Tuesday, December 5, 2017


image from amybarickman.com


“Fish and visitors stink in three days.”
--Benjamin Franklin

We visited frail Miss Lucille
on her 90th birthday, honoring her
request to attempt to renew her
expired Driver’s License.

The line was hours long at the DMV,
a typical bustling state office;
my wife stood in line for her--
when it was finally her turn

She requested a folding chair.
They were kind to her, but
refused to renew her driver’s license.

She had expected that result,
but you could see her disappointment.
She passed away three days later.

Neruda Sonnet

Since my mother-in
law died, I just don’t feel like
visiting Texas.
At ninety, she was much more
than only matriarch; much.


In my home, we have
portals; visitors appear
at very odd times.


For most of my life, I have enjoyed both visiting
with friends and relatives, and welcoming them
to my home--but ill health has trumped sentiment
and reduced practiced candor & civility to ragged
bursts of crankiness.

We are expecting all three daughters and eight
grandchildren to our home for Christmas. My 
latest bout with my immune system has placed 
nails in my mattress, stones in my innards, and
barbs in my belt.

Hordes of arachnids 
become visitors during
winter; fantastic.


Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at dVerse Poets Pub

Monday, December 4, 2017

Erotica Horribilis

image from picstopin.com

Erotica Horribilis 

“I just wanted to test myself, to see if I could
overcome the dire situation I was headed toward.”
--Timothy Treadwell

Though he 
was in shock,
he could clearly
hear the terrible
crunch as
bear 141,
a rogue grizzly,
bit his left leg off
at the knee.

It happened
in slow motion--

after thirteen summers
in Alaska,
he was being
devoured alive.



Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at dVerse Poets Pub Q44

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Blackthorne--Scene 72

image from fineartamerica.com 


Cinemagenic Seventy-Two


“You are the road--show me the way. Light up my
day; no more tears, for I am unbroken.”
--Darren Styles.

1(sound cue) six-string blues slide & French horns.
2(overhead drone shot) the Bronson auction barn 
corral, an Appaloosa in the middle kicking up a fuss,
with the rails full of spectators, necks jutted forward
like anxious crows.
3(sound cue) heavy hoofs, stallion screams, sax riff.
4(drone in wide shot, descending)
5(sound cue) bullwhip crack and crowd noise.
6(close-up) Chatawa’s angry eyes.
7(cut to medium wide shot) the stallion on his hind 
legs, hopping and snorting, neighing like it was in 
the middle of a buffalo stampede, slicing the dusty 
air with its front legs. There were two ropes around 
his neck, one lashed to a breaking post, and the 
other was being dragged around in the dust. One of 
Bronson’s hands, a grizzled wrangler, stood behind 
the post, the rope around his wrist and waist. A 
younger cowboy jumped down into the sawdust and 
swept up the end of the loose rope. 
8(sound cue) snare drum and coronet.
9(medium close-up) the Appaloosa leaped forward 
and the young cowpoke was almost jerked off his feet. 
In retribution, the old wrangler lashed his rope even 
10(medium wide shot) Cash & Thor Bronson were on 
the rails near the gate. The auction foreman, Graff, 
and Paul Bronson were on the rails to the other side 
of the gate.
11(two shot) Cash and the wrangler; Cash yelled out 
across the noisy corral: Ryker!
12(close up) Cash: I want that jughead broken today!
I want a women to be able to ride him by sundown.
13(sound cue) crowd laughter & cajoling over clarinet.
14(wide shot) Ryker ordered the youngster to lash his 
rope to a second post, and to get a horse blanket. He
rapidly did so, and stood waiting for more instructions.
15(close up) Graff’s red flabby face: Come on, Ryker,
get on that damned plug and show him who’s boss!
16(sound cue) piano & harmonica.
17(medium wide shot) the wrangler told the youngster
to hang on to the breaking rope, taking up the slack, 
while he took the horse blanket and walked toward the 
18(close-up) Chatawa watching him warily.
19(medium close up) Ryker: Easy, big fellow, easy.
20(two-shot) Ryker kept up his soothing banter as he
approached the flecked stud. Chatawa arched his 
neck, bobbed his head, and stamped the ground with 
a front hoof. The wrangler got within two feet of the 
stallion, and stopped.
21(sound cue) harmonica huffing.
22(overhead crane shot) Neither one moved. There 
was a long frozen moment while they stared at each 
23(two-shot) Ryker reached out to stroke the horse’s
neck. The flesh on the stallion’s neck quivered, as he 
pulled his head back.
24(sound cue) French horn, saxophone & coronet 
bleating in harmony.
25(wider shot) the stallion leaped forward, pulling 
the young cowboy to his knees, raised up on hind
legs again, pawing the air with lethal hooves, backing
Ryker half way across the pen.
26(sound cue) crowd response, cursing & catcalling.
27(medium close-up) Ryker: You damned blockhead!
No more bullshit! It’s time to knock some of craziness
out of you! --his voice an angry growl.
28(two-shot) He whirled around to a sawhorse near 
him, and grabbed a short bull whip with multiple tails.
29(sound cue) If you use it on him, I will use it on you!
some one yelled.
30(wide shot) Everyone turned. Johnny Eagle 
straddled the gate, watching Ryker like a hawk watches
a rodent. Buck stood just behind him, his big hands on

the gate.

Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at dVerse Poets Pub OLN  

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Change is a Bitch

image from flicker.com

Change is a Bitch

“Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels,
the troublemakers--because they change things.”
- Rob Siltanen.

Remove change,
and there is less
conflict & chaos--
                                 but the sad fact remains
                    that without change, progress
          stalls out like a tractor out of gas,
  like lungs without oxygen, like fish
flopping on a bloody deck.

As recipients of unerring
seasonal shifts, every 
one of our days is rife
with change.

As we age there are new limitations that appear
like lichen or rodents or barnacles in the night.

As we mature,
one hopes that
wisdom, better judgement
and compassion
will embrace our sphere.

As we learn, we are given opportunities to
incorporate and apply changes to our personal
perceptions, our interactions & relationships.

Yet, I have
railed against,
rebelled and resisted
change, as if it were
a plague ship,

allowing my well mantled fears
      and well constructed comfort zones
             to complicate and obstruct, even though
                    I understand that most times change
                                 is inevitable, & often inexorable.

                                 When it comes to “Change”, the
                        only thing I hate more than my
                   mounting health issues, more
               than all those things I have to 
           cross off from my plans and
   activities, is my daily bitter dose 
of Trump-madness, as the 
ghosts of Mussolini and 
Boss Tweed’s Tammany
Hall combine in filthy depths
of their corruption,

and America, as the bastion of liberty is now
developing crippling cracks in its white columns,
and grievous wounds to its spirit. All I possess 
is anger and grit to sustain me.

Donald J. Trump,
like the institution of slavery,
like the Inquisition,
like pogroms & gas chambers,
like Witch trials & McCarthyism,
like boils on my butt
shall pass.

It may be a painful transition,
like pulling teeth with rusty pliers,
like passing stones through your urethra,
but history is sharpening its daggers

and sanity is gathering its forces.

Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at dVerse Poets Pub

Monday, November 27, 2017

Quill Strokes

image from abstract.desktopnexus.com

Quill Strokes

“Beware of advice--even this.”--Carl Sandburg.

After writing poetry, fiction, and technical reports for
sixty years my ambitions burn close to the bottom
of the wick, my goals have become simplistic--just
keep on writing. Over the years, my association with
dVerse has thrilled and enticed me, educated me, 
and helped to implement divers change in my style. 
Now Haibun has become my favorite form, and I 
enjoy the freedom to get creative with it.

30 years ago I wanted to get published, believing 
that this somehow would validate my talent and 
authenticity. Many of the poets I know finance their 
own publications--this just doesn’t appeal to me. In a
decade my poetry blog has logged in more than a
million visitors, and the international fellowship within
dVerse assures that my creative fires remain well lit.

It is a good time to be a poet, but the pay is still 
shitty.”--Bobby Byrd.

Photography has
become my reigning passion;

poetry stands alongside.

Glenn Buttkus

Tuesday, November 21, 2017


image from wildlifeanimals.blogspot.com


“Regardless, I am still passionate about 
grizzly bears.”---Timothy Treadwell.

It’s November, and my den is hollowed out. I
just feasted on four fat turkeys--ha--a few less
for man’s table. I pick my teeth with four inch
claws. My jaws are so strong I once bit through
a cast iron frying pan to get all the bacon grease.
I mated twice in August, and I’m ready for the
big nap.

They call me Bruiser--which appeals to me a 
hell of lot more than Ursus Horribilis. There are
only a couple of a dozen of us here in the North
Cascades. I range a couple hundred miles, 
sometimes checking out the foothills of the Rockies.
I was raised in the Yukon, but over the last decade
I’ve worked my way down here. I once spent a
year in Montana, but it was just too damn crowded;
hundreds of bears competing for sex and food.

I’m about 30, old for a Grizz--most of us check out
before we’re 25. I think it’s because some of them 
choose not to hibernate; stupid kids--afraid they’re
going to miss something. I’m left alone, which is how
I like it. I’m 9 feet tall, and weigh 880 pounds. I had 
a tussle with a rogue Sasquatch last year. He was 
about 8’ tall, and weighed in at a skinny 425. He was
pretty nimble, but they’re not good fighters; small jaws
and teeth, with no claws. I had to stand erect to battle
him. He gave up after I tore one of his arms off; made
a nice lunch.

I’m expecting a big blizzard this week, so I’m eating
everything that moves, from ants to coyotes. I tend to
hibernate for 5 months. At my age, I enjoy the rest--
but I’ll tell you what, when I emerge in April, I am
both cranky and real hungry.

In Spring the grizzly’s
roar causes critters to hide, cuz

they will devour all.    

Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at dVerse Poets Pub

Monday, November 20, 2017

So Dense

image from frugalhomedesign.blogspot.ca

So Dense

If Tao is like a river, it is certainly good to know
where the rocks are.”--Ming-Dao Deng.

Geologists ain’t afraid
of no rocks,
they love
the hard stuff.

Slim women rock
their tight jeans,
but how do they
get them on?

Blues men gave
musical birth
to both
jazz and rock.

rocks in your head.
but not yet

Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at dVerse Poets Pub Q44