From this Ruin

Maybe what I didn’t know all along this path
was that all my heart’s feeling was nourishment,
like rain water drenching the roses.
I thought it was a fire in a tinder dry wood,
a hail of flaming comets at world’s end —
I had to hold onto the rails.
I hand-cuffed myself to them.
And I closed my eyes and ears.
Then Life crushed the chain and tied me to the mast.
And they came…..

The sirens came with fire, with oil, with electricity.
Their laughter was a sword through my heart.
Like smoke in the house they flew past locked doors.

Now, as I walk the abject ruin of the past,
I see, because the sun is up,
it was grace that came in guise of destruction.
Grace that came with weapons and a blazing eye.
Grace that sat beside me and tried to push its sword into my hand.
I’d swallowed my heart and had not the eyes to see.

Flame that cauterizes the insidious infection of involuted thought.
It purges the contagion.
Oil that dissolves the heaviness of fear.
Lightning comes where the heart lay in ash.
And roses begin to pierce that mantel —
an attar of intoxicating fragrance rises.

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Blessings

One overcast day she felt sad and drove to the coast. There, six dolphins came in to play among the waves — on a single wave, six dolphins body-surfing!

Leaving, she felt whole again. She knew the dolphins had come for her and her heart sang.

I know a friend whose heart has walked the same path as my own though we’d parted some time ago… hearing of it, my heart sang.

-KT, from an old dusty journal from the Winter of 1987; West Coast memories

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Persimmons Once

I walked down to the orchard  today to see what had become of the few persimmons which we had left on the tree prior to the engaging activities of the holidays. The tree was barren but for the dry and empty “caps” of a number of the fruits that the birds must have devoured. What a delicious mid-winter feast they would have enjoyed. While the cold wind was blowing, while the snow was gathering ice on the branches, they ate of the glowing red fruit of summer that had lingered all the way to solstice. I came for persimmons but there were none to have. Instead, I enjoyed in reflection the delights of winter bearing birds coming to this precious tree for refreshment.

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Robbie – Portrait

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Robbie

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Gus, A Portrait

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A Portrait of Gus

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The Wisdom of “The Fields”

The Fields
by Witter Bynner

Though wisdom underfoot
Dies in the bloody fields,
Slowly the endless root
Gathers again and yields.

In fields where hate has hurled
Its force, where folly rots,
Wisdom shall be unfurled
Small as forget-me-nots.

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Joy in Solstice

Such gleeful delight. What a way to greet Solstice! Thank you, Gus.

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Venus and Luna

This is what Venus and the Moon cooked up last Sunday (July 15) for all to see in the late evening sky. This was taken in Northern California, in the Sierra Foothills.

These two have been performing a marvelous dance all week, with Venus moving off to the south, parallel to the horizon, but not too far away, and then coming back again so that last night she was directly beside the moon across a perpendicular line from the horizon. It’s been beautiful and profound to watch. Sappho would have been giddy with wonder and would have written many poems of two sweet souls at play in the gardens of love.

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Haiku Morning

overcast like mourning robes
five white horses on a small hill
tears of rain soft upon the window

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Poetry Reading April 13

I’ll be reading with Taylor Graham, El Dorado County Poet Laureate, and Michael Paul, at the El Dorado County Public Library in Georgetown. If anyone reading this happens to be in the area, come on by. It should be quite an enjoyable event. More details on the El Dorado Arts Council facebook page.

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Aspirations

Waiting on sleep, gazing
up through the window at
the bright cold and clear night —

Orion strides in magnificent stature
adorned with incandescent jewels.
And there is Sirius, and over there the Pleiades,
one a trumpet sound of light
the other a demure pool
of lambent mystery.

Ah! A plane crosses, a poor cousin
passing only briefly, like Icarus,
amongst the high shoulders
of the astral gods!

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Contemplum

With a rake I spread
the last embers of the bonfire
       like fiery butter

and I stand basking,
gazing down into
       a sky-full of red stars

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Bright Unknowns

Christmas lights brightly jewel
the frosty fence in morning calm —
a car with one lone dawn soldier
passes by, leaving

only drifting steam that curls
slowly, lovingly, above that diadem of
colored star-bright gems.

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secrets openly hidden

Pine cones leaning,
standing,
sitting buddha-like along the path —
monuments to beetles,
whole planets to fleas,
menorah-like jewels to my own eye.

I can’t get over how they wait.
So quiet here in the still woods.
On what secret do they attend?

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Slow Soft Flame of Autumn

Wind rolls through these leaves
in long exhalations
as Atlas labors at the wheel that
turns the seasons —

now from the last gleam of summer
into full autumn.

Leaves in maples reflect fires
in the furnace that fuels this
great onward rush

grasses, twigs, and vines
once succulent with the rising
springs of the vernal blush

now grow dry and thin
in the heated languid haste
as Cronos devours what was wrought.

Bees crowd the buds of honeysuckle
entwining the old pine,
collecting all they can carry;

hornets mob a dead bird’s carcass
ravenous before the urge
of their own inward clock;

and two squirrels argue
from opposite sides of the wood
as they bustle through the mass
of detritus, caching winter stores

or up the boles of oaks with
loads of pine-straw to build
with haste a stout shelter

to stand against the coming
autumn winds and winter
hail and rain.

I find myself dizzy
with the intoxication
of aging detritus and orchard fruits

the dazzling kaleidoscopic pin-wheels of
wind-spun autumn leaves

and I feel too far behind in all that must
be done to even begin — so

I wander the woods and the orchard
until a need appears and
with a smile I attend to it,

all the while imbibing the slow
dreams of all that fast approaches sleep.

Above these visions I float
like the moon above the water —
I taste but do not enter the feast.

That doorway has closed for me.

Instead I wander
with a song in silence
as behind me the path blooms
in slow soft flame.

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Incantation of the Hollow Moon

The orange gourd rattles in a spectral sky
Shadowed shrouds of mist from icy fields fly
Heaven’s hollow dome coldly echoes a strange cry
Dreams once hopeful wingless by dark stones lie.

 

_________________

by Kevin Trammel

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Crème Du Halloween

A modest recipe for Halloween (from a previous post).

Crème Du Halloween
by Kevin Trammel

One gob pickled innards,
Ten drops black bat glop,
An ooze of dead men’s gizzards—
Stir, pour, and chop.

Add a pinch of spider’s eyes,
Garnish with false alibis,
Serve atop aged, rotting flesh.
Best when eaten fresh.

A note to the prudent host or hostess:
If your guests should hesitate,
And grimace, gasp, wax quite irate,
Bring out the severed fingers plate,
With chocolate sauce and sugar cake.

Bon Appetit!

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Devil’s Due

Hallowe’en Rhapsody
by Kevin Trammel
Written while listening to Tartini’s Devil’s Trill

The Devil crouches low
in the dry moonless field
and watches with wide black eyes
the dim lights of the house in the wood.

Plucking foxtail from his wool
he slowly chews and spits and chuckles.
Twisting his beard absently he turns
to whisper orders to his messenger hellhound.

His voice rasps in the night
like a violin bow dragged dryly
over a rusting weather-cock − birds
startled fly from their leaf-wrapped night-beds.

Inside the house, laughter, reminiscences.
A drink of wine, a swallow of apple.
A fond story told of future days.
A memoriam chanted over hallowed ground.

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Land of the Balrog

Land of the Balrog (click to enlarge)

[ click here for more artwork by Kevin Trammel ]

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The Raven in the Rain

The rain patters on fallen leaves,
Dripping from musty eaves —
The call of a raven.

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