Category Archives: autumn

Seasonal

The leaves lay spread amidst a coverlet of snow-

one a bit early, the other late in season

past reds and yellows – some time ago.

They were once green, connected stem to root –

and spring and summer rains

dripping from their tapered ends fed them –

their flowers and their shoots.

The rains that came in maelstrom or set in calming mist,

now fall glissando-like in frozen silhouette.

Lighting on the grass and ground,  setting to persist.

The time between these spells now hardly seems unfurled

and yet the leaves, now consummated, are ensconced in winter pearl.

 

Clearing the cobwebs II

It is time for me to – again- clear the cobwebs of my brain and write about anything. Sometimes it is hard for me to focus creatively. I consider myself, first and foremost, a poet, yet I wonder if I sell myself short sometimes by limiting the genre that I write. I’ve been trying to change that a little over the last year or two by writing different things, some of which I share – some of which won’t see the light of day. It is difficult, because when I write here, I want to create something artistic. Yet, deep down, I aspire to some semblance of the “writerly life,” and I figure the only way to eventually get there is plug away, head down, and try to broaden my approach. I know the blogging world is filled with such dreams, and people who write about their struggles with their craft. What makes my struggle unique? I don’t know…It’s me and I am unique.

What I am thinking about

Earlier this year, I converted this blog over to its dot com domain.  I figured I have a lot of writing invested here and should work to keep it organized.  Also, I have recently been using the Upwork app to peruse freelance writing opportunities, just to gage what is out there and how I might fit in.  I’ve applied to a few opportunities over the last year, but have not gotten any nibbles.  I want to get my feet wet with a writing opportunity that isn’t necessarily driven by my own time-table just to see if I can get it done.  Does anyone else out there use Upwork? Do you have any advice about using the app or the application process? Are there any other freelance boards or websites that work for you?

The political climate in this country is making me ill

It started with me during the election of 2016 (like most people), and the elevation of rude discourse and name-calling and gas-lighting as debate, rather than research and fact-based discussion.  45 is not fit for this role as president and the Republican leadership shows no interest in trying to maintain a balance.  We have seen enough and need to put a muzzle on the current administration before any further damage is done.  Elections are coming up.  Do your diligence about learning the facts about issues from multiple independent sources – not just someone’s opinion or interpretation or spewed nonsense from 45.  And if you want to read opinions, select a balanced view – from both sides of the aisle – and at least try to understand both opinions  – and VOTE.

What I am reading

I am currently in the middle of a couple mystery/thriller novels:  The Alienist by Caleb Carr and Origin by Dan Brown.  This genre of novel is my wheel-house for reading. While growing up, I read a steady diet of mysteries (Hardy Boys, Agatha Christie, Ellery Queen) which lead to espionage thrillers from Jack Higgins and Tom Clancy, and later in my life, other mysteries/thrillers by Kathy Reichs, Steve Berry, Dan Brown, et al.  I enjoy the pacing in these stories and the details that get embedded in the books.  It makes me wish/hope that I could research and write a novel like that someday.  But mostly, I enjoy following the journey to solving a mystery.

What I am watching

I caught onto the new Doctor Who fever with the series premiere a couple of weeks ago.  I like Jodie Whitaker as the Doctor and I am still undecided on the companions.  As with all previous transitions to new Doctors, it will take a bit for the show and the characters to take hold.  Leading up to the premiere, I got to revisit old episodes and saw a couple of my favorites:  Blink, with the introduction of the Weeping Angels is still a top episode in my opinion.  The Eleventh Hour gave us the introduction to Matt Smith as the Doctor and Karen Gillan as Amy Pond, and is in my opinion, the best that the series has done with introducing a new character (two in fact, three if you count Arthur Darvill as Rory).  The Angels Take Manhattan, another solid episode involving the Weeping Angels – gave us Amy and Rory’s farewell.

Halloween Time

Tis the season for scares and bumps in the night.  I’m not much for modern horror movies.  The recent glut of slasher and gore movies doesn’t really appeal to me – and how many times can one antagonist (Jigsaw, Michael Meyers, Freddie) stay alive… AND how many times can someone remake the same movie (Halloween – Geesh).

Horror movies I do like include:  It (the recent theatrical release was awesome), Ghost Story (from 1981, starring Fred Astaire, John Houseman, and other legends – a great adaptation of Peter Straub’s novel), Insidious (the 1st movie scared the be-jezus out of my family – I haven’t bothered with the sequels) and The Shining (Stanley Kubrick’s film is, hands down, the best adaptation of a Stephen King novel – though I think the recent release of It has righted a lot of wrongs with Stephen King films). I recently watched Army of Darkness and enjoyed it – less scared by it than amused. I admit that I also enjoy the campy and understated horror of the Hammer Studio films from the 1960’s and early 1970’s.

Have a thought or opinion about anything here – leave a comment!  Thanks for reading.

John

 

 

arise and sing

Of leaves,
liven up their dance
a rustling disturbance,

The wind, entr’acte, passing by,
does prick and ply their motions.
Embrace them, turn and whirl,
and love-struck, fails to die.

A wind swirling with its bustle
causing them to rustle
(as leaves are sessile).
Their time and captivation ending
with hues of autumn shifting.

Rending.

The wind, incitement with a sound included;
leaves breaking free
then flight from tree, soon denuded.
This joy in purpose released towards the heaven.

Of lives, they leaven.

********
The reworking of an old poem from ca. 2005-6. I think I like this better.

Lament (a Cento)

Our one forever,

when it stole through the red gates of sunset
left over from autumn, and the dead brown grass
is yet vibrant with the cadence of the song you might have been.

No longer mired in waiting to begin.

They tell us the night means nothing,
and the candles their light the light.

Nothing is hid that once was clear,

then gone and then to come:
all the time, except the split
second, except—

What is there to say except to lament.

You live in the wrong place.

There’s no flowering time to come.

The hands fell off my watch in the night

and you counted the time
from this instant.

**********************
This Cento contains lines from the following poets: 

Kenneth Rexroth, John Koethe, Lola Ridge, Brenda Hillman, Martha Collins,  Melissa Kwasny, Katharine Tynan, Esther Louise Ruble, David Yezzi, Lena Khalaf Tuffaha, Jonathan Galassi, Michael Goldman, Robert Francis, and Lucille Clifton.

 

Prima(l)

From 2015…..

^#^#^#^#^#^#^#^

They wander, and yonder they go in the dark
with glow sticks, beyond
them the moonlight, and barks
the taffeta, heavy-set makeup and screams-
the night of the beggar, of horrors and dreams.

The rustle of paper, the rattle of chains-
Billy and Molly fight over the brains.
The princess and pirate, too shy to speak up
the conjuring words while Dad just drinks up.

A drop in the bucket-a thump in the night
the blood of the ghoulish departed from sight.
The clown with the paste face, the witch all in black
the ogres and goblins all stomp and attack.

The flapping of ravens, the quiet of stares
at once-a-year play acting- acute and with scares.
Then beating the pavement and swarming the lawns
the tidal rush crushes, and then they are gone.
All manner of monsters and bold super-kids
Just listen for drumbeats, like Gene Krupa did.

*************
Soundtrack prior to writing/reading this poem: Sing, Sing, Sing.

Landscaping

In the gardens near my house
the plants and grass are overgrown.
The flowers died a month ago
and nothing has been done.

In the gardens there I spy
the wild and untamed branches grow
up and out from sturdy cover,
where there once was ordered rows.

In the gardens, where I go-
a silence overtook the stalk
of slow exact, the tidy stems
of leaf and bud -where once I walked.

In the gardens, seeming now
unkept and winked in disregard
the minute beauty still remains
I see the landscape,sowed and scarred.

To the gardens, I return
when seeking lines and clustered leaves
to fill my wanting mind with growth
for poems such as these.

Eulogy in a Far Away Place

From so far away, your voice – though faint-
gave us canvas and light and dimensions.
We painted the universe with your eyes.
The perspective of an otherworldly
sea and sky. Horizons that you crossed,
plummeting into an eternity of single things
and ingredients of worlds.

And even though you were created
for grandness,
you were destined for sacrifice
just as the universe designs.

How a star flickers its light, then disappears
and the silence in the darkness
leaves us cold, longing for a reemergence
of belief.

How a wave ends its course
at crest, then breaks ashore
to ebb and rest for just moment
before falling away.

How the autumn gold rushes
into view, then descends –
leaving a matte of color and
texture that reminds us
of the beginning.