I write to you
with ink and water
because you are permanent
alone and in flesh.
Sun and shadow
fuse into a mountain
as crows descend
between two horses.
I walk toward
your candled branches
hanging in the sky
behind the door.
~ John Swain
A rose hovers weightless
Some magician pulled his sleeve
Peplums of silk bloom
Thorned fingers knit
The sources of fantastic
What country do fish come from?
Finland, cuz they’re all fin-ish.
Two most stolen items are Bic pens and Bic lighters.
They’re ubiquitous, and then they’re gone.
Which came first, the lemon or the ade?
What does the last leaf on the tree say?
Leaf me alone.
Used to work at the fish stand
which was hard because they had no legs.
the bird bath, frozen
rocks in garden standing
stiffly at attention—yet still
dreaming of the warmth
that softens, and dissolves
ice crystals & hardened cold hearts
~ kate lamberg (c) ’15
how a garden in winter
allows us to see
our inner light buzzing
circling round the smooth
stones–roughened barkof pines, purposely
no wonder we cling
to nature’s story;
she’s in her glory
when–we understand her
realigning focus, bringing
all eyes closer to becoming–
no different than
the softness of snow:
bathing the roughened bark
and then—we can, follow
her spiral towards the sun,
a loquacious lark, burrowing
though the coldest softest snow
~ kate lamberg (c) ’15
In a thunder from the morning snowstorm
I watched the turning red hawk turn white
against the winter trees.
Crystalline veins of the sleeping earth break
pouring blood where the river meets lake,
shelf ice piles echo the crushing black water.
Sent to this vision,
I still ask forgiveness
walking the null in a shirt of burnt forest.
Glow of the cold, the unseen ends my search
moving with the waters as the sunset takes
the filth of cities into our intimacy.
I would sleep for years alone
where the frozen shovel broke my jaw
against the ground this quiet hill.
– John Swain
Snow falls soft
end of day fades fast
tends with maybe
white hides dirt
potholes fill with crystal air
WELCOME MITTS (catch what U can)
November 20/15 was IndianSummer fun
with half A month’s worth of 60 degrees sun.
Better than the last three years combined.
& here comes December & Winter & briskAir.
& crispSnow. & hot cocoa & marsh-mellows &
warm wine. when i lived in Louisiana, for A year &
two months, i didn’t get to see one Frosted Flake.
All the warmth & All the rain just made me homesick.
& i couldn’t wait…to get back home. so i could hibernate.
& write this poem. this PO M for my season-filled city.
seasoned just right. for my NorthFace AboveGround Appetite.
My Lover’s mound/snowman smile All piled by the coldest gate.
My Jones. My Crush. My Cleveland FIX & FLUSH. spinning me
Round&Round C-Town: MY MOST CREATIVE & OPEN SPACE.
~ MaxWell Shell
wake each day and smile as you get out of bed
–how, when ive got a rough work day ahead of me?
–how when my stomach hurts already, and has been for days?
answer: because you have a list of innumerable things for which you are the lucky winner. i.e a house, the sky, sun, moon, clouds, food to eat, friends that care about you think about one thing, or several things for which you are grateful, smile to acknowledge your god, spirit, soul, the universe, or whomever it is through your own hard work has rewarded you with all good things
why is this step one?
each time you smile, ‘happy’ chemicals are release. even if the smile is forced====you are only smiling because this is now part of your daily routine, but you actualy feel rotten===the muscles in your face and eyes will still teem with the happy chemicals, regardless of how genuine your smile is.
over time, the chemicals are the norm, and each day you wake you will reflexively smile, eventually, so that it is no longer an exercise, it is habitual and part of who you are
remember the feeling you have when surrounded by nature or when you are in good company. if that feeling is tranquility, satisfaction, awe, happiness—-whatever that feeling is. and each time you are in nature or amid good company, ACKNOWLEDGE how lucky you are to enjoy such feelings.
do this on purpose at first. perhaps you wake grumpy, but you see a cloud as you get into your car, it is beautiful, evocative, say to yourself, the sky is stunning right now, i am so lucky to have noticed it. soon you will be on the lookout for such things, especially when you are not calm or happy, you will see these things as respite, and gift. say to yourself i am lucky. chemicals are released in the brain, and you have done the universe a proper—-by exhibiting gratitude for all that exists in the wild, even if it is a tree growing in a littered parking lot, you can acknowledge the tree and how lucky it is that it is growing.
this will become second nature after some time.
when you are anxious, saddened, lethargic, worn out, nervous, frustrated or experiencing grief, feel it and let it go. feel it=could mean actually cry, or let the feeling wash through you—by imaging it a fluid or a shape or a color or a sensation. let it pass, and then go back to recognizing it will pass, i have it in me to smile, even now, because i am alive and equipped with all the beauty in the universe, and the wisdom in it all is accessible to me for free when i should seek after it, and that smile====again====forced, practiced or genuine will release the happy chemicals. thus, reinforcing the chemistry in your brain to be positive ones.
laugh at yourself. picture your screwed up face, your frown, your worried brow. picture yourself as you look right now as a cartoon of yourself. of a humorous charicature. laughter will release chemicals which positively reinforce the brain to relax.
just like white blood cells attack illness, positive thoughts and the physical act of smiling combats negative feelings, stress hormones and drops in serotonin. so even in the dregs of hell, at some point catch yrself, and smile, and feel gratitude. remember, this is one moment. this moment will not last. soon i will again be unburdened.
pick an activity which involves both body and mind. raking leaves, hiking, weight lifting, swimming, fucking, all connect the mind to the body. when the mind is empty, the body becomes its own vessel, working to strengthen your heart, and other muscles, and this produces pain killing chemicals, and reduces stress hormones and reinforces happy chemicals in t he brain. do one or more of these activities often, do them alone or in groups, and note how the activities effect your peace of mind and body.
make a list of proactive things to do should you suffer a day when you are sick, depressed, anxious, angry, frustrated, overwhelmed, exhausted or grieving.
i.e. when the grief starts, when the pain increases remember the list of things that will assuage altho not eliminate the negative emotions.
for example, if you have a headache, drink water, take medicine, do stretching, yoga or other muscle relaxing exercises, even move your body by vacuuming, or cleaning something, take a bath, rest, think positively, use an ice pack, get yourself alone somehow, or if you are at work and cannot be alone look at the sky or a flower or a photograph of something beautiful, be grateful, picture someone you love and respect, and conduct yourself in a way that would make them proud of you, pray, and so forth.
if it is depression you feel, eat, drink water, make tea, chat with a friend, take a walk or engage in a healthy exercise or activity, zonk out to bad television…..by busying yrself with such a list, you have already distracted your brain from the depression, which means the happy chemicals are already working on your behalf.
but you need to have your own list of things that have lessened the depression in the past.
know it will pass, try to imagine the good feelings you have when you are in nature or good company, smile to yourself and say soon i can hike, soon i can see my sister. if your mind keeps on a track, repeating to yrself the thing or things that weigh you down as you sink further in, replace the track….put on a song whose lyrics make you feel good. open a book of uplifting works of poetry. look through a book of art which inspires you. eat a brown, take a klon, write a poem even if it will turn out to be unusable rubbish. and think of yourself as depressions opponent. and use all yr wiles and soul spirit to quash your opponent. depression is a nemesis, you have been constantly by now strengthening your resolve and disciplining yourself to take it on with utter confidence.
but for any bad emotion you feel, and for any circumstance such as grief or illness, use that list you made of things you can do to decrease the intensity and duration of the ailment. take charge, in this way, of your mind. emotions are not the same thing as your mind. mindset can beat out emotions. logic and reason are your friends. look at yourself and what you are doing. be honest. is what you are doing going to help or hurt your chances of making this bout of depression shorter than the last one was?
Do not begrudge yrself the occasional bad day, or bad string of days. do not begrudge yrself for mistakes you make, and shortcomings. learn from then instead, put them in your arsenal of what kind of things to NOT do, think, or say. but over time all of the steps will have strengthened your concentration and focus, and equipped you with powerful happy chemicals in storage, all you need to do is open the cupboard door===as if your now more-honed mind was a drug. this could take months! be patient.
note: if you are just starting out, some of these exercises will be forced, not genuine. it doesn’t matter, you are tricking the brain into producing hormones and chemicals which do create actual happiness.
~ Beverly J. Wilcox
Status Report 139
Foot by foot step by step
stair by stair by rung by ladder
by golly gee wrinkleskin
for days to years decades millennia
we get up, we go round
we do, we undo, we redeed our done
in spin and spun respin unspun
half toe forward full finger back
we hack this trek of daily track
till light relaxed to bed and slack
where sleep redeems our scheme in dream
while gittyup re-gets its steam
to back around
rolling rock upclown again
for we are Sisyphus
and this is silly stuff
renew redone repeat