Saturday, February 27, 2010

All Right

I can take you to houses of housebreakers
and homes of homewreckers.
I can take you to the edge of the sea.
I can show you where to sleep under bridges
and tell you not to.
I know 28 ways to get warm,
but none work.
I can sing the first lines of songs
and hum what hasn't been heard yet.
I can show you a billion stars
and name three.
You can show me dancers
called Staci or Wanda or Michel.
You can take me to that little place you know
with good chili. And cornbread.
I can tell you how all of this looks
from over there. Or up there.
We can drink with abject objectionists
and stand out among insiders.
You can take me to Green Mountains
and Death Valleys.
You can show me
the red-rimmed eyes of believers,
show me where they've knelt
before high priests and loan officers.
We can dance in circles.
You can take me wading
in the deep end of the pool,
swimming in fresh dew on the lawns
of the desert and the deserted.
We can be quiet as Quakers
as we meet with madmen.
You can tell me everything,
or at least something, will be all right.
I can believe you.

~ Ralph Murre

That first line was prompted by, which is to say stolen from, Alexander McCall Smith.

Monday, February 22, 2010

But, Daddy . . .

Murre, DeGenova, Rossiter, Koehler
But Daddy, I can't sleep . . . are you SURE there are no poets living in our town? Maybe even right here on our street? What does a poet actually look like, Daddy? Pretty scary, I bet.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

No Dreams?

. . . and those people who don't believe in gods . . .
do they never dream then?

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Plastic Ekphrastic Post#400

Wassily Kandinsky
On Kandinsky's "Painting with Red Spot" 1914

In this grey
Great Lake
how I long
for color
the flame
gold blue
blooming orchard
amber field
red spot
sailor's warning
orange mountain
of your painting
But Wassily
to be fair
it's O.K.
for me
to be here
you there
~ Ralph Murre

Yes, this is my 400th post to this site. And , this would be a great spot for me to say something rather profound. No such luck. I thought a little about trying to tie this into "The 400", meaning, I guess, the elite of society, but I am obviously in no position to speak on that subject. Then I thought about the Chicago & Northwestern's "400", the crack passenger train that traveled, I believe, from Chicago to Minneapolis in 400 minutes, which is still a rather enviable speed, but I realize that speed records have not much to do with this blog nor with my life in general. So, after my first 400 posts, I will simply say Thank You to those several of you have followed along, and I'll say that I hope to continue, in my not-so-elite and not-so-speedy way, to lay a few thoughts before you.

Saturday, February 06, 2010


From Paradise

This minaret of dolomite, cold-water flat, artist’s garret of a peninsula appended to the broad side of my state, this bit of rock with life oozing from every fissure holds my heart, holds my thoughts, carries my prayers. Floats body and mind from fertile farms and second cities, away, into the cool of the lake. Here, to be a member in good standing of sunrise and set, to be part of rainbow’s arc and thunderhead’s roll.

Here, too, the rush of commerce, the haul-it-in, haul-it-out retailing of the gross world product in the shapes of lighthouses, gull-like geegaws and fishing boat fol-de-rol. Lodgers in plaid shorts replace loggers in plaid shirts. Where cedars live on rock and hope, and trilliums announce the season, signs of spring also include “for sale”, “private beach”, and “own the dream”. We’ll each buy an acre and mark its corners with bright ribbons, to show one another where the dream ends.

in a leaking boat
someone from paradise
rowing hell-bent

- Ralph Murre

first published, in this form, online at Haibun Today