587. An Instruction in the Grander Scheme of Things   Wednesday, January 10, 2018





The wonders of the world not hidden, just hard to see only because we're not looking.















an instruction in the grander scheme of things

in the grander
scheme
of things
the world is
wet
today
or
at least
my part of the world
is wet
which is wet enough
for me
since non-wets
in other parts of the 
world
don't affect
me
here
where
wet is
the grander
scheme 
of me and mine
and
your not-wet
has entirely
no affect 
on my wet
which is the
grander
scheme of my thing
today
which
you may have guessed
is wet
and it is cold too
which is another part
of my grander
scheme of things today
and if you're hot
and dry
in the Gobi Desert
well
big fricking deal
since I can't see
how that has anything
to do with
me
since
cold and we
is my grander scheme
of things
today
and searing desert
sands
have not any part in
it

any questions?








Back to mostly normal this week.


Me
an instruction in the grander scheme of things

Me
hundreds of geese

Michael Chitwood
Harvest

Me
slow lane

James J. Burleson
Let's Go

Me
thick fog the day after Christmas

Me
tiny little girl drinks her juice

Me
scattered in the wide night sky

Marjorie Agosin
The Suicide

Me
there will be none

Lorna Dee Cervantes
The End of Her Life

Me
no poem today

Me
on the river

Me
just outside Gray Moss

Gary Blankenship
Six Tanka

Me
who knew

Me
big news in the astrophysical world

Me
celebrate them all

Javier Herand
Word of the Guerrilla Fighter

Me
what can we do until we can think about sex again?

Alice Folkart
Pure and Simple Usually Isn't

Me
memory













From a trip we made mid-December. a quick two-day, 1,200 mile drive.

On the way home.









hundreds of geese

hundreds of geese
honking in the cold morning
as they pass over,
following their leaders
in loose formation
along a narrow blue path

aloft in bitter chill
cruising
their highway in the sky
to warmer
climes,
refugees,
their ice-over ponds
for siestas
in warmer waters

we follow their lead and
return to our southerly way
shortly..













First from my library this week, living Wages by Michael Chitwood, one of four I added to the library last week.

The book was published by Tupelo Press in 2014. The poet, in addition to a very varied background as a construction worker, a science writer, and, currently, a professor at the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill, is also author of  eight books of poetry and two of essays.













Harvest

Every year, in autumn, they have a festival:
the Autumn Festival, not Fall.
They gather antique harvesting machinery
with slapping canvas belts
and the clattering cutting bars,
some with steam engines sighing and hissing.
There are booths with ham biscuits and pie slices
and hay bale  benches  and usually a speech
by someone seeking local office to work for the people,
who mill around the machines that sputter in work
and hesitate  and ah damn it threw a rod
and took the rest of the day to fix
so that the mowing still to be one
and the one time, freeing up a frozen belt
that caught the sleeve
and the handshake forever after was left-handed.






















Starting slow this very cold morning with another cold start from my book Always to the Light.
















04. slow lane

it's 10:30,
the movie we want to see
this weekend
starts at noon so we have
some time to kill

meanwhile,
I've had my breakfast,
the multiple coffees
needed to set the world
back to its proper
rotation,
and the Sunday morning pleasure
of both my local paper
and the Times
slowly read...

Dee just out the door
for a walk
and some window-shopping

and me
here
with this...

making me think,
as writing a poem always
makes me think

this time about how much
pleasure
there is in these slow Sunday mornings
and how happy I am
I'm not hung-over
as so often I used to be
because of the way Sunday morning
always followed the self-abuse of 
Saturday night












Another one of the books I bought last week, In the Sandhills and other poems is by James J. Burleson.

The book was published in 1985 by Clearstream Press. The poet,, born in 1957 in Corsicana, Texas, received a BA degree in English from Tarleton State University and, at the time of his death, was a graduate student in English at T.S.U.
















Let's Go

Let's go - just us,
        and walk, holding hands,
        along the tracks to old Head's field
        chase away cows and hunt arrowheads.

Let's go - just us,
        and study the moss in the shade
        of burr oaks; the velvet-green
        growing carpet spread out just for us.

Let's go - just us
       anywhere; you can kiss me, touch my hand
       and say that you love me
       and I won't even know where we are.











We've been having pretty good weather so far in San Antonio, but as I type this on New Year's Eve, we are facing consecutive four nights in the 20's, beginning tonight. The New Year's Eve party downtown usually a big deal, a bigger deal this year because the celebration also kicks off the beginning of the city's tricentennial year. It looks like the big party will be frozen out except for the most hardy (which does not include me.)











thick fog the day after Christmas

downtown
at street level,
an orderly march of fireflies

above the streets,
damp mystery shadows,
solid presence felt but unseen

below the street
the river flows in a soft whisper
of gray water
















From Always to the Light.















56. tiny little girl drinks her juice

little girl
sits,
waits for mom
to finish her
morning 
phone call 
to
friend
lover
spouse
hairdresser

who
knows

mysteries
and stories
abound 
in our every
day
world

tiny girl
drinks
from her juice
box

straw
never leaving
her mouth

eyes
above the straw
like small blue
diamonds,
blue
ice
beneath
bright blond
curls

surveys
the room
eyes
like a blue flame
flicker,
watching every
thing, every
body

mysteries
and stories
abound
in her everyday
world
















How can one walk at night beneath a clear sky and not wonder at the magnificence of the universe we were fortunate to spend a few years in.
















05. scattered in the wide night sky

scattered
in the wide night sky
are pinpoints of light
bringing star-heat
to worlds like our own

biological stews
pining the universal spark
on some
and on others
life at its most simple
is cradled,
protected from the cosmic storms,
and on a relative few
creatures who strive
and dream
like you and
I

I
know this
like some people
know God, such knowledge
a product of longing
in the lonely bright
for a companion
worthy
of our best nature












This poem is from Women of Smoke, one of my purchases last week at the half-price bookstore, is by Chilean poet, Marjorie Agosin. It is a bilingual book, Spanish and English on facing pages, with translation by Naomi Lindstrom.

The book was published by Latin American Review Press in 1988 in 1988. At the time the book was published, Agosin was professor of Latin American Literature at Wellesley College.













The Suicide

Written while thinking of Gabriela Mistral and her poem "You Look at Me and I Grow Beautiful.


Among the stones
naked among the vestiges
with her mouth half asleep
half open
her arms driven
by lovelessness
she
grows beautiful
as we look on
simple, gone out
like night itself
she
the suicide
there for he world to see
in a vast fulfillment
in a liar's question
why does
she bleed into her coat of scales
why does she smell of death
and unraveled snakes?

Why did she go away?

She looks at us
growing more and more beautiful
because she's elsewhere and
descending in a circle
around her hands that want nothing
her skin withe fragrance and
chrysanthemums
her hair like a story
of never-true caresses.

She the suicide
burning among stones.
Under the water
making night into
a secret
and life into
nothing
more
than
a woman stretched out among the stones burning
her sound heard
in our
absence.
I look at her
looking more and more beautiful.














Christmas wishes from the Grinch.

















there will be none



I will not write
a poem
for the eve of Christmas Day

nor will I write
a poem
for the day of Christmas Day

I know this for sure
for I am he
who says he will not write a poem
for Christmas Eve or Christmas Day

such being the case
I can only wish 
you

the happiest of whatever holiday you prefer,
there being 27 to choose from
in this short period
this one,
this
particular happiness wish
directed to those who prefer Christmas

and if it is another holiday for which you want happiness
just insert the name of that particular
holiday here


____________________________________________


so that wherever you be
and
whatever you celebrate
this may be for
you













This poem is from Sueno, by Lorna Dee Cervantes. It was published in Wings Press in 2013, making it , I think her most recent book.



















The End of Her Life

was a broken line, unsigned, forever.
I was a turned off searchlight
from an empty parking lot, it was a lake
at the end of he road, the bridge burned
out, the barricade that wouldn't hold.

The end of her life was an empty notebook,
was a blank receipt, a return, an exchange.
The end of her life was the black muck from the bottom,
was the last string to let out a kite,
was the last frijol to scrape from the pot.

The end of her life was a single stop
sign that everyone ran through, a toll
bridge window without anyone in the booth
to collect her change, was a whistling
kettle - no one left in the house o release
her from the flame.

The end of her life was the last note
in the sonata, the failing breath, the holding in
was the shut book, the turned off light in a room
full of daylight. Who would notice her passing?
who didn't love her?

















Taking a break.















07. no poem today

no poem
today
but trade winds
rustling
softly
through the palms















Another from Always to the Light.

















22. on the river

two eggs,
one pancake,
and four sausage links -
five dollars and ninety eight cents

4:30 in the very early morning

early breakfast

Del Rio, Texas,
County Seat
of Val Verde County,
on the river
150 miles west
of San Antonio and 400
southeast of El Paso, with a population
of about 45,000,
the largest collection
of bodies and souls
between the two,
not counting Cuidad Acuna
on the Mexican side
of the Rio Grande
where the lights if Boy's Town
make cigarettes glow
a sparkly,shimmering gold
and a slender, young whore dances
naked in a dim-lit courtyard among scattered tables
with 16-year-old boys, college carousers,
oil-tattooed roughnecks, leather-faced cowboys,
and fat businessmen from both sides of the river,
belching beer and three for a dollar cigar smoke
watching
ever slow, sweat -oiled move,
ever one of them,
men and boys
looking for something at a place
where they're to never find it...

look
but don't touch
for touching costs more
than the price of a bottle of Mexican beer...

but
not a lot more














A strange sight in a tiny village in the hills.














just outside Gray Moss

in the hills outside San Antonio,
on New Spain's old Camino Real,
there is the tiny village of Gray Moss,
stage-stop in the old days of priests and soldiers
and merchants traveling on the 
Kings Highway, a place to stop for a rude meal
and water for their tired horses...

and barely outside the village today, in
a tree-bounded, high-grass meadow,
between the trees and the modern country road,
several old Southern Pacific railway cars sit...


a boxcar and a yellow caboose, and resting between them,
a long silver dining car, all three like old horses or bulls, retired
from their days of heavy labor, hidden from the ring, left to rust in high grass,
their days of traveling across states, across prairies, over mountains, creeping over
narrow, rickety bridges, clicketey-clacketey spanning wide, deep canyons,
pulled from shore to shore by great engines, powerful as a thousand racing horses,
coast to coast, shining sea to shining sea, their rides forever over now
as hill country grasses sprout and grows beneath their wheels, rusted and forever
silenced, sleeping on their bed of limestone and granite, their time passed,
never to roll again...

I know the feeling














Next from my library, a series of tanka by my poet-friend Gary Blankenship, The poems are from Gary's first book A River Transformed: Wang Wei's River Wang Poems as Inspiration.
















Magpies
squabble over the remains
of a dead crow
in an open fire ant nest
our tea visited by hornets

                   The sundial
                    no longer casts a shadow.
                    The calliope deaf,
                    times to have stopped.
                    Can you continue on?

                                                         The scroll
                                                         unrolled fills a wall,
                                                         a copy of a fake.
                                                         My fingers soiled with pulp
                                                          I trace our journey and his.


                                    A bent old man
                                    followed through the grass
                                    and bitter weeds.
                                    The denim soaked,
                                   my trousers gather barbs.

A fawn
nibbles a forgotten sock
beneath a cracked moon.
We listen to gossip,
the wind rises to meet your shirt.

                      At Twenty-thousand feet,
                      a shudder
                      as thunder-heads roll.
                      Visibility zero,
                      She waits for assuring words.
                                               















About a plea to overcome the impossibility of real communication.
















85. who knew

I know
what this poem means
and so do you

but it would be
so great
if we could get together
some rainy afternoon
in a coffeehouse
on a tree-lined boulevard
in a quiet neighborhood
and talk
and 
talk
until you understood 
what I wrote
and I knew what
you read














From Always to the Light. I'm a science fan who only knows from science what I read in science fiction.















24. big news in the astrophysical world

big news
in the astrophysical world
is the massive explosion some
12.2 billion light year
from own little howdy-doody home
from whence
we oft-times claim a place
as big-time-Charlies
in the heavenly order of things,
even though, being only
8 light minutes from our own star
we call the sun
and 12 light minutes from the furthermost
named object to circle that sun with us,
it is a very small neighborhood
we live in, a very small neighborhood
where, with all our searching and seeking,
we have yet to reach
ever our own
front
gate

Columbus sailed he ocean blue
and thought he had circled the world,
such ignorance is to us denied and
we are better for it...

for it
lets us see
our true place, tiny bits of carbon
in a vastness we can seek to quantify
but not imagine,
little carbon dandies
important only in our doings
with our little carbon
fellows

frankly,
my dear,
the rest of all that is
just doesn't give a damn










As a good atheist, I celebrate good people, no matter who or what they blame their goodness on.














celebrate them all

the "war on Christmas"
appears to be over for a month or two
or at least until the next election,
but still meaning nothing to me since,
aside from despising whiny Christians,
I have no religious interest in any of the 27 holidays
supposedly occurring during this time of the year
having, as is said around here, no dog in the fight...

and though I don't worship at any god's altar,
I do appreciate them all, gods and demigods, and just plain folks
of religious intent, whether Jesus or Allah or or Yahweh or Vishnu or Da Vinci
or Bach or Van Gogh or Zoroaster's one god, Aura Mazda, or Li Po, or Siddhartha Gautama
or Lao Tzu or Confucius or Whitman or Ra or the Navajo' Tohanoai, carrier of the sun or Disney
or any of the various gods of the forest and jungles and plains and seas...

all these, not to be worshiped, but appreciated, for it was they, the gods and poets and artists
and creators of all creators, each in their own way, architects of or moral universe for believers
and non-believers alike, celebrate them, in their own way, gave us the better nature of our
better dreams...










This poem is from the anthology Spirits of the Age - Poets of Conscience, published  in 1989 by Quarry Press..

The poem I selected is by Peruvian poet Javier Heraud. The poem was translated by Paul Blackburn.

The poet, born in 1942, was associated with a rebel group in Peru and was killed by the police in 1963,













Word of the Guerrilla Fighter

Because my country is fair
as a sword in air
and greater now, even,
and fairer still, I
speak and I defend he
with my life.
Traitors? What
do I care what they say, we
have closed the pass
with bulky tears
of steel.
The sky is ours.
Ours the daily bread, we
have sowed and reaped
the wheat and the earth,
they are ours, and ours
forever are
the sea,
the mountains,
and the birds.
















How to keep busy an unoccupied mind.















64. what we do until we can think about sex again

I was working
away
at my poem
for the day
when
she walked
in, about five-
four, long dark
hair, long, long
hair hanging
almost to the
beginning curve
of her butt -
and a very nice
butt it is I notice
as she passes -
tight white dress,
short, about mid-
thigh, and did I
mention
tight
so tight
I can see
indentations
of the freckles
on her rear,
yes, that same
rear end, the
very same
slightly above
which
hangs her dark
straight hair
and I know
it is a moment
in her life
when every man
she passes
has to stop
and breathe
deep, lost
temporarily in the
momentary
fantasies that
male nature
produces
at even the
slightest
provocation,
the natural
horniness
of the human
male firing
on all eight
cylinders, the
secret of out
rise from the
brutishness
from which
we came, the
lingering imp
of that brute
that hides behind
all our best
intentions
and will not
leave us
until the day
we die...

I don't think
women
get this about
us, rational
beings that
they are, they
view life
as an entirety,
sex as a part
of that whole
thing called
life and living -

while
men see life
as what
you do to
kill time
until you can
think about sex
again












Alice Folkart, my poet friend and co-director of the House of 30 on the Blueline forum, passed on  in 2016. I sometimes use some of the many poems she posted on the forum as a tribute to her and a remembrance for those of us who looked forward every day to reading her daily poem.

This poem, the last she posted on the form about a week and a half before she died, is special to me, not just because it was the last, but because it exemplifies the wit and grit that made us love her and her poetry.












Posted Friday, May 27, 2016 @ 8:32 pm (Her 3,030th poem on the forum)



Pure and Simple Usually Isn't

I AM THE BEREAVED. DAMN IT

Yes I know that I'm not dead - check with your marketing department.
.ed?"

See, I told you so. JUST SEND ME THE BILL, DAMN IT.

What do you mean you won't know the totals until it's all over?

YOU KNOW IT'S "ALL OVER" WHEN YOU'RE DEAD - OR AT LEAST SOMEONE DOES.

I am not being snippy, young lady.

And I am bereaved. Wouldn't you be?

Do you want to conclude this or write up a contact or something,
or shall we meet at the nearest Starbucks and settle it over
an iced Frapuchhino and cookie?

Or you could overcharge me and feel smug.

Or you could undercharge me and feel smug.

You decide. I just don't want anyone but myself grieving
or having to write check or anything.

JUST PURE AND SIMPLE.

DAMN IT.














Remembering a moment I haven't thought of at any time during the 60 years since the event remembered out of nowhere last week.


















memory

random thoughts,
landing on my father
who would have achieved one hundred years
two months ago
if he had not died so much before
at the early age of sixty-five,
leading
to another memory,
a memory so random of
an event so inconsequential
I probably never thought of it again
from the day it happened,
remembered now as if out of nowhere...

a very early summer morning
in a small boat
in a small, hidden cove on Lake Travis,
running a trout line
my father had set out the evening before,
rowing from float to float,
my dad pulling up the hook to check for a catch...

the lake so still and quiet,
the moon not yet set, the sun not yet risen,
the only sound
the splashing of oars as we rowed back to dock

such clear details in my memory
and I don't ever remember if we caught any fish
that morning...

this memory
that rose out of nowhere,
of such a insignificant event
seeming not even worthy of a memory
but still remembered sixty-five years later,
rising from another memory of my father,
as he is remembered almost every day, if only for a moment or two
for forty years...

the intersection of time and love and the chalice of memory,
still a mystery to me
even
after all my own years have passed...







If you've a mind to, please comment by clicking on the comment button below and let me know if you have a problem accessing the comment section. I've been told there's a problem but I can't confirm it. I do now that I've not been receiving comments for a while now.


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



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  Just click the "Comment" tab below.






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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