Friday, December 19, 2008

the best laid plans of mice and men

Today’s poem is from  10:93.

Wasn’t it Robert Burns that said: “ The best laid plans of mice and men oft times go asunder?”
Well, changes - and more changes. Seems the cracks in the boiler drum are pretty bad and the chance of it failing are much greater with any prolonged shut-downs. So the great Gods in Memphis had decreed Springfield IP Mill can continue to run through February without any downtime, although we must do so at a greatly reduced speed. While this is good news, it comes with a personal price - I get a ton of overtime over the holidays as a result. So, tomorrow I begin 8 nights in a row. (There is a slim chance the last two days can go to someone else, but it’s not in stone yet.)

And on the weather front, winter - as in ice for three days, then snow - and more snow. It seems to be coming in waves - just as the crud on the streets begins to melt, it drops below freezing and another 2 inches of snow gets packed on top ….  Haven’t seen weather quite like this in 10 years or so, as best as I can recall. Oh well, I guess the local “global warming” buffs will find something other than Mother Nature being unpredictable to blame it on. A few billion years of the solar system, and man thinks he’s got it figured out in a decade or two of studies? Oh well, the soap box is getting slippery and I need to get ready for night shift …. Boogie on, ya’all.


beyond the misting river
(the Pacific yawns & the Columbia is absorbed)
beyond the fallen timber
(houses for a farmer in Dubuque
shelves for books never to be read)
i stand: a shadow within a shadow
- sounds that echo & distort
- sounds changing until they are no longer sounds
but emotions

the voice you understand: so easy to reject
turn the switch
the light is extinguished
darkness, comfortable as an old sweater, caresses

i stand as if the dissipating mist
(the Pacific yawns & the Columbia is absorbed)
the wind down from the Aleutians’
carries the hard rains of November upon its torn wings

& you stand Eastern - umbrellaed -
waiting for miracles.

the Great Lakes cry: fog gathers upon your window
& you study the quandrum with nonchalance

epistles wait to be written
but there is no theology in shadows
worth celebration
- you remain a dream not knowing the source

soon snow:
flakes darting
& alive
bundled against the freeze
you will trudge
into the next stanza

Saturday, December 6, 2008

winter time is coming

Here is another poem accepted by Semi-Dwarf Review in Dec. 1998, but never got into print before the press decided to quit publishing.

Winter is arriving, no doubt about it. Cold nights and not so warm days. On night shift this week, so I guess I’ll need to bundle up before I get ready for work tonight.

Work? Ah, back from the Nov. lay-off (worked one day  this last week). There will be more down-time in Dec, though no one is certain exactly how much. At first it was going to be 8 days, then 13 …. But that last figure we were told in a safety meeting yesterday could shrink, or grow, depending on circumstances as the month progresses. There will “certainly” be down time in February, as they have to inspect the boiler-drum (part of the machinery that creates steam to run the mill) and that could be a 7-12 day thing, depending on what they find ….  So, looks like the dire forecast for 2009 isn’t changing at the moment.


on the edge of an occluded front
me in my faded blue jockeys
wait for the end of the world.

with my Nostradamus eyes
i have witnessed omens.
3 blackbirds in a broken apple tree
reciting the plays of Sam Beckett
with the ghost of the goddess
i forgot how to worship.

i tells you, it is a terrible thing
to understand eternity,
to have the spirits whisper of the future
when you would rather sleep
or indulge in the luxury of romance.

here, wind do more than cry Mary
down these pot-hole streets.
it moan grunge,
as it also whisper of bebop.

it be buffoons that walk these highways
& sees paradise.
i tells you, the rain to come
will wash more than soiled jeans.

if you be the offspring
of the wicked north witch,
the best you can do
is wear your rubbers.