This, My Columbia

This, My Columbia
... The Columbia River

" Cosmos Cascading " (10x23)

" Cosmos Cascading " (10x23)
August, 2011 id3300

" Blacking Streaking Black Red " ( Right Corner View )

" Blacking Streaking Black Red " ( Right Corner View )
August, 2011 id3286

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Run Sassaby, Run



How swift the Sassaby
That runs before the Cheetah -
The Passenger pigeon
That drops from the sky.

This once belonged
To only them -
This ancient earth
That mankind squandered,
Raped and pillaged
And left to die.

But alas, from a far corner,
Reflecting in an oracle
And the glinting of an eye -
A vision to replant an Eden
After we have passed
Into the long cold nights,
Of lost and forgotten promises,

Into the forever
Into the by and by
Of Ten thousand years
Of Ten thousand voices -

Ten thousand children's voices
And all the children
That ever were -
Those we dressed
In rags and hunger,
Those we shut behind a door,
And those we covered
In puff and feather,

Return to Eden
Forevermore
And chorusing,
Sing soft upon a sunrise,

Echoing bold
Across the heavens,
Their currents lifting wings of Eagles -
And flocks of white and golden travelers
Hover gentle over newborn gardens,
Amber fields and blossomed orchards,

As the sweet breathe
Of ripened fruit,
Swash and breeze
Against the nape of the earth,
And the back of mother's neck.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Iron Sculptures Americana















Prologue ...

Trains of echoes

Haunt the dark

Hunt the light

Run the tunnels

Of the night ...


~ Iron Sculptures Americana ~

The night wheels
Of the midland train
Are heavy in the night,
Drumbling down
Drumbling the ground

Hammering down
Hammering the sound
Slammin’ the track
Slammin’ the ground
Heavy into the night

Chasing the light and
Turning the whistled echoes,
Slip skimming the slumbered ground
From afar
Echoing upon echo,

Through prairie towns,
Rumble the ground
Trumble the cars
Midwestern beneath the stars,

The Jangle jingled Jangled,
Black iron panther,
Pulling the night freight,
Coursing America’s lifelines.

Black blue smoke
Streaming and screaming,
Rooster-tails chasing the thunder,
Under the dark purple
Night sky of America

To heart lines that weave
The wheat fields and ambered,
Big-backed heartlands of America,
The night wheels
Power and hammer-down,

The iron, then the steel
Slappin’ the track
Slappin’ the ground

Slap the track
Slap the sound
Slice and suck the air,
Swoosh and thunder
The currents aground,

a-hammerin’ down
The slappin' sound
Of rhythmic circled notes,
That sling-cling
Above old-hooved scars
In the Buffalo lands of Americana

And the midnight music
Of all through the night to Chicago,
A-hammerin’ down,
The night-lighted train
Mourns its horn
Through another town,

Iron and steel
The workin’ brawn of America
Night running to Chicago
From afar,

 As Iron pig cars
Trail with hooked tails
And steel tongues,
Drawn, driven and toggled,
Stretched and pulled
By their black steel engined night panther,

Sweating sleek,
Muscle sculpted forearms,
Churning the furnaced front wheels
And her back thighs,
Twin demons
Screaming grooved wheels
In a chorused cacophony
Of track and wooden ties,
Moaning under the sweat-sweet madness
Of power and sparks jumping crazily,

The dark-framed fireworks,
Brimstoned and catapulted
Into the empty night and
Endless prairie lands
Of a sod busting hungry America,

While her long, black haunches
Uncoil a rhythmic cadence
Of bold runs and looping sprints
To the wheel houses
And switching yards,
And the zoo sheds of panthers,
Steam streamers and six legged coal eaters,

Iron resting, steel twitching,
Down cooling down
Sitting heavy on silenced,
Massive circles of steel,

A waiting to hammer down
To clamber clap and
Slap the track away
From the roundhouses of Chicago,

Back to the night runs
Through prairie hamlets
And the sacred lands
Of ancient peoples,
And the Great Plains of America,

The night sound streamer
Hammers down
Clamber clapping
Wheels a-slapping
Meandering track and trestle,

Hell-bent, straight-line and bulleted,
The hinterland rail-bound vessel
Round-hammers the night-silk cover
And the nocturnal orchestra
Of a freight train
A-hammerin’ down,

The dark-orbed wheels
Of the panther, slappin’ the sound
Into nights of myth and magic,
Where iron horses, black panthers,
Night trains and the track runners
Of America’s lifelines,

Circle one another
In Train Dance choreography,
As the steel phantoms,
Amid moon shimmer
And cloud-star dapple,
Rendezvous a great and timeless switching yard,

Drawn to this evening’s oasis
And the prairie's midnight gathering
Of the locomotives of a thousand horses,

And the Great Plains
Black steel rail runners
And the mighty, silver-laced
Iron-red bulls from the East,
Weavers and climbers of mountains,

And the raw-dark, steel sheened
High-ridge runners and down-racers
From the valleys of the South,

To then, the night horned echo, echo
From across the Western flatlands,
The desert sprinter
Powers her path,

Slicing the heat unto waves
And the whip-pool wakes
Of furnace-thundered currents,
Amid the shimmered radiance
Of sounding, rounding feet,
Savaging hotter than the desert heat

And pulls cool
Into the longward lands
Of last grand call
While the lung lust of bagpipers
Beacons the midnight sight

And the night-run quest
To the Mecca
Of the legends of the past
And the legions of the night,

She melds majestic
In hosanna homage
And with steel
And iron sculptures Americana,

Sings out in tribute
To the clarioned music
Of night wheels and the sonata
Of whistles upon the wind...

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Early Rose Forever Rose


An early rose
Dances the garden
On ballerina toes

And comes as quickly
As thou hath come to be
In meadows of memory
Under showers of melody

A symphony of swirl and swash
Of petals and notes afloat
The breezes of time
Riding the echoes
Of a nursery rhyme

For when we were
A wee bit girl and boy,
Amid the twirl of blossoms furl,

I sought back then
To be thy beau
For which reason
I did not know
Until my season
As a young man came,
Flush and warm across my brow,

Searching crowds for you,
And yet not knowing how
To navigate upon the seas of chance

And while standing firm
Within the bow,
We passed as ships, star-crossed
Upon the waters of the night,

And yet, now every year,
As the red of rosebuds’
Brilliant bright against the snow
Winter’s dance with Spring
Shall set thy heart’s bud
Burst in glimmer glow

For always my hope will be
Thou come to know
I cared for thee
As April's rain
Will come to show
How wet and sweet
The roses grow.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Where is Emily Where is Jack?


The childless die hard
They kick against demons
They push against the end
and die crawling into the past,
Never quite believing
It could end this way.

No send off
No goodbye
Only cold faces
From another neighborhood:

"Just go and be done with it!"
You see in their eyes.

"We have work to do,
because of you."
They seem to say.

But they don't know
For when i was young, so beautiful,
There was always time
To borrow against tomorrow,

To dance far into the evening
Of my Daughter's wedding,
Toasting a glass at my Son's

Henceforth passing easy
With sweet remembrance
Of their nursery rhyme.
Passing easy into time...




Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Black Bumble, Tumble Bee



... on the front porch
When first i noticed him,
On his side, curled up
And moist from dew
And dressed in black
With startlingly yellow,
A patch across his upper back.

Dead,
I thought.


But, oh how intricate
And beautiful his design,
And as i pushed him
Onto a scrap of paper,
He appeared to move a bit
And alas, continued on
His crawling into the cold,
Out from the cold
And into the forever.

Inside, i placed him on the desk,
And he pulled himself along,
And contrasting against the white blotter,
He reached the edge
An hour's journey later,
And rested in eternity,

As thousands of flowers and vines
That he had pollinated
In his Summer weavings,
Now waved goodbye and rippled
In November's breeze, awaiting their turn
To slip into early Fall's seductress
Of gentle frost and freeze.

What a sensitive man, you say?
Nay! Bullpuck! Bullpuck!
Let me slap shot this across your bow:
We were both warriors of the Summer
In a manner you'll never know how!

So brace yourself, my lad
And never smirk
The least bit spot of life,

And as the world and time
Both churn you along,
Tip your hat to the universe
And choose a god or not,

But never flout creation's rhyme
Nor the rhythm of the seasons
Lest you find
They've passed you bye,
Turned and left you out.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

A Duwamish of the Mind

"A Duwamish of the mind "

- A place that we've caught glimpses of ...

Albeit, what i remember best
about growing up here in Seattle,
Is the taste of dirt

From the backyard garden,
That as a toddler i ate,

With sweetbitter glee,
And that hence came,
To inculcate me,

Along with the scent of saltwater,
Puget Sound, and the foghorns

of childhood fantasy...

"Seattle"

This romance…
This love
This Seattle.

Born on her hill
As was my mother
As was she...

And now
Her Ladyship,
Still too young
To dance with Chicago,
She dances with me
As old man New York sits
While I waltz
Flush with glee.

And later,
Not far from the Sunday Ballroom

Cathedral of her hills,
In the riverlands of the Duwamish,
I sweet sleep deep,
Craddled in the folds and holds
Of night harbor music
and the lyrical tapestry of her arms...



"The Two Best Poets
In Washington State Since 1889"


Win, place and show
The second best poet is silver
And this be poetical,
Upon myself bestow.

The gold is Richard Hugo,
My neighbor at West Seattle High,
A generation before me,
With forty years of overlap
Under the same Seattle Sky.

Indigene sons of Washington soil
Born, bred and begotten
Within the same Seattle mile,
Where tugboats would toil
And foghorns were heard,
With Liberty ships
Through the Ballard Locks
In single file.

We were the lads
In the Spring
Of Evergreen's history,
While the carpetbaggers
Of the poetry business,
Didn't arrive until the Fall.

Still, our Big Mountain
Is big hearted
And all are welcome -
Come one and come all!
Though one must remember
That Lady Rainier, you see,
Dances her best
With Richard and me,
And only the honor
Of her embrace
Can place bards and poets
Upon the high mantle
Of Northwest native grace.

So come ye troubadour and penman
And pay your homage and due,
To the land of Cascades and Olympia,
With lines, couplets and sonnets
And a chapbook or two,
As nimbus and karma,
And the aura and muse
Of poet Richard Hugo,
Place a blessing upon you.


Sunday, July 29, 2007

The Water Wagon Cart


Running after the water wagon
Dusting down the meandering roads
Through fruit orchards
And blossoms fallen.

Little daughters Of Italian
and Portuguese immigrants,
And the wee boys of the families
Of the Valley of the Heart's delight -
This Santa Clara Valley.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Time Dancing the Sixties





Hearts and souls
Landlocked in the decade
Of Camelot and flowers
Of war and powers,

And crossing Golden Gate
Into unforeseen lands
And the mystic Francisco
Of sweet youth dreams

And visions of the present
Thinking it the future
Great love that it became
Too soon, too late

Entwined and waltzed about
In the cruel juxtapose of time dances,
Betwixt the slip away loss of love
From the grasp
To below the conscience
Of thirty years and the depths

In the metaphysical oceans
Of university campuses,
Triple decades and howlings
At the many moons ago."

Friday, July 27, 2007

Olde Wordsmen Never Die


Olde Wordsmen never die -
They just scrabble away...
Have keyboard will travel -
Be on your screen in seconds
And your copywriting needs -
Problematic? - will unravel!


Olde Scribesmen never die -
I'll tell you why:
Gotta give that storyline,
One more try...


Olde Penmen never die -
They just jot away...
For on the road
To Penmen heaven,
They've got the write-of-way.


So grab a mouse
And click your text to Jay!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Raining




Soft rains fell
On a faraway desert
And the Mockingbird
Sat in the Sycamore Tree

With night songs of love
She sang to me
As it came to be
The souls of Eagles
Chorused on the highest limbs
Of the Cottonwood Tree

And rain flowers arose
On the desert floor,
Dancing gentle on breezes
Of Springtime score,

While promises of Summer
And dreams played encore
To love for now and forevermore
From the gates of heaven
To Camelot’s door...

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Walking Long The High Desert





On the day
She walked out
of the high desert,
Stumbling out and away
From parched and arid moorings
And marched for a fortnight
To the music of freedom,

It was a mere shard of a millisecond
That like a juggemauted epiphany,
The revelation of having said,
To this place: "We are no more!"

Came as stunningly
as her Phoenixed wings lifted her,
Up drafted and out and over the desert
And into the oasis of her heart's delight,

For the Camelot tree of her dreams
Bore real fruit
And what had been
The desert prison of her soul,
Became the verdant, rolling hills and meadows
Of all her flowered tomorrows...

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Jay Licata Tanka 888


Judas and Brutus
Jezebel, Abel and Cain
My brother's keeper
thirty pieces of silver
Scarlet legacy and pain.

Friday, July 06, 2007

My Beautiful Mother


Carol Ann (Elizabeth) 1924 - 2007


Barbara's Father


"A son is a son,
until he takes a wife;
A daughter is a daughter,
all of her life" - an adage from folklore.

"Barbara's Father"

Having just missed the call,
i played back her message
within a few moments.

The voice was a small girl
Who had become separated
From her father in a large crowd,
Thus with panic and grief
And shifting with each word,
As if pressing against a fluttering heart,
to say that "Dad passed away this morning"

And all this from a whip smart,
Always poised and emotionally prudent,
Middle aged and practical woman
- and a student of mathematics to boot.

She found him, however
Soon after, as he had quickly
Found and comforted her,
Though this time
He had come from another place


But as always
In his invariably steady and measured manner -
This wonderful ninety-one year old,
Professor Emeritus and finest caliber Father,
And Grandfather as well, was there.

Albeit, her two brothers
Most certainly felt their grief
As nobly as a son could,
Neither may ever be able
To fully gather in the bond
Between this father
and his daughter,

That was found again
In that milling crowd
and sealed forevermore
Into the bittersweet of eternity,


On that early morning
When like the distant
Will-o'-the-wisp
Of a church bell's ring,


A father's daughter
And a daughter's father,
Sang soft and low,
Love's sweetest duet,
Into the endless Spring

And when not with him
She can hear him sing
While he walks hand in hand
With her mother,
Along Northeastern Oregon's,
Country Eight Mile Road,


His golden baritone,
New York and Whitman trained,
Echoing like a Showboat tune
Along a Northwest Plain...

Thursday, July 05, 2007

My Lovely Grandmother


Lucy Valerie Berry ( nee Hill ) 1892 - 1966

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Aunt and Uncle

My Uncle William Reni Kemper in His Naval Garb and Aunt Lois Margaret Kemper, Along With A Delightful Companion - circa 1943



Monday, July 02, 2007

Mother 1942

Carol Ann - circa 1942


Sunday, July 01, 2007

Mother's Eighth Grade Class Picture - 1938 Seattle

1938 on Seattle's First Hill



Friday, June 29, 2007

Grandmother

Lucy Valerie Hill - circa - 1895





Thursday, June 28, 2007

Great Grandmother - circa - 1885

Lucy von Heilden - ( anglicized to Hill ) circa - 1885


Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Someday, My Columbia


Some day, down the river
And out into the sea,
My Columbia, swift and bright
Will carry me
Through the Gorge
And into the night,

In streams of Pacific majesty,
Onto Hawaiian waters
Where my Mother
Held gentle in eternity,

And from whence
The long ago
Is drawn back,
By time's immortal undertow,

To places in the heart
Where those i've loved
Wait for me to join them,
In the cross currents of infinity.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Boulevardier on a Bench






... In tomorrow town
Waitin' for the trolley
And streetcars of desire.

There are benches
For every metaphor of life -
Benches and cafes
Where a man
Might go to sit and hesitate,

To wait for serendipity and fate,
Wild dancers and destiny
And English ladies drinking tea ...

Friday, April 06, 2007

Jay Licata Haiku - A




Found silk in the night
cacooned sweetly into Spring
Back up the mountain.



Thursday, April 05, 2007

Amongst the Moons...



...and the seasons of our lives
When time has swept us up
And swept us along
Like leaves in a windstorm,

We will have wept
And wished we’d kept
Time dust in our pockets,
Hearts and lockets.

For in too many moons
That have circled us by,
We will have drawn
The breath and sigh
Of memory and memoir
And cloud climbers in the sky.

For I meant to return
But lent the moment
To moon watching
And wonderment
Onto wandering quests

Of coming home
To the Camelot we knew
Where upon breezes lush
A lover's hush fades upon an echo
And the lyrical remembrance of you.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Yes Venice My Love





Yes, Venice
We will be there
Talking love and drinking wine
Far into the soft,
Summer Venetian nights,

Beguiled and lush
In the exotic juxtapose
Of centuries of ambiance
Of the Italian Rose -

The white, the red
Flickering moon petals on canals
Of silkened water flows,

The white rose of Santa Barbara
And the Red rose
Of her heart...

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Come Late Sunday Afternoon



Late Sunday Afternoon
On a chair in the backyard,
Leaned up against the garage
Facing my vegetable garden,


Glass of wine in hand
Listening to the opera
Loud and Italian -

The opera Pagliacci
Old Caruso record -
Aria -Vesta la Guiba


Drinking the wine
And rose water
Of lost love
And sweet remembrance

Of children wished to have had
In pictures from the long ago,
In the gray shades
Of lost passions never shared

And the destiny and fate
That seemed not
To have cared.


Still in daydreams
I walked with her
And sang to her,
Yet this is how i fared...

Monday, April 02, 2007

In The Quest...

For love,
Supercilious is tedium,
For by middle life
We should become aware
Title and gold will wait
an eternity at heaven's gate, for
what money secures immortality,
fills in our last chapters
with a great love or lesser -
but a love story nonetheless.

We start out as children
and end up much like children;
in between it's mostly puff and veneer
with but the patina of our altruism
and humanism remaining,
that we have been able to mount
in our less than ideal lives,
lived out in a less than perfect world.

Therefore, to quest,

To glimpse the colors
Of love in Autumn
And the glimmer of lodestones
Glinted in the midst of Winter
And reflected in your eyes,
As I pass this place
And have this joy to brace me
Amongst shifting sands
And timeless space.


Sunday, April 01, 2007

Centuries ago...



















...we pressed together,
Shoulder to shoulder
And ran the rivers of diaspora,
When the inquisition
Came to Spain.

And from pogroms of pain,
My Tuscan soul, Iberian heart,
Knew not the wet
Of tears from rain,

For as fearful lovers,
We ran the rivers
To the Mediterranean,

Yet bid goodbye,
Your fathers
To the coasts of Africa,
And mine to Corsica

Where brilliant white,
The Trumpeter Swan,
Against the bluest sky,
Called out to Abraham
And freedom's cry
And promised us
We'd meet again,

If only hundreds of years
Of wingbeats and heartbeats later,
When the kismet birds of destiny,
Circle with the Trumpeter,
Windswept, above the clouds,
And in the heavens of Seattle.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Now hear this! To be a poet, one must strive to pose in dramatic fashion; that is, to stand at times, looking into the distance as if having a vision.



















The poet must think of oneself
as a peddler of pathos; as an
almost tragic figure, steeped
in the deepest irony and aloof
of the merely mortal and
pedestrian "poetry business"-

Cavorting of course with gods
and the ancient muse of Greece
and Rome, being of a much
higher plane and loftier endeavor -

Forsooth! ~ sayeth Jay Licata ~

( hmmmm...got my eye on a
black cape; nah, wouldn't
play well in Bellevue )

Jay Licata Haiku 999


Cat black sits silent
Spring drops glistening his coat
Warm rain mulling thoughts

Jay Licata Haiku 888 ( In Full Bloom )


In full bloom am i
passing this way once again
Back unto the stars

Friday, March 23, 2007

Jay Licata Haiku 777

Slate gray Northwest May
April sun in the drizzle
Wild flowers and frost

Jay Licata Tanka 777


Slate gray Northwest May
April sun in the drizzle
Wild flowers and frost
Barred owls in the moonlight
Ice water down the mountain

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Lady in the Movie House


During a moment
In the darkened movie house
Of the showing of "The Postman”
A tear drop swept and wept
Down her sculpted cheek

And kissed away tasted,
This moist jewel
In the mind’s eye,
Shown a prism
Through which could be seen,
The resplendent beauty of her soul

And blended with dew drops,
Rain drops and grace,
Glimmered and swirled
Evening's early light sky,
Rose dusking the edges
Of her beautiful face.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Jay Licata Haiku 555

Cold morning first job
paper girl and paper boy
Sunday's news heavy

Jay Licata Tanka 555


Cold morning first job
paper girl and paper boy
Sunday's news heavy
brother nine red hair girl ten
Dog Dakota, Mother boss

Jay Licata Haiku 444

Spring songs of Orca
San Juans to Cardigan Bay
Falcons skim the quay

Jay Licata Tanka 444

Spring songs of Orca
San Juans to Cardigan Bay
falcons skim the quay
as goes the Orca goes man
Drinking rosewater and tears

Jay licata Haiku 333


Poet on Grub Street
suffer rhymes of sweet madness
Winter leapfrogs Spring

Jay Licata Tanka 333


Poet on Grub Street
suffer rhymes of sweet madness
Winter leapfrogs Spring
first lyrics heard from the womb
Now songs from the other side

Jay Licata Haiku 222


Oh Missoula Lake
late Spring geologic time
Her ice dam broken

Jay Licata Tanka 222


Oh Missoula Lake
late Spring geologic time
her ice dam broken
swept down the Columbia
Sculpting Washington's belly

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Jay Licata Haiku 99


Windmills in the snow
Memory ice on Winter's pond
Fields of red Tulips

Jay Licata Tanka 99


Windmills in the snow
Memory ice on Winter's pond
fields of red Tulips
chocolate soft on the tongue
Warm water two cats waiting home

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Jay Licata Haiku 88

Yellow dress woman
fresh cotton Sunday morning
In a Kansas Spring

Jay Licata Tanka 88

Yellow dress woman
fresh cotton Sunday morning
in a Kansas Spring
wheat stone church choir girls sing
Prairie lightning amber gold

Jay licata Tanka 88b

Yellow dress woman
fresh cotton Sunday morning
in a Kansas Spring
wheat stone church choir girls sing
Amber gold fields of Eden

Jay Licata Haiku 77

Old hands soft kitten
blue sky morning first warm rain
Spring love Winter loss

Jay Licata Haiku 66


Grandfather long dead
shave and a haircut six bits
Flower bed dreamer

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Jay Licata Haiku 55


Fall's last Swan lingers
circling her ice water pond
Wreathed leaves frozen brown

Jay Licata Tanka 55


Fall's last Swan lingers
circling her ice water pond
wreathed leaves frozen brown
he sleeps nearby she waits old
Love's last Winter's quiet sound

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Jay Licata Haiku 44



Blue Butterfly lands
upon Spring's first white flower
Small girl in China

Jay Licata Tanka 44


Blue Butterfly lands
upon Spring's first white flower
small girl in China
picks blossoms with happy joy
Little brother runs smiling

Jay Licata Haiku 33


Before morning sun
last dream from the faraway
She turns warm thoughts sweet


Jay Licata Tanka 33


Before morning sun
last dream from the faraway
she turns warm thoughts sweet
deepening breath curling feet
Lilacs under the window

Jay Licata Tanka 33b


Before morning sun
last dream from the faraway
she turns warm thoughts sweet
deepening breath curling feet
Lace and heat old lovers lost

Jay Licata Tanka 33c


Before morning sun
last dream from the faraway
she turns warm thoughts sweet
deepening breath curling feet
Strangers embrace rising heat

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Licata Haiku - 22


Blackberry jelly
on her lips in Sunday's nap
Dreams white horse running

Licata Tanka - 22


Blackberry jelly
on her lips in Sunday's nap
dreams white horse running
fingers tracing muscled flank
Waking rain wet, heart racing

Monday, February 26, 2007

Elegy, Ode and Verse for My Grandfather, William Hopkins Lawton ... by John Jay Anthony Licata


                               William Hopkins Lawton

                   

Gathering years
Upon the face
Youth is swept aside
From time and tide,

And left are silvering mantles
Of patina and pride
Against this shifted wind

Under light's dimming cloud,
With steady eye and tilted chin
Life's last stand be proud,

As long the sculpting heart
hammers hard in tempo
To the drum beats
Of the Nineteen Sixties,

And the songs of freedom's cry
Words of justice still warm the lips
And the American Eagle,
Aloft and still upon the high,
Her wing beats of the Eighteen Sixties
Echoing across the sky

And my mother's grandfathers,
Are standing tall with Lincoln,
His voice ringing like silver
And his horseman in the night
Is galloping, flag unfurled, towards destiny
As banners Americana
Seek Liberty's morning light.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

" The Pink of Two Flamingoes "

She dropped from Pacific blue
Into my life
With the pink of two flamingoes,

And landing in my hillside garden,
They wintered over, they three
And rested and preened and gleaned
What aid and succor were offered,

And it mattered not
That her tandem
Was plastic pink
From the garden shop,

And that her heart was hidden
As she thought it black and blue
Tho I saw it colored,
A brilliant rainbow true,

Remembering, as they turned
In the shard of a moment,
And when their silent flight
Had lifted them off,

That I winced and shuddered
To think of no goodbye,
Nor fare-de-well,

For left to wander in my reverie
And wonder in my thoughts,

I sometimes search the skies to ask
If they had circled once again
And looked from where
The Seahawk flies...

Sunday, January 21, 2007

" GONE "

No more
To my door
Scraped and bleeding
From a falling
With a bicycle.

I patched and cleansed his cuts
Tho not the hurt
And sent him on his way
Always, I would send him away,

Tho now he’s gone
No more to come to my door
Bringing God knew what,
The poet man
Brought to me
Pelicans and potpourri -
His collected things
For me to see.

For no more to my door
To find him
In sun-faced anticipation
Only for me
To rain anger precipitation
And send him away
Mostly frayed
Not allowed to have stayed.

He went his way
But I’ll be damned
He came again
The very next day -

Again, I sent him
On his way,
Scolded him
Bit his ears
And in the sunlight
It could be seen
The green of his eyes
Had the glean of tears

As always, I’ll remember
Throughout each year
Moments in a lifetime lost
To assuage my fear,
Now sitting by windows,
With heart dreams and wishes
That he would appear.

No more to my door,
Leaving his silly bric-a-brac
Verse and cards
And sometimes candies -

He was just a fisher
A-chumming me?
Or, was he stick-and-stay
A little boy man
That I sent away?

For now,
I look into my future
And see a-comin’ around -
Soft and quick,
Without a sound
Those empty nights
Alone in my bed,

An older woman
Getting older
Until as an old woman
My vision of
Who was the fool?

Will come to visit
And revisit me
Alone in my self-sought history
I see he really cared for me,
Loved but me
and yet I wrought this misery

And tho sent away
Day-after-day
A little boy - his little boy,
Would come to ask
Me out to play,
Day after damn silly day -

And thinking I had won,
Sending him off
Until no more
Did he come to my door -

For some others
Saw him lost one day
And closed their doors behind him.

And so I placed this victory cup
Upon my mantle of sins and memories
And it grows dusty with the past,
As the Thornbird sings:"I’ve won at last?"

To a chorus of night time echoes
That I think I sometimes hear
As a knock upon my door,
And as an old woman
From bed I trudge along the floor
But he is never, ever standing there
Nor ever shall
For evermore.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Two Love Poems


Mystica

We were meant to look
To gaze one another's eyes,
To see ourselves again
From the long ago
Of unrequited love,

The promises
Many seasons of moons ago,
Back-dropped against time
And the hills
And the shores
Of Sicilian beaches

That only now,
Tasted away,
Once vague and muted yearning
A thousand years ago,
Without relent 'til this moment
When our starlight swath of destiny
Rode the timeline
From all your mothers
And mothers yet again,

Who waited epiphanous
In vigilance
For us to be,
That we be pressed
Against our hearts,
In the sweet languorous
Of Magnolia
And Lemon scented
Sardinian nights,

Star-Jasmined held
In bouquets of perfume
And the hands of Saint Destina
And the pasticcio of lovers' whisper
And breathless talk,
Brushed tears of notes
In honeyed nights
Of lyric and lace,

The swell and rhythmic cadence
Of hardened rosebuds
And the fleshed iron
Of my fathers before me,
Ancient mariners all,
In quests and voyages
Of hundreds of years
Of wanting to hear
Once again,
Your love song's call
In the night.

Before

Before we ever
came to be -
I knew you.

Whispered Willows
Wind, storms and billows,
Your glimmerings gladdened,
Gathered me up
Through glade to glacier
Walking my odyssey
With thoughts of Thee
Before we came to be,

Lived an eternity,
Ridden the waves of the sea
Marched aside destiny
All before we came to be.

I searched for you
And saw you in sunsets.

If music hath your soul,
It played upon breezes
As echoes of tomorrow
Beckoned me onward,
Trudging pain from purgatory,
Your soft visage
Was in the heavens’ morning’s sun
And in the rain of dawn’s tears,
Rainbows painted the sheen,
The glint and glaze
Of your wondrous ways,

Of Summer’s love
Days of passion, of grace
An angel’s face of affinity
This quest for Love’s divinity
Came before
We came to be.