Friday, August 31, 2012

Just An Old Hippie

Just An Old Hippie

Rooted like a tree-
head in the clouds, wings on thoughts
waiting for the storm
to break on my back,
testing the dry sand, looking
for rocks of ages-
now far far away,
singing the twelve bar blues songs
you taught me to sing-
I am much older
inside than I might appear
to be, and my roots
do show my true age.

August 31, 2012 11:22 PM

It's A Hard Road

It's A Hard Road

Road swimming just sucks
because the gravel gets in
your cracks and your nose.
Your goggles scratch up
and your arms do too and then
you never really
know if you will get
anywhere because the next
lap is straight up hill.

First three lines written for a facebook posting earlier this evening.
The rest written August 31, 2012 12:52 AM

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Initiation - Reprise

Here is a meeting that can cause trouble. Let us say that a person is somehow essential to God's plan or otherwise extraordinarily worth saving from the Divine point of view. God has to come near to effect this work. It would feel accidental on the human side and would be purposeful on the Divine side. It is here that people speak up and say, "See the face of God and die" Wow.

What I mean is, God seems to be as economical as possible when diddling with the human free will world for the simple and good reason that He needs to keep his compact with man that free will is real. Yet there is or seems to be a divine plan, a tendency. Most things can be done with many people interchangeably the architect of the work. Perhaps there are some things some of the time that are only one man's, such as perhaps Einstein's discoveries. These singularities need not be sensational. Probably most are basically ordinary and private yet distinctly divine in some aspect.

Perhaps then God indeed steps in and saves my ass or yours, but probably not. I am sure that people claim His presence in some overt way far more often than is real. Even after it really happens it is difficult to take seriously just because it is so rare.

This poem takes place in that neighborhood.


When you touched me so,
Changed that single wild moment
To a timeless one,
I had to somehow
Accommodate your presence
In my aimless life.

Do you realize how close
Terror is to joy, despair?

Ever since, I'm tasked
With somehow measuring up
To you this moment.
But first I fell far,
Landed hard, had to pick up
All my damn marbles.

Written December 12, 2008 3:39 PM
First posted March 18, 2009
Introductory words expanded August 30, 2012

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Tell The Truth - 3WW

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.

To link up with this week's Three Word Wednesday *click here*

This week's words:

Affair; Expectation; Free

Tell The Truth

This is going to
hurt, that's what we said when we
began the affair.
Keeping the secret
uppermost, expectation
stuffed down as we could,
nothing but all in
was going to work. The next
two years, what it took
to get us both free.
Would I do that again, love?
Oh fuck yes, love, yes!

August 29, 2012 5:15 AM

I will say this is nothing but the truth, so help me. What I mean of course, would I do that again, if this were 1998 again and me who I was then, she who she was and all the same, the choice would never in a million years be different. I will never in all my life left to me try to justify this thing to anyone. That is respectfully none of your business, no offense, I hope. I paid several steep prices over the two years we were together. I was enough of an outlaw then that this gesture fit my life like a spiritual glove. I am enough of an outlaw now that all stays that way today.

This period of my life, 1998-2001, is one of those...a bucket list item, so to speak. If I had held back, I would have always been a little sick at heart, wondering what might have happened with that special regret of the coward. I had loved that woman from the distance since 1984. I knew but did not know what would happen, if you understand me. I so wanted to ride off into the sunset with that woman, all the time knowing the folly of it. Thank you, Shining One.

What happened next was even better. You know who you are, my love! Now I'm old. No regrets.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Shiny Things - Reprise

Spirit Island near the south end of Maligne Lake.

Thievery is an attitude. With the right attitude you can steal even when what is stolen is freely offered as a gift. I have been the guy did that before.

Some years ago I took a Canadian Rockies vacation with my fine friend Francie and Maligne Lake was one of the highlights.

The best bird thief I ever met was a gray jay who lived at the north end of Maligne Lake near the main tourist place. I was eating a sandwich and this jay swooped down and took a piece of it right out of my hand.

The site of the crime was the outdoor seating area to the right of the steps down to the dock and the day was similar to the photo, bright and sunny.

Wiki says: Maligne Lake is a lake in Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada. It is famed for the colour of its water, the surrounding peaks, the three glaciers visible from the lake and Spirit Island, one of the most photographed locations in the world.
Surface elevation: 5,479 feet (1,670 m)
Area: 7.61 sq miles (19.71 km²)
Mean depth: 115 feet (35 m)
Length: 13.98 miles (22.5 km)
Islands: Spirit Island
Cities: Jasper

Shiny Things

My crow squawks it up.
He likes shiny things and steals
From the neighborhood.
He places each with care
In the space I let him have
And I have to lie
To all the irate
Neighbors who are sure it's him.

I would be angry
But I will steal stuff from God
Any time I can.

Shiny things, just like him.

Written December 9, 2008 7:42 PM
First posted March 14, 2009
Slightly Modified Today

Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Big Room, A Magpie Tale

The Big Room, painted by Andrew Wyeth in 1948, offered as a visual prompt by Tess Kincaid for Mag 132. *click here* for that link.

The Big Room was related to winter in Andrew's early life. It is said that the fireplace was a centerpiece of the Wyeth Christmas and that Andrew's Dad (artist N.C. Wyeth) played the role of Santa, literally on the roof and coming down the chimney. Andrew was so frail as a child that he was home schooled.

You may recall the painting, Christina's World depicting her in the fields below her house in Maine. *click here* Does it change your perception of that painting to know that Christina was crippled and actually could not walk, that she was the model for the legs only? The head and torso are not of Christina but of Betsy, his wife. It is said that Christina often refused help from people and devices, choosing to crawl around her family's property.

Home Schooling
The Life Of Andrew Wyeth

I'm a sickly boy
looking at the fire inside.
Dad bangs on the roof
when he's not giving
me lesson after lesson
forming me for life.
That Big Room opened
to Chadds Ford, later to Maine
and I drew my life
and hers, my lady
Christina hopeful as I
in the fields, the fields
of my life and hers
ever grateful she gave me
permission to show
her like that, her legs
trailing her heart just like that,
just like my own life.

August 26, 2012 8:27 AM

The studio where much of Wyeth's work was produced.

"That is one thing I've learned, that it is possible to really understand things at certain points, and not be able to retain them, to be in utter confusion just a short while later. I used to think that once you really knew a thing, its truth would shine on forever. Now it's pretty obvious to me that more often than not the batteries fade, and sometimes what you knew even goes out with a bang when you try to call on it, just like a lightbulb cracking off when you throw the switch."
- Ann Patchett
As found on Whiskey River *click here*

Friday, August 24, 2012

Winning The War - Reprise

Quanyin - A Goddess and Bodhisattva, Chinese Buddhism

All is not quiet. That is just what it is. I don't mean in my life right now, I mean in the larger life, the one where wars do happen, where alcoholism ravages families, where children starve and where cruelty masquerades as necessity. All of it, all of it begins and ends in the heart center, in the way the energy flows from the base of the spine to the top of the head, beyond, and then back again, just like air into lungs and out again. Every war is inside me. I have no escape. It is all me, mine to take responsibility, and to heal if I can. I vow we all go to heaven or we don't. I vow to stay until the least of us goes before me. I cannot possibly maintain that vow without permission and power. And yet, nevertheless, I so vow. This is Bodhisattva.

Winning The War

You spoke with me then
About the rising rebel
Army inside me,
Inside you and how
The Master said to behave,
To bow to anger

And then step aside,

How he said no one
Wins this war straight up ahead
But by deflection.
And more, there is more.
There is lack of the power
We need. We must call,

Truly call it forth.

Written December 10, 2008 3:40 PM
First Posted March 15, 2009

The Heart Sutra, a Buddhist work offers the following mantra as the encapsulation of the path to full enlightenment found in all the wisdom traditions.

As found in the Heart Sutra this goes

Tadyatha Om, gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi swaha

Which paraphrased and translated says

"It is thus the beginning and the end of things to go, go, to go beyond, to utterly and completely and really go beyond, to become firmly rooted in the wisdom found there and from there offer praise to all."

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Tastes Like Green Bananas

Tastes Like Green Bananas

I stand back from light,
the pulse of it streaming by,
stick my finger in,
watch the splash, little
flecks coming loose that fly off
and then disappear.
I feel light's passage,
pull my finger out, staring,
then lick it all off.

May 7, 2010 4:44 PM

Did I make you hungry? The bananas in the image are just about right for me. Any more ripe and they get too sweet for me. I like the tang in green bananas, but I like the pulp to not be the grainy way it is in bananas that are too green. I like the peel to be easy to remove. I really dislike bruises in my bananas...

I figure if you know how I like my bananas you really know me :D

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

We Are Not Alone

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.

To link up with this week's Three Word Wednesday *click here*

This week's words:

Amuse; Excite; Sincere

We Are Not Alone

The weather fairies,
are still there to amuse us
with rim shots and bumps
that excite the lot,
starting a sincere wobble
between fair and foul,
driving those certain
rave patterns past the rude boys
now so unemployed
as we soon will be.
We're leather clad and hopping
in the spread of things.

August 22, 2012 6:36 AM

Monday, August 20, 2012

Calling On Powers

Calling On Powers

From behind the stones,
the mossy cairn we built near
the path to the spring,
from there the light shall
begin to shine, there shall change
our ghostly trudge from
bat cave dim, dismal
low dirge to seedling colors,
to demanding sounds
of newborn bright birds
with their complete right to be
alive in this place.

I strike these words like bronze bells.
They ring beyond our bindings.

May 6, 2010 3:16 AM

There is something here, is there not? This is the voice of a man, or a woman, who stands in the light unafraid to face the Divine. This is the voice of one who is accepted both in that stance and in that place. Such a possibility arises in twofold streams of experience - from the stream of decisions and from the stream of practices.

Baby Ospreys

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Under Windsor Bridge, A Magpie Tale

Wiki says:
"Windsor Bridge or Windsor Town Bridge, is a road bridge over the River Thames between the towns of Windsor and Eton in the English county of Berkshire. It now only carries pedestrian and cycle traffic, and crosses the Thames just above Romney Lock.

"It is likely that the first bridge on this site was built in the 12th century AD. By 1172 it is recorded that Osbert de Bray derived over £4 from tolls levied on vessels passing beneath the bridge. In 1242, permission was granted for oak trees to be felled in Windsor Forest for the purpose of constructing a new bridge between Windsor and Eton. By 1819 the wooden bridge, presumably rebuilt many times over its life, had deteriorated and it was decided to build a new bridge in new materials.

"Construction on the current bridge was started in 1822 and it opened on June 1, 1824."

Under Windsor Bridge - 1912
by Adolphe Valette
courtesy Tess Kincaid

A Painter's Life
Under Windsor Bridge In The Early Morning

soupy this morning, chappie.
Look at him checking
out his barge as if
he could do something from here.
Can you imagine
how hard it is to
manage oils in this weather?
It really sucks!

August 19, 2012 12:16 PM

Friday, August 17, 2012

The Top Ten - An Invitation to Creativity

Christopher, August 17, 2012
"The fact is that we are living in a time when the decision to be an artist, to continue to create in spite of everything that's happening around us, IS a radical political act. This is, I feel, quite a dark time, potentially destructive to the best and most noble aspects of the human spirit. And that's precisely why it is terribly important for artists in all disciplines to continue to create, even when it feels like there's little market and little appreciation for our work. Just doing it, and making the difficult decision to continue to do it - to live creative lives that celebrate what life is and can be - is both defiant and affirming, and it's crucially important. People need to know that someone they know - a neighbor, a friend, a cousin - is committed to the arts. Young people particularly need to know this." - Beth Adams
I began blogging back in the fall of 2008 after running into a community of bloggers who gathered around the philosophical and political rightist blog of a published author and psychologist. I became fascinated that a man on the right could express spiritual ideas of such sophistication, ideas that I had always connected with progressive leftist politics. It was a train wreck for me. I struggled to stay with them and in the end left off, hopelessly excluded from the rhetoric even though I loved some of the clarity of view. The fall out from that time was a closeness I felt with two of the community, Walt who blogged his spiritual, largely Eastern selected writings from somewhere near Eugene, Oregon, and Don, posting as Robin Starfish, a photographer and haiku guy living in small town Idaho.

Finally, I began my own blog as a platform for my new poetry that I had begun posting on other people's websites while my connections to those others grew. I got tagged by Don as Jonny Applepoem for my frequency of leaving poems behind me as I travelled through the blogosphere.

My experience in blogging is by no means unique, as if I am some kind of special writer. I met some wonderful people in the early days, following links and suggestions along the way. There was Lucy, the lovely English lady who lives in Britanny. There was at her suggestion, Dale, who is a part time massage therapist in my Portland area. Jozien and Rachel, both independent of each other from the Whitehorse area of the Yukon. So many others.

My part in it, I am creative on two fronts. I write a ton of poetry, write at the drop of a hat, and also I have perfected a simple style of presenting a wide ranging spread of topics in a readable blog post form. I want to say that this has been easy, at least the blogging part of it has been easy. As ever in the creative life, a bunch of the success is based on consistent practice.

Blogger (Google) is a big part of my success, referring to my blog as a resource. I am now experiencing never less than 250 page views a day globally with Google being the primary referral. I have been viewed approaching 150,000 times, a view count from June of 2009 so it misses all the views of the first seven months of daily posting. That result I believe is typical, even modest for a four year run. If my experience is at all typical, then so much of blogging is social. You do not have to worry that much about whether you are any good at all this stuff. Just begin. Here is my blogging post top ten list as of today:

1. Castle Walls - Reprise 5582 page views

2. Getting Right Sized - 3WW 4439 page views

3. The Ravens Call 3772 page views

4. What Coyote Gives 3180 page views

5. Pig Iron - Reprise 2533 page views

6. For Jozien 2121 page views

7. In Honor Of Robert Johnson 1671 page views

8. Good And Evil 1384 page views

9. The Outlaw Road 1223 page views

10. All Bent Over 1081 page views

Thursday, August 16, 2012

When It's Time

images by "xixerone" *click here*

This collage is composed of views of a sculpture found in Barcelona’s Poblenou Cemetery. The Kiss of Death (El Petó de la Mort in Catalan and El beso de la muerte in Spanish) dates back to 1930. If you Google "kiss of death" you will run into Richard Widmark's screen debut as a lead, some other things and you will run into several sites presenting this rather famous memorial.

There is some debate who created The Kiss of Death, sculpted of white marble. It is attributed to Jaume Barba but it seems quite likely that it was created by Joan Fontbernat. It is tucked away in the farthest corner of Poblenou Cemetery and may have inspired Bergman’s The Seventh Seal.

Josep Llaudet Soler is interred beneath the sculpture. The Llaudet family was at the time of his death a leading textile manufacturing family in Barcelona and he their favorite son. His epitaph reads in a loose translation:
“And his young heart can no longer help;
in his veins the blood stops and freezes
and with all encouragement lost, faith embraces
his fall into the arms of death."
- from a poem written by Jacint Verdaguer, one of Catalan's greatest poets.

Last Monday, I posted an alter ego view on the approach of death entitled The Bone Dance. *Click here* Today I present a poem much closer to my true relationship with death as best I know it.

I have heart ailments. When I went to emergency complaining of shortness of breath a couple years ago now, I was mostly amused at all the fuss. They took it all calmly but very seriously. At one point a doctor hurried to my emergency room expecting to find an unconscious man. I wasn't. They weren't sure whether they should focus on the pulmonary embolism they thought they saw or the arrhythmias they knew they had. The arrythmias won in the end. The focus made the difference concerning what nursing staff and specialty floor I would be placed with. My earlier heart trouble put me in surgery for an angioplasty and stent in my lower right artery. So that's twice now.

I really hate pain, I confess. I will go to considerable lengths to avoid it. What I hate even more is a loss of dignity. I am not completely sure but my current view is I would rather fade out in good time than be left here mostly at the mercy of others, waiting for example to have my bottom cleaned or some such. Ewww. I would not be grateful for a new day under that condition. I do hope for a way out then. In return, I will do my best to be grateful now for what I do have. I hope that's a deal that will work.

I am definitely experiencing the effects of my conditions. I have others. In a just world I would no longer have to work, but if I can, I will. I have very little money, honey. My mother had a massive stroke while I was visiting her and died in three days, just after all her important family got there. This all happened just as her money began to run out for real. That's about right for me, though quicker would be better.

When I wrote The Bone Dance I wrote for the fun of it. When I finished the poem I realized that while it displays a certain attitude quite well, it was not true to my heart. I wrote this poem the next day, just sixteen hours later. Now you see why I like to time stamp my poetry as well as date it.

When It's Time

Death, you're not my foe
nor shall I run to some far
place to dodge my bill
when I sense it's due.
I will not snarl and struggle
as if caught in snares
hidden on my trail.
Instead I shall turn, embrace
your chilly long limbs
and kiss your cold cheek.
In return I've asked, do not
come early to me,
and this you have not.

May 4, 2010 8:13 AM

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Later That Night - 3WW

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.

To link up with this week's Three Word Wednesday *click here*

This week's words:

Beat; Pressure; Substance

Later That Night

We sat on the beat
near the edge, on the seashore's
soggy log all in
line, accepting fog
and each other's smells and jokes,
a tribal pressure
we created there
from the substance of the thing
we dreamed of and sang.

August 15, 2012 3:06 AM

Monday, August 13, 2012

The Bone Dance

The Bone Dance

I'll lord it over
death, sneer upon its shadow,
rise above the crypt
and dance among jays,
both gray and blue, they calling
out to the dark god
for some protection
from my angry red rimmed eyes
and bones cracked within.

May 3, 2010 4:59 PM

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Thinking On The End Of You - A Magpie Tale

image from Tess Kincaid - by Francesca Woodman

Francesca Woodman (USA, April 3, 1958 – January 19, 1981) was a photographer best known for her black and white pictures featuring herself and female models. Many of her photographs show young women who are nude, who are blurred (due to movement and long exposure times), who are merging with their surroundings, or whose faces are obscured. Her work continues to be the subject of much attention, years after she committed suicide at the age of 22.

Woodman had only a few exhibitions during her life, some of which have been described as "exhibitions in alternative spaces in New York and Rome." There were no known group or solo exhibitions of her work between 1981 and 1985, but numerous exhibitions each year since then. Public opinion has generally been favorable towards Woodman's work. At the 1998 exhibition in Paris, many people had "strong reactions" to her "interesting" photographs. A number of people have found Woodman's individual photos (for example "Self-portrait at 13") or her photography in general inspirational.

To catch a sense of Francesca in the words of her parents, George and Betty Woodman, her brother Charlie, and her former classmates go to Independent Lens

Annie Sheekley (April 1947-October 2012) was at one time among the top child welfare social workers in the state of Oregon although completely unknown beyond her immediate circles. She died of complications brought about by several years of complex and somewhat mysterious physical ailments, depression and alcoholism.

Thinking On The End Of You

When Bets found you there
behind your own bed curled up
tight, as if turning
into your own pain
you were young, though not as young
as Woodman. That must
have hung George and flensed
Betty, poor souls, just as you
felled us like hewn trees.
Francesca died all
at once while you went inches
at a time but just
as damn certainly.

August 12, 2012 6:24 AM

This poem is offered as a Magpie Tale connected to Tess Kincaid's blog post Mag 130 on The Mag a highly active website gathering participants from a worldwide circle of creative bloggers.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

The Boquet

The Bouquet

If I gathered wisps
into a ripe spray of scent
I would fall far short
of my memory.
There are many bursts of light
behind my blind eyes
as I wait naked,
haunted sevenfold by pairs
of fragrant blossoms.
This reach of new space
is an eager dancer's leap
into the garden.

May 1, 2010 4:36 PM

Thursday, August 9, 2012

I Contain Multitudes

At least as a poet I sit in myself loosely. I shift this way and that as if my truth is a multi-faceted diamond and the light through it comes in many colors, as if what is revealed extends beyond me into some other realm. Who do I know in this way? If I told you I would have to kill you. :D

Walt Whitman, July 1854
I apologize to Walt Whitman for taking his phrase, which appears in his very large poem, Song of Myself. Somehow I don't think he would mind much. Song is often credited as presenting the core of Whitman's poetic vision. Song was first published in 1855. It was immediately singled out for attention and remains today among the most influential poems by an American poet.

I Contain Multitudes

He levitated
straight up beyond the low branch,
past the spring green buds
onto the thin twiggy
edge of my cracked crags, over
the fence I added.
He joined the massive
crowd of alternates, the roles
I wear to know you.

May 2, 2010 1:21 PM

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Idiomatic Life - 3 Word Wednesday

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.

To link up with this week's Three Word Wednesday *click here*

This week's words:

Crumble; Drawn; Uneasy

Etymological note:
"Drawn" is one of our cool old words as a verb form source. This word takes its place as a past tense of "draw" and the placement of "-n" as a suffix to change tense is definitely not the standard way to change tense these days. I draw. I have drawn. He drew. Consider that this also happens to "grow", among other words. This whole sequence is a survival from much earlier times. Linguists consider words such as drawn to be far too important to our language so we have not changed them along with our so-called standard rules, which have changed with the times. Thus English speakers preserve the old forms coming as they do from English's Germanic and Norse roots and call these verb forms "irregular".

before 900; Middle English drawen, Old English dragan; cognate with Old Norse draga to draw, German tragen to carry.

Also, "draw, drawn, drew" is old enough to have gained phrasing and idioms such as
draw ahead, draw away, draw down, draw in, draw off. I can have "drawn myself up" also and native English speakers will usually understand what I mean.

Sorry. I just find this stuff fascinating.

I still have a drawn wine glass or two in my cupboard.

The Idiomatic Life

The way the cookie
will crumble means something cool
to stumblebum me.
Maybe I need to
grow up as you have grown up
or to draw me up
as they have drawn up.
Oh, it gets me uneasy
I admit, I do.
As they say, I need
to man up - what a concept.
Don't you love this shit?
I sure know I do.

August 8, 2012 5:52 AM

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

In The Cold Corners

In the timid small wind reaching from the cold corners does the tree offer small rustlings in reply to my first austerity. And what is that on the ground? Looks like a dog, I guess, but who would have a such a large dog without open country? No, that is my first austerity lying there.

In The Cold Corners

They did not get it,
nor me - under gird in my
first austerity.
I stand alone here
except for the small rustlings
in the cold corners
of the holy ghost
who drifts in dry midwinter
shades, your last wan gifts.

May 2, 2010 9:23 AM

"under gird in my first austerity" - gird: to encircle or bind with a flexible band such as a belt. Thus "under gird" can mean two things, "insufficiently girded" or "there is a rotund condition under which there is a band or belt holding things". "First austerity" either the most important one or one of at least a few. Thus this phrase can have at least four meanings. I don't care which you choose.

Also, I guess the one standing alone does not find the presence of the holy ghost much comfort, and you who have given wan gifts - were they the small rustlings (more likely I suppose) or the dry midwinter shades (themselves either the hues painting the holy ghost or the other ghosts who travel with the holy ghost)? Hmmm. I suppose you could have provided the cold corners as well...

Sorry I am so ambiguous. I fear I am not helping. Just what the fuck do I mean? I just write this shit. Go bother someone else. Oh wait. Go in peace, pilgrim.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

In The Studio In Summer

A Dinner Table At Night, 1884, John Singer Sargent
Courtesy of Tess Kincaid's The Mag

John Singer Sargent (Florence 12 January 1856 – 14 April 1925) was an American artist, considered the "leading portrait painter of his generation" for his evocations of Edwardian era luxury. During his career, he created roughly 900 oil paintings and more than 2,000 watercolors, as well as countless sketches and charcoal drawings. His portfolio documents worldwide travel, from Venice to the Tyrol, Corfu, the Middle East, Montana, Maine, and Florida. His parents were American, but he was trained in Paris prior to moving to London.

At the beginning of his career he painted "Portrait of Madame X" which he intended to consolidate his position as a portrait artist. Instead it caused scandal and perhaps was an important reason he left Paris and settled in London.

In The Studio In Summer

I stand here so still
no matter that buzzing gnat
and the sweat trickling
down behind my ear
and how my hot feet have tired
and my low back aches -
my armpit itches.
All these things going on and
you tell me to turn
my head to my left
so you can get my profile,
the tip of my nose,
make me immortal.

August 5, 2012 8:34 AM

Friday, August 3, 2012

Dark Times

"This writing that you do, that so thrills you, that so rocks and exhilarates you, as if you were dancing next to the band, is barely audible to anyone else." - Annie Dillard, The Writing Life

I wish I understood this all better because it is deeply true. I am transported by my own words so often. Nearly as often the stuff is complete crap no matter how passionate I was when I wrote. What I write is not genuine in some way, or too much of the moment, or too self involved, or not involved enough, and so on. Sometimes what I write passes my own muster. I look at it all the next day and easily see that so clearly. Where is that passion then? It has gone on to something new.

This process is so accurately described in the Buddhist description of suffering that I bow before Buddhism at least in this regard.

Now I have a platform and a global public if I can draw them in. I reach them through the images and UTubes I add to my posts mostly as they are googled but perhaps a few stay once they find me. My most conservative visitation counter gives me over 78,000 page hits since March of 2010. I know most people who read do not comment.

I once used a couple images of Trivial Pursuit, the question and answer game, in a post. That is by far and away the most touched on post I have produced (5000+ hits). It has registered more than twice the count of the post in second place and by tenth place my Trivial Pursuit post has been viewed five times as much. All ten places are held by posts with over a thousand hits. I am absolutely certain it is not my poetry that is so popular.

Still, I do have some fans, and not only local friends and family who have to like my stuff. What is weird to me is how many commentators actually like these words of mine. Perhaps it is just politeness, perhaps more than that. I have come to the conclusion that what's wrong here is my own rating. I have come to the conclusion that I do not really write to please myself even though I think I do. Thus while the passion that pushes me on is essential it is not the thing and I will never have the satisfaction of that passion for long. Not ever. The real miracle is that my passion does not subside for my knowing this. It is a miracle because without that passion I would not write. I know this is true because I lost it once before for decades and I did not write.

Dark Times

If I slashed myself
for real like I think, I would
bleed out, mess the rug
instead of writing
these words, naked as my soul
receding on paths
traced by dead comets
in God's dim outer courtyard
where angels don't go.

April 28, 2010 11:01 PM

Thursday, August 2, 2012

I Am Not Sad

Google "100 NE Columbia Blvd Portland" and the Kraft Bakery will come up. Open the map and switch to satellite view. North is to the top as usual. The bakery is very large. In the Northwest corner there is a rectangular roof with a barrier visible that divides a larger rectangle on the left and a narrower one on the right. To the left of that barrier are two air handling units. Directly under them is where my cubicle is located. I have worked out of that cubicle most of the time since 1997.

Our current product mix:
Line 1 - Ritz Crackers
Line 2 - Premium Crackers
Line 3 - Oreos, either regular or double stuff.
Line 4 - Snacks, either Wheat Thins or Chicken in a Bisket.
Line 5 - Chips Ahoy!
Line 6 - Snacks, either Wheat Thins or Chicken in a Bisket.

I have done major design work affecting all those lines as well as the bulk raw material delivery systems and the dough mixer and delivery support systems, such as the salt usage and the leavening. My work has taken me to all the nooks and crannies on the main floors and up and down the tower. While made up of six industrial floors, the tower is actually more like ten commercial stories tall. I used to walk the stairs. Now I use the elevator.

Today I went to two back to back work meetings concerning (1) Violence in the work place, and then (2) lock out and tag out and other safety procedures. I was paid by getting lunch paid for. I am not yet back to work, just over three months off. I inspected my cubicle where not a paper has been disturbed, waiting for my return. I hear my boss is leaving for work in Michigan for eight months. He has a guy left in charge of the work place and his daughter in charge of the rest of his business. We all think something is coming up at the bakery in a short while, some things slated for next year but the thought is that they will be brought forward to winter's work this year.

It's a helluva note. I'm 67 in November but I don't have enough money to bow out. I got to keep working, boss.

I Am Not Sad

I shed like a snake
But have no fangs, no poison.
Many lives, long gone.

I slither to the table
And dine in costume as if
I too were real.

I am fantasy, shadow,
God's chosen old fool.

Last Posted November 24, 2008

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Master And Commander

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.

To link up with this week's Three Word Wednesday *click here*

This week's words:

Emotion; Falter; Touch

Master And Commander

In the background he's
taking down a larger foe
while I sit in fell
emotion, or I
falter before this mirror,
lose my touch after
the cold blades come out,
slice my sweaty fat belly
or cut off my hand.
I was not made for

Written for Three Word Wednesday
August 1, 2012 5:52 AM

Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World is a 2003 British-Australian epic historical drama film directed by Peter Weir, starring Russell Crowe as Jack Aubrey, with Paul Bettany as Stephen Maturin and released by 20th Century Fox, Miramax Films and Universal Studios. The film's plot and characters are adapted from three novels in author Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey–Maturin series, which has a total of 20 novels of Jack Aubrey's naval career.

At the 76th Academy Awards, the film was nominated for 10 Oscars, including Best Picture. It won in two categories, Best Cinematography and Best Sound Editing and lost in all other categories to The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.

Get Your Own Visitor Map!