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Archive for the ‘poetry’ Category

The Nap

Posted by O'Maolchaithaigh on November 23, 2017

THE NAP

My head rolls back
against the chair
it tilts to the left.
Usually when I stand
it tilts eerily right,
but I pushed it left.

For some reason
this restricts blood
to my brain.
I awake
suddenly
with a snort.

My brain is light
not full of it
but lightheaded
not enough oxygen
I feel close to death
and I realize
how easy death is.

I see a bare foot
in front of my face
it is my foot
as in a dream
because
in reality
my foot is clothed.

I remember a joke
drawn as a cartoon
in which there are
two undertakers
in a morgue
one says:
I found a lottery ticket
in his pocket
and the other says:
Lucky stiff.

The humor is that
a ticket is a ticket
and it still has value
when one is dead
one cannot use it
but someone else can
We cannot take
anything with us
we no longer
own
anything.

But I wonder
because
there are bare feet
sticking out
from under the sheets
no pockets
all the corpses are naked
so where was the ticket?

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Posted in death, humor, My Life, poem, poetry, Random Thoughts | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

T’rung, Tranh, Bau, etc. & Chatter Doors

Posted by O'Maolchaithaigh on November 6, 2017

Well, it’s been weeks since I posted. Managed to act in two short independant movies (only two lines each). Had fun. Also did background for the web series T@gged. I can be seen in one episode, since the camera shot two of the main characters directly through me and another guy for two scenes, and then we both were directly on camera in the final scene. Just worked as a data wrangler for a local 48-hour movie project that will be shown on Nov. 15 here in Albuquerque. Can’t say much or post photos of any of that just yet.

However, I did attend Sunday Chatter again. It is chamber music performed 50 Sunday mornings a year, in, currently, an antique door shop. Photos to follow. I’m glad I went, because it was a real treat, again. We were fortunate to have multiple award-winning Vietnamese immigrant Vân Ánh Võ Vân Ánh Võ perform for us. In addition to her hypnotic singing, she also performed with three traditional instruments: a Dàn T’rung, a Dàn Tranh, and a Dàn Bau. The Dàn T’rung is a bamboo instument of a varying amount of tubes, but hers has three rows of 16 bamboo tubes to replicate a full chromatic scale, consisting of three full octaves. Dàn T’rung

The Dàn Tranh is an extraordinary Vietnamese zither, a beautifully crafted instrument, with, at my count 19 strings. Dàn Tranh

There was also a single-string instrument, a Dàn Bau, another type of zither. 110317 (65) .

All of this would have been enough, but in some of her compositions she was joined by two violins, a viola, a cello, bass, flute, piano and percussion.  Did I say extraordinary already? Ah, well, it was. And the music was as beautiful as Vân Ánh Võ herself. 110317 (64) Needless to say, I was doubly enchanted.

In addition to all the music, however, Chatter always has a poet perform. This time it was Arizona native Jaclyn Roessel, a Diné (Navajo) member of several creative educational groups, an alumnus from Arizona State University, museum professional, and winner of several Jaclyn Roessel awards. 110317 (61b)

It was quite a day.  The music of Vietnam on European and Vietnamese instruments, and poetry by a Native American. Much to think about, in terms of musical variety, costly and genocidal wars, and also of rivivals in culture and pride in one’s heritage.

Dear Girl-Made-of-Honey

by Jaclyn Roessel

Dear Girl-Made-of-Honey,

Please remember everyone will be drawn to the vivacity of your sweetness. Take note of who loves you without wanting more than you can be. Remember, especially, the ones who know you are still growing and leave room for you to be all your beautiful forms at once, as you choose.

Dear Girl-Made-of-Honey,

Watch for those whose words align so beautifully with their actions that you lose track of what is said and what is done because the lines of distinction have been erased with intention, attention and devotion.

Dear Girl-Made-of-Honey,

Live your promise to be the giant of your dreams, the queen who is king, never bowing down, submitting to anything less than you deserve.

Dear Girl-Made-of-Honey,

Your light can brighten the darkest places but don’t fear reaching out for a hand to hold. It’s in the darkness where touch can feel the warmest, where kisses can go deep and love of your true self can reach back into the cave within.

Dear Girl-Made-of-Honey,

Remember you come from the heavens. You are not solely stardust but the core of its brightness, your shine will at times be too bright for those around you. Look for the ones who instead of walking away or turn their back on you, sit in your presence with heart-shaped sunglasses so they can continue to stand in your love light.

Dear Girl-Made-of-Honey,

You are the goodness of the nectar, the sweetness of the fruit, the genesis of the bloom…you, dearheart, are a gift, hold that truth close.

Dear Girl-Made-of-Honey,

Remember you are beautiful and are the strength of your people, your mother, her mother and her mother. You are the pulse of a bloodline that traces the circle we walk around the fire in the Hogan. You are the antidote, the medicine that cures.

Dear Girl-Made-of-Honey,

You are a vision prayed into existence, the gift to a people, the leader of the next generation, a vessel of solutions to your people’s heartache. Continue to shine your prismatic rays as you uncover the treasure in the womb of your soul.

Dear Girl-Made-of-Honey,

You are not simply a universe…your existence is the past, present and future. You are a resilient multiverse brimming with the light of millions of ancestors and descendants. So rest in the simplicity of your greatness knowing deep within you there is only complexity of the love of the people you are from.

Finally, some of the doors:

 

Posted in music, My Life, photography, poetry, race | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Four B(s): Bach, Bukowski, Becktell & Brown

Posted by O'Maolchaithaigh on October 15, 2017

bach-johann-sebastian  Charles-Bukowski  JoelBecktell  Nathan Brown

So, another inspirational Sunday morning, spent at Chatter, a weekly event feauring music and poetry, and espresso drinks and baked goodies.

Bach is Johann Sebastion Bach, a composer who began decomposing  in 1750. He produced quite a body of work, and wrote some of the best music ever. We listened to his preludes from Cello Suites 1, 2, & 3, interspersed with readings of the modern-day poet Charles Bukowski, who has been decomposing since 1994, and a  little of the poetry of Nathan Brown, who is not dead yet. The music was played on cello by Joel Becktell, also still alive.

Loved the music. Hard to believe that a cello can produce all those notes, because they did sometimes come fast and furious, but so harmonious that one has to listen carefully to notice that. The poetry rocked as well.  Here’s a very famous poem of Bukowski’s:

                 so you want to be a writer?

Charles Bukowski, 1920 – 1994

if it doesn’t come bursting out of you in spite of everything, don’t do it. unless it comes unasked out of your heart and your mind and your mouth and your gut, don’t do it. if you have to sit for hours staring at your computer screen or hunched over your typewriter searching for words, don’t do it. if you’re doing it for money or fame, don’t do it. if you’re doing it because you want women in your bed, don’t do it. if you have to sit there and rewrite it again and again, don’t do it. if it’s hard work just thinking about doing it, don’t do it. if you’re trying to write like somebody else, forget about it. if you have to wait for it to roar out of you, then wait patiently. if it never does roar out of you, do something else. if you first have to read it to your wife or your girlfriend or your boyfriend or your parents or to anybody at all, you’re not ready. don’t be like so many writers, don’t be like so many thousands of people who call themselves writers, don’t be dull and boring and pretentious, don’t be consumed with self- love. the libraries of the world have yawned themselves to sleep over your kind. don’t add to that. don’t do it. unless it comes out of your soul like a rocket, unless being still would drive you to madness or suicide or murder, don’t do it. unless the sun inside you is burning your gut, don’t do it. when it is truly time, and if you have been chosen, it will do it by itself and it will keep on doing it until you die or it dies in you. there is no other way. and there never was.

From sifting through the madness for the Word, the line, the way by Charles Bukowski. Copyright © 2003 by the Estate of Charles Bukowski.

 

We also listened to JS Bach’s preludes for Suites 4, 5, & 6. Powerful stuff, very ably performed by Mr. Joel Becktell.

On Charles Bukowski’s tombstome is written: “DON’T TRY”. That’s all it says. But it is the title of a poem by Nathan Brown, and it also became the title of a book of poems that are a collaboration of works by Nathan Brown and Jon Dee Graham.

Here is Nathan Brown’s take on “Don’t Try”:

                           To spend

even a minute pondering

what he might have meant,

Would be to ignore his advice.

Tricky bastard, that Bukowski.

So, forget about ‘im. He’s dead.

Which would also be his advice,

if ghosts were prone to giving it.

And, his epitaph does remind me

of something dad told me long ago,

right after a more upstanding

deacon stormed out of his study

at the church in a thick cloud

of righteous indignation:

Man… that guy

is gonna overshoot heaven

as sure as hell.

(from: TO SING HALLUCINATED: FIRST THOUGHTS ON LAST WORDS, by Nathan Brown, published 2015  (copyright © Nathan Brown), Mezcalita Press, LLC, Norman Oklahoma.)

It’s such a pleasant and inspiring way to spend my time, especially on a Sunday morning, when, at first I went because I had nothing better to do early on a Sunday, but now I go because there is nothing I’d rather be doing.

Posted in coffee, music, My Life, poetry | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

More About Fim Fish From Beyond

Posted by O'Maolchaithaigh on September 28, 2017

A little while back I wrote about Renaissance man Jim Fish, who died a few days after his 68th birthday, while hiking back down a mountain he had just climbed in the New Mexico wilderness. He was a poet, among other things.

Recently on the grounds of the winery he started, I met several other people, two of whom had a nice long truck, and a trenching machine known around here as a ditch witch. It was handy. We had to tear down a solidly built shed, one that had been built to last. I took a few swings at it with a sledge hammer, and only removed a few wooden shelf braces and some upper storage shelving. To take this thing down would have taken all of us working hard all day, and we still had to load it all on the truck. But, the ditch witch made much shorter work of that shed.

You see, after Jim’s death, we had to clean up around there. This shed had held many of Jim’s personal items: old papers, maps, camping gear, antlers, pieces of wood for carving, etc. and etc. Unfortunately, our local desert rats, or pack rats, had moved in. They pissed and shit everywhere. The mixture has the consistency of hardened epoxy. Really. You have to chip it away. It was all over everything, along with all the bits and pieces they drag into their nests. One idea was to just torch the building, but we decided it was better, and more in keeping with local fire ordinances, to just tear it down. It still took roughly 6 hours of hard work, but we got it down, and hauled away.

During the process, I found some old cards Jim had printed up, and sent out to friends many years ago. He was already into the poetry, so each had a poem, and a photo of Jim’s of New Mexico, where he lived. I had read several of Jim’s poetry books, but not all of them, so I’d never seen these poems, and I don’t even know if they were published in book form.  I scanned and cleaned the four cards up a bit digitally, and I’m posting them here, because they are good, and to give others an idea of what he was like. Those are his horses in the second photo image; they are off in the high New Mexico countryside now, just grazing and keeping an eye out for cougars. Jim took a lot of photos of bears over the years, but, as you can see, not this particular one (fourth photo image). He probably made a card each year, but the only ones I found were from 1982, 1983, 1987, and 1988.

Posted in friends, hiking, Life, photography, poetry, Uncategorized, wine | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Easter: another Sunday, & Dialogue Beer

Posted by O'Maolchaithaigh on April 16, 2017

It was a good day to get out of bed. I was going to a great concert of chamber music. Big crowd for this one. I stood in line for 15-20 minutes to get my Americano (two shots of espresso with hot water added). Barely into it when the concert started. Great and unusual, modern/contemporary music by Magnus Gustaf Adolf Lindberg, a Finnish composer. As usual there was a break for poetry (this time by Ebony Isis Booth – who has a depth that sneaks up on you), and then we were treated to Brahms. No, this was not a lullaby; this was Johannes Brahms’ Trio in A minor, Op. 114 for Clarinet, Cello, and Piano, written on his 58th birthday. It had a fascinating power and, at the same time, loveliness to it. The musicians who play these Sunday morning concerts are highly skilled. It is such a treat to hear such music – often highly complex – performed so skillfully.

Now while the coffee is superb – the baristas rock! – there were fresh-baked goodies, like the biscotti, and also, as it was Easter: dark chocolate, jelly beans and M&Ms. But nearly everyone in the place went across the street afterwards to sample the beers at the new brewery there. dialogue Really good stuff. For a $5 donation to the concert series, we got to sample five beers, of our choice. It was hard to narrow my choices down to only five, but I enjoyed them. There was a food truck parked by the curb, and some great choices there. I settled on some ramen deviled eggs, mostly because I was like: “RAMEN deviled eggs? What?” Delicious. The uncooked ramen noodles added a crunchiness to the eggs I never knew I was missing.

Of course, as usual during these concerts, my mind tends to wander a bit. I was thinking that some people compose music note by note, based on what they think is creative, and some of that so-called modern music can be mentally interesting, but it lacks beauty beyond the purely mathematical. To me, all music must exhibit passion, or the performer must make it so. Then is it music. Well, at least it is the kind of music I want to listen to. I have no restrictions on the types of music I like. But music must have passion. It can be orchestral, chamber music, or solo instruments. I enjoy classic rock (Stones, Black Sabbath, Airplane, Creedence), a little pop, some country (Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson) that is not formulaic and repetitive, and electronic music done well (Morton Subotnick, Philip Glass). I also like the energy of passionate salsa, flamenco, and tango. The Beatles and Bob Dylan gave me much to think about, and the songs could often mesmerize. I like blues, and jazz, etc.

But hell, my day was but half over. I went home and tried to get my New Mexico taxes done, but I couldn’t log in; the state’s website wouldn’t recognize my password, and I couldn’t get a new one because my email has changed and it only sent my request to change my password to my old address which I can no longer log into. So much for that. Maybe tomorrow I can get some help with that. Of course, I also have to finish my federal taxes. I filed it already, but I gave them the wrong routing number for the new savings account I had set up last year to use to pay my taxes. According to their website, I may have to wait seven or more days after filing in order to correct that little error.

Sigh. I just love paying late fees, don’t you?

Well, later I got to go hang out with my movie companion. I rent Netflix discs and we watch them on her nice TV about once a week. Tonight we watched: The End of the Tour, about “Rolling Stone” reporter David Lipsky and author David Foster Wallace. I thought it might be boring, but it was not! Lipsky accompanied Wallace on a five-day promotional tour. Wallace wrote a 1,079-page novel, Infinite JestInfinite Jest Wallace and while it didn’t contain anything earth-shakingly profound, he had a huge impact on the people who read it, like Lipsky. It is a highly acclaimed, but famously difficult book of fiction, which really just shows people what it is to be human. I like fiction. I may read it. Life is very real sometimes, too real at times, and much more enjoyable as fiction anyway, as I see it.

Bought some more of those great-tasting faux Oreos from Walgreens on my way home. Ate a third of them, which required two full glasses of milk. Did you know milk clears your palate so every bite tastes like the first bite? It has something to do with binding oils and fats on your tongue to cleanse your palatte between bites. There is also a fascinating and delicious interplay between all the chemicals in milk and cookies: emulsifiers, casein, methylbutanol, and tryptophan and other amino acids. Turns out that to get the sleep-inducing effects of tryptophan, you need a dose of carbohydrates. Not sleepy? Have some milk and carbs. Milk  cookies

Well, that was my day.

Posted in coffee, fiction, Holidays, Life, My Life, poetry, rambling | Leave a Comment »

Chasing Coyote

Posted by O'Maolchaithaigh on December 19, 2015

There was a sudden shrill yip nearby

near the other side of my front door

and another loud yip and another

as I sat reading a book of poems

with a white cat on my lap

The cat tensed, his head came up

I patted him reassuringly

but he jumped off my lap

and ran to the door, listening

then he jumped out the flap.

I was a bit surprised

The last cat that had sat on my lap

had died out there close by

I never knew how he died

but he had always feared coyotes

I imagined the worst.

But this cat is fearless.

Posted in Life, poem, poetry | Tagged: , , | 3 Comments »

pɐoɹ ǝɥʇ ƃuıssoɹɔ ʇsoɥƃ ǝןɐd

Posted by O'Maolchaithaigh on August 7, 2011

˙ǝɯ punoɹɐ sɯɹɐ ǝsoɥʇ ɟo ssǝuʇɟos ƃuoɹʇs ǝɥʇ sı sɹǝʇʇɐɯ ʇɐɥʇ llɐ ˙uǝʇʇoƃɹoɟ sı ǝɔuǝıɹǝdxǝ ɥʇɐǝp-ɹɐǝu ɹno ˙ɯlɐɔ ɯɐ ı ˙sǝɥɔuı ʎq ǝʇoʎoɔ ǝɥʇ ssıɯ ǝʍ ˙ǝɯ sǝʌɐs ʇɐɥʇ ǝɔuǝsǝɹd ɹǝɥ sı ʇı ˙ǝɯ sɹoɥɔuɐ ǝɥs ˙ʎʇıɹnɔǝs ˙ʇlǝq ʇɐǝs ɐ ǝʞıl ʇsǝɥɔ ʎɯ punoɹɐ sɯɹɐ ‘ǝɯ puıɥǝq ɐʎɐɯ ˙ɹǝʇsɐsıp ɹɐǝu ˙ɥdɯ ǝʌıɟ-ʎʇɟıɟ ʇɐ ǝlɔʎɔɹoʇoɯ ˙puɐs ɟo ɹoloɔ ǝɥʇ ‘ǝʇoʎoɔ ɐ ˙pɐǝɥɐ pɐoɹ ǝɥʇ ƃuıssoɹɔ ʇsoɥƃ ǝlɐd

Posted in motorcycles, My Life, poem, poetry | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

THE JOY OF BRAIN TUMORS

Posted by O'Maolchaithaigh on March 14, 2011

I didn’t know I could find joy in
a brain tumor
I never really felt love before
the brain tumor
I never felt such fear
a brain tumor!?

We joke about it
It’s not like you have a brain tumor
We compare headaches to
brain tumors.

It’s my step-daughter that had
the brain tumor
I never knew such fear
– the all-day brain surgery
– the chemotherapy
– the radiation.

I never knew I felt such love
this young woman I’d known
thirteen years from girl to woman
I never knew such joy
– after the operation she survived
– still needed chemo she survived
– still needed radiation
gamma knife
– a high-tech magic bullet.

Damn brain tumor
fuckin’ damn brain tumor
dead brain tumor.

She survived
She’s alive
She’s healthy
She’s whole.

My chest loosened
I can breathe
My heart
is beating.

I never knew such joy before
the brain tumor.

Posted in family, health, Life, love, medical, poem, poetry, relationships | Tagged: , , , , , | 4 Comments »

QUE PASO?

Posted by O'Maolchaithaigh on September 29, 2010

When I was a very young man
I asked my father to please tell me
Will I get lucky Will I get laid
Here’s what he said to me

Que sera, sera
Whatever will be, will be
The future’s not ours to see
Que sera, sera
What will be, will be

When I grew up and fell in love
I asked each lover what lies ahead
Will there be love and sex every day
Here’s what my lovers said

Que sera, sera
What will be will be
The future’s not ours to see
Que sera, sera
What will be, will be

When I was just an old man
I asked my shrink what should I try
Could I fall in love again or fucking give up
This was his wise reply

Que sera, sera
Whatever will be, will be
The future’s not ours to see
Que sera, sera
What will be, will be

What will be, will be
Que sera, sera.

Posted in humor, Life, love, madness, marriage, misanthropy, My Life, poem, poetry, relationships, sex | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

TUMBLEBUNNIES

Posted by O'Maolchaithaigh on September 12, 2010

Dust bunnies blow across my floors
like tumbleweeds through my yard
Some blow away, keep tumbling
some get stuck.

Tumbleweeds in the ditch
tumbleweeds in the fence
dust bunnies in the corner
dust bunnies underneath

Memories are like that.

Posted in Life, love, madness, My Life, poem, poetry, Random Thoughts | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

MORE PANCAKES PLEASE

Posted by O'Maolchaithaigh on September 11, 2010

Some people eat beans every day
some people have bread every meal
some eat anything any old way
We had potatoes, hey, what’s the deal?

Ate a lot of them growing up
with potatoes in the garden
and meat vegetable potatoes
every night for dinner

Mashed potatoes Scalloped potatoes
Boiled potatoes Baked potatoes
Home-fried potatoes
French-fried potatoes

Potatoes au gratin
Potatoes and ham
Bacon potato salad
Sweet potato pie

Potatoes in the stews
potatoes in the soups
potatoes as main course
potatoes on the side

But, ah! potato pancakes
smothered in applesauce
Couldn’t get enough
More pancakes please.

Posted in family, My Life, poem, poetry, rambling, Random Thoughts | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

HAIKU NIGHT

Posted by O'Maolchaithaigh on July 17, 2010

Dark blue evening sky
Wispy white clouds floating high
Feet in the water.

Posted in Life, My Life, poem, poetry | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

SMOKE, LIGHT, AND SCENTED LOVE

Posted by O'Maolchaithaigh on May 3, 2010

I’d like to be
a scented candle
in your room
burning for you
glowing
scenting

I’d like to please you
make you feel good
fill your senses
relax you

I see my scent
clinging to you
swirling
falling
rising
caressing you

I see my scent
clinging
to your hair
to your skin
long after
you blow me out

you set me aflame
you made me glow
incandescent
iridescent
you put me out
quenched my flame
I smolder
a smoky ember
yearning to
make you happy
light your face
make you smile

Your lips are a torch
when they smile
Should you smile
if only you would
I think it could
fan my ember
into a wildfire

light me up
so that
I may swirl around you
touching you
pleasing you

O to burn so brightly
even for a moment

ecstasy

though I be totally
consumed.

Posted in love, madness, poem, poetry, relationships | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

I REMEMBER TASTING ORANGE

Posted by O'Maolchaithaigh on February 11, 2010

I remember tasting
orange liquor
in your navel
drank it
ran my tongue
down
between your legs
thrusting it

into your sex
your red almond
of sweet
honey joy.

Posted in Life, love, marriage, My Life, poem, poetry, relationships, sex | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

NEVERTHELESS MORE

Posted by O'Maolchaithaigh on October 16, 2008

pussys are patient

impassive silent

women are not

men are impatient

mostly about sex

woman can take that

mostly they leave it

what women do want

is ‘our’ own house now

to spend ‘our’ money

to travel and dine

to eat and drink wine

to party and play

you don’t get a say

all for ‘us’ today

now and now and now

but sex tomorrow

I do prefer cats

but I love women

nevertheless more.

Posted in Life, love, madness, marriage, My Life, poem, poetry, relationships, sex, Writing | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

BREAKING POINTS

Posted by O'Maolchaithaigh on August 29, 2008

Things happen

violence flares

mom throws things

yells at Dad

Dad yells at Mom

throws things

Mom threw a glass at me

broken shard cut my leg.

Dad, angry knocked me

into walls or

my breath out

backhanded me

from across a table

spankings,

leather strap too

didn’t faze me

much

but

when he falsely accused

and slapped me

one way and back the other

and back again and

his hand swung

and I snapped

knocked him down

and raised my foot

to kick!

his head in

smash his brains

but

he caught my leg

in powerful arms

smiling

never hit me again.

35 years later

married

arguing

she accuses

falsely

she yells

calls me a liar

coffee cups in our hands

I empty mine at her

she throws hers in my face

and I snap

What is wrong with you?

escapes my lips

between clenched teeth

and I slap one way

and the other and swing

my open hand

to slap again

with fingers only

but she backs away

and I sit in my chair

and smash a remote

against a wall

I am my father.

she calls the police

domestic violence, she says

I’m in a domestic violence situation

she says

I listen from my chair

disbelief replaces anger.

the police come

while I clean up the coffee

she is not there

cops are suspicious

stained rag in my hand

no one else around

oh shit! I think

yes, of course, come in

search the house

she is not here

I don’t know where

crap!

I show them neighbors

where she might be

they find her

tell me I have to leave

counseling for me

anger management for me

Later on

She tells me to stay

unless it ever happens again

It never does, but

she keeps drinking

moody

angry happy sad up and down

never satisfied

impatient

demanding and hard

belittling and mean.

I left all that as a boy

but, now, in love

I can’t leave her

my heart beats

in a hollow

relationship

year after year after year.

Posted in family, Life, love, madness, marriage, My Life, poem, poetry, relationships | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

THREE

Posted by O'Maolchaithaigh on August 29, 2008

In two thousand and three

three thousand dollars

bought three weeks in China

two 23-hour plane trips

meals hotels and travel

buses, trains, and boats

five more plane rides

Beijing and Shanghai

Gulin, Xian, Hong Kong

Rivers Yangtze and Li

the Grand Canal in Suzhou

markets and pandas

and cormorants too

small concrete towns

terraced hills

and fish ponds on roofs

lacquerware silk

acrobats motorcyles

museums and gardens

flowers and ponds

temples and factories.

Thousands of

the national bird

— the construction crane —

are everywhere.

Curious white masks

more and more we see

worn on bikes in shops

in cars on buses

an epidemic – SARS

Meanwhile —

the USA invades Iraq

no weapons are found

bloody pictures posted

on walls, fences, bus stops

of Iraqi children.

Chinese express sympathy

for us poor Americans

our country is at war.

I wear my peace symbol Peace

on my lapel as I travel.

A soldier stares at it

under Tianamen Square

But, returning home

brings anxiety —

will they let me return?

will SARS close US borders?

is peace treasonous?

But

all they ask is

did I have contact with

anyone, anyone with SARS?

and I have to remove

my shoes

pass through x-rays

and my bag is searched.

I’m home.

O’Maolchaithaigh 2008-2017

Posted in Life, My Life, poem, poetry, Travel, World | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Coffee, tea, coke or Nana?

Posted by O'Maolchaithaigh on February 19, 2008

I LIKE TO DRINK

coffee.jpg

coffee  (Costa Rican)

Good to the last drop

black tea (Lipton)

Made from tiny little tea leaves
needs sugar black-tea.jpg
raw (Hawaiian)

And I like cow juice too

2%, (Creamland)

hormone freemilk.jpg

whiskey-pour.jpg Now, whiskey,

whiskey is OK,

(Jameson’s 1780)

Triple distilled

Twice as smooth

but

nothing

nothing beats a Coca Cola

make it real

I like the way coke.jpg
it dissolves my teeth
removes stains
or cleans the toilet bowl
Now, That’s good stuff.

© O’Maolchathaigh 2013


Now for something really cool, listen to and watch Nana Mouskouri sing a blues classic: Black Coffee (YouTube)   mouskouri
Oh, yeah.

Posted in coffee, poem, poetry, Random Thoughts | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Jeanne Gauna and Che Guevara

Posted by O'Maolchaithaigh on February 5, 2008

jgauna.jpg

I think about Jeanne Gauna
and Cuba and Che Guevara
Little brown woman
with the huge smile
tiny NM town Jeanne
in big city Albuquerque
trips to Cuba
(the country, not the town)
sugar cane and rum
new houses new clinics
I think about Jeanne’s velorio
about her friend the priest
he said her language was
colorful
but he spoke of her work
tireless fighter for justice
a revolutionary
a friend

Jaime was there too
he’d been crying
I didn’t recognize him
sunken red eyes
behind dark glasses
Is he on drugs
I wondered oddly
I barely knew him
but he knew Jeanne
fellow traveler
husband Eric smiling
he smiles like Jeanne
after years with her
what else could he do?
son Karlos was there
Karlitos grown to man
fighter for justice

A revolutionary never dies
Che lives Jeanne lives
revolutionaries touch people
in ways we don’t imagine
until they’re gone
our lives are different
we remember them
we dream their dreams
we feel them near
we miss them
we carry on

Posted in poem, poetry, politics, Writing | Tagged: , , , | 3 Comments »

BLOODROCK

Posted by O'Maolchaithaigh on January 23, 2008

malpais_lava.jpg

8am. Saturday morning. Phone. Ringing.
Hi! It’s Mark I’ve got a truck
taking the lava rocks to Mt. Taylor today
wanna come?

Three years Mark collected these rocks
just a few each trip
he’d drive 70 miles to see May
she lives near Grants on Oso Ridge.

The rocks are bad luck, May Lee said
don’t mix East flow with West flow
if you do if you do
Enemy of the People may return.

In the Navajo story of creation
the Twins slew the monster –
the one who troubled the People
his blood is black hard sharp.

Landscapers create rock gardens
Mark decorated his land
delineated his agriculture
with lavaculture.

Jesús fell his friend Jesús

fell off the wagon fell down
face onto sharp rocks
blood on the rocks.

Mark remembered the tale of the flow
the respect of Navajo for myth
Mark respects tradition
guilt guilt guilty

Love on the rocks too

Could his rocks be cursed?
bad blood between him and May
“Get out” “I’m leaving”

He decided to put things right
return the rock to its home
to the dead lava lake
oh and maybe May would come?

Heavy rocks
four strong men leather gloves
wheelbarrow rented flatbed
We panted the truck canted.

We drove to Mt. Taylor
(stopped to pee and gas the truck
12 dollars twelve gallons.
or three gallons a-piss).

To the mountain whose blood we carried
unloaded our burden
tossed right, threw left, dumped back
and May helped too.

A black lake of cold liquid rock

old pools glass-smooth sharp
whirls and eddies
frozen in time by the sacred mountain.

A few hundred pounds next to the flow
prodigal shards of blood of the beast
returned to their home
wasteland of unfriendly stone.

Our mission done, we played in the snow
the sky darkened rumbled
flashes split the air
time to go.

Lunch at El Cafecito
green chile stew pie and ice cream
the sky opened water poured
drove 60 miles home

the windows leaked.

Posted in humor, Life, love, madness, poem, poetry, relationships, Uncategorized, World, Writing | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

IF LOVE EXPECTS FOREVER

Posted by O'Maolchaithaigh on January 16, 2008

There’s more to love than romance and lust
more to love than sharing and caring
or kissing so looong you forget to breathe.
There’s more to love than even that.

I lost a love
a special love, comforting, relaxed
sensual, full of future,
an obliteration of all failures.

I hurt How to describe the pain?
I hurt everywhere all at once
my skin muscle bone
every cell in my body hurt.

I’d lost more than a lover
more than the comfort of her flesh
more than her presence in my life her beauty her wit
I’d lost more than a mate to share sorrow and joy

I’d lost more than the children we might have had
the feel of her swollen belly
the cry of our infant
the joy of teaching, nursing, nurturing
our children our children our children

I cried at first
pounding my hands on a floor wet with tears
I played with her gun carelessly left behind.
Shot a bullet into the desert it worked well.

no not that.
I imagined her return
believing our love would bring her back.

“I couldn’t hurt him,” she told me
She had to do what was best for her.

So she went to him

she didn’t talk, about us
she didn’t want to care.

I couldn’t live I couldn’t die

I was dead.

Radio, sweet music, had lost its power
The birds just screeched flowers only smelled
I couldn’t eat I couldn’t drink I couldn’t feel
No food no water no love
Too late too late too late.

“Our love is over,” my love told me.
“Men always want to hang on.
When it’s over it’s over.” It’s over.
“We’ll still be friends really.” Really?
Once we shared ideas
Now she’s too busy his politics her politics
my ideas are wrong, my friends mistaken.

Love is more than that
more than expectations
more than pain pain goes away.
Love is learning how to survive
day-to-day
and love again
no expectations now.

Losing love showed me my soul

I never knew I had one.

© O’Maolchathaigh

Posted in Life, love, madness, My Life, poem, poetry, relationships, sex, Writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

 
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