Thursday, September 18, 2014


image borrowed from bing


“The story of Ulysses & Agamemnon & Menelaus, of Jesus,
of the Good Knight of Chaucer lives in every one of us.”
--James Lee Burke

The baronis barricaded bungalow
                    stood on it stilt-stanchions
                    near the cusp of the Tharakian Forest;
to the torrential Rains of Riprore
                    that came too often        unannounced,
                                                     as the pernicious purple
tides would run four feet deep,
                     sweeping all the sweet ferrischrooms
                     & fairy muklarks away, carrying
them unceremoniously down to the muddy Dartoon Delta,
where the pink-winged garfs
                     & the shark-finned electric pinto seals
would gobble them as glorious delicacies.

Kronis arose with the second sun,
ate his pelicoon eggs cold,
dipping his toasted rye-fingers
into his golden mug of steaming green kafteen.

He strode proudly out onto his pecan porch,
                 stretching his powerfully muscled arms
                                 over his head, rippling
                                 & popping his abs, gluts. & calves
                 during his morning sun salute.

                 His silver-plated armor hung
on its willow pole horse, beckoning to him.
                 He pulled on the metal leggings first,
squatting several times as the iron knee joints brayed
                             & squawked--limbering up,
                             before          pulling on Pyrothian
                             snakeskin boots, slapping at
the red & black scales embedded in the leather
                             for luck;        strapping on
his chest plates with their bloodfire mercurian mango crests
emblazoned on them,      tied on his golden wartdog eppiletts 
& his forearm protectors, before picking up
                       his thick heavy broadsword--Drammelslayer,
                       sheathed in its white-fringed 
                       Palimanus scabbard, & artfully slung
it across his broad naked back--a warrior
               never wears armor behind him
               because his foes
               would always be in front of him.

His war helmet, Bertranius, shone brightly
of bronze, jade, & gold-plating.               He carried it
under his left arm as his Stygian attendants
walked over from the stable
                with his Mars Stallion--Ferocitus.

He mounted confidently, without assistance,
this morning, & galloped off toward
                the Vermillion Mountains--for a yellow-backed
boar Drammel had been raiding a village
                near Mt. Shaknoid, devouring cattle
                & villagers alike, before burning huts.

Kronis would introduce himself
that day at the end of Ramgust,
& he rode without doubt
that the dastardly Drammel
would soon become
his hundredth kill.

Glenn Buttkus

Posted over on dVerse Poets MTB

Would you like to hear the author read this Nonsense Poem to you?


Thursday, September 11, 2014

Armies of Mohammed

images borrowed from bing

Armies of Mohammed

“It is the sacred duty of all Muslims to kill U.S. citizens,
civilian & military, & their allies.”--Osama Bin Laden.

On a cold crisp morning,
         September 11, 2001        three American airliners
were hijacked & like a terrorist trinity, they flew
         as unwilling kamikazes,
                             carrying death mantled in suicide
                             to thousands of innocents;

toppling the twin towers,
                             tearing a cheekbone out of the Pentagon,
while in the third plane passengers turned
                             desperation into bravery,
                             from victims into victors,
as someone uttered “Let’s roll,” 
attacking their abductors with a ferocity
that brought them down to glory
in a quiet farmer’s field in Pennsylvania.

Clearly         for thirteen clenched years,
                              we have slept & lived with unrelenting 
                              Fear, & found ourselves participating in
& supporting the holy War on Terror--in some cases forced
to do so by a handful of overzealous militant Muslim murderers,
whose names have been too often
                              on our tight lips, too often
smearing our media outlets with horrendous
                              acts of unspeakable evil;
Hezbollah out of Lebanon,
Al-Gamaat out of Egypt, the
Taliban & Al-Queda out of Afghanistan, & today the meteoric rise of
ISIS--          stronger, wealthier, more powerful, more savage 
                   & ruthless than seemingly any group before them
as they actively slaughter, rape, rob, pillage, murder, & behead
all that stand in their path, waging such a successful
                   psychological campaign of fear
that armies & militias & freedom fighters
                   abandon their weapons & allegiances
                                   as they flee before them.

Are we all inhabiting the New Millennium Crusades
            predicted by Nostrodamus? 
Have we not been lied to, deceived, manipulated
by our trusted leaders, forced to
                                     send our youth to die out there
in a sand dune Hades, in Medieval villages, or a firebombed
city under siege?       We hear the mantra in our nightmares,
            We do not negotiate with terrorists!

Yet they do not provide us 
with protective head & heart gear
            as a torrent of bull shit rains down upon us daily;
for Obama put boots on the ground yesterday in Iraq,
            in fucking Iraq,
            in a non-combat status--
            boots that will too soon tread in harm’s way.

I seriously fear that too many of us
will not live long enough
to witness closure on all this hysteria.
We can only hope
that our children will.

Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at dVerse Poets MTB

Would you like to hear the author read this Extended Metaphor to you?

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Rider on the Rays

image borrowed from bing

Rider on the Rays

“The real meaning of enlightenment is to gaze
with undimmed eyes on all darkness.”--Nikos Kazantzakis.

We are told,
                     instructed by the sages.
                                                philosophers & psychics
that the only true answers to all of life’s problems
are an inside job;        Go within, young man, 
                              while traveling West
or napping beneath a weeping willow,
                              that there should be/is a simplicity
                              to any level of enlightenment,
because Jehovah dwells inside us,
                                 connecting us        to the farthest reaches
of the most remote corners of the trillion universes;

moreover, We are God, we are entities of such immense power
& pure white light that we surely co-created this universe
with All-That-Is,    that we surely inhabit multi-dimensions
simultaneously,    that we are a soul who has a body, not
                                               a body who has a soul.

Awakening has many faces, many names in many languages;
bodhi, kensho, satori, moksha, kenosis, prajna,
           and yet even with this keen historical awareness
of divine Light,                 our perpetual journey toward it,
much of the time              dwells in the densest of darkness;

& this divergence, this dark side, this shadow with teeth,
plunges half the planet & half of us into its brutal blackness,
& too often, as today, can seem overwhelming;
             planes & ships disappearing into thin air,
             emboli escalating into a probable pandemic,
             Western youth being trained as terrorists by ISIS,
             zealous assassins beheading journalists, poking a 
sand dagger into the underbelly of the American wasp nest,
             daring & goading us to put our boots on their ground,
             kidnapping, raping young women in Africa,
                                            young boys being forced into
             homosexual servitude by imams & parish priests--

while dictators, demagogues & bullies trample on liberty &
ancient feuds in Palestine drench the Gaza strip in fresh blood,
                       never ending pods & factions of evil,
                       carcinogenic cruelty, pernicious greed,
                       wholesale slaughter of the innocents--

yet, when the din diminishes between murderous beats,
                       I can hear those tiny voices,
                like angelic crickets at midnight, calling
for each of us to be a Jina, 
                a liberated soul, but their lyrics
are drowned out by the demonic dissonance
like psychic jackhammers tearing at our exposed hearts,
                blurring the message--  save the whales,
                                                               the oceans
                                                               the planet
                our very souls--conjure the white light,
                bring the healing, salve the wounds,
                pierce the onerous darkness;

while most of us, tears streaming, heads spinning
walk the tightrope between the extremes,
              tracing the lines between Yin & Yang,
              trying tenaciously to keep our balance,
              creating the illusion of safety,
even as the tired rope begins to untwine,
the dangerous darkness billows beneath our feet.
              and the Light 
              seems to grow dimmer
              & more distant.

Glenn Buttkus

Posted over on dVerse Poets Poetics

Would you like to hear the author read this poem to you?


Thursday, September 4, 2014

Morning Becomes Elektra

sculpture by auguste rodin

Morning Becomes Elektra

“If your daily life seems poor, do not blame it
--blame yourself for not being poet enough to
call forth its riches.”--Rainer Maria Rilke.

you become a septuagenarian
                     and the media is laden 
                                  with the news of the deaths
                                  of younger men;

you have served your Masters
for at least fifty years          & you are allowed to retire;

you mount some of the new technology
& put yourself out there as a person,
                                           a poet,
                                           a philosopher,
                                           a photographer,
                                           a pariah,
a gadfly, a sage, a fool, or a prankster,

you begin to see that the road ahead
                 does have a specific destination,
                 & you can almost recognize it on clear mornings;
                                            a threshold,
                                            a stargate,
                                            a hole in the ground,
                                            a nifty niche
in a stone crematorium oven, or
                 a shining city of white domes & loved ones,
                                            infinity, the key, the answer,
                 or complete darkness,
                 oblivion, emptiness, nothingness--

as the Road Behind stretches
beyond the rear horizon,
beyond memory or grasp,
                 peopled by your children & grandchildren
                 & steaming harried hordes of strangers;

you can hear the growls & howling
              of that mysterious pack of beasts
              that dog your heels, but never
show themselves.

So your only logical reasonable logistical choice
                                is to passionately couple 
              with the Moment,
              with each new breath, finding sweet inspiration
within the mere awakening into each new day,
eagerly seeking out pods of your personal Joy;
               the cat on your lap,
               the Asian tea steaming in a red China cup,
               the electric blue of the Southern sky
around the glaciers on Mt. Rainier,
               the wind in the cluster of fat maple leaves
dancing on that hundred year old tree next door,
               the special way the morning sun creates
geometric shadow designs around your newly stained
deck railings,
               the warm memory of that kiss your younger wife
gave you as she left for work,
               the incredible taste of hand-picked tomatoes
out of your garden,
               the look & smell of your backyard lawn
after the sprinklers have soaked it, watching
               the mist that rises out of the heat
from the morning’s embrace;

then after the two hours of succor & sustenance,
you sit down at the feet of the iMac demi-god screen,
& you anxiously prepare to contact
                the cyber-community, all those folks you 
                almost love, even though
you’ve never actually met them
in every tiny corner of the globe.

Glenn Buttkus

Posted over on dVerse Poets MTB FFA

Would you like to hear the author read this Rilke-inspired poem to you?

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The Novel

watercolor sketch by claudia schoenfeld

The Novel

“A novel can be a vaudeville show, the six o’clock news, or the
mumblings of wild men saddled by demons.”
--Ishmael Reed.

      I’ve had been working on my novel
                           for over a year now, a
                           detective story; but since
the genre has been written 10,000 books deep,
      I needed to find a new twist, 
      an unexpected hook.

How about picking a large city that has not been
                  used, or written to death
                  in crime literature,
say Seattle?           Make the private investigator
                               a Viet Nam veteran, then place the events
in the 1970’s--when the pain & PTSD blossoming
from that conflict
                were still from fresh scars, extant, somewhat
                                                   mysterious, then give
the protagonist a cool name, like Baerbak, John,
Johnny; make him deeply flawed, full of bottled-up rage,
                a bachelor again after two
                failed marriages, & a lethal martial artist,
built upon from his special forces background.

Then take a bold step,
                make the antagonist the yin to his yang,
the dark side of his nature with only glimmers
                of light juxtaposed to Baerbak living in light battling
those dark demons in his dreams--then give the heavy a cool
                 name as well, say Cody something,
                 a skilled marine sniper who served
                                           in Viet Nam; both men in country
at the same time; maybe even met once, fought together,
with Cody now a warrior who could not stop
                 the urge to kill, 
his angst turned to criminal endeavors; & make him
                 a martial artist too, to create a super fight
for the close of the tale; 

two men linked like battle brothers, creating
                 one whole person only together, the same
yet different, like fraternal twins--oh yeah,
                     then make them be dating the same woman,
a waitress in a downtown diner, who is attracted
to them both, & does not reveal one to the other at first;
making both men adamant film buffs,
             with huge movie collections, & extensive expertise
in film trivia; so much so that some of the major clues
             can be from movie plots or quotes--give them
                       both fascinating lairs in old buildings where they
are the only residents, both dangerous & anti-social.

Use the city as no other writer ever has,
writing from my own past growing up
in Seattle; put some of the action along the waterfront,
at the Public Market, at the Seattle Center;
have a whole chapter, or more, occur
            on a Washington State super ferry; a lot
            can happen during those one hour voyages
                                between the islands of Puget Sound--
but definitely have the denouement take place
atop the Space Needle, hand-to-hand combat,
the kind that only one man can survive.

Anchor the story in those pre-technology late 70’s,
                  before wireless wi fi,
                  before smart phones, even
                  before the internet,
when people still wrote letters & used pay phones.
Make it existential Noir,
                  a movie buff’s dream book, 
& how about I finish the damn thing
before Christmas.

Glenn Buttkus

Actually I do have another unpublished novel, a crime story, titled BAERBAK. 

Posted over on dVerse Poets Poetics

Would you like to hear the author read this poem to you?

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Blackthorne--Scene Twenty-Eight

image borrowed from bing


Cinemagenic Twenty-Eight


“I told my children that when I die to release balloons
to celebrate that I graduated.”--Elisabeth Kubler-Ross.

1(medium wide shot) Wallace steps up alongside Buck--a comic
moment, for the shorter man could have bit into the red & green
brass cartridges across the taller man’s chest.
2 (2 shot) Wallace’s snowy eyebrows furrowed & crashed together.
He rubbed his dimpled freshly-shaven chin.
--You any relation to Bill Buck?
--Buck: I’m his son--(not looking at Wallace, his gaze into the cold
eyes of Joe Hop).
3(close-up) Hop: Who is Bill Buck?
4(cut to a wide shot) showing us the small crowd.
5(medium close-up) a stout man in a banker’s attire offered:
--He used to be the town drunk. He owned that sweet ranch out
in the foothills above Bronson’ s place.
6(sound cue) pioneer fiddle.
7(three-shot) A big farmer:
--The place has been deserted for years. Word is that Bronson
would like to get his hands on it, but there were some kind of
deed issues.
8(medium wide shot) a moment of silence while the sheriff considered
this new information.
9(sound cue) Spanish guitar & soft singing from the Cantina.
10(2-shot) Buck staring at the lawman.
11(close-up) Buck
--So, sheriff, am I under arrest, or not?
12(sound cue) snare drum.
13(close-up) Sheriff Hop--No, not at this time, Hoss, but stick around
town long enough for me to investigate this ruckus.
14(close-up) Buck: I was planning on it.
15(2-shot) Hop--I still have to look into that incident in the China Doll
too, Slick--so I would advise you to try real hard to stay out of trouble
for a few days.
--Buck: I never go looking for it--it just seems to jump up in front of me
whenever it pleases.
--Hop: Blackthorne is my town, & I don’t cotton to strangers much. So
keep in mind, it you cross me, I will cut you down.
16(sound cue) banjo riff.
17(close-up) Wallace, his face wrinkled with worry.
18(close-up) Buck, smiling slightly:
--Your town, you say? Funny, I heard it a little different.
Bronson seems to be the hairy bear around here.
19(close-up) Hop: I don’t give a ruptured coon’s ass how you
heard it, Mr. Buck (his voice turning cold) I wear the badge, &
I enforce respect for it. If you keep lipping off, I may just slam
your butt into jail for impeding my investigation. I will get to the
shit-bottom of all this, & I’m far from through with you; savvy?
20(sound cue) Indian snake rattle.
21(medium wide shot) The crowd is beginning to disperse.
22(medium close-up) Buck--Well, sheriff, you ride out to Antlered
Buck any time you want. I have come home, & I’ll be staying for
a piece. Am I free to go?
23(medium close-up) The sheriff slid the Thunderer snugly into the
tied down holster as a reply.
24 (close-up) Wallace smiling.
25(medium wide shot) the sheriff handed Buck his sawed-off, which
he slid into into it’s pop-snaps holster. Buck touched the brim of his
flat hat, took the Sharps from the tall deputy & pushed his way through
what was left of the crowd, heading across the street to the general
store with Wallace & the black dog at his heels.
26(sound cue) piano & pioneer fiddle.

Glenn Buttkus

Posted over on dVerse Poets OLN

Would you like to hear the author read this Cinemagenic Poem to you?