Wednesday, March 31, 2010

A Cage of Willows.

It doesn't say so in the poem, but this is about a woman in the 1870's whose husband never returned from fighting in the American Civil War. What side they were on is up to you.

A Cage of Willows

Long with time in an evening gown,
She wears a silken blindfold,
It shields her eyes
From her lovers gaze,
So his image time may erode.

A lover in her own vault,
Praying at an ancient altar,
Paying fealty to her feelings.
Still chained to the slavery of love
And the caring names he called her.

Queitly she'll rest there
In a cage of willows white.
A darling of yesterday,
Clutching flowering bars
That hold her wrists and ankles tight.

"Love, oh love, that wretched thing
That holds me to this day."
But the fading beauty
It haunts her still,
And she can never look away.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Crows, etc.

This piece is about two years old. I wrote a synopsis for it on Facebook that I was planning to copy and paste, but I don't have access to Facebook right now, so I'll describe it briefly... I got the inspiration for this as I was driving back and forth from work. Over and over, I kept seeing crows by the side of the road... just sort of standing there. One day, when I saw a crow, I blurted out the first stanza...

By The Crowside.

Crow by the roadside,
Road by the crowside.
He’s up and down,
Across the road,
He doesn't even know why.

Black feathers, black car,
Passing in the morning.
Going nowhere, going somewhere,
Passing in the evening.

Going somewhere, go where some go,
Going nowhere, or go where none go.
If you go nowhere,
You'll find a crow there.


This next one is about ignorance and blind fury, and it's only about twenty minutes old. It's about a news story I saw on television last night, where those tea party protesters were converging on Harry Reid's hometown as a political statement. I italicized the 2nd stanza to emphasize a change in meter and a shift in tone.

The March.

No room for small hands,
Much less space for doubt,
And the tired metal tapestry
Will force dissension out.

And I shudder to realize
In the light of each morning
Watching from my place a mile away
Those gleaming red marchers
That funnel through canyons
Might get what they march for someday.

Not a sliver of light
Or an inch there to breathe
Between marching figures
Strong-willed & naive.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Factory Floor.

I sometimes like to take my rhyming to extremes, and this is a great example of me going overboard.

Factory Floor.

Stone parts in rooms dark,
Metal hits and makes sparks.
Shock-marks and supply carts
Dart when the work starts.

The men know, when the fuel's low,
The gears here won't go.
The years go and the iron flows,
Debris "snow" on workers head to toe.

Their kids cry in their wives arms,
They'll hear alarms and fear he's harmed.
They'll fuss and sigh as hours go by,
Fearing he's died in those metal farms.

Rusty tools and grease pools,
Machines roll as the product cools.
Taking their toll are the boss's rules,
Coal, parts, and diesel fuel.

Those stone parts in rooms dark,
And metal warm from the day's sparks.
Shock-marks and supply carts
Are parked before the work starts.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Little Watchers.

This blog needs more pictures, so here's one.

Also, a crocus. (Only one crocus was harmed in the taking of this photograph)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Calling Again.

I have a long list of material that I want to use for this blog, but as I was thumbing through my notebook yesterday, I felt like I should post something brand new instead. That being said, I finished this poem about seven minutes ago. It's one of my simpler pieces, so it probably doesn't need any explanation.

Calling Again.

Through your dreamcatcher I see planets fly,
It's hung in the room I dare not touch.
And the redwood needles all fall, by and by
In the dream I loathe so much.
Out in the yard,
Where the trees stand guard,
I'll think I see you then,
But as seasons change,
You go out of range
And I'll hear you call again.

Seven raindrops on the sill,
For seven years in all,
And seven redwoods on the hill,
Still wait for eight in the fall.
And this road of mine
Now cobweb fine,
As I think of roads that end.
I'll live and pray,
That at the end of my day,
I'll hear you call again.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Autumn Dirt.

I wrote this last October, and it's always been a bit of a mystery to me. It's about a split, an inadequacy, and a miscommunication, but since it's not about me personally, I can't be much more specific than that. It's one of those things that end up "writing themselves", if that makes any sense. Every once in a while I end up writing something, then when I reread it I can't help but think, "I wrote that? That really doesn't sound like me". Well, this is one of those poems.

Autumn Dirt

There's a part of your life that's chewed up in your mouth,
And it tastes just like Autumn dirt.
It's made of old tree bark and the bones of a bird,
And the hem on a discarded skirt.
It's just like the dirt that I walk over now
That's caught up in the treads of my shoes,
And the car wheels at night,
All stopped at a green light,
Thinking of the broken things I could still use.

The decision was made and the blows were dealt,
Though I was never quite sure which one I felt.
I didn't understand then, and I still don't now,
But all these things end up justified somehow.

Two roads over there's an abandoned old house;
There's a busted up stove inside it.
"You're just like that stove", you said one night,
And you know I never denied it.
Because after all, there's a lesson to learn,
And after all, there's a beauty in there,
In the cracked glass and the rust
The torn-off knobs and the dust,
And the grates that have no meals to bear.

There's a sight, but there's no sound,
From the brittle leaves as they fall on the ground;
Like tides on the asphalt, from car to car,
And your promise ring is a fallen star.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Roses & Seasons.

I wrote these two pieces in 2008, so you may have already read them. If not... "they're new to you!"

There's something about this poem that I like, though I'm not exactly sure what it is. In an odd way, it's about an identity struggle. Other than that, I'll let it speak for itself, because every time I read it I get a different feeling from it.

China Roses.

All you can ask for is time.
All you can have,
A cellar full of your mystery,
Or a candle,
To light for your romance.
Fear what you must,
Embrace what you will,
A broken mirror,
Or petals of scarlet & crimson,
Dried with time.
The numbers pile up & overflow,
The experiences repeat,
Grasping at your chance,
Feeling out possibilities.
Your weathered wooden table,
An empty porcelain cup,
A bowl of fruit,
Pears, apples, peaches, and oranges.
Forced into a corner,
Still you dream
Diamond dreams,
But a tin reality.
Shine on what you can,
Hold your roses through your days,
Present them to your nights.


This next thing is about the fall giving way to winter. Just like the first piece, when I read it again yesterday, I got a very different feel from it. Now that we're going from winter to spring, it's like the battle is over (for now, at least).

Recede & Advance

Crystal shavings, gleaming white and shining blue, flock through a colander of leaves, speaking brown but glowing green. Dark hidden corners surrender to a room awash in colour, succumbing to the light. Revealed is the space where there once crept a shadowy crouching devil.

Outside the tall standers and low sitters dot the ground, spreading gold and orange into the sky and letting it drift down to earth. These messengers find their resting place among the green-clad soldiers of the ground, delivering their freezing cold letters. Wisps of whistling chills curl through the trees and the rocks, moving the golden messengers from their rightful home to their new one upon the earth’s floor.

Shambling sidewalk movers bound in furs and cottons turn from the whispering spirits of the oncoming cold. Faces covered by scarves and shawls close their eyes to Winter. Their thoughts speak of frigid bitterness equal to that of the nearing frost.

“Keep your tyrannical treacherous torturous tendrils from tearing at me! My limbs need not feel your grasp, my mind need not feel your chill, and my whimsy certainly needs no dampening from you!”

The looming season will not respond.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Thursday, March 4, 2010


Here's my second post in as many days. I probably won't be updating this frequently in the future, I just figured that if I'm going to get this thing going right, I should hit the ground running.

This poem is based on a short story I wrote last year. It was about a man who becomes so fascinated with the intricate romantic trickery his lover is using on him, that he starts to play along with it in secret. He becomes obsessed, watching her "spin her web", just to see how well her lies hold up and how far she'll take them. The story didn't come out as well as I had hoped, but I did write a poem about it.


The magic lies deep in lies half-told,
And in the trinkets, the vague promises you sold
Came true in a way I would never expect,
In hindsight, your deceit deserves a certain respect.

You're an island-blue vial by a tarnished old flask,
And a royal-purple band on a gypsy-red mask.
You've got a treacherous demeanor, but a dignity that's seen,
Under pirate-gold treasures and all that poison-green.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


Hello, hello and welcome. The name's Brendan, and this is my foray into the world of blogging. I hope you'll enjoy the content I post here. Should you make return trips to this page, you should expect to find a menagerie of poetry, photography, and prose, new and old, by yours truly. Please feel free to share any thoughts you may have, I'd love some feedback.

I'll kick things off with my most recent poem. It's about aspirations, and how they comfort a person while they're making the long trek to their "promised land", whatever and wherever that may be.

The Way There

To trod through unforgiving ages,
Winding, treacherous,
Not a robin or a rainbow.
Nothing to soothe us with images of where we started;
Nothing to appease the thirst with images of where it seeks to take us.
To venture down a crooked path,
Where nothing, good-natured or ill, could stand to call home;
Under a night sky without the comfort of stars.
Led only by the scent, the promise,
And the majesty of the kingdoms we seek to build.

To seek greatness,
For it is not when we are strong to spite weakness,
But when we are strong to defend it.
To raise walls with open gates,
And doors without bolt-locks.
For beyond any horizon,
Where the road stretches from the tips of our boots
And above the dust kicked up by the toil of years,
Is a cradle of dreams,
To make a home out of any corner,
To hang stars where there are none.


This next piece is a rewrite of a poem I wrote years ago, and it's somewhat similar in theme to The Way There, but it's coming from a different direction. This one's about a man (an astronaut), dissatisfied with the road he chose to take.

Return Flight From The Moon.

People study for years to be what I am,
To see the earth surrounded by black.
It hurts, but I just don't give a damn
If I ever go back.
I'd streth out in the grass, feel the comfort of land,
And forsake shuttle jets and tarmac.

I watched the world, lonely in space,
I watched it silent, darkness all around.
Not a thing could be heard from the whole human race,
So many lives, but not a single sound.

As we enter the day below night,
And as gravity and direction take hold,
I'd thank the lord if this were my last flight,
Last take-off, last station, last node.

In the orbit I can sense the wind,
Earth again, as the shuttle sets in.
A natural breath as the fresh air gets in,
And on the landing site waits my next of kin.

They're beaming and cheering
Waiting for me to come down,
And I'm tired and fearing
That I'll always feel this run down.
They see me nearing,
Cheering like I'll bring the sun down...

To hover before humanity,
To tell it's universal truth,
And it seems like insanity
That ever since my youth...

That's all i've wanted to do.


Thanks for reading! Come back within the net few days and there's bound to be something new up.