Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Beyond Borders

image from impactlab.net 

Beyond Borders

“A modern democracy is a tyranny whose
borders are undefined.”--Norman Mailer.

Walk anywhere in a straight line
until someone or something stops you,
reminding you that no one lives in a space
devoid of parameters.

As you ponder your limits, consider
the complexity of your cage;
        barrier or decor,
           emotional limits versus
                nether regions of redefined morality, like
           red ruffles on an apron,
        wood/plastic/metal edges
     pounded onto Art, or esoteric
stapled-on foreskins & scalps,
or that which constitutes a frame,
or the digital capture of pieces of
the horizon, or those twenty foot rusting girders that
                         stand at rigid attention, part of an
                      unfinished fence erected along
                 our Southern border, or armed
           guards holding sub-machine guns,
       or tall steel parallel fences that
have swirls of razor-sharp barbed
wire strung out like deadly dandelions
for the indifferent wind to blow through,
                                     to draw blood.
                                     to deter,
                                     to confine,
                                     to keep out
undesirables, trespassers, and all those
who might want to do us harm--

or even the unbalanced unhinged state of our
commander-in-chief that borders on madness,
ignorance and xenophobia--or the thin blue line
between us and criminals--or the ton of chrome
trim we used to decorate our vehicles with-or the
fragile membranes between good health and a
heart attack--those polished nails at the end of 
our digits--or the 21 overlapping dimensions 
that are reputed to exist within the space we think
we inhabit--or the humungous hedge we grow 
around our property to create privacy, and to
insulate us from the steady chaotic stream of
flesh & machines that parade past; specifically
the margin, edge, perimeter, frontier, boundary,
circumference, girth, height, weight, periphery,
rim and fringe of

We exist within our
borders, but do not need to

be defined by them.

Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at dVerse Poets Pub

Monday, August 21, 2017

Gravel Sandwich

image from youramazingplaces.com 

Gravel Sandwich

“Every man is a damn fool for at least five
minutes every day.”--Elbert Hubbard.

My wife and I enjoy road trips in the summer. One
year we were quite ambitious, driving south down
into Montana, through Yellowstone Park, emerging 
east into Wyoming, stopping at Devil’s Tower, before
entering South Dakota; had fun in Deadwood, all
cramped up in its valley between mountains. Mt.
Rushmore was grand, remembering NORTH BY
NORTHWEST. Crazy Horse Memorial was bigger,
still a work in progress.

We made an arc north from Custer City so that we
could see the Badlands, where the topography is
gaunt and primordial, with twisty roads, slowing for
buffalo, sensing the spirits of Apaches & outlaws
around every corner. We stopped at a Trading Post.
My wife went inside to cool off & look at jewelry,
while I wrestled with our cooler & made a sandwich.
I placed the sandwich on the roof & pushed the cooler
back inside, just in time to see the sandwich falling 
past me, landing in the dirt. Two old men sitting on a 
bench in the shade laughed at me. Embarrassed, I 
picked up the sandwich, dusted it off & took a big bite 
out of it, biting hard into a piece of gravel & broke a 

I walked past the hecklers, tossing the sandwich in the
garbage, and went inside to get my wife. I was angry 
& demanded we leave. I blamed her for leaving me out
in the heat to fend for myself. After she finished 
laughing at me, she said, “How old are you? You
should have known better than to bite into a gravel
sandwich !” Now this is one of our favorite road trip
tales to tell.

Moving slow around switch
backs in the Badlands, shaggy
bison rule the roads. 


Glenn Buttkus

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Love Me Hard

image from imgarcade.com

Love Me Hard

“Love is so short, forgetting is so long.”
--Pablo Neruda.

In my youth, with discovered raging hormones,
love and lust were interchangeable, inseparable. 
So many exciting & sexy lovers on parade,
as Eros captivated & ruled every waking moment--

and only intensified in my smoldering slumber,
as I was often awakened to throbbing erections
and steaming wet dreams, prancing and dashing
about, fully stimulated, like a young stag in rut.

But then I began to consider serious relationships,
to confine my erotic focus on one woman, to seek
out more meaning, less haze, deeper commitment.

It took three marriages and forty chaotic years
of searching, stumbling, experimenting to finally

find the actual bona fide love of my life--my real wife.

Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at dVerse Pets Pub  

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Ballad of Bathos

image from vinileshop.it

Ballad of Bathos

“I know you need your sleep now,
I know your life’s been hard,
But many men are falling
Where you promised to stand guard.”
--Leonard Cohen.

I know you pride yourself
as an outsider, a maverick,
never trapped on a shelf;
but your very best trick 

was to convince a lot of us
that you felt our pain,
that you understood our fuss,
that we all could ride on your train.

So here we are 6 months in,
with so many bodies under the bus,
with empty platitudes creating a din,
as America shops for a truss.

My God, sir--Nazis are marching,
and people are dying,
as you take refuge in your tower,
kiss golden toilets & stroke your power.

It is sad so many of us are already old
and will not live to actually see
your piggy mouth fill up with mold
as the country regains sweet liberty.

Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at dVerse Poets Pub

Monday, August 14, 2017

Love Capture

image from pinterest.com

Love Capture 

“Every great dream begins with a dreamer.”
--Harriet Tubman.

As a poet.
I’m as much 
a dreamer,
as I am a witness
to the full spectrum
of my perceptions
of life,
the universe
and breaking news.

is the common

For my part.
I’d much prefer
to catch rainbows
rather than


Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at dVerse Poets Pub Q44

Tuesday, August 8, 2017


image from christimcguire.com


“We may sit in the shade of a tree today because
someone planted that tree a long time ago.”
--Warren Buffett

Shade is made up of deep shadows,
a multiplicity of shadows
clinging to each other, overlapping,
pushing and shoving
in joyful play, 
in fellowship--
shades of boisterous bliss
that yearn to cool our sweaty brows.

A beautiful place for picnics,
                                 sanctuary & 

yet not all shadows
comprise or provide shade,
much like bees are insects
but not all insects are bees.

Shades often companion curtains, or stand in for 
them, or sometimes replace them. Pencil drawings 
are flat and one dimensional without shadings. 
Personalities would be shallow & colorless without 
diverse complex emotional shadings--even the sea
contains shades of change within its fathoms.

Shade is more than a
blanket as it spreads below 

the mighty maple.

Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at dVerse Poets Pub

Monday, August 7, 2017

Eyes of Fire

image from  rileybrad.wordpress.com

Eyes of Fire

“Only with a leaf, can I talk of the forest.”
--Visar Zhiti.

Too often, it seems to me, here in the north/south--
west, we seem to experience more summer wild-
fires than the folks on the east coast. Perhaps we
pay little attention to their news, or don’t receive
the reporting--but the fact remains that our grand
and sprawling spacious forests always seem to be
a lightning rod for fiery episodes.

Hardy firefighting smoke jumpers are truly some of
our bravest souls. Watching recycled old military
planes & stout double ended helicopters dumping
tons of reservoir water & huge clouds of blood red
fire retardant on exploding valleys, foothills and
screaming mountain sides is both fascinating and

Trees are essential
to sustain life; we must safe-

guard our sweet forests.

Glenn Buttkus

Thursday, August 3, 2017


image from pinterest.com 


“Learn as if you were going to live forever.”
--Mahatma Gandhi. 

Can anyone really be a poet
only writing in sumptuous free verse,
or can one be boring & not know it?

I used to think Walt Whitman was a god,
but sometimes I try a different form
to tighten my verbose style,

to insure my poetics aren’t lukewarm,
threadbare, shallow or shop-worn.
I say we should never stop learning,

from first poems in the beginning,
to successful forays into classic forms;
from poetic haze into those perfect storms

of words descending as our message pierces
all those readers very receptive hearts,

becoming targets for cupid’s loving darts.

Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at dVerse Poets Pub MTB

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Is This The End

image from coatingservices.biz

Is This The End?

“The killer awoke before dawn. He put his
boots on.”--Jim Morrison

I swear GOD is
   a politician; his explication and
         rebuttal to our accusation that he
               could not possibly love us as much as
         he claims--otherwise why do we 
   have to face death with every
breath--why in hell do unspeakably
tragic things happen regularly to
good people--you know, like concentration camps,
                                              bullies & batterers,
                                               dire hopeless poverty,
                                               serial killers,
and way too many assholes in charge of everything
--is that hey, man was given
free will & a road map from
the Get, and simply all those
who choose to disregard        morality,
                         & the rule of divine law
                are just choosing to exercise
            their God-given right
        to be themselves in
the humane heart of an
extant Celestial Democracy;
dig it. 

The kicker, the egress from all this negative stress
is that a titanic ton of us choose to believe that yes,
all things wear out, so there will be an end to our
husk, but our essence joyfully shifts, skipping and
singing rap hosannas to our next adventure as 
easily as one travels through a revolving door. 

So, as this poem ends,
actually, the poetics only pause;
this pregnant portion of my poetic
continuum will be finished for now;
I tell myself that these words will find
closure, that my depleted creativity
will have to be recharged before the
next prompt, the next Muse’s call
for my response--that as a poet, my
words will live on, unstoppable, 
regardless of what may happen to me

--that is until Morrison’s naked Indian
spirit guide shows up in my dreams;
feathers tied to his phallus, wearing
blood red warpaint, and he walks right
up to me & says:

“Dude, don’t be stupid;
we both are aware that right

now--this is the end.”

Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at dVerse Poets Pub