and how they've
been  trying to
clean it up,
make it a clear
instead of the muddy
river it  is;  they made
a little progress, can't
see, never will see
the sluggy bottom
but you can see now
the ducks' feet
as the paddle under
the water, a kind of
especially when you
see them paddling
like a power ranger
when they get in front
of  one of  the tour
barges,it's a funny
sight, as  are many
of the tourists,
but I always figured
it  was a tourist
to look like a
so locals have
some  comic relief
as recompense
for the crowded
and lack of

looking down
on the Riverwalk
it's clear the tourists
are living up to
their responsibilities
as I've lived up to mine,
making  a poem
for this

Here, as promised, are more by Gary Snyder, two poems from his book, Axe Handles.

All in the Family

For the first time in memory
heavy rain in August
      tuning up the chainsaw
            begin to cut oak
Boletus by the dozen
       fruiting in the woods
Full moon, warm nights
        the boys learn to float
Masa  gone off dancing
        for another thirty days
Queen Anne's Lace in the meadow
         a Flicker's single call

Oregano, lavender, the salvia sage
       wild pennyroyal
       from the Yuba River bank
All in the family
               of Mint.

Strategic Air Command

The hiss and flashing lights of a jet
Pass near Jupiter in Virgo.
He asks,  how many satellites in the sky?
Does anyone know  where they all are?
What are they  doing, who watches them?

Frost settles on  the sleeping  bags.
The last embers of fire,
One more cup of tea,
At the edge of a high lake rimmed with snow.

These cliffs and the stars
Belong to the same universe.
This little air in between
Belongs to  the twentieth century and its wars.

                         VIII,82, Koip Peak,Sierra Nevada

Finally getting some rain in San Antonio. It complicates some aspects of my life, but I'm happy to make the adjustments when we get the wet.

the way of the world

intermittent mist
like a thin veil over the morning

80 percent chance of heavy rain
the prognosticators
and I don't want to leave my pal
locked in the car with the windows up
so we eat our breakfast outside under the covered patio

open to the elements,
morning in the raw, with drip  drops and little squalls
and cars on the interstate
splashing their way to plows they must daily pull,
hoeing and picking
in the fields of commerce and I am inspired
to  be pleased  extra
to be done with the plowing and hoeing and picking
except right here, trying to hoe the weeds of nonsense
and  unwarranted seriousosity, laboring in the fields of the word
compounded like silly putty
into semblance of  sense and sensibility,
god bless this wondrous life
and especially
my pension and social  security
allowing me to  float  serenely
the frantic scramble of everybody's every day


so now
as this morning  exercise comes to its unnatural close,
I am dry and the dog is dry
and the rain quit so we  will take another little morning walk
(she loves it so, to walk and sniff, I feel like I've taken treasure
from her canine vault of life at its best when we do not go)

in other words
life is back on its normal morning course and I am mostly satisfied with it
except I had  hoed this  unusual morning
might more productively agitate my poetitrons
into a  rainy morning masterpiece...

well, wet or dry
we take what we can

it is the way of the world
and poem-a-day


The next poem is from "Landscapes and Inscapes," Section 4 of this  week's anthology Earth Songs. The song is by Dana Gioia, poet,  businessman and  former Chairman of the National Endowment  for  the Arts.

The End of the World

"We're going," they said, "to the end of the world."
So they stopped the car where the river curled,
And  we scrambled down beneath the bridge
On the gravel track of a narrow ridge.

We tramped for miles on a wooded walk
Where dog-hobble grew on its twisted stalk.
The we stopped to rest on the pine-needled floor
While two ospreys watched from an oak by the shore.

We  came to  a bend, where the river gre3w wide
And green mountains rose on the opposite  side.
My guides moved back. I stood alone,
As the current streaked over smooth flat stone.

Shelf by stone shelf the river fell.
The white water goosetailed with eddying swell.
Faster and louder the current dropped
Till it reached a cliff, and the trail  stopped.

I stood at  the edge where the mist  ascended,
My journey done where the world ended.
I looked downstream. There was nothing but sky,
The sound of water, and the water's reply.


Here another of my old poems, this one from very early in 2007.

a man of faith

around here 
is like the 
"Free Beer Tomorrow"
at the corner pub -
in the offing
two or three days out
but never poured

today is the today
that might be tomorrow

it is cold
and overcast
with a little bit of drizzle
that promises 
to become rain any instant

i brought
an umbrella
for i am well-known
as a man of faith

in beer
in rain

From my library now, I have this poem by Sylvia Plath, from her book, Ariel, published , this edition in 1965 by Harper & Row.


Over your body the clouds go
High, high and icily
And a little flat, as if they

Floated on a glass that was invisible.
Unlike swans,
Having no reflections;

Unlike you,
With no strings attached.
All cool, all  blue. Unlike you -

You, there on your back,
Eyes to the sky.
The spider-men have caught you,

Winding and twining their petty fetters,
Their bribes -
So many silks.

How they hate you.
They conver4se in the valley of your fingers, they are inch worms.
They would have you sleep in their cabinets,

This toe and that  toe,  a relic.
Step  off!
Step off seven  leagues, like those  distances

That revolve in Crivelli, untouchable.
Let this eye be an eagle,
The shadow of this lip,  an abyss.

The season changes, and all of a sudden summer has  slipped away. It won't last long, but it's wonderful while it does.

A new poem  from last welcoming the first hit of autumn.


bright round
bathes the night
in cold radiance
by a thin curtain
of quickly passing clouds

on both sides of the street
dance to the tune
of chilled north winds
sweeping back to from where it came
the heavy, saturated air of summer

I want to breathe deep
all the dry mountain air
before it's passed and gone

dog wants to run

cat over-sleeps,
the morning too cold
for a summer cat,
does not walk
with us

waiting for us
on the driveway when
we return

Last from this week's anthology, Earth Songs, I have two poets from the sixth section of the book, "The Ecology of Love."

The first of the two is by John Haines.

Born in 1924, the poet published nine collections of poetry and was poet laureate of Alaska before his death in 2011.

This poem especially speaks to me, addressing as it done my own obsession with the revelation that we and  all we hold dear are constructs of destruction.

Little Cosmic Dust Poem

Out of the debris of dying stars,
this rain of particles
that waters the waste with brightness...

The sea-wave of atoms hurrying home,
collapse of the giant,
unstable guest who cannot stay...

The sun's heart reddens and expands,
his might aspiration is lasting,
as the shell of his substance
one day will be white with frost.

In the radiant field of Orion
great hordes of stars are forming,
just as we see every night,
fiery and faithful to the end.

Out of cold and fleeing dust
that is never and always,
the silence and waste to come...

This arm, this hand,
my voice, your face, this love.

The second of the poets from this section is Joan Poulson, English writer, poet and visiting writer in schools, is primarily known for her children's books. She has won numerous awards and honors and her books have been published internationally, including in the United States


He has lived with her tribe, become  fluent
in her language, trading rhythms,
textures of subtle form.

Each day they dance colors, shape forces.
A silent mage, he draws back her veil:
honors the beauty of imperfection.


This old poem is from mid-year, 2008.

this is why

when i woke up
at 5:55 this morning 

this story requires
a little bit of
set up

it is
to know
that i am a head-west
sleeper, that is,  i sleep
better if my head
is oriented to the west
and my feet are oriented
to the east

that explains
why i was sleeping at
the foot of my bed

it is to know
that, at a hair
over six feet tall
i used to be tall, though
no longer, because
people younger than me
got fed better than me
so they got taller
than me,
(my younger brother, for example
is six three and his son is
six-five - both fed better
than me
and i try not to resent it)

i sleep on an old bed, the bed
my father was born on,
probably 120-130 years old,
an important fact
since it was build back when
i was still  tall or would have been
had i been around
in 1880-1890

that explains why
i sleep on a pillow half
hung over the end
of the bed

also important
it is to know that my cat
often sleeps with me,
actually, more on top of me
than with me

and that explains why,
when i woke up at 5:55 this morning
with a cat hat, the cat, that is
sleeping on the top half
of the pillow
on top of my head which she had pushed
to the bottom half of the pillow,
i was not too surprised

but i was a bit surprised,
though not as much as the cat,
when i lifted my head
from the bottom half of the pillow
causing the cat on the top half of the pillow
and the pillow itself
to fall off the bed
and drop to the floor

and that's what  happened
at 5:55 this morning
and it's also the reason
my cat
has ignored me all day

not a bit story, perhaps,
but a funny start to what has been
a tough day otherwise

My last library poem this week is by  Francisco X.  Alarcon, and it's taken from his book De Amor  Oscuro/Of  Dark Love. As the title suggest, it is a bilingual book, Spanish and English, on facing pages.

The book was published in 1991 by Moving Parts Press.

The book, a numbered series of love poems, was translated to English by Francisco Aragon with the poet.

What I can't show you here, unfortunately, are the  drawings throughout the book by Ray Rice.


there has never been a sun for this love,
like a crazed flower it buds in the dark,
is at once  a crown of thorns and
a garland  of spring about the temples

a fire, a wound, the bitterest fruit,
but also a breeze and water-source,
a bite to the soul - your breath,
a tree trunk in the current - your chest

make me walk over turbid waters,
be the ax that breaks the lock,
the dew that weeps from the trees

if I become jute kissing your thighs
it's that my heart is eagerly searching
your flesh for a new dawning


your voice is the lush murmur of an oasis,
I've been so thirsty so long,
I've forgotten the taste of words -
cool, tender, flowing from a spring

I listen, open this doors, windows
of my being without reserve,
so that all my corners can enjoy
the health of your voice like fresh air

I am the shore that hoards your  water,
my fields flourish simply at your sound,
you bring the freshness of humid moss

here you  have  me, dead with silence
lest I interrupt when you say:
"hey, Lazarus, rise and walk!"


I  like to walk beside you, stepping
on your shadow along the way,
letting your steps mark my steps,
follow you like a boat being towed -

fitting my feet in the footprints
you leave like a puma on the sand,
I want to be the towel that drys you,
the one you spread to get some sun

how lucky! the belt that gets to hug
your waist, the crucifix that hangs
from a chain on your chest!

what a joy! to  arrive every day as a comb
and smell the morning in your hair
but rather than comb, uncomb your!

Another old poem,  this one from mid-year, 2008. At the time, my regular morning coffee/writing place was Borders. There was  a good crew there at the time, but as that changed I moved on to a regular coffeehouse, the fifth one back, all, including Borders, closed and out of business. Feeling moderately secure at my current IAMA coffeehouse since it is also a music school which supports the coffee part.

law and order

closer to boy
than man,
long hair,
thin, and
hits the door
with a basket
full of  books and Cd's


close behind,
the stand-up comic,
defensive driving coach,
and tv writer,
followed by Crystal,
the barista,
and far

fat, old

knowing i'll
never catch them
but putting on
a good show anyway
and if the others get the thief down,
i'll get there in time to kick him

but, no,
not even that,
he's gone
and the cafe
returns to normal,
each of us
with our own  "Law and Order"
playing in our


 I was hoping to finish up this week with a pretty good poem.

I think I did.

up early

up early
as  usual, before the light
of  daylight struck, not  even a hint
on the horizon

and, my god,
the stars,  hidden for months by the blanket
of sodden  air that has  left us
struggling to breathe, nothing to look up to
in the sky but wet,  gray,  dismal
anti-climax - look to the sky the ancients
advised us and discover the secrets of the universe,
good advice then, but wasted on us

this morning,  in a dry and open sky,
egad! the secrets of the
laid out for m in a brilliant
mantle of stars
almost  eclipsing the princess
moon, even in  her full bright glory,
with all the shining light
above, brilliant life
glowing, billion billion billion billions
of  potential  life-pods nurturing life,
gardens where  grow brothers and sisters
we will never know but imagine
as we look at the lights, and
beyond the lights, searching
for the lights too far to see,
light, giver  of life
without limits,  where possibilities unknown
are  tended by the gardener who oversees all time, all places,
all that is, all that is  possible to be,
finding succor in the  warm and  brilliant,
brilliant burning, but beauty
not only in the sight
but in the promise of their glowing

and the moon,
poor dim moon,
a treasure like a jewel
we keep in an ebony box, in a safe place,
a home place,
but the stars, the jewels we see
on every clear night
that will never  be ours
as we imagine it

standing in our backyards
on the darkest nights,
in our humanity,
staring up,
learning again the humility
of our close-bound

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

And I haven't mentioned it lately, but I'm allen itz owner and producer of this blog, and diligent seller of books, specifically these and specifically here:

Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iBookstore, Sony eBookstore, Copia, Garner's, Baker & Taylor, eSentral, Scribd, eBookPie, and Kobo (and, through Kobo,retail booksellers all across America and abroad)


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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Loch Raven Review
Mindfire Renewed
Holy Groove Records
Poems Niederngasse
Michaela Gabriel's In.Visible.Ink
The Blogging Poet
Wild Poetry Forum
Blueline Poetry Forum
The Writer's Block Poetry Forum
The Word Distillery Poetry Forum
Gary Blankenship
The Hiss Quarterly
Thunder In Winter, Snow In Summer
Lawrence Trujillo Artsite
Arlene Ang
The Comstock Review
Thane Zander
Pitching Pennies
The Rain In My Purse
Dave Ruslander
S. Thomas Summers
Clif Keller's Music
Vienna's Gallery
Shawn Nacona Stroud
Beau Blue
Downside up
Dan Cuddy
Christine Kiefer
David Anthony
Layman Lyric
Scott Acheson
Christopher George
James Lineberger
Joanna M. Weston
Desert Moon Review
Octopus Beak Inc.
Wrong Planet...Right Universe
Poetry and Poets in Rags
Teresa White
Camroc Press Review
The Angry Poet