YGDRASIL: A Journal of the Poetic Arts

October 2004

VOL XII Issue 10, Number 138

Editor: Klaus J. Gerken
Production Editor: Pedro Sena
European Editor: Moshe Benarroch
Contributing Editors: Michael Collings; Jack R. Wesdorp; Heather Ferguson; Oswald LeWinter

ISSN 1480-6401


   David Sparenberg

   Ward Kelley
      Quite Godlike Or Alien
      Tales From McCarron Airport
      The Beauty of the Trick
   Christina McNish
      1. Promenade with talismans
      2. Black horizon

   Donna Bamford
      Canto d'amore
      Canto di desiderio
      Canto di Firenze
      Of Kabul
      Of Rome

   Daniel Gallik
      How You Cry About Today's Love
      Just Reactions
      Mom Laughed At Everything
         That Happened To Me
      mother/wife warned me not to travel at night

   John Allen
      "Good To Be Known" 

   John Birkbeck

   Jesse Ferguson
      Mother's Memories
      Fly-Swarm in the Face
      Just Laura and Fleece
      The Creek Behind My House


   Jesse Feruson
      Springtime in the Byward Market


David Sparenberg


Rose wine red
and a drunken dervish:
two rings

two rings
viewed from the outside

the ring
he makes around her
the ring
she makes around him

the circle
in perpectual motion
the prayer rug curves

to silence
a passion rises
the voices whisper
dreams would sing

two rings

viewed from within

the circle
she makes wihtin him
the circle
he makes within her

the double helix
of origin forms

that which grows
through being consumed
a hunger starves
the more we are fed

two rings


one is marked his
(but which one)
and one
one is marked hers

in vision only
the image tells

to liquid fire

the prayer rug circular

the round
and revelation

she tells him "o"
and he to her

Red wind, rose
and a drunken dervish

3-4 September 2004

Ward Kelley

Quite Godlike Or Alien

From the lowest step of society
to the highest rung, there is but
a slight difference in intelligence,

if you are a god viewing this, or
an occupant of a different galaxy;
but the breadth of intellect remains

so slim, amongst us poor humans,
that for some of us to put on airs
is really quite absurd, to gods, that

is, or aliens. I've often observed how
the very smartest of us have no, or
few, intellectual airs, and are just as 

interested, and listen as closely, to
janitors as to scientists, and in this
they are quite godlike or alien.

Tales From McCarron Airport ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ A. She waved a half-picked bunch of purple grapes toward your plate, "Want these?" You shook your head, an immaculate denial of what she offered. From her end, she decided it was only grapes. B. The stunning girl in rabbit fur sat down by you in the black naugahyde seats at the gate for the Chicago flight. Reading your newspaper, you still noticed her face when she started to weep. Dry desert sun streamed from windows which reminded you of a far different airport. Nothing is as it seems here. The girl, silent at first, now began to bawl, loud sobs, bouncing her breasts. You wished there were more people at the gate, then positioned the paper between your face and the girl's tears. Shortly she moved to the next gate, and tried again. C. The waitress told you she had seen you in here a couple of months ago, then asked if you came to Vegas for pleasure or business. "Business in Arizona," you quickly distanced yourself from the casinos. D. You fly off, your fingers constructing a tent or steeple as you sit still in your seat and consider how you retreat from most interactions . . . your wife would approve, although you understand you retreat at both ends of the trip.
The Beauty of the Trick ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The universe, incarnate, slouches over the guardrail, having taken the form of a skinny teenage poet who has dyed her hair blonde, but who now peers into the Grand Canyon. No one knows, she thinks, the beauty of the trick. She admires her wondrous chasm, then watches a hawk pined silent on a thermal. The stork who delivers the baby earlier acted as the knife to silent a crone's heart, a slight of hand, sliding death to life to death to life; open, closed, open. Nothing is permanent, the skinny girl knows, nothing made of atoms is permanent, while souls can neither be created nor destroyed. She winks at the hawk who breaks free as a bullet, targeting a snake far below.
Christina McNish 1. Promenade with talismans Nora doesn't have a walking partner anymore. The only thing that could make up for the loss is the kitten her daughter picked up at a farmer's market; it reminds her of our orange-and-white tabby. She loved Happy. When my sister and I came to visit her, we saw her house as the perfect home for a pink-nosed creature: a cave of polar bear fur with embosoming walls to keep one safe and warm in lonely Ontarian winters. I remember Nora tucking her fingers into the kitten's coat, as vulnerable as the newborn animal. I remember thinking of aging as a discoloured shadow which leaves marks on the skin, that it will eventually override her wrinkles. Lastly, she told us our cat used to nestle her in a skinny-elbow hug before she'd curl into sleep. When we left her cave, we trekked back reverentially, following Happy's invisible paw prints. A few years ago, Nora had no trouble finding a critter to cuddle or a partner to appreciate the wild's tenderness. She and her husband, George, would promenade out together with pink cheeks, chancing flu and brittleness. But this time after spring, death is an impostor, having crept into her bed through cracked windows. Now she blow-dries plexiglass shut and takes walks alone by briars to retrieve George and our tabby with her nearsighted eyes. The large pines she spots are arrows, pointing the blurry path she'll travel to steal them back.
2. Black horizon Black flecks have come to make my acquaintance from the mouths of truant toilets or like Canadian geese, descending from some great congo line in the sky. I can imagine you, a self-appointed detective, enlisting tornado-shaped inquiries to entrap those mysterious descendants from their whirling houses on above. We tend to depend on high sources to secure our gods and vermin in lassos. Though perhaps this time it doesn't suit us to take out our spurs and cowboy hats, to ring the wicked witch's door bell. I have a feeling the big black fleck rubbing and purring up against your leg will have greater reason for watching specks kick their heels on the horizon.
Donna Bamford Canto d'amore ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ If you ask me to sing a song of love, I will sing of despair, I will sing of the wind trying to catch the ripples I will sing of the flowers trying to touch the sun of crushed petals in the breeze of thistledown in the stream of violet starlight and weeping flames of lives lost and unrepentant of beauty and damnation of wormwood and bitterest gall
Canto di desiderio ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ If you ask me to sing of desire I will sing you a song of joy, of the stolen kiss, of two hands entwined tenderly. of his jaguar eyes burning you with their caress, of inebriated desire, hot like rum, like cognac like French wine and hashish and I am glad that I picked the blossoms in the garden I am glad that I knew such sweetness like red cherries from the tree.
Canto di Firenze ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ If you ask me what I remember about Florence, I will say that I remember a small pensione on a hill surrounded by wild blue iris and that inside the pensione the walls were covered with original art and that you could not stay there unless you were a couple but I was with a young English boy so we passed muster. I remember that we spent the first day visiting the art galleries which was much to my liking and that he sat and sketched a drawing of the Uffizzi while I wrote a poem. I remember too that he had friends who had a long baby like Botticelli baby and that we went to the market and I bought a silk Indian scarf like the men wore in Ibiza in fuchsia and sapphire a turquoise and I remember that the sound of the language pleased me like no other and that I loved to pronounce the words and that the music of the language gave me a pleasure like no other so that if you ask what I remember about Florence I will say that it was pleasing to all my senses and that it gave me unsurpassed joy.
Of Kabul ~~~~~~~~ Of Kabul I recall, men on camels, proud, dignified an open air market, bags of spices, saffron, orange, russet a hotel for hippies, hippies everywhere, embassy row, pretentious, a Rhodesian hippy, talkative, Afghan coats, exquisite, the exotic sky, lapis and clear, early November, no storm clouds on the horizon
Of Rome ~~~~~~~ Of Rome I remember St. Peter's Square the Pope preaching on Easter Sunday morning clouds of white doves, the coliseum, a turquoise-eyed Jordanian dreams in his eyes dinner in a vine-covered caf=E9 the Piazza Novona pigeons blossoming shades of Felini, sympatico, the Spanish steps, so many rendezvous, Trastevere, my favourite quarter the melon and sepia walls the Trevi fountain, overwhelming the wine and the laughter, A Roma - baroque and sublime
Daniel Gallik How You Cry About Today's Love ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ We expect her to ascend to the second floor. She does not. Skips it. Climbs to the third. Says she was moved to the pavilion. His house. He looks like a Sam, yet has aristocracy within his demons. The man is an independent figure in the narrative. He cries at her move. She moves like guitar strings as he watches the hum. Listen, the narrative within this love is the same as ours. But the moves are wrong and different and not about love or fate or sweetness. Today, they are about Sams and Glorias in excellsius.
Just Reactions ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ A new pope was coming as the artist waited for the death of the old pope. No one was knowing of the scabrous nudity that the artist had in mind. Anymore, the light of truth was not known by either the papacy or all artists of the world. Attacking the oils with force had stopped being the work of the our human condition. A candle was lit within the Catholic Church. Still, not a single moment of abandon was noted in the current vias of a humankind who looked little into the extracts of the long visions of Jesus.
Mom Laughed At Everything That Happened To Me ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Strange weapon, a bag of salt the short lady threw at me as I ducked and went sliding under her couch. Six, I did a sweep and came out the other side and ran out the door, to a Shell Station down the street. Called my mother, she laughed, told attendant and he laughed, then told my buddy, he grinned. I said to myself this is an epiphany, but said not a thing to anyone else. Later, at home, Evil Brother kicked the shit out of me in the tub. Smelly water wasn't fun.
mother/wife warned me not to travel at night ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ever mine love ever lovelove for each other oh, but the despair never mind my fatness my smell and my ugliness some nights when I wish wish the lights to be turned off I want to feel forever this deep sorrow continues the times I feel I am a waste a spoiler you smile I cry for you you wholly mine wholly God's in a love that lasts will last ever and e ver you my dearest creature me, old falling away into another realm lively you full of energy and your smiles my heart there always there even when I die feel me in your heart my heart and time will travel with my touches upon your lasting tears my tears and yours one in time oh time longest time
John Allen Solitude ~~~~~~~~ dolls and pictures swear quietly at my distant memory. clock strikes coupled with the ambiguity of an empty room, absence writes a draft for me, a note of withered leaves, a kiss of arsenic lipstick. like everyone else alone, i chase the grasping truant. probably playing hooky in some idea, or perhaps a misbegotten word, spoken in invariably false pride. where could he be? that dilated schoolboy instituted into shallow verbs lost in the loneliness of the summer air.
"Rehabilitation" ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ if you're quiet, you can see the chatter of chipped green wall paint you can hear the dumb replies of cheap mattresses to tears borne from broken corneas swimming in acidic canals. weathered folds in skin like snapped tan leather speak numbingly in sombre tones and suede inflections through shaking pockets of air the deaf ring of faint hearts rebelling against worn rib cages echoing in restless dreams of failed contrition and homeless yearnings for a clear headed love. mute protests from sweating pores slick treatises written in oozing drops to the day
"Good To Be Known" ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Your words shred the nighttime like clipping shafts of light or airborne sun scissors. I grasped faintly at the locks trembling and hued with dark for the pieces of my spliced shadow. And with a desperate dive worthy of a bow legged swimmer, found the absence of what was.
John Birkbeck IT'S CULTURE ~~~~~~~~~~~~ Colonizing the looping asphalt trails roads ridges knolls named after English Home Counties mobius strips meandering toward The Beast at sundown the doing of slow dope to feel normal and then gearing up to beast level in the mornings to become a vampyre of daylight and office hours-- is it possible to be an historian and not be an anarchist or even to be ?
IT'S THE HOLY GRAIL ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ... or maybe the esotericism of whatever passes for academic discourse in these later days of no Latin no Greek no rollick in the original tongues of bards who in facing Moors had strummed of delayed lust for ladies a-waiting in their foggy homelands pining away from unassailable baconies far up on cold stone battlements yet holding the dream aloft
IT'S GOVERNANCE ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The talk shows and smart-assed shock jockeys and superstars from think tanks who give style and one-liners and put-downs glibbing into all the metro areas from the safety of padded studios concertina wire embracing security like a belt tightened by methane gas swelling in the guts and mobs of citizens outside the gated communities swelling even more screaming at politicians to Do the right thing motherfuckers tone deaf too late
Jesse Ferguson Mother's Memories ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ When you doled out generous slices of painful remembrances I couldn't taste their sweetness- it sucked the dew from out my throat like I'd swallowed the tea towel, or the promises of goblin men. We hugged each other to other without lifting from chairs, and I was blinded by the bright effulgence of merry May sunshine on our solemn pastel plastic tablecloth communion. Your pain fell like heavy, full-bosomed fruit racing rain earthward, and the rotting flesh of rank wounds, the scars and bruises pressed and nicked into the tender skin of your youth nurtured my hate, as your love nurtured my love. I carried both in an antique basket home from orchard. May 3rd 2004.
Fly-Swarm in the Face ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Midge words rim my mind, coffee-ring the ceramic mug of thought, and the cycles of Nature pull the tagalong cycles of humanity behind them: coattail riding, politic Yes-Men. Mythology gnats about her face crawling in at ears, bursting drums with sharp mortal whines, and balling up in the wet, pink corners of her cosmic eye. Man-woman schemas swarm the face of beauty, like flies by a pond havocked by breath, and so small as to be unworthy the spitting out. If you take but one thing from this let it be the humility of swarm flies between the teeth. May 2, 2004.
Just Laura and Fleece ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Never lying here with you, like loving pupa gestating under stairs, silk dreaming all winter, hoping for sun patiently waiting for a world ready for us. Just Laura and fleece and the uncanny power of frail arms to humanize a human. April 26, 2004
The Creek Behind My House ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Black rubber boots overflowing creek water, deep down in primeval muck wet sponge mud funk, air loaded with Spring like a coat-hanger net dripping invertebrates. Shrill whistle of Red-Wings in cattails, and the long pined for sting of first Mosquito. The clay holds on to boots, and as you squirm free smacks its chops, like pop of cork from a bottle, or a smiling boy, smelling of scum, hungry for hot-dogs, picking souvenir leeches from his winter-white leg. April 25, 2004.


Jesse Ferguson

Springtime in the Byward Market

Sap thaws and flows in the loneliest tree
heroine surging junky veins
behind the restaurant, in the mongrel alley

Spring flutters in the branches, a tattered grocery bag
like wings of a bird that ate plastic and died
crinkling in the breeze, fresh seasonís flag

Along the curb and sidewalk and street,
pop cans, condoms, wrappers and butts,
buds blooming from snow banks, tender, sweet

Homeless wretches, honking homeward bound geese
soar high over market, in mouthwash ecstasy
then rot in the litter, with last year's leaves

April 1, 2004.


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

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  . 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

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  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 - 2004 by 
  Klaus J. Gerken.

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