Monday, January 28, 2008

Super Fat Tuesday

photo property of Mary Durlin

Since you've probably nothing better to do next Tuesday, February 5th at 7:00 PM (Mardi Gras, Super Tuesday and other trivial events can wait), why not milk the cows a little early, get your wierd old uncle to button his fly, and head over to the Windhover Center for the Arts at 51 Sheboygan Street in Fond du Lac, where I will have the distinct pleasure of joining the exceptional Mary Durlin as we read a bit of poetry? We'll start promptly at 7:00, read for 15 or 20 minutes, take a little break, rinse, lather, and repeat; after which there will be an open mike session. I think it'll be a good ride, Mary and I will be looking at some of the same topics from vantage points separated by most of two generations. Fun stuff, sad stuff, no master's degree required.
If you always swore you'd never go to a poetry reading - and I know who you are and where you live - you might want to reconsider.

- Ralph Murre

Translation, Traduccion, Ubersetzung

Because I have failed to learn even the most rudimentary bits of another language, and because I have friends and visitors from many nations, I have now installed Alta Vista's "Babel Fish" on this site. I'm sure many subtleties will be lost in translation, but it may come close. To try it, (and I don't know how the hell you've gotten this far if your English isn't at least as good as mine) scroll down the right column 'til you see their logo, and click on the flag of your choice. And wait. And eventually, Voila!, all this gibberish appears in another language. Ain't life great?

- Ralph Murre

Thursday, January 24, 2008

They Told Us Never

In that long drift beside the county highway
and that cresting wave the length of the lake
and that look you have when I don't know
where you are, but I want to be there, too,
and in those trees at the top of the dune
they told us never to climb,
I know there's something hidden and waiting,
I know there's something I can't see yet,
the arc of it curving just beyond
the reach of my fingers,
like the stars on one of those nights
when the sky comes very close.

- Ralph Murre

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Again with the Haiku?

this low flying flock
the color of dried beech leaves
hear their flapping wings

- arem

Monday, January 21, 2008


Today, let's take a little break from the colossal popularity contest of our primary elections to honor and reflect upon the lives and continuing influence of world leaders who were not elected to public office, but led by example. Martin Luther King, of course, who stirred the souls of so many, freely cited the example of Gandhi, who cited the influence of the writings of Thoreau.

While it is clear that the impact of these three men will continue to be felt for a very long time, and probably longer than that of many who have been elected to office, it is also becoming increasingly clear that the struggles they faced are not over. Increasingly clear that the only fitting way to show respect is not to set aside a "day" of honor, but to continue those struggles in every moment, in every thought, in every act of our lives. Too much to ask? Maybe, maybe.

Maybe they put themselves on the line imagining that injustice would end, but I doubt that any of the three were so naive. More likely, I think, that they knew they were asking us to be more than we think we are, to do more than we think we can.

- Ralph Murre

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Dancing With The Tsars

Did you ever wonder about polka dancers? I mean, they're always happy and laughing, yet they tried to conquer the world - while tango dancers, who never crack a smile, failed to recapture even the Islas Malvinas. Look out for happy people - that is today's lesson, kids. That both of those dancing factions lost to the British, who appear not to dance at all, is a subject which will be taken up at another time.

- RM

Monday, January 14, 2008

When the Music is Right

Some day, she'll tango in red shoes,
she'll drink Malbec in low light,
swoon to heat stirred by a single fan.
And though tango dancers rarely smile,
perhaps she'll smile at me
in that way that lovers can,
dancing in red shoes
when the music is right.

- Ralph Murre

Friday, January 11, 2008

Monday, January 07, 2008


I guess no one-armed bandit
will hand it to me,
no red and black roulette
or last minute track-side bet
or ticket in the lottery
is likely to pay off, no play-off pool
is coming through, so far as I can see.
But I hear the owls at night,
there's sun and rain and starlight,
there's fruit and grain.
I think somewhere
they're playing our song.
And down at the harbor,
they're saying it won't be long
'til my ship comes in.
They're saying it won't be long.

- Ralph Murre

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Out There

photo by Nancy Vaughn

Look! Out there -
just at the horizon -
the ship that carries everything
I hope for
and everything I dread.
That slow ship
that was just a dot
in the mist
seems to head this way
with the wind at her back.

- Ralph Murre