Inspired by March 2018

Stone smiles gathered about me, urging something, but the meaning was unclear

I’m getting this wrong – but my gut says I’m right.

Why don’t the eyes match the mouths on these people? Too preoccupied to allow the softening of soul

My gut says know

And so

I follow it.

This does not win friends and influence people.

But I can’t stay here for long

It’s bound to lead to spiritual rickets,

nosebleeds and charm deficits and so

I go…

I have no memory of when it’s not been this way.

To measure up to the crowd-sourced standard of value and goodness.

Conform and trade and the happy accident of celebrating obedience.

Outcast or broadcast – these are the choices.

The cool kids will understand that you do not belong.

But you do belong

you belong to yourself, and so long as that is not betrayed,

you will have won the battle against selling your soul

Flying Fish – monotype by Michele Montserrat


Mountain range, blue rolling out to the horizon, leaning over to the waters edge, downward into the reflection of sky, water cradles this upthrusting earth, and sun a piercing scintillation over the roof of the world, dancing off the mirror plane of waters. The endless sky full of marching clouds crossing over the foothills. While darkened pools cast silence over rippling fish homes, as they wriggle in the depths, breathing flowing silver, waving fin and tail, hidden from the radar of air dwellers. The skimming waves above the fluid breath of scales, a world, fin-dark and handsome, rolling with mud and shells, and all sounds enhanced through the gleaming pearlight dappling down.

Post-pandemic 071221

Bursts of blue and brown light flashing, velocity incredible, churning in a spiral toward the beam. Not seeing much of anything except movement. This too shall pass. This is what inevitably flows from the decisions made, the forks turned toward and taken. Deliberation in each moment, and the course of a life unfolds in following and then a home is found in that working wander.

This the only thing you can count on: movement bringing change, bringing revelation. What happens if the silent, still center is kept in the midst of all this winging? You cannot be apart from that stillness, any more than you can be apart from the movement. It is all a whole – movement, stillness, velocity, firm seat – all this is revealed in each moment.

Reality apparent and reality unfolding in the bone-crowned noggin happens all now and how can it all be re-smoothed into a seemless whole?

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

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…


August 2, 2020

Photo by Simon Migaj on

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

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.