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Sunday, December 22, 2013


 Albert  Sebille - 5th Centruy B.C. Greek Ship

 Evgeni Gordiets

Listening to the music of the wind - Matthais Haker

This poem is from my collection WHERE THE STARS ARE KEPT.  RATTLESNAKE PRESS - copyright 2007 - 


There is a point where I
Brushed a picture of you across
My mind.  A landscape near the sea.
Unable to bring the islands
Into focus, I called upon the weather.
Moisture in the air, a discrepancy of temperature
Between the forms of water.  Captured
Here, a moment of the heart; alone,
Unaccustomed to such luxury it
Speaks aloud.  "I love you," it says.

We traveled from Paris to Barcelona,
Giving gray to blue, as easily as kisses
Between friends.  The sunlight on
Your face, a certain music in your voice.

In the sky tram above the harbor,
We saw Columbus pointing up Las Ramblas.
"I'll make up a story about our being here,"
I promised.  What would happen?

Now November closes door after door, trying
To end the year as graciously as possible.
I hold you in my arms before you go
To sleep tonight.  The Leonoid meteor
Shower blasts through us; little holes
In every fabric, all unnoticed.

Another song begins, despite the hour.
I listen to it carefully.  We rain into each other.
High above this place, we flash signal after signal.

Saturday, December 21, 2013


 William Blake - Satan before the fall.


Hovering over the words,
Herding them, moving them
Into small groups. Full of meaning.

Here, the description of the heavens
Staggers forward, dragging
Its collection of constellations
Behind it; fully aware
That these pictures are but part
Of light seen from a single
Place, struggling to maintain
Themselves as the heavens
Reel around them.

These, are the words of lovers.
There is no end to them.
They slide and describe,
Word after word, the varieties of touch;
Definite descriptions, of flesh
Meeting flesh, in all temperatures and climates.

Gratefully, we follow these things,
Charmed that language
Allows us such rooms,
Such variety of discourse.

From the dark hills comes
The coughing of lions,
Calls of birds. William
Blake, moving room to room

Searching for the right phrase.

Saturday, December 14, 2013



It is raining and I am memory,
I am listening to the moments,
Wearing boots and walking just
To hear the sound of splashes
As it wounds the puddles
With the ashes of warm rooms.

It is raining and I am memory,
Sheets of rooster tails turned
Up by automobiles as they tear
The evening apart with headlights,
The hissing of tires in the rain.

It is raining and I am memory
And you are there beyond all this,
Diamonds on your eyelashes,
Sparkles on your lips, a welter
Of words whispered into my ears.

It is raining and I am memory
Washing the edges of the street in sheets
Of weather, smashing into your
Face, naked as water is naked,
All sound and wind fury,
All language reduced to splatters
On the window glass, all rain all memory
Washing like a heart upon the past.

Thursday, December 12, 2013



Down the Delta, below Courtland.
Before Walnut Grove, there used to be
A large hotel; "Came right up to
The road.", said Fred, trying to recall
Its name.  Burned down, nothing left
To mark it at all.  No one there able
to recall that name.  The river has
Its own intentions, remembers and
forgets at will, rises and falls,
Carries everything downstream,
Trees, boats, bodies, the procession
Of days, to the Bay, then to the ocean.
It too cannot recall the names.  Its
Past is all the land, its character,
Any particular spot along its course
Recalled at random, collectively agreed
Upon as having some things in common
With the flow of conversation.

Monday, December 9, 2013



The night unwound. A brilliant flashing
From the mouth, a moon in the crook
Of its arm. We walk the streets looking
For a warm place. There are lovely rooms
Just beyond the glass. From the street we can
See people smiling and are able to admire
The beauty of their garments. They seem to
Glow in the reflections from the silver and
Crystal. They show each other their bright
Weapons and slide the slim bullets into the chambers.
From here we cannot hear their laughter.

There are dreams sweeter than this one.
At least here I can hold you for a moment, never
Mind the wind. At least here I can trace the shape
Of your mouth with my finger and gaze into your
Face. It is as warm as the den of a fox. I push my nose
Into the hollow at the base of your neck and smell
The summer of you, honey in the wheat fields.

When the police got here we were leaning
On the window sill still looking at the ruckus
On the street. Nowadays no one wonders what
They are up to. Surely someone has done some
Wrong and deserves this kind of treatment. I
Watch shadows push shadows into cars full of circling
Red and blue lights. Someone says “Oh God” and then
Asks God’s mother for help. There are sounds I wouldn’t
Want to repeat in a poem. The street is awash with red
Weeping. The party lights shine on. I hold you
In my arms for the longer moment. We agree
Never to learn the words to these kinds of songs.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013


 Albert Bierstadt - Niagara Falls

Doorway ornament - D.R. Wagner


In this valley the clouds seem confused.
And not knowing which way to turn
Finally give up their burden and disperse.

They don't do this without consideration.
They know, as any god-fearing cloud would
What is required of them and rain
Is not always the answer, although more often
Than not it seems to be.

The small streams gorge themselves
On these recent clouds and soon the roads
Are flooded.  The carefully cultivated
Fields are gutted of their patterns

And sent awry in a weltering of gray rain,
On gray days, in gray landscapes
Until all feel the decision of the clouds
Not to hold their position in the  air,
Not to spell out the weather but rather
Be it in eddying puddles surrounded
By squalls of European starlings making
Their crazy suggestions to the atmosphere

One could do worse than be a cloud,
Voice of thunder, voice of rain,
Often challenged. but never blamed
For their roil of wet which came
As a surprise to us tonight, watching the
Clouds in flight.  The hills caress
Their last remains and set them free
To form again.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013



I had torn two pictures from
Out of the newspaper.  They
Were a man and a woman 
From two different stories.

I made them talk to each
Other like paper dolls but
They didn’t get along very well
And their conversation became 
Chopped and abrupt.

I saw a picture in the second
Section of the newspaper.
It was a dog standing on his
Hind legs and balancing a ball
On his nose.  I love dogs the
Woman from the newspaper said.
So do I, said the torn out man.
They talked about dogs for a long

Time while I had a cup of coffee.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013



Dorothy Lathrop


I keep these lines by other poets
As talismans that protect these
Fragile words lost to an infinity of things.
They will provide me with an occasional glimpse
Into gardens I could not know otherwise.
Without them I could also not know angels.
Music with its magnificent rooms
Would elude me.  They allow metaphor
To cluster near my lips as if they were
A hive of bees, for they bring a sweetness
To me that makes even the moon
Become a magician and lifts my
Soul through its dreams and fashionings
To find a clarity on the page,
That track across the sea for my
Own odyssey, its changes and terrifying
Delights that push me through
The tapestry from my own room
To the hills of the shepherd
At night, gazing down at the lights
The city below offers as white candles.

Monday, November 25, 2013



The hotel seemed overly beautiful
In the Winter.  Driving into the place
The white rabbits in the white snow
Made it magical.  The sun was
So bright it was almost impossible
To tell when the road ended and 
The building began.

From the high cliffs the ocean hardly
Had a voice.  It was long and measured
With automobiles far below moving
Like notes on a score played by
The afternoon.  A hawk hung in the air
Searching as we were searching.  Something
Like this should never be lost.

The children had made a little parade
In the street.  They carried sticks and
Sang songs they made up from what
They saw as they paraded.  There were
Sounds that joined them from so far away
Only memories could come close to them.
They faded into the heat of the day
Almost as if they had never been there.

I had built a labyrinth that occupied
Most of the lands between the mountains
And the river Gill.  I had thought it would
Be an interesting task, but my life had
Become caught in it and I had
Put so many mirrors in the place
That the days got lost in it.

Now I can only recall fragments of my own
Dreams, but they are inexhaustible in
Their variety; full of animals of all kinds,
Full of ancient languages of which
Only shards of knowledge can 
Be obtained.

I find myself there as some other being,
A poet at times,  I had a nightingale 
I called Virgil.  I worked assiduously
To find things to do.  Dreams were created
Despite the greatness of the odds.

Finally everything came down to this.
I know its light perfectly.  I handled
It with the care Milton took with
His writing.  I became able to show

You parts of its precious hours. 

Thursday, November 21, 2013


 McClelland Barkeley

Atkinson Grimshaw 1836-1893

Here is a poem from my forthcoming book from Crisis Chronicles Press, Cleveland Ohio. The cover and interior artwork is by Gozion.  It should be out soon.  About  66 pages.


There is certain majesty
That lives still in the
Highest places where
There remain the palaces
And magic lands of story
Books.  Birds of light,
Even golden light and
Clouds of many colors
Piled up against each other.
The whole place seems a
Stage for fairy tales
And diadems. Oh single
Rose, oh song of the day
Is true and of fair
Maidens and spells and
The best of manners
These things grew.
We were sitting on the edge
Of the meadow just 
Where it begins to lift
Toward the high lakes and
The stoney outcroppings and
Small woods and copses.

A certain crystalline glaze of colors
Was left wandering across the
Best of evening.  I was
Going to chase it but found myself
Full of a sadness
That may have been of the season
But probably had thicker roots.
Something prompted by the color
Of the day? What the breeze had said?

(A flush of quail showing pure gold
And amethyst with silver beaks, ruby eyes.)

The sky a million doors
Opening and closing constantly.
All is revealed.  All is concealed.
Even the continents moved
Beneath our feet.

O trees, oh grace of
The dream revealed.

We walk among you as you
Do among us,  The brink
Shines upon us every minute.
The light moving.  Oh, its
Jagged lines across the
Edge of the horizon,
Just above the ground.

These trees move.  They are
Not stone.  I have seen
Them migrate through
The tongues of sailor songs
Touching the edges of the clouds
At night.

And when they thought,
They thought in trance
And could not be harmed,
For the grace of protection
Kept them safe from all danger.
In this state they could
Travel and rule without
Being seen to have moved.
Such was the gift of trancing.

It was rain, or it was fog.
It was lifting from the streets.
It was lifting from the fields.
I could stand here all night
And talk to you about
Which roads came down
From the mountains,
Which ones led to the cities
Or the sea, where we were
Required to be blind and
At what moment we must
Open both our eyes to sea.
And you shall be golden in the morning.

And the light will pour down on you.
And there will be millions 
Of drops of water in the air.
And they may or may not
Have come from tears.
Or they may or may not
Just have blown here 
By some wind.

Just as we may or may
Not have been where we
Woke this morning and
Saw the fog or the rain
Or the tears of an entire

Nation as we sat without moving.