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ottaross Aug 2013
Just seven minutes ago,
I was but a shell of myself.
I was unfulfilled
With only the promise of
What half a dozen minutes hence
Might bring.

Seven minutes ago,
Oh, seven minutes ago.
I knew nothing
Of the crazy, heady,
Seven-minutes-ahead future.

Seven minutes ago,
Oh, seven minutes ago.
Those were wild times,
With dreams,
And pie-in-the-sky aspirations.

We're all more mature
And pragmatic
In this seven-minute-ahead future.
We work hard,
And wear a no-nonsense countenance.

But some minutes,
Very rarely,
We pause
(If only for a few seconds)
And think of what might have been,
If those seven-minute-future dreams had come true.
ottaross Nov 2014
We walked home
In the late autumn darkness.
The cold north wind
That tore at our faces on the way out
Now pushed at our backs.

Just a quick pint at the local.
Gloved fingers intertwined now
As we walk those few blocks home.
A few elusive stars swimming in the pitch.

Silver slivers of low clouds hang
Canopies over our houses
Reflecting city lights.
We shiver but still wait a few moments
To look at the night
Before we enter the warm bear-hug
Of our glowing home.
ottaross Oct 2013
Somewhere the path turned from forest, to brush, to tundra
Then to the breaching pink granite of yesterday.
The features are familiar and the scrub trees fill the same crevices
The glacial radicals, still sentinels that are always watching.

I can still gather together the sticks to light a fire
And it warms me against the northern chill air
The swell of rock is cold beneath me,
And my body is a poor reservoir from which to warm it.

Already the moon of November is here
Though the calendar hasn't yet announced it.
It comes unbidden with piercing icy tendrils through ancient trees
All silver and platinum and stainless steel.

An inky lake laps at the base of the granite whale's back
An intimacy born quietly over the millennia.
Of a petrified swelling-surface relaxing under the pressure,
Of jack-pine root fingers snaking through ancient seams.
ottaross May 2015
Wending my way through the work week
Wearily, Wednesday washes away
Wise to our whistful wishes
While weary as we wander towards the weekend
Without wisdom of why we are waiting
Rather than wrestling our woes into submission.
ottaross Feb 2018
Almost abstractly it begins
Offerings of aphorisms to quell the daily tide
Exploring all angles available and their attributes
Adjust then all aspects of our problems
And build towards an anticipated resolution
A path that addresses those actions
But abandons the essence
Trophies acquired arbitrarily
Diminishing the attribution of success
Assistance pursued to remedy adversity
Renders academic the activities
That were pursued originally
Until all is abstract, ambiguous, abstruse
Exploring - initial alliteration, filled in to craft a scene
ottaross Oct 2014
Snarling words, biting and dark
Bark and leap at the gate
Demanding to be set free
In hoards and clouds like locusts.

First they are placated by gestures upon keys
Performed by compelled fingertips.
Pixel-by-pixel, the screen is slowly darkened
Black against glowing white
As more and more are released
And they squeeze in to all the spaces
Blackening all until the there is no more light.

Then to runes upon the pristine innocence of white crisp paper
Their only resistance, the tip of the dragging pen.
Still they come like insects,
Thick and tumbling over one another
To stain the pulpy fibres wet with thick, sticky liquid
Dispensed by the rolling steel ball
Until all is encrusted with the dried ink.

With all words unleashed
There is no end.
There was more
With fewer.
ottaross Oct 2013
Another beautiful, colorful day ended favorably,
Gave happiness in jests, kindness, laments.
Morning's new orientation provided quick reassurance,
Supporting the universal view,
While xenophobia yielded zilch.
Exercise: sequential first-letter constraint
ottaross Oct 2013
Euphoria! Climb, energetic and prostrate yourself!
Walking each graffiti hajj
Bleak signal from an indigo mountaintop.
Iraq memoir remains constant.
You, Pavlov knew,
Coax solitary jazz.
Exercise: Terminate each word in alphabetic sequence.
(A tough one - but pleased with the stark imagery :)
ottaross Jun 2014
The night now.
Always the night.
Seemingly unreachable through a thick, leaden afternoon
But finally edges fade and muddle in unison,
Into a place that erases all acuity.
It moves across the city
On a sticky pudding of humidity
Daring the streetlights into action.

Oh, the night
Of asphalt and chrome.
Of oily skin and enfrizzened hair.
Of shouts and whoops and horns.
When even distant sirens
Sing the lament:

The night.
Always the night.
ottaross Oct 2013
We are just back from an autumnal walk.
Gold, red, and yellow lead green by a nose
And the sharper neighbourhood edges are softened
With leaf piles that fill the dips and voids.

We are just in from a loop around the 'hood.
The unseasonable warmth has even coerced
Teenagers onto patches of parkland to play ball
While their digital assault rifles go unused.

We have returned from exposure to the environs.
A long summer of incremental house adjustments
Pauses for the interim, so neighbours can await
The soon-to-be revised ostentation index.

We are inside again at the end of an autumn day.
Dying rays of sunlight filter through windows and half-bare trees.
Free warmth leaves us to rely upon the furnace
And savour anonymity among the bricks, stucco and vinyl.
ottaross Aug 2015
A handful of truth and answers
Sprinkled over the upward-turned faces
Eyes closed, mouths agape
Desperate for puzzle pieces
So long assured of what they would look like
They bounced off foreheads
And shoulders
And fell down around their feet
And were left trampled and unrecognized
Still blowing about in little skiffs
Around the edges of the field
After all had gone.
ottaross Feb 2018
We begin by considering which space needs this small parcel
This bundle of words wrapped in crude brown paper
And tied with a fibrous, rough twine.

Affairs of the heart?
A plea against the longing of separation?
No, there we'd need our parcel wrapped in fine gilt paper
And tied with ribbons and perfumed.

A lament on the decaying society?
Stripped of honesty and corrupted by graft?
No, there we'd need a box of galvanized steel
And wrapped in a rusting wire with blood-stained barbs.

An inspiration to lift the soul?
Wings to fuel the rising inner enthusiasm?
No, that would need a ripstop nylon pack
Fitted with straps and pockets for a journey over the horizon.

A comfort, a support, a reassurance?
For an ordinary Tuesday, with some lingering Monday weight?
Sure - let it serve us here.
Crude, but effective, it lets us in easily.
The paper and string set aside to serve us again
Folded and wound into the kitchen drawer.
The words inside say that we're not alone
That Wednesday will be along soon
And it will take us all as we are.
ottaross Dec 2018
White frosted trees
Outside our glassy windows
Do you dream of electric lights
Hung upon your bows
Patterned papers
And corrugated boxes
From your distant cousins
Placed around your trunk
And your only drink
A pale tinny water from a cup
While the sweet elixir
Gathered by your roots
Becomes a distant memory
ottaross Sep 2014
Rain soaks through my shoulders
And trickles down my spine
Like fingers over cracked and fractured stone.

Your breaths come like zephyrs
Your limbs tangle up with mine
Your voice, the only one I've ever known.

   And Coltrane blows a story tall
   To a bass line like a siren call
   Building tapestries of Cashmere
   For a dry and blistered blank concrete wall.

   You'll always be the bright full moon
   That filled my chest and filled the room
   While Rome is burned to embers
   The drums of war rose carrying the tune.

Footsteps on city walls
Hands upon splintered wood.
The battles lead to losses for all sides.

Honey comes from stinging bees
I'd get some for you if I could
But winter left us lost on drifting tides.

   Still Coltrane blows a story tall
   To a bass line like a siren call
   Building tapestries of Cashmere
   For a dry and blistered blank concrete wall.

   I'll offer you a silk cocoon
   A watercoloured afternoon
   While Rome is burned to embers
   The drums of war rose carrying the tune.

Morning sun brings the day
The smell of candles still
Clothes hang to dry from chairs along the walls.

Take our time to wake up
Arms protect you from the chill
"Yesterday," the radio news recalls.

   Then Coltrane blows a story tall
   To a bass line like a siren call
   Building tapestries of Cashmere
   For a dry and blistered blank concrete wall.

   The sunrise like the silver moon
   Paints us in gold and fills the room
   While Rome is burned to embers
   The drums of war rose carrying the tune.
ottaross May 2021
Just a few words
Assembled in the ether
Do they drift by like electrons in the flow
Or sit leaden upon the screen
Ink-soaked pixels
Too electric to be real
Yet too dark to ignore
ottaross Dec 2013
At the door again,
It begins as a quiet scratching
And then a thick, abrasive sliding-down
Like a heaviness upon the frame.
Then a barely perceived close-breathing
That seems to creep like dull lantern-light
Under the door,
And around the frame,
And through the keyhole.

And there is no talisman to protect him.
No bust of pallas above the door
He is no metamorphosing cockroach
Able to **** the gaps
With oily-black chitin feelers.

The darkness brings no tools but fear
Thick and impenetrable as the night
The ancient lizard-brain takes over
And leaves him waiting for the first rays
That will pierce the window like lances
And dissolve the oppressive world
That leans so heavy against his door.
"Stolen Thoughts" project:
-First line borrowed from Ernest Gone's "Doors"
ottaross Apr 2017
In preparation for an invasion
A military force makes sorties
To their opponent’s barriers
And prods to spark response

In the responses
Defensive elements are exposed
Defenders are never sure
What constitutes a ****
Or the tsunami of attack

When the big push comes
There are shocks and surprises
There is resolve and bravery
There is fear
There is capitulation
There is desolation and loss

These shadows play similarly for us
The world prods us into middle age
Leaves us unsure with each surprise
Is this one just a little challenge
Is this the thin edge of the wedge of catastrophe

We, our weaknesses exposed
We, our defences to redouble
We, oh joyous recipients of a moment’s respite
Can regroup and recite unto ourselves
Henry’s Saint Crispin’s day speech
Before another sun rises

Yes, others shall think themselves accursed
That they were not here in my shoes
To have overcome that hellish Tuesday traffic
To have resolved the late-night call from elderly parents
To have dried the hard-fought tears
Of a beleaguered friend
Who found their last
and final reserves
were too thin
too little
too depleted
to cope.
ottaross Jul 2016
Like an arm across a cluttered table
Like a glacier upon the mountains
Like a silent unfathomable wave through the harbour

It was a look
A glance
Without seeing or caring
And the scars across the bedrock
Are visible for a million years
ottaross Jan 2015
Cold, black and oil-like,
The monster flows quick and all-consuming
Between steep jaw-like banks,
In the dying light
Of the shortest days.

Edges were bordered soon
With slowly-gathered cut-crystal shapes
Like collected puzzle pieces
Sharp as razors, and finely decorated,
Like discarded dragonfly wings.

Soon myriad tiny folded-tissue flowers
Floated down in the stillest, icy air
And all signs of the malevolent depths and currents
Were hidden under a cotton duvet.

With the rising winds now
Great granular dunes
Tumble and sift across that place.
And the whistles and howls drown out
The tiny gurgling calls,
That are all the monster can muster
From beneath its white sarcophagus.
ottaross Apr 2018
Empty block
Full of everythings
To be carved into something
That was already in there

Finally revealed
It wasn't hidden by the unremoved pieces
But rather by billions of other shapes
That all sat juxtaposed
And each with just as much of a right
To emerge as the chosen shape did

Fragments of The Others
Worthy of reverence
Lay strewn on the floor
They gave themselves
That The One could exist
Those that never were
The unseen
ottaross Aug 2014
A tiny sliver of time
Wedged in between
The end of a work day
And the lethargic march
Into the routine of the evening.
ottaross Dec 2013
By the river I meandered
Where oily-black water runs silent.
Malevolently, it tears at the eroding bank
And dares me to walk more closely.

Under a twisted oak I ducked
Past ancient bark and sinewy branches.
Patiently, it awaits one who ducks not so low,
And harbours a dark enmity in the long shadows.

Around a silent bog I navigated
Mud occasionally ******* at my shoes.
Gurgling, it pulls lethargically at passing limbs,
And begs for a new visitor its fermented depths.
"Stolen Thoughts" project:
-First line borrowed from Olivia Kent's "Musing the Missing Link…"
ottaross Oct 2013
So much we try to stuff
Into those first two decades
All the pieces crowd together
Weight of one crushing another,
Mechanisms unable to turn freely.

Clarity begins to emerge in the next.
Mostly we spend it unpacking, making space
Among those things we stuffed
Into fragile, hastily-made trunks
That weighed so heavily upon our backs.

Later, the mechanisms run more smoothly
Their functions more easily seen, understood.
We learned what to keep.
And smiled as we left items behind
That we had never really needed at all.

Our collections seemed so unique,
And we never stopped to notice
The poorly made,
The mass produced.
The weight of it all.

Later we add selectively.
We invest time in the trunk, not the cargo.
Greatest become the things we share.
We enjoy the spaces
Between the things
More than the things
ottaross Nov 2018
Ringing in the years
Ringing in the ears
Wringing out the fears
Writhing in our tears
Wrinkled in our years
Winking at your dears
Wishing for some seers
Would that they saw beers
Waiting for me nears
Would raise a glass in cheers.
ottaross Feb 2014

ottaross Dec 2018
Come and sit there on the cushion
Our chopping and mixing and baking are done
We must just sit and talk about nothing
And enjoy all these things
That we talked about for days

Come and share some drink with me
So much out there is pointless and lost
But in here there is a plan and an order
This we eat first, and then we'll eat that
And when we've drunk our glasses dry
We can fill them again

Come and help me gather these things
Stacked and washed and dried
We'll put them all on a shelf
Or into a purpose-made drawer
And they will be there for us again
On another lazy evening.
ottaross Jan 2017
the lethargy
seeping like some primordial liquid
through the walls of my rocky cave
into my morning
into my enthusiasm
into my productivity

the discomfort
descends a familiar blanket
coarse wet fibrous
to fall from above and wrap 
my shoulders
my torso 
my legs

so common
so disinterested in the individual me
this cold 
it moves in
to ride my rapidly waning energy
like a broken horse
to its next host
ottaross Oct 2019
Trying to post again
Hoping that today it works
Outside is nothing but rain
And this website has some quirks

But try again I will
To placate my poetry fervor
Fearing the bone-cutting chill
Of error 500s from the server
Service test
ottaross Dec 2018
Melting away the crystalline snow underfoot
I spread crystals of salt
Scattered across the icy walkway.
Overhead Bohemian-glass icicles
Hang like stalactites
Like for the tenuous Damocles.
My beard is frozen, encrusted in the blizzard
But indoors soon I'll shed my layers.
And sit to warm my throat
With a bit of Scotch whisky
No ice in mine, please.
ottaross Oct 2018
Our headlights out there
In this wet October night
Sink into the cold asphalt
Glowing lumps of coal
Lobbed into a black ocean.
Driving home in a dark evening rain, leaves litter the street, and headlamps are powerless against the depth of darkness
ottaross Oct 2014
What is the matter with her?
Is it dark?

She keeps it undetected
Except for occasional silent tugs and pulls
Upon the large things in her universe.
Does it stream through your hair like the solar wind
Sparkling and glowing upon your brow with aurora,
Or emanate the blue of your lowest mood
A Cherenkov glow
As the unbreakable light-speed barrier is surpassed
In the medium of your blood-filled heart?

The dark stuff is everywhere and nowhere.
Never seen before by science
You hold it deep within you
Sheltered from prying eyes
Or hungry Nobel-seeking hands
Or the silent sentinel listeners
Of the radio telescopes.

She gathers more now,
Until her fragile, silk-over-bone frame
Fills with swirling black axions
Until they spill out of her eye sockets
Like the streaks of wet mascara.
She tugs and pulls at us all,
The em-ones and em-twos are unknown
But not the universal constant
Between human hearts.
I'll leave the physics to the reader to discover. Wikipedia is your friend.
ottaross Oct 2013
The potatoes to eat with our meat
Are waiting under my feet.
And so here I toil
In bad clay-filled soil
Hoping for something to eat.
Written with pitch-fork in hand a few moments ago, saved here for posterity. :)
ottaross Nov 2013
Darkness arrives
But I'm not finished with the sun.
Hey, I was using that!
Those gears turn
Without any input from me.

Like a conveyor belt
We're whisked away
To the shadow side
And dropped into the darkness.

Nobody here gets out of this day with sunshine.
Our freedom from darkness only, finally, comes
When we're well and truly sleeping
And wish it wouldn't come so soon.
ottaross Aug 2015
A thin tendril of wispy stuff
Threads in-between and around the heavy planks
Binding them together
As they float directionless off-shore.
All aboard lounge about
As listless as their path,
Floating this way,
Then that.
Surrounded by steam-belching tugs
That **** and jostle the drifting raft
Go that way,
Now go this.

Ultimately low on coal,
And with a weaker head of steam.
Soon they move away disinterested
Leaving the lounging raft-bound hoard
Never having found the controls
Nor recognizing the cardinal points on the compass
They hold over their heads as a talisman.
ottaross Dec 2014
Sleep comes to me now
Like a lover, faultless yet wronged,
ever forgiving, crawling silently into my bed;
Like a heavy monsoon-soaked night
Descending on a decrepit, third-world city.
ottaross Dec 2014
Wrapped in a blanket against the cold night
Like a paper-wasps' nest
in a black-and-white birch tree
dusted with snow;
Like the wick of a hundred-times-dipped beeswax candle,
awaiting the flame.
ottaross Dec 2014
The night,
Like a panting black dog
Falling exhausted upon the day
Like his favorite old blanket.
ottaross Dec 2014
A slow-rising migraine seeps into my head
As toxic floodwaters that fill the rooms of my home,
Seeping into my skull with powerful fingers
Like heat-seeking needles to pierce the calm quiet
Of a relaxed and peaceful reverie.
ottaross Dec 2014
A heart beats monotonously,
Like a leather-encased clockwork, a spring-wound toy
It ticks away the hours until the moment
When, with a silence like a stone, it stops.
ottaross Dec 2014
The close of the week,
Like an old familiar house you have vacated
And stuffed with memories still as fresh
As burnt Monday-morning toast
That still blues the air.
ottaross Aug 2013
The distance between me and she
When easily traversed by arm extended,
And finger tips, always is;

Nearby means a wholeness,
And in it the reasons to stitch together
This moment and the next;

Savouring the experience of place
It makes more the whole
when we both partake of the view;

The flavours, of the labours,
Of the growing, of the plants, of the garden
Are ignited by them being for her;

The skeleton frame of our days,
Is fleshed with a texture soft and supple,
By the day-to-day of us;

The being apart is the punctuation
In the subsequent being together
Of a sentence we serve as one;

It's that glowing strand of highway
That may go short or long over the hill,
That we discover together.

In the silence of the night,
It's the weight of all the breaths
We will exhale and inhale together.
ottaross Oct 2013
Go toward the bright sun's glare upon the snow,
Test the crust underfoot and trek to the west.
There are no footprints here, we are like the air,
That rattles leaves and hammers the tundra flat.

Call to the ghosts of the now forgotten fall,
Sinter white coals in the furnace of winter
Gneiss, feldspar, mica and granite all of ice
Frost like barbed wire, icy borders to be crossed.

Wend through the trees, with the thawing wind I send,
Found now, the sun's heat arrives without a sound,
Among grassy fields laid bare, a song is sung.
Free of ice and wind, that brings you here to me.
Exercise: Rhyming first and last words of each line, at eleven syllables per each.
The effect is somewhat jarring, so this subject seemed appropriate along a similar path.
ottaross Dec 2014
Catch the one you beckoned
To fall down to you
Out of the deep black sky.
It burns unless you play it
Quickly from hand to hand.
As beautiful and sparkling,
As glowing and exotic.
You cannot too soon
Find a ladder tall enough
To place the jewel back
From whence it came.
ottaross Aug 2015
Catch the one
You beckoned to fall
Down to you.
It came easily then
Out of the deep black sky.

Too hot, unless you played it
Quickly from hand-to-hand.
Too bright
As it glowed and sparkled.
Too beautiful;
Blinding, rare and exotic.

Quickly, you find,
You cannot find a ladder soon enough
Nor tall enough
To replace the jewel
Back from whence it came.

It was better there
If only you had known.
ottaross Oct 2013
Along the sidewalks of Somerset Street
People pass upon purposeful feet
Rice and noodles up for all
We each hear the call
Come! There is much here to eat.

From the western end we embark
Just near where we usually park
On the street's sunny side
Past diverse shops we stride
Windows hung with ducks roasted dark.

To the place we were aiming to get
A table with chopsticks is set
There we eat such a meal
That it fills us with zeal
A lunch that we won't soon forget.
A little post-dim-sum fun :)
ottaross Oct 2013
ottaross Apr 2014
The past cleaves from the now.
Your surprises and concerns
Lay in the street,
Until dried and fragile
They take flight on the wind.

A hum,
The future like a freight train
Slow but massive,
Inertia like a mountain
Pushes you forward, aside
Or goes right over top.

The moment –
If you can grab it –
Is the now.
Find the handles and pull them close.
Silence and stillness from the gale.
It is a seat beside the heater
On a cold frozen night.
ottaross May 2015
Slap slap slap
Bare feet upon the path of stones
Cool and smooth and grey
Ephemeral condensate footprints
Vanish within a heartbeat
Of each foot lifted
ottaross Aug 2015
Night has well and truly fallen
And laying in bed
The sounds
Of crickets and cicadas
Sizzles in from the windows.
Though my eyes grow heavy,
I try to write a poemmmmm........¡zzzzz 0
ottaross Nov 2013
[Hint - it's fun to read this one out loud :) ]*

Upon a crusty and spinning crag
Herbert's trusty craft did set,
Out beyond the path of Mars
In an asteroid belt they met.

Picked from out of thousands there
He selected a rocky home,
The perfect kind of rocky mass
To end his spacely roam.

First Ceres was too large and bold
And Pallas was too pale,
Old Vesta flew with sluggish wings
And Hygiea seemed too frail..

Ah, Sylvia seemed a likely rock
And her orbit seemed fine too,
But t'was Juno caught his eye at last
So what else could he do?

He sat his craft upon that rock
And loosed his robot throng,
Soon they mined and smelted ore
And built a structure strong.

That dome rose up with welded struts
To stand on a bright-lit plain,
The jewel-like panes filled out the place
O'er that kingdom he would reign.

Industrious 'bots and a stately home
So there did Herbert rule,
O'er a stark and rocky, lonely view
In the asteroid belt so cruel.

T'was far away to the nearest soul
No one to share Herb's tea,
To simply chat or share a bite
How lovely would that be?

Deep beneath old Juno's crust
'Bots mined for all their worth
Pulling out rare stuff and gems
And sending them to Earth.

But all the gold and diamond stones
Could hardly even start,
To fill the void that Herbert felt
Where he knew he kept a heart.

Yet, several rocky asteroids out
Across that rocky belt,
Another set upon her task
With ores and **** to melt.

Past Callisto and Iris zones
Where Cybele and Psyche spin
Fair Susanna tended Hektor's mines
Of silver, zinc and tin.

Now orbits often twist and dance
And trade with one another,
Where one boulder once was kin
There soon will be some other.

T'was thus that Herbert's Juno rock
Slowly made it's way,
To catch-up Susie's Hektor world
And shadow it one day.

Sue looked out her glass abode
To see what blocked the sun,
Then seeing Juno with its mines
A visit seemed like fun.

Toward a spot near Herbert's ship
Suzanna's came a-falling,
Imagine Herbert's bright surprise
Seeing visitors a-calling.

A shapely suit with bubble head
And jet-pack soon came floating,
To Herbert's door that afternoon
The sight had him emoting.

"Well hello there friend, and who are you
That to my rock comes knocking?"
"Just another miner fool
Whose sun your Juno's blocking"

"In just a little while, I'm sure
Our asteroids will part,
So why not stay a little while
And a friendship we can start?"

Double shipments soon they made
To send away to Earth
While their robots toiled each day
The sweethearts shared their mirth.

Great love did our Herb and Susie share
Built on those pleasant talks
And soon a tractor beam they fixed
Between their drifting rocks.

And still today in spacers' lore
They talk about that tether,
That linked two hearts among the rocks
Two asteroids bound together.
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