A Morning Drive in Early Spring   Wednesday, September 02, 2015





Nothing  different this week.

Photos from a drive east of San Antonio on a morning in early April,  2010.

New poems new from  last week.

A selection of poems from my second eBook, Goes Around Comes Around, a collection of 85 poems from the 365 daily poems I wrote that year.



Available, need I say, wherever eBooks are sold.


Here are them that done it this week:


Me
1948 (from Time and the Tide)

Me
quantum effects of poetry

Joy Harjo
The Place the Musician  Became a Bear
The Other Side of Yellow to Blue    

Me
curing my OCD

Me
somewhere out there

Martin Espada
genuflection in right field     

Me
1950 (from Time and the Tide

Me
habits of mercy

Czeslaw Milosz
Earth

Me
not as easy as I expected

Me
admiring the dark

Ann Coray
Eight Songs

Me
2020 (from Time and the Tide conclusion)  

Me
the liberal godless socialist media will never tell  you this, but...

April Bernard
Psalm of the Disarranged

Me
all of us

Me
notes from the slower regions of the universe    

Brendan Constantine
The Wildflowers
Apocrypha

Me
I beg  to disagree

Me
poets on every street corner

John Oughton
Cat  Ending  

Me
thinking of the death of a man I knew      


All this and more at


 






Continuing  this week with Time and the Tide, a series still in progress when  this was written last week.













1948


Channel 13 in New York (PBS) begins...
First Supermarket opens in the United Kingdom...
First country music TV show, "Midwestern Hayride," premieres...
"Treasure of Sierra Madre" opens...
First tape recorder sold...
Mahatma Gandhi assassinated... 
Mao's army occupies Yenan...
First newsreel telecast shown on NBC...
Communist Party takes control of Czechoslovakia...
Supreme Court rules that religions instruction in public schools is unconstitutional...
Congress passes Marshall Aid Act...
 Senator Glenn Taylor of Idaho  arrested in Alabama for trying to enter  a meeting through a door marked "for Negros"...
Israel declares independence from British...
Egypt, Lebanon, Syria,Iraq, and Saudi  Arabia troops  attack Israel...
Milton Berle Show premieres...
Babe Ruth's final farewell at Yankee Stadium  three days before he dies...
USSR begins Berlin Blockade; U.S./British airlift begins...
Ed Sullivan premieres on TV...
Truman elected on his own in an upset...
T.S. Eliot wins Nobel  Prize for Literature...
Hopalong Cassidy and "Kukla,Fran & Ollie" debut on TV...


----------



peace
and prosperity

soldiers home from wars
take wives
have children
go  to college and buy little houses
where a new middle class
is born

there are shadows
but always there are shadows

but soon everybody
will have a TV
and a new culture
a new language as old accents
are shed
north south  east west
regions meld
into 
peace and prosperity and

shadows?

only the black and white
shadows
of television
of
Uncle Miltie
of Hopalong or
Gorgeous George
and Wild Red Berry disturb
the night

and any who don't have the shadows
want them
Sears
Monkey Ward
low down, easy payments
too...


----------


Sid lost his job  when the soldiers came home, but found another one right  away. Gets  paid every week, cashes his check at the supermarket and takes all but his small  weekly allowance home to Mona who makes sure there are groceries in the cupboard for the four, yes, the four, of them to eat.

With little Annie, just a year, at her side, Mona works at home,bakes cakes, makes corsages out of old silk hose for high school dances. Helps all she can.

Spud is fourteen, still not a bad kid, but stubborn and reckless and impulsive. Teachers do not like his way or his inattention  or his sass. He fails at everything but football.

Money so tight, but still  Mona agrees to a hard decision - a private school in another class where, sponsored by their church, Spud can go. It is a place of discipline  and accountability. Sid believes that is all his son needs and Spud, who still see his hero in his adopted father, agrees to go.

Mona weeps as she  sews name tags on his clothes and packs a large trunk for  him. Sid takes a day off  from work so  they can all go to the school together, so that the boy doesn't have to get off a bus  alone, so that this separation,  their first, is done together.

It seems such an empty house that Sid and Mona return to, silence a presence of laughter missing. Annie  cried for her brother as Mona cries for her. Sid sits quietly in his chair mourning the responsibility of  fatherhood.












Here's my first poem this week from my second eBook, Goes Around Comes Around.













quantum  effects of poetry

dark outside

lights inside
reflect  back  inside
by the windows

I watch
myself chew -
the reflection of myself
chewing
because the dark is outside
and the light is inside
turning the windows into
mirrors

one  biscuit in the mirror,
gravy on the side
& coffee, lots
of coffee
which I do not
chew
because I do not chew
coffee and because
watching myself
chew
puts me off chewing
all together...

I watch myself
write a poem, or
more correctly, I
watch myself
search
for the first line
which
I will watch myself
write
when I find he line
that will lead to a poem
I will watch myself write...

all this has to happen
before the sun
comes up, changing
the window from a mirror
to a window looking out
instead in so that
I would have to go
outside
to watch myself write
a poem
and since that is
impossible
it not being possible
to be in two places
at once,  except
maybe not, since
experiments
testing quantum theory
have in fact placed
a molecule
in two places at once
but only for a couple
of seconds which is
not enough time for me
to write a poem though
it would give me enough
time to watch me
write a poem if I could
write a poem in just
a couple of seconds

this makes my
head hurt







I stopped by the used book  store last week and added two books to my library. This is one of them, The Woman Who Fell From the Sky by Joy Harjo. The book was published by W.W. Norton in 1994.

Born in 1951, Harjo, a Mvskoke poet, musician and author, is frequently cited as a major force in the second wave of the Native American Renaissance of the late 20th century.

A jazz musician (saxophone) among other things, these two poems are dedicated to two of her jazz heroes.





Harjo includes a long note with the first poem, describing her first meeting with Pepper in Brooklyn and how she felt a solidarity with him, also a saxophonist and also a Native American. Of Muskogee (more commonly known as Creek) and Kaw heritage, she admired how Pepper brought the tribal music of his youth into his jazz.


The Place the Musician Became a Bear
                                                 for Jim Pepper

I think of the lush stillness of the end of a world, sung into place by
singers and the rattle of turtles in the dark morning.

When embers from the sacred middle are climbing out the other
side of stars.

When  the moon has stomp-danced with us from one horizon to the
next, such a soft awakening.

Our souls imitate lights in the Milky Way. We've  always known
where to go to become ourselves again in  the human comedy.

It's the how that baffles. A  saxophone can complicate things.

You knew this, as do all musicians when the walk becomes a necessary
dance to fuel the fool heart.

Or the single complicated human becomes a wave of humanness and
forgets to be ashamed  of making wrong  step.

I'm talking about an early morning in Brooklyn,  the streets the color
of ashes, do you  see the connection?

It's not as if the stars  forsake  us. We forget about them. Or remake
the pattern in a field of white crystal or of some  other tricky fare.

We  never mistook ourselves for anything but human.

The wings of the Milky Way lead back to the singers. And there's
the saxophone again.

It's about rearranging the song to include the subway hiss under
your feet in Brooklyn.

And the laugh of a bear who thought he was a human.

As he plays the tune again, the one about the wobble of the earth
spinning so damned hard it hurts.


Harjo also notes in connection to the second poem that the tune "Contemplation" lived with her for years and that her poem is in praise of its creator-musicians McCoy Tyner and his band, Joe Henderson, Ron Carter and Elvin Jones.


The Other Side of Yellow to  Blue

We cannot escape reckoning. We follow the yellow tracks, leading us
to the trickster who dives into earth and emerges in the music,
draped with afterbirth.

I don't ever want to lose the beauty of a horn, piano, bass following
the beat through impossible rooms of the bruised who try again for
sweet perfection.

The sky is the most obvious direction for the saints. The rest of us enter
the back door, by way of taverns, lust or the smoke of something
religious.

Take yellow for instance as a drug. Something has to lead us to
winter.

The trickster in all of us thinks we can fool the judge, a tree bereft
of yellow  who has no tears for the weary.

There's nothing we can do about it, except praise the ascent of yellow
obsessed with blue.

Or sing of the miracle of  destruction, like the four musicians spit out
by lions whose bodies turned to yellow stones.











I wrote this last  week, a little break from Sid and Mona.













curing my OCD

a little OCD
in my make up, I'm bothered
by things out of order,  things
left only partly done...

but I also have a a little
lackadaisical
mixed with the obsessions,
meaning I'm not bothered enough by them
to do  anything about it

and easily distracted, too,
as I was distracted  while thinking about this
at a traffic light, noticing the young woman at the corner
waiting to cross, probably, I think,
on her way to the community college down the street,
a pretty girl, a short
Latina with long dark hair
and a short dress and a small backpack
with a yellow sunflower and multi-hued butterfly,
and orderly lines and unfinished business
were pushed to the back seat
of my brain, as the feeling part takes over, enjoying
the pretty girl with the beautiful backpack,
fresh air breathing on this bright
new day












Another piece from my second eBook, Goes Around Comes Around, poems from 2010 published in 2011.













somewhere out there

this is serious business

somewhere
out there
interstellar star systems
are colliding

somewhere
out there
an alien race
of whoozidoozits
is going extinct as their
methane atmosphere
is slowly replaced
by megaterlagon oxygen farts

somewhere
out there
a spaceship full of
Baptists
is approaching
the water-planet
Abosion XII
for full immersion
baptism

somewhere
out there
Pat Boone is thinking about
a comeback tour

somewhere
out there
a Republican
is suffering from delusions
of competency

somewhere
out there
a bunch of foreigners who don't
even speak English
are bouncing balls off their heads
and calling it
football...

I mean
this is no damn time
for jokes
and silly faces








The other book I added to my library last week is A Mayan Astronomer in Hell's Kitchen by Martin Espada. This is my third collection by Espada. The book was published by W.W. Norton in 2000.

Born in 1957 in Brooklyn, Espada was educated at the University of Wisconsin,  Madison and at Northwestern University School of Law. He teaches at the University of Massachusetts.







Genuflection in Right Field

We  played hardball
in a triangle of grass by the highway ramp.
The outfield was dangerous:
the ball hopping off the roof of a car,
driver leaning big-fisted from the window
like a furious newscaster
bursting through the television screen.
Once a boy we knew
from the neighborhood
circled us, whirling a chain overhead.
We left him sobbing in the grass
after the chain slapped his knees.

One afternoon, we found a pit in the right field.
A dog curled dead at the bottom,
fur charred in clumps, a stake jammed
in the split eye socket.We told each other
we had seen this before: the human corpse
bleeding though white plastic garbage bags
and dumped on a hill not far away.
We swore we heard the body moan
and named the place Dead Man's Hill,
police tape holding us back
like the red velvet rope of a museum.

But the dog  was here. We took our positions
with the ceremonial pounding of fist in glove.
The smart hitters poked the ball into right field,
knowing that not one of us could chase it
without pausing at the grave
to glimpse the snarl of a purified snout,
a fumbling genuflection, the wobbly throw,
the hooting of obscenities from the infield.











Here's another installment from the series Time and the  Tide.











1950

Now the world's second nuclear power, the Soviet Union flexes its muscle...
Ho Chi Minh begins offensive against French troops  in Indo China...
Britain recognizes Communist  government of China...
The Great Brinks Robbery makes off with nearly three million in cash and securities...
First TV broadcast of "What's My Line"...
Senator  McCarthy charges 205 communists are in the State Department...
Walt Disney releases  "Cinderella"...
Dylan Thomas arrives in New York for his first U.S. poetry reading tour...
Sid Caesar and Imogene Coca  premier  "Your Show of Shows"...
First woman officer assigned to U.S. naval vessel...
Silly Putty invented...
Bob Hope's first TV appearance...
"Peter Pan" premieres...
Dutch police seize condoms...
North Korea invades South  Korea, captures Seoul, Truman orders American  Air Force and Navy into the conflict...
U.S. and North Korea forces clash for the first time...
The Law of Return guarantees all Jews the right to live in Israel...
"Sunset Boulevard" premiers...
U.S. gives military aide to anti-communist in South Vietnam...
Earthquake in India kills 20,000 to 30,000...
Beetle Bailey debuts...
South Korean troops enter North Korea...
Charlie Brown debuts in "Peanuts" precursor...
U.S. forces invade North Korea, occupy Pyongyang,  capital of North Korea, approach Chinese border and China responds with massive counter-attack into Korea...
Puerto Rican nationalists attempt to assassinate Truman...
William Faulkner wins Nobel Prize for Literature...  
Eisenhower takes command of NATO...


----------


not a war
for  us at first,
plenty war
for those dying
cities falling
and more people
dying 
on both sides

a line on a map

thousands of lines 
on thousands of maps

a time of redrawing lines
making obsolete
maps
of failing empires

another war starts
as relics of French empire totter

this one starts also
without us, barely noticed
by us, but a tar baby war
that inexorably draws us,  three generations
of little tar baby wars
pend
stealthy
growing like the tiger cut
that grows its claws and its fangs
and is nobody's baby
any more

and the big one, the lats one,  the-end-of-all-wars,
the end-of-the-world that
keeps us awake at night,
the bomb-shelter big one, the duck-and-cover
big one, Armageddon passed
like a low hand at poker, too terrible
for anyone to win with it
so
all
bluff and  pass


----------


Spud is 16, going on17, back at regular school, impulsiveness contained,mischief restrained, unhappy, seeking an outlet. He lies,  enlists.

It's his war and he doesn't  want to miss it  like his dad missed his.

It is done.

Annie cries as he  leaves. Mona cries as he leaves. Sid does not approve, will not acknowledge his  departure, will not shake his hand.

Nevertheless, he is in the army now, and off to fight his  war.













Again from Goes Around Comes Around.














habits of mercy

I was thinking this
morning
about  what I want to  do
for the rest of my
life

and decided
it's the same thing
I want to do
for the rest of my
day...

kiss
my wife at least  once or twice

eat
some good food

write
some good poems

sleep
a nice nap

communicate
with my better nature

& forgive myself
for all recent sins, known, as well as
secret, even to me

easier for some
than for
others,  those

with no true love
to kiss

no food  to
eat

no  bed to sleep
in

no poetry
in their soul

those
with no key
to unlock the door to self, their
true self as unknown to them as
a stranger passing dark
on the street

and most difficult of all for
those who can't find withing
themselves
forgiveness of themselves

poor
miserable
ego-obsessed creatures that we are,
sinners almost from out first thoughts,
if we cannot forgive ourselves
how will we ever learn to forgive
others

and if we cannot forgive others
how can we ever live
in this world
that needs cleansed hearts
as much as it needs clean air and water

habits of mercy
are what will save the world;
human sins
forgiven
by human sinners










Next from my library, Czeslaw Milosz, from the collections, Selected Poems  1931-2004, published by Harper Collins in 2006.

Milosz, Polish poet, translator, prose writer, diplomat and winner of the 1980 Nobel  Prize in Literature was born in 1911and died in 2004.











Earth

My sweet European homeland,

A butterfly lighting on your flowers stains its wings with blood,
Blood gathers  in the mouths of tulips,
Shines, star-like, inside a morning glory
And washes the grains of wheat.

Your people warm their hands
At the funeral candle of a primrose
And hear on the fields the wind howling
In the cannons ready to be fired.

You are a land where it's no shame to suffer
For one is served here a glass of bitter liquor
With lees, the poison of centuries.

On your broken evening of wet leaves
By the waters that carry the rust
Of centurions' sunken armor,
At the foot of blasted towers,
In the shadow of their spans like aqueducts,
Under the quiet canopy of an owl's wings,

A red poppy, touched by the ice of tears.

Washington D.C. 1949











And here's another break from Sid and Mona.










not as easy as I expected

I had the naive thought
that life would grow more simple
as I grew older, that life as an elder
would be long days and nights
of sunshine and peaceful thoughts,
passing on the wisdom of my years
to young and eager disciples,
until one day I would be out standing
in the Elysian fields of my twilight years
and Angels Bob and Carl and maybe Anita
would swoop down
and say, "Yo,  it's time" and bear me off
to my eternal  reward

well...

instead,
I discovered there ain't nothing simple
about getting old, creaks and groans
and doctors and pretty girls who pat me
on my balding head  and say, sweetly,
oh, what a cute grandpa you are, and
everything changing every other day
and getting more complicated with every
change and I don't even understand
the old way off doing stuff from  day
before last and here it is different
again...

Bumblestillskin, I am, no, not that one,
not the one with the long-haired blond,
but his aged cousin tottering
hairless through  forgotten fairy tales,
the hero before hero no more,
that's me, dazed and confused, nothing
nearly as easy as I expected it
to be...













From Goes Around Comes Around.













admiring the dark

the dark is
staying dark
longer every night

as July
heads for the back door
and August

impatiently
taps its fiery feet
out front waiting...

I enjoy
the dark in the morning,
eating breakfast

by the big windows,
looking out to the dark
of night waning

watching
the new day gathering
in the east

just a hint,
a bare little shadow of light
remembered

almost lost in the ambient glow
of clouds softly-lit
from below

by the city's night
illuminating,
clouds always glowing

from below
in a city of a million and a half  people
fearful of the dark -

porch lights
lit all night, motion lights
flashing  bright

with every rustle of leaves
by the wind,
every twitter of a bird -

street lights,
security lights, night lights
that let us sleep

in semi-dark, certain
that whatever evil lurks
outside the luminance we wrap

around our sleeping body
will be as frightened
by the light as we are by the dark

and will stay
away - it is the way
we have lived the dark

since
fire-tenders
maintained the flames

that kept us safe at night
from the earliest history
of our kind...

meanwhile,
sitting in my well-lit  cafe
typing in the glow of  computer electrons,

I admire the beauty of the night
while looking past the dark
to each pool of light around me

calculating the distance between pools,
clocking
how quickly I could race the dark

from one bright pool to the next
if I had
to












Alaskan Anne Coray is the next poet from my library. The poem is taken from her first book, Bone Strings, published by  Scarlet Tanager Books in 2005.











Eight Songs

Steam fog  on the lake,
a five-knot wind -
the clouds shift,
one haunch to another.

*

All month
the wet breath thickens:
too much blindness,
too many dogs.

*

Obscurity has a certain
sexuality. Reaching for it,
one parts
and both are  lost.

*

Ground is figure, figure ground.
We hum, but the melody
makes no contour
of the song.

*

North and west
have gone out walking,
hand in hand,
far from the coast.

*

Ah, you women with your plans!
You forget that dreams
are boredom.

*

Ah, men!
You would blame everything
on weather.

*

White recesses,
white doors.
Come back - go,
Come back - follow.








Here's the  last of Sid and Mona.

The idea at the beginning was to contrast the ongoing events of a very active and terrible slice of history with the lives of everyday people. The problem is that after 12 installments, the history remains terrible but the lives of every day remain just that, everyday. Sid and Mona deserve a novel by a great writer who can find the greatness of their every day life.That's not me.

Deciding that, I  concluded that it was time to end the series, which I have done with this final installment, about as definitively as I could imagine. Driving a stake through it's heart in effect.




2020

President Trump resign; celebrates the U.S. rapprochement with Russia with the official opening of his new  casino  on the Volga - The Trump-Putin Towers...
Vice  President Kardashian takes the oath of office as the new President of the United States...
The end of history, as prophesied 40 years previous, finally arrives...


----------



history
becomes the fool
the court jester in a pork pie hat 
with fluff-ball bells on strings 
that bob and bounce
with every faltering step,
the Ministry of Silly Walks sets the pace
as reason limps to the sidelines,
"take me out, coach," the hero pleads,
"take me out..."

space aliens, tinfoil hats
and pyramids beneath your bed,
the force be gone
and already forgotten...


-----------


My name is Spud,or, used  to be,  but nobody's  called  me that for  years.

The fellas down  at the VFW call  me Colonel, my rank after Khe Sanh,  the rank I kept for the next 20 years. A wise-ass who was right too often, a career-killer in Uncle's army. Sid was right way back, when he told me I didn't have the discipline to be a soldier.

But I did all  right, fought my wars well, got my ribbons, got my medals, just never got the rank I deserved.

Sid,  well he finally forgave me for joining up without talking to him, then got mad again when I re-enlisted for Vietnam. He's dead now, a long time ago, a car wreck on his way to work. That same damned old job, never  got  the  promotions he deserved, never the pay raises he deserved, years of watching lesser men take the rewards he earned.

Like father like son,, I guess, wise-asses both of us.

Mona died about ten years ago, in a home, alone, I'm afraid. I was in Europe,  then Asia,  then the  Mid-East for all the sand wars and just never paid attention. Annie was in California, another  never-to-be movie star serving eggs and burgers at Denny's. She never paid much attention either. Neither of us, I guess, came to much good as children.

At least neither of us made the mistake of  trying to be parents.

It's a helluva world and a helluva country. I  figure I'd be fighting another war soon  if I wasn't   so old. Too bad for all the young fellas and girls who'll soon be starting their own string of wars to  fight.

What can I tell you, an old soldier playing dominoes and drinking beer at the VFW. It's a helluva world.













From Goes Around Comes Around.













the liberal godless socialist media will never tell you this, but...

Barack Obama was born in a hospital
and has five toes
on each
foot

Nancy Pelosi
brushes her teeth  with
Pepsodent

Harry Reid
grew up in a Nevada desert
with sand
in his underpants

Hilary Clinton
was a Presbyterian
in her youth and while
in the White House
was very closed to a number of
self-confessed
thespians

many Democrats
are white men who  can't
dance

many other Democrats
are black people in possession of natural
rhythm
and great recipes for sweet-potato pie

some Democrat women
wear  underpants and some
do not - unlike Harry Reid, none
who wear underpants have sand
in them

Ted Kennedy was
mortal - unlike Ronald
Reagan who will live forever
in the right-thinking minds of our
viewers
who know that we, here at the
Squirrel Network,
report all the news,  including
the important secret stuff
the regular,
liberal
godless
socialist media
will never let you
know








Next from my library, April Bernard, from her book Psalms, published by W.W. Norton in 1993.

Born  in 1960, Bernard grew up in New England and graduated from Harvard University. She worked as Senior Editor at Vanity Fair, Premiere, and Manhattan Inc. before teaching at Amherst College beginning in 1990. Her first book of poems, Blackbird Bye Bye, won the Walt  Whitman  Award of the Academy of America Poets.







Psalm of the Disarranged

Low at  the ground, swiping the machete,  then
the match, the low  yellow water of fire  eddying
through grey stalks, hissing white, then the stalks go black

They said it was right only in supplication
but they were mistaken; white smoke gathers
around my waist like a scarf; blue fire edges shin and knees
Voluptuaries of the burning in the field and smolder,  wicks

Prefer the cool shadow of acacia through clouded glass,
the cool and haughty toss of green leaves before the storm?
The relief of a cool hand: hold it smooth to my throat;
we are wondering  at the silver light in  which we shimmer

Fact is, we do not know
We do not know the fire that might  as well be water -
It does not rid the  plain of forms
but fills it, everywhere, with tall, tall trees of fire.













This also new from last week.











all  of us

I stand in my backyard
at midnight
and salute the moon,
almost full,
just a little dusty haze
on one edge,
this beautiful, bright moon
shining on me, shining too
on the very young mother
I saw pushing a baby
in a stroller, a little girl at her
side, crossing a vacant parking lot,
dust and paper blowing across
the asphalt, carrying a bag
of groceries under one arm, pushing
the stroller with her  other hand,
the little girl in a pink dress clutching
a second bag, a smaller bag, tight
to her chest, her job to help, helping;
and another little girl, 4 years old,
first week of school in her tan uniform,
having breakfast with her great-grandma,
"her parents," says great-grandmother,
"they don't know what they're missing;"
and another child, a small boy,
also walking to school, waiting
at a crosswalk for the light to change,
book in one hand, a yellow cat
hung like a soft cloth over his arm -
the moon shines on them, all of them, as
it shines on me, brightening their
dark as it brightens mine

and the same moon shine, too.
on the very old woman who
comes to breakfast every morning,
toast and  coffee and a book
she studies, a bible, pages worn,
cover slick with age; and the beggar
on the corner, a young man with his
cardboard sign, a professional
at the begging game, alternates corners
with another beggar, a partner, scrawny,
dirty, grime very professionally applied, does
the sign of the cross as cars pass;
and the young girl  who  sings at the
music school,her voice so clear and pure
like dew on a full-open rose, honey smooth,
her trills like droplets of fresh-fallen
rain dripping from the bright petal
of her  lips; and the two  cops,laden
with equipment  that drags down their belts
as they talk of ordinary things; and the other
men, the group of four, was five,  one dead
last week, breakfast every morning,
two old men and a rough-hewn woman
and a young man, such a strange
young man to be with these old me,
starched khakis on razor sharp legs, shirt
pressed sheet metal flat, a cell phone
in a holster on his belt and a pocket
protector and three pens in his
shirt pocket; the moon shines for them,
too, and for the old man without teeth who sits
in the back and chews like a cement mixer
turning...

all these  people, the moon glows
for them, crosses the sky at night
for them, just as it does for me,
all of us, strangers in the night, yet
brothers and sisters under  the moon,
all of us in the soft focused light
of princess moon, bathing us in the reflected
light of  queen mother sun...

all of us, none of us alone under the sky,
ever...












Look, another from Goes Around Comes Around.














notes from slower regions of the universe

the first time
we made love
I  carried you like

a leaf on the tide
to my bed

----------

Sunday afternoon 
in the  apartment on Santa Fe 

lying in bed,
watching it rain
through a damp
window screen

watching the rain
in soft  sheets
advance
across the gray waters
of the bay

-----------

the house
on G Street

open ceiling

rain on the roof pattering

banana plant by the window
weaving
green patterns
in the wind

like sleeping dry
in the rain

----------

the first night home
from the agency

crib at the foot
of our bed

we sleep lightly

listen in our sleep
for his
breathing

----------

we  slip into sleep
flesh to flesh,
spooned
skin on soft skin

my rough hands cupping
your small breasts

---------

I
sleep
my leg between yours,
your arm across my chest

the fire banked
the embers still glow









Next, two poems from my library by Brendan Constantine. The poems are from his book, Letters to Guns, published by Red Hens Press in  2009.

Constantine has had his work in a number of poetry and literary journals. He also has work commissioned by the Getty Museum and has received grants from the National Endowment of the Arts. He is poet in residence at  Windward school and is an adjunct professor at Antioch University.









The Wildflowers

Last  night my love brought me wildflowers
and as we lay together in the early dark
I heard the leave the vase, and move
around the house. When I woke, my love
was gone,
                      the flowers watched me walk
from room to room. They followed me
with a wet-dry sweep and shuffle that was
something like my own breath, never close
never within reach.
                                 I couldn't get near them,
they curled if I faced them or turned out
they clear barbs to warn me off
                                                   Now
they are drinking at the sink. The light
begins to rust on the sill and I know,
as I watch them push each other
out of the stream, they are preparing
for a night's second ceremony, the hunt.


Apocrypha

       Poem to be read in private

Once, before guns,
                              a jobless assassin walked
through the marketplace with his hands
in  his unlikely pockets, letting his  eyes
linger only on red things: meat, blankets,
a monkey.

                                He'd had no work
for a season, could see none coming -
no drought, no election, not even a wedding
anniversary - not one symptom within
his cure.

                                At the end of the square
he turned and sought the oldest merchant.
Whispering in the man's dry ear, he said
You were right about him all along.
Look for me tomorrow.











From last week.










I beg to disagree

a fresh, cool breeze
early this morning, small scent
of autumn coming...

but summer will return
at 10, stomp in sweaty boots
over those little namby-pamby
autumn breezes...

not time for you yet, growls
surly summer, bully
of the seasons...

I beg to disagree










Not to be too redundant, but it's Goes Around Comes Around again.

Here's what I learned this week - Goes Around Comes Around is a damn good book of poetry.












poets on every street corner

I was going
to write a poem

about what I would do
if I could run the world

but
sitting here now

I realize
I  don't know  what  to do

either

except
I'd like to see rain

every Thursday
and sunshine and blue skies

the  rest of the week
except

in the winter
when there should be snow

and blue skies
and children skating

on iced-over ponds
and cows in the fields

blowing clouds
through their  noses

and palm trees on beaches
for those who  don't  like

shade
and big waves for the surfers

and clear clean streams
slow moving

between tall green trees
for us who prefer to float

and people learning to shake off
bad times

like dogs shaking off  wet
a big shake

beginning with flapping ears
passing on down to  big

shimmy shakes
of their rear

butts like a Mixmaster
in overdrive

and no icky things
in dark corners

no snakes
and no spiders and no

poison lizards
or  animals who like to eat

people

and no fatherless children
or old people

rotting in isolation
and inattention

and no one dying
of diseases they couldn't afford to

cure
and no backaches or migraines

or rashes
in hide-away places

and no people who eat too much
or people who never get to eat

as much as they need
and no  drunkards or drug addicts

or gangsters
who shoot children from their cars

and no priests, preachers, ayatollahs,
rabbis or other parasites on the human  soul

instead
poets on every street corner

proclaiming truth and love and silly songs
for all who  will listen

and people who will listen to all the poets
on all the street corners

and return their love
and maybe throw money

and this last should be
at the top of my list, not

way down here at the
bottom










The last piece from my library this week is by John Oughton. It is a tender piece, familiar to many who have experiences the same as his.

The poem is from his book Counting Out the Millennium, published by Pecan Grove Press in 1996.












Cat Ending
     (in memory of Zach)

you never asked much:
shyly slipping in our door one day
a small cloud of grey
extra front toes your gift

when I was  sick
you lay in bed with me and dispensed
healing purrs
when my wife went into labor
you laid one gray paw on her
belly and kept vigil
for our baby
and then you played pillow and toy
and best friend to her

when the death virus slid into your veins
like a vicious stray along a moonless  fence
you stayed yourself until you were ready
and then you simply stopped
eating, drinking, playing

you knew it was time to go to your next house
so you curled up in a basement box
asking nothing, protesting not at all
you died with your eyes open

I hope I can meet my own death
with the acceptance and release
you gave us











Here's my last new poem for the week.











thinking of  the death of a man I knew

not a friend
but we were friendly

that's the  kind of relationship
I preferred
with people who worked for me

friendly,
in the way of how's the wife
and the kids
and isn't it a great day
and how 'bout them
cowboys

never anything deeper that might
complicate the
relationship...

-----

he died a couple of days ago,
a couple of years older than me

(I had always thought of him
as younger, an artifact of the relationship
I suppose)

the news of his death
was  a shock to me, he being
part of a cadre from a time in my life
which, as I think back, seems only yesterday,
and who thinks of people dead who were  just seen
yesterday

and thought my memories of the time seem so fresh,
it has been, in fact, nearly twenty-five years,
and it being so long and John being  now dead,
my thought is to wonder how many more
of my memories' immortals now must also be
dead

and that brings me to all the other people
from even longer ago who must also be dead
and it seems that my memory of all of them,
so clear, so sharp, is now beginning to crumble
around me...

our lives a collection of memories, and now
those memories fall to pieces in the face of  reality
and if memories are our life, how much longer
before my life is a trail of blank space
where people used to be, people I recall as real
as if they are standing here and now before me...

should I be saying good bye
or is it already too
late












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)



´╗┐Poetry
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






Fiction


Sonyador - The Dreamer








                                                                  Peace in our Time















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