Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Off Track

We had not intended to travel here
Into Oklahoma -- the night too dark
And the flats not river enough for fear
That a full Red River would bring. Hank's bark

At the moon kept us in a laugh. We sang
With his nasal voice, the old country art
In its folksy blues that confirmed his twang,
The depressing songs that make warm the heart

And release the soul to allow the sole
A hard place to stand so the spirit's free.
In the moonlight wind-worn and stacked stones roll
In the fields the asphalt now splits. We'd be

Out in Texas where we belong if life
Had not interfered in our drive. The map
Cannot mark mistakes out or hide the strife
Between friends or husband and wife that trap

Us in places we in our ignorance
Accidentally found in traveling --
But without these paths, we won't hear or dance
To Hank Williams' songs, we would never sing

Of our loves we have or once had and lost,
And we'd miss the wonders of stone that rise
From the plains of life. What a waste -- the cost
Of such stringent lives cannot make us wise.

So we had not planned to travel where
The Red River flowed and the stones all rose
Into pretty piles on the plains that pair
Me and you, together in what life chose. 

Monday, March 30, 2015

Beautiful Compulsion

The mountain lies there on the table, stone
And trees and snow, the alpine flowers showing
Between the cracks, up through the melting snow
That trickles down into rough rivers flowing.

The warrior sits there on the table, stone
In visage, stone in eyes, a weapon held
At ready in his steady hand, and proud
Of every enemy that he has felled.

My love for you sits on the table. Stone
Will wear away much faster than will my
Dark ruby love -- no! far above the price
Of rubies is my love, this lovely tie.

My poem lies there on the table, lone
In drawing my attention. The T.V.
Is on and yet ignored. This phonic fable
In verse and rhythms lives through harmonies.

The harmonies there on the table groan
For me to pick them up so I can read
The poems dozens more times than I have --
They draw me, drive me -- they are what I need.

The pen and paper on the table loan
A way for me to reproduce, to replicate
The beauties that I know and see in words:
The mountain, warrior, love, and poem wait.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Asleep

The old caldera slowly swells, fist
Beneath our feet. The rim is several dozen
Unstable miles across, and so we missed
This rise beneath us with eyes that have frozen

On dark, blue steaming pools that drain to stream
Through washes bright in orange and peach and yellows,
Bacteria resisting heat all team
Near geysers spraying up from deep hot bellows

That feel the lake the rising old caldera
Now pushes over into pine trees growing
Along the southern bank. In what new era
Will we expect the lava to start flowing?

We walk across the steaming world of heat,
Ignoring danger rising at our feet.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

A New Life by the Bay

The broad bay window shows the sea
A blue arc bending in toward the house,
The white caps spray, deep water cool, arouse
A blue and white-streaked sky for you and me.

The light shines through the wide, reflecting glass,
And brightens blue berries beyond the bay
Window. Among asparagus fern spray,
Contrasting red-bright berries hide. Alas,

We cannot know what all is found around
The bay that bends away, now arcing out
Toward the open sea to sweep our doubt
Out with the tide, revealing the new ground

We've chosen now to build this new-made life
Upon, with this new house, husband and wife.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Treestomp

Trees travel through these woods -- you see their tracks
And trailing cedar trunks hold growing rings
Of memories remaining light as fog
That creeps through streets, around the buildings' stones.
All rise, obscure the sky, the sun, the clouds,
The stars, the birds, the bats, the planes that fly
From port to port as some release small men
In parachutes who then drift down to caves
All full of calcium formations, cracking
Fantastic rising ceilings with their centered
Hot crystal chandeliers as clear as seas
Surrounding Caribbeans full of leaves
That fell from trees that marched into the water,
The fountains full of foam fragmented from
And into liquid crystal prism rainbows
That left their trunk tracks in soft sand they shaped
To glass-blown bubbles bursting into bright
Chaotic fireworks displays of trinkets
From places far away, on boats that sail
In, bringing branches from the distant West
To plant the places where the trees are gone.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Malthusian Butt Fleas Secrete Liverworts Wandering On Stones In Firefly Bellies Until Volcanoes Sniff Eyelashes

As almost all arranged
Big beetles brag bright balloons belatedly
Carrying crawfish candid castles
Daintily down dreary doughnut droughts
Eventually evening everything elastic
For fierce frogs forgetting
Great ghastly gains given Gorky
His hero's hell however he
Is in it if it is
Just jeering jello jumping jellybeans
Kindly killing Kafka
Letting little legs lightly lift low
Measures more mightily must man move
Night near nothing
Opening our other optical ostriches
Perhaps privately picking powerful pears
Quietly quaking quaintly queer
Right rain really roves round rectangles
Sounding still serious smelling snake sewers
Telling tight tails terrible tales together
Until unguloid udders
Vary vermouth vacuums
Where wandering wonderwalls were working worth white worms
Xylophones xerox sylem
Yet yellow yetis yearn yonder
Zanzibar zaqqum zoos.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Red and Blue Verisimilitude

Sitting surreptitiously sans sound
We lit the lit the longest ledger loud and lingered,
Letting the little lemming see around the sound
That severed sacks of high hairs harrowing both here
And there and up, around and down
Through sound to get through these new blue
Criteria that seek verisimilitude.

"I wonder where the walnut walked?"
Wondered Wally, walking wearily
From fierce sleep, sneezing into the bowl of red jello
Hanging from the ceiling. Red, red,
Everywhere red, red casting
Its light, its sound, its life
Through men and women, making women unfill
Into life, their petals passing past each other. Love.
Love. Lust. Kissing, caressing her,
Such soft and supple skin all drenched in red, red light,
That makes her draw away.

You want to love, to love love, not no!
No touches. Touches tingle, tantalize and tug
On tortuous tendrils of feeling forward, focused
Fast on the ledger, letting love linger there,
If nowhere.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Creator of the Cult

You take the sacred raw material
Of poetry and find their deepest roots
And make of them genealogical
High-reaching branches tipped with greenest shoots.

You make their meanings new from oldest source,
From context you create as you relate
Each sound to meaning -- its emergent course
Traced out and followed, finding its own fate.

Each phoneme flows in fractal forms you frame
To make new meaning blossom fruits to swell --
Your love of morphemes transformed to a game,
A ritual of love for all you spell.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Gigglesnort

Oh, what did the gigglesnort know?
And how did he reach his toe?
Yes, upward he came,
He's barely insane,
Thinks he is a rake or a hoe.

An elephondonder he'll be,
Ate from the posquato tree
'Til outward he'd roam
And go far from home
And see a sweet sister or three.

A storm -- from the cavern it came,
But the gigglesnort slightly was lame,
So he had to choose
The umbersol's use --
If over his head, or a cane.

His sister was a flapping flitter
Wet, transparent, and all quite atwitter
She seemed a bit sappy
But very galappy
Perched high on her branch on her sitter.

The gigglesnort satalked long with her
And covered her with mallow fur
Then he said he'd attend,
Declared he was her friend
Then said that he'd have to defer.

The gigglesnort let out a laugh
Then found himself cleanly in half
Then whipping his claws
And licking his jaws
He called out for all of his staff.

The gigglesnort, with them he stood,
The Biznel and the peckerwood,
But the blue bilderclaw
Just couldn't recall
Whether on hand or his feet that he stood.

I wonder whatever we'll do!
Asked the biznel and all of his crew
Around they all walked
And blatheringly talked
'Til everything shistened with dew.

In three days they had to decide
If soon they scrietly would hide
The googalypus down
In a tree of renown
 And claim they knew not where he'd flied.

Then they all looked around and they turned
And to their surprise they had learned
That in the days' time
With the sound of a mime
Both the gigglesnort and flitter had burned.

They sifted carlowly the ashes
But soon and away their hope dashes
For the gigglesnort's tooth
And the flitter's farnooth
Were laying in some of the lashes.

Around the dark ashes aloud
A singular came from the crowd
Then a burst of flame
Engulfed all the same
And the gigglesnort and flitter came 'round.

Where've you been? asked the peckerwood crew
But the siblings just smiled at the view --
So they went, holding hands,
Vanished into the sands
Each sharing a bright purple shoe.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Democracy

He knew the way they acted was no show --
He knew they were his friends. They had said so.
He let them shackle him onto the boat --
He knew he could not know what they could know.

They pushed him out into the stream to float
In slowly spinning swirls. He had no coat
To keep off rain; he only had a stick
And satisfaction he had had a vote.

To stay unstuck the stick would do the trick --
To scare off snakes he'd give the stick a flick
Upon the water surface, and the splash
Would quench his thirst with every drop he'd lick.

So he was thankful for the stick -- he'd dash,
He knew, against the rocks without it, crash
Against the shore. And so he thanked his friends
For it and giving him his tiny cache.

That cache of food on which he now depends
Will last for weeks, but only if he lends
Most to his future self -- he has to trust
His present hungry self for what he sends.

His friends made no provisions for his lust
Or how he would wash off his grease and dust --
They only took care of what they foresaw
And did not care for everything they must.

The water, wind would make his skin turn raw.
The sun would burn him, but he saw no flaw
In his friends' plan to get him to the sea.
Instead, he smiled when he heard the crow caw.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Architecture

This cathedral I thrust up from liquid
Fire, foundation formed of flames. An absent
Ground of reverie raise in reverence the eyes
Up the stone stairs that strain to the ceiling
Arching into the air to beams
Unfinished, fanning from feathery trees branching,
Leafing into the light, the luring sky.

We trace no trees' shapes traveling up
As acolytes or Arthurs in this absent forest --
The shade shelters even shodden feet
To keep them cool. I kick a loose stone
Among the many May apple blossoms,
Which wink their white petals warily as I pass.
A great, green, growing post
Holds up heaven in halves or as one,
As cathedrals for crickets and caterpillars to worship the dew.

Beams have burned away to bare this spiral
Staircase standing in strength before me --
I rise, racing the rapid flames
This cathedral was thrust up from stones
The forest flung before me across
This pitted path I past perceived was mine.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Cliff Dwellers

The searing sun shines, bronzing the bare breasts
Of women walking warily, grass skirts
Shift, swaying on their hips and showing thighs
With every forward step. The cliff face falls
Off to their left and rises to their right --
They do not walk with fright or lonely sighs.
The stone encloses the cliff's weathered faces
To form the family homes that face each other
Across the canyon. Mother, brother, all
Can face each other, read the petroglyphs
That spell out each dark spirit-loving space
So each can trace each other, spirit mother
Protecting corn crops, pine nuts, the rare fruit
Available in this dry desert if
You want to work to leave a legacy
That lasts in this bright echoing cliff aerie
Now ghostly silent. Serpents, lizards lurk
Here now, but nothing else. I walk along
Where pinon farmers played and prayed and failed
To change with their environment. the sun-
Bronzed breasts are gone -- the guests who visit here
Are covered up despite the heat. Where have
These people gone? We do not know. But if
We see here what they've done, I'm certain that
With work we'll learn how we can wax and grow.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Yosemite

This land, it must be painted, it
Cannot be captured in a poem. How
Can anyone bring forth the wit
To describe mountains which could make you bow?
Yosemite
Could set you free,
Sequoias rising to the sky
Far closer than the spreading trunks should dare
Allow each other. Cones reply
To fires that char the trunks, the forest bare
To let the flowers
In hidden bowers
And mountain meadows bloom
In yellow, red, and blue and pink
While over them gray mountains loom,
Enthralling minds so they can't think,
All filled with revelry
And colors every
Enduring shade and hue and texture, shape.
The water runs in rivers, streams
And lakes reflecting deepest blue, landscape
We thought emerged just in our dreams.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Aeneas' Path

I sat, filled with Dido's grief, curled up
On my bed in darkness. I was crying,
A transient state, as my desire
For life was stronger than the Carthage queen's.
The source of such a love, such tragedy,
Had to be destroyed before an empire
Could be born, so a civilization
Could take the path it took toward strength, power,
Reason and pride. Could I find these? I search
For this strength of Rome, to overcome my
Deep Carthaginian pain- and grief-filled rage.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

For Sappho, My Muse

The Muses have been banished from the city --
So I revolt and call on them to return
And bring the music back so we can rise up
And begin to dance.

Amaterasu, the sun, hides in her cave
And puts the world in a most deadly darkness
Until Ame-no-uzume comes to her
And beings to dance.

Even poor Persephone in her mourning
Was brought back to life and made to smile at last
When Baubo came forward with such sexy moves
And began to dance.

I have been brought back to life and the bright sun
Shines again upon my face now that I see
My art and prose and poetry have music
And begin to dance.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

On the Spirit of the French Revolution

The Revolution must succeed
So from these chains we'll all be freed
And virtue lives in every deed
And wisdom has its place

We'll bomb them all into submission
Cut out the tongue of hard derision
Always approve every decision
So all will win the race

The blood of all our foes will flow
And all of future man will know
The heat by which our glories glow
With every bloodied face

We'll kill each one who disagrees
Ignoring all their desperate pleas
We'll make the rest live on their knees
Change burlap for fine lace

You will fit into our machine
Or else our food will make you lean
We'll strap you to a magazine
You'll die without a trace

The Revolution must succeed
Into these chains we'll all be freed
While virtue dies with every deed
And wisdom has no place

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Solid Ground

This isn't where I'm meant to be --
A van stuck in the mud the pouring rain
Transformed the soil so suddenly --
Why am I mired? from fear? or am I vain?

I have to get to you, the land,
The rock on which I've built by life and home --
I need your ground on which I stand --
I'm thankful that I do not roam.

But mud is never solid ground
And being stuck and sinking is not safe --
A crowd does not mean that you're found,
And healthy beauty cannot be a waif.

Provide the ground for me I need
For traction so I can reach hope's bright seed.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Society

Embodied minds in interactions made
Environments much more complex, that drove
Those brains to more complexity, to braid
A more complex environment, which wove
Those neurons tighter still so that we'd grow
In wisdom, beauty, love and what we know.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Persimmon

A tall persimmon tree spread its orange fruit
In sick-sweet droppings beside the white house
Where I was eight. It never once occurred
To me that I could eat the mushy fruit
That lay upon the ground -- they were sweet meals
For butterflies -- giant red-spotted purples
That flocked in numbers as dense as the fruit.
This old persimmon gave the only shade
Nobody ever wanted -- orange fruit stuck
In shoes and toes. The smell of rotting fruit
Replaced the air. Black butterflies few up
If we would come too close. The smell and mess
Made mother hate the old persimmon tree.
I loved it for the butterflies it drew.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Bell

The sky is a mouse, long-
Haired, allergic to itself. It finds
Frozen to its fur fragments
of thoughts connecting everyone instantaneously.
A sneeze rustles my hair, twisting
Leaves and plastic bags up, startling
The wise grackles hopping
From sidewalk to chair, seat to arm.
Stars are hidden by facing star
Hidden by gray mouse fur.
I know what happens to the stars
Hidden by gray mouse fur.
I know what happens to the stars,
Thoughts connected faster than the light the stars emit,
Connected too to the light, connected
To the star. Thoughts scurry
Through the neural walls and halls, paths
Rarely disrupted by rare events
That send sparks scampering to other routes
That bring my eyes to see the sky
A long-haired mouse, thoughts frozen to fur.
The grackles watch and wonder.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

The Biker's Song

We love our motorcycles and tattooed
Bisexual women, multicolored hair
And tongue rings, deep brown eyes that take us in,
Bright green eyes like murky pools in sunlight,
Thick legs that fill up leather mini skirts
And black thigh-highs, no underwear, and tight
Thin blouses holding heavy breasts that feel
The wind that whirls around them. Everything's
Exposed out in the motorcycle wind
Except their hair tucked under heavy helmets
That hinder vision. Fine, since we don't want
Too much exposed, no matter what they wear.
We like them dressed like that, are jealous all
The same. No one can look but us. We ride
Our bikes with arms and legs around our waists.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

The Hill Country

Prickly pears grow like grass
Beneath acacia trees
On yellow rocky hills
Throughout central Texas.
They're fence off from the road.
No cows or horses graze
Anywhere on these hills.
Who is afraid the green
Prickly pears will escape
And stampede passing cars?
Or get flattened by them
Like an armadillo
Crossing the road at night?

Monday, March 2, 2015

On Poetics

Write until you're finished telling us of trees
And wolves and great-grandfathers.
Find a focus, center on all you find important
(Not politics)
Like trees and grass and flower fields
With mostly goldenrods
And bumblebee moths (they do so look
Like bumblebees with backsides much too wide)
Which flit on transparent wings
(More common on butterflies and moths
That most would think) into some newly noticed flowers,
Light lavender tubes hummingbirds miss,
Too interested, as they are, in shades of red.

I see the sun.
It, too, is often red.
But hummingbirds aren't Icarus --
They won't venture close.

Would anyone notice if they did?