Saturday, June 30, 2012

Spoken in Song (operatic)

how not to restrict a monkey's heaven
as her slanted forehead gives in kind
her concert of instinctual musicality
in the cadence of visceral return
of flesh folding over in memory
wading in lagoons of dark purple fear
collectively as she/we sing...
the voice that speaks the culture
the eyes that sight the surface
the play of light as it convinces

sound letters absorbed with dizzying virtuosity
or atonal lament
a smorgasbord of all soul's symphonic
the creature hold on gravity
sharp red pitch of  love's fiber
as it tickles the throat

a short deafening scream

sweet echo of ancient spleen

the dimpled melodic of grief in the lungs

Friday, June 29, 2012

Everything and Empty

Empty like many things

cannot be named

empty is a verb
but doesn't happen
empty's not a doing
empty is what we
consist of more
than anything else
life living itself

We seem to have
a universe empty
empty full empty
Is light empty?
Is house empty?

All things are full

of themselves

even Space is

full of itself
Is this because
they are also
Housing themselves?

Do we call something

Empty when we

cannot otherwise

perceive its thus-ness?

Perception itself

is empty / capacity

to receive

As I touch in







with what










Thursday, June 28, 2012

Those impatient shadows

Those impatient shadows

grey persuaders
those impatient shadows
walking in step with me
two timing dance partners
sneaky fellows

grey persuaders
those impatient shadows
at my back
pushing me into dark pools
of my own matter

grey persuaders
those impatient shadows
attack my good sense
make me fall out
of doubt on to my own arrows

grey persuaders
those impatient shadows
take a little glance
turn it into an obsessed trance
believe my own chatter

grey persuaders
those impatient shadows
clamp on their cuffs
knock me down
lock me up rough

grey persuaders
those impatient shadows
my personal guides
take me to dangerous places
lead me into riptides

no safe bets
no way  home
with those grey persuaders
those impatient shadows
stuck at my side

I got time

I got time
A gospel call and response

[A lead singer leads the song and the chorus responds with echos or exclamations.
After the third verse, different singers improvise the lead vocal, and when everybody has had a turn
and the assembly is satisfied, the first two verses are repeated with a long ritardando at the end.
Chords are major I-IV-V-ii in familiar gospel style, played by everybody who has an instrument.
Dancing is encouraged.]

Oh, I got time.  (I got the time.)
Yes, I got time. (I got the time.)
Now, I got time (I got the time.)
To do what I love, (Do what you love!)
Do what I want, (What you want!)
Do what I need. (What you need!)
Yes, I got time. (I got the time.)
I got time. (Hallelu!)

There was a time (Once was a time)
I didn’t see (Lord have mercy!)
That I had time (Yes, yes!)
Thought time had me. (Mm-mm!)
But gradually (Praise the Lord!)
I found I’m free, (Hallelujah!)
And I got time. (I got the time)
Yes, I got time. (I got the time!)

To read to my daughter
To drink a little water
To see a river otter
To read Harry Potter
To save a quarter
To drink some porter
I got time. (I got the time!)
Yes, I got time. (I got the time!)

To do my study.
To see my buddy.
To get real muddy.
Even get bloody,
Go down in the floody
Play with Silly Putty.
I got time. (I got the time!)
Yes, I got time. (I got the time!)

To answer my mail
To wag my tail
Fix the hole in the pail
Eat dino-kale
Get hit by hail
Get old and frail
I got time. (I got the time!)
Yes, I got time. (I got the time!)

[This goes on for some time with different singers all taking turns at these listing verses 
wherein six lines all rhyme ending with the refrain “I got time…”
The lines should come rapidly, spontaneously, sloppily and joyously
in the surrendering spirit of improvisation.
More potential verses are shown toward the bottom of this post.]

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

inside the box

inside the box

that there was light inside the innermost box
only the raven could see
red as black as the sea
& in the northwest
great carved poles with eyes
& beaver faces & tails
& ravens & eagles
stand in front of rectangular wooden houses
made from trees
& my sweet traveling companion gave me
a carved raven box
full of Haida stories.

Monday, June 25, 2012

IMUNURI prompt: write a song

For me, this article from wasn't eye-opening. When we talk about musicians who are also known as poets, who doesn't think of Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell (misspelled in the article) and John Lennon. Jim Morrison called himself "American Poet," though my personal bent is much stronger toward Patti Smith (right) and Tom Waits.  But I have even greater attention these days for poet/musicians like Mark Growden and Paul McNees, among the many who are not as famous as their talent warrants.

Though not enlightening, I found the Writer's Relief article inspiring. It reminded me how adjacent the countries of poetry and music are and how extensive and blurred the border between.

This week, write a song. Consider submitting in audio format or with written notes about the sound and style of your song. And consider increasing the attention you give to the sounds of the words you choose.

[keywords: song, poem, your name]

Thursday, June 21, 2012

VACANT~ a tribute to “Growing Home” a Chicago inner city urban farm

Pace along pace...
Husk of emptied womb flying
Constellating seeds of grace
Rains from yesterday's crying

Farmer claims this vacant place
Between broken row housing
Wisdom's hands, hips and face
Her hooded scarecrow rising

house empty

house empty

no tea or coffee
naked fixtures no bulbs
toe torn linoleum
shadows removed from closets
echoes stuck in stairwell
white plastic covered doorbell
entryway long uncrossed
dust settled untasted
paled green wall untouched
no fingerprint evidence left

neighbor points her cane
& says “ It’s a shame to see
an empty house like that
that someone could live in”.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The empty house

Wood floors, walls and angles
encompass rectangles of space.
Here's a room with no trace
of any living race; for no
bedstead, bookshelf, bureau,
robe, roast or radio is there
in the small, quasi-lair.
It is daytime. The bare window
permits the light to flow
in from beyond and go around
the walls, then on beyond
this room. It isn't bound by four
walls, for one is no more
than made-believe—and forfeited
since she uncommitted
her game and admitted that toys
aren't interesting as boys.
With a clattering noise, her dolls
fell into cardboard stalls
and their home's sunny halls went down
to the crawlspace, a town
of vacant, underground tangles.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


the unborn
who are a mighty tide of life
waiting in the now-ocean of future unfurling
beside us,
inside us
like all the ocean tides that will ever
kiss the lips of sand and foam
where life started/starts/will start

if you think it’s all going to
hell in a handbasket
imagine meeting a woman in labor
in the middle of the sidewalk,
water broken,
bellowing – if we didn’t
know she was in labor
we’d just think she was crazy,
going to hell
in a handbasket even

instead, trust
that all is somehow well
that we are breaking open
into something capable of carrying on

the world, which is a woman, earthen, holy,
dynamic, nurturer, nest, cavern, wholeness
the earth-world
mound magma gyre pyre pyrenees
plankton skeleton algae guano
tornado hive
is making more life in the snatch
womb basket house tide
of possibility

remember to stand
close to the teacher
(who’s channeling the future unborn
laden with advice)
as we learn to weave
(how life weaves)
and listen, and
for the sake of life, of earth
do as she guides us
pick up the floss, the straw, the branch
and flex it through, connect, and flex;
weaving things back

Monday, June 18, 2012

IMUNURI prompt: Empty House

Write a poem about an empty house.

Searching for an image to go with this week's prompt was a good reminder of how many ways there are to go with this idea.

labels: poem, emptyhouse, your moniker


If you'd like some notions to toss into the hopper of your creative mind, here are some to consider:

... interior or exterior...

....your house, your prior house, someone else's house, nobody's house, whose house?

...why empty?

...shack, mansion, condo... also means the seating or the audience in a theater; house also relates to the 12 divisions of the celestial sphere; house also means a gambling establishment; house can also refer to the body; house is also a verb.

... and what about the word empty?!

A cappella in Full Moon


Andante moderato, appena forte

If I could prompt you
I'd say and I'd ask and I'd sit
at your feet, I'd not implore
but I would shed a tear
that contains all the Love
Unrequited love
A love that waits
The love impeded
and Love Unstained

Con brio

Know there's a time
It's a time and a place
Where there's no longer a race
Or any bindings

No sweepings away
Or saying what's Nay
No findings of fault
Just form or Gestalt
Meno mosso
That tear-like magic elixir
Here to soften Hearts and clear the Eyes
 ~ darkened with places once passed ~
 ~ whetted by songs not sung ~
 ~ covered and caught in webs left hanging ~
 ~ made fearful for being held back ~
It is a sacred thirst that calls for This
Drink This Remedy


Know there's a time
It's a time and a place
Where there's no longer a race
Or any bindings

No sweepings away
Or saying what's Nay
No findings of fault
Just free-form or Gestalt

Con calore

Imagine what freed might now come
The ribs lungs rise and fall in stride
Tightness finds its ease shoulders
Glide drop their burdens dissolving
Arms disarmed fingers spreading
Spine fluid lending an ear
Down to the toes circulating


Senza interruzione 

I am me and you are me and you are you and I am you
and you are me and I am me and I am you and you are you
please let this harmony melt away everything that is not you
and is not me and is not free and is not clearly the LOVE of We

{repeat x1}

Saturday, June 16, 2012


From bellysoft arms
Her fallen boy keeps falling
Mouthing  recycled speech
Heaviest at it’s lowest point
While wearing her bullish head
The stench that still owns him

Friday, June 15, 2012

In the Key of See

See me play
Feel me glow
See walking high
Now gliding low

See me like you
See you like me
Let's eat vindaloo
Up in this tree

Showering down
Singing with glee
See naked lovers
Wallowing 'til 3

See yummy green
Drink pot of tea
Over the top
In spite of me

Walking again
Playing even more
See how I run
Down the seashore

See me say 'Hey!'
Swallow me whole
I'm the mystery
Slide down the pole

Happy for you
See how free
See how doubly
Wonderful this'll be?

our alphabet is missing its third letter

our alphabet is missing its third letter

In surf green waters of answerless days
beyond mile limits
offshore LTDs
destroy mainland radio waves
raise bus fares
amidst sleazy affairs
land & take-off in seaplanes
drop off new loads of ten keyers
& deet to kill the skeeters.

Where the pale blue wren
self-sure ways
wet toed stands
in sea palm sways?

Not here, not now
when our alphabet is missing its third letter
postmarked yesterday.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

“Konnektion is not a street fight” ~ quote by Brene Brown

As the front lies in a Kontinuum it's hard to see the sweat

display of

Salivating moral ambiguities
Akkurate to 500 million.

Future rightness for the benefit of ALL.
Digital money gum.....Warm gut spills.

Krumbs: are for one's very own Kradle.

Kourage: is vulnerability up klose.

Kollision with a full size glass House of God:  is Light sustaining Light.

Eichmann believed in the same sentimental notions
that the rest of us do
the Real in M A N .
Goats kreating silk stronger than steel.
Knight and maiden and their inkorruptable love.

Earth Alive

Question: How do you feel part of the earth, the earth as alive? What rejuvenates you in this? 

Answer: When I think about how the Earth is alive, and how dream and revery take me out of my smallbuzzing brain into the larger aliveness, I think about a dream I had a long while ago that stays with me, about flying. In a way, the dream feels like earth aliveness in that it's like I'm in a bird body. I see starkly down into the land that's going by. I feel the air buoying my body and also whizzing past my beak. It's exhilarating. I am keenly aware of the trees, I see/sense their large green beings far out from their trunks and limbs. Also, my sense of "I"-ness is different than in my waking human body. It's almost as if when I put my attention to something, I go down into it, into its depth and also see/sense from its point of view. Every part of the aliveness has a different signature/feel/way of see/sensing. --I also get this feeling sometimes while gardening, tuning into a plant, I feel it's ?aura? ?energy body? ?present momentness?, also from its being, its aliveness/wholeness.-- In the fragment of the dream of flying, I go down to sit/sense/rest am in a large tree, inside of its greenness, both in body and in that feltsense extending beyond the tree body form. That's it, like many dreams, it's not a story, it's just a moment that stays, that felt sense, that different way of being. When I think of your question about how it feels to relate with the larger Earth, that's what arrives, these bird-being tree-present senses and feelings. In good, whole moments of waking, I also feel inklings of this. And when I arrive/arise/realize that's where I am, I feel renewed, deepened, fresh, alive. Something else, almost submerged, underneath, but that is tingling and alive, emerges. My senses widen. I know I am whole while also being dissolved/merged/thrummed/extended into everything else, and that too feels whole. 

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Healer's orders: ride the ferry

Healer’s orders:
ride the ferry.

Breeze, fill me
with your ease
of flux. Mountain

and green paradise
ground: lie easy
in my sight.

Day, bay, infuse
my every sigh.
I have nowhere

I must go
The only needs
will find me

as they may.
The white wake
takes me there.

Monday, June 11, 2012

The Letter "C"

Write a poem without using the letter C. 

It can be short, it can be abtuse, it cannot ever have a caboose (or a chandelier). No candles or crutches, no chimpanzee. What will we do without the letter C? 


Poets, please add three labels:  "poem" "letter" "[poet's moniker]"

Image thanks to Matt Lyon (2009)

Hansel and Gretel Come Home

Years pass, pages turn.
The story retells itself.
A great famine of the spirit
falls hard across the land.
Stars flare, talking ceases,
children starve for want
of connection.

Hansel and Gretel’s father
cuts virtual wood
in a forest of white cubicles.
Their mother risks arrest
painting dreams
in damp basements.

One night the children overhear them
whispering in the dark:
The scholarships have come. It’s time.
But what woods? How deep?
And if they don’t return—
Hush now. Let’s sleep.
The morning is always wiser.

Hansel slips outside,
fills his pockets with white stones.

Next day the silent parents
lead them deep into the firs.
Stay here a while, they say.
Throw stones into the brook
and learn to pray.

Four years later: a knock at the door.
The children have found their way home,
tall and gaunt as geese.
Around the fire they sit and watch
the sparks leap toward the stars.
What did you learn?
The children shift. Long minutes
without speaking.
The father chews on his beard.
Finally Gretel speaks.

From the bear I learned to sleep long and hard
but to roar like hell and mean it.
From the hawk I learned to fly aloof
but dive for what I need
with talons of fire.
And from the wind I have learned
to embrace all things loosely
and move swiftly on.

I learned to trick cannibal witches
interrupts good Hansel. That was cool.
And I rode on the backs of swans.
I learned that being lost
is not the worst fate
and that dark woods are better than
suburbs that glitter.

But most of all, they say in unison,
we learned that our parents
with all their good intentions
are crazy as loons and most likely
can’t survive without us
and so we have returned
to save them from their sins
as well as do our laundry.

Then all smile as the logs burn down
and the night grows cool
and they embrace in silence,
each imagining a deeper
more distant forest.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Where they came from

First Nation's TORONTO
Place of meetings
First Summer's mania. Humid and full.
Hot air pushing through the bloated corridors
Of our First World/ New World apartment building.  High rise melting pot of global soul emergencies.
Neighbor's quick courtesies. 25 mother tounges. Indescribable colour.
Something like a love rush (post a British colonial purge)
Back from the days of War On The Horizon
And mother stuck in: “Everything has got to be OK now!” with
“Were it not for these winters and this damned English language!”
Week old curried elevator rides bring us her dollar a day patrons.
Our rooms filled with their freshly soiled children.
Her frantic need to save them.
Obsessive holding that halved me body and soul.
Pinning the bizarre relief of her neglect
Across a section of conqueror's culture
Recieving the difference as a wedge.
On and into the tales that throated a constant cackling.
Sweetly stained wording. Perfumed. Hidden contracts burgeoning.
Air Canada 1968. Refugee immigrant status.
Arrive to snow and pale pink skies.
Leave the spices, tagine and carpets behind.
Desert wind, pomegranate reds and spiced heat.
Men bent over in prayer...wailing their praises five times a day.

of & upon the 27 senses, Anna Blossom:

the bridge

speaking poem amongst the din
                  what was seen remains non specific words
tires spinning metal stretch across the bay
                  heavy heart unburdening without record
this poem naked artless true
                  heart listening within its own measure
nonetheless tasting moments otherwise
                  melancholia undeniable sated
shadowed hard to know what dance
                  all things connected underbelly back body
what contact what continuity
                  touching tenderness speaking unspoken
the span the span the span the span
eventual arrival the side yet reached

Friday, June 8, 2012

27 rainbows

What if they are right
to count everything but
we’re counting the wrong things?
What if it’s not pulses systolic calories -
what if it’s rainbows?

What if we each only get 27 rainbows?
Or thirty millipede crossings,
or 79 keenings or 9 fruit falling on heads
or 23 frisbee misses?
Are we living in a calculator?

Or it more of praise that the wheels and spheres
churning in galactic bliss
blow round on? 32,758 smiles,
4,569 one eyebrow rising while the other doesn’t.
789 spok hands perfectly split?

Any of these critical thresholds might
involute us into black holes of metabeing,
emitting life so much
it’s like we’re sucking it all in,
we’ve skipped planes of existence.

Don’t trouble on death from this air-sucking sprint,
a momentary blip, bringing grins.   
Really we’re dice tumbling in the
yahtzee cup of life, ripening towards our
27 rainbows.

A portal way to

27 rainbows. 

The Circle of Three


  Two       And there was Two      And

   was                                              there
Three                                           There was                                           Circle
   there                                              was

   And       Two was there And      Two


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Five Queen Bees

Five Queen Bees

oh they each had their share
of satellite bees
loyal tees all
home before dark fell
no lies to tell.

still isolated queens they be
never to meet
nor drink together tea
solo queen bees.

one day on the same day
all their subjects flee
swarm away
up to the neighbor’s tree.

in their hives,
the five queens
now each alone
cherish the silence of their own
quiet zone at last
but do miss their subjects passed.

they live off last year’s honey
but without company
and never to meet
these five queen bees
alone in their hives
so end their lives.

Prompt - This Living Hand

This Living Hand

This living hand, now warm and capable
Of earnest grasping, would, if it were cold
And in the icy silence of the tomb,
So haunt thy days and chill thy dreaming nights
That thou wouldst wish thine own heart dry of blood
So in my veins red life might stream again,
And thou be conscience-calmed—see here it is—
I hold it towards you.

                                                        John Keats

Write about your hand "capable of earnest grasping" or your hand dealt or going back in time to shake John's hand or the last hand you held or the last hand held out to you, just not one hand clapping

Setting Fires

Setting Fires

burning poems
broad daylight

short skirt

matchstick grasses
to ignite

grasshoppers, songbirds, honey bees
play their sounds
in the westerlies

burning poems
broad daylight

toy soldiers
fire crackered

dirt spurts

poppies, weed seeds, sweet peas
in the westerlies

burning poems
broad daylight

worded paper

set alight

thrills, chills, hills
in the westerlies

before night

To capture the fallen grape

To capture the fallen grape

The hand squeegees out and rasps too loud against the shelf with garden books
a tall shelf, one with those heavy heave-ho books
to capture the fallen grape.
That’s the kind of thing that’ll give us away. That’s the kind of thing that
Marmalade the orange-hair scoundrel, our school marm
would have chastised us about in “Advanced Sneakery.”

For how many aeons have we perked along in the rooms behind the rooms,
living behind the bookshelves that are really doors?
Sometimes I wish I could come out into the light of day

though moonbeams through the west window and
night dances are full of joy. We are Anne Frank always
and suppressed joy, now that mortal humans cannot stand
the thought of us; their reality spaces continue to narrow.

We live in the ecotone, the thin limn, the third space
behind the bookcases they don’t know slide. One time I dropped my
writing nib, another time a nub of cheese. Getting their
refrigerator doors open can be trouble. Their insomnia
can be frightening: sudden stuttering bathrobe looming.

Sometimes the fable of the nuclear war feels like a dream.
If they would just die, as Genny suggests, we’d have the
run of the place. But life would be hard, how to get used to the
sweep of open land, the cold touch of stars, the rush of air, the rain.
We’d have to start stockpiling pincushion seeds, and wild mustard
against the frost times.

I’m game, ready to be released from
the time of humans; they’ve lost their way.

Perhaps if we can telegraph our kin
who live in the pentagon bookshelves,
we’ll do them in. 

Responding to
Prompt 4:
4. Secret doors in bookcases. Pick a wall in your home, a book case or shelf, and write a poem describing the life of the beings who come and go through the secret access door of that shelf, which actually slides back to reveal... what? Use concrete words and full senses to make it real for us...