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The Journal of Chris Sorrenti

Outside Influences - Reflections of a Boomer
10/19/2022 08:10 a.m.

No idea who put this together (Uncle Joe sounds pretty anonymous), but quite clever . . .


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Outside Influences – Brian Bilston – Today’s Climate Forecast
07/18/2022 03:49 p.m.

Courtesy of Facebook...


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Outside Influences - Abdullah Shaqib - Pretty Ugly
03/09/2021 02:45 p.m.

A local friend passed this on to me, knowing that I was into poetry.

I like it, both for its spiritualism and construction; Note that it’s one of those poems that can be read from start to finish as well as finish to start, making sense in both directions:


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Numbering System
11/16/2020 11:24 p.m.

Numbering System

I felt it was about time to clear the air and clarify the purpose of this practice; that is identifying the number of reads or hits any given piece of writing has received. Although it is flattering to see these amounts steadily rising, at dizzying speed in some cases, it was not out of any sense of vanity that I started to do this about 6 years ago.

A few years before that, with a previous posting of the poem, Star Love, in Love & Friendship, I was informed by another member here that this poem had been posted on another poetry site by some guy I didn’t know…in his library. I was given no credit for writing the poem. My friend took the liberty of informing the administrator of the other site about what was going on, and my poem was promptly taken down.

The source of the inspiration for the above mentioned poem has also since been identified, especially as it is the title piece of a sub-collection in Love & Friendship. As I’ve said before in the past, I don’t mind others copying, downloading, sharing, or even posting my work on other sites, as long as I am given © credit for writing it.

I decided then that in an attempt to thwart future plagiarism, all poems would include the number of hits they had received, to show others, especially potential wrong doers, that a poem had been read, or at least seen by many others (including other poets), so that those same wrong doers would think twice about passing off something that I wrote as their own.

In closing, although I have no way of knowing who is actually clicking on my writing, I would hope that they occasionally stop to read some if not all of them, considering the amount of work I put into each one.

Thanks again everyone for your support and patronage!


© 2020

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Outside Influences - Maureen Glaude
09/20/2020 08:48 p.m.

Back to the Daffodils

Maureen Glaude was a friend and mentor of mine, back in the glory days of local poetry, especially the Sasquatch reading series, where we first met and shared publicity duties for a time.

When she passed 13 years ago, although many hearts were broken, both in Ottawa and online, fortunately, she left a wealth of accessible material, electronically and in hard copy. Her library here at Pathetic.org has been locked In memoriam since that dark summer’s day in 2007.

A year or so later, I was invited and had the privilege of helping to select which poems were to go into a small anthology of Maureen’s work, published posthumously, titled Back to the Daffodils. Copies still available upon request.

Included below are an introductory sampling of some of the pages.

The presentation closes with the back cover, including a shot of Maureen, that I took in 2003, and a short colourful poem to offset some of the darkness.

Part of the Sasquatch crew in happier times (circa 2004). Left to right: poets, Julie Szabo, Maureen Glaude, Juan O’Neill, and yours truly, Chris Sorrenti:



Mars Block

don't anyone put Mars on my computer
bad enough man's exploited the moon

leave the poets some intrigue and romance
let human beings imagine and swoon

not all allure comes at your fingertips
controlled by mechanical mouse

as long as there's life left within me
never mind if there's any on Mars

that planet's not coming in my house
it belongs up on high with the stars


Last kisses and hugs

soft white body
lingering warmth in my lap
for her last kisses and strokes
my aged dog and I suffer, together
her demise


Variations on a Scene

Chimera butterfly,
where went the black, orange
and yellow paisley
of your wings?

Computer technology
fades you to grey
stone frieze

your image, captured by a lens
at the instance of
your landing on a stand of
mauve loosestrife
became JPEG
introduced onto
a monitor’s screen

at the next stage in this
a paint program
embossed the capture of your
exquisite form’s
natural wildlife stance and moment
into delicate etching,
granite’s shadows
trace of loosestrife you harvested
all manipulated into
a mere stain
remaining of the
bright mauve and green

Angel petroglyph
you hover, a lacy outline
wings closed, antennae in proud V
above your head

you were caught
gingerly prodding a bloom
for nectar
and in your moment of promise
forever fossilized



Author's Note: Based on Chris Sorrenti's butterfly image as shown above.

Bright Side

the best thing
about a lousy day is
it ends


Coping (Haiku)

one foot ahead of the other
my heart
drags behind


Digger's Tanka

the new dog on the farm
trying tag with the quarter-horse
gains Olympic speed
when the horse is the one
at the rear


Found Haiku

tree climbers wanted
Driver’s License


Follow the Dots to the End

I'm haunted by
the echo of
an experience
I can't erase

no longer by
the immediate press
of cancer's claim
but by its ghosts
down within
the layers
of my new joy
always their death walk parade
rehearses noisily

its cast
began to form
even as I entered
my first respite periods
from the acute attack
and danger

each time
I emerged from
those corridors
of chemotherapy
and concern

finding some fragments of faith
somewhere that urged
stand up strong

Days when I gained from solitude
graduated from sleep's seizure
accomplished rising in the morning
astonishing my family and myself
after chronic resistance to anything but rest
spirit and body slowly starting over

to face the exhaustion of effort
or complete another stretch
in the series of therapies

Was that some other person ago?

Was I truly
one of those godforsaken-seeming souls
I see when I go back for follow-up
and take home with me in prayer?

I storm about, energetic now
not qualified for over-proud
nor smug
on my way to the X-ray room
or doctor's clinic
then realize why
professionals show surprise
they're used to seeing patients
including my former self
smitten into slow motion
unsteadiness, frailty of low blood

then I remember
how huge a feat it was
to achieve a simple destination
following those colored dots
painted on the hospital floors
for direction
or wait to be examined
weary even in a wheelchair
once the cycles of chemicals
had polluted me with necessary poison

but now I've reached the stage
where my calendar is
not perpetually pockmarked
with appointments anymore
the terror and the grief
tucked away in journals
cards and letters
and some retreat in the mind
even it a fighter
reclaiming concentration
memory and focus skills
after the fog

but beneath the layers
of the luxury of life
lurks the backstory
that was mine
but not just mine

with its ghost characters
reminders of the omen
to ensure
I never take health
for granted

more than all of this
what haunts me
is the faces of the others
still weaving their weary ways
along the treadmill of terror
like prisoners in a Nazi camp
from which I've found escape
but promised to come back
for the others


Bienvenido/Welcome (Acrostic)

Niño or niña, tu llegada me haría por primavera vez una
Abuela. No importa el sexo, solamente tu salud.
Nana será mi nuevo nombre, a causa de tí.
Espero que Dios te daría una vida llena de Aventuras,
amigos y amigas maravilloso(a)s y grande amor en tu mondo.

A Grandmother’s Welcome

New little boy or girl, your arrival will make me, for the first time,
A grandmother. Only your health matters, not which sex you will be.
Nana will be my new name, thanks to you. May God grant you a life full of
Adventures, marvelous friends and grand love in your world.


Author's Note: for our son's and his wife's baby coming in late May.

The back cover of Back to the Daffodils, also used in Maureen’s mass card, July 18, 2007:


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Outside Influeces - Gordon Lightfoot...
07/12/2020 06:13 p.m.

Gordon Lightfoot – If You Could Read My Mind

In the early days, I enjoyed all of Lightfoot’s hits, when they would play on the radio, but as I was into heavier music at the time, I never thought of buying any of his records. It was only in 1978, that I bought my first Gordon Lightfoot LP, Endless Wire, with the song Daylight Katy, which pretty well tempted me into buying it. Not a bad album either.

The one song however that has always stood out in my mind and memory, and thus became my favorite, has been If You Could Read My Mind.

Released in 1970, when I was 13 years old and going through all the uncertainty of early adolescence, I found it haunting, but in a good way, and thus reassuring. Simply, beautiful poetry put to music.

If You Could Read My Mind
Gordon Lightfoot

If you could read my mind love
What a tale my thoughts could tell
Just like an old time movie
About a ghost from a wishing well
In a castle dark or a fortress strong
With chains upon my feet
You know that ghost is me
And I will never be set free
As long as I'm a ghost you can see

If I could read your mind love
What a tale your thoughts could tell
Just like a paperback novel
The kind the drugstore sells
When you reach the part where the heartaches
Come the hero would be me
Heroes often fail
And you won't read that book again
Because the ending's just too hard to take

I walk away like a movie star
Who gets burned in a three way script
Enter number two, a movie queen
To play the scene of bringing all the good things out in me
But for now love lets be real
I never...

Source: LyricFind

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Broken Photo Links on Poems
12/20/2019 09:02 p.m.

As some of you may have noticed, broken links are now appearing for photos linked to poems. Normally, the photos are suppose to appear almost immediately if not immediately.

I have contacted my photo hosting service, Photobucket, and they have indicated that the problem is at their end, and are attempting to resolve this situation.

Meanwhile, thanks again for your patronage and patience, and Season's Best to one and all!

Problem solved!

 photo Christmas Candle by Chris Sorrenti Ottawa Canada early 1980.jpg

Photo © 1982 Chris Sorrenti (Ottawa, Canada)

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Outside Influences – Robert Frost – Stopping by Woods on a...
12/18/2019 01:46 a.m.

Outside Influences – Robert Frost – Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

Over the years, I’ve come across this poem from time to time, and up till recently, never paid it much attention. All I knew about Robert Frost was that he was an American poet, who lived sometime in the early to mid 20th century, and had read a poem at the inauguration of President John F. Kennedy, January 20, 1961.

Over time, the poem grew on me, both in its simplicity and deeper meaning. I find it haunting, but in a good way, for its spiritualism (who’s woods? …God’s?), and its capture of winter, having lived all my life in a northern country.

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

© 1922 Robert Frost

 photo Robert Frost b RED40.jpg

Courtesy of the Net

 photo Robert Frost c.jpg

After staying up the whole night working on another poem, Stopping by Woods on a Snow Evening came to Robert Frost as “a hallucination” as he took a breath outside and saw the rising sun. He wrote his vision down and luckily while in this trance no one knocked on the door or rang him up to break the fluid poem written in four stanzas of four lines in iambic tetrameter (four feet to a line) and a rhyme scheme that uses four rhymes (know, here, lake, sweep) that flow intricately and effortlessly toward its end, home, a perfect place we know (and hope) with warmth and love and artifice and soul, the last four lines all ending with the same reassuring sounds of sleep and keep, far from the lovely sweep of cold deep snow.

Writers write so much, and good ones know, when all is said and done, very little lasts beyond their time and place. Frost thought and wrote to his friend Louis Untermeyer that Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening was “my best bid for remembrance”.

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Poetry Update - October 29, 2019
10/29/2019 06:25 p.m.

Poetry Update – October 29, 2019

I’ve once again begun work on Teeth From The Tiger, starting to pair photos with some of the poems; as they appear here at Pathetic.org.

My main priority remains the processing of older work, and much to my horror and delight, have discovered a cache of poems, in a box in my basement. Included in these, are the 1988 version of The Fireman’s Field, which appears in A Well Placed Mess; thought I had lost it. At some point I would like to input, as is, for comparison to the 2019 version, and possibly even post here.

The other happy discovery is the original full version of Awakening, in Enter Every System. It’s actually titled, After The Flood, and does have some similar elements to After The Flood in Connecting The Dots. A much larger poem in its infancy, at the time of the great reorganization (1997), I decided to take the strongest, most focused portion, the last stanza, and turn it into what became Awakening, as the second opening piece in Enter Every System.

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Outside Influences - Johnny Cash - The Man Comes Around
10/12/2019 12:12 p.m.

One of my favorite Johnny Cash songs, written and recorded in 2002, released the same year on his American IV album.

I first came across the song as the intro to the 2004 remake of Dawn of the Dead.

The Man Comes Around

"And I heard, as it were, the noise of thunder
One of the four beasts saying,
'Come and see.' and I saw, and behold a white horse"

There's a man goin' 'round takin' names
And he decides who to free and who to blame
Everybody won't be treated all the same
There'll be a golden ladder reachin' down
When the man comes around

The hairs on your arm will stand up
At the terror in each sip and in each sup
Will you partake of that last offered cup
Or disappear into the potter's ground?
When the man comes around

Hear the trumpets hear the pipers
One hundred million angels singin'
Multitudes are marchin' to the big kettledrum
Voices callin', voices cryin'
Some are born and some are dyin'
It's alpha and omega's kingdom come
And the whirlwind is in the thorn tree

The virgins are all trimming their wicks

The whirlwind is in the thorn tree

It's hard for thee to kick against the pricks
Till armageddon no shalam, no shalom
Then the father hen will call his chickens home
The wise man will bow down before the throne
And at his feet they'll cast their golden crowns
When the man comes around

Whoever is unjust let him be unjust still
Whoever is righteous let him be righteous still
Whoever is filthy let him be filthy still
Listen to the words long written down
When the man comes around

Hear the trumpets hear the pipers
One hundred million angels singin'
Multitudes are marchin' to the big kettledrum
Voices callin', voices cryin'
Some are born and some are dyin'
It's alpha and omega's kingdom come
And the whirlwind is in the thorn tree

The virgins are all trimming their wicks

The whirlwind is in the thorn trees

It's hard for thee to kick against the prick
In measured hundredweight and penny pound
When the man comes around

"And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts
And I looked, and behold a pale horse
And his name that sat on him was death,
and hell followed with him"

© 2002 Johnny Cash

Source: LyricFind

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