Many Forms of Comfort

August 23, 2020

Minneapolis Restaurant photo by Michele Montserrat

Another 2018 poem…

The Forms of Comfort

There are many forms of comfort –the comfort of feet tracing your well-worn patterns from bed, to stairway, to kitchen, to table. The comfort of the smell of fresh coffee brewed. The comfort of the taste of tea on your tongue.

There are many forms of comfort – the comfort of a lover asking you to tell them where it hurts, the comfort of being received without reservation, the comfort of giving Love your undivided attention.

There are many forms of comfort – the comfort of a good book at the end of the day. The comfort of a glass of wine at the end of a day. The comfort of a lover’s embrace at the end of a day.

The comfort of the sound of children playing in the park.

The comfort of hearing the frogs in the spring.

There are many forms of comfort – the comfort of thunderstorm’s boisterous break in summer’s heat breath. The comfort too of a northern lake in July.

The comfort of a warm blanket between you and the icy bones of January.

There are many forms of comfort – there is comfort in the rhythm of breath, the comfort of reading the sun as it rises, the comfort of the resolution to yesterday’s nagging problem.

There are many forms of comfort – the comfort of scratching your dog behind his ears, the comfort of receiving a letter in the mail, instead of adverts and bills.

The comfort of reading that letter in the sun which streams through your front porch windows.

The comfort of a fire at midnight.

The comfort of the shade at noon.

There are many forms of comfort – the comfort of finding out for yourself, the comfort of trusting in the process, the comfort in admitting when you don’t know everything.

There are many forms of comfort – the comfort of trusting in the earth, the comfort of trusting in doubt, and the comfort of openness.

There are many forms of comfort – the comfort of knowing you’re doing your best, the comfort of knowing you have places to be, the comfort of following the spark of inspiration to it’s never-ending end.

Like a Rolling Stone (After Bob Dylan)

August 19, 2020

“ConSecrate” mixed media painting by Michele Montserrat

Another 2018 poem…

Don’t know where I’m going, don’t know where it all rolls

I’m turning over the rocks in my path.

The pens have all lost their ink, so I’m carving words in mud instead.

Gritty words which leave their trace on the desk,

on the chair and on the floor

where you walked out the door last Tuesday night.

If my hands are not what they seem,

it’s because they have been scrubbing at the indelible paint

I tried to hide under whitewash and draperies

salvaged from dumpsters last year.

Court of Empire

Featured image is the painting “The Laocoön” by El Greco 1610-1614

August 18, 2020

I wrote the following poem in 2018.

Court of Empire

Oh shining City on the Hill,

You must know by now

the price for a seat on the Court of Empire

is paid in the brown skins of refugees

and the bones of their children which lie

bleaching in the Sonoran sun.

The mothers and fathers carry their little ones, anyway –

this crossing means they must travel at night,

they walk with care,

to escape the gaze of El Pozolero

they risk all through darkness and death.

In the day, they take their rest at churches

hidden in the creosote scrub

and receive the manna

left by Samaritans.

Food cache

(body of Christ, the bread of Heaven)

and water jug

(blood of Christ, the cup of Salvation)

gathered and prepared for those

(suffer the little children to come unto Me)

who journey to reach the promised land.

When these oases are found by Pharaoh’s long arm

border agents pour out the water

and trample the food.

We all must face these facts tonight

face something dark tonight

go down into the abyss tonight —

(Lord, I am not ready to receive you…)

We’re all facing something dark tonight,

facing facts tonight,

going into the abyss

tonight –

(say the word, and I shall be healed.)

Portulaca of the Ancestors by Michele Montserrat

Because I Wanted You to Love Me

August 8, 2020

Painted Wall: Bird and Grapes photo by Michele Montserrat

A poem I wrote in October 2018…

Because I Wanted You to Love Me

Because I wanted you to love me, I buried my shame along with the guilt and painted my lips the color of tequila sunrises.

Because I wanted you to love me, I learned to track time in the aroma of lush forests and flashing brilliant bees.

Because I wanted you to love me, I found books on the art of erotic hand massage. I studied fireworks and fine dining.

Because I wanted you to love me, I danced whistling from room to room, and I perfected my skills in langorous leaning.

Because I wanted you to love me, I meditated on lemon scented diamonds. I kept my hairstyle exactly the same and began wearing more colorful scarves.

And because I wanted you to love me, I didn’t wait for the mail to come. I took the pen in hand and wrote the letter anyway.

Feathered Wallpaper photo by Michele Montserrat

Poetry Machines

August 4, 2020

PoetryCollage by Michele Montserrat

The Classically Exquisite Surrealist Corpse

A private caress deludes the acrobatic skunk
and the issued poem possesses the conspicuous candidate.
The avant-garde contemplation
undresses

the disappointed panty,
and the courageous bug preempts the awkward python,
and sharp objectivity sweetens the benumbed brassiere,
while organic beauty adapts the catastrophic box.

This is wild! You should give it a try.

More poetry machines by Calum Rodger here…

Dervish

August 2, 2020

Photo by Simon Migaj on Pexels.com

A poem from 2017.

Warm hearthlight flickers, hidden inside the secret text.

I made pilgrimage to this house, into all that remains of me.

This smoke, an offering to heretical angels.

I lay my hand on your arm,

a mendicant at the gate of exiles.

Thrown like a pot, spun upon the wheel,

and a sense of the world on fire

as a fusillade of love cascades over lips and tongues

broken open now, a benediction

like bread

placed into the hand of homecoming.

Forest by Michele Montserrat

March Equinox 2019

August 1, 2020

Photo by Chris F on Pexels.com

Adapted from some writing I did on March 20, 2019…

It’s the spring equinox where I live in the northern hemisphere of the planet. We hear small birds chipping in the shrubs, as usual. And the cardinals have announced their borders, just outside the windows of my studio at home.

This spring day opens with a bullet-grey sky and it feels like a refuge, feels like a comfort. The losses seem only an opportunity for turning life over to a place more deliberate, more desired, more conforming to what’s lovely in the mind. The sparrows and cardinals carry on, their calls unheeding human plan or posture. Their hunger and their home seeking drive them, and they seem to call you to look out here at your other face, reflected back to you through the smell of an ice-water stream rushing over rocks, finding the downhill Way.

Frederick Miller spring Eden Prairie, MN photo by Michele Montserrat

The trilling cardinal breaks through the rumble-hush of cars moving through melting snow, moving past my street. I hear more birdsong, to cure the hollow, and the mist of regret lifts, no longer tendrilled. These songs bounce lightly around the crown of my heart, and a palace of delight opens there.

Up and down and down again into the earth, the place where these leylines of bird, branch and grass begin. I will end here too, someday, when the body agrees to join with the entropy that is a fact of life, denied until the appointed time, spontaneous and unstoppable, winding life stream of love and catastrophe come to rest at last.

Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, Chaska, MN photo by Michele Montserrat

The rumble-hush of a passing car; the birds are silent now outside my walls. Their territory proclaimed, cardinal and sparrow have likely moved to forage. Still, the piping of an unknown one in the canopy. And then the silence is cut through and scalded open by the screaming of a bluejay.

Suddenly – no sound. And now – chipping sparrows mob the cedar again, a burst of some hunger or intrusion pulling their chorus along. Crunching tires on an icy street, and the metallic needle-shot sound of breaks applied, as my neighbor moves her car out of our street, heading west into her day.

I have been pulling this life together for four years now. These choices give great blessings of time to write, to create art, to dream, and to know better than ever what is really in my heart. To follow the thread of creativity and give it form in color and rhythm, or to line up words that evoke the internal landscape to visible appearance. The paintings are my healing face reflected, and the words show the way to become more alive, focused, and free.

Asphodel Meadow by Michele Montserrat

Have a Day…

July 26, 2020

A poem from October 2017.

Have a somber day, a day of remembering and singing the songs you liked best. A day filled with songs like you felt when you first heard Fade Into You.

Have a sober day, a day like how you felt when you heard of the death of David Bowie.

Have a sky’s-the-limit day, walking around with your head in the cloudy blue forever.

Have a spring day, mud between your toes, leaning down to see the grass up close and being surprised and graced with the unforgettable sweetness of lily in the valley.

Have an overly-important, sonorous day where you nod your head and tip your hat to everyone like you’re a sea captain in charge of all the pilgrims.

Have a day where you work so hard and get so much done that you really deserve to order your favorite pizza and watch cartoons with your friends.

Featured image of a road in Crow-Hassan Park, St. Michael, Minnesota. Photo of a David Bowie mask. All images by Michele Montserrat.

Once Upon a Time in Detroit by Gary Glauber (LANDMARKS Series)

Excellent poem by Gary Glauber “…a widely published poet, fiction writer, teacher, and former music journalist. He champions the underdog while negotiating life’s absurdities. He has three collections — Small Consolations (Aldrich Press), Worth the Candle (Five Oaks Press), and Rocky Landscape with Vagrants (Cyberwit) — as well as two chapbooks, Memory Marries Desire (Finishing Line Press) and The Covalence of Equanimity (SurVision Books), a winner of the 2019 James Tate International Poetry Prize. Another collection, A Careful Contrition (Shanti Arts Publishing). is forthcoming soon.”

Silver Birch Press

carl ballou licensedOnce Upon a Time in Detroit
by Gary Glauber

At 24, I took invincibility in stride,
drunk and still driving a rental car at midnight
into a town I’d never been to before,

heading the sixty miles I needed to cover
in record time and never once worrying about it.
Pointing the sedan in the right direction,

I ate up that random highway’s asphalt miles
like I had been to the feted Motor City
a hundred adventurous times before.

I was driving American, feeling every inch
a patriot of horsepower privilege, a Mitch Ryder song
appropriately blaring from the car’s radio.

I was to be shown how nice this town
with the less-than-stellar rep
could actually be. The gray-haired

officials in their fancy tailored suits
showed up to ensure me major improvements
were currently in the offing.

The impeccable politicians included me
like some wealthy insider, privy to their racist,

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