Saturday, December 31, 2011

What I Would Do


On this New Years Eve, 2011 the neighbor cat named Hellboy and I join in wishing you and yours a fruitfuytgytgytgytgytgytgytgytgytgytgytg (that was Hellboy stepping on my keys) fruitful 2012. May all the naysayers come to naught. May we in the US get the President we deserve.

I am currently in eclipse. I am hopeful the light will return.

I awoke this morning and on my Facebook, Michelle was wishing Happy New Year and I realized something. Michelle lives in Australia. As it hit midnight last night at the International Date Line it was January 1, 2012 there and so it was in Australia where Michelle lives. January 1 is coming to us hour by hour as it moves across the planet, as the planet revolves around the poles in its orbit, winter here in the north and summer in the south. Thus in Australia, Christmas and New Years Day take place in the long and the heat of summer. So also in Buenos Aires in Argentina. We do not all experience the same.

So in my life it is unique in many ways and yet the same in others. There is no doubt a northern and southern hemisphere in my life and an International Date Line too. Also in yours.

What I Would Do

I would reach far out
beyond the wrap of matter
into the quaking
gap of almost not
ever here again to try
to tell you the truth.

I would spin within
the celestial dream of time,
spin on the point blank
sweep of light, of light
that plays your face in shadow
and in hues of love.

I would hold with you,
keep the faith with you and yours,
leave nearby my heart.

February 13, 2010 3:37 PM

Calling In The Year

Friday, December 30, 2011

The Raven And Coyote

The Raven And Coyote

Raven looks at her,
old coyote in the warming
snow that clogs the pads
of her cold cold feet.

Coyote ignores raven, her
one eye on the trail.
I know she hears me,
the click of the camera.
She ignores me too.

Raven keeps one eye on
me even though she is high
up that naked tree.

February 7, 2010 1:51 PM

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow. - Melody Beattie

Melody Beattie is the author of Codependent No More, published in 1987 by the Hazelden Foundation. The book was successful and influential within the self-help movement, selling over eight million copies and introducing the word codependent to the general public.

Following the success of Codependent No More, Beattie authored over a dozen other books, including Beyond Codependency and The Language of Letting Go. Her most recent book is Make Miracles in Forty Days: Turning What You Have into What You Want, published in 2010. Several of her books have been published in other languages.

Similar to the work of Bill W. and Alcoholics Anonymous five decades earlier, Beattie's early work synthesizes psychoanalytic theory (especially object relations and the work of Heinz Kohut, Wilfrid Bion, and Otto Kernberg) into language people can easily grasp and use. In Codependent No More, Beattie also functioned as a popularizer of science, especially the work of psychiatrist Timmen Cermak, author of Diagnosing and Treating Co-Dependence.

Interested in what Melody might have to say to you?
*click here*

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Might Be I Took A Wrong Turn

"I took a wrong turn," said Brother Rabbit.

Might Be I Took A Wrong Turn

The hare of friendship
cannot find me because dark
rime from the rubber
sprayed slush coats my paw
and I clench and clench it up
from age old habit,
sure I am the one,
the very truthfully right
hare all alone here
on the night spread road
of my fearsome destiny
so I breathe and pray.

‎December ‎29, ‎2011 7:33 PM

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Wrecking Crew

Fashion for The New York Times (the backdrop in a foggy day) 1956
Tom Palumbo -

Thom writes: "Each week, I post three words. You write something using the words.

"Then come back and post a link to the contribution with Mr. Linky (but please, link to the exact post, not your blog, by clicking on the exact post title and paste it to Mr. Linky below). As always, there's no hard-and-fast rule that you have to post on Wednesday.

"I invite everyone to check back often to read and comment on other contributions. This is, after all, a community for writers who clamor for feedback."

To find this week's Three Word Wednesday *click here*

This week's words: Demolish; Resolution; Transform.

The Wrecking Crew

The watery thin
sun of year's end rose today
behind lower clouds
than usual, not fog,
not that, but still they mask well
your scheduled structure.

We shall demolish
this old relic and transform
the vacancy left
according to rules
of the new resolution
handed down to us.

December 28, 2011 4:41 AM

"A Foggy Day" is a song composed by George Gershwin, with lyrics by Ira Gershwin, introduced by Fred Astaire in the 1937 film A Damsel in Distress. It was originally titled "A Foggy Day (In London Town)", and is often still referred to as such.

A Damsel in Distress(RKO) is a 1937 English-themed Hollywood musical comedy film starring Fred Astaire, Joan Fontaine, George Burns, and Gracie Allen. With a screenplay by P. G. Wodehouse, loosely based on his novel of the same name, music and lyrics by George and Ira Gershwin, it is directed by George Stevens.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Soon They'll Find Her

Laughing Marilyn Monroe by Bert Stern Pearls

Picture offered by Tess at Magpie Tales

Marilyn was a smart but troubled lady. I had an aunt who grew up like her when our family on my Mom's side exploded. My Mom too went to a kind of foster situation, but she was older and turned it to her advantage. Her little sis (half sister with different fathers) ran in the streets while my Mom took a college degree.

Soon They'll Find Her

She looks for promise
in the glitter of the night
just as they said to.
She's obedient,
sex kitten on their command
and innocent too,
just that way, fellas.
She's a student of our lives
and you'd think jaded
but the whispers come
slinking in the graying smoke
suggesting her pain.
She's tried to untie
all the knots she's come here with,
to simplify things
picking at the strings
so she can smile at us now
just once for damn real.

Written in memory of Nan Wire (nee Hogg)
and Marilyn Monroe, December 27, 2011 12:48 PM

Written for Magpie Tales #97 *click here*

Monday, December 26, 2011

Buried Treasure

Miserere Nobis

I was reading at Paula's House of Toast a poem she wrote with this passage:
"Their song, halfway
between a boatman's yo and ho,
part miserere nobis, part deo gratias,
hovers on the wind."

Miserere nobis means (God,) have mercy on us. Deo gratias means Thanks be to God. Even though I am thoroughly familiar with the phrases from singing Latin in choir, I had to look the translations up. I am ever more grateful for the internet and my ability in my dotage to easily research stuff.

I shall add that Paula is a medical doctor who lives and practices back east and is a remarkable photographer of the humbler aspects of nature found around her in her neighborhood. I have followed her blog from the first, having found it via Lucy in France who suggested Dale here in Portland. I found Paula listed on his site and fell in love with both her photography and her unabashed expression concerning her religious practice and other things.

Miserere Nobis

To me that was too great to pass up, so I wrote a haiku there in reply. Then I took that haiku, the first three lines of this poem and added the next nine lines.

Buried Treasure

If you remember
anything from this sermon
let it be "yo ho!"
taken from pirates
as they gather their booty
for burial under
special marked boulders
and draw their maps together
while they look askance
as if under threat
and I imagine they are
just that, wouldn't you?

‎December ‎26, ‎2011 3:02 PM

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Playing On The Sly

"Gentlemen, we are going to relentlessly chase perfection, knowing full well we will not catch it, because nothing is perfect. But we are going to relentlessly chase it, because in the process we will catch excellence. I am not remotely interested in just being good." - Vince Lombardi (during his first talk with the Green Bay Packers as their coach)

"Throw your heart over the fence and the rest will follow." - Norman Vincent Peale

"Let me not pray to be sheltered from dangers, but to be fearless in facing them. Let me not beg for the stilling of my pain, but for the heart to conquer it." - Rabindranath Tagore

I don't know if this happens to many people but my hair has changed over the decades. My hair is thinning now but at sixty-six nowhere near bald, nor am I gray haired. My hair is the sort of nondescript brown that you almost call no color at all but turns out brown for the sake of driver's license descriptions. It is almost perfectly straight though I notice it is easily trained into things when damp. I suppose that is fairly normal.

When I was a small boy my hair was straight and I was blonde. Slowly my hair turned brown. As it did, I started to get a curl too. By the time I was in high school I was curly brown haired with the kind of waviness that often gets complimented. Me, I hated it. I wanted more control than the curls allowed, even though I knew I was "fortunate" from common points of view. That situation lasted to my forties, when my hair started to straighten out. I used to ask the barber to thin my hair. I no longer do that. I think this hair thing may have had to do with adult male sex hormones. I wouldn't mind if my hair turned back to blonde. I know even if I gray significantly I will not darken my hair as some do. One disappointing thing, I have had to shave my ears for years now. Shit.

Knowing what I know now, would I want to go back to an earlier time, say nineteen, or fifteen and do it all again knowing what I know now? I am sure this is not an easy question. I have thought about it many times. How about going all the way back to near the beginning? After considerable thought, my answer is clear.

Playing On The Sly

Sometimes I've wished for
a return to my small blonde size
and the caves, burrows,
the crevices I found
but not often. I have found
such good games to play
with you and sometimes
with the one who left me here.
We play on the sly.

February 7, 2010 9:16 AM

Friday, December 23, 2011

What Is Truth?

Constant development is the law of life, and a man who always tries to maintain his dogmas in order to appear consistent drives himself into a false position. - Mohandas K. Gandhi

What a word is truth. Slippery, tricky, unreliable. I tried in these books to tell the truth. - Lillian Hellman

In matters of the heart, nothing is true except the improbable. - Madame de Stael

Wiki says: Lillian Florence "Lilly" Hellman (June 20, 1905 – June 30, 1984) was an American authors of plays, screenplays, and memoirs, linked throughout her life with many left-wing political causes.

A poem written after midnight in winter...what do you expect? At least Lillian also believed truth is a snake. I found that quote tonight but I wrote the poem nearly two years ago.

What Is Truth?

The truth is a snake
of many colors, and eyes
that flash cold and hard
if there is no heat,
dim sun above stormy clouds
and me at a loss
fearing the sharp bite
of all the serpent scaled hues
and the snaky breath.

February 6, 2010 12:30 AM

We know who Gandhi is, and I have introduced Lillian, but who is Anne Louise Germaine de Staƫl-Holstein?

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Do I Have To Make Sense?

Fat Tuesday

Thom at Three Word Wednesday offers:

Belief; noun: An acceptance that a statement is true or that something exists; (belief in) trust, faith, or confidence in someone or something.

Festive; adjective: Of or relating to a festival, cheerful and jovially celebratory.

Rumple; verb: Give a creased, ruffled, or disheveled appearance to; noun: An untidy state.

As ever, Thom writes
Each week, I post three words. You write something using the words. Then come back and post a link to the contribution with Mr. Linky (but please, link to the exact post, not your blog, by clicking on the exact post title and paste it to Mr. Linky below). As always, there's no hard-and-fast rule that you have to post on Wednesday.


Do I Have To Make Sense?
(This is poetry, after all, serious stuff! zzzzz)

For the fun of it
I shall add one Fat Tuesday
to the other joys
his belief displays
on the festive mantlepiece
of the Stiltskin home.
Rumple is his name
and he will grumble sometimes.
Not brown today though,
nor any dark hue.

I really don't know just what
this is all about.

December 12, 2011 5:05AM

For the rest of the gang *click here*

ps, because of TWW I am leaving this poem alone here. However this evening I discovered I like the poem better with the second line in the title and a change I have made. I wonder if you will like it better. I will say this. The poem is a killer when spoken aloud with a dramatic voice. I have one and in reading it aloud, I think there is much more meaning to it. You might try it. Here is my second version.

Do I Have To Make Sense?
(This is poetry, after all, serious stuff! zzzzz)

For the fun of it
I shall add one Fat Tuesday
to the other joys
placed by disbelief
on the festive mantlepiece
of the Stiltskin home.
Rumple is his name
and he will grumble sometimes.
Not brown today though,
nor any dark hue.

I really don't know just what
this is all about.
See what changing one line can do?

Monday, December 19, 2011

Out For A Ride

North Carolina Back Road

My Dad (step-father) lived in Columbia, South Carolina for years. He married a woman who came from modest family money, whose father was nearby and growing older. She had family duty and eventually a full share of family money. This was fortunate for my Dad because he had run afoul the politics of advanced degrees in education and never could get his doctorate though he tried three times. My Dad was a poor politician and you have to be good at that both with educators themselves and with the parents too. He had a job for several years, first overseas, two tours as an administrator for the American Schools set up to support the diplomatic and business communities in foreign postings, such as Tehran, Iran and Dacca, East Pakistan. Then he worked in the states after his last doctoral attempt in Arizona as a Superintendent of Schools in Geyserville, California for about five years. After that he never worked in his field again.

When I returned from overseas with the family after the East Pakistan posting I watched the dissolution of an eighteen year marriage between my Mom and Dad. I was twenty-three at that time. My Mom eventually picked herself up and became a Unity School of Christianity Minister. My Dad went off to school in Tucson, Arizona for his third attempt at his PhD in Education. That's where he met his next wife, the woman who gave him the child he always wanted and couldn't have with my Mother.
They tried but she spontaneously aborted each of several times, even though she had birthed me with almost no trouble at all.

I had picked up a pair of women friends, younger and still in high school while overseas. One of them returned to the midwest if I remember right, and the other to Birmingham, Alabama. I was sweet on the one in the midwest and was in awe of the one in Ala. but thought her far above my pay grade. She invited us to Thanksgiving that first year back, so I went to Birmingham for a Russian ethnic Thanksgiving feast (in honor of her grandparents who emigrated from Russia) but I blew it big time. I was anxious to connect with the midwest girl and was completely surprised when the Alabama girl thought I had come to Alabama for her. If I had been smooth and willing to shift my affection it may have completely changed my life, but I lost them both of course. I would have happily lost my head and heart over the Alabama girl had I known that was possible.

So Birmingham, Alabama and Columbia, South Carolina. I flew to Birmingham and back to San Jose, Ca, already sick at heart for my mistake. The South for me is about the one that got away. The Columbia thing was a road trip from McLean, Va. through Virginia, North Carolina, and then South Carolina, there to stay for a week and then back home to Portland by air.

I think of the back roads of North Carolina in this poem. Some of the poorest people in the US live there.

Out For A Ride

What am I to make
of the back roads, the dirt roads
of the deep old lands
where the tobacco
grows even though we need quit
it's use, and ditch hemp
grows too and the heat
and humidity takes you
at mid summer noon?

What will I do if
my car breaks down in the dust
billowed up behind?

February 4, 2010 10:09 AM

Sunday, December 18, 2011

In Dim Light

Lee Friedlander (born July 14, 1934) is an American photographer and artist. In the 1960s and 70s, working primarily with 35mm cameras and black and white film, Friedlander evolved an influential and often imitated visual language of urban "social landscape," with many of the photographs including fragments of store-front reflections, structures framed by fences, posters and street-signs. Friedlander now works primarily with medium format cameras (e.g. Hasselblad Superwide). While suffering from arthritis and housebound, he focused on photographing his surroundings. His book, Stems, reflects his life during the time of his knee replacement surgery. He has said that his "limbs" reminded him of plant stems.

From his collection Stems:

From his work in New York in the 60's:

Offered up by Tess as a Magpie prompt:

In Dim Light

You have shadowed me
for years, taking your cold shots
and covering me,
blocking what light shines
on me, dim at best most times.
I can't shake you off.
You say it's your art
And I say it's a damn pain.
I don't know what she
says, but she loves you.
Go figure that one, you shit.
Figure why she should.

December 18, 2011 11:18 AM

For the Magpie Tales contributor list *click here*

Friday, December 16, 2011

Waiting For Your Call

Phone cards donated to soldiers

Waiting for the woman I love who is deployed in Afghanistan...I sent her a phone card of course, one of the fancy expensive ones, because she is not calling me so often these days. From what she tells me, she is in harm's way frequently. The emails are slowing down too. The words are more generic. WTF.


She has emigrated to Peru, working for Doctors Without Borders on the wet side of the Andes. I do not know if she will ever return. There is no phone service there but there is in the town nearby. It is higher in the mountains and between that clarity and satellites there is a way to call. I really, really miss her. She says she misses me, but she isn't coming home.


We came apart a couple years ago, her decision, and she has gone to Germany while I stay in Amsterdam. What I do to pay my bills, I can't really do anywhere else...I am too old now and no one will take me on. She has a goal and is following her own way. She saw I couldn't come and worked it out over several months that her goal was more important than our intimate daily life. We got along really well in most ways. One of the hardest things I have done is reconcile to the idea that she has rejected me. We are still friends. She visits, short visits, frequently, but not only me, never only me. Then she goes back to Germany and her new life.


Waiting For Your Call

I pace or at least
I dream of pacing, waiting,
hoping you will call
using your new card
to cross international
lines, to reach me here
in my secrecy,
in the jail of my tangled
hope and turbulence.

February 5, 2010 10:48 PM

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Gold And Silk Ribbons

On one of the streets to the south and east of the San Jose State campus someone planted a row of ginkgoes. Those trees were in those days 1967-1969 fully mature with large diameter trunks, reaching high into the sky. As is typical of ginkgoes they had a bold and splayed crown, reaching toward each other and across the street too. When the leaves dropped in fall, the yellow gold color dominated everything, and the light passing through the ginkoes would turn an ethereal shade all its own. The thing with the light tended to happen at all times of year on that street. Once when I was so in love with Katy, walking up that street something very strange happened to the light. First I loved the light, then in short order it scared me and I hurried back home. It was too real and I didn't know what it meant, except that it was meant for me. Ginkgo trees gather together and together have power.
Wiki says: Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba; also spelled gingko and known as the Maidenhair Tree, is a unique species of tree with no close living relatives. The tree is widely cultivated and introduced, since an early period in human history, and has various uses as a food and traditional medicine. The Ginkgo is a living fossil, with fossils recognizably related to modern Ginkgo from the Permian, dating back 270 million years. The most plausible ancestral group for the order Ginkgoales is the Pteridospermatophyta, also known as the "seed ferns," specifically the order Peltaspermales.

Although Ginkgo biloba and other species of the genus were once widespread throughout the world, their range shrank until by two million years ago it was restricted to a small area of China. For centuries it was thought to be extinct in the wild, but is now known to grow in at least two small areas in Zhejiang province in Eastern China, in the Tian Mu Shan Reserve. However, recent studies indicate high genetic uniformity among ginkgo trees from these areas, arguing against a natural origin of these populations and suggesting that the ginkgo trees in these areas may have been planted and preserved by Chinese monks over a period of about 1,000 years. Whether native ginkgo populations still exist has not been demonstrated unequivocally.
Where it occurs in the wild it is found infrequently in deciduous forests and valleys on acidic loess (i.e. fine, silty soil) with good drainage.

In many areas of China it has been long cultivated and it is common in the southern third of the country. It has also been commonly cultivated in North America for over 200 years, but during that time it has never become significantly naturalised.

Gold And Silk Ribbons

I had another
dream of the time long ago
we were together -
remember the place
where even the ginkgo trees
grew taller and spring
lasted half the year?

You wore gold and silk ribbons
in your shining hair.

January 27, 2010 11:15 PM

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

That's A Song, You Know

Along with the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane are regarded as the most successful San Francisco band of the late 60s.

Three Word Wednesday: Immobile, Proximity, Retribution
For this week's gathering *click here*

That's A Song, You Know

I was once full of
slithers and wiggles, gathered
in loose red bundles.

Now I'm immobile,
anchored to you, an oak tree
in proximity
to your granite face.

It's retribution, I know.
You've found ways to root
me and now I've got
the sit down, can't cry, Oh Lord
I'm gonna die blues.

Most who know of the Airplane remember Grace Slick, but Signe Anderson was first, and the Jefferson Airplane had no girl singer at the very start. I saw both Jorma Kaukonen (finger picking country and blues, of course) and Paul Kantner (classical guitar) as solo acts before they came out as the Airplane. They performed in a pizza parlor turned folk music coffee house south of the San Jose State campus run by Paul Zeigler. I also saw Skip Spence perform there solo. As a wannabe folkie myself, I modeled my singing and playing on Paul Zeigler. He had previously had a long run at a coffee house called The Brass Knocker, located in Saratoga, California. I was there in the audience learning Paul's style as often as I could get there. I even went one weekend AWOL from Fort Ord, and when the owner found out I was AWOL, he threw me out. Zeigler did High Flying Bird too. That's where I smoked my first dope.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Looking Past The Hand

Bond Of Union

Maurits Cornelis Escher (17 June 1898 – 27 March 1972), usually referred to as M. C. Escher (nicknamed Mauk) was a Dutch graphic artist. He is known for his often mathematically inspired woodcuts, lithographs, and mezzotints. These feature impossible constructions, explorations of infinity, architecture, and tessellations.

Here is a self portrait:

I have had a special relationship with Mauk (me and millions of others) for my whole life, not only loving the puzzles and cleverness of his work, but the way he mostly deals with images of other worlds, even though it is obvious that he can draw this one if he wants to. I think I have some of that going on. I hope I can be forgiven my arrogance.

Looking Past The Hand

I had this good friend
would shove his nose flat using
the palm of his hand,
his eyes wide open,
"Get the picture?" he would ask.

"It's too close!" I'd say.
"Exactly!" He'd say.

Now you ask how I see you,
see your heart so plain.
It's not much I do
but this: look back past your hand,
from out your blue eyes.

January 30, 2010 4:44 AM
changed one word, December 12, 2011 7:19 PM

In honor of Mick D., who has been my friend for over twenty years and who asks, "Get the picture?"

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Cancer Rising

Through Tess at Magpie Tales, image by Mostafa Habibi

I write this poem for this week's Magpie Tales
For Magpie Tales #95 *click here*

Cancer Rising

The abandoned boat resting
on the verge of things caught me
and I am amazed
that this beach ate me
alive like a crab fearing
the coming noontide
crowds, the gulls intent
on piercing my soft salt shell.
I need your help now.
I can't dig me out
alone at this point. Please come,
or my eyes will be plucked out.

written December 11, 2011 8:42 AM

The crab is the sign Cancer becomes cancer and the tide rising is a foretelling and so astrology becomes the abandoned boat and illness is me buried in the sand on the shore of mortality. Finally, cancer becomes a broken heart. That is the poet path, where the muse led me on this one.

By the way, I suffer the broken heart, not the cancer.

My call holds, for it is universal,
"Please come, or my eyes will be plucked out!"

Saturday, December 10, 2011


"Pursue some path, however narrow and crooked, in which you can walk with love and reverence." - Henry David Thoreau

"Keep close to Nature's heart. Break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean." - John Muir

"I am part of the sun as my eye is part of me. That I am part of the earth my feet know perfectly, and my blood is part of the sea. There is not any part of me that is alone and absolute except my mind, and we shall find that the mind has no existence by itself, it is only the glitter of the sun on the surfaces of the water." - D. H. Lawrence

I am on a path begun in November of 1966. Along the way I have suffered terrible deflections and also have received amazing grace. Most of the time I simply trudge, informed by the topology of my inner life, and my inner life guided by the vision I received that long ago November, when I turned twenty-one. I have appeared a fool much of the time and I respect the singular nature of guidance.

As Thomas Jefferson knew, the principal relation between man and God is individual to the human soul, and while it may not be personal in any ordinary sense, it is certainly a private matter. Yet as Thoreau and Emerson knew, there is no individual without his embedding in the landscape of the universe. He is located. He is related. Even a rigorous isolation has its limits and so it is better to acknowledge such a radical dependency and in the end revere it in some way.

Every fantasy of my inner life is yet another arrow aiming at my place in things. I arose, my beginnings in bewilderment and my every breath yearns for a return I have yet to understand even this late in my passage.


I stood to the left
of the narrow midnight spring
watching the water
finger out over
the slab of granite laying
flat, letting the flow
drop a foot into
the pool below.

I prayed for your mum, for you.
I prayed for us all.

January 28, 2010 8:41 PM

"For as long as space endures
And for as long as sentient beings remain,
Until then may I too abide,
To dispel the misery of the world."
--Shantideva, A Guide to the Bodhisattva Way of Life

Thursday, December 8, 2011

He Writes Gold Rings

He shall remain nameless. I shall not embarrass him. It is sufficient to say that I learned this principle as a small boy watching a movie called "The Fastest Gun Alive." There is always someone faster, better, wiser, richer, more this, more that. Always. Well, not always... That might keep you going.

Directed by
Russell Rouse
Produced by
Clarence Greene
Written by
Frank D. Gilroy
Russell Rouse
Glenn Ford
Jeanne Crain
Broderick Crawford
Russ Tamblyn
Allyn Joslyn
George J. Folsey
Editing by
Harry V. Knapp
Ferris Webster
Distributed by MGM
Release date April 12, 1956
Running time 89 minutes

He Writes Gold Rings

I have this young friend
who writes gold rings around me,
that contain my wool
as it unravels,
as I spin yarns of my own.
It’s all true, hollers
this wild eyed magus
as he is contained by gold
sliding down his form.
It’s all true, whispers
the world of my amazement
as I shiver, golden.

January 28, 2010 7:43 PM

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Old Age

This week's words:

The words Thom has handed to us weave a vision that leads me back to my personal fantasy, forged in the life I lived at the end of the century as I engaged the deepest heart work I will probably do in this life. This work carried me past the transition from my middle years to the beginnings of my old age. This work freed me to express myself as I now do, in words and in music too. However, I must do all this with what is left to me and much of what I was in the last century is no longer with me in this one. Here I confess undying love and gratitude to Maire of the Shining Moon, the lady who carried my heart during this transition.

What happened in the next decade is a different chapter filled with returns and new beginnings, new refreshments and new kinds of love. I am grateful for this as well. That too has now passed as I am compelled along my way.

The Passing Of The Age
The Mage's Lament

Oh sweet love, darling queen of my ages,
the shield of my being, I shall raise
your standard, the vermilion flag
tied to the pole I hold close to my side,
though my pain seeps past the cloth
once tied around me by your hand.

I might stand on the rampart at evening
or else deeper within your keep and yet
have I been torn from the old ways,
torn open by our forced passage
from this darker time to the coming newer light.
You have firmly said I must be passive,
must stay my hand, must stay behind.

Your enemies and mine have prevailed.

I confess I flag. I would hold with all
the might left to my hand
in the setting of the wild light,
all I can muster under this gray sun.
Yes, I am passive now, slow and swollen
from within, from the burdens that beset me,
the steady crazing of my shocked bones,

but still shall I lift your color
as I salute our song deep within,
salute the memory that echoes,
salute the way we once were,
the way it all once was.

December 7, 2011 6:46 AM
Written for Three Word Wednesday CCXLIX *click here*

Sunday, December 4, 2011

The Messenger

Lunch, George Tooker, 1964, Columbus Museum of Art

George Clair Tooker, Jr. (August 5, 1920 – March 27, 2011) was a figurative painter whose works are associated with the Magic realism and Social realism movements. Tooker did not care for this label. He was one of nine recipients of the National Medal of Arts in 2007. Working with the then-revitalized tradition of egg tempera, Tooker addressed issues of modern-day alienation with subtly eerie and often visually literal depictions of social withdrawal and isolation. He died of kidney failure at the age of ninety with a life's work of over 150 paintings, many of which sold for $300,000-400,000. Even so, because he shunned publicity, not many know of him or his work.

Poem written for Tess Kincaid's Magpie Tales *click here*

The Messenger

I did not come here
for lunch, though it is that hour.
I have a message
for one of you here.
Will J. D. please stand up now?
That's John Doe perhaps?
Why are there only
two women here? That's crazy
in this day and age.
I feel funny, strange,
not a good way to feel in
this hazy brass light.
Where in Hell's Hall can
I be? And where is that guy?
I have this damned note.

written December 4, 2011 10:45 AM

Friday, December 2, 2011

How To Handle Pain

"The Hopi Indians of Arizona believe that our daily rituals and prayers literally keep this world spinning on its axis. For me, feeding the seagulls is one of those everyday prayers." - Brenda Peterson
For me, feeding a neighborhood cat is like this.
"The poem is a little myth of man's capacity of making life meaningful. And in the end, the poem is not a thing we see -- it is, rather, a light by which we may see -- and what we see is life." - Robert Penn Warren
Robert Penn Warren is a poet. So am I. I agree with him.
"The moment of change is the only poem." - Adrienne Rich

Adrienne Cecile Rich (born May 16, 1929) is an American poet, essayist and feminist. She has been called "one of the most widely read and influential poets of the second half of the 20th century."

How To Handle Pain

I heard you speak so
low, just above a whisper
of pain, sharp as ice,
and my first thought was
we should run, steal a fast car,
rob the bank nearby,
head to Mexico
and not look back, not at all
no matter who calls.

January 27, 2010 10:40 PM

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

It's Dicey Now

Cats who behave badly

Once again, joining Three Word Wednesday.  Click here for the site: 3WW CCXLVIII

An aircraft jettison switch cover

Thom explains:
"Each week, I post three words. You write something using the words. Then come back and post a link to the contribution with Mr. Linky (but please, link to the exact post, not your blog, by clicking on the exact post title and paste it to Mr. Linky below). As always, there's no hard-and-fast rule that you have to post on Wednesday."

The three words for this last day of November, 2011: Behave; Jettison; Mob.

An Angry Mob

It's Dicey Now

Oh, I just don't know
how I'll get you to behave
in these latter days -
the cover is up,
the jettison switch exposed -
I'm about to dump
all in a clean sweep
and outside the gates the mob
is shouting, pressing
on the shaky fence,
this all because you exposed
the situation.

Written November 30, 2011 10:58 AM

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Love's Tapestry

Love's Tapestry

You've caught the windy
song as it threads past us here.
You rise, hold my light,
my lowering light.

I feel the spacious welcome
in your heart, your eyes
as you rise above.
We shall lift our days toward
the gold flame beyond
the gray sun hanging
low in this odd aged land.

We are now entranced,
woven together
as true as ever we've been
life and life and love.

January 18, 2010 7:23 AM

Monday, November 28, 2011

The Meaning Of Hope

Doorway Into Hope

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul.
And sings the tune
Without the words,
and never stops at all.

Emily Dickinson (1830 - 1886)

"If you know the point of balance, You can settle the details. If you can settle the details, You can stop running around. Your mind will become calm. If your mind becomes calm, You can think in front of a tiger. If you can think in front of a tiger, You will surely succeed." - Mencius

Mencius, most accepted dates: 372 – 289 BCE, was a Chinese philosopher who was arguably the most famous Confucian after Confucius himself. Mencius' interpretation of Confucianism has generally been considered the orthodox version by subsequent Chinese philosophers, especially by the Neo-Confucians of the Song dynasty. Mencius' disciples included a large number of feudal lords, and he was actually more influential than Confucius had been. The Mencius (also spelled Mengzi or Meng-tzu), a book of his conversations with kings of the time, is one of the Four Books that Zhu Xi grouped as the core of orthodox Neo-Confucian thought. In contrast to the sayings of Confucius, which are short and self-contained, The Mencius consists of long dialogues, including arguments, with extensive prose. While Confucius himself did not explicitly focus on the subject of human nature, Mencius asserted the innate goodness of the individual, believing that it was society's influence – its lack of a positive cultivating influence – that caused bad moral character. "He who exerts his mind to the utmost knows his nature" and "the way of learning is none other than finding the lost mind".

Christopher writes:

The Meaning Of Hope

I shall choose my hope
like I choose my gait after
falling like I have.
There is no native
walk left in me after all.
The impact shook me down.
I've been spun and slammed
and knocked upside my old head
to the point I call
uncle in this game
yet I shall choose to have hope
and I believe you.

January 17, 2010 5:07 PM

"Until the day when God shall deign to reveal the future to man, all human wisdom is summed up in these two words,--Wait and hope." - Alexandre Dumas (1802 - 1870), The Count of Monte Cristo

"Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. You wait and watch and work: You don't give up." - Anne Lamott

"Never deprive someone of hope; it might be all they have." - H. Jackson Brown Jr.

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