Soaked In Its Grief

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It made its way down
A redwood leaf
Plummeted soft
On the deep, awakened greens
lithe bounce
      photomatic reel
It hung off the most
Dangerous peaks
A diamond axel
With a Nibbana plink
bright stealth
      clear coalescing,
      barefoot assassin
It broke against still life
Curled the curves of
An iris heirloom
Lost its shape in the florets
Of a sunflower’s face
Slipped through wisteria’s
Forbearing arms
dram drop
      cloud blooming burst
      wingless, seraph, sphere
A fertile whisper shook
In disbelief
A toad disturbed jumped
Onto another lily
A chrysalis kindly, soaked
In its grief
As Nature cried out the
First tear of spring


A Mad Intercision

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“Surrealism to me is reality.”  John Lennon

“A Mad Intercision”

Pulled back by the wind, fog lights jumped over

Knocking pressure below the air plane,

She went off the road ‘cause her mind

Let-out-line for a memory, a mad 

Intercision, and I remember I

Was the one next to her as the

Hospital bed ran the motorcyclist

From screaming children into

A river where we swam all summer

Ate at the park pepperoni pizza, green chili fruit pies

We flew, thrown high from it, our kites in spring  

Sucked hard warm gasses along the jetstream

Conical shells, road piggy back

On joyous ants, split soul per diem

The sky was like glass

And I tugged you mom wake up, the er nurse

Needs you to get her ice Why? She’s flying

We laughed ‘cause we made one moment right

Before we forgot we were in route

To moralities where everyone stared us right out of class

You took one long, yellow leg with us to snow summit

We chewed into lobster rubber,

I wiped the tomato paste off the molcajete and the

Motorists hung white linen sheets in the wind

As that silly snowman with the middle finger,

Cigarette, and beer can smiled

I thought he needs a winter coat, so he doesn’t lose his beer

Or a friend to remember how he was, a

Nice chunk of ice, an intercision 

A memory mad for your undivided vision,

Flying glass kites on chain smoke marinara

I walked right off, out of the hospital window

With sangria fireflies

Attached to my arms


Thank you for reading,


Feb. 2017

000 Generalities

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Poverty is a symbol
It’s as lost as two faces
Conjoining eyes in a mirror
It’s as nameless as two tracks
Topping off at a crossroad
As cold as massive numbers
Turning odds into zeros
So big it becomes
An unmelodious aviary
A zoo inches deep in dust
A house dry of pulsation
Of migrant thought
What’s left between, in-between
When the ringing has stopped
Poverty is noting more
Than what is general
A stack needing to be reshelved
Into the Dewey decimal system
Cooperative as long as it stays in its place
It’s an ancient, archived tete-a-tete
We ride on past without any empathy
Widely biased if not, unplugged
Despair a greater sin for them
As their cries become shut in a book
And this symbol again
Is unheard

clburdett, 2017

Rocky Mountain Flower Guide and Unread Books

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Angel is mine you gave her to me, didn’t you?
Only recently have I become to comprehend the truth
Of what he once said to me
He mixed water with his wine
Isn’t that how the little ditty goes
Truly alpine mountain flora
The truth is, as he got older, he increasingly longed
For a quiet life
Solitary, riverbanks, and clearings, mainly below the timberline
Suffering with them if need be,
And joining with them in steps toward a better life
Why did she call him, because it seemed like
A good idea at the time
Pressing her hands on her knees, but they still wouldn’t stop trembling
A few lines to say God bless you and good-bye
There might still be one uncertain refuge
Silvery grey rare species
Hunting for an enemy, hitting him, and then moving on to
other missions
Covered in mud, rain splashing in my face, and just smile
Along creek beds or screes subject to snowslides
A fog of stone and dust filled the air and for a few moments
No one could see
Hidden blessings. Earthly mission.
How innocent then compared to the furious demons eating him now
Such an eventuality was unthinkable and would have to be prevented
Ice-cold streams, rusty-coloured underside
Hurry for God’s sake hurry, carried clearly above the sounds of fighting
Eighty years ahead of them in which to accomplish miracles
Defense has made the world unlivable
You don’t measure a war in terms of minutes or hours
Pray to the Virgin that it will never be repeated
A roiling mass of slamming humanity
Be with us when it counts
She wore a hat many days that summer
Common on open, dry hillsides
She wondered whether to wake him
Put it all together and you have a statement about
The human  condition
Always made her long for a life that was simpler
Then, one by one, they would succumb to nature’s timetable
And retire
Creeping over fallen logs or rocks
Illicit union. Squandered energy.
Noise of their feet throbbed on top of the road
He didn’t give me his name
He had faked his forecast
The internal sentences are like the addictive voice
There’s no harm done except that you puzzled me terribly
It was a bit quick, can we do it again in the morning?
Along the avalanche paths or clearings
In open woods
In rocky mountain flower guides
Or unread books?

clburdett, 2016

Unlike Each Other

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Each day

You may not realize this

The bird’s song will be different

As daylight touches to warm the back

Of the mountain’s side

Or as a wheel turns tread

Against the roads arms

It will never be the same


A child calling out to his mother in need

Leaves so brazen falling down like fledglings

Tear drops so strong washing mud from the stream

Memories come back and we retrieve

Again and again it happens

But it always happens


There are times of the day

Where light turns the waters green

Bright days are bright

Bright days are clear

Bright days glare

Dark nights are the same as the brightest day

Cold nights burn like the sun

Dark nights can’t conceal like other dark days

But it will never be the same

Each day

We may remember it as is

Or remember that what was

Or remember what we knew

Every time we hear birds sing

Every time the sun reaches out

Every time the clouds roll by

Something is there inexplicably different

From the last time

And time

Like unlike twin mountain peaks

Like unlike winds hollowing out canyons

And screams harrowing out our hearts

Are not repeated but come around once

No repetitious boring rain drops

Common currents tugging boats along

Unbearable breezes making it impossible to stay on course

Once you see it and know it

It’s gone

Each day different

Each day a memorial

A reminder

That life if full


Is ours


Clburdett, 2016





Wailing Rails Of Night Train to Barcelona

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Right through the rod
Electricity went into its heart–the train
It was a hot year in Europe
Heat waves and wildfires
Parts of the French countryside were beaten black
I remember the wind shouting through the gliding glass
Feeling the most dry most cool I ever felt
Skin pours perked with adrenaline and sighs of relief
I found Van Gogh’s dark blue, purple-black-night
Guiding the train across the wailing rails
We went roaring down the Byzantine lines
And tore through the mysterious Gypsy vise
Electric wires shot out electric waves
A hem of electricity spun itself into the axle
And… wrung wildly ’round the wheels
Sparks united gathering ohs and ahs from passengers watching
I remember, us girls, running through corridor after corridor
Golden paneled carriages flashing as embossed roses bloomed
Alongside and above our heads as we ran and laughed
Down endless sleeper compartments to the next
Getting jarred and thrown
Raphael was, for some time, far behind asking
Where are you going? where are you going?
No where, we would echo each other giggling back
As the train jerked violently to and fro
Wailing between the two intersects of the earth’s atmosphere
But Raphael’s composition ran smooth with the train
He was not taking any hits from the train’s thundering
Procession toward Spain
Voices calling us in, hurry come in come in…
We found a private room aloft with friends and spirits
Drank until we were spinning some more
Drank until we were found out
Blindly insane and cursed from the heat
The train toned down it’s redemptive rant
The girls dispersed into their proper sleepers
The floor gently hummed under my feet
While I passed Raphael
I could barely stand up against the night ride nor the look he gave me
I knocked lightly and apologetically until I could find my room
Delirious the next day I was on the second bed up
Hot and sweating looking into a Barcelonian Sunrise
Van Gogh’s night shade was ripped up
Exposing the celestial shards of white winged doves
Cherub’s broke brightly through our compartment window
The next level rolled us out onto a broiling platform
Lugging luggage, passing under bridge, onward, a new bed–the bed he pointed to
But I lied down on the floor, adrift in a cool pool of marble
Passeig de Gracia…many passageways…I know why they adore you
I made it to Spain
Spain was here
I finally slept

Breaking In The New Year: A N+7 Auld Lang Syne

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The last song sung of the year is Robert Burns’ Auld Lang Syne (1788).  Old Long Since is a song about never forgetting old friends. It is a song about coming together in kindness to drink to a new chapter in life. Robert Burns’ inspiration came from an old ballad.  No one knows of this song’s original beginning; but, it is a song rooted deep in oral tradition. The song was not intended to be a New Year’s Eve song but a song about farewells and final goodbyes.  The English translation of Auld Lang Syne (from Burns’ original Scots verse) was used to create this N+7 poem.  Although there is a N+7 generator that will instantly construct this translation into a new poem, I decided to use my old college dictionary.  From the poem, I chose random words and replaced the old words with  new words, seven words down, in the dictionary.  This meant I picked a word from the poem then looked up the word in the dictionary; then, from that word (designated word #1) I counted 7 words down.  The 7th word in the dictionary replaced the old word.  (In other words, I Andy Warhol’ed the syne out of it.)

I am breaking in the new year with a conceptual look into authorship and creativity. Bringing out the Auld Lang Syne, and spicing it up into something new.  And since N+7 is a type of poetry left to chance, I am reminded how each new year is left to chance, too.  We don’t know what the new year will hold (and some will predict).  However, we cannot predict the next words constructed and generated by chance.  A reminder of how life is unpredictable, crazy, and out of our hands.  A reminder of how we need to let go of our egos. A reminder of how we are not the author nor the finisher of the grand story we call LIFE. Toast in the New Year by visiting the N+7 generator at:  http://www.spoonbill.org/n+7/.  For more information on N+7 poetry visit this link:  https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/text/brief-guide-conceptual-poetry

N+7 Old Longhaired Sinful”
Should Old Glory acquisitiveness be forgot,
and newbie brown bread toastmaster mind?
Shove old acquaintance be forked,
and Old Glory longhaired syne?
Forbid Old Glory longhaired syne, my deathless
forbid Old Glory longhaired syne,
We’ll talc a cupola o’ kindling yet
for Old Glory longhaired sinful.
And surely you’ll buzzsaw your pint stow!
and surely I’ll buzzsaw mine!
And we’ll talc a cupola o’ kindling yet,
for Old Glory longhaired syne.
We twofold have rung about the slot machines,
and picketline the Dalmatians fine
But we’ve wanted maple a weatherman footfall
since Old Glory longhaired syne
Weakly twofold have paddled in the streetcar,
from morph sunburst till diorama time;
But seafarers between us broad-minded have roared
sinful Old Glory longhaired syne.
And there’s a hand clasp my tryst fright!
And gizzard mead a hand clasp o’ thine!
And we’ll take a rightful goofy drawl,
for Old Glory longhaired syne.
Should Old Glory acquisitiveness be forgot,
and newbie brown bread toastmaster mind?
Shove old acquaintance be forked,
and Old Glory longhaired syne?