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|Poem Title||Poet Name||Critique Given by Rick Barnes||Critique Date|
|Infatuation||Dellena Rovito||Dellena, Hi! I love this. It is so-o-o-o concise and to the point. I really love shorter works these days. I don't know if it is the result of impatience or a realization that this is what poetry does best. At any rate this poem is proof that you do it very well. I have missed you by the way and but for the saying of it, it goes without saying. -Rick||2007-06-04 14:09:24|
|Outgrowth||Dellena Rovito||See, I told you so. You write such marvelous prose. Rick||2006-05-23 16:26:10|
|The Wall||Mell W. Morris||Mell My Dear, Your vision and your revision are remarkable. I am honored to be mentioned on the same page as this work. Rick||2005-10-23 18:55:21|
|With Leaves Stirring||Mell W. Morris||Mell, What wonderful brushstrokes you apply from your linguistic palette. It may allude the artists brush but it has not escaped your able pen. Absolutely beautiful. Rick||2005-10-03 08:57:35|
|Contradictions||Audrey R Donegan||Audrey - I think wisdom lay in the folds of paradox. I have, since the first time I experienced your work, believed that you understand and embrace these contradictions. This work demonstrates the depth of that understanding and the maturity, both poetic and experiential. I am deeply moved and glad that I have come to be acquainted with you and your work. - Rick||2005-09-03 12:04:19|
|The Red Hat||Mell W. Morris||Mell, I am so incredibly moved by this piece. I have laways thought that we as poets have no more of a flair for the truth than a plumber has, so we create our own out of the not-as-usless-as-it-seems debris around us. We do hear purple, we do taste the blues of Coltrane and see the aroma of things. I especially like the phrase, "moving slowly inch by inch...to the other side.", because we are aren't we? Yes, yes we are. You have learned so much in the last four years? My Dear, you brough it with you. Ever in your shadow, Rick||2005-08-04 20:05:54|
|Beauty in the eyes of the beholder||Dellena Rovito||Dellina, What a wonderfull statememnt on the meaninglessness of cultural contioning and subsequuent conditional approval. You my dear are hip. NOT COOL...FUCK COOL. You are hip. I am damn glad you are writing and that I am fortunate enough to read you. rick||2005-08-02 17:33:04|
|I AM . . .||Latorial D. Faison||Latorial, Man O Man! When you let it out you don't screw around do you. This is one of the most direct,straight-forwardly human staements put into peotic form that I have EVER read on this site. I love the couplet form that you chose, or that chose you as I am want to say. Work like this is why I read and write poetry. Damn this is good. Rick||2005-07-02 07:15:42|
|The Opposite Side Of Life||marilyn terwilleger||Marilyn, You are right, this is all part of life. Nature does as it will. What I have trouble with is what part do we play in the scheme of things. Are we only observers? For the life of me I can't see where we fit in. We exploit nature because we can. Other animals do it as well, but there seems to be an inherent sense of grace in the way they do it. They do not ruin there own habitat or hunt for pleasure or acquire more than they need at the expense of the very environment that provides them. It is as if we don't really belong here. We are tourists. When I read this I am struck by your sensitivity. Your overview is inspiring. Your sense of calm and unity with it all is something I envy. Thank you for a breath of fresh air born out of the cycle of things. Rick||2005-06-02 09:34:22|
|Around the Block||Mell W. Morris||Mell, Damn! Have you been reading my mail? I have been trying for a few months to figure out why, with all of the turmoil I have gone through lately, why haven't I been churning out the poetry. The shit hammer has fallen so hard in the last few weeks that I was in fear for my sanity. Then I read this: Whatever style or form we use, come the days when poets are silent and quiet, wordless and maimed by self-doubt into a sadness of no seasons. The darkness occludes spontaneity, insouciance and however long the block lasts, we are united in this problem and the union seems to render strength. Poets' hands find pens and our lives return to a degree of normalcy from that which we learned. Namely, if muses mutiny or a curtain falls mid-rhyme, all we need do is bide our time as we exist for poetry... ...and poetry exists. I mean, DAMN Mell. How could you have possibly known? This is it EXACTLY!!! I have started to write again but for some odd reason my style is changing once again. I think I am done with Textures. It has taught me all that it possibly can. Your work just gets stronger and stronger. I can't tell you how glad I am that you write poetry. I cna't tell yuo how glad I am that you wrote this work and posted it when you did. IT's all starting to make sense. Of course that has happened before only to evaporate into the mist. Oh well............ Rick||2005-05-17 17:18:41|
|Larkspur and Lilacs||Mell W. Morris||Mell, Often I take walks in the late evening under stars whose brittle songs scare small animals and rouse birds from their cozy, feather-lined nests. Damn. What a beginning. Tonight the same stars look down and their songs seem softer, benign, and one thing of which I'm certain... grammatically correct. And just how did we get here? These are the same stars. And their songs are to the casual observer just as britt......no wait...no they are not. The casual observer would not have heard the song in the opening stanza in the first place. Only a poet, and as to the song itself, only the poet Mell Morris would have heard the brittle songs that scare small animals and rouse birds from their comfort. Only Mell would have observed the connection: little animals shreiking at the limits on their pain tolerance and the ruffled feathered response. It was not enough to take their shreiking voices and and soften them to the restrain of "It Ain't Necessarily So". No. The rhythm must adhere to the grammer. Things MUST be necessarily so. A critical part of finding your own rules and necessarily breaking the existing ones is knowing well the rules. I don't know that much about lilacs. I know what they mean to Mell, and perhaps that will have to do. But I can't help but feel that the following year the former students delivered lilacs in the form of, "It AIN'T Necessarily So" surrounded in the Larkspur of "You Are Not Anything But A Hound Dog". How can a poet not see the chages reflected in the heavens themselves? You are amazing Mell. I hope you know that. Rick||2005-05-04 06:53:14|
|Herzog||Rachel F. Spinoza||Only you Roni...only you. What a great send off. He did indeed lift us into air most rarefied, and clear. Night Saul, oh..and thanks. Rick||2005-05-03 23:30:46|
|A Fester of Cherry Blossoms||Rachel F. Spinoza||Rach, ...and they wonder why I love you. Lincoln would have done the same thime...love you I mean. I love the play on Delay. We are living in a time where our politics is the "politics of reaction." Sort of a "Reactionary War" being tendered...set off by...well, by a momentary glance. Something is about to happen Roni...I feel it in mah jeans. Rick||2005-04-30 06:23:49|
|Revolution||Audrey R Donegan||A. It all goes 'round and 'round doesn't it? Some circles small, Some circles wide And there are circles that hide the fact that we're going around again, but here we are going around again. ...and we'll end up back where we started the only questions when... and after you and I have parted we'll go around again. R.||2005-04-28 01:37:54|
|A Life Borrowed (adult content)||Audrey R Donegan||A. This theme is recurring, as it must daily in your head. I wonder if or how many times you have written it out in prose form and what parts get muddled in the reshowing and which parts come downstage and stand in the light. Your bravery is amazing almost seductively so. You have a direct to the point style that in capturing to me. I frankly prefer poetry with a harder edge these days. I think I must be headed there myself. As usual, you have captured me, Rick||2005-04-28 01:31:02|
|Bus Stop Memories||Audrey R Donegan||a. I was sitting across from a woman in an airport and she kept looking at me as if I were having the most luscious thoughts of her. The more she stared the more luscious my thought sbecame. It all starts with some sort of magnetism that transcends words, touch, even vision. Sometimes the fantasy is only held in your head. snd sometimes that is enough. It will one way or another find relase. I particularly like "the fatal syrum spreading ever widening." I would go on and on but were it for the forum. Not that I mind but... r.||2005-04-28 01:23:23|
|Ripples of Love||Helen C DOWNEY||Helen, what a wistfully beautiful piece. From the opening, "tides have summoned me" we are drawn into this piece. These changes of heart are in fact a scaling of flesh. Caught in our own, or someone else's masquerade until we realize at last, "no, this is no disguise. This is me." And yes, there will always be yeatersay's crescent moon "thrust" into us. I my case it is almost always a left handed moon. And that tear that forever ripples across the lake is, after all, part of that same tide that summons. What a beatifully forthcoming work. Rick||2005-04-26 04:21:07|
|Scarlet Embers||Audrey R Donegan||Audrey, It is almost embarrassing how I am drawn to your work. This is not an apology, more of a confession I suppose. There is such an incredible sense of life in this openoing passage. It is not poetic rhetoric. It is a grasping of the relationship between an almost involuntary live force that propels us and the daily self inflicted wounds that remind us that we are alive in the first place. There are images in this work that can only be understood by one who has lived in L.A. I have. I hate the fucking place. It is a seasonless world to me. That said, I alawys return. Something draws me like a confused moth to a flouescent bulb. Perhaps it is the fact that L.A. never stops pumping it scarlet neon blood at that goddamned annoying pace. It jogs on and on and on. Inhaling the life of everyone there and exhaling smog. One has to die a little every day to live in L.A. Perhaps that is why I return. L.A. is a self inflicted wound. I sincerely hope you take no offense to this characterization of what is probably your home. My love/hate relationship with the city is something that has always confounded me. Oh yeah, I love your work. Rick||2005-04-26 04:09:08|
|Unexpected||Audrey R Donegan||Audrey, You grasp a moment so well. I hope it leads to further moments. Rick||2005-04-26 03:48:54|
|Your Passion||marilyn terwilleger||Marilyn, This is so well developed. I can trace the dual path of the soft hint of the borning of spring and the first notice of the way this someone speaks your name. As love take flight we see it in everything. Nice alliteration by the way. "As I drink of coming spring" Beautiful double entendre and linking the last verse to the first. And then we await fulfillment. That release that is provided by forces outside of ourselves. We wait...biding our time, holding hands with our own patience. I hope spring blooms full for you... Rick||2005-04-26 03:46:59|
|Plug Up||Dellena Rovito||Dellina, I have felt like this. As a matter of pure fact, I am going through a period right now. I so want to rid myself of this debris after having mopped it up, but to avail. I am over-flowing with with yesterdays footprints. Funny how this poem manages to put this in perspective for me. But then, your work usually does one way or another. Rick||2005-04-26 03:27:50|
|She speaks||Audrey R Donegan||a. Perversion requires a certain sense of self abandon. Finding oneself requires much the same thing. I think there is a certain perversion any unique version of looking at or delving into anything. Who hasn't wanted to "fuck the night away". Who hasn't, for that matter, fucked the night away. There are times, I swear, that I contuinue living "just for the hell of it. I not only listen when she speaks, I am always, one way or another,awaiting her voice. What a fitting tribute to the "call of the wild". r.||2005-04-24 19:04:08|
|Letters||Audrey R Donegan||Audrey, Here we go. Here is what I am talking about. Look at your use of the soft sounds in these passages. Take for example your use and repetition of words starting with "W". There is an unbelievable grace in the rhythm of the occurance of those words. There is a ballet between soft and hard aounds. Winter keeps me cradling my impatience. The wait will be the death of me. You know what...breaking this down becomes an exercise in pedantry. Let me just say this. I don't know if you "get it" or not. But words flow through you in a manner I have not experienced in someone in quite some time. That said, I don't expect you to believe this. So let's move on what the words are saying. Winter keeps me cradling my impatience. The wait will be the death of me. I have lived through this winter. I have the weight of waiting extent beyond the breaking point...and still not break. I have known the toll not yet taken because it continues to take. Your verse here sums that up as well as anything I have ever read. Frost wrote: I have been one acquainted with the night." It captured me in the same way. You wrote that day unto my weakness of the scent of sage the howling night and the brief pause before the thunder. You dance in such soft embrace with your vulnerability. It stirred me woke my nodding passion Reminding me of your wanting eyes begging for one more glance. What is so strikingly beautiful is the willingness let these feelings reside. To allow oneself to be reminded in the emptiest of moments of the time when the wanting was reaching for you. To willingly add to weight of the waiting as, Days turn to weeks turn to months Sentences grow shorter and words return to their dictionary meaning. Your letters shorter now drab and uninviting. Yet still my illusion endures as I sleep in the arms of Time awaiting your return. and still, you dance. Marvelous Audrey. Marvelous. Rick||2005-04-24 18:52:21|
|Daddy||Audrey R Donegan||Audrey, ... Rick||2005-04-24 18:01:24|
|In your wake (an afterthought)||Audrey R Donegan||Audrey, I feel as if I have started this journey into you. It isn't very often that I seek out one particular poet's work. By and large I believe that the poet has very little to do with the matter. A poem comes into existence because it has to and does so in it's own time. It seeks out someone who can give it voice, and once released goes it's seaprate way much like a child who time has come to leave home. This is only the 2nd work of yours that I have read, so this may be w-a-a-a-a-y too premature, but it would seem the muses are quite fond of you. Lines like, "leaving spontaneity lonely and I without you", are not lines that one "comes up" with. They are eloquent statememtns that come to those who are ready to hear them. You said in your brief bio, "I need all the criticism I can get". O.K. Stop writng in "spurts". Write every day. EVERY DAY. It isn't important that you write something worthy each time you write. It is however ctically important that you let the musses know that you are there for them and that you arre serious about your, "addiction". I would urge you to read more poetry. Read Robert Frost. Read William Carlos Williams, Read Richard Brautogan, Read Christina Rossetti. Read, Read, Read. I look forward to looking further into your work. You are very talented. Now get busy. Rick||2005-04-23 12:52:38|
|SEDONA||Audrey R Donegan||Audrey, This is as softly beautiful as poetry gets. It whispers in tones that, but for a poet's restraint, would be screamed heavenward. This is the grace of one who knows poetry's voice. Your's is the soul of a poet. I look forward to more. Rick||2005-04-23 08:53:02|
|Remaining Superior||Mell W. Morris||Mell, I had no idea. Everytime I turn around you are somewhere else. Mell the writer refuses to be type cast, characterized or led into someone elses next chapter. I don't know of any other writer who can surprise quite the way you do. I can read three lines and know it is an Uppendahl, a Tate, or a Spinoza, but I'll be damned if I'm not surprised with where Morris takes me each and every adventure she takes me on. The whole idea of you and north never crossed my mind. I know so little about you. How can this be? How can feel so deeply about someone and have nothing but fragments as evidence? I need more of your writng. I want stories. Please Mell, send me your stories. You so completely capture the intrigue and secret desire to be engulfed in that unconquerable mystery that is our own finality. Death as a seductress inviting us into the twilight, wrapping us in fog with but one distant fog light inviting us into the deep Superior. (Brilliant use of the word.) Did you live in Minnesota at one time? You will have to explain Texas to me. I just don't get Texas. Minnesota I understand. Even New Jersey. But Texas? Oh well, thanks for inviting mne into Mell's world with such beatifully complex piece. Rick||2005-04-01 08:56:32|
|Syncopation||Rachel F. Spinoza||Roni, I love this. I needn't deal in the details, we have known each others work long enough. I have been that drummer,(guitar player), and this somehow explains something to me, although I'm not sure what, but I think that it will enable me to finish a few of those smiling dreams interrupted by the tempo of my hosts(') new day. I'm smiling, - Rick||2005-02-03 11:52:38|
|untitled||Rachel F. Spinoza||R. Trying to grasp the enormity of this deluge has left me mute. But you, you found the truth of the matter, framed it correctly in Haiku, and had the wisdom to leave it untitled. Only Rachel. Rick||2004-12-27 15:45:29|
|Abiding Winter||Joanne M Uppendahl||JoAnne, I know my participation is sparce at best, but I want you to know I frequent these pages in hopes of finding you. I realize that you live in a complex world and I often forget that the universe is not arranged for my personal convenience. All of this said, coming here and not finding you reminds me of a journey I once took back to my old neighborhood in San Francisco. Everything was pretty much the same,(the city has a certain homeostasis about it),but Leslie's house was no longer there. I had shared many a long evening discussing this, that and the other right there in...well right there in what was now mid-air above a plot of earth that was soon to be the new Some-Thing-Or-Other. How I do on. Let me just say I have missed your familiar face as I pass by. In "Abiding Winter" we have those silences that you manage so well. Those spaces that the reader has to fill in much like the pauses for reflection that occur in the best of conversations. I have no talent for Haiku and have often sat in amazement at Erzahl's work. These three stanzas appear to be be Haiku, but then in the 2nd verse of the 3rd stanza you put in 8 syllables. If this was an oversight it is easily remedied by substituting "quell" for "lessen", but then we lose the softening feel. We might remove "his", but gone is the personalization that is lent to the verse by the inclusion of "his" and followed in the last verse by "my" that serves as the anchor of the the entire piece for me. It invites the reader into the author's observation in much the same way William Carlos Williams does with: so much depends upon a red wheel barrow glazed with rain water beside the white chickens. You and Willy Boy sure have a knack for leaving just enough space for the reader to snuggle-up right inside the work. It amazes me how you bring such warmth to this wintering work. Rick||2004-12-20 05:11:51|
|The Rectification of Names||Rachel F. Spinoza||Roni, In you we have a poet, a sculptor of vowels and consanants that understands all too well what all too few wordsmiths fail to grasp. All of our utterings are but onomatopoeia. We speak most fluently when we listen. I love how hand me the world in chalice Roni. - Rick||2004-12-18 09:31:20|
|Christmas Traces||Mell W. Morris||Who will write the Christmas verse for those whose voices are busy inside their own heads? Who bring them forth and celebrate their humanity scattered there somewhere among all of that clutter? Mell. Mell will. You are somethin' else, you are. Rick||2004-12-18 09:12:23|
|The Texture of Blue||Mell W. Morris||My Dearest Lilac, My penchant for textures is richly enhanced by this work.Should I, knowing full well you won't believe me, tell you that your ability to look into and see through is unmatched by any author I have read of late. Do I have your full attention when I say to you that your embroidery of rhythm and rhyme is of the kind that may, just may, bring back to the fore the most beautiful aspect of the form we call poetry. Listen to this Mell, "I prefer repair to prayer as religion still grapples with sin after all these centuries. "I've read that many trade God for a sense of God but I want my blue true." These are not only eloquent examples of "word grace", these are quotable. I coninues through out, but I will not belabor the point or reduce the beauty of the work with pedandic surgery. Your work continues to thrive and push the horizon as I see it. If I had but one criticism it is this, I wanted one more verse. You leave my inner tactile senses in a state of desire. Rick||2004-11-19 10:23:32|
|The Door||marilyn terwilleger||M., See! Same vision, different vista. Such craft! Rick||2004-10-28 03:24:37|
|Silence||marilyn terwilleger||Marilyn, It is so obvious when a poet is writing, at any stage of their craft. You are much more crafted now, but it is obvious you were born to the breed. Rick||2004-10-28 03:21:29|
|Deep In My Heart Is A Song||Mell W. Morris||Mell, MAN O MAN! Are you and Joanne, (both being poetically hip), tied at the poetic hip? Both of you have gone through so much, together - apart. Yet you keep your grace about you. You find in the very flow of things, (the stream), inspiration and the peace that must be what home means. This place where you feel rooted. This reminder amid the weariness that there is a gravity that pulls forward and upward as well as downward. That determination is both effort, in the finding, and effortless once we find our gravity. You are an inspiration. I know you don't think of yourself in such terms, brilliant people rarely do. I have not, and perhaps may never find this peace that you and Joanne have been graced with. But it is important that I know someone has. That alone is comforting in the real sense of the word. Thanks for a moment of comfort. Rick||2004-09-19 14:43:01|
|Blue Lucy||Mell W. Morris||Mell, How I admire what comes forth from your native soul. It is one thing to be in touch with nature and admire its constant giving of gifts. It is another to know it so well that we can raise our natural fist to it in anger knowing all the while it is nature cursing nature. To come to grips with the knowledge that no matter how much we desire to redact it's "all" in poetic form we must by necessity fail. To define it is to limit it. To limit it is to believe we can conquer it. We who are of it cannot by definition conquer it without first conquering ourselves. And that leads us back to Blue Lucy doesn't it. To find our inner "nature". Of course we can always attempt to conquer it without first conquering ourselves, but we will be reminded in no uncertain terms that we are, after all, just another experiment of nature. Mell, I, like you, have given much thought and meditative moments to mortality and the travails of every breath. It is all starting to make majestic sense to me. But slowly in small measure, like light coming through a crack in the facade. We must laugh, we must hurt, we must daily arrive, and we must finally depart. You remind us, it is all around us, in the balm of trees, calm and angry seas, and pre-solstice angst...from where came the illusion we are apart from it? It is our guidance, lay and devine. It is our source and our destination. Reading this work so enraptures me in in the spell of your native soul. Rick||2004-08-10 19:01:08|
|Here in the Dark||Patricia Gibson-Williams||Patricia, This is a powerful force made evident by your powerful poetics. There is such a vacant feel to the silences and the poem speaks almost exclusively in tactile imagery. There is a, "your eyes will not serve you here", sort of blindness, "Here in the dark." This darkness even projects itself like a negative light beam into an uncertain and inherently dark future. What is perhaps most amazing to me throughout this read is the undercurrent of hope. The inner light you carry and thrust forward as you "strain to see past oblivion", (wonderful line). Hold on to that light Patricia. Rick||2004-08-08 18:04:59|
|Portrait of Loss As Three Styles of Music||Mell W. Morris||Mell, I just watched a movie entitled, "Personal Velocity". It was comprised of three vignettes with the common theme of women losing love and rediscovering themselves. As well done as this movie was, and it was very well done, your poem says more in three poetic movememnts taking place in the life of one woman, and says it more succintly and memorably than the movie experience. For me this work is so beautifully and intelligently constructed. One music variation melding into the next and left, like life itself, open ended. In "DIRGE" the fraying at her edges are the result of his licking, nibbling, and feasting. She has been "NEAR-consumed" for the mere purpose of satiating him. But it is, after all, her offer. She finds some reward in the being consumed. Now that she is (a) "cast-away" and stretched to her farthest parameters one can't help but believe she has discovered a curve in her nature that will help her negotiate the topography that lay before her. Then again...maybe not. She so misses him, (how appropo is the "Country and Western" motif), and everywhere is the evidence of her aloneness. She can take no pleasure in the happiness of others when it serves up heart storms that linger as mizzling rain. The 4/4, here is my story lore of C&W gives way to the 12 bar footstep patterns of her own feet carrying her home. Like approaching the Rockies from Kansas she knows she must be getting closer yet nothing in her immediate vision gives confirmation. She holds on only to the rhythms of the repeating refrain, "Time Heals All Wounds" and recalls Williams bridge "So much depends upon...", Wordworth's, "A Slumber did My Spirit Seal" and Taylor's musing upon "true love's knot". But as for the step she is in, it all feels like mere heresay. Brilliant Mell, but then, I repeat myself. Rick DIRGE She feels she is fraying at the edges, fading, almost invisible. Like an ocean barely touching bottom, she's stretched to her farthest parameters. A rubber band. He'd licked, nibbled, and feasted on her until she'd been near-consumed and his jaw-wide need satiated. Then with a swipe of lips, he'd cast her away.||2004-07-19 18:26:59|
|japanese verse 53 (Ecstasy)||Erzahl Leo M. Espino||Erzahl, How do you do that? Do you conjure them up from the recesses where the muses hide their secrets from themselves? Are you looking at the same things we all look at but seeing things we don't see? Do they just appear in the pocket of a coat you last wore whenever it was you last wore it? However you do it, please, for haiku's sake, continue. Rick||2004-07-19 16:36:47|
|A Poem Is. . .||Joanne M Uppendahl||Joanne, How daring! This comes at a particularly important juncture for me. As you are aware poetry is always surprising me with it's daring do and zen nature too. Themes come in seasons I don't always understand even after their having passed. For one odd reason or another I am always writing within a context. I don't why I do this but I always have. This work, "A Poem Is...", serves to remind me that each poem is a context within itself. I forget that from time to time. Each work is complete. It is almost as if a book of poetry should be composed of but one poem. We read it, set it aside, and think about it until we are ready for the next "book". How succinctly and poetically you you approach the raison d'etre of it all. I can think of specific poems that have emerged to lance a boil, draw a lily's face, that textured silk and prayer and went whistling ahead of me into wild. And there is certainly no shortage of clatter surrounding purpose. I understand well the sound of my own blood coursing through my veins in circular purpose of gathering and giving oxygen and the source being fed by the very drain it returns to. Where I blink blind is presisely where your vision is clearest. It is "your deepest attention to the green field" that fulfills me like no other poet can. It is "your soul leaping through the pages" that draws so many to your work and serves to inspire others to look at the world poetically. That you would dedicate this to me is enrichment beyond measure. You astonish me. Rick||2004-07-19 16:24:42|
|In Anticipation of the Pines||Joanne M Uppendahl||Joanne, This is a study in alliteration and rhythm. "see wind-bent spruce, sip scent of ocean flanked by surf-stung breakers below brown bluffs." (I think the muses have a crush on you.) Enough of craft, let's chat about the mist. "It’s not far away, as vast highways go." W-h-e-w. What an opening! This is one of Frostian lines that reach into forever and never let go. My God woman. What hath you wrought with this chisel? And then, in perfect Uppendahl form we hear, "I’ll drive slowly up the coast in a day," This is repleat with "time out mind" sybolism. That sort of "eternity in a grain of sand", "forever is the moment your in" kind of wisdom that has lost it's meaning in the spare change of everyday usage. But you recapture the essence of this wisdom in a way unique to you. You weave things. Continuing the weave is an exquisite description of the journey. Real things pushing inner worlds aside to remind us that the most of our "existense" is imaginary. We are not very far from ourselves if we would but drive a little more slowly through the vastness. Our destination is always, at once within and without us, as the poet reminds us, Quick sea trips are simple, though I’m unsure what lies beside the drowsy shore. and that we no more than solve one riddle, and the mystery is renewed. "As roads curve to an end," (I especially like the way you fitting refer to roads "curving" to an end. Always and forever the surprise.) "more may surface when the wind has spoken." Silence is the source isn't it? How well you know this, how poetically you show us. Rick||2004-06-14 13:18:37|
|One As Beautiful As You||Mell W. Morris||Mell-O-Mell, The poetics...beyond describe. What craft. Now on to the fun stuff. Having just read an article about writer's block in the New Yorker that Rachel posted, the dust of which settled over this wonderful work, I couldn't help but approach an interpretation from that slant. Now I realize that this opus is not overly concerned with writer's block, (whatever the hell that is), but I am having such fun dancing a little out of time that my over-indulgent nature bids me to continue. I'm sure you can understand how the line, "It is time to have my piano tuned", fits right into the scheme of things. And following it with, "To confront the keyboard once more, To corral chords of sunshine, ever Looking around for something to do." just adds to the shine. "I've enjoyed the sound of colors through Sleeping stained-glass portals, angles Of light dispersing from the reliquary Where forms contrive." What a superlative description of the creative process. Add to that that it is written in the past tense, as if a writer is refecting upon past glories, and this analysis begins to acquire mass. "But of late, I Find no fortissimo, no fermata. I place A flower behind my ear to hear its scent But uncover no musical conflation which Feels like an arid field awaiting rain. Again...what a fluid and exacting song of what it is to w-a-i-t for the form to reveal itself, nay, just to feel inspired to find the form within this "arid field awaiting rain". GREAT LINE!!!! From here my little dance begins to disintegrate but in it's place a marvelous homage not only Vincent, but to any writer that doesn't know at times what to do with his/her misery,discontent, lonliness or just everyday state of existence. As Oscar Wilde continues to say, "We are all in gutter, but some of us are staring at the stars." Thanks Mell for always keeping my head slightly tilted in that direction. Rick||2004-06-14 12:42:39|
|Beside the Gate||Joanne M Uppendahl||Joanne, Hmmm...the muses must confuse us. Either that or after careful consideration they simply could not agree upon whom to send this essence to, Mell or you. It is certainly a study in visions. I have just told Mell how I have always distrusted the concept of "home" as an actual location. (Read my review of Ms. Morris' "Where The Heart Is".) It's odd. Every time I read another work of yours it adds one more brush stroke to the picture of "Joanne's World." I remember reading once where Wyeth said he wished he had left Christina out of "Christina's World". From having known you,I know exactly what he meant. Your self portrait is a painting of your surrounds. There are those of us who are,"on the earth, but not of it." And then there are those who declare: Home is all the truth I know where cares turn to the pillow and marigolds sleep outside my door. You seem to be saying, "my cares are no more an affair upsetting the world than those of my marigolds". Here the steaming cup warms my fingers, and books stand by in somber readiness. At home in this world is take what small pleasures are offered and grasp them with all of the senses. It is not enough to experience the warm liquid with but one of our senses. We must feel it warm our hands, let the aroma serve up past and future memories. It must be all the more an experience for the cup itself. You have your favorite cup, don't you? Yes, you do! And it brings you comfort knowing that the thoughts of others put down in print lay patiently within reach. They read like past lives forgotten or previous positions of stars not so much foretelling as fullfilling the one who is now Joanne. Seasons grow about this house, like ivy blanketing an old tree. This line is the essense the muse knew would come from a writer such as you, (and I might add Mell:) "My lilac tree courses with sap of trust, Truth, and tears, and its blooms toss Like virgin-velvet runes." I am held in this space below the stars, above earth’s pumping heart. Here the self conscious Joanne reflects for a moment. Aware of herself as a single raindrop on its way back to the ocean of all that is. But make no mistake, this only an inventory moment, for Home is the all the truth I know; it stays my longing for another place where beside the gate, a radiant angel waits. What vision you have. I think at times I would gladly trade my focus for your depth of field, but then, we can't have that can we? No we can't. Rick||2004-05-14 11:35:29|
|Where The Heart Is||Mell W. Morris||Mell, You have a certain knack for packing my wonder gear and sending me into the mystery. And so it is with this rune. I am always wondering what is going on with you,(and with Dear Joanne as well), and wondering being my favorite activity I'm usually content to leave it at that. There are always exceptions and like it or not you happen to be one, so there we are. I think this is mainly because you and I share a certain je ne sais quoi. Not that our lives in any way mirror one another but we seem to share certain reflections. This work speaks to me in way I have tried in many ways to speak to myself. I have always been distrustful of the concept of "home", as an actual place. This is probably more a result of my particular childhood than of any arduos philosophical inquiry om my part. Home may be something that is created for us when we are very young and much more in need of it. And if we were so fortunate as to have known it, we carry it with us always. If not, we either create it for ourselves or we remaim "homeless". To read this work is to find a little homelessness in ourselves. But in no way is this a pitiful find. It is a joyous discovery. It tells us we are alway leaving home and while we can never return to what we have left, people places and things are not quite the same for our having been there. It must be when we lose the aroma of own existence that we are finally and forever without lilacs. Thank you for this lilac Mell. Rick||2004-05-13 21:22:21|
|Talking About It with My Dad||Thomas Edward Wright||Thomas, The silences in this poetic moment are breathtaking. Perhaps it is the breath taking that creates the silences. Either way they are the weave of the fabric. What a brilliant statement of the unutterable. Rick||2004-05-03 14:39:20|
|Instructions for My Burial||Joanne M Uppendahl||Joanne, How you do sculpt. This could as easily have been titled, "Instructions For My Being" You so thoroughly encompass what (your) life means in these few phrases. Dress me in my moss green sweater, I would normally read this, and the following lines, symbolically, not really caring if the poet owned or had even seen a "moss green sweater". But you? Somehow I know you actually own these things, and it is all the more in keeping with Joanne-the-Poet that you do. There seems to be no separation between you and the poetry. Some folks write poetry. You ARE poetry. It is as if you are saying to the earth herself, "Dress me in my moss green sweater". How of the earth can one expression be? my mother’s pearls, ...again, return me to the precious perfection that mother nature allows clean jeans and soft socks. and let me take with me the simplicity of humble comfort Place a granite coffee pot at my head This one tossed me. Comedic, and yet subtle. A Granite coffee pot. Do you really own such an item? I am reminde of the ancients who use to bury healing herbs in granite pots at the head of the departed. I can only imagine the face of the archeologist who, 10,000 years hence, digs up a granite pot full of coffee. And yet, I feel that this would supply an adequate clue were the history slueth to paying close enough attention. pine cones at my feet, of course grandmother’s “Blue Monday Poems" in my hands. This struck me especially deep. I love the vision of the continuous whole that this affords. Pour sea water, enough to cover. Ocean is a relative term. When covered, how deep need it be? Beautiful! Read Psalm 131, “Silver Pennies”, Mary Oliver’s “What Do We Know” As I said, you are poetry. You blend the child in us, the nature in us, the quite force within represented by these works, (you might include some works of your own, but of course, you wouldn't). You take these meanings with you and at the same time leave them behind. Send in picture for the newspaper obituary -- a black and white photograph of the moon or my father’s painting of a goldfish or close-up snapshot of the dog’s nose. This is the most poignant collage of you that I can imagine. And again it contains the child, the nature, and the quite force within. Musicians, if available: red-headed woodpeckers, Pacific tree frogs, rain. I am quite sure they will make the gig Joanne. Should I transform before you, I'll come as the rain. Further Along, Rick||2004-04-25 15:51:57|
|Thumb of Green||Mell W. Morris||Mell, This is SUCH a joy to read. Your flow and anchoring of rhymes is sheer mastery of the genre. Just as I feel full envy for this woman's relationship with the earth and its bounty you bring her secret full-force-'round, " the sharing Part is the heart of her beloved garden." Exquisite, simply exquisite. Rick||2004-04-16 03:08:58|
|Among Lilies||Lynda G Smith||Lynda, This is an amazing work of intriguing complexity and subtle simplicity. It possesses such fluidity that rhymes seem to occur where there are none. Lilies wrap my legs In ribbon curls To pull the limbs of my being beneath the meniscus of my thoughts. Their vagrant castings of crimson coils, ...I thought, "What a beautifully flowing, natural occurance of ryhme". I had to read it a few times before I realized the rhyme was implied. How clever! The inter-play of sexuality, spirit, sinew, and psyche is as beautifully interfolded as a Georgia O'Keefe painting. This is a fun and beautiful read full of meaning and hope and yet not so much as a whiff of sentimentality. Gorgeous work Lynda.||2004-03-30 17:40:37|
|Terra Incognita||Mell W. Morris||MEll, You have awakened me. I was hibernating, or so I told myself. I didn't want to look at, hear, or compose verse for at least a few poetic lifetimes... and then: Our dogwood hasn't shed its leaves this year and I feel uneasy in view of all bare trees nearby. I know that dogwood. I have felt it's last lingering leaves move to my inner winds lately. And I know that uneasy feeling of being surrounded by bare trees, their barren branches taunting and goading me as if I were the artist who had abandoned the scene with a palette full of green left lying this side of the canvas. Yes, it rains inside my head and musical sounds form colors that eyes can not describe. I had to chuckle at, "yet feel intrusive as if ignoring a no-trespassing rule?" How often I feel that yet have never quite identified it so deftly. in the grand scheme of our universe...all queries and no responses. Which brings me full circle: what quirks, majesties, and mysteries teem in the heads of others that forever will remain unseen and unsaid? I have often thought the query is the point. It is enough to ask the proper questions. I have always been suspect of answers. Your writings and musings always conjure up the most marvelous questions. My eternally reawaking soul thanks you. R.B.||2004-03-22 15:18:06|
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