Today Laura, the human owned by Lena Furbena, gave me another picture of her. I used it to fiddle with an old nursery rhyme. Part of the fiddling was to remove the reference to a fiddle, replacing it, sort of, with a ukulele.

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I’m delighted to report that Lena has accepted my Facebook friend request.

Here are the words to the retooled rhyme:

Hey dilly daily,
The moon’s ukulele
No-handedly played for the spoon.
The little dog’s distance
Due to nonexistence
Was deemed by the cat quite a boon.

What did the uke play to the spoon? Why, “Some Enchanted Evening,” of course. [smile]

003

I once loved a girl, her skin it was bronze.
With the innocence of a lamb, she was gentle like a fawn.
I courted her proudly but now she is gone,
Gone as the season she’s taken.
Bob Dylan, “Ballad in Plain D”

When you see through love’s illusions, there lies the danger
And your perfect lover just looks like a perfect fool
So you go running off in search of a perfect stranger
While this loneliness seems to spring from your life
Like a fountain from a pool…
Jackson Browne, “Fountain of Sorrow”

It was a time I won’t forget
For the sorrow and regret
And the shape of a heart
And the shape of a heart
Jackson Browne, “The Shape of a Heart”

The dance was good. Now let it end.
Roger Zelazny, “A Rose for Ecclesiastes”

I did love a girl. Her skin it was bronze, especially when she sunned. On June 14, 1971, I fell for her hard. In January of 1979 I left her. In August of that year we went to Colorado together for a week, but things were not the same between us and would never be so again. In midsummer 1990 she called me and asked me to come see her, and I did, and it provided some closure for me, and I hope for her. In March of 1993 I did a marathon in the city where she lived (and lives), staying as a guest in her house while she stayed with her husband-to-be. I haven’t seen her since. We used to call each other on our birthdays, but we haven’t done so this century.

There’s a lot left out of the above paragraph, just as there’s a lot of detail lost in the page I scanned and selectively deresolutioned. Restored, it reveals a portrait of her very young self and a double acrostic poem based on her name. She deserves her privacy, and I need a shorter leash on my spilling-my-guts tendency. But this blog, which will be the chief trace of myself left over after my death, is intended to be holographic, and I could not leave her out of it.

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This courtly gentleman lives where I work. He is shamanistic, a lover of music from Mozart to David Gates’s Bread, a lover of dancing, of our Verde Valley, and of his fellow human beings. There is something about the tipping of day toward night that wakes him from a nap. There is something about the joy he derives from everyday life that brings an easy smile to his face, and then the faces of the people he talks to.

I’m glad to know him, and I wish the Earth had more of him.

Here are the words to the acrostic of his name:

Can o p t i m i s m come to be
Around when some unhappily
Reflect on spires that do not gleam
Lost love, lost chances, darkened theme?
Of course! Just find a friend who’s fair
Shake Shakespeare and confound Flaubert

Shakespeare wrote HAMLET and KING LEAR and MACBETH and ROMEO AND JULIET and TITUS ANDRONICUS (“probably in collaboration with George Peele,” says Wikipedia) and OTHELLO and other awfulness-containing tragedies. Flaubert is chiefly known for MADAME BOVARY.

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Today my good friend and Leader of the Facebook Poet Pack, Socorro Olsen, clued me in on an article about words Noah Webster had in his pioneering Dictionary. The article had a word for every letter in the alphabet, and also mentioned his popularization of Americanisms such as squash, skunk, hickory, chowder and applesauce. I had a great deal of fun getting familiar with the words and their meanings by writing this poem with at least one of the words in each line. NOTE: “PACpals” refers to the members of the Facebook poetry group Poets All Call, which Socorro created and in which I enthusiastically have participated for years.

To Noah Webster, Socorro Solis Olsen, and My PACpals

Uptrain us, please, O Webster, N,
We Yoke-mates need our fun.
To bloom and Vernate well and then
Trill Zuffalo and pun.
Though Xerophagy leaves us dry
And makes us Maffle oddly,
An Ear-erecting noise awry
Makes Kissing-crust more godly.
And we may Sheep-bite from your words
Though at first Tardigradous,
No Rakeshames, we, just avid nerds
Whose Babblement’s unmade us.
Such Hugger-Mugger came before,
And now we, After-wise,
Won’t Daggle-tail the couch or floor
With Packthread o’er our eyes.
We may choose to Obambulate
To gain Longiquity
Nuncupatory deals relate
To Wranglesome decree.
Illaqueation sets the trap;
A Quadrin we don’t need,
Our Cycopede will cut the crap
For Fopdoodle to cede.
No dummy, no Gastriloquist,
Just ham on wry Jackpudding,
We’ll Squash the Applesauce, then twist
The Skunk tail, would-should-coulding.

L’Envoi

Old Hickory took a powder.
Hey, buddy–pass the Chowder!

Hidder Midst says nothing and thinks bubbles–a true Superhero in search of an Origin Story. Meta-Man may have more to say than Spielberg’s A.I. or Asimov’s “The Bicentennial Man,” but he may just be all about a pose occluding text. The Book of Ecclesiastes says both “All is vanity” and that there is nothing new under the Sun. But that second one is a trick answer, as far as we mere mortals go. We are NOT “under the Sun.” We are OVER the sun, just as the Moon is over us. Should we fall into the Sun, we’d be falling down.

002

001

1

in a soundproofed room
you are still bombarded with signal
and depending on your instrument of translation
may receive modulated radiation from the electromagnetic spectrum
the least exhalation of breath and the most harrowing shriek and all between flow through you constantly though encrypted

but shut off the phone and be alone again
with your own pulsed heart and
your own rhythmed breath
heart’s lobed beat
lungs’ swelled fill

beat and fill

quiet

2

the main sound on the predawn desert mountain trail
is the scrape of your soles on scree cinders
but the near silence allows calibrated gain

and then are heard the thwips
and rustle
and padpadpad
of fauna and flora

stop on a rock and blink away the runoff from your brows
turn away from the view of the parking lot and look at the panorama you made
with nothing but a footborne change of elevation

and you’ve earned a silence of approbation

and when you break it with a twist
of your waterholder’s top
and then with the buhbloop of good and cold
over your tongue and down your throat
it’s hard not to “aaaaah!” with satisfied volume
and then enjoy a low-hummed resilencing

bent a little by the miraculous, bone-conducted sound
of your blinking eyelids

NOTE: My illustration for this poem is the first crack at Scratchboard I’ve had in thirty years or so. Consequently, the inherent strength-through-contrast of the medium is offset by the clumsiness of the practitioner. The next ones will be better.

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