Saturday, April 30, 2011

Fuyuhiko: Five Short Poems

Painting by Marcia Baldwin


How painful drawing breath inside this bamboo reed:
Is anything still happening outside its narrow walls,
and if so, where?


Its belly holds a harbor full of guns.


A crescent moon is hanging in the willow branches.
A beautiful young man emerges from the W.C.
His face in profile painted white with lime.


Scars on stone.


Punching tickets at the gate:
Our fingers bleed instead.

Kitagawa Fuyuhiko

Posted over on Poems and Poetics
Translated from the the Japanese by Jerome Rothenberg

Small Bird in a Dismembered Landscape

Image borrowed from Bing


What’s right
about this head
that’s cut off from its body?

These fingers cut off from their hands,
these feet cut off from legs,
there’s nothing right about them.

And yet
this scene of legless feet
and handless fingers
wildly strewn across a field

once witnessed by a bird
and fired clear as life upon that tiny inner eye,
the bird falls down,
its eye in ruins,
even then the scene escapes decay.

Wind-scattered fingers
feet and
return at last to where you started
return at last to where you started
(for only then wind-scattered fingers feet and
head will draw the curtain over death)

Kitagawa Fuyuhiko

Posted over on Poems and Poetics
Translated from the Japanese by Jerome Rothenberg

Bus Trip

deviant art by froggynaan

Bus Trip

"Night ride on Highway 101"

through the clouded night
binary stars passing
at the speed of light
distant red stars pulsing
left and right
square, round, diamond
galaxies reflecting
far off
buffeted by dark matter,
unseen hands
interstellar winds
rocking the bus
the cradle.

Doug Palmer

aka: Lane Savant

Posted over on his site Feel Free to Laugh
Listed as #91 over on Magpie Tales 63

April's Last Gasp

April is ready to make her exit, horizon right,
calendar bottom, and today these few folks are
blowing on wax candles, and enjoying Hallmark

Jill Clayburgh: April 30, 1944

Burt Young: April 30, 1940

Willie Nelson: April 30, 1933

Cloris Leachman: April 30, 1926

Clay County

Clay County

Just past Kellie Mae's Klip 'n' Dip Beauty Salon
and the cement slab, cinder blocks,
and rusty tin roof
of the Lawtey Grace Community Evangelical Church,
and behind the saw grass and scrub brush
along Pitchkettle Road,
a young black girl stands dawdling
with one foot behind the other,
her toe digging rhythmically
into the red clay of her driveway,
her heel wagging cozily like a cat's tail,
a metronome,
as she talks to a young man on a motorcycle,
his red helmet still on,
true biker of love.

And just before the buckwheat field
that opens lonely as grace,
the field with the massive trees in the middle,
shattered by lightning,
a slender roan horse feeds
under its basilica of broken branches,
because he knows that is the place
where the soft tufts of grass
taste the sweetest.

John Hodgen

Posted over on the Writer's Almanac
"Clay County" by John Hodgen, from Grace

Lying Low, Flying High

Lying Low, Flying High

To be roused by a handful of beads
and on the carpets were strewn petals

ears filled with the fiddler and the bongo
touches, blue songs arrested from the night

at the marrakesh of a friend's apartment
gold spangles and red pills and pillows

all this evanescent scene foretold by Roz
from her beatnik couch, hand on her clavicle

a relic, this memory, an ancient find, so very old
clacking of beads, night resting upon itself.


Posted over on his site Light at the End of the Tether
Listed as #99 over on Magpie Tales 63

April Collects Her

image by yi ching lin

April collects her

April collects her
little cups, filled to the brim
with fuel for May

Yi Ching Lin

Posted over on her site Yi's Bits

Two Full Jujube

image by yi ching lin

two full jujube

two full jujube
bowls –
black versus
white, each stone
an old yunzi
poem to polish

Yi Ching Lin

Posted over on her site Yi's Bits

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Other Paths

image borrowed from bing

Other Paths

“Christ, they are still finding me in droves.”

mother mushrooms purple scarf
ruger tortoise revolver shell
janeth red bay-song hat
raspberry rainier chapeau askance
slide wound stupidity recoil scrape
redford derringer ford balcony boothe
saoirse freckles combat bones
breasts breadfruit bumps satin-bra
code jake train chicago physics
steelheart tramps kistner passage
curtain grand narrow honey cups
river key bank black-sand machine
smoking blue brass hot sculpture ankles
cactus juice flower rickitiki wings
baboon bassoon bubblegum marauders
patina hanged-man gee-dub follies
savage stone lips buckeye babe
little fire brother adams ring lost
silver zuke chrome sweatshirt superman
spit up rylee crotch-snap darling
leather fringe trash tv brownies
surround hollywood surrender syndrome
macro shadow design grains stain
dandelion yard-darts killer spick-et
outside keezie dead-mouse crunchers
headstone huli-huli angel italian poi ferns
wild turkeys swine root peacock droppings
easter nest two lonely pizza box grease
oil pain paintings new flash-flood hispania
moss-orchid ash palace cuttings
koa hook whale-bone necklace coral
tiny stephen turnings exotica vase pots
steam-plume kiss volcanic asthma
black sea turtle beached untouchable
chapel empty roof jesus electric-blue.

Glenn Buttkus

April 2011

Would you like the Author to read this poem to you?


Painting borrowed from Bing


Restless ever changing hues
Shift endlessly
The colours of our lives.
Dark clouds morph
Into summer blues;
Livid reds dissolve
In sun-lit streams
And cascade
Into our fickle dreams.

We shape ourselves
Upon the medley of our past;
With contingent facts.
Our future so well or ill defined
Hewn in the colours
Of our mind.

Complex emotions,
And delusions;
We perceive ourselves,
Our lives
In grand illusions.

Anna :o]

aka: HyperCRYPTICal

Posted over on her site Hypercryptical
Listed as #69 over on Masgpie Tales 63

Blossom Rupturing

image by yi ching lin

blossom rupturing

blossom rupturing –
an isolated heart
beat away from Spring

Yi Ching Lin

Posted over on her site Yi's Bits

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Broken Glass

broken glass

a vaudeville dance
of broken glass
in the spotlight, and
there you were: a

constant of
changing futures.

if I could remember
just one expression
of that light,
I could forget
your face.

through diffused
windowed fabric,
morning patterns itself
quietly on my wall.

that's all the light
I need to guide
this affair.

Rick Burnett Baker

Posted over on his site Efficient Agony
Listed as #81 over on Magpie Tales 63

A Real Gem

image borrowed from Bing

A Real Gem

She is
brilliant, jewel-like
a bright and shining gem
sharp edged and many faceted
but she lacks regenerative powers;
her crystalline smile glittering,
a fault in the façade
threatens to break

Mary Bach

Posted over on her site Writing in the Bachs
Listed as #73 over on Magpie Tales 63


image borrowed from yahoo


that snake
sneaking under a carpet
I can see its outline
I am numbed at one place
only my eyes move
those baubles distract me
I trap that snake
with the reflected light from my eyes

"bloody diamonds can personify innocence too"

gautami tripathy

Posted over on her site Firmly Rooted
Listed as #54 over on Magpie Tales 63

Runic Fence

Image borrowed from Bing

Runic Fence

Biking past Cabarton Bridge I read
Fence posts written like crooked runes,
Strung across McGregor's meadows, sunk
In Payette River’s smooth slough waters.
The surface shivers with a rush of minnows
Scared up by the whirr of pedal and chain,
A heron mirrored there on one-legged stand
Two beaks stab at the same silver splinter.

David Gilmour

Rune of Spring

Image borrowed from Bing

Spring News

Red-winged blackbirds
Picked their tree-top perches,
Adorning fair morning
Piping early spring news.

Impossible Forecast

Bitter snow's sideways blizzard
Blows through spring sunbursts,
Brilliant blue sky's surprises.


Fence posts write crooked runes
In slough waters by the bridge
Mirrored heron's one-legged stand,
Two beaks spot the same slim minnow

David Gilmour

Exposes II

Image borrowed from Bing

Exposés II


Corridors of light from above
The decade of trade,
stocks, merchandise, department stores,
the merchant,
the great poem of commerce
industrial enterprises
the engineer,
a locomotive tempo on iron tracks,
the most elegant empire of technology
The precursor to
a hundred utopias.


I dreamt of the one who will follow
Corresponding with the old images
My consciousness permeated with old images.
Images to transfigure
that antiquated imagination
which is the dream.
In this dream that has already left me,
a thousand machines
enlist human beings
to morality,
a machinery of the passions,
a land of milk and honey
filled with new life.
I saw their metamorphosis –
they became an empire,
an idol
a pedagogue


Painting sought tirelessly to reproduce the daylight,
The pupil of nature.
This silent collaboration
Of individual
(a worker
and at the same time, a
new attitude towards life)
and a political century,
will later announce the
history of technology
and lead to economic reason
Graphic information
Political agitation
Painting determined the history
that would follow.


When all the world will be reborn,
Sheep on the ground, apples from the sky,
A festival of the world –
Commercial enterprise, exchange
recedes into the background.
A person makes this easier while enjoying their luxuries:
The same spirit ends in madness.


Propagate the fantasies
Saturn’s cast iron balcony
The ritual according to the commodity
At the height of its power
An extreme opposition to
The living body,
The living nerve
It presses its manifesto
The phantasmagoria of culture
Of luxury
And irony.


The theatre of this century:
The individual stages history while
The ruling class pursues its stock holdings.
The flower is confronted by the
Iron girder.


in the asylum
the Sisyphean character
dreams of a distant, bygone world
in which the everyday
means to leave no traces


Everything allegorical
Is lyric poetry –
The hymn
The homeland
The gaze
The fall
The city
The alienated man
The crowd, the crowd the crowd
The veil
The landscape
The truth
The stage
The patrons
The market
The economic
The political
The professional
The conspirators
The activity
The army
The leaders
The adversary
The end
The rebellious
The sexual


The image of woman in poetry
Is topographic,
The bed is fraught with modern history.
Imagining such an image is no less


My geography:
the journey
the destination
the unknown
the illusory
the reflected
the ever recurrent


The beautiful things:
the ear
the eye
the effect of perspective
the imperialism of space
the counterpart of time
the mysteries
the rootless
the goal of civil war
the role of embellishment

Timothy Cahill

Post over on Poems and Poetics


Image borrowed from Bing


Vertigo: an endless series of things
The Residue of History:
an inventory of creations
Maps: look like baroque residences
Art: tectonic constants
Personality: signature of vegetal life
Types of Civilisation:
pomp, splendour, illusory, security, empire,
commune, adversary, furnishing, liberating,
rejuvenating, cosmic, mythic
Terrorism: our Pompeian subconscious
Morality: does not dream
the collective, clockwork harmony
An austere system of numbers
The Head: a sort of a cockpit
The Cosmos: reveals its living body
to the inorganic corpse

Timothy Cahill

Posted over on Poems and Poetics

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Time Traveling

Image borrowed from Yahoo

Time Traveling

careful hands
peel back cracked
and yellowed protectant
from dark and aging pages

in long-ignored

dusty albums
my wife is liberating memories
life moments

faces and places

call from another time
a beautiful young bride

a proud new husband
our sweet children

and not
family and friends

here and gone
other visuals
strangely vague
yet hauntingly familiar
draw me

spark warm recall
remembered laughter

tears gratefully less bitter
captured images

collect on our coffee table
so too
do insistent emotions
cascading one by one

and all together

the grand thief
who would steal
the treasures of our heart
who would hold hostage

the moments of our journey

beautifully arrested
deeply moved
tears well and glisten
stirred by heartfelt gratitude
for this proof of life

of love

Rob Kistner

Posted over on his site Image-Verse

Red Hat Girl In a Garden

Image by Jannie Funster

Red Hat Girl In a Garden

Daughter, a little less
than 3 years before you were born
your maternal grandparents swooped
down here to Texas from Canada
to help me plant
3 palms, 3 crepe myrtles
and 2 variegated pittosporums
in the planter box where
all has grown so tall and lush.

A long way to come to plant a garden –
2700 miles, but it’s never too early
to start planning a garden!
and you know what?
I really like how the little purse
you held yesterday
is the one you carried
as a flower girl in North Carolina
when you were four.

And you know what else I like?
That your grandparents were born,
and I was born, and your dad was born
and everybody else was born
and I like how it’s always spring
somewhere, and always a great day
to love and be loved.

Jannie Funster

Who wrote: By Mom with love on Easter Sunday afternoon as the aroma of roasting prime rib fills the house.

Posted over on her site Jannie Funster

Sunday Petal Folds

image of and by yi ching lin

Sunday petal folds

Sunday petal folds
into a diamond, foiling
the afternoon rain

Yi Ching Lin

Posted over on her site Yi's Bits

Lavinia's Necklace

Image by Jere Arnold

Lavinia's Necklace

Lavinia had a string of beads
all the colours of the rainbow
'Daddy brought it all the way
from New York City'
course he did
because she was the Princess
of our Dublin Street
and princesses always have
daddies that fetch things
and have ladies in waiting
like seven year old me
with straight hair
that never seemed to shine
Lavinia had a string of beads
every colour of the rainbow
except for one
I stole it and put in my pocket
'jade green' the colour of envy
she never missed it
me and my father sat on
the back step that faced the apple tree
and admired the one bead
because he didn't leave
to fetch me things
I had all the things I needed
right there on my
back step.

Brigid O'Connor

Posted over on her site Sort of Writing
Listed as #35 over on Magpie Tales 63


image borrowed from yahoo


Hot humid days of spring
here in Seattle and environs
bring with them a renewal
of such fascinating flora.

Vast herds of wild moss
thundering across the yard.

Green fuzz gathering in my window sills.

Congregations of verdance on the bathroom tiles.

Mushroom families fungal parties rampaging
between my toes.

The greening of the cat

Ah, spring.

Ah, pollen.

Ah, choo!

Doug Palmer

aka: Lane Savant

Posted over on his site Feel Free to Laugh

Monday, April 25, 2011

Toy of the Gods

Image borrowed from Bing

Toy of the Gods

Nature is mandated
to procreate, gestate, and burst forth
a beautiful birthing of rainbow blossoms
every Spring, an entire planetarium
of fecundity and renewal whereby
Winter rolls over and backslides
as the song of bees and bird-ballads
replaces the deep silence,
and from space, midst the aching darkness
of non-atmosphere, if one could turn
the Hubble’s magnificent lenses toward
the earth, the ultra deep field images
would appear kaleidoscopic
as the world whirls its land masses
to face the sun, just a blue-green humungous
organism reaching for warmth
and the light.

Galileo did not invent the telescope,
Leonard Digges did, but he did improve it
enough so that the stark clarity of images
frightened superstitious clerics, and Galilei
had to face the Inquistion
and then spend his precious final days
under house arrest.

Three hundred years later in Scotland,
David Brewster invented the kaleidoscope,
putting Spring 1814 in a bottle, creating
reflective and rotational symmetry,
setting three mirrors at 45 degree angles
that were capable of showing us
eight overlapping duplicate images,

allowing this magical circle of mirrors
to reflect loose colorful beads, pebbles,
or bits of glass, sometimes even thick liquids
in the object chamber as we let loving light
enter the opposite end twirling the chamber
like a Carroll pepper grinder, marveling
at the psychedelic patterns emerging,
never two sets the same,
like captured snowflakes drenched
in the brightest of hues, swirling
noise-fully, joyfully like a handful
of crushed stained glass window shards.

Glenn Buttkus

April 2011

Listed as #30 over on Magpie Tales 63

Would you like the Author to read this poem to you?

The Vinyl Straw

Image borrowed from Bing

The Vinyl Straw

Stepping into the void,
He filled his ears with Pink Floyd.
Too late to tell her
He'd gone interstellar;
She was already very annoyed.

Martin T. Hodges

Posted over on his site Square Sunshine
Listed as #16 over on Magpie Tales 63

Spring Purge

Image by Tess Kincaid

Spring Purge

April hath put a spirit of youth in everything.
William Shakespeare

You drag
empty boxes
from a well-buried cellar
thump them one by one
up the dusty steps

and methodically
slice through duct tape
with your silent box-cutter
fill each virginal square
with a kaleidoscope
of Shakespeare

Sibelius and light
render me gapeseed
excited like taking
a lot of vitamin pills
or drinking
too much coffee

under my skin
spring on my forehead
like a high fever

Tess Kincaid
April 2011

***Spring usually hits the Midwest like a hot Mack truck, but this year, I've quite enjoyed the gentle, luscious, foggy-soggy-wet-of-a spring. I spontaneously bought a toy kaleidoscope last week, just like the one I had as a little girl. Spring fever. It must be.

Posted over on her site Willow Manor
Listed as #1 over on Magpie Tales 63

Sunday, April 24, 2011

I Write Because

Painting by Mitchell J. Rose

I Write Because

I write because I have too;
because there is a world
inside my head, so beautiful
I wish to share it with you,

and yet my letters ,written
on a page, are cut flowers -
that fail to recapture
their former essence

Martin Cordrey

Posted over on Applehouse Poetry

I Have Been a Writer

I have been a writer for over fifty
years, and I remember one of my
better English professor's early on
in college complaining that he was
having difficulty grading my work,
for it was obvious to him that my
free-wheeling style in progress was
developing from my reading of others,
from film, from life, but he was sad
that it progressed thus without the
benefit of my studying or regurgitating
rules of grammar or parameters of
poetry. Rhyme schemes for me have
always felt like attempting to sprint
while stuck in an iron lung. It bored me;
still does. My ignorance and arrogance
astonishes me, but has never held
back my pen as I continue to emerge
as an American primitive, self-taught,
a loose poetic cannon, shifting styles
like changing socks.

Still I must say that my prose has been
very influenced by those magnificent
and complex William Faulkner and
Cormac McCarthy sentences that run
more than a full page, piling clause
upon clause like a great stack of
bleached driftwood, every shape
and several types, floated in from
diverse corners of the globe, and
aping the pure complexity of life,
illustrating that tidy theories like
original Darwinism and the infamous
Boar Atom are now seen as shaggy,
primitive, and barely touch the truth
of us. I believe we are in lesson
throughout each lifetime. I feel that
I lived several lifetimes in Scotland.

When I finished the first draft of
my existential Western, BLACKTHORN,
in 1965, and I showed to several
English professors at the U of W,
they were amazed but confused.
"It is like Vonnegut wrote a Western.
You have broken every convention of
the genre with explicit sex, free verse,
metaphysical aspects, spiritualism,
and excessive violence. The Western
Writers of America cringe in their
Larado boots." I considered this high
praise at the time.

Glenn Buttkus

April 2011

Breakfast Horrors

Image borrowed from Bing

Breakfast Horrors...

Every morning someone asks me: "So, how would you like your eggs?" with absolute innocence... A bright smile crossing their faces...

Oh, the horror! Not again! Please, not this!

"Um, honey, I've made them sunny side up! Just the way you like it!" the same person, the same well mannered smile...

Why? Why in the name of all that's Holy?! Why???

Doesn't he understand that those eggs are like dead yellow eyes staring right through me?!

Doesn't anyone know that eggs are chicken fetuses? And we're eating them?!

My skin crawls all over whenever I hear "scrambled", "sunny side up" or whichever way those poor unhatched chickens get eaten.

What happened to the PTA?!

"Thanks, honey, just the way I like 'em!" the same sunny smile crosses my face. "Do you have any bread?"

I can't help it... I'm human after all... Omnivorous all the way!


Posted over on The World of Roses
Listed as #86 over on Magpie Tales 62

Sneakin' Up On Breakfast

image borrowed from rob kistner

Sneakin' Up On Breakfast

our final set was 3:00 am
the gear’s broke down and stowed
now here we sit
with smuggled single malt
and the crusty sunrise special
me and my blessed band
bliss’d out from giggin’
bleary-eyed and blasted
among the groupies
the loud hangers on
and my sad friend joey
just back from viet nam
we’re sittin’ with
the steel-heart working girls
and sweet soul-bruised painted strippers
they love us ‘cause we’re brothers
in this family of the night
all in the flesh parade
of burnt drink slingers
and tired cocktail mules
hipsters grifters drifters
and slick gamblers
from behind the sealed doors
of those private upstairs rooms
swell perfumed boys
and sisters of the leather
tyrannies dressers
queens and she-males
pimps pushers and the cops
stark as morgue mates
hidin’ from those cruel first rays
like a pack of squandered vampires
ready to scurry off
to well-curtained rooms
or other dark holes of despair
it’s time to make that final score
whatever gets you through
‘till sundown
strikes up the band again
I’ll tell ya
ain’t this show biz grand
it’s cirque du morning madness
all sneakin’ up on breakfast
• • •

rob kistner

Rob wrote: Don’t know why but this photo below put me in mind of the 60’s when my band played the all-night R&B clubs in Newport Ky, which was the ‘wild’ night-world just across the Ohio River from Cincinnati.

Posted over on his site Image-Verse
Listed as #62 over on Magpie Tales 62
as the numerologists go wild, words bend, and images frolic.

A Little Big Song of the Earth

Image borrowed from Trulyfool

A Little Big Song of the Earth

What comes, comes.
An upstart park alongside a sidewalk
witnesses up-shoots of the spring,
an urbanscape where a cluster, itself,
of daffodils in yellow constitutes awe.

In the shuffle to find a purpose,
as the sun spills onto a clear pond,
slapping us awake
to confront
or present
or simply be,

that bright yoke flashes in the moment,
the madly artificial gone.

No business of ours anyway
how business goes
when the body is going in its turn
in tune with its life's own hum.


Posted over on his site Light At The End of the Tether

A Roll of the Dice

image by Andrew McLaren

a roll of the dice

a roll of the dice
determines what we pick
up, what we put down –
the number of sides
and its markings
nurtured with time

Yi Ching Lin

Posted over on her site Yi's Bits

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Easter Bizarro

Most people know Easter as a traditionally Christian holiday. It celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ. However, most historians agree that the origins of the Easter celebrations are pagan and have no connection to Christianity. The scholars show evidence that the celebrations of Easter comes from pagan spring celebrations and worshipping of "Eastre", the goddess of fertility. It's not a coincidence that the Easter bunny and eggs are the symbols of this holiday, as they are traditional symbols of fertility. The festival took place on the day of the vernal equinox. Easter eggs are painted with bright colors symbolizing the sunshine and luck of the spring, which is the time when plants and animals reproduce. Christians have added their touch to this traditional pagan holiday. They started to associate this holiday with the Jewish celebrations of Passover, which has to do with the fight for freedom from Egyptian slavery. The first Christians were Jewish and it was natural for them to combine this old holiday with their festival. Through the centuries, less and less people were practicing the old pagan religion, and Easter became truly a Christian holiday, where more and more people forgetting of its true origins. The calendar date for this holiday has no fixed date, but according to Western churches, has to be observed on the first Sunday following the fool moon, so it may happen anywhere between March 22 and April 25. The Christian celebrations of Easter are preceded by the forty days of lent, the last week of those being the Holy Week. The last week of lent and the Holy Week end with Easter Sunday - the day of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

For those of us who appreciate the bizarre, check out FREAKING NEWS sometime. It certainly put a smile, or at least a smirk, on my face.

Happy Easter Everyone!