Doug Stanfield is the son of a teacher and a nurse who grew up on a family farm in western Ohio. The family moved overseas for a couple of years, and he has moved around since. He has had a few disreputable occupations, including being a newspaper reporter and editor, and a public relations cog, but is trying to atone for his sins with poetry that tells stories, and stories that read like poems.

2017-10-16
Late Ripeness
by Czeslaw Milosz Not soon, as late as the approach of my ninetieth year, I felt a door opening in me and I entered the clarity of early morning. One after another my former lives were departing, like ships, together with their sorrow. And the countries, cities, gardens, the bays...

2017-10-14
Primitive
By Sharon Olds Sharon Olds I have heard about the civilized, the marriages run on talk, elegant and honest, rational. But you and I are savages. You come in with a bag, hold it out to me in silence. I know Moo Shu Pork when I smell it and understand...

2017-10-11
The Unfaithful Earl
For Halloween…. With one exception, no one in the pub that night had heard the story of the unfaithful earl with a spear in his guts…. At least, not since they were children. It was a quiet evening. Truth be told, most evenings in the little village were quiet. Deadly...

2017-10-10
What It Means to Be Alive
From “ Our Town ,” by Thornton Wilder “..Yes, now you know. Now you know! That’s what it was to be alive. To move about in a cloud of ignorance; to go up and down trampling on the feelings of those … of those about you. To spend and waste...

2017-10-07
Writing as Legacy
If you knew your work would never be read by anyone else—would you still write? via Writing as Legacy: Quirks and Perks — A Quiver Of Quotes Filed under: poetry...

2017-09-24
Dear Ladies
This is one of the least explicit photos I could find. I think it’s Scarlett Johansen, the actress, but it wasn’t labeled. Look, I’m not getting much sleep lately, so chalk this up to that, if you want. Or the back spasms… And I’m no prude, believe me. But I...

2017-09-11
Traveling Light
by Leonard Cohen I’m traveling light It’s au revoir My once so bright, my fallen star I’m running late, they’ll close the bar I used to play one mean guitar I guess I’m just somebody who Has given up on the me and you I’m not alone, I’ve met a...

2017-09-11
Lenny
This is about a guy named Lenny. Lenny Kravitz. But not the famous one born in 1964. (No relation, actually. That name has been a burden.) This Lenny was in a British rock band in the late 70’s. The drummer. The band had one monster hit and then sank without...

2017-09-08
Sticking To It
by Jim Harrison The old Finn hadn’t washed his cup in fifty years. “It ain’t dirty,” he said, “there’s just been coffee in it.” His wife and baby both died in childbirth fifty-seven years ago. Inside his cabin there’s a dust woman near an unused cradle he made by hand....

2017-09-07
A Song on the End of the World
CZESLAW MILOSZ BY CZESLAW MILOSZ TRANSLATED BY ANTHONY MILOSZ On the day the world ends A bee circles a clover, A fisherman mends a glimmering net. Happy porpoises jump in the sea, By the rainspout young sparrows are playing And the snake is gold-skinned as it should always be. On...

2017-09-07
“Encounter”
Czeslaw Milosz, 1911–2004 A new (to me) poet: by Czeslaw Milosz We were riding through frozen fields in a wagon at dawn A red wing rose in the darkness And suddenly a hare ran across the road One of us pointed to it with his hand. That was long ago...

2017-09-02
Like Rain
Still Light We should let all thoughts run out of us like rain, as all thoughts should – we keep them to ourselves? As the heaviness of clouds keeps nothing to itself. How else to know the ocean and the direction of its currents? For rain will come irregardless. Whether...

2017-09-01
Darkness
" Darkness " is a poem written by Lord Byron in July 1816. That year was known as the Year Without a Summer, because Mount Tamborahad erupted in the "Dutch East Indies" (the highest peak on the island of Sumbawa in Indonesia), casting enough sulphur into the atmosphere to reduce...

2017-08-31
The Good Thing Harvey Washed Away
My Best Laid Plans There’s not much in the world I can truly say I hate. But I hate Harvey. We have been sitting here for more hours than I can begin to count being brutally lashed by his seemingly never ending fury. I would be lying if I said...

2017-08-30
Touching Glass in the Crowd
The Earth rises and roils the seas, smashing warnings of end times against the land, afflicting sticky-tacky neighborhoods, with houses all the same, interrupting complacency. But we misread the moment. As usual. Like Pharaoh, we are stiff-necked and proud, and must lose our children before we can be humbled. The...

2017-08-30
She doesn’t need saving
Worry about me later, for barbarians are coming over the hills, carrying long pikes and angry words, searching for reasoning they do not possess. My sleepless nights are a gene inside me, melatonin leached from my skin, my fascination with the moon, my dark monarch taking flight to greet the...

2017-08-30
“We must know so very much to know we know nothing”
Learning is, almost always, amongst the holliest and purest of time allocations. We must know so very much to know we know nothing. Though schools can harm this at times, it is worth reminding ourselves of this. The same way a puppy is reminded of the horrors of nature when...

2017-08-26
Publishing Scam?
Publishing Scam? This is a bit thick to read, but if you’re publishing books, this is a look inside the seamier side. “…Nowadays, you can make the bestseller list with about 5,000 sales. That’s not the heights of publishing’s heyday but it’s still harder to get than you’d think. Some...

2017-08-26
“Sketch” By the Master
Carl Sandburg by Carl Sandburg The shadows of the ships Rock on the crest In the low blue lustre Of the tardy and the soft inrolling tide. A long brown bar at the dip of the sky Puts an arm of sand in the span of salt. The lucid and...

2017-08-23
Racing the Sun to Kankakee
Dawn just south of Kankakee, ILL. On the City of New Orleans, headed north to Chicago. The City of New Orleans pulls out of downtown, setting the ground rumbling, gaining speed, steel nose pointed hard north, toward the coming night. Like a thousand times before, she finds the scent of...

2017-08-19
Let Your Higher Self Rule
“You let your higher self rule and your truer self grieve, and the world will still strip away all you ever hoped to achieve.” Filed under: poetry...

2017-08-16
Ancient Sunlight
Amy King by Amy King Shame on you for dating a museum: Everything is dead there and nothing is alive. Not everyone who lives to be old embraces the publicity of it all. I mean, you get up and folks want to know, How did you get here? What makes...

2017-08-13
A Perfect Kennedy Moment
Somehow, I seem to have awakened a couple of decades late. OK, OK. It’s been longer than that… The point is, I missed my perfect Kennedy moment, That one where we get to die when we still look fantastic and are always remembered that way, while the rest of the...

2017-08-13
Milestone
It’s just a number: 1,000. But it is fellow-bloggers and for that reason is especially nice. Thank you all. My path has taken a couple of side trails, and I’ve dialed back on poetry lately because I’m researching another book, and that’s taking up a lot of time. I don’t...

2017-08-11
The Second Coming
< W. B. Yeats audio: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/play/77066 BY WILLIAM BUTLER YEATS Turning and turning in the widening gyre The falcon cannot hear the falconer; Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere The ceremony of innocence is drowned;...

2017-08-08
Gratefulness
Indian parable: A famous writer was in his study. He picked up his pen and started writing : 1. Last year, I had a surgery and my gall bladder was removed. I had to stay stuck to the bed due to this surgery for a long time. 2. The same...

2017-08-06
Perspectives
We see what was always under our noses only when death’s fingernail scratches the window pane, asking…. Not today? Ok, then. Not today. But nothing is the same. We had an orchard when I was a kid, Macintosh, Granny Smith, pear, peaches. I remember hating to mow under them, how...

2017-07-31
In Translation
Is it just me? My life Was difficult at times, like everyone’s, but I wonder if that is because they’re really just bad translations From our original languages? Sometimes comical, like Boris Battenoff muttering Thick fake Russian at Moose and Squirrel. Sometimes just disastrous, like thinking I was asking for...

2017-07-30
What Our Children Don’t See
This is what parents mean when we say “you’ll understand when you have kids,” and your son or daughter looks at you with that angry blank, frustrated look teenagers reserve for the stupidest people they know. “You’ll find out. I live in constant terror for you. And you can’t understand....

2017-07-30
Blood
The needle slips in my body’s alarmed. Vital fluid oozes through a tube fills a vial, then another, another. I am lighter by a few molecules, but more than that, too. A bit of spirit has left . The vials move in a carrier, down a hall, on a cart,...

2017-07-29
Anniversary
Technically, yes. It has been five years since I registered the account, but I didn’t start posting right away. Still, it has been fun and I’m very happy to have done this and to have met all of you. Thank you for hanging around. Filed under: poetry...

2017-07-29
Broken…
Light shines through broken windows, into broken hearts once the bleeding stops. Age awaits us with the patience of a sleeper agent. I am thirsty always, in a world of wet Eyes open, but in the dark nothing comes. I look for comforts I no longer find, and yet, yet…...

2017-07-29
Borrowed Dust*
This body is nothing but borrowed dust Animated somehow and passing along this unmarked road, from who knows what to who knows where. I like the guesses we make about our destination, though. It shows inventiveness, curiosity, hubris, but that’s charming. We’re nothing if not scratchy. My own guess is...

2017-07-27
Snake
by David Herbert Lawrence A snake came to my water-trough On a hot, hot day, and I in pyjamas for the heat, To drink there. In the deep, strange-scented shade of the great dark carob-tree I came down the steps with my pitcher And must wait, must stand and wait,...

2017-07-27
Huntington Beach
by Keegan Lester The war ships bobbing off the coast. The outdated oil drills painted so to blend into the clouds. The gold thin stitched to the water’s edge. Errant dolphin. Balled up piece of trash on PCH with the list: Eggs, whole milk, butterflies . You cry like a...

2017-07-25
American Writers
Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens) It applies to poetry, too. “We are American writers, absorbing the American experience. We must absorb its heat, the recklessness and ruthlessness, the grotesqueries and cruelties. We must reflect the sprawl and smallness of America, its greedy optimism and dangerous sentimentality. And we must write with...

2017-07-22
Some True Things, Flyer Version
There are more planes in the ocean than there are submarines in the sky. If the wings are traveling faster than the fuselage, it’s probably a helicopter — and therefore, unsafe. When one engine fails on a twin-engine airplane you always have enough power left to get you to the...

2017-07-20
Singing Sands
And still the waves slip ashore, singing their conspiratorial whispers between grains of sand. The wind slides in from the deep, empty places, haunted and lonely, cold and clean like a wet finger around the spotless rim of a fine crystal glass. I’m 68 and might drop dead at any...

2017-07-17
“Clickfarming:” It’s a thing? Apparently.
On Friday, a book jumped to the #1 spot on Amazon, out of nowhere; it quickly became obvious that the author had used a clickfarm to gatecrash the charts. The Kindle Store is officially broken. This is not the first time this has happened and Amazon’s continued inaction is increasingly...

2017-07-10
Famous Writers Writing About Not Writing
From: http://lithub.com/8-famous-writers-writing-about-not-writing/ By Emily Temple Hey—are you writing right now? If you aren’t, and I know you aren’t, because you’re reading this sentence, it’s okay. It may seem like the phenomenon of writers constantly agonizing over not being able to write is a modern one (one of the great ironies...

2017-07-10
Charged With Eternity: Quirks and Perks
A Quiver Of Quotes Quote: The car came to a halt by the side of the road. I opened the door and got out. It wasn’t yet completely dark, but it was no longer day. The land all around us and the hills into which the highway went winding were...

2017-07-05
Claudia Nolan: Sometimes the Bright Sophistry of Earnest Souls — Vox Populi
Sometimes the bright sophistry of earnest souls of unlearned but much practiced minds shines its own light on the tangled feet of those so eager for the lie, the one that promises a job a meal a summer tan in every garage and two shiny objects for the elderly I’m...

2017-07-05
Graveyard Shift At Ace’s Truck Stop
(Hi. I’m still around, just not posting much. My life lately feels like the scene in this poem. I’ve got a manuscript for another book making rounds at publishers, hat in hand. And I’m mulling, reading and writing sketches that could be one of three book ideas. One’s a murder...

2017-06-20
John Samuel Tieman: Of Guns And Our Crazy Neighbor
“…So just how easy is it to arm yourself in America? I posed myself a little test. I am a Vietnam veteran. How much would it cost me to equip myself, and arm myself, as I was in Vietnam? And how long would it take me to answer that question?…”...

2017-06-18
Waiting
A pile of poems, a scattering of short stories, a minor mess of manuscripts, all in a state of perpetual preparation, wait while I, as usual, wait to see what will happen today. These things of mine, Hopeful of attention, Not expecting much. It is as though I and these...

2017-06-14
Cry Havok!
“Horrors of War” by Peter Paul Reubens We wake again to news too normal, in times that wrap around us with tentacles of putrid decay. Today death drove in from Illinois and visited a spring morning. Last week, workday carnage in a warehouse; Bombs and blades and bullets fly, as...

2017-06-13
25,000 days
I’ve managed to make it through almost 25,000 days by accidentally avoiding fatal incidents. The first 23,756 (or so) I was rushing from one to the next, believing, without evidence, that my presence was required. But lately, I’ve been wondering what all the hurry was for. At my age, I’ve...

2017-06-13
If Only
Jim Harrison by Jim Harrison Oh, to write just one poem that would last as long as that rose tattooed on her butt! Filed under: Age , Jim Harrison , poem , Poems , poet , poetry , Quotes from better writers , Women , Writing Tagged: #DiscoverWP , Age...

2017-06-07
Upstream is a Dream
Time is a deep river with a fast current, the past somewhere upstream. You can try to swim against the flow, but it’s no use. It’s exhausting, and pointless. You can’t go there any more. You might taste a memory, But are soon worn out and forced to tend to...

2017-06-05
Fame
Filed under: poetry...

2017-06-05
Advice, Anyone?
My alter-ego has the idea that he wants to publish a second book of poems. I’m on the fence, but he’s sure. However, what he’s not sure about this time is whether to self-publish again or take the time and trouble to try to find an agent and/or a small...

2017-06-04
Pea Brush
Robert Frost by Robert Frost 1916 I walked down alone Sunday after church To the place where John has been cutting trees To see for myself about the birch He said I could have to bush my peasThe sun in the new-cut narrow gap Was hot enough for the first...

2017-06-04
Clear Vision
Carl Jung, 1875-1961 Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes. – Carl Jung Filed under: #3 , Carl Jung , Daily Post , Dream , hope , humanity , Philosophy , Quotes from better writers...

2017-05-28
I Hear America Singing
For Memorial Day…. Walt Whitman , 1819 – 1892 I hear America singing, the varied carols I hear, Those of mechanics, each one singing his as it should be blithe and strong, The carpenter singing his as he measures his plank or beam, The mason singing his as he makes...

2017-05-23
Umwelt
Some days it’s all about limitations, And while it’s no use complaining, That’s never stopped me before. I feel like a blind man living inside a kaleidoscope; A glutton with but one taste bud left; A monk who’s forgotten what he knew of God; A tin-eared drunk waking up just...

2017-05-21
Another Complaint About Marketers
I squinted through previews of blind old age, a hop and skip from life in a cage– So I put into port, my vacation on hold. I miss aspects of the younger me. That mixture of brass and anxiety. One minute riding with Aldrin and Glenn, The next falling into...

2017-05-19
The Cork’s Dilemma
I’m torn. Spring is so fast, so eager. Changes come before I’ve absorbed yesterday’s. A minute ago, the maple was nearly bare, thousands of tiny spinners fallen on my windshield like sawdust under a table saw. This morning, new leaves dance in the breeze, awkward teenagers already, swaying to their...

2017-05-18
Liberty Lies In The Heart
Learned Hand Judge Hand was a U.S. judge and judicial philosopher. He has been quoted more often by legal scholars and by the Supreme Court of the United States than any other lower-court judge Judge Learned Hand What do we mean when we say that first of all we seek...

2017-05-16
On the Night Shift
This is a short master class in creating vivid characters. Great work. Na trioblóidí There is a priest in the off-license, buying two bottles of whiskey. His face is pasty and pocked with blotches. His hands tremble as he struggles valiantly to count out his notes and coins. On his...

2017-05-15
Let Me Go
by Christina Georgina Rossetti When I come to the end of the road and the sun has set for me I want no rites in a gloom filled room Why cry for a soul set free? Miss me a little, but not for long and not with your head bowed...

2017-05-14
For Monday
Filed under: poetry...

2017-05-13
Beasts Bounding Through Time
by Charles Bukowski Van Gogh writing his brother for paints Hemingway testing his shotgun Celine going broke as a doctor of medicine the impossibility of being human Villon expelled from Paris for being a thief Faulkner drunk in the gutters of his town the impossibility of being human Burroughs killing...

2017-05-13
Endings
Pronounced ‘Gnosti you autvn’ , σεαυτόν γνῶθι, carved into the temple of Apollo at Delphi. In Latin, it is ‘Nosce the ipsum’. The message is the same: “Know Thyself”. Is it possible, can a young person understand what real loss feels like? It takes the heartbreak of puppy love; a...

2017-05-06
Sailing to Byzantium
W. B. Yeats W. B. Yeats , 1865 – 1939 That is no country for old men. The young In one another’s arms, birds in the trees —Those dying generations—at their song, The salmon-falls, the mackerel-crowded seas, Fish, flesh, or fowl, commend all summer long Whatever is begotten, born, and...

2017-05-05
Asylums as Refuge: Dispersing the Gloom
“…What I found most remarkable, is that these institutions seemed to have a kind of dignity associated to them—something I would not say is the case today. Sadly, few Americans realise that these institutions were once monuments to civic pride, build with noble intentions by leading architects and physicians who...

2017-05-05
Video: Harry Frankfurt on Bullshit
One of the obligations of a writer or poet — after describing the beauty in your eyes, of course — is to call out lies and apply a blowtorch to them. There’s a word that’s useful: bullshit.. Vox Populi . Harry Frankfurt is an American philosopher and author of the...

2017-05-03
On the Verge
I’m on the verge of doing something. You just wait and see if I don’t. I was young, once, but excavated him recently and found some things to admire. He was a naive, quirky dreamer, Not really cowed by what he didn’t know, Below average in almost everything. And so...

2017-05-03
Now
Living in the past leads only to regrets. Living in the future leads to worry. Living must be embraced in the now. The first cardinals have returned, singing. So. I may not be able to leap as high as I once could, Nor run as far, or as fast…. Hell,...

2017-05-02
Let Your Life Lightly Dance
Filed under: poetry , Tagore Tagged: #DiscoverWP , Age , art , poems , poet , poetry , writers , writing...

2017-05-01
Annie
I sleep in the bedroom of a dead woman. She’s no trouble. I saw her, but just once, the night we moved in. Annie. Maybe it was exhaustion, and even my hair ached. But in a shaft of moonlight, just as sleep took me, I had a brief impression of...

2017-04-30
Vacation
With Audio: Accepted into the Telepoem program After 60 years of work, more or less, I’ve decided to take a working vacation. I’m booking a cruise and extended train travels for the next 60 years To go exploring along the coasts, Poking my canoe up the inlets and rivers, Probing...

2017-04-30
Time Traveler
You know the bit about the butterfly: It flaps it’s wings on a Wednesday just after lunch and the dinosaurs all die. And the other bit, where you go back in time and accidentally bump off grandpa and POOF! You never existed. Or just like yesterday, and you woke up,...

2017-04-29
Nothing To See Here
There’s really no point in another poem about Spring. What can be said that’s new? Well, nothing. Just that this year it seems the lilacs fill late April’s dusks with their perfume in intoxicating ways… and the idea, however brief, that this year, this year… will be remarkable, remembered in...

2017-04-23
On Acatenango
Eruption and snowfall, April, 2017. Acatenango, Guatemala. Note: republishing one from a couple of years ago. My friend Pete sent a new picture of the mountain where my favorite coffee comes from, the slopes of Acatenango in Guatemala. The volcano is active, and there has been an unusual snow in...

2017-04-22
Making A Bed
I know how to make a bed While still lying in it, and Slip out of an imaginary hole As if I were squeezed out of a tube: Tug, smooth—the bed is made. And if resurrections are this easy, Why then I believe in all of them: Lazarus rising from...

2017-04-20
One or Two
This isn’t an original thought. And I hope it’s a long way off. But at the end of everything, I would be satisfied if it could be carved into my tombstone that “He wrote one or two good sentences.” Filed under: poetry...

2017-04-18
Bad News for Turkey, Democracy
Stepping out from behind the normal poetic firewall, because this is an alarm bell we haven’t heard rung since the 1930s in Germany. Tyrants are on the move again, including here. I apologize for injecting politics in, and won’t do it very often. From this morning’s New York Times Editorial...

2017-04-17
Traveling Alone
by Billy Collins in “The Trouble With Poetry” 2005 At the hotel coffee shop that morning, the waitress was wearing a pink uniform with “Florence” written in script over her heart. And the man who checked my bag had a badge that said “Ben.” Behind him was a long row...

2017-04-16
Kate Tempest: “Let Them Eat Chaos”
This was a big risk BBC took, and I think they deserve a enormous amount of credit. When was the last time you saw poetry recited on TV, let alone raw social criticism and brilliant commentary like this? This is a job poetry can do better than anything. Filed under:...

2017-04-16
Ride the Wild Wind – Depends Optional
Hysterical. Good one, Iowa. Lies Jack Kerouac told Me While the rest of the blogging world tackles the A to Z challenge, Almost Iowa has thrown down one of his own. Here, then, is my entry in his My Stuff Challenge… Spring has arrived on the Front Range, and with...

2017-04-15
Well, Not Exactly
Henry James, (1843 – 1916) “My idea of paradise is a perfect automobile going 30 miles per hour on a smooth road to a twelfth century cathedral.” —Henry James Well, that’s fine, I suppose. But …. Mine would have to add a pretty girl, some wine, and talk in that...

2017-04-13
The Days Are Bees
by Pablo Neruda from Still Another Day The days aren’t discarded or collected, they are bees that burned with sweetness or maddened the sting: the struggle continues, the journeys go and come between honey and pain. No, the net of years doesn’t unweave: there is no net. They don’t fall...

2017-04-12
The Buffaloes Are Gone
Carl Sandburg by Carl Sandburg The buffaloes are gone. And those who saw the buffaloes are gone. Those who saw the buffaloes by thousands and how they pawed the prairie sod into dust with their hoofs, their great heads down pawing on in a great pageant of dusk, Those who...

2017-04-12
How To (And How Not To) Write Poetry
Advice for blocked writers and aspiring poets from a Nobel Prize winner’s newspaper column. (I’m still making more than a few of these mistakes.) BY WISŁAWA SZYMBORSKA INTRODUCTION From: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/features/articles/detail/68657 In the Polish newspaper Literary Life , Nobel Prize winning poet Wislawa Szymborska answered letters from ordinary people who wanted...

2017-04-11
Writing Advice
More at: http://www.advicetowriters.com You Can’t Learn To Write in College You can’t learn to write in college. It’s a very bad place for writers because the teachers always think they know more than you do—and they don’t. They have prejudices. They may like Henry James, but what if you don’t...

2017-04-09
Jam
by Charles Bukowski 1920-94 That Harbor Freeway south through the downtown area – I mean it can simply become unbelievable. last Friday evening I was sitting there motionless behind a wall of red tail lights there wasn’t even first gear movement as masses of exhaust fumes greyed the evening air...

2017-04-09
The Work
Pause ©Hemmingplay 2014 The old one-eyed poet said it is harder to dismantle your life than to build it, but think it is just as difficult both ways. I’m putting the finishing touches on the house of me. Bolting the copper trout wind vane on the chimney, mounting the mailbox...

2017-04-08
When Frank Died: God
Frank died. God whistled a tune. Frank looked around at the room. Nothing special, walls, mostly. Frank looked back at God. “Who the hell are you?” God stopped whistling. “God, I think, right? You guys are stilling calling me God?” Frank stared, placid. “Uh-huh.” “Any-who,” God muttered, feeling awkward. “Right,”...

2017-04-08
Implacable Indifference
I read a poet who talks about the “Implacable indifference of time.” He was old when he wrote that, and facing a decaying body and painful surgery. It made me think. I was raised to believe in hope, in the redeeming graces that would make all suffering worthwhile in the...

2017-04-05
Unending Love
–Rabindranath Tagore I seem to have loved you in numberless forms, numberless times… In life after life, in age after age, forever. My spellbound heart has made and remade the necklace of songs, That you take as a gift, wear round your neck in your many forms, In life after...

2017-04-05
Bits ‘n Pieces: The Comb
A girl combs her grandmother’s hair, while the old woman tries, suddenly, desperately, to remember her first kiss. The her mind slips a couple more decades back in time. “It will be wonderful,” she sighs, in anticipation. Her spirit surges into the past, pausing just an eye blink with the...

2017-04-01
When Frank Died: Counting Ducks
Another delightful piece from the mysterious flash-365.com. We ought to start a petition to get him/her to reveal himself/herself. Frank died. A man with a naked mole rat of a head was shaking Frank’s hand. “Welcome,” he said. He had a clipboard tucked under one arm. Frank looked around. A...

2017-03-31
Ashes and Snowflakes
The challenge, it seems, is to somehow arrange, to slow-dance with Familiar, but awaken with Strange. To be like a welder shooting showers of sparks, birthing hot, fluid joinings, behind a mask full of stars. There’s too much universe to run out of amazements. No two snowflakes exactly alike, nor...

2017-03-27
I Am the Wind.
I Am The Wind. I Bring News The sun rises in the sky, the days lengthen, Energy stirs the world. I am born of heat and light and urgency. And once born, I move. I must move. I must. Always. My siblings and I, spawned from sun-boiled salty waters, stubbled...

2017-03-25
Karma
Head left after you enter the Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden in New Orleans’ City Park, and you’ll eventually encounter “Karma” an amazing 23-ft. stainless steel sculpture by Korean artist Do Ho Suh. The sculpture, which was installed on Monday (Feb. 27) features a male figure surmounted by a...

2017-03-25
The Stolen Child
W. B. Yeats , 1865 – 1939 Where dips the rocky highland Of Sleuth Wood in the lake, There lies a leafy island Where flapping herons wake The drowsy water rats; There we’ve hid our faery vats, Full of berrys And of reddest stolen cherries. Come away, O human child!...

2017-03-21
Bits ‘n Pieces: 6 Dogs
He often thinks about the six dogs who ran alongside for a time, and then were gone. All those afternoons of poking noses together into interesting places, and not having to explain why. These honored companions deserve to be cast in bronze and mounted facing the wind on granite pedestals,...

2017-03-20
Bits ‘n Pieces: Birds
A cold March breeze made something tinkle as it came around the side of the house, reminding me how things could be again if I didn’t feed the birds. Filed under: poetry...

2017-03-20
Bits ‘n Pieces: Finding Bottom
Old pilots say: “There are more airplanes in the ocean than submarines in the sky.” The sea hides everything forever, The wind strokes her face. Everything finds the bottom in time. Every other expectation is Self deception, no matter how pleasant. Filed under: poetry , Writing Tagged: #DiscoverWP , courage...

2017-03-19
Bits ‘n Pieces: Bringing In The Tide
Peaceful inside this tube, quiet, rolling gently side to side, as smooth as the hips of a woman strolling to dinner on the boardwalk on a hot July evening, Thin fabric stretched just right over just-so curves. Making him wait, Liking the feeling she gets from the way she walks,...

2017-03-19
Bits ‘n Pieces: Waiting In The Dark
Just after sundown, past the North Carolina border, our passenger train stops to let a freight whiz by in the dark. We’re not as profitable per pound, and complain when the ride’s too rough. And, really, just look at us; so flabby and soft. So we must wait. It’s good...

2017-03-15
#1 Reason Readers Hate Indie Books: Poor Editing
Passing this along from BookDaily.com . A good editor is critical for a writer who wants to improve, and to give readers their best effort. by Tracy Lawson Poor Editing We all need an editor from time to time. It’s not something we outgrow. One very intelligent and literate adult...

2017-03-14
Oh, Yeah?
Filed under: poetry...

2017-03-14
Innocence
Everyone but God, if you believe, is Innocent of tomorrow. Caesar, full of swagger, innocent of the daggers of friends, Mary innocent she’d see a son murdered, slowly, while she watched. Me, innocent about everything, including whether a satellite will fall on me, or I’ll get a certified letter that...

2017-03-11
Wet Drive
There are some remarkable talents out there… Such as Cabinetwriter. cabinetwriter The valleys stretch and bow away and I unzip the land in swaths and glean the backdrop. A blind-stitched highway sewn beneath the sky with I-15’s cats-eye and miles of blacktop. Cartooned through cobalt clouds, the bands of light...

2017-03-11
Hadrian’s Deathbed Poem
Something new every day. Check this site out… Brief Poems Hadrian (76-138) was the fourteenth Emperor of Rome (10 August 117 to 10 July 138). Born Publius Aelius Hadrianus, probably in Hispania, Hadrian is best known for his substantial building projects throughout the Roman Empire. He established cities throughout the...

2017-03-10
Fireflies on Spillwords
Spillwords republished “Fireflies…” to tip their hat to the publication of the book by the same name, and added the little experimental audio reading I’d done. The new piece went up this morning. “I Came From a Place of Fireflies” Filed under: memory , poem , Poems , poet ,...

2017-03-10
That Time of Year
The weather kicks sideways this time of year. It’s not always as bad as the year we got 39 inches of snow in one night in March and were snowed in for three days, but there’s always something. It was warm as a sweet late May in the mountains three...

2017-03-09
Newborn Coffee
I want to describe my life in hushed tones like a TV nature program. Dawn in the north. His nose stalks the air for newborn coffee. –In “Braided Creek: A conversation in poetry”, Ted Kooser and Jim Harrison. Copper Canyon Press. 2003 Filed under: poetry...

2017-03-09
Time
Shameless plug: This is a hoot. I just got an email from the Austin International Poetry Foundation that another poem (the one below from last year) was accepted for the “Di-vêrsé-city Anthology” and they invited me to go to the festival in April to read it. (I probably won’t be...

2017-03-08
The Best of Us
Sometimes you just don’t know what’s going to come out of that old man’s mouth…In a hospital room he probably wasn’t walking out of…late on a February Sunday afternoon. We waited, though. And then he just started, with no preamble. “I just like them. I just like women. Well, some....

2017-03-07
As Sun Sets
(Posting again. I think this is the third time….) “Fair goes the dancing when the Sitar is tuned. Tune us the Sitar neither high nor low, And we will dance away the hearts of men. But the string too tight breaks, and the music dies. The string too slack has...

2017-03-07
Flower, 2001
Enter a caption by J im Harrison Near a flower shop off boulevard Raspail a woman in a sundress bending over I’d guess about 49 years of age in a particular bloom, just entering the early Autumn of her life a thousand-year-old smile on her face so wide open that...

2017-03-07
Feeling Lucky?
It’s a little game of chance with no risk and no obligation. And you might win a Kindle copy of “I Came From A Place of Fireflies”. Really, isn’t that enough? https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/7338a1b6f437b0d7#ln-en Filed under: poetry...

2017-03-06
Sympathy For Butch and Larry
Flash 365 I’m tied down, again. Why do I keep doing this to myself, I can’t help thinking. The two men standing over me don’t look pleased. I decide to name them Butch and Larry. They are frowning down at my bare gut, muttering in Russian. “Can you please tell...

2017-03-05
At the Dig
Some poems make me an archaeologist. I roll back the stone from the tomb of some long-buried memory and analyze artifacts. It seems more and more important to look for what I can, to catalogue it and make sure contexts are in order. I can clearly see a soft brush...

2017-03-05
Packing For The Trip
When the sun comes up tomorrow, it still won’t care about our little passions, but we’ll look up, hopeful as a puppy, and think it does. Whatever the size of our apartment or tent or mansion, we fill the available closets like we’re packing for a long trip and will...

2017-03-04
Oysters Raw
Some days it’s nice to be reminded that we’re made of sea water… and star dust. Because it gets hard to remember where our sources are. Thanks for this reminder. Still Light But getting back to how people swallow oysters raw. I have not had the pleasure in partaking when...

2017-03-02
Ghazal*: The Water
I was a relentless swimmer as a child, more at home under water, popping up only for air, wishing for gills. In the pond’s murky realm a few feet down, the big bass, motionless, eyes swiveling, waited for someone’s last mistake. In the muddy shallows, the sun warmed the water...

2017-03-02
My Bad Day | Almost Iowa
Here come our machine masters. https://almostiowa.com/2017/03/02/my-bad-mechanical-day/#like-3114 Filed under: poetry...

2017-03-01
Hometown Heroes
All around town, on lampposts, hang banners memorializing hometown heroes. Boys in uniforms who went to war in 1941, or ’42 or ’43 or later, who never came back from that sunken transport ship, or that awful night on Iwo, or who stepped in front of a truck outside a...

2017-02-28
Burke on Writing
James Lee Burke “Writing is like being in love. You never get better at it or learn more about it. The day you think you do is the day you lose it. Robert Frost called his work a lover’s quarrel with the world. It’s ongoing. It has neither a beginning...

2017-02-27
Reading Habits
Hi. Could you spare 20 seconds to take a brief survey? Results will be shown after you vote, so can benefit, too. I’m taking a crash course on book publishing. Take Our Poll Take Our Poll Filed under: poetry...

2017-02-26
So What Comes Next?
Ernest Hemingway “For this, that now was coming, he had very little curiosity. For years it had obseessed him; but now it meant nothing in itself. It was strange how easy being tired enough made it. Now he would never write the things he had saved to write until he...

2017-02-25
Book “I Came From A Place…” available on Kindle
For sale now on Amazon http://amzn.to/2lQnNoL I Came From a Place of Fireflies is available for your Kindle reader. If you prefer a print version, it is at http://amzn.to/2moXXpO I’ve included a reading I did for the title piece. I’ve had mixed reviews on the background music. What do you...

2017-02-25
New Poetry Work Published
For sale now on Amazon http://amzn.to/2lQnNoL I’m happy to announce that Hemmingplay’s alter-ego has published a collection of poems under the title “I Came From A Place of Fireflies.” It is available on Amazon and a Kindle version is at Kindle Link . Buying the paperback version entitles that person...