Mask Intimacy


They Accuse Me of Not Talking
by Hayden Carruth

North people known for silence. Long
dark of winter. Norrland families go
months without talking, Eskimos also,
except bursts of sporadic eerie song.
South people different. Right and wrong
all crystal there and they squabble, no
fears, though they praise north silence. “Ho,”
they say, “look at them deep thinkers, them strong
philosophical types, men of peace.”  But take
notice please of what happens. Winter on the brain.
You’re literate, so words are what you feel.
Then you’re struck dumb. To which love can you speak
the words that mean dying and going insane
and the relentless futility of the real?

Hayden Carruth, “They Accuse Me of Not Talking” from Collected Shorter Poems 1946-1991. Copyright © 1983, 1992 by Hayden Carruth.

Joy @ Glacier Bay

Glacier Bay

photo by Joy @ Glacier Bay








I curtsy before you…


photo by Jeanne (painted by Annika)


Instead of composing my own poem about “manners” today, I want to share these hilarious bits from other poets. These are today’s prompt from Jan Hutchinson.

Manners Prompt
Write a poem made up of suggestions (real or absurd) for
appropriate manners or behavior in specific situations. You might
talk about being taught manners. Or you might simply entitle your
poem “Manners” and go somewhere unexpected.

Carrie says it’s more rude to stare at a blind man on the street
than to make a fat person joke about someone on TV.
Tony Hoagland

If someone you know
who died long ago
appears to you in dream,
it is rude to point out to them
that they are actually already dead.

…silence is always good manners
and often a clever thing to say
when you are at a party.
Tony Hoagland
in “Social Life”

Mary June’s brother Willard always had
just a certain corner of his handkerchief
hanging out of his hip pocket. That was
my first intimation of a personal style.
My hair wouldn’t comb down; so
every night for years I wore
one of Aunt Klara’s silk stockings
pulled firmly on top of my head.
When we had company my mother was always
afraid I would swing my soup spoon
toward me rather than away. And I was to
leave a little, not scraps like a dog at the last.
These glimpses of decorum in my early life
have fitted me for success. My manners,
my neat handkerchief, and my tame haircut
have seen me through everyday encounters with society.
William Stafford
in The Way It Is

Sit, she said. The wolf sat. Shake, she said.
He held his face and tail still
and shook everything in between. His fur
stood out in all directions. Sparks flew.
Dear sister, she wrote. His yellow eyes
followed the words discreetly. I have imagined
a wolf. He smells bad. He pants and his long tongue
drips onto the rug, my favorite rug. It has arrows
and urns and diamonds in it. The wolf sits
where I’ve stared all morning hoping
for a heron: statuesque, aloof,
enigmatic. Be that way, the wolf said.
There are other poets.
Pamela Alexander
in Inland

Earth Song

Between the waters abides the earth...

Between the waters abides the earth…

Earth Song

They call me sod
loam, dirt
clay, turf, dust.

In cahoots with rain, rocks and roots
worms and grubs
perforated by ants and moles
aquifers and oil

veined with lead, copper, gold
and hiding diamonds and coal
cables, wires and pipes

I hold your huts and your tents
your houses and barns
anchor your bridges, apartments and high-rises.

In beds below rivers
lakes and oceans
I slumber.
In the open I bask in sun’s warmth
sprout and nourish your food.

Sometimes I seizure
shudder and quake
vomit magma
belch steam and ash

or slump and ooze
tongues of brown porridge
smothering your villages and roads
in mud.

But mostly I am solid and safe
keeping you upright
with my mysterious magnetic powers.

Feed me wisely
for I ingest
without discrimination

and someday soon
you will join me.
I will reclaim you.
You will again
become mine.
© 2014 by Violet Nesdoly (All rights reserved)

Inhabiting a Song

Somewhere back of my throat a tune
hovers. My voice or the ghost of my voice
follows, repeating words and weaving
a record of my life into waves and hesitations.

Suppose our chorus, people and animals,
rises and falls in intervals of breath:
in sleep a dog’s paw twitches; a rabbit’s
dream follows its heartbeat all the way
through some ballad that its life is.

Parts of my song disappear, fade out
except for a beat that spans a known
part to another known part, and on.
Even in silence when shadows pass
my throat is full of the sound of the world.

(William Stafford in Crossing Unmarked Snow:

Further Views on the Writer’s Vocation)



to service- soliloquy
to mystery’s calm.

Riddle#12 Listening

Jeanne Listens to iMac

Jeanne Listens to iMac

Don listens to iMac

Don listens to iMac

Quaker Saying:
“Listening creates holy silence.
Listening is like rain.”

For the artwork created by Jeanne and Don, go to:
Enjoy the many links.

Fiber Optic Time vs Organic Time

Yesterday on the Poetry Blog
I ordered 2 books:
p*tag anthology of poetry for teens, edited by Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong,
PoetryTagTime anthology for children.
Today there was an email from Nook telling me I could have a new textbook app for free and the 2 books advertised
were the 2 I ordered for $.99 and $1.99. So I opened my Nook and read them delightedly.When I tried to find them in June, they weren’t ready. Then today, Instant Gratification! Fast Food for the Soul!

Fiber Optic Time vs Organic Time
Which is real?

Electronic fiber optics
Info blips
The pace of electronics

While my body needs 12 hours of silence
To reconfigure
Needs me to turn off.
Get out.
Close down.
To begin
And complete
Its reset.
No drums here.
No humming.
The music of birthing every night.
Darkness and silence required.

by Jeanne Poland

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