Thursday, April 17, 2014

Ever the Dreamer

Ever the Dreamer

“I prefer to be a dreamer among the humblest, with visions
to be realized, than a lord among those without dreams.”
--Kahlil Gibran.

Still that fresh-faced boy
on that windblown bluff
             above Puget Sound,
                        under a peeling madrona,
                                   staring out at Blake Island,
                                                  of becoming
                                             a writer,
                                      an actor,
                             a teacher;
a recipient of some kind of wonderful windfall,
                                                         enough wealth
                                                         to be able to live
on one of the grand islands in the Sound--
to build my dream-house
that had a deck with white railings
                                          and red bannisters,     
                                          part pirate ship,
                                          laden with colorful rigging
and two brass telescopes to star-watch with,
                                          redwood whiskey barrels
                                          made into raised gardens;
while rising out of the middle of the magical roof there
                                          would be a Stephen King
ten story tall writer’s tower, protruding phallic like
                                          a poet’s lighthouse
                                          where the muses could mass
                                          high above the pine & maple tops,
where I could witness sunrises over the Cascades          
                       & sunsets over the rugged Olympics.

                       A simple enough plan, just
                       become a successful rich Actor,
                       gaining a modicum of notoriety;
then happen to mention to my posse of agents,
Hey, did you know I have written a couple of novels,
& thousands of poems, & the words cry out to be shared ?
                      Perhaps we could publish some of this stuff,
                      make a pile of cash
                      and put our kids through college. 

Oh yes, my dreams were vivid,
like neon roadmaps,
& yet, as is too often the case,
like losing your virginity,
like turning 21, 30, 40, 50, 60,
the destination once arrived at,
the goals achieved (sort of),
         as grand
              as imagined
                    or anticipated,
                             because youth
                                  is blind to wisdom,
                                           deaf to sage advice.

                                   I became the Actor, 
                                            but a whirling decade
                                                  of Thespianism never led
                                                           to a plateau of success,
rather it just revealed the grit below the glitz,
the negative energy of daily rejection, like
drinking alcohol when dying of thirst,
it’s certainly wet, but it never slacks the need,
or nourishes the soul.

                                         So one onerous smog-ridden beaten-down
                                         day in the ghetto of Hollywood, I decided to
                                         embrace a hiatus, seek gainful employment;
                  & I’ll be damned if it didn’t come to me
                  easily, like colliding with a stranger on the
                  bus, staring at their face, & understanding
that you recognize them, knew them
from another life,
from another dream.
                  It was time for MacDuff to fade,
                  for Benedick to become mute,
                  for Sancho Panza to let Quixote slip away,
                  for Adolphus Cusins to divorce Major Barbara,
                  for the cowpoke drifter to stable his silver spurs,
                  for the sailor to give away his fuck pitchers,
                  for the soldier to unload his weapons,
                  for the Commedia masks to be put away gently;

time for the teacher to make a difference
in the darkness, for the shadow poet to
continue to be a passionate scribe, for
the novelist to learn technical writing,
as the make-up, tights, & ruffled shirts
were put into the back of the wardrobe;

           as several dense decades gathered
           at my feet like a windblown Sunday
           newspaper, with the funnies & editorials
wrapping warmly around my thighs--
becoming emotional at my retirement
party as my former students & fellow 
employees saluted & roasted me,
filling me with a genuine sense
of fulfillment. 

As I launched my next ten year plan,
a wondrous wisp of a thing happened--
my dreams were rekindled, & every day
it seemed dreams became reality,
coming to ragged & beauteous fruition,
but energized, reborn, rejuvenated replacements
lined up
         like dream warriors
                           within me--
                                     in a never-ending
                                               spiral, twisting themselves
                                                         into a helix formation,

all with a child’s face,
with that old
sense of 

Glenn Buttkus

Posted over on dVerse Poets MTB

Would you like to hear the author read about himself to you?


Claudia said...

oh it is good to keep that sense of wonder...that child in us... and to not stop dreaming even though some of the things will never come true... i tend to be WAY too realistic... smiles... great self portrait glenn

Brian Miller said...

your life is a testament took a lot to lay aside those dreams...and then to find yourself along the way and all the more dreams to become reality...its cool when those hard decisions are rewarded that way...

ok, time frame on those pictures? i like th look in the second, am a bit intimidated by the first...and by the end you have me smiling as well..

Anonymous said...

How wonderful... this journey of life from dreams to struggle, from youth to maturity, from decision to another one, and finding that wonder of the youth yet again... Wisdom perpetuates in your words.
The poem is much like a play and you playing your role through your words as you have played in your life. Impressive and heart-touching. :-)

Aida Bode said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Glenn a very thoughrough examination of your past and the present it made you. Well done. >KB

Glenn Buttkus said...

Brian, timeframe 4 Selfies, #1 is from today, with my 1940's look of the play ANCESTRAL VOICES I'm rehearsing, #2 is a "dramatic" look just for angry fun, from 2 years ago, #3 is the bearded Bard, the poet looking for fellowship (soon found at dVerse), & #4 is just me a year or so ago.

mrs mediocrity said...

I love that you brought this full circle, from the fresh-faced boy to that wonder at the end. It feels just right, just the you I would have imagined. Fabulous.

Kathy Reed said...

Yes, this is the you I have imagined as well...I'm surprised you were unsuccessful with your skills. Can relate to the helix formation..a lining up of the stars so to speak...some might design a double helix ;)

Anonymous said...

It's rare for someone to become what they dream of as a child, but when we can keep on dreaming as an adult, we'll find that life is that much richer in the end!

Scarlet said...

I love your journey and how you gained wisdom and gratitude through it all ~ Sometimes such aspirations are not ours to have but we can certainly ever be the dreamer and keep our child like wonder ~

Enjoyed the pictures too Glenn ~

Anonymous said...

As I read this it came to me - the bard never abandoned you.

The Bizza said...

It sounds like the dreamer has come full-circle. I love the pace and scope of this poem. The life experiences that you wrote about here feels like it would make for an exceptional screenplay.

Madhura said...

Your poem is a journey come full circle, Glenn. Coming to terms with some dreams to be let go of.. I like how wisely you write about realizing some things not coming true, and yet still dreaming, and still young at heart! You first photo scared me a little haha.. but loved the last ones, and the ending.. Amazing self-portrait I must say... :-)

Anonymous said...

I'll offer that your reality sounds much better than an unrealized dream - but also, that Gibran is right ~

Beachanny said...

I loved taking the journey of your dreams, your immersions in the world of drama, arts and letters, your love of the beautiful Northwest, and your acceptance of meeting all the souls you were meant to meet, where you were needed, where you were to mature to the full-bodied wine spirit we have come to know through your imaginative work. Kudos!

Sumana Roy said...

the journey is enriched with experiences...each and every bit of it is worthy to make that portrait complete...great lines

Anonymous said...

I cannot explain how it happened, but reading this leaves me with tears in my eyes. It is a truly beautifully written story of a human life, with pitfalls, dreams, mistakes, hopes and a seemingly happy (but not too cheesy) ending. It is amazingly emotional - to me, and isn't that was poetry is supposed to be about? I truly love this!

Wolfsrosebud said...

wonderful faces of time... and dreams... and life... sounds like it has been full for you

Jennifer Wagner said...

Sometimes we go away to come back to ourselves and to that wonderment again. Deftly written portrait Glenn!

Victoria said...

I remember at my High School graduation we sang "The Impossible Dream" and I was so sure I had it within my grasp, so sure that I would scale those mountains. And then life unfolds so differently, yet I believe it is all as it should be and it is ok. But where would we be if we had not had those dreams, Glenn? We are on the upside of the mountain at this stage of our lives and the view is amazing. I enjoyed traveling that helix with you, Sir.

Anonymous said...

the dreams to become the reality - but maybe not in the way we had planned - wonderful portrait to end with your smile - nice - K

Katie Mia Frederick said...

I loved hearing about the extent and variety of your seemed apparent before..but not fully expressed as such as this...

And beautiful it is to Tire re-living in new rubber with wheels of retire...

As a shut in for 60 months limited to a car in a parking lot in my greatest adventure of the week at Super Walmart..i watched the furrow brow of the young folks..

making the rat wheel of race..burning rubber to the core of numb..

And then the 65plus folks...with the wide grins of bliss..alive at heart..after 60 as opposed to..

exhausted heart at i too make tires well..with full rubber of life..and lovely that you are where you are now..2..doing it as your heart flows in life!

Marina Sofia said...

Me too, me too, let us band together and form a club of 'ever the dreamers'. This really spoke to me - a wonderful and wondrous insight into your life and hopes and dreams. Thank you for sharing, Glenn! And the pictures do show the thespian who can modify his appearance almost at will.

Abhra said...

That sense of wonder is very important. Smiles.

Very well written journey. In a few places it read as if they were my own.