Friday, October 28, 2016

POEM: "Untitled Beetles"

Untitled Beetles
                               for Patterson

I too believe that beetles speak from longing
loved by a God that never speaks to them
that after looking around for somebody
else to do the work finally it's up to them
the beetle people the beetle poets
to examine the record very carefully
for the ones closest to the inner bark
and listen for the scratches near its heart
scrying and carving a message no one else can hear
except you and me and that little kid over there
also loved by a God that won't clean up his mess
this one encouragement is our commonality
as we see small souls gathered in all their places
under the sky in the trees standing up in the wind

© 2016 Rob Schackne

MUSIC: Ludovico Einaudi, "Elegy for the Arctic" (2016)

The fine composer-pianist tries playing the Arctic.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

A POEM: "Be There In A Minute"

Be There In A Minute

Eros, I see you over there
In the writer’s standard pose
(I could be there in a minute)
Write, pause, ponder, and erase
Gaze off into the inner galaxies
Wonder why it was all born so daft
You go back to the pretty good idea
That was causing you so much trouble
Though of course I'm presuming alot
You might not be writing a poem at all.

© 2016 Rob Schack

Monday, October 24, 2016

POEM: "The Sharp Knife Shadows"

The Sharp Knife Shadows
              after Sarah St Vincent Welch, Kit Kelen & Chris Mansell

The sharp knife shadows
the patient horrors surface
from the sea of mind, sea of night
on my zoo animal days, I feel

degrees of attractiveness
gibbering incoherent demands
pointing through the ceiling
at the blue things, the blue sky

forgives my language, the shades
the gerunds, particles of meaning
deflected as if by semi-trailer, doom
typhoon, the busted brakes of love

soft forms beneath the counter wait
shotgun, club, machete or stun gun
and if there ever be a metallic song
a metallic you, I guess a metallic me.

© 2016 Rob Schackne

Sunday, October 23, 2016

A Marianne Moore Poem #2


Under a splintered mast,
torn from ship and cast
           near her hull,

a stumbling shepherd found
embedded in the ground,
            a sea-gull

of lapis lazuli,
a scarab of the sea,
          with wings spread—

curling its coral feet,
parting its beak to greet
          men long dead.


Friday, October 21, 2016

POEM: "Knife/Open Hand"

Knife/Open Hand 

Jumped in the alley way
today some students asked me
to talk to them about Dylan
best not separate the music from the words
he's a modern blues jazz troubadour
myth bible the beats French symbolists
music dust bowl struggle
rain value dada love art faith
versus big pharma big oil big business
big banks big brother big greed
versus unflinching uncaring
big arms big conflicts
big chemical big food
versus profits before people
50 years of the other history
of our protest and dissent
they are still trying to silence
best not separate that time from today
teacher what means troubadour
someone who makes things up
teacher what means establishment
teacher what means big arms
teacher what means black is the color
lyrics let's listen to blowin' in the wind
these lyrics listen to hard rain's a-gonna fall
let's listen to the masters of war these lyrics
a song can't change the world but it could
forget the nobel prize that's not where it's at
no direction the powerless know that--
nobody listening awful hunger
black is not the color
how does it feel?

© 2016 Rob Schackne

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

POEM: "It's Space, Archy!"

It’s Space, Archy!

                    The poll asked, “If you won a free trip
                    On a private company’s rocket ship into space,
                    Would you take the trip, or not?”

naturally it turns out that since most people
prefer to stay home and work on their project
the majority ixnay this decision to send their self
into space which after all is as dark as your pocket
i send this to some of my international friends
brave souls sometimes they even say wise things
and some are considerably in favor of translation
although one person says she will gladly give up
her space so that another can boldly go et cetera
and it wont matter at all if he doesnt come back
another says he thinks he has to think some more
about who else is likely to be there with him to share
the occasion with so maybe in the end probably no
and one says its pretty dim out there gazing at the stars
we crow about history but we wave from very far away
and she only wants to go if she can keep on going
and me brave me who knows a little about the danger
of this machine i think ill stay here and keep writing

© 2016 Rob Schackne

Monday, October 17, 2016

POEM: "Another Rissole? Thanks, I Think I Will"

Another Rissole? Thanks, I Think I Will

                                  for Myron Lysenko

And not only at suburban BBQs
we say every nation is a narcissist
tho' it seems that most people aren’t
the day the Souls and the No-Souls
finally go to war against each other
I'm moving to the country, I want me
to teach my own kids and raise chooks
‘cause it’s all be going to hell post haste
already the Un-Souled and the As-Souled
ah told they’re busy talking up a storm
they’re about moving to another planet
yes I want me a piece of that action, but
it’s hard to know what to think today
Another rissole? Thanks, I think I will
and doesn’t it almost look like rain.

© 2016 Rob Schackne

Sunday, October 16, 2016

MUSIC: Bob Dylan "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall" lyrics

A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall

Oh, where have you been, my blue-eyed son?
Oh, where have you been, my darling young one?
I’ve stumbled on the side of twelve misty mountains
I’ve walked and I’ve crawled on six crooked highways
I’ve stepped in the middle of seven sad forests
I’ve been out in front of a dozen dead oceans
I’ve been ten thousand miles in the mouth of a graveyard
And it’s a hard, and it’s a hard, it’s a hard, and it’s a hard
And it’s a hard rain’s a-gonna fall

Oh, what did you see, my blue-eyed son?
Oh, what did you see, my darling young one?
I saw a newborn baby with wild wolves all around it
I saw a highway of diamonds with nobody on it
I saw a black branch with blood that kept drippin’
I saw a room full of men with their hammers a-bleedin’
I saw a white ladder all covered with water
I saw ten thousand talkers whose tongues were all broken
I saw guns and sharp swords in the hands of young children
And it’s a hard, and it’s a hard, it’s a hard, it’s a hard
And it’s a hard rain’s a-gonna fall

And what did you hear, my blue-eyed son?
And what did you hear, my darling young one?
I heard the sound of a thunder, it roared out a warnin’
Heard the roar of a wave that could drown the whole world
Heard one hundred drummers whose hands were a-blazin’
Heard ten thousand whisperin’ and nobody listenin’
Heard one person starve, I heard many people laughin’
Heard the song of a poet who died in the gutter
Heard the sound of a clown who cried in the alley
And it’s a hard, and it’s a hard, it’s a hard, it’s a hard
And it’s a hard rain’s a-gonna fall

Oh, who did you meet, my blue-eyed son?
Who did you meet, my darling young one?
I met a young child beside a dead pony
I met a white man who walked a black dog
I met a young woman whose body was burning
I met a young girl, she gave me a rainbow
I met one man who was wounded in love
I met another man who was wounded with hatred
And it’s a hard, it’s a hard, it’s a hard, it’s a hard
It’s a hard rain’s a-gonna fall

Oh, what’ll you do now, my blue-eyed son?
Oh, what’ll you do now, my darling young one?
I’m a-goin’ back out ’fore the rain starts a-fallin’
I’ll walk to the depths of the deepest black forest
Where the people are many and their hands are all empty
Where the pellets of poison are flooding their waters
Where the home in the valley meets the damp dirty prison
Where the executioner’s face is always well hidden
Where hunger is ugly, where souls are forgotten
Where black is the color, where none is the number
And I’ll tell it and think it and speak it and breathe it
And reflect it from the mountain so all souls can see it
Then I’ll stand on the ocean until I start sinkin’
But I’ll know my song well before I start singin’
And it’s a hard, it’s a hard, it’s a hard, it’s a hard
It’s a hard rain’s a-gonna fall


MUSIC: Bob Dylan, "When The Ship Comes In" (1963)/ The Pogues (1996)

When The Ship Comes In

Oh the time will come up
When the winds will stop
And the breeze will cease to be breathin’
Like the stillness in the wind
’Fore the hurricane begins
The hour when the ship comes in

Oh the seas will split
And the ship will hit
And the sands on the shoreline will be shaking
Then the tide will sound
And the wind will pound
And the morning will be breaking

Oh the fishes will laugh
As they swim out of the path
And the seagulls they’ll be smiling
And the rocks on the sand
Will proudly stand
The hour that the ship comes in

And the words that are used
For to get the ship confused
Will not be understood as they’re spoken
For the chains of the sea
Will have busted in the night
And will be buried at the bottom of the ocean

A song will lift
As the mainsail shifts
And the boat drifts on to the shoreline
And the sun will respect
Every face on the deck
The hour that the ship comes in

Then the sands will roll
Out a carpet of gold
For your weary toes to be a-touchin’
And the ship’s wise men
Will remind you once again
That the whole wide world is watchin’

Oh the foes will rise
With the sleep still in their eyes
And they’ll jerk from their beds and think they’re dreamin’
But they’ll pinch themselves and squeal
And know that it’s for real
The hour when the ship comes in

Then they’ll raise their hands
Sayin’ we’ll meet all your demands
But we’ll shout from the bow your days are numbered
And like Pharoah’s tribe
They’ll be drownded in the tide
And like Goliath, they’ll be conquered


Wednesday, October 5, 2016

A Mark Twain Poem

Poem To Margaret

Be good, be good, be always good,
And now & then be clever,
But don’t you ever be too good,
Nor ever be too clever;

For such as be too awful good
They awful lonely are,
And such as often clever be
Get cut & stung & trodden on by persons of lesser mental capacity, for this kind do by a law of their construction regard exhibitions of superior intellectuality as an offensive impertinence leveled at their lack of this high gift, & are prompt to resent such-like exhibitions in the manner above indicated — & are they justifiable? Alas, alas they

(It is not best to go on; I think the line is already longer than it ought to be for real true poetry.)

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

POEM: "For Good"

For Good

                      “One hundred and fifty thousand people die every day,” he continues. 
                       “And a lot of them have dinner plans.” 
                            Anthony Martin, Escape Artist

                         So, teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. 
                              Psalms 90:12

Be it counsel against hating
the strong and clean and good
sunlight words with promise
admits our blood covers it all
and everyday shows us pain
it's rotten and it's desperate
can't be fixed, will never work
we die because there is no choice
we live to spite there is so little
teach us to number our moons
by the fine beeswarming of night
we'll figure it out, cost us nearly nothing
study evil till there's evil no more

© 2016 Rob Schackne

Monday, October 3, 2016

POEM: "Fake, The Original"

Fake, The Original

Glut of magnificent forgeries
Duped experts adding value
Originals tired of being one-offs
The field looked very strong
Favourites given strange odds
On the home stretch all is silent
Punters tear up their forms
No one wins back the farm
With a forged betting slip
Canned music in the street
Sunset reproduced on the news
This poem is already written
In a hundred identical ways
This conversation has a used air
Sorry the subject is second-hand
Clearly I failed in originality
I only paint what I see, my dear
Just come to me now and tell me
Everything good will be copied.

© 2016 Rob Schackne

Saturday, October 1, 2016

POEM: "Short Notes On A Disappearing Act"

Short Notes On A Disappearing Act
                          for Robbie Verdon

Anonymize yourself
to the last green light
quiet till last call
in a muted sunset

Anonymize yourself
to darkness and temor
the invisibility
waits in the mirror

Anonymize yourself
to the stairs of death
when the night is over
whisper it all away.

© 2016 Rob Schackne

Painting: Mark Rothko