Tuesday, June 19, 2018


image from Zhang-Zongjing.com


“Medicine is a science of uncertainty and an art
of probability.”--Willam Osler

Several decades ago,
when my medical problems
began to manifest themselves,
it took a couple of years
to partially diagnose me.

Doggedly I searched for cures & answers.
I went to a rag-tag group of healers,
but theology in several languages
are soul journeys, and I never found
the key to healing.

At one point, I decided to investigate
Eastern Medicine. Through a friend I found
a Chinese doctor working out of his kitchen
on Beacon Hill. He spoke very little English.
He sniffed me a lot, took a long look at my
tongue, skin, and eyes--telling me that I had
liver trouble.

He wrote me a script in Chinese,
and sent me to an address in Chinatown.
It was a shadowy, dimly lit rambling
panorama of tall shelves, with little library
ladders in several places. On the shelves
were huge glass jars of herbs, roots, & bones.
I was given “special tea” and a bottle of little
black pills. I never knew what they were; the 
label was in Chinese. I thought to myself,
“Probably repackaged Carter’s Little Liver Pills”.

The tea seemed to be leaves, grass, and twigs.
It smelled like a dead skunk on a gut wagon. It
made me throw up twice, and gave me a healthy
case of the trots--but I found no solace,
                                              no answers, &
                                              no healing.

Peacock called across
the pond, but only the koi
heard the sad shrill song.
Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at dVerse Poets Pub

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Lost Spurs

image from etsy.com 

Lost Spurs

“Film acting is really the trick of doing moments. You 
earn your spurs by acting on stage.”--Sam Shepard.


I lost track of time,
quiet as cat’s feet, silent as
butterfly wings; just no

Warning that Open Link
Night was upon us--so my
BLACKTHORNE saga waits.

Now a string of cute
tanka/haiku will have to 
suffice; just my Bad.

Summer breezes flutter
maple leaves and robin’s flight;
sun smiling in clouds. 

Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at dVerse Poets Pub OLN

Tuesday, June 12, 2018


image borrowed from mysuperpost.com


“The older I get, the surer I am that I am not running
the show.”--Leonard Cohen

Ah, the Liberal Arts--
I was always better at them
then science or math;
writing, painting, & acting
were joyful pursuits.

Of course, most of us who
     chose Art to pursue, found out,
          unfortunately, that the arts as avocation 
                  are grand, but our hubris consisted of a 
          perceived need to transcend our amateur 
       status; believing that only when we  
were paid for our gifts could our
creativity be legitimate.

But nothing is more fickle than the arts when
                   it comes to making a living;
                   it is true that our narcissism,
self adulation and ego            are satiated,
                   as Creativity blossoms like
                   a field of poppies in Spring;
all passionate red and intoxicating--
yet the dark day usually arrives
when our side job becomes
our primary income.

I believe that there is a beautiful bravery
about those of us who became
professionals,       who roped the dream,
                             who embraced fantasy.

I gave a decade to Art, and then thirty years to
teaching, discovering that serving others was much
more satisfying than just serving my self. I know 
that Art is essential to the human experience, just
as necessary as technology, science, or commerce.
More’s the pity that patrons are few, and success
is elusive & fleeting.              

Art as a muse is
fine, but she can be a bitch;
so beware her smile.

Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at dVerse Poets Pub

Monday, June 11, 2018

The Antidote

borrowed from yourlifinsurance.tk

The Antidote

I know but one freedom, and that is the freedom of
the mind.”--Antoine de Saint-Exupery.

It is one thing to have no real access to freedom, to be 
in chains or behind bars, but quite another when your
your body can, or will not respond to your commands; 
its rebellion simmering for decades, stripping away 
dexterity, strength, function & balance--until one dawn
you become trapped in your home, and everything
that you consider to be your self as a person is just
painfully stripped away, torn asunder.

Then comes the panic & insomnia, wrapped in a
terrible mantle of fear--of darkness, of sleep, of demons,
even death. The key to egress, to homeostasis, is
within. Feed the mind, break the chains.

There is a breaking
point for each of us, but the
mind can restore all.

Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at dVerse Poets

Thursday, February 15, 2018


image from enigmasystem.deviantart.com


“The demons you have are what motivates
you to make your art.”--Tom Reiss.

Sixteen kids and staff
died yesterday; Florida
wails, while we join them.
Pain rides me like a demon--

there seems to be room for more.

Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at ,< href="https://dversepoets.com/"> dVerse Poets Pub

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

The Key

painting by Catrin Welz-Stein

The Key

“ We just need to find the key the unlocks the
right doors.”--Dan Groat.

When Randall was thirteen,
the world revealed itself to him
like a Monarch bursting
out of its dun cocoon.

All the good stuff--
nature &

He was ecstatic to discover
the he was was
budding writer,
artist and acrobat.
Nature sang auras
drenched in sunrises
warmed by tropical breezes,
protected by mountain gods.

He was small for his age,
became branded as a Nerd,
was bullied by other less talented students
and was adored by his teachers.

He loved Shakespeare,
and he wrote a one act play
all about a special boy
who was bullied.
One day he invented a magic hat
that was shaped like a lighthouse
and it had a mystical lock on its side.

He fashioned a wondrous key
for the hat in metal shop
and it was a perfect fit.
He felt from that day forward
that all problems had solutions
and his key unlocked the answers.

When he was 23, sitting
in a prison cell, he began to write
his three-act plays, all about those
vulnerable young boys who went
to college, fell in with a fast crowd,
got into drugs, became an addict
and a dealer, became lost souls
who went down in flames.

His hat became
a cone of shame,
a beret of regret.
The only keys he ever saw
were on the belt of the guards.
A song lyric buzzed in his head;

“another one bites the dust.”

Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at dVerse Poets Pub

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Blackthorne--Scene 74

painting by Marcia Baldwin


Cinemagenic Seventy-Four


“Everything before the ride is preface--everything 
after it is appendix; love is the story.” --Glenn B.

1(two-shot) Johnny: Hey--none of that now--you
know me. You can smell the past on me. I have oats
for you, and gentle hands. So calm down fierce one.
Forget about all these bastards on the fence. Just
see me and the Buck. Come to me, eat.
2(sound cue) piano and harmonica--gentle riff.
3(medium wide shot) the Eagle extended his handful
of oats.
4(cut to overhead drone shot) the man and horse 
still as statues
5(close up) the Appaloosa showed his teeth.
6(sound cues) horse nickering softly, harmonica,
mild buzz of the crowd.
7(two shot) Johnny remained rock-still. The stallion’s
ears came up. He moved slowly toward Johnny, but
while watching Buck. Chatawa began muzzle down 
into Johnny’s big right hand, chomping at the oats, but
picking them up delicately with his lips, careful to bite,
chewing around the bit.
8(medium close-up) Johnny: That’s right, thank you, 
eat--it’s good for you, makes your coat shiny. Now,
come over here, boss--stroke his shoulder.
9(three-shot) Buck moved up slowly: Yes, easy, my
stippled boy. We are here now. 
The oats were consumed. Johnny rubbed the horse’s
face. Buck reached out and stroked a muscular
freckled shoulder. The stallion turned his head and 
looked at the hunter. He shivered a little to the touch,
stamping one of his shapely legs.
10(close up) A little girl can pet a horse, Breed--but
it takes a man to ride one”, taunted Graff.
11(two shot) The Eagle unlatched the thick black
bridle, and carefully slipped the cruel Spanish spade
out of the stallion’s mouth. Hey, Valiante--we don’t 
need this, do we? Johnny worked the rope not 
lashed to the breaking post free, and tossed it to 
Buck. The hunter recoiled the rope, took the bridle
and draped the both over the sawhorse. Johnny
rubbed the horse’s forearms. The stippled stallion
calmed. The Eagle turned to the rails: Ryker, have
you got a halter in your gear?
12(medium close-up) Ryker: Yeah, I do--but Jesus 
Christ, don’t tell me you going to ride this devil 
without a saddle or a bridle with a bit?
13(two-shot) over Ryker’s shoulder. Johnny: 
Get it for me. please.
14(medium close-up) Bronson: Come on, Johnny,
this ain’t no rodeo. I want this animal saddle-broke.
15(two-shot) Johnny turned to face Bronson, and he 
spoke evenly and unemotionally.
16(close-up) Johnny: Mr. Bronson, this is a 
magnificent medicine horse, but still he is an Indian 
pony. He can run like the winds of hell. but who 
knows how long he’s been running wild. He’s never 
had a saddle on him, so the first ride now must be 
Nez Pierce style; bareback and bold. Once he gets 
used to the weight of a man again, then we can 
introduce him to a saddle.
17(two-shot) Ryker handed him the chest halter.
Shit, we all see the fucking split ear, but Mr. Bronson 
wants it broke today. Indian horses respect authority. 
You are just wasting our time here.
Johnny paused a moment, and stared a hot hole in
Ryker’s forehead: A man who beats a horse can 
never understand them. For me, Ryker, you have
no opinion. I will break him properly and he will have
a saddle on him in an hour.
18(medium close up) Good enough, boomed Cash
Bronson, ending the conversation.
19(sound cue) blues guitar slide, harmonica, & banjo
20(medium close up) Thor was leaning against the top 
rail, his chin on his crossed arms, watching Buck. His
dark eyes were like slits of coal in this lean face. His 
golden buckle flashed in the sun.
21(medium wide shot) Johnny took the halter from 
Buck, and let the marbled stallion smell it, then he
slipped it on smoothly; without a bit, Chatawa 
accepted it as Johnny deftly buckled it. He lay the 
reins gently on the horses back. Buck handed him a
lariat surcingle, with a hand-hold loop at the top. He
wrapped it slowly around the belly, cinching it up

Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at dVerse Poets Pub OLN