Santa Clara & Elsewhere Before the Fires

 

Chaos moved
forward to other fields, leaving
shock, despair, fear and dead-
ended nerves.

Where are those who disappear
in flames; souls of smoke rise
higher than prayers can reach.

In my abandoned pulpit mute
preaching clangs an empty
note.  God lives for me, dies
for another, lives again again
again we are placed upon the pile
overlooking destruction, speechless.

And for the most part our heralds
have remained speechless

mindless

clueless of how to handle a story
that cannot call a clarion bleat,
cannot wrench fear-filled sheep.

‘Tis horror upon horror, terribly
sorry, but it’s not politically charged.

Slowly past the carnage drives
one who knows what must be done;
who does what one must do.

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Haibun – My Grandmother’s Refrigerator

Refrigerator

I kid you not, it said “International Harvester” on the door!  On the white door with chrome accents, a car from the Fifties set on end.  The handle required a forceful pull to unlatch – no magnets or vacuum suck.  Inside a white and chrome freezer door.  Chrome was big then; just look at the dining room table and chairs!  A cardboard carton of Land O’Lakes Vanilla.  Before bed, the requisite single scoop in the milk-glass bowl, a teaspoon to ensure no one would gorge themselves.

In the main compartment a can of Hershey’s syrup lurked, awaiting a special occasion, two wedge-cuts in the lid, seductively displaying lurid edgings of petrified chocolate substance.  “Pssst!  Hey, boy!  Care to see my edgings?!?”  A glass bottle of “medicine” – a recapped 7Up.  In a square three-inch by three-inch glass dish, nearly two inches deep, rested the Land O’Lakes blob of butter – each day spent in a near-liquid petri-half-life on the table; into the fridge after dinner.  A platter bearing the carcass of bird or roast, uncovered.  A glass bowl of eggs.  In the back, out of sight – but not smell –  a half-eaten Hershey bar.  My grandmother kept count of the squares.

A season up north
challenge my to appetite –
refrigerator!

 

It’s Poetics night at dVerse and our host, Lillian, is asking us to write from the prompt, “Refrigerator.”  She has no idea how this dredged up cold, bone-chilling memories from my past!

Well, it is October….

Meta(four wings)

Hope is not a butterfly;
I’m sorry little butterfly, but you’re not
what works
as the metaphor for that which we’ve not seen
but still believe.
Hope is a dragonfly.

No, really.

When I look at hope directly, it flutters
behind something

and laughs.

 

It’s Quadrille night at dVerse Poets Pub.  Write your heart out in forty-four words (no more, no less), and join the gang.

Love In Vein

Needle

The Sun

I hold the needle, paused above my vein
pump a fist to watch it rise and bulge like
hungry goldfish lip-quivering for a grain
of tetra flake craving; a perma-blight.

What night-terror stands naked in the hail
leaves me gill-gasping, ravening for you
a gritty fix for this rapacious frail
but one that swears, by God’s dark light, ‘tis true

For what am I without your loving drug?
And where am I, but lost in love’s desire?
With you to hold me closely, tight and snug;
I draw narcotic love in rushing fire.

Oh why rehab with such a rush so near?
Do needle me deeper with love, my dear!

 

As part of Jilly’s October Casting Bricks Challenge, I have taken Jilly’s challenge half-poem, “Narcotic,” and made a stab at completing it.  Her half-poem (in bold font) is written in the form of a Shakespearean sonnet.  At first glance the form is daunting; but really, we all speak in nearly perfect iambic a great deal of the time.

While Neil Young is not one of my favorite performers (he is fine in Crosby, Stills, etc.), the video I’ve thrown in is of my favorite of his songs.  Somehow it seemed appropriate.

Spotted, Here and There

Leopard Sleeping

Leopard Sleeping In a Tree – Pinterest

 

As a leopard cannot change its spots

I cannot change, no matter what

I am that I am and was

Spotted past, I confess

Wild(cat) history

Changeless and free

As I am

Will be

Growl!

 

 

As part of Jilly’s October Casting Bricks Challenge, I have taken Vivian Zems’ challenge half-poem, “I Change Not,” and worked my poetic (ahem!) magic upon it.  Okay, or madness… whatever!  This is a Nonet, a 9-line poem that has 9 syllables in the first line, 8 syllables in the second line, 7 syllables in the third line, and continues to count down to one syllable in the final (ninth) line.  Vivian’s lines are in bold; mine aren’t.

The musical selection is Tab Benoit and Jimmy Thackery cutting loose on that time-honored (Nobel Laureate) Bob Dylan classic, “Leopard-Skin, Pillbox Hat.”  Enjoy!

Writing Poetry à la Seurat

Pointilism 2 (2)

photo by Charley

 

A painter,
from the school of pointillism, graffitied
the coffee shop window – the world is art.

Steam off people who simmer
here, and others who perk, soak
my thoughts, dampen
the metaphors I carry, stain
the allusions, leaving
brown rings
that echo
fiercely.

Impressions of oaks hang
over my every stroke
of the pen – the bloodletting
is slow, my essence sugared
by distractions.

What would I write?
What could I write?
In isolation?

The artist’s work
is barren when not reflected
upon; bare when by life unaffected.

Blizzard of Haiku

These haiku got lost in the shuffle. I thought they might be worth another look.

Life in Portofino

“In this world of dreams don’t let the clock cut up your life in pieces.” — Jim Harrison

Our dog sleeps all day

wakes from nap – yawns – naps again

Our hammock hangs slack

My friends have grown old

Rigid and creaking live oaks

Slow – focus on stars

Which shell hides a pea?

The shell that contains your soul

Time’s knife cuts no pea

Slippery – our lives

Greased by joy – rust is worry

Do not wind the clock

Shavings of my life

Spread upon the forest floor

Piliated time

A watch worn in woods

Serves only one real purpose

Did your compass break?

A bear laughs at time

Thirty-second chase for her

A lifetime for you

This is part of “28 Days of Unreason”

based on prompts taken from poems

by Jim Harrison.

(see Jilly2016 for details)

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Meanwhile the Tears (a bit of a rant)

Lonely Bird

 

The fixers have come
unburrowed explaining
how they can fix everyfreakingthing!

 

Damn

straight

got

the

answer!

 

Boyitbuoysmy heart to know
they are onthejobontheball
in the no (out of their if-you-see-Kay-ing minds).

 

If weedjuss do this everything
wilby the way it should be –
get rid of guns and bombs and…
things (try not to roll your eyes and laugh).

If weedalljuss gettit together and learn
to get along (all we are saying is kumbaya, my lord).
I’d like to buy Isis a Coke and a smile (I think they really need a smile).

 

Really if weedjuss take
our newborns
sealem in
bulletproof,
toxinproof

bubblewrap for life –

fireproof,
crashproof,
earthquakeproof
hundredproof
turn
our offspring
into impervious crashdummies.

(did I mention idiotproof?)

I hear buy propose
a ban that has know hope
of making
us safe from disaster.  Ban politicians, political commentators, journalists and pundits, protesters and social media posters.  It won’t make any of us any safer; but we will be free of the bee-ess so we can grieve the dead and the dying in relative peace.

 

It’s poetics night at dVerse Poets Pub, and Paul Scribbles, our host and barkeep is violating Grandma.  Oh wait.  He’s encouraging us to violate grammar.  Oh well, that’s different.  Never mind!  🙂

Full Circle

black-and-white-waves-close-up-view-circle

Pexels

 

On the bubble; on the cusp.

Eye of the storm, concentric.
Eyeing the form, eccentric.
Slight-of-hand magic trick.

Everything upon itself turns
back – cyclonic turning – eventually.

Choose a vortex to place
the pin point and trace
the periphery with the compass;
encompass the perimeter.

Define for you the diameter.

Straighten your halo,
adjust your wedding ring.

Run your wet finger along
the lip of the wine glass
as you ponder the spiral
reasoning that carried
you back to the top, balancing

on the bubble… on the cusp.

 

For The Daily Post: Circle.