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In the Groove

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It’s almost six p.m.

here in Jerusalem

and I’ve been writing

since ten. It’s

definitely time

for a break,

and even a bite

to eat.

A quick snack

at the Bagel Bite

on the corner

of Bethlehem

and Yehuda,

and I will be good

for at least

another eight.

A Sight Worth Seeing

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I watched
the battered old woman
push her cart
down Columbus,
not that far
from Fisherman’s Wharf.
Most of the tourists
working so hard
not to see her
never realized
what they were missing.
Her face was exquisite;
better by far
than the Golden Gate
and Alcatraz,
both rolled into one.

At Wounded Knee

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Some stains,
darker than blood,
cannot be erased,
even by the snows
of a hundred winters.
And the sounds
of sobbing,
like that of shattering bones,
can still be heard
in the wind
at Wounded Knee.
Don’t bother
putting your ear
to the ground.
The dead refuse to speak.
For the truth
is in the wind
at Wounded Knee.
Just listen to the wind.

in praise of eclectisity

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More than once I have been told I have eclectic tastes. That’s a good thing, right? It’s a compliment. At least, that’s the way I take it.

And nowhere is my eclectic tastes more on display than when it comes to my tastes in poetry. I would be hard pressed to list all my favorite poets, but the top ones are automatic. Bukowski, Basho, Buson, Issa, Rumi, Forche and Atwood are among the favorites, but my number one has to be Hafiz.

All of them influence my writing, but I consider that a good thing.  Who has the most influence your poetry?

I love Japanese poetic forms and have thousands of haiku, and notebooks full of senyru, tanka, haibun and renga. When I travel, and I travel a lot, I write a lot of Bukowski-style stuff. What attracts me to the Buk is his no-nonsense, matter of fact, grittiness. He’s a big shot of reality. What you get isn’t always pretty, but it’s definitely alive.

Then there is Hafiz. No one touches me like he does. He has a grasp on divine love that is heart-deep and born from being totally open to the spirit. Each of his divans is a tiny pot of honey just waiting to be enjoyed. (My latest project is a book-length collection of ecstatic poems modeled after the mystic works of Hafiz, Rumi and other Sufi poets.)

Is anyone else out there in cyberspace marching to several tunes of a number of divergent poetical percussionists? Who else knows the true joy of being a poetic eclectarian? It would be fun to compare notes.

Maybe it’s time for poetical eclectarians of the world to unite. Let’s get the discussion started.


my shy dinner guest

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Well, hello there.

Well, hello there.

A couple nights ago I posted about my unexpected dinner guest. I don’t get a lot of guests here at the cabin so I was somewhat disappointed that she didn’t stay longer. I would have really liked to become better acquainted.

Last night I was awakened by a clatter on the porch. Assuming my shy dinner guest had returned for a midnight (literally) snack, I grabbed my camera before heading out on the porch to engage her in conversation.

She obviously loves the cow bone, but I have to admit, she doesn’t seem to care much for my company. At least she was gracious enough to allow me to get a couple of snapshots. As I wrote in the earlier post, she’s a real cutie.

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