Monday, February 9, 2009


I didn't age well in my mid-fifties. I was diagnosed with a golfball-sized tumor inside my heart that had to come out. Week in hospital. After I got home I wrote some poems. Recently, I wrote to my dear friend, Will, with whom I shared them at the time:

"... I've been thinking of posting the ten or eleven poems I wrote a couple years ago --and may still be in your files-- while convalescing from open heart surgery --series I called the "Invalid's Workshop" after a Strauss sonatina of that name. But whenever I've tried to look back over them I remember all the pain and fear. So I usually put it off. I know I've got to go back and finish that bit of personal progress someday. Perhaps that will be today, or tomorrow --who knows? I only know I shall be better for it when I do bring myself to do it. Thing about poetry is it contains moments, you read poems and there those moments are, undiluted. It's not like memory, which allows original emotional charge to erode. "

To which, Will replied, " I can only agree with both points you make, as I see them: that quality of poetry that makes it crystalize the moment and its healing power."

And so it was his reference to "healing power" prompted me to post the poems now. I had much to heal from and perhaps this entry will help others. My own experience thrust me into a frenzy of healing --compared to my custom of not rushing things-- and sent me home weak, dopey, heart patched with bovine tissue and a new electronic ignition system. My chest looked like I flunked machete-juggling. That was three years ago and I feel better already.

I consider it a pilgimage. Over this introduction I will post whatever else bears upon the subject in the future.
Sat, Mar 25, 2006 #1:

Patterns remembered in hands,
Fish, ice, from fragments
Over instinct:
Patterns inform as we devise.
Comfortable old skills
Practiced as healing gods
Practiced, knowing good and
Evil --untouched by either--
Rain stars onto soil.
We, by brain and
Toil, learn navigation
Turning bottled ships,
Foretops set with lenses,
Out upon the light;
Likewise leave our
Solvents, springs
And levers for the night.

Sat, Mar 25, 2006, #2:

Bit of rust speaks:
Is it? Is it?
Is it important
How we feel
At this journal
Of the Persian wheel?
A squeak:
Observer rimmed
In buckets, undershot,
Climbs round to
The observed,
Like a noria lifting
Water from a stream,
Is it? It is.

Sun, Mar 26, 2006, #3:

I have built a
Little clockwork tree
That climbs itself
Into the sky and
Comes free, which
Amuses children
And would make
A fine gift, but
Each one gets
Away from me.

Mar 26, 2006,#4:

Counter brush swept
Over an empty bench
Demonstrates values
Based upon variables.
Am I so familiar with
The miracle I could lose
Arc after arc in dust
And ruin it with tidiness?
What if I woke up, and
Went for a cup of coffee
But instead of me
I was a colony of old
Dusty men? What
Would I do and how
Would I like it then?

Mon, Mar 27, 2006, #5:

Mad scientist framing
A mirror, an enchanted
Object: It's alive,
Solid assembled
Of things imagined,
Dreams born into
Moment and life
Encompass content,
Bloom and claim
Seasons. Here
We hopeful monsters
Stir round newly beating
Hearts, climb from
Our ditches, let farts,
Reclaim reason and
From reflection
Fulminate at

Tue, Mar 28, 2006,#6:

Clamped in the bench vice,
A moment of sand.
Sand added and drawn away.
A grain, a shore, you,
Me, time
And time collapses
Sliding back into the sea.
Shape educed
In tide, events, gravity,
I ruin my saw on it!
A shore that thinks
On a shore thought
Is not further divisible,
Can't be reduced.

Tue, Mar 28, 2006, #7:

Carving by spinthariscope
A monument on the head
Of a pin to my great uncle
Joey --b. 1864, small and bald.
Got smaller, balder til last
Detected a century later.
A good likeness: Little,
Down to brittle bones
In blue-veined wax between
Enormous ears. When
Ninety years old he began
Visiting my childhood and
Always had a big happy
Whore with him.
Under the lens a scintilla
Drifts from pinpoint
To fluoresce in time.
Oh! Laughter? Joey?

Wed, Mar 29, 2006, #8:

I clean a silver clock
Tarnished with worry,
Things to see to, blunders,
Hurried duties, and find
That distinctive, cool
Brightness under,
Reset its hands.
It happens easily,
Usually at three:
One sees silver hair,
Someone seated
A certain way in a
Chair, alert, ready,
Honest, behind a
Silver tea tray and
One falls in love.

Thu, Mar 30, 2006, #9:

Springtime now
And now wants me
Outdoors in a series
Of incantations,
Each gathered to
Urgent night as
Light touches other
Worlds, grows there
Where it fled
Inflating plumes,
Dismantled roses.
Each day longer
Lodges in hedgetops
Where, when I am
Stronger, I will
Trim away the
Winter light.

Thu, Mar 30, 2006,#10:

A movement in
Repairs complete.
I have been adjusted--
A cog escapement to
Meter tremendous
Operations in moonlit
Fog, rising at its
Certain rate in
Tendrils waiting sun.
To the pallid field
Color returns.
One learns the invalid
Is valid and his
Handiwork is done.

Thu, Mar 30, 2006, Redux:

Just back from
Pumphouse to
Check on the invalid.
Bench piled with junk.
Litter everywhere,
Bandages shed
Between empty slippers.
He wasn't there.
I know his
Pottering got me to
A new plateau,
But I'm not sad
To see him go.
Just wish he'd put
Things away first.


  1. Hi Geo.~

    I like this latest beginning of yours. The invalid and the gardener are two sides of the wounded healer, as you know. I think you know, also, we're both Year of the Ox guys, so this is a sterling year for expression. And my Libra-Scorpio cuspie self admires your Sagittarian thrust(s). I am happy to be your first follower on this site, and I will be reading (and in some cases re-reading your pieces here).

    However, it's 8:18 p.m. and I just came home from seeing "Waltz with Bashir" which I highly recommend. So tomorrow beckons.


  2. Geo your poetry is beauty. Have you published?

  3. Thanks Austan. Most kind. Used to publish poetry in late '60s thru '70s but haven't since. However, I'm new at this retirement thing so who knows?

  4. Thanks Geo for sharing this introduction.

    I have had people telling me that behind every great poet there is some sort of pain or painful experience. You had it too -- quite literally!

    I hope you are fully fine now??

    1. Thank you for comparing me to "great poet(s)" --if somewhat inaccurately. Yes, I am fine now and writing helps keep me that way.

  5. Something about the rythym and some of the words you use reminds me of a Jack Johnson song I like a lot. "Shot Reverse Shot". Can you believe it's been almost 11 years since your operation? I'm glad you are still writing/publishing your poems. You are one of the most unique bloggers i've come across. Not sure how it is so possible to be so fond of people I've never actually met, but I am fond of you and your poems and your Norma photos and all of the things you write. I feel that way about several bloggers. I'd like to invite you all to my house for a barbecue. Sort of like Burning Man only in my backyard with several thousand fewer people. Ok, nothing llke Burning Man. Just a barbecue. I get grandiose sometimes.

    1. Dear Chicken, thank you for time-traveling back here to comment so generously. I would love to attend your barbecue. The fondness you mention is mutual.

  6. Hi, friend Geo … cat here … Yes, I finally made it here to your 2009 post … smiles … but only because my very first broken bone ever needs time to heal … Your poems are precious … Life is a precious and fragile thing … You are precious … I thank you … Love, cat.

    1. Hi Cat! Life is indeed precious and I'm learning again how fragile it is. Thanks for coming back here to '09 with encouragement. Hope your broken bone heals on schedule (about 6 weeks?). Love, Geo.


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