Saturday, May 31, 2008

Cat's-Cradles

Rack me, God, and from my lips draw strings;
fine, fourteen-ply, and stranded with my breath.
Weave a cat's-cradle with my reluctant fingers
capturing fragments of truth like fish in nets.
These are not gifts to be asked for, these are tests:
scarlet sunlit clouds that burn and sting,
loving touches that tender what remains unsaid,
cold cries of the wild geese northbound winging.
Bind me at last on my Procrustean bed.
Cut short a foot, stretch unwilling limbs
to perfect measure; Lord, I sweat
under the yoke, struggle for discipline.
Give over, now. God is blessed
and so praise Him.

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Friday, May 30, 2008

Extravagant Creation

Back when the globe was new and cooling
God told angels off to decorate each area
and so one came down to Oregon’s Coast Range.
The orders said: TREES. FOREST. HIGH RAINFALL.
so the angel made trees.
High rainfall? There should be moss
and ferns
and skunk cabbages
and more moss
on rocks and trees
on everything—
and ferns on rotting logs
and in the moss on the trees!
God came down and looked around and said:
“Ferns in moss on trees? That’s extravagant—
but I kind of like it.”


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Le sacre du printemps




crocuses provided by pordzik
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Thursday, May 29, 2008

Transparent Beauty

Glory be to God for empty things
For trumpet-sounding turban shells on tidal shale
For church-vault cello echoes, chill and dim
Bells’ bellies swelling to the rock of rings
Heartspace, hollow as wooden ships under sail
Cliffs cleft by lightning, split to a ragged rim.

All things resonant, spacious, deep or shallow holes
Whatever is hollow, receptive, transparent-pale
Spilling nothingness over every acceptant brim
He fathers forth, we echoing empty souls
Praise Him.


After Hopkins

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Coils

Smoke doesn't rise straight, however still the air—
helixes hypercoiled by the Earth’s rotation
into gossamer corkscrews.

They say that in the other hemisphere
smoke may twist in the opposite direction
like water in a bathroom sink—

but southern snails aren’t left-handed
and the turns of the hangman’s noose
are the same in every country in the world.

Brazilian moths straddling the Equator
samba both ways round the carnival candles
til their wings catch fire.

Only compasses get confused about it.
They have to switch directions when they cross
that imaginary line. And yet, magnetic poles

are not the same as geographic. And this
is what we trusted in, for centuries,
to navigate the oceans? Better to have followed

the coils of smoke.



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Wooden ships

OK, there's one good thing about the Rose Festival (or, as some of my friends unfondly refer to it, the Hose Festival). You get to see the wooden ships.

There's been one tied up under the east end of the Hawthorne Bridge for a couple of weeks now. Today two more came in, preceded by a tugboat firing water cannons. The first one had all its sails furled; the second was partly rigged, but clearly proceeding under engine power-- against the air resistance of all that sailcloth. Must have been costing a pretty penny.

I'm always stunned by how small they are. People crossed oceans in those? They must have been crazy! Still. As antique, romantic, crypto-Luddite notions go... there are worse ones you could be attached to than the sight of a tower of canvas bearing up a fragile chip of wood, as the soul bears up the body.

They fired their cannons as they passed Waterfront Park. Avast, ye rose-bedecked landlubbers! Ye're about to be overhauled, broadsided, boarded, and pillaged! Arrrrr!

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Burn

They came for love, and love has made them burn
and roar and spin and tremble. Watch them burn

like candle flames the size of mountains. Turn
and turn again against the drums and burn

like solar flares, like tiger-eyes. They yearn.
They struggle, they surrender, and they burn:

a brilliant sillhouette, a feather-fern
of smoke across a staring eye, a burn-

ing scar, a crescent moon, the milky churn
of galaxies that spin-- Praise God!-- and burn.


After writing and posting this, I stopped by readwritepoem and found that this week's prompt was to take a formal poem and write it in another form. I may yet do that in a separate post, but since the prompt author mentioned an interest in ghazals, I thought I'd write briefly about my use of ghazals and ghazal-like poems.

Defining a ghazal somewhat loosely as a poem made up of an odd number of couplets, where each couplet ends with the same word or phrase, I've written about a dozen ghazals. For some stricter definitions, you can look here .

I'm drawn to the ghazal because it is one of the traditional forms in which much Sufi poetry from Persia and Turkey (among other places) was written. Other such forms are the rubaiy and rhyming couplets. Somehow rubaiys just haven't appealed that much to me (except in rubaiy-sonnets or rubonnets), and of course rhyming couplets are a common form in many languages and poetic traditions. So writing ghazals is one of the ways in which I feel connected to the Sufi poetic lineage.

However...

Some of my ghazals, such as the one above, violate what I understand to be the central feature of ghazal construction: the requirement that each couplet be able to stand alone as a poem in its own right. Enjambing (let alone hyphenating!) across stanzas is supposed to be verboten. I've always tended to write poems with an overarching dramatic or narrative structure, though, and that's difficult (though not impossible) to reconcile with this requirement.

I've never really satisfied the requirement that the repetend be preceded by a monorhyme. Instead, I've tended to do something which falls outside the limits of ghazals: I make the first line of each couplet rhyme with the repetend, as above.

Another ghazal requirement that I've never met: I don't put my name in the last line. It just feels far too me-centered, too much like an advert. Yes, I know it's traditional and was done by many of the great Sufi poet-saints: if it's good enough for Yunus, it ought to be good enough for me, right? Well, we live in a different era, one where we're surrounded by advertising and bombarded with selfish messages. I struggle to be humble about "my" (God's) poetry, and I really, really don't need to egg on my nafs by writing my name into any poems.

So, what's left of my claim to have written ghazals? Well, there is the couplet structure and the repetend. I've only spottily met the requirement that the first line of the first couplet also end in the repetend. Some of my ghazals have maintained a meter, most not. (The above is one of the few.)

As for the subject matter. Like most modern American poets, I tend to regard form definitions as completely independent from content: we generally reject the notion that, for instance, sonnets are supposed to be about love or triolets are meant to be frivolous. (Oddly enough, one of the most widely-read triolets on the internet is by Thomas Hardy. Take Valium before reading.) But I do find that my ghazals tend (even more than the rest of my poems) to be celebratory. Most of them, I think, would fit thematically with traditional ghazals from the Near and Middle East.

The ghazal resembles some more familiar English-language forms, like villanelles and sestinas, in using repetition. But in the ghazal, even when there's syntactical continuity across stanzas, the stanza structure gives a looser feel to the repetition than in the other forms mentioned above. A traditional ghazal feels a bit like a pinwheel, with the stanzas connected at a single point but free to angle off in different directions.


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Pastorale

He spreads a forkload of straw
across the puddle. Ochre gravel
lines the yard, but every day
he scrapes mud from his boots.

Cheese is up, yogurt down,
figuring in the cost of feed—
from the barn comes the crash
of cows kicking milk cans over.


for Poefusion

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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Penelope

Penelope, Ithaka’s lonesome Queen
is weaving webs of excuse and deceit
to blind and bind the suitors she has seen
come crowding to her door on hasty feet.

She’s weaving webs of excuse and deceit
that she unravels every night, alone.
They crowd into her door on hasty feet
each morn, to find her work is not yet done.

And she unravels, every night alone.
No word of him has come from foreign coasts
and each morn finds her work is not yet done.
They quarrel over her with foolish boasts

and every day she has to give report:
"No word of him has come from foreign coasts,"
to louts who fill the hall and crowd the court
and quarrel over her with foolish boasts.

And every day she gives a false report
to blind and bind the suitors she has seen,
the louts who fill her hall and want to court
Penelope, Ithaka’s lonesome Queen.

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INS Gallery

3 Word Wednesday: Blurred. Illegal. Match.

hollow-eyed faces
match blurred photos taken at
illegal crossings

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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

IWA poetry contest

The annual poetry contest of the Islamic Writer's Alliance is open for voting through June 30th. Anyone can vote. Take a look.

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Seven Veils of Dust

And I woke up to the sound of rain again.
I sifted sand for dimes and buried treasure
walked across a railway trestle in a high breeze
but still the melancholy echo filled the sky.

Call me out from under hollowed stone
from caverns full of dust and silent cobwebs
call me into flare-filled space, auroral hiss
and crackle round the magnet poles of earth,

rattle of the rings on curtains pulling back
to show an empty stage where galaxies gavotted
back in slow-time. Seven veils of dust
have lifted, leaving glass illusions weaving,

spinning webs of existential blindness
silken strands of time and space to bind us.


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Sunday, May 25, 2008

Tangled Universes

They say that universes run on rails--
that's how they can be parallel. But I
do not believe that's so. I think they twist
and intertwine like kelp beneath the surf.
I think they grow like strangler-figs around
the World Tree. Every branch must struggle toward
the sun, or starve in shadows cast by other
world-lines growing higher on the trunk.

Hung with blossom-suns and planet-fruits
they dust their pollen on the breeze that blows
between the cosmoi high above the roots.
So seek no source for sudden inspiration,
brand-new thoughts and strange phenomena--
it's only universe cross-pollination.


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Stainless Steel Games



No black or white beneath the steel
and chrome exteriors we sport.
No beating hearts to help us feel,

no red or black to mark the deal
so no-one knows who came up short.
No black or white beneath the steel

that armors us against the zeal
of enemies outside our fort.
No beating hearts to help us feel

emotions that may not be real,
sensations that we love to court.
No black or white beneath the steel

encasing us, as we reveal
our makers' choice was to import
no beating hearts to help us feel.

We pass the altar, but can't kneel.
Design parameters support
no black or white beneath the steel,
no beating hearts to help us feel.

--for Poefusion
image courtesy of Wongster121

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Glass People

The glass people live on the dark side of the Moon
and they ring when struck by photons.
In starlight they sound like a forest
of tiny windchimes
and when the full Earth is overhead they sing.
Day Earth, swirling tones of blue and white:
Night Earth used to leave them silent
but now they echo the brilliance of cities.

Once a year the glass people trek through the mountains
that lie along the terminator
and view the ragged edge of shadow
retreating across the lunar plains.
They're too fragile to bear sunlight.
But once in a great while--

some young singer bolts from the crowd
and races out into the full light of the Sun
and there he sings with all his heart
and roars with all his strength
and shatters!

--for readwritepoem


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No Good Waiting

What am I waiting for--
for rain to stop and summer weather come?
Am I waiting for a call
or just waiting for the telephone?
It's hard to make a start all on your own
but waiting, just waiting, doesn't help you get it done.
What am I waiting for
standing at a bus stop all alone
in silver rain.
Listening to the busy bees that hum and drone
in roses drenched in dew
not waiting for the sun to shine. They've always known
it's no good waiting
for someone else to come and beat your drum.
Go out and make a start and shake your bones.


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Brain Anatomy


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Every Mirror

Beloved, I grieved that I could not see You clearer
though I looked in deep earth and on each distant star
though I searched for You behind every mirror.

Beloved, I wandered in lands of memory, far
into the ever-unfolding future and the frozen past
and I looked in deep earth and on each distant star.

Beloved, my vision is tiny and Your face is vast
written on the restless surface of the storm-white sea
in the ever-unfolding future and the frozen past.

Beloved, I mourned: I thought myself not free
to fly to Your arms, home of my longing heart
across the restless surface of the storm-white sea.

Beloved, I believed You and I were far apart
but I turned and found You there by my side
and fell in Your arms, home of my longing heart.

Beloved, it was I who had chosen to hide
when I grieved that I could not see You clearer.
Then I turned and found You there by my side
though I searched for You behind every mirror.


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Thursday, May 22, 2008

Aging Beauty


Original by Claudia Meyer

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Writing Home

He sits with a blank postcard

The guys are all right but I hate the weather
We shelled another town today
Have you heard from Sarah and the kids
I miss you
It’s not like in the comic books— no-one’s a hero
Things got sticky yesterday but it turned out all right
Don’t think I’m trying to get up on a soapbox or anything
Please send me some rubber-soled shoes and a hat from Dad’s store
I miss you
It’s hard to write about important things
Do you remember when the boiler went out and
I miss you

in the shade of a broken wall
and chews his pencil.


--for Poefusion


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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Whistle Stop

A train whistle sounds in the distance,
smoke rises into the sky.
She stands at the platform and listens
to train whistle sounds. In the distance,
the outgoing train’s headlamp glistens
with raindrops. It’s no use to cry
at train whistle sounds. In the distance
smoke rises into the sky.


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Blur

3 Word Wednesday: Delayed. Edge. Focus.

soft-focus image
timing delayed to deceive
eye seeking hard edge


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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Superdelegates

In superdelegates, that select group,
we find tomorrow's headlines. AP's scoop:
another one committed. Few remain
and each is duly courted by campaign
officials glad to jump through any hoop.

A vote in hand is worth two in the coop,
and as these birds fly home, the losers droop
while winners pat their backs and count their gain
in superdelegates.

Who are they anyway, this oddball troop
of party stalwarts, people "in the loop"
who'll make or break the nominee? Explain
before you pop that victory champagne,
how chosen, and by whom? Who put the soup
in superdelegates?


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Crayon Heart



Original images: paper by ba1969, crayons by Bubbels








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Muslim Alltop

Many thanks to whomever referred this blog to Muslim Alltop!

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Monday, May 19, 2008

Less than Dust

I am flying in the arms of my Beloved,
my hair tangles in the wind of His passage.
It shakes the ocean.
Branch after branch in the forest bows down in praise.
Drink lightning, eat thunder,
become dead leaves and feathers,
dust and less than dust
and so learn to fly.

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Friday, May 16, 2008

Truffle Shuffle

Well, I hope I'm wrong, but this is not good news.

The Perigord’s about to go extinct:
invaded, conquered by a Chinese truffle
so pour a glass of Bergerac. Let’s drink

to globalism! ‘Least, that’s how I think
this Eastern fungus got to pack its duffle
and move, to drive the Perigord extinct.

It’s hard to beat the xenophobe’s instinct
to blame the foreign. Dangerous to ruffle
Gascon pride: de Bergerac, in drink

or stone-cold sober, wouldn’t even blink.
He’d chop this mushroom into shreds—but scuffles
won’t save poor Perigord from sad, extinct

ex-trufflehood. The difference is distinct,
say experts. Chinese indicum tastes muffled,
doesn’t go with Bergerac or drinks

of regional allure. A Euro-stink
with little action, plenty of kerfuffle
will last till Perigords have gone extinct,
so pour a glass of Bergerac. Let’s drink.


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Disaster Weather

Thermals shimmer all across the prairie,
hot-air fountains, turbulence in crystal
columns reaching toward the sky. An airy
portent of disaster weather: mistral,
swarms of thunderstorms that spawn tornadoes,
wind that flattens crops and hail that shatters
glass. Who’d think that weightless air could lay those
buildings low and rip their roofs to tatters?
Scorching breezes play with dust and feathers
fallen from the wings of vultures soaring,
surfing airwaves in disaster weather.
Warnings fill the sky. The clouds unravel,
shredded by the sound of distant roaring,
thunder like the fall of Judgement’s gavel.


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Thursday, May 15, 2008

Zipingku Dam

Zipingpu Reservoir
is full of tears
and the dam is cracking.


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Mechanical Romance

The robot rose gleaming
from a bathtub full of oil,
Aphrodite on a hydraulic lift.
She sat on a chintz-covered stool
before a vanity
and powdered her face with chalk
(she’d seen human women use makeup).
She put on a spaghetti-strap dress.

Her beau was a mechanic.

He didn’t really care about the dress
the makeup
the carefully styled natural-textured nylon wig.
He said: “You smell good,”
and inhaled the faint, unmaskable scent
of machine oil.

--for Poefusion


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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Simile and Metaphor: Greens and Blues

readwritepoem has a prompt this week to use similes and/or metaphors.

My first encounter with the distinction between these two important figures of speech was in the back pages of The Yearling, by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings: a classic of children’s literature that remains unfaded by time. This particular edition was meant for educational use and each chapter was accompanied by a set of lessons. I don’t remember most of them, but I remember the following:

He is like an eagle in flight (simile)
He is an eagle in flight (metaphor)

This example would make you think that the only difference between a metaphor and a simile is the presence or absence of the word “like”. But a look at the dictionary definitions suggests that there’s more to it.

Simile: a figure of speech comparing two unlike things that is often introduced by like or as (as in cheeks like roses)

Metaphor 1: a figure of speech in which a word or phrase literally denoting one kind of object or idea is used in place of another to suggest a likeness or analogy between them (as in drowning in money); broadly : figurative language 2: an object, activity, or idea treated as a metaphor

(definitions from Merriam-Webster Online)

The definition of “metaphor” is quite a bit more involved. So are the uses of metaphors. I would call the eagle metaphor above both clumsy and rudimentary (understanding that it was simplified for school use). His imagination soars: his vision is keen: he is the master of the skies! That’s a metaphor.

I find I use metaphors more than similes. Partly this is due to the compactness of poetry. I’m often not willing to give up the space for that extra little word (“like”). Partly it’s that, as in the example above, metaphors seem to lend themselves much more to extension, to the kind of imaginative development that I like to see in poetry. I’ve written whole sonnets that turned on a single metaphor (“Rip-Tide”, for instance), but I can’t imagine writing a poem of that length turning on a simile. Maybe a triolet.

I want to dress myself in greens and blues
like forest waterfalls or peacock tails
that sweep and shimmer with the vivid hues
I want to dress myself in. Greens and blues
are not what fashion counselors would choose
for me. Who cares? It’s not the white of sails
I want. I’ll dress myself in greens and blues
like forest waterfalls or peacock tails.

The etymology of “metaphor” is interesting. It comes (via Middle English, Middle French, and Latin) from Greek metapherein, to transfer. Transfer what? Meaning, apparently, from place to place or from idea to idea or from one image to another. One of the roots of metapherein is pherein, to bear. So we have a metaphor as something that carries meanings from words where they usually live to words where they don’t usually live.

I want to dress myself in peacock tails
and forest waterfalls, all greens and blues.
It isn’t ocean foam or snowy sails
I want to dress myself in. Peacock tails
and opal nuggets drawn from Aussie shales:
they sweep and shimmer with the vivid hues
I want. I’ll dress myself in peacock tails
and forest waterfalls, all greens and blues.


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Some of his Parts


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Fighter's Build

3 Word Wednesday: Average. Neck. Scratch.

average height, thick neck
long arms and heavy muscle
face scratched, bruised and scarred

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Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Rip-Tide (revised)

There is a tide in the affairs of men--
it's rip-tide now, and all along the coast
the boats are stirring, pulling at their lines
and pointing prows upstream, like gun-dogs on
the scent. An oar goes floating past, a stray
seat-cushion fallen from some dinghy moored
at the marina. Swirls of bubbles mark
the current's covert passage undersea.

I’ve watched and known the daily rise and fall
and surfed high-water over shallow reefs
to anchor safe against the curve of land.
But now the current runs orthogonal
to long-established habits and beliefs,
the tiller trembles underneath my hand.

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The Chemlawn Guy

He left a note—the bounder—on my door
that said my yard had some “pernicious weeds”:
like dandelions, violets. The cure?
A dose of herbicide is what you need!
As if I’d make my flowers suffer toxic
rain from Chemlawn’s WMDs
like mushroom clouds in nuclear-terroristic
scenes from zeitgeist films. I tell you, he’s
a cut-stem villain with a poison potion,
a psychopath, a cereal-killing fiend!
His murderous sap-stained hands cannot be cleaned.
They'd even, if he washed them in the ocean
the multitudinous seas incarnadine
making the green one
... uh... er... green.


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Monday, May 12, 2008

Damazine

has a poem from this blog in their spring issue.

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Maker's Mark



And they that know not say, “Why does God not speak to us? Why does a sign not come to us?”
--Holy Quran, 2:118




Signs? You can find billboards on any freeway:
for or ag’in, take your pick.
Speeches are a dime a dozen—this is an election year.
Still, people are searching.

Perhaps we’ll find it under the Antarctic ice, God’s thumbprint
labyrinth of ridges taller than mountains and spanning a continent.

Or as our drifting galaxy collides and slides through Andromeda,
neat spirals snagged on hooks of gravity, dragged and tangled

viewed from outside and angled just right. Or hidden in the intricate
imbricate interior of mitochondria. In the sparks that dance

inside your closed eyelids and on the whorled fingertips pressed on clay
by the potter at her wheel. God’s thumb rested here, and here

everywhere.

--for Poefusion. Image courtesy of Andrew and the Te Papa Museum

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Hurricane Lullaby

Mama, what’s shaking the leaves on the tree?
Hush, my child, it’s the wind from the sea,
the storm rolling in is what’s shaking me.

Mama, what makes that roaring in the wood?
Hush, my baby, it’s the rising of the flood,
you know your mama always did the best she could.

Mama, oh why do you look so full of pain?
Hush, my love, I’m drowning in the rain,
no boat can bear me through this hurricane.

Mama, oh Mama, there’s a rainbow in the sky!
Hush, my babe, it’s time you learned to fly,
You know your mama’ll be with you by and by.

Donate to International Burmese Monks Organization
Other aid agencies accepting cyclone relief donations


--for readwritepoem

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Sunday, May 11, 2008

Frame



Original image by mzacha

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Friday, May 09, 2008

Skycat



A cat doodle for Manic Monday.

Original images: cat sign by mzacha, white clouds by gorex

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Elecelephony

Once there was an elephant
Who tried to use the telephant

--"Eletelephony" by Laura E. Richards

but now we know they talk by infrasound—
and pachy gossip travels underground,
vibrations picked up through their giant toes.

Reception’s best on ground that’s dense and rocky.
Herds of elephants will sometimes jockey
to be over subterranean flows

of hardened stone. They hang out there and listen
to the oldest land-line in transmission—
or they used to. Guess what’s coming next:

they’ve super-sized the buttons on the cell-phones,
no wires to tangle trunks. So now it’s well-known,
elephants send messages in text.



elephant image
cell phone image
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Rough Drafts

The door’s off its hinges and a mean breeze
toys with the crumpled notes on the floor.
A plastic bottle reading Sierra Spring
rolls across the table, but it’s empty—

she used the last water to wash her
dirty handkerchiefs and socks. It leaves marks
in the dust like the tracks of a hockey puck
caroming off the walls of the rink

like her thoughts off the inside of her skull.
The room is so full of unreadable heiroglyphs
she can’t find anything to write. Unhinged,

empty, dressed in ironic labels, she strikes
a sad note. And the wind keeps on with its
unending paper chase. It’s a rough draft.

--for Poefusion

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Thursday, May 08, 2008

Exit Door



Original images: doorway by ilco, statue of Trajan by dgisarad, plaque by scol22

"pointed in a direction I hadn't noticed": quote from Urth of the New Sun by Gene Wolfe

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Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Plane View



Original by zuen

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Angling

3 Word Wednesday: Cautious. Human. Maybe.

cautious fish approach
human shadow on water
maybe there's a hook


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Stonework

They ask if God could make a stone He couldn't lift.
Well, I don't know 'bout that. The world's chock-full of stones
and most of them too heavy for my hands to shift--
the earth's foundations, mountain's teeth and giant's bones.
I'll mark the graves of righteous folk with cairns of pebbles,
build a wall from chunks of columnar basalt,
line the city streets with water-rounded cobbles,
cut a slab of granite for the family vault,
all things to their measure. Hypothetic boulders
beyond the strength of Deity to move or break
get nothing done, give no-one shelter. Lay my hand
to some constructive task. I'll do my best to make
a house that's sound, though it be humble or though grand
from rocks: the biggest I can carry on my shoulders.


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Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Numbers

are so difficult to grasp:

22,000 dead
41,000 missing
hundreds of thousands starving


Cyclone Nargis blew in like a storm of numbers

twelve-foot storm surge
ninety-five percent of houses destroyed
one million homeless


drowning in a sea of numbers
and they just make you numb
clinging to life-raft numbers while the tide goes out
and whispers help

help

help


Donate to International Burmese Monks Organization
Other aid agencies accepting cyclone relief donations

Monday, May 05, 2008

Petrified Wood

Harder than saw-blade steel, this gem
was surely never wood. What tender green
could grow from stone-cold orange cambium?
Yet growth-rings, seven fat and seven lean
recall both plenty-years and years of drought.
Intruded quartz, a jagged mass of white
recalls the thunder-strike and wooden shouts
of breaking. Sunk in montmorillonite,
a strange clay-change turns trees to stone. Medusa's
eyes were not as potent-- only meat
was hers to alter so. But clay reduces
everything to mineral at last,
a color-coded skeleton, complete
recording of a lost organic past.


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Friday, May 02, 2008

Balanced Breakfast



Original images: fried egg by woodsy, glass with juice by bigevil600


Collection available! Knocking from Inside

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Ω

Ohms are not a measurement of distance,
kilometers and miles do not apply
to calibrations of the heart’s resistance.

PSI may serve to grade how pistons
are powered by compressing air-supply
but ohms are not a measurement of distance.

Call them stubborn counters of persistence,
call them units striving to defy
the dissolution of the heart’s resistance,

letters from illusion to existence,
searching for reflection or reply
in space defined by measurement of distance.

Ohm denotes a certain self-insistence,
a veiling of omega. My ohm I,
a cry against the death of heart’s resistance.

Beloved alif, grant me this assistance:
swift surrender to the will Most High,
disappearing measurement of distance,
dissolution of the heart’s resistance.


Collection available! Knocking from Inside

Do North

The Do North show at the IFCC opens tonight and runs through May 24. It includes two of my poems: "Dummies" and "Water Music".

Collection available! Knocking from Inside