Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Poetrytales Written in Stone

I want to open this blog posting with a poem, a new one, one written tis winter.

So, please excuse me for a moment, I have to paw through 41 pages to make my pick.  Hmmm, what poem will I select to share with you?!


By Some Mistake,

my new coiff’s punked out,
spikey like a snowy egret’s pate
but mine’s silver, mind you, not yet white
and definitely not your old broad’s
mating plumage (How does that damn bird
keep her headfeathers so brazenly clean?);
I gotta do hair goo for this do—
gunk equals must— otherwise you get me
going on vulture-ugly and screaming
Buzzard shit! ’cause avian envy’s hard stuff.


There. That didn’t take too long.  I chose this poem for a few good reasons. First, I wrote it for my beloved friend Colleen Powderly, a poet of power who’ll be visiting us come Friday. (Yay!). That makes this poem a poem of friendship, so is impeccably suitable to share with you. (It also spares you the politics, erotica, etc. in my Winter 2014-2015 collection.) Three: The poem is light. Puh-leese, no downers for my first posting of the new year. Four: It feels good to sweat the small stuff when the heavies (name yours—cancer? senility? grief? despair?) have got you in rocky, hard places. Life calls on you to make like moss: Be soft. Sit still. Listen. Breathe.


I give you another story written in the photograph, one I took last summer on the Isle of Iona in Scotland. Here it is February already and I’ve only today finished Volume I of the Highland adventures photo/poetry book.  (See below.) The wall is one at a 13th-century nunnery, continuing to fall into ruins. I gaze at the stone and can almost hear one of the novices humming a prayer to St. Brigit, for me.


Methinks another poem is in order, and another photograph, that is two more tales of a poet.


Florida Lullaby to Self

Lately I’ve been having the most satisfying
yawns after afternoon daydreams
and satisfying stretches of mind
(Cohen, Scafidi, Longenbaugh)
and stretches of muscle (water aerobics);
I bathe in warm pools of solitude,
as often as I dare, dance
with coyote and owl by the stars,
and by the moon sing to armadillo
of the raccoon’s thieving envy.
I inhale in concert with tree frog and cricket;
I exhale spells cast on the feral boars of life.

Wildness, this darkness, do comfort me;
I shall sleep the sleep of lichen and moss.


That, folks, is how the winter is going most of the time.  Roger and I keep perhaps too busy socially, though certainly have a good time. Roger’s working hard to keep fit; I get to the pool often for my own exercise.  And, we will soon be packing our bags for an expedition to Costa Rica and the Panama Canal. The Vagabond Duet are going to give another trip a try.

Meanwhile, I hope you have the same sweet sleep.

Drift off to sleep, perhaps contemplating the life of lichen as in the photo below. This lichen lives quietly, stubbornly, enduringly bonded to granite on a hand-worked stone the size of a breadbox painstakingly set into the walls of a ceremonial mound dating to Neolithic times in the Scottish Highlands just east of Inverness. I can almost hear the clan priestess chant her ancient song to the Moon, for me.



For further reading, viewing, discovering:

·         Travel with me! See my new Shutterfly photo book at: https://karlasphotobooks.shutterfly.com/ . At long last, the first of two photobook volumes of Roger's and my expedition in the Scottish Highlands. Join us aboard the Lord of the Glen as we explore the islands of the Inner Hebrides and motor along the Caledonian Canal bisecting the Highlands from Oban in the far west to Inverness in the far east.  Look for Volume II of the adventure soon!

·         Two poetry events are in the offing. In case you’re in the neighborhood here in Florida, see: http://www.copperfishbooks.com/events.php - Reading on Feb. 12th with beloved friend and fellow writer Catherine Underhill Fitzpatrick, along with writer Kris Radish.

·         Coming up on Feb. 22, I will join my beloved friend and fellow poet William Heyen for a duet reading at Bookstore1Sarasota. My third reading there! http://www.sarasotabooks.com/#!february-events/c1c1s
·         And please visit The Centrifugal Eye at http://centrifugaleye.com/ -- my Her “Wealth of Souvenirs” is out (or just about out) in the Winter 2015 issue, “Story,” along with “a solitary, endless / infinitive”, mys book review of Julie Bruck’s Monkey Ranch, along with my photograph “Slave Art.”

·        Do you love coffee or hate it? Share it or drink it alone? Prefer regular or decaf? Flavored or plain? At home or at a coffee shop? See the sample poems by Jo Balistreri, Wilda Morris and me. (Mine is “Since today is the first full day of summer I envision:”.) Check it out at http://wildamorris.blogspot.com/. I’ve very honored to be judging this month’s challenge, especially to be partnered with Jo.  Thank you, Wilda!

·         Also my poem “Herpetologically Yourswon Wilda Morris’s Poetry Challenge in January and was published there in January. Scroll down her site to read it. ,

And, should be lucky enough to have copies of these journals (or decide you’d like to order a copy on Amazon), you can read:

·         My poem “Florida Nocturnal Sutra,” which appeared in Avocet: A Journal of Nature Poetry, Winter 2015, and “Visit to the Magic Kingdom of Everglades Trees” rand in The Weekly Avocet in late January.  Also, “When I Wish upon a Tree” out on New Year’s Eve in The Weekly Avocet.

·         Another poem: “Final Tally: Mosquito Netting: 0, Wife: 9” was published in We Are Poetry: An Anthology of Love Poems (Stacy Savage) in February.

·         And another: “Among the ***s” in Petals in the Pan, an anthology from Kind of a Hurricane Press.

·         Another, also from Kind of a Hurricane Press: “Ménage à Trois,” Pyrokinection, Fall 2014, and s reprinted in Storm Cycle: 2014 Best-of Anthology, out this month. Click on: http://www.pyrokinection.com/ … scroll down to “Older Posts” and scroll further.

·         Lastly, “Following Leonard Cohen’s Lead” will be out soon in Poeming Pigeons, an anthology from The Poetry Box.

Thank you for reading.

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