Oregon Magazine Poetry Page
 Cover

All the work that here appears is the copyrighted property of the poet named.


Love among the ruins

Wind flowing past old stones
Speaks silent volumes.
It sings of time,
A kind of distance
Close by.

Columns that once long ago
Listened to robed men
Discuss things which
Had never before
Been spoken.

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)


The 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?

                  LL/70705
 

TICKLING TROUT

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

Asimov's Run

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
By comparison.

The stars like distant dusty roadsteads,
Flotilla arms commute, their hulls
Making Einsteinian waves.

What shore in what age shall they
                finally caress?

LL
 

The Man You Never Knew

The day has come that's
               without thee;
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
Decades model
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
                                  of men.

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
                                    from Eden.

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
                           of love.

                  LL (on the ridge) 104
 

String Theory

If the cosmos is made
Of vibrating strings,
Then time began
When they were
Strummed.

       -- LL
 

Wintergreens

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
More mime.

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 thinking
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.

       LL (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)

Tlakota Sunrise

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
Is alone.

       -- LL 7-07-03
 

Kara

Twas just the other day, spring in the wings,
The useless and unfair departure
Which must be recorded in the book,
In the column headed unlucky
                              nursery goods.

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.

                                  LL  3-10-03

Answers

Wherein irony
Plaits the universe
Like waves on the sea
With silver tops
Searching for a shore
On which to curl up.

                         LL 3-12-03
 

That Summer's Song

Leaves brushing eaves, midnight stair,
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
 

Smoke Signals

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.

                                         -LL

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
anything wet.

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 sunshine.
It is the ribbon on the package,
and speaks of the gifts
which once were inside.

                -- LL

Montana Memory

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 who
 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
Self-imposed limitations?
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.

                      -- LL
 

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.

             -- LL
 

Conan of Milius

To run free in the morning of the world,
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.

       -- LL

The winter mind

A cup of tea, a memory,
Caesar's Gallic reverie,
Upon the roof a soft dull thud,
Disturbs philosophy.
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.

               -- LL

Wind in the Trees

A country child on a shady summer lane,
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 silent roar,
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 life,
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.

                                     -- LL
 
 

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.

              -- LL

Winter Crop

Late November
Crows in the apple trees,
Fruit arguing,
Or dark blossoms
Discussing dark days,
With dark eyes
Watch the rain.

                -- LL
 

Certain Knowledge

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:
Oxymoronic
Burst of beaden
                - LL
 

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.

       LL
 

Noirons

Strung between galaxies,
And hiding within,
Black beads on black strings,
Dark matter plots
the courses of stars;
Spins the universal tale.

            - LL

Quatrain

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.
       - LL

Just Before Summer

The light through the back door window
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.
       - LL

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.
       - LL

Just Before Winter

The old man squints
At the afternoon sun
And his heart is stirred
By memories
Of leaves falling
Through other October skies.
       --  LL
 

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
the door.

Do they wonder if their day will
once more wander back around?
Will it pass in anti-grass that
anti-bisons will chow down?

     -- LL
 

Mind as Star

Humanity is like the summer evening sky,
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 human universe
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.

                        LL

The wind

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 tyrant,
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
 
 
 

Note 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 result 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
into eininkleininnactmusica.

God will punish you, and my laughter 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 Camino Gordo
 

James Dean moon

When I was then beneath the bloodless cotton glaze
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, the rush 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

LL


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.

        (c)18 March 1997, Paul Pintarich

Dos Nuevo de Paulo

QUERY LETTER

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

Papa

The sun also rises for whom the bell tolls.
(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

 LL, at 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
 
 

       Westwind

        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,
        or two.

       LL, at the cabin on the east fork, 11/10/01
 

Fundamentals

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.  They are 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)

 

Free form

I saw in my mind's eye the coastal light 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 to move 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.

                                        -Larry Leonard 12-20-01
 

New York, New York,  it's a hell of a town.
The networks  live in a hole in the brown.

Sophisticated Sity

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.)

Shahbandar

Sail on, desert ship,
Both vessel of exploration
And lighthouse harbor
Of truth.

It is the storm
That measures the sailor,
The Horn
That awards the ring.

       -- Larry Leonard, Oct 01
 
 
 
   Paul's October pick:

Migrations

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.

K.R. Bents
 
 
 

Moses,Two places in time and recipe
(photos by the author)
The Changing Wind

I stand in a season
Immersed, luxuriating
In its language
 
 
 
 
 

 Basnight's Cast Iron 
 Internet No-bean

> Willy nilly
> Filly chili
> Made of horse
> Of course
> It dances prances
> In your pantses
> Jockeys would
> Endorse.

              LL Oct 01(Cghrust upward
    and outwLLard
SuLLLLLmmer's green shade
Sleepy yawn of fall
Winter's nap
 

The Changing Wind

I,  a season
Immersed, luxuriating
   in my language
Spring's tongue faith 
Summer's surety
Fall's doubt
False winter's gloom,
     expresses doom.
Then changing wind
 Comes whispering
    of endings
    and beginnings.

       LL  September 9, 2001


Melmerby

Windgrass pebble 
From a shore
In my distant hand.
A teardrop
Of  a salted breeze
Reflecting lobster pots
And drunken sots
And honor manned
Sad shimmerings
Of memories
Of very distant strand.
The years like sand.

      LL  September 12, 2001
 
 

Moses Set the People Free

Robert built a span
Out to the Jersey strand
Removing from the hand
Of bureaucratic man
The people of the land.

The anti-Moses bunch
At PBS had lunch
And in the final crunch
Didn't like him very munch.

They live all upside round
These PBSist clowns
Like ancient feudal crown
Gargoyle-like downfrown
On people not in town

The government must know
Exactly where we go,
Or the people's song
Could easily be wrong
And, people might go home
To ground they own ,
Instead of public housing
Which needs full time de-lousing.

God bless highway tsar,
Who gave to us our car
Which we use to get off far
From the liberal's jail bar

They still all want to hose us
But set free by our dear Moses
We stand on land
Won by our hand,.
A rifle in our closet
Loaded with a lead deposit
For the huxters who feel able
To remove us from our table.

So it's adios from those us
Supra-urban friends of Moses
Who work in busy city
Then go back to what is pretty.
Adios to teeming most,
Conglomerated ghost.
We go to dance
With plants and ants
Instead of rats in flats.
And have dear Bob
   to thank for thats,
To whom we tips our hats.

            LL  10 2001
Winter's nap


 
 

                  The Rat Men

                The 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.

                Air 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.

               The 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.

              Rat 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

            And 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.

                      -- Larry Leonard
 
 

           Other winter windows

          Midnight, I write old friends, recalling 
            other winter windows
          and those other days beyond
            the dust of distant snows.

          I hear the 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.

          A pattern, I suppose, a gift or
            troubled drift of mind, or
          something missing, something found
            about this thing with prose.

          It looks behind the firs for warmth;
            behind the winter stars
          to reaches swept by winds,
            the calls of wolves,
               the dust of distant years.

                       -- Larry Leonard
 
 
 

             The Seas of Europa

                    Sing me a song, lads
                   And call it out clear
                   For Europa's sailors
                          Gone now these long years

                   Now make the words  hearty
                   And make the words clear
                   For men of the far ports
                            So lost, yet so near

                   What 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.

                  What shanties they sang there
                  What tales they did tell
                  While sailing the heavens
                           ‘neath that boiling hell

                   What 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
                             Electrical snow.

                    Yes, 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



 

            Poetry Editor (Paul Pintarich)