Friday, October 7, 2011

1st draft of a new poem, really????

at last, summer is over, the cooler (darn almost cold) nights are bringing back the rains. Work continues, ever changing with the new (and still poorly functioning) software from the Gods of Memphis. Oh well, i am considering (not certain how seriously at this point) in bidding out of shipping and trying my hand at something else in the mill, as it getting really frustrating and difficult to deal with the mess this software has created and as in all walks of life, they just continue to pile on new features and jobs that we don't really have the time or extra personnel to deal with. Ain't life a cher o' bowlies?

anyway, worked on a new poem this morning, really! a new poem! first one in maybe 8 or 9 years. Is it the start of me returning to writing? Not certain and not likely. Just was listening to some Bo Ramsey music, and this poem started in the back of my head.


Bo Ramsey tells me
my dreams are so fragile
Paul Stookey tells me
to tell it on the mountain
while Dylan informs me
i ain’t goin’ nowhere

what to do?
all my prophets old & dying
sending conflicting messages -
just like politicians
in an election year

it is October finally
& the returning rains
offer little comfort

the sweat of labor
has again lost its magic luster

older now & my bones ache
i question the dreams of my youth
the passions used, abused
& lost

& i wonder if anything was really
worth the prices paid

still, when the alarm rings
i find it a necessity to put on
those worn work boots

that in itself
i suppose
is an answer for now

Saturday, September 3, 2011

purchase, consolidiation, government approval in the wings

not much to report. worked a ton of overtime in August, but survived somehow with only a very sore knee and a major strain on the brain. The past week of vacation helped a lot. Made it up to Dee Wright Obveratory in the Cascades (more of a site to observe the highest peaks in the Oregon Cascades than anything else). Been 20 or more years since we've been there.

Work continues to be a farce. Let it suffice at that. The great IP is trying to buy Temple Inland paper company. We have no idea how/if/when it will affect our mill and of course all the managers are acting as perfect robots saying it should have little if any affect on our future - which could mean anything, really. So we shall see how things unfold .... just what we all need, a little drama. It really will have little effect on my future, as i hope to be able to retire within 3 years, and these purchase, consolidation, government approval things usually take a couple of years to complete.

Summer should be winding down, thankfully. It hasn't been the hottest summer but, i can feel a bit of fall in the early morning air. Now if there were just a few sprinkles with the mild chill .....

today's poem is from 1:98, and it's another montage poem. (if you hadn't gathered, montage was probably my favorite type of poem.)


the language of lies

it is not the wind over bare trees
promising summer
as it is not the dirty river
promising clean drinking water

buy from me the rain.
the air that i breathe.
lilies of the valley.
flowers on the wall.

dreams, like Achilles, flaunt their potential,
but the funeral is always
what is remembered.
i tell you, we live for something other than simple dreams -
fear or necessity, each day a hejira,
faith not as spectacular as sainthood
but profound, i mean, it's epic stuff
to face co-workers with their daily psychosis,
to ward off the black cough of despair,
the burnt pages of promises forgotten.

O, to be the black dog in the rain
dancing with the ghosts
of a better time.

O, to be the whisper
that sparkles
the eyes of children.

her hair smelled of tangerines
lips contained more magic
than i would ever comprehend.

the ocean in her fingers -
then i scrapped my knees
& splashed into the tide pools.

storms from the distorted waters
never to subside.

god made demands upon stone
before he made promises.
some insist they survive.
the rain. even fire
merely mask the events, the facts.

even if the legends are not historical
hope remains, at least, there could be
peace on earth, in the individual,
by design or accident.

soldiers here - so many masks
so many uniforms, i am never certain
whose side i am on
or what i have chosen to fight for.

but, hurrah, for our side,
& damn the bastards that resist.

i, myself, burn the documents -
in hopes nothing survives,
not even records of their insanity.

i hope, only dust, ash, to greet
the next generation of explorers.

ice-storms -
the highway will reveal nothing.
you will learn the dialog of patience.

darkness will be the sound of your voice.

mother, may i have a future. may i dream.
one step at a time.
no giant steps allowed.
simon says go to the back of class.
you forgot to say the magic word.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

hospitals, doctors & needles, Oh MY!

spent last night in the emergency room, thinking i possibly was having a stroke. it didn't turn out that bad. the hospital tests revealed other issues, and i probably should see my family doctor fairly soon and have a set of stress tests and more blood tests on my liver to clear up some ambiguities that appeared last night. basically, last night seems to have been a combination of lack of sleep, stress and "other" factors resulting in "complications".

no - the comment section will not be opened in the immediate future. i am not looking for sympathy, contact or anything else, just mentioning what's shaking, and that (as seems to be the norm) posts will be irregular at best in the future. Anyway, such is the state of affairs.

a poem from 12:27:93


you: who took up a gun when you were not old enough to understand killing upon the wet fields of a 1917 france
who spent the rest of your life trying to give back life
like you could resurrect those eroded bodies with goodwill & dreams

the giants would never win the world series in your lifetime
though you prayed near perfect prayers

& as i now lay in your dying stance
the only birthday i can recall:
i was 16 & you were two months ahead of a coffin
& you brought a goose for my dinner

i still taste the rich syrups
as i remember your yellow smile
telling me the giants would be back
as long as someone believed in them

you: who took pain on a detour, laughing at the dreams of your grandchildren upon the wet leaves of eucalypus field
who gave the tools of dreaming to those who had not yet learned
smiling that yellow smile: believing the dead that forgive live forever

Friday, June 17, 2011

an old poem, and i don't like rhyme

here is an older poem, one i actually rhymed, which i don't like .... just a quick update, to show the blog isn't actually dead, but close .... still no comments allowed. i am just too tired of the crap comments, and i don't have the time to sift and edit them out anymore.

here is another from 12:93 -


little johnny jerk: took three snorts of coke
shot his old man twice in the head
& asked the cop why he couldnt take a fucking joke

Saturday, June 11, 2011


comments have been disabled, since i have gotten over 500 spam comments to every one or two legit ones.

that all may be a mute point. this blog has lost it's focus (obviously) and i am working so much overtime lately, i do not have time for it. Possibly it will be regenerated in the near future, but no promises.

again, sorry for the removal of comments, some of them were very worthwhile, but the spammers have won this round .....

Thursday, December 16, 2010

OK, i have an update - stop holding your breath!

Work has been tough ... ain't it always, everywhere? Lots of overtime. The new computer system is still clear as wet concrete ... the mill is "going Live" the first week of March. Oh joy.

But hey, The Giants won the World Series, so life has to at least headed in the right direction, or so the soothsayers tell me. Anyway, i celebrated the victory, remembering my grandfather who took me to a half dozen games in the 60's, when the Giants were real contenders, but alas, never won the big one.

todays poem .....


i learned long ago
never to promise the impossible.

it is december here
where roofs call to dark skies
the impracticle dream
of becoming mirrors -
if only for a moment,
to be saint-like,
to glisten
& show the skies
their beauty in dark reflections.

i learned long ago
never to dance in the dark gardens
of prosperity
& expect them to be there tomorrow.

it is december here.
the cafes are all full]of cheap holiday banners
& waiters that could be photographs
serving stale biscuits
to patrons drunk on christmas swill.
i walk the wet pavement
as if a dog
seeking shelter.

i learned long ago
never to believe in ghosts.

it is december here
& i stare into the wet skies
as if a telescope
peering into the great beyond -
wondering what it would take
for our lonely hearts
to be together again -
if only for a night.

i learned long ago
never to expect the impossible.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

one giant step backwards

first classes on the new computer system are behind us. Talk about a step into the past ... the thing was created when DOS ruled and only has been updated on an irregular basis. No mouse, no icons. it's all "F" keys, tab and arrow around the different screens.... oh, it's certainly not going to help speed things in shipping up anywhere. I am certain the usage on the paper machine (which is much less than in shipping) is going to be loads of fun as well. 3 more classes (4 hours each) before we go "live" with the beast.

Cooler the past few days. Summer seems to have wound down. Fall is coming, but not here yet. i expect at least another blast or two of Summer trying to survive. The rains of the past few days are gone. Just clouds. Need to get on the roof and Moss-B-Ware it for the winter. But starting night shift tonight, so it'll have to wait for a week or so, at least.

today's poem is from 12:97. Written for a friend in Singapore, when we still had occasional letters exchanged.

-for siti

as god pouts - rain.
rain. rain.
mascara runs down
your cheeks, some would
mistake as tears.

my voice is a stutter,
as the wind
through awkward fingers
of old & deformed trees.

carve your dreams
in the bark, if you will.
the wind will exchange them.
somehow i will know -
even across oceans, continents.

as god farts - thunder.
thunder. thunder.
the uncertainty of your laughter
is an unreturned echo.
but i have heard
& attempted to give the voice sanctuary.

roll my bones
against the fates.
there are no odds
when dreams are involved.
eternity is a concept worth violation
in the vernacular of dreamers.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Mt. St. Helens visit

Vacation ended far too soon, But did get up to see Mt. St. Helens. Quite Impressive. 30 years after the eruption, you can still see signs of the devastation. Got to get within 5 miles of the mountain, windy as hell, but steam still rising out of the hole in the north side of the mountain. Quite a long day, but well worth it.
back to work now. Changes coming, none of which are good. crew changes, computer program changes, different way to tally and load trailers and railcars. Oh swell!!!!

todays poem was written in 12:93, published in the wonderful Inevitibality Press in July 1995, an on-line magazine created and run by Roger Evers. Inevitabilty Press is no longer active, as Roger has taken his magnificent creative efforts into DVD creations and plays (in the Theatre of the Absurd mold, my favorite form!!) in the past couple of years. Oh yes, Bless The Void, Brother!


the policeman asked if i had a match. i shook my head no. his eyes studied me as if i were charles manson reincarnate, but said nothing as i walked away. deliverance was not salvation. rain spotted my glasses & my ulcer spoke in short but terse sentences.

two hookers on the street corner - watching their reflection in shop windows- make eyes at manikins. they ignore me as i limp by, the ghost of discarded dreams, hardly a vision worth attainment.

in the mail, the editor of onthebus writes i am a blasphemy, a degredation. i look at my hands, gnarled & red from a frozen wind offering no wisdom. i see his point. unfortunately, i find no razors, no poisons. i am forced to live another tortured day. i find a stamp, a soiled envelop & write a few curses to tell him so.

Friday, August 6, 2010

a death in the family

today's poem is from 12:97

been sort of busy. a death in the family. my sister in law died of a heart attack late last month. always hard to deal with stuff like that. RIP is the best i can think of at the moment.

hot summer continues. less hot than a lot of the country i guess, but still, i prefer the cool fall and rains.

other than that - the usual chaos and uncertainty of work. but at least it's still work. loads of changes (and overtime) in the next few months. Oh joy. At least, the end of the month brings me a vacation. Still working on plans for that. :-)


a myriad of unfinished dreams:
she was Aphrodite
tempting me,
telling me she was ordinary,
not worthy worship, in her eyes
i could see epics waiting to unfold:
i could see the moons of Jupiter
waiting for her descendants to populate.

& she telling me
she was just ordinary, not even

my hecatombs burn still
in the dark hills above her father's castle.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

for a bungundry dress

work has been unpleasant to say the least. lots of heavy weight export, lots of changes (more on the way), and well, summertime is coming and it's warming up on the mobile equipment i drive. Guess that's all part of "work", eh?

another poem from  11:97. about a woman i met at my first poetry reading .... where i was one of the last "unfeatured" poets to read.


we speak of dreams
as if jockeys
on beautiful nags,
not a chance of winning.

we speak of the odds
& handicaps,
as if wagers alone
could make a difference.

perhaps there are reasons enough for god
or deliverance ...

the rain through your thin fingers,
the utopia of your chocolate eyes:
all further than i can ever reach,
but somehow the dreaming
makes the running of circles
a bit more worthwhile.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

one for the concrete days of summer approaching

Spring looks to be nearly over. The warm days are turning warmer and the cool nights at bit warm ....

work continues. lots of changes in the shipping dept. and more changes on the way. Oh joy. Also looks like overtime is coming my way in the near future. can't say i'm looking forward to any of it, really.

today's (this month's?) poem is another one from 11:97.


rumor has it, the new neighbor is a rubber tycoon,
as in retreads. i was surprised -
believing him a cement-man myself. not exactly
Midas, but everything he touch ...

his backyard a pad of expanding concrete,
except for the patch of grass
that next spring would become a swimming pool.

surely not a lover of trees.
i believed him a frustrated Paul Bunyan. the neighbors
call him Chain-Saw Dave. First week,
even before the furniture was in place, he cut down
the trees in his back-yard, covering
the roots with concrete. "damn them
falling leaves" he was reported to have laughed.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

thanks to Russ Bradshaw

first of all, thanks to Russ Bradshaw of Five Leaves Publication in the UK for including my poem "Fighting Foam" in his anthology of night shift poems. The Night Shift is available from Five Leaves Publication (at that site - click on the poetry link on the left). (the poem "Fighting Foam" is in the archives on this site - link is on the right. i uploaded it June 18, 2007, so you'd only need to click on the 2007, June link to find it). you know the mantra by now - support small and local presses if at all possible.

other than that - the union and company have agreed to talk one more time, in June, about altering the contract. There really is very little to hope for these discussions to amount to anything unless 1) the company decides to offer more for the requested take-aways or 2) the union officials in Portland (the local members have no voice in these matters) decide it's worth their while in the long term to allow the local to vote on the take-aways. Anyway, the door that seemed to be closed has a slight opening at the moment.

Spring rains and a week of vacation ..... just doing some things around the house and enjoying not being part of the rat race for a bit.

today's poem is from 11:97.


no prayers will give these bones
sanctification. my songs are to something
other than a plaster-of-paris god. the rain
will rust more than gears or drive-lines
in these mountains. old junkers in the back-yard
are symbolic of nothing, if they are not symbolic
of desperation.

fallen trees rot in the ever fog.
in these hills are real men
who cover the slopes with the entrails of deer
& bear & cougars. they are the back-bone
of America, with inalienable rights.

i cannot save America from itself.
the cold in my bones has a source
other than the wind. the last hero
i worshipped was my father, dying
in a hospital bed, reminding me to be certain
to get the oil changed in the Oldsmobile
before winter set-in.

there is no truth (flap of hawk,
caw of crow) if you do not create it
for yourself. old man at the bus stop
dressed in the rags of someone's garage-sale
asked if i'd ever seen a more perfect sunrise.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

after the phishers

after a bout (still ongoing) of massive spam/phishing attacks to my email account, i am back to update this blog. i can't help but think someone used a bot to glean the email address i had posted to reach out to missed contacts after my other computer died. i removed the address and i guess if anyone wants to contact me, they will have to leave their email address (or a link to somewhere i can email them) in the comments section, which is not a real good option, as i do not have comment monitoring on. If necessary i can change that easily enough. let me know if that's something that should be done anyway .... Thus far, i've never removed or changed anything written in the comments, even the negative or spam comments.

On the work front - the union refused to talk to the company about a concession only package, and told IP, if they had nothing to offer in the way of compensation, the union had nothing to discuss until the contract runs out in three years .... so, the game continues, and the workers, who have expressed a desire to at least be able to vote on these consession demands, are left out again of any decision making. We'll have to see what the result of this decision will be, most likely next fall, when the market traditionally slows.

Back to night shift - so i guess i'll see if anything dramatic or interesting has happened during the vacation i just ended. Spring is appearing, and the new tree in the front yard is taking root and sprouting some leaves. Now if the lawn reseeding would just start to take affect . ..... :-)

see ya'all down the line sometime or another.

today's poem is from12:93, when i was doing a LOT of reading and writing, something i haven't done either of since i quit writing in 2003 or so ....


i learned long ago
never to promise the impossible.

it is december here
where roofs call to dark skies
the impossible dream
of becoming mirrors -
if only for a moment,
to be saint-like,
to glisten
& show the skies
their beauty in dark reflections.

i learned long ago
never to dance in the dark gardens
of prosperity
& expect them to be there tomorrow.

it is december here.
the cafes are all full of cheap holiday banners
& waiters that could be photographs
serving stale biscuits
to patrons drunk on christmas swill.
i walk the wet pavement
as if a dog
seeking shelter.

i learned long ago
never to disbelieve ghosts.

it is december here
& i stare into the wet skies
as if a telescope
peering into the great beyond -
wondering what it would take
for our lonely hearts
to be together again -
if only for a night.

i learned long ago
never to expect the impossible.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

crash, burn and aliens got my email contacts

a small edit to this post. my email address has been removed from this post due to a horrendous amount of spam i'm suddenly getting ..... plus the fact no one i missed in my original emails contacted me, it seems unnecessary to have it posted.

Well, despite being lazy, overworked and having a computer melt-down, there's really no excuse for the lack of updates lately.

OK - work? The new company (International Paper) wants to reopen the contract for a variety of "bad economy" reasons. The local union was willing to at least talk and see what they want to take away and what they have to offer in return (if anything). But the union officials from headquarters in Portland refuse to discuss anything about opening the contract without major concessions from the company up front. There is one last meeting on Feb. 19th, to see if there is anything to merit further discussions. If not, the whole future of the mill COULD be in question. In light of how fast and completely they shut down our sister mill in Albany in Dec. things could be dire in the near future. Let's just say the stress has taken its toll and poetry updates haven't been on the top of the to-do list.

Another reason for no updates is my computer has been on the fritz. Then Saturday, the computer would not turn on, just power up the fans. i tinkered with it for half a day, and finally gave up and took it to the Geek Squad at Best Buy, who informed me the CPU (motherboard) was dead. The Hard Drive was not ruined and i had it installed in the new computer i ended up buying. The net result was two days of trying to get old data off the old hard drive onto the new computer, and getting essential programs up and running. Well, i was completely burnt out and did a major OOOPPPPSSSS. Somehow (not certain how exactly) i deleted all my emails and contacts off the old hard drive. The only saving grace was i had done a back up on an external Hard Drive in November, so everything was not lost, just the recent stuff. Thus, somewhere in cyber space, aliens are now laughing and delighting in piles of my lost emails!!

So, i am back - sort of. i tried to send emails to the contacts i did have. If i missed you, write to me at any address of mine you have. it should (maybe) get to me. so i can add you to my contacts.

here is another poem published in a small press magazine - this time Mushroom Dreams, published in Dec. 97. i've said it a hundred times, but if you can, please support small and local presses/artists.


i watch whores beneath a street lamp
cigarette smoke dancing in the twisted light
as i count loose change

there is no magic in hearts unable to dream

i converse with empty sheets
the rhetoric as imperfect
as the fantasies

Saturday, January 9, 2010

2010 begins, at least with one entry

Rain, cold fog - ah, indeed ‘tis winter in Oregon!

Back on night-shift this week. A new boss that we briefly met last week takes control of the shipping department. All we really know about her is: she was in the same position in the Albany mill before it was shut-down last month and she was liked (at least by the one person who worked in her department three years ago). Lots of changes in the works, coming down from the Memphis gods who love the fact our shipping department is the most efficient in their system, but they want us to change and be like everyone else …. Whatever that entails, I guess we’ll find out between now and March, when the magic transformation is supposed to take place. I keep telling myself, no more than 6 and a half years, and I can retire ….. :-(

oh, before i forget - thanks to everyone who's left comments. i really like hearing what you are up to/think/ feel about the poems and this blog in general. And if you can, the ever constant mantra - help support small presses in your area.

Today we have a poem- from a discarded manuscript - it may have been included in a couple of versions of Humbly I Offer These Awkward Poems, but i don't recall if it was in the last incarnation, which was accepted for publication by Cedar Hills Press, but never actually made it to publication before the press folded. I hear rumors it (or at least the editor) is again active, but I’ve lost contact with him and have no real interest in re-establishing any contact. The poem is originally from 12:93.


you call me to visit
glass & steel surrounded by fog
before a great lake that has only
imaginary boundaries. i beg off
citing diminished pay checks
& no spare time, captured by
the web of insecurity.

you call me to visit
a near palace in the sky
you humbly call home.
iron doors & lavender doormen
wearing impervious smiles.
the wind cuts mountains here but reflects perfectly
off mountain lakes. i beg off
citing failed western economics
& the curse of the spotted owl, imprisoned
in a cell of self doubt.

you call me to visit
irish linen & german crystal,
the reflected light of a million solar years
off an optically perfect window -
the lake where gulls dance
in a hazy breeze. i beg off
citing old age & lungs
that are less than ideal.

in my mountains, the world rots:
beetles & gypsy moths fly the same
alpine zephyrs as spotted owls.
storms sneak in from the Aleutians
& trees bow down in worship -
streams will churn black long before
they ever become crystalline again.
it is here i am chained -
each link a dream torn asunder.
it is here i am dying -
a cold rain falling in a forest no one visits.

you call me to visit.
at&t fibre optics, sterling sound,
lush & vibrant goddess voice - the wind
across pink lips. no greek isles.
no hot sweaty afrikan coastlines. just
a jazz band in the hotel lobby
& a blind singer of urban blues
across the street. i beg off
citing your beauty, my obesity,
knowing i should never stain such elegance
with the curse i have become.

Monday, December 14, 2009

A December entry

The papermill is slowly struggling to restart. The freezing weather meant lots of broken pipes and frozen pumps and other joys. Add that to the 6 weeks of downtime, and the complications were extreme. But, after two days of actually trying to run the paper machine, we began to make paper early Sunday morning.

However, our sister mill 50 miles to the North has been closed forever. I guess the powers to be decided two West Coast mills were one too many, and they have ceased operations at the Albany plant. The mill will be “parted out” to other mills in the IP system, and then the site leveled over the next 5-10 years according to the stories I’ve heard. That is indeed a major bummer.

As hinted early, the weather has been frigid. Single digits at some nights over the last week. Hardly (if at all) above freezing in the daylight hours. But, some warmer rain has come in this weekend, and it’s started to be the normal gray drizzle that’s December in Oregon.

Today’s poem is from 11:93


a room in which no ghosts live - the light
casting no shadows. it is the sound of november
i hear, the echo of ice forming. the wind
does not whisper down these halls. it moans -
like old bones waiting for summer.

the whisper that is night forming - another moan
from the cold wind that is winter formed.
i walk the dark floors as if a river
lost in the wetlands, where fog sneaks off water
& is lost in cold vallies, waiting for summer.

letters are collected, as dust, in drawers
that are never opened - perhaps there is room
for dark spirits, but none visit these passages.
i watch paper yellow, scratch epigrams
that offer no solace, waiting for summer.

in these dark rooms are forests where beasts
live & breed. i walk the worn paths
until there is nothing & i become nothing.
frost waits, perched on fence posts, as a hawk,
waiting for darkness, waiting for summer.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

a poem between overtime

Had a good visit with Carrie, though I only got a day and a half off out of the week she was here. But Nance and she spent a lot of time together. was great to see and be with her again.

Work has been a mess. Loads of overtime and now the company is asking for cut-backs (pay concessions) in Sunday pay, holiday pay, and call-in times, as well as a two-tier pay system (all new employees would make significantly less than current pay scales, but the current employee pay rates would not be changed - or so we've been told.). The timing for these “requests” for the mills to “fall in line” is rather peculiar, just after they have closed 5 facilities this month. I suspect they will get what they want, as all the workers are not in any position to turn down these issues, and have the company shut down more facilities.

Today’s poem is from 9:93


little that you are

calendars. clocks. moonstorms. time passes
in the strangest ways

some as serene as the wind through dark pines
some as awkward as teen-age girls in roller blades
butt down on the sidewalk

& dreams change
from fluffy bears to dragons. all as cuddly
as you allow.

little that you are
i am as old as the wind - as broken
(pines & mountains & the smiles of women break
more than bones)
& i am as in love with your laughter
fading into the network of a real world
as the first day

little that you were -

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

yes, i am still around

Ah, a return of the zombie blogger ….. Yes, ZR, there is a place where I fade into these nights (& days). It’s called work. Lots of overtime lately, and more coming. 14 day/nights out of the next 16. Indeed, it’s better than being unemployed.

One day, the bosses say there will be a month to two month lay-off beginning in mid-November. The next day, they tell us, no lay-offs, and the paper machine will restart as soon as the major rebuild of the boiler system in recovery is completed. So, no one is really certain what the hell is going on, except we continue to run export orders, and continue to amass a lot of overtime for September and October. When I return to work tomorrow, I expect a whole new bag of uncertainties to be opened.

The only really big news, or only news I am giving any real value to, is Carrie is visiting from Wisconsin later this week. I will only get two days off while she is here, but we’ve only seen her once since Hurricane Katrina wiped her out of New Orleans. So, some time with the gypsy child is better than none!

here is a10:97 poem until the next (and who knows when) update :


in your back yard, crows sit upon the stone fence
eating cracked corn & pithy apples.
there are no rings upon your fingers
that called sunset fog from Dirty River,
that drew sin from my bones,
but where unable to open your heart.

winter rain in your hair -
summer dust in my fingers -
i would have offered the skies
if you asked.
the crows on the banks of Dirty River
are obnoxious & loud. farmers
& rednecks take pot shots at them.
i was certain at least one
held the incantation.

long after dark, i still scan the river banks
for the magic in fallen feathers.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

cooler, at least the weather

Summer is winding down. It’s still warm, but not uncontrollably hot. In fact, we had a couple of rainy days a week or so ago. Ah, the lovely sound of rain at night!

Work continues, but not at the record pace they set this summer. The paper machine is running “only” at 90% and that is expected to last at least through the end of the year, due to the still sluggish economy. There will be a 6 week outage in November and December, when they shut-down to repair the boiler (long overdue and very expensive, but necessary.) Obviously the mill cannot run without steam, so most of the employees will be laid-off for 3 or more weeks of the outage. They will be some work for senior operators, but I don’t fall into that category. So, from the early part of Nov. (unless they have extra work for a week or so, as some rumors indicate), I will be off until at least mid- to late Dec.

During the time from now until the outage, we are running almost nothing but export rolls, and quickly running out of places to store them at our site. They are not due and cannot be shipped until the outage occurs (when the senior operators will load them into trucks.). There could be a lot of overtime between now and then, moving rolls to external storage sites. Oh, doesn’t that sound like a lot of fun? NOT!

This poem is a rather dark one from 1997 - a poem accepted by Hunger Magazine in 1999. Another of those small press magazines that need your support. i do not recall if it was ever actually published or not.


ruddy river. flood stage. kingfisher & i above the turbines at Leaburg Dam
watch the faceless body move slowly, less than elegantly,
between the logs & tree stumps.
his blue Chevrolet eventually
to be breeding grounds at the bottom
of Bear Creek, if the Army Corps of Engineers
leave it lodged in Salmon Hole.

County Sheriff rescue boat
4 miles up river, still negotiating the debrie
of the bridge washed out in last years floods.
kingfisher assures me the body will wait
in the backwash of the boomlogs. mostly
we just watch the river changing colors.


Monday, August 10, 2009

Streets Hotter than a Matchhead - according to John Sebastian

After a week of heat, real heat 105-106 on the olde Fahrenheit scale, and a mere 114 on the Hysters (forklifts) we drive at work, I am ready for fall, all the wonders of fog and rain and chilly winds.

Today’s poem is from 2:94.

Not much else going on. Work, heat and not enough sleep - so like, man, what else is new?

Take care. Support them local and small presses as much as you can. I’ll post again sometime, but as is rather obvious, there is not a lot of urgency or regularity in it these days.


trees, which hold up the hem of the sky,
are being felled. & the sky too is falling.

i know trees grow old, diseased & die. but
the same seems to be true of the sky.

night is an incantation of insignificant things -
the chirp of cricket, the moan of toad.

night spills from the edge of failed dreams. &
the sparse trees can no longer hold the entire sky.

soon, crickets tell me, there will be only darkness -
the canvas full of pin holes -

scratches left by the fallen trees, only memories,
gone the way of other prophets.

the sky is now in the very lap of toads -
the tattered hem no longer beautiful.