Saturday, August 31, 2013

Off The Shelf Archives~August

Most of us active in the world of internet poetry have probably heard by now that the celebrated Irish poet and 1995 Nobel Laureate, Seamus Heaney, passed on Friday, August 30, 2013, at the age of 74.

Mr. Heaney has appeared on my Off The Shelf page previously, but I have chosen another one of his poems to remember him by for this next month, Personal Helicon.

This link to the NYTimes gives a full obituary and biography for those interested.

You can find his poem here, in the Off The Shelf archives.


As always, here is a last look at the previous Off the Shelf selection, some songs from The Tempest, by William Shakespeare:

Some Songs
from The Tempest, by William Shakespeare

Our Revels Now Are Ended 
Our revels now are ended. These our actors,
As I foretold you, were all spirits and
Are melted into air, into thin air:
And, like the baseless fabric of this vision,
The cloud-capp'd towers, the gorgeous palaces,
The solemn temples, the great globe itself,
Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve
And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,
Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff
As dreams are made on, and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep.
( ~Prospero)

Ariel's Songs

Come unto these yellow sands,
   And then take hands:
Curtsied when you have, and kissed
   The wild waves whist,
Foot it featly here and there;
And, sweet sprites, the burden bear.
   Hark, hark!
      Bow, wow
   The watch-dogs bark,
      Bow, wow,
   Hark, hark! I hear
The strain of strutting Chanticleer
Cry, Cock-a-diddle-dow.

Full fathom five thy father lies;
   Of his bones are coral made;
Those are pearls that were his eyes:
   Nothing of him that doth fade,
But doth suffer a sea-change
Into something rich and strange:
Sea nymphs hourly ring his knell.
   Hark! now I hear them,
                    Ding-dong, bell!

Where the bee sucks, there suck I,
In a cowslip's bell I lie,
There I couch when owls do cry,
On the bat's back I do fly
After summer merrily
Merrily, merrily, shall I live now
Under the blossom that hangs on the bough.

Image: Miranda, by John William Waterhouse
Public Domain, via

Thursday, August 29, 2013

The Rest

The Rest

There's been too much burn,
greasy gossip
on minty tongues,

steel-bar troths
of drifting down.
You bent, picked me up.

No one does that;
not since I sat bawling
over falling

(and then 
only to shake me 

till I stopped)
Carried eyelid to eye
like this

somehow a person
might finally believe
the rest.

~August 2013

55 wooden alphabet blocks for      the g-man

Image: Eyelid to Eye, © joyannjones 2013

Wednesday, August 28, 2013



From the remembered
master singer sea,
seven songs came curling
waved up because I believed,
more cryptic than the
real calypso of crickets
under the redpepper moon that climbs
my cloud-fancy sky;

seven songs from seven sea birds,
thrusting their celebratory bitchery
at me, ruffling rapidly in the air
just past the precipice, cawing
the broken bang of dead souls
These birds I only imagined out
from a sodden souffle

of raw ingredients best not examined.
aren't much, really; a simple glare
over water, minimally assembled for
day after day of diving, flying, gorging
on whatever  floats or falls. Useless to leverage that
extra torment into their gut-grinding
croaks, or into the monstrous surf, or even
the slide-cracking bite of the sideways crabs.

The house of the heart must be quieted, opened up,
cleaned with delicate scavenger pincers, no
recalcitrant strands left clinging, its chambers
made hollow as empty carriages
passing in fog in a book,
until seven songs and more
ride the pandemonium wind,
the drumbeat of gull wings forgotten.

~August 2013

posted for     real toads
Challenge: Get Listed--of Catnip and Moons
The enterprising and original Timothy Schaefer provides today's word list, which was abnormally enticing to my backwards muse, so here is the result. For the exact words see the above link. I've used most of them, I think. Timo blogs at Catnip, and has recently put together a book of his unique prose and poetry called Darwin's Moon, which I gratefully own and heartily recommend.

Image: The Rookery, by Jamie Wyeth, 1977
This image may be protected by copyright. All rights belong to the copyright holders.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Brown Light

Brown Light

light, crunching
in a kiss
filling this lantern night, is
what the deer and I wear to dance.

a plan
of sea blue
for all my nights, indigo 
dark, where drowning was dancing without any moon

sugar light
made a sweeter
shine, made me a dancer
a fiddler, fawn's flower, a flyer, a dream.

~August 2013

A string of  Fibonaccis for   real toads
covering both
 Margaret's 'Stillness, Silence, Solitude' Challenge and the Weekend Mini-Challenge on the terribly addictive Fibonacci form

Image: Ralph Albert Blakelock (1847-1919)  "Solitude" (detail)  

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Singing The Cuttlefish

Singing The Cuttlefish


From the green seagrass
I learned to sway light,
tattoo canticles of blue
to move standing still
so life stands still with me,
primeval, mud-
 knowing but suddenly

 unable to fear.

Who really sees
in the short sharpened time
between hatch,
heat and shred
to seabed
except the ones
who long for me to

55 psychedelic cephalopods for    the g-man


with darkness
ink  my skin
with ripples, camouflage cuttlefish shadow
stripes to flicker me frightening, wrong; fatality focused.
Shine the lost light to find me here
exposed on the lavarock naked
waiting for what
will never

~August 2013

A Fibonnaci poem, posted early for this weekend's mini-challenge at
 real toads

Optional Viewing Accompaniment

You can read  more about Sepia apama, the giant cuttlefish, here at wikipedia