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Tag Archives: Existenlism

Post-War Baby Boom

“From childhood’s hour I have not been
As others were — I have not seen
As others saw —

I could not bring
My passions from a common spring —
From the same source I have not taken
My sorrow — I could not awaken
My heart to joy at the same tone —
And all I lov’d — I lov’d alone –“

“Alone” Edgar Allan Poe

 

Chapter I

High in a dying butternut tree, above the climbing bittersweet,

a pair of sparrows sat entwined.

Bobbing and pecking, with tail feathers visible,

they pushed and pulled, constructing a nest

from winters fallen twigs and kites’ missing strings.

 

Both unaware of the advancing wings on seductive winds

gliding in the heat of post-World War II victory;

with bold brown patches and brasso colored flares

flirting shamelessly with all the birds in nesting trees.

Mother: after laying her eggs, suddenly took flight on a south east breeze:

wings spread, open feathers, abandoning history.

 

Father: in haste, wondering who was first;

found in the chase, with another mate

in a steeple of an abandoned Christian church.

 

            Chapter II

Four hatching, cracked through egg shells

in a nest below a large branch, in a dying butternut tree.

Small insects dropped, in sacrifice, as meals

to their gratefully awakening beaks.

Weeks passed in the aging butternut tree

providing shelter, meals, and summer comfort.

The first hatching, though weak,

fluttered, stretched, and skittered

to stand on quick strengthening feet;

to peek and seek for something he felt, was missing.

Something unable to find, something not complete.

Something to teach him about sky, ground, gravity

and all that scary in-between.

 

Chapter III

Innocence in the face of dilemma,

all of them eventually perched on the ragged brim.

Taunted by instinct and haunted by uncertainty;

to leave and fly, to land on air, or just plain fall and disappear.

Watching them teetering on the rim,

the brave-born, with a sweeping two wing lurch

pushed them off before him.

 

Falling! Falling! They fell then dipped into swooping grace.

Wings with instinctive motion, caught them in flight.

Never looking back, they disappeared swiftly

between the pines, the hardwood’s, and the butternut’s plight.

 

Chapter IV

The last sparrow, now with confidence, excited without anxiety,

leaning chest first, feathers outstretched, he jumped too.

Falling much too close to the butternut tree

he became entangled in the vines of the creeping bittersweet.

Tumbling, swirling, crackling, he landed with a broken wing.

Epilogue:

Oh mother, oh father, in his screaming,

he spoke not a word. It was only in their hearts

that they heard him fall.

1956

 
9 Comments

Posted by on March 6, 2020 in Divorced, Existential, Father, Mothers, Poetry, Zen

 

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Good Afternoon

Who knows, as i sit in an anxious state

waiting for Godot; hoping they never show,

like a sparkle in the glass, asking me if i care to go?

 I will deny its invitation —to stay and enjoy the sparkle,

as all sparkles go.

 

Who Knows as i move in trepidation,

waiting for the fulfillment of my day?

Afraid to recognize it when it is here.

So i deny its invitation —to listen as it fades,

rolls, descends, and disappears.

 

Who knows the mysteries attributed

to the ground i stand on?

If traveled, i will have accepted its maze,

if understood —i will have accepted its direction.

 

Who can remember,

that we can go through the eye of a needle

with the sparkle of a moment?

i believe, only in the beholder’s mind

and conscience, threaded within our soul.

 

Good afternoon.

 
11 Comments

Posted by on February 29, 2020 in Existential, Poetry, Wisdom, Zen

 

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the change in my pocket [rooming house, basement floor]

“…if you do not know yourselves

then you are in poverty,

and you are the poverty.”

                                                                 logion 3, The Gospel of Thomas

 

i emptied my pockets with rattling and scattered coins on the dresser.

facing me, an obtrusive un-welcomed ever-present mirror.    

i could not look away; i was centered within its paint chipped borders.

off to the edge, a stack of black-and-white old family photos;

mixed in with a bunch of sticky colored Polaroid’s

of a motorcycle weekend and penny arcades at Weirs Beach.

and, blurry ones of a start-up rock and roll band

“jamming” at the Beanstalk variety store.

(it’s still at the junction of route 106 and Canterbury road).

i can hear the screeching tires on the curves of Gunstock

and the giggling, lovemaking, in a pup tent between laps.

the racers often change the lead before the lovers

pressed themselves, arm and arm, against the fence again.

i can see in their Polaroid eyes, nothing cared except to be there.

it was a black and white transition for me then.

 

 

pushed up against the mirror, an old mason jar

half full with silver coins. nickels, dimes, quarters,

and one unspent Kennedy half-dollar. a permanent resident.

i found that faded earth smeared mason jar digging in an old bottle dump;

carried it in my backpack, hitchhiking down many promising roads.

never did fill it. always dipped into it. emergency funds, you know.

 

 

on the floor beside the dresser, getting harder to push aside,

squats a fading bluish plastic water cooler jug, three-quarters full of pennies.

my retirement, i suppose.

 

i begin to sort copper from silver and silver from copper.

jar vs. jug.

i smile at myself trying to find something

that i may have forgotten in my pockets.

something, with at least one or two digits to fold.

the mirror returns my smile. we stare at the lines on our faces

listening to each distinctive clink, clunk, and thud

fade into its equally appropriated space.

 
7 Comments

Posted by on February 8, 2020 in Existential, Poetry, Poverty

 

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Me thinking:

about the web, connected in intricate high wires

dangling, trickling inadvertently behind me,

as I walked through the pines

with a feeling  I felt,

 I had left!

 

Never touching the ground,

I moved with patience

on silk trepidation

—for a life, that insists

 to be defined.

 

Me waking up:

The thread of my existence is never behind!

Nor could I manufacture a web;

that connects me to illusive time.

 

I Shook it off with a wiggle—

that trickled

inadvertently

 behind.

            ~~~~~

I had to grab something to protect myself

from transparency

when you kicked me in the groin!

I collapsed in the shower,

wrapped in aluminum foil.

 Bad bad puddy-tat.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 
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Posted by on July 7, 2019 in Existential, Life, Silly stuff, Zen

 

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A Reality Sandwich and An Ice Cold Existential Beer

ashland, new hampshire—

two in the afternoon

a burger with a thick slice of onion,

mustard on the side

and a cold bottle of beer.

 

looking out a large pane window,

everything from where I sat

looked fine.

you pass by noticed,

i nodded with a smile.

 

and you

quickly

looked away

and everything disappeared.

 

no,

not of course,

my sandwich.

 

just an old flame

puffed in a white cloud of history,

dowsed by another sip

of an ice-cold beer.

 

Rev:2013/2019  Vol. II ~ Love: Hot Water, Crackers, & Ketchup  Soup~

 

 

 
16 Comments

Posted by on March 30, 2019 in Existential, Love, New Hampshire, Poetry, Zen

 

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Dark Chocolate

      I was looking through old pictures today —some scratched and beginning to fade.  You were beautiful, impressionable, and innocent; packing lunches and having picnics, going home after chilled wine, crackers, Vermont cheddar cheese, and dark chocolate.

      My heart sank. I had to put them away —unable to find the joy in reviewing history. Remembering all the missteps I made when I was young, fearless, sometimes arrogant, misunderstanding love and its commitment. I drank the wine not savoring the chocolate.

      I will get back to them someday —but, for now, this evening, I will listen to Lake Winona. In-between the silence and dobs of the lake’s small rolling waves. I place the photographs beneath the bed I made.

 

Sit still to listen

Lake is playing a love song

Remember the tune

 

 

Originally written : Aug 8, 2016 …Rev 12: 1/26/2019 5:26 PM

 
22 Comments

Posted by on January 26, 2019 in Haibun Poetry, Haiku, Love, Zen

 

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The Night Before Breakfast

     

     Caged on the edge of a forest without boundaries; wind chimes shivered in silence. Youth held its breath. The night squirrels feast and fly. The owls turn their heads judging distance from prey to ground against a midnight sky. I escape, I must make it through the night, I must make it, not just try.

     With empty pockets, abandoning the compass of my mind, I make haste with unforeseen insensibility up the path, as an invited house guest, for reflection and a warm breakfast before my morning flight, sorrow less and free.

A still reflection left on a spoon, sinks into a bowl of abandoned oatmeal.

 

Dark moss seeking sun

Birch bent with acknowledgement

Child runs to mother.

 

Grass rising in dew

Casts crushed footsteps aside

Seeks Father in child.

 

Never finding ether one.

 

1st. draft 1/14 Title Piece for vol.I of IV “The Night Before Breakfast”

revision:14 1/18

 
16 Comments

Posted by on January 19, 2019 in Children, Existential, Outlaw, Prose Poetry, Spiritual, Zen

 

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Ever-Changing Tide

       Under slow shrinking shadows of a receding August sun, squatting near a dribbling tidal pool, four children stare attentively to a small snail; as it furrows and squiggles through the sand, racing to meet the outgoing tide.  They were sent there to “think”. To work out the “argument” they had among themselves.

         They were told to go to the cove; “to seriously think about what each other had said and what they shouted to each other”.

          All four, ignoring each other, watched quietly as the small snail furrowed and scrunched up little piles of sand behind it. The trail squiggled slightly left, then slightly right. It was heading towards the trickling edge of an out-going tidal stream.

Like corrected mistakes,

Never straight with their curves and bends;

Listening to instinct, racing the tide, the snail

Made steady headway towards the sea.

          The children glanced up occasionally to see what the other was doing. They could see the tide ebbing away in a methodical hush. The sun sinking, shed its soft orange and crimson color glistening on the expanded beach sand.

          No one was talkin’. All of them, were still trying to remember what the stupid argument was all about anyway? It wasn’t a fight! Hey! None of us cried! We didn’t tell anybody to shut up! That’s for sure. we just had… an aah, aah, a disagreement!…as their minds ping-ponged in thoughts and rattled on.

With purpose, the snail inched on

Ignoring the circling birds and their potential grip

 For an eventual fatal drop to the flats;

Between shallow tidal pools

And, dry jagged rocks.

          It was getting cooler. They hardly took their eyes off the steady movement of the snail. Except of course, to sneak a peek; checking on each other. They began inching themselves closer together to keep warm and hoping the others “weren’t still mad at them” for whatever they said, or for  whatever they got wrong.

Never dawdling, clinging to its direction

Pushing the sand aside, racing to catch the tide,

The snail forged on.

          Tide water was slipping into drying sand with each forward push and receding splash. The children, realizing it was getting late, were looking up at each other more frequently. They could smell supper on the camp grill. They were ready to go back.

Approaching the last rolling ripple of retreating tide

The snail stopped, as if out of breath.

But, only for the moment.

          Suddenly, the ocean swelled and peaked into a fast rushing froth, it grabbed and pulled the snail. It slid, tumbled, snapped up in surf and foam, flipped, and swallowed into the bubbling, boiling sea.

          All four children, now on their feet watching, caught sight of the snail scooped up in retreating swirling sand and glittering pebbles of a retreating wave.  “There!” The children shouted to each other, pointing to a distant crescent wave pulling away from the shore, “There” on the surface, sitting tall, proud and smiling, was the snail. He looked back at them, waved and shouted an exhausted but jubilant, “Tally Ho!”

          They simultaneously faced each other, eye to eye. “Huh?” Then, pumping their fists, all exclaimed, “It made it! YES!” Then grabbed each other’s hands with a burst of laughter; apologies were unanimously accepted. They skipped and dragged their feet making their own squiggly trail, left then right  along the warm drying beach.

          Supper on the grill, chocolate milk, and stories of a “swooshed up snail they ‘FOREVER’ followed,” were animated in the evenings’ bright open fire light of flaming marshmallows, burning, blown out, and squished on chocolate squares between graham crackers and pushed into sticky lips with anticipated delight.

          I heard it all slide into the clapping sound of incoming waves announcing the tides transition from low to high. It was bedtime, clean up, and evening prayer. Kissing me on the cheek and with a blessing, they all took their day in stride, sharing in the applause of the snail’s completed race and an encore for the ever-changing tide.

  Listening to the tide, as we watched the children disappear into the tent, I on one knee poke the dying fire. Good thoughts were sent to the children; forgetting their disagreement without anger, melancholy, or disappointment. And, a mindful poke from Katie’s marshmallow stick, smiling at each other, as she spread the dimming embers, for a happy jubilant snail.

 

Draft 12: Pine Cone Diary… Hermit Island, Me.

 

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Widow Johnson and “Old Man Whiskers” [rev 6]

Wearing clean well-worn clothes,

widow Johnson visits old man whiskers, on invite.

Her mischievous greeting smile and wrinkling forehead (burrows of time —burrows of life)

quickly disappear as she walks through the door

carrying a deck of cards and a cribbage board.

 

He could tell she played this game before.

 

They have coffee, chit and chat

while she shuffles the cards

and ask him to cut, if he preferred that.

He does several times and they play cribbage.

15-2, 15-4, and a pair is 6 and on and on it goes.

Up one side of the board and down the other

until he’s skunked. Twice in the best of three.

 

Still counting each hole with one finger,

checking the peg’s last hole and repeating the score,

she takes his hand, winking at him,

leads him up the stairs to the bedroom,

as she sing-songs quietly, but quite clearly,

hearing widow Johnson giggling,

“LoooZaaaaa.”

 

The Night Before Breakfast {vol I “Mill Street”]  2013-1018

 
16 Comments

Posted by on November 17, 2018 in Erotica, Friendship, Life, Prose Poetry, Zen

 

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An October Morning

Leaves are dancing in rhythm with the wind.

Frost embraces its partner —holding Fall within.

Colorful chaos prances through woods and on soil.

 

I kick dust-up behind me —before it settles cold.

I go forward alone, remembering an old friend,

humming those ole “dirt road blues” again.

 
16 Comments

Posted by on October 21, 2018 in Existential, Friendship, Love, Poetry, Zen

 

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