Oregon    1962 -    
"Old age should burn and rave at close of day; Rage, rage against the dying of the light..." Dylan Thomas

Bio: I studied with Oregon poet John Haislip in the 1990's and have been writing and teaching for over 20 years. I feel a great opportunity is arising in online poetry and e-journals to bring new poets and perspectives into a public forum. I'm thrilled to read great poetry here on HP. I am so thankful to Eliot and the Hello Poetry community for revitalizing poetry in public space.
"Old age should burn and rave at close of day; Rage, rage against the dying of the light..." Dylan Thomas

Bio: I studied with Oregon poet John Haislip in the 1990's and have been writing and teaching for over 20 years. I feel a great opportunity is arising in online poetry and e-journals to bring new poets and perspectives into a public forum. I'm thrilled to read great poetry here on HP. I am so thankful to Eliot and the Hello Poetry community for revitalizing poetry in public space.
  Mar 3  Mary Winslow
Liz Balise

Black, Swiss cheese hulk on horizon
The James Longstreet
immobile old freighter of the bay

Towed to the ignominy
of its last commission
in the curled arm of The Cape
Tides flex their muscles against it
But The Longstreet is steadfast
in its dark purpose

Standing target for practice

A sortie if planes home in on its bulk
Honing their skills
on this  “fish-in-a-barrel”
Thunderhead-etched pyrotechnics
Booming follows the miles over water

Against The Longstreet’s silhouette enduring
even God fixes sights
firing bolts across its bow
taking aim at our futures

Standing targets for practice

Vietnam? Cape Cod?
No difference to teens
before life’s ocean of conscription

Sand is cold beneath dunes
Beach grass rustles
to the pulsing surf
to the wind’s whispers
just below hearing
as if there’s a secret
that must be kept

We are targets for practice
We are meaningless din

Pulling our sweatshirts and blanket closer
The Supremes sing thinly
from transistor
“Stopped for a moment in the name of love—

Thinking it over”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p38khYKxqLI

The Target Ship has now disintegrated into a sunken reef and sanctuary for ocean wildlife.  The above video is a cool tour complete with perfect music. Enjoy.

I am reading John's book
Seal Rock
sitting on a bench
of burned driftwood
on the beach

Working towards the pages at the end
footprints in the sand
bouncing beach ball
rises and falls

I like to show I’ve read it
my trail leaves indents on each page
pencil marks on rhythmic feet
round snug half-barnacles on the words
some look as if seaweed stroked
fickle wind tattling all over them
sleet’s box of stones
pelt the edges of shore smelling of clam juice
convulsing artillery of ocean
surf starts beating back the sanderlings
while they try to dance along
the fray of the waves

February’s freezing rain
means I must be more inventive
turn this book
into poetry’s bunker
winter spits its godhead
ice billiards fall into my pockets
all turning blue in the sea
this book transforms
to a heaven-formed shell
I hold up its thick pane
over my head
shingle
umbrella
where ice pebbles slide off
freezing indifference
can’t touch me
with poems to protect me
as I run towards our rental.

copyright Mary Winslow 2017 all rights reserved. I've worked on this one for an age. I posted an earlier version of it last year. John was the poet of the concrete scene, and I was never good at that. I did my best, but it doesn't come easily to me! It's still an extended metaphor about the struggle to write that kind of poem.
  Feb 26  Mary Winslow
Jeff Stier

Bring me your
orphan memories
and I will stitch them
into a chapter of time

Stepping fearlessly into
empty air
walking the tightrope
of certain death

Drawing memory
into the web of this moment
Bleeding it out into meaning

While sleeping
While dreaming

These poor words
strain to tell a tale
a shout out to eternity
and it is a clarion call
from the dawning
to the setting of the sun
announcing a state of grace
that surely will ripple
through time.

The night calls sweetly to us
Bids us sleep well
and find courage in the day.

  Feb 12  Mary Winslow
Dave Kavanagh

The land sweats beads
of copper coloured ochre and green
oxidisation.

The striation of the world
runs in one direction,
everything points north eventually.

I climb along the line of interlacing.

Spurs and horizons stretch forever,
thin air perspective
    unpacks her brushes.

She paints her canvas of blue.

Above, gulls fly
higher and faster than aeroplanes.
And bald headed vultures

rise

like black and white kites
floating on shimmering thermals.

I pull hard into a deep maw,
a gullet of igneous rock swallows
the morning,

toes and thighs strain to higher ground
as I pull for up.
    
    Up and still more up,
    grunt and again up.

Scrabbling and scrambling
at loose,
my feet betrayed
    by lies of stone.

perspiration blinds me.

I climb like a scuttling  arthritic insect
starved of sunshine
in a landscape that craves rain.

Knees and palms anchored me to abrasive pummel,
    soft skin impressed
on the flip side of dimples.

Unwilling flesh
stretched
to limits of minor endurance.

My chest is slick with dust
and sweat that runs to muck and stains me.

The last ten feet is loose shale
I will not be beaten today.
I crawl and haul and pull to blue.

Linen fresh, open, wonderful, blue.


Starbursts erupt through cheap polaroid
as I stride the summit and realise,
the other side of mountains
    is down.

Barnacle pockmarked crowns are the color of cement
like postage stamps licked and pressed on branch stumps
most of the trunk was carved by the salt silversmith
skin is cleaned down to bone
plucked tidy by fish
this pew keeled, rolled off on shore
swaddled slick with seaweed, lost its own leaves
smooth bald bark
unique features jettisoned
storm bluster is what makes us old
pod of blue idyll buoys the best parts a while
until leavings fall on shore rejected stone lipped transom
screwed around into a pith of moon-heart wisdom

The youthful part of life turns hardship variegated
then our yarns and folklore go gray desiccated
sea sediments fill the crevices
delving and scarring the core watermarked

Confusion pulls off our grave of vignettes
poems burned into husks
ignorant martinets
smash the shells, scatter the mussel tongues
Godfathered this outward skin
best parts hunkered down in the storm cellar
chased by crimes until in the end what remains
is this stubborn challenged hull of struggle.

copyright Mary Winslow 2017 all rights reserved. Things are hard for poets these days with everything going on politically. Again, I turn to the sea for a metaphor, which helped me through these depressing times. I hope you enjoy it.
  Jan 9  Mary Winslow
Jeff Stier

The candles of the dead
will not be extinguished
floating like blossoms in the deep
cradled by spectral hands
never seen by the living
except in dreams
or art

Did you come this far
for the view?
Or was it a curious urge
to find forgiveness
in a time of grief?

I can grant you forgiveness.
I have the power
through time and the tides
my calloused hands
have held the sun like an egg
my feet have climbed
Mt. Olympus
and none the wiser

So come gently with me
leave your battered dreams
on the bedside table
drink a draught of this noble wine
stand upon this precipice
of uncertainty
and contemplate something
near to eternity.

The candles will light your way.

 
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