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Love among the ruins
Wind flowing past old stones
Speaks silent volumes.
It sings of time,
A kind of distance
Columns that once long ago
Listened to robed men
Discuss things which
Had never before
Granite arches that somehow
Absorbed the questions
And now, pitted and stained
By centuries of rain,
Neither grieve nor laugh.
Look there! Once in the spring sunshine
Children settled comfortably
Upon a blanket laid amidst small flowers
And decided which pastry
They should taste from the basket.
An old man comes in the autumn
When the dry leaves tumble
And the afternoon shadows are long.
Standing there alone, he looks
For flowers which
Are still in his heart.
-- LL (January 2008, on the ridge)
Banquet of the Waste
(a rather long poem utilizing both archaic and modern modes.)
Next a recent work by Oregon's
Paul Pintarich, for years
the poetry editor of the state's largest newspaper -- and
the paper's literary critic, as well. Recently, he was invited to meet a lady who lives in the farming area west of
Portland, up against the hills that border the Columbia. -- LL
I COULD TELL BY HER OUTFIT . . .
That she had been around,
Was no question. I saw it
In the pictures and smells
Of a grand old barn; a horse
Out there, and goats. The new-
old wood of a house
Built wide-window bright,
not to be a sad lasting memory.
A wide porch against the rain,
Chairs facing east, where
The sun rises over a past
That held much more.
Boots in the bedroom;
Paintings, photos, things
To be touched, remembered;
Her beauty startling me
When I caught a glimpse of her
Smiling, and getting along.
Paul Pintarich 3 Feb. '07
The Big Frog in the Small Pond
I thought I heard a thistle whistle.
I told it to my dog
My dog looked up from chewing gristle
And said, "That's really God."
"God," I asked, "is really gristle?"
"No, you fool," replied my dog.
"The wind is whistling in the thistles,
Epistles from the pond's big frog."
-- March 23, 06 LL
This Gypsy Life
On this gentle July day
Windows open to the U.S.A.
The radio singing a country song
-- In London are the dead.
How do I live without you?
The passing of people and scenes
Argues like the flower in the fruit jar
-- On the sill in the wind.
The life gone in the Islamic blast
Is the picked blossom,
For a time lovely in a mind's eye, then
-- fading as picked blossoms must.
Perhaps souls return to the super ego,
And perhaps thereafter may once more
Essay a dance beneath the sun.
-- I do not know.
Certainly each soul
Is a Monarch butterfly,
Part of a long journey that will
-- Consume generations on the road.
You there, with the radio,
I have completed my part of our journey.
Tell me, have you yet heard
-- Where we are all going?
Some morning in spring go out
without hook or line or net,
but only with fingers to seek
and tickle trout.
So fine, those mornings dewy
in mist before the sun breaks,
stream sounds muffled as you approach
and lie down above where the
bankside grass looms over the water.
Now look down into where
trout hang waiting their natural bait:
bugs falling, nymphs drifting
upward from their chrysalis, through
glassy soft currents; waiting, then
reach over ever so gently,
your hand like a lover; feeling
for the spotted sleek bulk of a rainbow,
brook or brown; a wily cutthroat, and
gently tickle with your fingers.
This is possible for food, yes,
as ancient native people knew.
But for you to learn success in life
is through a gentle touch with
tenderness to make a soul sigh.
As a trout must, hanging hungry
there--And you have him! Quickly,
and just a small caress, a tickle,
before you roll back to send
a knowing smile back up against
the emerging sun.
-- Paul Pintarich (April 2005)
The Author's Epitaph
Dem ol' writers never died.
Dey jus' be anthologized.
-- Larry Leonard 3/10/05
A window on the world
I remember things I'd rather not,
But still there is the light.
Sometimes I get my thoughts all tangled,
And flat forget to look at all its angles.
Then I see a window,
Out on the day or night,
And shapes made by that light
Which always seem just right.
They are paintings , you see
Painted just for me.
They change with the seasons,
And for other reasons
Like time of day or night.
And teach me things
Like the difference inside same
And the crazy inside sane
And the loveliness of rain.
LL -- 205
The winter moon filled my sails
On a dark northern sea,
The way ahead silver gilt.
You sing a silent song
During the long midnight reach
Where the stars on the starboard
Are vessels on trade routes
Of their own.
Close haul the sheets of Asimov's Run
And round the horn of a galaxy's arm
In the Terrible Twenties
Where the crackling stays
Glow with fresh cosmic light
Made of the distant death of suns.
You are on ways so ancient
That the old Silk Road to China
Is a fresh laid strip of macadam
The stars like distant dusty roadsteads,
Flotilla arms commute, their hulls
Making Einsteinian waves.
What shore in what age shall they
The Man You Never Knew
The day has come that's
I can't imagine why
The birds would want to fly
Into a morning sky
Just like they did today
But one sunrise beyond
The last one that you watched.
I cannot quantify the loss
Of him -- that one, right there, the fool.
He violated custom, loving rainy days,
The way the dark firs sway
The windblown wavetop sprays
the gulls a'sailing
What a blatent careless spending
Are these jewells past his ending
And justify an autumn morn
The rising sun a golden horn
The air so pleasant, the blue sky soaring
For what? They will not be there cheering.
These words, then, just will have to do
I've written them, each one a giving
to the living.
Wrap your soul around the world,
Encase it with your love and sorrow
This very day and not tomorrow
Is priceless past all knowing,
The simple way the shades are flowing.
They are but windows in a train,
beloved sun and rain
Twixt tunnels of the timeless sleep
And now that I have nodded off
Inhale them in remembrance
Of the man you never knew.
The poet in you true
To the aching lovliness
Of what you're passing through
-- LL Jan0405
Knicknak in one's latter days
Tempus fidgets with your toga
Tennyson's hills would understand.
Fixed objects practice yoga
This old man.
-- LL, on the ridge 10/25/04
The Hasty Heart
They speak of winter, the tears of men,
A long time coming, the hard rains.
Shed by the resurrections of memory.
Shells have men, forts for grief and affection
Daily pride stands watch, walking the parapets
Armed and girded against the savage hordes
Talc within granite, the lonely vigil
Ordered by honor, or pride, or fear.
Required by class, demanded by tribe.
Weep for the keeper of duty,
The child sent to the spirit lodge or cave
To be transformed into a man, the departure
A heart not hasty enters the gates
And mounts the battlements
And looks never thereafter within,
But stares into the rain and wind,
Blaming the drops on the sky,
Not on the weakness
(on the ridge) 104
If the cosmos is made
Of vibrating strings,
Then time began
When they were
It snowed in fits of bits, today
November spates of flakes
The firs are are quiet, not in riot
Listening is their game.
Over time their rhyme
In windy storms they roar
And wave their many arms
But in these frozen winter drizzles
Their voices fizzles
They look like fuzzy swizzles
Sticking in the ground
And do not make a single sound
Profane or profound.
I wonder sometimes what they're
Entlike winking as we whistle by
Always on the fly
It seems to me that they have solved
The knowing just by never going
To someplace afar
But by being very good at
Being where they are.
(On the ridge) 11/22/03
A sinewous nature of Grace
A sinewous nature of Grace
The vining round of bough
A lashing up tether of lace
The fastening..a sough
When coarser the choices of nettle
Endured no more to heave
Then God recomposes in mettle
If I am to believe
-- L. Basnight (of Texas)
The gusts of wind threw dusty rain
Against the canyon window pane
And Grandfather said to the boy:
"The storm is not there to blow you down.
It wants to teach you to stand up."
And, the boy looked up from his computer and said,
"I want the stars."
LL 92503 (On the ridge)
The Sight of Beauty
The writer said
That in the land of the blind
The one-eyed man is king.
Actually, what he is
Twas just the other day, spring in
The useless and unfair departure
Which must be recorded in the book,
In the column headed unlucky
Like a butterfly in a blizzard,
The little blossom of addicted sires
and foolish times
Bloomed deformed, her petals blotched.
Innocent, she sinned wide eyed
'gainst herself, and died.
Plaits the universe
Like waves on the sea
With silver tops
Searching for a shore
On which to curl up.
That Summer's Song
Leaves brushing eaves, midnight
At the top a door, forty years ago, or more.
Remember then, now distant when,
Beginning of the world.
A window open to the breeze,
The lamp beside the bed
A radio, a glass of wine,
The posters on the wall,
The talk of what would be, and all.
The magic of those days, our ways
Were parted soon and gone.
Yet memories linger long,
And still I hear that summer's song
LL at the cabin on the creek 4/04/03
Europe says, "Let's wait." (For what?)
Smoke from the chimneys of New Buchenvald?
Perhaps we should start earlier this time, while
Fascist columns of smoke are thin and faint
As the damned sadist puts out his cigarettes
on his prisoners.
Another winter sun
I saw sunshine go through my window
without breaking the glass
It fell across the kitchen counter
without making a sound
and spashed up against
the shiny silver wallpaper without making
It reminded me of ancient kitchens
and other winter suns
and a radio in the window
and Helen making lefse.
All are gone except the sudden
It is the ribbon on the package,
and speaks of the gifts
which once were inside.
Like a diminished candle fights
before the open door the winds of
other people's lives, my holding to
a straight course is as it must be
for the fly on a January window.
The flame inclines up, even so
the smoke, but in the end the inclination,
except in too-rare incidents,
as under a mid-winter full
moon in The Absarokas when the winds
have forgotten and my box canyon chimney
smoke ascends straight to new heights
over new snow, is all that remains
but gets me home.
(OMED: The poem above is by a close
friend of Paul Pintarich
apparently wishes anonymity. We'll copyright it, 2003, Oregon
Magazine, on his or her behalf, just in case.)
The blood of the sand
Is it not a matter of
Does the tyrant care
Who lives past his time?
Have we not read the Commentaries?
Have we not taken note
Of which lands may be razed,
The people left to winter starvation,
And which vines Caesar protects
'gainst the north wind?
The people of the sword
Send their own children
To waste their own fields,
To impale themselves
On the weapons of the righteous.
Have we not seen the wells afire
in the desert?
Caesar did not strike the spark.
North Coast Winter
Cold rain from far reaches
And dark rollers with dirty wigs
Sweep in from the west
On the coast of dark birds.
There the hard red sun
Between the hard black clouds
And the hard black sea,
Turns both to blood
Tomorrow is of the land,
The sea is made of now
And long ago -- listen:.
The wind has forgotten
even why it weeps.
Conan of Milius
To run free in the morning of the
A predator of predators
Hands weilding steel's riddle
With brothers of the steppes.
Flight and lightning a mystery,
Gods made of wind and hills.
A seeking of clean vengeance
For payment of wroth of clean greed.
He captured the youth of men
In his film about the youth of Man,
The Arthurian in pre-Arthurian myth,
The beginning of the beginning,
and the end, as well.
The winter mind
A cup of tea, a memory,
Caesar's Gallic reverie,
Upon the roof a soft dull thud,
A limb has shed its load,
A car upon the road
Crawls carefully along
Through winter's song.
In the dusk, headlights thrust
Through falling crystal notes.
Thoughts of angels in the yard,
Make it hard to sonorous remain,
The only thing you need to know
In the lovely snow
Is where the firewood all is hidden
And how to use the now.
Wind in the Trees
A country child on a shady summer
A fresh grave in the grove, spotted with snow,
Carnival lights through the boughs in the park,
Anglers beneath the stream alders of spring.
Sycamores and oaks full throated
Pregnant with August small town dreams.
Rain forest firs whisper to fall salmon in the rain,
Much has happened since you left for the sea.
The observers, the definers of
Say everything to the heart: rest,
You are home and are welcome.
You have added to the story
And, we will speak of you forever.
The Man of Early Summer
There is an afternoon door
Silvered by late winter northern sun
Behind it, the man of early summer,
Lives there, still, glances out the window
To see his future empty body
Pass by with haunted eyes.
Mornings, little springs.
Afternoons, little autumns
Wind and whirling leaves
Rain and time.
Crows in the apple trees,
Or dark blossoms
Discussing dark days,
With dark eyes
Watch the rain.
The spring sun breaks the bond
Of a pebble with ice ground.
The pebble jostles two stone brothers.
Running into four such others,
They break the bonds of two times four
Disturbing thence yet sixteen more
And in unchain-ed chain reaction
A hillside loses all its traction
And soon a million pebbles soar
And then a massive mountain shore
Without a shred of pity
Slides down upon an entire city.
When the ancients found a thing
They could not understand
They gave it to a boss they carved,
A god sometimes in part from living man
But, now far past those superstitions
We have science eruditions
Thanks to Heisenberg and Bohrs
We close those pesky doors.
It saves a lot of time and trouble
To break apart the science bubble
And treat the answers just like ants
All wearing their best party pants.
'Cause you can never know
Just where one single ant might dance.
But whence the entire show?
We know exactly where they'll go.
And in a land far, far away,
Where each and every perfect day
The scholars with ideas play,
The only question one must fear,
The only pesky lay,
Is the one that threatens Hedon:
Burst of beaden
The Ghost of the Booth
Streetlight, rainy night,
Windows fogged with conversation
Do you see the empty booth?
The empty glass of beer?
Was it left there long ago,
Or thirty years from now?
A toast to the ghost
Of the booth,
The windswept age
A stained and fragile page,
Searching eyes made of mist.
Sun like money from the blue.
Nights of velvet.
Collar up against the wind
Stand looking in
And in the rain's cold blast
Become a future past.
Strung between galaxies,
And hiding within,
Black beads on black strings,
Dark matter plots
the courses of stars;
Spins the universal tale.
Just Before Spring
The old man pauses
As months of somber days
Are pierced by a shaft of winter sun
Cast across a counter in his tiny kitchen,
And his heart becomes a dusty window
To pale suns of other years.
Just Before Summer
The light through the back door
Splashes northern July morning
On the old man's narrow kitchen floor
As the local radio station announcers in the window sill
Cheer old tractors and the VFW
In the small town Independence Day parade.
Just Before Fall
The late afternoon sun
sneaks through the summer maple
And gilds the dead grass
and last year's leaves
Near the old man's back door.
Just Before Winter
The old man squints
At the afternoon sun
And his heart is stirred
Of leaves falling
Through other October skies.
The Particle Physicist's Lament
Boson's mates like bison wait
on mythic times of yore.
Where once they roamed
an endless home
Now progress slams
Do they wonder if their day will
once more wander back around?
Will it pass in anti-grass that
anti-bisons will chow down?
Mind as Star
Humanity is like the summer
a vast, almost empty cosmos of mostly
uninteresting lumps of stone floating along
as the forces around them direct.
Intelligence is so rare in the
that the few bright minds, no matter how far off,
glow and twinkle by comparison,
and can be used as reference points
to sail the seas of life.
It made waves on the sea of grass
Through which early man passed
On his long journey towards tomorrow.
It fluttered the togas of Aristosthenes and Aeschuylus
As in temples of white stone they strove
To invent the Western mind.
It carried bitter flakes
To the camp of the Continental Army
Where freedom's endurance was forged
It tossed the hair of the women
At the Leningrad rail station
As they welcomed their men back to slavery.
It displays full the banner of the
Stretches out the flag of the free
Without comment, without judgement.
It stirs oceans into cauldrons
And the heart into moments
From seasons lost in time.
Larry Leonard 6/15/02
to the reader
-- on the heels of the completion of my new poem, James Dean moon,
the following exchange took place betwixt myself and Paul Pintarich.
Paul Pintarich wrote: Very good . .and good poem too. Will send something tomorrow. .PP
Larry Leonard responded:Thank
you, but it will be hard to top Wanting Martha Stewart.
I work hard for months, squeezing out a competent, workmanlike poem here and there,
while you sit quiet waiting like a spider for the right moment to attack, then rope-a-dope
me with the image of you and a television domestic having sex in raw baking ingredients.
You are lucky that being the
of a drunken Irish father and one each German and Russian
ex-wives, I am used to abuse. A writer who didn't have Buchenvald-like literary survival skills
would after brief exposure to poems like that dig a hole under the barbed wire and disappear
God will punish you, and my
shall echo from the white walls of the plaza next to the
home of the old man whose brother drags the earless and tailless bulls from the corrida in the
evening after the hot afternoon of life and death..
Signed, Manuelo del
James Dean moon
When I was then beneath the
Of teenaged summer moons through open windows
Crickets sang.of Peggy Sue, my blue suede shoes
Would softly step to '50 Ford, flathead V-8, the sweetest sound,
The violet speed now drive-in bound, I was not blind, but knew
I felt the texture of the night,
of wind through leaves,
I heard the distant railroad train and shivered as if from cold rain,
I saved the smell of evening green, the lunar-painted chrome.
I banked the wonder of it all for days when fires were low,
And as investments go it was the best I'll ever know
WANTING MARTHA STEWART
We first met on the trail to Kilimanjaro,
Martha's hair shining in the bright African sun.
She was insouciant, I fell in love; have been
ever since with her happy eyes and sparkling
blondness. A virgo, I like the neatness of the woman
whose cozy kitchens and household skills
are legends in our time. A smile breaks into
my peace of mind as I imagine the two of us,
laughing and hungry, rolling on the floor
in a sweet stickiness of cookie dough.
1997, Paul Pintarich
Dos Nuevo de Paulo
Of course there are the vines,
the grapes and wine,
hillsides splashed by rain
and dazzled by sunshine
when the mountain appears,
off to the east there.
Not to mention the soil raised up from the valley
like the mist -- Or is it fog?
That makes a blush of rose' seem so unexpected
as we talk of blanc, pinot noir,
but somehow never of vin ordinaire,
so "unsophisticated." You think
it might be the rain,
slapping the windshield and wiping out a day
too early to be dark
and flooding all around us?
The warmth, finally, and too many words
on this dark afternoon
when my mind files notes on books,
unwritten, concentrating on grapes
and wine; on tender, newly born shoots
reaching out and upwards with a soft
yet elegant sweetness.
(c)18 May 2002, Paul Pintarich
WHEN I TALK TO CLYDE ABOUT EMUS
(In memory of Clyde Rice)
Huge drumsticked creatures, these emus
walk about next door to Clyde's. He laughs,
his words struck some years before.
But not his humor, at ninety four, or his twinkle for girls.
"Listen, Clyde," I say, "I won't eat one of the
damn things! I'd rather eat that peacock outside,"
having had my eye on him, I admit; with his spread tail
full of eyes. Clyde has eaten crows
and skunks in his day, the old stump-jumper,
bohemian, logger, sailor, lover and rake.
But Virginia, in her gentle way, offers emu jerked
like beef; dark but more tender,
and from right next door, so I recall to them
two cheery old Australian women
in the war museum outside Kalgoorli;
telling me, when the subject comes up, about
an old fellow whose emu sausage wins prizes
at the fair -- "And quite good it is too,"
they had laughed chirpingly against the sun
hot outside. So when I tell Clyde
he laughs and writes a note to me:
"Damn! I wish we could talk!" Pointing
to the peacock outside, and then toVirginia,
who knows how good it was.
(c)18 May 2002, Paul Pintarich
(Trout fishing was originally paired with Martha Stewart)
TROUT FISHING IN AFRICA
Trout fishing in Africa somehow
appeals to me. The thought
of flinging flies into murky, weird
waters where trout shouldn't be;
in the highlands someplace, I should think--
Kenya? Brown trout?--
makes me curious for Hemingway haunts;
for British history, steaks expatriate.
And, of course, a really good fire, respectable
companions; a fine single-malt Scotch.
Whisky, you know? Accented British,
the kind unknown to those who dabble
home-grown creeks with angle worms
and domestic beer.
-- (c) 2002 Paul Pintarich
A Seaward Song
Wind and water, sky and sea
The distant storm doth call to me
The mizzen snap, the halyard stay
Takes me away, takes me away.
The roadstead hath a fearsome reach
It leads to foreign fearful beach
From Bantry Bay to Mandalay
And brings me back to port one day
Ground bound the streets of loving home
A fool would leave to seaward roam
But soon the wind and water call
The sky and sea have me in thrall
My ears hear nothing else at all
My eyes see sails and whales
The land is just a jail
All but the ocean pales
And then one dawn I'm gone
To once more sing a seaward song
-- LL 3-02-02
The sun also rises for whom the
(Death in the afternoon true at first light)
To have and have not a moveable feast
Across the river and into the trees,
A farewell to arms in our time
the cabin on
the east fork, 2/17/02
Where once played the band
One yellow apple on trees without leaves;
Poisonous red berry fruit on a bush;
Cloud countries floating, cocooning the world ...
An Oregon winter lies soft on the land.
A young Douglas fir, restless in a wet wind,
Dark in a daylight that colors not eyes;
Gray geese on gray ponds floating through the gray reeds ...
An Oregon winter lies soft on the land.
Rivers with standing waves locked into place,
Flooding the lowlands with long muddy lakes
While billions of raindrops drift down from the skies ...
An Oregon winter lies soft on the land.
Moments of summer behind and in front
Pointillistically dot the blue skies of the mind:
Surreal warm landscapes so pregnant with life ...
The stage is now empty where once played the band.
1998, Larry Leonard
The weather rolls from West to East
Lands passed are further blessed
Kaleidoscopy Klouds sail by
All wondering why
The days turn as they do
From old to new
But me and you
We see it through
And have a thing to say,
at the cabin on the east fork, 11/10/01
Speedy neutrinos are silly
LIke lovers at play in the park
Something gets smacked
And something gets cracked
God knows what's going on
in the dark.
-Larry Leonard 12-01-01
COMMENTARY VIA EMAIL CONCERNING ABOVE RHYME, PLUS POET'S RESPONSE:
The reader thrusts: Larry, I have to tell you how
much I love
this poem, Fundamentals.
It makes me laugh every time I read it, and I keep going back to read it again and again.
I've been reading a book called QED on quantum electrodynamics, really interesting,
and this poem captures the sense of it....'God knows what's going on in the dark'. The
juxtoposition of that with 'lovers at play in the park' in the dark, is just delicious! Peggy
The Poet parrys: Perhaps it's the Irish half.
good at sad, but it is at times a
slaphappy tragic lined with magic. My Norwegian ancestors, on the other, ponderous,
hand, speak through me with word tunes of distant sonorous places and haunted ratmen
faces. I think the only thing that keeps me alive is the poetry. Sustained by fluff, egregious
duffer, holding tough, will one day suffer for the rhymes of his times, they'll shoot him
when they've had enougher. (LL)
I saw in my mind's eye the coastal
of those early days.
It was just the image of a spring sun breaking though fog,
casting a shadow across the front of a real estate office
with white walls and a green roof that sat at the edge of a slough.
The unimportant, meaningless scene struck through me like a
glance from beautiful eyes.
I think I was unwise to allow time
on from that morning.
I was young and hopeful and did not fit my suit very well,
but none of the places on the map had names,
and the air made one shiver with its coastal freshness/decay,
its ancient newness and my shiny shoes.
It was stupid of me to allow the world
to step a single day into the future.
York, New York, it's a hell of a town.
The networks live in a hole in the brown.
I sing the press body dyspeptic,
Great daisy chain whispering
Through leaves of years
New York! truth-butcher to the world,
The East River seen from a Hudson,
Gray lady behind new blonde blinds
Sloping media brow, virgin cavern
Sans first thrust of thought,
Manhattan see-shore, a cradle
Endlessly rocking sterile minds
Untainted by comprehension, full-haired,
Guys and dolls broadcast byline selflove,
In a civil war.of words 'gainst the tyranny
Of fact and reason..
Larry Leonard 101601
(OMED: The poem, below, is
in honor of a courageous
student at Arizona State University:
Oubai Shahbandar. Born in Syria, he recently defended Old Glory against the intolerant bigots
of the American academic left.)
Sail on, desert ship,
Both vessel of exploration
And lighthouse harbor
It is the storm
That measures the sailor,
That awards the ring.
|Paul's October pick:|
As if on the backs of birds
we try to climb the air
To God on colored kites in
spiraling winds because
it makes us feel Good, and
then we send our words up
after, forcing language out of
its bounds, beseeching it to buoy
us higher, knowing
that thin string and thinner
voices are precious little
on which to travel at such heights.
in time and
(photos by the author)
stand in a season
> Willy nilly
The Changing Wind
I, a season
LL September 9, 2001
September 12, 2001
Moses Set the People Free
Robert built a span
The anti-Moses bunch
They live all upside round
The government must know
God bless highway tsar,
They still all want to hose
So it's adios from those us
The Rat Men
darkened canyons, notch-ed walls of slate
Pocked with glowing embers, windows out on fear,
Stretched the stranger's courage to near loss
As walking shadowed realms he listened hard
To bleats and cries, and saw the winged forms
Soar twixt square mountains, so unreal and cold,
Toward destinations strange to him and high.
fused with silent death molasses-thick
Flowed massive down the avenues of night
As shadows came to real, and real to nought,
A smothering of joy, dead frozen light
At corners luminating without warmth
The shuffling passage of bent men in rags.
dregs of life embattled, rattled near
In desperate complaint of end of fear
They hugged the walls and cast the furtive glance,
October's men with stained and dirtied pants,
Grey skinned, bent forms, the citizens of Hell.
men who work the sewers of the birds
And do not leave the rank until the night
To shadow tap at stores for waste to eat
In holes where light of day shall never reach
And childless, homeless, loveless sleep away
Their rat lives, hopeless misery their pay
watching this the stranger's blood ran cold
As memories of other times came seeping forth
When men of dirty class, untouchable
Did pass across the Earth in hopeless, seething mass.
In mouldy dank dissolved their ratmen bones,
Their ratmen muscles mixing with their eyes,
They died at last with plaintive gasps and sighs
Below the eyries of the eagles in their skies.
Other winter windows
I write old friends, recalling
other winter windows
and those other days beyond
the dust of distant snows.
calls of wolves in winds
on wastes of worlds around
the cold and lonely stars
and wonder if the windows there
reflect with dreams or tears.
I suppose, a gift or
troubled drift of mind, or
something missing, something found
about this thing with prose.
the firs for warmth;
behind the winter stars
to reaches swept by winds,
the calls of wolves,
the dust of distant years.
The Seas of Europa
me a song, lads
And call it out clear
For Europa's sailors
Gone now these long years
make the words hearty
And make the words clear
For men of the far ports
So lost, yet so near
tales could they tell us
That sail’d old Europa
The skies that they saw
And were Jupiter bound
Their eyes on horizons
Like no man had seen 'fore
Their watch caps on fire,
For their feet, no more ground
The waves turned all purple
Orange and bright green
With million watt lights
From the great planet queen
The winds that once soared there
Foam fleck'd and wild
That brought grown men down
To the knees of a child.
shanties they sang there
What tales they did tell
While sailing the heavens
‘neath that boiling hell
beasties they chased
Through the Europa brine
With scales like mint silver
And blood just like wine
O sing you a song, man
Of storms to the sky
The red in the rollers
From Jupiter's eye
The twice daily pole shift
Five million amp glow
From the big mother up there
sing me a song, lads
And call it out clear
For Europa's sailors
Gone now these long years
A race that won't come back
Since once pass this way
Those men of the oceans
'Neath Jupiter's sway.
--- Larry Leonard
Editor (Paul Pintarich)