Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Optimism - Three 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 join this week's 3 Word Wednesday writing group *click here*
This week's words:

Jackass; Rupture; Splendid


Sing a happy song.
It's okay if you look like
a long eared jackass
or sound as if you
have some kind of throat rupture.

We won't think a thing
of it, we promise.

It is all gold and silver,
this splendid lining
in the floating dead
cumulus of ashy gray
opinion you get
reading trash fanzines
about the latest rad in-crowd
or what happens when
this terminal sign
says Delayed, Delayed, Delayed
and you blurt, "Foul! Foul!"

July 31, 2013 3:34 PM

I am very happy with this one. I have no idea what it "really" means. I am hoping someone might tell me.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Unicorns In Love

Ducking The Choice

If I had to chose
between my marriage to you
or the unicorns
I saw yesterday
on the promontory's edge,
a shimmering pair
who might be lovers
and who could bless me kindly
the next time around,

Oh Lord, I don't know
how to choose now it's past noon,
and I am grateful
I do not have to.

‎July ‎29, ‎2013 2:20 PM

Sunday, July 28, 2013

My Weird Best Love - A Magpie Tale

Image courtesy Tess Kincaid, a writing prompt for Mag 179

To join with and enjoy this week's Magpie Tale writing group
*click here*

My Weird Best Love

You and your final
solutions often put me
out of reach of sane.
You drive me crazy
in other more plain spoken words.

I stand on the far
shores of my neurons
watching the dendrites gather
in weird tangled knots
trying to catch hold
of fast moving silver fish,
those pesky damn things
you leave behind as
you go on planting corn rows
or floating our car

in the dusty air.

July 28, 2013 9:19 AM

Friday, July 26, 2013

George Harrison - The Last Performance (John Fugelsang)

This is the last public performance that George gave.  This video is much more than a musical performance.

Progress Report

Note: Hang hope on one of the left hooks.
Take care to drape it well as it tends to knot up over time.

I would have called you.
I need more courage. I guess
that's what I need now.

Or it's just that I
fall like ashes do among
last embers of stars
when I think of what
I still must do in the world.

I sit here and dream
up set sequences,
dodgy moves among the heaps
of curled snags and hooks,
and hang the lurking
hope of better days to come
in that new wardrobe.

I was more present
in my world as my drunken
old self. Why is that?

July 26, 2013 9:06 AM

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Life Work

If I fell in front
of the juggernaut would you
feel the change in things?

I would be flattened,
broken on the rosy cross
of my destiny
all for some wild need
I have never understood
and sure fought against.

August 10, 2010 10:33 AM

I wrote another poem titled Life Work which I first posted June 9, 2009 and reprised April 16, 2011. Here it is again, written nineteen months earlier, below, January 2009 and above, August 2010:

I pick bones with God
And here is the biggest one.

I came back for this,
To stand in the glare
Of this place, the hard grim light
Of the small losses,
The myriad events
That shrive us today, again,
That do not let go.

We try to forget
But bones will never forget.
I came back for this.

To witness, know, tell,
To see with old eyes, to turn,
Tell Him to His face.

January 13, 2009 1:10 PM

Monday, July 22, 2013

Yet Another Promise

Angela's coming,
or so he said and I asked
why he thought of it
now, in the middle
of swabbing out the dungeon.
He eyed me like prey
or like predators
do, one or the other, with
perhaps some intent
I might not like much.
That's when I promised myself
I would stop asking.

July 22, 2013 2:04 PM

Sunday, July 21, 2013

I Have A Couple Questions - A Magpie Tale

The Man And The Moon, Andrew Wyeth, 1990
Provided by Tess Kincaid as a writing prompt for Mag 178

To join us or read entries from this week's Magpie Tales community *click here*

I Have A Couple Questions

When they called for me
I came, ass naked. When I
arrived, dismounting
and standing beside
my cycle, it's headlamp still
piercing the two wheeled
fog, I wished then for
good shoes most of all.

When they
call, I come. It's what
they ask and they ask
so rarely. It's all I can
do to repay them
for their kindness in
the wild of this wooly world.
Sadly, I am late.

But why am I nude?
And why is the big big moon
crashing down on us?

July 21, 2013 9:39 AM

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Feline Relations

He is not that way,
not indifferent, but you
have to catch him out.
He is haughty though,
aloof, just a touch of it,
and sure of his place -
but not when he's cold
because that's when he buries
himself in your gut
and demands to trade
your heart for his head, handy
to scratch that old itch.

July 20, 2013 9:44 AM

Friday, July 19, 2013

Tommy Emmanuel - Guitar Boogie

This makes me itch and ache in envy.

Practicing The Steps And Turns

Wiki says:
A moraine is any glacially formed accumulation of unconsolidated glacial debris (soil and rock) which can occur in currently glaciated and formerly glaciated regions, such as those areas acted upon by a past glacial maximum. This debris may have been plucked off a valley floor as a glacier advanced or it may have fallen off the valley walls as a result of frost wedging or landslide. Moraines may be composed of debris ranging in size from silt-sized glacial flour to large boulders. The debris is typically sub-angular to rounded in shape. Moraines may be on the glacier’s surface or deposited as piles or sheets of debris where the glacier has melted. Moraines may also occur when glacier- or iceberg-transported rocks fall into a body of water as the ice melts.

Practicing The Steps And Turns

Consider the hurt
you might have caused on that day
of our forgiveness
had you been rigid
as I was, stony and slow.

Consider how fruit
ripens through stages
of changing color, changing time.

Consider the slope
rising to our door,
or how we all overcome
moraines, the jumble
left by ice's age,
left behind to show our sides,
legacies of frame.

Yes, this is only
the first of the three dances
of our poverty.

‎July ‎19, ‎2013 7:20 AM

Thursday, July 18, 2013


Sometimes I wish I could wake people up. Back in the sixties we said, "Turn on, tune in, drop out." In it's best frame that meant, "People, wake up!". That's the start of me. I took it quite seriously then and while my experience eventually led to a dead end, it was in the beginning overflowing with hope. I tried to manifest the best of it. The path led to technicolor life and took me out of despair to boot, though echoes of the dark murmuring still sound 46 years later. I got sober in 1983 if you mean physically and emotionally free of dope, of alcohol. I have worked hard on achieving personal balance. However, I hold the spiritual part of things I found then close to my heart as ever. It was real then, the core of the vision, and no less real now.


He's my comatose cousin
all right, last awake
somewhere near Christmas.
I tried to get him to rise
not so long ago.

It didn't work out.

He lies on the couch sprawled out
as if he owns it.
I guess he sort of
does own it. I remember
that though I with all
my heart would prefer
so much less of him in my
chewed up circumstance,
my claw marked space.

‎July ‎18, ‎2013 2:12 PM

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

A Little Bit Pregnant - 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 join this week's 3 Word Wednesday writing group *click here*
This week's words:

Assign; Pretense; Traverse.

A Little Bit Pregnant

Oh swell! Now you turn
your jade eye on me, eyebrow
arched. You assign to
me your fool's gold task.

Through all pretense on my part
I am to traverse
the gravel field high
up the summer slope of things
to come and predict
what the crew will do
given all those turns of phrase
worn and lately spurned.

I won't do it, me.
You find another dim bulb.
I done eat my pudding.

July 17, 2013 3:12 AM

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

I Kept The Ashes

Despite all my mother tried to do, I am an ordinary man in most ways. However, most men are not practicing poets. Only a few try for that. I've made the cut. I started writing poetry out of something that happened early in my counter culture days and I was not good at it most of my life. I would slip in, write a few, and then out of the robes in distress even though occasionally I would think the work good for a while. Now I ponder, What was I thinking? I understand the poems, even feel the emotional flow, but such a result. I have tossed nearly all of them. Good riddance. This last move forced a shriving, a skinning, a digging in the deep of things and then retracting the hooks to watch the detritus flutter down into the wasting fire.

I Kept The Ashes

I leave you strewn so -
across the garage you drift -
several crannies
and nooks. I spilled you
on purpose, to see the shift
in all the worlds that
tumble with you, splash
the light this way and all that,
feel the grit of you
under my feet.

the flesh of my heart, lover.
Grind my soul to bits.

July 16, 2013 9:01 AM

Actually true...I did keep a small bit of my wife, Annie. I have a photo of her in Hawaii she made for me, a view of her from the back in a boat, gazing out to sea. It's a small photo. So is the pile of ashes a small layer in the modest corked clear green tinged bottle her sister sent to me. This layer is all that is left after I placed the ashes in her various places and mine. The main resting place can be found on the Oregon coast, at Newport, where we were married. Some are in the back yard of the house we bought in 1981. Some are in the front of the house I moved to. I also placed some with her uncle and aunt up at Willamette National Cemetery. Along with the ashes I kept, and draped around them is the Rosary she left me. As far as I know, Annie did not practice but she was raised in Catholicism and was serious about it until her mother and dad both died, when she was in high school.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Spiritual Tension

You can see a small splash of her life's blood beneath her eye if you look closely.

Somewhere on the planet something like this is happening. It does little good to pretend otherwise. Indeed some apex hunter somewhere is taking prey at this very moment. I do not have a hunter's instinct. I tend to see the kill from the prey's viewpoint and I have never been able to believe that they just willingly give themselves in some final service, cute cat cubs nearby or no. I believe the terror and resistance of the prey flavors the meat, probably why cats play with their food sometimes and all predators take their time when they can. The meat is "sweeter" that way.

Wherever the language of predator and prey fit, like in war or business or politics or even sometimes religion, the same dynamic also exists. It is one version of what we call game or entertainment. Back behind it, life eats life.

Many spiritual paths, especially Buddhist ones, emphasize the interconnectedness of life, how in some real way we are all intimately related, man to amoeba. One of those relationships is food. When native peoples hunt, they often apologize to the prey species if not the pray herself. Those that do this practice at their best are tenderly aware that they owe an amends no matter they must eat. They know their position is at risk of being deeply unforgivable spiritually. I am not the only one who feels this way then.

And I have a constant spiritual tension. I know this. I know I am a life eater. I love animal protein but to me it really extends to plants as well. All killing is regrettable at the soul level and deserves at least some small token of redress. If you are okay otherwise, I suspect you have been well instructed to avoid useless fretting, no matter the cost. Kill all the food. Let God sort it out. This is overwhelmingly common. Our modern life is constructed so that it is easy to say meat comes ready to cook in special packaging. You do not have to look your creature in her last shining eye and crush her throat anyway, relishing the heat, the aroma, the feel of her life's blood, all the while she hating this moment in her deep places with every instinct of evasion.

The Fleas Are Leaving

I'm all aquiver
because I know you're stalking
me through my dry bush,
my Serengeti.
Even the fleas jump off my
sleek and tawny pelt,
preferring weedy
respite over laid out prey.
It must be awful
to leap from a death
to a killer and make do
with predator's blood.

‎July ‎15, ‎2013 9:01

Sunday, July 14, 2013

In The Dragon's Cave - A Magpie Tale

As my friend at Whiskey River found

"The only true voyage, the only bath in the Fountain of Youth, would be not to visit strange lands but to possess other eyes, to see the universe through the eyes of another, of a hundred others, to see the hundred universes that each of them sees, that each of them is; and this we do, with great artists; with artists like these we do really fly from star to star."
- Marcel Proust

In The Dragon's Cave

He hunted decades,
more than he cared to admit,
looking for dragons
or their golden eggs.

The day he found her magic
was the day his wits
withered in their nest.

While her gold shine took all
the hair from his chest
and his beard off too,
even dental ivory
from out his open
hole, tongue dry, swollen,
he was unable to turn
away from his doom.

July 14, 2013 10:49 AM

photo by Agustin Berrocala courtesy of Tess Kincaid

To join with or view the work of The Mag writer's group *click here*

I have been moving to the next town south. I shall live on a bluff overlooking the Willamette River. I will no longer live alone. There is a park behind us, a short walk through to the promenade and the view of the river. I have arrived at the end of my old life as a workerbee. I am cashing in my house as I must to find some kind of financial stability. I am hopeful. I am grateful for the small things now. The pains are manageable. That's the biggest thing. My right eye works. My brain still works. Well... The jury has met in secret session on that one, and that session is ongoing. I expect the final answer any day. My friends gaze on me, grimace and wink, mutter among each other. They do not share that much of it with me. But to me the point is I actually have friends. And well wishers, many of those.

He who dies with the most love wins. We either all go to heaven or we don't. Om Shanti, Shanti, Shantihi.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Last Things

Last Things

Oh lord! You have asked
for my last inventory,
the things I have lost
on the way out here.
Some I shed for just causes.
Some I overlooked,
rushing with the crowd.
We were all so full of it.
I will tell you this.
On paper, long lists,
I will recite in secret
only to you, you
who have my last heart
and now the things I lost too.
Keep them safe for me.

July 12, 2013 9:56 PM

Thursday, July 11, 2013

The Bats Left

The Bellfry

And to think... I wrote this poem and added it to the queue in summer of 2010. I have published it now here in the summer of 2013. I am currently blind in one eye and I was not so stricken in 2010. I am just now nursing a severely sprained knee, having fallen earlier this week due to my newly blinded eye, I am sure.

For all the world it feels like I am losing pieces of me one at a time. Maybe my stricken eye will come back to me. The doctor has been tentative about that. I know my knee, my left foot little toe and my somewhat gouty right foot big toe will return to adequate service. My health, now a matter approaching full time management, has forced me this year to retire.

In consequence I am attempting to sell my house. I hope selling it will create enough available capital to support me beyond the pittance of social security and medicare. Another piece of me gone... I have "owned" a house (actually peaceably and gainfully owned a mortgage or two at a time) since 1981. Home ownership has for the most part been without terror. I am, as they say, right side up, if not by much.

I am saying farewell to the life of the middle class worker in corporate America. I have been skilled and professional in my way, in service to pulp and paper, the electrical grid, and the industrial food production of milk and crackers. Yes, I have literally worked in and supported the efforts of a milk factory and a cracker factory. I have suckled at the corporate tit and at other times I have tried to whistle with my dry mouth.

My friends have been sure of my placement in the cracker factory for years. They are amused and they tolerate me.

I am saying hello and welcome to the whimsy of the poetic voice that I have developed lifelong. The music I make lurks nearby too, literally upstairs. That would be me noodling in Eb on the computerized keyboard in a variety of voices, from oboes to electronic sounds, from pianos, stringed and electric, through organs and guitars to trumpets and flutes. Now I have enough time, perhaps. It might be that some composition mode at either of my keyboards will become meaningful beyond the moment.

Certainly, I am no longer attempting to save the world or create the Most High Holy Tableau. I am content to make a mark, small but sure, most days. A significant portion of my life is spent in witness of and to my partners as we travel along this current road. I actively participate with people I hold dear in gestures of recovery and grace among the disheveled remains of our confusion and shortcoming. The lifelong hunger within me to express my relationship with God and for the big score has been banked back considerably. While coals still glow in the grate of my heart, there will be no blaze unless it is commanded of me in no uncertain terms. Such an effort most likely would kill me without His full guidance and assistance now.

I am mainly content. Nothing hurts beyond tolerance these days nor are what small distresses that are mine constant. Actually, at this moment nothing hurts at all unless I press it. That is no small thing to those of us over sixty-five.

I admit it. I have practiced my admission for decades now. I am far too large for my britches. All of that fades into the wings in good time, leaving me tempered and temperate. All of it, that is, except possibly this fucking eye right now. I grieve. In the distance the bats I have lovingly collected sound out their supersonic prayers for me as they circle the hole in the sky.

The Bats Are Beginning To Depart
Look Closely. You Will See Them.

The Bats Left

Growing old is not
for sissies nor the faint of
heart which counts me out.
It's not for me, not
for the likes of the turbid
dreams I consider
my hopes. I plant them
in my patchy weedy yard
intending new growth
and they keep coming
up all droopy and mossy
from the very start.

I used to have bats.
They flew high pitched escaping
out of my belfry.

August 10, 2010 4:28 PM

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

A Tale Of Yesteryear - 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 join this week's 3 Word Wednesday writing group *click here*
This week's words:

Delinquent; Hapless; Trigger.

As a small boy, I had a couple 78's of the Lone Ranger - records made of their radio shows. The record covers were Lone Ranger comic book art. Later, after we could finally afford TV, I watched a ton of episodes of The Roy Rogers Show. I didn't care how anachronistic that show was.

A Tale Of Yesteryear

That day the sun rose
as a full blown delinquent
might, dropping trousers
to moon the hapless
ragged lot of us crouching
in our forlorn weeds.

Tonto, out of time,
whistled for Trigger to come
but that damn horse found
his herd, his harem
and would not come back to us,
not for nothing now.

The Lone Ranger was
left in the lurch, a solo
act without his ride.

(Wait a minute... no wonder... wrong horse! Roy and Dale and Pat, all caroming in Nellybelle have sent out Bullet on the hunt. Meanwhile, Silver is nowhere to be found either, hearty Hiyo or not!)

July 10, 2013 6:15 AM

And finally, here's Roy with Pat, Trigger, Bullet, and Nellybelle.

Where the Hell is Dale?

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The Bears And I

Right outside my door these days there are berries on an arbor, Marionberries and Boysenberries. Next to them are a row of Raspberries. All of them are ripe. Lucky me. I haven't seen any bears...

The Bears And I

The berry thicket
calls the brown bear, the black bear
and calls to me too
as the thunder claps
and the clouds climb to the edge
of the thick thick air.
Soon we will wonder
if the gully will flash with
muddy wet torrents
or will we still eat
ripe bright red stormy berries
without disturbance?

August 8, 2010 7:44 PM

Monday, July 8, 2013

Criticizing The Poet

Portrait of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Criticizing The Poet

An odd sigh, he's nuts,
actually loopy, no?
And what will we do
with him, I ask you?
If you go at him with nets
he will drop away,
sink right through the floor,
thumb his nose wart as he goes.

I confess I would
behave just like that
if I had his nose for hope
and thought I could get
away with things like
he does, that fat old bastard!
Think what he once was.

July 8, 2013 11:28 PM

This poem is NOT about Henry! :D Think of someone else this poem could be about. I just added Henry's portrait for effect.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Space Race - A Magpie Tale

Image offered by Tess Kincaid for this week's prompt,
Supermoon, 2013, by Julio Cortez, AP

To join with or view the work of The Mag writer's group *click here*

Space Race

The moon has come close
enough to build our scaffolds
and clamber like apes
ever higher up,
donning slick silvery suits,
taking care to fit
all those body tubes
to all the spots we require.

We'll reach the resting
pads and gather there
to watch some who will leap off
into a free fall
to the turgid sun
and wonder what's made it so.
Far below we see
the statue's bronze flame,
the flame we were told would show
the world we were free.

July 7, 2013 9:30 AM

Friday, July 5, 2013



The world sometimes feels
just like this sunlit boulder,
warm like your body
warms through some yoga
pose in the early morning
though this is later,
past noon, and not on
the porch but in that meadow
we found together
last fall. Thank you, dear.

July 4, 2013 8:30 PM

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

This May Be Nonsense - 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 join this week's 3 Word Wednesday writing group *click here*
This week's words:

Flabby; Indignant; Stench.

This May Be Nonsense

Ever tried to find
a flabby locomotive?
It's lard coats the line
blobbed and trailing steam,
indignant smoke belching forth
from faux steel boilers,
smelling of bacon
burned to a crisp stench
and I love my brain
for its skill, making
stuff like this up as if I
were the chubby khan
of a small satrap
close by the odiferous
coastline of some sea.

July 3, 2013 10:39 AM

Tuesday, July 2, 2013


The image depicts energetic paths, most entering the black hole and some driven away due to the extreme curvature of spacetime near and beyond the event horizon. These paths are "lines of force", not the things that fall into the hole, but like the things, most of the lines cannot escape the hole either. If you wish, this depiction of a field belongs to some envisioned massive hole at some galactic center. Or if you wish, it is the much smaller hole among all the miniscule holes within us.

I admit, I am making some of this up :D
Oddly, a poem on a poetry site I visit dovetailed with something my friend, George Breed wrote, and I thought of the Beatles' "A Day In The Life" that goes
"...Four thousand holes in Blackburn, Lancashire,
And though the holes were rather small
They had to count them all..."

We amuse the gods
quite as they planned the long haul
that we should be full
of all the little
curled up holes we find inside.

Just like big black holes
in all the grand things
we have event horizons
and inside, naked
myriads, small and curled up
I said, all facing
south, zigging, zagging
and ripping out ragged tunes
from somewhere beyond.

‎July ‎2, ‎2013 3:12 PM

Monday, July 1, 2013

Set In Stone

This is a true event. The Goddess at my door did not look like the girl in the image, though.

Set In Stone

At the door She stood
and warned my soul was at stake.

That is when I chose
that you would not die
on my watch, no way I would
let the darkness take
its course, take you out
though that's what you often tried
behind your shut eyes.

August 8, 2010 2:30 PM

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