The Search for Lost Lives – James Tate

I was chasing this blue butterfly down
the road when a car came by and clipped me.   
It was nothing serious, but it angered me and
I turned around and cursed the driver who didn’t
even slow down to see if I was hurt.  Then I
returned my attention to the butterfly which   
was nowhere to be seen.  One of the Doubleday   
girls came running up the street with her toy
poodle toward me.  I stopped her and asked,
“Have you seen a blue butterfly around here?”
“It’s down near that birch tree near Grandpa’s,”
she said. “Thanks,” I said, and walked briskly
toward the tree.  It was fluttering from flower
to flower in Mr.  Doubleday’s extensive garden,   
a celestial blueness to soothe the weary heart.   
I didn’t know what I was doing there. I certain-
ly didn’t want to capture it.  It was like
something I had known in another life, even if
it was only in a dream, I wanted to confirm it.   
I was a blind beggar on the streets of Cordoba
when I first saw it, and now, again it was here.
The Search For Lost LivesJames Tate
Cinemagraph: Butteryplanet

this wind

Leonard Durso

this wind that howls
outside my windows
spraying rain at times
on the terraces the balconies
this wind that moans
beyond my windows
is the only music
I listen to
and for reasons unexplained
comforts me
more than Sibelius
or Ralph Vaughan Williams
could today

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no. 23

(re)imagining the mundane

sunday music

the people downstairs are singing

their piano thrums through my floor

maybe it is a rehearsal for they are far from perfect

still, it is endearing, the hint of harmony

the love that resonates in their vocals

the pianist slowly sheds performance anxiety

for authoritativeness as the holder of the

rhythm, tempo and dynamics

i listen, i imagine myself there with them

from my upstairs chair

i open my mouth and harmonize with

ooohs and aahs even though i know the words

but then, their music peters out:

i wonder did they hear me and take offense

next time i will just listen, an imaginary audience,

and wrap myself in the music of their lazy sunday afternoon.

(written 28 january 2018)

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“When you are old and grey and full of sleep
And nodding by the fire, take down this book,
And slowly read, and dream of the soft look
Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep”

W. B. Yeats

That Boy is a Pane of Glass

Unto Dogs

That boy is a pane of glass,
He is seen right through with ease.
That boy is a blade of grass,
Unable to stand among the trees.

The boy is an old floor mat,
Unseen as you step in the door.
That boy is a plank of wood,
An identical piece of the floor.

That boy leaves no impression,
Forgotten as soon as his words are done.
That boy never shows his aggression,
For it would be noticed by no one and none.

That boy is a shadow at night,
Unremarkable, barely pronounced.
That boy is an infrared light,
Invisible data left all unannounced.

That boy is a poem unfurled,
Unread ’cause it’s crumpled and dirty.
That boy is alone in the world,
With no one to ask where it’s hurting.

That boy is a pane of glass.
A victim of thousand-yard stares.
That boy is a pane of glass.

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First day of snow


In the good old days,
everyone says,
things were better.
It was better back then,
back when,
on winter mornings we’d open the blinds,
fingers crossed in mind,
excited upon seeing the first snow,
our faces would glow.

Grabbing snow suits,
and snow boots,
outside we’d run.
We’d play and jump,
just being happy and dumb,
throwing ourselves into the snow.
We’d smile at the sky,
without being shy,
extending our hands and smiles,
to all the other young and wilds.

Building igloos, snow angles and snowmen,
over and over again,
sledding and sliding,
screaming and fighting,
there would be snowball fights,
and we would quickly reunite,
reconciling in minutes,
there were just no limits.

No worries,
no fear,
nothing could come near.
We would just be,
flying carefree.
We would stand on that swing,
dance, and loudly we’d sing,
rocking higher and higher,
until some poor kid fell over.

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Truths Lie As Extraordinary As Grass

A Stream Flowing


Now I saw a stream flowing;
Now neither bank nor bridge was seen.
Now I saw a bush in bloom;
Now neither rose nor thorn was seen.