Monday, June 27, 2016

I Will Give You Salt

Salar De Uyuni

Salar de Uyuni (or Salar de Tunupa) is the world's largest salt flat at 10,582 square kilometers (4,086 sq mi). It is located in the Daniel Campos Province in Potosí in southwest Bolivia, near the crest of the Andes and is at an altitude of 3,656 meters (11,995 ft) above sea level.

The Salar was formed as a result of transformations between several prehistoric lakes. It is covered by a few meters of salt crust, which has an extraordinary flatness with the average altitude variations within one meter over the entire area of the Salar. The crust serves as a source of salt and covers a pool of brine, which is exceptionally rich in lithium. It contains 50 to 70% of the world's lithium reserves.

I Will Give You Salt

Stings of betrayal,
the pepper on our anguish:
this is how we bond.

This is bittersweet.

We dare the overt
ache of reunion because
we have to or die.

Oh my beauty, my true love,

I shall be the fire
red of blood, the honey cut
on your tongue.

I will give you salt.

July 15, 2011 12:28 PM

Friday, June 24, 2016

Stage Right

Written At The Desk, Stage Right

Oh then Tweedledum
and Tweedlefiddledeedee
were discovered on
the sly and slinking
off stage left as if they would
be better doing
more prosaic work
than one more damn poetry
reading, acting out
metaphors as if
at the commands we laid down -
the daily orders,
the unending drone
of authority smearing out
any possible

I gave them at
request, both a nom de guerre,
and even if Lou
chops off my fingers
one by one, I will never
reveal when or where
or who the Tweedles
really are, or who Lou is
for all that matters.

‎June ‎24, ‎2016 2:22:22 PM

In case you don't know...the image above shows you an actual desk at stage right. Stage right and stage left are always oriented to the performer facing the audience.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

The Sky Is Falling - Reprise

One Too Many Words

It was no idle
time and she wasn't nagging
either. I had just
picked my poem's pace
and sallied forth in adverbs,
in nouns and round verbs
building two five lines
and one seven in order,
some kind of order.
That's how I do things
these days, waiting for the ball
to drop, the sky to

January 2, 2013 6:44 PM

This poem was written and posted originally on the same date. If you think about it, the title's meaning is obvious. You can find the original in the archive listed by date down the right side of my blog page.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

The Jack Rabbit - Three Word Wednesday

Today is Three Word Wednesday, run by my friend Thom.
This week's words:

Taboo, noun: prohibition, proscription, veto, interdiction, interdict, ban, restriction; adjective: forbidden, prohibited, banned, proscribed, interdicted, outlawed, illegal, illicit, unlawful, restricted, off limits; unmentionable, unspeakable, unutterable, unsayable, ineffable; rude, impolite.

Taut, adjective: tight, stretched, rigid, fraught, strained, stressed, tense, flexed, tense, hard, solid, firm, rigid, stiff.

Tattered, adjective: old and torn; in poor condition.

The Jack Rabbit

They whisper taboo
and my old sinews are taut,
too much for my bones
to hold with due ease.

I was once a jack rabbit
in a former life.

At least that seems true.
I remember bald eagles
aiming at my thews
and me jacking back
and away of a sudden
so they missed, cussing
me out as only
eagles can - me in
full on run to ground and down
with tattered gray fur
to my hole for one.

‎June ‎22, ‎2016   8:07 PM

Go to Three Word Wednesday for the contributor list linking to their creative writing sites.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Things Didn't Work Out - A Magpie Tale

You have jacked me up
with promises like tar sands
stretching to the sea,
leaving stained foam to
mark the water's curdled edge.

I am all confused
and can feel my pulse
behind my open sockets.

You have grabbed my wires
in your black crow form
and gone to roost in the pines
at the edge of things.

I'm still gathering
my oaths and incantations.
I will call you down.
You can count on it.

‎June ‎19, ‎2016 11:54 AM

Here is what I imagine. We went on vacation to Costa Rica and hiked to this spot, close to the coast. Just out of the picture we made camp and then bathed in the pool at day's end, using the waterfall as a shower. The jungle treated us very well, and I said so. You kissed me good night as if nothing was up and we slept. I woke once to find you lying beside me peacefully. We stayed fully clothed because of the insects. In the morning when I woke you were gone. Your gear was gone and where you set it seemed hardly disturbed. I found no note and no sign of foul play. I was sure you left me of your own choice, and I knew where you might have gone. I can still remember the Pacific the way it whispered in the distance.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

The Highest Shelves

The Highest Shelves

The dangers of you
run hot in my blood
and I shall kiss this red heat
amid the red rills
and runnels of scent
you offer me after nights
like those stars we keep
in the troves, in silk,
crimson silken canisters
lining the highest
shelves in our cottage.

July 12, 2011 5:53 PM

Thursday, June 16, 2016

In Honor Of The Magpie - A Magpie Tale

In Honor Of The Magpie

This pain has savor,
a dark bittersweet flavor
like fine chocolate.

I wish you were here.

I have been splurging lately
and I've also worked
my light boned fingers,
honing my picking skill set:
no pocket is safe.

I need your taming
as only you know how to
reach as deep as souls.

Well, I might fib some,
Exaggerate my sad case
just a little bit...

but I do miss you.

‎June ‎15, ‎2016 8:49 PM

Tess is not gone, not lost... She currently hangs out in Manchester, England, immersed in other matters, safe with friends and is happily international... and sharing the world with Mr. Robingo Snall as far as I understand it. This however, is just my strong and smokey impression, so do not quote me. Ask her. Or him.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

A While Back

A While Back

On those Saturdays
when I was seven years old
I'd go to Kenny's
house and watch TV.
Quicksand was a big scary
bog and someone was
always sinking down
horribly sucked in and doomed.
I tried my hand at
making small puddles
and succeeded at it once
when the muck was right
and the water flowed
as it must. Later I grew
out of my love for
the studio set
and the storied contortions,
the red scare fifties.

‎June ‎14, ‎2016 10:54 AM

Saturday, June 11, 2016

The Jazz Singer

Billie Holiday At Her Last Recording Session

The Jazz Singer
Sings The Blues

I'm too sick to stand
steady and y'all expect me
to sing out for you -
to stay in front of
the band and belt this damn tune.
My friend Mick said, "Get
the picture?" and by
God, I really got it sure.
I really got it.
Sure I do, Sweetie.
So here goes nothin', you guys-
Here I go for you.

‎June ‎11, ‎2016 4:48 AM

(Introducing the last song of the last set, four months before dropping dead.)

*Written in remembrance of Ms. Billie Holiday of whom Wiki writes:

"By early 1959 Holiday had [severe symptoms of ] cirrhosis of the liver. She stopped drinking on doctor's orders, but soon relapsed. By May she had lost 20 pounds (9 kg). Friends, jazz critic Leonard Feather, her manager Joe Glaser, and photojournalist and editor Allan Morrison unsuccessfully tried to get her to a hospital.

"On May 31, 1959, Holiday was taken to Metropolitan Hospital in New York for treatment of liver and heart disease. The Federal Bureau of Narcotics, under the order of Harry J. Anslinger, had been targeting Holiday since at least 1939. She was arrested and handcuffed for drug possession as she lay dying, and her hospital room was raided and she was placed under police guard. On July 15, she received the last rites of the Roman Catholic Church, and died two days later on July 17, 1959 at 3:10 a.m. from pulmonary edema and heart failure caused by cirrhosis of the liver."

One final note: The poem is comprised of my own words and images and not really directly anything Ms. Holiday may have heard, seen or said herself. I am alone as has been my early morning habit nearly all my life. This poem represents my own journey if anyone's. Mostly, I compose my poetry as tiny short stories and not about my own life so much.

While at this moment, I am not at all conflicted, I too have felt the curse of the artist's yearning. I have been a singer, chiefly in groups, and a musician on guitar and keyboard, a long time poet, and a bad drunk as well. I sobered up in 1983. To my knowledge, I do not have cirrhosis, but I have diabetes, atrial fibrillation, edema and risk heart failure and stroke. I have made it to my seventies. Ms. Holiday died at 44.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

It's Hard To Remember - Three Word Wednesday

It's Hard To Remember
My Original Intention

What an outlandish
notion you have written on
the skin of my soul.

I am perplexed at
what to do about it all.
The alligator
has now awakened
with hollows in bad places,
yellow angry eyes,
and teeth unsuited
for a wee nibble or two.

Instead she rips me
out of your swamp's edge
and rolls me over, under,
and again, again.

‎June ‎8, ‎2016 2:22 PM

Thom posted the following three words for Three Word Wednesday


His site contains the contributor list. Each name gives you access to their postings too.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

The Village Guard

Oh please love me now,
you pushing past the native
walls of woven thorn
we use to keep out
the big cats, the hyenas,
while I walk my post
in full paint, with stone
tools I chipped myself, long time
past this swollen day.

July 7, 2011 7:10 PM

Thursday, June 2, 2016

The Edge Of The World

I cannot show you
this shore, these breakers thrashing
the sandy chaos,
roiling far more than
buried life can bear for long,
the rocks upthrust, sharp,
with small damp caverns
and craters where wild things grow.
The edge of the world
is damp and salty,
like dilute new blood, pale light
like early morning.

July 7, 2011 9:30 AM

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Waiting For Berry Pie - Prompt 157

Irene has put out another post soliciting poetry. Here is my response.

Waiting For Berry Pie

You said, "Let us pray."
I said, "Can't you see the past -
the shade of this day?"

It's true the garden
is filled with noon's bright green light.
Here my cat twitches.

Meanwhile, the berry
arbor grows green slender spines
and threatens to fruit.

‎June ‎1, ‎2016 9:07 AM

Click on the link above to connect with prompt 157. This poem is about a real part of the garden. Several years ago we bought pressure treated 4x4s and set the four verticals in concrete in the open space just outside my basement door. We tied them all together with 4x4s as mid and top rails, to make a box. Francie planted four patches, one at each corner post. Two patches are Marionberry and two are Boysenberry. The berry vines are wrapped around and tied to the arbor. Alongside this arbor to the east is planted a row of Raspberry canes.

In the bright of the Oregon spring and summer days, I am swamped by green light through the open door when I go to this part of the basement as I frequently do.

I recall going one year to our auto mechanic's farm at his invitation. There we picked all the blueberries we wanted from his blueberry patch. Oregon weather is perfect for growing berries.

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