art music poetry #81

Pelican at take-off with Chick

Pelican at take-off with Chick

Tang Quest I – V

Red morning wind kicks
leaves over vegetable cage.
Felled white oak patiently
absorbs blade after blade.

Chunked wood magically
stacks upon self, against mud.
Sawdust darkens. Winter rain
slows work, allows love time.

Pond refills, frightened turtle
relaxes. Cool December water
welcomes geese and herons
to rolling clay-built hills.

Man and woman join; new
child cries, coos, sleeps.
Six point buck stops, observes,
moves slowly out of view.

Fog lifts, sun creeps past
logs, warms three thousand
trees, sixty moons past white
buffalo’s birth. Bonus time.


Colorful turkeys gather
under lit moon; feathers
diffract beams to cedars
lined, two rows; historical
trees whose dead branches
dangle predictions at pond’s
edge. Three run to flight,
circle, drop back, contrive,
spread; anticipate coming of
spring. Winter rain cuts fog.
Hilltop oaks sparkle when
wind pushes limbs through
ethereal mist sent down to
visit this New year’s Eve.


Hair-bellied bull
stands. Dainty tied-foot
girl spreads parasol.
Protrusion emerges from
hair; pillow placed,
fantasy or farm boy
hovers, slogs. Heavy
mud slows progress.
Results equal effort:
parasol quivers, wind
stiffens, girl rolls, wakes
inner spirit, follows
heart-made trail
to pastoral life.


Respected grandfather ties
green maple branches,
nails joints, rakes
leaves onto compost,
works tools vigorously,
reads after dinner,
speaks less than one
paragraph per day.
He is bent over:
seventy-eight years
translating, teaching, gardening.
Happiness, not out of reach,
but produced by
simple living.


Watching ladybugs,
tuning to zen movement,
could transform one
overindulged son-in-law.
First he must learn to
separate men’s and women’s
tasks, no easy lesson
for western man.

2 thoughts on “art music poetry #81

  1. Love the blog, Doug, and I have much to learn about blogging from you, not the least of which is energy and enthusiasm! Regarding the Buckinghams . . . I saw them perform at Hamilton Lake (Indiana) arena. “Arena” is a bit of a euphemism for this place–basically a 1930s music hall for dancing. They showed up on a hot, sweaty night, in heavy woolen, double-breasted suits and Beatles’ bangs for a two hour concert. And yes, they played “Kind of a Drag.” Somebody kept bugging the lead singer to play a blues tune. He finally admitted on stage that they didn’t know any blues (what was the guy thinking, anyway? The Buckinghams and the blues? Seriously?) but they’d try something as close as they could come up with. That was in the days before bands were tightly managed and would never think of playing requests, let alone requests in musical styles they knew nothing about. Loved it, obviously.

    • In Rochester bands kept showing up when I was young. I rode a bicycle 70 miles to see the Allman Brothers, and was treated to a four day concert known as Watkins Glen. That was the biggest surprise ever. Also to my frantic parents as I arrived home four days late.

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