Thursday, July 01, 2010

Waiting for the Winds

Multiple tornadoes: Albania, 1999

—Tom Goff, Carmichael

The winds are here, the winds are moving on.
The winds have not yet come; they’re lost and gone.
They’ve blown their blow, they’re not yet done,
and we must wait.

The winds are strong, the winds keep blowing long.
Long, far, and loud, their bitter trumpet song.
Wind alone wipes away the gale’s great wrong:
now let it abate.

Freak cyclones, fractured branches come of wind,
we look to the wind for change; we ache to find
its rain or salt scent can console the mind:
is there no hope?

Drive, drive the softening, scudding clouds aside,
come, fresh new tempest, rise up from their glide,
feed like an avalanche on your own stride,
scouring downslope.

Let the mistral come broom across the plain;
may winds in many shapes bear one refrain,
let the foehn and sharp simoom maintain
life equals fate.

Winds break into song, the winds keep blowing long.
Long, far, and lone, their bitter trumpet song.
Those very winds brush aside great gales of wrong,
but we must wait.


the illusion of reinvention
—Dawn DiBartolo, Citrus Heights

in the darkness…

blindly reaching out
for a hold onto

something real;
having tried

means nothing at all, when
having let go has led to…

never knowing what
tomorrow’s face will be;

continuous reinvention
of the image…

doesn’t change the soul.

part of the night,
i am, but …

partial to the sun;

it is the nature
of things ~

beings calculating,
queuing up

for the best possible
position, transitioning

into self-beneficial
logistics, all trying

to better discern
the face in the mirror.

i have been…
many things

in this lifetime
of faceless dreams;

the fault-line ~

not knowing
…who i am…


—Dawn DiBartolo

the manicured moon
silhouettes a birdhouse,
a tattered fence;
the shimmering north star
shines bright, but
the cobalt sky is greatest

I wish I may
I wish I might…

the day sets to rest and
I am very much grateful,
heavenly Father, but…
certain things continue
to elude me

have the wish
I wish tonight…

criss-cross wires overhead
transmuting smiling faces,
contentment sizzling in the air;


the demise of beautiful
—Dawn DiBartolo

a dude in a business suit
skateboarding down
the middle of the street…

only in California.
the legislators vote themselves
raises and months-long vacations,

again, while the budget
sits unsigned and thousands
of hard-working people,

with homes and children,
souls and mortgages, uncertainties
and sleepless nights,

are relegated to minimum wage…
foreclosures, raggedy tent cities;
a brutal bonus for work ethics.

a kid in camouflage-grey
pants, white shirt and
black tie hoofing it
down a main midtown street,
backpack slung over his shoulder…

only in California.
the movie-star governor
savagely cuts education, healthcare,
services to disabled and elderly ~

their punishment for being
dependent ~ while
tripling the costs of his own
personal security.

quiet now! shut up
and bend over, you who
built and sustain this
paradise state of blue sky
and sunshine smiles…

only in California.
I have seen the crippling
of democracy, the downfall
of diplomacy, the poisoning
of common sense; I have
watched the “lame duck”

lead the ducklings
into a cesspool of
retaliatory destruction…
to what satisfaction?

a broken economy…
children losing the right
to adequate education,
food, shelter, or protection?

as if we didn’t have enough,
more & more bank-owned
homes, starvation,
fear and worry on the face of
every man / woman left floundering
in this sewage tide?

these topaz skies
are in the blood;
go anywhere else
and some part of you
remains here. but home
is on the auction block, folks.

our lawmakers sit back,
stuffing their pockets
with the blind hopes
of the beautiful people.


the gift of non-invisibility
—Dawn DiBartolo

I have a friend who constantly
finds herself in a position
to nurse the wounds inflicted
by time upon the living soul.
she does not do this without frailty
and wonders why the sky cries
continually into her fractured cup.
it is her gift, I say.

as for mine, what good is
the soul of un-read verse?
how does a heart that bleeds
invisible ink bring about healing?
time is my gift, each dawn
a pretty wrapping, I say,
as i scribble my name
into the colors of the sunrise,
without apology or timidity,
because I (have to) believe

that somewhere, someone
is waiting for my poem;
somewhere, there’s
a reader who needs
to hear what I need to write;
someone who can decipher
my pain, my joy, where I cannot,
and take it into the folds of her abrasions,
using my blood and tears to heal her.

in, this way, giving of the self,
no one is invisible;
it is all I have to give.


Today's LittleNip:

Artists are extremely lucky who are presented with the worst possible ordeal which will not actually kill them. Beethoven's deafness, Goya's, deafness, Milton's blindness, that kind of thing. Among the greatest pieces of luck for high achievement is ordeal. I hope to be nearly crucified.

—John Berryman

We take our chances out there in the world. We go ahead and build our nests, dreams, callings, in the face of a blowing wind. We hope they're secure, but we don't know, and we need, always, to hold on, but not tightly, willing to let go at a moment's notice. We also need to fashion affirmative responses to the setbacks we endure, the little and big ruinations of our plans and expectations.

—Gregg Levoy



The eagle waits for us to get our acts together...