Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Terrarium LXXIII Stardate: -307582.1137430239

photo by alice popkorn

Why ask the moon to be anything but what it is,
to expect so much of a rock,
                                             suspect for being born
of a collision ---

                             my tom cat
cleans between his pads with his tongue,
gnawing particular tough spots

a head and lone arm
                         of a squirrel are all that are left
under the maple tree, eyes fat and round with gone
wonder, paw splayed&reaching
                       the ants have come to carry him home,
one bite at a time

The neighbor three doors over is hiding again,
behind the oak by his driveway,
                                                   awaiting cars
with unknown drivers - speeding,
so he can walk out in front of them
like an apocalyptic preacher
                 "Slow down!"
                          (The end is Near)
                     "You'll kill someone."

It rains. A handful of pebbles.
Each drop a cold baptism. The sky a murder in monochrome.
Our houses swell to fit their vinyl, white under built up pollen
& dust - harder now, it rains a haystraw brush
to our backs.
                      The neighbor is gone
                              to his porch, only the cherry
                              of a cigarette visible.

Furious, lightning cracks like gunshots
quiet the world,
                      gunshots like lightning crack, quiet
                                      is the world,

flowerpots tip returning soil
to its roots,
                 each blade of grass dances
                            around the water pulled

where the dry ditch catches it
and a newborn river squeals children on a roller coaster
disappearing into the dark
                                   of the concrete sewer pipe

And even unseen, the moon is there,
         moves on, but never leaves - only ever showing us
         its pock marked back side

                                                     & we will call it
                                                      a face ---


  1. I really like the symmetry of this poem..the beginning and the end tying it together in .. why indeed expect it from the moon... your neighbor seems to have too much time on his hands.. but I guess speeding cars is big risk as well..

  2. What a fantastic response ~ I specially love:

    It rains. A handful of pebbles.
    Each drop a cold baptism. The sky a murder in monochrome.

    You always show me how words can dance on a page & I am feeling the rust in my words now ha ~

    The moon is more than a moon sometimes, but then I am poet, smiles ~

    Thanks for joining in tonight ~

  3. Heavy-duty microworld pursuing, X-Man--a fine romp through the veil of perception,your voice & POV gentle, yet bitter, anger just below at surface, anger at the rain, the bolts of lightning, the silly neighbor, as your old Tom pick out squirrel flesh from between its claws; quite the insightful sharing from the X-house, & the X-yard; & yes, you are the hawk, & I hear your scree.I like the lines /the ants have come to carry him home/one bite at a time/.

  4. so many visuals here... each section a poem in itself... you've taken us on a journey

  5. I felt transported into your neighbourhood, a tranquil summer night with the exception of the argumentative neighbour... then the sudden downpour and change of pace, but then those final three lines bring back some peace (perhaps an illusionary one).

  6. I liked the way you move from the moon into a micro-world that flowed into one image after another then all ending up beneath the moon once more at the end. Some very good imsagery in this. Smiles...>KB

  7. Great lines...the rain...pebbles a baptism...and true why ask the moon to be anything but what it is.

  8. It rains. A handful of pebbles.
    Each drop a cold baptism. The sky a murder in monochrome.
    Our houses swell to fit their vinyl, white under built up pollen
    & dust

    How brilliant is this, so often we try to control and micromanage every aspect of our lives including tailoring others to our whims but in end we can't evade the reality of what is

  9. Each raindrop being a baptism - oh I like that! And the question posed at the beginning and then at the end, the moon again tying it all together. Excellent write!

  10. With a start like that you could do no wrong - highly original, a battle at first to read but nice and hard-hitting - needs to be heard,great lines - the waiting neighbour resonates...and of course most fitting ending...

  11. Truly it's amazing 'our' children can see the face of the moon..
    but 'we' call them down from
    church pews..
    i notice that now..
    it's truly sad
    it takes
    so long..
    but happy
    is only now..

    And the children
    dance with the
    face of moon..:)

  12. I think the moon sees a lot of things in the world and many have lost their vision of its wonder. Caught in a modern world filled with some chaos in the neighborhood. Sometimes the sky cries, sometimes it strikes in lightning bolts..who will notice I wonder. There was a storm here last week it knocked out the power for a few hours and poured. I watched the water run a marathon down the street and the air was thick and sticky as it was a warm day and I wondered what is everyone doing now with no power? Perhaps, they were lost in their thoughts. You are def a hawk a man with great vision. Have a good night..

    1. We had a storm last night that knocked out the power for a while. I find it peaceful when the power is out.

  13. Interesting take on the micro world...mesmerizing details of sight and sound take your reader from the moon to the porch and back!

  14. incredible imagery of the microworld... bringing it bacvk to the moon in the end. Nice!

  15. Hi--there's a kind of bitterness here at anything fake--and amazing how much of that can even be seen on a street--but one cuts through it--you do, anyhow! Take care, k.

  16. Ha ha. I think you're the first poet I'm aware of who's been bold enough to call the moon an ass. I like that you've given me such a different perspective to consider. This makes for much better poetry than calling her beautiful, if you ask me. Plus, you embedded "What the fuck?" in your caps. You're pissed at someone, that's for sure. Seriously, I love the way you tie together the opening and the closing. Who can ask the moon to be anything but what it is? Well obviously you are.

    These sections stand out to me:
    "to expect so much of a rock, suspect for being born of a collision"
    "a head and lone arm"
    "with gone wonder, paw splayed&reaching the ants have come to carry him home, one bite at a time"
    "The sky a murder in monochrome."
    "The neighbor is gone to his porch, only the cherry of a cigarette visible"
    "Furious, lightning cracks like gunshots quiet the world, gunshots like lightning crack, quiet is the world"

    You are so right. Lightning IS crack (cocaine). Very insightful. Excellent poem.

  17. Every single pithy stanza tells a story, rich in description. Nature in her beauty and in her predatory power. Brilliant, X.

  18. This is you. I love the way you write. Your way with words turns the world on its side and we see things as you do - with different eyes. Great. Excellent wordplay!

  19. Apparently my future self lives 3 doors down from you...I can just see "old man me" jumping out and berating speeding motorists to slow down :-)

  20. for some reason this, to me, inhabits the world of The Lottery (the short story written by Shirley Jackson). add my voice to those admiring the pebble stanza, and the flow and mettle of the piece ~

  21. Both human and elemental chaos in this, and how powerful that can be--and how we must name it, and control it by naming, by trying so futilely to impress our own will on it. Vivid, excellent writing.


  22. Really well written..so many cool images...drops each a baptism, cherry of a cigarette butt, muder in monochome..;)

  23. sounds like you're having a funny neighbor - ha - love all the vivid details - how you capture the moment's mood and leading us step by step so we can feel and smell and see... i have to defend the moon though of course a bit as she shows us so much more than just her back side...but def. it would be good to allow her to be just who she is... smiles

  24. I think
    that this is
    my favorite

    "Slow down!"
    (The end is Near)
    "You'll kill someone."

    It rains. A handful of pebbles.

    ... Something new comes
    to light every time I listen to
    myself read it again. ...

    And this, largely
    because it makes
    me hear music
    in the scritch scratch
    of that vinyl record
    you have so poignantly

    "Our houses swell to fit their vinyl, white under built up pollen
    & dust - harder now, it rains a haystraw brush
    to our backs."

    There's a bit
    of cayenne
    beneath your
    written capture
    of this storm, if
    you ask me.

    You did skip
    the question marks,
    though, did you


    You must talk
    to yourself
    to be able
    to give
    your own

    1. Interesting. I had not notice the question marks. Perhaps our questions dont need marks when they are all part of the conversation.

  25. "Each drop a cold baptism. The sky a murder in monochrome". I so enjoyed reading this, you painted it so clearly I could see it, could almost hear the cat gnawing.

  26. I like how you captured a brief moment in time, all that was happening and what just "was" at the time, with the moon overlooking it all. The pock-marked face of the moon made me think of a teenager with acne. Perhaps that was the neighbor's son. Peace, Linda

  27. A glimmering diaporama of snapshots, pulled together by the opening and closing brackets.

  28. There are so many lines that I love in this, I can't even pick out a few to favor. I love them all, love the circling back to that moon that never leaves us, for long anyway... you are shining through your words. :)

  29. X.. you really see the world with all your senses!! I loved this... so wonderfully worded :-)