YGDRASIL: A Journal of the Poetic Arts

March 2004

Editor: Klaus J. Gerken
Production Editor: Pedro Sena
European Editor: Moshe Benarroch
Contributing Editors: Martin Zurla; Rita Stilli; Michael Collings; Jack R. Wesdorp

ISSN 1480-6401



   Lezlie Kinyon
      A Little Noir


   Steven Stewart
      Urban Weather Patterns
      Purple Finch 
   Ken Rosen


   Corey Mesler
      At Home While the Moon Dazzles
      What's Real, What's Movies

   Keith Bayliss
      THIS DAY

   Chris G. Vaillancourt

   Michael Collings
      Cleaning the Garage
      Mountain Hike
      Crow Cotillion
      Along the Back Roads-Journeying Home
      To Mason-On a Display
      Of Swordsmanship
      Without a newyork
      Something about the curve of lip
      Thoughts upon Unexplained Delays in Pre-Op


   Lezlie Kinyon
      Scarlet Petals


Lezlie Kinyon

A Little Noir

She Walked into my office
on an evening of fog in The City
(when wasn't it an evening of fog in the City?)
She walked in a black silk sheath
that hid everything
that revealed everything
She stalked through the 
rattle-glass door on legs
that descended to hell
and maybe back again
And ... I fell
into fog
into black silk
Through the net over her eyes
I met onyx orbs
of a noir nature
and wanted to find
the haven in their
descending into the ashes of her life
she walked into my dim room from the fog of the City
two coins in her palms
surrounded by stiletto edge fingers
two black eyes
two gold coins 
scarlet stiletto edge fingers
on wood
on wood handles of the small chair
Remembering to say 
Remembering to fall
Remembering to tell
She walked into my bluesmokeydim room
on a moon shrouded night when
the fog lay still over the City like the
sheath over her breasts
breasts with no lift of breath
on stiletto legs that
descended into hell
and back again
Onyx stiletto eyes
that carved a moment out of time
just in time to descend 
through black silk fog
into hell
and back again
tap tap tap
she walks into my dim room office of smoke and shadows 
moon enshrouded scarlet stiletto fingers
over black netted eyes
with two gold coins

(June 19, 2002)

Steven Stewart Urban Weather Patterns ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 1 The houses are shrinking, falling into daybreak. Four runaways chasing a black helicopter overturn a fruit stand. It's morning now, the helicopter is fading, and they haven't slept. The wheels of every car in the city abruptly fall off, and all the drivers thank God. Street mimes stop directing traffic_they take off their caps and drop their badges. Summer is over, and it will be a hard fall. 2 A bone magician levitates a deck of cards across a stage. He's slipping behind the spotlight, like a crow or syringe filled with dynamite, set to blow when the weather report gets in. The audience leans in, spellbound, like a band of Colombian revolutionaries reaching for the hem of a beauty queen's white dress. Now a blind usher leaps from the balcony, exonerating all the orchids on Earth. 3 Two dark-haired girls dance among the blighted leaves. Dressed in matching black vests, they roil away from my gaze. Storm clouds sling blue shadows at a nun wearing sackcloth and sunglasses: she's crossing the street, carrying six loaves of bread, dodging mopeds and prayers. Cardboard patches of sky flutter to the ground. 4 Mercury falls from a broken thermometer onto sand, on a street dead in the projects, at the city's edge. The sun is too far away. A fetus in blue jeans and a white t-shirt rows a boat through a womb, fighting the current to be born. He stares into fog, losing ground to the rapids.
Shades ~~~~~~ This poem has no coherent point of view. It just gives inexact images, like mentioning two grey dogs circling the castle walls. They pass a Catholic Cathedral, and now the house of the deaf man Antonio Lobo ¨Te enteraste de lo del Hermano Lobo? Sometimes heat distorts perception. Mystical experiences tend to occur in hot climates, a white-lime casita that rests ­Dios mˇo! in its own shade from the two p.m. Seville sun, listless and heavy, its occupants wishing for a cool dark cave on the north side of an outlying sandstone hill. ­Qu‚ calor! This poem also presents a situation_tragic if not clearly delineated_describing a woman, drowsing in black, cycling through a deck of tarot cards. She looks past the nice-American-boy sitting across the room. Es que mi marido se acuesta con las ni¤as. The language of this poem is loose, sometimes questionable, and even self-conscious. The italics represent speech. Two children play on cool tile stairs, twirling through reciprocating insults ­Cabr˘n! ­Qu‚ puta eres! that course through uncombed gypsy hair. ­Mam ! The poem contains a turn. Don't expect a counterpoint, just a trailing off, an untransformed description that may not wear well. Try to find thematic significance in this. A missionary_a blue-eyed magician_ smiles now, remembers a chewed-up blue Bic pen lifted from a friend two months ago, you didn't say that, Sister Lobo, and how he prevents such theft by loaning out his pens without the lids.
Purple Finch ~~~~~~~~~~~~ When God stripped the purple finch of its teeth, these mountains sprang forth. When the finch moved its tongue, they were covered with ash. For the cost of a whore, it coughed and unveiled the tops of the mountains. And it asked David, am I no more than a god to them here? After its death, its bones were scattered. Afterwards, it shot like a fire up the base of the mountains. We watched it turn to ash. For the cost of a whore, the purple finch will still cough and unveil these ancient mountains. The servants packed what they could and moved on, like fire shooting up the mountains. They kept glancing at the dead finch_ it too was going. Why did the dying finch curse its own power upon the mountains? What was heard there? Before the servants packed what they could and moved on, the purple finch ripped through the mountains like a strong wind. Before they went westward, it set fire to them. And this was heard on the tops of the mountains. And it asked David, am I no more than a god to them, a purple finch, a great and strong wind ripping through the mountains? And it moved its tongue and set fire to them. And they were covered with ash.
Ken Rosen GREEN FLOWER ~~~~~~~~~~~~ It was a subtle, leaf-colored blossom, Four-pointed and simple As the cosmos, each chartreuse, thin But not limp, heart-shaped Petal lightly veined and joined at a violent Green knuckle where its tip Narrowed into a swallow=92s wing, Its subordinate sepals Darker green than the abundance Constituting the trees=92 Top-heavy gravity, pale leaves Threatening to bend Its slender trunk, against which these Green flowers crowded Demurely, yet without cowering, Dressed for their first Communion with the envy of heaven All their April, May And June lives they had dreamed of. The air was clear or blue, Mother Hera off in a cloud sleeping Somewhere, infant Heracles easing loose the infinite stars Of her anger, the Milky Way, Were all still invisible, so as if instead Of a witch wiser than The sky you too were a green flower, I feigned bravery And mindless of consequence and truth, Picked one for you.
NOAH AFTER THE FLOOD ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ That night the ocean glistened on the planet=92s belly As if spilled liquor in starlight, Cactus in the deserts of the world gulping with gratitude=96 Glub, glub, glub Barn that was once an ark now beached on a mountaintop, Yet settled down okay. A wordless bird with a branch in her mouth, the eponymous Olive-bough dove, Conveyed the pledge the flood was done, Noah Should go back home and rest In the sun, that a pot of gold at the end of God=92s rainbow Which loved most To bore Noah to death or disappear after exerting Its gilded allure On the old sailor, drunk but not dead, humming obscene tunes Of periwinkles and baboons, Checking the neighborhood's upstairs windows for housewives In gauze peignoirs As if scanning the heavens for stars with the unwieldy Astrolabe Of immortal male hunger and curiosity, fallen asleep beside An earthworm drowned On concrete, until the sun arose roaring, yellow with blue Rings, a tiger in red weather.
THE LIVING RAT ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The living rat is reflexively detested, which it Conceals from itself By its ferocious commitment to an obscure Quest, squeezing through cracks Beneath doors holding its breath under water For hours. Only its mate Could endure let alone adore its doughy tail And colorless fur, This clearly calculated injustice of birth Its skittering heart, By blunt and frenzied fascination with waste, And intimacy With fleas and disease, can never transcend. A rat with a stomach As fat as a coffee can, swam through a Portland Woman's plumbing, And emerged in her bowl: she screamed, leaped, Slammed the lid, Flushed the john, and the nothing-if-not-philosophic Rat swam through her pipes And traps back to the sewer and all the way home. Why was it a woman On the john, not a man? And why does it seem To fit in with God's plan?
BEETHOVEN'S TRIPLE CONCERTO ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ We know the tune, the ugly little recluse, Riddled, rattled with genius And disease, fiery-furry acne And the malignant spirochete that turned Hearing into a dull wall, An all too explicable infatuation with an orphan Nephew, the infamous Carl. Remember Charlus' Morel, Their Cities of the Plain and angel-of-death Mushroom soup? In the tutti, A-flat minor, the terse repetitions that are Its inexorable beauty, catgut Whines and brass complains To an orchestral complement unimaginably Remote, and yet these solo Endeavors in C-major, according to my Liner notes, are fatuous Crescendos, rustic jokes. What's a tutti anyway, some kind of toot? I heard that John Fahy, That boyishly bold artist-guitarist, died The other day in a Bay Area Homeless shelter, Blind Joe Death, His nom de guerre, blind drunk in the end And deaf as Beethoven, Who plink-plink-plunked silence into an echo Of desires' always otherwise Ineluctable disasters, Harmonies the mind recognizes instantly Or gradually as true.
A DAY AT THE BEACH ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The ocean swallows, then abandons Pebbles after banging their heads Together as if gambling with stone bones, Uttering a preference for roundness never Satisfied. The little things Dry in the sun far less interesting Than when its work Was begun, but at least relaxed, restful, Ready to take things for granted. But then the water's At it again. Glass is its litmus test: It starts off clear and with Sharp edges, yet by the time the sea is done Whip-sawing and changing its mind, It's a chunk of smoke, A solid blur: like what you get diving in, Making a big splash, holding Your breath and trying to see things whole, And at the critical instant, the crise, The mind lets go As if an ocean itself, which like us has to Do this again and again, For one more chance at pleasure or the false Light of revelry, enter a crisis of ecstasy And gasp for life.
SRINJAY CHAKRAVARTI THE FROZEN WEATHERCOCK ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Sub-zero temperatures last night. The entire village is wrapped in a white shroud. 6 AM, and the weathercock on the church steeple is frozen to death. Its sleep a slice of death, unmoved by cold winds. It stares sightlessly, into the eye of a gelid sun.
WHISPERS ON THE GLASS ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The windowpane is misted by the breath of ghosts. Faces crowd and press on it from the outside. The moonlight makes it a mirror with two faces: but it reveals more than it reflects. The glass is spectral with hauntings of the past, forgotten faces no one can recognize . . . The words they speak opalesce on the window as the night drips luminously into the garden. There are whispers on the glass tonight, but what is left unsaid is much more frightening . . .
KINGDOM OF THE THUNDER DRAGON ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Thimphu, Bhutan With its head propped up on a blue cloud, the northern mountain leans against a sky marmoreal in its pallor. It drifts off into sleep, misty wisps that whisper through its thoughts as it floats on a magic carpet (of fields green and yellow spun into a checkerboard) towards strange dreamscapes beyond the horizon.
MANOR HOUSE, FIN DE SIECLE ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The garden has gone to seed, and the windows are under the weather. The green glassy pond is still as sleep, except for the bubbles which murmur dredged up dreams. The evening sun gathers the shadows of the trees in the courtyard. The only visitor who comes now and knocks on the front door is the wind. Under the silver-slivered slant of knife-edged rain, the laterite clay bleeds in runnels of red slurry. A kind of misty sadness haunts the monsoon. Spiders weave flowers of blossoming gossamer and cockroaches carom across the dusty floors. Decrepit door hinges creak and complain as they feel the draught. Bat droppings fill the gloom in the high tower with a noxious odour. Inside the hall, a portrait of a young princess with wrinkles on her face -- till you look closer and notice the craquelure.
KALA PANI ~~~~~~~~~ 'Black water' . . . as a fishline sinks, the horizon sinks in the memory. -- Derek Walcott, 'Names' The sea has nibbled away at feet of clay and stone, wearing down monolithic cliffs into littoral and delta. To cross the black ocean meant losing your caste: the doctor back from Vilayat, the artisan from Fiji, the shopkeeper from Trinidad, the political prisoner from the Andamans. Kenya and Uganda, Mauritius and Maldives -- the Hindu diaspora spun its web across distant continents, but exile is a ship that returns someday. And the black water over which it sails slowly wears away the last bastions of a caste-honeycombed society. Vilayat: Hindi for Britain (Blighty)
Corey Mesler At Home While the Moon Dazzles ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ "I mean, think about the moon. Think about pleasure." Roger Sauls A few weeks ago the moon was closer to the earth than it has been in 133 years. Someone keeps track of such things. All we know is, looking out the windows of our solid house, you can become ensorcelled by the night’s light, not necessarily a bad thing. We're all a little crazy here, planted like seeds in this garden of remote possibility called family.
What's Real, What's Movies ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Ingmar Bergman and Federico Fellini are drinking together in a bar and a guy walks in with a briefcase. A quiet settles around everyone like dust. “I’d start with a shot of the case,” Bergman says, sipping his drink and looking out of the side of his eyes. Fellini puts his glass down and looks real hard at the stranger for a moment. "I'd put him in a clown outfit, on the top of a Ferris wheel. The briefcase, I'd throw it away." The two men are quiet for a moment. "He's dying," Bergman says, finally.
Medicament ~~~~~~~~~~ Remeron, Ativan, Clonazepam, Neurontin, Zantac, and a couple to three of each a day. This is one way to have a life. There is another way and once I knew it.
Silviculture ~~~~~~~~~~~~ Janet took me by the root and led me deep into the forest. I was a sapling and she drained it out of me. Janet had hair like a dandelion. She had eyes like the forest growing dimmer. By the pond we watched our reflections fade away, ghosts of all we wanted to be. When this didn’t make me a man, I turned to you. Hope.
Keith Bayliss FORGIVE MY ABSENCE ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Forgive my absence, world. I have been whirling under a mystic moon. Breathing an orgy of saxophone and lilting flute; the butter-song of others calling me to flight; and drums that pulled my skin so taut I felt my heart beat in my feet. I have been small and filled the world; felt my centre touch the edge of something huge; roared with joy; wept for want of words; found comfort in new friends. My bones have melted in my frame. The voice of God has whispered "love!". So if I do not seem to hear, or seem to care for your travails; if I should meet your pain with smiles, or hum a silly tune when you come crying, please, forgive my absence, world. I am still flying.
THIS DAY ~~~~~~~~ This day is like all others Folk starve or stuff, fight or fete Children wait for missing mothers Happy families celebrate This morn will ever break on loss or love, friend or foe The lonely sighing as they wake Fat aunts under mistletoe This common eve will sleep with sobs or sighs, moved or miffed The guilty and the hopeful creep to steal or treasure such a gift=20 And yet on such a day high and humble, wise and wild saw starlight shine and wound their way to worship and adore a child
INGREDIENTS FOR WAR ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ A totem to a better world foist on a palm-starved horde A glass pretending diamond "Freedom!" the cry, too loud A phoenix blazing rainbow bright egged in a shit-stained coop A Grandee lecturing a slave hoist on a creaking rope A martial tune, "Tar-rum, ta-ra!" to drown the heart's quick drum A single trumpeter to play the nameless fallen home A priest to mutter soothing words A patriotic ode And, last, a willingness to die for someone else's God
THE KNOCK ~~~~~~~~~ Day's end hangs heavy at my window Frosty glass with skein of blisters Tree, alive with fitful shivers shudders. Justy, barking, blusters ravens into flight, as needling drizzle slants, implying sleet Hidden by hedges, someone whistles Justy goes down on his haunches The creaking gate calls out for oiling The gravel on my pathway crunches and then, a knock. Bleak light invades the room as I step back Cat, unfed, rubs round me, meowing The poker calls me from the grate I did not go outside this morning and I will stay inside tonight despite the world. Go knocking somewhere else, I am too cold A knock again, but quicker, louder I am not here, I am not breathing Cat slinks off, sensing my absence A pause. The sound of someone leaving and I groan. My rushing to the door is pointless. They have gone
AN OLD MAN STRUGGLES WITH WORDS ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Busy as a clich'd bee Do not rattle on my pane But love me, as in poetry Sharp and bright as hackneyed pin Do not burst my bubble dear But bend a little, let me in Carpe Deum is oft said Do not waste away the day But join me in our threadbare bed Bug snug in our well-worn rug Do not fidget at my touch But bravely bear this bear's bare hug The grist is mine, the mill is yours Do not brush away my dust But give me mantle space, because...
DEAR HEART ~~~~~~~~~~ The day is dead to the world as I write. Glowering giants hide the moon, spitting as they crowd her out. Yowlers and Barkers have fled indoors, leaving the squall to mice and rogues. Wet logs splutter in the fire; blue baby-fingers fan the cold. A sombre voice intones the news: Tomorrow will be just as wild. Wherever you are, I hope there is sun; blue-faced birds bejewelling trees; coral beaches, caressed by foam; a tribe of children, singing songs which charm the birds to brighter notes; fat-gourd monkey bread that brings strangers, as lovers, to your hut to peck and chatter, chirp and laugh; and someone kind to warm your mat.
THE SONG OF YOUR VOICE ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The madman and the drunkard suddenly make sense At least, right now, they seem to. I use the present tense to fix this pin sharp moment to tomorrow's half formed breast in the knowledge that this yesterday will not be like the rest For this, love, is the instant you strip me of all choice and send me dancing, naked, to the sweet song of your voice Such honeyed words, so tender! Their melody takes night and empties it of tigers. Now is now and, yes, I might not have this now tomorrow, or ever, love. And yet it's here. Does the springtime hear the cuckoo, then forget? This, love, is, forever, a moment to rejoice To drink in, dancing madly, to the sweet song of your voice
RISING ~~~~~~ Dawn With lissom tendrils Rolls back horizon Blankets night Who trembles once Then creeps to bed Chanticleer At post Sings rousing to-do's To they that slumber Branches shake With timid life Bright leaves glister Gold as only now
Justy ~~~~~ Tail-wags in the yard Woodcock cocked His ears perambulate Confounded by His lolling grin A twitching tripod His welcome Wets the wall Brave Sir Pig Haunches Fat with bacon Snuffle-tuffles In the pen
Hills ~~~~~ Lifted into morning Rise as giants Fresh from their quilt The distant chug-a-chug Of sowing A black winged raven Called to flight The morning halts In breath-held silence A puddle shines With mirrored sky And God by some unseen Is here
THE WHITE HAND ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ God sets up two standards, white and black One Adam, the other Iblis Between their mighty armies Ensues war and battle The black flag waves Witless clarions tear the ears Deep and drowned the words Ordained for the daughters of Adam A dutiful lover and a comb They, the light of His lamp Sing sweetly in their tending Chaste white the standard Siren calmed the bitter night Pale the thread of dawn Iblis, big with pride, will not adore Darkens angels with hate In their mutual bickering Is found the wail of discord The black bunting flutters Shot through with fiery arrows Eaten by sombre owls With oil their shields made mirrors His sons and daughters stand The glittering hand of Adam Blinds Iblis with His naming His white pennon blazons White on white is written God is God is God The White Hand cleaves an opening to end this darkling night
SONG OF YTHGWYR ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Dark the place of Ythgwyrs dwelling Fierce the furnace of his gaze Dread the borders of his kingdom Harsh the anger of his slaves Pierced the armour of the princes Rusted of the knights that came Broken all their swords and lances Gnawed their bones by Ythgwyrs flame High the howl of Ythgwyrs vassals Wild the night in which they rage Close the shadows of their coming Narrower the crumbling ledge Red the glare of Ythgwyrs beacons Black the pits from which they leer Black the shadows of their gleaming Red the blood that feeds the fire Sharp the fangs of Ythgwyrs minions Fever-filled their fetid breath Blind our eyes with fear and loathing Dead the fire and cold the hearth Few the tales men tell of Ythgwyr Whispered low the few they tell Ill-fated they that heed not telling Potted =91neath the darkling hill Dark the place of Ythgwyrs dwelling Fierce the furnace of his gaze Swift the vengeance of his cohorts Feared the memory of that place
Chris G. Vaillancourt THE GARDEN OF LIFE ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ A blue-grey night hangs oddly out of place where frozen electric storms join the memory of uncloaked ambition. Winter calls and the tiny people drift from their beckoning hovels in preparation for erotic adventures. Silver air bonds the winds of temptation which controls the shadow white bones. Tiny fingers reach out trembling hands to grasp the last of the hot water as it drips from an out of date mind. Naked, the situation develops with the same intensity that it would finally end. And they called out in terror, in revulsion as the jumping vines of ultimate distance wrapped tangled chains around their necks. Cold dark heat waves drifted casually across the lives of the people so small. Drowning fate in caskets of puss melted carefully around the eyes of the persecuted. Tiny legs chained in mindless droning of factory dragons demanding retribution for every quota that was never to be met. And they whined about the lazy flowers that would not grow despite the fertilizer dropped harshly onto the garden of life.
WONDERING DESIRES ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I suppose that happiness is provided by the tangled weeping we must do. To satisfy our hunger for fantasies Our piercing wounds must be tangled with the ropes of wondering desires. I have an obligation to pursue the activity of the animals in the zoo Which I suppose might define us in terms of how little caring we do Odd that every point of view must be crushed aside to be true. Laughter pursues our ambitions as we meekly meditate our situation Our game is full and highly done Every moment is truly most wasted so that our only hope is to respond in tones of black and white relief Alas, there seems no point in happiness if every evil is so well provided
MOVING COLOURED ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Moving coloured in a too dark world through the dingy corridors of cigarette stained minds. Heated balloons of ambition have been instructed to ignore the state of soul. Focus instead on ambition and loss of self-control. Damp soap of cleanliness constructing internal situations that are slipped by the censors of the un-desired. Flags at half mast for the death of the art. Format replacing expression in a too dank scene of unblemished hypocrisy. Moving coloured in a too lost zone where lizards gather to lick the eyes of the dead who have suffered not in body but in mind. Voices bleeping out the words they do not want to acknowledge. Preference given to deceits that are than wrapped in pretty paper and pandered to the masses as words of wisdom. Fulfilment becomes acceptance. The lies of conformity become the religion of the people. And somewhere, far from the dark begging is a coloured end that someone else will need to define.Myself, I am not worthy to describe the emptiness that blanks out the jumping reptiles of disguise. In full view of every camera the picture reveals the tremors flashing forth from inside. Moving coloured in a too un-assembled mind forsaking every adventure conforming instead to the rejection of the heart. Somewhere else becomes the method of existing and what is left but to deny the panorama of desire.
Michael Collings Regrets ~~~~~~~ some words whisper darkness- thirsty shades drink wayward sounds barely reach bare porches of thin lips cannot touch sleeping ears will not enter an unwilling edifice some poems write stark silence- chill fingers cramped word-hoard stilled by glacial hearts dead beneath cruel heat of light-sound-sight some loves suffer innocent of life- a hand twists back damp wispy hair restores a kicked-off coverlet unutters words that die upon a cheek
Amputation ~~~~~~~~~~ Is this how it begins? A curious tightness- A silken ligature Taut against stiff skin- Warmth and throbbing Mocking elsewhere Coldnesses. Then-waking-to a swollen Heat-painful pressure Snaking blood and bone- Finger-touch-and welcome Pleasure-pain that catches Ragged breath and Flings it back to me.
Cleaning the Garage ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ An evanescent spider filigrees barren stucco walls to crumbling concrete footings..., laces twelve-year-faded apricots crammed curved-shell-up in cloud-crazed mayonnaise jars..., laces water-clotted Clorox bottles that disintegrate and with Small Bangs flood the fruit room..., laces Great-Grandpa's bentwood bucksaw, black elm-dust plaque caked along dull rust-red teeth..., laces inch-thick dusty memories and musted shades of death and change....
Mountain Hike ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Alone. Embedded in layered chaparral- A willing fly in living gray-green amber- I walk. The sun tints brick-red shale to white, Ripples seeming-solid stone. I walk, disturbing dust thick-scored With twisted serpent marks, Skittered quail tracks, clean-drawn lines Of lizards' tails heavy in oppressing heat. Alone. I stop...foot nudged querulous Against sand-soft spoor of a mountain cat. I stand alone in gray-green chaparral-intent On sounds of wild pursuit that does not come.
Crow Cotillion ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Two-by-two-I saw-they hopped A wobbled line along the walk; Black toenails clicked, black feathers flopped, As they performed before the flock. Two led the way, heads ducked and bobbed; Two followed, mimicking the dance; Two trailed behind, with shadows daubed; A sextet preened to primp and prance. Surprised that they did not take flight, I hid behind the stone pavilion- Self-conscious witness to the sight, Sole guest allowed at the Crows' Cotillion.
Fog ~~~ Fog softens every Angle-mutes each curve And cornice-bids dreams Invade stark black-top Consciousness-folds heart- Warmth upon itself. It convolutes simple Arcs of branches-invites Pent breath to exhale in Ghostly clouds-confuses Dim horizon points-caps Nearness with obscurity. Fog captures stillborn Fears-births horrors yet (and ever) never Seen-collapses sharp Futurity in- To the possible.
Along the Back Roads-Journeying Home ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ AND thus the Past proceeds past me, One by one by lonely one, Ragged fence posts mark the potholed tracks- And thus unfold its convolutions: A redwing blackbird clutches its narrow rush- Cattails blown and frowzy, Reeds brown in July heat, Marsh receded to barely moistened pad- And still the redwing balances wind and wing; Or a meadowlark, now mute but waiting To release its song- Phantom notes echo Through time-faded bedroom windows- And it waits and faces to the east; And-how's this for sheer simplicity-a robin, Rusty-throated, on its fence post. I cannot hear its song for the rush Of air against sleek fenders and hiss Of blackened asphalt on black tires...but yet I can- Or think I can.... I watch each one proceeding And wait upon new memories Being born.
Covet ~~~~~ Joey Kattenhorn (hawk-thin at thirteen) disappears into the john, blocks the door with his shoulder, changes denims for red cotton trunks- ridges of stomach bared and tan and rippling like ceramic tiles Maybe I can sneak into the john-and watch him strip and wish I dared
To Mason-On a Display Of Swordsmanship ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Barefoot-toes flat-tensed On drab commercial-grade Celedon (or somesuch weave)- In jeans and T you Swing your steel and hook Sharp fingers as if to Claw raw eyes from night Itself and send blighted stars Ricketing in pain- Forearms taut to Hedgerow tendons-flails To harvest unwilling Grain and flash from field To grave between a Heartbreath beat But no- The silver weaves its artifice of light-conjures Babylon and Ur Egypt and its dust-hagged Magic-warriors' arms Quivering beneath The weight of brass and Iron and electrum Silver-gold brash against Heat-rising suns. Or heaving Hack-hewn lungs That battle sweat and Fear and pummel Dust to everlasting Dust-subdue the naked Glory Beneath the swell of Undulating Harmony.
Without a newyork ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ without a newyork where to fine the sour anonymity of sweatbond streets and alleyways that hunk- er darkness thru long casement bricks where to see to touch to taste ill/licit darkness (as they all do eloquently in autobios and reviews before they write) without a newyork where among stark panhard emptiness widestreets bright lit eternal sunbaked nothing of bakersfield in lowslung backshelf dimness beyond unending rows of greeting cards and diet aids and glinting porcelains where artbooks lurk and on the lowest range they were in moments gasp-grasped between the storm in stolen frag- ments convertible-plymouth top- down-nude parked ill-legally beneath a violated half- moon sun in side- longing glints of b/w half-tones slick and porous papered substitutes for newyorks poorchild
Something about the curve of lip ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Something about the curve of lip the fem- inine almost or at the least the am- biguity that signals startle/shock com- pels attention and a farrowed brow- or twist of fingertip outreached and over- reached crookhook/stiff celluloidal arc to signify both trans-/port and -/for- mation emboded in geologic greys-or worse and more some turn of thought/em- pulse fivedactyldrive-focus on the mas- culine not-with-knowing beneath blueden- im cord/duroy caught in shadows from the past
IceStorm ~~~~~~~~ At Christmas, IceStorm lightning does not Streak Or shriek Stark jagged jets across pitch sky Through thunderheads that lie Like shaggy bundles piled on an agate Sheet- With heat And violence to twist the night And put calm dreams to flight. No, lightning does not burn at Christmas-time, Burn Or churn Or wrench awry .... In honor of The Infant Child of Love The lightning does not slice in zagging cuts but Swirls Encurls Encloses snow-draped vales and crests With silver-gleaming, silver-sheening rest.
Chrysocolla ~~~~~~~~~~~ Pale-washed blue-in-black Until the rock Being struck- Shatters And sharp fragments Cluster Lazur-like Microscopic Pock-scapes: Knolly meadows brightly drused with snow Secret caverns lipped in rippled blue Glassy moss-crusts crumbling to grit Each spiralled twist of wrist Or jittered lens-each flensing glint Of light Reveals one Small intense spin- Glittered crystalled Omniverse.
Thoughts upon Unexplained Delays in Pre-Op ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Seven hours connected by tube and needletip To a sluggish drip of nothing-more or less-than Fluid the content of my own. Connected by tube, and needle, And steel shaft to a wheeled pad barely broader Than my shoulders-an inch on either side And hands would hang like white unripened Sheaves beneath yet-whiter sheets. Seven hours-part dreaming tumultuous Dreams of pain and loss-of-pain; Part weightless under almost self-hypnosis that threatens Each instant to transport me-spirit wandering- To the mottled ceiling where I might stare down At myself as if entombed; part wry and angry, Feigning humor as gown-swathed patients Enter, endure the same arcane processes that I have, And leave, trundled on squeaking wheels by Tiny, dark-haired nurses chattering sotto voce To themselves. Seven hours. One short trip, with Judi holding Carefully the drip-bag...and I empty as quickly/slowly as I Fill, a simultaneity rarely so achieved. Then bed, and sleep, and dream, and doze, and wait, And wait, and wait. Elsewhere, three hundred-thirty minutes, Nearly twenty-thousand seconds tick onerously- Too fast, too mortally slow-and in any one The unknown, unnamed, briefly mentioned She or He might well have died. Seven hours wait. Not too high a price.


Lezlie Kinyon

Scarlet Petals

There is a field, 
All covered in flowers
It's a long way from here
Over in Flanders
We looked up one day 
And witnessed the fall of the towers
And it seemed that the falling
Lasted for hours
Too many tears
Too many years
Buried in the ground
Scarlet flowers all around
Blow on the wind
Flowers from home
Scarlet petals on the sand
There is a field 
All covered in flowers
It's a long way from here 
Over in Flanders

(May, 2003)


A New Age: The Centipede Network Of Artists, Poets, & Writers
An Informational Journey Into A Creative Echonet [9310]
(C) CopyRight "I Write, Therefore, I Develop" By Paul Lauda

       Welcome to Newsgroup alt.centipede. Established 
       just for writers, poets, artists, and anyone who is creative. A 
       place for anyone to participate in, to share their poems, and 
       learn from all.  A place to share *your* dreams, and philosophies. 
       Even a chance to be published in a magazine.

       The original Centipede Network was created on May 16, 1993. 
       Created because there were no other networks dedicated to such 
       an audience, and with the help of Klaus Gerken, Centipede soon 
       started to grow, and become active on many world-wide Bulletin 
       Board Systems.

       We consider Centipede to be a Public Network; however, its a
       specialized network, dealing with any type of creative thinking.
       Therefore, that makes us something quite exotic, since most nets
       are very general and have various topics, not of interest to a
       writer--which is where Centipede steps in! No more fuss. A writer
       can now access, without phasing out any more conferences, since 
       the whole net pertains to the writer's interests. This means 
       that Centipede has all the active topics that any creative 
       user seeks. And if we don't, then one shall be created.

       Feel free to drop by and take a look at newsgroup alt.centipede

  Ygdrasil is committed to making literature available, and uses the
  Internet as the main distribution channel. On the Net you can find all
  of Ygdrasil including the magazines and collections. You can find
  Ygdrasil on the Internet at: 

    * WEB: http://users.synapse.net/~kgerken/ 

    * FTP: ftp://ftp.synapse.net/~kgerken/

    * USENET: releases announced in rec.arts.poems, alt.zines and

    * EMAIL: send email to kgerken@synapse.net and tell us what version 
         and method you'd like. We have two versions, an uncompressed 
         7-bit universal ASCII and an 8-bit MS-DOS lineart-enchanced 
         version.  These can be sent plaintext, uuencoded, or as a 


  . REMEMBERY: EPYLLION IN ANAMNESIS (1996), poems by Michael R. Collings

  . DYNASTY (1968), Poems by Klaus J. Gerken
  . THE WIZARD EXPLODED SONGBOOK (1969), songs by KJ Gerken
  . STREETS (1971), Poems by Klaus J. Gerken
  . BLOODLETTING (1972) poems by Klaus J. Gerken
  . ACTS (1972) a novel by Klaus J. Gerken
  . RITES (1974), a novel by Klaus J. Gerken
  . FULL BLACK Q (1975), a poem by KJ Gerken
  . ONE NEW FLASH OF LIGHT (1976), a play by KJ Gerken
  . THE BLACKED-OUT MIRROR (1979), a poem by Klaus J. Gerken
  . JOURNEY (1981), a poem by Klaus J. Gerken
  . LADIES (1983), a poem by Klaus J. Gerken
  . FRAGMENTS OF A BRIEF ENCOUNTER (1984), poems by KJ Gerken
  . THE BREAKING OF DESIRE (1986), poems by KJ Gerken
  . FURTHER SONGS (1986), songs by KJ Gerken
  . POEMS OF DESTRUCTION (1988), poems by KJ Gerken
  . THE AFFLICTED (1991), a poem by KJ Gerken
  . DIAMOND DOGS (1992), poems by KJ Gerken
  . KILLING FIELD (1992), a poem by KJ Gerken
  . BARDO (1994-1995), a poem by Klaus J. Gerken
  . FURTHER EVIDENCES (1995-1996) Poems by Klaus J. Gerken
  . CALIBAN'S ESCAPE AND OTHER POEMS (1996), by Klaus J. Gerken 
  . CALIBAN'S DREAM (1996-1997), a poem by Klaus J. Gerken
  . THE LAST OLD MAN (1997), a novel by Klaus J. Gerken
  . WILL I EVER REMEMBER YOU? (1997), poems by Klaus J. Gerken
  . SONGS FOR THE LEGION (1998), song-poems by Klaus J. Gerken
  . REALITY OR DREAM? (1998), poems by Klaus J. Gerken
  . APRIL VIOLATIONS (1998), poems by Klaus J. Gerken
  . THE VOICE OF HUNGER (1998), a poem by Klaus J. Gerken

  . SHACKLED TO THE STONE, by Albrecht Haushofer - translated by JR Wesdorp

  . MZ-DMZ (1988), ramblings by Igal Koshevoy
  . DARK SIDE (1991), ramblings by Igal Koshevoy
  . STEEL REIGNS & STILL RAINS (1993), ramblings by Igal Koshevoy
  . BLATANT VANITY (1993), ramblings by Igal Koshevoy
  . ALIENATION OF AFFECTION (1993), ramblings by Igal Koshevoy
  . LIVING LIFE AT FACE VALUE (1993), ramblings by Igal Koshevoy
  . HATRED BLURRED (1993), ramblings by Igal Koshevoy
  . CHOKING ON THE ASHES OF A RUNAWAY (1993), ramblings by I. Koshevoy
  . BORROWED FEELINGS BUYING TIME (1993), ramblings by Igal Koshevoy
  . HARD ACT TO SWALLOW (1994), ramblings by Igal Koshevoy
  . HALL OF MIRRORS (1994), ramblings by Igal Koshevoy
  . ARTIFICIAL BUOYANCY (1994), ramblings by Igal Koshevoy

  . THE POETRY OF PEDRO SENA, poems by Pedro Sena
  . THE FILM REVIEWS, by Pedro Sena
  . THE SHORT STORIES, by Pedro Sena
  . INCANTATIONS, by Pedro Sena

  . POEMS (1970), poems by Franz Zorn

  All books are on disk and cost $10.00 each. Checks should be made out to
  the respective authors and orders will be forwarded by Ygdrasil Press.
  YGDRASIL MAGAZINE may also be ordered from the same address: $5.00 an
  issue to cover disk and mailing costs, also specify computer type (IBM
  or Mac), as well as disk size and density. Allow 2 weeks for delivery.
  Note that YGDRASIL MAGAZINE is free when downloaded from Ygdrasil's 
  World-Wide Web site at http://users.synapse.net/~kgerken.


  All poems copyrighted by their respective authors. Any reproduction of
  these poems, without the express written permission of the authors, is

  YGDRASIL: A Journal of the Poetic Arts - Copyright (c) 1993 - 2001 by 
  Klaus J. Gerken.

  The official version of this magazine is available on Ygdrasil's 
  World-Wide Web site http://users.synapse.net/~kgerken.  No other 
  version shall be deemed "authorized" unless downloaded from there. 
  Distribution is allowed and encouraged as long as the issue is unchanged.

  All checks should be made out to: YGDRASIL PRESS


    * Klaus Gerken, Chief Editor - for general messages and ASCII text
    submissions. Use Klaus' address for commentary on Ygdrasil and its
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    * Pedro Sena, Production Editor - for submissions of anything
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