FROM MY GONDOLA

balloon over the Hamptons

M Functioning #59 Aug.7/13

High above the city, we float in silence
save the firing of the flame that keeps
our balloon inflated and we afloat
There is nothing to compare with seeing
familiar places from a bird’s-eye vantage
How tiny the malls look, and the man-made
lakes…Oh! And is that our house?
Even the Parliament buildings look like toys
And the Muttart’s pyramids are flattened
to reflecting glass…
Actual birds seem to regard us with amusement
Can birds show mirth or skepticism…I wonder

A “JUST BECAUSE” CARD

DSC09614

A Dowd #126 Aug.7.2013

I hope you won’t mind
Though you’re not on my list
When I saw where you are
I somehow could not resist
A few years back in France
My love and I stayed
In the tiny town of Vence
Not the larger St. Paul de
But just down from the chapel
Where Matisse left his art

And I must confess, I left my heart
I apologize for the doggerel …
really just wanted to say hello
from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
and also how much we loved your
town – Vence in Provence, France
remains one of our fondest memories
and if we can ever afford
to make it back there we will…
S.E.Ingraham #31
(poem and photo)

*poem is self-explanatory re why this special card was sent…

CLIFFS CALLING

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M.A.Jenkins #62 Aug.31.2013

“Poetry is the ultimate inner refuge.” Lawrence Ferlinghetti

The prairie and the sea, they speak to me,
they do — and the mountains, I hear them;
I’d be a fool to ignore the whispers from
those ancient places, or the trees, yes…
my affinity for trees is the stuff of myth
But it’s the damned cliffs that won’t let me
be, they call to me with a siren-like intensity
The towering cathedral-like bluffs shoot up
from Lake Ontario almost 200 feet.
When I awaken in the night in my home on
the prairies, I hear my name clearly in the
dark; I know it’s the cliffs…
They tell me I’ve been away long enough, it’s
time to get back to my clay origins.

HOLDING DEATH AT BAY

bluffs recoloured

 

A.Kokorowski #60  Aug. 30.2013

” Poetry holds death at bay”

oh that it were so
I would breathe in words
scoop them up with both hands
and hold them close, so close
until they passed through my skin
and once through, became part
of me, my blood, my heart
my everything
then writing would be bleeding
and death but a formality

(the quote is Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s)

MAKE NEW WINE

windmill farm Italy

D J Daniels #57 Aug.26/13

“A poem is a dinghy setting out to sea
from the listing ship of society.” Lawrence Ferlinghetti

“Make new wine out of the grapes of wrath”*

No more marching. Or sitting. Or chanting.
I just end up crazy mad. I mean it.
Angry enough to kill…for peace.
Sort of defeats the purpose, I suppose.
I need to calm down or they’ll lock me up
Again. I’m kidding. Had you going there, right?
Don’t you get tired of it all though? Rhetorical
rhetoric…now, that’s crazy-making…and still
“No matter how cynical I get, I can’t keep up”
Lily Tomlin said that years ago; I wish I’d said it
I say it all the time now. Peace? Such a fuzzy
impossible dream…do you see a windmill I can
tilt at? What? They’re everywhere? Finally.

*also L.R.

IN THE VALLEY OF THE SHADOWS

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P.E.Nelson #52 – Aug.21/13

“The North Pole is not where it used to be.” Lawrence Ferlinghetti

And the pyramids were no longer in the
Valley of the Kings.
Did this mean she was no longer in Kansas?
Her mind played tricks constantly,
this much she knew, or thought she knew
But blue was blue or was it ? After all Memphis
was where the pyramids were, right?
No, no—Elvis was the king but he died , still,
he knew where Memphis was…
She decided it would be best to climb to the top
of her pyramids, lay down behind them, where
no-one would think to look for her
Pray for freezing weather, and sleep forever…

GEM

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B.Barg #58  Aug.27.2013

“Be committed to something outside yourself”

“As with humans, poems have fatal flaws.” both by Lawrence Ferlinghetti

So, I’m a miniature horse?
Doesn’t mean I have tiny dreams…
You know what I dream when I trot
around this itty-bitty enclosure?
I dream that one day, I’ll break out of here
And off-rein, I’ll gallop full bore for the track
Once they see me going, they’ll know
Doesn’t matter how wee I am,
I can go like a thousand winds
And I’m going to run for the wild roses…
And I’m going to win…

COTTON CANDY SUN

Ancona sunset

A.Huey #58 Aug.28/13

“A poem is a phosphorescent instant illuminating time.” L. Ferlinghetti

When the sun is the colour of cotton candy
and about to plunge into the Adriatic
The locals warn it’s too late for Hail Mary’s
They are pretty vague about what it is time for
There are murmurs about, atonement, amends,
much about the consumption of large quantities
of alcohol…when you don’t speak the language…
I went on a visit with a friend to a cimitero;
It was my first to an Italian bone-yard,
where we also set off a number of fireworks,
a custom that occurred at random intervals,
without explanation, and one I never quite
got used to, but did end up finding oddly
charming.

MAMA AND BABY

orcas

S.Longhorn #56  Aug.25.2013

“Poetry – It is the distillation of articulate animals calling to each other across a great gulf.” Lawrence Ferlinghetti

A Mama with a new baby, she rose
majestically, just off our boat
I was thrilled — what a photo op — but our
Captain — oh Captain, my Captain —
Distressed, felt her proximity accidental,
her echolocation skills shredded, as sonar
tests continued, deep beneath the waves
His face grew even grimmer as he spoke
of listening to the humpbacks singing;
They weren’t taking tourists on tours
to hear them this year; the behemoths
are making sounds eerily close to weeping.