Friday, April 4, 2014

poetry month

Poetry Month
 
 
Resonant phrase aligns.
Mystic fire sprites manifest, 
call to neural chambers: "Come to play!"
Sparkling children fashion effervescent flares.
Innocence against random nightscape
extols, reveres.
Humbles savants with unknown unknowns.
Nascent moment flown, eyes carry amazement,
enticed by fun, perhaps an epiphany or two.
Inner ears
merrily engage, swept up in daring code.
Intimacy, kindling as heady lyric,
spreads, ignites.
Muse lit lanterns take wing,
illuminate eternity.
Incite.
 
 
~
 
Disappointed and Disillusioned, Courageously Facing a Seemingly Empty Life
 
 
Dressed in sadness.
Depressed to madness.
Mad to believe in passion,
which never lasts beyond the hour.
Brays to bequeath the
power to stand, to breathe.
Moira appears, macabre hag
preens her wares.
"See how it was, how it could be.
Drag and drop your face, your failures
onto a printed page. Can you see
new meaning? New lamps for old."
She cackles, like
a metronome.
New maps for a new age.
That charming village erstwhile
known as Hell
metamorphed into Helvetica.
All that acrid sorrow
tomorrow's poetry.
 
~
 
 
Pop Quiz
 
 
What is more useless than a poet, and why?
 
Cloistered in my artist's garret, threadbare garments more holes than whole,
paint spattered, unruly and unkempt,
barely aware of the need for sustenance or even air,
entranced by the necessity of exploring, exposing my vision
I am the essence of romance.
 
Typing, writing clever syllables, I am merely effete,
despite my black attire and permanent scowl.
Even if they are good words, finely wrought, express deeply true emotion,
they are almost literally a dime a dozen.
To expose my wound is inelegance, to explore my essence a narcissistic malaise.
 
I am the real deal -- the poet-philosopher, the idealist dreamer, the journey's fool.
Surely I should be surrounded by acolyte worship, at my feet, honored to breathe the sacred
incense of my magnificence.
 
Yet here I stand with bills unpaid in the squalor of a rented room,
unadorned by idolatry.
 
 
~
 
 
 
We are a well at the center of the Universe
suspended like a spider spun out from
webbed space evolving.
All that ever is, like sea rain
catalyzed by light, is processing
rainbows,
manifest illusions,
into effervescent poetry.
 
~
 
 
It is a poem because evocative nature
seeks language, because will intends to speak
more than prosaic words.
Massage to revitalize imagination.
Lines break, imply stage direction phrasing. 
Histories, mystic pleas, lovers’ epiphanies
both oral and visual, as well as
experimental
genre melding and overturning.
Look/listen for what speaks to you.
 
~
 
Voices in my head speak
in poetry, prose, creative nonfiction
stories of courage, adventures in change
 
Tales, whispered spells, hypnotize,
wrench veils between epiphany and sleep.
Deeply darkened mists of memory
prismed in poetry
arouse such imagery.
Be at peace.
Breathe in glacial wind
to warm in secret private seasons.
Breathe out
a better world.
 
 
~
 
 
 
Perhaps we constrain ourselves by our definitions
of "poetry" whatever they may be for each of us, or collectively.
Perhaps we would better serve the honoring of our
deeper, more carefully observed,
more cherished, more reflective,
more hormone evoked or thoughtfully
worded communications by freeing
our critique from "poetry"?
 
When we call "poem"
expectations climb aboard.
Is this one of those silly word games
or a test of my ability to please authority?
Rhymes herding phrases out
of clarity,
over-ardent attempts at sincerity?
What if I just want to explain
beyond the scope of everyday chatter?
What if I want to say how
and why abstractions matter
or work out ways to scatter
bits of emoting on a page?
Words with the precision and ambiguity
to save visions, ahas! glimpses.
Capture gaze at nature's seas
and stars.  Bring immediacy
of horror or wonder, or aid grappling
to decipher commonalities
that could increase
conviviality.
 
 
~
 
 
 
You expound tale of private familiarity simple, trivial, self-contained.
Profound sincerity, eternal poetry
 
 
~
 
 
 
Poetry is about meaning and wonder
Poetry can say:  "Yes, we feel the same"
and "Yes, we can go further, together."
It's not the rhyme or word or name
that creates this form we ponder
to say what we've seen, how we came
to be who we are, how another's
ways of making sense have made us
more ...
 
 
~
 
 
poetry mice
nibble nimble syllables
feed on grainy meaning
scamper renewed, enlarged
 
~
 
 
Binary stars blink celestial code.
Music of spheres, of oblongs, of ellipses
twinkle far beyond the constant light.
Cycles within cycles within rhythms within
the magic of rhyme, within eternity's tricks
of repetition and mutation.
Crystallized, brought to sublime fruition.
Poets taste, express cosmic recipes,
tongue to tongue.
 
 
~
 
 
 
Poker as a Metaphor for Poetry:
Play the cards you are dealt,
inflated for the gaze of your opponents.
Don't squander emotion reactively.
Enjoy the thrill of being in the game.

Friday, March 21, 2014

World Poetry Day

 
speak low
 
 
We could speak poetry,
language languid with eloquence and charm,
evoke meanings far beyond
common conversation's command.
 
Spin me daring scenes and inspirations.
Call my essence to imbibe shared meditations.
Lean mean serene obscene,
we careen floor, wall, ceiling,
fulgent air of ecstasy’s semantic
play.
 
Speak low, my wondrous love.
Echo within interstice of heart and mind.
Lift magic's metaphoric blind.
Elicit ribbon binds of pure enchantment
only poetry can conjure.
 
 
 
 
Neptune's Fool
 
 
I burst my bubble daily
just to feel the pain.
I paint my face up gaily,
and melt out in the rain.
My bag of tricks is magic.
Yet no one calls to buy.
I wish my life were tragic,
horrendously awry.
‘Twould explain my sad refrain:
so bravely strong, heroic,
a saint, stately and stoic.
When truth be told I'm just a bum,
the very lowest common sum
of higher expectations.
So, let’s elbow up and drown in rum,
libertine libations
(congratulations obviously optional).
It's not that I'm exceptional
(what a wrench that was to say),
but that the conventional
I label reprehensible.
Freudian snake crawls a cross,
a highly wired state.
Too late to deny reliance
on random strangers’ kindness,
I issue this groveling plea:
Feed my sustaining fantasy.
See my poetry, and shout out:  "How profound!"
 
 
 
Art Magic
 
 
Listen to the heart of bliss.
Lie supine on vibrant sand, inhaling,
under oceanic starlit sky.
Breeze breathes eternity, circles ever
inward to divine intricately
expansive poetry --
thought in magnificent splendor.
All art is magic; all magic is art.
Yet they are not the same, and part
of wonder's widening landscape.
 
 
 
Mississippi
 
 
    Riverside romance one dusky June
    Turned into a winter poem
    By firelight - light of the moon.
 
    We loved and parted all too soon
    Each to return, a separate home
    Riverside romance one dusky June.
 
    I catch a glint, a ring of spoon
    Flashing through the tale I spin
    By firelight - light of the moon.
 
    Sometimes at night I hear you croon
    "We never had a chance to win."
    Riverside romance one dusky June
    By firelight - light of the moon.
 
 
 
We are a well at the center of the Universe
suspended like a spider spun out from
a web of space and time
All that ever is, like sea and rain
catalyzed by light, is processing
rainbows
or other illusions
into effervescent poetry
 
 
 
A forest is a poem
in a language of life, of action.
Symbiotic energies swell into echoing song.
Bright catalytic light, dark layers of still
nurturing long decay, fragrant rhythms
hold tune to animal play and parry,
seeds joining in emergent glee, new forms
for old, set in sound and fury.
Forest
the word itself carries mystery, tales
of magic and remorse,
of maidens hiding from giants and
handsome knights sworn to fealty.
Sweet sprites, winsome serpents and ravens
whisper oracular spells to trap or free.
A mere parade of words may create no sap,
no clinging moss, no berries enticing birds
to build for a future family.
Yet a forest is most certainly
a poem.
 
 
 
A Woman Disappointed and Disillusioned, Courageously Facing a Seemingly Empty Life
 
Dressed in sadness
Depressed to madness
Mad to believe in passion,
which never lasts beyond the hour.
Shrieking to bequeath the
power to stand, to breathe.
Time appears, macabre hag
preening her wares.
"See how it was, how it could be.
Drag and drop your face, your fate
onto a printed page. Can you see
new meaning? New lamps for old."
She cackles, like
a metronome.
New maps for a new age.
That charming village erstwhile
known as Hell
has realigned into Helvetica.
All that pain and sorrow
tomorrow's poetry.
 
 
 
Life's a Mad Dog in Heat; But At Least There's Art
 
I want a poem, painting, song
to be authentic
heart to heart,
mind to mind
Not to tell me something about you;
to show me more of me.
 
 
 
Poker as a Metaphor for Poetry
 
 
Play the cards you are dealt,
inflated for the gaze of your opponents.
Don't squander emotion reactively.
Enjoy the thrill of being in the game.
 
 
 
 
Pop Quiz
 
What is more useless than a poet, and why?
 
Encloistered in my artist's garrett, threadbare garments more holes than whole
Paint spattered, unruly and unkempt
Barely aware of the need for sustenance or even air
Entranced by the necessity of exploring, exposing my vision
I am the essence of romance.
 
Writing words on paper, I am merely effete,
Despite my black attire and permanent scowl.
Even if they are good words, finely wrought, expressing deeply true emotion
They are almost literally a dime a dozen.
To expose my wound is inelegance, to explore my essence a narcissistic malaise.
 
I am the real deal -- the poet-philosopher, the idealist dreamer, the journey's fool.
Surely I should be surrounded by accolytes at my feet, honored to breathe the sacred
Incense of my magesty.
 
Yet here I stand with bills unpaid in the squalor of a rented room,
Unadorned by idolatry.
 

Thursday, February 13, 2014

valentines

Be My Valentine
 
 
If the greatest virtue we can aspire to is love
And the greatest follies in our lives are due to love
And we can't cure our frenzied malady of love
But all sages exhort us just to love
And pure poison emanates from loss in love
And pure bliss is promised us from lovely love
And what about those horrid beings we just can't love
And what about that horrid feeling of being unloved
So what in heaven/hell is love?
 
 
There is love that sends you dancing
into romantic lunacy
that feels so right and free
There is love that burns so hot and cold
you never know
quite where you are
There is love that holds a whisper
in a cloaked corner of your being
makes you smile in
that secret special way
makes you want to linger
in a lover's fantasy
makes your day
There is love that hurts and hates
and kills any chance of saving
face or heart
burns the bright flame of your essence
into ash
leaves you bleeding, pleading
for any drug or thrill to kill that agony
There is love
indistinguishable from insanity
in any way your twisted mind
will go
There is love that lets you know
you have a soul
because it's growing
magically
What kind of love are you offering
to me?
 
 
I offer you a human love,
not constrained to simple delineation.
Part seeking a confidante face,
to find my hoped for reflection.
Part need for nurturing solace
in uncertain days.
Part desire to be hero, adored
shining spirit in your eyes,
because you spark enduring fire
in mine.
You send my boundaries
leaping.
Your presence increases my
self’s reality,
inspires wider denotation
encompassing we.
Crawling into each other's
place of essence,
breaking through,
It doesn't matter where
I am
when I'm with you.
 
 
 
 
 
Haphazard People
 
 
Mostly pretty ugly, pretty useless, pretty stupid,
not pretty at all.
But how can I discount them when unexpectedly
somebody kind, unreasonably wise, a vision of grace,
undeniably lovely.
How could we account for miracles, unlikely odds
coming through?
Random chaos is enough for human ingenuity
to engineer you or me, or any soldier joe
or social geek.
Who's to say which or any of us is the freak?
I like my lovers half-crazed, bravely strong, and wonder-filled.
A true friend to cry with,
who then can laugh me out of my blues.
I like that she could choose,
and freely cleaves to me.
Haphazard people.
Collisions of lives.

What are the chances we might get it right?

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Patty We Hardly Knew Ya

Patricia Hearst, the 19-year-old granddaughter of the publishing magnate William Randolf Hearst was kidnapped on 4 February 1974. Two months later Hearst announced that she had joined her captors, the armed radical group, known as the Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA) and adopted the nom de guerre 'Tania'. Hearst was arrested and convicted of armed robbery and other crimes in 1976, despite her defence lawyer's claims of brainwashing and coersion by her kidnappers
Patty We Hardly Knew Ya


So they took you from your lover's home -- Steven
who treated you like a child & later wrote memoirs & told them to take anything, but to leave him alone 
& they took you.
& they locked you in a closet & used you for a media campaign to feed the hungry.
You had never known hunger or privation.
You were a princess of the ruling class.
But you had known loneliness.
You learned, finally,
away from your university walls, about revolution.
They called you Tania & plastered your picture on front page reports & post office billboards & 
the Six O'clock News.
Your father wasn't the only Hearst 
who could make the papers.
You became a phenomenon. You became a star.
And the question on everyone's lips was:
"Where is Patty Hearst?"
& some were arrested & some were destroyed & the LA siege was just one of many brutal episodes in a bloody war movie, but you were a star.
& all the "little people" -- the housewives & the students & the laborers of the working class took you as their own & discussed your motives & some applauded you & some said you deserved to be spanked & some said you were just a pawn, but pawn or queen, you were a star -- a media heroine & no one could ignore you as they had 
ignored your wealthy and powerful family.
Month after month you led the headlines.
The FBI was embarrassed 
by false leads on your whereabouts.
All those trained bloodhounds searching for one
little girl playing revolutionary.
It could have been made in Hollywood,
But never in CUBA or CHINA or Viet-Nam.
You were so bold, standing in your beret & rifle 
in front of the SLA trademark
(and we still may wonder on the significance of 
"Symbionese")
Robbing banks in the tradition of Dunaway and Beatty
-- a whirlwind crime spree 
to the glory of the "people."
What did you know of the "people?"
Those who cheered for the circus & those who condemned you at their mid-morning coffee breaks.
Yes, now you belonged to them -- 
no longer the sheltered heiress.
So they found you, the pigs, really quite by accident (the whole investigation being a gaily colored comedy of 
errors)
& brought you to "justice."
& Justice took its time-honored time drawing out the headlines -- arraignment through appeals & exposes 
("New Times features Bill & Emily Harris: 
at home with the fugitives")
And when they asked you for your profession on the 
official forms you ingenuously proclaimed to be 
"an unemployed Urban Guerrilla," which is certainly as valid as an unemployed newspaper heiress.
And Squeaky Fromm tried to shoot the President,
but you were still America's sweetheart -- 
poor little rich girl gone guerrilla.
But then you were reprogrammed and reneged on your revolutionary ways. You cried for joy on being reunited with your "capitalist pig" parents & 
the family dog --
Just like any Long Island JAP or Sacramento 
newspaper heiress back from her hippie jaunt.
And they locked you in your "country club jail" 
like they send a naughty child to her room -- 
"just to teach her a lesson."
And still the interviewers came 
to continue the media comedy.
What fun you had with your "Pardon Me" teeshirt & your jailhouse romance with your guard.
(And Jerry Ford, who Squeaky tried to shoot, had 
pardoned Trickie Dick. And Susan Ford, the First Daughter, married her Secret Service guard.
And it was the era of Post-Watergate when nothing could be too absurd for a world weary public worn out by the Stagflation Wars)
And Waffling Jimmy Earl of the Georgia Peanut Dynasty was in the Whitehouse.
And China was finally invading Viet-Nam
And a fast-talking Orkian 
was the rage of prime time.
And discomania mixed liberally with coke and 'ludes had taken over Amerikkka's youthful zeal.
And Werner Erhard replaced Che Guevara in ex-Yippie Jerry Rubin's heart & so the wheel turns.
& five years after the kidnapping, 
Patty Hearst finally went home.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

January 14

 
Sacred Geology
 
 
Rich earth.
Consecrated life.
Imbued myriad layers
nourish omniscient spirit.
Starvations, immolations, decay
scarred into the land
making it holy.
Bounty of beauty
irrigated by tears
and less voluntary bodily fluids.
Teeming loam. Revitalizing
luscious fruits
giving forward.
Partaking of the feast
we are blessed,
renewed in empyreal essence.
Each at our pace,
nature’s cycle reclaims
all that we are
that we may become
yet more abundantly, complexly
layered.
 
 
 
Broken
 
 
Once there was a promise
so tightly clasped,
a nucleus, inseparable
magnetic bond.
The promise said:  "I am
your destiny.
Treat me as any dependent child."
But you forgot a promise had been made.
You believed in a world
owed to you alone.
The promise grew withered, old,
sluggish, barren, wan.
It liked to laugh, so quietly,
peeking down the staircase
at the grown-ups at play.
It never meant to spoil the party
with its unseemly gasping for air.
Quietly it lay, hidden in shadows,
beneath random cobwebs and crumbs.
 
 
 
A Winter Parable
 
 
Two old men sit 
wrapped in wool, contemplating a frozen stream.
Their memories soar out past yesterday's horizon
to youthful pleasures and dismays.
Yes, time has been harsh as the coldest winter;
and beautiful as late night snowfall that
covers the world in symbolic purity,
sets off 
strawlike, colorful northern herbs
against a star and moonlit sky.
To know profoundly, we need not be old,
only of a romantic nature.
To share these epiphanies, 
we need only be in love with life.
 
 
 
For Julie
 
 
    The Temple Bells sound clearly.
    Early morning misty mountain rising.
    Pale moon to jolly alpine sun.
    Soft blues & golds
    throughout the Valley.
    And, hark!  Hear the bells
    over hillsides, rockslides, 
    slip of skis, powder peaks,
    & rime held skies.
    That frost smell, plainly
    on that open mountain day
    & no one around but enticing odor
    of clean virgin snow.
   The darkside of the moon faces shyly.
    Sly shade moored under awaits her cue.
    Anticipation pure with mirth.
    & Night comes quickly.
    Icy stars blank out now pallid sun.
    And moonbeams twinkle - oh la!
    Pawprints mar niveous path.
    The mountain creature stalks.
    But soon hides & shivers 
    in providential crevice of warmth.
Vestal white reigns high.
    Crystal-clear
    crystal stars
    celestial tableau.
Snowflake ribbons, cloud dust,
    shatter into mirror-images & gone!
    Scatter, swirl
    Eternally.
 
 
 
When I was Two and Twenty
 
 
It was a warm Winter.
Certainly there was frost, mesmerizing lace of snow.
Still, even northern streets held no forbidding chill.
Brisk movement, bracing meditative walks through
streetlamp shadows sufficiently
far from heavy deadliness of frigidity.
That Winter spanned manifold degrees,
latitudes and longitudes.
The coldest night hit with shock and
good hot anger.  Electrical resistance, exasperation;
existential flurries stomp revenge.
February proffers challenging amity.
Winter’s merge with Spring, icy mud, ire damp,
subsumed in vulgar pleas for relief.
April is cruel.  She is bossy, outrageously on the rag.
She seduces with promises, then laughs in your face,
carelessly spews spittle shames.
April is nobody’s mistress.
She demands notice; delivers only belligerence.
It was a warm Winter, a lusty Spring.  Summer’s
herald of mystery followed through.
By Fall the world took on
a stranger’s ways.  New data to consider.
Years have their stories.
Days awaken to the air’s news, the drums’ rhythm.
Warm Winters, Summers' call of capricious glory;
twilights of harmonic symphonies when Sun
touches green horizons.
 
 
 
 
Ice-breaking
 
 
Get people talking.
Minds engaged, relating.
Interchanges, connections
excite,
generate synergy.
Diversity finds flow unites;
warm colors array.
Create a day
unlike the past.
Choir’s harmonic magic
breaks frozen thrall,  
isolating spell
silence cast.
 
 
 
 
 
Beyond
 
 
I slip through mystic’s hour-glass,
breathe ethereal sand,
land unseen, yet profoundly tasted
deep in intricate interstices
of pervasive consciousness.
 
Will I meet you there?
A long-lost embrace,
inspiring melody,
synergized anthem of camaraderie?
Welcome me to this place
beyond secrets and stars.


Tuesday, December 31, 2013

awaiting the new

 
Winter Sky
 
 
Straw sky
Westerly
Moonless, Sunless, Starless
Leaveless trees point gnarly fingers
to the heavens
deepening into darkness.
 
Frayed and tattered demons
Lucid praying
A feeling beyond touch
Beyond fear or sadness
A feeling unlike hope
Without reason
Formless
Yet delineated
Like constellations
 
I make motions with my hands,
move my skin into contact
with ineffable realms.
Move, oozing miasma.
Creating signs in faint luminescence.
Bit by bit they encompass
the night's horizon.
 
But there is more.
It comes to me in brief emanation.
Droning, encircling, swooping in and out.
I organize a study chamber.
Pull out maps and ruler.
Set my quill to taking notes.
Images engaged in excited conversation
pull me in to their heady company.
 
I can feel the sky breaking around me.
Bits of colored prisms falling.
Make a wish.
 
 
 
 
And Why Not Now?
 
 
The 4th dimension embraced to spatial 3.
Length, width, depth --
will may move within.
Yet we travel always in time,
whether we want or even know.
Ever onward through duration;
moment to moment
encompassing all of our lives.
 
And yet they say there is no time,
only now.
 
Every precious second, every interminable hour,
every slippery slovenly unrelivable day,
an unrelenting onward and inward and outward,
soulesque surrounding.
 
Where is now?
Yes, everywhere, of course, but how do we divine,
make sense,
manifest intention,
measure meaning to instant that
expands into infinite unknown?
 
How do we comprehend what extends true and real,
stands the test of time,
that continuous emergence, strands
playing in the breeze entangling and evolving?
 
How do we tame Now
and make a dance of time, swinging and swaying,
executing formal twirls of shadow
and light to uplifted applause?
 
How do we account for time,
yet spend it like raindrops,
yet savor forever awakening?
 
If it must be done, it must be done now!
There is no waiting room in eternity.
Yet there is no being done.
There is only doing, and being,
and bravely swimming uncharted seas.
 
 
 
Not with a Bang
 
 
Stillness.
Light calmly shines
through bare-branch silhouettes.
Ice, frozen in time
sparkles, giving no reasons.
Still.  Cold.
Natural cycles.
Out on the battlefield of man,
brutal bleeding,
shattering of bones and dreams
too loud and crazed
to be heard
reverberating in shattered brains.
Once a molten planet
shot out of star stuff
creating plains and seas,
rocky terrain,
spinning so merrily
with no idea of sadness
set into motion.
Spiraling cycles.
In crystal stillness
frozen tears break and fall
slowly, silently, into time,
knowing not what we have wrought.
 
 
 
 
ago and away
 
 
    Long ago and far away
    In the inner plains of time
    A fair voice was heard to say
    We will meet to love someday.
 
    Through centuries of waking dream
    Varied tongues have shared the rhyme
    Each meeting, new though it may seem,
    Another pattern in the scheme.
 
    Running now through you and me
    A thread, a wisp of fleeting song --
    An ever-mending tapestry --
    This treasured bit of life we see.
 
 
 
awaiting the new
anticipating deleting
old reviews,
debts no longer due
hoping that greeting
"Happy!  Celebration"
proves true
 

Saturday, December 21, 2013

12th month - 21

What year has this been?
Caught up in days’ parade; now take it in.
Peaceful moments safe with friends and kin.
Joys of open grace, sad tinge of want.
Simple blessings, taunts of goals beyond.
Under rambling clouds, upon solid ground,
jaunty walk intent on happy thoughts.
 
 
December 21, 2013