Friday, May 30, 2008

links op rechts

The sharpest-eyed may have already noticed a couple of new links in the right-hand column, but for the mortals in the crowd, let me point them out:
You should be aware that anything put together by Norbert Blei and the mysterious Monsieur K. will be worth following diligently, and Basho's Road is exemplary. Dedicated to haiku and other short poetry, the site is beautifully done and will certainly be an education. Watch it like a hawk.
I am also mightily impressed by the work I see in White Rose's Garden. Take a look, I think you'll like it. Not a weed in sight.
You know, I was once working some ground to plant a new garden, when I plowed up a steel rudder for a boat. Since I had no boat, it would have been logical to throw it away, but about a year later, a small boat came to me, and it needed just such a rudder. Similarly, I took the photo above a few years ago, not knowing why, and now a White Rose has come to me, perhaps in need of just such a photo.

- RM

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


in sun-flooded day
tell me how to remember
the light of one candle
- arem

Thursday, May 22, 2008

writing haiku with conrad

oh, turn down those lights
listen to the beat of it
this heart of darkness
- arem

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

And Yet

And Yet

I have walked the broken surface
of your roads
and heard commerce rattling by
I have seen the raven
dodging Dodges and Kenworths
and Cadillacs for his meal

And I have dreamed

I have cried the sour tears
of your skies
and tasted the acid in the rain
I have seen the gleaming trout
gulping amid baggies and Bayliners
and bargeloads of hybrid bounty

And I have dreamed

I have listened to Sunday sermons
from pulpits
and heard your gods denied
I have seen the holy men
begging for crumbs from the table
and going unfed and crazy

And I have dreamed

I have known the laughter
of children
and seen them by the yellow busload
going to their lessons
and rehearsals and recruiters
and heard the laughing stop

And yet I dream

- Ralph Murre

from Crude Red Boat, Cross + Roads Press 2007

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


in the sharp needles
of these green-gowned spring nurses
the cure for winter
- arem

Friday, May 16, 2008

at altitude

Black and white daydream:
the continental divide,
this old fear of heights.

- arem

Monday, May 12, 2008


"Forgive us our trespasses," we beg; to no one in particular. "As we forgive those who trespass against us," we continue, as white Americans, having no idea up until a few years ago what trespassing against us might even feel like, let alone being ready to forgive it.

I saddled up my Harley-Davidson Rozinante on Saturday, and ventured out on a little quest to another corner of paradise and saw just what I had hoped to see -- but did not feel what I had hoped to feel. I knew, of course, that I was on the land of the Menominee, but had failed to REALLY take into account that it was not, by any stretch of the imagination, my land. Because I am sympathetic to Native causes and may even have a drop of Native blood in my veins, I had supposed that my being on a land reserved for its original people would feel just fine. After all, I was entering with a degree of reverence, would take nothing but pictures and leave nothing but footprints (and not MANY of either.) I sprinkled some tobacco which I'd brought along as a sort of spirit offering. It was not my first time on a reservation.

I think the difference, this time, was that I began to think about that word. "Reservation". Began to think about it not only as a prison where we hold people for the crime of being native, but as a tiny fragment of land reserved. For the people born to it.

Oh, I will still ignore "No Trespassing" signs most of the time, but I think when I'm on reservation land I will show the courtesy of asking my hosts' permission before wandering in as though I owned the place. I think I'll never hear "This land is your land, this land is my land," in quite the same way. This land is your land.

Forgive us our trespasses.

- Ralph Murre

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Could Be (revised)

Now, don't think I've gone 'round the bend on ya, and don't be lookin' fer me down at Sunday go t' meetin'; but there COULD be angels, I guess. And I sure as hell am not sayin' there's a big G God out there, since I find it a lot easier to conceive of a lot of little g gods who don't get along very well. But when, I'm wondering, did I get so much smarter than all those people over the millenia who absolutely believed in SOMETHING in the way of a force or mind that occasionally, and maybe just for fun, screws around with our little, mortal mentalities. Oh, the true believers have done more out and out EVIL than an arena full of atheists could ever dream of, but hey, a very few of them aren't all bad. A few, even, are among my heroes -- consider the words of one of them now:

. . . I never believed in the presence of angels, but my dreams have changed . . . I asked him for one more moment of the dream, which gave me peace.

. . . Science is concerned to deprive us of illusions, though why it is eager to do so is unclear . . . What have they left us? Only the accountancy of a capitalist enterprise.

- Czeslaw Milosz, from his book SECOND SPACE

Incidentally, one of the angels in the photo above is my five year old granddaughter, who, upon returning home with her new costume said to her two-and-a-half year old brother, "I'll be an angel, and you can be Baby Jesus.", to which he replied, "No. I'm a snake." Clearly, both have inherited my genes.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Cinco at JJ's

cinco at jj's

looked a lot like this

but there were more people

and less who looked like hookers

and I weighed 50 pounds more

and the floor was not checkered

I guess

- rm

Sunday, May 04, 2008


Somewhere, there may be beauty
that is not a little sad;
but not in the ear of a poet,
not in the eye of an artist.

Saturday, May 03, 2008


Don't know how I'll ever get a haiku right,
or how to know when I have.