Thursday, October 7, 2021

David Gilmour ---------------- two poems

 David Gilmour is the host of Sound Poetry on 101.9 Radio Tacoma



Tobacco Ode

 

The days of acorns, walnuts and horse-chestnuts--

The husks, shells, and cups we bored for use, then,

Eight of us, if memory serves, we smoked as pipes,

As clear as yesterday in an old and beautiful world.

The fields, we walked through the fields to woods,

The countryside spread out for miles, far out

Beyond construction sites and smoking factories,

Leaving behind slag dumps and rock hills

Bulldozed and ready for new roads out of town.

Out by the shire farms where trees still stood wild,

A bull watched a tribe of boys tramping through

Its grasses.  There was a house, a dark gamekeeper

And his dangerous dogs--so long ago, folk tale time.

 

The trees, those ancient oaks we spiked to climb

When tawny autumn gave its sign the nuts were ripe.

Old gaffer and his dogs just couldn't grasp the why.

We would risk to climb the oaks, to join the birds

And squirrels in their nests.  He'd scratch his head and

Hang his bent pipe in his jaw and keep the dogs at bay.

‘Twas pipes and the sheer beauty of filching golden acorns.

Conkers he could suss the need, the game was all the rage.

 

Stiff straw was pierced into an acorn cup, old fag-end crumbs

We’d stuff into the bowl, and puff in awe till black like gold

Cut from a stub of Uncle’s choicest briar-pipe Turkish plug.

Oh, the heavens so filled with aromatic spice, gods laughed.    

 

At home I'd raid the trays about the house for longish ends,

Even stole the odd one or two, Senior Service navy cut,

Or beauteous packs with names like Passing Cloud,

Familiar Players with the Jack Tar pictured on the face.

They smelled so sweet before the smoking and then came

The choking horror of the smoke.  Dead hard to get used to.

But there was nothing, nothing sweeter than the camaraderie

Of two or three bosom pals with stolen tobacco having a choke,

Pretending to smoke, cupping the lit end in the palm

Or flailing the hand sideways from the lips, longing to savor the smoke in throats,

In their lungs, through their noses, casually releasing it in streams

As we had seen our brothers, our parents blowing plumes

Into the blue foggy night air.  How important to start young.

To start the silent drawing of breath in acknowledged secret,

Forbidden togetherness in which talk was all you had,

Big talk, things that needed to be said together

While the air was thick with awful breath and the face changed

To its new mask and stopped the clock.



A Significant Thud

 

At present the ink is not flowing true.

The blue ran out two days ago

And the red cartridge I loaded

Has yet to come through in its own flow.

I am sitting at the round table on the deck

As I used to years ago; in those days

The table was yellow; now a faded green,

The very same table we sat at, you and I,

When you just knew us in Seattle, the times

When we dined on simple fare, drank cheap wines.

The same table we recently sat around

For breakfast, coffees, and smokes

And at dinner for laughter, with the Pinch

And paté and the crude rolled doobies

Pushing our humors to ludicrous limits.

 

These days are bogged down with quandaries.

The wedding is past; the nest is --- oops!

--Out back there in the deep shady green,

Under the trees, a significant thud --

The pears and the apples are dropping ripe. Out there

Out in the grass, I see another golden lump

Has been added to the mass. --Where was I?

--The table—on the table before me—yes,

I return to the original theme.—On it

Stand two golden pears on end,

Next to them, the 400 milliliter beaker

That held the three top heavy flowers -

Blue hydrangea blossoms.

The candles we burned were obliterated

By a night’s catastrophic wind and rain,

Sunday or maybe Saturday night.

I’ll light one - there!—They’re both lit now.

At my right elbow rests a book,

Against The Grain - wouldn’t you guess it?

Mmm! The pears gleam in the candlelight—gilded almost...

Shit! The hurricane glass just shattered.

Well, after all, what’s glass for?—but breaking.

The monotony: it’s a void, a blank, emphasized

By the intermittent thuds of falling fruit.

--David Gilmour

 

 

 



 

 

 

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Thursday, July 15, 2021

Three poems by George Held


Dust under the Rug

 

How Mom loved that tale

of “Dust under the Rug,”

with all its didactic

clamor and finger-shaking

 

accompaniment

to instill fear in her

dopey kids, that is, me

and my little sister.

 

Sis was a sucker

for such dire threats and took

them to heart, while I shook

them off with precocious

 

cynicism. My mind

translated “dust” into

gunk, crud, dirt, crap, trash,

 

or roach carcasses, mouse

turds, squashed peas, and, older,

into lines of metered prose

 

memoir poems, neo-

Beat bombast – other stuff

I then stuffed under the rug.

 

Kawagarasu

in Japanese

are the Big and Little Dippers

or Ursa Major and Minor,

seen by the Greeks as bears.

 

Would we love them more as

Momma Bear and Baby Bear,

Teddy’s that inspire insipid

cartoons and commercials,

 

Or do we embrace them

because they seem close enough

to dip water from a barrel and pour

it into a glass or because

they are so terribly far away?

 

“Boss”

 

The ticket taker says, “Thanks, Boss,”

The laundry man says, “No starch, Boss,”

The cleaning lady says, “Next time, Boss,”

 

And you grate at being called “Boss,”

Because you used to be a soda jerk,

gas-pump jockey, delivery boy –

The Reporter-Dispatch, special-

delivery mail, pharmacy prescriptions –

and got chased by the snarling Doberman

in the yard (“Don’t worry—he’s quite friendly!”)

and called “You Fock” by your rotten boss,

 

so you smile and squash the urge to say, “Don’t

call me ‘Boss,’” and squelch the itch to

reply, “You’re welcome, Mother Fucker.”

 

Sunday, June 6, 2021

Poem by Keith Holyoak

 

Keith Holyoak

 

Out of Kilter

 

All day the world felt just a bit off

balance. And yet, nothing was really wrong—

the late summer sun shone at least as bright

as yesterday (though not for quite so long).

Barbecue weather—kind of day to loaf

outside, tracking a hummingbird in flight.

 

The sun blazed crimson, dimmed, and then was gone.

Tonight, lying beside my wife, I caught

a knife-edged moon peering at us. I held her

tight to my chest, as though we both might float

away without seeing another dawn.

Hard to sleep when the world’s gone out of kilter….

 

Been meaning to catch up—figured to give

you a call soon.  Your voice inside my head

retells a story. Smiling, I’m amused to

hear it again—till I recall instead

how this day was the first I’ve been alive

when you are not.  Takes some getting used to.

 

in memory of Edward E. Smith, 1940-2012

 

David Gilmour ---------------- two poems

 David Gilmour is the host of Sound Poetry on 101.9 Radio Tacoma Tobacco Ode   The days of acorns, walnuts and horse-chestnuts-- The h...