Sunday, August 27, 2006


Too long held apart
Streams overflow earthen dams
Join in hidden woods
Their colored waters
And follow their gravity
As one river strong enough
To carry burdens
Strong enough the mingled flow
To roll on unstopped
To sea-level finality
No escape but to evaporate
And begin again raining
On the Red River and the Yellow
On Mississippi delta blues
And on the Blue Nile
And the Blue Danube
On the Laughing Whitefish
And the sadness of the Seine
On the Wisconsin
And the O-hi-o

An old idea, returning to the sea
An old idea, you and me

- Ralph Murre

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Monday, August 21, 2006


I had the rare good fortune, Friday evening, to attend a performance by AvantRetro, the poetry and music duo of Charles Rossiter and Al DeGenova. These guys are the real thing, folks -- great poetry, full of what has been and what is, with hints of what will be -- all presented in a terrific, entertaining manner, with accents of well-wrought jazz and blues riffs accentuating all. I'd had the opportunity to hear Al solo before, which was very good, but the combination of these two is just that much better.

Friday's perfomance was at Milwaukee's oddly-named but terrifically good Woodland Pattern Book Center, where even the open-mike readings were mighty impressive, and the collection of poetry books on hand is -- I'm running out of superlatives here -- very, very large.

If you have the chance to hear AvantRetro live, go hear them. Or get their CD (cleverly titled "AvantRetro") Or buy their book, "Back Beat". Listen to Charles Rossiter's audio website, and buy Al DeGenova's journal of Chicago writing and art, after hours.

Does any of this sound like I might have enjoyed myself on Friday night? Well, yes, my friends, I guess I did.

Thursday, August 10, 2006


Someone who is very close to me thinks that self-portrait in my last posting looks nothing like me and suggests that "it is just plain scary". The fact that it looks the way I feel much of the time is, apparently, of no consequence.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Give and Take

in the bright honesty
of the forest clearing
and the dappled dark trail
give me your hand

in the questioning gaze
of the crowded cafe
and rose-windowed cathedral
your smile

to the unnamed color
of the rolling wave crest
and sunlight in canyons
take my heart

and beyond and beyond
all of me

- ralph murre