Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Our Haughty Hearts

—Photo by Art Beck, San Francisco

—Art Beck

What sparkles
isn’t in the water, not
even the breeze. It
slips  through blue

ripples and air so quietly—
touches you just
as you realize it’s gone.
What we can’t grasp

we have to mourn—
not as a loss but as a gift
we’re simply too poor to accept.

Too rich for blood
to contain, too cunning
for flesh to own.

—Art Beck
           for Al Masarik, who recently passed away

A lazy, open door Saturday.
The sly, Chinese waitress quietly
flirts with you in painful English
while the cook chops vegetables for the soup.

You flirt with the bacon on your plate.
Your bacon—you think—has already flirted
with disaster, has no further
interest in any of this. But outside,

over the chimneys,
a black Halloween balloon set
free the morning after
sails like the risen Lazarus
into a blue, unsuspecting day.

Behind the bar, under spotless glasses,
the rich purple bottles lounge in rows
like squads of fat cops fingering
their nightsticks, waiting to
march you off to lunch.
And who’s that walking past
the window on legs you can’t
take your eyes off?

What’s in the air that’s so
helpless and promising? Everyone knows
about spring, but that snappy copper
headed woman’s hair really needs
this hard, November, sidewalk light,
this especially anxious breeze to flutter

in that I don’t mind winter come
get me way. Even in November, something
in the blood can’t ever say no,
doesn’t care you can’t say why.

 —Photo by Art Beck

—Pijush Kanti Deb‬, Assam, India
‪ It sets the teeth on edge‬
‪ and ablaze a fire in the eyes as well‬
‪ yet the old advice is shameless‬
‪ in persuading the innocent followers‬
‪ to take time by the forelock‬
‪ and make headway in life,‬
‪ though ignorant to the negative role‬
‪ played by a haughty bull—‬
‪ almost lunatic in running towards‬
‪ and trampling down the enchanted followers‬
‪ and driving them out of the way of destination.‬
‪ ‬
‪ The upcoming timid followers realize‬
‪ the risk of taking a leap in the dark,‬
‪ feel the standing of their hair on end‬
‪ at the frightening body-language of the bull‬
‪ and are prompt to take to their own heels,‬
‪ saying, ’’Grapes are sour.’’‬
‪ Here, an egalitarian can beat his brains‬
‪ for a quick and sustainable solution—‬
‪ mingling the advice with power,‬
‪ inspiring and providing the followers‬
‪ with amulets to be bold enough to‬
‪ take the bull by the horns‬,
‪ compelling it‬
‪ to go back straight to its dirty stable,‬
‪ bestowing the followers with sweet grapes‬
‪ and fueling them to the brim‬
‪ to make headway in their lives‬.

‪  ‬‪ ‬
‪ —Pijush Kanti Deb‬
‪ ‬
‪ A poem,‬
‪ maybe a careful embellishment‬
‪ with the illumination‬
‪ of the luminous hearts,‬
‪ an immortal image‬
‪ drawn with the ink of nectar‬
‪ borrowed from the Heavens,‬
‪ painted with more than seven colors‬
‪ collected from‬
‪ both the rain-bow and dream-bow‬,
‪ an offering from the devotees‬
‪ to the earthly Gods‬
who‪ live and die‬
‪ only in the literary world‬.
‪ Yet the poem is always ill-fated‬
‪ to be loved and praised‬
‪ only by a few‬
‪ differently made hearts and tongues.‬

 —Photo by Art Beck

‪ ‬

—Pjush Kanti Deb‬

‪ A dogmatic life longs to be on the floor‬,
‪ to dance to the rhythm‬
‪ of a haughty and naughty heart‬,
‪ stimulated by a keen discernment‬
‪ that is added in life and heart‬
‪ along with up-to-date sagacity and black magic,‬
‪ creating a plain under the table‬
‪ and tempting pockets to welcome‬
‪ the seas and the oceans with their treasures‬,
‪ leaving propriety unheard outside the door.‬
‪ The remaining virtue still peeps for a while,‬
‪ throws away its useless plumb-line‬
‪ and joins in the blind man’s bluff‬
‪ to allow the shadow of wealth and resources‬
‪ to cause an eclipse on the rules and regulation‬s
‪ provoking the old soul‬
‪ made in Heaven,‬
‪ to enter the workshop to make a sharp tooth-set‬
‪ for its unabated biting‬
‪ on the soft part of its beloved heart and life‬
‪ to bring their consciousness back on the right track.‬

‪______________________ ‬

—Pijush Kanti Deb
‪ ‬
‪ In the oddness between huts and skyscrapers, ‬
‪ let our steps cross the border line—‬
‪ drawn by our pride and contumacy‬,
‪ and be rushed towards the ocean of tears‬
‪ to bring a change in the odd-looking picture.‬
‪ Maybe‬
‪ our haughty hearts may raise their palpitations,‬
‪ brimful pockets move their heads‬
‪ to either side again and again,‬
‪ the domestic planets and the satellites,‬
‪ luminous in our own brightness‬,
‪ get self-eclipsed and become gloomy,‬
‪ the bitterness of failure of yesterday‬
‪ disturbs the steps to fall by a slip‬
‪ and unknown tomorrow suffers from‬
‪ the fear of being bit by our own blood.‬
‪ Hence,‬
‪ let our proceeding steps be unlinked‬
‪ from babbling tongues and timid hearts‬,
‪ our mortal eyes and ears be sanctioned a leave,‬
‪ the line only be crossed with the hint of‬
‪ the immortal sensation of our souls‬,
‪ and our tears be dropped in the ocean‬
‪ to shape it into a manageable river‬
‪ which can wash away the oddness ‬
‪ from the picture of huts and skyscrapers. ‬

 Before the Storm
—Photo by Robert Lee Haycock, Antioch

—Robert Lee Haycock

I raise my hands
Call down a hungry moon
Ink babbles from my fingers
Lies drip from my elbows

Nothing has been done right
Nothing has been done

I crawl among my tools beshat
Scattered across splintered floors
Paintings fly up the walls and away
While others wonder where I am

Nothing has been done right
Nothing has been done

I am exiled from that house of many windows


—Robert Lee Haycock

You are beautiful 
And I would bed you 
And you would allow it 
And what you really want 
Is for me to see your hurt 
And your need 
And for me to forbear 
And what I really want 
Is for you to know I see you 
And you are beautiful 
And I want you 
And I forbear

 It's a Small World
—Photo by Robert Lee Haycock

Today's LittleNip:

—Robert Lee Haycock

There is no magic
Still the sun will rise

There is no magic
Yet the spring will come

There is no magic
But I will believe


—Medusa, with thanks to today's contributors for their fine poems and photos! Pijush Kanti Deb, writing all the way from India, has a new book, Beneath The Shadow Of A White Pigeon, which is available on Amazon at

Sutro Heights, San Francisco
—Photo by Robert Lee Haycock

‪ ‬