These poems are failures

Failure to be erudite,

failure to be clear,

to be sane,

to be worth it.

Failure to be sublime,

to say the right thing,

to do the right thing, to


We live with our failures

and die with them complete.

The great ones count their failures as stepping stones

or so they say.

These poems are failures

stepping carefully on the


falling in the

water and floating downstream

like leaves.


david michael jackson  May 16, 2012

Apple Paintings on Canvas in Oil

Apple Paintings by David Michael Jackson

I began painting apples because apples are easy to find and an artist needs subjects. Not everyone has naked ladies wandering in. Most artists live ordinary lives and it is the ordinary that is often good art. I figured to be the apple painter. I said “Well I’ll just paint apples.” It’s a limited subject and I did move on but apples are good for form, shadow and negative spaces.
Most of my apples were red so I will start with a small apples painting of yellow apples.

Yellow apples

Apples Paintings
I wish I could report the location of this painting but paintings get away when they aren’t worth anything and this artist doesn’t know who he gave it to. It was lying around and the only price for something of no value is free if you like it. The only reward in most artist’s lives comes from individuals who may appreciate a piece enough to hang it, to simply hang it.
Here is a painting of some red apples:

Two Red Apples

A small image is all I have left of this one. My apple paintings are inspred by Cezanne of course who embodied the form of the apple and orange into great art. His Still Life with Curtain is a guide for all art and artists.


The last pure apple painting today features apples falling in a plane:

apple painting
Apples Falling in a Plane

Apples still figure in my art. They appear in my first large abstract, Food For Thought:
apple painting

Apples Paintings
Apples Paintings For Sale
Apple Still Life For Sale


So the apple represents life, form and color for the artist. It is a symbol of life and love. Apples have always represented the Garden of Eden and original sin. Apples are symbols in all cultures
Fertility; love; joyousness; knowledge; wisdom; divination; luxury; but also deceitfulness and death. The apple was the forbidden fruit of the Golden Age. As round it represents totality and unity, as opposed to the multiplicity of the pomegranate, and as the fruit of the Tree of Life given by Iduma to the gods. Eris threw the golden apple of discord among the Gods. As the apples of the Hesperides and the fruit of Freya’s garden, it symbolizes immortality. Offering an apple is a declaration of love.

Artists are keenly aware of symbolism and metaphor. One example is Son of Man by surrealist painter René Magritte:

via wiki Son of Man C David Michael Jackson 2012

flooded war memories, poem of how an old trusted friend can turn and attack you, by Janet Kuypers

flooded war memories

it was st. patricks day,
went to another country to see you

met up with you at a hotel
it was like we were never apart

we talked like old friends,
old war-time veterans

who fought in a war together
who shared our life stories

while sitting in a trench together
waiting for a bomb to strike

it was st. patricks day,
and everything seemed normal
and right

even though you lived far away
and even though we had different
life plans

it was st. patricks day,
i remember you laying down

in the bath tub, like a little boy,
splashing and playing in the water,

not even flinching that i was there
talking to you, naked in the tub

it was st. patricks day,
i wanted to get out, see the town

and you didnt want to move
content in a dingy hotel room

all i could think was that
it was st. patricks day,

and i was in another country,
i wanted to get up and go

and i dont know what snapped
in you on st. paticks day,

but i was in a dress, ready to go,
and you knocked me down

i remember being knocked on to
one of those hotel beds

in my panty hose and dress,
and you strangled me

it was like you were in the war again
and you were fighting to the death

but i thought we were on
the same side

why are you trying to hurt me

and like a bull dog that finally listened
to the commands of their master,

you finally stopped, and
there i was, your ally,

the one that sat in the trenches
with you all those years ago

torn panty hose, bloody knees

i never thought youd fight
one of your buddies, i swear


i got out and called for back up
in the hotel lobby

at the pay phone an older woman
came up to me, asking
if i was all right

her question stopped me
from hyperventilating

i looked down at my torn hose,
bloody knees

and I said,
im fine


i just knew i had to get out of there
before more shells fell

Abstract Fish Painting

Abstract Fish Painting

This is the essence of creation….I did not start with this but ended up with it. Did a fish spring from the sea and walk? The essence of life is the sea. I get all emotional about this painting….I could turn it on its side and we could make something else of it until we saw the fish. I never set out to paint a fish. The fish never set out to walk on land.
See more of David’s Abstract Original Paintings
david michael jackson Abstract Fish Painting

Portion of Boundlessness Poem by Jonathan Huey

Portion of Boundlessness
By Jonathan Huey

O substitute fruit purees in oversized heart,
massacres of indigenous in Tabasco Mexico,
the oil steel industry structure,
an American Institution
like the Peace Corps or Boy Scouts,

Voodoo is the object of a life’s endeavor;
for Russian aristocrats could never
comprehend the primitive language
of Aboriginal Japanese, and
female warriors of ancient Scythia,
and Punjab, and Kashmir,
and amber shadows of the pantry,

original understanding
protoplasm mind

Inferior conviction ameliorating
post-modern facade, the
breath of Artaxerxes was
notoriously foul, fleeing of
the spherical mass contained
3,000 oxen, accused of being
Basque terrorists,

He attacks the world with Spanish Bilbo,
annihilating organs lacking a
corresponding mirror image,

his name is Symmetry,

I hope to escape him-
by flourishing into invulnerable vegetation,
a mass of blossoms, or dissolving
in the wild hyacinth;
he will not find me in the blunderbuss at
the bottom of the ocean,

for I will not guard treasure,
but will only create treasure

let that be your canine tooth.

Hanging the Hook Poem by Tom SternerHowe

Hanging the Hook (words – 200, lines – 48)

We should learn to gauge the muse
This is a tool I use:
Seated upon my throne
I glance down between my legs
The bathroom linoleum
its chaotic random patterns
lure me into a space
just outside intentional focus

So invited I choose to accept
a floor mural faces
whom never kiss and tell
They do defy reason
with an inclination to embrace madness
This hook I never refuse
as I rush to my desk
wonder what I was in there for

It took me half a century to discover
the brain bowl of most others
is not full of bloody singers
a symphony of the damned
a mute choir thrashing
Come awake and sing us sing us
You are insignificant
your attempt to sleep a vile insult

She had smiling eyes
just enough flesh there
where a man might die
for a kiss to dare
Hollow chin raised throat
Ah then swallow me
death’s face life a cloak
just refuse to be

She likes the black car
whose driver slips
between the wires
lights her cigarette
makes a noose of her sex
ties her to the bumper
with promises
drags her through a life of lies

Tom {WordWulf} SternerHowe, a native son of Colorado, lives in Lafayette, Colorado with wife Karen, her two sons and his youngest son, Zedidiah. Family and riding his Harley Davidson fill up the hours left over from creative enterprises. He has been extensively published in independent literary magazines including Howling Dog Press/Omega, Skyline Literary Review and Flashquake. He is winner of the Marija Cerjak Award for Avant-Garde/Experimental Writing 2001, 2002 & 2003. His first novel, ‘Madman Chronicles: The Warrior’, is available at his website: Music from the novel may be accessed at or

Contact Information:
Tom (WordWulf) SternerHowe
1305 Centaur Circle
Lafayette, Colorado 80026