A Partial Reconsideration   Wednesday, January 03, 2018








An eavesdropping poem from 2011



















a partial reconsideration

Dick is the tall one;
Jim, the short -

the middle-sized guy
comes in late
and I never got his name

he's the one who speaks
very loudly;
the most intellectually exuberant,
though not, I think, the smartest

that would be Dick,
author of several books of
theological history and philosophy
who sits above his great vertical length,
calm and patient
with Mr. Loud's excited interruptions

the third is another guy whose name
I do not know - he's the shaven-headed bald one
who always comes in, it appears, direct
from his morning run

I never truly trust shaven-headed bald guys,
always suspecting they are, in truth, fringe-haired
guys who shave their heads so that everyone
will think they are bald on purpose

these are my "religioso babosos,"
my name for them,
three Christian preachers
who meet Monday mornings
for breakfast, usually at a table
next to mine, oft-mentioned
in my poems, usually mockingly,
though their conversations,
when not lost in the sport of the season,
is quite deep, thoughtful and displaying
knowledge and insight into many theologies
far beyond their own - my surreptitious eavesdropping
enticing me into some of my better poems...


it is a weakness of us non-believers, the finding it
so hard to believe in the intelligence
of folk who believe so completely in things
we see as farce, like building great temples
to worship Santa Clause and the Easter Bunny

but, hard as it is for us to understand, some folk
do have the capacity for intellectual exploration
and simultaneous blind, unreasoning belief
in the unbelievable - St. Augustine
may or may not have been a saint, but
he was surely one pretty sharp fellow...

to those of us who cannot "just believe," it requires
a kind of alien, bifurcated brain to fit
these two seemingly opposite conceptual
poles. like the North Pole and the South Pole
meeting in Argentina, causing us to sometimes

wonder which side of the evolutionary ladder
we occupy -







And a happy new year to all. 2018, if I had been told in 1962 when I turned 18 that I would live to see that date I would have considered it a fantasy.

Up front I'll say that this first post of the New Year didn't turn out as I expected.

After doing an all-me post before Christmas, I expected this first-of-the-New-Year post to return to my normal patterns, a few of my new poems, a few of my old poems, and a few poems from my library.

But I chose for my old poems from my third book, Goes Around, Comes Around - 85 poems from 2010 and was quickly reminded that many of my favorite poems are in that book and that I didn’t want to not post them.

Leaving me with another all-me post, until at the last minute, after finishing the all-me, I received a new collection of poems by Mary Oliver for Christmas from my wife.


You can see below what ensued, a longer than usual post. Luckily, both Oliver and I are easy reads, but maybe not all at once.

The numbered poems are from Goes Around, Comes Around.


From Me


a partial reconsideration

morning after snow

30. throw in a hole in the ground

01. it's a find day today

04. habits of mercy

passages

43. in the news today

03. day 24,387 and counting

18. imagine you are almost one of a kind

sun bright cold

85. I'm thinking soft this morning

09. the liberal godless socialist media will never tell you this...

32. post-it notes

queen of the 37th annual Jim Wells County Possum-Jump Watermelon -Thump Fall Harvest Festival

79. sorting out another sunrise

18. notes from the slower regions of the universe

17. morning on the coast

it is time

83. what I'm supposed to be doing

11. poets on every street corner

25. trivial pursuits

ne rabotaet horosho


From Mary Oliver

This Morning

I Go Down to the Shore

The Old Poets of China

The Buddha's Last Instruction

The Kitten

Learning About the Indians

Morning in a New Land

















The big event of 2017 in San Antonio.



















morning after snow


bright sun

the morning after snow

small white clouds,
lonely little clouds,
like the clouds children draw,
scattered like orphans
across the deep, blue sky

a morning like I've seen
in high mountain country, rarely
here, so bright, so crisp
the air, like ice,
cracks as you walk through
it - the morning after first snow
in generations
















Thinking about the general uprising of ignorance in our country today.


















30. throw in a hole in the ground

thinking about all the people
who don't know their ass from a
hole

in the  ground and thinking how I'd like
to write a poem that wasn't about

that and thinking about
how I don't know how
to do that, don't know how to write
a brain-free poem...

maybe start with random phrases
and images

throw in the kitchen sink;
throw in a cat in the kitchen

sink; throw in a wet cat
in the kitchen sink

throw in
a pissed-off wet cat

yowling
fully extended claws

scratching at the porcelain;
throw in a porcelain

urinal,
(why the hell not -gets

me away from the
pissed-off cat)


throw in a porcelain
urinal

in a bus station restroom;
throw in a bus station lobby,

people sleeping, people talking,
babies crying, old men coughing

spitting, farting in plastic chairs,
pinball machines clattering

and whistling and clanging
and pin balling

kathunka kathunka kathunka
pin balls bouncing off rubbers

thacka thacka thacka
pin balls scoring

whanga whanga whanga
thunk - free game

echoing
off concrete walls

echoes echoes echoes...
stone wall echoes

throw in a rock band
guitars and drums echoing

in a tiny room
of sweaty people jumping

Saturday night
on 5th street; throw in sweaty

people 
on the 4th of July, walking

dancing, jumping,
a little drunk, some, mostly

drunk others, having a 
good time mostly not remembered

tomorrow
but why the hell not

there'll be another tomorrow
after tomorrow

for most of us,
odds are for you and me,

well,
me anyway maybe who knows -

throw in a  box;
throw me in a box

throw in a hole in the ground;
throw in people who don't know

their ass
from my hole in the ground

and I'm back where I
started














A post-Christmas, post-New Years poem from my book, Goes Around, Comes Around - 85 poems  from 2010. It was my third book, second eBook.


















01. it's a fine day today

it's a fine day
today

the sun shines
on all of us, children
of the bright

it is a fine day
today

three pages
of dead people in the paper -
only five younger than me,
and one of those
i think
was lying...

a fine day
today,
three pages of dead people
in the newspaper

and none of them was
me...















Deciding at the last minute to post more from Goes Around, Comes Around, I return to the fourth poem in the book Because it's one of my favorites, I worry that I might turn to it too often.
















04. habits of mercy

i was thinking this
morning
about what i want to do
with the rest of my
life

and decided
it's the same thing
i want to do
with 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, maybe ever to me

easier for some
than for
other, 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 within themselves
forgiveness of themselves

poor
miserable
ego-obsessed creature that we are,
sinners almost from our 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










Poem from the end of a two-day, twelve hundred mile journey to Texas Tech University for a niece's graduation, one of our smart ones, receiving a bachelors and masters degree simultaneously.

















passages

through a miles-long forest
of spinning, silver turbines, beautiful
in their way, vanes turning, hundreds
of vans turning, each to its own
wind-master, creating
the electricity of nations, natural,
clean, leaving behind only the ripple
they make in the currents
of the sky...

another passage in this day of
passages, a graduation, the new science
gets a new scientist, an environmental engineer
one of those who we hope will someday
save us...

proud family gathers...















This, from the 2010 book, seems not so out of date today, reminding me of many Alabama voters when it comes to selecting a governor.

















43. in the news today

only 
one thing worse
than a pedophile priest

says
the Vatican today -

women priests...

you go
girl















It's attitude that keeps you going, nothing do to with the facts of the matter.




















03. day 24,387 and counting

another
day
another
dollar

a million
days
a million
dollars

that's what he fella
down at the Happy Valley Home
told me...

and,
depending
on your capacity for
long-term planning,
that view an be very
encouraging,
even coming from the
Happy Valley Home cohort
who, if you choose,
can be seen as
not out of touch with reality
but living instead
in a greater reality
closed to the more prosaic
of us -

or not

as for me,
I'm a believer in reality,
but only in romantic affairs -

when it comes to money,
i settle
for no less than the
wildest
fantasies,
which is why
i am sure
i'm on the road to riches
every day

and while i may not get
the days i need
to get there all the way,
being on the road
to something good
is better than being stuck
in the weeds
like a back -roads vagabond
with a flag tire
and no spare in the trunk

i'm a human being
of the American
persuasion
after all

and like my kind,
want to get
everything there is to get
and expect, by god,
to get it -

day 24,387 and
counting











Here's another extra poem from Goes Around, Comes Around.

The poem came from thinking about our kind's first genocide, the elimination of the neanderthal who shared parts of the world with us until they were gone and how, despite the worst we could do, they live on in the DNA of many of us.

And how, in the end, their fate will be ours.

The thoughts behind this poem later became the basis for my last book, Peace in Our Time, A flash fiction fable.














18. imagine you are almost one of a kind

imagine
you are almost one of a kind

one
of just a few of your kind
remaining

brute,
the other kind
calls you
but you have dreams

and yon can see your dreams
in all the dreams
of your kind
fading
until there are no more like you
to dream them -
no more like you
to fear you gods, no more like
you to hold a loved one close
to hold a blood fresh child,
no more like you to dance as new day
breaks the sky

no more like
you

but you have planted your seed
so that some part of you
can carry on

you have planted you seed
among the other kind,
the ones almost like your kind,
the ones who hunt you, kill you,
break your bones to suck the marrow,
to suck from your bones the sustenance
of your life, to leave your bones
to be covered with tens of millennia
of dust, until you are forgotten

imagine
you are he,
the last of the circle,
all others gone like rocks
on a hillside

imagine
lying naked
in summer grass,
a pale shadow
under the full bright eye
of the moon - listening
to the sounds of a flowing creek,
the water,
the mating frogs,
sounds of the trees
and the wind

imagine
a time
when these are the
only sounds of
night -
the water, the trees,
the wind, the call of a predator,
hungry,
howling in the hills

the only sounds of life
around you

and you are otherwise
alone

imagine all this,
the final nights of another kind of man -
a kind of man with dreams and inner life
much like your own, another kind of man
who knows time is
ending

a man who lives now
only in stories of trolls
and other ogres

and in some tiny part
of ourselves
descendants,
many of us, of the
keeper of the
bridge...
















You can count on two things in San Antonio weather, some days it will be cold and clear and an equal number of days it will be cold and dreary. Few days will be in between .This is about one of those better days.


















sun bright cold

it is sun-bright cold,
unlike the dim and wet cold
we are accustomed to in South Texas,
cold like I like to go to
in the southwest

mountain
sky
&
mountain
clear and cold

it is like vacation days
right here at home,
made even more special
because we all know
it will end,
if not tomorrow
then surely 
the day
after















This is the last poem in the book, leaving I hope a soft and satisfied mood in the reader.

















85. I'm thinking soft this morning

I'm thinking
soft
this morning

soft autumn breezes
on sun-warmed skin,

the soft middle
of fresh-baked bread
crusted all around,

the soft fur
behind a kitten's ear
and under its chin,

the fresh smell
of soft sheet on a wedding bed

the soft squeeze
of a woman,
the velvet slide
down her back
to the rounded slope
of her rear,
the rise of her
breasts
breathing
in
out
rising
falling
on the soft edge of sleep,
the moist center
of her
calling,

and the damp cheeks
of my son
at four, eyes wet
from a bully's taunts
as I held him close,
"you are a good person,"
I tell him,
my voice a soft whisper
to his ear,
"and a strong, brave boy
whose mom and dad love him,"

~~

I'm thinking soft this morning,
remembering,
missing the touch
of days
brighter
and softer than today
















This piece if from 2010. Discouraging how things rarely change and when they do, only change for the worse.



















09. the liberal godless socialist media will never tell you this...

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

Nancy Pelosi
brushes her teeth with Pepsodent

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

Hillary Clinton
was a Presbyterian
in her youth and while
in the White House
was close 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 Reed, none
of the Democrat women
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
Crazy Squirrel Network
report all the news, including
the important secret stuff
the regular,
liberal,
godless
socialist media
will never let you
know















I included a couple of post-it note poems (small enough to be written on a yellow post-it note) in my last post. Here is a longer series from Goes Around, Comes Around.



















32. post-it notes

I am lost -
have you loved me
lately

```

too late -
I'm going back
to hating
you

```

if only I
believed you -
I would surely love
you

```

don't mind me -
I'm just your backseat
lover

```

without my pussy
cat
I'm just a dog without
a bone

```

when I'm gone
you'll wish
I'd never told the
truth

```

I said never -
and I'll never say that
again

```

I watch always now
the place
you left me behind

```

you asked
for the truth -
I should have known
better

```

you said you'd be
back
but never said when -
I wait, still













A coffeehouse observational.
















queen of the 37th annual Jim Wells County Possum-Jump Watermelon-Thump Fall Harvest Festival

woman
in her mid-forties buying coffee take-out
for a group...

tan pants,, bulky sweater
and a wide smile, a cheerleader smile,
a beauty pageant smile,
a princess of a parade float
smile

the smile of a cool breeze
that comes and goes
so fast
it seems random and unintended
in any important way

a go-team, go-team smile
meant
for those few years
for the quarterback, tall and slim
and ardent in his intentions

a flex twist of her lips
but
these
days
a little tentative
a little less confident her smile will clear the way for her,
even a little wistful
at forty-five, remembering the days when she was
the prettiest frog in a very small pond -

"Queen of the 37th annual Jim Wells County Possum-Jump Watermelon-Thump Fall Harvest Festival"

and sweet a Minnie Grievers' prize-winning apple pie...

wishing she could live those days again
when smiles were real
and love was
forever














I write my poems in the early morning, which often limits what I write about, though I always try to find something new in the beginning of every new day.
















79. sorting out another sunrise

night so bright,
strange this morning
to see only the barest
crescent moon

~~

heavy set
man
at the booth
next up from me, bends,
with hand on his blond
balding forehead,
and studies his breakfast
as if seeking secret
messages
in his scrambled eggs,
runes,
advice from the snow-
sheltered graves
of his Nordic
ancestors

~~

sun sneaks up
from behind the building
I'm i, stretching
shadows
outside my window,
still dark,
but dim decreasing

so announced,
the new day
will not catch us
by surprise

~~

this early time
yesterday
I was here as usual
looking out at the new day
creeping around the corners
of dark, expecting
to put down
my cat before the day's end

old, declined,
barely able to walk
or lift her head,
seemingly facing the final 
passage...
it was a mercy,
the last service I was
prepared to
provide,
as I had done
for others

but after two days
at the vet, revived
at least enough to get
a few more days, or more,
at home, this early morning
asleep in her chair, where
I had not expected
to see her 
again...

all my life,
knowing with each new
dog or cat
that I would see them die,
knowing that I might some time
help them die
unless they lived on otherwise
a safe and healthy life

thinking of a new kitten
to replace Kitty
when her time soon comes,
that this time, for the first time,
I will be bringing
under my protection
a creature who will
someday
see me gone and buried
instead

~~

sun
now bright enough
to turn the black sky
blue

while the small crescent moon
fades to
black

















Consideration of some good memories from my life.


















10. notes from the 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 in the rain
dry

```

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 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















Still with Goes Around, Comes Around.



















17. morning on the coast

gulls,
stretched like running W's,
dark
against the peach
sky
of early dawn

two pelicans,
great wings spread,
great heads arrow-straight ahead,
such ridiculous looking
animals
on the ground

or sitting sleepy-eyed on a harbor pier,
their power and grace and beauty
only seen when they'
aloft, wings, with great, slow strokes
carrying them inches
above the water

the water,
the bay,
placid and still
with the moon's rise
last evening,
awakened now
and roughed
by the rising sun

slapping hard
against
the beach














On the trials of the poem-a-day poet.


















it is the time

it is the time
in the early morning
that I have long set out as my daily
inspiration and poem
writing
hour...

and, as is often the case,
the time comes like
today when the poetry well is dry
as a West Texas sand storm
and inspiration is bound an gagged
by an empty-headed morning...

but
then,
there is the tree,
the small tree in the middle of the roofless atrium,
standing tall
in various shades of shadow black, to sunrise orange,
to the clear green of full day, the tree
still green today in the cold wet South Texas
winter, sheltered in the atrium
from the occasionally freezing wind,
the tree, the faithful tree, my steady companion
and inspiration for those days
when I need to
lean on
it
















Confusion is a reliable ally to my poetry-writing efforts.

















83. what I'm supposed to be doing

this is the time of day
when I usually demonstrate
my bonafides
as a poet
by pontificating
on cue
and the problem today is
 can't remember
if a cue is a nudge
and a wink

or a long striker stick
used to reposition
colored and numbered balls
on a green, felt table

in a brisk game
of pocket billiards

- pocket pool
I would have said, but  that
is often construed

to denote
another game
entirely - 

or 
vice-versa,
which complicates things

since I'm not sure
if I should start writing now
or amble

over to Fat Annie's
for a pick-up game of
eight-ball

which reminds me
of several 
good pool-playing stories

I could write about
if I knew
that's what I was supposed

to be doing
at this exact minute
but since I don't know

I won't write anything,
but that's OK
since I didn't want to write

a poem this morning
anyway
but if Fat Annies' is open

this early
I might just resolve the question
by connoting that's what I'm supposed

to be doing...

~~~

meanwhile
there is a moon
hanging pale

like a sliver of shaved soap
in the dark night-tide
sky

that cares nothing
about my poem
or any lack thereof















Another from Goes Around, Comes Around, my book of poems from 2010.


















11. 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 Mix Master
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 people who eat too much
and people who never get to eat

as much as they need
and no drunkards of 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 no Republicans -
that should be at the top of my list

instead of here at the
bottom

















Accepting a realistic assessment.


















25. trivial pursuit

I've
been feeling
lately

like 
the  toughest
question

in a game 
of Trivial
Pursuit

you know,
the one
no one can ever 
answer

  because 
it truly
defines the

concept
of trivial -

it's 
not so much 
I mind

being 
just another late-life
poet

(that's actually
kind
of cool)

but I do recall
with some sense

of loss
those days before
when 

walking
in the morning 
air

I put
a dent
in it

days when
I could 
finish

a sentence
without being
interrupted...

~~~

but
then I saw
a beautiful woman

laughing
in spring
sunshine

teeth
flashing,
dark hair streaming

in the wind,
arms outstretched,
welcoming

life,
warm life living
with joy

in the moment
and I think
if I could get someone

to truly see this
with me
I will take my place

in the game 
of trivial pursuit
without misgiving

welcoming
whatever place
is given to me

today
and in the
end













I wrote this Christmas eve, my antidote to excessive Christmas spirit.

















ne rabotaet horosho

one of the few phrases
I remember
from near a year of Russian instruction
50 years ago

the phrase meaning, roughly,
"it's not working well"

most of the other phrases, I remember
have to do with fighter planes, bombers
and rockets and missiles, and though
those words seem closer to relevant
today than at any time since
I learned them,
the phrase about something not working right
seems to immediately apply
as we watch our politics and government
crash and burn, as the climate goes haywire
from out tinkering with it, as trains
fly off tracks and planes fall from the air,
as in a million and one ways
events prove our incompetence
at living in reason and security and peace,
as an eastern star shines with no magi to follow its way,
as babies are born without fathers present
and accounted for, while families shatter and drugs
destroy the promise of human life, a million and one
proofs of the futility of our times...

it does seem true that all is not working well, all about it
reminding me of my first car, a '49 Plymouth that didn't
go over forty-five miles an hour...

even to the personal, closer to home,
as it seems I'm much like that old car,
not a recognizable disease that afflicts me, more
like a generalized ennui, a bone-tired weariness of the spirit
as I plunge daily, like right here and right now, writing
this confession of ineptitude, a stream of empty words devoid
of the fire of earlier times, times I remember now
and wonder who it was I was...

maybe my body is ill and doesn't realize it yet,
or maybe I'm just tired, insufficiently slept,
or maybe I'm just old and this lassitude of mind and spirit
comes with the territory along with aching bones and unsteady gait...

three words on my mind today,
in a language I barely remember knowing,
perfect words for today, words of a time fifty years ago
when I was young and better able to see the humor of this whole life
business, so much promised by the fierce beating heart with its
hot and ready blood, and, in the end,
such temporary pleasures it all
delivers...









Normally, the poem above would be the end of things for the week, but I'm adding several extra poems his week from a book I received for Christmas. The book is Devotions, a collection of poems by Mary Oliver selected from her previous books, from her first book of poetry, No Voyage and Other Poems, published in 1963, to her most recent, Felicity, from two years ago.

This collection was published by Penguin Pres in 2017.

I have a special appreciation for Oliver's poetry and have been told that my style of writing, way more direct and conversational than poetic, is much like hers. And she, like me, does not find favor with those who consider any real and simple emotion in a poem to be weepy and untrue to the purer rules of poetics.













This poem is from Oliver's most recent book, Felicity (2015)


This Morning

This morning the redbirds' eggs
have hatched and already the chicks
are chirping for food They don't
know where it's coming from, they
just keep shouting "More! More!"
As to anything else, they haven't
had a single thought. Their eyes
haven't yet opened, they know nothing
about the sky that's waiting or
the thousands, the millions of trees.
They don't even know they have wings.

And just like that, like a single
neighborhood event, a miracle is
taking place.



Skipping past several books, this poem s from A Thousand Mornings" (2012)


I Go Down to the Shore

I go down to the shore in the morning
and depending on the hour, the waves
are rolling in or moving out,
and I say, oh, I am miserable
what shall---
what should I do? And the sea says
in its lovely voice:
Excuse me, I have work to do.



Skipping past annual collections from 2011 to 2005, this poem is from Why I Wake Early (2004).


The Old Poets of China

Wherever I am, the world comes after me.
It offers me its busyness. It does not believe
that I do not want it. Now I understand
why the old poets of China went so far and high
into the mountains, then crept into the pale mist.



Now, skipping over many years and almost as many years, this poem is from House of Light (1990).


The Buddha's Last Instruction

"Make of yourself a light,"
said the Buddha,
before he died.
I think of this every morning
as the east begins
to tear off its many clouds
of darkness, to send up the first
signal - a white fan
streaked with pink and violet,
even green.
An old man, he lay down
between two sala trees,
and he might have said anything,
knowing it was his final hour.
The light burns upward,
it thickens and settles over the fields.
Around him, the villagers gathered
and stretched forward to listen.
Even before the sun itself
hangs, disattached, in the blue air,
I am touched everywhere
by its ocean of yellow waves.
No doubt he thought of everything
that had happened in his difficult life.
And then I feel the sun itself
as it blazes over the hills,
like a million flowers on fire -
clearly I'm not needed,
and I feel myself turning
into something of inexplicable value.
Slowly, beneath the branches,
he raised his head.
He looked into the faces of the frightened crowd.




~~



Passing over a number of years and many of her books, this poem by Oliver is from American Primitive (1983)



The Kitten

More amazed than anything
I took the perfectly black
stillborn kitten
with the one large eye
in the center of its small forehead
from the house cat's bed
and buried it in a field
behind the house.

I suppose I could have given it
to a museum,
I could have called the local
newspaper.

But instead I took it out into the field
and opened the earth
and put it back
saying, it was real,
saying, life is infinitely inventive,
saying, what other amazements
lie in the dark seed of the earth, yes,

I think I did right to go out alone
and give it back peacefully, and cover the place
with the reckless blossoms of weeds.



I skip ahead again past may years and books to this, from The River Styx, Ohio (1972)



Learning About the Indians

He danced in feathers, with paint across his nose.
Thump, thump, went the drum, and bumped our blood.,
And sent a strange vibration through the mind.
White Eagle, he was called, or Mr. White,

And he strutted for money now, in schoolrooms built
On Ohio plains, surrounded by the graves
Of all our fathers, but more of his than ours.
Our teachers called it Extracurricular.

We called it fun. As as for Mr. White,
Changed back to a shabby salesman's suit, he called it
nothing at all as he packed his drums, and drove,
Tires screeching, out of the schoolyard for the night.



And finally ending this post with this poem from Oliver's very first book, No Voyage and Other Poems (1963 ans 1965), the last poem in this book, Devotions.


Morning in a New Land

In trees sill dripping night some nameless birds
Woke, shook our their arrowy wings, and sang,
Slowly, like finches sifting through a dream.
The pink sun fell, lie glass, into the fields.
Two chestnuts and a dapple gray,
Their shoulders wet with light, their dark hair streaming,
Climbed the hill. The last mist fell away,

And under the trees, beyond time's brittle drift,
I stood like Adam in his lonely garden
On that first morning, shaken out of sleep,
Rubbing his eyes, listening, parting the leaves,
Like tissue on some vast, incredible gift.








Finally, the end.

Also, 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



Also as usual, I am Allen Itz owner and producer of this blog, and a not so diligent seller of books, specifically these and specifically here:


Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iBookstore, Sony accusatory, 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

 I welcome your comments below on this issue and the poetry and photography featured in it.

  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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