Wednesday, January 30, 2013

I Come to Her Room

For Three Word Wednesday, prompt words drab, pulsate, tendril. Also submitted for dVerse OpenLinkNight. I know I'm running a little behind for both submissions, but I'll try to play catch up on commenting this week.

I Come to Her Room

I come to her room once
a week, there in the old
folks’ home, sitting with her

in the windowless
drab room as she tries
to remember me. She stares

at old photographs,
seeing strangers’ faces, her
memory dim as the pulsating

florescent bulb over her
narrow bed. With stiff fingers
she pushes a gray tendril of hair

behind her ear, and I
think of the time she
waved those hands witch-like

around my face, repeating
Sing and dance for joy,
life goes on despite the pain.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

92 Proof

Anna Montgomery (where have you been, Anna, I've missed you!) host of tonight's dVerse Meeting the Bar,  wants us to entertain the creative flow in writing poetry. Join in, all ye who are merry or sad, give it your best shot.

92 Proof

So I’m a little drunk tonight, feeling
somewhat guilty
for my word-laziness,
aware that my Muse has left me
but not understanding why.

I’ve done
all the right things, really.

Reflected on
the past,
conjured up old
dreamed about
the future
and all that hope entails.
Still, no poem.

No words of my own,

only empty, 92 proof thoughts
that actually feel good
as they buzz around
in my brain.

Damn the Money!

(Blake's Ancient of Days)
Sorry I haven't posted any new poetry in a few weeks. Work-weary. This story about William Blake is appropriate:

"Blake never lost his link with the common people, or the men who work with their hands; and however high the flights of his imagination, he remained, all his life, a humble engraver working for his bread, with the skill of his hands. It is recorded that, when no money remained to pay their simple household expenses, Mrs. Blake used to set an empty plate before her husband at dinner-time and that he would then turn (with the remark ‘Damn the money!’) from his prophecies and visions of other worlds, and take up his graver to work on some humble task."
                          --from an essay by Kathleen Raine

Friday, January 18, 2013

Sports Definitions, updated for 2013

Tebowing--the act of bowing on one knee, fist on forehead, to thank or beg God for some victory over the opponent.

Kapernicking--the act of kissing one's own bicep, in praise of one's God-given skills.

Armstronging--the act of cheating and lying one's way to the top.

Te'oing--definition still to be determined.

I stand by what I've written, so up yours.

So--here's the series of events as I see it. I posted a poem on January 10, 2013, one inspired by an essay by Wendell Berry. On January 11, 2013, just one day after my post, Mr. Berry spoke at a Baptist college conference and came out in favor of fair treatment of gays, including the right of gays to marry. Soon after the report of Mr. Berry's speech made the rounds, conservatives (religious and political) immediately distanced themselves from Mr. Berry, afraid (I suppose) of catching some germ that would turn them into homosexuals. (Why, in the accompanying photo above, is Mr. Berry surrounded by so much "wood"? is this a subliminal message?) Many of the arguments made against Mr. Berry focused on his supposed mental state. Comments such as "he's gone crazy," it was his "Grandpa Simpson moment," he's "off his rocker," he's "lost it," summed up the substance of the logic against Mr. Berry.

I have come to suspect that this entire reaction is a hidden anti-poetic agenda against my poem. So here, in front of Gawd and ever-body, on this blessed day of January 18, 2013, I publicly come out and say . . . I stand by my poem as written.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Here and Heaven

I'm posting this one to show my oldest daughter that I really don't mind Chris Thile's singing (though I still think he is a far better mandolin picker than singer). This is a remarkable song, featuring artists at the top of their game.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Irish Harp: Niamh McGloin

This is a wonderful video, beautiful harp playing by one of the best in Ireland. Great setting, sound good, the choice of music perfect--slow and meditative in the beginning, ending with something you can move to.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

The Rising

dVerse host Victoria Slotto has offered some excellent words concerning the use of images in poems, and the way these images can offer the reader a message or new perspective. In the following poem I . . . well, the following poem is an attempt at something or the other. (This is based on a passage in an essay by Wendell Berry called "The Rise.") It would be nice if you could join in with a poem of your own!

The Rising

The black water rising, bold with recent
rains, extended beyond its normal reach,
lifting every loose thing: leaves and fallen

limbs, a poorly-built dock, beer cans
from weekenders, turned soil from newly
plowed fields. Swollen up to the bottom

branches of the overhanging trees,
it moved the chirping birds further toward
the heavy sky where they sing, anyway.

Toward night the fisherman put in, needing
to gather up his final lines
of the day, careful yet unafraid

of his old flowing friend. He leaned
and grabbed a line, droplets of water
falling like life's-blood into the current. A heavy 

line this one. The braced foot slipped. Carried away
from the bank, away from the noise of water
breaking, into the unhindered channel,

he cried out. For hours he passed
the unconcerned herons, and families
in their riverfront houses heard him howl

as he went by unseen, not knowing
what to make of it.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013


For Three Word Wednesday, prompt words focused, pair, vacant. Also submitted to dVerse OpenLinkNight. Short and sweet this week.


I pared
a pair
of pears.


what does

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Collom Lune: The Raindrop

Tonight at dVerse, the marvelous poet Samuel Peralta has challenged us to write either a Kelly lune or Collom lune. I chose the latter, in a two stanza form. The form is similar to haiku; however, instead of syllable count, words are counted (lines of 3-5-3). The subject is inspired by the gentle rain falling outside. Please join in--it is a fairly simple form to work with, yet it can yield powerful results. (edited to fix the spelling of Jack Collom's name!)

the raindrop falls
from the tip of the
magnolia leaf bearing

the reflected world
falls and breaks into a
thousand tiny worlds

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

For Foy Lanier's

For Three Word Wednesday, prompt words idle, pace, nagging. Also submitted to dVerse OpenLinkNight. Happy New Year to all!

For Foy Lanier’s

The only thing on tap
was Bud or Miller Lite,
sometimes served warm due

to a temperamental cooler;
bathroom stall doors
torn from their hinges

idled against the opposite wall
after some friendly fisticuffs.
The floor slanted hard

to the left, giving
a drunken pace even
to the sober, which we

mostly were, those times
we’d all meet after work to have
a few or a few too many, tapping

out cigarettes and telling lies
about when we were young.
Well before closing time

we’d leave Foy’s to fend for
itself, until we felt the nagging
urge again to drink to health,

good favor, to peace,
prosperity, happy times.
We’ve all gone our separate

ways by now, and today
I noticed Foy’s is just
an abandoned dusty field.