Monday, November 30, 2009

An Evening In Ljubjlana, Yugoslavia


Across the street the sky has red hair
And combs a Siamese cat

A friendly voice is telling about
Clocks wild flowers woodpiles cathedrals

A stout woman loads a pitchfork of silence
on a cart
A girl in blue hoes the rows of quietness

Chickens not confined by commerce to cages
Peck the rain from a pile of hay

Old wooden barns arise out of radiant fields
The light becomes a flock of sheep

The moon is covered by hop vines
And brightened by Sljivovica

Some houses run towards me
Leap into my bones

Duane Locke

Posted over on Sun Oasis

Pileated Woodpeckers

Painting by Regina Kielec


I heard their exciting music
As both pecked on the bark
Of my backyard dead avocado.

What were you doing, woodpeckers,
In my rundown neighborhood
Where nothing is natural.

Did a racial memory bring you
To what is now a desolate place?
Are the forests all gone,
you have no home?

I watched the red flicker
From the darkness of their feathers.
I feel a joy never felt here before.

Soon, the woodpeckers flew away,
never to return.
I'm glad, no one should be
sentenced to live here.
But thank you, woodpeckers,
for the moment of happiness

Duane Locke

Posted over on Fullosia Press

Afternoon By the Gulf and a Yellow Bird

Painting by Allen & Mary Dee


After white wine
I feel asleep
By a gum tree stream
That had alligator,
With leaves mud-caked
Across his forehead.
When I awoke
After dreams
Of a crow
With light blue wings
Flying through
My bedroom
In an Italian castle
And of bright grasses
With spiked globes
Like Danish lamps
Sticking out
Of a skyblued rain puddles,
I saw a tiny yellow bird
Sitting on my knee,
She bowed, pecked,
Hopped away.
I, extremely happy,
Stayed still.
The yellow bird returned,
Danced across my chest.

Duane Locke

Posted over on Fullosia Press

The Obscure Man in Rembrandt


In this chiaroscuro
I was the one
Always in the dark.
Although on rare occasions
A light streak
Would illuminate my ear lobe,
My full face never seen.
At times, I almost
Made it to a lit place
Where my face
Would be visible,
But it was always obscured
By a shadow from a helmet,
Or from
A large red feather
On a wide-brimmed hat.

Duane Locke

Posted over on Fullosia Press


Painting by Gustav Klimt


The redhead wore a short shirt,
She looked like
Klimt's Danaë.
I wondered how
One becomes
A shower of gold.
I suppose one
Has to be a god.
I asked her
If she believed in God.
She said,
"Yes, Zeus."

Duane Locke

Posted over on Fullosia Press

When the Lips Were Alive The Lips Spoke Latin


In Roman gardens
Heads from statues of heroes
Blacken in grasses,
Their black lips
Kissed by shadows
Of dandelions
Falling apart in the breezes.

Duane Locke

Posted over on Fullosia Press


Photograph by Jeremy Spell


The footsteps that remained inside the floor’s
rug-covered wood recalled what last month’s
footsteps left from when the footsteps
departed from the curls and scars of city rivers.
The footsteps left a drop of quivering water
on a pigeon‘s, colored like a white orchid,
fallen feather, drops of paralyzed tears
and their crutches on a flock of gray gravel
that had closed their eyes and wobbled towards
broken glass covering grasses.
The footsteps splashed as if the wood were water,
splashed against the cobwebs on the ceiling
and fell on the bottoms of white chairs
and evaporated
to leave long rows of white circles.

Duane Locke

Posted over on Art Villa



A wind of curls that wore a black pants suit
raced by to flap the flag and chase
the spinning pigeons off the rooftops.
In the bedrooms, the beds put eyeglasses
on their sheets who gazed
through the wallpaper
over the heads of paper roosters
And the stems and curves of red apples
to take notes on the shape of the wind’s legs.
The photographs atop the piano took out
sketch books and created
one-stroke Japanese paintings.
Each stroke duplicated the wrinkles
in the wind’s knees.
The wind blew by and the mirrors
changed their images
from the wind’s legs to moonlit trap doors.

Duane Locke

Posted over on Art Villa

Eyes of the Moon


All planes were grounded
because the moon opened one eye.
Walls were built around all cities
so the darkness could be x-rayed
and frisked before being allowed to enter.
It was learned that darkness had only one rib
that was made from the thoughts of the zithers
plucked by Thamar and Ammnon.
Some said that darkness carried
a pot of geraniums
with a pink cricket hiding under the leaves
that sung a song about the shadows
of ghost crabs crossing long salt flats.
Others disputed the discovery, said it was
Semirande wearing a black pants suit
and carrying a pink parasol to the South Pole.
One frightened man said darkness
carried two baskets filled
with the ashes of burned carnations.
The people were in panic, fearing
that the moon might open both eyes.

Duane Locke

Posted over on Art Villa

Arrival At the City of the Living Dead


When I first arrived in Tampa,
The city of skulls and bolita balls.
I found everyone was buried,
only their heads stuck out of cement graves,
so they stuck out their tongues
to rub across lipstick smeared on a beer bottle
shaped to resemble Helen of Troy’s
adolescent lips.
It was a city of warped billiard balls
and homebrew in the back room
behind swinging doors
with over-peppered chili sold up front.
It was the city of the short half-pint
and hair tonic with fifty percent alcohol.
The voting booths were surrounded
by barbed wire and sawed-off shotguns.

Duane Locke

Posted over on Art Villa

A Good Person


Stalked by ancient voices,
nostalgic for pink sheets in summer cabins.
He hid in the thorns and thickets
of lottery tickets.
His face was licked by the tongue
of a number that wore a black pants suit
to Sunday school.
He lived as if a bullet in a coma,
carried a flashlight through colonnades
so he could read the graffiti
written by children on the columns.
He copied the words in a spiral bound notebook,
used as lyrics when turning
a Johann Sebastain Bach fugue
into a popular song about nymphs
drinking gin under green and black umbrellas.
He kept a skeleton in his closet,
called the bones, “His wife.”
He put a blonde wig on the skull,
combed it seven times a day.
He smeared vermilion over the place
on the bones that used to her lips.
One afternoon after an epiphany he changed
the names of the bones to “Daughter.”

Duane Locke

Posted over on Art Villa



The Noise is increasing on the street
in front of my decaying house.
The leisure class, the drunks
are awakening from their all-day sleep,
parading their obscenities and vandalism
down the avenue.
Another days is ending.
I am another day nearer to death.
Still, I have not found the tree
that is you, Daphne.
All the trees I walked by today
were not you.

Duane Locke

Posted over on Poetry Depth Quarterly

Rain Croak

Rain Croak

My studio window is wide open
on this quiet, mild, grey Sunday,
and I’m surrounded by the delightful
and insistent commentary of many little frogs
as I type this.
They love this weather.
Or maybe they despise it, and are whining.
I can’t tell because I haven’t signed up
for the Berlitz course in Amphibianese.

Against a hazy, shifting ceiling,
the grass and the trees are green,
and remain so throughout the winter.
Even in winter, it rarely looks bleak here
because of two things:
the perpetual verdant landscape,
and the fact that ninety percent of the time,
even our grey weather offers fluffy,
three-dimensional clouds in varying hues,
giving visual depth and movement to the sky.
It really is quite poetic.
The frogs provide the text.
I keep my window open,
to steal the music.

Alex Shapiro November 2009



I've also been watching a lot
of silly "classic" TV.
Rockford files, Magnum PI, Quincy,
Night Rider, Ironsides, and the like.
But NOT Dragnet, God,
I hate that snotty little Joe Friday asshole.

Everything wrong with the world is because
of sanctimonious idiot bastards
like Joe Friday.


I got your facts, Friday,
hope ya,choke on 'em.

Doug Palmer November 2009

Posted as prose over on Feel Free To Laugh

Friday, November 27, 2009

Dogs as Gifts

Stray Dogs

A recent post by English Rider brought the good news that the second of a pair of temporarily homeless dogs she had taken in quite some time ago had found a new, permanent home. This is the time of year when thoughtless idiots, looking around for a Christmas present, hit on the idea of 'giving' a puppy, often to a child, or a current girlfriend. After Christmas, when the novelty has worn off, the puppy has soiled the carpets, or the daily routine of school and work starts again, the puppy is suddenly no longer wanted and ends up in a shelter or rescue centre, if it's lucky, or abandoned on the streets, if not. Or even worse, it is taken to the motorway and abandoned there, soon to be hit and killed.

As most of you know, I am not exaggerating.

I don't believe that any of you reading this will be tempted to have a dog unless you are able to take care of it; however, let me just remind everybody of the RSPCA slogan:


***This compassionate and worthy post was found over on Ursula's site Friko's Musings all the way over in Shropshire Marches, United Kingdom. Check out her site when you have a mo'.


Thursday, November 26, 2009