nine was was

September 11, 2015

It seemed a time of respect.

Skies were skies,
no chalky lines.

Only bird, cloud

Booty and bullets

Terrorism was not yet

Reflection and restraint
a  brief national value.

Never to return,

We lived briefly
in the eye of a blood storm.

speaking with tongue

August 8, 2013

We rationalize:
it’s a jungle out there.

We possess the language
to scaffold a lasting peace.

Yet we continue to speak
only reptile.

Winter Stars

By Sara Teasdale

I went out at night alone;
 The young blood flowing beyond the sea
Seemed to have drenched my spirit’s wings—
 I bore my sorrow heavily.
But when I lifted up my head
 From shadows shaken on the snow,
I saw Orion in the east
 Burn steadily as long ago.
From windows in my father’s house,
 Dreaming my dreams on winter nights,
I watched Orion as a girl
 Above another city’s lights.
Years go, dreams go, and youth goes too,
 The world’s heart breaks beneath its wars,
All things are changed, save in the east
 The faithful beauty of the stars.

Source: Flame and Shadow (1920)
Illustration by Winifred Bromhall (1925)

On the Outside

December 18, 2010

You never look
at me.
I often look
at you.

You have
those things
I am told
bring happiness.

I have
those things
I am told
bring shame.

I look into
your restaurant –

you spend
my week’s wages
in a night

so elegant
so white

table cloths
and candles
fine wine
and waiters.

I could go on
and on,

but I have been ordered
to move along…


to Paul Squires

December 16, 2010

a wave goodbye
paints a new horizon


In memory of Paul Squires, whose presence and comments graced this site with some regularity. Paul was a well regarded  published poet and author of the acclaimed book The Puzzle Box. His fine work can be appreciated at his blog gingatao. Thank you Paul for your words and humanity.

Here are some wonderfully written tributes:
Paul Squires at Aletha Kuschan’s Weblog

Paul Squires and Proust at Words

Paul Squires, Poet Laureate Of The Universe at Absurdistry’s Weblog

Paul Squires: Some things are not ghosts at art predator.

Paul Squires: true original, gone… at Another Lost Shark

Paul performing his poetry:

Here is the poem, Listen:

Listen By Paul Squires

Listen. Not to me. On a cool, clear night like this the traffics are louder.
They hurrr by like bundles of compressed air whirlywinding someone
home. The old man next door has gone to bed. He coughs his awakeness
and will soon snore his dream.
This pen pushes black ink across a white page with a jumping, scratching
rhythm. The next three dots are not a device they are a drum roll…
This last full stop is a rimshot crack.
The oceans from which you come continue in your breath, hear soft lines
rhythm in and curl out. You are a continent composed of dreams, a land of
mystery and miracles and your heartbeat I hear as the voice of God
entrusting her creation to you. This is not a metaphor nor an allegory nor an
image. You are not a story you tell yourself. Your life is not an American
Movie. Star light is real and brings the heavens to you to kiss your eyes and in this cold night voices purr in the street as drunkards roll home and cats pursue the objectives of their owners and an old grey muzzle dog’s tail thumps once on a bare wooden floor.
The moon speaks to him in his voice and to you in the voice of your blood and the ocean though miles away moils in each of your cells, salt water in your tears, salt water in your blood coloured by passion and the breathing you hear is not your own, nor mine but the voice of a child a thousand miles away, born before his time and waiting. Waiting for your eternal embrace, your warmth to bring him home and his mother in the clouds of morning, in the ever present sunrise, you can hear her smile in birdsong and in the crackle of dry leaves under bare feet.
Insects sing.
There is no other proof of your existence but this, the sounds that you hear always, every sound ever alive in the tremor of tiny bones hidden in your head. Imagine that, the slightest of vibrations creating all this clamour of life which never stops, is always warm and slow, fast and hot and though you may close your eyes you may never close your ears, not even in sleep wherein sounds will form the matter of your dreams.
And though you may close this book forever and never read another word, wordless the world will come to you and reveal itself to you and there is no other proof that you exist but this, you are beloved of the earth and the creatures around you, insects and stars are quietly harmonising with your breath and the rythm of the ocean enlivens us all, and the moons voice is eternal and God whispers lullabies in breezes, rain storms, traffic and there beside you now, the ever present child drawing warmth from the murmur of your heart as it marks the patterns of joy, the echoes of pain, the wheel which never ceases to turn and touching you rolls on, it hurrrs as it turns slowly fading into just you, you alone, surrounded by and singing with the voice of God.

Source of poem: gingatao

Here are some poems written for Paul:

The Force of Gravity

We didn’t realise the gravity of the situation

the impact of releasing a single word,
a flutter
faintly at first but slowly
the breeze from the butterfly effect
turned into a cyclonic wind


gravity holds
planets in orbit of the sun
you were the sun
as we were the planets


there was a supernova
a stella explosion

what was before
and what remains,
a mirage
that is life
without gravity.

Gabrielle Bryden

The show must go on,

Now I know how Dorothy felt when the tornado picked her up in Kansas and whoooossshed her to the fantastical land of Oz to be with a bunch of witches, the scarecrow, tin man and cowardly lion. Now I know how a cork from a bottle of rum feels when thrown overboard by a pirate (concentrating on the melody of what shall we do with a drunken sailor while scratching his itchyaaarse and dancing with a mermaid of his fantasy), tossed up, down and sideways on the black, tumultuous seas, longing to be safely back in the dry ship cabin. I must be hallucinating, I’m sea-ing a pink snail floating on fairy floss or is it slithering along a shimmering martini, too many incantations to digest,
never mind that, I can see the washing machine waters beginning to settle, a little, and the sky tonight is red so another day will bring a sailor’s delight of calming seas, for sure
peppermint tea anyone …

he would have it no other way
the show must go on,

Gabrielle Bryden


Note: Please feel free to submit any poems, essays, or recommendations for inclusion. The above tributes and poems are by no means the only ones. They are myriad. Paul seems to have spurned a cosmos of admirers.

Peace, Herb (


Buddy Knows First

December 2, 2010

He leaps from the couch,
growls at the sky

looks back at me
to say goodbye.

Then come winds
and the blast of hell.

All we can do
is bark and yell.

The Earth
soon an ember

our spirits release.

Another failed planet.
Another failed peace.


the marcellus play

October 28, 2010

this is:
oil vs solar
marketing vs truth
walmart vs main street
insanity vs sanity
landmen vs farmland
lawyers vs community
lobbyists vs democracy
secrecy vs transparency
power vs progress
the state vs you

the pace of your life
will be corporate scale

the pace of your life
will be corporate scale

the pace of your life
will be corporate scale

the pace of your life
will be corporate scale

the pace of your life
will be corporate scale

the pace of your life
will be corporate scale

the pace of your life
will be corporate scale


February 27, 2010


after playing in snow
he comes home
a confection

death class of 2064

January 22, 2010

citizen DJsenior

slowly schmoozes out,
“And now we have a request”

“Here’s a little
Rage, Against, The Machine”

Then starts to croon,on the keyboard:

“Killing in the name of!
Some of those that work forces, are the same that burn crosses
Some of those that work forces, are the same that burn crosses
Some of those that work forces, are the same that burn crosses
Some of those that work forces, are the same that burn crosses…”

as the aids
hand out the

lyrics:Rage Against the Machine