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  1. #131
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Mar 2008
    Intercepted last night -



    Everything's fledging
    Woodpeckers, robins ... the lot
    Empty nests everywhere


    Dozens of sea gulls
    Out of the blue, as it were
    And as quickly gone

    Deep blue birdshit stains
    On the lips of front porch stairs
    Wild berries are ripe

    Midsummer heart pang
    Both mother and mentor gone
    Wind birds turn southward


    Nonchalant ravens
    Stroll in autumn leaf litter
    Full moon past, no frost

    Rustle on the verge
    Not a squirrel. Not a deer.
    Coyote lopes by

    White gull glissando
    & minor cormorant notes
    Wild keyboard

    Double crested cormorant
    Riding the outgoing tide
    Fall's liveried footman

    Turkey vulture floats above
    The littered highway
    Waste management

    Tufted titmouse springs the trap
    Meant for red squirrel
    Furious little bird

    Thrush's watery burble
    Swept dry by oak leaf rattle
    Winter on my mind

    Crows punctuating
    Bronzing, yellowing forest
    Look at this! See this!


    Hundreds of rock doves
    Huddled on turnpike wire
    Red-tailed hawk stymied

    Last night's palimpsest
    Moon sponged by shadow and cloud
    Gradually erased

    Goldfish suspended
    As slow in winter water
    As chickadees are quick in air

    A trio of hawks
    Rough-legged, harrier, red-tailed
    Bent on one purpose

    It's a kittiwake
    Not any number of gulls
    It's a kittiwake!

    Elegant pintail
    Upended, elegant still
    With purposeful intent

    Small horned grebes passing
    Oblivious to surf's roil
    Serene old couple

    - Marie Harris.

  2. #132
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Mar 2008
    If you like the poem, "Tweets", you may see and hear the poet, Marie Harris, by clicking on -

  3. #133
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Mar 2008
    Invigilated last night and unveiled today -

    On Fixing Things

    I tap-smashed—by mistake?—
    our bedroom window, and rational-
    ized it as a large weep-

    hole that winter, for a while, at least,
    until the mist from the ends of
    the earth gathered there, and till

    glass icicles slivered into our toes
    and fingers too many times
    to ignore any longer—

    Do we get the new pane cut
    to be slightly larger or smaller,
    how to remove the old sharp shards

    with their dangerous forget-
    fulnesses, and how will we fit
    in the glaze and points? This is the kind

    of thing your dad knew without thinking,
    but he's dead now and can't tell us a thing.
    Even worse, it's Sunday, the one day

    we have to rest as well as work, so . . .
    Time to wrestle with the new glass
    at long last, and I wake up early,

    start to shave: with a swift, near-
    knowing stroke, his old razor deftly
    measures a long crisp cut across my neck.

    What will stop me now from bleeding
    clear, sharp air? How can an inch
    of trauma measure eternity, ever?

    Who was this saint of glass?

    - Don Share.

  4. #134
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Mar 2008
    If you liked the poem, "On Fixing Things", you might like to get to know the poet, Don Share, by clicking on -

  5. #135
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Mar 2008
    Sent and received -

    [ 14 ]

    black keys from trees white keys locked
    on black shoulders locked together above
    skeleton ribs keys to 45 keyboards from one
    tusk the word ivory rang through the air
    one tusk + one slave to carry it bought
    together if slave survived the long march
    sold for spice or sugar plantations if not
    replaced by other slaves five Africans died
    for each tusk 2 million for 400,000 American
    pianos including the one my grandmother
    played not to mention grieving villages
    burned women children left to die the dead
    elephants whose tusks went to Connecticut
    where they were cut bleached and polished
    while my grandmother played in Illinois
    my mother played and I— there were many old
    pianos and slaves were used till the 20th century:
    an African slave could have carried a tusk
    that was cut into white keys I played, starting
    with middle C and going up and down

    - Martha Collins.

  6. #136
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Mar 2008
    Even if you didn't like the poem, [14], you can see the poet, Martha Collins, by clicking on -

  7. #137
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Mar 2008
    From the wild -

    Abecedarian Requiring Further Examination of Anglikan
    Seraphym Subjugation of a Wild Indian Rezervation

    Angels don't come to the reservation.
    Bats, maybe, or owls, boxy mottled things.
    Coyotes, too. They all mean the same thing—
    death. And death
    eats angels, I guess, because I haven't seen an angel
    fly through this valley ever.
    Gabriel? Never heard of him. Know a guy named Gabe though—
    he came through here one powwow and stayed, typical
    Indian. Sure he had wings,
    jailbird that he was. He flies around in stolen cars. Wherever he stops,
    kids grow like gourds from women's bellies.
    Like I said, no Indian I've ever heard of has ever been or seen an angel.
    Maybe in a Christmas pageant or something—
    Nazarene church holds one every December,
    organized by Pastor John's wife. It's no wonder
    Pastor John's son is the angel—everyone knows angels are white.
    Quit bothering with angels, I say. They're no good for Indians.
    Remember what happened last time
    some white god came floating across the ocean?
    Truth is, there may be angels, but if there are angels
    up there, living on clouds or sitting on thrones across the sea wearing
    velvet robes and golden rings, drinking whiskey from silver cups,
    we're better off if they stay rich and fat and ugly and
    'xactly where they are—in their own distant heavens.
    You better hope you never see angels on the rez. If you do, they'll be
    marching you off to
    Zion or Oklahoma, or some other hell they've mapped out for us.

    - Natalie Diaz.

  8. #138
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    Mar 2008
    If you are not frightened by the poem or the title, "Abecedarian Requiring Further Examination of Anglikan Seraphym Subjugation of a Wild Indian Rezervation", you might like to meet the poet, Natalie Diaz, by clicking on -

  9. #139
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Discovering -

    The Damnation of New Jersey

    Uncle Frank despised it, couldn't understand
    why some of our family lived there, though
    to me my Jersey cousins George and Sybil
    were exciting, mysterious and gay.
    Frank hated Jersey drivers and ridiculed
    their towns: Nutley, Ho-Ho-Kus,
    Peapack, Bivalve and Hackensack and,
    had he lived, would have targeted
    the endless McMansion miles,
    the all-we-know-of-hell strip malls.
    Ah, Mahwah, Cheesequake, Piscataway
    Secaucus, Tuckahoe and Succasunna!

    He told me that where the Giants
    now play football, giant pipes
    disgorged raw sewerage, and that
    the local farmers planted their tomatoes
    in the ooze. But he did admit
    those were the best tomatoes he ever ate.

    What can I tell you?
    Frank was a plain man, a truckdriver,
    who loved me and was always kind.
    He never read poetry—surely not Yeats—
    and would have been surprised to hear
    that love will pitch its tent
    in the very place of excrement.

    - Ed Ochester.

  10. #140
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Mar 2008
    Sent in by anonymous -


    The last day of 2008 I woke
    wearing the same blue shirt I wore
    driving down through the pines
    to hear Carlos Santana,
    the hills a pale brown near Vallejo
    where Bill Graham's helicopter crashed
    in the power lines over the marshland.

    The shirt hung on a shovel near Big Sur
    smelling of almonds and sulfur
    where I sat one morning reading Chuang Tzu
    trying to understand about the Tao.
    I wore it to feed Amy's chickens
    and wrapped its loose arms
    around my wife, who was smoking
    outside by the mailbox, having swallowed
    a fragment of glass in her coffee
    the Advice Nurse said was most likely harmless,
    trusting the colon's pulses to pass it
    moment by moment.

    We drove back north through Golden Gate Park
    where an alligator once escaped
    into the pond just off Lincoln Drive
    and where Michael Bloomfield OD'd in his car
    near the hall of flowers
    and the Grateful Dead played for free.

    We'd like to see them come back again,
    the way Mickey Rourke showed up
    at the Academy Awards interview
    for his role as a broken-down wrestler
    walking the two roads of grief and hilarity,
    the cat's eye ring on his finger,
    his silver tooth, his rat-goatee
    and wraparound shades,
    weeping into his water glass
    mourning his dead Chihuahua:
    I swear I'd give him the shirt off my back.

    - Joseph Millar.

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