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Sunday, 1 January 2012

Miniature Votive Hymn to Athene


Birth of weaponed Athene from the forehead of Zeus: side A of black-figured amphora, 550-525 BC (Musée du Louvre, Paris)

This storm

the world got a good

.......................the sea green

depths conceal a cold and clean

.............that by remaining


(thus hidden)...........mimics

........your austerity flags

.............coming out of the bath


before your epheboi

your dim votary (burnt out bulb)

......................standing under

the cold shower of your cosmic aspect

Dionysus with an ivy crown: side B of black-figured amphora, 550-525 BC (Musée du Louvre, Paris)


ACravan said...

Your poem does a very good job, I think, of miming the mood of the amphora, i.e., the “heaven,” the “cold and clean depths,” what is suggested by “YOUR ZONE .” That’s beautifully subtle (also entertaining). The amphora itself is just amazing. I think everyone should be reminded every day about the beauty and genius that can be found in this often wretched-seeming world, in silence. It’s embarrassing, but I definitely identify with the “dim votary (burnt out bulb).” So be it. Curtis

Conrad DiDiodato said...

May this "wretched-seeming" world reveal to us "A cold and clean\heaven".

Happy New Year, Tom!

TC said...


The burnt out bulb, when the cold shower hit it, emitted a small puff of white smoke and a devotional fizzing sound.


Let us hang on to this wretched-seeming world this year, for all it is, or should I say for all we are, worth.

Lally said...

Tom, thank you for another terrific poem to begin another year. I turn 70 in a few months and am very aware of how fortunate I am to have made it this far and to still have contemporaries around who are most often of like mind and spirit. May it be as creative, healthy and happy as possible at this stage of the game. ML




.......................the sea green

depths conceal a cold and clean


Words to welcome in a new year by, I reckon -- you in YOUR ZONE over there, I in mine here (howling northeast wind tearing branches off eucalyptus trees waving overhead on the drive down Mesa Road to the channel, which appeared more storm-tossed than Pacific. . . .


light coming into sky above still black
plane of ridge, motion of pine branches
in foreground, wave sounding in channel

nearly in place, that other
relation follows that

“action,” form with respect
to this example, from

orange edge of sun above shadowed ridge,
line of cloud on horizon across from it

Ed Baker said...

started Two Thousand and twelve this day-one
off roaring-ly

removed and re:placed/re:sat the toilet with new wax ring
to find that the original leak was NOT under the toilet, but rather the leak was around the left bowel rubber grommet !
was hard to bend this (nearly) 71 year old boddhi down there to see!

wasn't exactly a moment to write a poem about!

anyway, I've been REALLY over this past year appreciating your "stuff" and the images gone into with it-all!

your's today really for me "breaks out"

as for the old light bulb?

the new ones that Our Leaders are demanding

well, when they burn out they are considered Hazardous Waste and if you throw one in the trash
you are arrested as a "terrorist" and go directly to a Military Court and to jail
with-out a trial... for EVER !


now my toilet works!
yellow? .... mellow
brown? ... down

UHAUL have a "good" year... such as it might be

ACravan said...

Before the day is out, I would like to mention the great pleasure and "flash upon that inward eye" bliss Steve's poems here give me. There are other parts of my life I'd like to change and improve, but not my experiences here. Ed: I think the "71 year old boddhi" image is a keeper. Also, I've tried to work the word "grommet" into conversations ever since I learned what a grommet is. Fortunately, my daughter is the mechanic in the family; I'm the "grommet dilletante." Curtis

vazambam said...

Exquisite art in all its glory-- thanks, Tom.

Nin Andrews said...

Beautiful here, as always.


Thanks Curtis, your comments too give me that "flash upon that inward eye" -- always a looked-forward to pleasure for me. . . .

TC said...

Gratitude to all, and to those not yet in their eighth decade... envy!

Robb said...

Always the buildup to a powerful finish, subtle moves. The strength and invisible power of an ocean current.


TC said...

Thank you, Robb. My homsa has always been greater than my bite.

larry white said...

Six months after the new year
I'm back to begin to catch up
as much as I can, with this beauty.
Brought back from my distractions
by the first of June and my search for Ed Dorn's "The Air of June Sings" which brought me eventually here. Because I'm reading the Collected Poems of the great Welsh poet R.S. Thomas (1913-2000) and haven't seen his poems here yet, I'd love to quote him but the comment format doesn't seem to permit his line lengths.
I'll try using / to indicate line breaks when the lines go overlong.
Thanks, Tom, as they say, for all you do!

"The River"

And the cobbled water
Of the stream with the trout's indelible/
Shadows that winter
Has not erased -- I walk it
Again under a clean
Sky with the fish, speckled like thrushes,/
Silently singing among the weeds'
I bring the heart
Not the mind to the interpretation
Of their music, letting the stream
Comb me, feeling it fresh
In my veins, revisiting the sources/
That are as near now
As on the morning I set out from them.

TC said...


Thanks, and you must be clairvoyant. I've been a fan of R.S. Thomas forever, and in fact, I have a post of one of his poems in the works which should be ready soon, gods willing.

A serious accident (run over by a car two months ago) has detained me, but your kind encouragement, now, provides a useful boost.