Please note that the poems and essays on this site are copyright and may not be reproduced without the author's permission.

Friday, 31 July 2009

"Maybe it's just..."


Arcipelago Koh Tang by Joker 74.

... been feeling kind of funny lately,

only about half-here...

maybe it's just me...

can't find the joke

with a microscope, can't

tell the difference

between the smoke

and the dream

and the mirrors,

the flatness

and opacity

of the real, and the false



of the dream...


Arcipelago Koh Tang: photo by Joker 74, 2008
: photo by Jon Sullivan, 200




Thoughts in


head in

the clouds

that tone

goes on & on

when it ends

it’s gone

“clear as a


the ocean's


the cat’s meow

the phone rings

in the Sahara

the sky is blue

there is no one to talk to

Levée de lune Algérie: photo by Bertrand Devouard/Florence Devouard, 2004-2005

Dark Continent


File:Schiele - Die Tänzerin Moa - 1911.jpg

The journey in darkness has a trivial jargon

For the cans of black coffee and ears like sprigs

Of an intelligent listening flower

This agitation is a kind of heavy wood

That you could hold a candle to

And never alter its unendurableness

There is nothing to do about voyaging

Fears except to jerk their brilliance

Out ahead of you like a rushlight like this

But what is illumined in the jungle large

Is a girl in narrow white sashes

Seated in your room at your writing desk

Moa the Dancer: Egon Schiele, 1911

Thursday, 30 July 2009

The Blue Dress


File:Schiele - Stehendes Mädchen mit blauem Kleid und grünen Strümpfen - 1913.jpg

I close my eyes

and see you at the age of 30

beyond the mist of affect

in your blue dress

so slim and Viennese

in the Sharons’ picture gallery

at Tissa’s party

a stormy night in 1974

with the ocean roaring

against the breakwater

I find you there with

all my projections

withdrawn at last

and what appears is

you in your blue dress

in this bewildering recurrent

intensified mind garden

I call creation

because you created it for me

File:Schiele - Mädchen mit blauem Polster - 1913.jpg

Standing girl with blue dress and green stockings: Egon Schiele, 1913
Girl with blue pillow: Egon Schiele, 1913

January 25th


File:The Plum Blossoms.jpg

Lying here while she’s not

picking out

stark empty-armed plum tree traceries

Sunday morning world still dark

after forty days of the world night

January 25th a great

vacancy in the creation


Henri Matisse, Atelier Martine, Paris and France. Printed Fabric. Before 1913

into which return the unageing

eternal things

green entry

out the window in the scrub backyard

the small

dark red plum buds still furled in

to themselves on long thin finger

branches start to swell out

File:'Plum Blossoms', ink and color on gold paper by Ogata Kôrin, Japanese fan, 1702, Honolulu Academy of Arts.jpg

The Plum Blossoms: Henri Matisse, 1948 (Museum of Modern Art)

Printed fabric: Henri Matisse (before 1913) (Museum of Modern Art)

Plum blossoms (Japanese fan): Ogata Korin, 1702 (Honolulu Academy of Arts)

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Children of the Future


File:Hackenbush girl.svg

The poor remedy of days can't ease us

Nor afford us line to fathom bottoms

Whose profane history’s not yet clear –-

That some authors speak of running years

Others of time down on its knees, panting, spent;

That there are as many great things perished

And forgotten as are now remaining here,

Vexed and perplexed in thought and precept,

Uncertain, doubtful and conjectural

As when evening shuts in to overtake

The world with darkness and, blinded,

After the long night of this world, we miss

The break of day into which light hurls

Wounded children, unable to hear or speak

File:Pentomino Naming Conventions.svg

First hackenbush girl (from Winning Ways for Your Mathematical Plays): image by Zeycus, 2008

Pentomino Naming Conventions: image by R. A. Nonenmacher, 2008

Monday, 27 July 2009




To one about to leave it, how beautiful and large

And familiar -- as the old saying goes

Almost like home. And yet, the almost sticks

In one's throat, just as one was leaving,

Why was it never better or more? What was

The real thing one expected? Always somewhere

Else and never here? And where do those

Winding roads go, and what's around the next bend

And can this really be the end?

Never thought to skywalk, had doubts

That got in the way of transcending self

With its dumb momentary occupations,

Timidly and confusedly entered caves

To find the firelight on the wall dimly signifying,

Felt awkward with the ins and outs of thought,

Cheered inwardly oft for little reason,

Was shy of others, never to draw near

Yet longed for some company to be found

Down the line, can't recall now where, in the end

Hoped only one day to find feet planted firmly

On this ground, wanted only to be here.


Earth: photo by Lucy in the Sky, 2009

Friday, 24 July 2009

Paradiso Terrestre


We have always been here

it was always ours

words not as signs but powers

of suggestion

this is paradise

in the present tense

no seconds no

minutes no hours

no distance between

object and expression

what is seen or heard

felt in the same moment

by the one who sees and the one

who is seen

the one who speaks

and the hearer of the word

all creatures bound

by a kinship persisting

until appeared

the middle managers

and thus began


the vision thickened

the speech grew slurred

and awkward

and everything stopped

promise by maxivida.

Playa paraíso: photo by Michela Chemello, 2009

Paradiso terrestre: photo by Maxivida, 2006

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

What Can I Say


for human being

Someones flew a plane into a building

Or did a building fly into a plane, and then

Many someones are continuing to be alive

And some too dead; yet little has been learned

And the wars continue though who

Is fighting whom cannot be said, it all feels

So confused as though the parts no longer fit,

Or was it a failure of original creation

To leave us sans the ability to speak

To one another, some kind of freak arrival

Here on earth as now sometimes seems, too late

To help ourselves, stuck as in quicksand in

A standing pool of language, thickened then with

The algae and flotsam of time

And fear, coagulating to clog

The throat; the conscience anyway never clear…

And then one hears, from inside the dark city, a voice:

So this is what happens when the enemy is at the gate...

Time passes like this for me: it was 12 o'clock

The apple was on the tree

It was 12 o'clock and a second

The apple was not on the tree

I ate the apple and still am falling


All these wars we have lost have

Pointed up the contradictions of the ethos,

The ways isolated individuals within a system

Behave do not constitute the rules of the game,

The ritual sanction of the poem demands a forgetting

After one has departed the earth, but how --

How to go on now, how to unlearn the memorized phrases,

How to build sentences of such transparency

The strange accidence of those pictures of the dead

Peels away to reveal a grammar of humanness --

Life our school, knowledge of suffering our teacher?

Italicized text lines: by human being, 2009

A glance at heaven: vault at the Nasr ol Molk mosque, Shiraz: photo by dynamomosquito, 2008

Another glance at heaven: vault at the Nasr ol Molk mosque, Shiraz: photo by dyanamomosquito, 2007

Eternity: ceramic tile mosaic, roof of the tomb of Persian poet Hafez, province of Fars, 2008: photo by dynamomosquito, 2008

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

"Psyche's clear lake..."


Psyche’s clear lake riverhood shining looking glass cold

Mirrored my life back up to me from the depths of that hollow bowl

Where the gulf sky is separated from the gulf by a thin blue line

In the hollow bowl her body makes intersected by mine

By biological predetermination the ancient Egyptian

Word for kiss was derived from the verb to eat

A memory that vibrates long after the string is plucked

Creating a note sustained by the reverberating of her body

Twilight: photo by Lucy in the Sky, 2007

A Fairy Tale



The ambassador to the hall of mirrors

Losing himself in troubled reflections shows

His cards against a green felt field of chance:

One turns the page over -– how will it come out? –-

This formal dance of a tale in need of

A fairy tale ending, starting with a dream,

The storied ball in which the princess

Prepares to die of heartbreak when the music

That rings against the painted sky and tree

Has ceased and the ball is over, finishes

Instead in accident not tragedy,

The bright life in the dark half-life memorized,

The sole remaining sound quiet tires leaving,

The guests’ faces pressed to the iced windows,

The long black sigh of the departing diplomat –-

Deep in a time that’s independent of us

Where that music long ago stopped echoing –-

Spiraling like a stopped scream through the blind elms.


Magnolia: photo by Lucy in the Sky, 2009

Hojas (Leaves): photo by Lucy in the Sky, 2008

"Meant to be..."


Meant to be

a propaganda image

for the "war effort" --

the four of

them together

beneath the low

one room

school house roof --

meant to be

collective incentive --

understood now

as an enhanced

past. Yet can't help half

Rural school children, San Augustine County, Texas (LOC) by The Library of Congress.

imagining half


the original:

All that

direct open


certainty of life,

all that

awkward earnestness,

all the best

laid plans, all

the good intentions

in the world.

Rural schoolchildren, San Augustine County, Texas, 1943: photos by John Vachon, US Office of War Information (Library of Congress)

The Knot


File:Alpine Butterfly Bend Final.jpg

L'homme n'est qu'un noeud de relations,
les relations comptent seules pour l'homme

-- St-Exupéry

The four of

them together

beneath the roof

of the one

room school –-

someone’s relative

is in the photograph –-

in my hand it breaks, a leaf

found in a book,

the yellow veins, the brown

split edges. I

imagine them –- the four

together –- holding

hands; all are

dead now. A person

is a someone's


complication of


with other

someones, she

or he -- these

loose strings

coming together

to form a knot --

File:Alpine Butterfly Bend HowTo.jpg

Alpine Butterly Bend: photo by Chris 73, 2004
Alpine Butterly Bend How To: photo by Chris 73, 2004
(via Wikimedia Commons)

Sunday, 19 July 2009




Does any of the meaning you think at times you see

Disappearing ahead of you just out of your reach at the tunnel's end

Actually materialize once you’re gone (no longer looking)

And was it ever here...? After the end of all the stories you're left with


Tunnel: photo by Lucy in the Sky (2008)

At Life


File:Barnum & Bailey clowns and geese2.jpg

...I am no good, nor, I have to allow,

Are many others so much better at it

That I might learn to be good from them.

And besides it’s too late now for the blind

Clown to take up the scholar’s hornbook

As he pedals off the unobserved cliff.

“I’ve worn the dress in this role long enough,”

Says the speech balloon that suspends him,

“To know how to catch the wind in it

And on this billowing chute to float me down

Gently to touch the fathomless drink

Upon which the dying sun breathes its meanings,

Shadows born yesterday to die tomorrow –- ”

The ice shelf collapsed, the dust cloud swiftly coming.

File:Tastes funny.jpg

Barnum & Bailey circus poster: chromolithograph by Strobridge Litho Co., Cincinnati & New York, 1900
"Tastes funny...":cartoon of dead clown in the desert: Gaspirtz, 2008