Fear Less – A Quadrille

Alex Honnold

Alex Honnold (mensjournal.com), not Charley!

Finger-

tips

hook

faint ledge.

 

Leg                  trembles

as                 I            reach

for               a                toehold.

 

Face,

body

pressed

against rock.

 

A

stream,

a

river

runs

through

my

clothing.

 

Ropeless.

(rhymes with)

Keep climbing!

 

Scale.

Balance.

Weighing.

Justice.

Found wanting.

 

Toehold!

Breathe.

Settle.

 

Strain.

Reach.

Overcome

your

fear!

 

For Quadrille night at dVerse Poets Pub.

 

Advertisements

Cure

Prescription

photo by Charley

This is day 15 of Days of Unreason:

“Art often isn’t [nice] though it scrubs the soul fresh.” – Jim Harrison

 

What if painters see beyond the bourne,
and poets speak to beings gone and yet
to be?  Who speaks of “redness [that] talks
to my wound.”  Who breathes a “sadness
[that] will last forever” into a starry night?

If art scrubs the soul, it also scrubs souls.

Many an artist is built and blessed
by the beauty that flows into them
and through them.  Some are disheartened
and seek another canvas, a fresh sheet
of foolscap to begin again.  Art isn’t nice.

Is art therefore unkind?  Let art idle!  Thrust
boldly into life!  To summer’s rains bare yourself,
suck passion’s fruit and drink wines by candlelight!

Art is but the accessory of a life fully lived.
When life becomes rote, a dose of art take.
And take art with a dose of salt!

A little over a year ago, I joined Jillys2016 in a challenge called “28 Days of Unreason.”  She culled quotes from the poems of Jim Harrison in a book called Songs of Unreason.  We used the quotes as prompts; diving boards suspended over the abyss of poetry.  Jill is revisiting unreason, and I am skipping gleefully along.  Come and join the fun!

Moon Dog

moondog

NASA

This is day 14 of Days of Unreason.

Disclaimer:  Okay, this poem contains mildly adult (and lupine) material; so caution is advised.  I also want to add — in writing this I do not in any way advocate, condone, nor admit to the kind of behavior alluded to in this poem.  It is a poem!  I’m allowed to go off the beaten trail in a poem!  Read Frost if you doubt it!

“The moon is to blame.  I am innocent.” – Jim Harrison

 

My memory is hazy, all in shreds,
not certain what, but the bed’s

torn asunder.  Sheets in tangles.
Panties from a lampshade dangles.

Faint echoes of growls.
The sound of wild howls.

That unsettled feeling in my bowels.

Mattress ripped as if by claws.
Outside the squawking of daws.

An afterimage of a furry muzzle,
superimposed over a friendly nuzzle.

An unplanned opportunity to mate,
perhaps sealing hers or my fate.

What started as an innocent kiss;
did it become a metamorphosis?

Out of the bathroom she comes with tail a-wag
decked out only in the latest werewolf swag.

A little over a year ago, I joined Jillys2016 in a challenge called “28 Days of Unreason.”  She culled quotes from the poems of Jim Harrison in a book called Songs of Unreason.  We used the quotes as prompts; diving boards suspended over the abyss of poetry.  Jill is revisiting unreason, and I am skipping gleefully along.  Come and join the fun!

In the Name

IMG_2806

photo by Charley

This is day 13 of Days of Unreason.

My paternal grandfather was a lay preacher in northern Minnesota.  I also had a great-uncle on my mother’s side who, after a career as a working cowboy, became a circuit preacher “out west.”  I’ve also known a few pastors.  None of them would (publicly) acknowledge what the voice in this poem says.  They might chuckle while reading it.  That can be forgiven.

“Only the water is safe.” – Jim Harrison

 

Relax, I’ve done this hundreds of times.

(…in the name of the Father…)

I haven’t lost one yet; not in the water.

An easy motion; I slip
you backwards under the water –
you can hold your nose, or use
a handkerchief.  Lots tense
up.  They discover a phobia
they never knew they suffered.

(…in the name of the Son…)

A few times I’ve just slipped
my leg behind theirs, a sweeping
motion and it’s done!  Just water.

Now, to be clear, this signifies

(…and in the name…)

what has already has happened
in your life.  Once you climb
out of the water, that’s when
it gets treacherous.  We say
the Church, the Body of Christ,
the Flock.  The truth is we open
the doors and call every kind
of creature into the mix.

(…of the Holy Spirit.)

Like millions before you,
and millions around you,
you just grit your teeth
and hold on for dear life.

But relax for now.

You’re safe in the water.

(Amen!)

 

A little over a year ago, I joined Jillys2016 in a challenge called “28 Days of Unreason.”  She culled quotes from the poems of Jim Harrison in a book called Songs of Unreason.  We used the quotes as prompts; diving boards suspended over the abyss of poetry.  Jill is revisiting unreason, and I am skipping gleefully along.  Come and join the fun!

Impression Made

This is day 12 of Days of Unreason:

“The beauty of the rattlesnake is in its threat.” – Jim Harrison

 

Dangerous date.

Crazy mate.

Hard to keep.

Hill’s too steep.

Corner’s too tight.

Tumultuous night.

Viper approaches.

Gator encroaches.

A ride of peril.

Creature that’s feral.

Unpredictable cats.

Daredevil bats.

Let’s face it,
you don’t get worked up
over nightmares of cuddly puppies.

 

A little over a year ago, I joined Jillys2016 in a challenge called “28 Days of Unreason.”  She culled quotes from the poems of Jim Harrison in a book called Songs of Unreason.  We used the quotes as prompts; diving boards suspended over the abyss of poetry.  Jill is revisiting unreason, and I am skipping gleefully along.  Come and join the fun!

Elusive Poetry

Van Gogh

 

Stare not, your vision

and your eyes will dry.

What you seek to see

is discerned askance.

Allow your wandering

thoughts free reign,

your eyes unfocus.

Go beyond; look.
Go inside; seek.
Go off the range,
off the trail,
off the mark.

Just below the surface, watch

as the verses swim.

Among the trees, see

as the lines chase.

Among the clouds,

in the steel yellow-blue
of the cloudless day,

drifting across the starry,
starry night sky,

pick the strings of the uncertain love.

Strangers Never

Fernwood

Fernwood image, Pinterest

This is day 11 of Days of Unreason:

“I’m unsure if all of me returned.” – Jim Harrison

 

Meeting her made my life anew.
A start that caused our hearts to beat,
worrying if the other’s heart was true;
sweating over her getting cold feet.

A fresh start that caused our hearts to beat,
pulsing out of our tortured….  Heart strings
vibrated as nervous music tapped.  My feet
tapping time to a fantasy.  Sinatra sings,

pulsing out of my tortured heart strings,
drawing me on to undiscovered Fernwood
Botanical Gardens where….  Sinatra sings
Strangers in the Night, an omen good;

drawing me to an appointment in Fernwood.
On the phone, this is really true!
Strangers never; drawn together for good.
Meeting her made my life.  A new…

start!

* * * Poetic form: Pantoum * * *

True story!  Okay, for historical accuracy it is highly unlikely either of us would have been listening to Old Blue Eyes… and certainly not that tune (it just plays well poetically).  I would’ve been listening to something rockier, to soothe my jangled nerves.  She would’ve been listening to some rocking blues, for the same reason.  And, true to the prompt, at the end of the day a large part of me remained with her, and I carried a large part of her home with me.  It’s been like that ever since.

A little over a year ago, I joined Jillys2016 in a challenge called “28 Days of Unreason.”  She culled quotes from the poems of Jim Harrison in a book called Songs of Unreason.  We used the quotes as prompts; diving boards suspended over the abyss of poetry.  Jill is revisiting unreason, and I am skipping gleefully along.  Come and join the fun!

 

Haibun — Sees Without Seeing

IMG_2675

photo by Charley

This is day 10 of Days of Unreason:

“Much that you see isn’t with your eyes.” — Jim Harrison

 

It’s that Detour sign that popped up in front of her in the middle of dinner.  Not what he said or didn’t say, but a shadow flutter passed by and she is seeking a way to break it off.  Again, it’s not something in the eyes of the boss, or his voice, but as he gets out of the car and prepares to greet his family, he sees the job posting that will be up by Monday.  It’s what the cat sees when she’s been sitting in front of you, staring at you.  Suddenly her eyes shift to a spot just over your left shoulder and her eyes dilate – there’s either prey or threat just behind you.  You shoot a quick glance.  There’s nothing there.  She’s gotten up and is strolling out of the room.  You can hear her either purring, or laughing.  That doesn’t mean the cat didn’t “see” something….

field mouse nibbles corn
scurries from an unseen threat
sees without seeing

A little over a year ago, I joined Jillys2016 in a challenge called “28 Days of Unreason.”  She culled quotes from the poems of Jim Harrison in a book called Songs of Unreason.  We used the quotes as prompts; diving boards suspended over the abyss of poetry.  Jill is revisiting unreason, and I am skipping gleefully along.  Come and join the fun!