"Trees are poems the earth writes upon the sky,
We fell them down and turn them into paper,
That we may record our emptiness."
Khalil Gibran

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

A Waste of Pitiless Anarchy

The Open Door
Nikos Hadjikyriakos-Ghikas (1927)


the stuff
deep and useless


dirtied poets relish
their recipes for stone
the children's sweetness
is afraid of

go on

devour your fill
of sugar*


When I pause to consider the pros
of my alternate reality

my mind sweeps to the day a door
between worlds opened

I wanted full knowledge whatever the cost
to present sanity

self-knowledge begins at the sepulcre
doesn’t it

once part of you has been interred
along with the icons

and putting aside of childish things
for good

and it’s too late to unlike the process
causality prefers


I hadn’t heard from you in a while and when you called my hands were lost in the grisly dishwater. Hard to know what to say at such times, so I blurted out that you’d caught me in the middle of a hot flash and instantly regretted that I had shattered your decade’s old image of a sexier me. Then I didn’t regret it. We are scarcely likely to meet again. ‘Life is an experiment,’ you said. I had a vision of glass pipes and bulbous test tubes and me as the last powdered element to be cast over the purple flame. No explosion.  We were always non-lovers but occasionally bored.


This (highly) experimental piece is the result of a week's worth of reading and contemplating various writing prompts (and a debilitating lack of purpose on my part). I acknowledge that the end result may be abstracted to the point of being garbled but I lay it down at my readers' feet nonetheless.

My sources of inspiration are by no means responsible for the chaos.

Get Listed! features the poetry of W.B. Yeats. This is my source for all titles used.

The Sunday Mini-Challenge features the poetry of *Pablo Neruda from which my part entitled Monuments constitutes a 'found poem'. 

Lastly, my reading of  Nice Cage Issue #3 encouraged me to try something different.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

"One War" and Other Lines

The Isle of the Dead
Arnold Bocklin (1883)


When the saint came to our shores
we mistook him for a man,
come to walk among monsters
and bleed at our hands.

There was satisfaction
in strewing his bones in the market place;
but we could not silence his voice:
“There is only one war.”

So we reduced him to ashes
and fed him to a wind which took to howling:
“Hatred is never found
among the dead on your battlefield.”


There is a hunger
so much like the elusive moonlight
which I love but cannot fathom.

It pervades the present
as I sink into the damp grass at midnight
spreading out my hair beneath Mars.

It is the voice with a question:
“What matter your single happiness
when there are so many stars?”


And the author wrote:
But for eternity is when the iron bites.
Then he rested his pen.


While the muse has been silent, the inner voice has not, offering me a few one-liners over the last few weeks.
Brendan's Sunday Mini-Prompt asks us to respond in writing to the voice, sifting through the 'faintly discordant hubbub'.. this I have done, gathering up these pieces of drift wood.

Acknowledgements (The Other Voices):

Inside the Ink with Magaly
I chose this quote from the last novel I read, The French Lieutenant's Woman, by John Fowles:

“But suddenly he comprehended why her face haunted him, why he felt this terrible need to see her again: it was to possess her, to melt into her, to burn, to burn, to burn to ashes on that body and in those eyes. To postpone such a desire for a week, a month, a year, several years even, that can be done. But for eternity is when the iron bites.” John Fowles

Literary Excursions with Kerry
My prompt got me reading Rainer Maria Rilke:

"Fate does not only claim your happiness, it also wants your pain back and your tears and buys the ruin as something useless, old."

And let Leonard Cohen have the final word:

Thursday, January 12, 2017

The Handflower ~ Sonnet

The Hands - Edvard Munch (1893)

In this night’s dark stain, come, lay beside me;
I will take you, man without a name,
who turns his face away and bites my shoulder,
who needs but cannot bear the bitter dregs.

I will carry your weight, as every sister
who wore the handflower became the bangle,
learned to spread her bones and sink beneath
the waves of each particular obsession.

Curses follow me of those who fear my right
and shudder to know the love I count in minutes
of every hour, who spit their gall where I laugh.

This flesh is mine, it has bled, and shed,
like a snakeskin every unworthy touch
and kept for itself, the taste of one kiss.


Literary Excursions in The Imaginary Garden focuses on the device used by Rainer Maria Rilke of employing imagery which portrays humans in terms of things.

The handflower is a 'slave bracelet' worn between wrist and fingers and the bangle or 'manilla', worn above the elbow, was a form of currency in the slave trade.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

The Talking Drums

Improvisation 6 (African)
Wassily Kandinsky (1909)
Fair Use Principles


A woman comes to the village
where a child squats in the dust
and says, “I hunger.”
The boy is silent, cut from stone,
eyes hidden behind his fingers
not more than a figment of earth with shaven skull.
“I thirst.”
A body as sinewy as drought
bird thin bones, and large, old hands
cradling a calabash
and a boy raising his face to the sky
“Will you sing to me?”


Two ancient men sit hunched,
backs to a slab of ochre.
Their story is written
in shades of sand and blood
but they shun conversation, shrug off flies,
eyes shuttered
like corrugated iron windows.


Who has not known the loneliness
of a single candle,
a stray dog, one chicken
on the wrong side of the fence?
You shoulder the baggage of sleepless nights,
look to the end of the road
beyond this peeling door, this hiatus,
and all the while the talking drums
are calling someone else’s name.

Sunday, January 8, 2017


"Strangers in the City' ~  © Masoud Gharaei
Lens Culture Finalist 2016
Fair Use Principles

Here stands a man with a camera poised
to snap the silhouette of lanky youth. Focal point
the graffiti on the crumbling wall. Is that Jesus?
There lies a junkie. Head uncushioned on cement slab.
His eyes are bewildered blue. Blood rivulets.
Your mind has turned to dark tales.
The puddles of rainwater are clouded with ink.
See where the barefoot child slumps unawares
in the old man’s lap. Her balloon masks his face.
A man with a camera. Snap.
That homeless woman sleeps under a bridge.
Hands like broken birds. Mother of god.
You turn your face to night shadows.
Feet pass by. Suits. No entry signs.
Hands clasp phones with dread of a lost child.
There is a mask. Carved in bark. The eyes move.
Here stands a man. A camera.
Which is consumer, which more consumed?
You make a quick left turn. Step off the curb.


I have returned to the prompt: Out of Standard - The Film School Dropout Edition for Play It Again in the Imaginary Garden.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

On The Nature of Things

Lucretius attempts to allow for free will in his physicalistic universe by postulating an indeterministic tendency for atoms to swerve randomly. This indeterminacy, according to Lucretius, provides the "free will which living things throughout the world have"
De Rerun Natura ~ Lucretius (50 BC)

Between Space and Time
Mark Tobey (1965)
Fair Use Principles

How do we fathom the laws of being
and of nothingness, the movement of atoms,
the meaning of music, the salt of the sea?
Safer to call it random, even the moon.

Even you, who found your way blindfolded,
belong to continuous time;
you are folding infinity seven times
but will not allow the sky to know your name.

Perhaps, this is not what you expected,
this falling into an unplanned experiment,
no more a mote in a wayward beam of light;

nor did I foresee the tremble of motion,
but I knew enough to grasp your hand
in collision: an act of will determined love.


The Sunday Mini-Challenge in the Imaginary Garden is hosted by Bj√∂rn Rudberg, who has inspired us with Brownian Motion.