Scarecrow Takes a Holiday

 

Scarecrow Takes a Holiday

Having neither organs nor neural impulses,
I no longer ask why or how I hear and smell,
taste and see, feel. This morning I woke
to magpie song and onion breeze, in
a body not mine, yet mine, at peace
on Jeju Island, far from my crows, yet
still among friends singing the same
language. I know this: home lives
within, and no matter where we travel,
it rides with us. Like the man who
spoke to me, bald, bearded, a pale
foreigner in this land, comfortable
here, at home. He listened for my reply,
but unfortunately I’d not been given
a mouth, and my words dropped to the
ground and were rolled away by
beetles before he noticed them.
Perhaps I should have written a note,
but he wished to gamble and how
could I refuse? I am hollow, but not
empty, whole, yet not complete,
away but here. He took a coin
from his pocket, flipped it. I saw…

 

A response to Daniel Paul Marshall’s “Scarecrow Travels (after Robert Okaji)”

This first appeared in May 2017.

This Turning

turning

This Turning

what one says
depends not on
words the wind

begins it does
not end but
lends itself to

an end this
turning may be
an answer the

sound of intent
so concealed a
word displayed is

only a word
not an end
nor the beginning

magnets

Another oldie from the eighties. It seems that even my poetry was thinner then.

Palinode (platelets, sign, color)

red

Palinode (platelets, sign, color)

Cloistered, it circulates and combats, feeds, heals
and defends, destroying, at times, its host, and thereby
itself. Extracted, it congeals into a dark symbol,
resembling our innermost facade. The reddened
moon, incorruptible and estranged. A bull’s eye.
I pressure it daily, measuring flow and constricting
elements. Numinous river, source of strength, the internal flood.

The internal flood summons bitterness,  application
of the embodied life, rubedo. I inscribe my name in
three strokes: the upright, the downward curve, the
encompassing circle, omitting the between: as above,
so below
. The color-blind more accurately perceive
texture, alleviating the effects of spectral sensitivity.
We build from within, flowing outward in unison.

Flowing outward, split asunder, I assume the neural
response. Color, as expression, as survival factor,
attractant and warning. As symbol. The ancients
buried red pigment with bones to hasten renewal.
Life energy, passion and rage. The force in bodies,
in spirit, in blood. Shade of the alchemist’s sulfur,
glowing embers, ash, the transitory energy of human desire.

This first appeared, in slightly different form, in ditch, in January 2014, and was posted here in January 2017..

Poem Up at Vox Populi

My poem “Letter to Marshall from the Scarecrow’s Pocket” is live at Vox Populi, paired  with an analysis of Putin’s payoff on his financial investments in Trump’s career.

Thank you, Michael Simms, for supporting and featuring my poetry.

Self-Portrait with W

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Self Portrait with W

One might claim a double victory, or after the Roman Empire’s fall, a reclamation
from the slurred “b” and its subsequent reduction.

Survival of the rarely heard, of the occipital’s impulse.

The oak’s crook performs a similar function.

Shielding myself from adjuration, I contemplate the second family
root, weighted in weapons, in Woden, in wood.

Not rejection, but acceptance in avoidance.

The Japanese homophone, daburu, bears a negative connotation.

Original language was thought to be based on a natural
relation between objects and things.

Baudelaire’s alphabet existed without “W,” as does the Italian.

The recovery of lost perfection is no longer our aim.

When following another, I often remain silent.
As in two, as in answer, as in reluctance, reticence.

We share halves – one light, one shadowed, but both of water.

Overlapped or barely touching, still we complete.

* * *

“Self-Portrait with W” originally appeared in the Silver Birch Press Self-Portrait series in 2014, and was reprinted in my chapbook, The Circumference of Other, included in Ides, a one-volume collection of fifteen chapbooks published by Silver Birch Press and available on Amazon.com.

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The Fullness That Precedes

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The Fullness That Precedes

it is not
the moon but
rain that attracts

me to this
place no faint
light no shadow

but the fullness
that precedes its
history that of

magic from nothing
to nothing by
which one may

discern perfection a
cloud the solitary
note of distraction

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Written in the 80s, “The Fullness That Precedes” first appeared here in May 2015.

Dark Rain Ahead, Hummingbird

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Dark Rain Ahead, Hummingbird

The black-chinned hummer buzzes my flowered shirt,
bringing to mind the letter H, its history of an inferior life among

letters, and a Phoenician origin signifying fence.

An aspirate dependent upon others, or a line strung between posts,

even whispered, H does not contain itself.
Disconsolate or annoyed, the bird moves on.

Do names depend upon the power of symbols, or do they power the symbols?

In the 6th century A.D., Priscian disparaged H, saying it existed only to accompany.

Clouds shade the way.
The black-chin extends its grooved tongue at a rate of 15 licks per second.

Alone, the H’s voice is barely audible.

Through the trees, across the crushed rock driveway and beyond the barbed wire

and chain link, I hear deadfall snapping under hooves.
At rest, its heart beats an average of 480 beats per minute.

Modern Greek denies its existence.

Say khet, say honor and where. Say hinge, sigh and horse. Say depth.

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Originally published in Prime Number Magazine, one of my favorite online literary journals, in 2013,  it subsequently appeared here in June 2015.