MOURNING DAD & Poems by Strider Marcus Jones

MOURNING DAD

he is decomposed
from a bramble rose
now-
his thorns
of storms
drow,
foetal curled
in the underworld
faerie peat without plough.

is it fun
with all those comical
musical
jacketed jesters-
or primplum
suitedrun
by posh ancestors-
doing the same this and that
to keep your spirit level flat
with docile protestors
wired to silicon investors.

i bought this new fedora hat
in whitewashed Mijas
to be my own brown
Romany
see as-
let them face their ignominy
when i wear it here in town-
like an un-shoed horse
from the roadgorse
prancing right
through their moral less light
brim slanted defiantly down
eyes outsider brown.

is it no Left or Right there.
do you have your chair
to sit in.
can you smoke your pipe
gathering stars in its clouds at night
thinking thoughts in nothing.
do you still use words
to help wingless birds
or is it silent
to the violent
fermenting fear
when the truth comes near
just like here.

 
THROUGH TALL WINDOWS

 
in late afternoon meadows

low light sketched your shadows

in Mucha pose

while I watched

through tall windows.


opening doors

footsteps on floors

all the clocks

in the house stopped

in the sundial

of your smile-

 
then prying phones

became postponed

and dissolved the blocks

of being drones

in dosed

apartments

opening closed

compartments.

 
more Bogart and Bacall

in Key Largo,

or The Poet by Vettriano-

in the hall,

we took Hopper’s painting off the wall

with its stark stress

heart of darkness.

 
Us

 
we are composed

out of the fate of stars

a light dark light so old

and tuned that regards

most of Us as Other

peasants

who are clothed

without privileged presents

to burn wood in cracked stoves

under crumbling cover.

stitched to Their time

we entwine

in our own interpretation

of this spinning station.

only burlesque bright skies

and the iris flowers of abandoned eyes

can change the fixed views

of a selfish landscape

into united hues

of equal state.

our reality is broken-

we are the hosts

and ghosts

who have been stolen

the violated tokens

of corporatist totems

screen greed being traded

and invaded

then beaten for protesting by police

working for the Thief.


BABYLON'S BOHEMIAN BOUQUET


i like the way
some words you say
go against gravity
and linger in the air
when you've gone.
sad or fair,
they blow away
this dungeons dark oblivion,
and water me with wisdom
like a soft shawl
with scents and sounds
that i wrap around
my senses come what may-
you give it all,
and love abounds
in Babylon's bohemian bouquet.
like butterflies
in druid grey skies,
the fragility
of eternity
ripples with uncertainty,
but doesn't woo, then waver in your eyes.
it's steady gaze
seduces praise,
then fondles and savours
loves succulent flavours,
like innocent alibis.

Strider Marcus Jones – is a poet, law graduate and former civil servant from Salford, England with proud Celtic roots in Ireland and Wales. A member of The Poetry Society, his five published books of poetry https://stridermarcusjonespoetry.wordpress.com/ reveal a maverick, moving between cities, playing his saxophone in smoky rooms. He is also the founder, editor and publisher of Lothlorien Poetry Journal https://lothlorienpoetryjournal.blogspot.com/

His poetry has been published in the USA, Canada, Australia, England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, France, Spain, Germany; Serbia; India and Switzerland in numerous publications including: Dreich Magazine; The Racket Journal; Trouvaille Review; dyst Literary Journal; A New Ulster; Impspired Magazine; Literary Yard Journal; Piker Press; oppy Road Review; Cajun Mutt Press; Rusty Truck Magazine; Rye Whiskey Review; Deep Water Literary Journal; The Huffington Post USA; The Stray Branch Literary Magazine; Crack The Spine Literary Magazine; The Lampeter Review; Panoplyzine Poetry Magazine; Dissident Voice.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times at Artvilla.com ; You may visit Aquillrelle.com/Author Robin Ouzman Hislop about author & https://poetrylifeandtimes.com See Robin performing his work Performance (University of Leeds)

3 Sonnets: Mrs. Alving Contemplates Her Nipples, Like Epictetus on Mushrooms, Another Ha Ha Chuckle for the Blessing of Rest by RW Haynes

Mrs. Alving Contemplates Her Nipples

Hedonism governs men, or simple greed
Deludes them always, so these masculine minds
Delight in lies that their convenience finds
So that for them there’s nothing true indeed.
If the lies are just nature’s just excretions,
Or by-products of heated oxidation,
I see their value as no more than negation
A healthy memory turns into deletions.
Lusty dudes, braggarts, loud buffoons,
Imploring forgiveness, tender sacrifice,
Though only my surrender will suffice,
I scorn your swaggering, you groveling baboons.
“Mommy! Mommy! Mommy!” These babies cry.
My nipples are mine now. Big babies, good-bye.

Like Epictetus on Mushrooms 

If Fortune turns its face toward the sun 
Whose light takes eight minutes to arrive, 
Then I put aside impatience to revive 
Fortitude in hope when day is done 
My sputtering candle may be noted then 
For what it’s worth, although its little light 
Took sixty years of travel through the night 
To let its fitful illumination begin. 
Duty is useless if no mark is made, 
And if the light should vanish, be unseen, 
As the Spartan said, I’ll fight then in the shade, 
Divested of incumbrance, darkly serene. 
Take your insincere sympathies, then, 
And stick them all elsewhere, all the way in. 

Another Ha Ha Chuckle for the Blessing of Rest

She thought light would leak on all
True dilemmas, personal honor, life or limb,
What to cook, what to hide from him,
And when she saw some ominous shadow fall
She knew to relish inevitability
Like an old stone statue staring in a tomb,
Silently satisfied in that silent room,
Mutely assimilating shadows she could see.
“My poetry will get you,” she wanted to smile,
“My syllabic dynamite, my shapely lines
Of harmony, tangled like wise vines,
Must stack all being in an elegant pile.
But you, O Diogenes, what you are after
Provokes no more than a brief fit of laughter.” 

R. W. Haynes, Professor of English at Texas A&M International University, has published poetry in many journals in the United States and in other countries. As an academic scholar, he specializes in British Renaissance literature, and he has also taught extensively in such areas as medieval thought, Southern literature, classical poetry, and writing. Since 1992, he has offered regular graduate and undergraduate courses in Shakespeare, as well as seminars in Ibsen, Chaucer, Spenser, rhetoric, and other topics. In 2004, Haynes met Texas playwright/screenwriter Horton Foote and has since become a leading scholar of that author’s remarkable oeuvre, publishing a book on Foote’s plays in 2010 and editing a collection of essays on his works in 2016. Haynes also writes plays and fiction. In 2016, he received the SCMLA Poetry Award ($500) at the South Central Modern Language Association Conference In 2019, two collections of his poetry were published, Laredo Light (Cyberwit) and Let the Whales Escape (Finishing Line Press).

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times at Artvilla.com ; You may visit Aquillrelle.com/Author Robin Ouzman Hislop about author & https://poetrylifeandtimes.com See Robin performing his work Performance (University of Leeds)

Heidegger Looks at the Moon. Collected Poems. RW Haynes. Reviewed by Robin Ouzman Hislop

Heidegger Looks at the Moon is the latest volume of poetry by RW Haynes, who is well known to us at PLT (Poetry Life & Times), where as well as being Interviewed, his various previous works,
as well his poems have been hosted. Haynes is an individual of many abilities, a scholar of Greek language, he is versed in the Classics, a playright, novelist, a biographer on the Texan Playright Hoorton Foote & poet, he teaches at A&M International University of Texas, Laredo, USA, where he’s been a lecturer for the last 30 years in Anglo Saxon Literature, Dramatics in Chaucer, Shakespeare & Ibsen’s plays amongst other activities.

It is not surprising, perhaps, that his poetics are in the classicist metric style and form. Almost inevitably, I find, we see, surrupetitiously appearing in verses a tightening of form in Shakespearean vogue. I think he will be the first one to admitt that he is almost in bondage to the sonnet and drawn by the fascination and challenge of being able to render a vast scope of vision into such a compact and condensed form. Also what we learn from Haynes is his overwhelming admiration for theater, but more so for the actual actors who perform theater, he literarily stands in awe and reverence of them as artists in their medium. I mention this because it is reflected, I believe, in his works as a poet, which introduces many varied persona as mediums for his poetic voice. Of course both history and place, he is from the deep south USA, figure extensively in his writing, an example features in his sonnet Downtown Waco. Midnight. Heidegger Looks at the Moon. In it’s opening line The Bush Library really ought to be here! Apparently Waco was on the list but it got removed to Dallas ‘The loss of the Library was the worst blow to hit the city since the 1953 Waco Tornado killed 114 people’ he comments in another text.

I might say that he views as the same conflicts and conditions of the human species over time as intrinsic to their existence, passion, love, hate, grief, despair from antiquity to the present are fundamental in the human make up. And his poems intensifiy in a contemporary idiom and context this phenomena. Having said all that, I would add, that his poems by no means make for easy reading, if the reader believes it can just pick up the volume and flipantly peruse it for a couple of hours and come away gratified, it’s in for another think. It is a work that you have to go back to again and again. These are poems that demand you give them attention, that you work at them, because in their own genre, they are masterfully crafted. I personally found in reading them, that just at the moment you feel most comfortable with the verses, stanzas, you are saying to yourself, yes I am with it, what appears to be a harmless snug line tucked away in a stanza rivets you with its complexity and plunges you into new depths, which is what a poem should do, imo.

The very title Heidegger Looks at the Moon, Heidegger is a complex philosopher and Haynes believes that poetry should be philosophical (in this I share his viewpoint) he believes in the etymology of the word Sophia, as the love of wisdom ( a hope, which I would also like to share in). Heidegger thought of humans as linguistic beings, language is the house of being, but he also feared that language could be our own entrapment, that the way we spoke about a certain object or event made it into what it was and also alienated us from what it really is. This of course is a great simplification but I think i could say that his concern was that instead of talking about nature, we end up only talking about ourselves, which prevents us from being activated, acted upon or impacted by anything, which in the end makes us become – the living dead. So accordingly, if philosophy (wisdom) is the task of poetry, it must be to awaken us by the use of poetic language to recover the world which is ours and to which we belong. Haynes poetry in its idiom both ancient and modern, in it’s scope and intensity, it’s range of variety and mood, in its quest, is perhaps a kindling beacon towards that lost light. Below are three poems selected by the editor from the reviewed work.

HEIDEGGER LOOKS AT THE MOON R. W. HAYNES w w w . f i n i s h i n g l i n e p r e s s . c o m
$ 1 9 . 9 9 / P O E T R Y

Glad to be a Stranger

It is good to be a stranger where society
Reflects like twisted mirrors the solipsistic
Projections of emptiness, grinning foolishly,
Mentally overpowered by the simplistic,
Empowered by gadgets and electricity,
Delighted by dim superficiality.
The lotus-eaters’ half-stoned colloquy
Achieves at best a specious affectation
Sustaining complacent juvenility
Inflated greatly by bogus education,
So nothing should make anyone want to be
More familiar in this situation:
Regret is best where mindlessness prevails
And humanity overwhelmingly fails.

Barking and Sparking

Dogs do play politics, but their machinations
Laughably  proclaim their devious conniving
More transparent than the representations
We think necessary for surviving.
Applying, though, proportionality,
Envisioning an abler evaluation
Viewing us likewise, does our acuity
Do us more credit than the canine situation?
Cerberus! Are two heads better than one
When both are empty? Are all fools the same
When all is finally said, or barked, and done
And final justice weighs our praise and blame?
Is the difference between eloquence and barking
A mere matter of a few more neurons sparking

Black Friday in the Texas Thrift Store

The man with the outraged voice
Gripped a black plastic clock
Shaped like a modernist pretzel.
It looked like it had been found behind
A burnt-out garage, after too much time.
“The price is too high,” he complained.
“And the time is wrong,” I replied,
With more sympathy than intended.
“No, no,” he said, “the time is fine.
All it needs is batteries to work.
But just look at the shape of it:
I think it’s perfect for time, don’t you?”
“Um, yas,” I philosophized slowly,
“I see what you mean. Time and pretzels,
You’re quite right. But do you think it works?”
He glanced sharply at me. “Of course it works.
The shape is right, the time is right,
It’s just the price that’s wrong.”
“But everything’s half off today,” I tried,
Not that the honor of the Texas Thrift Store
Mattered greatly to me, but time still does.
“It doesn’t matter, does it?” he complained.
“The time is fine, but still the price is wrong.”

R. W. Haynes, Professor of English at Texas A&M International University, has published poetry in many journals in the United States and in other countries. As an academic scholar, he specializes in British Renaissance literature, and he has also taught extensively in such areas as medieval thought, Southern literature, classical poetry, and writing. Since 1992, he has offered regular graduate and undergraduate courses in Shakespeare, as well as seminars in Ibsen, Chaucer, Spenser, rhetoric, and other topics. In 2004, Haynes met Texas playwright/screenwriter Horton Foote and has since become a leading scholar of that author’s remarkable oeuvre, publishing a book on Foote’s plays in 2010 and editing a collection of essays on his works in 2016. Haynes also writes plays and fiction. In 2016, he received the SCMLA Poetry Award ($500) at the South Central Modern Language Association Conference In 2019, two collections of his poetry were published, Laredo Light (Cyberwit) and Let the Whales Escape (Finishing Line Press).

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times at Artvilla.com ; You may visit Aquillrelle.com/Author Robin Ouzman Hislop about author & https://poetrylifeandtimes.com See Robin performing his work Performance (University of Leeds)