featured in the poetry forum June 18, 2020  :: 0 comments

The market is a wire-haired dog
A wild and untamed beast
Refined with time
The lovable lug
But also a bitch
What does Rover do all day?
excitedly ate
The contributions on her plate
And searched for more
She wandered around some
Walked the same path until it was bare
Barked at the neighbors to remind them she was there
Evidence says Rover is the capricious sort
Snuggling up close when you’re winding down
And shitting on your porch tomorrow
I wonder what I would think of her if we had never met
She’s the best breed
When her owner’s pronouncements define her
And in the cold air of night
When quiet rests its hand on the shoulder of the seeker
I realize she’s just an animal
We all are

editors note:

Sniff the air. Bark or bite. Not bull or bear, but a bitch, all right. – mh clay

The rain remembers

featured in the poetry forum July 9, 2019  :: 0 comments

The rain remembers her lovelorn ponds
See how they roll and babble
Speaking life to the trees and wind
Baptized in color
The smell of wet chlorophyll and lightning
A soothing mass lofts her mallards, skating effortlessly
While white cranes flicker
In soul’s blue embrace
Her comforting message
You’re home
The rain remembers.

editors note:

Shelter in that blue embrace of soul. Remember? – mh clay

I had a question…

featured in the poetry forum April 2, 2019  :: 0 comments

I had a question I didn’t know the answer to,
So I asked google
What is happiness
Interviewing a design icon |,
She tells me that people look at Facebook to watch videos of puppies falling off logs
She told me she didn’t feel connected
When I asked what was bothering her
When she was crying about her mom who died 5 years ago
She should interview a design icon
I should ride a bike
I should stop writing and start working
I should focus
I should set a desk
By a window
With a lamp
And a cathedral ceiling
White on white
And with clean sheets
I ask google
How do I inoculate to the stress and the noise
Stress Inoculation Therapy is a psychotherapy method intended to help patients prepare
themselves in advance to handle stressful events successfully
I want to care more
I want to be carefree in the good way
I should describe time as particles of rain and a moving car
I should test drive a bmw

editors note:

Ah, yes! Our icons will give us the answers AND ask the questions. Logon. Be free. – mh clay

Further expositions on brutalism

featured in the poetry forum January 12, 2019  :: 0 comments

Are there people who actually like brutalism?
Of course, she says, there’s some brutalist furniture that’s very expensive.
What about the architecture though? What does it say about someone that they like it?
It’s just a taste.
What does it say about you that you don’t?

I consider the question.
She starts naming brutalist furniture manufacturers and I think of her fondly.
All those times we disagreed about cheese, and why the drywall on the ceiling hasn’t
been sanded yet.
I wonder what other deep pools she hides.
What does revolting mean?
I wonder how things can elicit such a harsh reaction in a consciousness I feel I control.
Is the appeal to pure emotion really what lies at the core of quality art if the emotion is
unfiltered anger?
Nauseating, like disgust.
How do you cope with revulsion?
Satisfying the pace of conversation she adds, find something you like in it.
Just try a little at a time.

She hands me the phone, presenting a cultivated list of sculpture.
Iron, extruded square spikes, aged bronze, stained woods.
I scroll, carefully watching for judgement during a sleet storm of annoyance.
Seeking pleasure from a desk edge to the tendon – looking for something to like.
I think about the time I slammed my finger in the door twice.
It helps to objectify them I decide.

editors note:

Brutalism is best objectified from a distance. We only have so many fingers… – mh clay

Such Is

featured in the poetry forum October 27, 2018  :: 0 comments

Ere rise the sun
Over sandy dune
wheaten skin, toasted hues
Beauty, though bleakness wait
A twitchy hand, an uncertain state
Never to find peaceful mate
Such is, On the island of hate

Ere rise the moon
Over spotlight lagoon
Darkness, curious beauty hides
On suggested urge
ripples ride
Secure comfort below, as above
Such is, on the isle of love

editors note: Whether by capricious current or needful navigation, may we land on love. – mh clay

Among the Maples

featured in the poetry forum August 25, 2018  :: 0 comments

Fall is a greedy lover
Spectacular color sown into gray washed skies
not quite fulfilling the promise of day break’s new temperance
Until suddenly winter breaks
under the repetitive taxation of light.

“I have to go. I have to find something – to feel.”
The paper she holds, white, against the cuneiform of cheap ink;
Lithe in matter’s latency against the pressure – the progression of time.
And needing to grasp for some reason,
the words she sees are not what she hears,
A taped repetition “you’re not good enough.”

Her arm falls aside;
the note held in constancy,
Her search for resonance once more

And through the luster of their glass
Sing, the finches
Passing conversation and hours in toil – in love
Plucky by the bluster
Maples and Pine,
color and texture,
fanning breeze;

She folds the paper, puts it in a drawer
Engages the scene through her solid door;
Passing into future
Energy given to craft
Among the dancing sunbeams.

editors note:

With a change of season, a change of energy; attention to Fall, not a fall. – mh clay

The Tale of Temecula

featured in the poetry forum June 23, 2018  :: 0 comments

Father sky and mother earth
Came to union; valley sun
Held in light in this magic place
To tell the tale of Temecula.

A dry wind calls the adobe wake
Golden grape; aging stake
A steady man rides morning beam
In long relief around town

“Coffee sir?” plies winsome lass
His answer, her discretion
“Thank you ma’am” a solid script
subtlety her profession.

Often noticed, rarely seen
This Art raised from plaster plane
The Creator’s spell is motion struck
On amber waves and grain

“what do you wish?” she presses
lyre into stone
“to touch wonder” leading dancer back
“then come, my favorite one.”

Wooden ships break the mist
Christ and King they name
Desert palm peace to gallery thief
“By God, this be our claim”

“How do you choose them?” he continues,
Suitably comforted by her vision
“love and human condition” she says
depth in the edition

Dissolving shadow boundary, their instances collide
Out in the open; choice as art,
Art as business;
work as life.

Time melts up the belfry in this ancient pueblo town
Stakes and staves; forgotten names
While through cactus needles the dry wind blows
Outside the town of Temecula.

editors note:

Original or limited edition; observer art as observation. – mh clay

It is

featured in the poetry forum April 8, 2018  :: 0 comments

It is human nature to defy nature.
Take what is self-limiting and impose facility.
From the center of the universe wells time.
Improbably patient, like water.
And about that spring the chaos, brambles
Through, we amble
Warm when warm, cool when cold, solid when needed.
Always at peace to flow.

editors note:

That’s us; naturally unnatural. (We welcome Christopher to our crazy congress of Contributing Poets with this submission. Read more of his madness on his new page – check it out.) – mh clay

It could have been

featured in the poetry forum December 29, 2017  :: 0 comments

It could have been any fall Saturday.
When fall was still a season.
It’s for you.
Few constants survive the human scale.
Constancy an illusion.
Even stone elegies.
Their permanence, loose bookmarks in pages of time.
Their certain messages understood through increasingly diffuse context.
Boulders in a stream – eventually worn smooth by water’s improbably patient friction. Deep is the canyon holding the river of time.
With practiced hand, I wonder how its eventuality will represent a black future.
No message, no artifice.
A life to recall through increasingly diffuse context – in a deeply confusing life.
Why does the tree grow?
Wu wei.

editors note:

Our growth rate depends on how patiently we endure the friction; it can be rough to be smooth. – mh clay

Mid Century Modern.

featured in the poetry forum October 25, 2017  :: 0 comments

Lines, blocks, and chambers.
Within this space an unmistakable mass.
The regular cadence of its tumbled edges cast watercolor shadows on a grout that matches forgettably closely. And though these walls have not witnessed the exposure of weather in over 60 years, their brusque marriages of wood, paint, carpet, and metal indicate many lives lived here.
In this hopeless cell, choice is amplified.
Breath, and control.
The subtle din of a fan gives way to graphite spilling its truth.
In this field nothing exists.
Struggling effortlessly, a hand guides its implement, leaving crumbs for a chapter yet written.

editors note:

Home as homily; the poetry of place. – mh clay