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



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Maybe it didn’t make sense on the battlefield
Maybe it didn’t make sense leaving Utah for gold
It may not have been the purpose-driven-life of a religion
But a ridden-hard-life that surrendered its soul
Too run down to make sense, aimless
It was a threat back then
It was a force called youth
Calling high and loud “willful,” “determined,” and sometimes vindicated
Made many joyous and many jealous of that youthful stole
A journey with so many directions we can only go down once
But a purpose driven life doesn’t speak of failure
Fuels a marionette dancing out of control
Maybe it was left somewhere you don’t remember
Maybe it was a lesson but gawd lessons are so wrong
Maybe it’s still a spiritual journey that hasn’t yet ended
Moving on makes sense, aimless
I can believe it may still happen, but so can death
I can see where it may be a problem
Insanity hates the bench
It never did seem right then…
You think of the winds foiling towards nothing
All fearless, reckless
A hound on the scent confused, beset
A little more sugar for all those gawd awful lemons
It was a threat cause it was all potential then
Maybe they’re still out there holding a place for you
Maybe a place of redemption a Bermuda Triangle twist
It may be that getting on with one’s life
Really has no point to it
And if you get there it’s not desire nor intent
It just is, aimless

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





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?


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I failed to see beauty, utmost
Turned into an image, beaten down
Fleeing from my growing back
A monstrous hump was formed
I turned into a statistic, a run down Motel where
You lift the bed and bring your own sheets
I turned into a statistic,
Cloaked in deranged pity
And my soul awoke one day, found my
Body bleeding under a pillow case
My soul wasted no time on me
My soul didn’t pair well with my
Memories that turned me into
The most heinous, biggest ball of
Guilt there ever was
Defaced by an untamed scratch
Defaced by a tongue needing to cool
And all around me were strings
Getting pulled

Clburdett, 2015





Pedal Pushing

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When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race. ~H.G. Wells

It’s a bike up hill
Rising in your seat
And sweaty
It’s cotton candy
Fluffed up in humidity
It’s an early wake up call
A rule of the road–
Don’t predict the weather
Don’t underestimate the road

It’s a friend who believes
Your voice dictates your internal pain
It’s a bookcase filled with books
Waiting to be shared or read again
It’s an unknown source of grievance
Another rule of the road–
Don’t predict pain
It’s unpredictable

It’s rod iron thrusting
Out life and sweating to
Get to the top of
Another top to get to
Total pedal to the metal
And enjoying
And weeping and finally
Praying to get you there
Oh God Oh God Oh God!
It makes you believe again
More rules of the road–
Our spirit is unpredictable

Rules of the road
With a little wind advisory–
Keep it light; hills are steep
You’re not in a rocket ship
So don’t count on relativity
You’re not a time traveler
You’re a real human being
On the bike of life
Pedal pushing

Clburdett,  2015

continue reading…


A Bend of Magic

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“I must have flowers, always, and always.” Claude Monet

“A Bend of Magic”

Stirred by sound and the unsettled pond

A lotus took one look at itself for the first time

How it knew of its own reflection is a deeper

Mystery locked beneath the changeless mire

In-between the whispers of heather and tangled in the

Lost voices of the moors

The lotus leaned into this steel bend of magic

And for the first time, fell in love

Where did it come from? What does it feel?

As alien as its own wan inhabitance

Burning bright, but cool to the touch

So much different from the shallow, muddy waters

So much different from the small, cold drops of rain

Lifting the burden of foul dragonflies and

Persnickety finches

The lotus, under the sun’s mysterial gaze, shivered

It smiled and liked what it saw

The moon must have fell down from the sky!

It did not take an eternity, here, lying

Quite heavily, its last beam, reaching out

While, all around, the water lilies breathed out a sighing scent

The lotus began to hum, pulling the young bees away from

Their pollinating and stilling the waters…

The reality was that the moon was a spoon

How it got there, no one would care to solve

Could have fell off a picnic table

Could have bounced off a dump truck

Nobody would be searching for it now

Now that it was found

In a sublime turn, of events


clburdett 2015