So Much More To It   Monday, February 04, 2019









so much more to it

waiting
for the day to begin,
watching

the slow accumulation
of light,
like the way puddles form

in a slow steady rain,
drinking coffee,
watching commuters pass

on the interstate,
thinking as they speed past
of the poems lying with Burger King wrappers on the back seat

of every car,
stories I don't know, will never
know, poems I will never write -

such is life, so much
more to it
than we'll ever see as we huddle in our little corners

try as we might to imagine it, to understand
and describe it all, our ambitions
far outpacing

our capacities to see beyond the dark,
to see through our own dark
and the dark that surrounds us all -

all of us sharing
the dark at the bottom of the well,
the only true sharing we will ever do...

it is a lonely business, alone
in the dark,
reaching blindly for someone to hold on to,

anchoring
our life to another
for as long as the dark may last -

to be left alone again
in the end,
the greatest terror of all our fears


~~~~~


finally,
I see the sun this morning,
glowing orange behind winter-bare trees

one more time,
at least











Developed a large backlog of stuff the paste couple of months, so this post is all about me. In addition to stuff from 2010, pieces mostly from the end of last year.



All Me

so much more to it

what I'm supposed to be doing

high yellow moon
how quiet it must be
good dog

winter night

if Jesus rose today

she sits alone
the pinched-face woman
the tall young woman in tight jeans and cowboy boots

it's the kind of thing nobody wants to talk about

carrying on

 rant of an educational nature

Uncle Filbert knows

scenes from an urban cattle drive

the morning opens

a lumberjack-looking fella














Everybody has a job to do. Mine just doesn't pay worth a damn.
















what I'm supposed to be doing

this is the time of day
when I usually demonstrate my
bonafides as a poet

by poeticating
on cue
and the problem today is

I can't remember
if a cue is a nudge
and a wink

or the 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 ambling

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
of I knew
that's what I was supposed

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

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

a poem this morning
anyway,
but if Fat Annie's is open

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

to be doing...


~~~~~


meanwhile,
there is the 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

















I'm a very early riser, often, especially in the winter, before the sun comes up.

Here are three poems from those early hours.















high yellow moon

high
yellow moon
big as a blue plate special,
a morning halo
from thin upper atmosphere clouds
gathered round it
while here below, the day is blinding bright,
red rising sun
breaking the horizon...

first mystery of a day
promising shadow
play



how quiet it must be

500 grackles cackle,
then, as if on a signal, as if a symphony
conductor
has raised his baton -
stop
and the sounds of the early morning city
resume, street noise cars passing,
the clickity-click of walk/don't walk signals
changing, school buses beeping as they pick up
their small, tumbling, laughing, chattering charges...

and then, the baton drops and cacophony
begins again...

directly overhead, a single star shines alone
in a dim, almost blue sky -

how quiet it must be there, so very
far away



good dog

walking my dog
in the very early morning...

Alexa
said it was 45 degrees

Alexa
didn't mention
the 40 mile per hour wind
which changes
45 degrees
to 45-ways-to-freeze-your-butt
degrees

luckily
my dog, Bella,
is a highly intelligent canine
and though amply-furred her own self,
understands the distress of the smooth-skinned kind
in such conditions
and
does all her business
in about a minute and a half
flat...

good dog!



















Here is another quiet moment, this one from 2010.














winter night

in the last moment
before dusk falls
the sky is clear,
light blue,
like the "it's a boy" blanket
you get at the hospital
to warm
a new-born son

thin,
almost transparent blue

moon bright
in the soft sky,
not full,
flattened a little on one side,
like a globe
flattened
at the South Pole,
so it won't roll off your desk

Antarctica folded in on itself

a chill wind
blowing from the top of the hill,
raising a shower
of golden leaves
from trees along
the creek

light winter-home taste
of chimney smoke in the air

ten degrees
cooler
than the number on the thermometer reads...

very quiet...















A day, December, 2019, not fit for man, beast, or locally-preferred deities.













if Jesus rose today

trying to find
something
new or interesting to say
about this dull and time-worn
Sunday morning

new -

well I'm here at the coffeehouse
where I'm usually not on Sunday morning


interesting -

it's cool but not cold,
the outside is dim and drizzly,
the bicycle gang has come and gone
and the rest of everybody here is the same
as every day but for the big, red-faced, bald guy by the window,
new, but incredibly uninteresting to contemplate...

this may be one of those days when poems
crawl into a corner and die -

such is the evidence
so far

irrefutable evidence
I might add

as my poem for the day
lies huddled in the corner by the door
sobbing
with dejected little gasps
of futility

the poet too,
thinking

I swear,
if Jesus rose today,
he'd be back in his grave
before the coffee was through
percolating -
that's the kind of day this
is...















From last month, December, three observationals, two from the coffeehouse, one from outside that magical realm.



















she sits alone

a large black woman,
she sits alone in the cold
on a bench of lost dreams,
love lost, found, lost again,
dreams that glow in the frost
like red embers of a dying fire,
better days, warmer days,
life where free rides come
to foot-weary travelers,
room crowded with love
and laughter,
children,
life on a mountain,
fresh air,
life on an island,
blue seas all around,
white sand, gently loving
tide..

her face
a scowl of the reality-bitten,
hard and often...


"LOVE"
in big letters
on her sweat shirt...

I don't think so...



the pinched-face woman

the
pinched-face woman
with the very purposeful walk
strides with a clumpity stomp
through the coffeehouse,
glaringly glancing
at every patron
like a republican in Wisconsin
checking for illegal aliens
at the cheese curd factory

a very unhappy woman
as is her husband unhappy,
he,
who she sometimes suspects
of being a furtive foreign agent
of a hostile power...

they drink their coffee
in a deep silence,
as if living together
with no common
language



the tall young woman in tight jeans and cowboy boots

the tall young woman
in tight jeans
and cowboy boots
passes
and I sigh, memories,
as usual,
come
in a moment
and drive a stake
through the day

this day
which passes
with nothing to make a memory
but the remembering
of another
memory

times passed,
the sad memory
of so many times
passed














I'm diabetic, it's true, and though I sincerely hope to die with my feet on, this is something we should think about.

In this instance, I thought about it and wrote this in 2010.











it's the kind of thing nobody wants to talk about

as a diabetic,
I know
you got to keep your feet

in good condition
because,
while feet come and go

in this world,
once your own personal feet are gone,
there is no second coming...

except
maybe in the theological sense
where I'm told

when playing
in the Tennis Courts
of the Lord

you do it
on your own two feet,
reconstituted

like freeze-died
scrambled eggs, since
the story goes,

when lost to you
in your earthly life,
they were not really lost

just
stored in the Walk-In
Freezer

of the Lord
until your ascension through
the Pearly Gates of the Lord

for your ever-lasting
reward on the
Tennis & Food Courts of the Lord...

but no body's told me
what happens
if,

in the event
more likely in my case,
the Pearly Gates of the Lord

are not seen
by my
dead eyes

but warmer climes,
instead, are to be my fate,
an eternity spent

dancing on the hot
rocks
of hell ever-lasting

instead of basking by the Cabanas of the Lord,
will I be dancing
on my own reconstituted

scrambled-egg legs
dispatched
from the Walk-In Freezer of the Lord

immediately
upon determination
of my eternal status

or will I be force
to do the Savoy Stomp
forever

on the stumps
of my carelessly
misplaced feet?...

it's the kind of thing
nobody
wants to talk about
















Uh oh - some deep think from the end of the year.


















carrying on

circumstances
change, it's the universal constant,
nothing is as it was
or will be
and
few
outside our own sentient kind
know or care because,
unlike we
who live always
in multiple time dimensions,
the others
live only and forever
in the dimension
of right now...

leaving
only our kind
to face the challenge
of adaptation
while the others
live serenely complacent
even as extinction creeps up
from their toes,
we, even as we recognize our own dire destiny
have the capacity to admire the radiance of the comet
as it burns through our uncaring sky...

how unlucky we are to see our end unfolding
with time to admire its beauty


~~~~~~~


carrying on
even as we are carried off the field














A rant from 2010. The tragedy is that it is even more relevant today than it was nearly 20 years ago.














a rant of an educational nature

I was going to write about
the Texas Board of Education
which is in the process
of adopting standards for
history textbooks
for the next school year...

right-wing fundamentalist,
with a two to one
majority
over board members
of a more rational persuasion,
feel free to exercise their Stalinist
instinct
to rewrite history
until it turns out the way
they want

cause this is a Christian Nation
you know,
and since these folks hear from God
on a regular basis regarding
what kids
ought to be learning, it's completely
fair and proper for them
to be in charge of this kind of stuff

I mean,
who wants to start up a big argument
with God over American History
and the white man's destiny
to run things
until the Big White Guy in the Sky
decides to come back down
and take care of things
his own self

but if you happen to be one
of those concerned
that education of our children
really ought
to reflect the reality of things
you'll not be pleased to learn that
history is just the warm-up

science
and math are next

so
if political and religious
advantage
can be found in it,
you can be sure
there will be close scrutiny
of such left-wing propaganda as
global warming
evolution
gravity
and the earth's
position
relative to the sun
and the rest of the universe...

and what in the worlddo we need
germ theory and vaccines for
anyway
when
sacrificing a goat
to the glory of He Who Likes
His Cabarito Bar-B-Qued
on an open pit
will cure most any disease
known to us, believers and non-believers
alike,
except for the AIDS thing
that we don't want to cure anyways since
it's obviously God's punishment of all the
queers and lesbos and unborn children of drub addicts
for all the disgusting stuff they do,
and who in the world wants to defy God's will
anyway...

(tell me, Johnny,
what did you learn in school today?

well, we learned
why the apple fell
from the tree
to land so precisely
on Isaac Newton's head

and why is that, Johnny

cause little Isaac
was sleeping under the tree
rather than
reading his bible lesson
that's why

God shook the tree to make
the apple fall
precisely
on Isaac's head to wake him
and remind him of the need for proper
religious study,  ma'am

and how do you know that, Johnny?

cause that's what teacher said, and
look,
it's right here in my state-approved
science book)

but even that's not so bad

it's the whole business
of two plus two equals five,
as foretold in the first epistle
of Reverend Pat
on his TV show (have your sent your offering, yet?)

that's going to cause a big problem
when we get to making change at the
five and dime...

















Now back with a piece I wrote last month, a Christmas season poem of a more cynical nature.
















Uncle Filbert knows

it's a bad time
to be searching for meaning or purpose
to life, this week between
Christmas and the new year because, for me
the week is  a universal dead zone,
a void in the whatever-the-hell- there is
when purpose and meaning
have as little purpose and meaning
as the invisible cat in the
attic that crazy Uncle Filbert asserts
is spoiling his sleep

but thinking that
makes me think maybe crazy Uncle Filbert
knows the secret of it all,
poet or civilian,
if you want to find meaning and purpose
in this dead-end universal hiccup of a week
you're just going to have to make it up
yourself...
















A new piece from this week about a traditional event I had never been to before.













scenes from an urban cattle drive

the crowd gathers early,
local and tourists,
lines each side of Alamo Plaza,
kids jumping and playing,
a fella selling fluffy pink cowboy hats,
everyone waiting for the arrival,
a long wait since longhorns stroll
at a leisurely pace, not like the running bulls
in Spain, but stately and slow, from I-35 on the west side,
then the long walk down Houston Street, then the turn
at Alamo Plaza to pass in front of the Alamo,
ending the drive down the street
at La Villita...

I walk around for a hour,
then wait an hour,  holding the place
I picked to get the pictures I want, up close
and personal with the longhorns,
with the Alamo in the background,
and though my commitment is strong
(25 years in the city and this is my first time)
my legs are getting sore and wobbly,
and there's still a six block walk back to may car
when it's over...

but I am saved...

first the three motorcycle cops,
lights flashing, who head every parade,
and then, nothing, another wait,
until, finally, two blocks away, I see
the first cowboys make the turn,
riding ahead of the cattle

then,
the are directly in front of me, a cowboy horse's flank
close enough to touch, and next,  the longhorns
ambling along, boxed on either side by the cowboys,
twirling lariats and whispering low assurances
to their charges, beautiful animals, the longhorns,
deadly weapons extending far left and far right
on either side of their heads...

and they pass,
so quietly, as they trudge between the silent crowds
on either side of them, the whispering cowboys
the only sound I can hear...

and they pass,
and I take my photos
and head back, the long walk to my car...















Today, the first short sleeve shirt of spring, fog bound.












the morning opens

the morning opens
dim and doubtful,
fog-bound downtown
begins to open up,
the turning top
of the Tower of the America
clear,but floating above the
gray clouds...

here on the river, two
layers, one hugging close
to the slow-moving flow,
the other, risen, leaving
a clear break in between...

the day,
perhaps, between
the last of winter and the first
of spring...

but we are who we are,
and where we are, meaning
no old thing is necessarily over,
no new thing waits at the door,
and we are, again as always,
in between...















I think this has gone on long enough, so this coffeehouse observational from last month will be the last, a little lesson to myself. Dreams and reality - it's a good thing to know the difference.











a lumberjack-looking fella

lumberjack-looking
fella,
long beard and long, wild hair,
like he combed it with a pine cone,
big enough to challenge
a forest of trees...

lots of fellas, not just lumberjacks,
growing their beards this time of year,
a winter coat to comfort the face in cold winds...

me too, I'm letting mine grow, except mine
is white like my hair and, even with my flanel shirt,
I look nothing like a lumberjack, more like one of those old fellas
huddled back to the wind down on South Flores at the missions front door,
waiting for a prayer and a sermon
and some flapjacks, just like a lumberjack would have
in the forest....

but its not the same...











y comment button no longer works, so if you would like to comment on this post, email me at allen.itz@GMail.com. I appreciate hearing from readers.


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 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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