This Silent Moon

This Silent Moon is a ballade with double refrain based on a traditional Zen story. Anyone familiar with the ballade format can tell you I’ve only mostly followed the rules.

I would be interested to hear your comments, especially if you’ve written a ballade with double refrain or know of good examples.

This Silent Moon

 A monk met a thief on the road to White Thay

Who brandished a mace as he strode ‘cross the snow.

“Your purse and your coat, and you’ll live yet a day.

Bright gold I must have, though it prove my soul’s woe.”

Said the monk to the thief, “Pray, withhold your blow.

I’ll give you my garments, and with them this boon.

There shines Selene against the night’s indigo.

If I could, I would give you this silent moon.”

Continue reading “This Silent Moon”

Out of Season

Walking home on this post-Christmas pre-New Year’s December day, I saw:

in the bare branches of a shrub –  a tiny scarecrow made of twine and fabric on a slender wooden stick, something you might use as a whimsical accent in a fall container garden

crushed in the road – a neon purple plastic spider ring like children buy for a quarter from the toy vending machines in the department store lobby around Halloween

Why did these creatures choose this day of all days to come creeping out of whatever under-baseboard secret kingdom obsolete holiday decorations dwell in? Perhaps some myopic felt Easter bunny stuck its head out of a hidden burrow, mistook the glitter of Christmas lights for the twinkling of stars, and sounded the all-clear – “Christmas is over! Come out! Come out!”

I felt sorry for the poor things, the way I feel when I see the crocuses pushing up their heads during those rare warm spells in February. “Shhhh, go back to sleep. Winter isn’t over yet.”

Saudade: A Found Poetry Project, Part 4


Saudade: A Found Poetry Project, Part 3 & 1/2

I felt guilty for getting so little done on this project last week, so I did a few more tonight. Charles Scribner III I am not.

And now that I’ve read the first page of the actual book, I suddenly doubt my ability to ‘find’ poetry in Gatsby. It is possible there was already some poetry in there.

Saudade: A Found Poetry Project, Part 3

unblinking but not physical eyes, looking down upon vague and dim outlines
unblinking but not physical eyes, looking down upon vague and dim outlines

Barely through the introduction and already the lines are tangled.

Also this poetry is crap. Presumably it will get better when we get into Fitzgerald’s prose.

Only one page in a week? This is going to drag on for awhile.

Is this an invocation? Who (or what) is it meant to invoke?

Saudade: A Found Poetry Project, Part 1

According to Wikipedia, Saudade is “a word in Portuguese and Galician (from which it entered Spanish) that claims no direct translation in English. It describes a deep emotional state of nostalgic or profound melancholic longing for an absent something or someone that one loves. Moreover, it often carries a repressed knowledge that the object of longing might never return.” Until recently I didn’t know that this feeling – that ghosts can haunt one’s future as readily as the past – had a name. This feeling has been my constant companion for as long as I can remember. In typical fashion, every time I become inspired I invent a new art or writing project for myself, because I need more projects in my life. 😛 A fortuitous encounter with an Alaska Airlines cocktail napkin has reawakened my interest in found poetry. So here’s the project: I’ll read a book and rip each page out as I finish it. Then I’ll turn the page into a piece of found poetry along the theme of Saudade. (I reserve the right to loosen my grip on the theme from time to time). I’ll post the finished pages here once a week. Sound good? Here’s the book: 2015-06-13 14.32.22