Thursday, June 13, 2013


painting by georgia o'keefe


“I had not removed my clothes for a year except
to stick a needle every hour in the fibrous wooden
flesh of heroin addiction.”---William S. Burroughs

It is standing alone,
that stately red poppy midst a sea of white tide.
It is standing alone,
proud pariah, rugged, conspicuous roan,
white tiger in a pride
of orange stripes, not trying to hide.
It is standing alone.

Opium is its gift
to the farmers, to the smugglers, to the addicts.
Opium is its gift.
It is an ancient crop, harvested by swift
hands to become a fix,
to wreak havoc, to morph into heroin bricks.
Opium is its gift. 

So who are we to blame?
Human nature, addiction, criminal drug lords?
So who are we to blame?
Genetic weakness, opportunity, the fame;
those terrible swift swords
of bliss, of orgasm, of high flights--drug pushing hordes?
So who are we to blame?

Glenn Buttkus

June 2013

Posted over on dVerse Poets FFA

Would you like the author to read these Rondelets to you?


Brian Miller said...

bang bang brother...great chained rondelet...the first is very cool....the pride of orange stripes....very cool...and hte poppy...its my fav part but then you stick it the rest of the way...and who is to blame...i would say all of us in some way...

rumoursofrhyme said...

Strong use of the form, Glenn. You certainly don't pull any punches with this one.

Claudia said...

who is to blame..good question to leave us with..such beauty..such danger..doesn't it often go hand in hand..?

Björn said...

I love the progression through the stanzas here... from the flower to the drug to the crucial question on who to blame... love what you did to the form also... I really like this..

Heaven said...

Admire the 3 rondelets in your narration ~ Good question on who are to blame ~ It is a gift, but if we used it for greed and money, it becomes a terrible sword ~

Nico said...

Great work--you were able to draw out the shorter, more limiting form into something more to your style, giving you space to draw us into your mind, your questions, well worth asking. Very well done!

maryazilberberg said...

I ove the urgency of the flow -- really carries all the way through. Well done.

Mary said...

You have asked some good questions. Wish I had good answers.

jane hewey said...

one thing: brilliant.

Steven Marty Grant said...

Well penned indeed

Rosemary Nissen-Wade said...

Startling and powerful.

Akila G said...

Powerfully true and truly powerful

Walt Wojtanik said...

The path to self and self-destruction and crossing that fine line. Strong rendering and use of form. Need to expand my myopic mind past the 4/8 configuration and give this 6/12 a go 'round. Very well written, Glenn.

Vanessa V Kilmer said...

Nicely done. The form made the subject more powerful.

RMP said...

I like this string of rondelets—the building from one stanza to the next. nicely written.

Sam Edge said...

wow this is a power piece on addiction very col the use of the form.