Tag Archives: Poetry

PINCHER CREEK ALBERTA

PINCHER CREEK ALBERTA

Mid June and Cowboy Poets back in town
voices hoarse from long winter’s silence

And a thousand and more are here to hear
for the poets have been listening all year

Listening to the cattle and the coyotes
and the Northern Lights at nights

And they have been reminded
and being reminded they remember
and remembering they come here to remind

And just listening we remember
and unwind

BUD McKAGUE

BUD McKAGUE

You can’t take it with you
they all say
And I believed it
till today

But that was gold
and crowns and
worldly glories

Bud beat those odds
he took his stories

(Bud, who knew and could tell more stories than anyone collapsed and died last year shortly after getting a standing ovation at Pincher Creek)

THE POET LAUREATE AT NINETY FIVE

THE POET LAUREATE AT NINETY FIVE

The new poet laureate is ninety five
he’s been working on his demons
for a long long time

Six weeks before the poet was born
his father burns his demons out
by drinking carbolic acid in the park

Mother burns father’s pictures
forbids mention of his name

Young Stanley finds one in the attic
and asks about the man

She tears the picture to shreds
without a word
and slaps him hard
six decades later he still felt the sting

Bright boy gets scholarship to Harvard
okay but forget about teaching classes
these were not the days when a Jewish boy
could teach their ivy league asses

Marries a poet, move to honeymoon farm
she disappears never to be heard from again

The new poet laureate has had plenty of pain
each day he wakes as a poet
not a man of ninety five
still seeing everything new
still glad to be alive

MARY OLIVER

MARY OLIVER

Of all the poets I admire
only one did I envy

How she could take us all on her journey
remind us of the wild beauty of our lives
and the soft animal of our bodies

It is disowned parts of us I know
that we hold too high or low

And yet I wanted to go where she could go

This year in the merry month of May
on a trip in search of other things
a book I didn’t know she’d written
in a town where I didn’t know she’d lived

I hung five days like her hummingbird
on the green wheel of its wings

Her flowers were my food
her town became my town
her dunes became my dunes

Sip by sip on that Cape Cod shore
I began to envy her less
and love her more

And that pretty green stone
I was taking with me
I threw it back into the sea

KURT

KURT

I am sure that the life
of my dear friend’s brother
held great meaning for a great many

He will be missed

My poems will miss him

He would take them down
into the greatness of his being
wrap them in music and meaning
and sing them back out to the world

I am sure that Kurt touched many people
in ways they have not been touched before
nor will ever be again

My poems join in the mourning

for that touch

ELBOW ROOM RAP

ELBOW ROOM RAP

Poems know where they come from

My poems grew up in the wide open spaces
soft rolling hills and prairie lakes

You can lay a word down here in places
that no one would step on in ten years

My poems mostly come on gentle
and soft and safe like that

But
when my poems
come to the big cities
and the buildings start leanin in on them
(and now fallin in)
and the air gets thick with cars and people
my poems, I say my poems, start to panic

They start to talk
in short / hard / words
they flail around in all directions
they want to be rap poems
they want to be jackhammers
they want to be big guns

They want to aim their decibels
at all those Jericho walls
and they want them down
they want them down
right now

THEY SAY
Gimme some space
get outta my face

THEY SAY
gimme some space
get outta my face

THEY SAY
I need my place
gotta have someplace
I need my place
gotta have someplace

THEY SAY
You can’t see me
gotta turn it up

THEY SAY
you can’t hear me
gotta turn it up

MY POEMS SAY

HELP!

POETRY AT BERGEN

POETRY AT BERGEN

If Austin is the Athens of America
Bergen is the Austin of Holland

Sunday afternoon
reading in seven languages

Feeling the difference

Harsh precision of the Dutch
If you could understand the language
you would understand the poem

Russian

The power of
a shot of cold vodka
and survival on the steppes

Afrikaans

Dutch rubbed smooth
by the soft hills of Africa

Latin

Still the mother of language
singing through her children

Spanish

Music of Lorca
moving your body as you listen

French

Dark musings of Rimbaud
a shrug in every verb

English

The fish does not see water
but there was food everywhere

ANNA

ANNA

Could a drop of blood
from the pen of Anna Akhmatova
enter my blood
that I might write with a deeper red

A husband falls to the firing squad
a son in prison for no greater crime
than carrying his father’s name

Seventeen months in a Leningrad prison
she waits in line each day for word of life
mid screams of those who learn of death

She has been a poet for thirty years and more
woman in line asks, “can you describe this”
she becomes a poet now