Big Boots To Fill (an original song by Norman Ball)

 
Editor’s Note under the present installation this excellent piece of video art music by Norman Ball, as below, a frequent contributer to Artvilla & Poetry Life & Times (see navigation bar) may take a few moments wait to replay.
 
Norman Ball FBP
 

 
NORMAN BALL (BA Political Science/Econ, Washington & Lee University; MBA, George Washington University) is a well-travelled Scots-American businessman, author and poet whose essays have appeared in Counterpunch, The Western Muslim and elsewhere. His new book “Between River and Rock: How I Resolved Television in Six Easy Payments” is available here. Two essay collections, “How Can We Make Your Power More Comfortable?” and “The Frantic Force” are spoken of here and here. His recent collection of poetry “Serpentrope” is published from White Violet Press. He can be reached at returntoone@hotmail.com.
 

 
 
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Without imitating self…A Poem by Richard Lloyd Cederberg

author
 
For writers there is a perpetual flow of ideas; a few are original, most are not. There is a good argument that originality loses its spark if one’s efforts are contrived, or done to gratify personal needs, are overly-influenced by another’s work, or become too intellectualized. Following are some darting thoughts about the process and what, I’m convinced, embodies creativity’s most valuable aspect of being able to think and act independently:
 
Poetic-prose…
 
____________________________________________
 
Those who strive for originality…
 
 
those
who purpose
to remain vibrant,
or vigorously focused
without succumbing to some
caricature-of-self; resolving
more as a guileless
voice,
reflective
incendiary
(intellectually),
germane, perhaps,
without looping or lapsing
into mannerism or affectations;
a personal challenge to remain original
without contention, or imitating self, or passing off
an old model-of-self; some contrived effort
to be seen with favor, (or)
to relive the
warmth and joy of
past seasons and victories
by re-hashing what once worked
 
~
 
attitude
pulling ideals
out from the ruts,
figuring the perfect-fitness
of what is shared while
defying branching
compromise
(in which)
ones
penned inventions
reflect only the sniveling drivel
of a writer’s beleaguered life…
 
~
 
…..luminous light
encircling
achievement in a false nimbus
invariably forces the greatest achievers
to their knees (temporarily) to reveal (to them)
(and to all those watching) that no human
is the full-bottle on anything…..
 
~
 
It’s wearying
(at times) finding
health in an art-form
where opinions are like weeds;
where arrogance becomes a shield
(to keep hidden all pecking-insecurities);
where the ceaseless cacophony of ‘me-noise’
refuses to understand why another’s hopeful face,
glowing from within, decays day-after-day,
or why a philosophic man is
obliged to mull a
lake’s health
in winters savagery, or
why faith causes the steadfast to
pause – momentarily – admitting they are
fully content to die in fields of common grass…
 
~
 
Knowing
every epoch
has its makers,
as every masterpiece
has (hidden in its guts) some
awful struggle; or perhaps some loss,
or life-altering circumstance, which
addresses the human-condition
with heedful strength as
altruisms-insomnia
bears an ongoing challenge to
palliate human-suffering and – if somehow
blessed to do so – (if only briefly) becomes
more archetypal than all originality
pawned-off with only
the faded colors
of worn-out dollar bills…
 
 
“When power leads man towards arrogance, poetry reminds him of his limitations. When power narrows the area of man’s concern, poetry reminds him of the richness and diversity of existence. When power corrupts, poetry cleanses.” John Fitzgerald Kennedy

 
 
August 2007 Richard was nominated for a 2008 PUSHCART PRIZE. Richard was awarded 2007 BEST NEW FICTION at CST for his first three novels and also 2006 WRITER OF THE YEAR @thewritingforum.net … Richard has been a featured Poet on Poetry Life and Times Aug/Sept 2008, Jan 2013, Aug 2013, and Oct 2013 and has been published in varied anthologies, compendiums, and e-zines. Richard’s literary work is currently in over 35,000 data bases and outlets. Richard’s novels include: A Monumental Journey… In Search of the First Tribe… The Underground River… Beyond Understanding. A new novel, Between the Cracks, was completed March 2014 and will be available summer 2014.
 
 
Richard has been privileged to travel extensively throughout the USA, the provinces of British Columbia, Manitoba, Alberta, and Saskatchewan in Canada, the Yukon Territories, Kodiak Island, Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, Sitka, Petersburg, Glacier Bay, in Alaska, the Azorean Archipelagoes, and throughout Germany, Switzerland, Spain, and Holland… Richard and his wife, Michele, have been avid adventurers and, when time permits, still enjoy exploring the Laguna Mountains, the Cuyamaca Mountains, the High Deserts in Southern California, the Eastern Sierra’s, the Dixie National Forest, the Northern California and Southern Oregon coastlines, and the “Four Corners” region of the United States.
 
 
Richard designed, constructed, and operated a MIDI Digital Recording Studio – TAYLOR and GRACE – from 1995 – 2002. For seven years he diligently fulfilled his own musical visions and those of others. Richard personally composed, and multi-track recorded, over 500 compositions during this time and has two completed CD’s to his personal credit: WHAT LOVE HAS DONE and THE PATH. Both albums were mixed and mastered by Steve Wetherbee, founder of Golden Track Studios in San Diego, California.
 
 
Richard retired from music after performing professionally for fifteen years and seven years of recording studio explorations. He works, now, at one of San Diego’s premier historical sites, as a Superintendent. Richard is also a carpenter and a collector of classic books, and books long out of print.
 
 
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Connecting to Infinity Poem by Marilyn McIntyre

connecting to infinity….

possibilities, outcomes
floating weightlessly
irridescent, intangible
mapped in stars
touching down
as pixie dust
and flirts of angel hair
choices to the right
paths to the left
someone has stolen the fork
in the road
moon cast wrinkles
characters “˜cross the lawn
where oh where
has my little mind gone
garrulous cotton candy clouds
griping frenzy
whisps of knowledge
ancestral crones
weeping, moaning heart in tears
annoint myself in
dandelion down
roll my head
in passing nimbus
connecting to infinity
again and again and again and again……..

connecting to infinity….

possibilities, outcomes
floating weightlessly
irridescent, intangible
mapped in stars
touching down
as pixie dust
and flirts of angel hair
choices to the right
paths to the left
someone has stolen the fork
in the road
moon cast wrinkles
characters “˜cross the lawn
where oh where
has my little mind gone
garrulous cotton candy clouds
griping frenzy
whisps of knowledge
ancestral crones
weeping, moaning heart in tears
annoint myself in
dandelion down
roll my head
in passing nimbus
connecting to infinity
again and again and again and again……..

Posted on January 6, 2005

Last Walk and Other Poems by John Grey

LAST WALK

On his last painful walk
across his land,
he stopped for a moment
at the sight of something moving
on the far edge of the field,
a canine shape
but too big for a fox,
too small for a coyote
and, in the way it loped,
paused and raised its head
as if about to howl,
no dog.

With air almost too humid for breathing
and Summer haze
watering the distances
and his weakening eyes
drawing back inside his head,
there was no way
he could see it clear.

But they stood there,
face to face,
neither willing to make the first move
to come closer.

They were like estranged lovers,
a father and son who hadn’t spoken in years,
something that needed to be done
and the someone who didn’t do it,
an opportunity and the one who didn’t take it.

It was his land.
And, most probably, it was his creature.

 

 

 

IS THERE ENOUGH TO PAINT A PICTURE?

The snails are crawling across the pathway
from weeds to blue star cultivar.
A spider creeps across the leaves.
I hover somewhere between work to be done
and contemplation.
A fine drizzle says it’s April.
The birds trill courting songs.
1 believe the insects do as well.
I could seed the garden.
Or feel the fine drops on my cheeks.

Bees buzz down to business.
Embedded in paper huts,
it’s still not the wasps’ call.
The clouds are flat gray
but not ominous.
The water they spill is nimble.

It’s not a lovely scene.
That’s why I can go out into it
and get a job done
without fear of spoiling someone’s
oil on canvas.
But there’s enough there
to engage the heart,
to inform the brain,
that it’s not all about being useful.

A titmouse flies down to the feeder.
as if its sparkling cheery cry
will tilt the scales
to the side of wonderment.
It doesn’t
but I’m spellbound by the attempt.

 

 

 

SHEDDING

In a dark war-zone,
a snake crawls through
a trench of twigs and leaves
in search of hard rubbing implements
to scrape off its tired outer layer.

But the demon of many a mouse hole
is now a prey animal itself,
exposed by shafts of moonlight
in the land of the predator’s trained eye.

The reptile chafes against
the rough edge of a rock,
insect boudoirs of bark.
Anything to pry itself free from
three months’ worth of keratin.

A distant hoot of a great horned owl
sets off vibrations in the snake’s skull
but it still continues to grate and grind,
tiny sounds that implicate itself.

But instinct’s wired for life and death.
Survival doesn’t differentiate.

John  Grey

via…………..Split Lip

John Grey is an Australian born poet. Recently published in Oyez Review, Rockhurst Review and Spindrift with work upcoming in New Plains Review, Big Muddy Review, Willow Review and Louisiana Literature.

Christmas for the birds poem by Joan Pond

Cerulean Light
by Joan Pond

On Greenwich Avenue,
Fred festooned a fir with lights.
“Jesus,” he said. “It just ain”t right.
I bought this string at CVS
and it”s already broke.
This Christmas stuff”s for the birds.
Man, it”s a joke.
I got no wife and my whole life”s changed.”
But when I shook his hand,
the blue lights lit.
“Holy shit!” he said. “It”s a miracle.”
And we stood,
bathed in cerulean light.

***

Originally published at Artvilla.com December 7 2004