Wednesday, January 11, 2017

DRINKING COFFEE WITH BUCKOWSKI


source


I've been in a strange mood.
At the bookstore, while drinking coffee,
Instead of sitting with a friend like Mary Oliver
To remind me of nature, beauty, 
the goodness in this world, 
I sat with Charles, 
a guy I don't even like.
He drinks too much, smokes stinky cigars, 
Objectifies the nakedness of women,
Glorifies his drunkenness,
Exposes himself,
Lets everyone see 
His brokenness.

He drank a little coffee, 
but preferred hits from his flask. 
"Don't be so naive," He exclaimed.
"Every night is New Year's Eve.
Every body's drunk.
The world is going crazy, 
The bad could inherit its evil.
Goodness could go blind.
Look around, don't fool yourself kid."

I had no response
For the words he spewed
Through his cynical smile.
I judged him, despised him,
I closed the book on him.

But later, I heard his words
Translated through the filters
Of my mind.
"Ugliness and darkness
Can't help but be ugly and dark.
Their door has been opened,
They are no longer hiding.
Instead, they're exploring
Barren lands.
Let them shock you sober.
Then open your own door wide."


(Charles Bukowski - Wikipedia
His writing was influenced by the social, cultural, and economic ambience of his home city of Los Angeles.[4] His work addresses the ordinary lives of poor Americans, the act of writing, alcohol, relationships with women, and the drudgery of work.. The FBIkept a file on him as a result of his column, Notes of a Dirty Old Man, in the LA underground newspaper Open City.[5][6]
In 1986 Time called Bukowski a "laureate of American lowlife".[7] )

For Poets United.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

RANDOM THOUGHTS ON NEW YEARS DAY

source





I have trouble with goodbyes.
Even if each ending that rips time
Creates a demarcation, a space
For something new.
          *
Today I want to change.
I want to accept that the past 
Leaves good and bad traces,
Like the wrinkles of time
On our faces, the maps 
Of what we've lived,
Perhaps of what we've learned.
          *
Every day is day 1.
Calendars lie, as if 
A number can contain
Each huge and tiny wave 
Of the ocean. 
          *
On day 1
I want to approach life
As if my thoughts, my eyes,  
My skin, my organs, my face,
My arms, my hands
And YOU
Are wrapped in one heart.
          *
Each day 1
May we live the way 
A good, strong
Healthy heart 
Beats.



Happy New Year!

(For Poets United.)

Sunday, December 18, 2016

MY MOUNTAINS MOVE...me




I wrote this poem after reading Sherry's chat with Elizabeth Crawford on Monday.  After considering my reaction to world events, I realized I had to acknowledge my truth - I was angry.  Still am a little, but writing does help unravel our feelings and return us gradually to a state of acceptance of what is, hope for something good and action to make it happen.  That is where I'm headed but I'm not there yet.


MY MOUNTAINS MOVE...me

My mountains look so still from afar,
Enlightened 
By moon's smiling approval.
But I am not fooled.
"Your beauty is 
As deceptive as your peace,"
I say, while starring, glaring,
Angrily rejecting
their apparent calm.

But I know better.
Beneath that rocky still exterior 
hides the chaos of all life.
Animals struggle.
They fight or take flight.
Bugs get eaten. Plants get beaten
By those merciless winds
Of whirling gusts
That thrust
Even the tiniest
Grain of sand.

How can you just sit there
You smug piece of do-nothing dirt?
As if you knew everything:
How time travels,
Why the moon smiles,
The purpose of chaos,
The meaning of yes and no.

It makes me even angrier
That I don't understand
Why?
I see you
mysteriously project compassion
for my fury, my fear.
How?
Do you so convincingly affirm
All is still possible,
Even forgiveness
Even Love."



Happy Holidays to all!

(For Poets United.)






Wednesday, December 14, 2016

LULLABY FOR ALEPPO


If I could write music,
I'd create a lullaby
For the ghosts of Aleppo.
It would be a gentle audible embrace,
Sweetness for those bitter spirits
Who roam over the rubble of their lives
Now wandering to nowhere,
Wondering if they can still fight.

"Goodnight, sleep tight, be well now,"
The song would say.
"It's no longer time for you 
To pursue your plight."

But instead of resting, 
Like the dead should,
Those ghosts would compose 
A loud tune of their own -
A marching protest chant
Not to soothe any one's soul,
But to haunt the slumber of the living and the dead,
lest we ever forget.



(For Poets United.)








Wednesday, December 7, 2016

COURAGE TO FLY








I've never been one of those people
Who would love to fly like a bird,
To see the world from its point of view.
I hate height.
I don't like roller coasters, ferris wheels
Anything so high it ignites, 
Then condenses my fears
Into one screechy scream
Of the ultimate raw admission -
I'm afraid to die!

But no scream emerged that day.
I sat scared silent staring
As the plane's little window 
Exposed nature's immense power
To be
friend or foe.

I was present to my being.
My life did not cross before me.
The absence of my life is what became clear.
How could life proceed without me?
My daughter, family, friends.
I was important
To them, to myself.

Incredibly, there were tender moments.
My husband held my hand so tight,
I felt us become one in the strength of our love.
There were funny moments.
The man sitting next to us sat frozen,
pretending to read, unaware
He held his book upside down.
Mostly, there were terrifying moments 
When the plane fell trembling  
Into pockets of empty space.
Turbulence laughed, played with us,
Like a child with a ball.

I hate heights.
But I have flown again
Because I'm human.
I exist
In this age and time.

Sometimes I wonder 
Why humanity has to strive
To improve aviation,
To go higher.
I think we're trying
Not to defy death,
but confront it,
Live fully,
avoid extinction.

(For Poets United.)

Sunday, December 4, 2016

A SIMPLE POEM FOR DAISY







Not everyone understands, I know
How alone I feel
Her absence
My radiant shadow is gone
No longer close
Attached like glue 
Walking behind me, eating, sleeping
While I wrote, cooked or simply lived my day
She absorbed my thoughts, my moods
Reflected back a constant, soothing tranquility
A conduit to my own serenity

Not everyone understands, I know
How now only imagination remains 
When I think I hear the silent presence  
Of the wise companion
Who enriched my spirit
By teaching me about my own animalism


Not everyone understands, I know
My grief, which connects to all 
My other losses, each unique, but woven
From the common thread
Of suffering.

My tears suddenly flow
As my memory flashes
To sweet scenes of our love
I intensely feel
How much I miss my Daisy
Some would say, "She was just a dog."
I know, not everyone understands

(For Poets United.)

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

GRANDMOTHER'S FRIENDS

On November 2nd my house was always a little spooky.
The smell of incense wafted outside our door
Making others curious, suspicious
Because they didn't understand
How my grandmother honored the dead.

She knew
How to attract their attention,
How to implore their help
Through the veil of smoke that separates
The living and the dead.
She knew they were compassionate
because they remembered their lives.
But she didn't know that death creates wisdom.

The dead scrambled to my house
Where Grandmother offered respect through ritual.
They liked inhaling the scent of life,
to watch the fumes of candle fire
Illuminate the adventures of the living.

In their wisdom, they helped Grandmother 
the way ghosts help.
They waited for her to get wise
While they often sighed mourning themselves.