after summer

Copyright © Carlton Godbold 2008

Set for publication, Fall 2009, limited edition

reserve your copy now

Baba Bubba Abroad Baba Bubba At Home

     Mansuetude       Twisted Realism
     Baba Bubba in Europe      Not Me
     Amsterdam Idyll      The Known Past
     A Snooty Woman      Santa's Reindeer
     No Nature – No Teeth      Leap Day Dawn 2-29-08
     Museum Tour      The Skinny - An Ode  to Weight Loss
     Pyre of Ire      The Pow-Wow Tao and the Naco Taco
     Fire of Desire      Quicky
     Bubba and the Fishing Fairy      Passed Out Long Ago
     The Future of Now      I Am
     Consequences      Well Witching
     Bubba in the Killing Fields      Low Grade Mind
     Aquarium at the End of  the World      In Cahoots
     A New Age      Datura Moon
     After Summer      Sundown

     In the Beginning


     The  Rebels

     Bubba's  Castle – the nickel tour

     After the Storm


        However your attitude -
             herein find latitude
            to change, to re-arrange,
            your hurt and your mania.

        Approach, herein -
                to the beatitude of gratitude,
        the precept of tolerance,
        the transhumance of chance and venues,
        the seasonal migration of outdoor grills
        and fireplace gridirons,
        the propinquity of serendipity,
        the provenance of Providence,
        the boon of the moon.

        Approach, herein -
        without flouting the daunting haunting,
        without flaunting the doubtful accord;
        steer clear of bitter beer,
        avoid places where the sounder flounder
                    and bounders founder.

        Approach, herein -
        to speaking of acceptable kindness,
        care of the common mindness.

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Baba Bubba in Europe

    He walks the cities, skirts civic actions,
    does not stop at doors of ill repute.

    He’s big for this age, these days –
    but gentle and does not rage,
    glances for the fleeting revelations
    of the real, the blinks of frozen mimes.

    He finds one-star rooms with clean sheets
    who knew pine bowers on forest treks
    and liked them better, then.

    He sits and waits,
    quiet beside settled waters,
    hears the rumors of silences
    that words could not settle.

    His good feelings for domestic folk
    don’t rouse the wild in him,
    but the world that was, does –
    the world that wars made bad a while,
    a while ago, did;
    that evil golems gloat over
    and fret to resurrect.

    Those are bears he hunts, now,
        and tusked boars he knows to stalk and slay.

    His lays lie on ley lines that fate divines,
    grape clusters reward his foraging,
    his anonymous shadow fits in,
    the stealth of health and quiet mind.

    The poppies in Flanders fields
    grow upon his brothers’ bones:
    they live on in him, and he for them,
    the flowers and the brothers both
    seek not vengeance, but an end
    to what has been, and may come again.

    He hides his wings
    to search the meanings of men;
    the semantic shifts that propagate liberty
    in spite of all earthly constraints;
    the rhetoric of canonical oratory
    that tolerates no questions,
    the beetled brows of dull doubt,
    skepticism of the oft deceived and long oppressed,
    the short shrift the ignorant give to the high and haughty,
    the box both sides came out of,
    pox of hard knocks and pestilential preferences,
    the greed chomped pork chops
    slavered in plagues, indulgences,
    the universal perversity of monopoly,
    the inevitable catastrophe to break
    the rose colored glasses that prejudice peers through
    to preserve its privileges.

    He grew up separating good goats from coyotes,
    never worked with sheep in paddocks
         nor dandified warlocks,
    grandees with goatees, ground lamb in curried patties,
    not sails of windmills of the Dutch gone Spain
    that pumped water into the seas and ground grain
    with the blood of serfs, subjects and sharecroppers
    for titled aristocracies, their follies and eccentric
    pleasures in exclusive, reclusive conclaves of knaves.

    “Siempre he oido, Sancho,
        que hacer bien a villanos es echar agua al mar.”

    He did salvage some ashes other mustaches left, back home,
    voting rights from bigot whites,
    and guarantees that labor would not be left wounded
    broke news-less and viewless helpless and useless
    dead headed dumb and dirt ignorant.

    He saw the ledes of Pancho’s credes, the villas lead left for dead
    for too much bitchness in richness.
    All this would be over, now, but for the infinite return
    of discredited populism and re-occurring seeds of ism’s weeds;
    shiploads of oil and barrels of spent jisms,
    carbon steel in the turning wheel of shortened time
    made ever new for the frantic antics,
    the manic passions of mortal men.

    He’d rather be a genii
    with a teeny weeny
    mustard seed of faith
    that need not thrust nor parry
    nor worry the hairy humps
        of rutting gnomes –
        that fill the overcrowded huts
        and homes with lust filled anger – Holmes.  
        When all this struggle proves a muggle,
        Bubba will have fled, shed his skin of sin,
        gone beyond the pale of ale,
    beyond the tete a tete of the public square,
    where the upside of greater good is damned
    to swell the partisan waters
    for man-made disaster,
    beyond the donnybrook by the bonny brook
    of self serving care,
    the delights of busy bodies -
    the ennui of the hazy for the fickle rain.

    He hides his wings,
    they guard their things,
    (not from him – from Roma – and from Rome).

    The end is always nigh:
    a time to sell, a time to buy,
    a time to storm through the night
    in stark raving lark of wonder
    and appreciation.

    Good people see him and know him,
    and do not fear him.
    They see that he is proud
    but not dangerous to them.
    They know that his caste is extinct,
    the frontier he came from long gone.


Amsterdam Idyll

    Old gates of war-born states
    have given way to clear,
    (and some red)
    eyes of electron-fed stars.
    Public brows of orderly commerce
    interlace more personal tolerances.

    Elms line the motorized waterways,
    gulls and pigeons swoop the urban canyons
    between leaning houses of the grand
    in the great shining city built on mud.
    Coffee House patrons sip forgetfulness.
    Tourists in excursion barges look on
    as map-walkers marvel
    and dodge the chimes of speeding cycles.
    On the street by the flower market,
    beside a canal,
    a blossomed woman inspects her bought roses,
    secures her bundled stems,
    mounts her bike and with her sleek calves
    has gone - Bubba’s whiff of cowgirls past.

    Beside stone bridges
    familiar paces nod in passing
    the faces not needed to know who.

    The inside comfort of clean hands and warm bread,
    mercies with spontaneity of good sense,
    meetings of casual kisses and goings of cool fruits.
* * *

        Houseboats barely bob at mooring,
        shaded by sentry trees at attention.
        Over the sidewalk, a second-story window,
        curtains behind flowers.
        Inside – the roses.

        He unlocks the front door
        and twists the stairs up to her.
        His brows un-toughen to her touch.

        She has worked, too -
        worked and not stiffened.
        She closes the curtains on their workday,
        unbuttons his shirt -
        and he shivers off the wraith of frustration.

        “I dreamt, last night, of baby goats and roosters.”

        “I dreamt of levers and snails.”

        Their evening hours like pomegranates,
        tiny bursts of savory songs and musings
        of port wine sacraments:
        the crystal glasses, the roses.

        In the canal, coots squabble,
        a swan swims
        beneath a stone bridge.

        Atop the church spire at sunset
        a golden rooster beacons –
        guide light to those who look eastward.
        Crowds gather in cafes.
        Books in the garret speak of many loves.
        Twilight lasts for hours.

* * *

    You must forbear in others -
    mind's comforting usages,
    the hearth that dusk and dawn
    warms to the Un-nameable,
    verbs like herbs to ease the un-regret in, that is,
    where vacancy is, or was.

    Poodle puppy in a bicycle basket.

    Must forgive in yourself the day-lit joys,
    the sunshine you sip from sidewalks
    after the morning fog rises,
    the eye-sight that alights
    on cleavage under black lace under white blouse,
    or the rose-colored tight-covered buttocks
    of luscious hussies - the vogue rouge of rumbustious
    rambunctions and rogue functions.

    Here is the faceless Goddess
    - archetype of ancient effigies -
    She of the kind smile, the penetrating vision,
    the passion;
    Athena the Giantess, Astarte the Smarty,
    Isis the rare bird – the red-cheeked ibis
    that flies to rape lean and lonely men
    among whom none have lifted her veil.

        Oh, Minerva with her dusk-dawned owl,
        that some fear for bad fortune
        and others seek for allegory.

        She is always busy, on the prowl,
        even in her lovely repose,
        she probes for fits of adoration
        and casual ties of cornered glances.

        She chooses carefully
        what she prays for:

        Flowers without funerals,
        presents of presence
        essential oils to exude existential
        fragrance of pleasance.
        She is gentle but not too shy.

* * *

        You who seek – the know-not-what,
        must come to the know-not-where.

        Down the hushed trails,
        behind the veils of cartooned cruising,
        through the portal of Omen College.

        Fresh faces of dead artists,
        old words that live with new reading,
        Don Unamuno's wished-for glory,
        Souls in United Spirit, fates in common story.

        What your true story means,
        what roses are...
        what you need is here,
        just in front of these kind words,
        beyond thing-ness – goodness -
        born for more, again,
        that love of God be not shorn
        of love for men,
        that good wheat in time be made bread.

        Upon clean sheepskins,
        an unbundled baby gurgles.
        A red ball bounces and rolls
        toward what may it be.

        Universal hunger for wisdom's bosom
        supplicates getting of supple giving,
        sweetly giving the caring getting,
        joins and soothes,
        blushes and shushes the robust cupid,
        the tempered tinkler.

        This pristine budding begs pruning,
        the forcing of more blossoms, later,
        but for now the deed is done,
        the virgin won for fondness,
        the fondling of baby’s bonding.

        The guides of ageless night
        wait beyond self reflection, other's eyes,
        other's minds.

* * *

        Between Ann Frank's House and Rembrandt Square
                a street musician carries his used Spinoza.

        She has gone,
        breasts like wine glasses -
        not filled for your tasting.

        Salt of earth has lost flavor.
        Flowers get no favor.

        Alone in the garret with St. John of the Cross,
        an approach to the impossible
        recourse of ineffable resource.

        From among the stones of heaven
        you may take the ephemeral emerald,
        glorious and well-made stone,
        enigma of ever and also this place,
        forever the ever here too.

        From the vein of gold in the Rock of Ages
        fashion a band and bond
        to the glowing green.

        With this tiny chain
        of faiths like orchids strung
        around delicate and tender neck
        of novice monk,
        under beautiful breeze-tussled hair,
            keep the emerald,
        and love will be there.

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A Snooty Woman

Notice her elegant pinkie,
as she contemplates the fly in her wine glass.
She’s nonchalant about the canary in the canapés,
ignores the con-man in the corner on the “would” pile.
She hides the causes of her smiles,
the silly similes that reveal her pretty dimples:
A friendly, ugly poodle; the last gas of another pot of beans;
how we pretend to intend.
She’s unwilling to extend the conversation that features
elongated figures
of the flirting question,
or openly speculate about whether He is a lout,
or just overly stout,
too old or too bold,
yet wishes he would buy one, and another one.
And, of course, he will.
(She’s such a precious pill!
Or would be – could be – maybe).

But enough of that.

She’s miffed that attention shifts from her
when Carlo Marx walks in
and begins blurting
long stemmed roses
from out of his saxophone.


No Nature – No Teeth

    Therapeutic wine made his sooth cool,
    won’t save his tooth, though;
    it's wobbly and must go tomorrow.
    Dang! And the ones he has left are none too pretty.
    Not ready for dentures, yet – can chew
    but no longer chaw to gnaw gizzards.
    How about topaz? That's what he’s thinking:
    a blue topaz tooth up front
    and agates in back,
    that's what he lacks
    for shame.

    Vagabond soul set in wayward waves,
    marked by high waters – flood blood brothers -
    bonhomie and anomie from many years to go.
    So what brass ring will tendrilled spirit fix
    to earn disregard of malice,
    the rant that rankles and ranks not?
    How crazy can he get to fix and not spook them?
    Not very. Their connoisseurship of intent
    is keyed to the advance of romance
    among ruminant masses to placate humble gusto
    and must conform or not need approval,
    because they will judge you, Hoss, “fur shore.”
    Love that wants nothing is not called to be galled.

   The sometimes saint waltzes enigma,
   the matter of the mind known who - communing (darshan)
   - and some he invites to kiss his ass – even friends.
  Sonorous chimes sing of languorous seasoning,
  the stratagems of dull doubt
  that raise heavy brows above bare gums
  to the soothing soup
  without meretricious prolixities,
  pixies or drowned dragonflies.

  The shush of one brow upping
  is almost too much indifference
  to sham chances and hardened saps,
  tar-baby things and passionate miscues.
  No boat to go back in.
  He’ll have to swim.

  So you want him to be fair & just & right & good?
  Here is how he knows the world is:
   a cricket on a shaded blade of grass
  waits for a drop of dew to roll;
  a tiny lizard scuttles
  through moist dead leaves;
  a butterfly flutters by;
  sports scores and painted doors
  fade in the blistering of men’s wars.

  To speculate on the moray’s mores
  one must engage the pathetic fallacy of tunnel vision,
  and grin with teeth that grasp and do not last long.

  He knows – all right – that his water is no wetter.
  The only thing He has to hold on to - is nothing.


Museum Tour

    Well, he obviously had a great many holes in him,
            but his penis was intact.
    Another nearby had no head,
            yet spread his cock-less crotch,
            statute of limitations.
    Onions attacked,
            porcelain cupids pushed a pig,
    a net held the fish
            at the end of the world.
* * *
    Precise passion – burning fuse fuels.
    Beauty or Nothingness.
    Is this Art?
    What fearful envies drove this locomotive?
    Hate will harm!
    False Pride, conceit of self-deceit;
    the subject of the bull-fighter's focus
    emptied of anger made self.
    The swan sang universal sentiment
    as the snake lay silent and long.

    Reason to celebrate the present
    that engenders no futures.
    So why? Do What? So?
    We toast the tryst with time for Beauty's sake
    that the love found remembers when.

    Yes, birth presupposes a trio, at least.
            Dialectic a triad, counting futures,
    and whose father are you looking at so hardly.
* * *
    Here is need for us.
    so we must go -
    must hang the most common cross
    upon the shoulders, around the neckless
    nape of this gross old golem:

    Who won't be spoken truth to,
    the hanging rope pulls down - topples.
    More nipples.
    What 10 thousand million condoms can not cure,
            nor war will, nor hate abate -
    then Art must.

    Vertical support for an upside down world.
    Thank you note reciprocates the death order.
            This must be wine.
            The screws are mine.
    “The Perfect Corner” demonstrates postholism –
    Bubba’s original vocation, digging post holes for fences.

    A quartet with two toy monkeys, toy frog,
    and spinning “Barbie” co-opted.
    Many-colored patchwork quilt,
    murmurs of amusing secrets and hidden guilt.

    No hooks seen,
    but visible churches to feudal hierarchy
    and perverse states of orthodox kleptocracy
    linked to whatever peasant culture
    of vast ignorance of material stupidity
    that brought chattering classes to chuck good God
    and go with the  five year plan, an eighty year pain,
    paroxysms of dis-functional means,
    perverse ends of personal powers.

    Kings. Czars. Tyrants – gone.
    Fissiparous clans and pretentious princes – gone.

    At last, stones the humble carted for palaces and forts
    make sport stadiums and museums for common folk,
    proper bars for their beers.

    No longer held in bondage from God,
    the group mind functions with elegance.


Pyre of Ire

    The spent lemons and easy irk
    plot to dog-nap the neighbor's dachshund.

    The sweated kerchief wrung to scold –
    the wrong peaches of pleasure,
    the winepress trodden with feet unwashed.

    Where good rules do not apply,
    children starve and widows cry.

    The crone of bodies' tilt toward doom
    (frozen light in buried stones)
    waits upon the prism to throw rainbows,
    the release of modulated paroxysms,
            whatever got in to them
    that Atropos can cut them free.

    Now known what said
    would regret those harsh words,
    not thought but nailed upon hurt
    the abscesses scabbed unto guilt
    that the hag of time unleashed-
    and cleverness did not make better.

    How cold zero must be,
    to rehearse them so:
    the absences, the scorpions, the never-weres
    that could not have been good.

    the Chihuahua Desert, there are no crows,
    only ravens; the skaldic bard’s harbinger of doom,
    my personal totem,
    a warning to you - who may be cruel.

    There is carrion that carries on
    that buzzards won’t clean,
    the bad ghost the Navajo treat with care from fear,
    that Parsees and Manichees
    would not insult fire with;
    the durable delusions
            of self-regards that must go.

    The envy of the lazy for the lame,
    the scorn of the worn-out for the idle,
    the sweat and snot of the game,
    the piss and poison of the insecure:
    these are normal mental formations
    the world worms feed upon –
    the moldy scraps and soiled leavings
    the world worms engulf and cast
    to feed new cycles of unperfected grace
    with health and heartiness.

    Only the anger of hatred self-destructs;
         that is a Law
        that no men have passed
        nor man can pass unaffected;
    the dead dumb soft-Sulfur coal –
    primal ignorance spontaneously combusts,
    to no good effect for anybody
          save being gone when done.

    Into the byre of purging ire,
    merciful immolation of thoughtlessness
    and wrong action,
        the brute you were
            to cause pain.


Fire of Desire

        Composed care of composted ashes.
        Focus in there: for others.

        Wee willikins wander the watermelon patch.

        The work toward well-ness:
        the white witch loving,
        prayer-ful thought of moving emotion.

        Passion of mercy
        makes whole more well.

        All hail the snail.

        Fullness as water flows.

        The worms turn more earth
        than spades will.

        This is the forgiven,
        the accepted transformation:
        the oneness whole
        without thought, worry or future
        beyond what can be without
        mirrors to multiply fears..

        Composed care,
        will to well-ness,
        wholesome silence – gotten in edgewise
        while others talk,
            the walk in the rose garden.

        Knowing growing,
        fire of life's desire.


Bubba & the Fishing Fairy

    One fine fishing day, Bubba rented a rod and gear.
    From among live oaks living by the shore,
a fishing fairy appeared.

    “So, you want to catch a big one?”

    “Yes, yes,” Bubba replied, “That is the effort of my

    “You must promise to return it to the water,
unharmed,” the fairy whispered.

    “I won't . . . promise,” Bubba murmured, “I would like
to eat it, too.”

    “Then you shall catch no keepers,” she said.

    “Off with you, then,” Bubba laughed, and swung his gaffe.
The fairy ducked and disappeared.     

He fished all day and way into evening,
cast and reeled with an empty creel
until nightingales sang, bats swooped and
Bubba slouched home, stooped and pooped.

    The keepers all swam free.


The Future of Now

            New memories, sure as rain, will come.
            Stumble stones and stepping stones will come.
            The paths you have to walk from here,
             many ways of knowing,
            obscure brilliances
            that make worthy
            this worthy labor.

    Nemesis stands at the forefront
    of shiftless clouds that shift and drift,
    a dragon man becomes a rooster
    and then a puff of vapor.

    Way down south in Texas,
    in a thicket of thorny trees,
    a wild bull sniffs leftover ashes -
    with no thought of the bulk
    of possessed things.

    Images possessed men who made fire,
    images that have now lost their wounds -
    lost the love of darling hurts felt owned to ache so,
    the drunken urges and boasts – all toast.

    All breeds and creeds bled and died,
    each one called for his mother,
    the needed wanting mother, wanted the needed other,
    the heroine mother who for worry ate her children.

    Emotions poured into images, into motions.
    Oh! The medular thrill of cool vanity,
    heart trill of vindicated pride in prospect,
    the party balloons, ice cream and cap-gun shoot-outs,
    the warm fuzzies young mothers conjure to seem well
    in what commonly passes for thinking.

    The final showdown is just another playact,
    the Shadow of fateful error is not mistaken -
    the unseen bushwhacker lurks and smirks,  
    digger looks for trouble with every spade-full –
    the Shadow is a lonely soul – gone cold –
    has no mother’s love.

    Oh! The bucolic stoking:
    The forge’s bellows and the bull’s bellows.
    Oh! The may not know.

    It’s not far now, to Tipperary, my brother.
    You’ll like the cool water
    from the Well of Arran.



            The can do,
            able not to,

            enters the stream.

            With nothing known to mind,
            kindly seeks kind consequences.

            A slow boat,
            you on it.
            Or have been.
            And got back.
            to read this.

            There is:
            urge in urgent,
            grow in grown,
            way in wane,

            moan in moment,
            and vice in versa.

            The boat wallows
            you on it.

            There are loves like big words
            one uses at most twice
            in any one oeuvre:
            like pusillanimous, or fissiparous,
            or lamentations.

            results        -    end in    -
            continue        -    go on    -    

            “Let me call you sweetheart,
            lura lura, lie.”

            From habitual ploys
            to passionate possess,

            to practice that fills
            the pusillanimous pleasures
            that savor loses.

            “I know something that you don't know.”

            “What do you know?”

            “I think you're silly as hell.”

            “Thank you.”

            “I will.”

                Goes on all the way down-stream,
                exits at the dock,
                right on the clock.

            The way toward
            any particular merit
            begins on the far shore,
            where un-sunk-ness meets
            chaste masses,
            mental cover,

            motifs of pleasant
            uninvolved attractions.

            The dew,
            the due,
            the do,
                or can do that does not.

            The boat on the shore.
            Nobody in it        -
                to read this.


Bubba in the Killing Fields

        He got along great,
        had an uproarious time
        at his party of one,
        woke up and wrung his regrets,
        one eye swollen shut in pain,
        the other red and watering.

        So what if guards and angels are hung over?
        No reason to hold a hanging or dull swords
        to save bullets - they had plenty -
        and big ones, too.

        They died well - blaming no-one -
        or perchance a bow in prayer he saw,
        his face, him seated he pitched forward
        at the waist - empty -
        zeroed free of hate to hold on to
       or scorn to mourn - nor avoidance - nor acceptance.

        How they died then
        was worthy of noble men -
        not killers to be faulted
        that followed orders for freedom’s sake.

        Then who will violence make its next victim?
        Bubba comes back as worlds need him -
        a monk-moth in a high mountain valley
        no candle to circle – yet.


Aquarium at the End of the World

At the edge of sand,
water shimmered pebbles.
At the edge of soul,
holographs evanesce.

Further out, fishes school:
Vanities toss, bathetic solipsisms
    search the moral of the coral,
naive projections flash forth
    between the moral coral and the atoll –
struts a bombshell in bikini,
what history is made of.

Fisher-folk row to deeper bearings,
    purposes dive to be heard,
    and bread is cast upon the water.
Nets lower, boats circle,
    fish mass to the gathering fold,
rise to the harvest.

As bread was cast in the Galilee,
and baskets filled in holy glee,
multitudes of needful wishes
meet the womb of wheat and fishes.

The earth born miracle
in the lap of care,
the earth bound loverly longing,
transfigure in Universal belonging.


A New Age

    As the last dinosaur lay dying,
    his melancholy sighing
    was heard for miles,
    the awful dirge for his vanquished herd
    rumbled over hills to the crook of a brook,
    brought smiles to the critterly wiles
    of a tiny mammal, the first of her kind, a shrew.

    His big eye shed a huge tear,
    the tiny warm-blooded milk-breasted
    womb-bearer snuck up close
    to investigate and to commiserate.

    A saurian reverie overtook the Tyrant
    when he saw the curious tyro,
    an epiphenomenal epiphany flashed,
    a prescience of the world to come;
    that this tiny tiddler would rise up to be mankind
    brought a strange satisfaction to his fading mind.

     A sardonic grin eclipsed his brutish chagrin, he
    bestowed his blessing, his benediction born of affliction.

    "My DNA is DOA. It's up to you, Shrew.”

    A supernal glow began to grow,
    the dying Dino was in the know.

   The Titan’s tears showered down onto the shrew's ears,
   a solemn anointment with the ointment of disappointment.

    "I have kept my appointment with time;
    I'm in the bag, the final quag;
    that you may find fondness,
    I go into my beyond-ness."

    The shew spun in jubilee, overfilled with wee glee,
    and did not hear the rest of the augury,
    she was entranced, romanced, and she danced
    as the dying Rex recited his recipe for posterity,
    his peroration to the oblivious shrew.
    She whirled and twirled
    with the wide open world,
    SHE was the center of everything,
    shot through with effervescence of delight
    young mother of everybody yet to come.

    He whispered, or perhaps only thought it:

    “I leave you to
    the yoke of the joker,
    to the dirk of the jerk,
    to the supercilious clerk
    and to the punctilious general,
    to the demise of maggots and flies.”

    At the Dinosaur’s last breath,
    a puff of dust sent her scurrying,
    she squeaked and squealed with ecstasy,
    her bright future revealed
    and sealed by prophecy.


After Summer

        He came again – that spring
        to walk the road
        to the field of the stars
        and the end of the land.

        Daffodils and doves,
        lilies and tulips lined his paths,
        lilac and locust scent in breath of virgin air.
        He listened for the silent air to speak
        to sing with hopes of seeds and births in winter,
        new lambs for Easter feastings.

        He remembered a time before,
        when burst the crackling, burning flare,
        a tree in flames - heat and smoke - foul fury.
        He stepped backwards then could not move
        and thought to kneel, but bowed his head instead.
        He trembled and could not move.
        Star bright light engulfed the branches,
        boughs in depths of space turned black,
        golden leaves shone in glory and turned to ashes.
        He shook but could not flee.
        And then a halo formed above the crown,
        a surge of blackness filled the air
        as he wrapped his arms around the trunk
        and both were gone in cloud.
       A band of light stood there
       steadfast in the wavered air,
       its meaning plain to see,
       because he was the man, he was the tree.



Twisted Realsim
for James W. Johnson

        Sometimes life moves straight forward:
          weeks like days gobbling groceries,
          lifetimes, Sunday Times,
        skies so blue the cow forgets her moo,
          lands so flat the bat forgets his echo,
          beautiful rows of fertile Human Nature,
        years like months;
          heaped up hills of cottonseed,
          manure, empty cans of beers,
          substances of things hoped for,
          evidences of things not seen.
        Sometimes things must be twisted:
          pollinator's pirouettes for blossom's nectar,
          the Moving Pictures that give good meaning
          to many lives,
          that long stretch all the way
- by Baba Bubba


Not Me

        the worrier dropped in

             with wine and smokes

         to fret the chords

                 of ennui.

        "All Dharmas are empty," Baba said.

        "That's what I was afraid of," said He.


The Known Past
(invisible in her paintings)

The were-man trots among scrub-dotted dunes.
An alien character was here, from out of time.
Here, It encysted.
The sheep flocked - It insisted.
No way they could have resisted.
They got on with the doing of it,
         to move the lazy mountains.
Their lived-in zones are no-go now.
They look back at what was made happen.
Drink glacier-melt water made into after-soul.
What gave them peace is done.
They stare at the gate of the city,
The city of Frenemies, lit with harnessed lightning.
Frenzied by the heat of martial mood,
       they want to make and suckle young,
Wish to hurry and marry, as others harry trouble,
The hairy men who pant to ravage, rant and devour.
That was an awful, awesome hour, that made them dour.
Mercury to Venus rising, Mars to take you down.
All of this is memory, longing for what was:
A winsome breeze in a deserted town of crumbling mud.
Someday, I’ll boil out of here.
Boy, you’d better start running, now.  


Santa’s Reindeer
(Ash Wednesday)

  Donner and Blitzen were in the best of taste
  this season.
  After Thor-momma and her lascivious cohort
  threw Santa over the cliff,
  they left venison-on-the-hoof for Baba.
  He ate them, roasted over an open fire.
  It was so merry.
  He sliced the hearts and livers – rolled them in flour
  and fried them;
  made cream gravy, poured it over buttered biscuits.
  Now, Bubba will keep the sacred cow well-fed, all winter,
  sow wheat in spring,
  to grow the resurrected Christ.
  Also, Rudolph was a lie –
  there was no red-nosed reindeer;
  just Baba Bubba, eating juicy cherries
  off Thorbaby’s breasts.


Leap Day Dawn 2-29-08
(in memorium W.C.W)

    Who are You?
    Meaning not -
    at what point of fancied order
    you peck.
    You white chicken, eye the red wheelbarrow -
    it carries the downers and the dead.
    A ladder does not go there.
    Listen! The glisten -
    is not rain.
    No time
    to explain.

The Skinny - An Ode to Weight  Loss

I love my metabolic belly -
my meta-belly,
and your meta-belly, heavy with child.

It likes to be rubbed, and to be hard.
The fraction of satisfaction it gets in being full
is fractious, inactious, full of bull.

Give me salad! Give me fruit! And protein.
Lots of excersize - sweaty work and sweet sex.
Otherwise - comes the hex.

I love my meta-belly.
It tells me when my mind is right -
or when my world goes wrong.
My mega-belly is harder to feel fond of gone soft.

When westerners first imported trinkets from China,
they mistook the big-eared long-jowled fat guy
for Buddha.
But it was Hotei, instead, the Taoist god of happiness,
rotund with caloric flesh fund
in a land of lean-ness and want.

Between the egg and the hour-glass there is an intimate
one gets boiled, peeled and eaten;
the other gets turned over to do it all again some more -
trickles of sand like tickles of pleasure,
        prickles of timely transience.
        I love my meta-belly.
        When it goes down, I go up;
        up and away;
        a hawk with a fish
        searching for a perch to devour.

        I'll make my beloved a belly, a bower,
        for love to flower -
        slender as a lotus stem
        for you, for this, our youth-dreamt hour.


The Pow-Wow Tao and the Naco Taco

    We’ll draw a circle to center the action;
    where you can spend your last marbles.
    Your presence is useful but not requisite,
    essential but expendable;
    unlike shelter, food, and sanitation,
    it (not you) moves through matter
    as breezes in pollen-laden bushes
    make you sneeze – I’ll bet.
    The major wager
    Either one of us can lose –
    Or snooze.
    Try and stay off
    The booze,
    you woozy floozy



        The middle years are kinder now
        that bees don't get in her bonnet
        and wasps onto her tongue.
        (watch out, buddy, you just crossed a line).

        She's still cute as a ladybug - but able and wise,
        with a girl laugh and a mischievous spark
        in her dark eyes.

        At forty, we were still young;
        She'd squeak like a mousie on a heap of cheese;
        I'd say "now?" and She'd say "Please."
        Then we both said "Thank You."
        (now you're in trouble - for sure)

        At fifty, we like our own spaces,
        rumpled nests with known places
        for things with dings and friendly faces.

        At eighty, she'll be cool as summer breeze,
        I'll still go wobbly - in the knees.


Passed Out Long Ago

    you think that was all of me?
    Who you thought I was
    back then - faded since,
    lavender scent from long ago.

    Did you think that I would not change, as well?

    I've carved many words - in stone -
    and wake at dawn to carve more.
    There are blank stones for as far as I can see -
    a good day done and so many more - for me.
    When I am most alone I am least alone.
    Legions of all merit surround me.
    I know them every One.


I Am

            In the mornings -

            osprey with a fish in his talons,

            ducks and humming birds

            the afternoon.

            in the evenings -

            buzzard  gliding against the wind.

Well Witching

    liquid runs underground -
    here water,
    there dinosaur blood,
    next up - magma.

    take dictators on one at a time
    the hate they radiate - nowhere to go but gone.

    we flew skull and crossbones
    flag all weekend -
    no mercy - take no prisoners!
    It's coming down, now.
    You dig, then I will,
    just - for fun,
    bone at a time,
    to get a kick out of it,
    this One takes that one,
    get us some Kultur – Vulture.

    Domino! Sweet Water
    from the Rock.


Low Grade Mind

I couldn’t sleep late and didn’t want to wake early,
I got up alone as always and went back relieved,
after turning on the stove burner to warm the Dacha.
Here’s no central heat or gas and don’t need
         it in this small house,
old but tight so a candle would do most nights.
This morning in bed wrote in semi-dark of dawn twilight -
darker now since its raining, and me too.
I’ve got low grade mind, with others winding through it,
        which I kinda like sometimes.
it’s blowing in cool and good wet outside, a qualitative
        change in us.
So I said baby I just write them,
you’ve got to take them under the covers,
because I’m not here to dig or even think to make love
but I feel OK, no way dead yet -
wouldn’t hurt you to look in your mirror,
        wherever you are I don’t care.
Poor thing – all in love and nowhere to go
        but low grade mind,
and what got you worked up over me – anyway?
Who am nothing that I can see – really – or want to hear,
not even The Odes to Joy and Spring, I’m no Vivaldi,
        want no noise now.
I’ll keep me covered;
Uh – huh.


In Cahoots

I have no need of macrocosmic drama,
the soaps and shoot-em-ups of flat screens,
my country venue hosts a pastoral passion play every day.

The mountain lion and the lamb – what a jam!
For the sheep – who will weep?
The jaguar and the jackrabbits –
Meat eater’s habits, hares must bear –
Raptor’s eerie – hairy balls of woodrat mummies share -
makes ‘em aware.
The oil and water of natural order,
life’s blood pumps in living, loving, trying, dying.

“Shantih, shantih – Peace that surpasseth all understanding.”
The dark blue radiant sea of the unseen world – immaculate, beyond the scum,
makes me gasp at glimpsing – wish to have leapt in, and swum.
of infinite Compassion.
fly over the alfalfa patch,
Cannabis Medicago  - high in vitamin A,
they say - that makes it tonic,
plant eaters grow fat and healthy.
The dove rest in cactus scrub, and coo.
Beasties of the man-formed field,
grasshoppers and leaf-cutting ants, snails, spiders and worms,
stealthily, industriously, trail along the ditch,
the spring water channeled to work men’s will.
And we – have teamed up
with the burro – who brays to mock boredom –
and the fate that let his witch wife curse him
to reincarnate as an ass.
The friendly cur, obstreperous with strangers,
awaits his chance to be human, already knows some of the bad manners.
The reliable rooster, symbol of dawn and virility,
has no clue to other worlds – plenty of pullets to chase in this one.
Ganesh, that lucky Hindu behemoth, has found a place here, in mind,
the elephant power of mammoths in collective unconscious
far from Africa, far from India, we know them all –
the archetypes – all allied in enmity even:
we’ve joined the tycoon coon, the dilettante loon,
the coots and the owls,
the coyote who howls and prowls.

We’re all in cahoots – Toots – we’re political pals.
Animal nature bound in scent and sound,
in flight and seed, bumbling beetle and buzzing bee,
we quail in coveys and covens, each covets their own burrows and ovens.
Informed by the radiant darkness of the holy Shekinah,
her emanation of lower realms, queen of elves and fairies,
we come to the meeting, the nectar of the greeting,
the sharing of the eating,
the dancing of the corn maidens risen from mud,
the dancing in luscious ears like breasts with milk of honey.

Mammals unite, songbirds sing as the Ad Hoc Hawk cruises in;
all animate animals animate, respire and conspire,
nefesh – spirit of animal realms, contentment and vigor.
The very water from the rocks
anoints chieftains from feathered and raven-haired flocks –
for this day, at this place to lead
the frenzied race and races
in appropriate niches, to scratch what itches,
and none speak of good nor guilt
but for peril tilt their wary heads and listen, watch and warn.

Many manners roar, peck mortal orders,
families fluid in convivial spaces,
heirs of tamed rages of past ages.
So, don your suits and ties, my dandy guys
(or whatever is this year’s fashion – or coats of many colors),
and lasses your dresses
(and mind your beautiful breeze-blown tresses)

We’re all in cahoots:
    we are the elect
    we are the alive.


Datura Moon

    The Ram -
            has wandered from the meadow,
            over the wall of stone.
    Hear the old Bull bellow
            a melancholy monotone.

    The water cuts – for ages,
            beside the firestone,
    when dancing's in the pines,
    and smoke's of distant - hell.

    Wildroses, a nest of skunks,
            and datura - bush vine blossoms;
    hell's bells the dangerous weed
    The arrow comes with awesome speed!

    The wounded Ram runs
            by snowmelt river - runs
            through salt cedar and cane;

    He is gone from the Hunter -
    but not from the arrow.

    The Ram breathes and bleeds,
    unblinking in the lap of a cottonwood,
    by willow.

     From his side – burrowing
     Shaft – transfixes his mental – sinking.

     Gambell's quail and tassel-eared squirrels
     scurry amid the fore-boding,
     chipmunks and tree lizards
             maintain sanctimony.
             But flies – have no such decorum.
     The old Bull, commiserates,
            switches his tail, and grazes on.



                the Yellow Eye


                fishes silver -
                    in the lavender

                     jump up
                in the stubble



In the Beginning

             On the bridge this morning,
            standing alone watching
            the spillway
            and feeling about you;

            I found some of your tears
             inside of me.

             Coots on the spillway
             were pecking at algae,
            and racing downwater.

            I wish I could say -

            Please, bring me
            the rest of your tears,
            and I will cry them.



                My given dream,
                ramshackle camp,

                anchored by ringing stones,
                grey on black,
                by midnight tan
                of sleeping grasses.

                Latent things,
                and forgotten beings,

                Such a GIFT!
                To abide quietly
                in a place of great calm.

                The Earth has no shame -
                in being loved by me.


The Rebels

            when free from fear

            and hunger -

            most men's minds

            turn away from insurrection.


Bubba’s Castle – the nickel tour

    Of the many mansions in my Father’s Kingdom
    the one I live in is sort of strange –
    anachronistic, even, at times,
    may not even scan.

    If feels good to work some every day,
    to catch meanings like fishes,
    flesh of salads and oil of charms.

    Every so often it feels good
    to sort through the ancient armory,
    to handle the old swords and shields,
    spears and halberds,
    to make sure they rust not,
    are sharp and ready.
    * * * * *
    Behind that door is the Junkery.
    Don’t go in there.
    it’s banal as the banshee of a bandicoot,
    with ferocity of mind that consumes
    the essence of time,
    even the good stuff is sad.
    * * * * *
    That’s the pantry, very nice buns.
    The coolest thing since hot pants ,
    the coccyx tattoo – belted way low
    showing some of it, and the belly button, too.
    * * * * *
    Out back
    in the Coach-house, we keep
    a beagle, a bugle,
    and a crippled eagle.
    Dove and Love come and go.
    I tend to the racing pigeons
    at the dove-cote over there,
    send messages to town by pidgin post.
    The peacocks strut their stuff on their own time,
    nest with the pea-hens in the Oak trees.
    * * * * *
    The well wishing well –
    this thought sealed to kiss you.
    * * * * *
    The neighbor’s gardener grows dope,
    must be union, they won’t fire him.
    Of all the queer paths
    Narcissus saw reflected
    In his rear view mirror –
    I wished a flash to turn to ash
    his death metal strumming.
    Yeah, I’m wary of contemporary,
    it’s not no way modern or correct
    to fill the empty sack of hate with anger,
    is not good for me any way they do it.
    The Boss says leave to each his groan and moan,
    but dog doodle do –
    and boom-box assault by walk-by bass thug –
    I’d fire him quick – refuse to choose
    to freely hear – nary a scrap – of rap.
    * * * * *
    You’ve seen the front hallway.
    In the sitting room, we’re fresh out of fools.
    You may sit there.
    I sometimes think
    that the beginning
    was a wink
    that caused a wrinkle
    in space called time,
    and at the end –
    a blink – I think.
    * * * * *
    Well, there is lots more,
    but right here there is no space nor time;
    therefore, all possible universes are filled with ease –
    with plenty left over to wrap you tight in hugs
    and hold you close
    before you have to go.

index next

After the Storm

        Goodness gracious sakes alive!
        The woes of wondrous
        throes of thunderous
        annunciation of new dawn.

        Dazzle dares the frazzled hairs,
        the chuckle bares the bruised knuckle
        as suckled shots of wine
        find their morning mind.

        Old boys made men still play,
        but sometimes
        shamble through induced dotage,
        grumble at the potage
        the gnomes brought home,
        bum desires behind layabed eyes,
        Sheppard Lee or Billy the Kid
        in tattered top-hat,
        looking for a near-dead,
        the wounded of whimsy’s wars.

        The older ones know better,
        they are hard at work, at coffee,
        rocking in a front porch chair.

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