Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Du Gamia, Du Fria

image from users.stlcc.edu

Du Gamia, Du Fria

“You love & lose & bleed best you can, to the extreme, hoping
that one day the world will read you like the poem you want
to be.”--Charlotte Eriksson.

I hear it now: Thou Ancient, Thou Free,
though I’ve never been, ever the absentee.
I think of prehistoric Svealand,
before Beowulf, even before the Viking,

before patriots an anthem could sing,
Remembering when the land was covered in ice.
I hear it now: Thou Ancient, Thou Free,
though I’ve never been, ever the absentee.

After the great lakes receded & hunters could
roam vast forests for red deer, moose, & firewood,
& petroglyphs appeared in caves of gneiss,
remembering when the land was covered in ice.

I hear it now: Thou Ancient, Thou Free,
though I’ve never been, ever the absentee.

Glenn Buttkus

Bjorn wants us to write to images of Swedish petroglyphs. I wrote a Sonnetina Rispetto.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Toad Tales

image from oilpaintingfactory.com

Toad Tales

“Sweet are the uses of adversity, which, which like the toad,
ugly & venomous, wears yet a precious jewel in his head.”
--William Shakespeare.

Serious actors prefer being called a toad, rather than
a celebrity--which paints them as a popular success,
despite their obvious warts.

If you are a princess, or even just a wannabe,
kiss a ton of toads, for it is plausible
that your sweet lips could whelp a prince. 

When I was younger, I drove 
much too fast, reckless & furious, prompting 
my passengers to label my driving
as Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride.

Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at With Real Toads

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Pan's Promise

image from movies.com

Pan’s Promise

“Do you know why swallows build nests in the eaves of
houses? It is to listen to the stories.”--J.M. Barrie.

In Neverland lie the darkest of paths,
with no white pebbles, & no illumination--
peopled by warring factions; devoid
of any territory, fiefdom, or nation.

A lost island actually, beyond Britain’s shores,
where the more grim a situation, the wider
the grin on every wild boy.

Pan & Hook do make a strange pair,
I grant you, with one embracing hope
& the other despair;

And tis true that every boy in Pan’s posse
has never lost their sense of wonder--
which make them less than reliable
when their focus begins to wander.

There are grieving parents in London
who feel that Pan does nothing more than pander,
indulging the innocent imaginations of stolen children,
leaving their whereabouts but a thing to ponder.

But the boy who was once just Peter; now stuck in time,
cares naught for convention, ownership or parent’s rules;
nor does he worry a whit that there are some who
consider his fellowship with other boys to be naughty.

Just remember that the way is ever clear,
the directions exactly the same every time:
“Second star to the right,
and straight on till morning.”

Glenn Buttkus

Posted over on With Real Toads

Extinguishing the Bern

image from imgur.com

Extinguishing the Bern

“Let us wage a moral & political war against the billionaires
& corporate heads whose policies & greed are destroying
the middle class in America.”--Bernie Sanders.

Today there is a new article in the New Yorker magazine:
Integrity disqualifies Sanders for the White House.
The electoral system has safeguards in place
preventing anyone who’s outspoken from becoming the President.

Integrity disqualifies Sanders for the White House--
this political reality conjures fear and anger,
nearly dashing all hope for a better tomorrow.

The electoral system has safeguards in place
excluding him from back room deals & cronyism
that may be a necessary requirement for election;

preventing anyone who’s outspoken from becoming President
because no Populist can raise the necessary billion dollars
while criticizing the blatant buying of the other candidates.

Glenn Buttkus

Posted over on dVerse Poets Pub MTB

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Life Laureate

painting of leonard cohen from keelinggallery.com

Life Laureate

“A poem begins as a lump in the throat, a sense
of wrong, a homesickness, a lovesickness.”
--Robert Frost.

Our poetry reflects
who we are & are not;
a clever mirror.

There are those who consider poetry as a gift
                 to a classroom,
                 to a cherished one,
                 to the unwashed,
                 to the uninformed,
                 to the world entire;      and there are Others
                           who interpret it as a
compulsion, addiction, fault, blessing, catharsis,
blood letting, regurgitation, love making, or epiphany--
                 the most direct way to capture
                          the minutia of life, splendid role-playing,
                                   both vicariously & personally; to become

the eyes of a hungry hawk,
the legs of a racing cheetah,
the claws of a bear,
the wisps of mist on a desolate moor,
the powerful arms of a mountain gorilla,
the pool of oil on the tarmac,
the brown recluse feasting on a fly,
the barb on a wire,
the smoking tires on a hot rod,
the smooth pebbles in a stream,
the swell of a titanic wave toppling a great ship,
the chill of awakening under a bridge--or in a doorway, park, or alley,   
the reward of holding your newborn for the first time,
the chaotic & terrifying dirge of heated battle,
the target for a bullet, fist, insult, or a kiss,
the participant in an adulterous affair,
the act of a criminal, priest, dog catcher, whore, or politician,
the shame of a cop looming pridefully over an unarmed dead black man,
the callous arrogance of a school yard or elected bully,
the inspiring sight of steel, glass & concrete as a skyscraper rises,
the gorgeous flow of a blue highway stretching across a high plateau,
the climax of coitus as two incomplete souls merge into one orgasm,
the crack of a wooden bat belting out a home run,
the sensuous revealing of a lover’s breasts,
the aching memory of parents lost, of children stolen;

                all this & so very much more because
the is no end, no down side to poetic insights,
               no detour or wash-out or stopping point
for our words that spill, emerge, & are whelped 
out of every orifice,
or the accompanying emotion
that colors & spices their journey.     

When life stirs my gut,
I must reach for the poet’s quill
and record everything.        

Glenn Buttkus

Monday, October 5, 2015

Dream Catcher

Art by Khalil Gibran at kennotes.blogspot.com

Dream Catcher

“Yesterday is but today’s memory, & tomorrow is
today’s dream.”--Khalil Gibran.

As we age, we lose some of the tenacious grasp we used to have
on each Day--embracing, gulping with gusto each moment we
inhabited. The New Agers preach carpe diem, & although I can dig
that premise/postulate--at times I find it difficult to separate hedonism
from the sheer enjoyment of my own madness.

My mortal tower of lego-decades teeters precariously, as its edges
erode & crumble. I feel like a strong wind could topple it, bringing
my short life crashing into the red dust of Now--leaving it to others
to remember it/me as I am tasked to recognize Home, that broad
horizon beyond the veil, where time has no meaning & where
tomorrow only has a shadow dominion; where infinity is touchable,
wearable & familiar.

It is comforting to be allowed some memory of Bardo, where after the
past-life review, if I decide to return to this emotional plane for another
go-round, then I can buckle down & construct a new plan for a new
life, set personal parameters, assign roles, tally the karma served
against the karma still owed--& begin in earnest to chose a region,
parents, race, social status, eye color, probable afflictions & necessary
pitfalls & stumbling blocks--understanding full well that my latest
lesson plan will be less than iron-clad once I have re-entered the
breach & launched the next reincarnation.  

Death whispers to me:
dare to be you--just carpe
punctum; with no regrets. 

Glenn Buttkus

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Blackthorne--Scene 47

image borrowed from photoshopytutorials.com


Cinemagenic Forty-Seven


“If those committed to the quest fail, they will be forgiven
--the endeavor alone is honorable, whether successful or
not.”--E.O. Wilson.

1(medium close-up) At first he ran alone out across the prairie
vastness, until the blood & warpaint sweated off him.
2(sound cue) piano & french horns.
3(cut to pulling back to overhead drone shot, in slow motion)
the gray-black specter loping, his hooves flashing silently, with
a rooster tail of white puffs, like an equine dust devil, rising up
behind him; this grandiose dappled fury.
4(cut to medium close-up) the stallion was standing at rest, his
spotted sides heaving slightly, bobbing his head, his long silver
mane standing out from his muscular neck in the breeze. A 
seething vermilion sun was rising up, its molten head breaking free
into cerulean shadows beyond the low rolling hills in the distance.
5(sound cue) coronet--soft  blasts.
6(medium close-up) The stud staring off toward the right of the frame.
7(sound cue) six-string strumming over the rolling thunder of horse hooves.
--with the morning dew & the wind whispering along the badlands, he
could finally smell them--the strong scent of los mestenos, the wild ones.
8(cut to medium wide shot) a ragged herd of dun & black mustangs enter
the frame from the right.
9(close-up) the stallion’s eye.
10(sound cue) the stud’s strong whinny.
11(medium static shot) as the majestic horse bolted & galloped off toward
the herd, his unshod hooves kicking up clods as he lunged. 

1(sound cue) saxophone low notes, harmonica & snare drums.
2(medium two-shot) Buck & the Eagle sitting atop their steeds, 
the Red & Jesus.
3(cut to medium close-up)
--Johnny: Do you see him? Sonofabitch--do you see that giant spotted
stallion?”--pointing down to the herd of horses on the flats below them.
4(two-shot) angle on Buck: An Appaloosa for sure. I had heard that some
stud renegades had run off from the Nez Pierce, but I’ve never seen one
this far east before. Damn, he’s a real vision!
5(angle on Johnny) over Buck’s shoulder:
--He is a medicine horse--a real buffalo hunter like you, a spotted monster
over those ponies! He’s just your size too. He’ll bring good luck. I can already
see many spotted colts among the new herd at your rancho.
Let’s go catch him!
6(sound cue) Indian seed rattle, trumpet & drum roll.
7(cut to medium wide shot) the two men unraveled their lariats
& nudged their steeds with their anxious knees. The two stallions
caught the scent of the mares below, & their flanks quivered.
8(cut to overhead drone shot) watching the two riders galloping
down the hill toward the herd of broncos-with Johnny in the lead.
The herd immediately came to life & began running out of the frame.
9(sound cue) piano, guitar & hooves.
10( cut to traveling vehicle tracking shot) the barrel-chested Appaloosa
ran at point, the vertex of the mustang living spearhead, quickly out-
distancing the others with huge leaps.
11(cut to wide overhead drone shot) for a time they all ran along
together, pounding along the prairie’s spine, flat out of the grass
into the sand, then into the cracked hard mud on the salt flats.
12(cut back to the traveling vehicle tracking shot) at first in slow
motion. Now there is just the three of them, the terrible trio of red,
silver & spotted studs, all their tails high, their dozen hooves tearing
at the salt.
13(cut to reverse traveling shot) close behind them, but from a slightly
higher perspective so that we can see the Appaloosa beginning to pull
away from them. Soon the pursuing strawberry & silver stallions begin
to feel the strain of their riders.
14(sound cue) blues guitar slide over tack creaking, horses breathing
hard & staccato hooves pummeling the ground.
15(medium close up) Buck & the Eagle leaning forward almost on the
necks of their horses.
16(tighter close up) in slow motion; the horse’s eyes bulging, the men’s
chins clamped, red & white withers lathering up.
17(overhead drone medium wide shot) the spotted stallion begins to
lengthen his lead.
18(cut back to vehicle tracking shot) this time in front of them, with the
Appaloosa moving closer to the lens, inching toward the center of the
frame. A marbled apparition berserk-galloping, his stride never slacking,
his strong legs never tiring--like he had heat lightning in his hooves &
invisible wings, his wide hooves barely touching the ground.
19(sound cue) drum solo over guitar licks.

Glenn Buttkus

Posted over on dVerse Poets Pub OLN