Walls Have Ears



Alan Rayner


Walls have ears

I’ve heard it said -

An inner sensitivity

That reaches down to subatomic core

Far beneath their superficial hardness

Where silence calls

In endless refrain

To heed its deep-felt yearning

Behind the din of every thing


We too have ears

With which to hear this inner, noiseless calling

Beneath the clamour of everyday demand

For our attention


Whether we hear the silence or the racket

Or both within each other’s reach

Depends on whether we use our ears

Partially or fully -

Or block them off

Behind a wall of self-sealed privacy

That chooses not to care for them


a rainbow swirling jet stream



Charles Monette



a rainbow swirling jet stream

whirling light green yellow, pink and blue

turning, pointing on the periphery of ocean warming…

a gurge twirling at center stage


atmosphere’s steering currents swerve…misbehave

disrupting weather extremes, supercharging the climate of change

slower jet stream slows, resulting in more wavy peaks and troughs

extreme jet stream patterns resonate with quasi-amplification


driven by temperature contrasts, ever-shrinking contrasts

deep excursions south of summer collide cool-air, outpour rain’s nimiety

altered stream retreating north forms hot heat bulging domes

last summer’s record heat …and dry spells


Argo-floats mirror oceans soaking up excess heat in murkiness

startling studies require an aggressive mitigation fleet

coloring coral reefs in tropics, Greenland and Antarctica ice sheets

warming exponentially…. Doctor Livingstone, I presume?


now a rainbow swirling jet stream starts, stops, splits

a narrow meandering current of air flowing fast in various directions

systems stream, flow & vanish from Saskatoon to St. John’s Bay

our earth set to warm even faster than predicted



[image: Lilly Pulitzer ‘Jetstream’]



You Can’t Do That



Charles Monette



infowars spout conspiracy

new broad brands of bigotry

go on ban me, I’ll sell survival gear

to help you live next year in fear

but baby, you can’t do that


free speech baby, I’m selling potent testosterone

take it to the dance, you’ll need a chaperon

heh be careful, be wary of ‘ploying your snuff

okay joker, my base be buying some more stuff

a timeworn populist tactic, rant & rave, soothe the static, create havoc


why not tube it?

chance a book thrown in your face ‘a glitter

twitch until you twitter,

lookout gawker, best surveil all that you can see

extreme unction, proper-gander, amidst the fakery


make some money, always aim to make more money

watch out cause media will dip & flip & lie honey

please behave, come on, comply to the universal standards

be not a haggard, nor a laggard, who staggered in the ballad

baby, you can’t do that


far-right fellows hitchhike aimless through the galaxy

twisting truth, make up laughing what they want to see

opaque-hungry, hateful mongers, power stuff our voting booths

google smiles, threats some fines, hides ‘hind a gap tooth

who’s to edit in the sky? oh baby, you can’t do that






hell to swelter



Charles Monette



a snowball from hell freezes the Senate floor

fake climate antagonists’ jigs up, cold once more

fossil fuel industries outspend clean energies

tis the season of significant melting


windows of the firmament allow rain from the sky

rogue icebergs calve, tsunamis wave high

Greenpeace glides o’er earth’s gases green

go forth man… resurface the earth and subdue it


Celsius meets Fahrenheit, blacktop bubbles dry

Chino, California 120.2 degrees, climate’s corpus delicti

hectares burn, polly ‘ticians still spurn

extreme heat stuns nations… Japan to Norway


compost gets lost ‘midst organic renewal

god’s spirit dances, waters’ face flows cruel

7th day’s rest awakens to let there be light…

warmer air, drier land warns somethin’ ain’t right


scorching heatwaves’ droughts, floods, fires throughout

‘that ain’t cool’, heaven’s sapphire shouts…

even Plato’s cave offers little reprieve

All in the plan, this land was made for you and me





to Mother Teresa



András Adorján

’92. máj. 15.



Thank You  God Who Lives Inside Us


Thank God, thank you Kubát János

And all of living and dead idols

Thanks for Gandhi, Barcza, Liszt

All the muses’ inspiring kiss


Thank You for my troubles, misery

Thank You for the pushes towards humility

Forgive me for being just a man, silly

You’ve created me this way, (can’t) You see?


Thanks for crushing my vanity, pride

In return I got a humble heart

Let me be worthy just once more or say twice

Let me be sincere, confident, nice


Let me radiate your shining inner light

When our Father Sun is out of sight

Let me be your instrument, please

Play your melody through sinful me


Let others receive your call by me too

Let me join your Army of Peace, would You?

Put down the sword of the anger, we’re blue

Do not punish us, yourself Our Father of truth (You true)


Yes, you heard it well, we’re really you

Who created who how could we knew?

There’s no telling, there’s no proof

Who is us (and) who are you



[editorial note: the writer is a chess grandmaster and candidate world champion, resident in Budapest, Hungary]




I set myself afire



Charles Monette


On David Buckel



like a black gold gushers first appearance

oozing inhabitability via air, soil, water and weather

I set myself afire


like a Vietnamese Buddhist monks meditative protest

immolating the ravages of war

I seek to ignite awareness


Most humans now breathe air unhealthy

unthinking corporate fossil fuels enrich the wealthy

I combust to grow the green


Prospect Park, yesterdays headline blazes

remember my arguing LGBTQ landmark cases

now alls left my coaly ashes


I volunteered for an added value community farm

coordinated for senior organics recovery

I plead our only planet, do no harm


my early death reflects many early deaths

what are we doing to ourselves?

pollution ravages we burn like savages


I am David, some say my death is heartbreaking

my suicide note? A hopefully earthshaking 

my final flame breathtaking


I am a symbol burned to Prospect dust

my call to humanity, I felt I must

I set myself afire


Reportage below by Carla Herrerie, Queer Voices, Huffington Post


David Buckel, a prominent LGBTQ civil rights attorney, fatally set himself on fire at Prospect Park in Brooklyn, New York, early Saturday morning, April 14th, 2018.  He was 60 years old.


In a suicide note left near his body, David said he had used a fossil fuel to ignite the fire and wanted his death to symbolize what humans are doing to earth.


Pollution ravages our planet, oozing inhabitability via air, soil, water and weather. Most humans on the planet now breathe air made unhealthy by fossil fuels, and many die early deaths as a result my early death by fossil fuel reflects what we are doing to ourselves.


Rest in peace David Buckel



Ode to a Goddess



Charles Monette



My new songs, old and tuneless now

Sour in limbo’s empty chasm…

Wishing… I had dreamed they’d sing to you


Surprised by your text in the night

Your ring pillowed over

Mourning’s alert pulsed aimlessly


A table’s tulips open slowly in a Japanese vase

Yellow’s hopeless jealousy stalks red’s deep love

Variegated flowers dance in beautiful eyes my ladylove


Petals soft as skin warm my memory

A lovely vision comes in sight

I hold it, dream anew when twelve hours strike midnight


With me now amid forest’s solitude

Enchantment, held close, imagines amour’s guarantee

Not to know beclouds, bemists uncertainty


On a ragged wild precipice, high fog’s walk

Unsure below

Lightheaded thoughts drift off… in languid vertigo


Awaiting love’s return

A goddess’ pale smile

Her adorable being, heart pulsatile


Returning to Black Mountain’s wide expanse

My sanctuary on high

Glimpsing all that’s down below, what my soul espies


Nothing’s left undone, Nature patient, … should I be?

Witnessing night’s Northern Cross, Cygnus’ brightest stars

Wondering if empyrean’s guidance will navigate afar


Stygian’s gloom envelops doubt

I stand outside to look for me

Ten thousand breathing trees stand by, they only breathe to be


Then sleepless silly tosses

Upbraid my rest assured

Till unheeded turns ruminate, run off to join Sigurd


Moon drops on taste buds

Will not stir silence, nor a heartache suppress

Wretched beats starving, save your sweet caress


Awakening to you, my sleepy eyes’ delight

Sweet, sweet your green-eyed greeting

Unspoken love now speaking


Your lips, those lips’ full blossom bloom bouquet

I ache to kiss …. Excite passion’s touch by fire

Love me truly love, till love fulfills desire



***Cygnus - a constellation in the Milky Way; a king changed into a swan

*** Sigurd - the hero of the Volsunga Saga

*** Stygian – of or characteristic of the river Styx; infernal or hellish




I’ll stay here till I get here



Charles Monette



fingers on strings,

low E and high

note holding on till it’s gone


fretting a left hand

strumming, back beating the right

slow motions getup, magic in sight


moving from outside

a sound hole in the center

touching composition, no impedimenta


strings ring, sounds sing

badges of callused tips repetitious

attack the dance, let go of cautious


if you hear it’s off thru a tap of the floor

find a grin in your grimace, now close the door

pickup & pick it, play guitar once more


backbeat now, E & A’s humming combine

bass coming back to a ‘fore-mentioned-line

as you strum, use your thumb ain’t it fine


I’ll stay here till I get here… just

learning the action, playing what will be

whatever checks out doesn’t belong to me




Untitled



Phil Innes



No more black nights on

Forgotten promontories

Other vigilance



Whither the Storm?



Todd Vincent Crosby



When warmth gives way to bracing wind

and sun’s fair gaze has turned away,

gather the net, prepare to fend the

craft from Triton’s chilling fray.


Starboard, windward, port or lee?

Which quarter now commands our gaze?

Shall turbulence deny us now

deliberate passage of the days?


Trade comfort of the stoney heath

for chance among the rolling fetch,

Free of tender love and restless grief

Hope and hunger a ceaseless catch


Autumn’s veil conceals not fear nor sorrow

yet cleanses away a soul's dark night,

That dawn deliver on the morrow

a crescendo… winter’s blinding light!



75 at tea



Todd Vincent Crosby



a fine grit covers this shabby old couch

pouffing up as i plop my fat ass down on it

its grey green canvas, dusty as my skin now

replete with the troughs of old age


i lean my head back finding that old familiar indentation

And you are there before me,

infinite in your youth, tangled hair a mess

energetic, so full of life‘s timeless beauty.


we whisper sun dappled oaths barefoot in the orchard,

a full moon and its crickets bearing us good fortune.

whatever the future would withhold from us

it could never deny us laughter


Yet all too soon mischievous minstrels found willing ears

to woo us 

with promises of hotter tropics 

and bluer seas.


But how could the skies have been

bluer than those we had reveled beneath? 

or another ocean 

contain the immensity of our joy?


Indeed these long years, laughter was not denied me

echoing off these farmhouse walls

evening, morning, noon and night

the laughter of children… of family… of friends.


What wouldn’t i give to walk again with you

dottering down this misty country lane, leaning in close

sharing a knowing glance 

a chuckle at some private, distant joke. 


Under the moody November twilight

your blue teapot perched on my plant stand

a steaming, fat, blue parrot

Miles and Coltrane suspended in vapor


I hope that life has brought laughter

to your house… upon your loves

and that you have not lived with desire

to rewrite the drama of life’s final act.


Such a sweet melancholy to see you again in all your glory,

before i knew you were to be gone so soon.

i smile, assured that if that moon, and those crickets 

had spoken true,


you would have loved living in this old house


peaceful and solid,

infused with scents of leather and bergamot

with me savoring the chilly evening that once left me shuttering

an opportune moment for a steamy cup of tea!


Walking… Thinking… Talking… Singing…

playing with my dog

even if the dust has gotten 

a tiny bit out of hand.




All souls’ elegy



Charles Monette



unbearable dreams… all the departed were present

wild and wanton, their spirits gasping the air

the eve of All Souls’ Day, dreaded beliefs recurring

as mirrors imitate the wintry grey of bones


passing graveyards dark silhouette

death’s acceptance rejected anew

wandering souls searching the wind

disrespect running deep in the ground


to be thus remembered under a gloomy November moon

rain falling, rituals’ rabble rife

dry water’s life splattered o’er remains

meaning gone from the garden’s grow


genteel blathering clouding memories…

yet a distant time, a distant place draws near

moans of the dying congeal sedulously

muffling the striking of a pitch-black clock


years passed along with days

troubled souls seeking marigolds, the sweet bread of the dead

unsettled aching in the hereafter

a patch of pain, regret… why, why, why


tonight…walk the road’s center… beware of encouraging the dust

of disturbing phantoms’ shadows resting alongside

for peripheral chills will envelop one’s spine… raising hackles 

flashing terror’s mischief, a spur to run


eerie echoes, otherworldly rattles lack relevance… yet

add to the scare of the chase… catching up… falling behind

running off, outracing grown up ghosts

traditions slipping, screaming for a delicate plain


daring in daylight

hurrying back to bury somebody at the cemetery’s edge

perhaps a priest’s prayer will banish ghostly faces

exhorting them to their place… to await midnight’s exhumation


lopsided red-streaked-gray marble, water and a candle

an oblong tombstone’s engraving chiseled out

nameless as an unknown soldier’s

epitaph shrouded in secrets


stumbling bones stuck in mud’s asylum

hungry ghosts grabbing, unwrapping life’s promise once more

disappointments’ confusion leaving the marrow of emptiness

as if fine one moment and dead the next


[A note on the image]

Aladar Korosfoi-Kriesch

All Souls' Day --1910 Oil on canvas, 51,5 x 72,5 cm

Hungarian National Gallery, Budapest

(It is a Hungarian tradition to go to cemeteries to honor the dead)



You cancelled your vacation



Charles Monette



you cancelled your vacation, said it was a waste of time

you didn’t ask me to come along, so I didn’t cancel mine

said you’d rather go to the carbon conference

though a governor on your pedal slowed deliverance


a pick-up artist curing smelly compost on the curb

you lost your drive, now drive less… unperturbed

two times a week buys pricey green organic groceries

take a bean, walk a block… second hand store sells ivories


recycle that glass… that plastic… redeem it like never before

hey reuse it, refuse it, metamorphose into a see-through door

all that garbage… all that trash… all that shit galore

soon be floating… polluting… Cousteau’s ocean floor


take your time, saunter slinky as you walk away

look back once, close your eyes as if to say

a shake, a shrug, a pissed off tattoo demeanor

should’ve fought to hold you, found two words, ‘I love Lena’


out of this world, you were trippin out my world

neither differences genteel, non commutable…nor easily unfurled

Cape bikin, Maine coast traipsin,… old friends lyin on a windswept beach

hot sands’ blain, hidin out in Cockaigne… never within reach


dancing-dizzy, spinning, whirli-gigging love’s confusion

falsetto-falling, famished on brink’s recision

white flag surrender comes to you wide-open

as in a gray love story filmed by Bergman





Malvern Hill



Charles Monette



It was the sixth and last of seven days

The battle for Malvern Hill, July 1st, 1862

McClellan and Lee locked horns in Herrico County

Virginia… up a piece from Poindexter’s farm

Disjointed assaults on the nearly impregnable Union position

Yanks up on Malvern Hill, the favorable ground

Slopes cleared of lumber, greater visibility downhill

Lee orders attacks directly… instead of flanking…

Artillery would clear the way…

Tragic miscalculation

Deadly fire rained thunder down on the Confederates,

Slaughtering them in their charge

5,300 rebel casualties without gaining an inch of ground

Blue bled too… 8,500 in all

Despite the victory, McClellan withdrew

To Harrison’s landing on the James River

Gunboats now protected his army

Malvern Hill lay soaked in blood, pockmarked

Bodies lying there still


[The image: Watercolor by Sneden]




Cicero's Hands



Mike Murray



A man of letters, a man of riches

He didn't have to burn those bridges

He lived and played with the men who held the sword

There was safety, but there was right

And in the stillness of the night

In the troubled times, his hands held only words


CICERO'S HANDS HANG IN THE FORUM

CICERO'S HANDS -- A GENERAL'S WARNING

ARE YOU PREPARED TO PAY THE PRICE FOR TAKING A STAND?

FEAR AND TREMBLING IN THOSE HOURS

TELLING THE TRUTH ABOUT A MAN OF POWER

WHEN YOU TURN THAT BRIDGE TO BURN, THINK OF CICERO'S HANDS


Asma's poem defied the danger

She warned, "Why mind this stranger?"

The stranger claimed to speak God's voice alone

Then the voice commanded slaughter

"Who will rid me of Marwan's daughter?"

When it's time to speak your mind, think of Asma's poem


There's big payback to check out

You're gonna end up sticking your neck out

When your life is on the line, you're all alone

When you call for folks to ponder

The crimes of those they honor

When you turn that bridge to burn think of Asma's poem


CHORUS


In their hearts, your words rings true

But they'll still come for you

When they hear the big man say you ought to be banned

All those battles to be won

Will they mean much when you're gone?

When you turn, that bridge to burn think of Cicero's hands


CHORUS


When it's your turn, your bridge to burn think of Cicero's hands

When it's time to speak your mind, think of Cicero's hands

When it's your turn, your bridge to burn, think of Cicero's hands


published with permission, copyright 2017 Mike Murray



overflowingly so



Charles Monette



thoughts dying in clouds

focus within reach

abruptly pushed over edge


thoughts wander, wonder over water

never landing

burning out


cosmic relatedness

all relates to all after all

random stirrings of memory


mind soaring, soaring beyond

imagination gliding

a splash of color scalds the earth


inspiration’s shaking foundations

stirring up rough dirt

far flung falling… an abysmal feeling


unreliable winds pelting exalted thoughts

blowing tree tops… life’s fluctuating fray

jump startled by thunder’s explosive cracks


vaulting over reckless danger

assiduously revised

I come to you… a spur to writing






Other voices



Charles Monette



March winds have quieted

Too soggy to blow

They sigh away to churn the sea


Listening for words of beauty

Some never heard before

Looking, hearing for a different way


Forsythia’s early yellow

Bell-shaped flowers, shrubs of an Olive family

Offer easy to appreciate full throttled blooms


Counting on spring to lift the gloom

Renew assurance with each green grass blade

It’s a young loving time of year


Moody moods’ last brood dissipates

To a chickadee’s call

Rivers swell muddy with snow’s last white


Something to remember me by

Winter’s baton passes grudgingly

Robins perch proudly, atomic tangerine


Did we expect any other?

Coming down with the rain

Wet showers circling… soaking a tree


Lichen brighten, stamp okay

Blue purple crocus open to day

This spring’s beauty ever slightly unlike








Ice floes slow



Charles Monette


Ice floes slow, a meditative pace

snow fringed, white edged circled upon the river

some big as all outdoors… shaped like continents adrift

melting atop… daystar’s penetrating rays also deeply felt

currently moving down river

till finally vanishing, becoming one with the waterway


smaller chunks, little snowbergs slip by… side by side

slandering in the sun

seemingly moving to end faster, to add to the deep

begun perhaps as ice shockles way up north

or frozen on a neighborhood bank

southwardly… slowly flowing southwardly, a push pull to the sea


look… an ice raft rafting, broke loose from the shore

reminders of  Arctic collapsing firns,

neve no longer, never more to be

earth’s frozen waters flowing precipitously

I watch sipping coffee, an uneasy tranquil stare

pleased to see them moving, knowing Spring will soon be here




Venus Smiled



Charles Monette


3 straight years, Earth is getting hotter

3 records set in a row

NOAA cooking the books

NO Antartic, Artic melting away

Chinese plot… I think not… do they want waterproof?

feel the swelter, helter skelter… Phalodi… Africa 123.8 degrees

drought, starvation,… no water to grow to drink


emissions of heat trapping gases, greenhouse gases

carbon monoxide

planetary warning planetary warming

threat to the natural world

El Nino swoops in… hot energy, water vapors release

2016 the hottest year 3 straight records in a row

trouncing past records, rising temperatures warm the globe


our constantly changing planet

Artic oceans 20-30 degrees above normal last Fall

seas ice sunset

startlingly rapid coastal erosion

some connectivity… an accelerated era

hot data records 3rd straight in a row

do you feel it?


water

cold water, hot water, no water, high waters, waterboarding

water color, waterfowl, waterway, waterworks, waterlogged

water pollution, waterproof, waterfront, waterfall

watertight, water under the bridge, water cannon

water wiping out the bridge Waterloo, water,

water everywhere, nary a drop to drink 

war-uh, watery, water

water


 

Earlier material in

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Monkey’s Cloak