YGDRASIL: A Journal of the Poetic Arts

February 2007

VOL XV, Issue 2, Number 166

Editor: Klaus J. Gerken

Production Editor: Heather Ferguson

European Editor: Mois Benarroch

Contributing Editors: Michael Collings; Jack R. Wesdorp; Oswald Le Winter

Previous Associate Editors: Igal Koshevoy; Evan Light; Pedro Sena

ISSN 1480-6401



   April Bulmer
      Freya, Norse Goddess of Love


   Felino Soriano
      Vagabond's Vision #119
      Vagabond's Vision #120
      Vagabond's Vision #121
      Vagabond's Vision #122
      Vagabond's Vision #123
   Colleen Carroll
      Red Angel Wings
      Black Cat
      Rocking Horse
      Date With the Night
      Our Castle Made of Stars
      Halloween World
      The Ghosts
      Dracula Man
      Green Witch
      Evil Jack O' Lantern
      Gang of Werewolves
      Halloween Moon
      Halloween Pirate
      Make Love
      Kid on Halloween
      Midnight Ghosts
      Halloween Night
      The Witch
      Halloween World is a Monster


   Christopher Barnes
      Chain-Mail Links   
      Chaplain Lusts   
      Daddy's Boy   
      Dan-Yr-Ogof Show Caves  (percussion through rock)

   Papa Osmubal
      THE WIND

   Jeffrey Spahr-Summers
      April Fool
      At the Table
      Who let Bukowski in?

   Nathaniel S. Rounds
      Letter from the Crypt (or Crib)
   Daniel Barbiero
      After Some Advice of Buson's
      After the Fact
      Metaphysical Interior #3
      Mountain Road

   Keith Nunes 
      Mencer Blue bids adieu
      Observations from a great height
      Riding Bertha

   Averil Bones
      Australia Day


   April Bulmer
      The Norns--Norse Goddess of Fate


April Bulmer

Freya, Norse Goddess of Love

Sometimes we rested beneath the winter sun; he offered
me praise and hymns.  I pressed myself against the old
ache of his body, kissed the blood and sea salt from his
lips.  I emptied myself into his dreams and his helmet
shifted as he slept.
But one day he sailed and he would not worship, nor call
upon me in the cold hull of his ship.  He rocked against the
hard bones of his vessel, but would not love me in the 
damp night air.
I remembered the coarse weave of his garments, his thick
braids of hair...his ritual prayers and sacrifice under a
full-horned moon.
One day I laid down and the sun made a shadow of me:
against that tablet of earth I am a scar: a rune.

Felino Soriano

Vagabond's Vision #119

Words created allusions
forming formations
unusual symbolic series of interconnecting
syntax, many especially singular as in "a" "I"
lingered on single philosophy     breaking
attention spans
egocentric political correctness
invaded personal spaces
and they    serenaded    limbs of their broken
disregard for following focus                alone.

Vagabond's Vision #120 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Infrequent the father-son embrace indeed scream!-- more fact into a slouching eye down gaze, his bloody boy cumbersome verbalized thorns tongue thrown. Crowd of crown wearing women collapsed atop abusive albatross donning handlebar mustache moved in to delineate safety whose intercepting leader mother of the far off heard undeserving weeper.
Vagabond's Vision #121 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Noon was watered down usually high of course clich stretched neck double handed and face of every clock creates gleam with authoritative synchronicity today's fog coupled with spread out gloomy sheet of misted sprinkle outwitted light's heated dominance where every glorious tip of my favorite pines were created elsewhere within imagination perched housing illusionary higher worlds.
Vagabond's Vision #122 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Open awake now eyes gathered seeds dancing with weaving artisan monarch butterfly her mosaic species so much toward the beauty of my never found before the glide of shaping imaginary steps which take eyes up into attics inundated with crisscrossing light antithetical to the human built attics housing typical darkness mourning moldy scented treasures left unto arguing siblings gauging life by monetary achievement rather than the dance of monarch arranging gifts for organized retrieval methodical avalanche of musical articulation.
Vagabond's Vision #123 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The singing of silence wonderful snow flavored swan sat alone, contoured resting beautifully eye mine met none for hers closed within the palm of devotion to sleep dreamt I wondered if she enclosed an answer inside the question mark of her resting neck "tranquility, do I encompass?"-- stares of my straight forward eyes caught gust of wind's quick exhale, awoke briefly her nap and she gazed toward my feeling minuscule which then adhered to my emotions "let me be!"
Colleen Carroll Red Angel Wings ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Her salty lips melted away, Like butter in a pan, And so did their love for each other, Until there was nothing, But the blur of Red Angel Wings.
Black Cat ~~~~~~~~~ The night was a Black Cat, Crawling the velvet walls of darkness, Then getting sucked into a tornado of dreams, Into an opaque hole, Only to be pulled out of the hole, By a shrieking white light, Into morning dawn,
Rocking Horse ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I climb the wall of childhood fantasies, Through the window, I am back in my childhood bedroom, The yellow room surrounds me, Like a spinning carousel, There by my old bed, Was my Rocking Horse, Rocking back and forth, Smiling at me, For one moment to be a child again, I hold youth in my hand, But then it fades away, And there is only old, Then I wake up, Yellow wallpaper on my mind.
Date With the Night ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I went on a Date With the Night, He handed me a black rose, That smelled of opaqueness, We stepped onto his carriage, With two black stallions leading, We drove off into the dark sky, That had no stars, And we were swallowed by Nothing.
Our Castle Made of Stars ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ We live in Our Castle Made of Stars, We dance and are warm inside, The glass snow pours down outside, It is like cold and angry knives, We light a fire that sparkles, Like red rubies, We hold each other, And feel the warmth, The snow whispers like a monster, "Come out," The snow haunts us, And temps us to go outside, We are safe inside, We hold each other by the fire.
Halloween World ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ On Halloween World we all wear costumes, Like in life we all wear costumes, We are afraid to show our true selves, We afraid to be naked, We are afraid others will laugh at our real selves, We wear costumes of ghosts, vampires, witch, On Halloween we search for candy, Something sweet and kind to make us happy, Just as in life we search we search for candy, We all live in a Halloween World, And so we search on.
The Ghosts ~~~~~~~~~~ The Ghosts circle around me, They are weak lies, I can see through them, They haunt around, And surround me in a dance, I try to grab them, But they slip through my fingers, Like little dreams that will never come true, I dance with these ghosts on a stage of black, They are dead actors, Then they kill me and I become a ghost, Lost in a ghost world, Dancing on a stage of black.
Dracula Man ~~~~~~~~~~~ Dracula Man and I fly through the night, Searching for a young maiden to prey on, We fly to the castle of delight, The maiden waits by the window, For her lovers, She has hair like the sun, Her lips are like rubies, We prey upon the maiden, She is innocent like the red rose, We feed upon her body, And bite with our fangs, Into her bone, white neck, We feast upon her blood, She becomes one of us, Dracula Man and I are Masters of the Night.
Green Witch ~~~~~~~~~~~ The Green Witch swims in the green sky, She sings a Halloween lullaby, She flies around on her broom of black, Dracula jumps at her, And does attack, Dracula and the witch fight, She turns him into a bat, And he takes flight, The Green Witch stirs her brew, Of eye balls hot, Dracula seals her in a coffin, And she does rot.
Evil Jack O' Lantern ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The Evil Jack O' Lantern, Attacks me with its orange fangs, It bites at me and blood spills out, Orange like the Jack O' Lantern, I stamp on the orange demon, He howls like a werewolf in pain, I think I am safe, Then an army of Jack O' Lanterns, Start chasing me, They eat me alive, I am dead and I go to the light, Then I think I am safe, I am in hell, Orange Jack O' Lanterns, I can never escape.
Gang of Werewolves ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The Gang of Werewolves carry me away, To the place where werewolves play, Me and the werewolves we become friends, We party on a night that will never end, The werewolves dance in the moonlight moon, We dance with the stars, We sing our own tune, The werewolves and I, Dance under the night, We drink our champagne of sweet delight, Then we take flight.
Halloween Moon ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The Halloween Moon, It swallowed me, I am locked in a cage of darkness, And can't break free, The Halloween Moon, It ate me alive, Into the midnight sky I dive, The evil black cat it kisses me sweet, Like a lover I long to meet, The Moon throws me up so high, In the Halloween world I will not die.
Halloween Pirate ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I am a Halloween Pirate, Candy is my gold, I sail from house to house, Kids dance by me in their costumes, Of Dracula, ghosts, and goblins, They dance around me, I am king of the night, The jack O' lanterns dance too, Glowing with evil orange light, The crisp breeze knocks me down, The monsters in my closet carry me away, The monsters are only in my mind, I am a Halloween Pirate.
Make Love ~~~~~~~~~~~ The moon makes love to the Halloween sky, The jack o' lanterns make love, Glowing with light, The witch and warlock make love, Getting drunk on their brew of black, The ghosts make love, Flying through each other, The vampires make love in their coffins, Their eternal beds, I make love with you on a Halloween night, I wish morning would never come.
Kid on Halloween ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I dream candy rains from the sky, I am a Kid on Halloween, I wear my ghost costume, And pretend to be a ghosts, My dad and I carve pumpkins, I am just a little girl, The orange light dances in the darkness, Like little dancers, I go trick or treating with my dad, He takes my little hand, And leads me into a fantasy world, I put candy in my sack, It is a delicious treasure, The Halloween moon beams down in the darkness, I am a Kid on Halloween.
Midnight Ghosts ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The Midnight Ghost kidnap me, And bring me to Ghost Land, They rip my body off, And I am only soul, Now I am a ghost, I dance with the ghosts, In the ghosts gardens, We have a midnight party, And drink our champagne under the moon, We fly around and are spirits of the night.
Vampire ~~~~~~~ The Vampire is trapped in his coffin, In his eternal death bed, Then he pops out and goes searching, For a maiden to prey upon, He finds the maiden and carries her off, Into the night of no stars, He sinks his fangs in, And feasts upon body, Like it is a delicious banquet, The maiden becomes a Vampire, And they lie in their coffin, Safe as the sun rises.
Halloween Night ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The Halloween Night sparkles with stars, They glow like little orange pumpkins, The stars fall down all around, The vampires, witches, and ghosts, Dance under them, They party together on a Halloween Night, They feast on the candy, The vampires feast on everyone, The sun rises and the Halloween Night dies.
The Witch ~~~~~~~~~ The Witch stirs her brew, The brew was her dreams, She drinks her brew, Under the bone moon, When she drinks her brew potion, She becomes beautiful like a rare diamond, Her body glows like the sun, The warlock comes in, And they make love, Under the bone moon, She rides his broomstick all night.
Halloween World is a Monster ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The smoky perfume kidnaps me, Then the moon attack me, The Halloween World it beats me up, The bare demon trees smack me, The witch pours brew on me and I melt, The jack o' lanterns snap at me, Like vicious dogs, Dracula sucks my blood, Like it is a red milkshake, The ghosts knock me over, Like deck of cards, The Halloween world is a Monster, That swallows me whole.
DAVIDE TRAME ECHOES OF SUN ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ You raised the turntable lid, took the record out of the inside cover, kept it by its sides, with both hands, with only the least of it between palms and forefingers-tips, gazed at its shine with a frown and a smile and blew slightly on the surface, first one side then the other, turning it with a nimble imperceptible swirl in your wrist, like a dance step you wanted to hint at. You laid it on the turntable, slowly, and more slowly lowered the turntable arm that set it off, stylus landing on the black, glittering pool of thin furrows with a wader's foot's touch. We relished the instants of buzzing and crackling like the first flames of a camp fire then the rock guitar solo burst in and took off, God's grass in its roar. Yes, it's through this too that we could assess longing and stamina in our countenances, exchanging a few nods while listening was enough, waving an exulting fist, feet tapping the floor, the future a raw, puzzling star while we pretended to be strong with our gaze on tiptoe. Constant rites, a longer time. In echoes of sun. Moulding the map where we now stand.
GRAPHITE ~~~~~~~~ Entering the redness of the autumnal hedge you have never felt a twilight or an end but rather a gripping, quiet closeness, air scrutinizing your breath with lit trusting irises and that old request of doing your best to learn the environment, your first school period just started, the smell and taste of graphite, the imprint of all that's necessary and asks for hue and skin.
NOVEL ~~~~~ Your hands giving the book to me, the front cover leaning heavily on the right, the thick furrows on the spine after you have flexed the binding cracking it at each page, to have it all in full light, to possess the words, eat them naked, without the least shadow. Your hands, keeping it as a precious dish, a regal gift, your reading glasses still a bit down on your nose. Now it's my turn. It could be the eternity of stage after stage, the horizon, the undergrowth of each season a stare like earth sailing in our ears.
WALKING HER ~~~~~~~~~~~ Late evening, bed time. Along the thin halo of the lamplights we skirt flowerbeds, bushes, drainpipes. End of another day, and all in all, you can say, it's another accomplishment. Each step now alone and whole. The day's thoughts sliding into the walk's absorbing flow. And the day's rights and wrongs a hushed crowd seeping into stone. You walk her. She walks you. Settled necessity. The rhythm of your breaths at each step. Feet and paws. The night silence confirmed by this swishing, shuffling, stamping forward. And in the silence the sense of the infinitesimal shifts in the sea of the events that have come down to this routine's strength, your end in your pocket at one end of the leash and she pulling and panting at the other. The sense that both of you can be just you and no-one else. A simple, unfathomable uniqueness heightened by the night air, its scattered irises hidden in the leaves, its spacing whispers.
THERE. ~~~~~~ It never changes, the relief they bring, the mountains, appearing on the horizon in a break during the storm, their presence unveiled beyond the angry grey, swollen lagoon, the sparse bending trees, the airport pinpointing lights, the windows after windows of raindrops. And your eyes are the same as when as a child you felt your parents' smile behind you on the train, touching your shoulder and pointing at "there", at the mountains granting you their appearance, outlines breathing as if angels had just swayed. You took in the brushstrokes of white in the furious clouds' metal grey as the aftermath of scarves of light, your eyes flying like ribbons over the massive, marble-like belt. Up there, you sensed, the storm has been really supreme, a gods' business, far from your small irises, and the rocks you stared at were the gods' knuckles at rest, they had come out, freed themselves from the clashes and were now settled and refreshed. You wallowed in unveiled rootedness. And you stare now, as then, at the carved meandering of lines, a pattern that's a marvel for just being there, so you are relieved again sensing the stony sinews continuing behind like waves frozen in laughs of sky and an unfurling of bright chains.
Christopher Barnes Chain-Mail Links ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Having overpowered these ink-strokes From sleep-trance in their envelope You’ll toe the pull of their formula - Hurry! Funeral march the room trebly Blinking over your shoulder At each circuit. Clone it 5 times, Cat's-cradle fingertips As each photocopy's spirited out. Mailbag it to your bosom friends, Curtsying at the Post Office grille - don't swear-shudder Nothing plaguey will incident you If you oblige my passed-over warnings.
Chaplain Lusts ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The test tube growled ‘drink me’. Miss Moore's niece and her whelp 'Squire' in Lewis Carroll's camera bend to dazzle niches in the temple of fame, crying vapours by the bluebottle-on-roses wallpaper after the ball was over. Seen for what she was not, symmetry in a tortoiseshell mirror, the girl with thumb prints on photosensitive skin blushing lens upon lens, a bounced glitter. A pseudo-Liddell the facsimile silenced in blurred exposure-time flash. Blots are roads to ruin and the staring lens the only innocent place to hitch the eye.
Contagion ~~~~~~~~~ In the real estate of the turned loose we're free to raise hairs. Drugstore kissers vent, teeth get the all-overs, tonsils flap, wiggly. Beatrice squawks. Marva, Lisa, Irma & Tinsi scream. Guy wails. Elena sweats over yelping. Hoover, in spite of being trousered manly drumheads the broad bosomed in his skull’s think tank. As she bawls an underskirt net hood the nation.
Daddy ~~~~~ He takes me shopping A glitter palace Going off at the side of road. Through a gap Between black belts; The trolley at my back Is singing its weight. Morning. Daddy whacks Spring flowers into air To hide the smell mummy makes. She is locked in, downstairs room Thin as veins Every move a pulse on his skull. She breathes, a mollusc Devouring black grounds. You must go to school Tommy. (Munch Munch) Creamcakes, fruit, flour. The clock's round eye counts. Wash that face. Smile If the teacher asks "how's life at home?" I marvel at you Tommy. You’re such a good boy. Eat breakfast. (I can't eat!) The window needs cleaning. A gull screams at crumbs, A huge break open whiting-batter wide. Street, tape-measure long Houses grey as gravestones One end to the other. Daddy in the police car A lost look, Mummy dead on her bed, Still. "Kathleen Warbuton - 54- starved to death weighing 3 stone 13lbs even though the squalid flat she shared with her husband & son was well stocked with food. She had not been moved in 6 weeks." - Guardian 12/3/96
Daddy's Boy ~~~~~~~~~~~ Stagnant wateriness of outdoor swimming pool, Tynemouth brine and English perishings. I’ve got a sunspot dolefulness, daisy-chain tethers, Sprung flipflops, A fizzle of sarsaparilla on my tongue. Listen to the clappers of love. Beneath ribbed towels A tinny speaker throbs with spellbinding Tamla, “finding a good man girl is like finding a needle in a haystack” The blur and foam rumbling tides. Bashing swords all morning On guard for counter-riposte - Uncut hair, Obstinate do-or-die clothes. Heard it through the grapevine: Brian Jones rang a bell, A heatwave roasts the Melting Pot, Taylor banns Burton. Dad's Welsh, and furthermore, I wish he’s worm into a ship, never come back Like the whimpering Russian dog They slugged to the moon.
Dan-Yr-Ogof Show Caves (percussion through rock) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Intuit strains. Earth's Melting, each trickle, Its composition Animate with allegretto. Underpinned squiggled scores, Rust ceilings, shivering Embellishments of marimbas, Plonks, plinks, Glockenspiels: capriccio form, Liltingly fluid crags. Nem. Con. Songs, Subterranean rivers Confront malingering echoes.
Papa Osmubal PARABLE: THE TOWN'S FOOL ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Under a tree, delivering his usual litanies and sermons. Nobody listens but the birds and the flowers. Passersby walk by, oblivious of this man who carves words and wounds in the wind.
EARLY MORNING. MACAU ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Clad in greasy clothes, still-sleepy workers wait for the bus. From time to time the cold breeze comes with its usual whisper. Crows, silent, and sleepy too, patiently stand nearby. What are they waiting for?
ONE RAINY AFTERNOON WAITING FOR THE BUS ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I have never seen such a strong rain or rather I have never been so alone. No human voice; my mind felt too empty and silence became deep, meaningful. I might have become a poet had the bus not come. I was starting to speak and fathom the language of the wind.
GENESIS ~~~~~~~ Cain knew it through and through: God is not a veggie His salad was snubbed in favor of Abel's barbecue Holding a rock and a carrot Cain sat underneath a tree He's had enough he fed Abel to the vultures
THE WIND ~~~~~~~~ Listen to the wind. The wind has the eloquence of the trees. The wind has the secrets of the mountains. The wind has the strength of the rocks. The clouds are a fine granite to the wind: horses, flowers, and images unknown to great sculptors Imagine the seas without the wind: the waves and the civilizations they glided and transported. Imagine a desert without the wind. And imagine the wings without the wind. Which is why each tweet of a bird is a paean to the wind.
MOM ~~~ Item, from TVB Pearl, Hong Kong: A Hong Kong woman jumped to her death from a hotel window in Guangzhou, leaving her 3 year-old daughter alone and stranded in the hotel. Moms are not Superwomen that grace the wind. Moms are not Spiderwomen with web to cling on to. They are not sparkling snow that settles to the ground to add up to the beauty of the city. Moms are not like the balloon you got last Christmas. Every time mom would walk out the door it was for shopping and sweets and dolls. Mom this morning left through the window. Which is why she is not coming back anymore. Your pains now imitate the pains of childbirth but it will not return any happiness like childbirth does. Today mom left through the window to greet the sun and own a perpetual morning. So mom is not the one sending you to school today. When you are already a mom and alone in the world perchance you will be able to understand all this.
THIS GODDAMN SOCIETY ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Dammit, Kennet, do not tell me you did not hear the news about the biggest Tsunami in recent history that hit those who were having barbeque on the beaches of South-east Asia, just because you were then making love. And, dammit, Kennet, do not tell me you did not hear about Iraq....Yes, Iraq! What! You do not even know what and where Iraq is? Here's the globe and that is Iraq. Yes, that sky blue portion near Iran. Now do not ask me why it is sky blue and do not ask me about Iran; this is not a geography lesson. Here is your Encyclopedia Americana and check it out yourself. Do not worry, Dabya is not one of its authors. I say, it is on Letter "I" and don't get confused when you read something about Mesopotamia and Babylonia there. Dammit, do not tell me you did not hear of Iraq being attacked and bombarded by the USA, just because you always think of her. She is the wife of the whole town and just for a bottle of cognac, last Sunday, I... Kennet? Yes, Kennet. Sorry, Kennet. She was begging for it and I gave it. Dammit, Kennet, break up with that blonde girl; and know what is happening around you. Stop wasting your time and money, and buy newspapers we need those to keep our winter warm.
Jeffrey Spahr-Summers April Fool ~~~~~~~~~~ Once a year something happens... A cloud passes over April, Something snaps in her mind Like a dry twig underfoot And her eyes fog like cheap wine. She makes prank calls and laughs, Puts sugar in the shaker And salt in the bowl, And the world seems a finer place.
At the Table ~~~~~~~~~~~~ They sit a sight for sore eyes, Relentless in their talk of old times. Four poets riding nostalgia, betting On whose memory serves best, Jockeying for position, And hiding the heat That swells from deep inside them Like some wanton desire.
kissing ~~~~~~~ they kissed on red sheets under red blankets in the bathtub on the floor kissing and crying in the car the garage they kissed naked in a king size bed in the kitchen outside under the sun in front of the dogs they kissed in their sleep in front of his mother under trees=20 at the airport in front of everybody again and again kissing=20 they said goodbye
99 ~~ for Lana Kay she s a double agent she s a doer of difficult things she s an architect of marvels she studies our regrets she reports what we want to hear
Who let Bukowski in? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Now the bastard won't leave. He sits at the kitchen table in my mind like a sous chef swilling the cooking wind, He is cleaning his nails with a fork "You don't know what love is..."
Nathaniel S. Rounds Letter from the Crypt (or Crib) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ To my sister in Nazareth: Thanks for the fish box ready-made, a Molten brew of Shostakovich-stained colors Sealed in brooding encaustic Over worm-ravaged pearwood. Yea, a time capsule Of burr-prickled, horsehair inelegance. Inside: Your travel itinerary, Complete with ribald poems and travel postcards. (Why bother to color the obvious?) Its unraveling compelled me to join you, Which, of course, is impossible. Instead, I untapped a full case of Madeira And, having emptied it some two days later, Came to find Franklin, Churchill, and Gandhi Playing draughts inside. Enclosed please find one gramophone, Some sinful Cossacks in authentic garb, And some pithy proverbs concerning Self-preservation. Yours in the relative sense (nyuck nyuck), Danny the Younger, St. Petersburg PS Yes, one paints what one hears.
AFTERWARD ~~~~~~~~~ Dandeliar Charles Merrill Mount, Née Stanley Merrill Suchow, Kicks up a shoeshine down San Francisco streets. His cane is a cavalry saber. Behind him, Wind rattles his suit pockets, Shakes lockets of confederate generals and daguerreotype scowls. Stephen Carrie Blumberg, Malodorous savant book bandit, Pedals up hill in an ice cream wagon. Hack saws, glass cutters and door knobs turn cartwheels, Steal free from the deep freeze to dance in the sun. Emperor Norton bows to Lord Buckley, Who, In turn Bows to Thursday October Christian. They exchange cards and courtesies in synchrony With vinyl hiccups from the Tijuana Brass. You fold your hands and take in the scenery, The gentle-hearted pageantry, the last Big Three Plus two middling Merrills In this dandelion-garbage-dump-fruit-fly Yalta. You say the model prayer by the Caltrain railroad tracks, Even though there’s no money in it, there’s no bottom line, There’s no tax refund, there’s no free gas for a year, There’s no company car, and There’s no executive office to be gleaned from it. You have some sense of remorse for prying the stars from their settings in the sky. That was a bad left turn, Mr. Juke, for the sky took sick and covered its hurt with a long, Black cowl.
BETTER THEY THAN THE SUITOR (ONE HOUR PAST THE PROMISED TIME) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ A lonely damozel, puffing frumpish hrumphs of cankered resignation, casts her icy glare at an innocent bouquet of camellias. Down comes the samurai’s sword! Ten snow-headed blossoms fall dead to the floor.
Daniel Barbiero After Some Advice of Buson's ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The first and most important step Is simply to see things— The long road underfoot Potholed and rain threatening The junked cars On a bed of spruce needles Where the path steepens And the past loops forward To supplant the present. With eyes shut the landscape Before the mind grows more secure Is more vivid than the one Before the eye— Not a hypothetical thing But the phenomenal place In its purest form. Nothing that is far Is far in thought Thick with time The bamboo thick By the road to Kisagata.
After the Fact ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Alone, being with Ourselves, takes on The flavor of water, The smell of plain air— Our “I” is left out In the world A strange thing Among other things Equally strange A disturbance seen From the corner of the eye. That we are not What we confront— Not the smell of ozone After a rain, or The pungency of wild Blackberries fermenting On the forest floor— Is not a scandal Though we may envy Soil and sediment, Self-coincident and unconcerned With the histories we put Upon them— Natural histories of accretion Low stone walls Overlaid with lichen Sectioning the ground After the fact. After the fact— A place to which We return. What we once knew Intuitively We now know by name— Species, genus, season Of flowering— No longer lived within But understood Nonetheless.
Semiosis ~~~~~~~~ Blue-eyed grass bends Flat in the rain As the white pines Bend into the wind By Lake Whitney. The pine canopy Grows downward On the surface of the lake The bridge beyond Finds its double. Thing and image, Each mute and somehow Equivalent, ciphers To which meaning Must be brought From outside—outside The indifference of the wood And of the snow Shrugged off of the spruce Last March.
***** That the world derives From the mind As an irruption A surprise of blue lettuces By the iron-pipe railing Or a blockage in Consciousness As a pearl generated From an irritant. Not an invention But a condition A state in which The spruces, their limbs Sloping slack by their sides Voice the windsound One can easily Take for distant traffic When half awake-- The mourning dove’s chittering When lifting away.
Metaphysical Interior #3 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I Time comes into the world Through the body Reluctantly Its animal awareness Summarized in knots Along a string. The body moves through the air An air present To itself in unthought Thickness, a kind of Proprioception embedded In the collision of molecules That forms the air An opacity graced by seeming, A dampness set Into the weave of the cloth. II The body comes into the world As a viscous fact And leaves much the same way The hold of meat loosened In the dry retort of earth. But this is something We will not know Will never know Some alien future peering out From the stickiness of mood Mediating between body And world, a rock In a stream, around which The waters eddy.
Mountain Road ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The road up is the same As the road down- But this one seems Never to descend Grey asphalt blackening In a sudden rain The moss gone slippery By heaped stone walls Dividing non-existent farms. One can set foot On the same road twice Steps separated By thirty years and more, Past tools abandoned To time and the rain Decorative junk That worked the earth When there was work. The road is still here, the cubist face Of basalt, rising on the right; Clues appear in broken moss, In the stunted trunks Of crab apple, in The traces that all things leave— An elemental language which Without us Becomes itself again.
Keith Nunes Mencer Blue bids adieu ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Tonight he is playing like a train is waiting for him at the station. Mencer Blue is his name. His wife, the raven-haired, cheerless violinist in the third row, is robotic. Her name is Auburn. She is about to die. She will be remembered as Mencer Blue's wife primarily because he stole her from the viola player who committed suicide on her birthday. Mencer Blue will kill Auburn when he finds out she has been performing felatio on the conductor, Herr Molgol. So, the performance is over. All stand and bow and shuffle out. At the appointed place the bulk of the orchestra gathers for drinks and a celebration - it is the conductor's final night. It is here, while drunk, that the conductor tells Mencer of his wife's infidelity. It is here, in the bathroom, that Mencer strangles his young wife to death in a cubicle while the pianist copulates with the timpani player next door. Loud, everything is loud at these celebrations. No-one notices Mencer leaving the bar, coolly, calmly. Composed, he walks to the train station where the northbound express seems to be waiting just for him.
Observations from a great height ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Sharpshooters pinpoint moving targets Grandmother looks up The son of a bitch with the German pistol threatens The son of a gun with a black bitch on his arm In the Bavarian ballroom Hansel meets Gretel In the gym Peter, Paul and Mary get it on On board the container tanker two men fight over a third In the cramped classroom the third equals the first two Under the blazing sun he eats the piquant meal Afraid his son will go unfed in the wintry north The abundant tree extravagantly encircles the fertile maiden The test tube indifferently harbours their hard-won first-born Arabella dances with Juan for applause and admiration Juan dances with Arabella because he loves her sister The percussionist in the symphony orchestra has left his wife The sad-eyed, raven-haired violinist three rows in front of him At the source of the Nile the eager digger pours a whiskey Drowning thoughts of her and reviving hopes of a book In the end, the end comes strangely slowly for a man At the beginning of a new start in a fresh town
Riding Bertha ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Riding Bertha, maths problems jerking my eyeballs It's dark - the moths are puzzled There, the moon is out, I see Bertha, who is Bertha? The cat scratches at the window, opens the damn thing Jumps on the bed, Bertha screams - not because of me I calm her - the cat Bertha dresses - she's good looking She brushes her hair in the mirror "I'm the only pussy around her, alright bitch," she says Bertha's sassy "I'm getting a drink," she says. I can hear the fridge open, muffled like under water, She says "no ice honey" Cold, cold water in small squares ready for jingling and jangling "No baby but the neighbour's cold hearted," I say "Yeah, that's a good one," she says from the kitchen The moonlight swarms through the bedroom Hunting down dark corners relentlessly The apartments around the square are lit up unevenly Like a black and white chess board Pieces move and lights (the squares) flick on and off I learned to play chess with Michael Howling around the corner We were early teens living in a neighbourhood younger than us He had pictures of great writers and great centerfolds on the wall I played Barbara Smythe from down the street and won She had to show me her breasts She never played me again "I'm back honey, how about that, with two drinks," says Bertha "I'm tired Bertha," I say, "I'm kicking you out, honey." "Well fuck you baby," and she drops the drinks on the floor and leaves I talk to the cat and fall asleep (I cut myself on the broken glass the next morning)
Averil Bones Australia Day ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I went to Luna Park for Australia Day a day late to miss the crowds, got drunk on bullets, watched the black shadows of trains pass over familiar skins. Later we flew, fueled by malignant spirits, leapt Newtown's high fences cawing, picked our teeth with barbed wire, spun clothes lines, frightened dogs, abandoned shreds of our clothing that gleamed white as down through the pitching night. I peered through lit windows like a vampire, looking for you.


April Bulmer

The Norns--Norse Goddess of Fate

When the soil is dry and the limbs broken my sisters and I
bear water to the tree.*  We circle the trunk round and 
round, the girls and I.  The Urd glances behind her and
Skuld, veiled, clutches a little bound book.  While I rest
upon the shadows and the great ash, whispering the fate
of light and leaves.

*The great tree, Yggdrasil, gave the universe its stability. 
The Norns packed and cared for the earth surrounding its three
mighty roots, while the evil serpent Nidhogg continually 
gnawed on one of them, hoping one day to bite through and
thereby cause the universe to fall into chaos.


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  YGDRASIL: A Journal of the Poetic Arts - Copyright (c) 1993 - 2006 by 
  Klaus J. Gerken.

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