One place understood helps us understand all places better.

Eudora Welty

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Mountain crepe

The wind scents
By i_am_jim

the trail we follow
higher, higher the path

Climbs the canopy
before we halt
to determine the slanting sun

Can we always
find our way? Is ever higher
enough for this
longing to justify?

Mountain crepe myrtle
and vine that creeps, upward
through a conscience that closes

Upon the mystery
of why everywhere we reach
exceeds our grasp.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

The art you teach

I like a vine
that knows
how to sit
a fence

How to grow
so that
there's verve
and a bit of a flit

As if a vine
could care about
what I care
about.

Then just grow
and I'll take
to the page
and practice

The art
you teach
as more than
vine.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Wild geese are calling

By Muffet (flickr.com)
Wild geese are calling
and I run
to meet

Those landing
on the pond
deep in the grass

That looks inviting
to wild geese
and one

That would join them
in their flight
if it wasn't

That I haven't
the wilderness
deep inside

As wild geese
can call
to each other

And the one
they leave
behind.

Sunday, September 3, 2017



Wet snow
By User:Introvert (Own work)
         is
                falling

Wet snow
         is
               falling
and I've come
inside.

Wet snow
         is
               falling
on snowy fields
and tree lines.

Wet snow
         is
               falling
and I need to
light a fire.

But wet snow
        is
               falling
and the wood
won't dry.

Wet snow
         is
               falling
and covering
my steps.

Wet snow
         is
               falling
and I haven't
slept.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Grandmothers


By jude, ny, usa (quilt block - flower)
I was never
close to
grandmothers

Never had
that soul-searching
talk

I was seen
and not heard

Approved but
not approached

Too young
to leave
impressions

I guess
on ones so old.

But I was loved
by grandmothers

A treat
of some kind
was given

At meals
I was not
forgotten

Or by small
kindnesses
unearned

I learned
that grandmothers
remember

I learned
that grandmothers
forget

Just as I
have forgotten
much
that grandmothers
said

But have
always remembered
the way
it was expressed.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Flowers faded

Flowers faded
ID 88581659 © Sebos | Dreamstime

carry an impress
of a trace 
that lasts

To remind
of a time
when vivid
were the colors

Of cut flowers
and lives lived
and memory's mark
on bleak slates

That cast shadows
of hues
we discerned
but a moment

Were a trick
of the light,
always fading
from our lives.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Mountain skies

By Anne E. Kidd
In the quiet
of my grandmother's
house

In the bedroom
up the stairs

Under the darkling sky
of a mountain
setting

I never
closed my eyes

Just out
of elementary

Just close
enough to God

That belief
didn't have
to be cemented

And each truth
imprinted

I could believe
in the dark
of those
mountain skies.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Banana and mayo

Augustus Binu - Wikipedia
Partake of banana
and mayo
A bit of thought
will show

The sweet
and the mellow
slightly tangy
contrasts delightfully.

But some
will not lend ear
refuse to hear
such menu

Blue Plate
and white bread
Oh, the dread!

I give them up
as some lost
tribe

Of regretfully
contrived, confused
and palate deficient

To exquisite
taste and
filling grace.

Friday, June 16, 2017

A last breath, a last sigh

By Mogens Engelund
A last sigh
will come
a last breath
will pass
your lips.

The last words
are always
those remembered

And they are never
of the world.

Of the Father, maybe
of the Wife and Child, yes

Of Parents
and Grandparents
no doubt

The last words
come out
of lips that move
too silent
to hear.

A last breath
expresses
a spiritual need

A last tear
absolves the world
you leave.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

June Quotes


From “The Study of Poetry” - 1920 by Bliss Perry
Bliss Perry


"Art is the expression of impressions." - Benedetto Croce

"Art is nature seen through a temperament"
- Emile Zola 

"Art is nature made human"
- G.L. Raymond

"Eloquence is heard; poetry is overheard.”
- J.S. Mill

"Poetry is not like reasoning, a power to be exerted according to the determination of the will. A man cannot say, 'I will compose poetry.'. . . It is not subject to the control of the active powers of the mind. … Its birth and recurrence have no necessary connection with the consciousness or will."
- Percy Bysshe Shelley

"I wish our clever young poets would remember my homely definitions of prose and poetry; that is, prose = words in their best order;—poetry = the best words in the best order." 
- Coleridge

The "literary" user of language in modern times comes to depend upon the written or printed page; he tends to become more or less "eye-minded"; whereas the typical orator remains "ear-minded"—i.e. peculiarly sensitive to a series of sounds, and composing for the ear of listeners rather than for the eye of readers. Now as compared with the typical novelist, the poet is surely, like the orator, "ear-minded."
- Bliss Perry

"Musically speaking—because the musical terms are exact and not ambiguous—true dactyls are in 2-4 time and the verse of Evangeline is in 3-8 time."
-  T. D. Goodell

"But he published a criticism of one of my poems which proved that he did not understand the poem at all. He had studied it too hard! The words of a poem are stepping-stones across a brook. If you linger on one of them too long, you will get your feet wet! You must cross, vite!"
-  Auguste Angellier

Thursday, June 1, 2017

The fleeting things

The fleeting things of
 © Marie-Lan Nguyen / Wikimedia Commons

this world
are its beauty,
a flower, a sunny day
a shared moment
between friends

A young boy or girl
with little time
to be young
a late snow
in the early spring

That time
my mother smiled
at me
for no reason
‘cept we were beings
meeting for the first time
in this world

That time
I realized
my old man
wasn’t as dumb
as he seemed

Unexpectedly meeting
on a rare visit
to an out of the way
place
at a late hour, her

That brief eternity
when all was right
with the world
and God was a real
presence
to a small boy

Leaves
caught in the act
of mock creation
as they
fly in full
to shape the world

That almost bond
created
by shared insights
with someone
who feels the same

The poem
that comes
and writes itself
and changes for a
moment
a life

And life
most fleeting perhaps

And life
the very shape perhaps
of the question

And life
perhaps
the very answer.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

White flowering tree

https://www.fast-growing-trees.com/
WhiteFloweringDogwood.htm
White flowering tree
Who sent you?
Your neighboring pines
don't catch my eye.

There in the sunlight
hidden by the foreground
trees don't display
for my delight.

Yet in the light
your cupped white
petals outshine
all the muted others.

White flowering tree
the wind gives you
motion, like you're dancing
on an ocean
of sea green.

But dancing for me?
Who sent the wind?
So that you could
pretend, to wave
to me?

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Poetry Like Water

William Carlos Williams, a New Jersey doctor and Anglo-American poet, is probably best known for his poem “The Red Wheelbarrow”. But that poem was a result of his brief Imagist period when he and other poets tried to capture a scene in as few words as possible.
Image courtesy of the Beinecke Rare Book
& Manuscript Library, Yale University

You can read my reaction to Imagism at:


After Imagism he spent most of his life searching for a new American poetry, a new cadence and rhyme, with an American diction.

American free verse he felt had been taken as far as it could by its originator, Walt Whitman. And while he was impressed by the poetry of his contemporary, T.S. Eliot, he had no desire to follow in his footsteps as when he complained:

“There was heat in us,” he wrote, “a core and a drive that was gathering headway upon the theme of a rediscovery of a primary impetus, the elementary principle of all art, in the local conditions. Our work staggered to a halt for a moment under the blast of Eliot’s genius which gave the poem back to the academics. We did not know how to answer him.” 

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

The instructions

Copyright Homelegance
Tab one
into slot one
Tab two
into slot two
morning
into evening
Day one
without you.

Place
part A
ninety degrees
to part B
And screw
three, three-eights
wood screws
into holes marked
one, two, three.

Day two
without you
I've accomplished
a lot,
Unclogged
the drain
watched
the rain
turned down
the bed
and laid

There
wondering
how we fit
so well
then quit
the instructions
don't tell.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

If I live too long

By Serdio - Cantabria, Spain
If I live too long
don't take me
off the mountain
don't take me
from my home
if I live too long.

Remember me
to the tree I planted
below the barn
above the brook
where I once waded
remember me

To the grass
in springtime
that with hand scythe
I brought low
now you know
where the grass grows
And where to plant me.

Water my lips
and cover me in
good burlap
Don't worry my breath
will give out
as you lay my head
If I live too long.

(From Mountain Bound Poems)

Saturday, March 25, 2017

March Quotes

Don’t make stuff because you want to make money — it will never make you enough money. And don’t make stuff because you want to get famous — because you will never feel famous enough.

John Green


Joseph Heller, an important and funny writer now dead, and I were at a party given by a billionaire on Shelter Island. I said, “Joe, how does it make you feel to know that our host only yesterday may have made more money than your novel ‘Catch-22’ has earned in its entire history?”

And Joe said, “I’ve got something he can never have.”

And I said, “What on earth could that be, Joe?”

And Joe said, “The knowledge that I’ve got enough.”

Kurt Vonnegut


If the day and the night are such that you greet them with joy, and life emits a fragrance like flowers and sweet-scented herbs, is more elastic, more starry, more immortal — that is your success.

Henry David Thoreau


There is absolutely everything in great fiction but a clear answer.

On Writing Pg 78
Eudora Welty

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Appalachians

By Gafoto (Own work)
Twice-built mountains
thrust faulted
into the sky

Eroded to nothing
in the Mesozoic

Uplifted again
by the Cenozoic

Ridge runners
and valleys
rock outcrop
on clay

Brooks and branches
streams and standing
pools empty
into the rivers
Cumberland and Tennessee