imbalance

johnpoetflanagan

not an unsalvageable wreck
where claws scrabble silent and blind

learning should fit as cosy
as a favourite pair of old shoes
that think nothing of walking on water

a bobbing cork
sensitive to nibble and chance
dipping to where things are

delightfully accidental on streets
where grass leaves spontaneous paint on feet
and conversation with a chance-upon in a bar
flows instinctively true

those more than knowing
where the nearest internet café is
in a strange town and safe accommodation
well away from the poorest quarter

too far in cold directions wintering in books
i’m guilty of failing my passions
(though passions are where i play)
and could wish i’d been dropped on my head
as a child or had someone clobber me
from a height with the King James Bible
or more definitive yet an entire set
of Encyclopaedia Britannica

if time’s kind
i’ll coast to comic in-between

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The first of a few ‘Poems from Portugal’ 2016

by John Smallshaw

 
An owl hoots,
a warning?
I head East into the thieves market,
lucky horseshoes for sale and without fail they are in good supply.
Make no mistake
as they take no prisoners here.
Passing through the untied shoelace of cobblestoned lanes
I spy the woman through a postage stamp window, barred as if franked by the mailman, she plays patience and always with two cards missing, an unwinnable task, but she’s old and if old becomes a memory then she becomes one too.
An ocean, (if red is the ocean) of slanted tiles stretch beyond my imagination into an expanding horizon, I
smell coffee and sit local to the river watching the elegance of Portuguese pigeons, it’s dreamlike in its quality.
This morning,
the earthquake shook me awake even though that was centuries ago and still the owl hoots.
Earlier outside the church of Santo Estaveo
I am bound to its steps by my own chains,
this will change as the sun which works by its own memory rises above the fishing boats.
So easy to be here and to fall into the trap
So easy to tap dance my way through the one eyed shadows that wink over the bay,
in the distance, a tram, a man and his day stay longer than this moment in time.
To close the eyes
clues and sighs
It’s a splendid life
and though full of lies at incredibly cheap prices the thieves market is the place to be wary.
Each shadow now stronger as the day becomes longer and the hours get shorter.
Caught,
I have sought solace in this place and found peace from within,
sin
is yet to find me.

Old Firs – A Poem by Danny Earl Simmons

Poetry Breakfast

Old Firs

I often eat lunch in Awbrey Park beside four crowded fir trees
leaning this way and that, as if not on speaking terms. These trees

are tall and weathered with brindled bark and the same wrinkled
scowls that line the hallways of old-folks homes. They’ve earned

the right to appear irritated by the fat gray squirrel fidgeting
along the arborvitae hedge. I imagine them wincing, remembering

all those generations of squirrels before him. I imagine them pursing
their lips, wondering how many more they will live to see. A crow flaps

from within their prickly branches; the wind blows. We five shiver
together as I stand, unstiffen, remind myself that they are only old firs.

About the Poet:
Danny Earl Simmons is an Oregonian and a proud graduate of Corvallis High School. He is a friend of the Linn-Benton Community College Poetry Club and currently serves on its…

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Fir Green

Veronica Aldous - Poetry and Art

P1160572.JPG

Fir Green

The woods are holding the owls deep in their clefts
Their voices hollow out the dark blue void
Eyes shut, you are speaking to me, your warm hand
Enfolding the day’s essence,a  dark chocolate voice
Resonates in my heartwood
I hear it at night narrating some oaken verse
As though a man came out of the greenwood
And offered me a  mossy seat on a fallen tree
To tell me folk stories of golden maids
And violet charms that fall at midnight
A thread of silver seeps into a bird’s call
Bidding the forest to keep its secret.

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Friday Foto Talk: Shoot in Any Weather

MJF Images

A blustery cold winter morning at Joshua Tree National Park, California gave me the opportunity to shoot something I’ve always loved to see: spindrift in bright sunlight.

Occasionally I see someone post on Facebook or mention elsewhere that they are anxious for the weather to cooperate so that they can get out with their cameras.  They’ll say they are inside playing in Photoshop because the weather is keeping them from shooting, or that they’re looking forward to getting out when the weather finally improves this weekend.

The message for this post is very simple.  Quit making excuses and get out there!  Short of hurricanes, tornados, and other dangerous situations, there is really no weather that you can’t handle with clothing and gear.  Check out my series on winter photography for tips on how to protect yourself and your gear.

It’s springtime now in the northern hemisphere, and that means quickly changing…

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digging

johnpoetflanagan

they got up in the dark
those early salt-cured men
to gouge another shovelful
pyramid the clay one day their fellow
incrementing an ordained hollow
brothers left would fill in
and mark with upright and horizontal

the ordinary fished and tilled
harvested wildflower honey
learning from the hive diligence
and the unimportance of individual
while the literate sat where the light was
and delved quilled illuminated visions

all came together at dusk
to chant pray eat in quiet
sweat of the hour dried by cool reflection
most content with dreams
scooping doubt from the heart
a few examining purpose and place
among the stars when flint-faced night
quarried again submission

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Distant drums

Bart Wolffe

DISTANT DRUMS

The force of it, irresistible, urgent, pulling

From within where I had forgotten my heart once pounded.

It is only the night sound of drums,

Down there in the valley and the voices bursting with exclamation.

It could be any language but it speaks of dancing fires

That make the deep shadows torture themselves

As they circle and rise and fall

Stamping the earth, imprints of before the missionary hymnals

Replaced the sweat, coming to me from below the surface,

And yet I know this is only schoolboys on the playing field

Raising a war cry to their team in the safety of floodlights,

Not the thudding assegai, not the African dust

Nor am I able to be drawn into that forbidding darkness

That once made my neck hairs stand like a warrior army

Ready for battle, nor will I go back but I cannot forget.

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