Monday, June 25, 2018

To Be A Poet

Painting by Jackson Pollock

To Be A Poet

“Wine is bottled poetry”--
Robert Lewis Stevenson

To be a poet
is to be a cipher, a
witness, a judge, an
artist, a lover, or a
malcontent--the one who sees.

There are as many varied themes for poetry
as there are hobbies, interests, politics, 
tragedies and celebrations; a plethora of

“If you have some heavy lifting to do, bring in
the poets.”

Since I was a teenager, as soon as I was introduced
to the free verse of Walt Whitman & the scatological
energy of Ginsberg, poetry became my favorite form
of communication.

First leap from the nest
tests new wings, answers the call
of soul, of nature.

Poets in foxholes have shared the horrors of war
much more clearly than novelists or reporters. Poets
amidst revolutions write the anthems,, the mantras, 
the slogans and the manifestos. Poets in love, or
lust, can find the words to woo, to seduce, and to
touch potential partners & future readers.

Personally, I adore our community of poetics, our
sweet family, spread out across the globe, enjoying
the fellowship, the sharing, and the challenge of 
trying out new and classic forms.

Pigeons and crows share
the great maple next door, and they
have weaved armistice.

Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at dVerse Poets Pub--Haibun

Tuesday, June 19, 2018


image from


“Medicine is a science of uncertainty and an art
of probability.”--Willam Osler

Several decades ago,
when my medical problems
began to manifest themselves,
it took a couple of years
to partially diagnose me.

Doggedly I searched for cures & answers.
I went to a rag-tag group of healers,
but theology in several languages
are soul journeys, and I never found
the key to healing.

At one point, I decided to investigate
Eastern Medicine. Through a friend I found
a Chinese doctor working out of his kitchen
on Beacon Hill. He spoke very little English.
He sniffed me a lot, took a long look at my
tongue, skin, and eyes--telling me that I had
liver trouble.

He wrote me a script in Chinese,
and sent me to an address in Chinatown.
It was a shadowy, dimly lit rambling
panorama of tall shelves, with little library
ladders in several places. On the shelves
were huge glass jars of herbs, roots, & bones.
I was given “special tea” and a bottle of little
black pills. I never knew what they were; the 
label was in Chinese. I thought to myself,
“Probably repackaged Carter’s Little Liver Pills”.

The tea seemed to be leaves, grass, and twigs.
It smelled like a dead skunk on a gut wagon. It
made me throw up twice, and gave me a healthy
case of the trots--but I found no solace,
                                              no answers, &
                                              no healing.

Peacock called across
the pond, but only the koi
heard the sad shrill song.
Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at dVerse Poets Pub

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Lost Spurs

image from 

Lost Spurs

“Film acting is really the trick of doing moments. You 
earn your spurs by acting on stage.”--Sam Shepard.


I lost track of time,
quiet as cat’s feet, silent as
butterfly wings; just no

Warning that Open Link
Night was upon us--so my
BLACKTHORNE saga waits.

Now a string of cute
tanka/haiku will have to 
suffice; just my Bad.

Summer breezes flutter
maple leaves and robin’s flight;
sun smiling in clouds. 

Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at dVerse Poets Pub OLN

Tuesday, June 12, 2018


image borrowed from


“The older I get, the surer I am that I am not running
the show.”--Leonard Cohen

Ah, the Liberal Arts--
I was always better at them
then science or math;
writing, painting, & acting
were joyful pursuits.

Of course, most of us who
     chose Art to pursue, found out,
          unfortunately, that the arts as avocation 
                  are grand, but our hubris consisted of a 
          perceived need to transcend our amateur 
       status; believing that only when we  
were paid for our gifts could our
creativity be legitimate.

But nothing is more fickle than the arts when
                   it comes to making a living;
                   it is true that our narcissism,
self adulation and ego            are satiated,
                   as Creativity blossoms like
                   a field of poppies in Spring;
all passionate red and intoxicating--
yet the dark day usually arrives
when our side job becomes
our primary income.

I believe that there is a beautiful bravery
about those of us who became
professionals,       who roped the dream,
                             who embraced fantasy.

I gave a decade to Art, and then thirty years to
teaching, discovering that serving others was much
more satisfying than just serving my self. I know 
that Art is essential to the human experience, just
as necessary as technology, science, or commerce.
More’s the pity that patrons are few, and success
is elusive & fleeting.              

Art as a muse is
fine, but she can be a bitch;
so beware her smile.

Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at dVerse Poets Pub

Monday, June 11, 2018

The Antidote

borrowed from

The Antidote

I know but one freedom, and that is the freedom of
the mind.”--Antoine de Saint-Exupery.

It is one thing to have no real access to freedom, to be 
in chains or behind bars, but quite another when your
your body can, or will not respond to your commands; 
its rebellion simmering for decades, stripping away 
dexterity, strength, function & balance--until one dawn
you become trapped in your home, and everything
that you consider to be your self as a person is just
painfully stripped away, torn asunder.

Then comes the panic & insomnia, wrapped in a
terrible mantle of fear--of darkness, of sleep, of demons,
even death. The key to egress, to homeostasis, is
within. Feed the mind, break the chains.

There is a breaking
point for each of us, but the
mind can restore all.

Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at dVerse Poets