Tuesday, October 18, 2016

WHAT THE CROW SAID By Michael Hannon

Amy Brown Art

By Michael Hannon

Though friendly to magic
I am not a man disguised as a crow.

I am night eating the sun.


Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Louisiana Autumn, October Lullaby By Marion

Louisiana Autumn
October Lullaby
By Marion

A few brown,
desiccated, falling leaves---
lush, fragrant Lavender
and feathery Yarrow yet
reaching skyward.

Endings woven
into Beginnings
and Circles breeding

Moonflower seed pods
heavily pregnant with
next year's blooms.
Two hundred seeds
lying on my windowsill:
bountiful, generous

Beginnings woven
into Endings
and Death breeding
Life.  Imagine!

Only the occasional Hummingbird
now at the almost empty,
red plastic feeders
rocking in the
80 degree breeze.
Such tiny enigmas,
on sugar water and
insects...headed even
further South.

...and not surprisingly---
the only flowers
yet still blooming
are the luscious
red-centered, sadly drooping
clusters of seemingly pulsing,


Monday, October 10, 2016


I walked out the kitchen door...

barefoot...onto the carport...and into the front yard.

I inhaled the scent of freshly cut grass,
admiring the vivid greens against the
aching cobalt of
Southern Autumn sky.

A Mockingbird landed to
fetch a worm, then
sat on a telephone wire to
sing me a dozen tunes.

I was not looking up,

I was still looking at my wet,
clipped-grass-coated feet
sunk into the soft, spongy lawn
and enjoying the bird's serenade.

I was, to be redundant, at that moment,
looking down...at the ground,

when a shadow,
a wide shadow,
an unusually large shadow
passed over my own
verdant-footed shadow...

...no, it glided,
right over me.

I, of course, looked
straight up into the sun
and saw spots,
then walked in circles,
head upturned,
knowing it was a Hawk,
a big, beautiful predator
hunting for breakfast.

The Mockingbird
quickly left...

Finally, I spotted the Hawk
still gliding, wings outstretched,
     drifting on an air current
along the edge of
the woods, the Ent-like Pines.

I stood transfixed,
watching reverently
until it vanished...
     as in a lucid dream
into a fast approaching
storm cloud...

By:  Marion, Summer 2016

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Epilogue by Robert Lowell


Related Poem Content Details

Those blessèd structures, plot and rhyme— 
why are they no help to me now 
I want to make 
something imagined, not recalled? 
I hear the noise of my own voice: 
The painter’s vision is not a lens, 
it trembles to caress the light. 
But sometimes everything I write   
with the threadbare art of my eye 
seems a snapshot, 
lurid, rapid, garish, grouped, 
heightened from life, 
yet paralyzed by fact. 
All’s misalliance. 
Yet why not say what happened? 
Pray for the grace of accuracy 
Vermeer gave to the sun’s illumination 
stealing like the tide across a map 
to his girl solid with yearning. 
We are poor passing facts, 
warned by that to give 
each figure in the photograph 
his living name.

Robert Lowell, “Epilogue” from Day by Day. Copyright © 1977 by Robert Lowell

Friday, September 30, 2016

Black Moon Rising

Tonight, September 30,  is the 2nd new moon
in September---a rare Black Moon,
which only occurs every 32

It's the threshold/doorway into Autumn,
the dark time of the year, a time for
staying in and going inward.
Contemplation, reflection, resting,
and reverie are on the menu.

Even nature rests in Fall
and Winter, going dormant,
quiescent:  living, yet appearing barren.

Nature is our mirror,
our teacher and muse
telling us to slow down now,
collect her gifts of
seeds, then
ponder our own gifts.

Black Moon rising,
new moon ruling.
Fearlessly enter your darkness---
explore the shadow side
of your life---and of nature.

Disentangle your
knotted, twisted thoughts
and prepare to grow
in the spring...

like a brazen, hot pink Zinnia
bursting from the soil.


Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Advice to Myself & Grief by Louise Erdrich

Wish that younger me could have read this---

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Advice to Myself
By Louise Erdrich

Leave the dishes.
Let the celery rot in the bottom drawer of the refrigerator
and an earthen scum harden on the kitchen floor.
Leave the black crumbs in the bottom of the toaster.
Throw the cracked bowl out and don't patch the cup.
Don't patch anything. Don't mend. Buy safety pins.
Don't even sew on a button.
Let the wind have its way, then the earth
that invades as dust and then the dead
foaming up in gray rolls underneath the couch.
Talk to them. Tell them they are welcome.
Don't keep all the pieces of the puzzles
or the doll's tiny shoes in pairs, don't worry
who uses whose toothbrush or if anything
matches, at all.
Except one word to another. Or a thought.
Pursue the authentic-decide first
what is authentic,
then go after it with all your heart.
Your heart, that place
you don't even think of cleaning out.
That closet stuffed with savage mementos.
Don't sort the paper clips from screws from saved baby teeth
or worry if we're all eating cereal for dinner
again. Don't answer the telephone, ever,
or weep over anything at all that breaks.
Pink molds will grow within those sealed cartons
in the refrigerator. Accept new forms of life
and talk to the dead
who drift in though the screened windows, who collect
patiently on the tops of food jars and books.
Recycle the mail, don't read it, don't read anything
except what destroys
the insulation between yourself and your experience
or what pulls down or what strikes at or what shatters
this ruse you call necessity.

~From: "Original Fire: New and Selected Poems", page 149


GriefBy Louise Erdrich

Sometimes you have to take your own hand
as though you were a lost child
and bring yourself stumbling
home over twisted ice.

Whiteness drifts over your house.
A page of warm light
falls steady from the open door.

Here is your bed, folded open.
Lie down, lie down, let the blue snow cover you.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

At Burt Lake by Tom Andrews & Bardo (excerpt) by Suzanne Paolo

No coolness yet, but I can smell it coming...Time to awake now and begin again.  xo

At Burt Lake
By Tom Andrews

To disappear into the right words
and to be their meanings. . .

October dusk.
Pink scraps of clouds, a plum-colored sky.
The sycamore tree spills a few leaves.
The cold focuses like a lens. . .

 Now night falls, its hair
caught in the lake's eye.

 Such clarity of things. Already
I've said too much. . .


language must happen to you
the way this black pane of water,
chipped and blistered with stars,
happens to me. 

From:  "The Hemophiliac's Motorcycle" by Tom Andrews, page 13.  (Winner of  'The Iowa Poetry Prize')


Mistaking Opiates for the Clear Light
By Suzanne Paola

There's always been this confusion with white things---
hospitals, cold, moonlight.
They seemed to embody the will
paralyzed into peaceful acceptance.
Blank paper consecrate
to the end of words:  I love that,
secretly, more than this.
Quaaludes in my palm, rowers, eucharistic form.
Clear bag of heroin.
Stuff, we called it.  Too foundational to define.


In a clear bowl, a pear & a pomegranate wizen
into color.  Almost
alive, skins rucking
in on themselves.  Cheeks
sunk, russet
& carmine, seeming
almost to care about this...
Each a countenance
too private for a face, collapsing
in the hard gravity of color.

I was their opposite, pale girl, not living
or dying.  They were
what I feared.


I trust in the bardo wisdom:  how the gods,
with their soft white light, draw us in, convince us
their stuporous world is all there is.

I've seen them, slumping
forward, burning themselves with cigarettes.

How grand they were for a while:  their leathers, their etched
            bodies, a stalled
writhing eagle on each arm.
And their nectars, their secret foods, that gave
an easy kind of sensate order.

Though a god's world finally
suffers itself away from him, braille of the tracks
of a thousand needles, transgressions of red
under the skin---

From:  "Bardo" by Suzanne Paola, pages 6, 7 (Winner of "The Brittingham Prize in Poetry")


Bardo (from Wikipedia):  "Used loosely, the term "bardo" refers to the state of existence intermediate between two lives on earth. According to Tibetan tradition, after death and before one's next birth, when one's consciousness is not connected with a physical body, one experiences a variety of phenomena. These usually follow a particular sequence of degeneration from, just after death, the clearest experiences of reality of which one is spiritually capable, and then proceeding to terrifying hallucinations that arise from the impulses of one's previous unskillful actions. 

For the prepared and appropriately trained individuals the bardo offers a state of great opportunity for liberation, since transcendental insight may arise with the direct experience of reality, while for others it can become a place of danger as the karmically created hallucinations can impel one into a less than desirable rebirth."

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

PAIN By Linda Pastan

Smile, even when you feel like crying...

By Linda Pastan, from "Waiting For My Life"

More faithful
than lover or husband
it cleaves to you,
calling itself by your name
as if there had been a ceremony.

At night, you turn and turn
searching for the one
bearable position,
but though you may finally sleep
it wakens ahead of you.

How heavy it is,
displacing with its volume
your very breath.
Before, you seemed to weigh nothing,
your arms might have been wings.

Now each finger adds its measure;
you are pulled down by the weight
of your own hair.

And if your life should disappear ahead of you
you would not run after it.


Pain is with me 24/7, 365.  Nobody can see it, so few believe it.  It feels like I should be bleeding profusely, covered in bruises...but I'm not.  Autoimmune disorders, say the doctors...no known cause, no cure...just pain that affects mostly women...go figure.  To those in pain...I wish you relief.  xo

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

What We Want by Linda Pastan

Moonlady by Marion---

What We Want
By Linda Pastan

What we want
is never simple.
We move among the things
we thought we wanted:
a face, a room, an open book
and these things bear our names---
now they want us.
But what we want appears
in dreams, wearing disguises.
We fall past,
holding out our arms
and in the morning
our arms ache.
We don't remember the dream,
but the dream remembers us.
It is there all day
as an animal is there
under the table,
as the stars are there
even in full sun.


A poet is, before anything else, a person who is passionately in love with language. ― W.H. Auden



Tuesday, September 13, 2016

The Hymn of a Fat Woman By Joyce Huff

The Hymn of a Fat Woman

By Joyce Huff

All of the saints starved themselves.
Not a single fat one.
The words “deity” and “diet” must have come from the same
Latin root.

Those saints must have been thin as knucklebones
or shards of stained
glass or Christ carved
on his cross.

as pew seats. Brittle
as hair shirts. Women
made from bone, like the ribs that protrude from his wasted
wooden chest. Women consumed
by fervor.

They must have been able to walk three or four abreast
down that straight and oh-so-narrow path.
They must have slipped with ease through the eye
of the needle, leaving the weighty
camels stranded at the city gate.

Within that spare city’s walls,
I do not think I would find anyone like me.

I imagine I will find my kind outside
lolling in the garden
munching on the apples.