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Ponderous, the moment
When all superficiality is lost
And the enormity
Of the great everlasting
Weighs down
On my utter insignificance.

Pondering the weighty tomes within Allen's great poem
"Neanderthal Night Sky".
 Oct 2021
Stephen E Yocum
That first night sky in the high desert
was fully unexpected, with no moon yet
the lighted canopy of brilliant heavenly
sparkling bodies appeared so dense and
near that at first view I felt perhaps I must
duck down so as to not bump my head
into a star or two.

City and town skies are muted by city lights,
only a few stars visible even on a clear night.
High Desert skies are so densely packed it
takes your breath away, you can sit for hours
with your mouth agape in contemplative
wonderment, mesmerized by the sheer vast
splendor of the heavens dense blanket of
shimmering lights out into infinity and beyond.
No telescope required.
To say those lighted heavens made me
feel very small is an understatement.
Oregon's Southeastern Steens Mountain
High Desert, 5000 feet above sea level is
one of the most remote and year-round
darkest skies in North America. 65 miles
from even the nearest small country town.
Hundreds of miles from any city lights.
Great for star gazing! That first view is
indelibly etched upon my vision's memory
all these many years later, and every year
since I try to return. The place pulls me back
like a magnet.
 Jul 2021
Nat Lipstadt
A mirror will suffice, no doubt.
The high furrowed forehead,
The heavy-lidded Asian eyes,
The long-lobed Indian ears.
Brown skin beginning to spot,
Of an age to bore and be bored.
I turn away, knowing too well
My face, my expression
For all seasons, my half-smile.

Birds flit about the feeder,
The dog days wane, and I
Observe the jitters of leaves
And the pallor of the ice-blue beyond.
I read to find inspiration. I write
To restore candor to the mind.
There are raindrops on the window,
And a peregrine wind gusts on the grass.
I think of my old red flannel shirt,
The one I threw away in July.
I would like to pat the warm belly of a
Beagle or the hand of a handsome woman.
I look ahead to cheese and wine,
And a bit of Bach, perhaps,
Or Schumann on the bow of Yo-Yo Ma.

I see the mountains as I saw them
When my heart was young.
But were they not a deeper blue,
shimmering under the fluency of skies
Radiant with crystal light? Across the way
The yellow land lies out, and standing stones
Form distant islands in the field of time.
here is a stillness on this perfect world,
And I am content to settle in its hold.
I turn inward on a wall of books.
They are old friends, even those that
Have dislodged my dreams. One by one
They have shaped the thing I am.

These are the days that swarm
Into the shadows of legend. I ponder.
And when the image on the glass
Is refracted into the prisms of the past
I shall remember: my parents speaking
Quietly in a warm familiar room, and
I bend to redeem an errant, broken doll.
My little daughter, her eyes brimming
With love, beholds the ember of my soul.
There is the rattle of a teacup, and
At the window and among the vines,
The whir of a hummingbird’s wings.
In the blue evening, in another room,
There is the faint laughter of ghosts,
And in a tarnished silver frame, the
likeness of a boy who bears my name.
A Benign Self-Portrait
N. Scott Momaday - 1934-

suggested to me by M. Gebbie to be shared
 Jul 2021
Terry O'Leary
The wrapes of Grath adorn the path that slammer klingks had tread
when turning spades in everglades to flosticate the dead.
Along the way the snorbels bay at freebled sprutelned
that boogeymen had once again uphove above the shed.

The buildings tall that housed the krawl are pictured carved in stone
and all that’s left is now bereft of wrapes that might atone
for scabs that feed our wrinkled breed, distraught and lying prone.
Yes, flonk replaces merpeled traces deep inside, alone.

There’s no retreat from incomplete, so durbies never dared,
but streaped instead beneath their bed with franjent fangs unbeared;
they knew the past could never last although the trumpets blared,
for doogies, stripped, were ill equipped, no longer bald or haired.

Like cavaliers with gougejent spears, well triggered for a tiff,
slank vankulures with silver spurs embussed for grimp and griff
(no question why, for “we can’t die”, the oft regleated riff);
with little fuss the blunder bus krunged glimpfly off the cliff
and fetid breet of grim defeat gave Grath its final whiff;
the catapult had one result, all life lay lazelled stiff.

The plastic waves that washed the graves, now homeland for the rutch,
though faring worse when quenching thirst with warples in the hutch
were nonetheless, as frunks confess, so pleasant to the touch
exturbing sinks that watered wynx and onetime life as such.

Like burning blotters slurping waters, skindles sipped their fill
from koozing cracks between the tracks inhumed beneath the hill,
then spawned the spores of Grathic wars that profit from the ****;
their victory tales, like crimson crails, reside in dung and dill.

Those scrilly clouds that cowed the crowds neath radiation snapes
left little less than watercress beneath their coffin’s drapes;
yes, those unborn cannot adorn the pallor of the prapes
so scrundlemun tinge bibberun, we ones who reap the wrapes.

Yes, now-abandoned hetzelspan were once in time embroiled
with merikained that firps extained until the weather roiled.
What more, perchance, can happenstance inflict upon the koiled
when pendlesnips are in eclipse and wrapes of Grath are soiled?
This [will be/has been] written in the future (3121 CE) by our evolutionary progeny (in the ruins left, after our apocalyptic demise) and [has been/will be] sent back to us as a warning, through a warped space-time wormhole.

But yeah, we won’t pay heed…

Note that ‘language’ [is/will be] different then… so it might sometimes be a little hard to understand...

(too much koolaid???)
 Jul 2021
We stood
on the driveway today
at dawn
Candles in hand,
as the boy  down the road
played The Last Post,
imperfectly but with
such a beautiful heart

We stood
on the driveway today
With rosemary
for remembrance
and red poppies too
Pinned to our chest.
as birds flew over head

We stood and  remembered
the sacrifice and courage
We stood and remembered
those who did not return
those who did but left
brothers and mates behind
Those who fell,
those who returned injured
In body or mind.

The dawns gentle light
watching over us all
as we looked to
the left and the right
to see neighbors all
Standing  in their driveways
Gifting our diggers
the respect they are due
for the service they gave
to the countries they love

We stood and gave thanks
as the last trumpet note died
and the kookaburras  called
Australia the nation stood tall
Because of the pandemic and associated restrictions with regard to gathering of any type other than households
The usual ANZAC Day comemerative parades could not take place..instead it was suggested we "Light up our driveways "
ie wake for the dawn service normally 5.30 to 6  and stand with  lit candles in driveway as the service took place.(over radios and TVWifi Hookups) .
Our street (all of our street)did this not by any group plan but by each family deciding to stand and honour those who fought in battles for our nation and others throughout our history
...I am so proud that every house represented was a sacred time...
One that my words fail to do justice to...

ANZAC Day 2020
Lest We Forget
 Jun 2021
Terry O'Leary
The noblemen control the pen, indeed they own the farm,
but nonetheless exude finesse (and need I mention charm?)
with revenue to sate the few, exulting arm in arm;
for all the rest, they wish the best and certainly mean no harm.

The fourth estate stands proud and straight, emplaced upon a peak,
beside a birch where parrots perch and claim the truth to speak;
while hatching schemes, they’re hawking dreams to keep us mild and meek,
promoted by the gods on high, that clever reigning clique.

They spread their lies throughout the sties to keep the truth at bay
and horoscopes are filled with hopes for those with faith to pray;
the other few wait in the queue, with faces made of clay,
collecting crumbs which have become their dreams of yesterday.

The tube embeds the talking heads (you know the ones, the tools)
who on the screens won’t spill the beans, lest mighty might unspools,
so bend the news reflecting views of those who set the rules
to obfuscate and fabricate their pabulum for fools.

With pyrite smiles and other wiles, they thrive concocting tales
that lead to wars on foreign shores, which help improve the sales
of missile tips and battleships, discounting death that pales
and broken hearts for body parts a graveled grave regales.

You wouldn’t guess, the yellow press, when out to make a ****,
will sell their soul (to dodge the dole) and feed the swine some swill –
a trenchant trope with inside dope that gives the crowds a thrill
(when mixed with tripe, they call it hype) and masks a bitter pill.

The tabloids reek of doublespeak – when did the stench begin?
In olden times, with paradigms, no doubt with but a grin;
but nowadays, in subtle ways, there’s far more discipline:
they scrawl their screeds neath headline ledes that give the tales a spin.

A clever dunce tried hard just once to read between the lies
and thereby found that facts are drowned within a newspeak guise.
Yeah, all that stuff reflects the slough they hide behind their eyes,
although absurd it fuels the herd like  sustaining flies.

Within the fort a special court is hidden from our view
where sits a judge who’ll never budge, called Captain Kangaroo;
as justice bleeds, those evil deeds (like leaking what is true)
will be convicted as pre-scripted by the hangman’s crew.

A blue-eyed wight uncloaks the night and when (by chance, perhaps)
his whistle blows, the airwaves close, high crime stays under wraps,
and those that sin prevail again with feathers in their caps;
the price instead’s the leaker’s head, precluding a relapse.
 Jun 2021
Wk kortas
I have often wondered
(Though this one time out of respect for the deceased,
I suppressed the urge to ask the question)
Why in hell preachers never seem to own any old pairs of shoes;
Certainly, they must be cognizant
That the when the Lord brings rain
(Though never when, where, or in the proportion we would like,
His way being not our way and all that *******)
The mud is sure to follow, and yet I have never seen a preacher
Who didn’t approach an open grave in shiny new calfskin loafers.
To say that having a man of the cloth approach
The solemn duty of uniting a man with his Maker
Like he was tip-toeing through a mine field puts a burr up my ***
Is to make understatement ******* near an art form;
I have stipulated in my will that I’m to be buried
Smack-dab in the middle of my cow pasture
(The farm itself, sadly, a bit easier to reach
Once the town—over my strenuous objections, I may add—
Decided it was necessary to pave
My section of the Crow Mountain Road)
So when the time comes for the minister
At the Presbyterian church over in Delhi
To spirit me away from this vale of tears to the arms of Jesus,
Hopefully he’ll do so with good honest cowshit
Splattered on his suit trousers.

That is, apparently, what old Doc Cathey
Scribbled down on Henry’s death certificate,
Though I suspect he simply picked a page
Out of his medical dictionary
And wrote the first thing that looked plausible.
Given that the man was big as a house and soft as a newborn,
It’s **** near a miracle he lived as long as he did,
And he sure as hell didn’t do anything for his longevity
By taking on the cares and worries of every loser and fool
Like they were so many stray kittens.
For myself, I learned long ago where value lies:
You come up to my place,
I can show you an Ithaca Double Shotgun from the 20s
With the blue still on the barrels,
Worth **** near a thousand dollars now,
And Liberty Head ten-dollar coins
That you’d swear were freshly minted.
Now that, my friend, is the kind of thing
Which appreciates over the years,
And if I die alone and unmourned,
Well, that’s pretty much how I came in,
So I’m more or less ahead of the game.
What killed Henry? Well, I’m no M.D, praise God,
But I figure it was his failure to take into account
That saintliness doesn’t pay off
Until a body’s gone and become past tense.
Mr. Loomis and Mr. Soames appear courtesy of the John Gardner novel Nickel Mountain.
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