Monday, June 26, 2017

20170626.0442

He liked to sing of mountain railways
Driven by brave engineers,
And now he has disembarked from that ride
On which he had been for some years.
Those of us who still ride yet
Are saddened to see him go,
And what he is seeing at his station stop
Is something we cannot yet know.
The track that we travel twists, and it turns,
And it dips, and it rises through hills,
And it's said that its passengers might meet again
As its brave engineer wills.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

20170625.0907

Christmas is but six months away,
And we need to figure where to stay
So we can drink while children play
And revel in the gifting.
But first, we need to buy our stuff
And realize that it's not enough,
However much; it's all just fluff,
And we are with it drifting.
The realization made, we then
Work to drown it once again
So we don't remember when
It's time to do the gifting.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

20170624.0524

Today could also be called 25. Just so you know...

I gave myself a little time,
But I cannot seem to mind,
For when I look, I again find
My loving wife's back with me.

Friday, June 23, 2017

20170624.0431

Today's another working day,
But at least I have my pay,
So I can look around and say
It might well have been worth it.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

20170622.0432

I tried once again to early rise.
That I failed again is no surprise.
I can't seem to open up my eyes
Even when I found my bed before
The normal time I walk through waking's door
And opt against my usual o'er-word pore.
I worry that I have as much to do
As I know I have. I'll not get through
The many tasks, both extant and brand new,
To which I must attend with each new day.
It is from such a cause I seek a way
To early wake; I sometime hope to say
"The deed is done." Then I may be at ease
And turn to tasks determined as I please.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

20170621.0446

I sometimes err, of course, as do we all,
Thinking that events are sure to fall
A certain way, but I do well recall
That they unfold full oft to my despite,
And come about in ways I think not right,
While others take in them no small delight.
Why it is so is all unclear to me,
And I question why I seem to be
Always on the losing side, to see
What I think is wrong often to rise.
I wonder why it me will still surprise.
The scene is often placed before my eyes.
I guess I am all unable to learn
That way in which the world is sure to turn.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

20170620.0456

I tried to get up early,
But it didn't really work.
I lazed about for too long,
And now, I feel a jerk.
I have too much to do right now,
And many tasks me irk,
But I ought to attend to them.
It's time, again, to work.

Monday, June 19, 2017

20170619.0443

My sleep was several times interrupted.
It is not a normal thing.
I usually sleep the whole night through,
And I do not know why I did not.
But I did not.
I wonder what it will do to my day.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

20170615.0459

I wake each day,
Soon to sit naked and brooding
Over what the day will bring for me to do.
Today, at least, I know.
Soon enough,
I will be about it.
But I will take a little longer
To dangle in the air a little bit.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

20170614.0456

I sit upon the throne again
And think how she and I began
To do the things that we once planned
And how we can proceed.
Our starting is well underway,
And we make progress each day,
But I wonder what they say
Whose voices I would heed?

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

20170613.0442

I have to wonder
If I have been clinging
To a past that likely never was
Because I missed something
Through my own choices,
And now I feel
I have to fill in the gaps.

Monday, June 12, 2017

20170612.0450

The morning quiet is something I prize,
And because I do, I early rise,
Waking ere the sun surmounts the skies.
This time, I rose in the silver glow
The moon can cast on the earth below,
One I've known the hills often to know.
I smiled at looking on the light-washed trees--
Mesquite and oak, the cedars, cypress knees--
And on the chalk white hills bare to the breeze.
But though I smiled, I had to turn away,
For I must make me ready for the day.
Such, of course, is the expected way:
The work has ever to be done again,
Coming only slowly to an end.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

20170611.0843

To watch the sun rise o'er the limestone hills
Clad in oak and cedar and mesquite
Is an act at which my heart yet thrills;
As I do it, I can keep no seat.
Yes, I have lived amid the cypress swamps
Where water stands and flows and bounty yields
And a people exiled twice now romps,
And I have lived where towers rise from fields,
The gridded buildings lined up to the sun,
Where legend in each street and brick inhere.
I have lived on wind-swept plains, where one
Convulsion of the earth did once cause fear
And now is commonplace. Withal,
I still would answer the Hill Country's call.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

20170610.0458

Once again, I sit me down to write
As I arise from sleeping through the night
And ponder what all I may bring to light
In measured words arranged so as to rhyme
As they progress in regimented time.
It is no easy task that I've made mine.
The words I use long often to be free,
To run at length as they would have, not me,
And fall as many drops into the sea.
The ocean swells and ebbs with moon-drawn might,
But it is the river that runs right
Which makes a city its people's delight,
And so I trim the stream that I send forth,
Hoping that its levees prove its worth.

Friday, June 9, 2017

20170609.0455

When I woke today,
I did so from a dream,
And it was a good dream.
The memory fades,
As the few I have of dreams always quickly do,
But the impression that it was good,
That remains.
I suppose it will have to be enough.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

20170608.0448

I seem to be awake this time.
I got up when I ought.
I rose and left my sleep behind,
And now I have got
To make me ready for a day
During which I will plot
To do somewhat to earn my pay--
Though it be not a lot.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

20170606.0447

Thirty-six years
They've shared fears,
Shed their tears,
Held them near,
Held them dear,
Or so I hear.
And so here's
To many more!
Happy anniversary!

Saturday, June 3, 2017

20170603.0501

I am having trouble remembering the day.
I know what day of the week it is,
Which castrated infantophagic god of old it honors,
But the number eludes me.
I am not much pleased by that.
I think it understandable.

Friday, June 2, 2017

20170602.0456

The rolling limestone hills
Clad in oak and cedar
Drink in the warmth
Of the kind Hill Country sun
That gives so much
So much
Of itself to all.
What they take in
They give back again
And again
And the mesquite shrouds
Are no insulation

Thursday, June 1, 2017

20170601.0459

Another month has now begun,
And I am still at a run
To try to get the long race won,
Or one leg of it, at least.
I'll go again to work for pay,
As I do most every day,
Hoping thereby to out lay
Occasionally a feast.
But I face a daily grind,
Though I know I should not mind,
As it helps me be less behind,
But, damn, it is a beast.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

20170531.0454

My daughter
Has been sleeping
In odd places.

She has a bed--
Two, in fact--
But she is even now in neither.

Instead,
She sleeps
On the couch
Or on the floor
Of the living room
Under blankets
Held aloft by tables
Pushed together.

Why she does is unclear.
It does make me wonder
Why I pay for her to have sheets.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

20170530.0451

I lift and I carry,
I lift and I carry,
I lift and I carry,
And I do it some more.
My life has grown hairy,
But I remain merry
As I go to carry
More stuff through the door.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

20170528.0827

O, how I love my blackened brew,
The way in which it sees me through
Each day, how it helps me to do
All the things I must!
I quaff my cup, and once again,
I can to others be a friend
And be one on whom they depend,
One whom they can trust.
Another cup, and I can see
How many things have come to be;
My mind's gears begin to come free
Of their encasing rust.
Then, yet one more, and I will know
How it is that things can go,
And my perceptions start to grow
'Til I can see the just

And how too many turn away.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

20170527.0734

I am sometimes frustrated
By the fact that I have to answer the demands
Of my body
I think that frustration
Spurs punishment
Because I do not treat myself
As I ought
I do not maintain
The fleshy bits in which I am enmeshed
And it shows

I really should do better.

Friday, May 26, 2017

20170526.0458

The apartment is full of smells.
I know I leave one behind me,
But I do not often smell it
Unless I have had a fair bit of fiber the night before.
My wife smells of herself
And of perfume
And of the plastic plastic-wrapped her work has her handle.
My daughter smells of sweat
And the growing warmth and heat of the late spring Hill Country
And playground sand
And others' children.
The cats,
Of course,
Leave an acrid, biting stink behind,
Especially one
That refuses to cover over what he has done.
And people wonder why I buy air freshener.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

20170525.0454

I think I'm doing social media wrong.
I do not pass much news right along,
Nor post I videos of cats amid song,
But rather leave lines that perhaps run too long.
Even online, I seem not to belong,
To have little place among the teeming throng,
And I am aware of the difference?

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

20170524.0501

I seem to ever run behind.
It's not as if I do not mind;
I do, but I can never find
The time to get caught up.
Many are the tasks I do,
And I work to see each through,
Doing 'lone what needs a crew.
Of course I can't keep up.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

20170523.0459

I stayed awake too long again last night.
I was reading.
I've not done so for a while,
Not like that,
Not turning page after page after page,
Consuming the words on each
While they remain in place,
A cornucopia.
It is not drained,
But I think I may well be,
And I know I will be again.

Monday, May 22, 2017

20170522.0456

The cat kept me up last night
And into this morning.
It needed care,
So I provided it.
I do what I can,
But I wish I could have slept.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

20170520.0508

I know I run a bit behind,
But I do not seem to mind.
I am aware that I will find
Something different in delay.
I also know I've got some time
In which to think, myself to prime
For work today, ongoing grind.
I suppose I should get to it.

Friday, May 19, 2017

20170519.0453

I'm starting in another place
On today's leg of my race,
Lengthening my given chase
A bit.
How it'll work, I need to know,
For it won't be long till I go
Along the route today will show
To me.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

201705518.0449

I am losing track of what day it is.
Seriously.
I just had to look at a calendar to find out that
Today is Thursday
The 18th--
I did recall the month and year.
That much is good, at least.
The rest does not bode well.
I have to think I'll miss a deadline,
And I really hate that notion.
But I doubt I can be on time
When I do not know the time--
And, despite what the one band sings,
I care about what time it is,
As do those who rely on me.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

20170517.0504

Again, it seems it is the time
For me to sit and put in rhyme
My thoughts ere I go earn my dime
While my boss makes a dollar.
The problem, though, is plain to see:
When I write, I write with glee
And put down words that amuse me
But that make others holler.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

20170516.0452

I am glad to be back home
From where I did lately roam,
But I do not get to rest.
Work remains my Everest,
Rising high amid its kind,
But I do not really mind
Since its from the work I eat.
I will earn my tasty treat.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

20170511.0723

I am once again at the International Congress on Medieval Studies on the campus of Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan. It is my seventh time attending the conference in eight years; I've been coming since 2010, missing only 2012 in that time. And in the day that I've been in transit to the Congress and on site so far, I've run into a number of old friends and begun to make new ones, both of which are always welcome.

I have a fair bit of work to do at the Congress this year, as I have most years that I've attended. This time around, I'm giving a talk on a roundtable and presiding over two sessions of papers. I'm also set to chair a business meeting for the Tales after Tolkien Society, about which more information is here. I also have plans to attend no few sessions and some few other events, and I still have to do some work for the teaching that I yet do, so I am and will be busy.

That I am and will be so, though, does not mean I am not paying attention to what is going on around me. Some will have been following the Blanket Affair, but others will not know, so: between the opening of Congress registration in February and, well, the Congress, some authority at Western Michigan University decided to retire the blankets that had traditionally been issued to those who register for dormitory accommodations. (I am one such person; the dorms are convenient because on-site and inexpensive.) No replacements for the issued blankets were forthcoming, although many have been made available for sale at the "low" price of $17. I am not alone in reading the gesture as something of a money-grab--although I am also not alone in forbearing to vent my anger at Congress staff, who have no say, or even Congress administration, who might not have had any input into the decision. I am, to note online testimonies, not alone in having brought a blanket with me--although I did not sleep with it last night. And I am far from alone in noting the action of medievalists to support our own by working to make blankets available to our colleagues who acted in good faith with an understanding that has since been changed. I support it as I may (which, admittedly, is not much, but, hey, this).

And, on a less serious note--because cool to cold weather is expected here, blankets matter--the dining hall that has long been in place at the Congress has moved. Instead of the old cafeteria system that had been in place for decades, Congress meals are now served in a new-built dining facility--and the complaints are many. The aesthetics of the facility are at odds with the dormitories it serves, and the clash is unpleasant. Too, the position is not as convenient as the old location--which matters little for me, but there are many Congress attendees who are limited in their mobility, and the extra walking does not do them much good. To my mind, the food is not any better than it was--which is not to say that I do not eat more of it than I likely ought (because I do eat more of it than I ought), but I would have thought that the shift to the new facility (and staffing) would have improved the product on offer.

I will certainly have more to say about things as the Congress moves forward. Hopefully, more of it will be to the good. In the meantime, though, I have some work I must address...

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

20170510.0502

Oh, Mother Dear, I must away,
Although I know it's your birthday
And I mixed cards amid the fray,
Sent the wrong one to you.
I know I'm sometimes a poor son,
Leave off things that I've begun
And leave the tasks only half-done,
Foisting some upon you.
I'm trying, though. I really am,
Though saying it, I sound a ham.
Still, I'm doing what I can;
I hope it matters to you.
And I am glad today years gone
You opted to join along
And add your voice to this world's song,
So, happy birthday to you!

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

20170509.0459

Tomorrow, I will head away--
Off to the zoo to go and play
With those like me who will say
We study early yesterdays.
And I will miss you.

Monday, May 8, 2017

20170508.0449

I'm going to be giving exams yet again,
Repeating a process that seems not to end,
One that goes on, though it fewer defend,
And I'm not sure why I still do it.
Still, I have said it, so it I will do,
For what I say, I strive to see through,
Which concept, I'm told, is far from brand new,
Although fewer people will do it.
Such is the line, though I the line doubt.
Liars and cheats have been ever about,
And complaints about them can be found throughout
The groupings of those who will do it.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

20170507.0756

It's been a while since I made a post in prose to this blog--I believe the last one was this one from last year, when I considered consolidating this personal blog into my other webspace, Elliott RWI. (I've not made the consolidation, as I think obvious.) Then, I returned to prose--and I hope it was lucid--to mull over the future of the blog. Today, I return to it for another purpose--although I continue to hope my prose is lucid. Today, I return to prose to note that this is the 1,500th post to it; today, I have made 1,500 posts to my personal blog.

It is something of a milestone, to be sure, although I am perhaps a bit disappointed to have missed doing so on another milestone: the recent anniversary of my blog. On that day, I offered a brief snippet of verse, one that noted having been away--but not having spent seven years in writing here, starting with a bare few keystrokes announcing my return to blogging as such. I had other things on my mind, admittedly, so I am not angry--but it would have been nice to tie things together neatly.

That it has taken me just over seven years to make 1,500 posts to this webspace means that I have averaged just over 214 posts per year, one post in just over 1.7 days (I figure it's been 2,557 days I've been blogging--seven 365-day years plus the two Leap Days, of which one received comment). Other concerns of the day mean I will not have time to put together word count and reading level statistics (not that what I normally write scores well on reading level tests), and I'll not venture a guess as to my average output--except to say that it's probably lower than it ought to be. But whether that's part of having been an academic for as long as I have or what, I'm unsure.

At this point, I'm not sure what, if anything, I can do to drive up my averages--or if it matters that I do. What I am sure about, however, is that I'm going to be doing more of this writing, more posting to this blog, and I can hope that I'll have another 1,500 posts to make--at least. So, until then...

Saturday, May 6, 2017

20170506.0517

I slept in a little bit,
And I feel like quite the twit,
Much diminished in my wit
By being such a sluggard.
Though I know I needed sleep,
I know I've a schedule to keep,
So my rest does not come cheap,
And I've not a large budget.
I suppose it could be worse.
I could travel in a hearse,
Or I could suffer a curse
Other than what prevails.

Friday, May 5, 2017

20170505.0454

I'm told that today
Is the fifth day of May,
And there's something to celebrate.
It's Revenge of the Fifth,
And for it, nerds with
More time than I have can't hardly wait.
Cinco de Mayo, too,
Is marked today, it's true,
And many folks will be out late.
I still have to work,
A curmudgeonly jerk,
For my needs do not abate.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

20170504.0453

For a few days, I've been away,
And it won't be long I'll stay,
Though I'll be here at least today,
An I'll be here tomorrow.

Monday, May 1, 2017

20170501.0448

Yesterday was a gorgeous day.
The sun shone bright from a clear, cool sky,
And a breeze kept things fresh.
But one sour note snuck into things,
One foul odor penetrated,
A waft of flatus that grew,
Pungent, putrid stink
As if an unwashed gamer baby ate of bad sushi tacos
And filtered them through rancid cooking oil.
We are still retching from it.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

20170430.0829

The storms have come.
The storms have gone.
We're still here; we carry on,
Though we're none of us wayward sons.
In blue skies, we see the sun,
And we know that we have won
Another day that much was done,
Perhaps one that saw some fun,
But now, we are on the run,
Plunging headlong forward.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

20170429.0749

Work needs always to be done,
And that thought is not much fun,
But I know I have begun
To be a bit free from it.
As I shift my focus, I
Realize I will not die
From starving, that I will not lie
In streets from a lack of it.
I need not labor so much, now;
I can rest and value things somehow
That I've not often done--and how,
Now I'm not buried in it.

Friday, April 28, 2017

20170428.0448

I seem to have been paid today,
But the money has all slipped away.
I should have known it would not stay,
But I was glad to see it.
I've seen the money come and go,
And of the latter more, I know,
And I know it's often so.
I easily see it.
The thing is that I need the cash,
Lest my life become quite a hash,
And some others'. Thus, I stash
Some where folks can't see it.
Someday, it might be enough
To get past times both smooth and rough.
I think I might well be so tough
As to get to see it.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

20170427.0452

Work presses on me again.
I am having trouble making time to write.
I know it is only temporary.
I know everything I do is.
I do not look forward to some endings.
I do look forward to beginning again
On my writing
More sustained things
Than short bursts of verse.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

20170426.0455

I still fight to charge ahead,
Knowing where my path has led,
But I move forward with less dread--
Not none, for I'm trained to it.
But as I've run, I've fouled a shoe,
Stepped in something prompting "Ew."
I know what I need to do;
I simply need to do it.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

20170425.0449

The bastards are trying to take my money.
There's little enough for them to find,
But that doesn't mean I'm happy to lose it.
It doesn't mean that I don't mind.
So I'll get it handled, and I'll do it soon--
The banks are still closed right now--
And I'll hope my efforts have not been in vain.
I'll get things handled somehow.

Monday, April 24, 2017

20170424.0448

I'm pressing on with trying to write,
Although I'm unsure that I'm right
To do so as a morning rite
And start the day with rhyming.
For I often line up words,
Gather them into their herds,
While I sit and drop my turds;
I worry for the timing.
Coincidence does not make cause,
But the timing still gives pause,
And plopping is hardly applause;
It's not approval's signing.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

20170423.0745

Sometimes, I take a bit more rest
That I may better do my best
As I proceed along my quest,
Whatever it actually is.
I'm not sure that I always know
Where it is I seek to go
On earth, above, or far below,
Or what my object is.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

20170422.0524

Today, I seem to run behind,
But I think most will not mind,
Caring not or being kind,
And I can use the latter.
For many, yes, such will be true,
And of those many, some yet do
Some things that they greatly rue,
And so might use a ladder.
But lest I'm thought o!, much too cruel,
Joking of jumping from a stool
While wearing spin-offs of a spool,
By people in a lather,
I say not what should be done,
Say not that by such thing is won
Such race or game or fight begun
As people find may matter.

Friday, April 21, 2017

20170421.0450

Pay day has come once again,
So a work-week's set to end
And I can try to pretend
I live a luxurious life.
The days I can do such are brief,
But they still offer some relief
From the constructed work-week's grief
And any workplace strife.
Of course, I will do it again.
The need for money finds no end
So long as any still pretend
To have an easy life.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

20170420.0447

As ever, I am plowing on ahead
With work that comes and ensures I am led
To paychecks used to keep my family fed.
I begrudge not the work that I must do
To bring in money; I know it is through
Such agency that I can now accrue
That which I need to many debts redeem
And to provide what I well know may seem
A life no more than that which those who teem
As rats all racing have and then bemoan
Because the striving leaves them all alone
Despite the families they have at home.
Yet other paths have closed to me all been,
So on this one I have started again.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

20170419.0455

I continue to struggle, to do what I can
To find a fair way to get 'cross this land
In which we all struggle, in which we all stand
To lose what we long for, to fail out of hand.
This is not the path I had thought I planned,
And how I got on it, I don't understand.
But now I must bend to another's demand
And work now, and ride as if for the brand--
At least, I well must, lest I get canned,
And in so doing too many leave damned
About whom I care. Them, I'd not strand.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

20170418.0451

In the States, Tax Day's today,
And I had thought to write a screed
To chide in verse jackasses' bray--
But that's not what we need.

Monday, April 17, 2017

20170417.0456

There have been much of Sturm under Drang;
They woke me in the early morning,
And I could not get all the way back to sleep.
I hope that what they brought with them was worth it.
I have to be up many hours,
My task-burden to upkeep.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

20170416.0749

Today is a holiday, it seems,
And I will be spending it with my people.
It should be good.
Tomorrow will see me back to work
As is to be expected.
Today, though,
I will spend with family.
It should be good.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

20170415.0630

I've somehow seemed to lose my sense of time,
So I worry that my meter and my rhyme
Will be disordered, too, as seems to be the case.
The strange adjustments that have happened to the place
Have left me out of sorts. I know not why
They would. No guess will venture I
About the reason I'm discombobulate.
I'll guess instead how I'll to normal get.

Friday, April 14, 2017

20170414.0700

Sometimes, I think to get ahead,
To get the needed reading read,
To get the needed saying said
In print and mouth to ear.
I therefore take the time to do
What I need done, to carry through
Some tasks so I can face tasks new
And make some time come clear.
I've done so now; I have some time,
Since I have pre-written this rhyme,
To with my family some joy find
Because I hold them dear.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

20170413.0457

There are some times I sit and think
About the time that I have wasted
Sitting on my too-thin laurels
After I have success tasted
And I wonder why I did
And why it is I did not more.
If it's true that life's a game,
Why got I not a higher score?
Now I'm in a higher round,
And there's far more for me to lose
If I discern my paths a-wrong
And, seeing ill, the wrong way choose,
For I play not myself alone
But am a member of a team,
So serious is what I do,
Although it still may playing seem.
If I falter, I will fall,
But I can stand again with ease;
The problem is that my lapse
Will take the net from their trapeze,
And so abrupt an ending pleases few.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

20170412.0456

The work goes ever on, of course,
Since it of money is the source,
And we to act with funds are forced
By practice long enduring.
And so I spend much time away
From wife and daughter every day;
I little with the latter play,
Less get the first's alluring.
As I work, I keep in mind
A thing I heard in early times,
A thing said true, if said unkind,
And it is me immuring:
Would I rather hug my girl
Or see her drifting in the world
In tatters, flag too long unfurled?
And so my work's enduring.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

20170411.0507

I am wearing too many masks.
I know I need to switch between them,
Take one off and don another,
Shifting them around so that my true face never shows.
But it seems that some of them never come off.
Whether they are tied too tightly
Or they are stuck with spirit gum,
They adhere,
And offing them tears at me.
I pull off more than the mask,
And I already lose too much to doing so.

Monday, April 10, 2017

20170410.0515

It is all too often expected
That laughter is by sage neglected,
That mirth by scholars is rejected,
That weighty matters are inspected
By those whose lives are introspected,
And that the doing thus perfected
Of joy does not admit.
Yet it's joy that drives the looking
For the ways the world is cooking
And the universe is working
Such that searchers, near-berserking,
Find themselves the public irking
By away their notions jerking--
And learning's funny shit.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

20170409.0940

I was glad to seek my sleep,
But now I have to earn my keep,
And I can't do so 'neath a heap
Of blankets piled high.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

20170408.0612

Another day is well begun,
And I'll be working to help fund
My wife and daughter having fun--
And I may even join them.

But, still, there's always something wrong,
And I know it won't be long
In coming, though I but sing songs
And do nothing to prevent them.

What's worse is I don't truly care.
Did I, I'd be over there
Where troubles are--but I don't dare
To place myself before them.

But I know I am not alone
In sitting, as if on a throne,
While other in harm's way are thrown--
I would, at least, preserve them.

For if I would not myself go,
If I would not my people throw
Into such places, I well know
I hesitate to throw them

Who have offered up their lives,
And bodies when they do survive,
Where I would not myself arrive.
Perhaps it matters to them.

Friday, April 7, 2017

20170407.0515

I wonder why I track the time
When I sit to write out rhyme
And why I work to make lines scan
When I well know that I can
Write in blank verse or in free
The words I would have others see,
And still they will see them.

I think I am so schooled in verse
That follows forms I have rehearsed
That I cannot from them depart,
And I have to think that art
Is in knowing when to go
Along with forms, or to say "no"
When called to go 'long with them.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

20170406.0516

It seems to me that every day
Sees a little slip away
Of how I had meant to portray
Myself as I would be.
I had some plans that were long made,
And I for them a steep price paid,
But that investment's been betrayed,
As now is clear to me.
So I go to do new deeds
And answer different masters' needs.
The change from what I was proceeds.
The results, we will see.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

20170405.0521

I find that I'm still working away,
Pushing myself through day after day
And doing it since I need all the pay
That I can get my hands on.
I feel like a time that's pushed 'round the board,
While the ones who are pushing gather their hoard
And, in their doing, come to be adored
Whatever square the piece lands on.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

20170404.0518

There's always something going on,
And I worry that it's wrong,
That, if I'm in it, I belong
Somewhere else.
I know such is paranoid,
So I seek much to avoid
Acting on it, not upbuoyed
Or somewhere else.

Monday, April 3, 2017

20170403.0459

The work I've done continues on
As ever it seems to do,
And a new adventure will've begun
Before the day is through.
So things will go as they must go
As I happily forge ahead.
Where they'll lead, I do not know,
But I'm glad to be led.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

20170402.0957

The heavens opened, the rain came down,
Thunder rolled as lightning flashed 'round,
Winds howled and gyred, and hail did pound
On roofs and cars, sent trees to ground.
Yet all the while, I lazed abed,
Lounged in comfort, felt no dread,
Knew no harm would find me,
For small I am, and small remain.
From great matters, I abstain,
And so great things don't mind me.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

20170401.0622

Hit is nat wyth shoures soote
That Aprill doth gyve Merch the boote,
But rather joye and merryment
Wyth which the month is away sent.
Or so the words are often said
As some will, maugre others' head,
Do make their japes wythouten stent--
And wonder where hire frendes went.
If jest ye must, then jest ye well,
And list to what you others tell,
For making japes turns sour soon
Yf ye not shape them to the room.

Friday, March 31, 2017

20170331.0602

A new adventure soon begins,
But still, I wonder, who all wins.
Long habits do not quickly break,
And I am accustomed to take
A dimmer view on what I see--
Even when I should feel glee.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

20170330.0541

I like to have my quiet morning time.
It lets me put words into metered rhyme
And into measured prose.
But when I may receive some welcome news,
I cannot trumpet it to those whose views
Matter most to me.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

20170329.0613

Yes, I know that I am slowing down,
Struggling to drag myself around
As I go from town to town
Plying the trade shown by my gown.
But that I'm slow means I've not stopped,
And I can see the grass uncropped
As flowers from it now have popped
And rabbits have within it hopped.
I ever seem to need more done.
No sooner that I have begun,
My set of tasks will grow by one--
And people demand I have fun.
I trudge along. I will succeed.
I will answer all my need,
And I will some old wisdom heed.
I go; it matters not the speed.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

20170328.0606

I feel as though I did not sleep.
I know my slumber was not deep,
So now I must struggle to keep
Myself awake for the day.
I cannot simply go back to bed
And once again lay down my head;
I must turn to work instead
And earn my keep for the day.

Monday, March 27, 2017

20170327.0551

I found myself reading
A webcomic archive,
And I finally finished the damned thing.

It was good to be reminded of
Why I read the comic,
Why I kept reading
After I started
So long ago.

I have been thinking about
Such things
Recently,
About why I do what I do
And where I came from
In terms of my mind.

I need to do more reading.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

20170326.0856

Things are changing.
They seem to be looking up.
I wonder how long it will be
Before my neck begins to hurt.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

20170325.0515

Praise them with great praise whose work ended the days
Of the dark dominion of Sauron's wicked ways,
Gorthaur's cruelty quashed, Annatar's lies rephrased,
And a new age started! Praise them with great praise!

Friday, March 24, 2017

20170324.0516

I am still looking to find a way out,
But that there's a way, I anymore doubt,
Unless I am hindered, though I am devout,
By the onus of Stupid God's blessings.
It's to be avoided, whenever I pray,
That I seek with devotions offered each day,
To divert the notice, turn that face away,
And gather no Stupid God's blessings.
But, evidently, my prayers all go wrong,
And I am in-gathered, though I don't belong,
Among the great masses who sing the damned song
That revels in Stupid God's blessings.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

20170323.0521

Busy
Busy
Busy
All the damned time
Bees, at least, work amid flowers
They fly
They feast on sweetness
I am simply
Busy
Busy
Busy
Working while I
Try to find work
So that I can work just
One job
And that's the dream
One job
One that stays
One in which
I can stay
And so be less
Busy
Busy
Busy

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

20170322.0513

Again I sit on that throne that I share
And write as if a reader e'er will care
About the word-work in which I do bare
Thoughts I have and how my mind might work.
I know that what I say will often irk,
For I am often called far worse than "jerk,"
Yet even in the irking, I will mean,
And in the meaning ensure I am seen,
And only in the seeing can I glean
A chance to better where I now do stand,
To make a better place in new-strange land
Where the Stupid God has free command.
But if I will perform my little show,
How it will end is a good thing to know.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

20170321.0517

Most days, I drive the long and winding roads,
Twisting asphalt ribbons through the hills
Of oak and cedar and mesquite that stand
Rooted atop limestone that cracks in layers.
Often, they are black and grey on brown,
The kiss of the Hill Country sun that comes
Too near too often for our hearts' content.
When, at times, the sky will mate the ground,
Brown will shift to green and green and green,
Making monochrome that still will please
In an age of color. But in the past few days,
Each day has seen a little more emerge
Of pink and yellow, red and purple,
Texan white and blue, standing at the roadside.
I look, I love, but I do not pick up hitchhikers.

Monday, March 20, 2017

20170320.0520

The students were off last week.
I had not meant to be, as well.
I usually am not.
But I was.
Some of me wants to regret it.
Most of me does not.
I think I will listen to the majority.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

20170319.0836

Even now
My wife and my daughter
Are joys to me
I had thought of how I might speak of them in symbols
But none suggest themselves as fitting
I find I do not need them
Not for this
Not today

Saturday, March 18, 2017

20170318.0555

Sometimes, the words do not want to come.
Sometimes, it is more an issue of ideas.
In the former case, there are thoughts that want to emerge.
They struggle against the inside of the mind,
Trying to tear the membrane that keeps them captive
So that they can scream out into the open air
And be heard.
But in the latter case,
There are no notions,
Or if there are, they have died before birth,
Remaining flaccid grey things in the mind
Taking up space until they are expelled
One way or another.

Friday, March 17, 2017

20170317.0517

I seem to have some seventeens today,
And yet I cannot seventeen array.
What comes in seventeens, I cannot say.
What stands alone, it is easily seen,
And pairs and triplets take many a scene.
Quartets, quintets, too. A sixth is keen,
Although a seventh isn't. Eight appear,
But groups of nine are usually quite dear.
Decades feature well; elevens rear
Up less than twelves, and thirteens are accursed.
Fourteens happen seldom save in verse.
Fifteens group well if they are rehearsed.
Sixteen, as a power of two, makes pairs,
But seventeens are seldom anywhere,
And noone seems to offer it much care.
I, therefore, will take a little dare
And make my verse today the number fit,
And I will hope that folks will enjoy it.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

20170316.0514

I wonder if, the next day, all those folks
Who approached Caesar, showered him with pokes,
Regretted what they did and saw the spokes
Of Fortune's wheel begin to turn away.
I wonder if they realized that they
Would ignominy have for deeds that day,
That two would in hell be by Satan gnawed
In famous words, amid ice never thawed,
The teeth demonic each being a prod
To punish treason. I am sure they knew
That they would have cause to their actions rue,
Yet I think they thought "This we must do,
But though we may well suffer for a time,
We will come to be praised in song and rhyme."

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

20170315.0512

Today is the kind of day
That works for getting rid of Caesars,
Aging tyrant autocrats.
One might wonder
Who will be the modern Brutus
And who will gasp out
Et tu
After being harshly patted on the back.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

20170314.0513

There are some limits on the sonnet form,
Some tasks it is not suited to perform,
Some things that do not do well to conform
To fourteen lines that rhyme and run in place.
Some things do not require so much space,
While other cannot keep an even pace,
And others yet cannot be made to rhyme.
Their senses are such as do not them prime
For taking on that paint for any time;
They yearn instead, or seem to yearn, to speed
Along and many structures not to heed.
But I have never understood the need
To race along and strictures to forsake;
I need a pattern to my making make.

Monday, March 13, 2017

20170313.0521

I find I have a bit of break today,
A gap in tasks, a chance, perhaps, to play.
I'll likely not; I try no idle way,
But instead shift the work that I will do
Until my tasks are all full carried through
And I can turn to work again, anew.
I do not mind the work, though I'd prefer
That I advance since I don't work abjure
To settings such as provoke speech azure.
I find that I face such a setting now,
And to me extricate I know not how.
A short break may well help me not be cowed,
Or so I hope. The break is come, and I
Must fill it if I'd end on a note high.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

20170312.1628

The problematic Daylight Savings Day
Remains a plague despite what people say,
That any cause for it has gone away
And its maintenance now does no good.
All of this is widely understood,
And yet, in town and field and neighborhood
The rule that hours shift remains in place,
And people come to it with sullen face,
Save in those places that offer the grace
Of shifting not because it was once done--
But in those places still many a one
Must deal with the effects that are not fun,
And they have problems of their own each day,
Despite not being under savings' sway.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

20170311.0519

For a cause I do not understand,
I this morning thought about a band
I did not listen to. I did not brand
Myself as doing so would make me do.
(For each such choice so serves, as I then knew,
And that I'd not fit in with them it's true
Who did align themselves in such a way.)
It's strange that I would think of it today.
It's not as if I've heard the music play,
Nor is it that I want to hear such song.
I know that I still don't--never will belong,
That I am not part of that teeming throng.
Yet still I have that band inside my head.
The mind will work despite what might be said.

Friday, March 10, 2017

20170310.0508

A work-week draws close to its end, and I
Cannot my happiness at that deny
Or at the longer break that stands hard by,
Even as I know the joy is made
By games that owners' forces have long played
And that a time of rest will be delayed.
For I well know that breaks from one workplace
Do not mean breaks from others. The work-pace
Will shift its rhythm for a little space,
And I will work more in another role
Than I do at present. It's the toll
I pay to climb from out a fiscal hole.
Yet steep and slick are the sides of the pit,
And I but little grip e'er seem to get.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

20170309.0519

Today, I take my daughter into town--
Her mother usually will take her 'round--
Because I will today be going down
To that small school in which she is enrolled,
And I will go because it's going to hold
A small event of which I have been told.
Her mother works, and I do not today,
So, rather than at home and alone stay,
I'll make sure our daughter gets to say
Her parents came to see her have her fun
And do the kinds of things that she has done
That we could not have taught her. Every one
Of them has been a boon, a joy to see.
I am glad to help her find her glee.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

20170308.0453

The flooding is somewhat abated, now,
But we are still monitoring the situation,
And we will bring you updates.
In other news today, wear red
Or be in solidarity. The latter
Ought not need be said,
And it is to our shame it is.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

20170307.0453

Flooding continues, although it is somewhat abated.
Dams have burst, allowing backed-up flows to be released.
Cleanup efforts continue downstream.
More details will follow as the situation unfolds.
Next, some puppies or something. Stay tuned.

Monday, March 6, 2017

20170306.0450

Localized flooding has blocked several paths,
And the alternate routes that have had to be taken
Have disrupted the nights of those accustomed to sleeping
In the quiet provided by the normal roads.
Repeated service interruptions do not help matters.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

20170305.0920

Old man McLuhan might be right to say
That medium is message, that the way
A thing emerges has somewhat to say
As much as what it holds, if not some more.
But if he is, and we should seek to pore
Over what we see to gauge its score
Then what do we say when a work is seen
On a page instead of on a screen
Or in small chunks instead of one work's sheen?
How does it change when here instead of there?
Does it alter whether any care
If the verse of itself makes a spare?
If triplets and a couplet stand apart,
Can they form a single work of art?

Look for #v201703050920 on Twitter.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

20170304.0535

Today's John Philip Sousa Day,
And so today the bands should play
Jaunty marches and away
Take themselves in fine array,
In tight cadence find their way
To some end I cannot say.
For it's John Philip Sousa Day.
March forth, therefore, without delay!

Friday, March 3, 2017

20170303.0515

The funny thing about it is
I write these while I take a whiz
Or drop the kids off at the pool,
As was said in my old school.
It could be said I crap these out.
Then I spread the crap about.
But that would make the lines a stain,
And what would readers be, again?

Thursday, March 2, 2017

20170302.0515

The Stupid God is working in the land
With wrinkled citrus avatar at hand
To ensure that we do not understand,
For in the understanding there is hope,
As those unknowing do not know to cope
With all the wrong into which they are roped.
In greater numbers, they occlude the noose
That swings about them, widely since still loose,
But soon to tighten so 'twill be no use
To fight. What matter any struggles be
When done suspended from the standing tree,
The soiled oak that spreads for all to see
The horrors it has worked? It is no dream
Select most, though to some it will so seem.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

20170301.0458

Since still the wrinkled citrus avatar
That Stupid God has sent here from afar
The work of hands and minds will seek to mar,
And still a throng will cheer for every move
The avatar will make and thereby prove
That Hobbes was right and it would behoove
To know Machiavelli better yet
So that some cynic vision still may get
Ahead and perhaps itself firmly set
Against the foul, unthinking, rushing tide
Of ignorance. All I can do is hide
And wait for its recession. I but bide
My time, although I know I'm like to drown,
And the avatar to show its crown.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

20170228.0516

The shortened second month comes to its end,
And I am unsure that I can defend
What I have done as I sought to wend
My way through each of the month's too-few days
That, although few, have stood tall as a maze
And hindered passage. I've been in a daze
As I have walked about and done too little well,
Doing nothing to avoid the hell
To which I seem bound upon death's knell--
For I have not fought Stupid God's desire
Or th' wrinkled citrus avatar on hire,
Not fought against the building fun'ral pyre
That even now is kindling. Soon, the blaze
Will leap up and devour all our days.

Monday, February 27, 2017

20170227.0449

I did not watch the Oscars.
I find I do not care
What movie wins awards
Or loses over there.
I rarely see a movie.
I rarely have the time.
More rarely have I money.
Can you spare a dime?
But when the hours are free
That I may movies watch,
I stay instead at home.
I do, perhaps, too much.
Ever have I done so;
I've always been this way,
Staying back at home
While others watch and play.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

20170226.0837

Birds are chirping, cattle low, and I
Can hear the dogs a-barking at the sky
As people here begin to stir. And why
This would be so, I cannot fully tell.
I know not why, when looking on the dell,
Thing proceed and appear to be well
When I know in my heart that much is wrong,
That notes are missed in every chirping song,
The droning lowing sounds a bit too long,
The barking strangely changes in its pitch
That comes in cadence from the ornery bitch
And from her son. It is as if a switch
Has been turned off, somehow, or else turned on,
And in the flipping, something became gone.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

20170225.0655

It's ten scant months to Christmas Day,
And I know that some will say
It is too early to display
Trees and tinsel, toys for play,
Wrapping papers bright and gay
(The last in the old carol's way),
Santa Claus riding the sleigh,
And calls for all to come and pray
In the one approvéd way--
Finding things for which to pay
And filling for part of a day
The empty hole that they betray
By retail worship. Anyway,
It's ten scant months to Christmas Day,
But I'd swear I've seen a display
Of stockings and the like.

Friday, February 24, 2017

20170224.0515

I often think about the passing days
And how I spend them, all the many ways
In which I waste my time by seeking praise
Instead of doing what deserves the laud.
In doing so, I serve the Stupid God,
And that one's power needs no further prod,
Nor yet the wrinkled citrus avatar
Thereof that casts Stupid God's influ'nce far
And hot and churning gassy as a star
Example offers of praise-seeking's fault.
But still, I find I'm unable to halt
The search for commendation. By default,
Innate or trained I would not care to guess,
I need more said of me in praise, not less.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

20170223.0518

I wait to hear back on the work to do,
And, while I wait, I try to carry though
One idea or another to
Make some decent use of all the time
I must spend in waiting. Making rhyme
Is one such use, and it is no crime.
At least, it is not yet, but that may change
Given that the current day is strange
And the work of power to derange
Those who hold it. Those who seek it are
Likely of a sort who have not far
To go to become raving. What odd star
Shines upon their birth and on each day
They live to shape them to our long dismay?

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

20170222.0515

I seem to have been sleeping in,
And so it seems that I begin
Each day a bit behind again,
And I never catch up.
I always have a lot to do,
And I see most of it through,
But I wonder if I screw
It all not getting up.
Such thoughts, of course, for truth depend
Upon the thought that, in the end,
What I do matters, a mind-friend
That may well not bear up,
Because, of course, I merely teach.
Doing, for me, is out of reach,
Else why would it seem that each
Job says to not show up?

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

20170221.0518

I labor yet within the ivory tower
Because I am long come under the power
Spread about by learning's open flower,
Because I have been touched by the delight
Of bringing forth new knowledge, spreading light
Amid the darkness of prevailing night,
But many turn away from what I bear,
Or seek to turn me back, or do not care,
And so I have to wonder if I err
In following the long life of the mind
Within a world that is far off from kind
To such, begrudges e'en the rind
That the work of the mind will scrape away
From luscious fruit for feasting on each day.

Monday, February 20, 2017

20170220.0514

Something in old jingles works.
I know, because I hear them even now
As I sit on the commode with a fan on
And nobody has YouTube up that I can hear.
How Gatorade quenches a "deep-down body thirst"--
Or is it "deep, down-body," and does it matter?--
Rings between my ears
And strangely.
I don't like the stuff
And I am no athlete, to be sure,
So I am not the target audience.
Still, I have it in my head,
I cannot get it out,
And I have to wonder what it has displaced
That actually would be of use.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

20170219.0803

My dear Ms. 8 is three today,
And we are likely going to play
Somewhere normally called "away"
Because today is her birthday.
Even now, she wears a smile
And sits, talking all the while
In lilting voice and toddler's style.
Today is her third birthday.
I recall well when, years ago,
This day seemed altogether slow,
Although why, I do not know;
It was, that day, her birthday.
I hope Ms. 8 has many more,
And happier than heretofore,
Ranging into several score
Of those things we call birthdays.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

20170218.0813

I am glad there's fog outside,
For it gives a excuse to hide
Away from things, remain inside,
And turn my attention to grading.
The students' work has come to me,
And so I must go and see
What they have offered as a plea
For my kind and gentle grading.
I have not gotten very far
In the task; it feels like tar
Into which I've sunk my car,
But I'll continue the grading.

Friday, February 17, 2017

20170217.0549

They said that if we did the thing then we
Would get another in return and see
Stretch out before us opportunity,
But what they said was wrong, and so were we
Who trusted others to our own paths see.
Now we pay the price for our great folly,
As many see and chide us when we say
That we were unaware this is the way
That thing work out, that we were led astray
By trusting those who to us oft would say
That we needed to go in a certain way
If we ever meant to see a better day.
But a lesson has been learned and well,
Even if the teachings' cost is fell.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

20170216.0519

I sit and think and lines of verse recall,
And as I think, I soon reject them all
In part for how they'd make my cadence fall,
Or else my rhyme scheme force to make a turn
I would not care to follow. Still, I yearn
For a time I might use what I've learned
Through years of doing that for which I trained,
The training which has left me since in pain,
At least as strikes my pocketbook again.
But I know now what I should have then,
Though how to turn that knowing to my end
Is far less clear to me. It is no friend,
Such knowing as I have. And what to do
Eludes me as its ghost laughs, dancing, too.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

20170215.0516

Sometimes, my daughter does not want to sleep;
She instead wakefulness decides to keep,
Even as nighttime hours on her creep
As they upon us all advance each night
And put her parents' waking minds to flight
And leave them dreaming, perhaps in delight.
But she resists the coming somnolence
Until it, with soft force, will drive from hence
Her conscious mind, or it, at last, relents,
And her cherubic face goes slack with sleep.
The image made is one I gladly keep
In mind; it's succour when I weep
And prone to making smiling time each day.
Not much affects me in such happy way.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

20170214.0524

I'm not the man I want to be.
I still hold to the fantasy
That I can be such as we see
On silver screens or on TV
From whom evildoers flee
And who has abundant money
From doing work that we don't see.
But such a man, he is not me,
And I know that I can but flee
From what is now pursuing me,
From which I never will be free.

Monday, February 13, 2017

20170213.0518

A truth is that the night will always fall,
Each person feels Thanatos's quiet call,
And everything will pass under a pall.
What then remains, when they have gone away
And we without them must face each new day?
Of what effect is anything we say?
Words offered kindly often do no good,
Although it seems it is words that should
Be offered against the polished wood
That is planted in the ground, an inverse seed
That answers the all-taking dire need
And shows that we the one last call all heed.
So it is I such words as these write
And offer to them finding final night.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

20170212.0815

I find I feel a little drained.
The reasons need to be explained.
So I will make the point in plain:
I gave blood yesterday.
I'd never given blood before,
Not because I shy from gore,
But from how needles make me sore,
But I gave blood yesterday.
Doing so was not too hard.
The process has not left me scarred,
And I want no congratulation card,
But I gave blood yesterday.
I confess, though, that I do itch
Where I was stuck, and I could wish
I did not. Perhaps I twitched
When I gave blood yesterday.
Even so, I'm glad I did.
It might help save somebody's kid
Or help a new researcher's bid
That I gave blood yesterday.
So, in time, I will again
Be a blood-drain's leading end
And parts of me to others send
By giving blood that day.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

20170211.0658

Work continues, as ever it must,
That it does is a fact all too easy to trust,
But at least the working will prevent any rust,
And my joints need no more stiffening.
Still, I confess that I could use some oil,
A something to ease the effects of my toil
But that will not the results of those efforts foil
While it keeps my joints from stiffening.

Friday, February 10, 2017

20170210.0513

I know I sometimes miss my mark,
But I'm not walking in a park,
Or, if I am, it's in the dark,
And I miss all the scenery.
But I'd not note it, anyway.
I try to go about each day
And get through in most any way,
So I miss all the greenery.
But the plants get their revenge.
My ignoring they avenge
From tree and bush, from grass and hedge;
I find the green ones meaner.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

20170208.0519

One vote to rule them all, one vote to find them,
One vote to bring them all and in the darkness bind them,
For it is not just a lidless eye that ways to evil sees,
But also white-haired complaisance that evil's ways ease
And pave the way for ignorance to spread across the land
So that more of the people fall into Stupid God's hand.
Who serve the citrus avatar long wrinkled and bitter made
Are getting the promotions for which they have paid,
And nothing seems to stop them, as of us is outlaid,
And no Mount Doom fires can be found. How will they be unmade?

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

20170207.0522

I know that I'm running well behind
Of where I want to be, and I do mind,
But I cannot rush blithely; I am blind
To what will come, as most now living are.
None of us sees ahead all that far,
Not even if we still sail by a star--
And looking at the stars is looking back,
Which is still good, for all too many lack
The knowing of their long ancestral track
And could use a lesson in the past.
But many who look thus proceed half-assed
And should not wonder but that they are sassed
By those who know. But those who know are few,
And there is but little few can do.

Monday, February 6, 2017

20170206.0448

Yes, I watched the tricorn hats succeed
Against a Southern team. I might a lesson heed
Of history in it and give a screed,
But did I do so, I do would overreach
In practicing the skills that I would teach.
I have no choir to which I might preach,
Not for this. I think I'd be ignored
Did I go on. I'd leave most people bored
To aim at such an end my deep word-hoard
And say I saw again the seaward march
In last night's game, played under heaven's arch.
Of victory, the Southern team is parched,
And I have to wonder if 'twill rain
And such a team have chance to rise again.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

20170205.0717

The football game is the big thing today,
Or so I've heard; I don't exactly play
Such sports or watch them often. My own way
Is more to read and write than out to act.
That I do poorly in the world is fact
As all my works attest with little tact.
But with a pen in hand, or else on keys,
I can do well and still remain at ease,
And such results do certainly me please.
I can but little mind to many pay,
For I too little know how them to sway
Whom I know not from seeing in each day,
But those I know I hope to happy make
As players on the field will glory take.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

20170204.0852

There is a tendency towards nostalgia
Towards looking back
And thinking
Things were better then.
They were not.
Were they
The people then
Would not themselves have looked back
But they did
Longing for a better time
That never was
When massacres on bowling greens
Were not yet fancies in the mind
Or thoughts of attacks to come
Staged by those who seek yet more control
Because it's easier to gather rocks and throw them
Than to fly planes
And it's easier to buy guns and shoot them
Than fertilizer and a truck driven into children
But the same label applies
And
At least in one case
The same results are ready to hand

Friday, February 3, 2017

20170203.0514

I sit upon a throne and think, no king,
Nor lord, nor emperor of whom bards sing,
But merely one who has to do such things
As many others shun. They turn away
From the kind of work I do each day,
The work they thought was more like idle play.
Many are the tasks for me to do,
And few are those who ever see them through,
But did I not, I know that I would rue
The failure incompletion would bespeak.
I'd rather not such ruin on me wreak,
For to face it I know I'm too weak.
To do what I do is no easy task,
But doing it permits me not to bask.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

20170202.0605

Oh, yes, I know today is Groundhog Day,
But what it celebrates is far away
From those concerns with which I have to play.
The money's flowing out, not coming in,
And I am balancing on wires thin
To try to cover debts; I may not win
The fight that doing so always entails.
Against all things, the interest rate prevails,
No matter how much each against it rails.
I suffer now for young adult delight,
And many I know will say it is right
That I do so, that I now must fight
To stay afloat. I do not know why
I feel I must, but I feel I must try.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

20170201.0521

The Stupid God is by too many heard
And heeded. Every single stupid word
The wrinkled citrus avatar, that turd,
Will speak, an audience abundant has,
And every lie therein is made to pass
As broken wind and so us all harass.
Who is like Absolon to Alisoun,
Who, farted on, return in anger soon
And answers those who think to act the loon
With heat and piercing point in driven deep?
Few. Too many still will think to keep
Themselves outside the fray and only weep.
The Stupid God forever must be fought,
Lest by inaction we all lose our lot.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

20170131.0604

The sending of the Stupid God will rage
Against the narrow confines of the cage,
But being out does not seem to assuage
The wrinkled citrus avatar its ire.
It seems instead to seek to build a pyre
And cast what many value into fire.
And, what is worse, so many think them cold--
They think them frozen solid by the mold--
That they think the destroyer is the bold
And follow mindless what they think is brave,
As if the wrinkled citrus one will save
Them. They still sit and stew in Plato's cave,
But fewer are the shadows on the walls.
No light can enter when outer night falls.

Monday, January 30, 2017

20170130.0508

I sit upon the throne, pondering all
The things that in my too-short compass fall,
Thinking that they come under a pall
For the simple fact of being mine.
I know the view of me's not always kind,
And though with it I'm usually fine,
There are times that it sits with me ill,
And I perceive a hole I want to fill
By some new means and not a tawdry thill.
No shovel, though, is ready to my hand,
Nor is a pickaxe, better for the land
In which I live, so idly I will stand.
And stand I must; the seat has numbed my own.
Such comes to one who long sits on the throne.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

20170129.1018

Sitting with my family at their home
Is good when I have sometimes had to roam,
And I recall that I am not alone.
I sometimes feel that matters proceed ill,
That how the world works reflects evil will,
Feasting on us all and never filled.
I hear the teeth clash, feel their sharpened edges.
What thoughts such feeling, thinking, from me dredges
I turn away from. I avoid such ledges,
For I know that I am wont to fall.
I know I hear too well th' abyssal call
And may well answer and abandon all.
But I with family sit and find some peace.
I'll enjoy it even on short lease.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

20170128.0549

I want to fight the Stupid God, and yet
The wrinkled citrus avatar that's set
Upon us all is where I cannot get,
And I can scarcely be of any use;
I can do little to stop the abuse
I and others see is coming, loosed
Upon the world by casual pen-stroke
To wreak great ruin upon many folk
While some will laugh and think it a great joke
Until they are themselves its subject made.
Then they will rue when they've thought they've played,
But it's too high a price for us to've paid.
For some, the bill incurred will soon be due,
And paying will be more than they can do.

Friday, January 27, 2017

20170127.0538

I find that I have quite a bit to do.
A single job is not seeing me through,
And I do not do well with only two,
But several work-lines I have cast out,
And some I work like seeking to land trout,
While others wait for fish to come about
And nibble on the bait that I have left.
Sometimes, with those, I've grow bereft
Of hooks whose baiting had all too much heft,
While others have seen their lines get snapped--
And, perhaps, I ought not to have napped
As I once did. But I now find I'm trapped.
No single job I have will see me through,
And I seem ugly to each passing crew.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

20170126.0550

I do not want to merely say "Me, too,"
As adding myself now would surely do,
Because I know that I cannot see through
Most anything that could be done right now--
At least, I do not see any way how
I might. While others may their deeds avow,
And they can rise, and march, speak truth to power,
I find all that I can do is cower,
Shudder as a wind-blown wilting flower
And marvel at the folks who bravely stand
Against the wrong, and walking hand-in-hand
Seek to restore goodness to the land.
And when I look at such a picture framed,
My cheeks do burn, for I am much ashamed.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

20170125.0538

It's been a month since Christmas.
Eleven months are left
Until the day will come again.
I'll likely be bereft
Of money then and easy time;
I think I'll have to work,
Although I don't rate as ready
To be a counting clerk
Or to answer phones for folks
Or to dictation take.
I show up lacking any skill
That can some money make.
So, soon, I'll put in for the jobs
I had when I was young--
But I am all uncertain
That they to me will come.
So, as I look towards the end
Of the year in which we are,
I find myself a-questioning
If I will get that far.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

20170124.0607

This post today
Makes fourteen hundred
I hope for fourteen hundred more

I guess I ought to get to writing.

Monday, January 23, 2017

20170123.0451

In offering up prosody, I do
But little, I well know. I greatly rue
That the small offerings that I make through
The bits of verse with most mornings,
Whether they're complaints or dire warnings,
Do next to nothing easing the great churnings
In which we find ourselves most every day.
I know they've small effect, but I've no way
To do a better thing or better say
Such things as I think others could well hear.
I know it, and I go throughout the year
Putting pixels on the screens to clear
My conscience. At least I do but little ill,
Unlike some others, taken by foul will.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

20170122.0903

I bought a lottery ticket yesterday.
I had to run to the corner store--
We needed beer for chili,
And it was damned good chili--
And
Since I was paying in cash
Anyway
I figured,
"Why not?
I might win,
And I might finally be able
To clear my debts
And my family's."

Since I am writing now,
You can guess
I didn't.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

20170121.0742

I see the Stupid God has begun work
Through choosing as an avatar a jerk
Of wrinkled citrus too easy to irk
To trust with power for the ones who think--
Yet thinking clearly's fallen from the brink
And into ruin. Why, then, waste the ink
That many spill to try to get their way,
When it's clear the Stupid God carries the day?
Its wrinkled citrus avatar's at play,
A bitter fruit that some want to be sweet
Or have convinced themselves it will be neat
To take what little drippings from its seat
As flow--from tender divine bowels no grace,
But fetid fluids thence to drown this place.

Friday, January 20, 2017

20170120.0600

Once green, yellow now
And brown before the wind blows
Then green once again
The winter serves the cedar
It is a cold bed, indeed.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

20170119.0532

The semester has begun, and I am already behind.
Or, at least, it feels that way; it may be in my mind.
But I feel I have loads to do, and none of it is kind.
The semester has begun again and I am far behind.

The textbooks were not ready--at least, there weren't enough--
And I teach English this term, so it is pretty tough
To make assignments without texts; it comes out fairly rough,
And provokes just a bit too much of student-driven guff.

My office had to move and it is still not set up.
There is but one shelf in the room, not much place for a cup,
And I need many such things; I am no sprightly pup.
And the chairs bite on my ass; I will be standing up.

Other things have vexed me, too; I cannot of them speak.
Some of them will charge a price if I much of them leak.
Some of them require such words as make air foully reek.
But I am glad that this first one is a shortened week.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

20170118.0547

The classroom calls to me again today,
And I will soon be on my merry way
To teach new students how they might best say
The things that are in them and need let out.
As ever, I approach the task with doubt
That I will do some good and go without
The kinds of troubles I have had before.
Sometimes, in trying not to be a bore,
I veer into such areas of lore
As make many uncomfortable with me.
Yet I have to say the things I see,
And I am not to blame that such things be
As they are, for we are as we are.
It is no wonder I do not go far.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

20170117.0602

A fever long part of Hill Country life
Has taken me, my daughter, and my wife,
And we cannot escape; the air is rife
With tree-seed cast about into the breeze,
Driven by the wind like a disease
That, lodging in the nose, destroys all ease.
I, long knowing how the fever goes,
Am used to having pollen in my nose,
But in my wife and daughter it arose
And has laid them low or near enough, I fear.
Indeed, infection seeks my daughter's ear--
And the fever wracks the land with every year.
I suffer less than I once did; I hope
That others will come following my trope.

Monday, January 16, 2017

20170116.0519

Today, of course, is Martin Luther King's,
The doctor reverend junior of whom sings
The great mass of the people once thought things
And many more beside. Of course, not all
Honor him or others who still fall
To those who answer yet the racist call--
And those stand more and more in open light
Who ought to have long vanished in the night
Of history and been gone from the sight
Of all the world. Yet they still linger on,
Streaks in toilet-bottoms not yet gone
And resistant to scrubbing working long.
For the holiday, perhaps it's best
To spend more time in cleaning out the nest.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

20170115.0808

I have a month in which a paper to write,
And I have yet to bring into the light
More than a bare idea to delight
The audience that will come hear me speak.
I need to get the words down and to tweak
Them into some order far from weak,
To embed within sense that is all sound,
To in some texts my ideas to ground
So that, on saying them, I will be found
To have some insight into my texts' work.
I have heard papers of a sort that irk
Because they show each as a foolish jerk
The writer. I would not give such a one;
I will tend to my paper till it's done.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

20170114.0758

Just after my shower today
I took care of my weenis
Stroking lotion-bearing hands over it
Working it in
Back
And forth
And back again
And I enjoyed it

Friday, January 13, 2017

20170113.0557

The Stupid God has picked for our despite
A wrinkled citrus avatar, the height
Of bitter, sour flavor to benight
The castings of the oil lamp's old flame.
How few are those who still recall the name
O' th' lighter of the lamp? It is the same
To many ears as it has always been,
And speaking it may well be called a sin,
But saying nothing surely cannot win
Converts to the faith that few still share.
Those whose eyes are closed can hardly care
That they in darkness only poorly fare.
Few have seen the shadows light has cast
And turned to face the light and see at last.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

20170112.0555

The Stupid God is not a stupid god,
But works its mischief through those who will plod
Through life not thinking past their own small clods
Of earth--for those who have them yet, those few,
And fewer every day. What can we do
Who too late came to know that it is true
That thought and contemplation serve no end
Without a willingness to them defend,
Yet those who practice them will surely tend
To sit and with their quiet words bewail
The extent of their oncoming travail
Instead of rising to against it rail?
Little, perhaps, against the stupid tide.
The waters' rise allows nothing to hide.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

20170111.0620

It seems last night I slept through golden showers,
That raindrops fell throughout the nighttime hours
And spattered on the faces of the powers
That have since cranked the flowing spigot closed
And with loud voice denied that such were hosed,
Trumping thus the story some proposed.
I'll not argue truth or false in this;
I've more to do than ponder pundits' piss,
Although I mark that I too often miss
Such stories as arise from the deep minds
Of people on the internet. All kinds
Of stories spring from their behinds
And are for many years taken as true.
Against them, what are we supposed to do?

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

20170110.0600

I've been working
As might be expected
And as I have
I have found
That the work I have done
Heretofore
Has not been good practice
Although it has been good practice

What I have done
Helps me do the things I do
Sure
I keep track of a lot of information
And I'd not be able to
Were I not trained as I have been

But I have been trained
To do it alone
To be away from people while I work
As I am now--
The nearest are sleeping
In other rooms--
And I have to work
With others
Now
And I find that I am not good at it

Monday, January 9, 2017

20170109.0603

My wife and I got married seven years ago today,
And in that time we've been together, we've not gone astray.
Falling asleep beside her, waking next to her each day:
Each is still my damn near favorite thing--far and away!
When I'm with her, the work I do each day seems merely play!
"I love you" is still the thing we are most apt to say.
I'm glad my wife and I've been married seven years today!

(Seriously, happy anniversary, my beloved Mrs.!)

Sunday, January 8, 2017

20170108.0637

Things continue much as they have gone
For me and mine. I rise before the dawn
To write and wonder; they will be along,
They whom I love and they who with me live.
I labor on so I may in time give
To them, though bailing water with a sieve
Suggests itself as having the effect
On boats as working has on what my sect
Of people owes or needs. It is correct
That my working, diligent and long,
Does no more good for me and mine than song
Can do to mitigate an odor strong?
Yet still I have to work as I have done,
And perhaps in time I'll find I've won.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

20170107.0901

My daughter is hiding behind an old chair;
She knows she cannot meet with my glare--
She cannot abide the weight of my stare
Because she knows she's being naughty.

Her toys are all scattered. Her room is a mess.
She stays in pajamas; she will not get dressed.
I can only imagine her training pants' cess.
My daughter is being quite naughty.

I'm taking her toys. I've turned off her shows.
If it will work--why, nobody knows.
I think I'm ensuring her sassiness grows,
For my daughter is being quite naughty.

The thing is, my daughter's usually a jewel,
Sweeter than honey and than ice more cool,
So it is that it's markedly cruel
When my daughter is being naughty.

Friday, January 6, 2017

20170106.0607

Work continues, as ever it must,
And the search that goes on for more work is just
Dragging and dragging, but at least I don't rust
In sitting and waiting, but forward move on.
My searching continues, and soon I'll be gone
From the place where I am--although I'm no swan
To emerge from a duckling; I'm too old for that.
There's a bit too much gray tucked up under my hat
When I wear one for me to claim a fledgling's fat--
What I carry around is from drinking my beer
In attempts I have made to be of good cheer--
And other assorted times throughout the year.
But though I'm no swan, I can still take new flight
And see if I can propel myself to a new height,
Seeking the dawn that will end this long night.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

20170105.0611

My hand is itching to take up the pen
And scribe on linéd pages once again,
Scratching till the mind-blood flows and then
Clawing at the edges of the cuts
Made into inky blackness, breaking ruts
And looking to those watching as if I'm nuts
For tearing at the wounds that I have made.
I know I've my anxieties betrayed.
Amid such madness, few are those who've stayed
Beside me, going with me as I go
In and through and out again, who know
There will be something from this that will show.
Anymore, my why's Asimov's why:
I write like breathing; I do it, or I die.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

20170104.0557

My father will go back to work today.
An injury has long kept him away,
But he has healed enough he need not stay
At home or else at what has fast become
The family business, for which I, too, some
Work do anymore. The time has come
That he supporting labors may resume
And an example set that leaves no room
For laziness such as will be my doom.
For when he works, we see what working is
Who look on him, and we well know that his
Outstrips most all that we can do. It is
A source of frustration for me, and yet
I praise it, for to it I am in debt.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

20170103.0554

I have a song stuck in my head today.
I distract myself, but it won't go away;
It's what my head-radio can't help but play,
So it's probably good that I like it.
The voices that sing in my head aren't my own.
They ring as if played through an old gramophone;
I can hear the changes to the song's real tone,
And I'm not at all sure that I like it.
The song that is playing is stuck on a loop,
And, if I could find it, I'd jump through the hoop
That would let me escape from where I'm now cooped--
And I cannot confess that I like it.
I hope with great hope that it will not be long
Until I can rid my poor head of the song
That keeps playing and playing where it doesn't belong.
If I reach that point, I will like it.

Monday, January 2, 2017

20170102.0608

The New Year has now come and gone,
And I have merely to press on,
To search for some communion
That needs no priestly hand.
I know that there are many yet
Who need not work. Bosses abet
Them in getting themselves set,
All spread across the land.
I lack the luxury to rest
Much longer. It's for the best,
For I do not well at the test
Of the easy idle stand.
So I am back to work again;
My tasks have proved themselves my friends,
And if I can find better ends
For them, I'll turn my hand.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

20170101.0856

To begin, this is not a poem. I do have to offer the titular "dash of lucid prose" every so often, after all, and a New Year's post (such as I have made in this webspace here, here, here, and here previously) seems a fine place to do such a thing.
In that line, then, a few comments to make. One is that my earlier question about whether I ought to consolidate my blogging into a single spot received but one answer, and that answer recommended that I keep my trying-to-be-daily efforts in this webspace in this webspace. Consequently, I expect that I will return to my usual versification tomorrow morning, and it will keep happening here. Even so, I expect that I will be working to develop something of an income stream otherwise, as I would like to put my ongoing efforts to some kind of work that will help me to support my Mrs. and Ms. 8 a bit better than I currently do.
Another comment, emerging from the end of the first, is that the Mrs. and Ms. 8 are both well. The former is gainfully employed at a business in her family's ancestral homelands. The latter is thriving in preschool, where she has made friends and is finding her seemingly innate extroversion rewarded and enhanced. My daughter continues to mystify me, but I continue to enjoy the mystery--and her generally sweet disposition. The idea that the world will work against her is one I must consider, both because I am her father and because I am probably more cynical than is good for me, but it is not one that I necessarily relish. It is one of the things about which I hope to be wrong.
Still another comment to be made is that I have two conferences scheduled for the year, both relatively early in it. I will be going to Albuquerque, New Mexico, in February for a popular culture studies conference, and I will return to Kalamazoo, Michigan, in May for the International Congress on Medieval Studies. Given other concerns that press upon me at the moment, I am not certain there will be any others for me in the future (although I will try to continue to go to Kalamazoo; it is quite a fine time), so I will be commenting on them in some detail. Methods will vary, as is appropriate; I have different timelines and different issues of access at each, or I expect to do so. There are some preparations for them that I have yet to make.
To return to an earlier comment, then: the work I mean to do to enhance an income stream might well take place in my other webspace, www.elliottrwi.com. The "w" is in the name for a reason; I write, as those who have read this webspace know, and I know there are readers who would give to keep reading. It will be a slow start, to be sure, but it is one I am willing to make. Do look there for details as they emerge; I will appreciate the readership and support, as I always do.