Before & After   Wednesday, October 29, 2014

At about a million four or so, San Antonio is presently seventh largest city in the United States, second largest, after Houston, in Texas, and among the fastest growing. To accommodate the growth, the city spreads in every direction, covering hills with gray rooftops and the meadows with asphalt streets and parking lots. There is some relief as the city has joined the "back to the center" movement of many large cities, turning old and abandoned factories and warehouses into lofts, building apartments and condominiums over the bones of  areas long since lost to any productive purpose, revitalizing the downtown and near-downtown areas with a new population of mostly young singles and families who refuse to consider losing two to three hours a day to a commute to and from the exurbs.

Unfortunately, all that is not nearly enough to offset the rate of growth. My photos this week illustrate the cost of the growth, all of the pictures, except the last one, "before" pictures from a couple of years ago, the last one an "after" picture from last week.

The week's anthology is kind of  a strange thing, a book of poems mostly about clothes paired with art that does the same. The book is Clothesline, a Collection of Poetry and Art, published in 2001 by Harry N. Abrams, Inc.

So far as I can tell, the pairing of poet  to art was done by the books editor, not by either the poet or the artist.

My library and I make up the rest.

an amateur in most everything I do

Laurance Wieder 
Body is to Spirit

universal constant

David Rivard
Change My Evil Ways

should the fortress fall

Theodore Enslin
from Her Signature Herself   

tomorrow's stars

Gu Cheng
On  the Sinister Side of Life
Dream Garden


Pamela White Hadas
from One Designing Woman

how to make friends in Texas

Diane Wakoski
Good Water

bad choices

A Dandy Duet

learning my place

Bharat Shehkar 

why I'm not sleeping at night

Ceasar Vallejo
the suit I wore tomorrow

pretty ironic

Michelle Boisseau

about the great  poets of our day 

damn  lefties

the great way, sea to sea    


 This first  poem is about nothing I'm particularly proud of it, but it is true.

In another side note. A picture beside my old poems is of me reading at the release of my first book. This picture on the left is nine years later, reading at the release of my seventh book.

My taste in shirts remains as fine as ever.


an amateur in most everything I do

I usually do things my own my,
mainly because
I hate to read instructions,
which makes me an amateur
in most everything
I do,
always a learner, never
a master,
and since I don't just not  read instructions,
I also do not write them
that on those occasion when I stumble into doing something good
I never remember  how I did it,  making
all my few wonders
the one-hit

I am a magician's apprentice
without a magician,
my dancing brooms condemned  to  dance
not knowing how I started the dance,
knowing not  also how to call
it quits...


like this  poem,
meant to be six lines max,
bleeding onto this second page...

like a cat in a trap
to this unconvincing close,
suspicions aroused
that with nothing to say
I might continue on


First  from this week's Closeline anthology,  here is a poem by Laurance Wieder.

Body is to Spirit

Body is to spirit
As cloth is to body
Grown to  its own size:
Room is to air,
Air in the weave.
Waves in the breeze.
The earth spins and
Things come to an end.
So, day and night,
A body blooms
At its own our.
Stretch the pause
Through the sky.
Or float - muted banner -
Signs, no designs.

Signs, no designs
Or float - muted banner -
Through the sky,
Stretch the pause
At its own hour.
A body blooms
So, day and night,
Things come to an end.
The earth spins and
Waves in the breeze.
Air in the weave.
Room in the air,
Grown to its own size:
A cloth is to body
Body is to spirit.

by Cecil Beaton


Just a poem to have some fun, from October, last year.

On the left, the picture I mentioned earlier, nine years ago, reading at the release event for my first book. Can't help adding that it was also about 40 pounds ago.

universal constant

about the here and  now,
the  universal
constant, everywhere where
there is a here there is a now  and  across all reaches
of  the universe they are  the same, "there"
only the here we haven't been to yet,
and"now" - well it's true, though the stars
we see, so bright across the midnight sky, lie not in our present now
but in a now way back when, it is,like the "heres"
we cannot see, just another now, a party
we missed in the now of our most ancient  "whens"...


I apologize for this digression
but do  hope this clarifies
the complexity of here and now, so that when
you have occasion to consider
your own place  and time, you will also
consider the magnitude
of all the other "heres" and "nows" that swirl around
our own little here and now
adrift in an oh so  much wider


From  my library, this poem is by David Rivard, from his book, Wise Poison, Winner  of the 1996 James Laughlin  Award of The Academy of American Poets. The book was published by Graywolf Press.

Change My Evil  Ways

Some days it is my one wish to  live
alone, nameless, unfathomable,
a drifter or unemployed alien.
But that day the movie was over.
I found myself walking
in Cambridge, & on the Common
there were some conga players, as well as the guys
with xylophones, with finer pianos & tambourines.
Have you ever seen minnows flopping
from shallow to  shallow,  doing somersaults?
the drummers' hands were ale fish,
like guppies thrashing light in a clear plastic bag,
as blurred as children careening around
lawn sprinklers in the careening mercuric blue dusk of August.
Dulse wavering! Hair shook out while somebody dances.
Some days it isn't a life alone I need
but one that supplies the luxury
of forgiveness.  It was a day like that,
luckily. Past the tobacconist,
a kid  sang his song without changing
my evil ways, & strummed
a three-chord blues, plugged into a boom box
that lay at his side like a wolfhound.
And I put my ear close to his snout,
and - a little
cautious at first - I began to listen.


Next a  little introspection, but hot too much.

should the fortress fall

I  should write about the weather,
it's so good and beautiful and such a wonderful

but I've run out of words for wonderful,
more comfortable after long months of summer
for words having to do  with

I will not write about the weather...


instead I will write of my thoughts
after reading a fellow poet's poem
about "private dreams"

which reminded me of Superman's
Fortress of Solitude, and how I loved that place
as a child,  refuge from expectations
and the constant demand to be super, to save
the world again, to make Pa proud
of his little space-traveling

and how  like a lot of  children
I  built my own  fortresses, sheets draped  over furniture
to make little private hidey-holes, dark  and quiet, and above all else,
secret, this urge I never outgrew, finding new spaces,
a little corner behind the  chicken  house where no one else ever went,
clearings in the middle  of acres of brush, hard to get to but forever secret,

like  even now
I sit in this busy place, tap-taping on  my computer,
playing as I did as a child
in all the private places of my mind

no  longer needing drapes over furniture
or chicken house hideaways,  or hard to get to clearings
in dense brush, not  needing any of that

right here in front of so many people,
playing games they'll never know,
nibbling around the edges of locked doors
with these  poems,  but never opening the door,
hinting at what might be in my private room,
but never letting anyone inside
where secrets might spill from dusty shelves,
where secrets known only to me
might fall out into  light too  bright to ever hide

the unknown
the clandestine core
that bears the weight of all the outer poses
left empty and
stories that cannot be re-written
or ever told


The next poem from this week's anthology is by Theodore Enslin.

from  Her Signature Herself

My girl's a weave of many things       I
do not know the names of all the threads
or lap or warp which make for colors
several in delight        yet supple.
It is cloth that will not fade
the dye was fated not to bleach
or soak away.        Her heat has burned it in
and if I look to see more there than
a pleasure in each shadow
taking form for what is not
informed suggestion        is so woven.

La Primavera
Romare Bearden


From last year, three shorts, the first one, in my own back-ass way, after the Dr. Williams, the Good Pediatrician.


extremely painful
back spasms

in drugs of many
and unpronounceable

no walking,
less sitting

let's pretend
i ate 
the figs

and call this
my poem
of the day


rain-slick morning
all that have life in them
raise their heads
to drink

tomorrow's stars

i have a dream
where no Monday comes,
neither you to me,
nor i to you
nor anything else
ever again


Next, two short poems by Gu Cheng, from the collection  Nameless Flowers, published by George Braziller, Inc in 2005. Regarded as China's finest contemporary poet, Gu was born in 1956 and died by suicide in 1993 after murdering his wife with an axe.

The book's poems were translated by Aaron Crippen.

On the Sinister Side of Night

on the sinister side of night
is a white fish
the fish is cut open
its innards gone
it has a pasty eye
that eye is fixed on me

it says
downstream from this pool
the water's do rapid
black magic harpoons
dance over the falls
it says
all solid rocks
are its brothers


Dream Garden

now we duck from the  rain into a dream
our umbrella's of paper, and red
your smile is especially bright

you look at me, I'm looking behind you
at a black poplar, and birds coming down
streaks of lightning coming down

last  time, I came here too
after rain,alone
all  around a spiritless swamp
was withering, with a steam down the middle
a waterway,, whose cool blood glin5ed
coolly around my lips




Old times, not forgotten but neither are they missed.


a general feel-like-crap
hung-over, though haven't had a drink
in months or a serious
night out drinking in low places
in years...

flash-back hang-over,
like the way survivors of bloody wars
have flash-back memories of the worst moments of their lives,
so serious drunks find themselves wakened  in the morning
to the worst bloody-eyed mornings
of their  lives...

but sometimes I remember nights
with friends, drinking Lone Star in tall  brown bottles,
playing pool,singing along  to sad Mexican songs of love and loss
and later, as  everyone went home but me,  friendless
and alone at a sad and lonely bar before 2 a.m. closing,
still drinking, trying
to fill the unforgiving thirsty void before last call,
watching a dark-eyed dancer on a beer-stained stage,
with the slow, sinuous grace of a leopard
on the hunt, flaunting under red neon beer signs
her breasts and proud ass and flat stomach
and muscled thighs and the dark promise between them,
promises made to a writhing, bluesy beat,
promises I  know  are not to me
for I know as does she that my greatest  performance
for the  night will be walking unaided to the
street outside...

remembering those nights,  remembering that,
even for what they were,  the late night desperation
and late morning wallow in the pits of misery,  that even so, for a drunk
these were the best times and knowing that, welcoming this
flash-back hangover as reminders of why the good nights
were not the pain of the following day, reminders of why they quit,
welcoming them as  a caution why should they never start


Now, from the anthology, a poem by Pamela White Hadas. I couldn't find a photo of the poet, so here's a copy of one of her  books.

from One Designing Woman

1. Imagine wearing  something...
A well-dressed woman is closest to being naked
                 attributed to Coco Chanel

Imagine wearing something as if
you didn't. Imagine you could move as if
you did. Imagine dressing down to where
you start.
                    It's not the body between  the lines
in tact I had you but the hands
that make and make the lines and let  the  body
move to move

                               you - a woman dressed in myth -
made  up andover and closest to being...

Done: Integrity is mystery.

                                                         If you will,
imagine the perfect dress,invisible
with emphasis, a skin that, ripped,  won't bleed.

Imagine wearing something that dies on you -
if we wear a flower it's an artificial one.

Chanel Evening Dress
c. 1935


Next, from last year, advice from a Texan for those who might want  to be so blessed.

how to make friends in Texas

if it's a man,
admire his dog

if he doesn't have a dog,
congratulate him on his choice
of firearm

if it's a woman,
tell her you like what she did
to her hair

if she has no hair,  tell her you thing she has great
and you're thinking
of getting a pair
for your

(being careful to enunciate
clearly when discussing the lady's boots)


possibly this advice is pertinent
but Texas is where I have  the most
direct experience
and it is with that stipulation
I offer it


Here's a poem from my library by Diane Wakoski. The poem is from her collection, The Rings of Saturn, published in 1986 by Black Sparrow Press.

Good Water

the cup  holds
a ball,
the ball becomes
a skull,
the skull breaks
into matchsticks,
the matchsticks congeal
into gold,
the gold powders
into the dust on a moth's wing,
the moth wing expands
and is a blanket of silk,
the blanket of silk covers a foot,
the foot belongs to someone who
never cut  his toenails,
the long sharp toenails,
like trowels, repel dirt, they
dig into the soil/ a man
becomes a garden tool,
the garden tool hangs
in the garage,
the garage is closed for the winter,
winter is full of snow,
the snow melts into water,
the water is in the cup.


Too bad, most often the best  lessons come from our worst choices.

bad choices

across the river,
the long dark road
to the neon-lit  settlement of  bars
and behind the bars
dark dirt roads, where the low-class whores,
the old ones and the fat ones and the ugly ones,
stood sentry in the black night,
fifty-cent blowjobs by dim wooden shacks,
the dark a boon for both the purveyor of service
and the one who bought, both operating sight unseen,
both liking it better that way...

better to stay
on the main street where the garish light
turns cigarette embers
to psychedelic flares in tides red and green and blue shadows,
fantasy-land for the cowboys and farm hands and roughnecks
and bankers and preachers and insurance salesmen
and teenage boys with five  dollars in their
pockets, virgin boys hoping  for a life-affirming experience,
or at leas an experience that would signify
their  passage to manhood...


she's my age, maybe sixteen, certainly not more than a year or two older,
a Saturday-night-at-the-movies looking girl, a sock-hop looking girl
with Doris Day hair, tan skin, freckles and honey blond hair,
she sat with me and danced for me all night, first
in a polka dot bikini, like the song on the radio
we listened to as we crossed the bridge, then,
as the night  wore on, without her top,
and when the night stretched on, with nothing at  all, naked,
rubbing against me as I sat drinking my fifteen cent Carta Blanca,
dancing, with all the muscles
of her ass and legs and back flexing,
dancing through the curtains
to be back,  returning minutes later,  dressed then,
to my table, whispering an invitation in my ear,
angry when I told her I had no money, leaving me sad,
sad for my loss, sad for her loss, a whole evening of seduction
wasted on me, one of many bad choices
she had made, would continue to make
in her life...


I was sorry I had been her bad choice
for this night,
maybe a lesson -
it's the old guys that have the money,
not the young ones
looking for charity and a first-time adventure


Next from the anthology, two verses, both anonymous.

A Dandy Duet

My boot-tops - those unerring marks of a blade,
With champaigne are polished, and peach marmalade.

My neckcloth, of course, forms my principal care,
for by that we criterions of elegance swear
And costs me, each morning, some hours of flurry,
To make it appear to be tied in a hurry.

Fred Astaire Dancing
Robert Landry


This time last year, we were preparing for out fall road trip, which, too bad, we didn't get this year. Our destination, Santa Fe, which has come to be one of my favorite places in the universe. I'm a people watcher and the only place with more and a greater variety of people to watch than Santa Fe is San Antonio's Riverwalk which I have access to daily so it's not so much a big deal anymore.

Anyway, I wrote this poem, thinking of road trips past and how I enjoyed them.

learning my place

I will leave on Saturday
for some time in the

I will not fly
after you've seen the other side of clouds
once, that's it, not much else to see
from 40,000 feet

I will drive
as I always do because any journey,
if not as much about the getting there
as the being there, seems
a waste of my
and having not so much
of that one-time gift
I will not waste
any of it

I  will drive
since only by driving can one stop
along the highway
in Utah
to  introduce one's self and one's young son
to three bison, to see,
and smell them
(an important part of the bison experience)
standing by the
fence waiting for  I don't know what...

like the cowboys in Nevada,
sitting in the back of a coffeehouse,
singing the old cowboy standards,
and songs of their own composition,
and the herd of cattle somewhere in Arizona
who came rushing to the fence,
all twenty-five of them, when I stopped to take
their picture, expecting, I guess,
to be fed; like the goats
near  Little Rock, with
deep brown eyes and long, stringy beards
who thrust  their heads through the fence
so I could scratch their broad
foreheads;or the llama,
with its little topknot
of hair right at the top of its head,
posing for me,  reminding me
for all the world of pictures of the Beatles
in 1963, especially Ringo, the same wide-eyed
look - this sight on a tiny two-land
a little west of Comfort, Texas;
or the  palomino in the horse trailer
eying with fiery eyes
as I passed, or the three cows
on a hill, silhouetted
against a setting sun;
or the dark horses, crossing a snowy field;
or the elks huddled under a tree
in a snowstorm;  or  deer jumping across
a muddy road  as if with wings...

this, all of this,
seen at dirt level, where the world is, not in the air
where it  isn't,  those passing above at
nonhuman height and
nonhuman pace
none of it...

so much more of the world
I know as I pass through it,
seeing it from the ancestral vantage
of my kind...

like the golden dome of the state capitol as I pass
through Charleston, West Virginia;  and
the small,  cold stream somewhere
in Colorado, banked
on either side by snow; or  the tall
trees of northern California, huge,
as big around at the base
as  several small  trucks parked parallel to each other,
their trunks and green branches
reaching high, high into the sky,
seem from a passing airplane,
if  anyone bothers to look,
like just another green splotch on a circling
globe, never seen  as I see it,
wrapped within their dim  shadows -
cool shadows on even
the brightest, warmest day...

my friends, flying over the dust of reality
that made us, flying over
our provider and maker of our home,
our inspiration, leaving on us
its mark no matter how high away
we fly,  never seeing this,
never understanding by the feel of its grit
how we are bound to this our mother earth...


such a long piece this could be as i recount my years
of passing dirt-bound and seeing...

too long for anyone to read,
so  I will just leave it here,
waving to you as you fly away,
while I return to my own plodding ways,
mile by mile, learning my place with each one that passes,
exploring the mysteries with each shop


This next poem is by my  poet friend Bharat Shehkar, poet and freelance writer from  New Delhi.


The only way to find bliss,
is to let it find you,
lead you to that place where there is no way,
and nothing to find, not even bliss.
In that suspended in-between-ness
that is in-between nothing,
you know not whether you breathe,
nor care,
and the full moon's grass on which you are lying,
and the dew become the moonbeams and
the moonbeams become you
and you are a silver wetness on a green stalk,
neither man who thinks,
nor beast who survives,
just a silver stalk on a green wetness that is
a redolent, detached shining,
and in that calmness, something drops an echo
for which here is no  original sound
and in front of you, the immense jaggedness
of ice and rocks intimately exchange colours
like the negative film of a photograph that only you see.

I don't watch much TV, but this HBO series has me hooked. Dee and I finished the second season on DVD last  week; now we're rationing ourselves, waiting until next month to buy the third season so that we can have a real life in between. After that, a fourth season due to DVD soon and a fifth season being filmed now.

Among other things, politics at its most primeval, where the reward for the loser is not a quiet sinecure  at a favored university, but the headsman's ax.

why I'm  not  sleeping at night

addicted now,
both of us, Dee and I, to
"Game of Thrones"

watched the last  episode
of the second season
last  night

and as usual spent the night
in dreams of the beautiful Khaleesi, Mother of Dragons,
rightful heir to the Iron Throne,
and the three young dragons, hatched with her in fire

and the evil boy-king
and poor, honorable  Ned who lost is head
and his family, now scattered to the four winds,
the oldest Robb, with his armies, determined for  vengeance,
Ned's bastard-son, John Snow, of  the Black Watch, captured beyond the ice wall
by Wildings, and the young boys, running under constant threat,
and the young girl, fierce warrior in a small  girl's body, disguised as a boy, running
under constant threat, and her older sister,  bound
to the evil king
and the two mothers, alike only in their willingness
to  do anything for their children,
and the rival kings,
and the  friends of  John Snow with the watchers on the ice wall
and the dwarf  Lord Tyion,  brilliant, the unwilling warrior, who saves his family
and their reign, denounced and scarred in battle at the end of season two,
and with the Wildings in the north on the march and the walking dead who  prowl the snow mountains,
hundreds of characters dropping in and out of the story,  witches, warlocks and kings,
many dead, like Ned, the assumed hero of the narrative, beheaded at the end of the first season,
others surviving (but  for how long, the question, always) all playing a bloody game
of who will sit on the throne, who will kill who, who will betray who...

and I toss in my sleep, tracing all the characters, all the ends and outs of the story,  trying
to  remember it  all straight, imagining the next twists and turns the story, thinking of  how
my favorites might survive,  how the others, the stupid and evil, might no...

knowing whatever it will be, it will not be as simple  as  that...

Last from the anthology this week, a poem by Cesar Vallejo, a Peruvian poet, writer, playwright and journalist. Born in 1892, the poet died in 1938.

The poem was translated from Spanish by Edward Dorn and Gordon  Brotherston.

the suit I wore tomorrow

The suit I wore tomorrow
my washerwoman has not  washed:
once she washed it in her otiline veins,
in the fountain of her heart, and today
I'd better not wonder       was I leaving
my suit muddy with injustice.

Now that there's no one going to the water,
the canvas for pluming stiffens in
my sampler, and all the things
on the night-table so much what'll become of me,
are all not mine there
at my side.

                               They remained her property,
smoothed down, brother sealed with her wheat goodness.

And if only I knew whether she'll come back;
and if only I knew what morrow she'll come in
and hand me my washed clothes, that soul
washerwoman of mine. What morrow she'll come in
satisfied, blooming with handiwork, happy
at proving that does know, that she is able
                             LIKE HOW COULDN'T SHE BE
to blue and iron out all chaos.

("otiline" from the proper name Ortilia, a former lover of the poet)

Washerwoman  with  Zopilotes
Diego Rivera


A vocabulary exercise from a year ago.

pretty ironic

a reviewer once complimented
my work
for my sense of irony

I never figured out exactly
what that means when
appearing in any particular

the word, used in so many ways,
seems a bundle and a jumble
of meaning whatever you want it to mean,
making it, I guess, according to some of the uses
I've seen, ironic that the only thing
I know about irony
is that I have  ironed my own shirts beginning
when I was about fifteen...

There are a lot of words like that, it seems,
that lots of people use
without anyone being able  to  tell you
what they mean

so, I figure,
if they can make it up as they go along
so  can I

pretty ironic
if you think about it


My last poet from my library for the week is Michelle Boisseau,  professor of English at the University of Missouri, Kansas City. The poem is from her book, Trembling Air, published by the University of Arkansas Press, Fayetteville, in 2003.


I'm holding in my hand the skin of a calf
that lived six hundred years  ago, translucent
skin that someone stretched on four strong poles.
skin someone scraped with a moon-shaped blade.
Here is the flesh side, it understood true dark.
Here is the hair side that met the day's weather,
the long-ago rain. It  is all inscribed
with the dark brown ink of prayer

(the acid galls of ancient oaks), though those reds
(deluxe rivulets tat brighten the margins)
are cinnabar ground to a paste; another paste
of lapis lazuli for those medieval skies;
and for flowering meadows or a lady's long braids
and yellow arsenic orpiment
 whose grinding felled the illuminator's
boy assistants like flies, or like kermes, insects

whose  pregnant bodies gave pigment;  and the goose
who supplied quills, the horse its hair, and flax
the fine strong thread that held the folded skins
into a private book stamped with gold for a king.


I try very hard, but it may be I just  don't have the prerequisites.

about the great poets of our day

I have read the great poets
of the day
and it seems that
to achieve such greatness
one must live in a place with cool summers,
snowy winters, sandy beaches, full moons thirty-one days a month,
a derelict past and at  least  five dogs ad four
cats - wait, not cats, that's  Facebook  where you have to have cats,
not  poetry, and your dogs should be large, with long ears,
mournful  brown eyes and intense affection
for your presence...

I guess that's not much of a positive outlook
for me among the great poets of our day
since to make do with none of the elements
and only one dog

but she is truly a wonderful dog,
worthy of any five
of the great poets' dogs,
and, as such
maybe all I need to achieve the lower levels
of the pantheon of the maybe someday when pigs fly
great poets of our day


An ironic observational from Santa Fe from about this time last year.

damn lefties

old man
with shorts, an old-man shirt,
and sandals, gnarly toes
exposed to the fresh mountain air...

small bistro,
sandwiches and coffee and wine,
for those who imbibe,
corner  of  Old Santa Fe Trail
and something else,
across from one  of the churches,
two blocks from the plaza...

on the patio with Dee and Bella
under a yellow umbrella,
enjoying a sandwich and the sun and the air
and just about every other damn thing
within sight, smell or hearing...

old man with knobby
knees and gnarly toes, stops
by our table to chat...

I'm from Fort Worth,
he says,  come here four or five times a year

I'd move here, he said, but if I did
I'd have to go to Fort Worth
on vacation...

no fun in that, he said,
and having been to Fort Worth,
I laugh...

really like this place,
he said,
but there's too damn many lefties...

and he moves  to another table...

I'm from Fort Worth, he  says,
and so on, ending
with the observation regarding excessive

and so on...

watching him, I think what perfect example
he is of the successes of leftie
walking around in his shorts and old-man shirt,
and sandals and knobby knees and ugly toes,
in his eighties,I think, taking four or five vacations a year,
forgetting, it seems, as so many do,
where his social security and medicare came from...

damn lefties...


A bit of geographic fact and fantasy.

the great way, sea to sea

still dark,
traffic on the interstate
two racing strands of white diamonds,
one going north and west, to El Paso and
several states later, the vast Pacific
washing clean the sands of California beaches,
the other string headed south through downtown,
then, past downtown, east to Houston, eventually past
the alligators and snapping turtles afloat in Louisiana bayous,past
the golden quarters of New Orleans, to the white  beaches
and emerald Atlantic waters of Florida, Jacksonville,
where this road ends and the beginning of another, both ends
beginning/ending thousands of miles apart,at lapping waves
of great water while I, here in the middle of that great reach,  stay dry
on the shell-strewn bed of ancient seas, understanding this morning that all here
and all around in every direction was in a past unfathomable long ago, the great sea
of everything and every where, our mother the sea who bore us,  nurtured us,
then left us, high and dry until her coming rebirth...


welcome our mother
as she, again, laps at our feet

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 to me

As always, I am 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, Oyster, Flipkart, Ciando and Kobo (and, through Kobo,  brick and mortar retail booksellers all across America and abroad)

New Days & New Ways

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