The Folly of Filigreed Frisbees   Wednesday, January 13, 2016






Another mush-mash of, I hope, interesting photos this week and poems mostly from my library, along with a few of my mostly old poems. (3,000 plus mostly consecutive days of poetry and slumps are inevitable. And, slumping a bit now with daily work that doesn't excite me, a return to olden days poetry seems to be in order.)


Me
the far-reaching consequence to civilization and an individual psyche of WIFI failure

Talvikki Ansel
Fishing

Langston Hughes
Seascape
Sailor
Passing Love

Me
one true thing

Robert Pinsky
Rhyme

Tim Kimmel
Downtown

Me
on the cover of Time magazine

Gerard Manley Hopkins
Brinsey Poplars   

Cyra Sweet Dumitru
The Man Who Became a Window

Me
a conversation with Bob Marley

Ted Walter
The South Downs

Richard Poole
Below Cym Bychan

Assef Al-Jundi
Negotiations
Situation
Exit
The Nigh the Arab Came Out 

Me
we pause our  regular programming for a moment of editorial reflection

Leonard Cohen
Laughter in the Pantheon
A Magic Cure
Backyard

George Oppen
Alpine

Me
thinking of resurrection

Francisco X. Alarcon
Mestizo
Rescue
Tonalamati/Spirit Book
Songs

Mary Oliver
The Old Whorehouse

Linda Pastan
At Home

Me
I have no good word for crocodiles
sin before sunrise
songs of the furthermost seas

Allen Itz
                slipping away               

Me
        flapjack ruminations            












This is one of those old  ones that I  recall as  being fun to write.














the far-reaching consequence to  civilization and an individual  psyche of WIFI failure

WIFI
down

a hitch in the morning
& universal 
order
cru
m
bles

&
i am
brute savage
again-crashing
through the green dripping
jungle
blindly unaware
of the snakes & spiders
& jungley
carnivores who desire to eat me
bloody raw &
pulsing 
warm

&
now
having writ this
& hav
ing
no
WIFI enable place
to put 
it
i
am feeling like
a tree
fallen the forest
with no
one
to  hear
and i must ask my
self-

did i  truly fall
or do i still 
stand
or there be
ing
no one
in the forest
to see me
am i but an imagined
tree-
a dream of a sleeping god
only
thinking i fell
only
thinking i stood tall
in a  forest
unseen
only thinking i
exist
when i am not
at all
at
all
a
t
a
l
l
tr
ee
at all








Another post with extra library poems - here's the first one. It's by Talvikki Ansel from her book My Shining Archipelago. The book was published by Yale University Press in 1997.

Born in 1962, Ansel graduated from Mount Hollyhock College and Indiana University and currently teaches at the University of Rhode Island. This was her first book.







Fishing

The beach rocks where he drops me off
     in the morning - and the lawn
and my bed, where I sleep after fishing
     all night. My chest
and stomach flat on the mattress,
     rise and fall, like a line
on the fathometer's spool of turning
     paper. My eyelids - I close
my eyes and see the red glow
     of the compass in the cabin.
When I wake, everything will be still:
     my boots at the door, the lawn
fresh with light, upright cedars,
     horizontal stretch of sea.

######

In the cabin we drink coffee, pale hands
     cupped around mugs, below us the net
tears into mud. When the winter
     flounder leave, the window panes
come into the bay. Their grey backs
     speckled with color, bodies
so thin  I can  see bones through
     skin. I  pick through them
with a nail on the end of a stick,
     save the largest, shovel the rest
back over the side. Some have been pressed
     against the mesh of the net, flesh
like a child's palm,  bruised and soft.

#####

I have tried many times to take
     this photograph: white door frame
view beyond: greet  strip of lawn,
     sea wall,clouds above breaker,
but I can never focus the inside
    and the outside, the kitchen
darkens and the cedars blur. Ink flushes
     onto my hands when I cut the squid
into squares, it comes clean in water.
     On days when I do not fish
I walk the island. In a sumac bush,
     a mockingbird flutters like a scrap
of torn curtain.

#####

When I was a child, they would bring up
     eels from the river by the house:
buckets full - they did not begin or end,
     twisting around themselves in a circle
continuous and winding; I still think
     some morning I will wake up
and everything will be clear to me:
     squares of light on the ceiling,
the wallpaper, the curtain of dotted
     swish, and I will say, "this
is my life." The knotted fringe stilled
     in the breeze.









Next from my library, Langston Hughes, poet, novelist, playwright, social activist and columnist. The poems are from the collection of his work, The Dreamkeeper and Other Poems published by Knopf in 1994.

Hughes, born in Joplin, Missouri in 1902, was a leader in the Harlem Renaissance and one of the earliest innovators of what was called at the time "jazz poetry." He died in 1967.











Seascape

Off the coast of  Ireland
As our ship passed by
We saw a line of  fishing ships
Etched against the sky.

Off the coast of England
As we rode the foam
We saw an Indian merchantman
Coming home.

                                                         Sailor

                                                         He sat upon the rolling deck
                                                         Half a world away from home,
                                                         And smoked a Capstan cigarette
                                                         And watched the blue waves tipped with foam.

                                                         He had a mermaid on his arm,
                                                         And an anchor on his breast
                                                         And tattooed on his back he had
                                                         A bluebird in a nest.


Passing Love

Because you are to me a song
I must not sing you over-long.

Because you are to me a prayer
I cannot say you everywhere.

Because you are to me a rose -
You will not stay when summer goes.











Here's another from the same period as the first.
















one true thing

growing up
in a bi-cultural milieu
I learned a lot of dirty words
that I never really knew
the literal meaning of

that's why
as  I've grown older
and more cautious, I've
restricted my cussing
to English

fairly certain
that when I call someone
a double-duped-willy-whacker
I know what I'm saying
and mean it

it is the way of many things
in modern life,
superficial knowledge hiding
greater ignorance
of the deeper truths of living

it is a truth, I think,
that truth has many levels,
and try as I might, it seems
I never get much past
the basement

and sometimes
despair
that I'll ever learn
the real
of anything

but I keep  trying,
part of what this exercise is about,
writing  day after day, thinking as I write,
hoping, someday, I'll reach
the mezzanine and know at least

one true thing











And now from my library, Robert Pinsky, from his book Gulf Music, published in 2007 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux.














Rhyme

Air an instrument of the tongue,
The tongue an instrument
Of the body, the body
An instrument of the spirit,
The spirit a being of the air.

A bird the medium of its song.
A song a world,, a containment
Like a hotel room, ready
For us guests who inherit
Our compartment of time there.

In the Cornell box, among
Ephemera as its element,
The preserved bird - a study
In spontaneous elegy, the parrot
Art, mortal in its cornered sphere.

the room a stanza rung
In a laddered filament
Clambered by all the unsteady
Chambered voices that share it,
Each reciting, I too was here -

In a room, a rhyme, a song.
In the box, in books: each element
An instrument of the body
Still straining to parrot
The  spirit, a being of air.










Tim Kimmel, the poet, is also a singer and songwriter whose compositions have been recorded by many popular singers, including Johnny Cash,Waylon Jennings, Linda Ronstadt, Joe Crocker and Randy Travis. They have also been featured in television series and movies. Born in 1953 in Memphis, Kimmel  graduated from the University of  Alabama in 1975.

This poem is from his book, The Sweetest and the Meanest,  published in 2006  by Point Clear Press. It was his first book of poems.










Downtown

I play the coffee shop
to  six people, three
of whom are working
the show and another
running a loud bender
in the back of the room.

Another audience member
was my opening act, and
after my set he follows me back
to the greenroom, a clutter box
in the back of the building
that is actually painted
a psychedelic shade of green.

"It's not you," he says.
"It's this town. It's pathetic.
Did you see the mess outside?
They're putting in sidewalks.
Why? I ask you. Nobody comes
down here anymore. I man
nobody. They put a cemetery
downtown just to get some
people down here. Hey I was at
my dad's shop the other day,
and he said, "This is ridiculous."
He said he'd only seen one car
down there all morning long.
I looked out and said, "Hey Dad!"
There's another car!" And
he  said, "No, Son, that's the
same car, backing up."










This, again, from years back. I'm sure many will remember the picture. But if you saw it, you remember it.
















on the cover of Time magazine

she's a pretty girl,
fifteen, no more than sixteen,
with deep brown eyes

and no nose,
cut off by the guardians
of morality -

the cost
to  some of becoming
an educated woman in this place...

I want to kill the people
who did this, and more, and
I don't care how we do it










The next poem is from an anthology Poetry for the Earth, subtitled "A collection of poems from around the world that celebrates nature," published by Fawcett Columbine in 1991.

The poet is Gerard Manley Hopkins, an English poet, Roman Catholic convert and Jesuit priest. Born in 1844, he died in 1889.










Brinsey Poplars
            felled 1879

My aspens dear, whose airy cages quelled,
Quelled or quenched in leaves the leaping sun.
All  felled, felled, are all felled;
    Of a fresh and following folded rank
                    Not spared,not one
                    That dandled a sandalled
            Shadow that  swam or sank
One meadow and river and wind-wandering,  weed-winding
     bank.

O if we knew what  we  do
            When we delve or hew -
    Hack and rack the growing green!
             Since country is so tender
To touch, her being so slender,
That, like this sleek and seeing ball
But a prick, will make  no eye at all,,
Where we, even where we mean
                  to mend her we end her.
               When we hew or delve:
After-comers cannot guess the beauty been.
    Ten or twelve, only ten or twelve
        Strokes of havoc unselve
                 The sweet especial scene,
         Rural scene a rural scene,
         Sweet especial rural scene.   









The next poem is from another anthology, Keeping Company, published by Pecan Grove Press in 1996.

The poem I selected is by Cyra Sweet Dumitru. Formerly a poet-in-the-schools, she was at the time of publication an independent medical writer. Her early years spent in Connecticut and Ohio, she lived in San Antonio beginning in 1980 where she earned her MA in English at the University of Texas at San Antonio. She is currently Professor of English at St. Mary's University in San Antonio.









The Man Who Became a Window

for Umehara-san, survivor of he Hiroshima bombing

He was near a window in his house when it exploded,
perhaps he was sweeping the floor.
Slivers of glass plunged into his skin

with the stingers of a thousand bees.
They lined his arms and back, jagged seams
trying to stitch the world together.

On that day, Umehara-san became a window:
able to look inside and out at the same time,
witness bombs spraying glass fine as dust,

peer  beneath his skin at his second
life growing a house without windows.
All things he glimpsed from the glass sought refuge.

His body quivered with jumbled images,
sunlight dripping from the clothesline,
a lantern lowering into the well.

It took years to pluck Umehara-san from his window.
Sliver by sliver his skin gave up the glass,
stopped bleeding, no longer rattled in the spring winds.

He could see  clearly. The moon was simply the moon
and not the stunned eye of a fish. His next
life  wrapped around him a sanctuary of emptiness.











I really wanted to use this in a book,  but was afraid the quotes from Marley's songs might get me in trouble. I'm sure "Here and Now" is obscure enough that there won't be a  problem.














a conversation with Bob  Marley

"If you know your history
then you would know where you coming from"
from Buffalo Soldiers

men so old
each year
is like another 
crack
in the leather
of a well-worn shoe -

nothing more...

they do not acknowledge
time
and time does not
reckon
with them

so they live on
and on

survivors...

blood  relics...

like
all
they will die
but it will not be in
my time


"stand up: stand up for your rights!
Get up, stand up: don't give up the fight!"
from Get Up: Stand Up

a bowl
of tomato soup,
saltine crackers
and a glass of water

the rights of man
they say,
do not  extend
to a bowl
of tomato soup,
saltine crackers,
and a glass of water

not
here
anyway,
not at this counter

not now,
not today...

no,
until today!


"They say what we know
is just what they teach us"
from Ambush in the Night

I know
I know
what my daddy
knew,
what his daddy 
knew,
and what his daddy's 
daddy knew

unto 
the 12th generation

and
that's all  I need
to know


"Sun is shining, the weather is sweet
make you want to move your dancing feet"
from The Sun is Shining

a baby
walking

walking now
on grass

a
baby
running

grass
tickling his feet

a baby
dancing


"Can't tell the woman from the man, no I say you can't 
cause they dressed in the same pollution
their mind is confused with confusion
with their problems since there's no  solution"
from Midnight Rovers

juvenile hall
1
a.m.

reality
of hot nights
and cold lights

strikes

then fades
away

forgotten

until 
next time


"We gonna chase those crazy
baldheads out of town"
from Baldheads

old men

old women

death grip
on life

true
to  long ago

long ago


"Misty morning, don't see no sun
I know you're out there somewhere having fun"
from Misty Morning

day's light
lost

sucked
into indefinite
swirling

we see
what we want 
to  see

we see
what we fear
to see

we see
ghosts of our
worst nights

indefinitely
swirling


"Lon time we no have nice time,
doo-yoo-dee-dun-doo-yea
Think about that"
 from  Nice Time
life 
is joy

leaping on
those
prepared to carry 
the load

prepare
yourself for joy
leaping

have a
nice time
while you can...

it's 
no deposit -
no return...

if you don't use it
someone else will








Next, two poets from another anthology, this one Earth Songs, sub-titled "A Resurgence anthology of contemporary Eco-poetry. The book was published by Green Books, Ltd. in 2002.



The first of the two poets is Ted Walter. An English poet and Eco-activist, Walter was born in 1933 and died in 2012.

I  really like this poem.













The South Downs

Long before names,  before we thought of naming,
seas roared through, dividing Sussex Downs
from what is France; carving  through millennia
of laid down life, this chalk,these flints, the land
we came to know as home. Long before that
the cosmos dreamed of consciousness, filled space
with elements that one day would lead to us.

Now every grain of soil, each artifact,
the air we  breathe, the sweep of shadowed grass,
directly links us with our common birth
and every crafted work, each photograph,
each stone we gather from a storm-washed beach,
points always back, reminds us of the time
it took to get here, step by step.





The second poet from the anthology is Richard Poole. I can't find a decent biography on the web and the book doesn't include any contributor information (I hate that),  but it appears from what I did find that Poole, is primarily a writer of  fantasy fiction, also with both biographies and poetry to his credit.











Below Cym Bychan

There was nothing to be said about
the sky or the clouds that drifted there;
the oaks were all that oaks should be:
sun splashed itself through foliage.

A stream ran on between rocks, clear,
bustling with the noise that water makes
            when it is free.
Trout slit the glass of a deeper pool;
a dragonfly skimmed its clarity;
a waterboatman sculled between stones.

Birds conversed among branches,  hidden
and children's cries rang in the trees
remotely, caught and held as it
in a green and greener dream of leaves.








Next several poems from another anthology, In These Latitudes - Ten Contemporary Poets, published by Wings Press in 2009.

The poet is Assef Al-Jundi, born in Syria and educated in the United States. Living in San Antonio at the time the anthology was published, Al-Jundi is a poet and and experimental photographic and digital artwork. At the time, his work was available on MySpace.










Negotiations

We don't see eye to eye.
Our arguments leave us stranded.
Exhausted. We swear never
to speak again.

Standing by the living room window,
morning sun parting tired eyelids with warm fingers,
we thank yesterday
for picking up its old shoes and leaving.

Perhaps this new day can help us make sense
of how we  walked through the door,
looked back and saw nothing but a mirror
on bare wall.


Situation

Despair or frustration?
Old question.
Logic of the world is a lovely moon.
Darwin could be father of the universe.
Imagine his surprise!


Exit

How does one walk into a room without depth?
Make himself comfortable on a blue line?

How can one talk to his silent shadow?
Escape the noisy footsteps of others?

 Pray
in one of your pockets hides a door.



The Night the Arab Came Out

              Masqat, Oman

Was it the gentle night air?
Spices and incense in the souq'a alleyways?
Jagged peaks ringing the Old City?

The Arab came out beaming.
Soul in shoes.

My grief is an indigo ocean.












Here's another from the same  period, which I think was about 2010 or so, reflecting on the news of the day.
















we pause our regular  programming for a moment of editorial reflection

i
judge says
Bill and Ted can get married
if they wanna

and I say
why the hell not,
half our marriages  today
are of people who won't be able

within five years
to stand being in the same room
with each other - so can Bill and Ted
really do worse than that?

let's  find out

ii
gulf well
no longer pumping
oil into the sea;
BP pleased but bemused

always thought the holes
they dug
pumped gold - didn't know
they were pumping nasty black
gunky stuff instead

environmentalists distressed,
having to push back apocalyptic predictions
back decades...
just you wait they say

you may not think it's so bad
now,
but just wait until  after you're dead
and buried -

it'll be the worst thing you never saw

iii 
safe to be brown again
in Arizona
but don't count on it being permanent -
judges die, racists

breed like flies on fresh
cow pies
with the extended 
lifespan

of a Galapagos turtle

iv
tea party crackpots
losing elections to moderate republicans;
like Pol Pot
losing the race for mayor of hell

to Mao Zedong -
or the Katzenjammer Kids
brought low
by Bozos the Clowns

recalling the mantra
of modern man

it could be worse

v
Glenn Beck
has a book out -
I'll read it someday,
no, really,

Glenn Beck
knows more than 12 words
it is reported

and with help, can spell many
of them

no, really









Leaving  anthologies for a while, here are three short pieces by Leonard Cohen, from his Book of Longing,  published by HarperCollins in 2006.











Laughter in the Pantheon

I enjoyed the laughter
             old  poets
as you welcomed me

but I won't be staying
             here for long
You won't be either

                - 1985


A Magic Cure

I get up too late
The day is lost
I don't bless the rooster
I don't raise my hand to the water
Then it's dark
and I look into all the spots
off rue St-Denis
I even talk religion
to the other wastrels
who, like me, are after new women
In bed I fall  asleep
in the middle of a Psalm
which I am reading
for a magic cure

                 - Montreal, 1975


Backyard

Sitting  in the garden
With my daughter's dogs
Looking at the oranges
And the sky above

Flowers with their shadows
Moving two by two
Listening to the traffic
Hearing something new

Then I start  to struggle
With a feeble song
Which will overcome me
Many miles from home.








Next, George Oppen with a poem from his Collected Poems, a New Directions book  published in 1975.

Winner of the National Book  Award and  the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, Oppen was born in 1908 and died in 1984.












Alpine

We were hiding
Somewhere in the Alps
In a barn among animals. We knew
Our daughter should not know
We were there. It  was cold
Was the point of  the dream
And the snow  was falling

Which must be an old dream of families
Dispersing into adulthood

And the will cowers
In the given

The outlaw winds
That move within barns

Intolerable breeze
A public music

Seeps thru the legendary walls
The cracked inner sides

The distinctions of what one does
And  what is done  to him blurs

Bodies dream selves
For themselves

From the substance
Of the cold

Yet we move
Are moving

Are  we not

Do  we hear the heavy moving
Of the past in barns












Seriously,  sometimes I get serious, in my own  un-serious kind of way.














thinking of  resurrection

I was reading
a religious scholar
the other day

who was saying
that for Christians
resurrection

must mean resurrection
of the body
or it is meaningless

and I can understand that,
with out the body
it just seems too Buddhist

for the church I went to
as a child, Lutheran theology
doesn't include

Zen masters
and over-souls permeating
the universal ether

but, as to the non-Zen
physical body
approach

I have to  say,
no offense intended,
when I think of

resurrection in that
sense, my first thought
is of the sword-fighting skeletons

in the Sindbad movies
of the sixties
or the last zombie movie

I saw and I don't think
that's
what they're thinking of -

but I understand
they have an ace up their sleeve
that resolves the zombie/skeleton problem -

it's  a tweaking
of the bodily resurrection deal
to include both resurrection and perfection

of the body
which means
essential

you die to be
eventually resurrected in the body
you always wanted and thought you deserved

when you were alive,
the ultimate make-over,
so to speak

which is why
a lot of short , dumpy,
very ugly Christians can hardly wait

for the
end
of days to come








One hundred years after the conquest and conversion of the Aztec people by the Spanish, the Catholic Inquisition was concerned that the conquered peoples might slip back into the worship of their old gods. So that they might recognize that if it began to happen, they charged Hernando Ruiz de Alarcon, a Mexican Catholic to compile, translate and interpret the chants, spells and invocations of the Indians. In the process, the priest produced a contemporaneous account of the traditional worship of the Aztecs.

American poet Francisco X. Alarcon (no relation to the priest, as far as he knows) has created his own re-imagining of and extrapolations inspired by the priest's original treatise in a book of his own. His book, Snake Poems, An Aztec Invocation, published by Chronicle Books in 1992.

Alarcon, born in 1954, is an award-winning Chicano poet and educator.





Mestizo

my name
is not
Francisco

there is
an Arab
within me

who prays
three times
each day

behind
my Roman
nose

there is
a Phoenician
smiling

my eyes
still see
Sevilla

but
my mouth
is Olmec

my dark
hands are
Toltec

my cheekbones
fierce
Chichimec

my feet
recognize
no border

no rule
no code
no lord

for this
wanderer's
heart


Rescue

at the end
I found

myself
holding

the other end
of the rope


Tonalamatl/Spirit Book

pages
whisper
sigh
sing

glyphs
dance
left
to right

I follow
the drums

the scent
the stairs

mountain
mist
sprays
my hair

I learn
to undo
what is
done

an ancient
jaguar
roars at
my face

I start
singing
all kinds
of flowers


Songs

xochitl
flower
flor 








Next, here are  two poets from Three Rivers, Ten Years, an anthology of poems from the Three Rivers Poetry Journal, published in 1983 by Carnegie-Mellon University Press.



The first poet Mary Oliver. Born in 1935, Oliver is winner of both the National Book Award and the  Pulitzer Prize for Poetry.











An Old Whorehouse

We climbed  through a broken window,
walked through every room.

Out of business for years,
the mattress held only

rainwater, and one
woman's black shoe.      Downstairs

spiders had wrapped up
the crystal chandelier.

A cracked cup lay in the sink.
But we were fourteen,

and no way dust could hide
the expected glamour for us,

or teach us anything.
We whispered, we imagined.

It would be years before
we'd learn how effortlessly

sin blooms, then softens,
like any bed of flowers.




And next from the Three Rivers, poet Linda Pastan. Born in 1932, Pastan was educated at Brandeis University and Radcliffe College. Winner of the National Book Award for Poetry, she was poet laureate of Maryland from 1991 to 1995.









At Home

The secret strangers
in my house
help with the dishes,
smile for the camera.
When the pictures are developed
there is no one there.
They nod vaguely when I question
turning my sound down low.
At the table they break,
break my bread.
I never guess
it is the loaf
of exile.












Here's a couple of shorter pieces from the same period, whatever that  period was.













I have no good word for crocodiles

I have no good word
for crocodiles,

long scaly creatures
with great sharp teeth 

who would eat me
if they could -

I say
save  the sweet-eyed bossies

and eat a crock
instead


sin before sunrise

bananas foster & granola
whipped-cream waffle

sin
before sunrise

how fat
and wanton  I  become

in the face 
of temptation


songs of the furthermost  seas

a  song
sung over and over

sometimes
a lone singer

sometimes
all of his kind
singing the same
song across a wide
ocean, sometimes
singing the same song
together

leviathans
singing leviathan songs

just
it seems,
for the joy
of the singing...

yet 
the slaughter
continues

~~~

but, Christ, the
hunters say

what the hell good
is an animal
if you can't have the pleasure
of killing
it?









The next piece is by Allen Itz, from his first book, Seven Beats a Second, published in 2005 by Cyber-wit.net of Allahabad, India.

Born in 1944, Itz grew up in the very small town of La Feria in very-south South Texas where he graduated from La Feria High School in 1962. He served in the United States Air Force from 1966 - 1969 in Europe and the Mid-East. Before, during and after his military service, he studied at the University of New Mexico and Indiana University, graduating in 1971 from Texas State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and English.

Seeking an antidote to boredom upon his retirement from public service in 1998, he considered numerous possibilities, including, bare-back bronco rider, tight-rope walker, nudist camp manager, yard art sculptor, private investigator, mercenary soldier, international jewel thief, and others, eventually  falling into a world of second-life poetry, with various levels of success, not including world-wide fame and Pulitzer Prizes.

He continues to this day this practice of daily poeticizing,  completing and publishing six books of poetry and fiction in addition to  his first.

I decide that, this one time, I would give myself the kind of introduction I give to other poets I use here.

About the poem: I wrote this at least 10 years ago when I was in my early sixties. Now, as I read it for the first time in  a long time, I discover that, now, at least ten years older, I could write this same poem today, and continue to do so in many various manifestation. It is curious to realize how much like I was I still am.




slipping  away

i

my mind is blind
to the crisp autumn sky
and the creek running clear
and the squirrel teasing
my dog, the squirrel
a backyard clown
mocking the quivering
puffed-chest forward
self-righteousness
of a small dog
facing a large world

my eyes seen none of this,
for like a fist
clenched tight on itself
I am closed to all but anger,
a simmering  constant
since the last election,
anger,
not just at the loss
of mine against theirs
but at the outcome
as a symptom
of the nature of my life
in these later years,
like a lifetime
of being on the wrong side

ii

I feel the passing of time now
like never before,
time and opportunity
slipping away,
life space lost
like water squeezed
from a cloth,
disappearing in an eddy
down a drain,
leaving an approximation of me
to  fill the place I had before
until the day I need no space at all

iii

as I read the obituaries in the morning
or stand at the grave of my father
as I did last week in a park
green with the growth of recent rain,
I cannot reconcile the contradictions
of  death and life, how the life I see
in the obituary photos and the light
I remember in my father's  eyes
can disappear in an on-rush of ark,
one minute to the next, life to death,
how it is that I, too, will someday slip
into that vortex of night and never return

iv

I think of the eternal nature of atoms
and how they combine and recombine
over uncountable to create
illusions of form and
in some of those illusionary  constructs
a spark of life and consciousness
and beings like you and me
and all those whose obituaries
I read every morning
and my father, dead 25 years,
the illusion of him gone forever
to seed the soil he lies in
and the grass and trees and clouds
over his head and, someday,
in the great recycling that brings
all the old to something new,
perhaps another form of  life
and a sense of self and universe
outside of self that is the cradle
where rests the truth, for life to last
forever, we must over and over
die...











And here's the last from that unknown  period that was probably 2010, another poem that was fun to write.













flapjack ruminations

the fella
right down from  me

the bald-headed fella
with the handlebar mustache,

is having a flapjack,
normally I would say he's having

a pancake, but men
with handlebar mustaches

(women too, I guess)
don't have pancakes, they

have
flapjacks...

I had a handlebar mustache
long ago

and I can tell you it's just the way of the
handlebars...

~~~~~

reminding me of the movie
"Machete"

when the super-tough
hero, Machete,

an elemental man
whose bells and whistles

do not include electronica,
responding

to the sexy chica's invitation, says
"Machete don't text" -

neither do Superman,  Batman,
Aquaman and the Flash

but Spiderman,
he might,

wimpy
little arachnomorphoid...

having nothing to do
with the kid at the table

right over from me, eating
one of the restaurant's famous

humongous pancakes

(not a whisper of a whisker yet
on the kid

so certainly no handlebar
mustache

meaning no flapjacks for him today)

his mother bet him $2 he couldn't
eat the whole thing

and from the size of his father
it's clear

his mother
must keep a lot of $2 bills

around the house
to pay off bets like this one...

~~~~

it seems from the conversation
that the family, mother, father, son

are in the city to watch their
older son

graduate from basic training
at Lackland Air Force Base

a ritual I began
nearly 45 years ago, on a

cold, cold early January morning
in 1966

a few days into the new year and
a bare month before my 22nd birthday

~~~~

I had neither handlebar mustache
nor hair

at the time,
but made up for it later







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

 


Also usual, 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
 

1 Comments:
at 2:03 PM Blogger davideberhardt said...

I feel the Pastan poem is obtuse- needs editing. Pretentious. Con trast Gary Snyder (not pretentious)-
WShat the f is she talking abt?

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