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Poetry Update – Photobucket and Teeth From The Tiger
10/18/2018 12:46 a.m.

Poetry Update – Photobucket and Teeth From The Tiger

I’ve given myself an early birthday present, and decided to bite the bullet as per Photobucket for their photo hosting services. They finally made me an offer I couldn’t refuse, and so I’ve signed on for a year’s subscription at just under Cdn$100/annually. Without getting too technical and long winded, this will enable me to once again marry photos and graphics to my poems at Pathetic.org. The service was originally offered for free, then without warning, Photobucket started charging a ridiculous amount of money, affordable mainly to companies that could easily write it off as a business expense, but left individual artists like myself in the lurch. I complained bitterly, as I’m sure others did too, and it wasn’t long before Photobucket came around and righted the wrong, so to speak. The exercise was actually good, as it showed me that my work could stand alone without being supported by visuals. None the less, some poems just look so much better when paired with photos…especially my own.

Meanwhile, work continues at a snail’s pace on my first ‘selected poems’ book, Teeth From The Tiger. Kind of a greatest hits of some of my best work, based on experience and the feedback of others. The poems (between 30-35) have been selected, and now the next step is to choose fonts and any accompanying graphics. Cousin/Photographer, Michael Cummings, has been kind enough to provide a great Tiger photo for the cover. The reason progress has been slow is that I still have a wealth of older material that has to be inputted and brought up to scratch. I now consider these to be good first drafts. The majority need work, some more than others. Couple this with my photo projects, I have to be careful dividing my time and energy, pacing myself without losing the passion for either or both. Apart from social media and a few friendships in the real world, the poetry and photography are what keep me sane in what seems an ever-crazier world.

 photo Tiger by Michael Cummings.jpg

I am currently Calm
I am listening to The Gorillas

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ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) Poem
09/21/2018 02:32 p.m.

Although I have never been officially diagnosed, since early childhood I have displayed and suffered from all the symptoms. It was only with the miracle of the Internet, that I was able to research and confirm my suspicions. 60 Minutes recently did a segment on ADHD, which doubly confirmed my situation.

Below is a poem I recently came across on Facebook, and was blown away at how well it described me. Although I’ve written my own ADHD piece (in Connecting The Dots), I really like how Take my hand takes a completely different route in describing the disorder.

Take my hand

Take my hand and come with me,
I want to teach you about ADHD.
I need you to know, I want to explain,
I have a very different brain.
Sights, sounds, and thoughts collide.
What to do first? I can't decide.
Please understand I'm not to blame,
I just can't process things the same.
Take my hand and walk with me,
Let me show you about ADHD.

I try to behave, I want to be good,
But I sometimes forget to do as I should.
Walk with me and wear my shoes,
You'll see its not the way I'd choose.
I do know what I'm supposed to do,
But my brain is slow getting the message through.
Take my hand and talk with me,
I want to tell you about ADHD.

I rarely think before I talk,
I often run when I should walk.
It's hard to get my school work done,
My thoughts are outside having fun.
I never know just where to start,
I think with my feelings and see with my heart.
Take my hand and stand by me,
I need you to know about ADHD.

It's hard to explain but I want you to know,
I can't help letting my feelings show.
Sometimes I'm angry, jealous, or sad.
I feel overwhelmed, frustrated, and mad.
I can't concentrate and I lose all my stuff.
I try really hard but it's never enough.
Take my hand and learn with me,
We need to know more about ADHD.

I worry a lot about getting things wrong,
Everything I do takes twice as long.
Everyday is exhausting for me...
Looking through the fog of ADHD.

I'm often so misunderstood,
I would change in a heartbeat if I could.
Take my hand and listen to me,
I want to share a secret about ADHD.

I want you to know there is more to me.
I'm not defined by it, you see.
I'm sensitive, kind and lots of fun.
I'm blamed for things I haven't done.
I'm the loyalist friend you'll ever know,
I just need a chance to let it show.
Take my hand and look at me,
Just forget about the ADHD.

I have real feelings just like you.
The love in my heart is just as true.
I may have a brain that can never rest,
But please understand I'm trying my best.
I want you to know, I need you to see,
I'm more than the label, I am still me!!!!

Author Unknown

Copy and paste this as your status if you know someone with A.D.H.D. or know the struggle yourself. When people tell you it's an excuse just read them this!

I am currently Calm
I am listening to Talk Radio

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Outside Influences – The Go-Go’s – Our Lips Are Sealed
09/04/2018 09:22 p.m.

Due to recent family problems, and contemplating how to respond to them, the below song soon came to mind. From the Go-Go’s album, Beauty and the Beat, released in 1981, it’s an excellent example of simple poetry put to music. I have the LP version, and every song on it is great IMHO.

Our Lips Are Sealed

Can you hear them?
They talk about us
Telling lies
Well, that's no surprise

Can you see them?
See right through them
They have no shield
No secrets to reveal

It doesn't matter what they say
In the jealous games people play
Our lips are sealed

There's a weapon
That we must use
In our defense
Silence reveals

When you look at them
Look right through them
That's when they'll disappear
That's when we'll be feared

It doesn't matter what they say
In the jealous games people play
Our lips are sealed

Pay no mind to what they say
It doesn't matter anyway
Our lips are sealed

Hush, my darling
Don't you cry
Quiet, angel
Forget their lies

Can you hear them?
They talk about us
Telling lies

© 1981 The Go-Go’s

I am currently Calm
I am listening to The AC

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02/07/2018 05:45 p.m.


At age 4 success is not peeing in your pants
At age 12 success is having friends
At age 16 success is having a driver’s licence
At age 20 success is having sex
At age 35 success is having money
At age 50 success is having money
At age 60 success is having sex
At age 70 success is having a driver’s licence
At age 75 success is having friends
At age 80 success is not peeing in your pants

- Author Unknown

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Outside Influences - Irving Layton - The Cold Green Element
10/23/2017 02:15 a.m.

The Cold Green Element

At the end of the garden walk
the wind and its satellite wait for me;
their meaning I will not know
        until I go there,
but the black-hatted undertaker

who, passing, saw my heart beating in the grass,
is also going there. Hi, I tell him,
a great squall in the Pacific blew a dead poet
        out of the water,
who now hangs at the city gates.

Crowds depart daily to see it, and return
with grimaces and incomprehension;
if its limbs twitched in the air
        they would sit at its feet
peeling their oranges.

And turning over I embrace like a lover
the trunk of a tree, one of those
for whom the lightning was too much
        and grew a brilliant
hunchback with a crown of leaves.

The ailments escaped from the labels
of medicine bottles and all fled to the wind;
I've seen myself lately in the eyes
        of old women,
spent streams mourning my manhood,

in whose old pupils the sun became
a bloodsmear on broad catalpa leaves
and hanging from ancient twigs,
        my murdered selves
sparked the air like muted collisions

of fruit. A black dog howls down my blood,
a black dog with yellow eyes;
he too by someone's inadvertence
        saw the bloodsmear
on the broad catalpa leaves.

But the furies clear a path for me to the worm
who sang for an hour in the throat of a robin,
and misled by the cries of young boys
        I am again
a breathless swimmer in that cold green element.

© 1982 and 2007 Estate of Irving Layton (RIP 1912-2006)
One of the founding fathers of modern Canadian poetry

I am currently Calm
I am listening to The National

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Outside Influences - Scott Lawrence - Tickle
09/23/2017 07:37 p.m.


Tickle the toes of your lover
Tickle her under the covers
Tickle her neck and her spine
Tickle her time after time
Without a second for her to recover

Tickle from her lips
Right through to her hips
But beware of her feet
As she kicks up a beat
Which is set by your tickling tips

Tickle her while she wiggles
Listen to her girlish giggles
Tickling this way
Makes wonderful play
And you love the way that she wriggles

Tickle her till she turns blue
She'll shiver and shimmy beneath you
Tickle her fancy
Make her turn antsy
But watch out!—cause she tickles too!

© 1998 Scott Lawrence

I don’t recall exactly where or when, but I came across this poem on the Internet, years ago. As it ‘tickled my fancy,’ I quickly downloaded it, but without noting the source; a practice I’ve since corrected. I’ve researched Scott Lawrence a couple of times, but came up with nothing, so it could have just been a one-off composed by a ‘closet/kitchen table’ poet. There is a man named Lawrence Scott, a Trinidadian award winning novelist, short story writer…and poet, but no mention of the above piece anywhere.

I am currently Calm
I am listening to AC Unit

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Outside Influences - Stan Rice - Tragic Rabbit
07/27/2017 02:25 p.m.


Tragic rabbit, a painting.
The caked ears green like rolled corn.
The black forehead pointing at the stars.
A painting on my wall, alone

as rabbits are
and aren’t. Fat red cheek,
all Art, trembling nose,
a habit hard to break as not.

You too can be a tragic rabbit; green and red
your back, blue your manly little chest.
But if you’re ever goaded into being one
beware the True Flesh, it

will knock you off your tragic horse
and break your tragic colors like a ghost
breaks marble; your wounds will heal
so quickly water

will be jealous.
Rabbits on white paper painted
outgrow all charms against their breeding wild;
and their rolled corn ears become horns.

So watch out if the tragic life feels fine –
caught in that rabbit trap
all colors look like sunlight’s swords,
and scissors like The Living Lord.

Stan Rice RIP 1942-2002
(husband of Anne Rice)

from: Some Lamb and Queen of the Damned

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A recently recalled favourite…
06/21/2017 02:49 a.m.

Cool song about reincarnation, and though I don’t believe/disbelieve, because of the overwhelming evidence, I keep an open mind about all things supernatural. Makes great subject matter for poetry also.

One Stage Before
by Al Stewart

It seems to me as though I've been upon this stage before
And juggled away the night for the same old crowd
These harlequins you see with me, they too have held the floor
As here once again they strut and they fret their hour
I see those half-familiar faces in the second row
Ghost-like with the footlights in their eyes
But where or when we met like this last time I just don't know
It's like a chord that rings and never dies
For infinity

And now these figures in the wings with all their restless tunes
Are waiting around for someone to call their names
They walk the backstage corridors and prowl the dressing-rooms
And vanish to specks of light in the picture-frames
But did they move upon the stage a thousand years ago
In some play in Paris or Madrid?
And was I there among them then, in some travelling show
And is it all still locked inside my head
For infinity

And some of you are harmonies to all the notes I play
Although we may not meet still you know me well
While others talk in secret keys and transpose all I say
And nothing I do or try can get through the spell
So one more time we'll dim the lights and ring the curtain up
And play again like all the times before
But far behind the music you can almost hear the sounds
Of laughter like the waves upon the shores
Of infinity

I am currently Calm
I am listening to One Stage Before by Al Stewart

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All the Poets (I Have Known)
01/25/2017 01:42 p.m.

A wonderful audio visual presentation by Andrew Peterson, discovered and shared by Melissa Arel (also a member of Pathetic.org) via Facebook:

I am currently Calm
I am listening to Talk Radio

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Outside Influences - Maureen Glaude
07/18/2016 03:41 p.m.

I first met local poet, Maureen Glaude, here in Ottawa in 1999 at the Sasquatch Writers’ Performance Series, when invited to help out by founder, Juan O’Neill. In sharing the duties of publicity for the group, we quickly became friends.

What I didn’t know at first was that in 1998, she had contracted Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma, and with chemotherapy had luckily gone into full remission. Maureen or Mo as we liked to call her, remained in remission until April 2007, when she was unexpectedly rushed to hospital. The diagnosis/prognosis were grim, as it was discovered she had Leukemia. With more chemo, Maureen put up a valiant fight, but the disease quickly spread throughout her body, and on July 18th, she succumbed.

Ironic in that her oncologist had told her in 2006 that she no longer had to undergo routine testing, common to all Cancer survivors. Tragic also in that her initial survival had given new meaning to her life. Maureen was so filled with creative ambition and positive energy, many hearts were broken, both here in Ottawa and on the Internet, in her untimely departure.

On the up side, during the period 1998-2007, Maureen’s writing was published extensively in various hard copy creative writing magazines and ventures, including several chap books. Her library here at Pathetic.org has since been locked In Memoriam, should anyone wish to read her work.

Below are a few of my personal favorites:

Pool & Poetry

You ask me why I spend
hours and loonies in the pubs
shooting pool and poetry
it's not real life, you say

I like my venues and ventures
I'm training myself
to master fresh angles
design new ways to
break onto the world
anticipate the slice and hook
align the combinations

when I share my poems
I work to float
and ventilate
feelings across the room
to enter ears of lovers
of freedom and the art
of trading story

I string images to embrace
stretch out to others' souls
turn out my mind and theirs
as on an autumn trail

listening to the others' works
I bathe in holy waters
in this unlikely place

back at the green felt
behind the cue stick
I position myself
focus, draw back, shoot
sink into life's openings
try for surprises
or from old games, sure moves
around the pocket corners

you say that my friends
seated on the barstools
in the readers' pub
are players in life
not grown-up
but you cannot show me
a saltier sample
of the real earth

and so I'll add my name
to the poets' sign-up sheet
but first, I'll play the winner


Cat on a Hot Tin Page

Let me tell you about this cat I know
who makes his rounds, on dry ground or snow

he’s not the cat from Dr. Seuss
nor a treacherous tomcat on the loose

he can make the hair on your arm stand up in alarm
but he purrs a gentle poem, and means no harm

his lines don’t rhyme as in Mother Goose
and he prefers a plane to a train caboose

he maneuvers sly, like the famous Cheshire
he settles down on mousepads and net wires

this dark-haired cat sneaks into souls
meowing his stories of triumphs and tolls

scratching at the mundane to the sensational
topics torrid and forbidden or easily conversational

this cat will prance on any altitude of walk
prowling over keyboards to make them talk

swatting at the humdrum and the things less sure
turning us inside out, looking for his cure

licking avid paws, he pokes through others’ poems
doing the limbo-tiptoe into other poets' homes

he can send out feelers in synergy that’s psychic
natural but uncanny, and whether or not we like it

be he agitated, be he calm, the tomcat makes it clear
what he most despises, and what he most holds dear

sometimes he’ll chase his tail so the end seems
the beginning; the present the past and the future in between

he leaves his mark of mischief, and magic behind
for the archivists of lyrical literature to find

the true origin of his nickname's quite aloof
maybe you think you know it, but maybe you've goofed

after all his daring leaps and ginger steps, I'd wage
he’s just a cool, mischievous cat, up on a hot tin page


Rural Morning Haiku and a Cup of Yoga


on a country deck in September
beside two tiny fallen pine cones
cobra posture


limbs and skin stretched
supine beneath the sun
peace of the corpse


windrush in the aspen tops
outdoor chimes, intermittent
a hammer on a plank


boxed begonias
the leaves at autumn matching
petal reds


sunlight streaks
across the deck floor slabs
between shadows


originally appeared in
The Ontario Poetry Society (TOPS) Newsletter Jan '03

The Perfect Man

I think I'd rather have
a statue than a man
I pass one every day
Lord of my neighbour's lawn

He marks the arbour entrance
by the clematis vine
he's naked, man-sized, Grecian
a piece of ornate masonry
but to me he seems the promise
of the perfect man

He does not argue back
but stares with gracious eyes
holds his creamy shoulders proud
and even though he's tight-lipped
it's not to shut off his soul

I'm sure his mind holds mysteries
of distant Aegean lands
his torso, hard and constant
carved into virile stance

He does not scoff or curse
and through long, sweltering days
suffers the sun, but doesn't drink
or whine, or get a druggy haze

I swear some days when I walk by
he listens for my step
and wishes he could wink his eye
or kiss away regrets

I always know his whereabouts
he's patient when I'm late
I'll bet he'd never lock me out
he never even shouts!

My only fear is that some year
these neighbours of mine will move
for how could I entreat them
not to uproot their statue, too?


All poems © Maureen Glaude Estate

I am currently Calm
I am listening to Air Conditioner

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