Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Jeremy Toombs writes


Mathematics: time is equal to the distance from point
to point divided by the rate of moving. How long
then for the blood to travel round back
through the heart? All the ways
of losing are measured in the eyes
of those who believe in failure; that losing

is one of the options of love. It is in losing
ego that time can be forgotten: a point
converging on what is to come and the eyes
focused on the longing
and searching for all the ways
that desire can be brought back

no matter how far the feet have gone back
towards leaving. Enough time is spent in losing
time over the miles and footsteps and the way
forward can move through all the points
of the compass until the measure seems too long.
It can be enough to have knowledge; the eyes

don’t need to see for it is with the eyes
that perception can be blurred and the back
trail forgotten among the streets and paths along
the journey. That losing
looms up through the mist, pointing
and pulling the blood the wrong way.

Voices in the head know all the ways
that the blues can cover over the eyes
darker than thunder. More to the point
make the mind go back
on itself until it is losing
that is expected throughout the long

night; questioning how long
can desire last when the ways
are parted,  youth is losing
and all this seen with the eyes
isn’t enough to lead us back
past the breaking point.

Time can be longer than distance when the eyes
can see there is no way forward. Moving back
is covered with lost art. Even this is pointless.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Kannadasa Dasan writes

I AM ….

I am like the house flies:
I will be sitting on filth and on shrine flowers!
I am like the sun rays:
I will be passing on the pit and shaking oceans!

I am like a circus clown:
I will be laughing with the crowd and weeping alone!
 I am like a genial rain:
I will be falling on the pond and on dried grain!
I am like an Iron Age man:
I will be attached to the God and to low instincts!
I am like a camel’s skin:
I will be stitched with the coat and sharp daggers!

I am like an earthen pot:
I will be having ghee and eagle feathers!
I am like a fishing boat:
I will be carrying pearls and dried fishes!

I am like a naughty child:
I will be playing with the thieves and with saints.
 I am like a secular state:
I will be dealing with hell and with the holy books!


Sunday, June 28, 2015

Sharon Villaverde writes

                         Nocturnal’s Elusive Dream

White ceiling, bright lights
Trying to figure out
Where is sleep all through the night
The moon is setting at the horizon
But my eyes are still awake and mind is lost
Playing hide and seek with the voices of my inner thoughts
Pen and paper, coffee and music
My constant companions
Making me feel better
Every time I am in despair.

Looking at my empty bed
Though my body is tired
Voices keep on whispering from within
A futile resistance against the waking darkness
I count stars, turn my bed upside down
I search for dreams frantically
But I fall into desperation.

You're so elusive and always there
It's been a decade and I can no longer bear
My heart is riddled with sorrow and grief
Looking for answers which I cannot fathom
With these thoughts my tears flow
Why dreams you're so elusive?

Lying in bed awake
Memoir of the happiness, frustrations and despair
For regrets come hunting and loathing
A strange place to live in
I can't get to sleep tonight
I try to count the stars, pray hard
Thinking of happy dreams that will never come
To the places I wanted to go

I don't know why sleep is so elusive
But I sleep just fine while waiting for my turn
Just fine riding in a bus
Or just fine at work
But dreams are so elusive
For this nocturnal muse.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Vernon Mooers writes


                                   Vast and glittering
                                    lit up like a Christmas tree
                                    the skyline shimmering modern
                                    an array of aluminium and glass
                                    the designs, architectural wonders.
                                    Down by the old souq, old Bombay
                                    the touts and hawkers
                                    in the bars, Russian and Kazaks
                                       working girls.
                                    The metro, an international menagerie
                                    people from every corner of the world
                                    and the tourists flock
                                    like moths to a shining light.
                                    A city rises from the desert.


Timothy Spearman responds

Timothy Spearman: I'm probably the only Ph.D. in history to have his Ph.D. failed, then have it recommended for publication by a Professor Emeritus, only to find that immediately following publication, the publisher was fired from his tenured position at the University of Toronto, after which review journals started attacking the publisher, and finally the publishing house burned down. A pleasant start to my academic career. Seven years later in 1999, my published Ph.D. "The Ethics of Timelessness" was resubmitted for evaluation at the Intercultural Open University of Amsterdam and awarded the degree of Ph.D. I was awarded tenure once at a university in Seoul, South Korea, but a jealous junior colleague created a kerfuffle, which was clearly his fault. The Korean faculty sided with him despite his unprofessional conduct so I resigned. Back home in Toronto, I had a job at Sheridan College till the Dean set me up by getting two students to lie and so my contract wasn't renewed. Since then I have been a nomad on the run. I've taught just about everything and got just about nowhere. I've published many books "Gandhi Under Cross-examination", "Must I Remember", "Butterfly Dreams", Odds-on Favourite", "Sailing the Seven C's", "21st Century Lebensborn: Children Screaming To Be Heard", and "History of the Peace Train". None of them have gone anywhere. I have worked with a small-time independent filmmaker on a couple of films. Despite writing a slew of my own quality screenplays, none of them have gone anywhere. I think this is what is referred to as a checkered career.

DV: I'm pleased to have you and your work as a large part of this blog. But, why do you write?

TS: I guess we all know what our talent is. And there are enough intelligent, perceptive and appreciative people who like what I do to help me to keep the faith. I also have enough good people like yourself, who try to support the arts and their fellow artists to help restore my faith in humanity. Ultimately, I suppose I write for kind people, while at the same time trying to initiate something corrective in people who are not kind by teaching them about the consequence of their unkindness through the like characterizations they confront in my writing. I hope they will recognize their wrongful actions in the misdeeds and villainous acts of certain characters in my story. I show them the mirror, as Prince Hamlet showed King Claudius and Queen Gertrude the mirror in the play within the play "The Mouse-trap". I do this in the hope that misguided people might be filled with enough self-loathing in the face of the miscreant reflection they confront in the mirror to correct their wrongful ways.

DV: Does any form of writing have to have a serious purpose? Can't authors just noodle for sheer enjoyment?

TS: Many writers and literary critics hold the view that worthy art should not be prescriptive or dogmatic in tone. However, isn't it prescriptive and dogmatic for them to suggest that art be so? It reminds me of the social theories that evolved since the 60's regarding the disciplining of children that adopt a permissive view of parenting. Where has that got us? "Spare the rod and spoil the child" and what do you get? "The baby beats the nurse and quite athwart goes all decorum," as Shakespeare reminded us. We need standards of ethics and aesthetics, otherwise art degenerates to the lowest common denominator, where far from enhancing human dignity, it degrades the human and leaves us devaluing ourselves. Of course there is high art like "The Vagina Dialogues", but it is striking that one has to bend over practically double to converse with one's genitals. That said, It is probably true that art benefits from not being so overt and direct that it blatantly inculcates and imposes values. Indirect communication has always been a more effective means of communication, imparting teachings through parables, irony, satire, metaphor, imagery, symbolism and all the other hallmarks of indirect communication.

DV: That reminds me of a bit by Emily Dickinson.  "Tell all the truth but tell it slant.... The Truth must dazzle gradually or every man be blind."  We've seen here some of your poetures and parts of your "Sacred Geometry" series. It seems to me that "Sacred Geometry," both in its written form and as oral presentation, is pretty straightforward in its didacticism, and we can return to that in a moment, but the poetures, while often meditative, are more spontaneous and impressionistic.  Do they violate your moral stance on the purpose of literary work?

TS: As is the case with your work, I try to be innovative. Art should break conventions and be something of an iconoclastic wrecking ball. As artists we should constantly break new ground, even violating our own established styles like typecast actors who try to forge new territory by taking on unconventional roles. As artists we can choose to be whatever we consider our assigned roles to be. I seem to always be around control freaks. I guess I push their buttons by pushing the boundaries. I think we are testing one another's limits. I am okay with life being a battleground of egos, with bruised egos littering the battlefield as the victims of war. I do not see myself as a victor in the battle, probably more of a victim to be honest, but I have tried my best and have endured a lot of humiliation, hardships and defeats and still carried on, never once even contemplating giving up. There is no point in giving up. I see the artist as no different from anyone else in that regard. We must soldier on till the bitter or triumphant end. By refusing to concede that can be its own kind of valiant victory.

DV: So, what part do you typically find cast yourself as? Are you a seer/prophet? Or a schlemiel?  Rebel? Role model? Victim or vanquisher? Asker of Socratic questions or Socratic martyr to the truth?

TS: Well Duane, there's no real telling who's going to win in the end. I'm not sure there really is such a thing as truly winning or losing. Winning can be a Pyrrhic victory, and in seeming loses, the winner can take it all. I believe the key is to free oneself from all attachment, which takes mastery and control, but after you succeed, everything becomes easier, because the divinity that is the true you can manifest at that moment of awareness. I do not think that it matters how enlightened an author is. The orchestration known as the Shakespeare plays embodies insight into states of wisdom and profound awareness, but also expresses states of psychosis, neurosis and psychopathy. It's all there, but it's still magnificent because it captures the breadth of the human condition in all its glory and vainglory and that's why we continue to celebrate it in a night at the revels 400 years later. Let art do what it does and if it moves us and makes us want to see it again, or recite its lines or sing its melodic strains then that is sublime enough and an explanation for why it stands the test of time and becomes part of our oral or written tradition.

DV: Okay, let's get down to brass tacks then. Is there a message you want to convey in "Sacred Geometry"? Some of it seems quite conspiratorial-minded. How did you come upon the underlying structure of the thing? How did you develop the theme?

TS: The field has been called "conspiracy theory" but all crime theory is reliant upon theory. As for the word "conspiracy", when two or more individuals plan a crime that is a "conspiracy to commit". Ultimately, I am a crime investigator. I am just trying to identify the true perpetrators of historical crimes, whether they be current or older. The geometric design of the poems is meant to impart or explain mysteries or secrets of the secret society fraternities. I have since discovered that Francis Bacon, which I am told I have a past life connection to, also wrote poems in very similar geometric design patterns. I have set some of my Sacred Geometry poetic lyrics to music and my songs and song lyrics can be seen at www.shakesaspear.com.

DV: Is there any event or series of events that propelled you into writing or shaped your views as a writer?

TS: I loved the Romantic Period and the Romantics when I was in high school. My German teacher was the Head Master at my school and he was wonderful. I miss him. He made me fall in love with the German Romantics, Shiller and Goethe particularly. Then at my undergraduate university, Trent University, in Peterborough, Ontario, Canada, I staged "The Rainbow Comes and Goes". I wrote, directed, produced and took the lead role in the play about Mary and William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Later, I visited the Lake District with my parents before settling into my Master's program at the University of Warwick. On the same trip, my father took some Hollyhock seeds from the plants growing in the garden of the house wrongfully attributed to the author of the Shakespeare plays in Stratford-Upon-Avon and planted them in the garden of his lovely estate home in King City called "Stoneleigh". My father believed implicitly that I would be a world-renowned writer. I will not let his dream die. I will fight with every ounce of my breath to make sure my father's dream for me is realized. I know he is up there still watching over me proudly, knowing that my time will come. I know it too. 50 is the new 30. I saw an article about Tom Selleck, who at 70 shows us that 70 is the new 50. I have a long life ahead of me and much can be achieved that has not yet come to fruition. Take the Poe Tree Blog for instance. I never expected something as special as this to come from a collaboration with my old friend, Duane Vorhees.

William H. Drummond writes

Faerie Lullaby

Sleep my young son
Dream faerie dreams
The day is done
Gone is the sun
Ride on the silver moonbeams

Butterfly wings
Carry you high
Beautiful things
Gossamer strings
Pull you into the night sky

Fear not the night
Faeries are friends
Fly like a kite
With all your might
Dream faerie dreams till night ends

And the faeries, they will speak to you
Deep wisdom they teach to you
And you’ll wake with their power in your heart

Sleep my young one
Dream magic dreams
The day was fun
Another one
Comes when the morning light gleams

Busses and Crosses

Life deserves a measured look.
Life deserves a measured look.

I had a dog but dog ran away.
I had a girl and the girl did stay.

Plusses and losses shape our plans.
Plusses and losses shape our plans.

I had a dog but dog ran away.
I had a girl and the girl did stay.

Life is like a ledger book.
Life is like a ledger book.

Girl, she sears my nights
When snow chills the ground.

That girl fries my nights
When snow is on the ground.

Busses and crosses map our lands.                                                                                               
Busses and crosses map our lands.

Girl, she sears my nights
When snow is all around.
But summer days
I still miss that hound.
Busses and crosses map our lands.
Plusses and losses shape our plans.
Life is like a ledger book.
Life deserves a second look.

 -- Duane Vorhees