Friday, June 29, 2012

The Theory Of Everything - Reprise

The Tomb of Hafiz
Twenty years after his death, a tomb (the Hafezieh) was erected to honor Hafez in the Musalla Gardens in Shiraz. The current Mausolem was designed by André Godard, French archeologist and architect, in the late 1930s. Inside, Hafez's alabaster tombstone bears two of his poems inscribed upon it.

Khwāja Shamsu d-Dīn Muhammad Hāfez-e Shīrāzī (Persian: خواجه شمس‌الدین محمد حافظ شیرازی‎), known by his pen name Hāfez (1325/1326–1389/1390), was a Persian lyric poet. His collected works composed of series of Persian poetry (Divan) are to be found in the homes of most Persian speakers in Iran and Afghanistan, as well as elsewhere in the world, who learn his poems by heart and use them as proverbs and sayings to this day. His life and poems have been the subject of much analysis, commentary and interpretation, influencing post-fourteenth century Persian writing more than any other author.

Themes of his ghazals are the beloved, faith, and exposing hypocrisy. His influence in the lives of Iranians can be found in "Hafez readings" (fāl-e hāfez, Persian: فال حافظ‎), frequent use of his poems in Persian traditional music, visual art and Persian calligraphy. His tomb in Shiraz is visited often. Adaptations, imitations and translations of Hafez' poems exist in all major languages.

I know who...I am under vows to the Master of Poets. God in this facet. I am under vows as was Hafiz, the Sufi mystic First Poet of Persia. From time to time one feature or another of my situation arises in a poem. Usually I say, Yup. That's true. Then, I say, that's not it though. Turn honesty into art. Yup. That's not it though, or else poems of fantasy and science fiction wouldn't count, and they do. Oh yes, they do. In this particular game it has to resolve into one thing, the poetical Theory of Everything. I haven't found it yet...

Turn Honesty Into Art

The way this thing goes,
This poetry thing happened
And now I'm in vows
Like my man Hafiz
To turn honesty to art
Before the Lord, you,
All of you, spirit
Moving across my heart bones,
I turn in my grave.

Digging myself out
Or maybe digging me in,
Deeper into God.

Written 1/01/2009 7:11 PM
First Posted May 15, 2009
Stuff on Hafiz (or Hafez) added today.


When we look for the source of all the problems that confront human life we usually blame everything but the root cause: our lack of spiritual discipline and realization. Particularly in this degenerate age, the world atmosphere is so very negative and the conditions around us conducive to little but evil karma and meaningless distractions, that not to have the protection of spiritual knowledge is to leave ourselves totally defenseless against the negative mind.

The Path to Enlightenment, page 38.
His Holiness, The Dalai Lama

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Facial Dilemma

This is a version of actual trouble in my life. Ever since I became proficient in astrology I have been struck by the Moon in Pisces in my natal chart, a signal for vagueness at any time. In my chart I have that position in third house and located as a handle to the bucket chart that is mine. Not only that, this position is a close orb T-square formed with Uranus in 6th house and Mercury in 12th house, very strong. Because the Moon moves so quickly, I do not share this formation with very many others, even those born on the same day as me.

If I am in a crowd of strangers, I am seriously hampered. At the best of times I have trouble focusing my hearing in the cacophony of crowd noise or on the vocals of music groups. When the group is unfamiliar this is hopeless. I hear the noise but can't make out the signal. This trouble is common for me as I listen to recorded music too. If I already know the lyric I can make it out, but if I don't there are often places in the recordings that I cannot make out what the singer(s) are singing. This poem pulls it home into another facet of this difficulty. People with influential Pisces in their lives will understand.

Facial Dilemma

I have collections,
categories of faces,
quick change disguises
but really I have
big trouble at those parties
where too many who
know me arrive at
the same time, hairy bastards!
What face do I wear
that fits all of them?
So I’ve had to quit going.
Tender my regrets.

April 18, 2010 12:15 PM

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Placing The Blame - 3 Word Wednesday

Thom writes:
Each week, I post three words. You write something using the words.

Then come back and post a link to the contribution with Mr. Linky (but please, link to the exact post, not your blog, by clicking on the exact post title and paste it to Mr. Linky below). As always, there's no hard-and-fast rule that you have to post on Wednesday.

To link up with this week's Three Word Wednesday *click here*

This week's words:

Hamper; Pulverize; Taunt

Placing The Blame

There is the proof found
in the clothes hamper, the stain
on my tangled wash -
they said your true name
will pulverize the edges
of the left over
scheme that holds my dreams -
I hear your chief taunt which hangs
in the smoggy light
of the afternoon
drive, how all's come to dead stop -
you force my shame now.

Written June 27, 2012 5:25 AM

I refuse all blame for it. See how those three words darkened my imagination this morning. All is well here in this house. The neighbor cat who sometimes sleeps beside or even on me woke me in time for poesy. He wanted a little something and then release from this warmth and safety. I have no idea what I'm friggen talking about in the poem.

A good thing happened this week. I got access to pictures of the tiny building that housed The Brass Knocker, the coffee house coffee bean store where Paul Zeigler sat on a tall stool under the stairs, playing and singing the songs I learned over the next few years as I mastered his style. My training was deepened by the finger picking of Jorma Kaukonen. Indeed later on Paul provided a place for Jorma to play the summer of 1965, the year The Jefferson Airplane took off in August.

I sat in the audience in that former pizza parlor south of the San Jose State Campus that Paul rented. There I heard Jorma play blues, Paul Kantner play classical guitar, and the joy of Skip Spence whipping up the crowd with his solo rock and roll style. Skip before drugs took his sanity was a terrific showman. Jorma and Paul were original partners in making the Airplane fly. The name was Jorma's, why the Airplane became the Starship later when Jorma and his friend Jack Casady left to form Hot Tuna. Skip figured large in Moby Grape, a short lived San Francisco band.

Look here at this old summer cottage on Big Basin Way in Saratoga, California. Built in the 1890s, the building may be torn down soon. Built on a steep slope dropping away from the street, it has two floors, a street level upper floor and a lower floor down those stairs. In 1964, down the stairs, both inside and outside, was a coffee house that held maybe fifteen paying customers while a solo performer (there were several) sat beneath the inside stairs doing folk, blues and acoustic rock.

This historical structure is typical of the small gabled residences and summer homes built in Saratoga from the 1850s to the late 1890s. A number of local businesses have occupied the home over the last several decades. (Listed at $719,000, but not currently for sale.)

The Brass Knocker Viewed From Big Basin Way

The Upper Floor, A Coffee Store in 1964-65

The Lower Floor, A Coffee House

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Tectonic Plates

Wiki says:
This is a list of tectonic plates on Earth. Tectonic plates are pieces of the Earth's crust and uppermost mantle, together referred to as the lithosphere. The plates are around 100 km (62 mi) thick and consist of two principal types of material: oceanic crust (also called sima from silicon and magnesium) and continental crust (sial from silicon and aluminium). The composition of the two types of crust differs markedly, with basaltic rocks ("mafic") dominating oceanic crust, while continental crust consists principally of lower density granitic rocks ("felsic").

The following tectonic plates currently exist on the Earth's surface with roughly definable boundaries.

Primary plates

These seven plates comprise the bulk of the seven continents and the Pacific Ocean.

African Plate
Antarctic Plate
Eurasian Plate
Indo-Australian Plate
North American Plate
Pacific Plate
South American Plate

Secondary plates

These smaller plates are generally shown on major plate maps, but with the exception of the Arabian and Indian plates do not comprise significant land area.

Arabian Plate
Caribbean Plate
Cocos Plate
Indian Plate
Juan de Fuca Plate
Nazca Plate
Philippine Sea Plate
Scotia Plate

There are a whole bunch of Tertiary Plates which are identified in various ways, which include the remains of older tectonic plates... I am buried under some quaternary plate of the imagination or other...

Tectonic Plates

The subduction zones
have pushed me under your form
and tamped me down in
the heated steamy
places, magnetic magma
cooking my old soul
as if I could take
this one more time, raising Cain
yet again, raising
him above the world
in all rebellion after
all this freaking time.

April 18, 2010 11:20 AM

Monday, June 25, 2012

A Scar On Me, Like A Bug - Reprise

I know I'm supposed to be spiritual and all that. I know I have had the vision, know where I am going, where I've been, that I'm a human having a spiritual journey, that I'm a spirit having a human experience. I even have stories that I am comfortable with (though the stories aren't that comfortable) as to why I would be in this particular fix with these talents and these liabilities, and this way of viewing things.

Sometimes I think I have reached a pinnacle. I know I was once not only on the top of the mountain but much further than that. All this is true.

It is also true that I am a serious alcoholic, now in recovery for a long time and that my life has paid that price, not only for my own, but as well for the alcoholic I married. So sometimes I simply am not present in my own life. Just not. I am sensitive to shame (not so much guilt, far too criminal minded for guilt). Really sensitive to shame. I have good ducking and weaving skills. Really had to work to get even a little less blame avoidant and arrogant. Oh well.

A Scar On Me

I looked down. I found
A scar on me I never
Saw on me before.

It seemed old and on it's rim
There was a bright red tattoo.

I'm avoiding it.
I don't want to know its past.
I'm just moving on.

Written November 10, 2008 8:31 AM


I was still in that kind of mood a couple hours later on this day...

Like A Bug

I scuttle about
Looking under things, looking
For other dumb things.

I wonder if this is how
A cockroach feels, at a loss,
Looking forward and
Backward all at once, looking
For stomping feet.

Written November 10, 2008 10:21 AM

First posted, February 2, 2009
Images added today.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Film Noir - A Magpie Tale

Courtesy Tess Kincaid

Wiki says:
Touch of Evil is a 1958 American crime thriller film, written, directed by, and co-starring Orson Welles. The screenplay was loosely based on the novel Badge of Evil by Whit Masterson. Along with Welles, the cast includes Charlton Heston, Janet Leigh, Joseph Calleia, Akim Tamiroff, and Marlene Dietrich. Touch of Evil is one of the last examples of film noir in the genre's classic era (from the early 1940s until the late 1950s).

The film opens with a three-minute, twenty-second tracking shot widely considered by critics as one of the greatest long takes in cinematic history. On the U.S.-Mexico border, a man plants a time bomb in a car. A man and woman enter the vehicle and make a slow journey through town to the U.S. border. Newlyweds Miguel "Mike" Vargas (Charlton Heston) and Susie (Janet Leigh) pass the car several times on foot. The car crosses the border, then explodes, killing the occupants.

Film Noir

What happened to the color?
Where's the real world?
And why the damned hats?
Life takes these turns like a dose
Of a Micky Finn
Slipped to me at some
Downtown bar I used to know,
Like the rear window
Of my cracked up life.
I wouldn't pull my hogleg
if you would back up
but you never will.

June 24, 2012 5:45 AM

Written for Magpie Tales. See The Mag 123 Stay a while. Write one yourself and join us.

Friday, June 22, 2012

What I Want

What I Want

On this point at least
we agree. I've never been
nor wanted to be
perfect, a hard job.
But oh my God, I want shine.
I want butterfly's
wings, iridescence,
the high flying riff in A
on that guy's guitar,
the scent your body
has after we have showered,
the words I might write,
as I have before,
in the afternoon today.
I want more of that.

Written February 5, 2009 3:15 PM
First Posted August 15, 2009

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Seeds Of Hope

Seeds Of Hope

To imagine it
and shift the living sideways
shape of things, colors
new and fresh, lichens
to the left, sand spare and dry
to the right of you
as you explode, young
flowering hope and display,
this is hardly false.
I am not kidding.

April 15, 2010 5:38 AM

Images from three different sources with the same phrase. The title of my poem is banal in this way, overused. Yet of the two lower images, one is clearly cancer support, in itself hardly banal, and the other is charitable support of efforts to farm in third world conditions. That also is hardly banal.

The notion that hope acts as a seed for continuing effort is obvious. It is widely experienced, so widely experienced that those who have not experienced seeds of hope in some venue are people deprived of a nearly universal human experience. In my judgement, the problem that arises is not that... we know hope can be a seed. The problem is having that experience so compartmentalized that a person can't access it in the here and now in this new place.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Summer Of Love

Thom writes:
Each week, I post three words. You write something using the words.

Then come back and post a link to the contribution with Mr. Linky (but please, link to the exact post, not your blog, by clicking on the exact post title and paste it to Mr. Linky below). As always, there's no hard-and-fast rule that you have to post on Wednesday.

To link up with this week's Three Word Wednesday *click here*

This week's words:

Fog; Lenient; Struggle

The Summer Of Love

It's San Francisco
all over again, brother,
coming from the fog
of war, lenient
use of the wrong side of things,
the struggle to rise
in costumes of love,
to erase once and for all
every last trace
of the old dark lies,
the black sheen of chemistry,
the musk of money.

June 20, 2012 8:52 AM

Monday, June 18, 2012

New Testament

New Testament

At the best of times
we love each one and they love
us and who is who
is no longer clear.
Who is father and who is
son and the daughters
are now our mothers
and no ways are so special
as the embrasure
where there was only
the old stony face of God's
chaotic judgement.

June 18, 2012

Sunday, June 17, 2012

This Year's Picnic

A classic image coming from the mind of M.C. Escher courtesy of Tess at The Mag. Please click thru on the blog name to see how my Magpie Tales friends handled this image.

This Year's Picnic

We were lost alot
due to Father's bad habit
of driving on past
listening or maps.
Now stuck in the forest mud
I remember how
he would grump around.
At least I'm not lost that bad,
just up to my knees
in the goo of things
no matter how clear the world
in that puddle seems.

June 17, 2012 6:52 AM

Back in my psychedelic days I had a style of sketchwork where I would play with black felt pen on paper basically modeled on the guys who loved Escher.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Saving Myself - Reprise

Ghost Dansing wrote

"i like when you write about your poetry because it helps me understand how wrong you are about your poetry :)"

How can I add to that?

Saving Myself

Sometimes my brain's like
a flock when the eagle shows,
and I scatter out
of formation to
save myself from being caught
in truth's twin talons.

What else can I do?

Written February 8, 2009 12:51 PM
First Posted August 24, 2009
Images Added June 16, 2012

The eagle is thinning the flock out pretty good :(

Thursday, June 14, 2012

This Is My Body

I am embodied
Like rivers in the homeland
Of my ancestors,

Like the way the birds
Fly in the alpine forest
Above my altar,

Like my blood flows, held
Within my heart's encounter
And how love grows there.

December 30, 2008 10:00 AM
Originally posted April 30, 2009
Photos added this evening,
June 14, 2012

Monday, June 11, 2012

He Squats Beside The Road

He Squats Beside The Road

In his gristled heart
a simple tune threads its way
through the columns, red
pillars of thought found
under the spring's graying light
as he remembers
what went between them,
what was said and what was done
in the winter's dark.
He gathers his pack.
He starts. He attempts the pace
that leads to his fate.

April 10, 2010 9:31 PM
Modified and last lines added
June 11, 2012 7:29 PM

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Immortality, a Magpie Tale

The still life by Jean-Francois de le Motte.

A close up of a section of the still life offered by Tess


It's all I have left:
this painting, this strap holding
letters, this seascape.
It's all I have left:
the story in your canvas
and oils, and your name.
The hole left in me
breathes out and you are not there
though you left behind
at least some mention
in some obscure art gazettes,
your name referenced.

June 10, 2012

Today is the 77th anniversary of the last drink taken by Dr. Bob Smith (June 10, 1935) as he began his sobriety in partnership with Bill Wilson. The two strove in the following years, Dr. Bob in Akron, Ohio and Bill around the country but primarily in New York state, to build a fellowship of sober alcoholics based on the idea that one drunk talking to another drunk might be the best way to get them and keep them sober. The alcoholics touched in this fashion remained close and out of these early gatherings Alcoholics Anonymous was birthed.

In the 1950's AA came of age and began its existence separate from its founders, turned over as an organization to the membership, then believed mature enough to survive without top down governance. To this day, AA remains a bottom up organization, an inverted pyramid of corporate power, with those at the top only there to serve.

The individual alcoholic is the source of it all, talking with the others like him nearby and what they do next. There is a book, several books and there are traditions. There is a suggested program of action, the twelve steps. There is the power of spirit. Above all, there is the language of the heart.

Written for The Mag 121

Friday, June 8, 2012

My Whole Life

I don't know how it goes for you but for me everything important in my life has happened to me, often in spite of myself. I have no real clue though I am often instructed how I could actually decide and plan and then become the captain of my fate. It seems as though many people do that, or at least are able to believe they are masters of their own fate. They go on to conquer the world, it seems. There is a whole industry of encouragement, gurus and self help both, supporting that kind of effort.

Here is a poem that is often found amongst the literature collected concerning that attitude:

"Invictus" By William Ernest Henley

Dark as the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance,
I have not winced, nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeoning of chance,
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears,
Looms but the horror of the shade.
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find me, unafraid.
It matters not how straight the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate.
I am the captain of my soul.

In the sense the poem offers, I guess it is true enough. While the world slings its arrows, still I shall forge my way. That is all inner work and response, all so not about what happens on the planet but instead what happens within me. It is even about how I shall stand face to face before God's reckoning of me, having done my best while I report about all this beauty and horror, elegance and chaos on the planet. That's where Einstein's quote comes in. I believe taking that attitude out of the inner work and applying it to the events of my life over-simplifies things and in that becomes falsehood, a lie I might try to tell myself. I pray that you do not lie to yourself. I believe the fate of our planet hinges on this kind of truth telling. Our lies will kill us.

Where I live and what I do, who I married and who came after, how I finished my degree, how this blogging happened, all of it turns on little things that mushroomed and those little things weren't things I chose. My plans have all slipped away. Instead these little doors opened of their own accord. Stuff happened to me and I said okay, I'll go there. The things I tried to do on my own initiative all blew up in my face when I was very young and I fared little better later. What I trust it is, my life has been God led. That started when I was nineteen really and the first part nearly killed me. Then it got really scary. Then it started to straighten out. Then there was a huge reckoning. Then the path that led here began. Now I am old and live alone. It surprises me how okay this is :)

My Whole Life

My whole life has turned
On doors like these, doors
At this moment open, then
Closed forever more -

Doors I enter once.
After that the whole world's changed.

And here's me knowing
That if I missed them,
My life would break, I would die.
And here's me so sure
I can't have done it
Without you or him or pluck.

Poem written December 29, 2008 3:42 PM
First published April 26, 2009

Introductory paragraphs extended and modified today.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

The Sting

Annie Dillard: “Our life is a faint tracing on the surface of mystery, like the idle, curved tunnels of leaf miners on the surface of a leaf. We must somehow take a wider view, look at the whole landscape, really see it, and describe what's going on here. Then we can at least wail the right question into the swaddling band of darkness, or, if it comes to that, choir the proper praise.”

Annie Dillard (born April 30, 1945) is an American author, best known for her narrative prose in both fiction and non-fiction. She has published works of poetry, essays, prose, and literary criticism, as well as two novels and one memoir. Her 1974 work Pilgrim at Tinker Creek won the 1974 Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction. Dillard taught for 21 years in the English department of Wesleyan University, in Middletown, Connecticut.

Where did the wasp’s sting come from?

If you’ve ever been on the wrong end of a wasp’s sting, you’ll know how painful it is. But did you know that the paralysing chemicals that some parasitic wasps use to stun their hosts came from virus genes that the wasps picked up around 100 million years ago. This new finding answers the conundrum of where they came from.

This research, by Annie Bezier and her colleagues in France and Switzerland, was done using braconid wasps, that prey on other insects, laying their eggs in caterpillars and other larvae. These wasps use paralysing proteins to immobilise their hosts, providing a nice home for the growing wasp grubs.

Back in 1967, scientists noticed that virus-like particles were present in the ovaries of female braconid wasps, and that these were injected into the host when eggs were laid. It’s thought that the virus particles help to suppress any immune response in the host caterpillar, which might cause it to reject the wasp grub.

These virus particles were found to combine with DNA to make viruses known as poly-DNA viruses. But when these virus-like particles were found in many different types of wasp it posed a problem. Where were these viruses coming from – and were they actually viruses as all?

Bezier and her team found that the genes encoding these virus-like particles were related to an ancient type of virus called a nudivirus. But the virus-like protein packages didn’t carry virus DNA, as you might expect, but wasp DNA. So the wasp DNA has somehow got mixed up with the virus DNA. And now the virus-like proteins are used to transmit wasp DNA into the parasite’s host.

Well it sheds new light on the relationship between viruses and their hosts, as well as the relationship between these parasitic wasps and their hosts. - From The Naked Scientists

This poem is one of the first I wrote from the other guy's point of view. I do believe it remarkable.

The Sting

I land on this thing
Doughy pasty white and stinks!
So I sting it. Hah!

I plant me deep and I squirt.
May I say this feels so good?

I hear a distant roar
That shakes the place I've landed.
So I take off. Hah!

Written November 21, 2008
First Published February 18, 2012

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

A New Leaf - 3WW

Thom writes:
Each week, I post three words. You write something using the words.

Then come back and post a link to the contribution with Mr. Linky (but please, link to the exact post, not your blog, by clicking on the exact post title and paste it to Mr. Linky below). As always, there's no hard-and-fast rule that you have to post on Wednesday.

To link up with this week's Three Word Wednesday *click here*

This week's words:

Bulky; Mist; Resign

A New Leaf

You did it again,
freaking me out yesterday,
looming bulky in
the mist of our dream,
forcing me to consider
in the final light
of stark staring noon
that I must now insist you
resign your creaky
old place in my heart.

June 6, 2012 10:04 AM


On another page:

Today is the 68th anniversary of the Allied landings on the Normandy beaches in France and also the behind the lines glider and parachute drops and landings in the Normandy countryside. This major mobilization of men and material marks the beginning of the end of the Nazi domination of Western Europe, creating a third front challenge to the German war machine. The front in Italy had largely stalled. The front in the east was steadily pushing the Germans back toward Germany. The western Allies were becoming concerned that Russia could dominate Europe if the west didn't succeed in retaking France, the Low Countries and as much of Germany as possible. Known as D-Day (there was also an H-Hour) this day 68 years ago was a horrific experience for the men who landed on the beaches and who ultimately prevailed, but at a real price. Whether or not defeating Germany in the west was a good and necessary thing in the history of the world, it is a clear instance of politicians and generals striving for objectives which can only be gained shedding a lake of young blood.

Thus the celebrations taking place in Normandy today are rituals both of joy and of grief.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

What Is Compassion - Reprise

Lorraine Hansberry: “There is always something left to love. And if you ain't learned that, you ain't learned nothing.”

Lorraine Vivian Hansberry the 3rd (May 19, 1930 – January 12, 1965) was an African American playwright and author of political speeches, letters, and essays. Her best known work, A Raisin in the Sun, was inspired by her family's battle against racial segregation in Chicago.

Karen Armstrong: “Each of the world religions has its own particular genius, its own special insight into the nature and requirements of compassion, and has something unique to teach us.”

Karen Armstrong FRSL (born 14 November 1944), is a British author and commentator who is the author of twelve books on comparative religion. A former Roman Catholic nun, she went from a conservative to a more liberal and mystical faith. Armstrong first rose to prominence in 1993 with her book, A History of God: The 4,000-Year Quest of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, an international best seller that is now required reading in many theology courses. Her work focuses on commonalities of the major religions, such as the importance, in many, of compassion or "The Golden Rule".
Armstrong received the $100,000 TED Prize in February 2008. She used that occasion to call for the creation of a Charter for Compassion, which was unveiled the following year.

Zelda Fitzgerald: “Nobody has ever measured, not even poets, how much a heart can hold.”

Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald (July 24, 1900 – March 10, 1948), born Zelda Sayre ("Sayre" is pronounced to rhyme with "fair") in Montgomery, Alabama, was an American novelist and the wife of writer F. Scott Fitzgerald. She was an icon of the 1920s—dubbed by her husband "the first American Flapper".

Christopher: "Please do not mistake tenderness for pity. Also do not mistake a compassionate man for a weak one, nor for one who will back down when hard decisions are called for. However, please know that mercy carries far more weight than justice in the tangled weave of delusional self will that bends and twists the outcomes in most of our lives. Thus do not mistake the clarity of a merciful man."

What Is Compassion

The wise man
taught me words for it,
said when you reach the far stars,
see with God's bright eyes,
the world's need rises
and you are tender but still
far away and free
and you can reach down,
touch in tenderness without
getting caught in traps,
and you are filled up
with the force of tenderness
like juice in apples.

Written February 3, 2009 9:00 AM
First Posted August 5, 2009

Images and quotes added today (except for my own quote which originally introduced this poem).

Monday, June 4, 2012

Unexpected Journey

Windstorm damages observatory on Mount Evans click on this link to read the full story. Oh well.

Back in January there was a weather event on Mount Evans in the Colorado Rockies. The jet stream was directly over an observatory and since that observatory was higher than fourteen thousand feet, the jet stream on that day happened to be low enough to go right through the site literally. The jet stream blows at maybe 60mph but also maybe higher since it has been measured above 200mph from time to time. That kind of scouring may explain why the gravel that high up is made up of rather big pieces. Everything small enough is blown away periodically. Of course no one is on the mountain at fourteen thousand feet in the winter. But what if I was?

Unexpected Journey

I took my stand at
fourteen thousand feet, gasping
for air but plucky
yet until the wind
took me off my feet and set
me in the next state.
No one said the jet
stream could dip that low, no one
knew I should ask for
But seeking black holes, the view
was just tremendous.

‎June ‎4, ‎2012 8:24 PM

Sunday, June 3, 2012

I Know A Guy - A Magpie Tale

Klaus Enrique Gerdes
Photo copied from Tess Kincaid's The Mag Go there for some terrific poetry and other work too. This gathering of talent has been going on for quite some time.

Found on Gerdes' website: "The works of photographer Klaus Enrique Gerdes offer an ambitious series of emotively charged images that dissect and re-invent the most relevant and affecting of our human issues. Collectively, they represent a landscape of a reality that is at once deeper than the images to which we are customarily exposed, and transcendent, above the snap-shots of the order of our routine and habit, overcoming particularities of existence to penetrate a world of universality, in which fundamental factors of life and death, defeat and triumph, surface to reveal a singular, intensely moving, image of the nature of our human condition.

"Born in 1975, gerdes grew up in mexico city. He studied genetics at the University of Nottingham, England, and received an MBA from Columbia Business School in the city of New York. Most of his professional career was spent as a freelance IT consultant before Gerdes turned to photography, which he studied at Parsons and at the School of Visual Arts. Gerdes began to receive worldwide attention in 2007 when his portrait of “mother & daughter” was short listed for the photographic portrait prize at London’s National Portrait Gallery. Gerdes had his first solo exhibition in 2008 at the Clementine Gallery in New York City. His work has also been featured in a growing number of group shows. Gerdes currently lives in London and Mexico City."

I don't know...sounds like a rich young man to me...
I'm not saying Gerdes is anything like the guy in my poem. What I am saying, fame is fickle and for every guy who makes his mark there are hundreds with equal or even greater talent we never hear about because there are things not related to talent that block connections we might otherwise make. There is a basic limit to the numbers of fair haired boys and girls in the public eye for one, more boys than girls too. The rest of the good ones find other ways besides fame and fortune. "Most of his professional career" written of a guy born in 1975, a guy not yet forty... Gerdes has been well positioned. Good for him. He obviously has sufficient talent.

I Know A Guy

I know a guy had
a few hits back in the day
and travels these days
busy doing summer
shows, lives modestly, he does.
Now this guy shows up
all flash and glory
and I heard his money came
with him - that he buys
the talent that plays
on his stage with him while he
preens in front of us.
What the hell?

June 3, 2012 11:39 AM

I do know that guy doing summer shows, his band holding together over thirty years, still welcomed in the smaller venues. He's a decent family guy raising his son, active at his son's school. It wasn't always so. I made up the other guy in the poem, but not out of whole cloth.

I'm not complaining about the boyos, not at all. I regret the system and after all this time on the planet, I especially regret having no real idea how to change it. You can't lay it at the feet of anyone specific. For all our attempts to rectify things and protect the weak ones, life still ain't fair. A large number of Utopians have tried and failed conspicuously. Sometimes and in some ways it is obvious we don't even want it fair. Fairness has been the thing associated with much of my discomfort all my life. There are two drivers in our public life, freedom and fairness. They conflict.

There's a guy younger than me is going down hard with brain cancer. Another younger yet just had a stroke, a clot plugging a vein in his neck. They operated successfully but he gets to recover for a time before he gets some of himself back. Meanwhile I bumble along with my long list of medical complaints, serious enough but still I'm upright. All those people nearby are struggling to get a meal and somewhere to stay and me, I'm out of work just hanging out in my house and I get to eat, for quite a while too. What the hell? I am sure not going out of my way to help in the face of how it's always been. If I tried I would quickly use up what little I do have. I regret that too.

Over my left shoulder the Yankees are beating the Tigers on TV and are at bat threatening another run. That's about right, considering bought talent, considering my quiescence and age, and I think it's time for my nap too. Signing out.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

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