Monday, October 5, 2015

New Sneakers

AWAY ------






© Gerry Sackett, 2015

Dulles Airport Concourse
Photo by Morio
from Wikimedia Commons

Tuesday, September 22, 2015


To become powerful in this world
You must learn to destroy joy,
Destroy the Muse, destroy souls.
You must spray videos of your pride
In the decorum of torture, the ritual of righteous murder.
Your failure to be human
Becomes Absolute Law—unappealable.
You establish the tyranny of arid illusion,
Lovelessness, the faultless Priesthood of Death.

Each person is a Museum
Where memory is a masterpiece,
Where our secret Muse is guarded,
Past and present one vivific delight.
Yet our yearning is art.
Each Museum is therefore a person
Where Joy is studied by lovestruck scholars,
Where art is heart, breathtakingly displayed.
High sadness is here, part of our soul.
So the museum is an immortal Garden
That soars on our bliss into the future.
Here, the shapes of our hope are valid.
We see, and our mind caresses our sorrow and goodness.

Museums are therefore a garden
That must be sprayed with death
By righteously insane gardeners.
Hectic soul-flowers must be poisoned,
The muses disintegrated in ecstasies of hate.
For the failure to be human
To become absolute law, Awe must be identical to murder.
Innocence is declared guilty.
Art, identity, soul can’t exist—museums can’t exist.
The flying garden must be forgotten.
The people in the Museum are guilty
Because they are people.

But the Universe is a museum, a garden
They can’t destroy,
Where the startling stars are displayed
Like flowers, like souls,
Like the art of blessed yearning.
This Garden is guarded, this House of the Muse,
Somewhere almost forever.
The Shape of our names
Somehow, there will be safely luminous.
Yearning will also be solace, home.

© Stephen Margulies, 2015

Garden in Nogueira da Silva Museum, in Braga, Portugal
Photo by Jose Olgon
from Wikimedia Commons

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

The Fraudlings

Today I am feuding with the Fraudlings: Tiny rowdy beings that, whenever I feel bold, snarl at me "Who do you think you're fooling?"

They get loud when I start getting industrious, autonomous, visionary, sure-spoken. They call out names like "faker," "poser-girl," "dull, broken, unworthy hoaxster."  I hear them all around: from bookshelves and dusty corners, kitchen cupboards and along the garden path. I work tight and breathless to block out their heckling, but they are always waiting for me to let go. They can wear me down until I relent and escape.

They stay so pleasantly quiet when I sit passively, watching and mindless. Those are fitting activities for me, they think. They celebrate when my brain is idling and my body is still. They get high on the guilt-fumes that rise from the wasting of life.

They used to live in my cerebral cortex, right in there. They had a trailer park set up, had it easy for years. They could watch my sparkly intentions flash round my synapses like lightning bugs on a summer night and they'd bat the spark right out of them without even setting down their beers. On occasion, a big idea would flush and surprise them - threaten to poop on their party- but those vicious little rednecks could always shoot it down before it got much air.

I finally sniffed them out and started poking at their encampment, prodding into their little trailers and squinting to read their tiny tattoos and saying, "I don't think y'all belong in here anymore. I want to use this patch for something else... Something newer, or older, I haven't decided yet.  Definitely something fresher."

The Fraudlings did their normal demotivational hollering. I stared them down, and started plotting against them.

I pestered them with new rules. I posted signs that I knocked into the gray matter with my fist:
"intoxicants and firearms prohibited"
"quiet hours strictly enforced"
"no dumping"
"no haters"

I noticed how much easier it was to sink something in there than in the packed clay of my garden. The place is fertile ground, litter-strewn and unplanted ever since the Fraudlings squatted there.

Then I interrogated them:
"How did you get in here?"
"Why are you so loud?"
"Why are you so down on me?"

I never got a straight answer...

The scrutiny was too intense for them, though. They packed up, marched down my ear canals, spitting, moaning and threatening as they left, then out and bouncing off my shoulders in all directions. The weedy bastards seemed smaller on the outside. I got to work, cleaned up the mess they'd left.

They are still living in my house and occasionally climb in my pockets. They leap from me like fleas that whisper and sneer from other people's shoulders. They cling there and say "one slip and she'll see who you really are," or "you'll never be as free and together as this guy." This used to make me cower, but I'm getting better at ignoring them.

Days like today, when I am searching for an outlet for my voice, they have a sporting holiday - they hurl grappling hooks at my ears and try to swing in as they yodel "Who, You?" I foil their invasions, shake them off, one day at a time.

As long as I fight, I have space to cultivate my will, to plant seeds of intentions, to stake up my seedlings so they can take off, gain their own energy and make a tall stand of my work so full that the fresh hushing of wind in the branches will diffuse the sharp edges of distant war-cries, making them directionless and dull, as they should be.

© Laura Seale, 2015

Dr. Squintum's Exaltation or the Reformation, 1763
from Wikimedia Commons

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

I Will Get There

No one will stop my growth.
No one will hold me down.
Nothing will prevent my going on.
I will walk onward with head high.
I may turn in circles for a while
because there seem to be walls,
but I will find an opening.
I may seem to be going back
because a force is pulling me,
but I will stand still and wait,
to walk on alone and with pride.

No one and nothing will stop me.
So watch out for me,
I’m coming to full growth!
Put all the stumbling blocks 
you want to stop me.
I will look around and climb over,
with a few scratches on the journey,
but when I get there,
I will be glowing with completeness.

Nothing can stop me,
so get ready for me:
I will be there.

© Hilda Ward, 2015

Civil Rights march on Washington, D.C.; 1963
Photo by Warren K. Leffler
U.S. News &P World Report Photograph Collection
Library of Congress
from Wikimedia Commons

Wednesday, August 26, 2015


When lonely, his whimper
sparks across the dark
gap where the heartbeat's born
like a wolf howling
a bridge of sorrow
to the moon.

Once I left him too long.
He dug a hole so deep
it became a throat
that swallowed night.
I climbed down to get him out,
saw stars shining overhead
at noon.

If I forget to feed him,
he nibbles 
crumbs from my childhood,
that place swept
and left  long ago.

When I dream
he runs, leash-free,
returns to lick my hand.
One night
I will follow him
to the river,
step into a weathered boat
floating on the cold fire
of captured stars,
then walk with him
into his world.

© Jean Sampson, 2015

Canis Major among the Myth Constellations
from the Universe Today website

Monday, August 17, 2015

Your Short Leaving (for Nelson Mandela)

You are in our hearts and our souls;
our thoughts fill with only your being.
We dance not for dying on this one day,
But we sing in joy of your short leaving.

For we are here to keep your name alive
in words that tell of you as saint to none,
who was of this world when in sorer want
and saw new from the old under the sun.

We sing and dance in joy for your going;
our thoughts fill with only your being.
You are in our hearts and our souls;
We will long keep you in your short leaving.

© Dennis Wright, 2015

Nelson Mandela in Johannesburg, May 2008
South Africa, The Good News
from Wikimedia Commons

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Boy Who Waits

His smile opens over a missing 
front tooth. Perhaps he’s eight, 
maybe nine. A gray wool cap 
hangs on his forehead, jacket 
buttoned, black.  He perches on 
the end of a planked bench and 
waits as instructed.  He holds 
his hand on a plaid red blanket 
draped across the bench -- is it 
his mother’s fringed shawl -- maybe, 
it is worn, it is dear.  He looks straight 
at Chagall as if posing one century 
ago in Paris, or was it Vitebsk?  
Morning sunrays warm the walls, the 
floor of a room that seems cozy, 
except the doors that are padlocked 
and the barren space -- lock, bench, 
cupboard, a dustpan, rose-colored jug 
stored high, out of his reach.  

Scarce color in this painting, the boy’s 
feet are on the floor.  No magic cows or 
smiling horse, no lovers float above. 

This was what the artist painted, nothing 
more about the boy.  Imagine him painted 
now -- would the lock be gone, the title new?

or would nothing change -- the boy sitting
idle, waiting as told, faint hues of 
red and rose -- still the village idiot.

© Marti Snell, 2015

The Village Idiot

Painting: “The Village Idiot” by Marc Chagall (1914-15)
Painted in Paris but likely an image from his home near Vitebsk, Belarus - part of the Russian Empire. Oil and graphite on paper (49.5 x 37.8 cm). In the Metropolitan Museum of Art.