Closing in is the problem.
The gulf is nauseating, the grand canyon is
filled with choppy hands reaching through the surface.
Slipping home across black ice,
one becomes an object of ridicule,
the butt of the joke, presuming so much
about tattletale fortune, bumping into lightposts
while searching for the way home.
Little barbed telescopes take notice
but hardly translate those tiny photographic crumbs
into the sieve through which your insides melt
as your breaths whittle away your body…
or like being beamed out from the inside,
particles of small gut disintegrating into gelatinous
wormcastings, mucousy, fibrous, sticky,
all evaporating into stainless steel cans
or a Ferris Wheel spinning out, or training to hover
a bit more like the spark from a match just
before it becomes fire. The incense smells familiar
filling out the scene, attaching a clear sky
and grass and some flowery warm air which is
sunned incompatibly with your white skin.
Tanning oil smells reach up, crotches wide with aches
tidal wave Romulus desires, cartilage lawns
wafting pleasant compost smells, coconut guile.
Sedentary floss for one tartar free breath
scales the icy surface under the tripod
making walking impossible. There’s only one
way, and it’s not kosher, or maybe it is. The gulf is
only a transition into deep grief, only part way,
but washing the tears away helps
to dry up the river, which in turn shrinks the gulf.
Then angels appear along the shore as the sea recedes,
quiet little creatures who barely speak
at least not directly, and they hover around
(though you think it’s all you,)
and you’re released of the burden
momentarily. They beckon
and seem to languish at your stupidity,
but they forgive you, and bear your burden for you,
they actually float it off your back onto theirs
though you usually don’t even notice.
Again, you think it’s all you,
but deep inside, you know it’s not.
It’s they and you together, making a new compound,
a new gas, which fills balloons
and floats them up into the blue coconut sky
and takes words with them into the
burning sun, the warm, vapid joy
of turning, spinning on the bottom of a top
with the center always having been there,
careening wet jalopy red chitty chitty bang bang
hills are a live, chim-chiminy banisters
and soot covered steeples, please, sir,
may I have some more, doubting thomases,
lost beavers lodged under logs, thinking
we know what we’re doing. Songs
tell us all we need to forget, but we forget to forget
after 30 seconds, or a phone call.

The ice is slippery, except where it’s not,
and anti-lock brakes give you the jitters
since there is no dress rehearsal anytime.
When the plug’s finally pulled the brakes smell
burned and all that money slips away, no value left.
But not the coconut creams, no, they
are dry by now, having salted their duty,
and stuck to those once swollen nipples
encased in lemons puckers with shy smiles,
crusty filmed, neutered embryos, maggots
writhing with life, dead to the world.
They too, pass through the sieve.
When does the butterfly drown?
How often? How often?

Inspire Beauty

I’m off to visit Platinum Glamor (my mother) out east. See you in the New Year! Garnet

I love the word inspire, whish literally means to breathe in. May you breathe in beauty, love, peace and joy.

May the light in your heart burn clear and long.

Thank you for the rich tapestry of your comments this first nine months. I look forward to longer days, more yang energy. May the heat in your heart warm you in the cold times.


Chicago, cold sky

Beauty calls and yearns for your attention,
it gives rise and demension to your soul,
a reflection of your truest goals.

Lest we forget, our hearts are fueled
by a love enduring beyond our lives.
And beauty is its chaperone,
a spark through the dark nights
on the long walk
to the light of the mountain top.

All we have is each other.

May the comfort of love be with you.

Rhythms of the Seasons

Enjoy! And best wishes for a joyous holiday to you all!

machine of faith

The rhythms of the seasons hypnotize us
as they go ’round and ’round and ’round,
faster each year as we age,
building to some distant, palpable climax
while receding from another, past.
Faster they spin, compelling us to fill fragile days
with meaningful events,
(love may deepen,
hate grow brittle,
poetry more necessary)

To and fro, light to dark, the pendulum swings
stupendously, irrevocable across the map, throbbing
in every molecule with its unabashed preponderance.
No sooner sweet Summer arrives in her full sensual glory
and vapid dissipation, then by the slightest incline,
the longest day tipped, we star the slow, poignant slide
to the depths of Winter.

Thus we arrive again at this valley of Yin,
whose darkness and gravity turns us inward
to our sweetest, softest, most delicate

As if by sheer will (and hope and need)
we nudge the gyration back toward light,
we indulge in glitter and compassion.
We reward love needed and given
with earnest countenance.
We search our souls for cheerful ways
to decorate the days.
We celebrate the counterpoint of our lives,
barely pausing to reflect
over the abyss which lies beneath
the fragile music we make.

The photo is of a small section of a large, useless, tinkling, colorful machine. It was built over a period of 25 years or so, part by bit, by a man who made it just for fun, and for his children’s entertainment. Now it’s an obscure tourist attraction. It’s housed in a little hut, perhaps 20 ft by 15 ft in the middle of nowhere, next to his house, where his wife still lives. I think he was a farmer. He used found objects and toys and trash, whatever caught his eye. It all fits together in some way. When turned on, the whole thing whirs and clicks and clangs and flashes. Being in the middle of Bavaria, it was normal and appropriate to find a crucifix perched in the middle somewhere.

There is something comforting about this scene, which is almost alter-like. The colorful chaos and glitz surrounds the peaceful icon. Sorry it’s the wrong icon for the season, but I sort of like the twisted irony of it.

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Incandescent Nectar

Poem, with photo of yellows roses in snow

Anybody read German? When Ralf and I lived together, he transtlated this poem of mine so we could print out cards for both our American and German friends. The photo is one i took of roses he gave me, which I thought looked stunning against the snow.

This poem was inspired by Rainer Maria Rilke’s Sonnets to Orpheus. His mystical style touched me deeply. I read a version which had the German and English side by side. So I picked up a little German, too.

Another Year

This poem was written by my grandfather on my father’s side, the Welsh side. He was a coal miner in Wales until the age of 21, when he asked his beloved to marry him, then shipped off to the land of opportunity. The year was 1921.
grampop Thomas, 1921
He forged an impressive career in the US, working his way up the ranks of a fairly large shipping business in Philadelphia. He eventually became chief engineer. He was a wizard at building things. He often made toys for me and my sister. During the last decade of his life, he was king of the retirement community’s workshop; he had to instruct others in the use of the lathe, a complex and delicate wood cutting instrument. I still have numerous finely lathed lamps around my house.

His charming Welsh accent never left him. He always had a smile on his face and a joke to tell. I don’t know now many times he asked me “So, are you going to become a genius… (which he pronounced geniASS with emphasis on the Ass!)”

He sang in choirs all through his life. He is the reason my mother was able to continue her musical career after marrying my father. He is one of the reasons, indirectly, why I am a musician, along with my sister.

He often wrote beautiful, poem like notes to us. This poem was probably written in the early 1980’s. He was a gentle, upstanding American citizen. He died in 1985.

Another year has reached an end.
‘Tis Christmas time in gray December
With thoughts of giving, as we spend,
of bad times past we rare remember.

Throughout the world a spell is cast
And thoughts of love and peace takes hold.
As we hear again as in the the past
The greatest story ever told.

True, greed and hate will still abound.
In hardened hearts who have no creed.
They specialize the year around
Using God to state their greed.

But thanks to Him, a son was born,
And Father, son and Holy Ghost,
Though many laugh and many scorn
The spirit of God is worth the most.

The atom bomb, the power of man
To most of us, has caused much fear.
These threats of hate, since they began
Have plagued us all the year.

But bombs and threats have gone to pot.
The day of days is here again.
When the power of man is soon forgot
And the King of Kings, once more will reign.

The yearly log will close with cheer,
Another chapter in life’s great tome.
a merry Christmas and a Happy New Year
I hope you have one in your home.