Tom Simard

Poetry, Music, and Prose

Archive for the category “Writing”

Pterodactyl (5)

Pterodactyl (5)
I’ve thought it
over and over again:
Max is my only hope.

The clouds are rolling in
like a pair of thrown dice.

Advertisements

Pterodactyl (4)

Pterodactyl (4)
I know
there’s no way
to change what happened.

The man had told us
he had crates of whiskey for sale;
alcohol was hard to get
and we were dying for a taste.

 

 

Pterodactyl (3)

Pterodactyl (3)
A tall
pasty-white guard
approaches
his syllables stretch out
as if they were sentences.

“A visitor is coming later,
Winters.”

“Is it Max?

“No name,” he said
looking slightly befuddled
before shuffling off
a heavy rifle resting on
his bony shoulder.

Pterodactyl (2)

Pterodactyl (2)
I’m monitored hourly,
but my imprisonment
is not particularly harsh.

Despite the fencing,
it would not have been difficult to escape
but I would never dare
the jungle surrounding all.

Pterodactyl (1c)

Pterodactyl (1c)
My leg
is being eaten away;
my wounds remind me
of this island’s wild terrain

Pterodactyl (1b)

Pterodactyl (1b)
Lying on the ground,
made up of the dead and dying,
I look to the mist
in the high tree tops
as my withering lungs strain.

Pterodactyl (1a)

Pterodactyl (1a)*
Lush green
draping mountain
streams
untamed
flowing rapidly
in deep ravines
where unseen creatures
move
discordantly.

*I am in the process (albeit slow, and to be honest, just begun) of writing a lengthy poem entitled, Pterodactyl. Numbers will indicate parts, letters  stanzas.

Days

Days
The pipe-smoking man
on the back cover
spoke of the book
that you read,
whose dusty pages
you poured over,
engrossed as never before
in days
that found their own purpose.

Embodiments

Embodiments
To see the future
clear and not
a blur
of known
uncertainties,
grasping
colossal embodiments.

September 21, 2017

September 21, 2017
Breathe in
the divine scent
of lilies
on which
raindrops
flutter
like the wings of a sparrow
and consider.

Sinking

Sinking
A sinking feeling
you can’t quite place
that rises to take control
of a single thought
you can’t shake loose
that holds you captive in its powers.

Of Weathermen and Parking Meters

I saw one of those online quizzes recently that are supposedly able to tell one whether you’re a leader or a follower.  Although I didn’t take it, I suppose it’s an Either/Or.  Maybe that’s what I hate so much about application forms or fast food restaurants (don’t even get me started about standing in line as a boy because I wanted a quarter pounder and cheese only with the hamburger and cheese), lack of nuance.

On the subject, the following always comes to mind:

“Suppose it were the life-view of a religiously existing subject that one must not have a disciple, that this is treason to both God and men; suppose he were also a little foolish (for if it takes a little more than mere honesty to make one’s way in the world, then stupidity is always necessary for real success and to have many properly understand you) and said this directly, with unction and pathos, what then? Well, yes, he would indeed be understood. Soon ten would apply, asking to be engaged just for a free shave once a week to preach this doctrine; i.e., and as further confirmation of the doctrine’s truth, he would have had the extraordinary good luck to acquire disciples who accepted and spread this teaching about having no disciples.”
Soren Kierkegaard – Concluding Unscientific Postscript

A Seal

A Seal
Church bells toll
like a Roman soldier’s hammering.

The ring you kissed
swirls forever
in the sea.

Joined forever
on the anvil
a seal as strong as death.

Silence

Silence
After an eternity
of silence,
the seagull
perched on the cross,
squawks to the blue breeze
in the searing sun
its sorrow.

Love

Love
Light that slips through
the curtains at night
that appears
vibrating
beneath the sea’s shallow depths
as a series
of intersecting frames.

God Save the Queen

God Save the Queen
The first time you met
at the bus stop,
he acted as if he knew you
and when you asked,
“Have we met?”
he responded,
“I just introduced myself.”

As he began to expound
on his admiration for all things English,
you understood he’d mistaken your language
for your country,
and you let it slide,
not dispelling the illusions he held
with a reference to Cromwell.

Throughout the years
you’d run into him on occasion,
but definitely not one
you’d expect to engage
in a conversation that played by rules
you’d understand.

Now after years,
you saw him,
and reflected how age
seems to take its toll on some
and not so much on others.
He was sitting at a café,
gray stubble covering his face,
and as you passed,
you swore you heard him mutter,
“God Save the Queen.”

The Devil’s Light

Golf

I like playing golf. However, I will admit not having for quite a while. This is largely due to the fact that where I was living there were only private courses for the rich. I’d love to start up again. It’s reasonably inexpensive, good exercise, and relaxing.

Some of my fondest memories of childhood are waking up on the weekend and going out to the Par 3 golf course with my dad. We’d get up at the break of dawn, and I can still see the glistening dew come up from the green as I putted. In one of my few times at a private club an employee came up to inquire what I was doing there. I must have seemed out of place to him.

I also enjoy watching golf on TV. That is not to say there isn’t a lot that has to be ignored. There’s a lot of sanctimoniousness (is any announcer as bad as Jim Nantz?) and way too much analysis. Commercials, which should always be ignored*, advertise BMW, Wells Fargo, and Rolex (not Folex).

*There are exceptions:

Vive la France! Vive la République!

A Calm

A Calm
The sand flies
and the lake water laps
against the rickety dock.

Standing in the water
your head
a somersault
of stars.

You awake
in a long white bed
with a calm
you would never again
know.

From “Evening” 2

“There are spiderwebs among the berries,
The stems of the supple vines are still thin,
Like little ice floes, little ice floes,
In the gleaming water of the sky-blue river, clouds swim.”

Anna Akhmatova

From “Evening”

“Cut out for this black wound
A shroud of evening gloom
And command the blue mist
To read psalms over me.”

Anna Akhmatova

“You are Not Privileged”

This was the announcement I was given by my computer when I tried to open a browser yesterday morning. First time it ever happened but it seems reminiscent of the times in which I’m told I can’t do something unless I’m the administrator. Anyway, I restarted the computer and have not yet been told again of my lowly status.

It seems to be a suitable mantra for the new administration.

Anna Akhmatova

Alastair wrote a great review of the book, Khrushchev: The Man and His Era. I’m about halfway through – it’s excellent. At any rate, I came across a quote from Anna Akhamatova, whose poetry I recall reading a little of in my 20s. Reading some it now has left me speechless:

“Terror fingers all things in the dark,
Leads moonlight to the axe.
There’s an ominous knock behind the
wall:
A ghost, a thief or a rat…”

“You are no longer among the living,
You cannot rise from the snow.
Twenty-eight bayonets,
Five bullets.
A bitter new shirt
For my beloved I sewed.
The Russian earth loves, loves
Droplets of blood.”

It is time to pick up a copy of this book.

Our Imperfections

“Everything is perfect in the universe – even your desire to improve it.”
Wayne Dyer

I saw this quote today and took objection. Perhaps, I do take things too literally. If the universe was perfect, why would we have to improve it? And perhaps more importantly, why would our desire to improve it be perfect? Are we superheroes? Chances are our desire might be less than perfect – even I daresay imperfect.

Of course, the whole point is to connect your desire to perfection.  It buys  into the whole self-help (a misnomer if there ever was one) industry worth an estimated $11 billion.  Yes, people are even getting rich off our desire to feel better about ourselves. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for feeling better about ourselves, provided we’re attempting to be decent human beings.

Does Donald Trump buy self-help books? Nah, but he’ll peddle them in a second if he thought he’d make a buck.  Should Donald Trump feel good about himself?

A Shadowy Realm

A Shadowy Realm
I am brought down.
A slow descent
into the bowels of the earth,
a shadowy realm
where I dwell
strangulated,
far from the Cedars of God.

God Forbid

God Forbid
In theological circles
I imagine there is a word
for lack of grace.

Having put away my robes,
I am no longer privy to it.

Certainly this is how
he appears to me.

Someone like an
Antiochus Epiphanes
famous for his lack of décor.

Sunday’s Choice

A PC Mao Suit

If everyone believes
what they’re told,
then they have entered childhood,
which is fine while it lasts,
but weren’t we advised to put away such things
when we were older?

Being re-educated
is not what it’s cracked up to be,
and my desire to be reformed is
I will say without a straight face
marginal at best.

So find me a peasant
who has learned not to read,
and let him do his best
to develop in me
a fashion sense

An Emerald Day

My Other Blog

Thought I’d pass on information concerning my new blog – quite different than this one – about politics or rather what passes for politics.

https://fedupwitheverythingblog.wordpress.com/

Jagged

Jagged
The world explodes
in jagged pieces,
cut through souls
lying in state
in shattered repose.

Bereft

Bereft
A face bereft
of all emotions
raises his hands
through which
the arteries of life
once flowed.

Mutiny of the Bounty

Mutiny of the Bounty
Exhaustion set in from the very start.

The professor expounds on autopilot.

Mind-numbing material
meant not to enlighten but confound.

All across the room
the shell-shocked.

A mutinous crew of bounty.

The First Almond Tree

The First Almond Tree
The first almond tree
blossomed without me.

Swirling flakes
replacing leaves.

The heart,
a hundred times,
unleashed.

Gospel Stories I

Gospel Stories 1
Unable to deal
with the world as it is,
refuge is sought.

The dusty landscape cries,
“Worthy I do not deem myself!”

With a thunderous voice,
a blossom sprouts.

.

Continents of Design

Continents of Design
Snowflakes fell
the size of which
held continents
of design.

Roads traversed
so as not to encounter
those whose unlucky spins
put an end to the happy day
they were expecting.

Bails of hay on farm fields rolled.

Bleak whiteness obscured
one’s sense of place.

Montana ’65

Montana ‘65
Snuck in the trunk
at motels,
where ice machines rattled and shook,
along the highways heading west
to the dusty old cattle ranch
with its large log creaky fence;
the simple kitchen
with its bourbon-breathed cook
who fed you cookies and milk;
the fool’s gold glistened in the sun
as you climbed to a top
where you could touch the clouds.

Waters Crossed

Waters Crossed
As you crossed
the waters
beneath which
Indians are buried,
massive steel arches
towered above you,
an erector set
blown out of proportion.

Darkness came early;
the chill hung
like frozen hogs
in a slaughterhouse.

“But It’s Freezing!”

 

1200px-Groundhog-Standing2

It may be too early to say so for certain, but it is possible that my brief respite from blogging is over.  I have no illusions that I’ll have the time to write as I did before, but I hope to post something now and then.  I would also love to think I’ll be back to reading my favorite blogs as well.

“I stop somewhere waiting for you.”

Soon and very soon I’ll be saying goodbye to blogging.  It’s been a very enjoyable three years but a new job in a new country will no longer permit me the time I need let alone the focus necessary (if anything, I’m a man easily distracted).

When I emerge on the other side, my head will poke up like a groundhog ushering in spring.

Until then, all the best.

 

 

 

“Put me down.”

Every year I return home to see my mom.

After a severe stroke three years ago, which had been preceded by a number of TIAs (mini-strokes) over the years beginning in the 1980s, she’s been declining steadily.  We were fortunate to get her driving license away from her about a year back before she’d killed anyone.  The truth be told it was her doctor who was responsible, and everyone who tells how easy it is is talking about someone else’s parent. Last November we got her into a wonderful assisted living facility where despite no longer being able to converse as she had and largely being fixated on three things (money, going out to eat, my room is a cage) she had a certain quality of life.

During the first week of my visit a month ago things went relatively well although I’ll be the first one to admit my mom has never been an easy person to deal with and age combined with cognitive impairment has not helped in this regard.  There was much for me to complain about and complain I did to friends and relatives and whoever was ready for an earful.  The next few days were as pleasant as they have ever been – we went out to eat at a great Italian place with a cousin and aunt, and she even went to the casino (She loves her slots.).  Then Wednesday mid-morning when I was about to go to her place for lunch, I got word she’d had a massive stroke.   The doctors did not think she’d survive. We were forced to put her into a nursing home and into the Rapid Terminal Decline program.

But she has since rebounded.  Her health care directive made it clear that she did not want to be in a nursing home (see title for a direct quote) and considered quality of life to be of the utmost importance.  We are constantly being pushed for therapy, which my sister and I are resisting to the very fiber of our being.

I was reminded of the wonderful film, The Sea Inside.

Incommunicado (and Incognito)

Off again at the end of the week, back in the first week of June.

Groucho_glasses(Photographer: StickyWikis)

A Sliver of the Moon

For those interested, my new collection of poetry, A Sliver of the Moon, is available. As for further writing, I am hoping to have my second novel out by summer’s end. Now after that, it’s not necessarily silence, but I am certainly expecting things to be a lot more quiet around here. Think perhaps of those probes seeking evidence of extraterrestrial life. A new job in another country will just not allow the considerable free time I’ve had all these years.

Goodbye

The long and the short of it –
a quarter century
of one’s life.

The heat was once
intense,
ancient steps rising up
in sweat.

The sun was always
an elixir
since those days
at university in the
mountains.

The sea
stands
as a replacement for
those thousand lakes
of a child –
cleaner and bluer.
The first time
you swam
you felt as if you floated,
and it would be impossible to sink.

It is not the last goodbye.
You will return
for a month or two
a year
to enjoy the best
on offer,
no longer having
to tolerate the rest.

The language goes with you
and you will use it,
sometimes as a code.

The Desert Sand

The Desert Sand

The wind blew in bursts.

Microscopic grains of sand
swirled about.

In the taxi cab you sat
your lower back
having given out.

Arriving at the hotel,
you seriously doubted
if on getting out
you’d be able to stand.

Fearfully you struggled
and were so relieved to see
passersby
with open hearts
asking if you needed
assistance.

An Absence

Been laid up with the flu – hoping it’ll pass at some point.  I do have my doubts!

Anyway, things are on the move here or rather I’ll be on the move in March and probably April so I’ll be likely be absent from the blogging world for the next few months.

Here’s to hoping spring comes to all with its usual delights.

Sappho Fragment (96)

“But now she is conspicuous among Lydian women
as sometimes at sunset
the rosyfingered moon

surpasses all the stars. And her light
stretches over salt sea
equally and flowerdeep fields.”

From Anne Carson’s If Not, Winter: Fragments of Sappho

 

Sappho Fragment (31)

“….tongue breaks and thin
fire is racing under skin
and in eyes no sight and drumming
fills ears

and cold sweat holds me and shaking
grips me all, greener than grass
I am and dead-or almost
I seem to me.”

From Sappho Fragment 31

Anne Carson’s If Not, Winter: Fragments of Sappho

The First Thing We Do

The First Thing We Do
Jack would do
anything
for anyone
you were told.

So you waited
in his lobby
interested to hear
what information
he might provide.

From a plaque on the wall
a Bible verse stated
obedience to God
would bring about good governance.

A painting of Washington
kneeling on the banks
of the Delaware
hung.

As for your mother,
she’d already crossed
the Rubicon.

Jack’s secretary,
who’d earlier
said
her father, too,
was suffering from
dementia
and had expressed such
understanding,
told you coldly,
“He can’t see you.”

No jot and tittle
means sympathy’s
in short supply.

Post Navigation

%d bloggers like this: