Friday, November 9, 2012

First November Selection, 2012

All my life I've walked
as if hiding in the wood
      I do it well

This morning I realized all
the creatures who've come
                 to me

Know this hidden walk
just because it is so

They wait to watch and see
if this human is also a

--Joyce Pointe

for Ali

"You need something to love," I say.
Her wide, wary eyes, that I love, her heart full
Of tears. A kitten, a child, a community. Something.
Not to love you, but to love. We sit together
In the old Bullring, now a shopping Mall,
Sipping cortados where blood dripped
Or ran in rivulets of cruel pleasure
In the days of the Dictator.

In the old city, a Korean tourist smells like sweet alcohol.
The medieval maze of old Barcelona confounds.
The map she proffers speaks a language
Of figures and forms, delicate, but indecipherable to me.
Her English is a tiny bird chirps,
Selected, necessary words, "Help?"
"Lost." We say yes because we can–
And, because she is so young, so lost and a little drunk,
Possessing simple, syllables of European language,
Her optimism and innocence the only treasure she offers.

So, so vulnerable, like my daughter who feels so alone.
But the tourist knows "Thank you",  says it over and over
As we pass the ancient cellars
Of the ugly Inquisition and the shadowed alleys
Populated by ghosts. No need for Thank you.
The gift is the giving. Finally delivered,
Her key fits an unfamiliar lock,
She hugs, I bow. Thanks enough given the chance
To care. This kitten of a child, lost, like my own
Who needs only to love to be found.

--Rebecca del Rio

Third Selected November Poem 2012

By The Way, It's Delicious
I look into my bag of tricks
To find a treat both bitter and sweet
Both are needed to balance the doshas
Too much of either and the flavor is wrong
So I grab a handful of bitter
That seems to be more
Than what I would normally think delicious
My fear that the dish so full
Of expensive quality organic ingredients
Is at risk of being spoiled and uneatable
Season, temperature and need of body
Do affect the sense of taste
Sometimes too much is just right
Sometimes just enough is too much
And sometimes
Too little is enough to get by
So I lift my fork to my lips
To taste the fruits of my labors
And decide that I only need
To please my own tongue


Fourth and Fifth November Selected Poems 2012

El Alcalde Visits:
And looks to see
Where time
In its infinite 
Parade of moments
Has gone
Oh well
An anxious state of mind
Will obliterate stars

--Richard Velez

Full dying grass moon
High tide waves breaching seawall
Firewood crackles
--Tom Snow

Friday, October 12, 2012

First October Selection, 2012

A Folk Tale

There was a man who so deeply loved a woman
That on the night she died in a cold rain
He waded into the fjord where the blue rocks lie
Like miniature islands which the waves tap softly,
Weeping and crying her name.  The moonlight
Revealed to him the most amazing sight:
A small blackened shard of a spaceship that had plunged
Out of the heavens, past radar.  He lunged
Toward it and brought it to the surface,
Trembling when he felt it humming--as a trace
Of electric may often be felt in a disconnected phone
Or murmurs of life in museum skeletons.
Half out of his mind, he whispered to it, asking
Where she was, and if he kept on wishing
Would he find her, could he bring her back.
The piece of blackened metal, as he held it, spoke:
"If you will go," it said,
"Into the funeral home at night and raise the lid
Of her coffin, and take her hand in yours, then sever
The very tip of her smallest finger
And keep it with you forever,
All things will be as they were.  But leave me here
Among the rocks, for I've had enough of being held.
Set me down gently.  Do all as I've willed."

The very next night he did, and time moved back--
I can't say just how.  The produce truck
Never swerved, her Volvo was not demolished,
And she lived, they married, as it had been promised.
But after some years, the man grew tired of his wife,
The endless way that those brought back from death
Smile with their eyes cold, not knowing why,
So in his forties, at the end of an awful day
Of banging fenders at the body shop, he waded out once more
Among the blue rocks of the fjord.
The shard was still there, and once again he raised it,
Asking for his life to be as it was meant
To be: more money, a woman who smiled less,
Early grief, recovery, much more happiness.
"Fool," said the shard.  "It was a dream I told you,
And it's a dream that you've been going through.
Do you still have your part of her?"  The man sighed deeply
And said he'd buried it beneath an apple tree
Near the condominium where they'd settled down.
He sincerely doubted that it could be found.
"Loss, loss, loss," came a voice that made him afraid,
"A bargain broken is a bargain poorly made.
Look up to the sky."  He did, and in an instant
All was as before, the full moonlight
Once again about him, he so grief-struck, saddened,
He swam out past the blue rocks and he drowned.

--Richard Allen