Friday, November 23, 2007

gotta fly, man

gotta see some other place,
continent, hemisphere.
spin things backward.
coupla weeks maybe.
or 'til new year's. or ground hog's.
back by mayday for sure.
- r.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

From Down Here

Thanks to the mothers and the motherless. Thanks to the Ho Chunk and the Crow. Thanks to the poultry, thanks to the yam, thanks to the farmer and the fisher. Thanks to the one who does. Thanks to the well-wisher.

Thanks to the fathers and the prodigal sons. Thanks to the bird and the bee. Thanks to mechanics, thanks to cows. Thanks to the comic and the rain-cloud and the sun and the humble and the proud.

Thanks to the painters and the crimson paint; thanks to the poets and the words. Thanks for the paper. Thanks for the pen. Thanks for erasers and time. Thanks for rivers flowing. Thanks for strength to climb.

- Ralph Murre

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

All About Two

We've reached the second anniversary of the Arem Arvinson Log, and by coincidence (sheer or shear?) this is post #222. Forgive my moment of self-congratulation, but I guess I'm fairly happy with the blog as a body of work. If you're a newcomer, a serious blog addict, or otherwise totally without a life of your own, have a look through the archives.

Thank you all for dropping by, and thanks especially to those who've given me a link from their own blog. Stop in whenever you're in the neighborhood.

- Ralph Murre, on behalf of Arem Arvinson

Sunday, November 18, 2007


I read a poem
by Louise Gluck -
she said birds were darting
in low shrubs.
I thought she said
they were dating
in low shrubs,
but I guess I was just thinking
of you and me.

- Ralph Murre

Friday, November 16, 2007


Have faith
breathes the wind
that pulls men to sea
Not too much
moans the wind
that eats sails
Not too much
agrees the wave

- Ralph Murre

Thursday, November 15, 2007


It's not so bad when I think in terms of a poem or a drawing, but when I allow myself to begin to think of a book - a book of poems and drawings - any pretense of good housekeeping just goes to hell. Tables and desks piled too high for anything more, the floor a few layers thick, I wade through piles of paper, roll in words and images and daydreams, surface occasionally for food and drink (oh, yes, more drink please) and then slide back beneath the surface, where I can hold my breath for a very long time.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Making Perfect

They Practice
The pianist and the violinist practice,
and I get out a pen and practice, too,
I'm just having coffee and why not
get in a few words of practice;
the warm sun on my back,
the music on my ear,
the world still
this moment.

- Ralph Murre

Packers, Thirty-Four / Vikings, Zero

Monday, November 05, 2007



How much easier
to write about the tamarack’s
golden flame
the last flicker of warmth
against purple winter’s
than to speak
of our own fading hopes
of immortality

to let the pen express visions
of V’s of geese
receding into falling night
than to talk with a lover
the approaching darkness
in which the warm V
of our desire
our desirability
heads south

easier to project
into metaphor of autumn
and winter
than to accept the coming
of no spring no summer

the trout lily’s bloom
the red robin’s return
not for us

easier to tell the world
of fortitude

than to tell family
of fear.

Tomorrow begins November
we shall wear brave masks

- Ralph Murre 2004

this piece was written for Halloween,
and appears in my book, "Crude Red Boat"

Sunday, November 04, 2007

And speaking of cameras,

(and I'm pretty sure I was, a couple of days ago,) I've got to tell you of a wonderful experience I had recently. The Canon SD230 digital, which had served so well, was overcome by some supernatural sort of glitch which rendered it more or less a pain in the ass. Since it was three or four years out of warranty, I decided to call Canon, just to find out which current model might accept the same periferal gear I had purchased for the old camera. I clenched my jaw and prepared for the endless horror of talking to machines and waiting for hours which I was sure would follow. WRONG! Within moments, I was talking to Johanna, a real, live human who was totally competent, caring, and courteous. We talked about new cameras that might fill the bill and then Johanna asked about the nature of the problem I was having. I explained, and also explained that my warranty was long gone. Well, she said, I'm going to send you shipping labels and all you'll have to do is pack the camera, and shipping will be paid to our service center, where they'll either fix your camera or make you a very good deal on a replacement. That sounded good, but not as good as the result - within ten days, I received a refurbished SD630 (!), a much newer and much improved camera, at absolutely no cost to me!

To receive terrific service from an electronics company in an electronic age is not something I can take for granted, and I must certainly recommend to my friends, that if they are in the market for any sort of device that Canon makes, they should look no farther. Incidentally, mine is not a unique experience, as I told this story to a friend who, almost word for word, had the same story to tell about Canon.

- Ralph Murre


chuckles of a pram-boat
on wavelets
haunting laugh of loon
quiet evening shower
tears of the crescent moon

-Ralph Murre

Friday, November 02, 2007


Changing Light

Sunlight, thick as syrup
and golden flowing
on sweet afternoon
of saxophone serenade
but bass, the note
of discord beneath
and chill, the shadow
where he stands
as she leaves, again.
Wind where music was
and shrill, now
the thinning light
as metal on slate.
Tin whistle shrill.

- Ralph Murre 2006