Thursday, March 31, 2011

Spreadsheets -- Poetry 2011

Mentally flushed down the drain;
brain numb from calculations,
recalculations, checking over and under.
Numerically flayed alive by columns that
don’t match the W2’s or spreadsheets.
What I do for art as an independent
business person; did I tell you I dislike
this all important aspect… creation antithesis.
That said, I keep heroically accurate records.
Monthly entering cash in and cash out…
expenses and receipts filed in chronological order!
Must be computer gremlins playing tricks
with excel program; thought I heard snickers
amongst my frustrated fowl mutterings,
prolonged gasping groans, cluttered air of naughty
words exceeding safe decibel levels.
Herein lies evidence that math skills and art
magic don’t spontaneously inhabit same brain side.
Pajamas, that's where I'm heading with a binky…


Wednesday, March 30, 2011

idealistic Poetry 2011

once no end in sight
so far in the distance…
youthful clarity,
intact dreams,
idealistic face
dripping with hope,
dancing with smiles,
total determination.

wishing for a miracle
money to tuck and stitch:
erasing lines,
pin up drooping flesh,
suck out excess flab…
skin layers
wearing cynical mix -
imperfect flaws
connect-the-dot features


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Rafting -- Poetry 2011

Paddled across nostalgia rapids…
no need to carry the sentimental raft
further; it’s too bulky to drag forward.
Trusting not to go back among memory
fern banks; curled fronds officially opened
from tightly holding winter introspections.
More than ready for a paraphrased spring
spreading italicized inspirations from
broken hibernal brains warmed by sun…


Monday, March 28, 2011

Dire Consequences -- Poetry 2011

Fueled by watered down day old coffee,
day begins to slosh about as cup bottom swill.
Nothing to read there within the fine ground
residue indistinct, used up, a cheap trick to reheat leftovers…
windows stream with dull drops cast from petulant skies;
incandescent bulbs betray filthy windows. Necessity
to wash grime away but why improve today’s outlook –
another day, another unrepentant curse of lost intrusions
swept under worn carpet thoughts. Lost hope drips down
the drain too bitter to revive burst taste buds. Settling into
chair waiting fitfully against caffeine nerves for the final sketch…
wishing to be more than copy and paste…


Burnt Poetry 2011

Once burned into my soul
I held onto the sour…
fed it all these years.

Cut free on court paper,
I resurfaced pain covering
it well with a locked smile.

Nonsense to breathe life
into old hurts so distance
in mileage and ticking time.

Limping into view on replaced
hips - aging non gracefully…
still the same characteristics.

We don’t change; minor
modifications to what we’ve
become but he’s benign now…


between the day and the evening -- Poetry 2011

That's the curse, I mean blessing of living with children;
reliving dim memories of your own growth stages…
watching your kids traverse each conquest of skill;
tears of frustration mixed liberally with snot paste
to exuberant Ta Da’s of happy dance I-did-it-joy.
Everybody gets a second chance at a crazy fall
out of their adult stoic comfort zone; we'd all be
enjoying the scent of deodorant if you raised your
hands for bubble bath, one piece pajamas, story
time, and being tucked in for the night – here we
thought we created for ourselves mysterious
enchantment when we left it all behind in childhood
for boring adult thoughts.


Sunday, March 27, 2011

Bisque Telepathy -- Poetry 2011

Acquaintances with agendas
weren't really friends but...
life is full of teachable moments.
Felt the need to defriend…
finally opened all the windows
to air them out of place;
felt ruthlessly depraved…
wind rattled the two of them;
swirling leaves laced with sand
blur bisque faux features.
Excluding plot… undistinguished script
explores boring make believe telepathy;
sometimes the one who wins actually loses…

Friday, March 25, 2011

Defense -- Poetry

an abrupt turn ten years ago…
surprised me as you wiped
clean your father’s slate;
you were treated better;
phony buying to make up
for his lack of attention,
his irrational addictive behavior,
his cruel remarks…

Part of the un-birthday shower:
expensive 35mm camera,
a kayak, clothes, earrings,
whatever you wanted
or whatever he wanted to buy.
no extra surprises for your brother
cheap, inexpensive gifts.
This his inequity enraged you…
now you deny his manipulation;
his inflicted destructive words.
What about the hand print on you
bottom when you were a year old?
Mom, Dad wasn’t that bad…

Here we are… another visit
ten years later that begins with:
so proud of her… we had a long
talk the last visit; she relinquished
the hate she had for me.
A very mature thing to do…
OK, we’ve all aged, I put three
thousand miles between us - helps
erase jarring painful memories.
Forgiveness is good - not denial-
at least recognize what happened…


Pack - Poetry 2011

Pack those problems carefully;
move them across state or country…
a world traveler - no problem -
settle them in for the entire journey.
Misguided treasures, habits and attitudes
are ready to see the sights through
packing tape; get out the bubble wrap,
tuck them in suitcase or sturdy box…
you don’t want to loose yourself along the way.


Who are we now? -- Poetry 2011

Squirming anticipation…
I loved you once;
I hated you for awhile;
love withered, died,
beyond rehabilitation.

Wobbly emotions bubble;
bound and seared, a warped
weary connection remains.
Do you remember what
brought us together?

Caustic behaviors ate
that sweetness; reviled touch
from biting comments…
I never recovered blind trust,
a bitter choice – closed heart..

I don’t think you care…
perhaps a feigned interest
until you spew forth recent
accomplishments; success run off…
it was a good choice to divorce you.


Drawn In - Poetry 2011

Not one pencil wriggle
to paper yesterday…
minutes flitted flapping
hands around the dial
and blinking numb numbers.
contraindicated internet
use - research, email,
electronic convection…
brain waves pulsing
longing to connect
hand to brush…


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Maybe a Touch -- Poetry 2011

Drive standard?
Out of practice but…
current neighbors posed that question…
they had wandered into a Crystal Lake dream
as I walked down Aborn Road in the sunlight.

Summer evening afterglow, I needed a bathroom…
Why do I have bathroom dreams?
Why do most dreams encompass the cottage?

Walking past # 13, emotions inundated me;
crying, the only place I really connected to…
noticing the new owner’s improvements,
garage, second story, deck, fruit trees…

Waking up to tears, I rolled out of uncomfort
to cross the hall into the unlit bathroom;
meows greet my late night trip; cats hoping
for physical sustenance – food or maybe a touch…


Muse Infusion -- Poetry 2011

Ideas wandered around night mind;
ostrich egg project sketches tumbled,
broke apart, reformed with additional
nuances of design… random what ifs…
Morning light sealed these mental images;
throwing back covers to head directly
into studio: not dressing, no breakfast…
gathering materials to claim the fruitful night.
Muse infused thoughts transition to clever
creative expression on an ovoid ellipse…


Nostalgia -- Poetry 2011

Another word for being stuck…
stuck in the past reliving good times;
retracing hugs and kisses from departed;
disposing of heavy adult responsibilities;
longing for the way it was before hard edges.
No need to color remembrances with rose
crayons or washes of Alizarin Crimson.
Everything stays in soft focus; lovely auras
emanate from these idyllic visions; certain
proof positive that eyes are blind to external
plight and hardships when wearing nostalgia glasses.


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Hardly -- Poetry 2011

Don’t want to die
an immense sorrowful
an afterlife adrift,
pain burden outweighs
life’s joys.
Sorrow stains spirit;
sick as hell anemia
hardly did anything.
Hope I don't regret it...


Traffic Light -- Poetry 2011

waiting for the green…
transparent reflections
on window glass:
back windows,
rearview mirrors,
store fronts…

What if all we are
comes down to that?
A nanosecond impression…
splash of distorted images
caught in sunlight corners;
meaningless counterparts
in and out of context
reverberating to the end
when afterlife links exchange…


Aspirations -- Poetry 2011

Middle class…
blue collar workers
putting their children among
the first to go to college.
Idling aspirations projected
for a better living wage…

Avoiding going straight to work,
a nine to five something, I applied
to a state college; herded into
large auditorium, we realized the
size of our freshman class…
we tripled the senior level;
catalog statistics lied, presenting
it as a small liberal arts school.

Hated going back every year;
stress was as heavy as my suitcases
and boxed belongings. Embarrassed
to say, I headed home almost every weekend –
my friends weren’t at home – hanging with family,
we’d typically watch grandmother’s TV eating
burnt scones dripping with buttery marmalade
sipping cups of black tea ala Lawrence Welk.

Summers I worked in the last spinning mill in town;
second shift, coated in grease and wool…
never afraid to work hard,
never thinking I was above the blue collar…


Monday, March 21, 2011

Suburbia -- Poetry 2011

deluded and/or in denial
mediocre and/or boring
life wanders on
daily shift of ideals
lost insight.
We carry on
filling the air
blustering importance;
safety in repetition
comfort in banality
until routine explodes.
Extreme event
wicked repapering
way of life disrupted;
nostalgia never looked so good…


Sunday, March 20, 2011

a nice stay-cation --- Poetry 2011

Sleeping ticket punched;
mummy dream wrap
defies room’s chill.
Resisting necessary bathroom
rendezvous until impossible
to ignore urgent signals
to dash across dawn’s cold floors,
to jump over hungry cat’s twisting,
to careen to a spinning stop…
then reverse: leap, sprint, dive…
success - bedding still warm.
Sandman keypunches ticket
back to a nice stay-cation;
smuggling remnant dramas
into full blown snoring sequences.


Saturday, March 19, 2011

Nap -- Poetry 2011

Thought naps
seem more tired
off balance now.
Maybe it was too long;
hardly a power nap -
short and sweet –
two tart hours
tangled in rem sleep.
Waking abruptly,
canned laughter
tossed from a TV;
dawn or dusk?


Friday, March 18, 2011

Fortification -- Poetry 2011

Fortified with extra
writing implements -
safety in numbers -
staving off re-fiasco:
out of ink – dull pencil.
pens destined to empty
sacrificed to rambling
incoherency from brain
to hand
to page.
galvanizing electric
impulses spilling
ballpoint fluids
into sprawled lifelines.


Fortuitous -- Poetry 2011

Kanji character
eye level fortuitous.
Diminished return,
plagued luck,
chance, karma.
to accept,
to envision,
to believe.
Internal message
wired backwards;
confusing success
with greediness.
an unfortunate outcome…
conceptually makes
bleak prospects;
polar opposite…


Company cars -- Poetry 2011

Sucking detritus
weeks worth of dirt
cleaning shell
cleaning interior
purging trash
guided worker
proper sequence
keeping his focus
spotless company cars
Friday’s work
week ends


forever -- Poetry 2011

Plumb the depths
grappling hook
dragging chunks
reveals abscess
rotting within
sound surface
fraudulent exhibit
discordant ties
riddled trust
poison’s grip
alters interaction
circumscribed love
cauterized forever


surface writing -- Poetry 2011

Observations and notations
slipping over treacherous rocks
streaming under current
staying invisibly safe on top
remaining faux comfortable
denying the sour bitter bits
lodged among treasure
pleasant and acceptable
mediocre palatable for masses
who bury their own discomfort
walk around masked
concealing torturous past
a calm pond full of vicious
monsters and demented scum…


Blessed Relief -- Poetry 2011

Headache dimmed
tortuous to tolerable
acceptable level
brain cells brighten
converted from dismal
to sunny outlook
scrunched forehead
freshly plowed furrows
ready for tilling
ready for processing
blessed relief
comfortably human
deposing cranky
tyrant’s frown…


What fate -- Poetry 2011

Squirrel poised
before scampering…
darn these old eyes;
slow brain image reception too.
Realizing after it was gone,
whatever it clutched
firmly in rodent jaws
was alive…
naked it unfolded,
waved its limbs,
both vanished
to what fate?


Coffee invite -- Poetry 2011

If she’d only approached
a few minutes earlier...
before clock fingers waggled;
shortening her respite,
shortening my wait.
A mini coffee break shifting
this mere acquaintance
to a new status…
a friend.


Tidy Void -- Poetry 2011

One picks up scattered magazines
returning them for display;
gathers chairs that wandered
into unusual clump formations.
Custodian wipes down table surfaces;
his partner clears recycle and waste bins.
Refrigerator unit hums accompanying
next door day care squeals clearly
audible in cavernous space devoid
of loud warbling senior voices.
Prepped and tidy for closing,
weekend’s unusable void…


Senior Boutique -- Poetry 2011

Weekly perusal:
gently worn clothes,
knick knacks, books…
scored today: knitting
row counter, gauge ruler,
ancient pattern adjustment book.
Bargain hunting thrills on miniscule
budget; purchases total four dollars
beating Goodwill’s higher prices.
Senior Boutique satisfies reticent
urge to shop till dropping since
abandoning rampant consumerism…


Gathering the flock -- Poetry 2011

One by one, the seniors
rise slowly with assistance;
hesitating steps guided to the door.
Two day break – the weekend –
without companionship interminable
time counting the hours until gliding
back to senior center’s community roost.
After dining inexpensively cafeteria style,
they join afternoon activities: games,
singing, puzzles…
by 3pm, Dial-a-Lift buses roll in
gathering the non-driving flock.
Facility falls silent and dark…


Coffee – dollar donation Poetry 2011

Plexiglas encloses a paper sign
standing guard over a red tin;
it’s black top slit for deposit.
Dispenser, cups, coffee accouterments
within easy serve yourself reach
at a very fair price - one dollar.
Dependent on honesty,
no eyes to view otherwise;
no teeth to snap at delinquents
who pump steaming liquid rejuvenation
into plain 8 ounce white paper receptacles.
Shifting for side to side,
back to the gathered group
pretending to feed the silent cylinder
lips inscribed with please donate…


Decibels -- Poetry 2011

Noise exploded out the door;
ears assaulted, I dove in…
packed – chairs full – no open space.
Decibel level intolerable;
this hermit blanched by malediction
slunk back onto quieter street…

Seeking a dry venue from tenacious rain,
seeking a view other than reclusive walls,
choosing to slip into the Senior Center…
normally full to the brim - quiet as a library.

Sinking into a stuffed chair, words begin
in-between observation balanced with notation;
surreptitious seniors bundled against slithering cold
glance discreetly while waiting for Dial-a-Lift rides…


Thursday, March 17, 2011

Thawing bones -- Poetry 2011

damp life
marrow’s chill
muscles shudder
hyperthermia mind
topped with wool hat
hummingbird taste
seeks sweetness
cleansed palette
tongue tickles


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

scrap poetry -- Poetry 2011

written on envelops, receipts, body parts…
jotted down on the nearest convenient surface,
random pieces written when muse strikes.
You're out of your damned mind groping
for writing implement and receptacle;
repeating key words mechanically, reticulating
to keep them from streaming banishment.
Amplified and reciprocated, a final dash
solidifies them onto recycled façade;
settling from creative rush, no use pampering
yourself with baby powder after word shower…
what are the different solutions for those words?
Did you cut to the heart of the matter or play it safe….


The Rediscovery of Wonder

A little flour, a little sugar, egg,
some butter, and vanilla
but most importantly…
some pixie dust, mix, place
in buttered dish, pop into the oven
at 350 for 45 minutes…
making some homemade magic.

Aiming to retrieve my childhood
sense of wonder; exuberance
that I misplaced recently…
think it slipped out of place
deep in the back of my closet.

Digging around I came up with
a tiny bottle that carries a warning label:
save the pixie dust for really, really
special occasions and/or emergencies;
can't be too careful with this stuff…
You really have to make sure you're
in the right state of mind. There's a chance
the pixie dust could turn you into a giant Ogre!

Luckily pixie dust worked in my favor –
returning to non-ogre normalcy,
I munch on pixie dust scones, sip black tea
with cream, return to natural state of being
happy possessing creativity ever thankful
for quirky imagination snapping me out of this funk…


Sunday, March 13, 2011

the spring thaw -- Poetry 2011

silica skin
visible layers
muscle sinew
bone transfigures
remote locomotion
nanosecond signals
alternate relays
struggling out to
temperate calling…
definitely here -
the thawed frogs
singing spring in
from wet corners…


Betting -- Poetry 2011

If they could call, that would be great…
betting good odds that they’ll skip a call.
Too old, too skilled, too overweight…
so many “too”s in this place and time.

Does make sense to someone, somewhere…
betting that statement is true around the world.
Job market – financial depression sinking dreams
not just between family but friends and neighbors…

Frugal to the nth degree, I need that call…
So many need that return call – too many jobless –
too many under stress of constant struggle.
Some from overconsumption encouraged into
living to excess; heath problems cause screaming debt…

Waiting for that call, slumped in front of the boob tube;
reduced to daydreams, fantasy and wishes between
working crazy hours teaching independently, relying
on original blank note card sales and pursuing
gallery representation waiting for their calls…


Saturday, March 12, 2011

cat’s nap -- Poetry 2011

cat nap curled
fur buries words
black and white
weighing down
black and white
preventing any
inked conclusions


Important -- Poetry 2011

A mere mortal
would rather write,
would rather paint,
would rather many things.
Locked away in precious time,
dribbling words and paint
while body stiffens and creaks.
Wrong path? Letting age
approach undisciplined…
showing world a resolute deterioration
rather than soaking in creams false claim.
Important proclamation:
let the wrinkles come on,
flab prevail,
hearing dull,
sight grow dim,
muscles weaken.
Scanning photos
shows time lapse to death…


Posted - Poetry 2011

Brain sticky with thought;
post-it notes overlap;
adhesive sides adhere.
Fluttering like wordy wings
bearing corrections,
reminders of commitment,
notation memos.
Rainbow coded for task chart
to remember what to do next…


Mental Check List -- Poetry 2011

To do and done…
before sleep,
upon waking…
What’s today’s list?
Day ends with checks;
day ends with rollovers.
Passing on certain items…
Procrastination game.
Can I get away with it?
Fought to the very end,
wondering why I put it off.
Treading time…
dog paddle syncopation;
sedation life via lists
future past present…


Habits -- Poetry 2011

How are your resolutions?
Three months since New Year’s Eve…
procrastination and baby steps lead
to ahhhh, it’s midnight already:
without doing some yoga,
without exercise or tai chi,
without meditation practice.
The day ending with a half
hearted dog walk around the cul de sac.
One hundred days to establish a habit…
I read that somewhere – it didn’t say
how many excuses it takes to break one:
too tired,
too involved with a project,
too sucked into facebook,
too rainy or cold or hot,
an inordinate amount of variations.
Anti discipline prevails to be a discipline;
non schedule of bad habits by default…
easier to continue rather than change.
Mantra of inconvenience by incorrigible
inner child wins again…


Café --- Poetry 2011

Deafening quiet in
silent compartment…
hear the pen move?
Zipping across page
to muted traffic noise
within concrete garage.
Waves on shore,
tide coming in,
wind pushing water
further up the beach…
even subtle breathing
is audible; relaxing into
comfortable driver’s seat,
I rethink sitting in the café
to write each week.


indents -- Poetry 2011

This dull pencil is not
going to last for an hour.
Worn graphite pointless
spreads into wide words.
Typical smudge crawls
blurring consciousness
to crisp page; wider words
grow between narrow lines.
Wood scrapes indents
marring polished surface
with expediential pressure
relative to expressing ideas
that no one will read tucked
away in loose leaf binders…


Paperback -- Poetry 2011

Twirling her hair
deep within paperback…
bright window lights her back.
She switches hands…
one handed grip,
sipping tea,
or fingernail resting to lips.
Wonder what has intrigued her?
With only a few pages left,
intense focus keeps eyes to page
despite loud conversations,
live music even louder and fast,
fussing young child…
all fade into nothingness
as hero/heroine resolve
paperback’s conclusion…


Ipanema -- Poetry 2011

Pen died
Pencil dulled
Girl from Ipanema
Sauntering on airwaves
Between conversations
Sensual movement
Ignored by patrons
Focusing on laptops
Fellow speakers
Newspapers crackle
Book pages turn
She fades away


8.9 -- Poetry 2011

World wide news
5th biggest quake
Japan shaken
small villages
swept into the sea

Mass disasters
political unrest
indifference of nature
indifference to life
common folk loose

sitting sipping tea
jazz tunes waver
a world away havoc
quakes aftermath
or freedom’s struggle

my paltry worries…
self centered
compared to…
an inconceivable 8.9


World News -- Poetry 2011

Clock hands resemble a unibrow;
thick straight line marking 2:45 pm.
Time moves on turning to skepticism.
You know the look, one eyebrow at 2:50…
Oh, really and dogs can sing… that look.
Unbelievable stories, not sure
why I read about horrific events.
Naïve even at this advanced age,
fascination resides in man’s inhumanity
to everything living, dead or inanimate.
By man, I mean people anywhere in the world…
male or female and aged young to elder.
Unimaginable cruelty, despicable acts
permeate paper and cyber news reports
blast into world’s consciousness; once
found only in local whispers, now we bath in
unrelenting gore until its passé…


Lost… misplaced -- Poetry 2011

Guess its time to wade
amongst paper mounds…
traipse along colorful flyers,
bills, catalogs for a lost invoice…
it wandered away after checking
note card stock at a local vendor.
Resting somewhere: studio/office,
kitchen counter, ex dining room…
consistent return to file failed.
Checking for a misfile,
searching canvass bags, pockets…
Where is the safe place it’s lurking?
Cashed the payment check and then what…
blank spot among some other mini mysteries,
some days a common mantra of misplacement…
Where did I put that?
What the hell did I do with that?
Mumbling, sorting, recycling, refilling…


Combination -- Poetry 2011

light jazz
perfect for winter’s
broken spell;
seasonal temperatures
warm sky
prevalent blue
flashes of sunlight
pearly luminescent
replaces solemn
layers peel back-
to sweatshirt
to lightweight T
relief sighs
of spring


Wild Monkeys -- Poetry 2011

Jumping up and down,
screaming, tearing around…
wild monkeys scoured my mind
preventing blank quiet space.
No internal rest in meditation…
relinquishing, envisioning white
fog envelops all the noise.
Time and time again dulling sound;
fog and more fog coat images too.
White light patiently blinding
brain’s frantic dialogue…
calming monkey antics.


Weekly Chai -- Poetry 2011

Now it’s a habit:
weekly cup of hot Chai,
time to write,
people to watch…
India music’s fast tempo
fades into warp and weft of the café.

Door swings open, admitting
last week’s jazz guitarist with
girl in tow – to schlep or watch…
joining him on stage, to sing?
Wrong guess - window’s bright
glare reflects off her flute.

This week’s cup rim is blue lipped;
spontaneous flowers cavort
on the otherwise plain white sides…
brushed strokes in primary colors
welcome the spring day; light continues
pouring inside from freckled skies.
Time to switch to Italian Cream Soda…


Thursday, March 10, 2011

Gusts -- Poetry 2011

Peak wind gusts,
weather report blares;
intense storm roars
drowning out TV with
slamming horizontal rain…

Internal wind gusts buffet
stability; if I wasn’t working
so hard to earn a living,
I could understand such
a poor results…

Peak emotion gusts,
sighing with every breathe;
intense worry roars,
drowning out common sense
slamming creativity into walls…


Clichés of hope -- Poetry 2011

panic without exhibition
using up potential energy
wilted in disbelief
stricken to stillness
except mind scrambles

do you dare ask…
what’s next?
why incur possibly
attracting more nasty woes.
mums the thought…

hate clichés of hope.
you know the kind:
one door closes and
blah blah blah…
well, so many doors
are slamming shut.

experience overwhelms…
how to feel whole again?
open that stuck mind,
see if anything clicks
back to previous belief
that never failed before


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Dark Muse -- Poetry 2011

Night scenarios
sans dark muse;
brain’s subconscious
interesting dysfunction.
Dream interpretation
with morning coffee;
reproductions to interpret,
original idea oft colors
not pleasing to the eye.
Driven mostly by fears,
inbreeding fantasy
boasts a dark focus
draping dawn in a scowl.


Monday, March 7, 2011

Tear eruption… -- Poetry 2011

First time in years a full blown
torrential flow instigated by…
a PBS fundraiser showcasing
25th anniversary celebration of Les Miz .
How could this be?
How could the musical Les Misérables
break through my cast iron defense?
Crashing through empathy to identification
with the eternal struggle of cruel poverty,
of women’s degradation,
of love lost, rarely fulfilled…
hapless futility of life set to a majestic score.
Striped of emotion, I reside in high desert drought;
only letting anger spill out as merchant marine
language safely aimed at computer glitches.
Blubbering subsided from heart sprung open…
Is there a majestic score to my life?


Sunday, March 6, 2011

What is your game?

I have a miniature mold
press clay or paper pulp into its depth…
out pops your face;
well, it could be yours.
I can create dozens of replicas.
Clones with blank expression
matching blank eyes…
across my desk,
lines of ambiguity.
Vague, distant, disconnected -
same as facing you in person.
You remain an enigma -
observing, contemplating…
Emotional response vaporized;
a blank canvass impassive
to your immediate circle and beyond…
When did you die inside?


Saturday, March 5, 2011

Antiquities -- Poetry 2011

Art production keeps shifting…
or at least my interest does.
Now I’m into block prints… Does anyone
say they’re into something any more?
Carbon dating myself with worn phrases
that are not only cliché but passé.
How awful to succumb to old foggy acts.
Just when I thought I was progressing,
I find I’ve lost contact with currency…
that’s money in hand and what’s new.
Too much work to stay even not only
on top of and certainly not ahead of the wave.
Whoops, another tired idiom escaped
out of the box cavity from my antique mind…


Last Few Thoughts -- Poetry 2011

What will be the last few thoughts?
What will you be doing?
Scribbles waiting for time,
racing around doing errands,
reading a book,
painting a picture,
slipping into daydreams,
walking the dogs,
waking from sleep,
feeling excruciating pain…

He managed to yell my name three times.
His voice sent shock waves, electrifying
my leap from bed to staircase…
What was his last thought?
That I could help somehow…
abdominals roughly pulling in air,
chest contracting,
whistling gurgle,
his form otherwise perfectly still,
paling with clammy sheen.
Eyes closed seeing what?

Could he hear me…
Did he know I was holding him?
What part of Dad was still there?
I begged him to hang on…
I wish I could have sung to him…
Controlled my voice,
Removed the panic…
Removed I need you…


Promises to Yoga -- Poetry 2011

Back still creaking, a semi locking
hinge that needs immediate greasing.
Without a magical WD40 for spinal column,
she was desperate not to have it lock shut.
Flexing gentle moves between shock waves
with colorful cajoling for it to be reasonable…
as if a spine would listen to reason…
desiring short term locution, she willed
muscles free of contraction’s sprain.
Wincing sock execution lead to stepping
gingerly into pre-tied shoes; promises to walk
them later if the Ben Gay did its thing fell
on perked ears that immediately assumed
leash attachment position: sitting by the door.
Rattled groaning column sighed, bending to
clip dancing dogs, she eased complaints
into fresh air heeding Corgi duo not to jerk too much…
mumbled promises to practice Yoga accompanied
each wobbling step around the cul-de-sac.


Twelve so far -- Poetry 2011

Starting the thirteenth scribble, the
guitarist unashamedly states that his guitar
case is open and woefully empty…
returning to skillfully plucking six strings,
he overcomes conversation’s edges…
even the food preparation hasn’t a chance
against his acoustic but jazz format.
Fingers fly over sound board picking out
Knock on Wood by Justin King. Flailed
waves cease; conversations drop to normal
voice levels with spattered applause.
A few dollars drift into case’s maw – certainly
not even minimum wage for two hours of play
to a continuous flow of customers slurping coffee.
Artisans, poets, musicians count their increments
in mere change dodging genuine employment
to follow their muse’s call…


College Exams -- Poetry 2011

Bane of my existence once upon a time…
stress level topping out at 15 out of 10.
Gymnasium full of chairs, scribbling till hand
ached, knuckles white from squeezing the pen.
How on earth did the professor ever read
such knotted cryptic script; maybe they did
toss them up the staircase grading by location.
The infamous grading curve lumping most
student exams into sorrowful mediocrity; we hated
the few high achievers that threw the curve askew.
Crowding around the posting, derogatory remarks
assailed closed office door leading us to not give
a damn when facing the next exam extravaganza.

Those were complicated days – I hated being at school,
I ached to be back home close to family; other friends
made a clean break into adulthood rushing as far away
as possible from family obligation – undoing binding
with alarming ease, they totally embraced freedom.
Not able to explain the overwhelming attachment, I came
home most weekends to hang with family; I had to work
hard to dissolve myself into college life suffering severe
adjustment pangs each September semester…
Couldn’t wait for summer, even though I worked second
shift in the only remaining spinning mill – a remnant
of New England glory days in woolen manufacture.
Don’t see how I would change a thing – then or now.


Seniors -- Poetry 2011

Several seniors… not as in high school
or college but age as in Gray Panthers…
seeing calendar years roaring by, realize
their hourglass is running out of sand;
selectively reduce cherished belongings…
recycle, reject, redeem, remove. They
enjoy watching recipients surprise
perhaps avoiding family disagreements.
Benefits include tidy closets, less to dust,
less clutter, freedom of lightening the load…
leaving less of a mess behind.

In my small house, I have Mom’s hope chest;
her high school graduation present - Singer Sewing
machine; Dad’s tool chest resides in the garage;
their first purchased chair sits in the living room;
paternal granddad’s trestle table is on the porch;
material granddad’s platform rocker is in bedroom;
relative’s belongings pepper my house after
being moved 3000 miles to where the owners
never set foot… strong attachments; security objects
from a rapidly distancing past dragged into my future.

What of my new belongings – so few but carefully chosen
from second hand shops mostly unattached to meaning.
A burgeoning pile of my unsold artwork... there pain lurks.
Something so intrinsic to my soul sits without proper
attachment to another loving home… sales wither
in hard scrabble times – imagine - melting financial glaciers
withdraw revealing redeemed rejects recycled into
cherished belongings in new homes… imagine.


Continuance -- Poetry 2011

How many words can one write
in two hours… hand cramps.
The effort to form connected lines
scraping pages with ink from random
brain waves – thinking to a semi permanent
reality of a three hole binder page; it’s blue lines
predetermine how many rows of random
mystery can be verbalized with no semblance
of control. Life without internal dialogue seems
far too empty and unsafe for continuance…


Northwest Energy Boost -- Poetry 2011

Tipping cup straight to the ceiling,
the last trickle of cinnamon foam crawls
downward to lip’s crevice.
It’s $3.80 price precludes another cup;
the buzzing caffeine precludes another cup.
This one will burn and hum till early morning
when sunrays will pilfer my dreams if they
manage to penetrate perpetual gray mass.

Sunbeams don’t give up bouncing on cloud
trampolines; careening from springs sends
them soaring higher into the clear blue
tickling resident stars. Spending hours, daylight
plays and earth turns; below, storm shadows
coat the day; bunji- rain sheets plunge to earth.
Sunny caffeine fuels depleted energy levels.


Jazz -- Poetry 2011

Frantic jazz guitar
makes me write faster
or is it the caffeine
making my pen fly
beyond warp speed.
Guitarist’s fingers plucking;
my pen radically jerking.
Race between notes and words;
sound bytes vs. silent words
comes to an end – a draw –
break over, time for me to leave…


Basic Math -- Poetry 2011

An hour to go, sixty minutes,
pen slips and slides;
mind never empties no matter
how many pages fill up…
very few can claim total calm:
a mind free of chatter, worry,
attachment or disarray.

I grew up saturated in chaos;
erasers and chaos known friends
both serving different purposes.
Never be afraid to erase misguided
lines when drawing or shading but
not easy to erase unhealthy emotions.

Who hasn’t danced frantically
to disruption’s chaotic rhythms.
Fighting progress, struggling,
out of balance by our own definition…
basic math reveals that 60/40 equals 100%.
A different outlook, I avoid most math solutions
strategically working to dance with serious humor.


Random Wishing -- Poetry 2011

Wishing she had a longer tongue…
all the chai froth eludes her resting
deep within the large cup. Tipping,
tilting, semi swirling do nothing
to make it accessible. If she had a
an elephant’s trunk, she could snort
the last foam accomplishing desire….

Wishing she was taller…
thinking of all the times stretching
tip toe and still failing to reach giving
into hunting down the step stool…
if she had giraffe legs, she could easily
reach anything currently labeled too high.

Wishing she was stronger, not gorilla
strength although she did need to exercise
more often… she needed inner resolve,
the keenness of a fox – quick and wily…
she could display a stronger persona
leaving the victim role far behind.


Zazen -- Poetry 2011

Tried reading but weak cafe light,
old eyes and distracting noise
repeatedly broke concentration.
Easier to focus on pen to paper
attempting to capture continuous blast
of streaming unexplainable brain noise.
Writing them away, clearing useless
static, sweeping delusional deception
away takes exceptional prowess.
This merry-go-round circulates
past done-me-wrong memories
defying eradication or diminishing power.
Refusing to encumber my next life
with misconceptions, residue from past
hurts, outdated concepts and refuse…
Zazen practice - sweeping, sweeping,
sweeping and writing to detach…


Murder -- Poetry 2011

Coming down the back road,
car slips past a crow conference.
Staggered, the murder patrols
the field with awkward chicken
gait breaking free to converge
on whichever ones finds a treat.

Growing up, we always raised
chickens, mostly white leghorns…
same size as crows, walk the same,
follow same rules: hierarchy and stealing.

My pet chicken was named Agnes;
following me, I’d point out insects…
my tuxedoed Tom cat, Mouser, herded
her sheep dog style; I’d sprawl reading;
they played herder vs. wily bird.

Crows converge, thirty or more criss-
cross searching for food under stone, leaf
and new grass shoots. Bickering among
themselves, tricksters skirt the rules with
no one to point out treats or special finds…


One Hundredth Move -- Poetry 2011

Walking into art studio, sacrum
locked producing wincing pain
zipping over nerve pathways…
clutching the desk, collapsing legs
held firm preventing a floor crash.
Caught balance, breath, sighing
upon this one hundredth move.
Simple examples include a sneeze,
a hiccup or cough, bending to tie a shoe…
former injury memory hides rising
to testify against you. A criminal lineup
for sitting slumped or not working out
has become an aggravated assault.
Muscle rubs and ibuprofen work
to relieve shooting discomfort.
Now your presence is known by a tangy
scent and your constant cringe greeted with
you did it again, didn’t you …


Frequenting -- Poetry 2011

writer’s frequent cafes, coffee bars…
bent over spiral notebooks they
listen snatching conversation bits;
watching human landscape build,
break down to rebuild again.
smells of food and beverages
fills the air over and over between
customer surges tantalizing senses.
Glass slide under life’s microscope:
babies cry, kids fuss, adults talk,
while some read or write sitting still
amongst lively raucous clutter; sky
continues to drench sidewalks, streets
and people who shake off upon entering…


Thursday, March 3, 2011

Waking up Tomorrow -- Poetry 2011

Spring buds poised from winter nap…
one last snow slowed their pinking up.
Her sap was stagnant, stuck deep within
roots that wound around gravel and rocks
seeking more than nutrition and water.
Warming to the sun, she reluctantly
conceded the season looking for physical
signs of it’s turning: crocus, bird songs, peepers.
Mystery of endless beginnings was lost to her;
myopic vision relinquished all meaning to her life.
Ready to leave but strong in body, she was left
pondering existence, choices, and setbacks.
The end result of self deprecating mental landscape…
she lacked any semblance of love, verbal or tactile;
leaving a crucial vomiting void - why wake up tomorrow?


Paint Trays -- Poetry 2011

Rivulets of rainbows
rush down drain
swirling and blending
into banality laced muck.
Rushing through pipes
to sewer’s end, where
cleaned and sanitized bland
moisture evaporates skyward
from sewage waste plant
forming prismatic climax…


Painting Bunnies -- Poetry 2011

Easter was approaching fast;
setting sights on commercial
aspect, she set out to paint bunnies…
blank note cards sprang to life
coated with rabbits eating clover,
hopping under moon glow,
nestled in grass out of view.
All this for a two dollar profit
after expenses… hell of a way
to earn her keep bunny by bunny.
She unrolled Sumi paper flicking
her brush into rapid rabbit forms…


Control Alt Delete -- Poetry 2011

Pressing those three keys
multiple times failed
to remove emotional pain…
printed words on the keys
were well fingerprinted;
if she lost her sight, she would
still easily find their location.
Delete worked for less complex
issues but the enhanced capabilities
of the trio proved disappointing.
Nothing seemed to erase the
quantitative effect of wicked memories.
Shifting attitude, she figured out “f” keys;
corralled discomforting issues with f 1-9,
keyboarding appropriated meaning to misdeed…


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

A Little Magic -- Poetry 2011

sunburst prism
rainbows soared.
peering through rain
spattered windshield…
leaning for a better view,
childhood magic returns.
how many rainbows
over a lifetime; each one
as spellbinding as the first.

snowflakes drift
fat flakes falter.
peering through window,
white gum drops
fall from slate gray skies;
childhood magic returns.
how many ice crystals
over a lifetime; each flake
as hypnotic as the first.


Hard to Tell -- Poetry 2011

Some kids abandon art;
release any connection
once they leave class.
After an hour’s work,
it’s about process but
its about being silly too…

Some have intense focus.
Usually the girls – standing
to paint their brushes move freely.
They tell the boys to hush…

Then there’s the in-betweens
who may or may not engage in
or retrieve projects due to lack
of confidence, under appreciated
at home, or forced to sign up
for art. Hard to tell…


Robins… -- Poetry 2011

dash and pause
working their way
across athletic field.
dash and pause
pouring rain
fractured chorus line
between short flights
robin ballet
dash and pause
have no chance
between soaked fields
and flock of robins


Sitting Still-- Poetry 2011

Where am I today?
Sitting still watching
rain saturate a soggy field.
Students discuss music,
Michael Jackson, movies,
A-team, Rocky Balboa,
Jennifer Aniston’s latest….
drifting on to tell about parents…
sifting back to their Manga stories.
Six tightly clustered around a table.
Where am I today?
Sitting still listening,
I’m invisible to them.


Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Taping -- Poetry 2011

Video taped you working
with customers… [modern
vernacular for library patrons].
Annual bored review by
nonnegotiable library board:
You’re not helpful enough.
Samples of interactions flickered
onto a projection screen; not
entire clips but bits that capture
frowns, rolling of eyes or other faces.
Edited for dismissal, the stony faced
group sit with a pink slip in hand;
work nightmares before any hint of dawn,
I wake in syrupy exhausted sweat…