effots2


*Intake*

*The Story*

*I Did*

*The Key*

*Sensation*

*The Elements*

*Reflections*

*Rich Colors*

*Heat*

*Guarantee*

*Ballerinas*

*The Maid*

*Like A Mist*

* All That*

*Words*

*Details*

*Free Will*

*Shadow*

*Pebbles*

*Glory*

*Choice*

* Vision*

* Beauty*

* Resignation*

* Gardening*

*My Suit Of Armor *

* Waiting*

*Making Sense Out Of It All *

*Surprise! *

* Grace*

*True Love *

* Autumn*

*Color By Numbers*

* Contrast*

* Fall*

*The Power of Imagination*

*Howling At The Moon*

*Just Your Typical Knight In Shinning Armor*

*Life = Art*
















       Intake

If you hold your breath
and are absolutely still
then 
that little drop of oil
on the surface of the lake,
will allow itself to be halved,
so that you'll now have two,
where you just had one.

I know - wonders never cease - 
but really, what better way to get to know
your own personal surfaces,
let alone all the weather
that fell on you
and made your ripples
roll up to shore the way they do?

Granted, a huge part of this
is that small intake of breath you made 
just before you held it.

The oil that became two,
is still one. 
Taking it apart didn't
change it.






 






       The Story

The carpet, 
(made up of tiny, little fibers and backing),
tells a story.  
It tells of where it's been and 
of the sweat of those who made it,
the silences of the family who's floor it's been on and 
the occasional defiant spittle spat out 
in a word.

A story,
the end of which hasn't been written yet.
That's where you come in.

You can, if you want to, dress up,
put on a costume 
(not unlike being born)
and wear it to the party. 

And that rug?
It's there too. 
Now it's being stained
with the occasional splash of hilarity
and the quick turns of attention
that those parties are made up of.

Rolling up the rug, 
stacking the furniture, 
starting to dance - that 
is what parties are known for.
All that activity, those arms waving,
the sweat,
the rearrangement of each fiber
make a new life for the rug.

All that hilarity, 
all of those loud bursts of jocularity
are endings or beginnings,
depending on how you look at them.
Either way they are the opposite of silence.  
Either way they punctuate the quiet.

Parties aren't supposed to be quiet.
They don't have much peace either.
But Boy! do they have walls 
and chairs! 
Chairs for holding bodies.
Walls for leaning against.  

Parties are places where forgetting 
the story under your own rug, 
is necessary. 







      I Did

The weight of your body
was a dead giveaway
that this was the only time 
that you'd rest your weary head
on my shoulder.

The smooth, black pebbles,
of my stream bed never 
got picked up or admired,
never got turned over or felt deeply, let alone appreciated.
My lush, green forest and 
its sitting stump, in the center,
are empty.

The birds go on chirping.
The sun makes shadows.
I shed my sweater but still
there's that suffocating heat.
The air is everywhere.
To say "It's close" would be a serious understatement. 
The lush green of my forest
is wilting,
the leaves are just hanging,
laying on each other, 
not unlike the way we were.

I praise the change of season, the shift of your body's weight,
and the balancing act
that the sun and moon do.








        The Key

My surfaces are worn down
and fit snugly,
like a key
in a lock.

My lock 
has lots of tumblers in it.
They move, with a click, click,
and once in a while,
a clunk,
when they fall into place,
laying bare a great treasure!

Sometimes locks go keyless for years
and then they get one,
like me, for instance.

I've seen a regular multitude 
(if a multitude could ever be regular) 
of keys -
some shiny, some dull
and yet all of them having 
a particular lock to open.















        Sensation

For the life of me,
I wish I could 
lose myself in all the varieties
of sensations that surround me.

If that would happen then
my focus wouldn't be on analysis, but
on all the many 
and various sensations and sounds
that surround me.

Each
sound, image, touch, taste, smell, 
would bloom into a full-fledged flower
of sensation.
And, (to extend the flower metaphor
even further), 
I'd be able to explore its 
texture, weight, color, smell
or the why of why it smells like live, 
outside things.

      In Summary:
Really living life
makes making bouquets artistic 
without being artificial.














         The Elements

Struggle as I might,
(I know
only self-conscious men struggle),
I'm saddled with this idea
that there's more to that drop 
sliding off that rain drenched leaf,
than meets the eye.

If, 
in that little drop 
all the elements of this complex mystery exist,
then I should gather them all up
and put them in a bottle
and save them.

Listen...my boots squeak,
the rubber of my raincoat 
has only one sound...squeak.

If you can find meaning
in one, simple drop of rain,
then the last thing you need is me cluttering up your view 
of the weather
or my downpour of significance.










        Reflections

What was I thinking?
There I was looking thru the window, when all of a sudden
a reflection in the glass
startled me.

Looking thru
is what I do best, 
but then I wanted to get lost
and, sure enough!, a reflection
whisked me away.

Making sense out of incomplete pictures
requires absolute, stone cold, stillness.

The parking lot's full
and the stores are full, too!,
but then they disappeared and
reappeared!

The door opened,
the reflection flashed
and flashed again.











        Rich Colors

A brightly colored rock drops
past the window.
It's Fall,
and leaves do what they do best,
fall.
I thought the brilliantly colored rock
was a leaf at first,
but leaves don't have the weight
that this did.
It seemed like a rock 
the way it fell,
but its rich colors gave it away,
it was a bird.









    Heat

Look at rocks
after years of cooling they still 
support 
no life.

Once molten, they hissed and bubbled.
They were red rivers of stone,
cascading down and over crevices and emptied 
into molds.

Unimaginable heat!
Dense. Red. Thick.
Primal before primal, Hot before hot
Rivers of Liquid Fire!

Lava.
It was so hot that rocks melted
on contact.
Not long ago
it wound its way through
trees, houses, streets.

They all turned to ash.
Now that's hot!
Still, molten rock is a liquid
and liquids flow.
(That puts a whole new slant on -
"Go with the flow." :)












     Guarantee

A stiff upper lip still means
pretty much the same thing now 
as it did before. 

So, if you can hold this poem,
you're old enough to know
how powerful feelings can be.
Not crying when you're hurt 

might seem 
like a good thing at the time, 
but guaranteed 
it will show up
when least expected
or wanted. 








    Ballerinas

If only all my actions 
were as simple 
and as beautiful
as a dancer's step.

Then, just the thought of me
would bring to mind ballerinas,
stretched up tall,
on their tippy-toes,

with porcelain faces upturned.
Upturned, because they'd know rapture -
they'd know divinity.

If you would listen closely,
you, too!, could hear the music that they hear.
Each measure of it
would fill you  
with gladness.

Oh! 
If only it
were that simple.














    The Maid

Details, details, details! 
The middle-aged woman bustling about,
the hem of her denim skirt,
her kerchief tied severely around 
one heavy forearm
and each foot planted akimbo, 
bearing the weight of those muscular calves,
with the socks turned just so,
the ivy plant getting exactly what it needs -
food, water, light,
and the dishes done
and all that that entails,
and the floors so clean they shine.

Each and every detail,
from carpets to windows -
looked after.

Then and only then
does she allow herself a sigh.












     Like A Mist

Leaves
aren't the only things that fall,
in Fall.
Little drops of sap,
so small
that their fall would fall into oblivion
without a trace,
except that they fell
on my windshield.










     All That

If only all 
of the miscellany
of each individual point of view
would somehow coalesce
into sculpture,
then and only then,
would the only worry of ownership
be dust.

All that miscellany
provides texture 
to an otherwise barren landscape. 
The richness it provides
shows up as 
color, weight, size, and 
the countless other physical forms,
let alone the non-physical.

All of those distractions and all of 
the other drivel,
like depth perception and such,
all of that!,
are real only by agreement.
And agreements are, 
let's face it,
simply agreeable.














     Words

Each and every letter,
and all the words that they make up,
and
all of those groups of words
huddled together, stamping their feet 
against the icy-cold blasts
of those empty pages,
are joined together with all other words,
in cold defiance to the indifferent face of expectation.
Somewhere out there,
out 
in the world,
out in the cold, friendless air,
with only their stiff upper lips
to keep them warm,
they huddle.

Their memories
of friendlier times, warmer kitchens
and piping hot food,
protect them from those icy blasts of disdain
that come ripping around corners.

If you see them - ask them in,
ask them if they'd welcome
a nice, warm kitchen,
or a friendlier time.
I'd bet that they'd fashion their words
into songs, 
songs of thanks. 

The gratitude that they'd show
by forming themselves into song
would warm your heart.







        Details

Details, details, details.
Woman's work - I don't intend to belittle them, but hey!
There are just some aspects of life
that women do better -
like noticing things -
bicycles, handkerchiefs, toothbrushes,
things.

So they might not be interested in the particulars of how 
those things work,
that's menwork.








     Free Will

Here and now 
two possibilities exist:
-one) - those stones in that cold, crisp river
are only places, hard and cold, 
between two banks;
-or two) - places filled with life, texture and character.

The current changes as you round the bend.
There's no "downriver" to be seen
because the vision  of it is blocked by 
tall, red, reeds.

The stones can be 
used as places to rest on
between 
each harrowing step.

Each step is filled with possible missteps
and that 
is what makes them harrowing.

They could be wet from last night's runoff or 
it might not have rained here at all,
tucked away as it is, 
between two mountain ranges
and all of the capricious weather that happens there.

Those stones might've had a fine coat of slime,
that would make them even more treacherous.

We'll never know.
You can if you want to, 
go down to your local river
and marvel at all the thorny leaves
that prick you
as you make those tiny, little adjustments in your stride
just in getting there.

And once there, 
you can skip stones and watch them disappear
under water or maybe 
the sun will warm you
as you stretch out,
in a place that doesn't have too many stones.

Maybe it'll even be warm enough
to take off your shoes.

You'll never know, unless you go.







     Shadow

There it was -
the shadow of our house on that fir, plain as day,
with the sun at about two or three.

The day, itself, was sharp as needles.
Even the clouds had distinction.
The shadow only darkened 
some of the fir's branches -
otherwise nothing.

There are many ways to interpret that,
but for me, now, the only way is 
to look closely at 
the clouds and know 
how everything is really very simple
and elegant.





     Pebbles

Each of them,
each one,
each shinny and black pebble,
covers the stream bed,
and blankets the warm, water course,
so that there are no sharp things that might cut.

Each pebble is shinny and round and black
and smooth. And I don't believe that there's any ragged edges
on any of them.
They're so smooth, they're almost friendly -
friendly enough to cradle feet.







     Glory 
 
OK, All right already! 
I'll do it! 
I'll write something about it!... 
 
Imagine this if you will - 
a hazy, lazy day 
replete with partly
overcast skies, temperamental clouds and grayness 
everywhere! 
 
And then, 
The Sun! 
Alive!  
Life! 
 
What more could possibly be said 
that could in any way, 
top that! 








     Choice  
  
Believe it or not - 
choice -
is what makes us different  
from ALL 
the other animals.  
  
That's our trunk,   
our roots,  
the knurled tree that we are.  
  
You will probably,  
(in your own life and in your own way), 
hear it put differently,  
(and that might be good).  
But keep in mind 
you'll be around 
a whole lot longer than any weather you collect,  
like snow on your boughs.
  
It can't hurt you,
cold yes,  
but hurt you no.
You can choose 
if you want to,
to rot from inside.  
 









     Vision  
  
Each and every snowflake falling outside, 
on all the sidewalks, 
yet to be shoveled,
and on all the snowballs, 
yet to be thrown,
and on all the snowmen, 
yet to be built,
and on all the hats, 
on all the heads  
AND
each and every eye looking out 
of each and every window,  
are, 
all of them!, 
each one!
a birth.  

Each one filled with  
anticipation, 
expectation, 
a womb, 
a destiny.   
  
And here I sit,  
feeling less than miraculous,  
wanting to live, 
once and for all, 
in the appreciation and the knowing.  
  
But deep down in my bones I know  
that I've got to appreciate each and every
snowflake, snowball, snowman, 
sidewalk,  eye, hat, head - 
before I'd ever get to appreciate  
the big picture.  
  
But, be that as it may -  
I can still want to.  









     Beauty 
 
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. 
It's the eye of the damn "beholder" 
that's so hard to open. 
 
It's definitely not you -  
so please go with this:
 
Maybe beauty is in this canopy 
of crimson and orange colored clouds, 
of late day. 
Maybe it's in this warm breeze, 
faintly throbbing
off this expanse of sand. 

Who knows? 
Maybe it's in the face 
of that round moon, 
hanging up there
above that pyramid 
or in those palm fronds
gently pointing down. 
 
Wherever it's found, 
on the hot dunes of July, 
or the rain drenched leaves 
of the jungle, 
wherever, 
each part of it,
is already part of 
a well mapped-out area, 
("out there" as opposed to "in here", 
and most of those "map makers" 
were thought to be crazy). 
 
Wherever it's found, 
whatever nationality it has, 
whatever language its mother used at feeding time, 
a simple smile says it all. 
 
Some people go far away to find beauty, 
some people go next door. 
It (beauty) 
just sits around and waits
and sometimes yawns. 
(It may take a while.)
 
 












Resignation 
 
Once the dust clears and the dirt settles, 
there's no doubt about it, 
this caravan will continue on 
with or without me. 
 
In some ways 
its slow, steady progress 
is like a deep and low gong of recognition,  
spreading warmth and comfort, 
throughout all of my body. 
 
The surface of the road jostles me, 
spills my drink,
and sometimes is as chaotic as 
a roomful of kids. 
 
There's no doubt tho, 
I get treated 
with a certain kind of deference, 
(which is usually a good thing)
because long-ago, 
I  stopped wanting to be 
other 
than myself.














     Gardening 
 
Pulling this way and that,  
the dirt,  
the bed-covers, 
the petals, 
all of them are 
delicate, painstaking, early morning, farming things. 
 
The heat of the sun 
(even when it's hiding) 
quickens the dullest blood 
pulling it down
its course. 
 
What isn't noticed tho 
is the stretch and reach  
of the growing thing toward 
its goal. 

That is the future!
 
But whether past, present OR future, 
hope lives on,  
in the green buds and willingness  
to have and hold 
any kind of moisture.















     My Suit Of Armor 
 
Today's the day 
I put on my suit of armor. 

It's the only one I've got. 
I almost lost it tho,
because I trashed it,  
failed to oil it or dust it,
let alone wear it. 
Instead, 
I used it for storage. 
 
I piled junk in there, 
loads of stuff
books and junk. 
 
Regardless of the dirt that weighed it down, 
regardless, 
there is this whole new world of shadow and reflection 
in there
and all I have to do to take part in it  
is put it on.  
So I will!

And the whole thing became invisible. 
Now,  
when I do something, 
like refill the dishwashing liquid, 
I get this whole brand new world of experience, 
replete with shadow and reflection, 
saying - 
"no question 'bout it, 
'tis done!". 





     Waiting 
 
Patiently I waited, 
with bowed head I waited, 
I waited so long I forgot what 
I was waiting for. 
 
Then what I waited for 
happened 
and I remembered what it was. 

Now, it doesn't matter.









     Making Sense Out Of It All 
 
Any sensations that you've ever had, 
ever can have, 
or ever will have, 
have already been had. 
 
Does knowing that 
make what you smell, 
smell less? 
Or the rain that you hear,  
pitter-pattering against those panes, 
sound less? 
 
Or, 
when you're cold and the blanket doesn't quite cover 
your toes, 
does knowing that somebody else shivered, 
warm you? 
 
I think not! 
(a little reality check there) 
 
Our minds are wonderful things, 
but they're only things. 

Things break down 
and often do. 
 
Our hearts tho 
are different, 
they beat with indefatigable energy  
and patiently listen 
while words spill from our lips.










     Surprise! 

How many times has the door opened onto something other 
than what you expected? 
 
Surprise! 
 
When somebody rings the doorbell
it can be exciting. 
 
Anything 
lends itself to surprise 
and often does, 
like front doorbells ringing. 
 
The dark of the hallway
and the metallic creaking of floorboards, 
help send alerts
throughout the house.











     Grace 
 
Here I sit with all my engines running  
and nowhere to go.  
Well...nowhere out there perhaps, 
but somewhere, 
worlds,  
in here.  
What 
am I waiting for?  
 
An invitation?
Somebody who has already been there?  
Here? 
 
In the quiet, in the stillness, 
in the boredom of repetition 
comes a free bird 
winging its way home. 
Home happens to be 
a bunch of carefully twisted  
roots and twigs. 
 
Being lucky, it found some rabbit's fur 
to line its nest.  
 
Look at that mom's repetitive beakstrokes, 
picking off the bugs and things, 
that only she 
can see. 
 
If only I
could've been sure that my mom 
would pick off 
all the bugs and things 
that would hinder my flight.

Well...
poise might've been mine. 
 
Without it, 
I had to pick off all the bugs and 
   things   
myself. 
 
I was forced to learn to appreciate 
all the crap and litter,
the carefully twisted roots and twigs 
of my own home, 
my own nest. 



 
 
 


              True Love 
 
There's a place in my heart that's got 
your name on it.  What 
I call it matters most only 
when I need it. 
Then and only then,
does it fill me with 
a name. 
 
A popular song calls it one thing, 
a poem calls it another.  
 
The Arts wouldn't be nearly so pretty 
or pricey, 
if they'd just be recognized 
for what they are -
examples of it.  
 
Now, I suppose you want me to name it. 
And if I did what next? 
I know -
next time you brushed shoulders with it 
at the mall, 
you might recognize it! 
And God only knows what 
you'd do with it then. 
 
Sure! 
There's a relief that comes from knowing 
a things name. 
Sure!

OK. 
It lights a cig and brings the coffee.  
It holds another's wrinkled hand.  
Name That.






 


Autumn

Autumn sits heavy on the trees, 
on the leaves, 
on the houses, 
on the roofs.
And what sunshine there is,
clings to things 
it would otherwise be illuminating.
Even the shadows get big and burly
and hitch up their trousers
to lumber about.

With each step that they take
(after the earth stops shaking),
comes the appreciation that time,
(inexorably measured by the sun's progress),
passes
and with its passing go all the shadows 
into the Night
and that's when they, 
(the Calming Noises),
come out.

And when it's night and hard to see
or know the season, 
I'm a little warmed in knowing 
that some time  
has passed.











     Color By Numbers

Ask any wise person and you'll be told
that your truth, your response to the moment,
is different from all the others.
And that this is, 
(in no way!), 
a denigration. 
It's merely a cry 
from the moment's creator -
saying "Thanks!".

Ask any painter and you'll be told
that your truth, your response to the moment,
is different from all the others.
And that this is 
(in no way!), 
a denigration.
It's merely a cry 
from the moment's creator -
saying "Thanks!".
Get The Picture?













     Contrast

Give me a vast horizon any day,
and add to it recognizable forms -
say a church steeple, a farmhouse, 
a trailer with a wooden bed, 
a windblown hair bonnet, 
small hands clutching a shawl,
and I'll fill in rest -
a deeply rutted, dirt lane,
a hay-colored shed and, of course...horses.

Their snorting,
softly reverberating thru the semi-dark,
makes little noises...
The light in there is soft 
on the eyes. 
What little of it there is 
rises like dust
when they go by. 

Clop, clop, clop clop.
That's the noise they make.  

Unlike Mary, 
I don't wish for a supposed 
purity of perception 
in say, a clod of earth.
Rather for me,
I stand in the middle of my perceptions.
Always. 

They epitomize for me,
moments 
of identification.

So, clop clop, clop clop -
those sounds tell me things...
like how hard the earth is, 
how old the horse,
how damp the air, 
how dry the straw -
more. 

The way I'm in the middle is that each
object in the barn 
is subjected to the light of my 
interpretation,
much the same as that pitchfork is 
partly illumined
by that slanting, late day sun. 







     Fall

Leaves
Leaves
Leaves

The branches are full 
of them.
The trees are full 
of them.
All possible colors are in 
there.
Burnt orange is there,
and it's one of my favorites.

Leaves talk when you walk.
They talk allot 
when you walk allot, 
and when you've got nothin' to say
they say it all. 
(Granted their vocabulary is limited, 
but what the heck!)

When a stiff wind kicks up, 
it's as if you're in a crowd of people murmuring.
















     The Power of Imagination

You're in a barn.
Smell it. 
If you've never been in a barn -
too bad.  But! 
you've probably been in a dark, dank, closet before, 
so...
replace the smell of the new cut grass 
with the that of that closet and Presto! 
You got it - The Smell!

On the dirt floor of the barn, 
you'll find 
rusted, pitted nails.
Just nails.
Thousands of them!
They hold the place up.

Bend over. Pick some of them up. 
but be careful!, as you do it.
The sharp part, 
(the part that's rusted),
will cut you, 
if you move too fast.
The burnt-orange rust 
finds a way into the small, sweaty places
of your palm.

Fold your hand over them, 
hold them, 
remember 
all the nails you've ever held - 
the rough ones,
the smooth ones, 
the shiny ones, 
the new ones.

They all have hammer histories.










     Howling At The Moon

Why me?
Why?  Why?  Why?
It's not fair!
Not fair. Not fair. Not fair.
Why now?
Why now?  
Why now?
Why not later?
Later. Later

Why me?
Why?  Why?  Why?
It's not fair!
Not fair. Not fair. Not fair.
Why now?
Why now?  
Why now?
Why not later?
Later. Later










        Just Your Typical Knight 
           In Shinning Armor

What can I say?
God said it all, 
when He granted me, you.

For the life of me,
(even at its lowest ebb),
when I would have gladly given up the ghost,
you were there.
Thanks.








     Life = Art

It all began with something that's got no shape. 
After hours & hours of nothing - 
something 
happened.
Something Remarkable -
not much, I'll grant you,
but something.

The minds on this globe can be pictured easily -
like pinpricks in aluminum foil
with a light bulb behind it.

Hold that thought.

That "something that's got no shape",
holds the foil.

 


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                                      Each piece of art is inspired by the incredible normalcy that runs rampant thru my life.



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