11,041 vagabonds plus:
the knife thrower
It Must Be Time For Lunch Now (1979)
by Francesca Woodman
more bad dreams, Dr Freud
Hurrying to drafting class
forgetting much needed pants
five free lessons, low-flying plane
clipping tree-tops in blinding rain
deadbeat Congress renews gravity funds
unsuspecting geese nose-dive to ponds
newly plastered hearth tilted and sunk
building permit forged by unscrupulous monk
hoisting sudsy pint to lips
white line weave with a halt and a skip
longing for a kiss ordained
amorphous amorous, a lopsided aim
Dr Freud died on this day in 1939
painting: Flying Down
David Salle (2006)
tale of long ago - the last voyage
tale of long ago
tale of long ago, part II
the last voyage.....
My Dear Friend,
Maria is dead. After many weeks of begging to be at my side as I sailed she could not bare being apart from me and I too found in the heart of the matter I could never be separated from the essence of her being. It has been a glorious three year adventure. You remember how stubborn she could be in the smallest of incidents. Like the time your carriage overturned in the storm off the road near her castle and she insisted you peel off your soaked muddy garments to hang above the fire upon the mantel and either wrap your shivering self in a horrid pale pink silken night robe or go unclothed. And when you descended the staircase to tea and turned into the wrong doorway of her stuffy parlor full of stuffy Ladies That Looked Liked Well Kept Graves she laughed at the ridiculous site of you until her side hurt so bad she dropped into a chair. I know about it. She wrote me and then recounted it one night under the stars when out tongues were out of interrupted tales. I was always glad. I would stroke my thumb gently across that scar above her eye, this humble sailor's signal to the princess to retire with a solitary lantern to our mahogany cabin below and follow at lights out to bed.
Upon that ship, the pristine Sierra Leone, she wanted to know all I could teach her. To fish with spear and survive with a sharp knife ready at arms length. To steer the ship navigated by the night sky, portable compass, and shifting currents, and to note in the log with small refined pen strokes, her lips carefully reading the entry back to me for my nodding approval, her arm around my neck, my head in her lap. And she taught me the manly art of sewing baring her feminine refinement. That's what she called it...manly art...in that mischievous laugh that would melt rusty anchors. That laugh was never more joyous in that hour a whale followed aft. She buried her face in my chest frightened as it playfully bumped the Sierra Leone once. She never complained all those times spray left her soaked and shivering. And to sail to new worlds of strange peoples. 'They are just like you and me' she would say at a trading post in that tender, melodious voice we would become accustomed to. She felt like a giant and would look at them with wide beguiling eyes patting their heads. They would look up at her, rub their own heads and laugh. Maria must have looked funny to strangers wearing one of my seafaring knitted wool jerseys that could never hide the fact that she was a girl. If she had been a lousy sailor it would have been easy to convince her to return to her snug moated castle.
Yes I am stalling. She is gone..and now I will tell you about the last voyage as precisely as I can. My face has been stone, I've aged a hundred years, and only now I am providing the natural teared watermark to this foolscap.
It was a night like any other against pirates out of the dank fog. White foam waves curling along side my ship were quietly disappearing. The purple sun had sunk an hour before. I sensed danger and shuddered at the cold uneasiness. I don't know how I knew but I waved her below as I ordered men to arms. They crawled up and over on all sides, there was much shouting. They were gaining advantage. She arose from cabin below, my devoted lass, aiming my gun with both hands, confident and steady, firing a single blast to ward off scrounging derelicts in the chaos as we mopped up the attackers. All was silent when I noticed she was bleeding behind the left ear. She fainted briefly when I casually referred to it. We thought it nothing, perhaps a minute fragment from ricochet. But the taciturn doctor looked at me with downcast eyes every time we passed in the days following. Maria became listless, rarely rising from bed, her penetrating purple eyes feverish even when I recounted the story of the whale - Our Whale - I called it. We were so far from any coast even though visibility was excellent and there was a welcoming warm breeze. On October 20th the doctor touched my arm as I stood lost in thought on the quarter deck. I knew what it meant. Maria was smiling at me, called me by my Christian name for the first time ever, and that she was cold, pointing lastly to my wool jersey.
I pulled it on her, kissed her lips twice - once for you - before the doctor assisted me in cradling her into a green canvas. The men were singing about a chariot. It was raining when I released her to the deep.
I've enclosed the log book along with her precious locket. Mr. Goring is so kind to get these to you. You'll notice the journal she secretly kept in the last blank pages. I entrust them to your safe hands upon dry land. I only had short moments to scan them. They seem like love letters never sent.
Venus and the Sailor (1925)
sea of tranquility haiku
Farewell Neil Armstrong
Moonlight shine on tranquil sea
Golden haikus of summer
await you at
recuerda mi corazon,
exclusive home of
Haiku My Heart
photo credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls
50 years ago - we intend to win
the art gallery
'How do you know it isn't upside down?', she said loud for all to hear.
'How can you tell when sour cream goes bad?', he countered in a mock British wheeze.
'Maybe we should be standing on our heads for this one', she whined with her eyes closed.
'No', he mocked seriousness, 'the rush would hide your adorable freckles'.
She smiled. She liked that. He looked at her then.
'I'm hungry', she said sadly to no one.
'I'll hold your ankles'.
'If you want to do a handstand'.
'I want an omelet'. She looked at the painting searching for breakfast.
They were silent and stood frozen front and center minus a pitchfork.
'Oh no, you must do a handstand too', she said cautiously to match the hum of others. She looked around to see if the gallery was clear. It wasn't. People were interpreting spotlighted golden-framed gibberish in high nasal tones all over the place. She touched his arm and he auto reflexed his arm around her waist hooking his right thumb into her blue jean belt loop. 'Let's do it', she whispered, confident the nearsighted Pince-Nez Convention would not be able to focus in time.
They both balanced a close up view of the glossy wood-grained floor for two seconds, ignored their only chance to see a brilliant painting in the right perspective, then tumbled upon one another laughing. The gallery looked down their noses and harrumphed. The art museum curator, a former librarian and professional susher, perplexedly touched the two moist hairs on top of his head, then hurried for the eighty year-old security guard. Charles held Emma and smothered her blushing cheeks; she giggled as though slobbered by a puppy. They stood; he brushed dust off her bottom over and over and over, and she was laughing. Matisse applauded, Monet scolded, Henri told Claude where he could go, and Gauguin heaved a bowl of fruit at the lovers for attention, but mostly because Emma hadn't had any breakfast.
old trail haiku
Pasture lane heartbeat
Shy dear frozen stare
Haikus of joy
await you at
recuerda mi corazon,
exclusive home of
Haiku My Heart
photo: Old Danish Road
~ from seestjohn.com/
plot installment plan
Saw Payment Plan Available on a white, rickety, square sign posted in tall grass near the entrance of a small fenced-in cemetery....maybe we should take it with us after all.....
'You're late, Mr. Mallowman'! the old woman scolded behind the crack of a front door at the cemetery shack. She resembled an angry school marm, silver hair up in a bun as attractive as a tumor, two deep-set charming black magpie eyes.
'My apologies, dear lady, it couldn't be helped', Mallowman apologized, his back hunched awkward in an exaggerated disheveled posture.
'This makes the second month in a row', she growled. She slammed the door and the vibration knocked two of his teeth out.
'May I explain, Mrs. Somerset', he pleaded through the door. He went to the black curtained window and tapped, losing a finger bone, and cursed softly. The old woman's cat leaped onto the ledge, tightened up, its startled, furious yellow eyes meeting Mallowman's, and hissed. 'Mrs. Somerset? Ma'am'?
'Ma'am? Please'? he begged at the window. 'I'll be happy to give you six months in advance, Mrs. Somerset', he continued. 'Dear lady'?
All was silent for a moment, the shack in the shade of a lone, sprawling, sorrowful willow along the curved path settled in the rear of the property next to an abandoned water-wheeled mill. Alas, the door whooshed wide open on cobweb hinges.
'That's different', she smiled. The kind of a smile that would cajole two small lost children into a boiling pot. 'Won't you come in, Mr. Maurice Mallowman, 1913 to 2007'? He wasn't impressed she remembered his vitals. Only when money's involved, he thought.
'You see, dear lady', he began, as she pointed him to the wooden high back chair at an ancient roll top desk, 'you see, madam, they used the heavy roller after cutting the grass this time, and it made it oh so hard to push open the lid. And besides, as you no doubt are aware, I am still dead', he chuckled sheepishly.
He whipped out a hefty unorganized roll of cash from the inside pocket of his tattered sleeveless black sport coat, losing onto the floor three fingers, quickly replacing only two as the cat swiped one and scurried away.
'Ah, well', he shrugged, his left arm falling off.
'Whataya going to do', she sighed, as she'd seen this dozens of times from clients in different stages of deterioration. 'May I be of assistance'? her tone softening at the sight a roll of brand new fifty dollar bills.
'If you'd be so kind to just hold it in place', he instructed as he rose and stood near the wall. He jammed the arm with force back into his shoulder socket, pushing his right eye socket to the middle of his face. The landlord winced, but Thompson assured her it was far less painful than being hit by that train in a stalled car just five short years ago.
'Won't you stay a bit for tea? It's freshly made from the pond out back'.
'I don't think it matters'.
'No', she replied, hand to embarrassed cheek. 'No I suppose not'. She'd easily forgotten he had ceased to Be.
Leaving, he looked back once more at the silent contented cat pawing his discarded finger. Stepping out onto the lawn he saw four more tenants materialize slowly, heading for the shack.
Summer Night (1913)
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