Poem-A-Day challenge by Robert Brewer points toward Purpose.  Well i’ve been thinking a lot about mine lately.  i’ve got this pit in my stomach that informs me that i might not be meeting mine.

And for Global Poetry Writing Month Day 13, we’ve been asked to address a non-apology for stolen things.  I have another idea brewing around that one, but this includes some words/ideas of a friend of mine for whom i have a lot of respect.

How close am I living to my purpose?  Closer than I realize i’m sure.  I do know that i have one, even if i can’t clearly define it.  I am sure of this:  I am essential.  As you are.  Thank you for reading.  here’s the poem:


what is truly changed?
uncertainty? no. only that illusion is removed.
there is no more or less uncertianty now
no. we could die any day.
look at the runner who had a heart attack
or the kid hit by a bus
we’ve lost what isn’t essential

Andi said:
“live strongly, from commitment.
no harm
open mind and heart
ease suffering
be with what is.”

that is writ on a cardstock
tucked into my vest
right above my heart

its inside my saucepot
that stew is called

there is a gap, a space (not a lack, but room)
which frivolous things once filled
notice the quivering branch
follow it along to the bird

here i am in my uncertainty.



reductio dichotomy

we say this is a three dimensional place
but up and down dont go very far
and north south east west just
come around again after some distance

so tomorrow we will go back to the office.

even this is too much
so we picture this as a plane
our day to day is basically a flat earth
and move between home work and the mall
the market or the river or the well

there still too much there
so much to experience, to feel
that we block out even more
shrink those planes to a line
or two (of coke? poetry?)
right wrong
black white
left right
red pill blue pill
choose the parameters just right
and decision becomes easy, obvious

we make machines that help unravel the weaving
navi to reduce all roads to the one we need
music to cover the wall of sounds assaulting
beating on the ear drums
tv to numb and provide perfected thoughts
social media to reinforce what i think i know
(rather, what i got from the show)

and yet there are woods and streams beyond the city
)there is always a forbidden forest near the castle(
roads beyond my current route
and up there, space.

rockets demonstrate the longing
kitchen cabinets and walk-in closets too.
in open floorplans, in every successful sales pitch,
there are signs. (like this one)



partially inspired by

Looking up

1. Dogs

Extreme star cluster bursts into life in new Hubble image

Looking up,
Diamond-snouted dog
Silhouetted against the sky
Dark and drooling
Claims victims by licking to death

Credit: ESA/Hubble; NASA, ESA and the Hubble Heritage (STScI/AURA)-ESA/Hubble Collaboration

Other poets on this image:

Pretending to believe

Dreams in a Nebula


2. Eye

The Hourglass Nebula
Calm-centered Hurricane
Along the long hourglass axis
Distant lensiatic galaxies
Watching, waiting
For that flash of recognition
Watching, waiting
For me to finally look up

Credit: ESA/Hubble; Raghvendra Sahai and John Trauger (JPL), the WFPC2 science team, and NASA/ESA

Other poets on this image:


3. Fields

A perfect storm of turbulent gases
There are stars that shine by virtue
Of our attention to them
With that light we hide our inadequacy

Other stars shine by virtue of their nature
That light defies eternity
Outshines luminous cloudy landscapes
that maxfield saw
Even from his earthly perch

Credit: ESA/Hubble;  European Space Agency, NASA, and J. Hester (Arizona State University)

Other poets on this image:

Ray of hope.

Death Be Eternity

4. Our soul alights

Artist's concept of exoplanet orbiting Fomalhaut
Out beyond ideas
Of good and bad
There is a field, a plain, a plane
Where our whole world
Will meet God.
Illusion burned off
Like morning fog

Credit: ESA, NASA and L. Calçada (ESO); ESA/Hubble, apologies to Jallaludin

Other poets on this image:

Is the Sun Conscious?


The craftsman and the musician

studley_overall_img_0132-2Old Henry was a craftsman
Of the old school sort
They don’t make eM like they used to
Was his favorite retort

Henry made pianos
Hand crafted every part
Finishing is one thing
But it’s a harder thing to start

Fancy things they were,
Famed across the land
For Henry was a craftsman
You could read that in his hand

Father tree ebony’s dark wood
Or mother of pearl inlay
They don’t make eM like they used to
Old Henry O. would say

The magics in the music
Though that’s not the only art
Love of song and ivory keys
Not the piano’s only part

Old Henry had a tool chest
An amazing use of space
beautiful and precise
And each tool had it’s own place

Racks of chisles, square and compass
Within, a hundred tools contained
A special niche there was for each, especially
the prized wee number one plane

Henry at his tool chest was
Like the maestro at the keys
From each issued forth
All love’s mysteries

Old Henry had a toolchest
He sure was a crafts man
They don’t make eM like they used to
Not pianos, nor the man

20170425 this is about a phenomenal object, a handmade toolchest by henry studley.

Room enough for you

In the house of me
Upstairs, in the attic of my mind
Passed the dusty corrugated boxes, full
Childhood toys, costumes
Special occasions, memories
I don’t want to look at but can’t bear to let go,
Way in the back, There is a beat up old chest
Been there longer than I can remember
Prolly would fall apart
If you tried to move it
In the till of that old hutch
There is a little painted box, 
and tiny space within.
That is where you are, my dear
On the head of one precious pin


Stop the Clock

each clock lasts exactly
a thousand years
as i rush through your
slow motion world
slipping between moments
the way one avoids the raindrops
oh,  you can’t do that? hm
mind leaps, like electrons, ever expanding
jumping out upon orbits
mulling over planets
sweeping grandiose schemes in
stone, then gas, then light itself
with all the seriousness of singularity
thats where it all unravels,
the navel of the universe,
the belly button, unbuttoned
thats where the connection was
the last union before separate me
severed in seconds, completely
then denied any orbit at all
completely adrift.  it will take lifetimes
to find trust again
see how the specific is resisted?
narrow the focus, friend.
the detail devil hides in grit
in dirt, in sand
be bold, in an inner way
face him, focus.  sharpen.
the space between the ticks grows
lengthens.  know the small
there is only your specific action
in the now
once you are firmly there,
the ticking stops


Mercury and Pluto

What can Mercury teach Pluto?
adores the sun,
never turns away, 
He cannot know darkness
full of devotion, basking in warmth. 
also selfless,
 Distant, elliptical, uncentered, oblique
  How much
Have you taken in, with your sweep
Unfathomably wide? 
What lies out there, 
Once our loved ones have perished?
beyond devotion?
Beyond faith?

Like a good stew, some poems should be simmered down, to intensify their flavors. Caught between two prompts, the recipe got away from me, Janets sweet conceit condensed, her instruction boiled away, paring down to 55 words, for the Flash 55 challenge over at an imaginary garden. Which one is more effective, this or the more raw Mercury’s Lesson? Or did I miss the boat, and the flash. 55 is supposed to be quick?

Mercury’s lesson

In the biggest pot you have,
Take one burning star,
Cast thereto four rocky worlds
Set them all to stir
Sprinkle with asteroids
Add to them four gaseous planets
Each milder, cooler than the last
Serve it forth with a cold cherry on top
A tiny world, smaller than the moon
Vast in implication
What can mercury teach Pluto?
so proximate,
 who so adores the sun,
He never turns his face away,
The newborns innocence who sees only mother
Who cannot know darkness
Or conceive of space, what lies beyond,
But full of devotion, basking in warmth.
also selfless,
Smaller than seven moons
The sun, so distant, not even centered anymore,
Now it is the devotion that fuels, lives on
When the object of devotion is gone.
Orbital plane tilted, what can you see,
Up there beyond the pale?  How much
Have you taken in, with your sweep
Unfathomably wide? 
We simmer in this solar system stew
Seething on this question, each adding 
to the special sauce, and yet
We see only ourselves,
Imagine only other worlds, like this one.
Does the ninth remember the first?
What lies out there, 
beyond devotion?
Beyond faith?

20170402 so blessed to be challenged in a way that reveals more question. April is Global Poetry Writing Month! challenge yourself to write a poem a day for 30 days. Today’s prompt was recipes. Recipes, or cooking instructions, in the middle ages seem vague to the modern eye, they do not list quantities, and if they mention cooking times, they say “until it’s done”. Today’s challenge from Real Toads is to Limit yourself to only 55 words. My intention is to boil this down some more…

Empty spaces

Room enough
To turn about
The final act
Of this fair play

Reaching in
Cavern grim
A space that should not be
 Tween the rocks

This space in me
yawning chasm, and there
On a pedestal, under glass
Bell jar, My heart

From a prompt at poets united, where I cannot comment. My old system cannot pass the ‘I am not a robot’ test. But thank you for the prompt and all the lovely works that speak to it.